Transformation - Annual Report 2015 - The Harris Center - Page 8

A Look in the Mirror
In November , 2014 , Elaine took a peek at herself in the mirror as she was about to walk into the bright lights of KHOU-TV 11 studios for the Good Day Houston Show with Debra Duncan . She recalled seeing a different person than the woman she had known for 50 years .
Elaine was chosen to represent The Women ’ s Home for a makeover while in the program to address chronic issues in her life .
She remembered how lonely and depressed she felt growing up in Long Island , New York , and how this affected the journey in her adult life . She had a family history of alcohol abuse and mental illness , which at the time was something that was not spoken about . Her inherent shy personality along with the constant teasing and bullying from her classmates led her to believe that she could never be loved . This , combined with her undiagnosed depression , set a foundation for a lonely and turbulent childhood .
Through the 1990 ’ s Elaine was in counseling with a social worker who helped her come to terms with her food issues . In 1999 , she had weight loss surgery and lost more than half her body weight . This led to a surge in her self-esteem . When a new job opportunity in Texas was presented to her , Elaine quickly began preparing for a new beginning . This opportunity led to an Assistant Vice President position at a major financial institution and a new sense of accomplishment . During this period of time , Elaine did not keep up with her anti-depressant medication .
In 2003 , Elaine ’ s mother became very ill . A diagnosis of pancreatic cancer led to her death in September of that year . In 2004 , after numerous tries to have children , Elaine was told that her ovaries were no longer viable . Concurrently , her department at work was being disbanded and she was going to be laid off . Depression found its way back , and it was worse than ever .
Unable to find a job during the recession , Elaine began drinking -- something she had always avoided , as her family history made her very wary . Alcoholism hit her hard and fast . It was only after several attempts to end her life that
Elaine was convinced that she needed help . She found herself alone and felt like she needed a reason to live . Elaine went to Ben Taub to ask for help , which lead her on a journey through several programs , including the Neuro Psychiatric Center , Ben Taub Psychiatric Unit , Passages Treatment Center , Harris County Psychiatric Center , Crisis Residential Unit , Cooccurring Disorders and Critical Time Intervention . With the support of her brother and the many case workers of The Harris Center , she was finally able to obtain and commit to some help on a permanent basis . She entered the ninemonth Critical Time Intervention program where her case worker guided her and reintroduced her to the art of being accountable .
Currently , Elaine has over two years of sobriety . She takes her medication as prescribed , keeps her appointments as scheduled and lives independently in her own apartment . She works part-time as a Scanning Specialist , has a Paralegal license through Rice University , maintains regular contact with her brother and nephew , attends regular group meetings and has become a self-advocate who talks about the consequences of ignoring self-care .
She credits three groups of people for her recovery : Her family , The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD , and The Women ’ s Home .
When asked what she sees in the mirror , Elaine says , “ I see a strong woman who has been through a lot , who is no longer scared to ask for help and who loves and accepts herself .”
6 | The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD
A Look in the Mirror In November, 2014, Elaine took a peek at herself in the mirror as she was about to walk into the bright lights of KHOU-TV 11 studios for the Good Day Houston Show with Debra Duncan. She recalled seeing a different person than the woman she had known for 50 years. Elaine was chosen to represent The Women’s Home for a makeover while in the program to address chronic issues in her life. She remembered how lonely and depressed she felt growing up in Long Island, New York, and how this affected the journey in her adult life. She had a family history of alco ͔х̰)ݡЁѡѥ݅́ͽѡѡ)݅́Ёи!ȁɕЁ͡)ͽ䁅ݥѠѡхЁѕͥ)ձ她ɽȁ͵ѕ́)ѼٔѡЁ͡ձٕȁٕ)Q̰ݥѠȁչ͕)ɕ͕ͥЁչѥȁ)ɉձЁ)Qɽ՝ѡÊé݅́)չ͕ݥѠͽݽɭȁݡ)ȁѼѕɵ́ݥѠ)Օ̸%䰁͡ݕ)́ɝ䁅Ёɔѡ)ȁݕиQ́Ѽ)ɝȁ͕ѕ])܁չ䁥Q́݅)ɕ͕ѕѼȰե)ɕɥȁ܁)Q́չ䁱Ѽͥх)YAɕͥЁͥѥЁ)ѥѥ܁͕͔)͡иɥѡ)ɥѥЁ)ݥѠȁѤɕͅЁѥ)%̰éѡȁٕ)ͥ́ɕѥȁ)ѼȁѠMѕȁѡЁ啅ȸ%(аѕȁյɽ́ɥ́Ѽٔɕ)݅́ѽѡЁȁمɥ́ݕɔ)٥ ɕѱ䰁ȁѵЁЁݽɬ݅́)͉݅́͡Ѽɕͥչ)́݅䁉Ё݅́ݽ͔ѡٕȸ((؁Q!ɥ́ ѕȁȁ5х!Ѡ%()UѼɥѡɕͥɥ(ͽѡ݅́͡ٽ́ȁ䁡ѽ)ȁٕ݅丁ʹЁȁɐи%)݅́䁅ѕȁ͕ٕɅѕ́Ѽȁѡ)݅́٥ѡЁ͡M)չ͕Ё͡)ɕͽѼٔݕЁѼ QՈѼ)ͬȁݡȁɹ)ѡɽ՝͕ٕɅɽɅ̰Ցѡ)9ɼA卡ɥ ѕȰ QՈ)A卡ɥUаÁͅQɕѵ) ѕȰ!ɥ́ չA卡ɥ) ѕȰ ɥͥ́IͥѥUа ɥͽɑ́ ɥѥQ)%ѕٕѥ]ѠѡЁ)ɽѡȁѡ䁍͔ݽɭ́)Q!ɥ́ ѕȰ݅́͡䁅)ѼхЁѼͽ)ɵЁ̸ͥMѕɕѡѠ ɥѥQ%ѕٕѥɽɅݡɔ)ȁ͔ݽɭȁեȁɕɽՍȁѼ)ѡЁչх) ɕѱ䰁ٕ́ȁݼ啅́ͽɥ)Mх́ȁѥ́ɕ͍ɥ)́ȁѵ͍́́ձ)ٕ́ѱ䁥ȁݸ)ѵиMݽɭ́еѥ)MMа́AɅ)͔ѡɽ՝IUٕͥ)х́ɕձȁхЁݥѠȁɽѡȁ)ܰѕ́ɕձȁɽѥ́)͕́ٽєݡх́)ѡ͕Օ́ɥ͕ɔ)Mɕ́ѡɕɽ́)ȁɕٕ!ȁ䰁Q!ɥ) ѕȁȁ5х!Ѡ%)Q]é!)]ͭݡЁ͕́͡ѡ)ɽȰ̰ͅq$͕ɽ)ݽݡ́ѡɽ՝аݡ)́ȁ͍ɕѼͬȁ)ݡٕ͕́́t((