i have indeed met the most amazing people of my life (not to discount the people i know, none of you struggle (that i know) with mental illness). I  met people that are ex vets, ex drug addicts, schizophrenics, people with bi polar disorder, and all kinds of other mental illness. These are the richest people i know. Some with educations, some with no educations, but the beautiful thing is that these people have found hope. They have hope like i have never seen. they have been strapped to beds, flooded with medications, told they will never be “right”, yet they are. I am surrounded by success stories of people who have been the victims of neglect, abuse, discrimination and the darkness of the prison of depression, and now they walk head tall into a life of certainty with hope of recovery. I am so proud to know these people and to be able to share in their stories. I sat in a group meeting (my first in 11 years!)  last night and shared my story of drug addiction/ mental illness and my years of burying both of those, but the people i sat with, and my wife gave me the courage to acknowledge myself and my lived experience.