Showing posts from October, 2014

Recovery Questions

I am applying for Georgia's certified peer training .  It is a really great program.  Basically, when one is doing really well in one's recovery and would like a job helping others who have mental illness, they can apply to be trained and certified as a CPS.  They are trained on how to use their life experience as someone in recovery in a way to help and reach others and they will have a respected credential that will help them get jobs.  I had to answer a lot of questions about my recovery on my application yesterday and I thought a few of my answers might be interesting to you.  Here they are: What does recovery mean to you?   I do presentations about my recovery on a regular basis and I always say that recovery is when a person believes that “mental illness is a part of a person, but does not define the person.”  I am in recovery, because mental illness no longer controls my entire life.  I will always have to acknowledge its presence in my life and cope with it, but I

Enforcing Boundaries-No Diet Talk

"It is not mean to enforce firm boundaries; I respect myself." ~ Myself It is rude to talk about weight and dieting at the dinner table.  I know that that is not how the commercials see it, but they are trying to sell you a product-they do not actually care about the well-being of your body or soul and they certainly do not care if the behavior they promote will make you popular.  The only people who appreciate diet talk at the table (or really anywhere) are those who are dieting themselves. I DO NOT appreciate it when people talk on and on about how they hate their body and what they are doing to change it in my presence, especially while I am eating-it triggers me and annoys me. Fortunately, people do not talk this way in front of me very often-I pick my close friends very carefully.  However, it still does happen from time to time, just like it did a few weeks ago-in the past, how I would have dealt with it would have been to try to make a side conversation with someo

My NAMI Candlelight Vigil Speech

My speech was a success and so was the vigil-I found the whole event to be very inspirational.  I made some new contacts and may have some new speaking engagements soon, so that is exciting, but even more exciting is the fact that people really responded to what I said.  Both family members and people with mental illness seemed to be able to relate to my experiences and liked that I ended on a message of hope.  My most touching comment was from a fourteen-year-old who is getting help right now and who appreciated my story.  I told her that I was glad that she was getting help when she was young instead of waiting until she was older like I did. I promised people that I would put my speech on here, so that they could read it, so here it is: What is it like living with a severe mental illness? Well, now that I am on the right medications, and have incorporated various coping skills into my daily life, my life now is a lot like anybody else’s, but it was not always that

Mental Health Vigil in Atlanta - Come to Hear Me Speak

“ Out of the Dark into the Light” Mental Health Awareness Vigil Light a candle and light up a life. Hope is a simple gift you can give to people with mental illness. Thursday, Oct 9 th , 7:30-8:30 PM NAMI DeKalb Decatur Square Bandstand Decatur, GA 30030 Rain venue: Holy Trinity Episcopal Parish 515 E. Ponce de Leon Avenue Decatur, Georgia If you are in Atlanta, come to this event to hear me speak about my experience with mental illness-I am writing my speech today and will make sure to end on a positive note.

#NoMoreShame - Donate to NAMI This Year

The NAMI Walk is November first in Atlanta and I will be participating, of course.  It is the National Alliance of Mental Illness' biggest fundraiser and we could really use your help.  Go to NAMIWalks to register to walk or go to my facebook donation page to make a donation-it is safe and secure, I promise. The work that NAMI does is invaluable.  When I was first introduced to NAMI in 2009, I attended its groups for support and now I have a whole network of friends who understand what it is like living with a mental health condition.  A year later, I became a group facilitator, which helped me develop my leadership skills and now I am an In Our Own Voice program presenter, which is a job I dearly love doing.  I love telling my story and imparting hope to others that one can indeed live a successful life even with a severe mental health diagnosis.  I love educating people and helping to dispel stigma.  NAMI has given me a job that I can do well, where I do not have to hid