The following post is written by Bing Devine, a Connecticut resident who lives with mental illness. We are grateful to Bing for allowing us to share her story on rtor.org.
-Veronique Hoebeke, Associate Editor
Who Am I?
I have been excited all day, for today I am going to meet all the tenants in my unit. We will assemble in the courtyard and Sarah is going to lead the meeting. It will be at 3:00 in the afternoon, oh dear, only an hour from now. This seems like a good idea, but what am I going to share with them about myself?
I guess I could talk about my ability to help others in need. That they can just call me and if I am available, I will come. Or should I share fun things like I like to sing and play the guitar. I could tell them silly things like I am a so so cook, and that I would not be the one to call to organize a cookout any time in the near future. Perhaps I will share my need for walking and start a walking group in the building. Maybe I will tell them about my family. I have a ninety-four year old mother, and four siblings all married and with children, and nine grandchildren, plus one sister-in-law with children. In all there are thirty-one of us, in case I decide to have a family cookout. I could tell them that I like to write and I could volunteer to write up any flyers they may need for happenings around the building.
On a deeper note, I could tell them that I am a hard working single woman that shows up for things on time, I can work independently or with a team and get the job done. I am kind, friendly, have a good sense of humor, trustworthy, honest, and loyal to the end. My faith is very important to me, and I can be a good friend, if given the chance. Or that most of my jobs have been non-profit over the years and money is important to pay for housing, meals, and having fun, but it has never been the main reason for working. In the past I was a physical education teacher and that I really enjoyed teaching the younger children, but I liked teaching all levels and places. That so far it has been a good life for me. My mental illness is a private matter that I may share later with new friends I have grown to love. But for the time being, I will keep that under wraps so as not to scare anyone away.
By Bing Devine
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