A woman describes how a broken heart triggered a lifetime of heartache…
I first fell in love when I was nineteen years old. He was my whole world. We later split up because of difficulties. It broke my heart and I moved back to Newfoundland. All of a sudden, as the days went by and weeks stretched to months, I found myself not wanting to do anything or talk to anybody. I felt really down and depressed. My family recognized this but I couldn't see it coming. I started to drink and do drugs and I hung around with the wrong kind of people.
One night, I became delirious and started acting strangely. My boyfriend at the time tried to talk to me but he wasn't sure how to handle the situation. I then tried to hurt myself and, as a result, I ended up in a psychiatric hospital. I was nineteen at the time and I was really scared. Over the next seventeen years, I was readmitted to the hospital often. At that point and stage of my illness, I had minimum contact with my family. I started smoking a lot and didn't take care of my health or appearance.
When I was living in the hospital, bedsitting rooms, and boarding houses, I found it very stressful and lonely. I never had much contact with family and didn't have much support. It was very hard living with strangers. I also handled situations differently, not as positively as I do now. I had many problems to deal with at the time. Some examples were; people taking money from me, stealing my things, and not respecting my privacy or my personal space. As a result of this, I was determined to do better and kept pushing myself. I looked ahead to better days to come if I kept up the good work.
I did not feel comfortable living there and spent a lot of my time away from the places that I was living. Now, at the age of forty, I have been doing good and living on my own for three years with much help and guidance from my workers and Stella Burry Community Services. Through Stella Burry, I have become more independent and was given the opportunity to live in my own home.
Living in my own home, makes me feel safe and good about myself. I take better care of my appearance and myself. It motivates me to keep my mind on positive things, such as re-entering the work force and having a career. Since I have been involved with Stella Burry, I have participated in the Stella's Pride group. This group has made me more outgoing and positive. I have also made new friends who are positive, which opens up a whole new world of possibilities for me. My own home motivates me to keep doing well and stay out of hospital.