14 July 2005

In Our Own Voices

National Alliance On Mental Illness --  NAMI

From Friday 8th through Sunday 10th, I participated along with 16 others in NAMI's In Our Own Voices Training.  First let me say, it was awesome.  We had a great trainer who kept us focused and on track, was patient, and she had a wicked sense of humor that we all loved.  A great big shout out to Miss Sarah!!!

We had a chance to hone our own stories so that we can speak to various audiences in the hopes to better educate them about being mentally ill.  The ultimate goal is to decrease stigma and discrimination.  Knowledge is power.

Also, if the group is made up of those who are newly diagnosed, then we can offer them hope and a brighter beacon.  Even though all of our experiences are different, tthere are many similarities.  Like deep feelings of despair during darkest days when we hit rock bottom.

Acceptance for all of us occurs differently in the details, but follows a general pattern.  Treatment generally includes medication, therapy, maybe group support, etc.  Coping skills commonly include routine, rest, good diet, exercise, support network...but some things work better for some than others.  For instance, I love to read and write.  But someone else might find painting to be calming.

Then we wrap up with focusing on past, present, and future successes, hopes, and dreams.  One of my successess is that I have been, am, and will be working to establish a support group for this general area.  I hope that one day I will be able to finish my PhD.  I dream that the relationship with my guy continues tto grow and we might one day marry and have a family.

So, that was my weekend in a "nut" shell.

1 comment:

  1. You go girl!  This is a wonderful thing, "nut" shell and all.  Anne


Thanks for taking the time and effort to let your thoughts be known!