How many people do you know who have recovered from mental illness? It is called a chronic disease. Once you receive a diagnosis and a prescription, you are diagnosed and medicated for life. Many people will have the experience of side effects and multiple changes of multiple meds over and over again as they go through their lives. No one ever thinks about recovery. The mental health system is designed to make customers for life, it is not designed to help people or cure them.
The history of mental illness goes way back. Interestingly the rise in mood imbalances corresponds to the industrialization of food. It’s no secret that the gut is the second brain, containing more neurotransmitters than the actual brain. It is also no surprise that the food industry and the medical industry are big businesses bringing in big profits. Do you think there is an incentive to keep people sick, or do you think that is a conspiracy theory that only sick or crazy people believe? I think it’s worth doing your research before you just accept someone’s opinion of your mental status and expect toxic chemicals to improve what is most likely unresolved trauma or emotion from experience.
Against all odds, and against all of my family and friends, I have recovered from mental illness. I don’t know if I am the first to do so, but I have proven, if to no one else but myself, it can be done. I did it alone. By myself, without support.
I never believed I was disordered. At one time I was definitely sick. It was evident in my body and it was evident in my behavior. I was clearly miserable and suffering. At my heaviest I weighed 206 pounds and I am only 5″1′. I was miserable. I was first diagnosed with depression after my son was born and given up for adoption when I was 16 years old. I had just left an abusive home life living with my neglectful and abusive father and step mother. Do you think I may have had a reason to be depressed!? Instead of asking questions about therapy and alternatives, I obediently took the Prozac I was given and accepted that I now had a diagnosis. This lack of self advocacy began a lifestyle of choice to be mentally depressed and eventually bipolar. As I became more disempowered and more enraged, my diagnoses changed to reflect the state of mind I was developing. Until I decided to take control.
After my mother died suddenly, I entered into the most troubled time of my life. I was severely depressed and I became physically sick. I was in a marriage that was not supportive emotionally and I had two small children that I feared I wouldn’t be able to support if I left. I stayed stuck for many years because I didn’t believe in myself. All my life I had been taught that I was worthless and not easy to love. I believed it until I almost died.
Then, in 2009, a year after my worst mental breakdown ever, I began to awaken to my own potential. I began to believe in myself as it became clearer that it was up to me to do so, that no one else could believe in me enough to get me where I needed to be. It had to come from me. I had to stop abandoning myself and advocate for me. No one else could do it for me.
It started with the goal to lose weight. I discovered that my body was suffering inside and I could heal it with food. I eliminated things from my diet and added more healthy foods to support my healing. I lost 86 pounds in 9 months and have kept it off ever since by focusing on my health, as opposed to only my appearance. It was the beginning of boundary setting.
In my health journey I learned about chemistry and the human anatomy and how they work like a beautiful machine. My goal was always to get off of the medications and it became even more important for me to do so when I realized that they had contributed to my sick physical condition.
Getting off of medication is not easy to do by yourself. Most people don’t believe it is possible. They are afraid that without the medication your condition is just untreated. Most people don’t have the mentality that these conditions can be healed. There is not a lot of support from families and there is definitely not support from the medical community when it comes to no longer being a pharmaceutical customer. In fact, my doctor, who knew me and, I thought, truly cared about me, said she would not see me any longer if I discontinued taking the medications. As fate would have it, she transferred out of her practice for personal reasons (to pursue her life) simultaneously as I weaned myself off of the drugs on my own. I didn’t have anyone’s support, yet I did it and I survived.
It took about 6 months for me to feel like the drugs were out of my system. The first thing I heard when I began listening to the inner voices that I had silenced for so long, was that those voices have a message that needs to be heard. They are the voices of conscience that alert us to dangers around us and guide us to our highest joy in life. The voice of consciousness, silenced and numb, is why we have the world we have today.
We have been told not to listen to our inner voice. We have been told not to seek spiritual guidance outside of religion. We have been told not to gaze at the stars or question our connection with Source. We have been told what to do in every aspect of our lives to the point where we as a society now defend and agree with the slavery we have been subjected to.
I took back my mind. I have gained clarity. I have good health and mental clarity because I felt like I was worthy enough to make it happen. I made it happen. I cured myself from the inside out. I have proven it can be done.
I still have pain. I have deep scars. The hell I went through took its toll on my body and my central nervous system. I’m still healing. I now honor these experiences as part of who I am and what makes me me. I do still have a range of emotions but now I feel them. I listen to what they tell me instead of burying them and discounting them as sick or useless. My feelings matter. Every damn one of them. And so do yours.
I have cured myself from disease. I did it because I decided to take back my power. I decided I was worth it. And now I’m here to support others who know deep inside themselves that they can do it, too.
I still go back to that dark place. I’m just not afraid of it anymore. I’m not afraid to hear what it says to me. There is nothing wrong with me. There’s something wrong with society.