Living with Bipolar Disorder

Meon’s Journey toward Self-Advocacy

Meon learned the hard way that surrounding herself with a good support system and staying busy is critical for managing her bipolar disorder diagnosis. Her mental illness is the result of having experienced a traumatic brain injury when she was very young. “I don’t remember much from the accident,” says Meon. “My friends and family have explained I was hit by a truck when I was coming home from school. I had side effects such as memory loss and mood swings, but my family and I really had no idea what was happening to me,” she explains.

It wasn’t until Meon was in her late teens that she was officially diagnosed. Since then, Meon has worked hard to stay focused on her goal of recovery. Although she is very independent, she leans on a daily planner and her friends, family, and peers at TMWC to help her keep organized and on top of her busy schedule. She has been active in her church for 27 years and enjoys spending time with her family. She describes her mom, grandmother, sister, and nieces as her “back bone.”

Communication and socialization are a big part of Meon’s recovery journey. If you frequent the fitness or computer rooms at the center, Meon likely is a familiar face. A member for several years, Meon appreciates the sense of community she’s found at TMWC. By attending group activities and PEP classes, and forming relationships with her peers, she has learned to apply coping mechanisms and skills to her day to day life.

She credits the Thomas M. Wernert Center with changing her life. “I have learned to think and use my mind to remember things as best I can, considering the mental illness I have,” Meon says. Learning how to advocate for herself is one of most important things Meon has taken from TMWC. She is grateful for the all-around support offered by TMWC staff.
“If you just want to talk about your day or need help filling out a form, someone at the Center is always willing to help,” Meon says.