Archive for the ‘mom’s’ Category

Today, let’s talk. Tomorrow too.

January 31, 2018

Many years ago now I started talking.

I started talking because my little boy had his first suicide attempt at 5. Kids telling another kid to kill himself will eventually see them try. And because of the countless other ones we’ve encountered, because everyday my child fights to stay alive. And talking helps.

I continued talking through hospitalizations because it’s the only way I could get through leaving my little boy locked on a ward, alone, for something mommy couldn’t fix.

I still talk because we’re not alone, and because I am determined others know they are not either. And because this journey is a lifelong one.

January 31st used to be a love /hate day for me.

Why do we only talk about mental health mental illness for one day? What is one day going to do? Why aren’t we all talking, screaming, about mental health everyday? Why do people jump on the topic for a day and then go back to being blissfully ignorant to the daily impacts? But I loved the awareness it brought, I just didn’t want it to stop. I wanted to shake every single person who was ignorant or argued mental illness wasn’t real.

And though I still talk everyday and I still want to shake ignorant people into the reality many live, I have learned just what a day, yes a single day, can do for the cause.

I have learned that so many people click, share or text for something so crucial. People who get the importance, people who don’t, people who just talk once a year in support, people who talk daily and people who talk sometimes. People care enough to take a moment to show support for those who are battling mental illness. And even if someone just does it because it’s the ‘thing’ of the day, those who tomorrow will go back to ignoring facts or belittling those who are struggling, well that’s ok too (well not really but that’s for another day) , well their money will still at least go to a good cause ūüėČ it’s all good and all appreciated.

I have learned that one day is better than none.

That one day of so many talking is huge for not only awareness but the breaking down of stereotypes.

I know people often say that celebrities speaking up for something or their truth is ridiculous, how dare they use their status for a platform. Here’s the thing folks, mental illness doesn’t discriminate. Mental illness doesn’t care if you are a store clerk, a child, a senior, an athlete or an artist. It just does not. The platform and reach of those who are known is far greater than you or I.

And those who share to increase awareness? Well I for one thank you. It is not easy to talk about our battles and journeys and they talk to vastly more people than I, that takes incredible strength and courage, because yes those stigmas and stereotypes are still very much real.

Today and everyday we keep talking helps break those stereotypes stigmas down. Helps those fighting know they are not alone. Talking educates and brings reality, facts and mental illness to to people who otherwise might not know. It helps my child, and many peoples children know that they are worth it. That there is no shame. That you are enough.

So let’s talk today, let’s keep talking every single day. I have so many private, public and personal conversations, daily, and if we can help one person by sharing our journey sharing and talking is worth it. Because everyone is worth it.

Get talking.

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Take me to sesame street! 

September 1, 2017

I remember when my biggest question was how do I get to sesame street? That and who the hell was that creep pokaroo?

Years later I have a far bigger question :

How did we get here?

*How did I end up with 2 teenagers?  How did we survive and persevere the years gone by and land on our feet?  How did we navigate health issues that appeared insurmountable of our son as young parents? How did we manage to turn out better than we would have imagined. I don’t remember getting here. 

*How did our world turn into what it is? Full of so so much good, but mixed with a hate I’d wished to never see in my lifetime, and certainly did not expect to witness a rising of. What the hell happened doesn’t begin to cover my feelings on current events. I had hoped certain human rights issues would continue to evolve in a positive way, instead I find myself dumbfounded by the opposite. When and why did this all happen? Why is it remotely acceptable?

* When did I become a freaking adult? I won’t say responsible because that’s dependent on the day. But seriously. When did I grow up? 9 years into running a business, 16 years into being a mom and 17 years into being a wife and I can’t help question the sanity of actual responsible adults in my life trusting me with this stuff. It’s almost like I have a clue. And I almost feel like I have them all tricked. Me, in charge of anything? Ha! I suppose maybe I am smarter than I or the majority of people give me credit for? None the less I still can’t figure out how I got here. Tome warp possibly? 

Obviously I need to turn off my brain but most of all I still need to figure out how to get to sesame street! 

Everyone’s Child.

August 16, 2017

Here’s what I know. 

