Tag Archive: Learning

 Here is truly a great list of principles for recovery that I have found, adapted from the work of Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, whose self-help workbooks and programs such as the Wellness Recovery Action Plan have been used in Mental Health programs nationwide, including at Mental Health America, where I used to work. I highly  recommend her work! 😉

The Foundational
Principles of Recovery
Adapted from M.E. Copeland
Nanette V. Larson, B.A.

Learning all there is to know about
one’s health, wellness, symptoms
and treatment, in order to be
equipped to make good decisions.
Being open to, and seeking out,
new information.

Finding meaning and purpose in one’s
life. Gaining a sense of identity, based
on one’s own values and beliefs, which
may include one’s relationship with the
divine or a power greater than oneself.

“Going for it” with courage,
persistence and determination.
Expressing oneself clearly and
calmly in order to get
one’s needs met.

Relying on oneself, with help from
others, while working to control
one’s life and one’s symptoms.
Making choices which reflect
one’s life priorities.

Recognizing that recovery
is not a journey that anyone walks
alone. Drawing on support from
friends, family and healthcare

Having a vision that includes hopes
and dreams! Setting goals, while
refraining from negative predictions.
Fearing ‘false despair’, not ‘false hope’.

Nanette V. Larson, B.A. CRSS., Director of Recovery Support Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services /Division of Mental Health. Ms. Larson has spent the last few years developing and directing statewide recovery programs, including Illinois’ Wellness Recovery Action Planning Initiative. Ms. Larson’s passion for recovery stems in part from her personal experiences with bipolar illness. She is a nationally recognized leader in the mental health consumer recovery movement and has provided numerous presentations to diverse audiences on recovery, spirituality, and related topics.

Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, is an author, educator, mental health advocate, and mental illness survivor. Copeland’s work is based on the study of the coping and wellness strategies of people who have experienced mental health challenges. She is the author and designer of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP), a self-help mental health recovery program. She is also the author of numerous self-help workbooks for Bipolar Disorder.

In 2005, Copeland’s work led to the creation of the non-profit, the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery which continues her work through trainings around the world.

Copeland was awarded the United States Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association’s USPRA John Beard Award for outstanding contributions to the field of psychosocial rehabilitation in 2006.  She received Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration‘s Lifetime Achievement Voice Award in 2009.

God answers..

Soul Healing Art

I Asked God

I asked God for strength-
I was given trials
So that I may realize
The strength that lay within me.

I asked God for forgiveness-
I was given wounds
So that I may realize
The forgiveness that lay within me.

I asked God for hope-
I was given challenges
So that I may realize
The hope that lay within me.

I asked God for passion-
I was given failures
So that I may realize
The passion that lay within me.

I asked God for union-
I was given isolation
So that I may realize
The union that lay within me.

I asked God for peace-
I was given suffering
So that I may realize
The peace that lay within me.

All these and more
I asked for
And God provided
That I may know-

The strength, passion,
peace, hope, and love
within me.

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Divine Feminine Power

Divine Feminine Power (Photo credit: Kathy Crabbe)

I am reposting this from a year ago. I hope you like it: 

One ship drives east and the other drives west by the self-same winds that blow. It’s the set of the sails and not the gales that determine the way they go.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sometimes we feel like the winds of fate continuously buffet us around, thwarting our every dream. We may fall into a deep depression and give up. Psychologists call this “learned helplessness”. It is important to note that what can be learned can be unlearned. We can choose at any moment to take our power back. It may not be easy, it may take time, but we can learn to control our lives again instead of drowning in our depressions. The point of power is in you and the key is Intention. We are made in the image and likeness of God; therefore we have all of God’s attributes, including power. We are powerful! All you have to do is claim that power and know that God is more powerful than any circumstance, internal or external that you may encounter.

Write down every situation that feels impossible for you to overcome. Then repeat after each one, “I AM more powerful than this.”

Take An Inspiration Break

20 Inspirational Wallpapers to Brighten Your Day

By on Aug 25, 2013

– See more at: http://www.thebridgemaker.com/20-inspirational-wallpapers/#sthash.PDLxZrye.dpuf



A little light lunchtime reading...

A little light lunchtime reading… (Photo credit: Austin Kleon)

Hello Peeps! Here is another post from about a year ago for my new followers. I hope you all find it helpful!

