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Messages - Soozan

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Hi Dragonfly, the person in Lucky Lou's profile picture is Freddie Mercury from Queen, the Rock Group... he died in the 1990's it was a great loss to the music industry, he is one of my favorite singers!

Good Choice for an avatar Lucky!

- Soozan

Well thanks Peter and thanks Dragonfly...

The term "morbidly obese" is one used by the medical community .. not by friends or of course by Rich .. he just says I have a few extra lbs .... We are lucky to have those that love us and Lucky I think you are a beautiful person .. funny the more you get to know the person the more the outershell opinions just fall away and they become beautiful all over.... when you can just love them ...

What a wonderful world this would be if we could just love each other like that... I guess it just takes time to get to know someone.

- Soozan

Hi Dragonfly, it seems you were brought up a certain way and did not come by your habit yourself, you picked it up by your parents, albeit they were good parents in many respects they were probably just acting out how they were influenced by others on their own judgmental habits.... and it certainly is not a unique habit, as probably the majority of people are programmed by society to think that way as you say from television and the media, as well as I am guilty of being judgemental when I see certain people's appearance in different circumstances, which I know I shouldn't do.. as I am far from perfect

I am grateful that Rich was not that way and that he took the time to get to know what was inside of me since I am considered morbidly obese and that I gave him the time without judgment on his appearance to get to know him, as others might look at him and see a computer nerd by the way he dresses and he has to wear thick glasses, and as they look at me and see a fat person and assume I am lazy and don't care about myself, which may or may not be true, but is no reason to ignore me, and I am used to being ignored as if I wasn't in the room. Now that I know Rich on the inside I see the most beautiful man in the world and that is how it should be. As we all possess something beautiful inside us that we had since we were innocent babies. That inner beauty has never left us, it only got corrupted by the harshness of life and how life  has been to us.

What a beautiful world this would be if we were all capable of seeing the beauty each one of us possesses just by what is in our true hearts and the fact that we all are God's Children, as we are loved by God, whatever form God takes in different people's views.

I for one am working on changing my views of others and even myself as I am my worst critic. Don't get me wrong, its probably the hardest thing to do in the world.....  Even those who are seen as evil are beautiful people who are just very ill beyond what they can control. We as ones with Mental illnesses should be able to understand that more than those who have  not had the experience of losing their minds.

I think there is a reason why the phrase "treat others as you yourself would like to be treated" is considered the Golden Rule.

I am not saying all of this to make anyone feel guilty, as this really (judging anything on some level) is something we were all taught to do.... its just my opinion as was asked for and I am giving it.

Hi Messee, in my experience, I had to restart my life many times as I was in denial of my illness and had a few major manic episodes. I started small and worked my way up. I had waitressing experience, so I was able to start waitressing part time. telling my employers that I was "saving to go back to school" or made something up... in order for me to validate why I was taking a job that was a drop down from my resume's job history... by law you never have to divulge about your mental health history... I was a graphic artist and it was a very stressful vocation. I also did some babysitting and odd jobs until I was sick of doing that and was eager to get back to work ..... it does happen,  you just need to give it time ...

After a really bad episode, my last one, when I finally did accept my diagnosis, A good friend of mine said "there is help out there... just go get it" .. so I got some counselling through a local clinic and they helped me to find programs to help me get back my confidence, which is how I found progress place, and it gave me the confidence to start getting up in the morning and to realize that i could get back in the game again .... there are also other work programs and other jobs, volunteer opportunities, that you can find that can steer you in the direction of, progress place also has case managers there that can help you get started towards a new life.

I am sorry if it seems I am shoving progress place down your throat but it is a good place to go until you get your bearings, it was a life changer for me. but that is just one person's experience, it was mine and you asked people to share their stories.

I wish you all the best, I know its not easy but I have faith in  you that you will find your way! We are here to cheer you on! Time is the biggest healer.

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: Humour
« on: February 07, 2015, 09:32:59 pm »
Hi Messee

One venue I enjoy is the stand up for mental health program that started in BC and now is north america wide .. here is a link to some of their videos or you can go to youtube and do a search on stand up for mental health .... they also have a local program in toronto called laughing like crazy where they do local shows twice a year from the graduates of the program ... it can be fun and it helps us to make light of our diagnosis and be able to laugh rather than cry about it ....

There are also many clean comics out there ...  even old i love lucy bits... are funny ... I guess it depends on your humor ...  youtube has a lot of vintage videos of comics who aren't dirty ...

Here is one of the funniest videos I have seen in a long time its just plain good clean humour... enjoy!

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What did you do today?
« on: February 05, 2015, 09:50:16 pm »
Hi Messee! Welcome to the forum!

It seems you might be local to the Toronto area if you are going to camh ... have you heard of progress place? its a clubhouse for people with mental health issues where its all client run and you have different jobs you can do and it keeps you active and involved and if you don't want to particpate, but just hang out you can do that as well. There is no pressure and no pressure to come every day, its up to you how much you participate. There is an intake process, but after that you are a lifetime member.

I loved it there, it gave me a place to go and feel useful and being creative, I got involved in the media floor that ran the in house radio station and we produced birthday cards for club members and did the slide shows that ran all day throughout the club house. We also did a daily news show which was broadcast. It was really fun, if you aren't into that there is an office area that looks after the administrative parts of the business and a cafeteria. The cafeteria serves healthy meals at a really inexpensive price, and they have a boutique that has really good deals too!

