Ending among the Stars

Connie. I met her the day before the Rudle Conference. I would speak about stigma and how people with a psychiatric label can turn away from it. The Conference was in Stord, Norway. Connie lives in Norway and before that she lived in Canada. She is fluent in English.

Connie was depressed for five years

She experienced misery up close and actually her recovery was still in its early stages. She was pleasantly surprised and amazed when I asked her to work with me. A few hours before we were to go on stage, we discussed our performance. To be honest, I was a bit worried. Connie’s breathing sounded like that of a marathon runner after the 30k limit. Despite the mindfulness course she took.

The Mental Health Association of Southern Pennsylvania, an organization run by consumers, read out an empowering message at the beginning of each day. They were meant to provide people with the power to turn the day into a memorable one. Providence made me bring one of these stories to Norway.

“Ending among the Stars.” Connie wanted to read out that message during our performance.

*  I love and accept myself and I am worthy of love.

*  I am a unique, peaceful and free being.

*  I am safe and protected.

*  I am joyful…grateful, …loving…

*  I am a forgiving person.

*  It is safe for me to give and receive love.

*  I am talented and successful in all that I do.

Some people say affirmations before each meal. Some start their day with

a new affirmation. Others end their day with a positive thought. The more

We use affirmations; the more we’ll find ourselves in a positive place

that will support us, especially as we find ourselves ‘among the stars’.

The proverbial needle. That’s what you could hear falling during Connie’s presentation. Many felt like crying. I was one of them. Connie took the opportunity to explain to the audience how she, at a certain moment in her life, had felt like drowning in a mental marshland. And how much effort it takes people with a psychiatric label to think of something positive about themselves.

Connie’s story gave us goose bumps

The audience treated her to a standing ovation, again and again. And Connie had the feeling she went to the moon and back. The day I got home, Connie sent news. She had opted for a job at a local Outreach Team as a peer worker. And she probably will get that job.

“You made me feel like I was on top of the world, somewhere among the Stars!”

In fact I had nothing to do with it. Connie was the Star. And that is the way it should be.

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