These Antiochians found what they were looking for!
I was born into a Black Catholic upper middle class family. In Detroit, MI during the hay day of Motown. We grew up in a home close to Aretha Franklin and around the corner was Smokey Robinson during my father's childhood. My mother went to school with the Four Tops. We lived down the street from the owner of the 20 Grand where most Motown artists performed. I traveled extensively and went to some of the best schools. My father was working under the Director of the FCC and HUD. My mother worked many years with American Airlines. Our family was doing well. Or so I thought until my cousin committed suicide when I was 14. I experienced my first depression. I stayed in bed sobbing for a few days. Later I was date raped several times. I had 2 abortions which is a major sin in the Catholic church. My father and 1st cousin had Crack addiction and Bipolar dx. late in life. They both died of medical complicatios due to Crack abuse. I had to learn about tough love with them. I went to Al-anon, Nar-anon, AA, NA, to learn about addiction from all angles. I was diagnosed Bipolar at age 25. Just after college. My symptoms started in college and they slowly progressed to my first hospitalization. At first I was misdiagnosed due to my behavior. After many hospitalizations I discovered the right combination of medicine for me. I felt better than ever and started my road to recovery. I have worked 15 years in the field of geriatric and adult mental illess and drug addiction. And 15 years social work in nursing homes. I wanted to help others and learn ways how to help myself. This was life experiences and on the job training. I learned about boundaries and cognitive distortions. I learned about the chaos created from drug abuse. It has been imperative for me to devolop coping skills. I did manage well enough to maintain professional employment for 36 years. I was stable for 7 years in denial that I had more work to do on myself. I took on a new job and a major project. I started to not sleep or eat properly. I also revisited the trauma that caused my PTSD! All of this stirred up so many emotions that I had not let out and grieved fully from their occurence. I ended up in the hospital which I call divine intervention. There I had to learn my limits and triggers that push me there. Boundaries and Cognitive Distortions. At last I was willing to do the painful work to come to terms with my illness and how it affected my outlook on life. Now I have even more ammunition to succeed and overcome obstacles. I want to educate others that M.I. touches everyone and you may need to get help or help others through their recovery. That is my mission!! Fighting the stigma.
Although I wasn't going to the Reunion, I wanted to go to YS for a family reunion. Someone suggested that I put a notice on the Messageboard. At the last minute I got an offer for a ride from someone who lived close to me In Ann Arbor. I had a great time riding with her - good conversation, good company. So I was so grateful that it worked out so well! Thank you- Patti Dallas