NAMI speaker to relate PTSD recovery story June 17  

Maya Angelou wrote, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” Storytelling has been found to be an important part of the recovery process for those experiencing any mental health challenge or mental illness, whether diagnosed or undiagnosed. Relating the story helps the teller organize painful experiences so as to make sense of life and make recovery and healing real. Life lessons and positive values become reinforced while resilience to face what is ahead is strengthened. Through the recovery and healing process, people seek to become “normal” or return to normalcy, but, instead, find a “new normal” and a new voice.


Of course, it is important to whom you first tell the painful story. Look for a non-judgmental, supportive person who understands the disquieting experiences that happen to members of the human race throughout life. Seek a trusted, compassionate family member or friend, a pastor, a confidential support group, a therapist or someone else with the lived experience.


The story can help others, too. When the story is told to others who may be experiencing a mental health challenge, inspiration to seek help may occur. The message of hope upon hearing about the recovery of another in similar circumstances becomes real. When family members, friends and community members hear the story, there is opportunity for greater understanding, empathy and destigmatization surrounding mental health challenges and disorders.


Stories of loss and hope build connections between individuals and help build communities of those affected by tragic or traumatic crises, disasters, or illness. As human beings, we are connected through emotions such as sadness, happiness, loss, anger, disappointment and more that bind us together.


On Wednesday, June 17 at 1 p.m., the director of peer services at NAMI Maine Nicole Foster, JD, will relate the story surrounding her diagnoses of PTSD, major depression, and generalized anxiety disorder. Her message of hope will include the professional treatments that helped her and the daily coping mechanisms and protocols that she uses for continued healing. Her PTSD lived experience centers on serious accident, domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse scenarios. 


Nicole oversees the Waterville Peer Recovery Center where she is a group facilitator and focuses on suicide prevention in individuals who live with a dual diagnosis of mental illness and substance abuse disorders. She is particularly suited to this position because of her lived experience. Research has shown that helping others is a way to foster self-healing and self-esteem restoration.


This free program that is open to all community members will be presented via Zoom. If you would like an invitation that provides the link to this presentation, email indicating your full name, email address and phone number. For more information, call 207-924-7903.


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