This collection of posts are related to my newly found purpose in life, advocacy for mental health issues.
I started off as a volunteer, merely covering the 1-800 resource line at the NAMI Metro Baltimore office. But I wanted to become more involved. I worked to elevate my understanding of the state of mental health care in America, understand the many needs and issues, and grasp the complex area of policy.
I said yes to every opportunity that was offered and quickly escalated the intensity of responsibilities and my visibility in the organization.
These posts tell the stories of my first tentative steps into advocacy and what I learned along the way.
You would have only assumed me to be confident, prepared, and poised to impress if you happened to encounter me in the halls of the Maryland State House.
But what you probably wouldn’t have noticed is that I was deliberately shifting my weight on to my left side. This posturing was to counter the unsettling, embarrassing, and uncontrollable shaking of my leg.
Although, as the “Journey into America’s Mental Health Crisis” is indeed a sad realization, it is not bereft of hope. Rosenburg encourages the reader with information touting successes by advocate interaction in law-making, positive results in new community-based treatments, and court-mandated “wraparound” assisted outpatient treatments. These and other successful programs around the world leave the reader with a positive outlook for the future.
No, my life is not the fairy tale that it once was in terms of money, homes, and travel. But it is a fairy tale of sorts. I am hoping through my writing and work, I can take this cataclysmic story of mine and use it to shed hope and light on someone else’s darkest needs.
Now that my psychosis has cleared and I am almost two years into the recovery effort, it is hard for others to understand why I’m not immediately back up and functioning in a high-level management position as if nothing ever happened.