For most of my adult life I was heavily dependent on services, in and out of hospital on a regular basis often for extended periods of time. I was totally dependent on others, family, social workers, psychiatrists etc and was unable to communicate to others in any real sense. All of that began to change around 7 or 8 years ago and I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to America and be introduced to WRAP and for the last 5 years I have worked as an Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator.
What has WRAP done for me? It has allowed me to take back control of my life, more so than I ever did before, it has empowered me to make good choices in my life, enabling me to re-establish relationships with my family and to find new relationships, relationships built on trust and honesty, relationships based on friendship not power, relationships where I can give as well as take and be equal.
I often refer to WRAP as 'magic' I try to explain it to others but find my words fall short of what really captures that magic. What is it? Where does it come from? The answer I think is simple, to facilitate a group and watch as people reconnect and rediscover their own sense of themselves is a magical experience. To see people remember that there is hope, to put in their hands a tool that can enable them take back some control, a tool that belongs to them and can allow them to 'live' their life, to share their experiences and learn from one another, that is what makes WRAP special, that is what makes WRAP 'magic.'
Being part of and training new facilitators or just being part of groups, proves to me time and time again that WRAP is a tool for life, that it can and does make a difference in people's lives, many of the people I have trained to be facilitators say how different it has made them see themselves. Someone said to me that each time they facilitate a group it is a brand new experience and that they learn a little more about themselves and that they do this by listening to others, by learning from others and by sharing with others.
Is WRAP a quick fix? No. Will I never be unwell again? Who can say, what I do know is that WRAP has enabled me to know myself, to let others who know and care about me know me as well, what's going to help and what can makes things worse. By knowing myself and recognising what I need makes me strong, it helps me take control and be in charge of my life more so than I ever thought possible. I now face challenges, by those who care about me I'm seen as a fighter, someone who's not willing to give up or give in. Yes there are still dark days but using my WRAP and living my life with it, it allows the light back in.