Relapse is Part of Recovery, TEDx talk is out!

“Relapses are opportunities for growth, not something to be ashamed.”

“We all need to be supportive of the people who relapse, because we all relapse.”

“STIGMA SMASH!”

Just some quotes from my new TEDx talk, which is about how the lowest points in our lives bring us insight and are NOT something to be ashamed of. I talked about my mental health history but expand challenges to apply to anyone and everyone – we are all in the same boat, which means we ALL need to support each other. Check it out!

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Announcement!

Hi everyone! Hope that you are well! I have some great news…I will be giving a TEDx talk in New Jersey on April 7, 2018! My talk is called “Relapse is Part of Recovery.” I’m interviewing 100 people to really flesh out my talk, and here is a summary:

“Relapse is part of recovery” is a term frequently used in the addiction world to encourage people to continue if they lose their sobriety. But relapses (which I define as “rock bottoms”) happen outside of addiction and mental illness: there are relapses in careers, relationships, societies, identities, etc.

When people relapse, they are often faced with shame, disappointment, and see it as a failure. But what I’m finding is that frequently, as a result of a relapse, we gain some sort of insight that changes our lives for the better.

My talk argues that we need to rethink our views of relapse and how we handle relapses. We need to recognize that they are frequently an opportunity for growth. When someone relapses, we need to be supportive, encouraging, and hopeful. And that, my friends, will lead to “A Better Future” (the theme of the TEDx I am part of).

I am documenting my whole journey of building this TEDx talk on instagram: @hufsathegreat. I can’t tell you how many people are coming together to help me with this talk: allowing me to interview them, sending me pictures…I even have local actors who are going to help me film a scene for my talk. Wow!

Stay tuned! I’ll be posting about some of the stories I have been hearing!

An anecdote on Schizophrenia from Ajahn Brahm, a Buddhist monk

I told the above story at a conference on mental health a few years ago. One of the department heads at a prestigious mental health facility was very impressed. He invited me to “bless” his building.

“What form of mental illness are you involved in?” I asked.

“Schizophrenia,” he replied.

“And how do you treat the schizophrenia?” I enquired.

“Just like you explained in your presentation,” he responded. “I don’t treat the schizophrenia. I treat the other parts of the patients.”

I raised my hands up in the Buddhist gesture of respect to him. He had understood.

“What are the results?” I asked, even though I knew what the answer would be.

“Brilliant! Much better than any other treatment,” he answered.

When you call people schizophrenic, they are likely to live up to your label. You have stigmatized them. When you regard them as people who suffer episodes of schizophrenia, that they are more than their illness, then you give the healthy part a chance to grow.