The Mental Illness Awareness Week blog, sharing stories of recovery, personal experiences, and mental health/mental illness news.


Face-to-Face with Bernard Saulnier

Help.  This is what From Awareness to Action means to me. Action contributes to my recovery. I am becoming aware of the things I need to improve. I hope to grow in my move toward the best in recovery and demonstrate that it can be done. This is a sometimes long and winding road, with ups and downs, but it's important for me to persevere. I also want people to be aware that they are often surrounded by people who are suffering. I hope to help make the stigmas surrounding mental illness disappear. Moving From Awareness to Action contributes to my recovery; action is empowerment, power over my life. Yes, I have a mental illness, but this is the start of the great adventure of recovery, civic action, rights and duties. Doing my best contributes to this empowerment. Action is important. It's often said that when we get busy, we get better. Action, discussion with peers, leads one to see that recovery is possible. Holding out a helping hand—that's what I think needs to be done. Turning to each other, letting go of our own will. The adventure of recovery, to me, also means making the right choices in all aspects of my life. Developing a spiritual life, that too is important in recovery, trying to be aware that there is something greater that can help me. Recovery also helps me see my strengths and weaknesses, and accept them, too.

All this is a great adventure where I hope to find a little serenity and humility. I want to try to be honest, an honest citizen, that's what counts. I've been in recovery for twenty years and life is forever bringing me wonderful surprises. I still suffer, but this suffering is not the same as it was. I try to grow with it, to make it a life lesson. We also have to talk about mental illness, and not be afraid of asking for help to see clearly, instead of having eyes bloodshot from tears of pain. Recovery is a grand adventure. I've tried to believe in it. I am reaping the benefits and I thank you for being a part of it.