The Author- Ashley

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Atlanta, Georgia, United States
My name is Ashley and I am a lot of things, read this blog to learn more... Thank you for visiting my blog!

Friday, January 11, 2013

"Strength in Numbers"- Share Your Blog

I keep going back to the thought- "there is strength in numbers"- I remember thinking about it during the Certified Peer Specialist training earlier this week, and again by the network of online bloggers who either live with a diagnosis or are a family member. I appreciate my fellow blogger peers and family members of those living with mental illness who share their experiences with mental illness. As the NAMI affirmation goes: "We are experts on our own experiences"- which is true!

Strength in numbers coupled with "the shared experience" is comforting because each of us can relate and offer wise advice because we've experienced something similar. We may not have the same diagnosis, but may be able to relate to hearing voices, extreme suspiciousness of family and others without cause, anxiety, racing thoughts, etc.

In fact, I feel it is easier for me to make friends or to have a conversation with someone who has experienced mental illness in some form. A lot of my peers who I've come into contact with at meetings or online also like to volunteer or work for some good cause within the nonprofit sector. Many of my peers are also very creative- great writers, can play music, draw or paint, etc.- if only the world knew what I know about individuals living with mental illness a majority of our society would feel more comfortable and less afraid of the individual living with a diagnosis.

In these few years of recovery I've experienced a diverse range of situations including: hospitalization, personal care home, incarceration,  discrimination, schizophrenia coupled with depression, childbirth and related concerns, personal relationships, problems taking medication, anxiety, etc. and I am pressing forward despite living with a challenging mental illness, and I am finding ways to practice resiliency and to live a fulfilling life. I am thankful to the Creator, my family, treatment team, and peers online and in-person for guiding me in the right direction on this journey to recovery.

Lately, I've been in search of fellow bloggers who are living the experience of mental health through either themselves or a family member. I've been scanning profiles but often find outdated blogs, and I continue to research them.

If you feel comfortable, please share your blog with me and readers of this blog so we can acknowledge and support each other- even if I've commented on your blog, feel free to post it as a comment so other readers can find you. And if you do not feel comfortable posting your blog, you can anonymously state how you found this blog.

To learn more about schizophrenia visit Embracing My Mind, NAMI, Choices in Recovery, or Schizophrenia Society of Nova Scotia (Canada).


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