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Changes in My Life

"Recovery for me was not to be the way I used to be but to be better and live my life to the fullness." —Dorothy Read the rest of the story...

By Dorothy

dorothyDuring your mental health care, have you often felt hopeful about your chance of getting better?

Because of how I was feeling at the time. I didn't think that I would get better. I was sick for over 16 years and being sick that long you feel that you will not get better. I couldn't sleep or enjoy life at any stage. My medication was changed so many time and every time I tried to come off I had serious problems with my stomach.

Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could reach a personal goal despite your psychiatric diagnosis (for example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, children, etc.)?

I was told that I am a very bright and intelligent person and that I can do many things. I was told that I could go back to school and do other things that I liked.

If you overcame hopelessness that you could get better from a mental health or emotional problem, was there a turning point for you?

The turning point was when a dream I was having finally reached the end. I realized that was all I needed to get started. I started going to church and before I knew it I was was a totally different person on the outside and inside. I know that God took me off of all my medication. I didn't have any problems and did not need to see a doctor or therapist. I thank God for that because I know without Him I would not have made it this far. I was also bless with a grandchild which help me to turn my life around. For the first time in a long time I felt unconditional love and it help me make changes in my life.

Tell us what recovery means to you. How would you define recovery from mental health or emotional problems in your own words?

Recovery for me means having a life again. I couldn't do basic or simple things in life and now I can do them better than before. Recovery for me was not to be the way I used to be but to be better and live my life to the fullness.

If you could send a brief message to someone receiving mental health care today who is feeling hopeless about getting better, what would you say?

I would tell them to hang in there and continue to work on getting better. I think that it is very important for to deal with the past because most of your problem comes from the past. Once you can overcome them then you can move forward to a better future. Know also that people progress differently. It takes some people longer to reach a goal and it okay as long as you are going in the right direction.

Can you give examples showing you have gotten better from a mental or emotional problem, such as how you are doing well or accomplishing goals you have chosen?

I am a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator. I help people work on their own wellness plan. I am a peer advocate, I write poetry and skits for plays. I have held many titles in working with my peers. I was a Chairperson for a advisory council. I am on the Mayor's council, I am the Director of Consumer Leadership Forum (CLF), I work in the youth ministries in my church as well as a greeter. I plan social and other events for my peers. I have accomplish many things. I attend meetings, conferences, workshops and other events to help peers maintain their overall wellness.

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