An essay by Brian McLaughlin, Advocate

Write A Wellness Action Plan

Seeking the meaning of one’s life is an almost universal human trait. I have spent hours pondering the meaning of my own life.

There was a time when I felt life events were random and lacking of meaning. I found that this was a most uncomfortable state. Add to this the onset of serious mental illness, and little about my life seemed to make sense.

I spent a lot of time contemplating escape or release. I engaged in unhealthy behavior, avoided treatment, and considered if I would be better off dead.

Only when I let go of my denial, engaged in healthier habits, established a sound treatment regime, and wrote an action plan for dealing with symptoms when they return, did I find some peace, a greater degree of health and longer remissions times.

I feel compelled to share what I learned. It is in that sharing that the meaning of my life is made most clear. I am to help my peers in any way possible. Now I feel I am, to a large extent, the author and editor of my own life and its meaning.

It is my hope that what I have shared will save others time, needless suffering and perhaps help someone avoid self harm.

When health takes a downturn, don’t deny it. Have a written wellness plan. Seek and explore treatment. Do not let thoughts of self harm linger. Be sure to ask for help. If you find you are not getting the help you need, keep asking until you get it.

Respectfully submitted for your consideration,

Brian Patrick McLaughlin MS/CPS
MH Consumer Advocate
Erie County, PA.

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