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“Who Am I?”- A Recovery Story

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 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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4 thoughts on ““Who Am I?”- A Recovery Story

  1. Mary Kate says:

    This honest and beautifully written essay moved me to tears. Our society needs to hear Bing’s message on our road to better understanding people who live successfully with mental illness.

  2. Janice Hilleman says:

    Beautifully written essay. Bing continues to be a wonderful inspiration to so many people.

  3. Martha Franek says:

    This is a great essay, very genuine and interesting to read! It really shows how many sides there are to just one person and to take the time to get to know someone.

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