Before the road to Caramore intersected with my life, I was one of the most critical people you’d ever meet…
In Tier 1, I spent most of my free time hiding in my bedroom, silently criticizing everyone and everything in my head. My ego and I in particular seemed to have "bull's eyes" for me to throw darts at. If you met me back then, I would’ve zoomed in on your faults and ignored your talents!
In Tier 2, my best friend and roommate (a Caramore graduate who is now one of Caramore’s best RAs!), encouraged me to “get out of my shell.” So I hung out with her in the med office (a great place to meet other clients, by the way), where I met and connected with new friends. I became more social and less critical, somewhat, at this stage.
In Tier 3, I was cruising past the speed limit one last time, crashing my criticism directly into a club I didn't approve of and Caramore accommodates. As soon as Caramore helped me change the oil in my "car" (outlook on life), I finally realized how negative my thoughts were. I'm now mentally insured by a company called "Happiness"! (And it's been over 3 years since I experienced my second, and last, involuntary hospitalization and hallucination).
It was then (Tier 3) my new life-changing attitude allowed Caramore to piece its way into the big puzzle that is me! And so my relationships within the Community have been renewed.
Thanks to the new "leash" on life Caramore gave me, I’m:
1). now a member of NAMI. Caramore encourages clients to explore mental health issues outside our close-knit Community!
2). hopeful I can contribute to the fight against stigma! I openly discussed my schizoaffective disorder during my latest interview and my employer told me the disorder runs in her family (I even told her Caramore is the reason I'm prepared for the interview!). She hired me on the spot!
3). more intuitive! Along with my therapist (and my mother the social worker!), Caramore taught me to follow my intuition and to speak my mind (positively!).
4). more financially savvy. Caramore (and a businessman for my father!) inspired me to follow the daily budget I created, with Scott's help!
5). a Parking Monitor for Special Events at UNC, a really fun job Barry referred me to!
6). no longer afraid to venture outside my own city, by bus! Caramore taught me how to navigate the bus system.
7). discovering who I am, who I'm not and what my passions are! Caramore promotes only the best in us.
If the above sounds like I'm bragging, well, I am! Caramore worked hard with me (not for me!) to get where I am now. As a result, I'm finally happy with my identity and I'm happy to be alive!
Victoria de Ney