Hi my name is Megan and this is a blog post to tell you a bit about myself and a bit about my project.
I’ve suffered with my mental health for nearly half my life now. Recovery and life has often felt lonely, confusing, scary and futile. To be honest this can still quite often be the case despite having a supportive family, group of friends and social network. Recovery very much feels like my challenge, whether it be from minute to minute, hour by hour or day by day.
I’ve started the Recovery Shoebox Project because of one standout simple, thoughtful and tangible gesture that improved my ability to recover or deal with problems as they arose and still arise. In 2012, a doctor gave me a roll of tape. It was a new tool for me if you like. From there my tape grew to 5 boxes of ‘tools’ and in late summer I started up-cycling old shoe boxes and creating Distress Tolerance boxes to send out to people battling their mental health too.
The boxes combine ‘tips’ I have learnt through my journey, homemade bits and bobs, distress tolerance support, self care promotions and other helpful items. I am now calling these Recovery Shoeboxes.
What is a Recovery Shoebox and how do they help?
When we are very distressed, it is difficult to think rationally and to decide how to help ourselves. Things that once helped may stop being effective, maybe through overuse, or maybe they are no longer suitable. We can therefore resort to using self-destructive behaviours which may help at that moment, but can cause other problems later and in the long-term.
It can therefore be useful to collect new ‘tools’ and keep them in an ‘Emergency’, ‘Soothe’ bag or box, in a prominent and handy place, so that when you feel overwhelmingly distressed, you can go to your bag/box and find something that will help you cope and/or feel better.
You can create your own (or one for a loved one) of course. Or I can help start you off, as it is my mission to provide Recovery Shoeboxes to as many people, who are battling against mental illness, and help support the recovery process.
If you would like a box, or know someone who would like one, please use this contact form.