Recovery Statement

“Recovery is a personal and life-altering journey that provides hope for a better future by overcoming the barriers and obstacles that you may encounter.”

Recovery Calendar

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10 11 12* VOCAL Central Peer Connect at 12:30 pm
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David’s Story

Hi my name is David Uriah Bowles III and I would like to tell you how I coped with my mental illness. My mental illness began when I went to college at Virginia State University. Everything was perfect- I had a job at Walgreens, a Corsica, and I was close to home. I was careless in class because all I wanted to do was party. I was skipping class to smoke weed and did not care too much for focusing on school. After a while, I got to the point where I was put on academic probation. I was on my way down, but I was so hooked on drugs I didn’t even care.

I was listening to music thinking it was talking to me. One night I stayed up late listening to music. My parents tried to tell me to go to sleep because I had school in the morning. I thought I was ok, but my parents saw something wrong with me. They took me to John Randolph Hospital and immediately checked me in. The symptoms I was experiencing were insomnia, restless behavior, and anger issues. This made me angry and sad but it was what I needed at the time. They found out I had a chemical imbalance in my brain. I had to stay there for three months. During that time I took classes and medication. When I was finally released from the hospital, I had missed a whole semester- but my goal was to go back and finish school.

 When I returned to school I had a lot of catching up to do. I started taking my medications and I slowly began to get back on my feet again. I worked so hard that I over-worked myself and had to go back to the hospital. I had to go to MCV hospital. There I learned that my sickness was depression (my doctor said it come from an accident I was involved in in 1997. He said that “When David got in his accident we don’t know what was sent to his brain”). I had nobody but my family to support me. All of my former friends had deserted me. While I was in the hospital the first step was accepting the fact that I had a mental illness. The way I got through my depression was going to the activities they had on the ward. I painted and played board games. After three more months they cleared me from the hospital.

 I was back in school and things started to go good. My GPA in school was going up quickly. I went from a 1.9 to a 2.4. I was doing well until I started hearing voices. They were calling me names and I was getting frustrated with it. I told my parents about this problem. After breaking down again, we decided to admit me to the hospital again. This time I wanted to go because I wanted to be clear in my head to talk to girls and not scare them with my issues. The hospital we chose this time was Tucker Pavilion at Chippenham Hospital. In there they tested me and found out that I had an anxiety disorder. They kept me there for three months to make sure I would not have to return again. They had activities I could do to keep me occupied. The activities were designed to exercise the brain. The activities were aerobics, basketball, musical chairs, self-esteem classes and movies.

They tried on me on many different medications until they found the right treatment for my sickness. The medications are Seroquel, Bentrophine, Depakote, and Prolixin. These medications helped me out with my sickness. When I got released from the hospital this time, I was a brand new person. I returned to school and made it to my senior year. This was good because my hopes and dreams were starting to come true. I had done the impossible which was Finish College. I couldn’t believe it because there was a time when I was about to mess everything up, but I WOKE up at the right time. If it wasn’t for my family support, I would still be very ill. If you have a mental illness, don’t be ashamed to get help because with the new technology, you can be helped- just look at me.