This is my reflection of that day. I can’t say that I woke up on that day, 24 years ago, because I was in my third day of being awake, or manic. Today, as I woke up on this 24th year of this anniversary, I’m reflecting differently. Usually I celebrate another year of being in long term recovery, which means for me, that I haven’t had a drink or drug. Today, I’m reflecting on that day 24 years ago which is the day I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I was thrown into a life of mental illness, psychiatric hospitals, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychotropic medications. On this day my life was turned upside down, shaken, and let go. I can go into all the horror stories, war stories, and trauma that I sustained, but on this year in recovery, I’m looking at hope.
I believe that in all of the trauma I sustained in my life, I’ve found stability. I have found a Stability in Recovery. How? What does that mean? All these years later, I’ve found peace. I found a success in life, not riches, stability.
From 1995-2002 I suffered. Seven years of psychiatric hospitals, seven years of 12 step programs, and seven years of an uncertain future. Every hospital visit was like starting over. I would stop my medication, get manic, get committed, lose my job, get discharged from the hospital, and start from ground zero. But, in 2002, my prayers were answered, I met Tracy.
Since I met Tracy, I haven’t been hospitalized, found a great job, got married, had two beautiful children, and bought a house. All of these blessings came in the first eight years since the day I met Tracy. She is my light, she has helped me see through the dark forest of mental illness. It’s not like I don’t have bad days, we all do. I just learned how to cope with them. I’m thinking about writing a book about my recovery. I feel refreshed thinking on my journey and would like to put it out there to maybe spread a little light on the darkness that can consume us.
Thanks for sharing my reflection.