I have reached the $1,000 mark and have almost raised as much as I did last year, which was $1,065. My goal this year is $1,500 and I have a week left to reach my goal. I was hoping my sister and brother-in-law were going to have their garage sale before the NAMI Walk and they said they’d donate some of the money to my walk but that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. I’m still happy I raised at least one thousand. I would like to brag last years even if I don’t meet this years goal. My team this year will be much bigger about 30 people compared to 14 last year. So over all I’m doing well. If you’d like to help me reach my goal if greatly appreciate it, every little amount counts.
This is a picture of my team shirt for the NAMI Walk this year. I have the green mental illness awareness ribbon with hope written inside. I’m finally seeing a lot of hope in my life. Over a year and a half without a hospitalization. Transferring to UC Davis in the fall and moving out. Getting accepted to all the other colleges I applied to was validation and definitely help my self esteem. I’m growing up and seeing a future. There is hope.
All of my school has officially started. I’m pretty excited about it, which is obviously a change from everyday life ?. I’ve woken up happy and anticipating the day a lot lately. Switching the Viibryd to the morning has really helped and I’m not getting day time sleepiness anymore. Last night I started to get down on myself because I didn’t eat very healthy yesterday, and then I thought about it and said to myself “you’ll do better tomorrow” that’s a big step. I’m thinking about going into some heavy stuff into counseling because I actually feel stable, but now that she has switched jobs I worry about getting emergency appointments if I need them. I also worry about if it will turn into a need for hospitalization. Yesterday was #BellLetsTalk day in Canada for mental health, I wrote a short status on my regular facebook, including the info that I had been hospitalized over a dozen times. I got a share and a comment, not the response I got when I first wrote about my diagnoses last year- but that status was short and people don’t usually read long status updates. I have an appointment with the psychiatrist today, I hope to get something PRN for the voices or when I get overwhelmed and can’t cope.
This is my 4th Annual Walk and 3rd as a Team Captain. See my team photos above. My team name is Marci, Mental Health, and More from this blog that I use to raise awareness about mental illness.
I personally struggle with Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar Type and Borderline Personality Disorder. I think it’s very important to raise awareness and fight stigma. Many people with mental illnesses are just like you and me, they just face additional struggles.
NAMI is a great organization for support and information on everything mental illness.
Help me raise awareness by joining the team, or consider making a donation. My goal is to raise $1,000
Exactly and please lets not only talk about mental illnesses in the wake of mass shootings, it gives us a bad name and only continues the stigma and fear that the general population feels.
Another awful shooting.
A college in Oregon, a movie theater in Louisiana, a church in Charleston, an elementary school in Connecticut and a movie theater in Colorado… schools, military bases… There are so many I can’t remember all of them.
My brother, Paul Flannery, suffered a psychotic break at age 16. Convinced, after watching the violent miniseries of The Last of the Mohicans, that he had been scalped, he shaved his head. Bleeding profusely from several razor nicks, he then ran through the house screaming, bolted out the door, stole my parents’ Volkswagen and took off. (I wrote about caring for him in my book,( Shot in the Head, A Sister’s Memoir, a Brother’s Struggle) Probably the only reason he didn’t hurt anyone was that he was taken to a hospital where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia, medicated, and held in various psychiatric facilities for the next twenty years…
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1. What does bipolar disorder mean to you?
Bipolar is just part of my diagnosis but it feels like a part of me. While the mania is controlled by medication, the depressions are hellish. Before I felt like I was on a roller coaster complete with head rushes and motion sickness.
2. What was your life like before you were diagnosed with bipolar disorder?
My actual diagnosis is Schizoaffective Disorder Bipolar type, but before that I was diagnosed with just about every type of Bipolar since I was 20. I just thought I got really hyper. I knew the depressions were depression and had been diagnosed with that since age 10.
3. How old were you when you were diagnosed?
Bipolars 20s- Type !, Type II, ultra radian cycling, mixed with psychosis, NOS
4. How do you manage your symptoms?
Medication and therapy. Meds for the mania and coping skills and therapy for the depressions. Also meds for the psychosis.
5. What is life like for you now?
Like a mini roller coaster lately but that’s because of the Borderline Personality disorder which is another one of my diagnosis. But more stable than in my early 20’s Still have a rough time when the depressions come.
6. Has having bipolar disorder affected your friendships, personal life, or professional life?
My mental health issues keep me unable to work. It’s hard to connect with people because of attachment and BPD. Depressions cause me to withdraw and get really suicidal. I’ve needed to be in a psychiatric hospital many times because of symptoms including the mood aspects of bipolar
7. How do you think society treats people with a mental illness, especially bipolar disorder?
Some people think that anyone who is “moody” is bipolar and that pisses me off. I think it’s over diagnosed and intense or acute episodes don’t get the news.
