Reinventing Ourselves in Recovery

As a person with lived experience in a mental health system I can tell you without a doubt that you too can rebel the role of mental patient or disabled person.

You can get out of that identity straitjacket by taking action in the direction of your dreams.

The joy in finding your right livelihood is that you’ll fit into a heart-shaped box of passion and purpose instead of being a square peg forced into a round hole or destined to live your life as a facsimile of another person.

Be true to yourself. It’s the one and only way to succeed: acting as the one and only you.

Yes–it’s a common mistake to want to be normal not “crazy” in reaction against the diagnosis. Things change for the better the sooner you accept that you don’t have to follow a restrictive path to be taken seriously and to succeed.

The ultimate message of my memoir Left of the Dial is that you can earn income in a creative field not be resigned to a job with narrowly defined duties.

I have great empathy for others precisely because I have lived experience in a mental health system.

I have unerring optimism that circa today 2015 it’s a great time to be alive living with schizophrenia or another mental illness. Better medication is available. Better treatment is available. A better recovery option is possible for a significant number of those of us living with a mental health challenge.

Don’t give up the fight. Reinvent yourself.

Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and athlete.

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