You Are Not Alone – Bipolar
There are so many uplifting and inspiring stories of hope from people who have used Recovery International's self-help tools and support groups to change their lives. These stories inspire and show that there are answers to and ways of changing your quality of life for the better.
The Recovery International Method Saved My Life
I have had bipolar illness since childhood. It interfered not only with my life but that of everyone around me.
In the 1950's there was such a stigma against mental problems that my family considered my illness to be physical, not mental. I finally found Recovery International at the age of 23, after what seemed like endless periods of depression and manic episodes. During the depressions, things seemed so hopeless that I overdosed on prescription medication a number of times and subsequently found myself hospitalized often.
It wasn't until the Recovery Method taught me that even though I may feel helpless, my situation is not hopeless. It took a long time for me to change old habits by using the Recovery International tools to make my mental health a business, not a game.
Now I am an Assistant Leader at two very good Recovery International meetings in the Greater Cleveland area. The Recovery International Method saved my life. Without using the tools of the program, I would not be able to function in spite of my symptoms, nor would I be able to enjoy life as I do today.
Recovery Taught Me to Function Through Bipolar Disorder
I was diagnosed with manic depression (now called bipolar disorder) 26 years ago. Hospitalizations, medication, shock treatments and psychiatric consultations are part of my history. After several years of such treatment, Recovery International’s self help method became a major component of my support.
Procrastination is one of my problems, so I didn’t attend Recovery International meetings when I first heard about them. Then a friend asked me to take her to a meeting her doctor recommended. She never returned, but I kept coming back.
I became a wife and mother and worked in the mental health field. Volunteer community work for the mentally ill is also important to me. Public speaking on mental health issues is part of my professional and volunteer duties too. When asked how I’ve alleviated the stigma of my illness, I mention how Recovery has helped me.
Through Recovery International, I have learned to function despite my discomfort, to realize that my symptoms are distressing but not dangerous. I understand that setbacks can occur but will not permanently handicap me. – Joan Nobiling
Recovery Kept Me Out of the Hospital
I was born a “nervous person”. Recovery International taught that fate gives some people an unbalanced nervous system. It’s not their fault. Therefore, I no longer indict myself for my nervous systems or my illness. I now feel secure that I can handle life’s problems using Recovery International’s tools.
Despite fears and temper tantrums as a child, I graduated from high school, found a job, got married and started a family. Motherhood aroused fears that I might harm or neglect my baby; these fears persisted through four more children. I was on medication for years.
I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after my children were grown, and I divorced my husband. Over the next few years, I was hospitalized, took various medications and received shock treatments. During one of my “well” periods, I saw a Recovery International demonstration. So, during my last hospital stay, I decided to attend Recovery meetings after my release. That was three years ago, and I’m still well.
My children have also benefited from Recovery International. Each day is good for me and I’m proud of myself. I thank Recovery International and the members of my group who were friendly and offered hope in my first days of Recovery International training. – Tommie Greer