I grew up with very controlling parents who were addicts. Looking at it now they probably had undiagnosed mental health issues.
Over time I developed my own relationships that were not healthy and very abusive causing CAS (Children’s Aid Society) to become involved and I lost my children. Over my journey I developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, anxiety and (panic) depression, and fibromyalgia.
While I was in 2nd stage shelter in Goderich I attended all their groups. CMHA HP (Canadian Mental Health Association Huron Perth) was recommended to me by CAS. Eventually I got two of my children back. My children have now been diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
After having support from CMHA HP for 5 years I was doing well and was discharged. I started going to some of the CMHA HP peer groups and making friends. I began helping the volunteer facilitator of the CMHA HP group and became a volunteer myself and took over the group when that facilitator left.
I had an accidental overdose and reconnected with CMHA HP. My mom took care of my children. I continued to get support from CMHA HP for another 4 years and was discharged again.
It has been 2 years since I was last discharged from CMHA HP and I continue to do well. I have become a group facilitator of a peer group and a CMHA HP board member. I also provide volunteer income tax clinics for all of CMHA HP clients and have completed over 200 returns this year.
Although my journey is far from over I am grateful for the support I have had and continue to have to lead a good life.