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Living Life in the Way YOU Find Most Fulfilling

"Recovery means living life in the way you find most fulfilling...Reach out to people who have been there because they can be a strong source of support, help you rest a little better knowing that you are not alone and that someone else has suffered who still finds joy in life!" —Amanda Back Read the rest of the story...

Amanda Back


abackI finished college

I’ve had several diagnoses over the years including Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Generalised Anxiety and Psychosis.  I’ve been prescribed lots of different kinds of medication in the past, none of which suited me, but this is my first year off it all.

In the beginning when I first started antidepressants and was hearing people call me crazy (in my head) and feeling like I was outside my body and sensitive to sound and light, I felt completely hopeless. That all went away after a few months of "try this drug, try that drug."

In retrospect, I believe medications such as Topamax and Lithium seemed to work well relative to antipsychotics and antidepressants. I think they helped with the withdrawals from those drugs, making it appear that Topamax and Lithium "made me better."

After coming off antipsychotics and antidepressants and on Topamax, and later Lithium, I finished college and married and felt pretty good about recovery and the future, but I never felt like the person I was before meds. My personality is surely different.

She thought I was a survivor

I had a psychiatrist who supported me in my last year of college and in making wedding plans.  I remember her being really upbeat and positive about my future. She thought I was "a survivor." At one point, she encouraged me to go to law school. My PCP also mentioned once that "a lot of people with bipolar disorder have children" and asked if that was something I wanted to discuss during my women's exam.

Something in me just clicked

The turning point for me was when I was taking a semester off school and had just got home from my second hospitalization. Something in me just clicked, and I thought I just had to try harder or I was going to end up in the Looney farm for life. I stopped drinking and started going out even when I wanted to just die. Eventually, I started getting better and better. I was also on a different type of medication and wasn't responding horribly to meds any longer. I also stopped spending time with my parents and divorced my ex-husband, which relieved a lot of stress.

Reach out to others who’ve been there

Recovery means living life in the way you find most fulfilling. Don't be afraid to ask a lot of questions! Never, ever, ever let some professional seal your fate. Reach out to people who have been there because they can be a strong source of support, help you rest a little better knowing that you are not alone and that someone else has suffered who still finds joy in life! If you feel like something isn't right, trust your instinct. You are much, much more than the meaningless, demeaning label they have bestowed upon you!

I love my life

I married in 2008, and I am still happily married. I graduated with a B.S. in legal studies in 2009 and worked as an apprentice to an attorney for a year, during which time I also volunteered with a community mental health company. I now work full-time for that mental health company and have been doing this for about two years. I have often been called on for over time or to fill in as a case manager and was recently offered a promotion. Additionally, I have made friends, travelled, taken graduate level courses, paid off my car, helped with bills, grown a nice garden, helped others with their recoveries, and I love my life.

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I Got Better is a project of MindFreedom International    Domain generously contributed by United by Humanity.