Whatever is to give light must endure burning
Viktor Frankl

There is no doubt that as people with bipolar disorder we have suffered greatly, a suffering that most people cannot understand. We have stood on the pinnacle of life and also in the depths of hell. It is not self-pity to recognize where we have come from, but we cannot stay there. Being a helpless victim is a form of living death. We must take the lessons we have learned from our experiences and move forward…Read the rest of the article..


cosmic soap bubbles (God takes a bath)

cosmic soap bubbles (God takes a bath) (Photo credit: woodleywonderworks)

One very good way to deal with bipolar disorder and depression is to begin the day reading something inspirational. It always helps to see how others cope with these illnesses in a positive way. When I use the word “positive” I certainly don’t mean being “Miss Mary Sunshine” all the time. Rather I take that word as meaning that we move through our challenges in the best way that we are able and it helps to have others to guide us along the way.  It is a little amusing to me though that my ego (meaning Edging God Out) tries to make it into a competition, and I have to fight the urge to compare myself to others. My thoughts go like this. “Why can’t I be more enlightened like her? Why can’t I handle my illness as well as she does?”  Then I have to remind myself that I am not in that person’s skin and besides it is the journey that matters, not the destination.

With that in mind I have a few articles to share from some very wise people. First off is an article talking about how we need to honor our emotions by Bobbi Emel from The Bounce Blog, Getting On With Life Despite Devastating Emotions.

Therese J Borchard, an author and contributor to several websites gives an amusing look at how to forgive ourselves for our (continuing) mistakes.

Alex Blackwell at The Bridgemaker, has quotes of 15 Faithful People Who Inspire Us.

Have a good day! 😉


Related articles

Galaxy Cluster Abell 520 (NASA, Chandra, Hubbl...

Galaxy Cluster Abell 520 (NASA, Chandra, Hubble, 03/07/12) (Photo credit: NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center)

Hi ya’ll! I don’t know about you but I have trouble letting go of the past. I have found this article on www.beliefnet.com to be very helpful.

 8 Reasons to Let Go of the Past

posted byAlex Blackwell

“Letting go gives us freedom and freedom is the only condition for happiness.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

Letting go of the past might be one of the hardest things you do. It’s hard to do because the need to hold on is rooted in fear.

The thought of not having control over your circumstances – past, present or future – can be terrifying. Even when the warning signs are clear, you continue to think that if you try harder to do everything right; and hold on as tightly as you can, then you will have what you want.

But, by dwelling in the past where these mistakes live, you don’t see the beauty of the present moment.

Letting go makes you stronger and more peaceful. It allows you to focus on what you need to do to live in the here and now. In addition to strengthening your faith, there are some other important life-changing reasons to let go of the past and embrace the beauty of the present moment – the miracle of today.

1. Never alone again

When you surrender your life, you are asking God to be an active part of it. Even though He is always there, it is your acknowledgment of the relationship that makes it real and tangible.

2. You might just find what you are seeking

If what you are doing is not yielding desired results, try surrendering it. You might find what you have been looking for has been hiding in plain sight all along.

3. Certainty of purpose

When you surrender you are telling God that you want to live the life He has in mind for you. Although you may not know exactly what that life looks like when surrendering, you can be certain it is a life created just for you. Your purpose will be clearer when the clutter is removed.

4. Deeper appreciation of the ordinary moments

Your determination to get whatever you think you need could gloss over the life that is unfolding right around you. Surrender offers freedom, not defeat. Letting go frees you to see the special gifts that are already a part of your life.

5. Live a want to life, not a have to life.

Letting go gives you the ability to live a life you want to live; not a life you have to live. Your want to life can be full of joy and fulfillment because it is better connected to your heart’s desire.

6. Learning from the experience

Full surrendering takes practice. To gain experience, try surrendering small things, first. You can start by surrendering some bad habits like biting your fingernails, having one drink too many or constant engagement with your Smartphone.

7. Trade shame for grace

Asking for grace can be difficult. You may have learned from an early age that you are not worthy of love or compassion. You may have allowed shame to cover you until it has built up such a presence you begin to think it is a natural part of you. Letting go of shame allows grace to be restored to your conscious mind.

8. Finding peace

There is no right way to let go. Faith isn’t tangible and it really isn’t measureable. Faith catches you when you are open to change. A leap of faith happens when you let go and allow your plan to unfold. It may feel like chaos at first, but soon a soothing peace will begin to swell when your inner voice tells you that you are going in the right direction.

About Alex Blackwell

Alex Blackwell is a father, husband and writer. He writes about inspiring things at The BridgeMaker.

Read more: http://blog.beliefnet.com/everydayinspiration/2013/07/8-reasons-to-let-go-of-the-past.html#ixzz2Ya42mVW2


This poem has been floating around for years but just in case you haven’t read it here it is again, a tiny, but powerful slice of wisdom:


Autobiography in Five Short Chapters

By Portia Nelson


I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk
I fall in.
I am lost … I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes me forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place
but, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in … it’s a habit.
my eyes are open
I know where I am.
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.


