It seems like I’ve always struggled with emotional problems ever since I was young. I always felt awkward & self conscious around people. As I grew into my teens those feelings got stronger. It seemed like everyone around me had more confidence than me. I felt bad about that and even angry.
After high school my friends were going off to college and I had a lot of fears. Fears of college and the “real world”. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My fears turned into anger and I began getting so frustrated that I would blow up at my parents and go off into fits of rage. It seemed like my friends were getting somewhere in life and I was not. I had bouts of depression, crying spells, and anger fits for a long time. I tried therapy for years and worked at part-time jobs and went to school at the local community college. I was put on medications and saw more therapists. Two of my therapists had me arrested for violating a restraining order. I’ve been hospitalized several times. I never wanted to be part of family functions and parties. I didn’t know how to socialize and things would frustrate me My family has been with me through it all and I have put them through a lot.
After going through an 18 month probation program for people with mental disorders, I was beginning to get a long better with my family. Then about 6 months later my 90 year old Grandma fell and broke her hip. She had a total hip replacement and my family took care of her. My Grandma needed a lot of attention and recovery. Suddenly I wasn’t the one getting attention anymore. I ended up in the hospital for 10 days, and that is when I found Emotional Health Anonymous. They gave me the phone number and after I came home I gave them a phone call. I went to my first meeting and heard other people’s stories that were very similar to mine. I could relate to these people and I didn’t feel alone. I heard a saying, “Keep coming back” and I did. It was suggested that I buy a book called alcoholics anonymous and to start reading at least 2 pages a day. I was also given the phone numbers to some of the people in the program and was able to call them every day for help when I needed it. I was told that this was a spiritual program and that the first three steps in the program were about finding a “Higher Power” or God in my life.
I always had God in my life, and I grew up Catholic, but it wasn’t until I was around people that had the same problems in their life and found a solution through a “Higher Power”. Today I have God in my life and a sense of recovery. I’m not cured but I have a way of life that allows me to continually grow.
One of the suggestions from the women in the program was to ask my mother if I could help take care of my Grandma. I did this for 3 years until my Grandma died. It helped me to think about other people than myself. I have a better relationship with my family and we get along better. One of my jobs is to take care of the elderly and disabled people in my community. I continually go to meetings and also the Telemeeting every Sunday night. I am grateful I found EHA and plan to “Keep Coming Back”.