We could also call this: Recovery is like rowing. You’ll be bad at both until you’re not. And then you’ll just push harder.
If you’re working with a personal trainer on your physical fitness, it’s not strange if you expect to work with somebody that’s in better shape than you, that practices the skills you want to learn, that’s reached the same goals you want to reach. In the mental health sector, however, involving people with lived experience of recovery from mental illness in providing care is still rare. As a society, we don’t expect mental health professionals to share how they’re implementing the intense exercises they tell patients to do. That’s weird because evidence-based care for mental illness is about you making huge changes every single day. Mental healthcare isn’t all lobotomies and tranquilizers. It’s a big lifestyle change, as complex as pursuing any physical fitness goal. It helps to work with people that know what it’s like to implement, sweat, and sustain those changes.
I’ll offer five ways below you can leverage peer support when you’re working on your mental health, similar to how we tap into peer support when we’re working on our physical fitness. And to do this, I’ll share some insights I learned from working with one of my trainers, John Soco. Let’s row some boats…