But getting back to my supporter, because there is no chance that we will ever become close friends (she lives quite a distance from me), I feel I can open up to her and never fear her being critical of me. She recommends that I read the first-person stories from others who are recovering from various emotional and mental health problems. So, I have followed her suggestion.
An article in the Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal tells the story of Yin Fan, who fell into a "deep depression" and "did not understand what was happening to me" (Fan, 2007). She eventually found out she had a bipolar condition, but meantime she gave thoughts to suicide. She thought about "…jumping of tall buildings or walking out into the ocean and letting the water carry me away" (Fan, 313). I have not had such thoughts but I do understand how a person suffering such extreme anxiety could get into that frame of mind. I love Fan's poetry, which she wrote while in recovery: "Why haven't I learned yet / to listen to the voice of my heart? / Why do I only hear the falling rain? / the rain tells me / to go deeper and deeper" (Fan, 314).
Another article that tells of a person's long journey into recovery is found in the journal Mental Health Practice; the author was told she had "…borderline personality disorder and a dissociative disorder," and it turned out that she had been "…self-harming" based on some "traumatic experiences" in her childhood (Roberts, 2012). I have not harmed myself (or cut myself as some people do who are struggling with disorders), but I certainly related to her traumatic childhood experiences and how those memories carry on through the years. Thinking back to that horrific traffic accident and losing my upper teeth as a child, I defiantly related to Roberts' personality problems -- albeit, I am very grateful that my problems are not as serious as hers were. The bottom line is that Roberts has learned to cope and is recovering; so am I.
The importance of developing interpersonal skills as part of one's recovery is emphasized in an article in the journal Mental Health Practice (Cleary, 2009). I was inspired reading this piece because some of the things I have believed in vis-a-vis my recovery are uses as pivotal parts of this article. For example, Cleary talks about how "…Hope and optimism are…key components of the recovery process"; even though hope is sometimes seen as "…an elusive concept in the literature… [it offers] anticipated possibilities in each day" (Cleary, 29). I also related to Cleary's reference to the fact that being "loved" and to have "fulfilling relationships with families and communities" is vital to recovery. I am a witness to those concepts; my two boys and my husband and my close friends love and support me, and I will never be able to adequately express my appreciate to them for hanging in there with me all these years during my recovery.
In conclusion, I have been working consistently on my skills at coping with my acute shyness. I know I am progressing, and even though the challenges I must face will be there each day, I do get up and look at myself in the mirror and say, "You can do this!" I know I can, and I know I will. I am passionate about becoming a helpful, caring nurse who can speak to anyone anywhere whether I know them or not. Through my recovery, I do in fact have a better understanding of myself, and I do find purpose and meaning through the changes I have made in my personal life and in my work environment. I know I have options, and I know I have the strength and the will to continue with my recovery program; hence, have hope and faith in the future.
Brookes, Nancy, Murata, Lisa, and Tansey, Margaret. 2008. 'Tidal Waves: Implementing a New Model of Mental Health Recovery and Reclamation.' Canadian Nurse. Retrieved May 12, 2013, from http://www.canadiannurse.com.
Buckland, Steve. 2005. 'Sharing Responsibility for Recovery: creating and sustaining recovery oriented systems of care for mental health.' Queensland Government / Queensland Health. Retrieved May 12, 2013, from http://www.health.qld.gov.au.
C Chu 2008. 'My Personal Journey: Schizophrenia.' Hong Kong Journal of Psychiatry. Vol.18, 39-40.
Cleary, Anne. 2009. 'The road to recovery.' Mental Health Practice, vol. 12, 28-31.
Fan, Yin. 2007. Journey of My Mind: A Story of Recovery. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, vol. 30, 313-314.
Happell, Brenda. 2008. 'Determining the effectiveness of mental health services from a consumer perspective: Part 1: Enhancing recovery. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 17, 116-122.
Happell, Brenda. 2008. 'Determining the effectiveness of mental health services from a consumer perspective: Part 2: Barriers to recovery and principles for evaluation.' International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, vol. 17, 123-130.
Repper, Julie, and Carter, Tim. 2011. 'A review of the literature on peer support…