I know that denying or ignoring issues does nothing. 

I know that in many things in life it would be or is easier to ignore problems or shrug them off.

I know that in life ignoring or pretending certain things aren’t a reality doesn’t make them better or go away. 

I wasn’t always the person I am today. My heart used to be good but not the same as it is today. It’s evolved. Along with my mind through the years.

You see having a child who is classified by the general population as “different ” (that’s about the kindest thing he’s been labeled) has opened my eyes greatly.  Has given me perspective and opened my mind even more than it was.

I’ve been asked “why waste your time? ” I’ve been told “you can’t get worked up over things.  Just let it go. ” etc. 

One thing I have learned through parenting a child who battles daily and who has never fit the norm (OK 2 now) is that not speaking up or acknowledging issues does nothing to help. In fact ignoring and denying is often a large part of the problem when talking about stigmas, stereotypes and prejudice.  

If you ignore and deny does that not make it more blissful for the ignorant? 

It may be blissful for them, but for those who live outside of that ignorance, who many are ignorant about, it can and is often hell.

I don’t think those living in glass houses shouldn’t be made aware of the stones often cast at others. Why should they get to decide who is better than who? And why should they get to ruin lives while looking out of their windows but doing nothing?

We all have our passions, opinions,views etc . Most I can appreciate and even follow with enthusiasm at the very least I can understand and respect. I can’t, simply can’t, when they involve hurting or judging other human beings based on stereotypes, prejudice and ignorance.  I just can’t. No matter how much I try.

If your child was outside of the “norm” you preach. If your child (or you) was pushed out, put aside, beaten, emotionally and mentally abused by a portion of society for nothing more than being alive or themselves, would your stones still be cast? Would you just sit by quietly and let them be pummeled? Because after all shouldn’t you just let it go? Should we all just shut up and pretend it’s not reality and do nothing while your child is broken from the stones or hanging from a tree because society has deemed them not worthy? Would you still find it acceptable or not worthy of your attention if it were your child? 

Everyone is someone’s child. 

It matters to me.

July 26, 2017

I haven’t written in a while. ¬†Partly because I am busy in my florist role, partly because I try to enjoy ¬†every piece of what little summer we have. And partly because I wonder, does it even matter?

In the last year I have been disheartened and discouraged by the ignorance and lack of education I have witnessed  (often online because that seems to be the safe place to post ignorant things) and I have found myself wondering why I even bother trying to make a dent in lessening ignorance, stigmas and stereotypes surouning so many things but mostly mental illness.

I find myself shocked. Shocked by the lack of compassion, understanding or even willingness to understand or accept difference. And I wonder how my one little voice can help.

Because I am well aware of how many people on my friends list find my awareness and posts around mental health annoying. ¬†I am well aware of the people who think I am over talking,looking for attention or have no idea what I am talking about because I don’t have a PhD behind my name or I am not peddling some miracle cure. That old saying “walk a mile in my shoes…” comes mind….

Then I realize those people are exactly who need to be “bothered”. Either they don’t understand mental illness on a raw personal level (congratulations) or they think it’s better to not speak of ¬†such things out loud. Both are part of the problem. Sorry but they are. Instead of being annoyed take a minute to read instead of complaining about being annoyed. Instead of being quiet, make a ¬†comment online or in person to show others they are not alone.

In my world openness and being vocal is crucial. ¬†Not only for my loved ones but for others – I ¬†have had frantic messages, visits and phone calls from those I don’t know well reaching out for support,advice or an ear. Had I not shared our journey on a regular basis, they wouldn’t have. Not saying they wouldn’t have found those things elsewhere but would they have felt comfortable or even known they could ask questions without judgements or gossip if I just sat quietly? ¬†probably not. And I like to think maybe I was able to bring a bit of comfort. A bit of guidance.

I have been brought back recently that stigmas and stereotypes and ignorance around mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, like a big ol kick in the face.

And I am committed; that as long as those who suffer feel judged or inclined to suffer alone or end it all, that I will be a voice for them.

Be it a little voice.  For the more little voices there are, the bigger the roar. And how I wish there were more little voices.