Someone who truly understands

I completed my training yesterday for the Peer Support Specialist.

It was an emotionally draining week with all the information that was given in 40 hrs.  Needless to say it was intense.

There was a lot of role playing and sharing of personal recovery stories and how we are living day by day with mental illness.  I myself, am dual diagnosed- alcohol and drug recovery and mental illness, (bipolar  and PTSD with anxiety).

One thing I realize is that when someone is in recovery from drug/ alcohol addiction/ living with mental illness, a bond is developed when you are in a meeting, training, conference, at a rally or whatever with others who share recovery.  When we all come together there is strength, support, encouragement and hopefully you walk away with a new friend.  We need to have people in our life that truly understand what we have been through, are going through and the journey we will always be on.

People in our support system such as family members, friends, acquaintances, psychiatrists, therapists and counselors may understand from the clinical side, but for me, the reality is, if you have not been through it or are not living with it, you cannot begin to understand how I feel and therefore I am skeptical that you can help me get through those really though moments.  Maybe those professionals who studied can understand without experience, however, I have always heard, “experience is the best teacher”.  For me, show me or tell me your experience and then I will trust you with mine and then I will be okay with you helping me get back on my feet or move ahead.

My therapist is great, but she can only treat the parts that I am able to explain. With bipolar and other mental illnesses, there are feelings that you cannot put into words and only someone who has been there will be able to understand without you being able to articulate it.  There is a gnawing pain that comes with depression but for me it has proven to be indescribable.  When I begin to explain it to someone who has been depressed, they understand exactly what I am trying to say.

Get together with others who have a mental illness and are living well.  Be involved with a group of great people in recovery from drug/ alcohol addiction.   You just might find a person who really understands and can relate.  It is just that vital.

love to all,

pb aka peanut butter

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Author: Fighter

I finally accepted what people have been telling me. I am full of knowledge and wisdom and I am unforgettable. My word of encouragement since 2015 has been to let others know, despite the waves and ripples in our lives, Life is totally awesome, even with a mental illness. I believe my purpose is to encourage others, advocate for those around me who have not yet found their voice to advocate for themselves and educate those without a mental illness. If for one for minute someone laughs or smiles because of something I said, that is one moment they did not think about mental illness.

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