There's a saying, "Recovery is a journey not a destination". With learning and changing happening every day then this makes sense. It's been months since I've written. The reason is two fold: it seems that no one is reading it and depression for two months. I'm working on the part of recovery that is for me breaking it down to basics one day at a time. I follow these simple steps daily: get at least eight hours sleep, get up, brush my teeth, shower, dress and go out side for a walk no matter the weather. This simple activity is so hard, but necessary, on the depressed days. Performing these tasks can keep me from having my depressive symptoms get worse.
I have a new volunteer job at the office where the program I am in originates form:Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA: Delaware County Consumer Recovery Investment Fund, Self Directed Care Project. Volunteering is a huge part of my recovery because it gets me out of the house, makes me feel like I am contributing to the helping of other people and will look good on my resume. I fell into this job by just going in to see my recovery coach; she put me to work after our time was finished! I have several projects I have been working on. The one I just finished involved collating and decorating recovery calendars for folks who come by the office to volunteer and for a homeless center for women and children in Philadelphia. The decorating was as fun as being back teaching preschool again. My boss wants me to write stories of people's recovery that are in our program with the hope that other counties and places will catch on to the uniqueness, freedom, dignity and power that CRIF offers those in recovery from mental illness. Yesterday I went with my boss to present the program to Chester County, PA. It's exciting because people from as far away as the Netherlands are becoming interested in implementing the program in their communities. For me the presentation was empowering; a panel of mental health providers (including some NAMI people) were audience to my story of recovery and participation in the program. It went really well.
My goals have changed a lot since I first got into the program in January. Currently I am planning a visit to family in CT and a move back to CA at the end of September. I could not have accomplished these goals without the freedoms funds and support provided by CRIF. I have been away form "home" here in Philly for 7 years now and I am so happy and excited to be moving back.
For more information on how to bring this impoartnat project to your mental health community please contact:
Erme Maula, RN, MSN, CRRN, Cetified Peer Specialist
Mental Health Association of Southeastern PA