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  • What's Life After Rehab Like?


    Spending over a year and a bit in a mental health rehabilitation place were probably the best and worst times of my life. During my stay at rehab, I heard voices and had a lengthy one or two hospital admissions. I was depressed and was suicidal as well. Also during this time, I learnt to cook, clean, do budgeting, and maintain my mental and emotional health. I learnt and studied all the DBT skills and as well as applying it into my life. My wonderful doctors and nurses at rehab were very understanding and kind. I couldn't have any better mental health care team. 

    I also established friendships during this stay, and although if I was to compare my story to others, I think my situation is not 'as bad'. Sure, everyone has their own battles, but I feel my situation wasn't as bad, and I would find myself comparing myself to the other rehab residents. 

    So where am I now in life?

    Thriving.

    That's the right word I would use. I am thriving and I am living independently in my own accommodation as well as maintaining the apartment in a clean way, as well as working now. I have been offered a Christmas casual job over the Christmas season. I have also participated in a lot of group exhibitions during the time I moved out of rehab. I have developed my own style, and also reinforcing friendships as well, and I feel my friends and family understand me more.  

    What else is happening, you may wonder?

    I applied for a $10 000 art grant and I hope to find out in early December if I got it or not.

    I am able to maintain my mental and emotional health too, in a way where I am not too depressed or experiencing mania. Even if I do experience these symptoms in the future, I have strategies and coping mechanisms to help me go through it, so I am not afraid of anything.



  • What 1 Year of Rehab Taught Me



    I can't believe one year has passed already since coming to this mental health rehabilitation place. I have learnt and experienced so much. I have failed at times in my mental health recovery, and every experience whether it's good or bad is a lesson to be learnt I believe. I choose to stay positive, despite some challenges and hiccups along the way. 

    Medications

    This was probably the hardest part to get right. I tried many antidepressants, antipsychotics and mood stabilisers in the past. It's taken many months to get the right dose of medications. I am grateful to have good doctors who help me find the right combination of medications that suits me. I am really happy with the combination of medications I'm taking now.

    Community

    Without this, I wouldn't be where I am now. As a resident in a 20-unit (apartment-like complex), I have made some very meaningful friendships and we all encourage and cheer each other on for all of our recovery. If it weren't for the community, this place would be pointless - dead and dry. It is so important for me to have social support from good friends. When I leave this place, I will, of course, miss everyone sorely when I leave.

    Creativity

    Rehab has taught me and showed me gifts that I thought I wouldn't have. Since coming here, I have started painting actively. I have been given the gift of art and painting. I love getting creative and let the creative juices run free. This year I saw how my art took me to different opportunities - even one opportunity where I sold my first "large" canvas for $300 at an art exhibition showcasing works of people with 'invisible' and 'visible' disabilities. It was like a dream come true.

  • My First 6 Months At A Mental Health Rehabilitation Place



    I have learnt to have a Safety Plan which includes to see what are my warning signs and symptoms when things 'get out of whack'. Also steps to take when I am feeling distressed. Living in a self-contained one bedroom unit has taught me a lot of things. Things like recognising when you're feeling your symptoms are getting too much of you and you need to contact the nursing staff for help. I go to the exercise programs here, and they really work you hard. I have learnt to enjoy it actually. So far I enjoy the 24/7 hour support and learning to be an independent person like how to do budgeting, learning about healthy food cycles and diet, cooking classes, every week. My favourite part (or one of them) is doing art at the rehab place. There are HEAPS of things to do in my mental health recovery, and this place has given me so many options to help with that. I am so so grateful to have this sort of support.

    What one special thing I enjoy the most out of this place is meeting others who have mental illness/s like me and learning about their story and getting to know them. Some have been diagnosed with Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, OCD etc. Every one is at a different stage of their recovery from me and there's no such thing of "Who's better?" and comparing their skillsets to mine. I respect everyone is at a different place in their recovery than mine. I have made some wonderful friends here, and some of them are the most beautiful people before I've ever met. And I don't mean 'beautiful' by exterior kind.