Faces of Hope and Recovery

Featured Story

Leonard Herman

Leonard Herman

Something I’m Proud of:

Traveling can be great fun and produce memorable times. Consider somebody with immense anxiety and mood issues. I use to pack my entire bathroom on trips to make sure I would not be without any vital antidote to the poisons lurked within Tokyo’s inner belly. With age and analysis you inherit great wisdom. My wisdom allows me to be flexible in the face of great disadvantages. I am constantly looking back at what worked and what was a trigger. Whether a foreign land or the comfort of my bed, I am ready to battle my personal demons with my makeshift weapons of war.

Advice for Newly Diagnosed:

Once I was diagnosed with bipolar 1, I started to read everything even vaguely related that I could find. Reference books, diaries and blogs of those with mental illness and work struggles. People had similar struggles as me and in some cases more advanced symptoms. Reading books that discuss mental health allowed me to know the terminology and overlaps with other illnesses. No two people will have the same experiences as personal history and background shape the illness in unique ways. The best advice is to get educated and keep checking in with a therapist. Illness is something you can hide from others at times, but never from yourself. Make a plan to manage your moods and include family members that are supportive and empathetic.

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More Faces of Hope and Recovery

Elizabeth Horner

Elizabeth Horner

Something I'm Proud of: My proudest moment throughout my mental health journey was when I decided to stop living in denial and shared my story about struggling with mental illness to friends and family. From there, others began to reach out and ask for advice and...

Maria Włodarczak

Maria Włodarczak

Something I'm Proud of: I was diagnosed with a bipolar affective disorder in March this year. I am proud to be able to find a lot of strength and develop in many ways despite such a serious illness. I've always wanted to help children with Down's syndrome. I'm going...

Melissa Anderson

Melissa Anderson

Something I’m Proud of: A few years ago, I decided I wanted to become a counselor.  To do this, I would have to go back to school to get my second master’s degree.  For four years, I was a full-time grad-student, but they were not easy years.  These were also years...

Anja Burcak

Anja Burcak

Something I Am Proud Of: I developed bipolar disorder halfway through college. This made the second half of college much more challenging. I took several semesters off. Imagine trying to take classes while depression drains you of motivation, energy, and ability to...

Rebecca Lombardo

Rebecca Lombardo

Something I Am Proud Of: Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamt of being an author. Over the years, I made positive steps towards writing a book, but it never came to fruition. Back in 2013, my bipolar disorder was strangling me every single day. It seemed like I...

Alyssa McHugh

Alyssa McHugh

Something I Am Proud Of: Being unapologetically me. When I was first diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, I was in denial and afraid of the stigma that surrounded mental health disorders. It took me a year to finally share with my friends and family. Now, I am proud of...

Veronica S.

Veronica S.

Something I Am Proud Of: This year marks my 10th anniversary (I guess) of understanding what makes me different. What has been paramount in my success is staying on top of myself- accountability, resilience, and love. I can say I have not lived the conformed cookie...

Flo Saulnier

Flo Saulnier

Something I Am Proud Of: To tell my girlfriend, and my boss that I need to pause my life and seek immediate help before I try (again) to harm myself. To be comfortable telling people how I feel and why I will 'disappear' for a month to receive therapy and treatments....

Vivek Banapur

Vivek Banapur

Something I Am Proud Of: My journey in managing my mental illness began with cultivating determination.  I consider this the foundation for developing self-awareness of my strengths and weaknesses.  I utilized these strengths when I underwent the peer support...

Carrie Cantwell

Carrie Cantwell

Something I Am Proud Of: The thing I am most proud of is finishing my over three-hundred-page memoir about my experiences entitled Daddy Issues: A Bipolar Memoir. I have lived through so much, and I'm so proud that I've been able to make sense of my life in a...

Kris McElroy

Kris McElroy

Something I Am Proud Of: I am most proud of how far I have come over the years. I remember how I felt when I kept relapsing and was navigating managing my mental illness as well as caring for another person with bipolar disorder. Graduating college, being in a healthy...

Lawrence Van Treeck

Lawrence Van Treeck

Something I Am Proud Of: I am proud of myself for learning to better manage my anxiety. It has been a long road, with lots of hard work, and I have learned a lot about myself and my anxiety. For example, it largely shows up in work environments, in large group...

Kitty

Kitty

Something I Am Proud Of: Existing with bipolar disorder and other comorbid mental illnesses is something that I often remind myself is more than enough to be proud of. I am proud that I exemplify courage and resilience and refuse to settle for anything less than what...

Thea Madeline Porter

Thea Madeline Porter

Something I Am Proud Of: It's been 7 years since my last episode and 10 years since first diagnosis. I'm determined never to have one again. With blood, sweat, tears and a lot of CBT, while being medically compliant, I am walking on the other side, fortified and high...

Angela McCrimmon

Angela McCrimmon

Something I Am Proud Of: Something I'm proud of in my journey of managing my mental illness is publishing a book of poetry about my experience with health professionals and educating them on how things are from the other side of their treatment. My book is a...

Lauren Meredith

Lauren Meredith

Something I Am Proud Of: The moment I realized I am like everybody else despite my diagnosis’ was the light in my journey.  I realized my diagnosis of mental health problems is no different than physical diagnosis like asthma or diabetes. Ultimately, when I saw myself...

Gregory Gebhart

Gregory Gebhart

Something I Am Proud Of: I am especially proud of the fact that I was able to write and self-publish “The Mental Patient: A Journey of Faith” on Amazon. This fictional memoir is based on my 65 years of struggling with bipolar with psychosis. It came in three stages...

Mindy Morgan

Mindy Morgan

Something I Am Proud Of: One time I led a local community training on mental illness and I decided to integrate my own experiences with recovery into the training. It was a leap for me because my illness would be made public. The response was huge and people...

Valéry Brosseau

Valéry Brosseau

Something I Am Proud Of: For years I thought if I tried harder I could be different, normal. I was diagnosed in my 20s and finally found hope. I now know there is a name for what I experience and that there is treatment. I’ve tried to give positive meaning to my...

Irene Bucken

Irene Bucken

Something I Am Proud Of: I completed my 10 month DBT class, and got my first full-time job during treatment! Advice For Newly Diagnosed: Learn how to access the beauty and creativity through the ups and downs. Getting treatment, whatever that means for you, is...

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