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The New YOU!

The New YOU!

We grow, change, and develop every day. A diagnosis, a label, problem, or challenge that surfaces in our life should not mean your situation is any worse than it was before the obstacle you now face came into existence. More importantly, though, accepting you will never be “the old you, again” is something you need to come to grips with before you can continue on your path to recovery.

Whoever that person was, however much you liked THAT person you were five, 10 years ago doesn’t mean you will not become an even more likable person in the future. It simply means you should prepare yourself to become the NEW YOU! This article is intended to target audiences coming to terms with life changes, adjustments to their current situation which evoke negative feelings about their path on the road to recovery. As always, please discuss the tools and strategies learned in this blog with your therapist before implementing them in your living environment.
Are you currently grieving the loss of a loved one? A life partner, pet, or both?

Thinking life will never be the same or feeling too guilty to move on in your recovery? Think again! On the most basic of levels, you are facing a void every day and don’t know how to cope with this particular loss. Well, here is one example of how to re-frame a loss into something positive. Have you considered that a loss is an opportunity to discover what’s missing in your life? Simply put, this means that if something is missing, if your basic life functions feel like so much of a struggle to get through the day, then why not begin exploring what’s missing. This can be as basic as looking for companionship or as complex as discovering new interests, hobbies, talents, anything that supplements your life meaningfully and adds a new flavor to your day.

Are you having trouble getting past your anxiety, your fears, daily insecurities which make it difficult to experience life without nervousness over the basic life functions? There are many reasons why anxiety can manifest later in life. Whether it be because of a loss or the existence of a new challenge, responsibility, job function: anxiety can hit anytime, even when we least suspect it. THAT’S OKAY!! What, the old you never got anxious? Was fearless? I doubt that very much.

The most likely explanation is that you now have entered a new phase of your life in which you must plan for the unexpected. Maybe you no longer have the same supports in your life or maybe, just maybe, you need to be more independent. THAT’s GOOD!! It means you are evolving into the new you. Someone far more equipped to handle the obstacles and challenges life throws at you.

These changes to who you are and how you feel about things can be re-framed into positive characterizations of the new, emboldened you. It’s simply how you choose to see them. Choose an outlook that suits your goals, your dreams to further improve yourself beyond the limits you once dreamed of. As always, planning and practice are essential for your mental health and experiencing gains in your recovery.

Remembering that setbacks in executing these skills are learning moments. Problem-solve what works, what doesn’t, and move forward in your life, ALL(ways).

J. Peters

J. Peters

Max Guttman '08, MSW '12, is the owner of Recovery Now, a private mental health practice. Through his work as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist and disability rights advocate, Max fights for those without a voice in various New York City care systems. He received a 2020 Bearcats of the Last Decade 10 Under 10 award from the Binghamton University Alumni Association. Guttman treats clients with anxiety and depression, but specializes in issues related to psychosis or schizoaffective spectrum disorders. He frequently writes on his lived experiences with schizophrenia. "I knew my illness was so complex that I’d need a professional understanding of its treatment to gain any real momentum in recovery," Guttman says. "After undergraduate school and the onset of my illness, I evaluated different graduate programs that could serve as a career and mechanism to guide and direct my self-care. After experiencing the helping hand of my social worker and therapist right after my 'break,' I chose social work education because of its robust skill set and foundation of knowledge I needed to heal and help others." "In a world of increasing tragedy, we should help people learn from our lived experiences. My experience brings humility, authenticity and candidness to my practice. People genuinely appreciate candidness when it comes to their health and recovery. Humility provides space for mistakes and appraisal of progress. I thank my lived experience for contributing to a more egalitarian therapeutic experience for my clients."

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