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Sarah Carraher

My name is Sarah Carraher. I was born and raised in Iowa, and still live amongst all the corn fields with my husband and sweet puppy. I graduated college with a degree in exercise science and currently work in the fitness industry. I enjoy helping clients reach their wellness goals, and I love to be active in my personal life. I’m currently training for my first triathlon and I’m excited for the new challenge! When I was a teenager, I was diagnosed with Bipolar I. I have spent the last ten years learning how to not let a mental illness define me. I have experienced a good deal of trauma along the way, but with the support of an incredible man and the grace of a redeeming God, I now have a wonderful and stable life. I am passionate about sharing my recovery journey and advocating for others who struggle with mental illness. I now sit on the board of directors for the United States National Alliance on Mental Illness, Central Iowa chapter and help provide guidance and direction for the organization. I also volunteer in the local NAMI Wellness Center where activities are provided for people with mental illness, sharing with them my knowledge of health and fitness and how it can benefit a person’s recovery. My prayer is that my writings would be a blessing and encouragement to others who are learning to navigate the often uncertain waters of mental illness. In each article I write it is my goal to show you that hope always exists, stability is possible, and that you can live a beautiful and full life despite a mental illness. Thank you so much for stopping by.

Comments

Thank you so much, especially for your steps to recovery article! My husband has bipolar and it has been a very rough road with him over the past 17 years. By the grace of God, we are still married and doing our best to raise our 3 kids in a godly way. I have been burned many times through manic and depressive episodes, and my ability to hold on often wears thin. Thankfully my husband has really gotten on board with his faith, getting in the Word, and making healthier choices (except for food, which he still often makes bad decisions in). However, generally he's okay. He is currently going through a depressive time and I liked your part about people or activities being triggers. His dad is highly immature and "unsafe" as they would say in the counseling world, and he recently emailed him (Trigger 1) and he also has had alcohol (not in large qtys, but even a little seems to do the trick) (Trigger 2) for him. I am hoping I can convince him to remove both of those again, cold turkey, so that he can get back on track. I also appreciated what you said about people needing encouragement and affirmations to get through, I know I need to work on that too. I think it would be easier if he would just be willing to discuss it, but even though I think he knows that's what it is, he won't just call it bipolar and do his best to deal. It's more awkward bc we have kids too, and he doesn't want them hearing about it. One of the hard parts for me , too, is seeing the awkward silence during these times when we get together with family or friends. It's so blatantly obvious that something is wrong, bc he's not his usual talkative self. I feel like it effects us having friends sometimes. How do you/your husband cope with that? Anyway, thank you so much for your words, they spoke to my soul tonight.❤️

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PLEASE POST COMMENTS ONLY. If you are in need of an IBPF resource, please contact Melissa @ Mleigh@ibpf.org. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433.
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