Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Therapist Helps: Accept Your Assignment for Your Relationship

Stress management plays a significant role in coping with my mental illness. As I grow in my recovery I learn how to distinguish my moods, symptoms, and stresses, which impacts my relationship with self, and partner. Life is stressful, and peers like myself should engage in self-care, in order, to get the most from life, and relationships. Most days are good even though my mood fluctuates throughout the day based on expectations, and stress from daily events. 

Relationships create stress, which is part of life. Therapy is a great coping mechanism, and self-care tool. In fact, my therapist and I breakdown concerns in my personal relationship among other relationships, and events in my life. Good stress, and not-so-good stress impacts my mood, and mental health. Whenever I feel stressed my mood is irritable, and my memory is not as sharp. Other signs of stress for me is being in a negative place, and wanting to isolate. 

Therefore, I am grateful for my therapist, because I am accountable for self-care, and to manage my condition, to maintain healthier relationships. Insight from a professional adds balance to my perspective, and helps me practice stress management, and self-care. As I discover more about myself I understand how important therapy is to help me manage stress, life's events, and my relationship with self, and partner. 

My therapist helps me identify, and process good days compared to bad days that offers stress management, and self-improvement. A good day to me is very productive, routine, and moments of relaxation. My relaxation looks like listening, and dancing to upbeat music. Also, having fun with family, and friends. While my worse days require more self-care in response to internal and external stresses, such as miscommunication within my closest relationships. Therefore, engaging in sessions with my therapist helps identify areas I need to work on for myself to get the most from life, and to maintain a healthier relationship.

The greatest benefit to me in sessions with my therapist are accepting challenges. These challenges are homework, or assignments, which if performed minimizes stress, and further helps me build self-care. Assignment may require special attention to my views. My assignment may include self-evaluation by examining my mood journal, which reflects triggers, warning signs, and better days, recorded by a color coded scale that distinguishes my moods. I enjoy reviewing my mood journal, because it is a reminder of my needs, and wants, to maintain balance, and a healthier relationship.

Whenever I am engaging in intense self-care my stress reduces. I create affirmations, walk to reflect, and listen to motivational talks to help motivate, and to focus on goals, in order, to act and to accomplish them. Once, a therapist recommended I keep a “realistic agenda.” I like to keep many journals. A “realistic agenda,” is a list of accomplished tasks. 

However, to manage all my needs I must persevere through therapy, self-care and improvement, and treatment, in order, to maintain balance within myself, and relationships. My therapist helps me articulate side effects, in order, to discuss potential solutions with my doctor. My therapist plays an intricate role in my recovery. and life. In short, the therapist is a great self-care tool because, they empower individuals with coping skills, which brings balance to outlook on relationships, self-care, and wellness. For me, therapy is helpful and I suggest that an individual try a therapist, in order, to maintain self-care and relationships. Lastly, as a peer from experience, I encourage you to try a therapist for you, and your diverse relationships.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Therapy Builds Self-Awareness and Relationships

When I was diagnosed with my mental health condition over 11 years ago I did not understand what to expect.  It is better to maintain healthy relationships, in order, to maneuver life's difficult courses to reach one's destination, potential, and dreams.

Strengthening relationships is important. Therefore, maintaining communication and needs in the relationship with your partner is vital. However, an individual must understand, and know themselves first. Peers should identify triggers, coping skills, and needs, in order, to keep well-balanced relationships. A trigger is an event that creates negative attitude, actions, and consequences. Coping skills are activities, which helps individuals manage symptoms, and situations, such coping skills include: exercising, creative expressions through journal, drawing, painting, music, etc. Over time in recovery, I realized how awareness of my condition helps me maintain a healthier relationship with my partner.

As a partner, advocate, and spiritual person, I realize knowing oneself is important in all aspects of life, especially to maintain a healthier relationship with my partner. In short, experience teaches me how lack of familiarity with the signs, symptoms, and coping skills within myself may lead to unnecessary concerns within the relationships I value the most. If I am not familiar with my diagnosis, and its concerns I may unknowingly present as irritable, moody, and difficult when triggered by stressful situations. One-on-one therapy helps me become more aware of my condition, needs, and demands, in order, to gain experience managing personal relationships, and life.

Participating in therapy teaches strategies to learn, cope with triggers, and to manage my relationship with self and partner better. I'll share three tips to utilize, in order, to get the most from therapy sessions, which may help peers and others prosper in self-awareness, and relationships.

First, my therapist elaborated on information, which I did not understand after speaking with my doctor. In the past I hesitated, and struggled to accept new medication out of fear of the effect it would have on me. I appreciate my therapist who helped me anticipate potential side effects related to my new anti-depressants. I wanted wellness, and was willing to accept traditional treatment or medication, but not the unknown. In order words, I delayed treatment, because I did not know what side effects to expect from my new medication. I shared fears of new treatment with my therapist who calmed me by sharing awareness on common side effects of anti-depressants. Afterwards, I accepted my new medication.

Second, keeping a journal can help peers, like me, and the therapist identify patterns. Writing is a significant coping skill for me. Writing helps me articulate ideas, record events, and offers self-awareness. Once, a therapist suggested I share my journal entries in our session for more insight. This was a great strategy, because it further helped me express myself as I freely do in my journal. Moreover, writing clears my mind. In fact, I have many journals, such as a journal for reading books, daily agendas, and self-reflections; thus, my therapist recommended I start another journal for my therapy, a “mood journal.”

Third, my therapist helped me develop ways to manage my diagnosis, and relationships by reflecting on patterns. After discussing mood swings, and its impact on past intimate relationships my therapist recommended I maintain a mood journal. The mood journal helps us learn more about my triggers and its impact on my mood. As in the doctor's office physicians may ask one's level of pain based on a scale of 1 to 10. Number one generally means no pain, and number 10 means an individual feels a lot of pain. Instead of using a numbered scale, I chose a color coded scale based on my child's color coded behavior system in elementary school. 

Accordingly, “pink” signifies an excellent day, “purple” a great day, “blue” a good day, and “green” is ready to learn. The colors; yellow, orange, and red illustrate escalating poor behavior. Likewise, I started my mood journal and share it with my therapist. My mood journal is a great method into identifying patterns, triggers, and thus, self-awareness. My mood journal is a means to further develop self-awareness and to enhance relationships by being mindful of myself and my needs.

Finally, my experience in therapy helps me develop self-awareness, and relationships with others. Whenever I work on myself in therapy I generally see positive results in my satisfaction with relationships, especially with my partner. Therefore, I encourage peers to engage in therapy for wellness, relationship with partner, and with self.

How to Cope with Dark Seasons

I aim to empower those affected by mental illness. However, the truth about recovery is there will be many dark seasons. Still, I hope peopl...