However what I learned was; everyone can be creative. There is no one set way of being creative. Creative Group allows you to explore and express, through art (whether it be crayons, pencils, charcoal, oils, clay etc), without being judged. No one forms an opinion of how good of an artist you are or how good your drawing is. As a group, you look at each others work and unravel the meaning and thought processes being each one. Creative group helps express thoughts and emotions that are sometimes too hard to express verbally.
The next group I had was Self Care. I really didn’t think I needed to be in this group. Perhaps I was mistaken at my assessment. Maybe they accidentally put this group on my program instead of someone else’s.
The reality is that I do need to be in self-care, because the meaning of self care is so different and includes so much more than I ever imagined. I believed self-care was only about physical injury or illness, when in fact self-care involves other things such as self-compassion and sleep routine.
Self-care is about asking yourself every day what you need and making sure you get that. We are set tasks each week, which mean we have to carry out our self-caring acts. We also discuss our plans for the weekend, so we can leave the clinic for the weekend feeling safe with plans in place. The essence of self care is ensuring you not only look after others, but also yourself. It’s about treating yourself with compassion, respect and kindness.
I remember over the weekend feeling like I had imagined the past few days. It seemed like such a surreal experience, and it often still does. It felt like the slowest, yet longest two days, but being only less than a week in at Recover, I was already feeling relieved to be back on Monday morning.
The first group on Monday morning was Social Issues, which I had been curious about. Is this a meeting where we all sit around for one a half hours and have general conversations and report back any problems faced? Do we leave the clinic? Is it about issues with society? What does it even mean to be sociable?
Social Issues is a space to explore any issues you are facing in social situations, for example, within relationships. It allows you to discuss past events and receive views and opinions about what could have possibly been done differently. It allows you to discuss future events and talk about any anxiety or nerves you are having about the event.
Being in social situations can be considerably overwhelming whether it is a friends birthday outing in the town, or a family gathering. Social Issues allows you to talk and deal with any worries you may have to allow you to approach and have a more enjoyable and relaxed experience at future social events.
After lunch group, I then had CBT. I remember hearing CBT being mentioned in the news and reading about it online and so unlike the other groups, I did actually have some kind of idea what this group was about. I was worried however, in case it was a way of tapping into your brain and whether it would mean we all left the group thinking the same things as each other.
CBT is about looking at your thoughts and challenging them through questioning how true they may be.
The saying, ‘Change your thoughts, change your world’, best applies to this group. It is so easy to frequently think different thoughts and believe they are true, but when you actually look at them and explore other meanings that could be attached, you begin to question how true what you think is. It focuses on the impact our thoughts have on our everyday lives.
In the evening, I then had Movement Group. I was so apprehensive of this group. I have done dancing in the past, but the concept of moving in a group made me feel really anxious. I knew it would involve moving, but how would we move? What movements would we be made to do? What if I am judged for the way I move? I really started to feel even more self conscious about the thought of moving in a group in front of people.
Movement Group is now one of my favourite groups. Yes, it is a different group and very different to the other groups Recover run, but it is an opportunity to try to connect to your body. It can involve speaking about how your body feels and then trying to explain how you feel about your body using an object or image.
It allows you to move freely in a space, together as a group. Recently, reflexology, Qigong, and touch therapy has been incorporated in to the group. It is a great opportunity to try different things and lets you leave the clinic in the evening feeling safe, supported and more relaxed in your body.
In addition to the groups, there are also One-to-One sessions. This is where you meet individually with a member of the team. I was really nervous and apprehensive at the thought of one to one sessions at first because of the idea of it just being me alone. There wouldn’t be any escape for me to hide away from any thoughts of feelings I may be experiencing.
The One-to-One sessions are highly valuable and are necessary as part of the treatment at Recover. It resembles the big brother diary room in that you are given the space to talk freely about what is going on for you, knowing you are not going to be judged.
No matter how unsafe I may be feeling, once the session has started, it’s as if Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak is covering the room, and I no longer feel unsafe. One to ones are difficult as it is where you open up and talk about some really difficult things, but with help, you are able to start processing any experiences, thoughts and emotions. You walk in the session feeling alone, but walk out feeling so much stronger. You are listened to, supported and respected.
4 months closer to recovery..
Now, four months after starting at Recover, I feel one of the luckiest girls in the world to be a part of something so wonderful. To know you have Recover and all the people in it there for you, is one of the best feelings in the world. There is a strong community spirit at Recover, and everyone is made to feel welcomed and valued. Although it’s only been four months, it feels like I have known everyone at Recover for so much longer. When you feel you don’t believe in yourself, the belief that the others have in you, is sometimes what keeps you going. Each day I am grateful for being given the opportunity I have and being a part of something so precious. Through good times and bad times, everyone at Recover is there for each other. That you can count on.
We’re on a journey of discovering who we really are, through life, together.The work at Recover isn’t easy and there are many difficult times, but there are also many good times too, including smiles and laughter. Recover consists of girls of different ages, each sharing a part of themselves which connects everyone together. The bond and ties at Recover are strong and it’s such a beautiful thing to be a part of. Just like the family on the coach. The only difference is that, we’re not going to Paris, our journey is much greater. My First Experience of the Recover Clinic Part 1