Finding My Identity: Clarence's Story

Reviewed Mar 8, 2016

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Summary

Follow Clarence from his troubling past to current path toward recovery.

My name is Clarence. I have been given a diagnosis of clinical depression with psychotic features. I would like to share my story with you.

Background story

I was born into a family of 8 children. As the second oldest, many of the duties of caring for my siblings became a daily routine for me. Both of my parents held at least 1 and a half jobs each. Most of my boyhood was spent growing up in the Deep South. My brothers and sisters and I grew up as military brats. We had few friends other than ourselves. We hardly ever spent more than 3 years in any home, state or even country. 

From the cotton fields to the civil rights movement

My very first job in the late 1950s was at age 11. I skipped school one morning and boarded a truck going to the cotton fields of Columbus, MS. This was a routine practice at the time among my peers in the 5th grade. Many of my classmates were in their mid- and late-teens. This was also typical of the times. My day in the cotton fields over a half century ago was something I will never forget. This was due to the heat and hard work. But it was mostly due to how upset my mom was that I skipped school.

Again I found myself skipping class but this time for some other reason. It was to be a supporter for fairness and humanity. The 1960s has long been held as the decade of turmoil and change. The civil rights movement, campus unrest and the Vietnam War were all signs of the times. These concepts shaped a much more mature set of values for me to follow.

Troubling times

After college I joined the Navy. New concepts were developed and added to the man I had become. These included honor, duty and willpower.

But, not long after my war years, I begin to have bad thoughts and emotions. A restlessness and anger drove me to years of drifting from town to town and job to job. One failed relationship after one more became a nonstop pattern. I began to go through unimaginable lows and made troubling actions. From time to time, I considered taking my own life. Never before had my spirit been so disturbed. Never before had I ever been so unsure and confused. 

Being a consumer

I was taken to a mental health system for help. It was here that I became a “consumer.” Consumer; that’s a funny word. I thought I was just being me. By the time I had received a diagnosis it was difficult for me to separate the disease from the man. Much is written and said about recovery. It really is about taking pieces from the past that you can use, and add to it positive thought and hope.

Here is the tricky part for me—I had to learn humility. I call it an “attitude of gratitude,” and with these ingredients I began the process of recreating the self. There is a warning label attached: never forget who owns the new creation.

As a consumer, I have a new happiness and a different level of joy that exceeds anything I’ve known before. I now lead a productive and rich life with continuous learning and enjoyment of living. I have a steady job and family. I guess what recovery means for me is being the man I always dreamed I could become.

By Clarence Jordan, Vice President, Wellness & Recovery, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Follow Clarence from his troubling past to current path toward recovery.

My name is Clarence. I have been given a diagnosis of clinical depression with psychotic features. I would like to share my story with you.

Background story

I was born into a family of 8 children. As the second oldest, many of the duties of caring for my siblings became a daily routine for me. Both of my parents held at least 1 and a half jobs each. Most of my boyhood was spent growing up in the Deep South. My brothers and sisters and I grew up as military brats. We had few friends other than ourselves. We hardly ever spent more than 3 years in any home, state or even country. 

From the cotton fields to the civil rights movement

My very first job in the late 1950s was at age 11. I skipped school one morning and boarded a truck going to the cotton fields of Columbus, MS. This was a routine practice at the time among my peers in the 5th grade. Many of my classmates were in their mid- and late-teens. This was also typical of the times. My day in the cotton fields over a half century ago was something I will never forget. This was due to the heat and hard work. But it was mostly due to how upset my mom was that I skipped school.

Again I found myself skipping class but this time for some other reason. It was to be a supporter for fairness and humanity. The 1960s has long been held as the decade of turmoil and change. The civil rights movement, campus unrest and the Vietnam War were all signs of the times. These concepts shaped a much more mature set of values for me to follow.

Troubling times

After college I joined the Navy. New concepts were developed and added to the man I had become. These included honor, duty and willpower.

But, not long after my war years, I begin to have bad thoughts and emotions. A restlessness and anger drove me to years of drifting from town to town and job to job. One failed relationship after one more became a nonstop pattern. I began to go through unimaginable lows and made troubling actions. From time to time, I considered taking my own life. Never before had my spirit been so disturbed. Never before had I ever been so unsure and confused. 

Being a consumer

I was taken to a mental health system for help. It was here that I became a “consumer.” Consumer; that’s a funny word. I thought I was just being me. By the time I had received a diagnosis it was difficult for me to separate the disease from the man. Much is written and said about recovery. It really is about taking pieces from the past that you can use, and add to it positive thought and hope.

Here is the tricky part for me—I had to learn humility. I call it an “attitude of gratitude,” and with these ingredients I began the process of recreating the self. There is a warning label attached: never forget who owns the new creation.

As a consumer, I have a new happiness and a different level of joy that exceeds anything I’ve known before. I now lead a productive and rich life with continuous learning and enjoyment of living. I have a steady job and family. I guess what recovery means for me is being the man I always dreamed I could become.

By Clarence Jordan, Vice President, Wellness & Recovery, Beacon Health Options

Summary

Follow Clarence from his troubling past to current path toward recovery.

My name is Clarence. I have been given a diagnosis of clinical depression with psychotic features. I would like to share my story with you.

Background story

I was born into a family of 8 children. As the second oldest, many of the duties of caring for my siblings became a daily routine for me. Both of my parents held at least 1 and a half jobs each. Most of my boyhood was spent growing up in the Deep South. My brothers and sisters and I grew up as military brats. We had few friends other than ourselves. We hardly ever spent more than 3 years in any home, state or even country. 

From the cotton fields to the civil rights movement

My very first job in the late 1950s was at age 11. I skipped school one morning and boarded a truck going to the cotton fields of Columbus, MS. This was a routine practice at the time among my peers in the 5th grade. Many of my classmates were in their mid- and late-teens. This was also typical of the times. My day in the cotton fields over a half century ago was something I will never forget. This was due to the heat and hard work. But it was mostly due to how upset my mom was that I skipped school.

Again I found myself skipping class but this time for some other reason. It was to be a supporter for fairness and humanity. The 1960s has long been held as the decade of turmoil and change. The civil rights movement, campus unrest and the Vietnam War were all signs of the times. These concepts shaped a much more mature set of values for me to follow.

Troubling times

After college I joined the Navy. New concepts were developed and added to the man I had become. These included honor, duty and willpower.

But, not long after my war years, I begin to have bad thoughts and emotions. A restlessness and anger drove me to years of drifting from town to town and job to job. One failed relationship after one more became a nonstop pattern. I began to go through unimaginable lows and made troubling actions. From time to time, I considered taking my own life. Never before had my spirit been so disturbed. Never before had I ever been so unsure and confused. 

Being a consumer

I was taken to a mental health system for help. It was here that I became a “consumer.” Consumer; that’s a funny word. I thought I was just being me. By the time I had received a diagnosis it was difficult for me to separate the disease from the man. Much is written and said about recovery. It really is about taking pieces from the past that you can use, and add to it positive thought and hope.

Here is the tricky part for me—I had to learn humility. I call it an “attitude of gratitude,” and with these ingredients I began the process of recreating the self. There is a warning label attached: never forget who owns the new creation.

As a consumer, I have a new happiness and a different level of joy that exceeds anything I’ve known before. I now lead a productive and rich life with continuous learning and enjoyment of living. I have a steady job and family. I guess what recovery means for me is being the man I always dreamed I could become.

By Clarence Jordan, Vice President, Wellness & Recovery, Beacon Health Options

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, quizzes, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  ©2017 Beacon Health Options, Inc.

 

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