I don't go anymore because I have obligations at home looking after my elderly mother in law, however I do miss it ... you might just want to check it out .. they also have opportunities for part time work (companies call them looking for part time workers) for those who want to make some extra money just working a couple of hours a day. the web site is

hope this helps
- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What did you do today?
« on: February 05, 2015, 09:01:45 am »
Sorry to hear you weren't feeling well Peter! are you a night owl?

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What did you do today?
« on: February 02, 2015, 11:06:18 am »
Sorry to hear things aren't going well for you Dragonfly!

I know what you mean, when things aren't going well, I don't tend to say too much.

Hope things get better for you

- Soozan

Wow! That is a lot of information and very helpful! I wish I had known that when I was going through my worst times, I needed someone to talk to and didn't know where to turn, I felt I was exhausting my family and friends and even my counselor, I was even exhausting myself! But I needed a way to talk out the pain.

Is this what is called the warm line? where does one find numbers for those? or is it a hotline? Just curious... I think it would be good for those numbers or at least where to find those numbers would be helpful.

Thanks again for sharing Dragonfly and Paul!

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What did you do today?
« on: January 31, 2015, 03:43:26 pm »
Thanks for the responses everyone! it's always interesting to hear a "day in the life of" our peers! My work is slowing down right now and I hurt my foot somehow so I am toddling along with a limp! I have had uneventful days but today is laundry day and I am making tacos.. Yay! Thank goodness my daughter has agreed to help me!

Rich is always busy .... and very scheduled! He makes me tired just watching him!

:) - Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What did you do today?
« on: January 27, 2015, 08:05:15 pm »

I did everything Rich said I did PLUS!

Laundry, some graphic design work and played some computer games...

Ate a whole bag of crispy mini's which doesn't make for it to be diet food when you do that I learned all too quickly... (I need to stop eating those...)

Not to mention slaving over a hot (well cold) counter cutting up that whole tomato and that ripping apart the lettuce for the sandwiches!
(We had sub like sandwiches with cold cuts ... it was somewhat fancy - I went all out!)

IT was a very tough day! ( :P)

Oh and I was a good girl and took my pills at lunch too!

- Soozan

Glad you are feeling better Peter!

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: Introductions
« on: January 25, 2015, 03:49:13 pm »
Hi There! I am Soozan, I joined this board in 2011 and found it very helpful at one of the worst times in my life, and it helped me get through some very painful times, with the support of this very kind and thoughtful group!

I was diagnosed with bipolar 1 many years ago but was in denial until 2011 when I finally accepted my diagnosis and committed to taking a regular regimen of medication and seeing my psychiatrist regularly. Since then my life has taken some wonderful turns!

I met my husband Rich on this forum and then in person at a "laughing like crazy" event where we all set up a get together so we could meet (in public of course) in person for those who could attend the event! After many months Rich and I finally had our first date and those on the board got to experience our love story blooming .... it was quite mushy and all! but does go to show that anything can happen on this board and good things can happen when one commits to taking care of their mental health.

I admit that I got lucky as well, but I worked hard at my recovery and that took determination, not luck. Finding Rich was the best thing that ever happened to me! Don't get me wrong, life isn't perfect, but I am better prepared for what life throws at me because of the work I did for my mental health and for reaching out to others like I did on this board.

OH and a little more about me .. I am a graphic designer, get quite busy so I don't visit here as often as I would like, but when I do I try to catch up with all the posts.

I am grateful for the helpful people that share their thoughts and feelings and struggles and celebrations on this board. Welcome to all those who visit here and I hope that all will feel as welcome and supported as I felt when I made my first post!

(others should know too that this is a new format forum and this forum has been going on for years but our old messages got wiped out so we don't have much of a history of posts here which is too bad... but we hope to make new memories here of helpful strategies for others who look back on earlier posts)

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: What's your definition of acceptance?
« on: January 20, 2015, 08:30:41 am »
When it comes to acceptance, I am reminded of the serenity prayer, God Grant me the serenity to "accept the things I cannot change"

to me, acceptance is accepting those things that are out of our control, like our illnesses and learning to live and move on with life despite those things we cannot change.

I don't have to accept the things I do have the power to change ... those things that are in my power, like my attitude and my circumstances, if I can change them with determination and hard work.

Those are my thoughts on the subject :)

- Soozan

General Discussion / Re: Check In
« on: January 02, 2015, 09:06:41 am »
Hi Lucky... Your post struck me with the comment "used to be fun" .... my daughter used the exact same words with me .... unfortunately what they don't see is that fun also carries with it mania and we can't have both .... medication squashes that out of me and I seem to be down all the time too ... I know what its like to be down all the time and feel like a downer... few things give me happiness, ironically for me... its doing graphic work and working with my clients, but that takes me away from family interraction, but its an escape from the every day life.

I wish that the medication didn't have to take all of the mania from me.. that it could keep my moods up just take the crazy from my thoughts but it seems to do the opposite.. leave me with self defeating .... dread the future, anxiety for the future thoughts which leads me not to want to see tomorrow for what it will hold .. what will go wrong next .... which makes it not fun .... Mania seems to make it so you just don't think about all of that and live more in the moment... but as we all know that is dangerous in itself because inevitably it leads to a downward spiral ....

It sucks having this illness I know... but at least we have this board and each other and we are lucky enough to all have family members it seems here that support us no matter what and if we don't we can come here to find support. I am grateful for that.

- Soozan

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