Connie’s Story

ConnieI’ve finally been making good choices. For me I believe it’s been tough love, positive thoughts and letting go of a dead past, (which did little good to ponder for so many years). I was daddy’s little girl and I loved to spend so much of my early childhood with him. I was quite the farm girl. I was blessed to have a younger brother and sister. My father passed away at age 45 to colon cancer and is greatly missed. I’ve come to know my mother better, and have bonded closer to her.

It has become apparent that mental illness can run in families and, if particular stresses become too much, even the strongest can become ill. What started as being a perfectionist and wanting everything in order developed into an extremely scrupulous young woman never being good enough. The anxiety, turmoil, and depression were unbearable.

I was taken to the Mental Health Institute in Independence, IA for many sessions thru the years. The only medication I was taking was valium, but it helped the anxiety a lot. I was married for approximately 23 years. We farmed and we were blessed with two beautiful daughters. I loved to ride horses and became very involved with the farm work, horses, and raising our two daughters. To me they were a very big part of my start to what I consider a “normal life” for me.

I had lived in a county home, a nursing home, a group home run by LifeWorks, and from the group home I was able to move into my own apartment with supports from LifeWorks. I purchased my first car on my own, became my own payee, and got a job in the “real world.” I was able to end my services with LifeWorks and have not needed any services since this time. I had made the decision that I wanted my life back. I have not been hospitalized since July 29th 2002. I did not want to be in a hospital any more. I learned Core Values: Responsibility, Commitment, Courage, and Honesty. These helped along with my positive attitude, my Wellness Recovery Action Plan, and wanting my life back. There was too much wasted time…. but was it really wasted as I could not be me or all that I am without my own journey? I have been blessed.

To all staff that make up LifeWorks at the workshop, group home and the Supported Community Living program I thank you so much for not giving up on me. Thank you for your part in my recovery.

Date written: March 7, 2008