Sunday, July 26, 2009

Making mental health a business

It's summer. The sky is sunny; I have a lot of yard projects; and every weekend there's a party somewhere. So finding time to read my Recovery books has been a challenge.

Yet, as my group leader often says, it doesn't matter if you read an entire chapter or just a paragraph—as long as you stay in the daily habit. I do become a little stressed about not finishing a chapter, but really that is quite silly (the "stranger in the brain" talking nonsense).

To make my mental health a business, as Dr. Low said, I really need to find some time to read Mental Health Through Will-Training more often! Hmm, maybe outside. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009


This week I had an opportunity to put my Recovery skills into practice during a meeting. Someone was chewing his gum very loudly—smacking his lips and making more noise than I cared for. Then I glanced at my Recovery tools worksheet and noticed that Dr. Low said that people do things that annoy us, not necessarily to annoy us. That helped put the situation in perspective! I certainly didn't need a burst of temper at a Recovery meeting :) .

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Being patient

I think one of the most difficult aspects of recovering from anxiety is having patience. We want to get better now, so we often look for quick solutions to our chronic problems. But these problems rarely develop overnight and, thus, we can't expect they'll disappear quickly, either.

However, we can take steps to make our short-term situation more tolerable and our long-term outlook brighter. For example, my Recovery group leader emphasizes the importance of reading Mental Health Through Will-Training every day—even just a few sentences. Such constant reinforcement and discipline help us build the foundation for a healthier and less anxious life.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Seeing Recovery in action

At my Recovery meeting this week, our leader noted that the group doesn’t aim to teach us—but rather demonstrate how to use the Recovery method to improve our mental health. This comment resonated with me. I’ve read plenty over the years about how to cope with crushing anxiety, but I never had much traction in improving my life. Sure, I’ve read many ways to deal with distressing symptoms, but putting them into action—and facing the discomfort in doing so—remained elusive. Yet at the Recovery meetings I look into the eyes of people just like me and hear how they use Dr. Low’s principles, and this real-life interaction has given me tremendous hope and help.