While everyone’s mental health journey is different, we can find inspiration in the similarities of the stories we share. Here’s one CMHA client’s story of recovery and finding a community of peers.
By GF – November 3, 2022
I’m writing today to tell you about my journey of recovery. It’s just that—a journey. I’m still recovering and learning to cope. I’ll start at the beginning, such as it is.
I grew up with severe epilepsy. I’ve been attacked. I’ve been abused. I have kids with special needs and I’m a LGBTQ parent. I’m now a full-time parent.
This wasn’t always the case…
The beginning of my journey with mental health starts similar to a lot of people’s journeys: with a trip to the hospital. After years of being a full-time working parent of two children and a very unsupportive spouse, I burned out. I saw no way out and was exhausted and hurt myself in secret. I couldn’t express the feelings I was feeling, and the ones I could express I was ashamed.
While being with CMHA Ottawa I have discovered courage that I didn’t know I had. I came out to my family and friends and found the courage to leave my husband.
Through CMHA Ottawa, I have learned to express myself and embrace some of the more uncomfortable emotions I experience. The journey hasn’t been an easy one, as I have had many setbacks, each one feeling like a new failure. I have been restrained and isolated.
The journey to positive mental health is full of pot holes, though it is still a long road I’m starting to feel less like it’s an impossible one. I have a name now for the darkness that follows me, it’s called borderline personality disorder and major depressive disorder. Though labels come with their own stigma, I feel it has helped me better understand myself.
Counselling, medications, friends and family have helped me come a long way, even overcome fears.
Thank you for being my peers and helping me feel less alone.
Are you a client of CMHA Ottawa interested in learning about peer support? Visit the peer support calendar at https://ottawa.cmha.ca/about-cmha/for-clients/