Mary Graham

“My name’s Mary, and I live in Montgomery Creek in the mountains where it’s beautiful and isolated. When I started feeling sick 20 years ago, I was confused and didn’t know what was wrong. I never felt suicidal, but I felt like there was nothing for me in this life. I wondered why I was here.

Sometimes people have to hit rock bottom before they can get back up. But a lot of these tough stories have happy endings.”

“I had a good childhood. I always felt loved and wanted. But when I got sick, I was caring for a quadriplegic man. For a year and a half, I worked at night and slept during the day. I was burned out and isolated. I have a son who I don’t see, and he had kind of disowned me. I got very depressed, and I cried a lot.”

“I really rely on my medications to make me feel better. It took a couple of years to find the right one. At one point, I was on six different kinds of anti-depressants, and I was just out of it and crying a lot. I went to another doctor, who diagnosed me as bipolar, and put me on one new medication that worked.

I suggest that you don’t get on too many medications. It doesn’t help. Often there is a medication that will work for you, but it took me a while before I figured out what was right for me.”

“My family was very supportive. When I was too irritable or not being myself, they’d let me know. They were there for me even when they didn’t like how I behaved. Joe helped by not criticizing and by giving me lots of hugs. He was just there for me emotionally.”

“It helped a lot when I started to see a therapist, and my man, Joe, helped me through it. In the future, we’d like to travel more and spend more time with the grandchildren. I also like photography; it brings out the artist in me.”