IM Going Outward Bound Once Again- Well, Sort of.

IM Going Outward Bound Once Again- Well, Sort of.

Friday 26 September 2014

Just Around the Corner

Well, its been an interesting few weeks. It has been a struggle, it has been frustrating, and, I know, it will happen again.

Living with an invisible chronic illness is a challenge, add stigma to that, and things can get tougher.

Life was humming along nicely, I was getting my long morning walks in, writing, playing golf, going out with friends, laughing and smiling. Then, it came on slowly, visiting every once in a while throughout the week, then more often, then on a daily basis, then it decided it liked my company so much it decided to stay with me 24 hours a day.

I had another "episode" where my brain was not function at its optimum level, things were a challenge and in the end I needed to take care of myself, pull away from activities and have lots of quiet time and do a ton of self care. It seemed to take so much energy to do anything, read a book, go for a walk, talk to anyone.

This drives me nuts!

 I love September, the changing of the seasons, but for some reason this is a really hard time of the year for me. I don't know what it is, I have given up trying to figure it out. All I can do is be aware of it, and be extra vigilant with my self care and what I do.

I  am very fortunate to have very caring professionals in my life. When life gets like this, I pull in my resources to help me through these times. My family and friends know I have a mental illness and they support me the best they can, and they do a dam fine job of it. They also know that I am not my illness. They love and support me and accept me for who I am. That in itself is an amazing gift.

I have been through many of these "episodes" and I will again. Some, like this one will last a short while and I can deal with it at home, and I know, there may be a time in my future where I will need the help of the hospital. I also know, no matter which way it goes, it is not a character flaw, and I am not my illness.

I also know, that "this too shall pass." There have been times in my life where I doubted that, where I wondered if  I would  make it to the next day, and wondered " how will I get through this." But I have, and now, since my correct diagnoses, I have a much larger tool box, with much better tools to help me through these times. And life just keeps getting better.

Two nights ago, I was out with my son. We were having an ice creme and song came over the stores sound system. It was a song that was on the hit parade when I was 17 years old. I looked at my son and thought about that teen I was back then. How messed up and afraid of the world I was. Of how much pain I was in. I never would have thought that 37 years later I would be enjoying time with my son and laughing with him. I guess that's the thing about life, you never know what is around the corner.

A couple of weeks ago while I was coming out of this episode, I received an e-mail from as organization called F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids and Mental health looking for parents who might be interested in attending the Child and Youth Mental Health and Substance Use Congress. I thought "all they can do is say no" so I applied and am thrilled to say that I have been accepted and I leave Sunday morning for the congress in Kelowna, and get back Wednesday night. I am looking forward to meeting others who believe we need to talk and educate about mental illness.I look forward to leaning and being inspired.

And I am still amazed at what life puts on my doorstep.

Life is a challenge for everyone, it has its ups and downs, winding roads and dark alleys. It also has its rainbow, rays of sun shine and spring mornings. I also know I am loved, supported and not my illness. I also know, I have no idea what is around the next corner.

I wish you all well in your journeys and  that you find many lovely surprise's around your corners.

Those are my thoughts for today

Cheers and be well


Thursday 11 September 2014

Welcome to Hope and Mental Health

Welcome to my new blog Hope and Mental Health.

A new day and a new adventure awaits me, and I am spreading out in the field of writing.

For those of you who have read my other blog you know that I have Dissociative Identity Disorder, Complex P.T.S.D. and issues with depression. In that blog I write about the struggles and adventures of living daily with these conditions and my journey through life. I will keep writing that blog.

I am also now going to be writing another one, this one. I have been wanting to do so for the last year or two, but you know how life happens! But the time seemed right, so I contacted Partners for mental Health They have what is called a Community Correspondence which gives me another opportunity to speak up and campaign to help change the way people think about mental illness. Sounds like a good fit for me. So I contacted them, spoke to them and emails back and forth and here I am. I am pretty excited about this.

So, here in my first blog post and  I would like to introduce myself and tell you a little about me.

I live in Comox, B.C. and am a mother, a wife, a friend, writer, dragon boater, golfer, ringette player, photographer and a much loved member of my community. I also live with a mental illness and am an educator and advocate on mental illness.

I also know how scary it can be to think you have a mental illness, especially, if while growing up ones family never talked about,-even if it was an obvious issue-or if they did talk, it was always in a negative and scary way.

When I was correctly diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder ( D.I.D.) in 2003, the 1st thought that came to mind was "thank christ I'm not crazy", then that thought was immediately followed by  " Wholly shit! I must be crazy!!! The only understanding I had of this condition was what I had seen in the media. I soon learned it was nothing like that, and with education and research I learned what it really was. For more of this story go to (page 28)

Since then it has been one heck of a journey and now I write and give  presentations and talks to medical and nursing students, high school and college psychology students and meet with various youth groups. And one of the very 1st things I tell them is it is nothing like you see on T.V.

 I do not work, I am on a disability pension,- that's another blog for another time,the mentally ill fighting the government for a disability pension one paid into- so I can freely be open and talk about my illness and advocate around mental illness. I have nothing to loose, no job etc. Unfortunately it is not like that for everyone.

Yes, I know it can be scary to talk about it, but I truly believe that with open and respectful dialogue we can all come to a better understanding of what mental illness is really like, and why we need to be concerned about ones mental health, even if you don't have a mental illness. By doing this, I can help reduce the stigma and misunderstandings surrounding mental illness, one person at a time.

I have had a few people say to me-( I now understand out of their own fear)- "you're just opening a Pandora's Box." It may seem like that to them, but I also know, first hand, what its like to grow up in a household where  one or more of the family members  have an undiagnosed mental illness. We all payed the cost, and some of us continue to pay for it to this day. And like Pandora's box, while all the focus was on what came out of the box and trying to deal with that,, or ignoring it,  very few people looked and saw in the corner that thing that keeps me going. Hope!

And I hope that's what this blog does, to bring hope to others and to help educate what mental illness is really all about and slowly start to chip away at the stigma, misunderstandings and misconceptions that we all deal with.

Those are my thoughts for today.

Cheers and be well