In group on Thursday, we wrote down three things we are proud of for the year 2010, and also wrote the things we would like to be proud of for 2011. My accomplishments for 2010 included:
- Going back to college,
- Getting my own apartment, and
- Maintaining a personal relationship.
I am proud of these things accomplishments because I've showed myself that I can lead an independent life in recovery from schizophrenia. Recovery to me is doing the things I used to do and also doing the things I need to do to move forward. Moreover, I accomplished these things despite my illness and even though certain people were skeptical about my goals, I did it and I am very proud of myself!
I have many goals I would like fulfill this year. I would like to become a Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) among other things. A CPS is a trained mental health associate who is also in mental health recovery, and who helps peers on their path to recovery. They facilitate groups, provide resources, and act as a mentor. I am already doing work as a CPS, but I have not participated in the official training yet. I plan on doing the training this summer, that way I will be eligible for a lot of jobs in the mental health field.Finally, if you are a person living with a mental health diagnosis and I encourage you to take ownership of your recovery if you have not already done so, and to strive to accomplish your goals despite other people's doubts; and despite living with an illness such as schizophrenia.
To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, Inc., the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).