One of the most important principles in maintaining mental health recovery is helping others. The reason for this is that when we focus on other people’s issues, it stops us from focusing on our own for a while. In addiction recovery, there is a maxim for this; “You have to give it away to keep it.” However, while helping others is critical, it is impossible to do if we haven’t taken care of ourselves first. This is why personal mental health advocacy must always come first.
The Importance of Personal Mental Health Advocacy
If we don’t make sure we are alright first, we won’t have the capacity to support anyone else.
The same is true when it comes to advocating for our own mental health. How can we hope to advocate for others if we are not well? The answer is we can’t, or at least we can’t do it to full capacity.
Of course, personal mental health advocacy is not solely about helping others. There is no shame in understanding that we must come first simply because we want to feel well. It’s ok to make our mental health our number one priority. In fact, it is vital. Of course, that is the paradox, isn’t it? When we “protect our peace,” other aspects of our lives tend to fall better into place.
How to Tell Someone You Are Struggling and Need to Get Help
A big part of self advocacy is accepting that we have a problem, acknowledging that we need help, and taking action to get that help. Understandably, this can be both scary and challenging. Still, there are ways to reach out that can soften those anxieties.
Sometimes we worry about what others are going to think if we open up about our issues of mental health. This often comes from the history of stigma that has long surrounded mental illness. If overcoming the worry of telling someone close to us is too great, there is plenty of professional outside help that is readily available to help.
These professionals include primary care doctors, representatives at recovery centers, online forums, and community centers. Sometimes opening up to someone new helps to alleviate the worry of opening up to a loved one. It also helps to be assertive when telling someone we are struggling. Just being frank and straightforward often informs the other party that we are serious about needing help. After all, it is our life we are advocating for, and what other people think should never get in the way of that.
Personal Mental Health Advocacy: Telling Others You Are Struggling While in Long-Term Recovery
Even the strongest of us can struggle in recovery. This is true even if we have been in recovery for a long time. These struggles can lead to serious issues including relapse and regression if we neglect our personal mental health advocacy.
The best way to advocate for ourselves in long-term recovery is to stay connected and remain vocal. So, it is critical to keep both recovery professionals and recovery peers in close contact. This way, when we start to struggle we have people we can readily confide in. Again, the key is to be open and honest. When we do this, people we know will not only understand, but they will often relate as well.
The Phoenix Recovery Center and Its Continued Mission of Mental Health Advocacy
At The Phoenix Recovery Center, we ensure that everything we do continues and strengthens our mission of mental health and addiction recovery advocacy. We also advocate for our clients until they can better advocate for themselves.
If you feel like you may be having trouble protecting your peace and your own well-being in recovery, you are not alone. If you have lost your way, we can help. For more information on mental health advocacy, please reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.