Recently, I viewed the movie, “Facing the Giants,” which focuses on a high school football team and the struggles they endured as they worked together to have a winning season. This inspirational film caused me to reflect on some of the challenges that I’ve face over the past 28 years living with bi-polar illness and diabetes and what has helped me to overcome them.
As a teenager, I was angry, ashamed and confused and had little knowledge of mental illness. I developed an apathetic attitude in which I let professionals and family members make my health choices for me. At times, I wasn’t able to be part of the decision making process because I wasn’t well or I didn’t want to do the work. Lack of confidence, worry, and fear were the other obstacles for me.
With the help of God, family, Sinnissippi Centers, Inc. and other professionals, the quality of my life is better now. A wealth of information was provided to me from classes like WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan), conferences, meetings, and call-ins. Some things I’ve learned over the years to become more proactive in my recovery are taking my medication, seeing my counselor and psychiatrist, making a daily plan, taking classes, advocating for my rights, attending church, volunteering my time and helping others, spending time with friends, reading, journaling, and limiting time with negative people.
A few achievements in my life that I’m proud of are being married for over 20 years, being a homeowner, writing a poem book, leading a support group, and getting an insulin pump. I’m sharing my recovery story with everyone because I want to encourage people with mental health conditions that there is hope, and it’s O.K. to ask for help. Remember to follow your dreams and turn fear into faith!!!