You have now completed your action plans for prevention and recovery. At first, you will need to spend 15-20 minutes each day reviewing your plans. People report that the morning, either before or after breakfast, is the best time to review the book. As you become familiar with your daily list, triggers, symptoms, and plans, you will find the review process takes less time and that you will know how to respond without even referring to the book.
Begin with Section 1. Review the list of how you are if you are all right. If you are all right, do the things on your list of things you need to do every day to keep yourself well. Also refer to the page of things you may need to do to see if anything “rings a bell” with you. If it does, make a note to yourself to include it in your day. If you are not feeling all right, review the other sections to see where the symptoms you are experiencing fit. Then follow the action plan you have designed.
For instance, if you feel very anxious and know that it is because one of your triggers happened, follow the plan in the triggers section. If there weren't any particular triggers but you noticed some early warning signs, follow the plan you designed for that section. If you notice symptoms that indicate things are breaking down, follow the plan you developed there.
If you are in a crisis situation, the plans can help you realize it so you can let your supporters know they should take over. However, in certain crisis situations, you may not be aware or willing to admit that you are in crisis. This is why having a strong team of supporters is so important. They will observe the symptoms you have reported and take over responsibility for your care, whether or not you are willing to admit you are in a crisis at that time. Distributing your crisis plan to your supporters and discussing it with them is absolutely essential to your safety and well-being.
You may want to take your plan or parts of your plan to the copy shop to get a reduced-size copy to carry in your pocket, purse, or glove compartment of your car. Then you can refer to the plan if triggers or symptoms come up when you are away from home.
People who are using these plans regularly and updating them as necessary are finding that they have fewer difficult times, and that when they do have a hard time, it is not as bad as it used to be and it doesn't last as long.
Sourced in November 2013 from:
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-99
Rockville, MD 20857