For the last couple of weeks, I've been thinking about many things. I'm trying to figure out how I can utilize this website better. I've decided to let loose for once. I've realized that I have held back because I didn't want to be judged but I will no longer hold back. I'm going to tell it like I see it. I let my own fear get the best of me.
I try to encourage people to share their story and I understand it isn't the easiest thing to do. I get it..having to re-live the pain, the struggle and the heartbreak is just too hard for some people. You live in fear that someone is going to judge you, ridicule you, fear you. I get it...
Who can we blame for this? Do we blame the people that are uneducated and don't understand? Do we blame the government for the lack of funding? Do we blame the news media for making a mockery of our everyday life of struggle with our own mental health or that of our loved ones? WHO DO WE BLAME?
I must say that WE ARE ALL TO BLAME. We need to take this blanket that we have over mental health and finally share what our struggles are. How do you expect those uneducated people to understand? Fear is the worst thing you can allow to control you. You make everyone else's fear your own and guess what???? We all end up feeling the stigma and continue to apply blankets over the one thing people need to learn about. MENTAL HEALTH!
We have allowed this to happen to us. Hiding behind the one thing that needs attention in this nation keeps us from moving forward and getting our loved ones the help they need. We are all so scared of what everyone may think, how they will treat us, hate us, fear us but; WHO CARES! We are stronger than what we believe and we all need to unite together and make this fight OURS. One voice can spark a conversation but many voices can start changing the world.
As a Mental Health Advocate, I am encouraging everyone to get off your asses and help me make this place a better place for our families and loved ones affected by mental illness. Stand beside me, not behind me.
Thankfully the dark cloud has lifted and after three weeks he has finally come out his depression. For a moment there I was a bit worried that we would end up in the hospital. He is back to his delightful self and has been actively reading on his own without being told. Reading use to be a hot issue. He still has his moments but he's trying to help himself more and more. This is a great feeling and it reassures me that he wants to get better. Usually I was the one trying to figure out his triggers and how to deal with them. Now I see him trying to figure out his own coping skills to help with the voices.
I've learned one thing about him last week. Something that tells me that I'm on the right track. He came to me with an English assignment from school. The assignment is to write a short story. His idea for the short story is about his life with mental illness. We all know that stories like this are far from short but he is determined to tell his story. So I helped him introduce his characters and helped him write a short synopsis. He was quite impressed that his classmates were interested and anticipating to read the whole story. What I learned is that he's starting to embrace his illness and trying to make it positive. I'm very proud.
I can stand in front of an audience and tell my story over and over. My story is never the same and often I'm more emotional on some days than most but; the day my son stands up and tells his own story in front of an audience will be my last and final time. It will be the day that I will completely be able to share my emotions without holding back. I will be able to break down and feel what I have been holding back for many years. His OWN story will be the brick that breaks the wall that has blocked the hidden pain and emotion that I have felt since this journey of ours began. Daniel's OWN story will help many people see that there is hope in the midst of all the pain and struggle one has to endure when living with a mental illness.
I wanted to wish every mom out there reading this a Happy Mother's Day.
It takes a special woman to become a mom but an extraordinary one to raise a child with a mental illness.
Our life is not easy, for some of us we are far from the road to recovery but let's not forget one thing.
Hope that one day our children will be able to live a happy and productive life.
Hope that we will be able to move forward without ever having to look back.
Hope that one day we will be able to have the best healthcare for our children.
Hope that we will overcome the stigma.
Hope that our children will give us that look of appreciation for all that we have done
and continue to do for them.
I know it's difficult to see our children struggle when they are spiraling up and down but just remember who it is they seek for comfort, love, and support.
Happy Mother's Day!
In honor of Mental Health Month, I've decided to open the door of opportunity to other parents, caregivers, spouses, and those that struggle daily with mental illness to share their stories.
You've heard my story, now it's your turn to share yours. I understand it takes a lot of courage to share your story of struggle but it also takes a lot of fear to keep you from doing so. I am encouraging you to look fear in the eye and without letting it stare you down...do it. It will help you in the long run and it will help others too.
I invite you to email me your story. I will share them on the page Voices. You don't have to share your name or where you are from. All you have to do is tell your story. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can simply send me a message via the comment option on this blog post. Don't worry, the only way your comment will be seen is if I approve it for posting. In this case, I will only copy and paste it to Voices and delete the comment after.
Let's get the conversation started by speaking up...it's the only way to have our voices heard.
I would like to share a few fact sheets about child/adolescent mental health. If you have a child that you may think could be having problems or at risk. Please read these and seek additional information from your local NAMI Affiliate. If you need help getting in contact with your local affiliate; contact me and I will help you.
Go green all this month to support mental health. This week is Children's Mental Health Week. Let's get started with telling our stories.
Starting at mid-night, if you click on the picture below. You will be able to donate to NAMI San Antonio for the next 24 hours. Please help our affiliate by making a donation. All proceeds go directly to educating the community about mental illness. Help us stop the stigma.
I'm a mother with an agenda to save her son from the grips of his mental illness and stop stigma so that those who suffer in silence can seek help without fearing the worse. Join me on this roller coaster ride..you're no longer alone.