I have been suffering from mental health issues for as long as I can remember and only in the last few years have I been public about everything that I have went through, it has been amazing. I have worked out of a lot of my past issues through writing, in fact, I just got my poem published and it was related to mental health, what an amazing feeling. I have also connected with so many supportive people online and that has been helpful but at the same time I have been frustrated because these supports have been online and few of them live close enough to be able to talk to in person, although I have talked to a few people on video and that went much better than expected. Nonetheless I have been looking for support locally, in person and not online.
I started researching mental health support groups in the area and found meetings with NAMI ( National Alliance of Mental Illness) they are a nationwide organization that helps people with mental health issues and I had heard many good things about them. I found that there were monthly support groups in the area. One of the meetings was far and I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to go to that one but fortunately, I found a meeting that was closer to my home.
I was very nervous because I had never been to a peer support group before, I had done 12 steps but that was different. After a week of waiting, I was able to go to a NAMI meeting last night, it was very helpful. There was a lady there from NAMI who ran the meeting and she was great and very kind, an older lady with a lot of resources of help throughout the city. During the meeting, People just sat around in a circle and talked about various mental health struggles and I shared things myself. People were extremely supportive and offered a lot of good advice. It was incredible to get peer support and there is even a meeting where people share their art, including writing. I am just proud of myself that I went and will continue to go to those meetings as much as I can.