On the Road to Recovery

(Anonymous Member)

Is there really light at the end of every tunnel;
Information fed to my brain through a plastic funnel.
With reality distorted and all the voices I have heard;
Recovery; is it possible or simply a word?
Isolated by depression and mainly fear;
Misunderstood by family, friends and peer.
Needing support and companionship of the same;
A place where every one knows your name.
The hardest part of recovery is realizing you’re not alone;
Opening communication, let it be in person, a letter or by phone.
Under Mental Health there are connections to a world of discovery;
A brand new start to the road to recovery.
You don’t have to do it alone there are professionals who know;
Just what you might need even if you’re starting off slow.
There are club houses, social re-hab, case management and one on one counselling too;
There are people who want to help you and places to go when you are feeling blue.
Frowns turn into smiles by game nights, dances, pot-lucks and sometimes bowling.
Is’s amazing what can happen on the road to recovery if you keep the ball rolling.
Never be afraid to reach out and share your pain;
There are a whole lot of people to bring sunshine to the rain.
I know all of this and if you have a few minutes I can tell you how I feel;
I got my start on my road to recovery from Friends & Advocates of Peel.
Recovery
A time to discover
You don’t have to be alone.

February 6, 2007

To the Staff and Students at Friends & Advocates Peel
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for helping me through hard times, always being there and understanding.
I am thankful for Friends & Advocates Peel, I feel honoured to be in this membership.
I thank you for making ordinary days, special occassions.
I thank you for listening to my secrets and never telling anyone.
I thank you for helping draw out the different sides of my personality.
I thank you for always making time to listen to me.
I thank you for showing me that sometimes it’s just best to let things happen.
I thank you for encouraging me to pursue my own path.
I thank you for the tone of your voice as it is always reassuring.
I thank you for your smiles, your compassion and your generosity.
I thank you for believing in that happiness and wisdom are intertwined..
I thank you most of all for the thoughtful gestures, never grand but always sincere.

From a very thoughtful member…

This is a testimonial concerning my involvement with Friends and Advocates Peel over a ten year period. I joined F&A Peel late in 1986 at a time when I needed social and recreational activities because of personal problems with mental illness. During the first few years of membership I became involved with several committees and other group activities. These activities helped me to gain back a measure of self esteem and confidence. 

In 1990 I was elected to be a member of the Board of F&A Peel and served in that capacity for several years. This period of the early 1990’s happened to coincide with major changes in the staffing of F&A Peel, and was therefore a challenging period for the Board members and for the membership at large. However, together we weathered the storm! 

During this foregoing period I had the privilege of going with a group for 5 days away at Boundless Adventure. This trip was a winter activity outing at a lodge on the Madawaska River. Skiing, tobogganing, snowshoeing, saunas, and games in front of the fireplace were the order of the day. 

Later, I took the Presentation course offered by F&A Peel, and then gave a number of presentations about our social and recreational organization to groups of people from the community, and in the mental health wards of our hospitals. 

At about the same time, I took the Leadership Training course and commenced leading F&A activities two or three times a month. My status changed from partner member to volunteer member and my hope is to help others now in the same manner that I was helped before.

Yours sincerely,

Member

Friends & Advocates helped me to do more things for myself and for the community. I was a little afraid to go around people because of staff in the first group home, I was in, because they were mean to us. The staff, and members of Friends & Advocates Peel made me feel better about myself, and still do. I have been with Friends & Advocates for almost two years.

This is my testimony for Friends & Advocates Peel. I originally started as a member of Friends & Advocates North York in 1988. Before moving to Brampton I contacted the Friends & Advocates Peel office so that I could join as soon as I moved to Bramalea where I was going to reside. In May 1991 I moved to Bramalea and in the same month has my intake and joined Friends & Advocates Peel. It wasn’t long before I was on the Personnel Committee and we were choosing new Staff for the Agency. I have since been involved in the Board and the Program committee as chair. I also have been a Leader in the organization and currently am a Emergency Backup leader.
I have learned to be more relaxed in my attitude at F & A Peel or the Club as I sometimes refer to it. My self-esteem and concentration have improved a great deal. The Organization has helped me quite a bit as a diagnosed Manic depressive with delusions of grandeur.
I am very grateful for the fantastic people I have met at such a dedicated and wonderful organization as Friends & Advocates Peel.
We learn to care for all members and encourage each other to not be negative. Each and every person has their own problems and have their own way of dealing with them, and sometimes people take offense at what is said in return for a harmless remark. I have sometimes taken personally what others have said and now through Friends & Advocates Peel, I have regained my self-confidence and self-assurance which has done so many wonderful things for me in my life.
I cannot be thankful enough for F & A as I have made many new friends. Now I can explain to my family whatever is on my mind without upsetting them in the process. I am very grateful to everyone at F & A for being there when I knew I needed a good organization where I can take part in all sorts of activities and speak to all member’s without discussing personal issues. If the need arises the staff is always there for me and every other member. This shows everyone how much F & A really cares.
So never lose hope 
A hand is to lend
 At the end of your rope 
You can count on your Friends & Advocates Peel

I was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada. My childhood was that to be desired. I lived a very stressful childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. In 1990 I fell sick after a traumatic experience with almost losing my son. He was very ill and almost died. Being also separated at the time was not easy. It took the doctors three years to find out that I had Manic Depression. Living a life in fear, paranoia, and anxiety was not easy. I used to be very socially active then I withdrew.
I met some friends in my apartment building who belonged to Friends & Advocates Peel. For months I heard about Friends & Advocates. Both friends tried to encourage me to join. I was hesitant. I finally went for an interview. There was a waiting list so it took three months before I could join. At first I did my two activities and that was about it.
As I got to know the staff I was asked if I would like to do some phone answering. Well, I was thrilled! After eleven years of working in offices and not being able to work anymore, I jumped at the chance. More and more I volunteered and started to attend committee meetings. My life was still not stable and something was still missing in my life besides my children. I needed to be needed.
After six months I ran for member at large. Being on a Board of Directors was a new and stimulating experience. So up the ladder I went until I became Chair. The names chair and vice chair were then changed to president and vice president. I’m president of Friends & Advocates Peel. Still the staff is always supportive and always there for anyone including myself, 24 hours a day. I get to go to pot luck dinners, dances, bingo, billiards, video days and many other activities.
Friends & Advocates Peel has given me back my self respect and I thank everyone

Are You an Active Member?
Author Unknown

Are you an active member…the kind who would be missed?
Or are you just content that your name is on the list?

Do you attend the meetings and mingle with the crowd?
Or would you rather staying home, complaining long and loud?

Do you give a little time to help to make things tick?
Or leave the work to just a few, and complain about the ‘clique’?

There’s quite a program scheduled that means success if done.
And all can be accomplished with the help of everyone.

So come to all the meetings and help with hand and heart,
Don’t be ‘just another member’ – but take an active part.

Think it over, member…Are you right or wrong?
Are you an active member or do you just belong?