Hi to all. I have a lived experience of mental health for over 20 years. A couple of years ago I decided that the medical model was not for me, so I embarked on a voyage of self discovery to find the real me. I am free from meds for the past two years ( labeled bi polar), and while it has been very tough at times I never gave up hope.
While in the medical model I was told all the tome what was wrong with me and how I would get better if I did all I was told to do and took all the meds. It never happened 😁. It took about 2 years for me to finally meet the right person to work with, and it has taken almost a year for me to trust this person enought to start opening up in a little way. As I begin to feel human again I have begun talking to other people who are just starting out on their journey of recovery and I was very struck by the one thing that we all agreed on.
Everyone of us discussed the struggle we have with answering one simple question
" what do you want/ what do you want us to do to help you".
When I was medicated I didn't know who I was let alone what I wanted and to a certain extent I still feel a little of that uncertainty today. But I wrote something in my reflections of a very intense session a couple of months ago and it seemed to answer that question for me.
" I want to be SEEN, HEARD and UNDERSTOOD"
It seems such a simple request but most of us never get a chance to even heard. I am training as a peer support worker and as such I have become involved in the mental health recovery movement and for the first time in my life I am connecting with others who have made the same journey as me. I would love to get other peoples thoughts on this question as it is the question that comes up the most. If we cannot tell people what we need then how can they provide the support we need?
In my case I needed to find someone who I can work with on a long term basis, a person I can related to as an equal ( and we had many a battle as she is not used to working in the style I wanted) I don't want to have to tell all my story as it's to traumatising for me, but I do need to be able to understand what happened and how I am still feeling the effects of that childhood trauma today. By educating myself I am slowly starting to understand how I get triggered and why I disassociate.
For the first time in many years I am working with someone who treats me as a human being not just a person with a label who has to be kept topped up with meds to live a half life as a zombie.