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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration


Last Updated: 7/7/2008

SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance,
Dignity and Social Inclusion Associated with
Mental Health (ADS Center)

 

Linda Paxton's Story

My journey from hopelessness to hope started 15 years ago.

Circumstances beyond my control led to my mental break. We were living in a 600-square-foot house with our three kids, who were five, two and four months. My husband, Chris, had been told he was losing his job. I went on an overnight driving trip with the kids, which ended with the police taking me to the hospital. I was admitted to the psychiatric ward, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

The situation seemed hopeless. I was told I couldn't work; I was also told that I couldn't have the baby in the hospital. How was I to feed him? That's when the church community and God took control. Marion, our priest 's wife, helped Chris wean the baby. Wow! I couldn't even feed my children. How would I get well with these major problems?

Offers of babysitting came; casseroles appeared at our front door. I was released near Christmas. Chris and I decided I wasn't well enough to purchase Christmas presents.

Just before Christmas, a knock came at our door. It was Bill and Mary, owners of a Montessori School my son attended. They came in with five boxes filled with food, including a turkey, as well as diapers and toys. We would have a real Christmas after all. We tearfully accepted what was given to us and had a fantastic Christmas.

How did I get better? I began to work with a professional fitness coach, who showed me how to lift weights and increase my walking. I found that this exercise program increased my mental wellness.

Now I am working! Yes, hopes and dreams do come true!

Linda Paxton


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