Personal Stories of Strength & Hope

"Because ALL of us are unique individuals with great potential for health, well-being and fulfillment." - The Advocates Way


By Anonymous

Spirit 17

It has been a long road that has led to where I am today. I have had many hurdles to jump; beginning with college, next in work, and then leading to supportive programs. However, I was lucky to have many caring individuals there for me, to show me the way, the way to where I was before I was ill.

For many years I denied that I had mental illness. I pushed help away and I didn’t want the guidance of friends and family, nor did I want to utilize the help of programs. Also I did not want the use of medication or any type of assistance.

This is mainly due to the fact that I didn’t want to acknowledge that I was bi-polar. Many of my friends stopped talking to me because they did not understand my illness. Now, wherever I go, I leave a light on; never to be trampled on in the dark. In my heart and soul, body and mind, I have accepted that this is something real. I mean people are really diagnosed with illnesses.

I draw strength from a number for sources; a therapist and confidante; a reliable psychiatry advisor. Also another helpful tool in guidance is the Advocates Program and the Riverside day program.

The inner strength I get from my family manifests from deep down inside. A burning hunger that pushes my spirit on even when I didn’t think I could go on. I found the desire to not only hold myself, but to carry a torch for all those for who struggle with some sort of mental illness.

I am giving thought to my career and what I will be doing in the future: such as patient rights and sharing my experiences with those around me. Yet for now, I am focusing on: getting stronger, mentally and spiritually. It just takes a little time and patience.

This poem is dedicated to my mother who has been my guidance strength.

It was a goal I set
One I met
To see the guiding light-
It was a fight
I won-
Like the guiding sun.