When I was 8 years old my Mom registered me for tennis lessons. My instructor nicknamed me “Mighty Mouse” as I always hit the ball long and hard. My blog is all about mental health.
In 1997, at the age of 32, I was a married mother of two daughters under the age of 5. That was also when I was first diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 2000, as a single working mom of two, I started having delusions for the first time. By 2008, I had lost custody of my daughters (they were living with their Dad full-time), I had lost my job, and I lost my housing all due to mental illness. I spent the next 3 years homeless, including one year of living in my car. I refused all treatment as I truly believed the delusions I was having to be true, without a doubt. Fortunately in 2011, I received life changing treatment at The Royal in Ottawa and I was able to get my life back on track. Now, I am giving back as a volunteer Peer Facilitator/Patient Advisor/Public Speaker/Mental Health Advocate. My two daughters and family are in my life again as well as many new friends, a few old time friends, new neighbours and my Royal family (fellow volunteers, peers, staff and knitting friends – who are my support system at The Royal). And, my loving and supportive partner of the past 4.5 years, Ron and I were married last summer on the hottest day of the century (July 1, 2018) here in Ottawa. I feel grateful for the life I have worked hard to create and enjoy living a life in recovery.