Living with serious mental illness is different for every individual. The effects it has upon the lives of these individuals as well as their families and friends are often similar. This is one story, of our resident Seth, and how he found renewed hope.
“I struggled with serious mental illness since childhood. I didn’t realize until I had become an adult the mental health conditions that I was living with – and that had significantly derailed my life.
From an early age, I sensed that I was different from other children, but had no way of understanding that this feeling stemmed from learning disabilities and depression. By my teenage years, telltale signs had begun to emerge – struggling with school, friendships and my parents’ expectations of me.
And I stayed silent.
Silent about how I was feeling. Silent in asking for help.
Bottled inside, unable to cope with these overwhelming feelings of isolation and hopelessness, my emotions turned to rage – and my coping mechanism turned to drugs. For fleeting moments, drugs gave me a sense of serenity and clarity, masking my pain.
But that feeling was only for moments.
I was in a downward spiral of drug dependency, on top of my serious mental illness.
I finally gathered the courage to face myself square on – and sought help to end my drug use. Through treatment, I learned of my serious mental illness, and how it had affected my emotions, my outlook and my life.
February 21, 2009 – that first day of seeking help, when I committed to sobriety, is an incredibly important day in my life.
After treatment, I knew I had turned a corner in facing my life challenges, but I was uncertain of my next steps. Living in a halfway house with roommates who were still using drugs was not the answer. And living with my parents, as an adult, filled me with desperation for my own path.
I am so thankful for my parents – through all the years, they remained my strongest, most loving supporters. They helped me connect with Aspire Health Partners and Dave’s House.
The day I became a Dave’s House resident is another incredibly important day in my life.
It was the first day of me forging ahead, facing life’s challenges and rebuilding relationships. I have found purpose in mentoring others who have found themselves in dark places of isolation and despair.
I am successful with the help of ongoing supportive services, a stable home of my own and my will to be happy.
This is what a Dave’s House provides for me, and every person to whom they provide permanent supportive housing.