RECOVERY STORIES

 

 
Joanne R.
(4/2016)

On this bright summer day, I leaned back against the puffiness of the lawn swing listening to the sounds around me. I hear children chattering and playing. I sighed, my lungs filling with air, and I feel deep satisfaction and joy.

Frank A.
(7/2016)

My Virtuous Wife (Sharon)

 
      Over forty-three years ago I met my loving wife.
I learned after we were married, you led a virtuous life.
      It didn’t take long to discover that you had a sheltered life,
As you came into our wedded bliss as an innocent wife.

Betsy B.
(7/2016)

 
I suffered from absolute mental cruelty and sexual abuse for years from family members who were supposed to be caring for me and loving me. When I became an adult I married at a young age in order to escape my home, but only ended up experiencing the same trauma from my husband. I somehow dug up the strength to divorce my husband. After everything I had lived through I hit bottom…I was a nervous wreck.

Brandi M.
(7/2016)

 

My Life Story

My life hasn’t been that easy. I’ve had my ups and downs. I’ve had to take medications ever since I was two years old. I’ve also had to seek help throughout my life. My parents even had to get help dealing with me through the years. I’ve been in so much trouble with so many people before and I am not doing those things again.

Hannah J.
(7/2016)

 

Hi, I am Hannah

I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I was in and out of my mother and step-father’s house, my grandparents’ house, foster care homes, and juvenile detention facilities. I never had time to put down any roots to speak of. People wonder why I am a little flighty. You would be too, if you never knew where you were going to sleep or who was going to provide the next meal.

Shanda M.
(7/2016)

Growth

For the Past 16 months I have lived in an adult foster care home. When I first got there I was comfortable; I knew that I had 6 to 8 months to change my ways of how I was living. I had to regulate my emotions. This was a lot harder than I thought it would be. So I started to rebel and act up in hopes of being sent to the hospital. 

Veronica D.
(1/2017)

Writing to Emotional Recovery: Ameliorating Intense Emotions
 Veronica Daniels, MA

Conflicting emotions of deep depression, including anger, affected my life beginning in elementary school. As an only child, I felt intensely lonely and isolated. Additionally, my mother often acted out violently during her bipolar rages. My sophomore year in high school included suicidal ideation.  My father was miserable and depressed for his own reasons. Neither parent was emotionally healthy or available. I received my own diagnosis of Bipolar I disorder in my mid-thirties. An outlet for expressing my feelings needed to present itself.


 

Black Mood
-Veronica Daniels
 
Fierce. Smothering. Nothingness.
Curled tightly under fleece blanket
As if in a protective womb…
No light. Shut up! STOP!
Dull, lifeless – an intruder
In the “normal” scheme of life.
Do not disturb me.
I don’t want to bother you.
Comfort me. Please!
I’m begging you! COMFORT me!


 

 
Betsy B.
(9/2017)

MY MICHAEL

 

WHEN THE BOOK OF LIFE CLOSES A CHAPTER, ANOTHER ONE BEGINS AND THE ADVENTURE OF LIFE CONTINUES.

MICHAEL B. LEFT THIS WORLD SUDDENLY ON JULY 9TH OF THIS YEAR.

MICHAEL B. WAS SEVERAL IMPORTANT CHAPTERS OF MY LIFE.

FIRST AND FOREMOST HE WAS MY HUSBAND. WE WERE MARRIED FOR ALMOST 18 YEARS. AFTER MY DIVORCE I HAD NO INTENTION OF EVER ENTWINING MY LIFE WITH ANOTHER PERSON AGAIN. AND THEN… ALONG CAME MICHAEL. HIS GENTLENESS, SPONTANEOUS ACTION PLANS, AND SENSE OF HUMOR WERE IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST. WE MET WHILE WE WERE BOTH LIVING IN A TRANSITIONAL HOUSE IN KALKASKA. IT WAS WORTH EVERY MINUTE. HE AND I BOTH HAVE MAJOR MENTAL HEALTH ILLNESSES SO THE JOURNEY TOGETHER WAS NOT WITHOUT DIFFICULTIES BUT FOR THE MAJORITY OF OUR TIME TOGETHER WE TURNED TO EACH OTHER AND SUPPORTED EACH OTHER THROUGH THE TOUGH TIMES AND CELEBRATED ALL THE SUCCESSES BOTH LARGE AND SMALL. TOWARDS THE END THERE WAS A DIFFERENT DYNAMIC. OUR ILLNESSES HAD US TURNING ON EACH OTHER INSTEAD OF TO EACH OTHER SO THAT WE COULD NO LONGER PHYSICALLY LIVE TOGETHER. AT ONE POINT, WE FILED FOR DIVORCE AND CAME CLOSE TO GOING THROUGH WITH IT. WE CAME TO THE REALIZATION THAT WE STILL LOVED EACH OTHER VERY MUCH AND THAT EVEN IF WE HAD TO LIVE APART WE CONSIDERED OURSELVES MARRIED.

PUTTING THE CLUBHOUSE PROGRAM TOGETHER, (WHICH WAS THEN CALLED THE CRYSTAL BEACH FRIENDSHIP HOUSE), UNDER AND WITH DAVID B. LET US GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER VERY WELL VERY QUICKLY. WE BELIEVED IN THIS CONCEPT AND WITH A FEW OTHERS WORKED VERY HARD TO MAKE IT HAPPEN. THE FIRST DAY WE OPENED THE CLUB MIKE AND I ARRIVED FIRST. WE HAD BEEN TEASING ABOUT FLIPPING A COIN TO SEE WHO WOULD BE THE FIRST TO SIGN IN. WE NEVER DID. HE GOT ME SIDETRACKED LOOKING OVER SOMETHING THAT WAS NOT QUITE FINISHED AND PROCEEDED TO SIGN IN FIRST.

LASTLY, NO MATTER WHAT LIFE THREW AT HIM AND ME HE WAS MY BEST FRIEND. HE WAS MY BIGGEST SOURCE OF NATURAL SUPPORT AND WILL ALWAYS BE IN MY HEART, MY BEST FRIEND. I SUPPORTED HIM IN HIS ATTEMPTS TO DRIVE TRUCK WHICH HE LOVED AND HIS EFFORTS IN HAVING RELATIONSHIPS WITH HIS CHILDREN. HE SUPPORTED ME IN MY ADVOCACY EFFORTS. HE PUSHED ME, BEYOND MY BELIEF IN MYSELF, TO JOIN THE ANTRIM/KALKASKA/NORTH COUNTRY MENTAL HEALTH BOARD. HE PUSHED ME AND SUPPORTED ME IN MY PRESENTATIONS AT CONFERENCES. I DID WHAT I DID AS WELL AS I DID BECAUSE HE WAS BEHIND ME, BELIEVING IN ME.

MICHAEL, I MISS YOU SO MUCH AND I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU. I WILL HONOR ALL THAT WE WERE TOGETHER FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE.

Michael Brown was a founding member of New Horizons Clubhouse and long-time member of the North Country CMH Consumer Council, until his death in July of 2014.