Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Creating a Community For Myself: Part 2

My last post about this topic was a bit long winded...so here is a brief overview of both why I think all I said needed to be said, and the major points that I found important for myself (and I hope for others) while I was writing the piece.

There are so many aspects of "creating a community" that are helping me and, I think can help others who are having difficulty with their mental illness, gain some hope. I think some of the most important points in the previous post "Creating a Community for Myself: My Path towards Resiliency" are:

1. That my illness has been refractory to all treatments and has been severe (I hope that will help others in similar situations see it is possible to begin the healing process, even if other treatments aren't working). It is not as though I had/have an easy illness to treat or help. I know when I was/am really ill I get really annoyed when people, whose illnesses seemed less aggressive than mine, wrote uplifting pieces about how they "healed" themselves. I never felt they spoke to me. I wanted others to see it is possible to really be struggling with symptoms and, with enough of the right support and structures in place, still manage to help themselves.

2. That I had to try many things and make many attempts before I began to feel comfortable and confident. Creating a community has not been easy and has been fraught with setbacks...but with the support of my psychiatrist, and finally the community I fit into, I have been able to keep trying.

3. That external motivation was one of the most important forces that helped me succeed. I didn't succeed because of will power. I succeeded because I had responsibilities, schedules, expectations and tons and tons of non-judgemental support , from my pdoc, my new found community, the Occupational Therapist who believed in me and took me on as an apprentice.

4. That there is a sense of spiritual connection and personal feelings of being valued that helps one begin the healing process when they find, accept , create and become involved in, the community that is right for them.

I am not saying this discovery has "cured me", or "healed me"...but it is definitely increasing my quality of life and my ability, and desire to live with, and in spite of, my mental illness and its disabling symptoms.

4 comments:

Polar Bear said...

Aqua,
Very thoughtful pieces you have posted here. I do agree with your main points here. And i understand how difficult it is to make that initial effort or step forward. Taking risks is hard, but when managed well and with support, we certaiinly can move forward.

Thanks for sharing such a hopeful view.

The Silent Voices in my Mind said...

I think both pieces are clear and laid out nicely. You made great points about all the progress you've made. It's not an easy road that we travel but every step is a triumph and you've taken many steps. You have had lots of non-judgmental support but it doesn't matter how much encouragement you have if *you* yourself don't take those steps. Props to you!

Frances said...

Aqua,
I am really glad to have stumbled upon your blog, as I am struggling with feelings of depression and sadness myself, and I admire your courage. I know too, about the value of community and how hard it can be to find a real one.

I wish you the best,

Aqua said...

Polar Bear, SV and frances,
Thanks for the supportive comments. Part of what helps me keep trying is all the support and encouragement I get from people who visit my blog. I wish for all of you an easier journey and an end to the difficult path we have all been on.
...aqua