Caroline's Experiences at a Young Age
I acted out abnormally at the age of 15 and was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder when I was 21. Since then, I could not study, work or even take care of myself. The illusion world and reality has always confused me that made me attempted to commit suicide a few times. I became a burden to my parents and aunts who lived with me. I could not identify who I am. My whole world was hopeless. I was afraid to go outside and reluctant to contact anybody.
When it became unbearable, a church friend encouraged me to apply for a volunteer position at the CCM Toronto Centre. I was amazed that I could be admitted as one of the volunteers. Although I could not commit duties consistently, the staff and other volunteers are very caring and compassionate with me. They understand my condition and accept me unconditionally. They talk to me, listen to me and teach me new skills. My duties at CCM including receptionist, English teacher in youth group, preparing of material for youth camp, assistant Children Drawing Class teacher, telephone caring to seniors and participants; CCM even supported me to complete a food safety certificate so that I could help in the food and beverages safety for big events. Furthermore, a volunteer taught me how to design posters so that I could help in designing posters for different programs.
Since I joined CCM in 2009, my path has not been always smooth. My illness does not go away. I take many medications and need to see different specialists all the time, but my support team is strong. Today, I have rebuilt my family relationship; work a part time job to earn some extra money and I go to CCM for volunteering work. My life is completely different. I gain confidence to be more independent and able to contribute myself to the community.
—— Sharing by: Caroline Hsien