Abigail* was referred to Catholic Charities Bloomington (CCB) following a suicide attempt and feeling an overwhelming sense of hopelessness. She struggled on and off with mental illness and ranged between maniac highs and deep lows, and used alcohol to smooth her emotional state.
Abigail had seen other providers but never received an accurate diagnosis. After working with her CCB therapist, she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which likely went undiagnosed due to her alcohol use which other providers focused on. Abigail says, her therapist "looked deep down inside to bring up things in me that hadn't been brought out before." Abigail was able to get sober without attending Alcoholics Anonymous. She had tried AA before, but experienced guilt and shame for falling off the program.
Therapy has enabled Abigail to start repairing relationships with her adult children. She was recently invited on a trip with her daughter and granddaughter. She hopes to babysit her grandchildren one day. She believes that the more she grows, the more the relationship with her children can grow. Throughout the healing process, Abigail's therapist held the hope until Abigail could also see that things can get better.
Abigail's mental health recovery escalated when she began volunteering. Unemployed when she started therapy, volunteering a few hours a week boosted Abigail's sense of self and accomplishment. Volunteering then transformed to working 3 days a week. Abigail also found the right balance of medications, the CCB Creative Coping group, and the Ravioli Mental Health Recovery group. Now, Abigail is sober, more reliable and performs well at her job. Abigail says her therapist was "the first person to weed through all the clutter to see who I was and what was really going on." That emphasis on being truly seen is the key to understanding how Abigail continues to grow in her recovery.