Cynthia is a published writer, a valued volunteer with Kenneth Young Center’s Older Adult Services, and a friend to many at KYC. She has also faced serious mental health challenges throughout her life. We’re proud to share her story with you in honor of her accomplishments and her continued journey through recovery.
When Cynthia thinks of her childhood, she vividly remembers being a little girl who heard voices that no one else could hear. Throughout her life, her mental illness manifested in a variety of ways, each creating a sense of isolation and sometimes fear. She struggled to find help in school and as an adult, trying different treatments and coping mechanisms for her daily life. Cynthia began writing in high school, and has enjoyed sharing her work with others ever since. Click here to read about Cynthia’s background and her experiences in her own words.
Finding the Right Support
Happily, Cynthia reflects that she has come a long way in her recovery and credits KYC for helping her in her journey. She now has a steady psychiatrist who helped her find medications that are the right fit for her symptoms, preferences, and lifestyle. She has grown socially, and is thankful for the opportunity to connect with other people who also live with and understand mental health concerns. Prior to coming to KYC, she notes that she felt alone in dealing with her symptoms. Through KYC’s Psychosocial Rehabilitation (PSR) program, she has been able to grow and learn alongside others who can relate to her experiences and support her.
Cynthia has been participating in KYC’s PSR program for ten years. PSR supports people with mental illness by helping them build the skills needed to live, work, learn, and participate fully in the community. This program also provides a social setting that encourages community among participants as they learn and grow together. Cynthia looks forward to attending PSR four days a week and appreciates the structure that it provides to her schedule. Tica, a Recovery Counselor who works with the PSR program, notes that Cynthia has not only adopted excellent health practices using skills that she learned at KYC, but she also models this behavior to encourage other PSR participants to do the same. Cynthia has adopted healthy eating practices and new skills to cope with her symptoms that she successfully and regularly practices on her own.
Thriving in Recovery
Recovery in mental health is not a final state — it is the continual process of working towards wellness. When asked about Cynthia’s progress, Tica thoughtfully commented that Cynthia has “courageously lived her life in a very heroic way.” Even as Cynthia dealt with her own challenges with her mental health, she was still able to become a caretaker for her brother as he faced his own health issues. Tica notes that Cynthia’s ability to care for not only herself, but for someone else, is a compelling sign of her success in recovery.
Throughout her life, Cynthia has enjoyed writing and has had some of her pieces published in anthology books and poetry collections. We’re grateful that she openly shares her story with people who may either relate to or learn from her life experiences. She recently read one of her poems aloud at the winter PSR Talent Show, and even included her work in the PSR Gazette, a publication produced by and for the PSR group. She has also shared another of her poems about her journey in recovery that you can check out here.
KYC is extremely proud of our clients for the dedication they have to improve their mental wellness each day, and we are grateful to be a part of their recovery. Thank you, Cynthia, for sharing your journey with us, and for continuing to grow while inspiring others to do the same.
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