Paula Cole-Miller - DBSA Ambassador

Many Thanks to My DBSA Ambassador Network

Diagnosed But Not Defeated!

At 59yrs. of age, I have lived with Major Depression and several other debilitating afflictions...all of my life! I was 40 when I was actually diagnosed and the tsunami of emotions, questions and the deep feelings of hopelessness and despair, seemed powerful enough to destroy me. However, I chose to not let that happen and started down a path of self-education, regeneration and a sense of purpose! For almost 20yrs. now, I have been in a constant struggling. Not to regain my life, because in spite of it all, I managed to have some significant successes. But to have the fullest life imaginable and to help others, like myself, to have the same. I have become a Certified Peer Support Specialist, and am in school on-line to acquire an Associates Degree in Human services and a Diploma in Substance Abuse Counseling. I sit on a Consumer Family Focus Committee, and I am a Disability Advocate. It's time for change to begin...for us all!

Published Poem from The Insight Poetry Book (PMHCA Conference 2011)

Energize, Organize, Act

In my life , I'm not going from point A to point B,
I'm coming full circle...three-sixty degrees!
See, I've always known God had a plan for me;
A purpose to help set the captives free..
To Energize, Organize, Act.

I was born with mental illness; "...a thorn in my flesh"!
But it made me work harder to do my best;
Not understanding why I was so different from the rest...
Still reaching and striving to pass every test;
To Energize, Organize, Act!

Then there came a time of testing, when God took the reins,
A time that was fraught with humility and pain!
To be remolded and transformed for a path that was planned;
That I'd fulfill my true purpose in this fallen land!
To help my like kind, to answer THEIR call...
To Energize, Organize, Act!!!!!

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Kathy Gage
Thu, Oct 18, 2012
Hi Paula,
Thanks for your story and poem. They are both an inspiration and I feel an affinity to you. I, too, am a Certified Peer Specialist, and consider it a great gift to use my experiences to help my peers. I used to wonder why I was so different from others and I did not let that keep me from achieving several important things in my life. It did, though, leave me feeling "other." I am so happy for my life today and all the experiences that made me the person I am. I also like to write. Memoir is my medium.
Thanks again for the inspiration!

Steve Birkhauser
Fri, Jun 22, 2012
Hi Paula,
Thank you for becoming a DBSA Ambassador!
Thank you also for sharing your story. It is courageous and inspiring.
Please let me know if I can be of any help with your fundraising for DBSA!
(312) 988-1161

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