Voices for Recovery
I no longer do the things I used to when I was obsessed with using. I have learned to respect myself and others. I genuinely love my family and contribute to society by helping others who are addicted find a new way of life. In fact, after years of mutually discordant communication, my mother now receives weekly calls from me with love and gratitude.
I’ve long since been identified as suffering from untreated bipolar disorder, but for many years in recovery, I had difficulty with stability. I was a tornado in peoples’ lives. I couldn't sleep well, had auditory hallucinations, over-reacted to most emotional stimuli, was unpredictable in behavior and speech – shocking myself at times – irresponsibly spent money, and was occasionally suicidal. Eventually, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, but was discouraged from taking medicine by well-meaning people in recovery who said that taking any medication would be the same as “using.” I had tried medication only twice and quit because of the stigma. It wasn’t until I made a series of wrong, life-changing decisions and wound up having a breakdown in a public place that I got the help I needed.
So I have been willing to take medication – as any diabetic or high blood pressure patient would – and, after about 12+ years of trying to find the right medication, have finally found an effective one. I still take medication to remain emotionally and mentally stable. I’ve been contentedly married for more than 10 years and have two healthy, happy children who know they are loved. I don’t consider myself cured; I continue with my meetings and practice recovery to give back to others and to maintain my spiritual growth.