You do have that right, you are correct. But, when I had low self esteem, felt awful, drank, etc., I needed help. I tried everything to make myself better, including the positive/good in yourself thing--I tried reiki, alternative methods, etc. It was nice short term. That was it.
After I ended up in the ER after my suicide attempt, I remember the police officer questioning me if there was someone threatening me/attempting to hurt or kill me (my suicide attempt looked like attempted homicide as opposed to suicide, so they thought there was someone trying to hurt/kill me) and me being the honest person I am, told the officer/sheriff the truth. I told him no one did this to me, I did it to myself--it was a suicide attempt and I needed help. As out of it/intoxicated as I was, I still remember that feeling I had that night. I actually keep the "evidence bags" from that incident as a reminder (the police collected evidence like it was an attempted homicide and gave me the stuff back in the bags when I was discharged from the hospital.)
I do reflect on my situation and as irritating as it is and as much as I hate the drug screens (have I mentioned that I hate them?
), I don't know if I would have quit drinking if I wasn't in HPMP--maybe, maybe not...I think about the cost of UDS and then, I think of the alternative...yes, I could get a lot of nice stuff with the money or save it. But, the truth is, I probably would have gotten drunk again and ended up in the hospital again. HPMP is much cheaper than ICU/hospital bills. I am grateful for the chance the BON gave me.
I want to show people that you can have a successful life after a mental health dx. Right now, there is still a stigma (believe me, I have been through the discrimination) and fear. Fear of people with mental illness and fear from people who don't feel right and they are afraid their life is over, so to speak, after a mental health dx. I want to show people with mental illness that you can have a successful career (including in a healthcare profession) and be a productive member of society even with mental illness. I want to be a person that changes the perception of people without mental illness. And most importantly, I want to be a person that someone who is not feeling so great mentally can approach and receive a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.
We (people with mental illness) didn't create this stigma.
Inf, I wish you could feel what I felt the day I received the initial denial from the BOP regarding my pharmacy tech license. Black and white, I will tell you the exact wording/response I received: "According to statute 54.1-3316 of the Code of Virginia (1950), as amended, the Board may deny an application if it finds that the applicant has violated statute 54.1-3316(3) and is not able to practice as a pharmacy technician due to mental illness. According to information you provided in your application, grounds may exist to deny your application for registration...With the documentation you have provided, I am not able to approve your application." I got it overturned because I stuck up for myself. It's a sad day when you are in violation of the law for mental illness. I have an encumbered license (restricted to VA) because of BPD/alcohol abuse. TN denied me authorization because they don't grant privileges to people with encumbered licenses.
I wasn't flamboyant about my mental illness before this licensing/Board stuff. But, they asked and I answered honestly. I just decided that when my personal information was put out there for everyone to see and going through denials that I would make the best of the situation. If the Boards didn't ask, they didn't post it online, they didn't deny me, etc. I wouldn't have said anything. It wouldn't have been a big deal.
My personal experience with mental health issues drives me. For me, it wasn't just be happy. It wasn't that easy. I would imagine it's the same for others. I am not suggesting forcing anything on anyone, just offering education/information.