As a Beacon Health Options Peer Support Specialist raising a child with multiple disabilities, I never fully grasped that recovery is an inside job – until I had to recover myself.
Many Beacon locations employ peers, people with lived experience of mental illness or substance use disorder, to empower the individuals we serve to live their lives to the fullest potential. We might help them to navigate the health care system, or to define their own paths to recovery.
Resiliency is one of Beacon Health Options’ core values: “We overcome adversity. We embrace that our work is hard, and sometimes does not go as planned. We meet these challenges head-on and constantly strive to better ourselves and our services.”
The last two and a half years have been my most difficult. I have been blind-sided, shocked, confused, and unsure of the future. And I have made many mistakes in my journey to cope, adapt, and thrive in the midst of uncertainty.
Last week, Beacon Lens’ blog post explored the latest developments around Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in honor of June as PTSD Awareness Month.
However, there is an element to PTSD that doesn’t get its due: Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) which, in brief, is any positive change that results from a life-altering or traumatic event.
Many of us have experienced some traumatic event in our lives when a friend, close relation, spiritual leader or therapist has been very helpful. With their help, we’re often able to bounce back from life’s many traumatic events. That’s the essence of resilience. However, for those living with mental illness, sometimes it’s not that simple. Often, they need someone who has been there, which is where peer supports come in. Let me tell you my story to illustrate. There is a saying I later learned: seduced by the illness. I could actually see myself being magnificent in my defeat. At one point in my life, I considered myself a proud warrior. An officer in the world’s finest navy. The first…