When my military career ended when I was kicked out of the army for being gay, my mania and depression were no longer manageable or useful. I became edgy and neurotic at full blown manic and non-functional and sullen at full blown depression. My world began to fall apart and my delusions started to take a paranoid bend. I became afraid that everyone knew what a failure I was and would see me as the horrible and rotten human being I really was. I drank and drugged to hide from these fears but then would live with the guilt of my boozing and drugging behavior.
Finally, I reached out for help and found a psychiatrist who would treat me even though I was still drinking. He put me on mood stabilizers that had the paradoxical effect of causing voices but did stabilize my moods. I began talk therapy to learn to manage my PTSD and addiction issues. At age 30 I finished my law degree and at 32 began my path to sobriety. I struggled with voices until age 43 when I finally found the correct medication that would deal with my delusions and mood swings without causing voices.
Now at 12 years of sobriety and over 20 years of mental health recovery, I feel I finally have reached a point of strong recovery. I have dedicated my life for the last 14 years to working with individuals who are in their darkest days of mental illness and helping them find their path to recovery. No other work could be more rewarding or fulfilling.