I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

Copyright (c) 1993, by Portia Nelson from the book There’s A Hole in My Sidewalk. Reproduced with kind permission from Beyond Words Publishing, Hillsboro, Oregon.

Under the Weather

Helloo!.. Loving the rainy weather...

Helloo!.. Loving the rainy weather… (Photo credit: *SeniHome Photos*)

Hi Peeps!

I want to let everyone know that I am still here, but have taken a few days off due to a really bad sinus infection. Silly me, I tried treating it on my own and got in really bad shape before going to the urgent care. Everytime I get sick it just makes it much harder to recover from my chronic fatigue syndrome/fibromyalgia. Also to those that I have been corresponding with on your blogs, I haven’t forgotten you! I’ll get back to you when I can. In the meantime, I am coming up on my one year anniversery writing this blog so I thought I would share an earlier post. Enjoy!

My Bipolar Disorder: Curse or Blessing? Part One

I have discovered in the course of my journey that life and psychic growth move in cycling spiral rings of descent and ascent. Every new growth in myself has been preceded by a descent of the seed into the dark ground.

Linda Shierse Leonard

I believe that I have been given the experience of having bipolar disorder for a reason. It is here in my life to teach me. Now that doesn’t mean I am a Pollyanna about it. Far from it…read more



Failure (Photo credit: StormKatt)


One of the biggest fears I have is that somehow I will “fail” in this life, that I have to get everything right because I am going to be judged by the powers that be. I am not talking about hell, since I don’t believe that a loving God could ever do that to his creation. I was raised to believe in hellfire, though, and there is still something left in me that says if I am not perfect then I will be severely judged. I can imagine the faces of my spirit guides dripping with disappointment because I agreed to do certain things in this life before I was born, call these things my “mission”, and I failed to do them. Bam! Go directly to jail, don’t collect $200.

Of course I realize that this thinking is a bit silly, but I was raised to believe that no matter what I did I would never measure up. So I guess I have a lot of baggage to unload.

I knew from the time I was a teenager that I wanted to be a writer. The problem was that I didn’t seem to have much to write about. I wrote a few poems but that was it. I am sure that I underestimated my abilities but then again, there was that not so little voice that said, “You’ll never be good enough.”

Somewhere in the middle 90’s I saw a psychic. I am convinced that there is something to this because I have had very detailed psychic dreams of my own on occasion. That doesn’t mean though that I trust every psychic out there. I test them, I do not tell them anything about myself. In this case the psychic never asked any questions of me and no leading statements were made by her. This was also my first time seeing her. What she told me was astounding. She said that I should focus on my writing!

So this seemed to elevate my desire to write into a “mission.”  But instead of being happy about this confirmation I felt burdened by an expectation that I “had” to do this or else. Plus I felt like I had nothing productive to write about. After that I went through my “depressed poet” stage where I wrote a few good poems, but I didn’t feel that they were anything particularly special.

Around that same time I lost my job due to my bipolar disorder and I went through the worst depression of my entire life. Things started looking up when after two years of coping with this on my own I found a mental health social center and not long after I got hired to facilitate support groups. I, of course, was not the expert, I learned as much from them as they did from me.

After a while, I started to realize that maybe I really did have something to write about. I was gaining some wisdom of how to deal with my mental issues and I could share that with others. Unfortunately the gremlin laying on top of my airplane wing had other plans.

My friend the “gremlin” (my negative thought process) is determined to always sabotage my every effort. This is what he whispered to me:

This is a BIG mission so you’d better get it right! You have to write a book of profound wisdom that will change millions of lives. This is what is expected of you and if you don’t perform then you have let everyone down, including God himself! You’ll be a failure, just like you’ve failed at everything else!

Whew! With “friends” like this, who needs enemies! Is it any wonder that I had writer’s block?

Actually that voice sounds an awful lot like EGO (Edging God Out). Why should I be so presumptuous to assume that I am meant to write on that level? That doesn’t necessarily mean that I can’t, but the ego is the one who cares about silly things like accolades and money. That isn’t part of God’s thinking, and it shouldn’t be part of mine.

The fact is that even if I touch one life with my writing then it is worth it.

After all these years I am finally doing it. I am not getting paid, of course, but maybe in the future I might find some way to make money. This is my volunteer job, and it is just as important as a regular job. I don’t have to make money in order to make a difference.