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If I Had Given Up

“If I had given up during the years I felt totally hopeless, I wouldn't have what I have now.” —Susan Read the rest of the story...


susan1I've felt hopeful 

I have been diagnosed with depression, generalized anxiety, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. My illness started in 1997 and for several years I felt hopeless most of the time. Since then my hopefulness has gradually increased, and starting about 5 years ago I've felt hopeful most of the time.

Teaching and learning as turning points

[The turning point was when] I was living in a private residential treatment group home and one of the other residents told me about a program down the street from the home, and I checked it out. It was the BU Center for Psychiatric Rehab's Recovery Center. I was accepted and through its classes I really gained an understanding of recovery from mental illness, and also learned wellness tools.

After 1 year I continued to take some classes, but I also began teaching and co-teaching some classes, and worked up to 16 hrs/wk teaching classes and advising other "students.” Learning and working there inspired me to go back to school and work with adults with mental health issues, which is what I currently do.

A meaningful life

I see recovery as not necessarily returning to the person and life you used to have, but more as regaining function through reduction in symptoms and learning new coping strategies, so that you can move forward in your life and are able to a have a meaningful life.

I currently live in an apartment with my best friend, co-own a house with my husband (who I've been separated from since 1997, although we're still friends), I've got a full-time job I enjoy, I have loving relationships with my 2 grown children, and have a special relationship with my 3 year old granddaughter. If I had given up during the years I felt totally hopeless, I wouldn't have what I have now.


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