I am not alone because I have a circle of people around me who support me. I have Bipolar Disorder and Depersonalization Disorder. Both are difficult to live with but with the help of a fabulous psychiatrist, therapist, my friends and family I have been stable for almost 3 years. This is a big deal since I struggled for so long going in and out of the hospital too many times to count and attempted suicide a number of times. It took my family awhile to understand, but they have always tried to be there for me. Now they see that I was really sick for a long time and we can talk about some of my experiences and what they felt through it all too. It is important to remember they suffered along with me.
I am not alone because I have a job I love and co-workers that are amazing. I am an Occupational Therapist and I work with children who have autism and/or emotional and behavioral disorders or mental illness. I work in a school setting. The children I work with have helped me as well. I see their struggles and can see my own so I treat them as I would like to be treated if I was in their shoes. I am not afraid of them as some people are. I can connect with them since I have struggled with some of the same issues they do. They inspire me every day to continue to strive to be healthy and live a balanced life.
I am not alone because I have been blessed to have Ollie in my life. She is my wonderful dog who has brought me through so much craziness for 12 years. When I lost my job, house, and friends she was there. I remember days when I was so sad I just wept and she would come to me, lay her head on my knee and was just present with me. She listened to me when I talked to her and did not judge me. Ollie has come to the hospital to see me, walked with me when I was on pass, and always accepted me for me.
I am not alone because I know I am not my mental illness. I have people who care about me and love me. It takes time and understanding for that to happen. Please know that even in the darkest times there is hope of evening out and living the life you want and deserve. You are not alone.