Recovering One’s Past to Build the Future

Keepsakes or memories connect us to good things in our past. People who have experienced mental trauma suffer not just emotionally but may have lost physical possessions too–including their keepsakes. As a result it may be harder for us to feel connected in a healthy way to our life before the trauma. We have nothing to actually hold in our hands from our prior lives.

Spending time recreating our lives before the trauma may be healing.

We can benefit from documenting or recreating our lives. Even when it is not possible to find some of the sources, we can still recreate or assemble artifacts which stand for ourselves. Poems, pictures, art and other actual obnjects can help re-connect us to our past.

For people who didn’t experience a happy childhood, they can still imagine that things could have been better. And they can imagine how things – and even themselves – could have turned out better.

These things can be a form of recovery art or recovery collecting. Finding, creating and holding a better past is a foundation for a better future.


About mentalrecovery

I work in a large mental health clinic and am active in NAMI
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