Ironically, I was to end up in a group home in the late winter/early spring of 2012 when previously, I had been a staff person at the age of 23, in a home for the mildly developmentally disabled as a student and reporter in Kalamazoo. It was at this age, while on duty, that I had my first episode of mania – sending residents to their workshop, which was located across from the home, with various canned goods instead of their prepared lunches the cook had made from the clients the previous day. This event would trigger other manic events which culminated in my first hospitalization and my firing, all brought on by my erratic behaviors on and off the job.
Though the mania of my mental affliction destroyed many relationships and inroads to employment, my bouts of sanity led to some positive efforts and results. Like when I evangelized to approximately 100 young teens on the near west side of Grand Rapids – my hometown. Even in Cadillac – my “new town” as of July, 2010 – I felt good enough that summer to “witness” to select others.
The winter to follow was horrible and resulted in my isolation which I took responsibility for when I signed into a group home beginning March 1, 2012. I agreed to stay two months; with warmer weather I projected my depression would lift and that I could go about finding lodging in downtown Cadillac. Being in the structure of a group home and having a friendship with Art who got me out of my country-located shared housing facility would enable me, once again – as it has happened over and over again – to lighten my mood.
Thank God for good, understanding relationships.