Where Would I Be If I Didn’t Believe in Me
My name is Corrine A. Taylor, I just titled this piece, “Where would I be if I didn’t believe in me?” Every time I sit down to share an aspect of my story I do it from a place of my heart space wanting to share awareness in the world, knowing there was a period of my life where I knew nothing and only accepted what the psychiatrist and social workers told me. I was desperate to live a well life but didn’t know how. I have learned that I am not the only one and there are many more people just not knowing and accepting to be labeled and drugged. However, I have come to a place of awareness to know that this is just my story and everyone else’s story needs to be respected and validated as I choose to tell my own, knowing that each and everyone of us is worthy to live a well life. I am focusing on the aspect of my life of not being forced to take drugs and why I chose this title, “Where would I be if I didn’t believe in me?” for the Campaign to Support CRPD Absolute Prohibition of Commitment and Forced Treatment.
When I got to a place of awareness of what is happening with psychiatry and choosing to accept a mental illness diagnosis and label for so long, accepting drugs, dying slowly waiting for the cure to be better, to live the life I wanted, I decided, no more. I had been on a journey for peace in my mind body spirit since I was a child, but was interrupted by abandonment, physical, sexual and emotional abuse, along with poverty and poor education. When I said no more to the last psychiatrist I was seeing and she offered me more drugs, I had been involved with the recovery community and learned a lot of the history about mental health in our world. So I was informed and I had a choice. I choice to feel what I needed to feel, let go what I needed to let go, forgive others and myself, and to learn, relearn and learn each and every day. That meant I could no longer accept the mind numbing drugs that never allowed me to fully accept and let go the affects of trauma.
When I had that last session with the psychiatrist and she offered me more drugs, different drugs, I had to tell her no each time. I could still remember the look on her face. I could still remember the confidence in my being that I knew what I needed and what I was asking for and what I expected to get as my human rights. I could still remember the last session with the therapist I saw, giving me suggestions that I should still see her or come back to her soon, that I would need to come and dump on her all the things happening in my life instead of dealing with them. Talking to her and dumping them on her that meant, not facing the situations that I was dealing with outside of her office. That meant not connecting and disconnecting, not building relationships, and more than that, not trusting myself.
But I believed in myself that day. I believed in the journey that I have been living. I saw all the hard lessons things that I past through, learn and like sharing with others, the way that I learn from others. I had people who became friends who supported me and believed in me and helped to ease the burden of an oppressive existence of poverty and lacking. Gave me strength within the Bible stories I learned as a child of not giving up and persevering. I choose to share my story at www.theproject321.com it is the lessons I learned taking the time to take care of myself and learning the lessons from all of my experiences, especially the hard ones.
I am glad I believed in me. Working behind the scenes at a mental health clinic really helped, as I saw the psychiatrist and social workers have all there faults, insecurities, judgments, behavior issues, or really just being as human as I am. It made me strong to believe in myself. When they came at me with negative reports, I was able to stand up for myself. I saw them with all their human flaws, but deserving dignity and respect and I knew that I deserve the same and so does everyone else. If that last psychiatrist with the look on her face that she new what was best for me, had decided to call the cops and lock me up, forced the drugs on me that she was offering me, where would I be today. I have been working to live for the last five years, connecting with my children and supporting them emotionally. Made friends and allies in the community, and living my life included in society, not on the couch drugged, overdosed, dying slowly accepting a diagnosis, and label. I ask again, “Where would I be if I didn’t believe in me?” I know where I ended up when I didn’t believe in me, accepting one mental illness diagnosis one after the other, one drug after the other, and not living up to my full potential as a human being. That is all that I want. Feel I deserve and so does each and everyone of us.