Having a mental illness is a frightening event. Mental illness turns your world upside down leaving you with a feeling that one has lost all control in life. Jerine Lawler has face this experience first hand. Her mental illness is stable now; but it wasn’t in the 1980″s. In late 1980’s, Ms. Lawler was diagnosed with Chronic Depression, Anxiety Disorder, and Bipolar Disorder. She was hit with three mental illnesses at once. It is a hard enough of a time dealing with one mental illness. Ms. Lawler’s success in her personal recovery journey is a testimony to her inner strength and faith.
Ms. Lawler’s downward spiraling reaction to any stressful event was the fundamental clue that something was not quite right with her. During a stressful event, she would feel overwhelmed and she would soon sink into a depression. All she wanted to do all day was to sleep and isolate herself. These dark days eventually led to her developing a taste for mind numbing drugs and alcohol. Ms. Lawler thought that these street drugs and alcohol was a quick fix for all the troubles in her life. Of course, the quick fix made matters only worst. The drugs and alcohol eventually took her straight to prison.
According to Ms. Lawler, jail was the start of her recovery process. Jail happen to be the best thing that ever happen to her. . In jail, she started to receive much needed treatment for her illness. Ms. Lawler finally got the legal drugs for her illness. The medication seem to work wonders on her symptoms. Jerine began to pull herself together for the first time in awhile.
Jerine’s recovery from mental illness has not been a totally steady one. There have been many bumps in the road. That is why her story is so full of hope. Like all people dealing with problems, she has had some relapses. Some of them have been scary. At times, Jerine has thought about suicide on certain bad days. Ms. Lawler credits her fear of death for not taking her to that final step. This fear eventually turn into a strong will to live.
In 1990, Ms. Lawler started dealing with her other problem which was drug and alcohol. In fact, August 9, 1996 is a very important anniversary for her. It is her first day of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous. Also during that time, she develop a strong faith that keeps her in balance today. Ms. Lawler has 14 years of sobriety. Jerine does not take anything for granted anymore. She thanks God for her many second chances. This person with her three mental illnesses, substance abuse problems and long jail history is still surviving, reinventing herself, and thriving in life.
At the present time, Jerine works full time at Recovery Resources as a Prevention Specialist. She leads HIV education groups. She also working on her Bachelor in Human Service Management and her OCPS License. This license is for the Ohio Chemical Prevention Service. Jerine Lawler is a true success story and a positive role model for all.