MTC Staff Member Shares Personal Story of Struggle to Bring Awareness to Mental Health
For those who know MTC’s Marisol Dickerson, you know she’s an outgoing and happy person. But it wasn’t always that way. This is how Marisol describes her feelings during her most challenging years.
“There was no interest, nothing that I wanted to do.”
After she began having children in 1999, a deep depression set in.
“There was a point after having my second baby that I turned off the volume on my phone. I disconnected the doorbell because I didn’t want to talk to anybody.”
It got so bad, she called a crisis hotline—but because of Marisol’s accent, the social worker had trouble connecting.
“[She] kept asking me questions, ‘What do you need mam, what do you need? I can’t understand what you’re saying.’ And that was a turning point for me. And I dove into this big black hole.”
She returned to her native country of the Dominican Republic with her two children to get help.
“I need a break. I need to connect with my roots. I need to figure out what’s happening.”
The trip home helped.
“I came back with the determination that I needed to be connected.”
Marisol decided to focus on serving others as a way to heal. She showed up at a food bank in Ogden.
“I told them. I don’t have any donations. I don’t have any money, but I’m here to help.”
That was the beginning of a long road to recovery.
“I would say it was one step at a time, baby steps; recognizing that I was going through some mental issues.”
When Marisol learned MTC wanted to dedicate three months this year to raise awareness of mental health in celebration of MTC’s 40th anniversary—she was touched.
“I was very emotional when I heard because of my own road to recovery. And, it’s needed.”
Marisol volunteered to share her personal story to help others who may be in the same situation she found herself in more than 20 years ago. Her message about mental health illness?
“It’s real. It is out there. It’s in our communities. It’s in our families…Even if this message goes to one person, we will be making a difference in that person.”
Because of loving family, friends, professional help, and coping tools, Marisol has a bright outlook on life.
“Life is beautiful. And when I look around, I see life. I see opportunities. I see hope. There is so much that we can enjoy.”