Wellness Wheels in Action

August is Happy Wellness Month and Recovery Support Specialist Maricruz shares how a Wellness Wheel helps her take care of her mental health. 

Happy Wellness Month, my name is Maricruz and I am a Recovery Support Specialist and I am an RSS at NAMI Metro Suburban Living Rooms. Taking care of myself is a priority, making my physical and mental health the #1 on my list. I have a routine that I try my best to stay consistent with, I utilize a wellness wheel to have well-balanced wellness. When I first started my recovery, I struggled to ask for help because of the embarrassment of “failing at life” when in reality, I had succeeded at numbing myself enough not to end my life at 18.

I didn’t understand much of what I felt, I just thought I was angry. When I started therapy, my therapist decided that NET would be what would help me heal from my childhood wounds. Narrative Exposure Therapy, NET, is a treatment for trauma disorders, particularly in individuals suffering from complex and multiple traumas. It has been most frequently used in community settings and with individuals who experienced trauma as a result of political, cultural, or social forces. My therapist presented me with a wheel of emotions and that was the first time I ever realized that it wasn’t just anger I felt.

I was disappointed, I felt disgusted by the actions that were taken without my consent, I felt worthless and I resented myself for not speaking up for myself. My inner child was wounded, and my young adult self was angry at my inner child for not doing what I still struggle as an adult to do. My therapist was able to utilize the wheel of emotions through NET to help me understand Intergenerational trauma, helped me change the narrative I would tell myself constantly in my head, and helped me create healthier coping skills to better prepare for flashbacks that I still have.

Understanding what emotions, we are dealing with in the moment has helped me manage my mental health and I share these tools with the guests that come into the Living Rooms to share my story, but most importantly hope.

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