Back in 2014
I was diagnosed with generalized disorder and bipolar disorder. When my psychiatrist diagnosed me, I was in a state of shock. What was this “mental” illness that I had just been labeled with. There was no way that a person like me, could have a mental illness. I have to admit, I was uninformed about mental illness and who it affected. I was a smart, hardworking, creative young mother. How in the hell was I going to be able to tell people about this. It was something that I did not want to admit to myself, much less tell other people about it.
When I got over the initial shock of my diagnosis,
I decided to do some research on my own. This thing could not be as bad as everyone had made it out to be. I was determined to get as much information as I could. I did a lot of research on anxiety and bipolar disorder. I read up on the illnesses and I also looked for people who were living with the illness and doing well. It was discouraging to not see as many people as you had hoped talking about their lives despite bipolar disorder and anxiety.
What I did pick up in my research was how important it was to have support systems and the benefit of going to support groups. It would be a good way for people with similar circumstances to discuss their trials and tribulations despite having a mental illness. I was determined to find a support group in my area that I could go to and talk to people who I thought would get me.
My first visit to the mental health support group in my area made me feel uneasy.
There were a lot of middle aged, mainly Caucasian men in attendance who spoke about their illnesses. The mood of the room and the group in general was very sad and depressing and to be quite honest, I was one of the younger people in the group and felt like no one there would be able to understand me and how I was feeling. I didn’t write the group off completely. I went back for a second meeting. I decided to give it a chance. I desperately wanted the group to work for me so I went back. Let me just say that the second meeting was worse. I felt worse than I did after the first meeting. I was depressed and I felt like I was doomed. I would not be able to live a normal life with my anxiety and bipolar disorder because the people in the group did not appear to me that they were thriving. Just merely surviving.
Last year I decided to start Beautiful Brain Collective.
I wanted to help people who lived with mental illnesses who had jobs, families and were deemed high-functioning. My mission has always been to show others who have mental illnesses that they can live a great life despite a diagnosis. I have been on my recovery/stability journey for a year and a half, and I must say I have never felt better. This does not mean that there will not be difficult times, or that hard work will not be required, but I am here to tell you that recovery is possible!!!!!
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