8. Have you ever felt discriminated against or looked poorly on because of bipolar disorder?
I feel some people exaggerate their symptoms or call them self bipolar when they are not.
9. Do you have any words of advice for people in the world suffering with bipolar disorder, or other mental illness?
Keep going. You’re strong. There is a uniqueness about you.
I’m doing the NAMIWalks 2015 again and this will be my 3rd year doing it! The Walk is set for Saturday May 2nd, 2015 at 10:30am. Last year I was surprised at how many people joined my team. This walk is dog (on leash) and kid friendly. Help me raise money and awareness for mental illness. NAMI (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill) is one of the biggest national nonprofits for mental health, you can check out their webpage (www.nami.org) for general information on disorders, medication, treatment and more; it also has information on support and education groups for you and your family.
To make a donation or join my team follow this link: Team- Marci, Mental Health, and More
Day 30: What does recovery mean to you?
This is a loaded question with a lot of people. I just read an article in the NAMI Advocate about the medical model of recovery and the recovery model of recovery. Essentially the medical model defines recovery as curing or reducing symptoms where the recovery model focuses on improving health and wellness. My opinion is that both need to be integrated. Specific to my mental illnesses (schizoaffective disorder and borderline personality disorder) I need reduced symptoms to help improve health and wellness. Without therapy, counseling, and medication I could not do the things that keep me well like school for structure and accountability, socializing for support, distraction, and fun, and just maintaining a somewhat normal life.
With voices, suicidal thoughts, self harm scars to hide and be ashamed of, no energy, emptiness, no motivation, and mistrust (all symptoms of the two disorders) it is impossible to live a recovered happy life. Will all my symptoms ever go away, will I ever be cured? Probably not. But I know I have lived periods of my life where my symptoms were so out of control I had no quality of life. I couldn’t attend school or work or any structured activity. I wasn’t stable. All I thought about was suicide and was constantly self harming. Life was pointless and empty and I was not going to engage with it.
Luckily I’m not there anymore and I know I will still have my days .
I have written a post about a year ago on Recovery and how do you know what it is. I have been ill most all my life and most people think of recovery as “before;” before the illness, before the drinking, before the impairment- how you functioned, felt, thought before whatever it is that has you off kilter. There is no “before” for me, which in a way is nice because there is nothing to be expected but in the same way it’s a little fearful because I don’t know what a recovered life will look for like me.
There is also a post on Recovery and what it means to me in terms of my Borderline Personality Disorder it was written based on an article in a NAMI newsletter in 2012.
For me recovery is: Me being able to function consistently. Being able to maintain a regular schedule with personal fulfillment whether through employment, volunteering, or education. Have socially supportive relationships and be able to reciprocate. Having fun! Feeling like I have some purpose to my life, and putting to use my past to help others. Being in a romantic relationship. Having a pet kid and maybe helping raise a real child whether through family or foster/adoption. Being able to accept the bad days, the symptoms, the illness and know that it will come and go and I can always come back to recovery. Recovery will be a process not a destination.
Wise words from a fellow blogger
Because recovery does not mean that you will never become unwell. Recovery means you are better prepared for life, more able to cope with it’s ups and downs. Recovery means an understanding of what it is to fall… And what it is to fight your way back up.
I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses. My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts. You can also start at anytime. I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. The master list of prompts is here.
Day 22 of the Zero to Hero Challenge… is to participate in another blogging event. I started hosting this blog challenge/event in October of 2013 but because of symptoms still haven’t finished it. Here is the information on it:
I decided to start this challenge first of all to help my readers learn more things specifically related to my mental illnesses. My fellow bloggers are welcome to participate in any or all of the challenge prompts. I will do a post within about 3 days of the prompt and my response to link to people who participate, please pingback/link to this post or tag 30MIAC. If you chose to do the prompts later, don’t find the challenge till later, or life happens and you don’t get a prompt answered within the 3 days no worries, if you pingback to this post I will add you to the post that has the links to that prompt. I will be starting to post my responses to the prompts in October, I am just posting this now so people can brainstorm and spread the word. You can also start at anytime. I hope this will raise some awareness and give you insight to mental illness. The master list of prompts is here. Here is the image to go with the challenge:
Day 29: What are a few of your goals regarding your mental health.
- Become more independent (long term), moving out to family friend’s house (shorter term).
- To stop self harming (currently at 14 months) and develop and constantly employ healthier coping skills.
- Less relapses and less acute episodes. Especially regarding depression and psychosis.
- A better stable base state, that lasts longer.
- Supportive relationships, mostly in friendships.
- Working on intimacy issues, online dating (short term).
- Be physically healthier, more balanced diet and some exercise. Yes, physical health does impact mental health.