Finding Your Purpose and Going After Your Dreams

Embrace Life Day 122I have been a mental health advocate for over 25 years. I have been in and out of psychiatric hospitals so many times that I have lost count. However, I also have accomplished a lot before going on disability. For example, I was a manager of a movie theater, worked as a trainer at Walt Disney World, sang in a praise band at church and was Teacher of the Year in 2004.

I am lucky to have a very supportive family.  Because of that and my determination, I have been able to go after my dreams. Being on disability was not exactly in my dreams.  However, because I am, I have been able to focus on my purpose.

Today my purpose is to fight the stigma of mental illness and by doing so offering hope and recovery to those who have a mental illness.  People should not feel like they have to hide something that they were born with.  If we change the stigma then more people would seek out help.

My dream is that some day all the organizations dealing with mental illness come together as one so that we can have a huge voice. If 1 in 4 people have a mental illness, then the fact that this was Mental Illness Awareness Week should have been something covered by news channels all over the nation. However, because these week is NAMI’s awareness week, there is a Mental Health Month, a schizophrenia week, a alzheimer’s day, an austism month, etc.  none of it really gets the attention it needs.

Today my dream of “mental health organizations coming together as one has started to come true.”  I organized an event called Embrace Life Day. For more information, you can go to embracelifeday.wordpress.com

For our first year, I feel like it was very successful. Although I consider myself to be somewhat humble, I take great pride that this happened today. It meant a lot to me when people I didn’t even know said congratulations.

I hope that you find your purpose and go for your dreams!  Don’t give up!!!

The story is being covered on our local station tonight, but here is an article. http://www.digtriad.com/news/article/302155/57/Wounded-Warrior-Speaks-About-Mental-Illness

For pictures, please request to my friend on FB and you will see the album. I am not sure how it all works, so you may be able to see it by going to: https://www.facebook.com/Mickey3333/media_set?set=a.10201348983544432.1073741828.1168812800&type=1

I hope that you find your purpose and go for your dreams!  Don’t give up!!!

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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