After some traumatic experiences, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Keep in mind that I had fought this health issue for a long time. I am one of “those” individuals who for a long time would skip meds, flush them down the toilet, just in general had a hard time being compliant. I have faced many “dark days” in which I have been suicidal and have required hospitalization as well as days of making irrational decisions, having tons of energy and feeling grandiose.
As I was struggling, a friend invited me to a NAMI support group. I finally felt as if I was not alone. From there, I was propelled into my road to recovery. I have “climbed the ladder” in NAMI to include leadership; which improved my ability to deal with personal challenges. Along my way, I have been hospitalized, taking time away from my education when it was not convenient. But I am still here, facing my challenges. I received a Masters degree in community counseling and was recently hired for a counseling position! This is fulfilling my dream of 10 ten years to get off of SSDI, join the “general” public and begin working again. That is what I call EMPOWERMENT!