Starting the recovery journey can often feel like visiting a foreign land where you are not familiar with the language, and even the culture. Feelings of uncertainty, confusion, anxiety and even the desire to relapse are very normal in the beginning stages of recovery. This is why it is so important to create and access your first aid kit. The following is what some LifeSTAR participants have to say about their first aid kit:
“It’s great to help keep me out of the drama triangle and remind me of my worth”
“It is a constant reminder that I don’t have to do it alone”
“I loved gathering the pictures, quotes, information and thinking about the sorts of things that feed my soul and inspire me to be my best and see the best in myself and my life”
“Very helpful, very nurturing and needed when you are feeling so vulnerable and wounded. It is great self care”
“It has given me power to go on when I felt I couldn’t go on anymore, it helped bring hope back”
“I had a physical manifestation of my efforts”
“When it seemed like nothing mattered and all was hopeless I used the first aid kit to bring me back from the edge”
A first aid kit can be a tangible object that is created by you. The concept is to access the strengths and learning that remind you of why you are in recovery and what your bottom lines are. This first aid kit can ground you and give you the support, the strategies and the emotional reframing that you may need to conquer difficult situations and feelings. For some their first aid kit can include personal photos, inspirational quotes, music, items that have special meanings, and even podcasts that are recovery themed. Others have included a personalized book of strategies, such as relaxation exercises, and letters to the self. The first aid kit can be accessed when the work you have done in recovery feels shaky and faulty core beliefs begin to surface. LifeSTAR has a guide that can contribute to and enhance your first aid kit. A first aid kit can be ever changing and can be added to anytime.
The LifeSTAR program puts emphasis on the first aid kit because of its effectiveness when accessed. The first aid kit can be reviewed and accessed at anytime, not just during challenging periods. By using your first aid kit you are enhancing and activating the strengths that you already have. By focusing on these strengths you begin to reshape the way you experience challenging situations and intense emotions. Do not forget to be creative! People in the past have found the mere creation of making the first aid kit to be very therapeutic.
Above all else remember this is your recovery, it is important to make a first aid kit that will work for you and for your life. Some individuals have a first aid kit in their vehicle. Others keep their first aid kit on their phone or digital tablet. Whatever will best suite you and your recovery will likely be the most effective. Your first aid kit will strengthen the beginning stages of your healing and continue to enhance your journey towards recovery.
Thibodeau & Thibodeau Inc.