Hello friends and listeners,
I am so glad that you are here, and I hope that you will enjoy today’s podcast. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to watch the first 3 podcasts. I was very excited to have been given the opportunity to make these podcasts with Windhorse, and in particular with Jack, Janneli and Chuck.
In 1992 I took a medication that triggered a severe bipolar episode that sent me spiraling into a nightmare that lasted more than 20 years. You can hear about many of my experiences on the first 3 podcasts as Jack, Janneli , Chuck and I discuss our relationships over the first several years that we worked together. In fact, my relationship with my Windhorse team was only a part of a 23-year treatment plan that also included my psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Green.
In many ways, my severe illness—and some of the treatments I was given by the mental health system—made my condition more difficult for me to manage, and without the continuing support of my Windhorse team and Dr. Green, I probably wouldn’t have survived.
I am thrilled to be able to make these podcasts all these years later. It is a real gift for me to look back upon my relationships with Jack and Janneli and see how I was able to rely on their support to help me re-learn life skills, develop coping abilities, and learn to live again as a productive member of society. This was an amazing experience, certainly for me, but hopefully for anyone who wants to bear witness to the strength of the human spirit, and to one’s potential to recover and flourish if given the opportunity, the relationships, the skill and the love. I realize that everyone is different, and I was incredibly lucky. Some people might have every opportunity and still not make the recovery that I was able to achieve. I know that. But I also know that without Jack, Janneli and Dr. Green being the primary figures on my team, I wouldn’t be here today.
Many years ago, in about 2000, I started to write a book, which was also instrumental in helping me to heal. This book, ‘Raging Innocence’ is available online on Amazon, and goes into my life history in much greater detail. I hope if you are interested, you might consider reading it. In my book, as well as on these podcasts, I discussed the many negative and harmful experiences I had while being a patient in several in-patient psychiatric hospitals. The mental health system, while it generally means well, is flawed and needs major re-evaluation and educational input for those workers who get overwhelmed or burned out by contact with severely mentally ill patients. On several occasions, while hospitalized, I was intensely and unnecessarily traumatized. On occasion, this was intentionally carried out by disgruntled mental health professionals who were unable to deal with my repeated self-mutilation.
It is my hope that this series of podcasts, and my book, will shine a light on the quality of care that is given to mentally ill patients. I am hopeful that the care I was given by my Windhorse team will be an example of what is possible and what should be aspired to. Those relationships are what allowed my fragile mind to recover, gain strength, and soar.
Thank you for watching,