An Open Letter to Everybody

BY Jennifer Marshall from Bipolar Mom Life & This Is My Brave

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Dear Wondering If I Should Share:

I used to be like you. Why should I air my dirty laundry? Why should other people hear about my problems? What if my friends all think I’m weird if they know my brain is broken?

I had those same fears. After being hospitalized four times I wondered if I had any friends left. My anxiety and paranoia made it a struggle to leave the house. I figured I probably wasn’t missed.

Life was good before mental illness invaded my world. Going from being the leading recruiter of an agency where I was making six figures at the age of twenty-six to being taken out of my home strapped down to a stretcher and later placed in a mental hospital was demoralizing. My reputation was shot to hell, or at least it felt like it. I had no idea how I was going to pick up the pieces of my life that were scattered all over the floor.

My bipolar disorder told me I wasn’t smart or successful or fun anymore. My anxiety tickled my limbs until I curled up in the fetal position only I wasn’t crying from laughter. My depression told me I had nothing left to live for. It shot vivid images into my subconscious and I couldn’t shut them out.

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Lessons From A Year Well-Lived

OC87 Recovery Diaries 2014 Recap

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Hello 2015! We at OC87 Recovery Diaries warmly embrace a new year full of new ideas, new stories and new opportunities for growth and recovery.

But before we move on too quickly, we thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the top posts from 2014 that resonated the most with our readers. Here are the five most popular posts from the past year followed by a reflection on what worked in 2014 for each OC87 Recovery Diaries team member.

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A Director’s Journey

By Glenn Holsten

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I think I was 14 years old. I know I was in high school. My mother, in the depths of what I now know was depression, sat in the couch in our living room crying. This had become a more frequent occurrence in our normally bustling house. Like most 14-year-olds, I thought I had the solution. I tried to tell her that she had nothing to be sad about, that she should cheer up, that the lady down the street had it much worse than her — more kids, less money, more problems. Of course, that was probably the worst thing I could have said to her at the time, and she cried harder. She didn’t know what to do to make herself feel better, and at that point, neither did I.

I hugged her and she cried harder, saying that my hug almost made it worse, because when I hugged her, she didn’t feel anything.

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First Person Recovery

PBS station WHYY & OC87 Recovery Diaries work with first-time filmmakers to tell their inspiring stories of recovery

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What do they get? A camera, a tripod, and a microphone.

What do they give? Perhaps their most precious possession — their life story.

OC87 Recovery Diaries and public television station WHYY have once again teamed up with first-time filmmakers to create a new series of videos that tell inspiring journeys of recovery.

In this eight-week workshop, individuals and health professionals are working with media professionals to create videos for the OC87 Recovery Diaries website. The course is designed to give participants the tools they need to tell their own powerful stories.

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