I am a walking Miracle. GA Peer Institute training. GA Mental Health Consumer Network.
When I see how much you have overcome to get to where you are today, I know you are a “Walking Miracle”
We broke up into groups and discussed our recovery stories. These buttons were handed out to us and we shared them with someone in the group. I do not guess I have never thought of myself as a walking miracle. Evidently the GA Mental Health Consumer Network sees it that way. I need to begin to believe it too. I would have never made it to where I am today without my walk with the Lord. I have prayed everyday for the Lord’s will and purpose to be shown in my life. Supposing that leaving behind a legacy of positive outcomes in the court and legal system has been part of the Lord’s purpose for future generations to come. For marital abuse victims, parental alienation, the mentally challenged and parental reunification with therapy. Leaving behind this mark for the state to remember clearly that even though one may be mentally challenged and a victim of marital abuse it does not stand and ring true that they should be separated and alienated from their children, which I was in the beginning due to mental diagnosis and marital abuse. The state has rectified the situation many times over but I still struggle with this aspect of my life. Telling my story often hoping to get it out of my system so that I can carry on with living my life to the fullest. Everywhere I turn though within the state it is all about “telling your story”, from View Point Health, to The Respect Institute, to the GA Peer Institute and marital abuse and parental alienation are a part of my illness and recovery stories. Everywhere within the state that I turn to it is all about “telling your story.” I have told my story time and time again in and outside the courtroom for 10 years now and continue to tell that story when I get the opportunity. I am patiently waiting to be reunited with my daughter’s and for them to understand the importance of advocacy. I have a lot of internalized stigma that I deal with on a daily basis. While studying Internalized Stigma I have learned that it is natural and normal to have feelings of :
Low self esteem
Low self worth
Demoralization and low overall satisfaction with life
Decreased interest in improving ones life and setting gloals
One should identify negative self images that are derived from the social stereotypes of mental illness.
Individually evaluate these images using as tools the arbitrary nature of labels associated with stigma.
Replace negative images with positive ones based upon traits that you already possess or new behaviors that helps you to establish through the development of specific self
Increased global self esteem
Increased self worth
Development of new productive life goals to maintain gains in self esteem
New skills to combat stigma
Increases social integration
Increased wellness and hope for the future.
Advocacy begins with “Self.” Without our own health you cannot accomplish your mission of making a better future of success. Know that to take care of one’s self is the first and most important part of advocacy.
As you gain insights and believe in yourself, it is visible in many ways,
You begin to take on challenges, ask questions, care about your appearance, and seek out appropriate supports.
You gain knowledge and accomplish things with planning and persistence.
You are no longer afraid to fail, for failing takes on new meaning. It means learning something different. It does not mean that you are a failure.
We discussed the following:
What were some of the early indications that you were beginning to have difficulties?
Briefly describe yourself and your situation when you were at your worst.
What helped you move from where you were to where you are now? What did you do? What did others do?
What have you had to overcome to get to where you are today?
What have you learned about yourself and what we call recovery? What are some of the strengths you have developed?
What are some of the things that you do to keep you on the right path?
I think it would be nice for the Mental Health Court’s to adopt a program of study for inmates who are in their custody. Something as simple as a workbook or a study guide and a Bible as well. For those incarcerated reading material is sometimes the only thing one has to hold onto. For a lot of Certified Peer Specialists, and Peer’s, incarceration is often discussed in a Respect Institute training as part of one’s illness and recovery story. Given the fact that to become a Certified Peer Specialist one must have a mental diagnosis or dual diagnosis of addictive diseases. It is factual that a lot of these stories include incarceration and having reading material for self – help or self- directed recovery is a tool needed in order to be successful upon release. In order to become a model citizen and be actively involved in the community one must be given the proper and appropriate tools that are necessary for one to answer timely and appropriately to the courts. I read on facebook recently that Sheriff Ezell Brown spoke at a Respect Institute training class so he has been made aware that it is making its way around and through the state of GA. I am a graduate of The Respect Institute that is led by Mr. Joel Slack and Ms. Jen Banathy. I met both at St. Simons Island and brought back The Respect Institute to my class at New Rock.
I may take this on as a project with correspondence to the Mental Health Court’s and Sheriff Mr. Ezell Brown.
I have answered appropriately to the mental health court’s and the family law court’s and plan to continue to keep them abreast as to my goals and accomplishment’s. And they in return have vindicated me.