Faces of Hope and Recovery

Featured Story

Johanna

Johanna

My healing journey:

I did things and felt things that I didn’t understand before being diagnosed with bipolar disorder.

In a nutshell, my diagnosis explained the reasons for my excessive spending and mood swings, why I feel like I’m constantly on a roller coaster, and why some days I couldn’t even get out of bed for months.

After being correctly diagnosed and receiving treatment, I had the peace of mind that I was not just “simply irresponsible or poor in decision making.” I was sick, and I needed help and guidance. My recovery began when I accepted my treatment and finally decided to embrace my diagnosis.

I decided to embrace and integrate my vulnerability and strength to launch a fine jewelry boutique. My goal with this business is to encourage people to “embrace their inner sparkle.” I envision our jewelry to symbolize their personality, values, aspirations, and goals. A well-chosen piece of jewelry can be their true form of self-expression. Being confident and proud of who they are as an individual can be as simple as wearing something that they love. It is as if their energy has transformed, and their inner beauty within them sparkles.

Advice for Newly Diagnosed:

Embrace your Inner sparkle

Acceptance is a long-term process in the recovery of mental illness. It is necessary to accept what has become of us as we recover. Learning to live with stigma and disability is essential for recovery. To become more resilient, we must learn not to hate ourselves for our vulnerability. Accepting our illness may even lead us to discover that we are stronger because of what we thought was a weakness. The ability to endure hardship, become strong, and gain wisdom may enhance the ability to love and inspire others. Our road to acceptance will help us recover, and we hope it inspires others like ourselves to do the same.

Read more Faces of Hope and Recovery below!

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More Faces of Hope and Recovery

Rosario

Rosario

Something I am Proud Of: After my first and only hospitalization, I learned to be more mindful of my moods, what causes me distress, and to look after myself. Before my hospitalization, I was a “moody,” and “dramatic” person, and of course I still can be those things,...

Lisa

Lisa

Something I am Proud Of: Despite my diagnosis of Bipolar I, and despite the highs and mostly lows I experience, I was able to earn a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology which included a 6-month practicum of therapist training in a psychiatric hospital. This...

Fatima

Fatima

Something I am Proud Of: I’m proud of how far I’ve come and how I keep pushing on. When I was first diagnosed I was really scared and I didn’t understand my diagnosis. There was so much internalized stigma going on. It’s taken time and effort but I’m finally at a...

Ellie

Ellie

Something I am Proud Of: As of today, May 13th 2022, I am celebrating my One Year Out Of Hospital milestone. This is just incredible. Throughout the last seven years, I was treated with the wrong meds and misdiagnosed with BPD (which I don’t have) alongside my...

Michelle

Michelle

Something I am Proud Of: I’m a mother. A good one. I practice intentional, positive parenting and try to be as patient as I can. I am always thinking of how situations affect my child. This is drastically different from what I had as a kid, where I was an extension of...

Molly

Molly

Something I am Proud Of: I’m very proud of how far I’ve come the past year. I’m staying out of the hospital, spending time with friends and WORKING at a job I love (I’m a direct support professional for individuals with disabilities). Meeting these goals hasn’t come...

Mallory

Mallory

Something I am Proud Of: I was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1 at age 19. Since then, I worked hard to educate myself on the illness and accept that it is not something to be ashamed of. I shared about my illness with friends and family knowing that I might need them to...

Courtney

Courtney

Something I am Proud Of: I am most proud of how far I have come in my life, as a result of seeking a diagnosis and committing to my treatment. I never imagined I would make it this far into my life, let alone be in the financially, mentally, and physically stable...

Kathy

Kathy

Something I am Proud of: When I look back on all my achievements and accomplishments since my diagnosis at 17, what fills my heart with the most joy is being able to help others who are currently struggling with their mental health, by using the insight I gained from...

Amanda

Amanda

Something I am Proud Of: I thought if people knew how I felt, I would lose everything. As a kid I experienced trauma, abuse and struggled with addiction. At 14 I was admitted for psychiatric care after a suicide attempt. After that I felt like I needed to pretend...

Jessie

Jessie

Something I am Proud Of: After spending time educating myself and seeking support, I feel proud of my understanding of my diagnosis. Learning what works for me has been huge in helping guide me on my mental health journey. I’m also proud of connections I’ve made after...

Billy

Billy

Something I am Proud Of: I am a shy guy with poor self-esteem, so I didn’t have many friends, was bullied, and traumatized as a kid. Things got worse when I left home to pursue my bachelor degree. I was unaware about my condition and behavior, until it reached climax...

Katie

Katie

Something I am Proud Of: A victory of mine while having this diagnosis is that I got married, held my job for over a year and love it, bought a house, got a dog, and managed to maintain a lot of stability through it all. My biggest victory is knowing I need to take my...

Ashley

Ashley

Something I am Proud Of: I’m extremely proud of myself for finally being able to accept my diagnosis and no longer feeling like it is something I need to hide. I was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 disorder in late 2019, and was in denial until about a year later.  I was on...

Amanda

Amanda

Something I am Proud Of: During the battle of finally getting my diagnosis, I’m extremely proud of my ability to keep fighting to get answers, fighting for anyone to listen and fighting to stay alive. I have always thought my voice was my strongest weapon or super...

Mel

Mel

Something I am Proud Of: I was diagnosed with Bipolar I at age 21 after my first manic episode. After my diagnosis, I went 6 years without a psychiatrist as I was lost in the waitlist system. I eventually had my second manic episode, which was more severe. In my...

Jess

Jess

Something I am Proud Of: I was diagnosed with panic disorder and OCD at 6 years old - I had near-daily panic attacks and was self-harming. My mood issues started when I was 10, but most doctors were reluctant to diagnose a preteen/teenager with Bipolar. Fast forward...

Hannah

Hannah

Something I am Proud Of: I’m very proud to be at a place in my life where managing my mental illness no longer fears like an insurmountable task and more like a regular part of my daily life. While it’s still a full-time responsibility and can be a lot to contend with...

Beth

Beth

Something I am Proud Of: I am proud of myself for having the wherewithal to recognize that something was wrong. I always thought that I was suffering from depression, but my gut was telling me it was more than that. I took the steps needed to connect with my therapist...

Phil

Phil

Something I am Proud Of: I am proud that I have been able to maintain a healthy and stable life for the past five years since being correctly diagnosed (though I have lived with this condition for over 20 years). I attribute this to consistently taking my medications...

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