Hi, I am Autumn, I am a Recovery Peer Advocate for those with SUD, I also provide HCBS services. I am with an organization called Farnham Family Services based out of Oswego NY.
I learned about the peer movement about three years ago when I myself was in a mental hospital for a "psychotic break". I was very new to mental illness and felt that my treatment was more scary than my diagnosis. I was told that "I would be lucky if I ever recover, seldom people do and if you do consider yourself lucky". I was mortified, I thought I had a life, my children, my family, my career. I have to recover but there was no support, no one saying "you will recover, let me show you some tools".
And then it happened, I was searching through indeed one night looking for a part time job and stumbled across a post for a mental health peer advocate and it listed the criteria: a mental health diagnosis, and to be able to tell your story to encourage hope. I landed that job and it changed my life. I now know that we are our destiny and we are so much more than mental illness or SUD!
Becoming a Peer and learning so much from peers gave me strength and courage. I was no longer this "deer in headlights" waiting for days to pass, fearful of living another day trapped in this racing mind and body.
Since then I have broadened my peer role and support those in their journey with SUD, as well as mental health. I am so grateful for this community of peers and feel so much more empowered in my own journey.
I became a Personal Medicine Coach so that I can dive deeper into self care and confirm that what is inside of us is bigger than we imagine. I want to be able to help my clients along with myself to feel more alive, instead of being on autopilot. I am in hopes that this course will be an extension to things that I have learned thus far in my journey and be able to share with my peers.