I feel like I am finally able to stand out.

I know many times especially in my childhood and teenage years I was bullied badly and not liked by other kids. I was self conscious about the way I looked and I feared getting beat up at school. Sometimes I hear critical voices in my head. I don’t have as many fears as I used to. I had a spiritual experience one day when a supernatural peace washed over me in 2012. I found God that day. I never really knew my biological father but I had a step father that was supportive of me but we didn’t get along as much. I know I have a strong sense of identity as a black woman. I feel like I understand why some people have certain opinions about me but I am treating myself to happiness in my 30s. My 30s were pretty good though. I have painful difficult memories of my childhood and my adolescent years.  I recently turned 39 years old. My goal is being able to drive by the summer of 2020. I am saving up for a used car. I want to be able to get a probationary license in 3 months after I get my examination permit.

My illness is so difficult for me.

I have had some of my happiest times in my life with the successes I had in my 30s. My life has always been kind of easy. I like my life. I feel like as long as I feel good about the person I see looking back at me in the mirror and I like myself I know I’m fine. I started to like myself a couple of months after I turned thirty. I even read about a book a month. I see myself as just as good and worthy of love and happiness. Life is not easy all the time for me but I feel like I am blessed to have a program to go to so I can work on my mental health. I am planning on retesting for the Praxis Core.

I thank God I am more myself than I have ever been.

I had some difficult circumstances in my life that’s for sure but I don’t think it gives me a pass. Life can be tough but thank God my life got better. I have been so fortunate to have found NAMI in my mid-late 20s. I have formed some friendships over the years that I really like. I know God is with me all the time. I had an experience back in 2011 or 2012 where I had a supernatural peace wash over me bringing healing to my soul. I got teased a lot as a kid because I was dark. I know sometimes people feel sorry for me but I don’t need anyone else’s pity. I am an intelligent person. I’m also a competent person. My life was given to me to enjoy as a gift from God. I want to be able to just live my life while I still have my life. No one is promised tomorrow. I feel like people have opinions of me but that’s okay. I’ll be forty years old next year. I am going to be good to myself and not let anybody’s drama bother me. Life is too short.

I know God is with me even in my difficulties I encounter in life.

I have started to pray in the mornings when I wake up. The next thing I do is splash some cold water on my face and say “it’s morning I’m awake”. I brush my teeth after that and about an hour later I take a good shower with a sweet smelling Caress bar soap. I know I found Caress after I had my first period when I was thirteen years old. As a child I had been bullied badly but I have turned to God now. I love to pray to God when I check the time on my phone I say a prayer in the morning. It feels good to pray to God. I know it’s not easy for anyone and that’s why I know God put these successes in my 30s so I could enjoy these successes. In my early 30s I started to like myself for the first time. I stand out now but I realize also that I was meant to stand out. I have had some difficult experiences and I appreciate the things people in my life do to help me out. I found God in my early 30s. That’s why I pray now instead of sweating the small stuff. I know God has been there all this time it just may have been the reason it caused me to doubt his existence but I don’t anymore. I am sure that God is with me beyond the shadow of a doubt. When I bump up against difficult things even at age 39 that are just hard for me I thank my supporters but I don’t have that many supporters. I am aware of my triggers people pushing my buttons and trouble sleeping. Now that I know and can identify just what triggers me I will just pray when I wake up and also again before I go to  sleep. I will power down at 10 pm. I have been sleeping better in my 30s. I’m thirty nine years old now. I focus on God and also sleep hygiene. I need my sleep. I get it most nights but on the few nights here or there I don’t sleep my day is shot the next day. I am trying to get some natural sleep aids that won’t interact with my Rx medications.

I had been bullied as a teen and as a child.

I experienced bullying since I was a child. It all started when a female principal of a school I went to as a child skipped me two grades in 3rd grade. My mom let her skip me but I know it gave me social problems being two years younger than the other kids in my grade. I graduated when I was seventeen from high school. It made me feel good to be skipped though. I remember being fourteen when I was first hospitalized for early onset schizophrenia. I have been going to an adult partial care program since October 2019. I like the program and my case manager seems to like me too. Last Friday I was able to receive a special award with my name on it called the Peer Support award. I felt good about it. Today I feel stressed and kind of tired. I have decided to pray and turn to God when I have difficulties. I will pray and try to focus on God read my psalms and be more positive on purpose. There is so much chaos in the world we live in. I will always focus on what is going well instead of focusing on the negative.

I have my own lived experience I can share but I love NAMI.

I enjoy sharing my experiences with my fellow volunteers or peers. I miss Miss Sally Osmer but she left NAMI. I really like Miss Janet too. I find most people at NAMI are pretty nice. NAMI has so many resources and for the past two summer they had a bunch of workshops at NAMI from art, to improv to yoga. I think NAMI is a wonderful organization. I have been so blessed to be a part of it. I hope to be driving by this summer 2020. I will keep trying until I can get a basic driver examination permit.

Laughter makes the heart merry like a medicine.

I found I am doing so much better getting a newer medicine injected in my arm once a month. The pills were always too much but my mom got me a pill box. I feel like I am kind of happier than I’ve ever been. I turned thirty nine a few days ago. I feel happy. I got some Facebook happy birthday wishes and I thanked my friends that remembered my birthday. I appreciate when people think of me on my birthday. I am a happy 39 year old now. I couldn’t explain it but it feels great to be another year older even if I have a difficult mental illness. I am able to sleep most nights and I power down the internet by like 10 pm now so I can get my sleep. I didn’t realize how hard it is to get my sleep. Sleep is a big trigger for me and I didn’t realize it until I took WRAP class at NAMI. I was even able to fill out my own advanced directive with the state on New Jersey.