My name is Laurie Pinard, and I live with mental illness.
My story is about hope. My story is about the fight. My story is about how Truehope's EmpowerPlus helped me regain a life I thought I'd lost.
I'm a 44-year-old woman who has fought my way back to health from the edge of darkness and despair. I lost everything I had, and I nearly lost my life. I'm here to give hope to anyone who suffers from mental illness that it is possible to get well and lead a fulfilling, productive life. Taking EMPowerplus was the way back for me.
This is my story.
I used to have a big life but lost it all — a career in politics at the highest levels, money, possessions, my car, my home, and most of my relationships—because of my mental illness. I suffered for years from bipolar disorder until I hit rock bottom in 2009. I have tried to take my own life more than once and was hospitalized several times. It wasn't until my 40s that I admitted I needed help and sought it.
I never believed I could get better. I never believed in hope or the possibility of a healthy existence. All I saw was darkness. My mind didn't work, and my body was in constant pain. I was a broken person. How could it be possible that I could ever get better? With the help from Truehope's nutritional supplement EMPowerplus and my psychiatrist, I discovered the road to recovery, the road to hope.
Although I sought help in 2009 through hospitalization, doctors, pharmaceutical medications, and therapy, it wasn't until 2011 when I tried EMPowerplus. I had tried many different combinations of medications since my 20s through my regular general practitioner, but nothing worked for me. A new psychiatrist and I began trying new medications from 2009 to 2011, but still nothing worked. Finally, she suggested I try EMPowerplus. She had other patients who had been successful in managing their mental illnesses with EMPowerplus, so I trusted her and began the supplements.
The road to wellness began slowly. I had to withdraw from my medications and slowly increase the supplements. I'm not going to sugar-coat it: it was a tough road, but ultimately it was worth it. Month after month, I put one foot in front of the other and made progress towards stability. EMPowerplus gave me stability, and that's when I decided to take full responsibility for every aspect of my illness, my recovery, my treatment, my life! I widened my treatment to include exercise, a healthier diet, lots of restful sleep, and worked on recognizing my triggers, all while still taking EMPowerplus daily. I changed my attitude from being a victim of this illness to being an advocate of healthy living despite having a mental illness. Truehope allowed me the chance to fight for my life, and fight I did!
Today, I am proud to say, I'm in recovery and working towards creating a healthy and thriving life. This fall, I was chosen to be one of the five faces in the Face It mental illness campaign for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health sponsored by Bell Let's Talk initiative. The campaign was broadcast across Canada during Mental Illness Awareness Week. I participated in commercials, public service announcements, and advertisements. I was interviewed on television for CTV News Power Play, Roger's Daytime television, and Sun News Media's Charles Adler's Show. I joined the other four faces and was also honoured on Parliament Hill with a breakfast in the Parliamentary Restaurant by Cabinet Ministers and other Members of Parliament. I even got to meet the Governor General and his wife at Rideau Hall to talk in depth about my journey to recovery.
Although I still have bipolar disorder, Truehope has given me the opportunity to reach stability and get better. Truehope gave me a foundation from which I have learned to build upon. Some days are still difficult, but my routine of nutritional supplements, exercise, sleep, healthy eating, and lots of support has allowed me to live and thrive again. It has been one full year since beginning EMPowerplus, and I have accomplished so much! Every day, I move one step closer to living a healthy, vital life on a consistent basis. One year ago, I couldn't even think this way; now, my goals for the future are bright and filled with hope. Today, my entire life is different. I faced my illness head-on and got better. With the help of Truehope, anyone, absolutely anyone can come back from the depths of despair to live and thrive. I did.