Telling Stories: My Recovery

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Last fall, 20 people started an eight-week series of workshops where they were coached and trained in writing their personal stories of recovery from mental health issues. After the eight weeks, the 10 participants shared their stories publicly at a performance in Toronto.

We were trained by Elly Litvak, Recovery Coach and Founder of “Now Who’s Talking … Telling Our Recovery Stories”. Elly took us through the process of picking what was one of the real challenges we needed to write about that resonated with us at the time. We started with telling a small part of our story, learned to be concise, and focused on how we got well. One of the exercises was to recognize how language affects how one feels and behaves. We used a writing game, “I Am Not My Diagnosis”, where the goal was not to use clinical or medical language. We learned the use of the arc of recovery to make the story outline.  

Many rewrites later, the benefits of writing our recovery story became apparent. We learned exactly what we were overcoming and how we overcame it. There were many positive benefits noticed by each member of the group. Growth and changes in us and our relationships were better. Increased wellness was experienced and power was felt in the telling of our story.

The graduates of the program feel strongly that the stories are important to share for the audience benefit of education and breaking down stigma. It is our hope that through the telling of these stories others with the lived experience of mental illness will be inspired and encouraged in their own recovery.

Storytellers are available to book for events. Check out the flyer for more details: nwtflyer2011_3.pdf