Recovery Stories - Theresa Buchcanan

I would like to share my story of my road to recovery and to let others know...There is Hope!

Who am I?

I am a mom
I am a sister
I am your neighbor

I Have Bipolar!

Does this scare you?

What is Bipolar?

For me bipolar is an unbalanced struggle. It is a way of life I did not choose.

My life was like a rollercoaster ride. With it's constant ups and downs with mood swings so severe it made my life so frustrating even confusing. I could feel it happening to me, the mood swings, so severe I would go into crisis. The highs and lows with no middle ground.

At times I thought I was losing my mind.

Why was this happening to me? What is wrong with me? Questions I would ask myself
and I didn't know!

Imagine being so high on life you could take on the world and within just hours sink so low you were left to feel no hope, isolated, abandoned, an outcast and just so down. I would withdraw from everyone. I didn't even realize this was a way of life for me. I grew up with this illness, without even knowing I had an illness. Peers thought me to be antisocial and a snob.

I am 46 years old and in my 46 years of life and experience, I did not know who I was.

WOW! a life time and not knowing who you really are. Scary don't you think?

I'm not looking for sympathy, but understanding!

In the last two years I have found I have a mental illness. It is called, “Bipolar"

Don't worry it's not contagious.

I was actually relieved in a way when I was diagnosed.

Now I began to get answers and gain an understanding of what was wrong with me and I was given hope. Hope that with the right medical treatment it can be helped and almost controlled.

For the past two years I have been on a journey that at times was overwhelming, painful, confusing, but at the same time educational and rewarding.

I feel fortunate to have been able to receive counseling and have a case manager to help me through this time of the unknown.

The care and dedication of those that worked with me, you could say, were above and beyond anything I could have imagined. They were a great support team for me.

I have not been in a hospital now for six months. That is a milestone for me.

I feel I owe them much gratitude. They well deserve it, for I could not be where I am in my life now if it were not for their efforts.

I feel I am a stronger person now. I have a self-esteem I never knew before.

I gained courage to seek further education and through a great support system I received my G.E.D. this past February 2007. Yes, I did it!

I have hope where there was none.

I know I have a right to be happy.

I know I have a right to a voice.

I know I am important.

I know I have a right to have respect

I have a right to life and to live it to it's fullest.

I know the road that lies before me will have some challenges, but it too will have its rewards.

They say sometimes change is good! For me this is that time!

I look at the last two years of my life, through all the hurt and pain, confusion and sorrow.

I have grown. I have hope! I have a new life. I Have Life!

I have a goal for my future now. I want to further my education. I want a career working with either children or to become a veterinarian tech.

I am still learning coping skills that help me deal with my bipolar and so far, those groups and therapy, case management, and proper medications have all helped me on my road of recovery and a future. My outlook on life is very good and, by the way, I am glad I am alive for I will be a Grammie soon and will be alive to see her birth!