How The Power of Peer Changed My Perspective

Two teen girlsReceiving peer support and meeting people who work in a peer role within the mental health field has made a huge difference in how I think about being diagnosed with bipolar disorder on a daily basis. Knowing that other young adults are going through similar struggles, and that a lot of them are doing so without being hospitalized, makes me so hopeful in my own journey, and makes the bad days not so terrible.

Meeting older young adults who have been out of the hospital for over five years and have successful careers and jobs that they enjoy, makes me hopeful about my near future and the short-term goals I have that seem unattainable and frustrating to me right now.

And seeing adults over 30 who have a life-long, chronic mental health diagnosis, but have graduated college, gotten married, have had kids, or career success, or both, and had the most successful, fulfilling, and happiest lives despite dealing with severe symptoms and emotionally challenging days, those people make me hopeful for what possibilities this life can offer me if I want it.

Life isn’t perfect and sometimes there’s months or years filled with more bad days than good. But for me, knowing that just because I struggle does not mean that my life cannot be what I want it to be, is exactly what keeps me motivated every day to work towards that, and lets me find the little glimmers of light even when at first all I see is a pitch black tunnel.

This was written by a young adult who wishes to be anonymous but has been an active leader with Youth MOVE  Massachusetts for a number of years.


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