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To begin, mindful writing brings a feeling of self-consciousness, like I am overthinking the task at hand. I have never found myself to be a particularly skillful writer so the thought that I am trying to write while being mindful, and yet not overthinking it, seems a delicate, difficult balance. What also comes to mind is my tendency towards avoiding discomfort in the request of discussing vulnerability. Talking about a difficult time lends itself to opening up about my own struggles which I tend to want to not share with others.
In terms of what resources and skills I utilized to get through this experience I believe I relied mostly on checking my thinking with others. I tend to be a reactive person and I often find myself craving the opportunity to “tease out” my conundrum with someone I trust. Unfortunately, at times I have the uncanny ability to gravitate towards others who can also be reactive so I work to be mindful of that as well. The situation that I wrote about was work related and I know that due to the stress of the work I do daily it is important for me to get “unstuck” so that I can effectively work with our clients in the program.
In re-reading the writing I recognize that I have a tendency to focus on my deficiencies versus the strengths. Even in writing the answers to these questions I see myself focusing on the deficit versus the attribute of reaching out and checking myself. I am a quick thinker and I tend not to revisit my thoughts in a more constructive way and I see that the mindful writing could be a good tool to activate a more positive story that can come out of a difficult time. I see this as particularly helping in working with the clients we serve especially because of the amount of stigma associated with chronic substance use disorders. I often find that their sense of self worth is SO negative that they struggle to find simple positive things about themselves, particularly their resiliency. The ability to shift and see the positive parts of their story allows them to see themselves in a more positive light lending itself to opportunities for a stronger self in recovery. -Jayme Villanueva