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The Purple Stone of Courage
Hello, my name is Debbie and I have been involved with Family Services of Western Pennsylvania since April 2013. I have bipolar disorder and have suffered for many years. I am writing this story with the hopes of helping someone else who may struggle with the illness.
I have been in and out of hospitals for many years. I have been depressed and angry for many years and didn't tell anyone. I was living a lie...until I hit rock bottom. I did the unimaginable and tried to take my own life. At the time, I was numb, I didn't realize what I was doing, I didn't care about anything. I have two wonderful children and two beautiful grandchildren who I didn't even think of. I didn't call my children to talk about my feelings, nor did I think of the big impact on my family. I was feeling so depressed that I did not want to wake up in the morning.
When I tried to take my own life all I could hear was one of my daughters yelling my name. I was on the floor and couldn't get up. Finally I was able to get up and make it to a chair. My daughter was yelling at me, "What did you do?" She called the police and they asked me what I took. I was only able to tell the police that I didn't remember.
I woke up in intensive care two days later and was in the hospital for quite awhile. While in the hospital I realized what I had done. I kept thinking to myself, "How could I have done this to my daughters and to my family?" and "This was an awful thing I did." I knew I needed some help.
I ended up going to a place called Respite at Family Services. At Respite, I received the help and guidance I needed. I was then referred to the Partial Hospitalization program at Family Services where I became active for several months. They helped me put my thoughts back together. Partial gave me the Stone of Courage which is something I never had. I put it in my pocket every day to be able to face the day.
Family Services made me see that I am a good and caring person. They made me see that I have a good heart and deserve to live. I learned that I do have good self-esteem and I am a positive person.
Now I am with a group at Psycho-social Rehabilitation, a step up from Partial, to continue with my recovery. I have wonderful group leaders who have helped me so much. I am now seeing a great doctor and therapist and taking the right medication to get back to being myself. I wish I had known about this program years ago. If I had, then I probably would have never hit rock bottom.
My relationship with my daughters before Family Services seemed to be terrible. I tortured (figuratively) my one daughter while she struggled with cancer which was a terrible thing for a mother to do. I didn't realize what I was doing to her until a long time later. I only hope that she is able to forgive me some day. I think she has, but I fear it will always be in the back of her mind. At the time I was struggling, my daughters were never so close. After bettering me, my relationships with my daughters are much better.
I am now on the road to recovery. I made it! I am happy, content and living a great life with my family and friends. I want to thank my family and Family Services for being there for me and for giving me the support that I needed to get well. If there is anyone out there dealing with the same struggles I went through, always remember that there is help. You can get well again and live life to the fullest.
Thank you for reading my story. I hope it helps you in your situation.