America - home of the red, white and BLUES

America – home of the red, white and BLUES (Photo credit: Treasure Tia)

Now in my previous posts I have talked about how everything that happens to us has only one purpose, to contribute to our spiritual growth. I want to tell you about how these principles have worked and are still working in my life.

First of all, I have to admit that I am still learning. I am not always very good at applying these ideas to myself. It is easy to believe in abstract ideology, but hard to practice it. However when I do practice these principles, my life becomes much easier.

So I’ll give you a little history about myself and how I have been blessed by having bipolar disorder. Understand that at the times that these things happened, the idea of anything good coming out of them would have been laughable to me (that is, if I had been able to laugh). Hindsight is 20/20.

Career-wise having a nervous breakdown and getting fired from my job of twelve years was the best thing that ever happened to me. At the time, though, I was convinced that I was a total failure. I had zero confidence in myself even before I was fired. I worked a meaningless entry-level job. Every once in a while I would try to learn a new job there to advance myself, but I ended up always giving up because I was afraid of being judged. The same thing happened when I tried to finish college.  I yearned for a meaningful job, but I was too paralyzed to go for it.

It didn’t help my confidence any when a “friend” of mine actually told me that a monkey could do my job. Unfortunately, he wasn’t far off the mark.

After I was fired, I went through the worst depression of my life. I was hospitalized multiple times and I think even the doctors started giving up on me.  I felt helpless and hopeless.

Eventually I found a support group to go to and it helped a little. I found out that it was sponsored by the Mental Health Association (now called Mental Health America). I started going to other groups that they offered and I started to see some real improvement in my moods. I also got to know some of the staff there. Then a miracle happened. I was offered a job as a peer supporter at a new mental health center they were starting.

I felt completely at home there. I knew that this was what I was supposed to be doing.  All my fear and self-consciousness was gone. I became a much more confident person and I felt good about myself for the first time in my life. The love and support I found there among the staff and the members was just awesome.

I finally had a purpose to my life. I didn’t have a college degree and I wasn’t an expert by the world’s definition, but I did have something to give. I was an expert on myself. All I had to do was share what worked for me in my recovery, hoping that what I had to say would help others as well. And it worked both ways too. I received just as much, if not more, help as I gave.

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“Stay tuned” for the second half of my post. 😉

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