I am in a thankful state right now. I have a new toy. Like James Brown would sing, “papa’s got a brand new bag.” This bag is a wellness and recovery tool. It is like having guard rails for bowling.

This tool will help keep me centered. My new toy is called WRAP©. It stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan©. It is a virtual tool box filled with well thought out habits of our choosing that will help maintain and foster our own sobriety.  This recovery plan was developed by Mary Ellen Copeland who is the founder of the Copeland Center for Wellness and Recovery. 

The action plan starts off with building a tool box just like a carpenter would carry to their work site. The difference is that ours is a virtual tool box while theirs consists of hammers and stuff. 

Our virtual recovery tool box would be chock full of things that would be our own keys for keeping us well. That is the cool thing about it. We define our personal life tools that are accessed throughout our days and weeks.  My tools and your tools might be different, but as long as we use them, we are able to better guard our own hearts and mind. I like that.

In doing this exercise, I started with a list of approximately 25 things I could put into my tool box to foster my well-being. I considered ideas like reaching out to a specific friend to have some fun, reading affirmations daily, ensuring I take my insulin with me no matter where I go, and not being afraid to take risks when appropriate. Simple stuff,  right?

These and other insights are at my disposal, but they do me no good if I don’t use them when I sense I am feeling pressed. Like my dad used to say, the hammer won’t pick itself up. I don’t want life to just take its course. I want to live the life I desire.  I refuse to be a victim. I will define my own tool box, and plan when and where I will use the life tools that I have put in it.

My Four Most Effective Recovery Tools 

Journaling

It is important for me to get my thoughts down on paper and do it often. What I am thinking, feeling, and planning. I don’t have to believe every thought that invades my mind, and when I put them on paper, I am less impulsive. This enables me to make positive choices rather than be hijacked by a stupid thought.

Exercise

Daily movement is my best recipe for acquiring those feel good endorphins, and for helping maintain my blood sugars. This creates a natural health plan for me, and enables me to be at my finest when stress tries to hunt me down. Less stress means a more optimistic view of my world.  More optimism yields a happier day for me.  The exercise can be as little as 30 minutes of brisk walking to gain all the help I need. Get my blood pumping and release those natural  feel-good opiates designed to enhance our own internal well being.

Going to church

I need to connect, and the hundreds of people I encounter weekly have become my surrogate family. I tend to lean towards isolation and while a little helps me recharge, I am at my best when involved in community. 

Proper Nutrition

Nutrition is my least favorite tool in the tool box, but could be the most important. I can’t out insulin poor eating habits. Working a great food plan keeps me full of energy and brilliant thoughts.

WRAP© seems to have jump started me this week. Why not do a little research on your own, and then create your own set of tools. I recommend it! 

Reach Out Recovery Exclusive By: Dr. Dave Warner


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Leslie Glass

Leslie Glass became a recovery advocate and co-founder of Reach Out Recovery in 2011, encouraged by her daughter Lindsey who had struggled with substances as a teen and young adult. Learning how to manage the family disease of addiction with no roadmap to follow inspired the mother and daughter to create Reach Out Recovery's website to help others experiencing the same life-threatening problems. Together they produced the the 2016 ASAM Media Award winning documentary, The Secret World of Recovery, and the teen prevention documentary, The Silent Majority, distributed by American Public Television. Leslie is also the creator of Recovery Guidance, the information website for those seeking addiction and mental healthcare for professionals nationwide. In her career, Leslie has worked in advertising, publishing, and magazines as a writer of both fiction and non fiction. She is the author of 9 bestselling crime novels, featuring NYPD Dt.Sgt. April Woo. Leslie has has served as a Public Member of the Middle States Commission of Higher Education and as a Trustee of the New York City Police Foundation. For from 1990 to 2017, Leslie was the Trustee of the Leslie Glass Foundation.

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