Creator of My Life

By Cynthia

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

Yes. Once I eliminated what I call brain fog and found mental health practitioners that I felt a connection with, I was able to not only see a chance for recovery, but develop and implement a plan to get there.

Has a mental health provider ever told you that you could not reach a personal goal because of your psychiatric diagnosis (for example, education, career, independent housing, relationship, children, etc.)?

I was told my prognosis was poor and to aspire to any type of life other than being institutionalized was delusional thinking.

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

Yes. Somehow I became aware, in a brief moment of clarity, that the psych meds were more of a problem than a solution. Once my “brain fog” cleared, I felt like I had a real chance at recovery.

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 reaching a point where I feel like I am the creator of my life and that all things are as possible for me as they are for the general public. I am in recovery right now. I will feel recovered when symptom control is not my main priority… the life I want will be my main priority.

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?

Keep looking for one person, any person, who can support and guide you through this time. It is often difficult to find that connection, but if you keep looking you will find it.

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 more conscious of what I say, think, and do as it relates to myself or interactions with other people. I do not put blind faith in authority figures such as doctors. I am redefining my relationships within my immediate family. I am venturing forward out of isolation into making connections with others…..very slowly this time. I know that there is still so much that I don’t know, and work hard not to judge ANY situation or person because of that. I am able to feel the extreme discomfort of strong negative emotions and let them pass with detachment in certain circumstances which in turn has greatly reduced the number of times that I transition or switch personalities. I am more attuned to my body’s responses and therefore better able to recognize discomfort from within and take steps to cope with that in a healthy way. I ask much better questions than in the past.