Mary’s Story

By: Mary – in loving memory of Debbie S.

Source: Remembrance and Recovery Project by Mental Health America (Mental Health Minnesota)

I want to tell my story about mental illness and the struggles of everyday life. I know it all started with the death of my son: I was so destroyed that I didn’t know where to turn.

I appreciate being on public assistance, but it can get over-bearing. It feels like there is always someone telling me what I can do in controlling my life. I have to tell them about my personal business and they know all about my medical issues. Also, I had to quit my job because it jeopardized my assistance. I’ve seen other cases as well, where the system failed individuals.

There is a crisis home in the county where I live. I can use it when I’m not doing well, and it prevents me from having to go to the hospital. There is a maximum limit on using the service of seven times a year. It’s sad it only covers people in this county. What are other people supposed to do when they’re in crisis? They end up in the hospital. I would like to see more crisis homes developed in the seven-county area. But it’s a funding factor.

The positive thing about my life is that I can move and be independent. With the tools I’ve learned in life I can find support. I am on a council for people with disabilities, and through the council, I am learning about all kinds of different people outside the box. I am also learning to be a mentor. Each day is a new door open for me. People generally say I am friendly and helpful.

If I can overcome the obstacles in my life, anyone can. Next step in my life, I want to publish a book about my life. With my supports around me, I AM living proof you can overcome it all, through the grace of God. I hope this inspires anyone to face up to the challenge to be what you can be.