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Today was one of those rare days where a actually felt fortunate to have my diagnosis. Not that I am a fan of how it makes me feel or the looks I get if I tell people what I have. This morning I was part of a training full of consumers, family members, practitioners, and just those concerned about mental illness. We spent the morning in a training that would assist us in talking to our state representatives at an advocacy day coming up. I was so impressed that just a few phone calls or emails done at the right time can make so much of a difference.

I was able to share what I was going to say about my story with the people that were in the training. Sometimes I do not realize how much my story impacts people and how far I have come in my treatment until someone reminds me. For the first time, I was really proud of myself. It took a lot to get up in front of strangers and even more to speak on behalf of those who for whatever reason cannot.

My experience with the mental health system has had its up and downs. I have met some truely amazing doctors and nurses who want nothing more than to help their patients get well in any way that they can. Unfortunately, I have also seen the opposite. I realize that going to my state capital could make the difference whether people have the care that they need or they get passed over. I want to tell my story and put a face on mental illness and the fact that PTSD effects more people that just veterans.

I realize that there are other issues that need addressing and funding is at a premium right now. If 1 in 4 people have a mental illness and are treated than that means that they can get a job and start to put money back into the economy.

Enough of my soap box. I am just passionate about mental illness and those that it affects.In other news I have had to make some decisions about a service animal. I really am leaning towards the company in CO. They are not the most expensive or the cheapest, however; they are willing to also train the dog to assist with my PTSD. The other companies and organizations seem more medical based. I am also excited to have been accepted into a support group for service animals and their trainers. I am looking forward to hearing their stories and getting advice!!

Overall it has been a great day!! By the way, the picture is from a dolphin encounter that I was lucky enough to have. His name was Cody and he was so sweet. Animals are a gift that I treasure. They accept us for who we are and ask nothing in return.

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