The Stairway to Recovery & Peer Support Boundaries

Here’s some more ideas on the Topic of Recovery for those struggling with Mental Health issues…

First, the Barriers to Recovery:barriers recoveryFactors are both from individual’s attitudes and behaviour (e.g. taking ownership of and Responsibility for Recovery) – and also due to many factors in the environment. These include and are not limited to: stigma, lack of information and access to services and also failure on the part of social services and medical professionals to understand or give the appropriate help to the individual.

The Stairway to Recovery:

stairway to recovery

This stairway is based on the Personal model of recovery (There are two models of Recovery – the Medical and Personal/individual). The Outcomes for the Medical model are reduced symptoms and hospitalisation as well as reduced medication. Whereas Individual Recovery Outcomes are more holistic, driven by an individual’s hope for challenging the’ assumed chronicity of illness’. To move beyond mere maintenance or “coping”, as the Medical model outcomes seem to entail, but to Empower the individual to ‘reclaim meaning and purpose in life’ (Deegan), by “contributing [and finding satisfaction] even with limitations caused by the illness.”

One has recovered when one “grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.”

Stepping up to provide Peer Support is important because of the ability of Peers to relate on a deeper level with other peers, which sometimes, other people may find difficult. It also empowers the Peer who is providing support, by allowing them to contribute and find satisfaction.

But Advocacy and Peer support can both be double edged swords. If one takes up external responsibility that is rightfully another person’s, in Peer support; or one goes public with one’s condition… Burn out, stress and pressure are inevitable.

Anxiety and fear of failure,  are to be avoided when one is out in the public view – especially in a day and age where intrusion and scrutity, even from an anonomous eye is the norm. (How does one claim to be an advocate if one is severely symptomatic, or worse still, if one falls to relapse?)

In terms of Peer support, One danger of being a source of support, is what Pat Deegan described as the “frenzied saviour response/role”. This can be a role which a caregiver/family member/friend takes up.

The Frenzied saviour response “when the person is faced with another person lost in anguish and apathy.

The more listless and apathetic the person gets, the more frenetically active we become. The more they withdraw, the more we intrude. The more will-less they become, the more willful we become. The more they give up, the harder we try. The more despairing they become, the more we indulge in shallow optimism.

The more treatment plans they abort, the more plans we make for them. Needless to say we soon find ourselves burnt out and exhausted.”

Setting boundaries and being a stickler for guidelines in Peer Support must not be taken lightly:wp-1455479006454.jpg

I hope I haven’t been to repetitive, I just wanted to emphasize some more points about recovery. Good night, and Good morning. Peace out.

(Haha! I was just gonna sign off with: “Self care”… Then JBieber started singing: “you should go and love yourself…”, through to me, on my headphones… O.o hehe :D)

Here’s an awesome cover of Justin Bieber’s Love Yourself:

This is going to be bad


-i havent slept

-i have been sleeping between 4-5 am the past few days while going for CNY reunion/visiting

e.g.the day before, i came back after dinner (i don’t have mental capacity to remember where now), but it was about 10 plus and started cleaning the kitchen and dining rooms. I folded at least 1000 plastic bags and catergorised them into small/medium and large and also created a proper recycling area, took the big bag A3 size bag of koped coffee/tea/ketchup/chilli/wasabi/soy sauce/unwantedinstantnoodles/creamer/sugar(all dumped-into that bag) took out one by one, checked expiry dates to chuck and labelled and categorised each item again. then i swept floor, wiped table and if u have come to my house u know how messy our tables are, i cleared them all and wiped and scrubbed off stains and then mopped floor twice but still a bit sticky so tried hand wiping and scrubbing floor but then it was 430am and my mom woke up and said “aiyo, darling, no need la, u need to sleep.”

two days before i did the same for the i going crazy?


And yesterday night i worked out for about 45 minutes, did 25 minutes on the elliptical machine and 20 mins of youtube burn 200 kcal in 20 mins. (magical socks!) cos know will eat a lot.

then fell asleep on the couch at about 1230am and woke up at 4+5 am. fuck la.





Food for Thought: “Eating the Earth”






Today, as I did my usual reading of the Straits Times, (Singapore’s main newspaper); This article classified under the “HOME” section caught my eye. Labeled “ScienceFaces”, it features veteran Marine Photographer, Brian Skerry.

Think of nature photography and National Geographic’s breathtaking photographs come to mind. They portray nature in its beautiful, “untouched” state. Yet in reality, we have taken much of the life out of wild life, the purity out of natural sanctuary, and the effects are becoming more and more obvious.

Take a simple example the smog in Beijing. Due to the El Nino phenomenon, wind and rain were lower than usual, and so emissions produced by coal-fired urban heating systems could not be easily dispersed, causing a devastating winter smog that set red alerts off in several cities.

The air quality levels of harmful PM2.5 particles last December in Beijing and surrounding cities in the Hebei province was above 250 micrograms per cubic metre, according to the US Embassy, (which issues independent readings). This was ten times the World Health Organisation’s recommended maximum exposure of 25.

One “solution”, has been 3 storey high Anti-Smog Domes set up in some schools to filter out the harmful PM2.5 particles and keep polluted air out by maintaining a higher air pressure inside. Others are taking trips and heading south or west to “bi mai” or avoid smog. In fact, ‘bi mai’ was the top search term on travel websites during the winter smog period.

Yet, these really, are no solutions at all, as they fail to address the root cause of the problem, which is pollution, (caused by human industrialization and consumption: “Eating the Earth” and all its resources with abandon). These so-called solutions that the Chinese are taking are tantamount to taking medication merely to treat symptoms or to avoid facing the gravity of one’s illness, while hoping one does not die from the long lasting effects of the chronic disease.

I never have been an Environmentalist. Growing up it seemed too “hippie” or “Yuppie” to be Green / Yoga / “New Age One with the Earth-ies”.  But I worry for my actual children, my literal grandchildren. I am not saying “Oh, our grandchildren will bear the conseque…”. Seriously. If this is today. What will tomorrow be?

It is seriously, FUCKING SCARY.

I was just thinking, the other day, that..Honestly, I don’t think we should drive anymore. I mean, at least in Singapore. The MRT is proliferating across the island, so much so that each train station is already, really walking distance to the next, and to anywhere you want to go. Why do you want to pay for parking (especially in town) and ERP and petrol? And if you are the only person in your car, isn’t that quite a waste?

I don’t know, my dad has the opposite thinking. He told me, “I worked my ass off my whole life, I deserve a little comfort now that I’m 65. What other little enjoyments in life do I have but my car?”

When I went to New Zealand, after my O Levels, (that’s like almost, like, half my life ago, now..) I was amazed how my uncle and his wife recycled everything, even their food waste to make compost. and that was half my life ago. What about Singaporeans now. There is so much wastage in the name of consumerism. Plastic bags, Paper bags, Mass-Producing so many useless things and wasting so much resources to Convince people to buy them, only for consumers to use them/or not(!) for a few months and then get bored/unfashionable and be discarded.

How do we break this cycle? How do we get off this slippery slope we have created? Man seems to destroy everything that is put into his hands. Was this God’s intention? Doesn’t He know everything? Did he not know we would destroy not only the earth but ourselves?

I honestly can’t think of any viable solution, World Leaders have tried in so many Summits to come to find solutions.. But I was just reminded of these verses, which I leave you with:

Genesis 45:5-8

And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are yet five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. And God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Genesis 50:20

But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.

Acts 2:23

this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men.

Romans 8:28

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.