I was diagnosed with bipolar in the summer of 2005. I was hospitalized eight times within a year and half. Prior to being diagnosed I was a noble and law abiding citizen. I was known for my outgoing personality, kindness, and consideration for others. This all changed when I became manic. Paranoia and delusions consumed me. I became so paranoid that I thought my husband was out to kill me for life insurance money. This caused me to hitchhike across the country and ultimately becoming homeless.

While I was homeless I was driven to destruction. I crossed the law, experimented with drugs and had many boyfriends. Luckily, I was found at a 7-11 in a delusional state. I was screaming at people that were no where to be seen. The police arrested me and instead of jail they took me straight to a mental institution. This is where I got my second chance at life. I was stabilized on medication and sent home for recovery.

Today I lead a very fulfilling life. I have a very loving and nurturing relationship with my husband, I work part time, I’m going to school and I’m writing a memoir. I truly believe that if it wasn’t for the mental health system that rescued me that at best I would still be that crazy woman wandering the streets that everybody hurries to pass by.

-Mechelle Stone