For several months I’ve been stalking the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention web site to find out when the 2013 National Overnight Walk would be held.
I’ve thought about doing the “biggie” since my first Seattle Out of the Darkness Walk in 2011, and last year it wasn’t even too far from home on the west coast in San Francisco. But we had quite a bit of house flooding/company shaky/financial trouble last year and I just couldn’t make it happen.
Yesterday it was announced, The 2013 Overnight Walk, an 18-miles walk overnight will take place in Washington DC June 1-2. That doesn’t give us a ton of time to fundraise or try and find travel sponsors (financially its still difficult to swing a cross country trip) but in my heart I REALLY want to do this. I’m in tears actually, thinking about how badly I want to do this.
So I took the plunge and set up a fundraising page. I want to, no, I PLAN TO make this walk. So I’m sharing my profile with you: http://theovernight.donordrive.com/participant/ccomes
Please donate. Please share.
Oh, and if you want to walk with me, AMAZING! I’ve got a code for 1/2 OFF the registration fee. Just enter DC2013 (before Feb 26) for $25 off.
Whatever you are inspired to give, I’ll take…even $1 is not too little. Shoot, if all of my Twitter followers donated $1 I’d blow way past my goal.
In order to participate, each walker MUST raise $1,000 for the AFSP. I KNOW I can do this because in 2011, with the added encouragement of the #bluebloggers and our promise to dye our hair blue, I raised over $1,600. But I also need to raise funds to fly from Seattle to DC. (Or get a corporate travel sponsor.) So I’ll be hitting the pavement for that too.
Or I’m also opening the option of contributing via Paypal. If you do PayPal PLEASE NOTE: please specify whether your donation is for “AFSP only” or to go toward “travel expenses”, and I will move your donation for you to the appropriate account (AFSP or Travel).
Use this button for Paypal donations.
Why is this SO important to me? In case you’re new here, let me explain.
About 10 years ago in 2003, I was suicidal. But I eventually was able to reach out, speak up and receive proper treatment. And even though the stigma of revealing my mental illness at work, with friends and family scared me greatly, I somehow found the strength. And I was, and continue to be, SO very grateful.
In July 2005, a college friend, a young father and husband, died by suicide. And I knew that while many seemed angry at his actions, sadly, I understood that kind of pain.
In December 2010, a dear life-long friend Dina, a mother of a 15-year-old son, died by suicide.
Dina’s death shook me to the core. She was a high school friend (we met in 1987 at the age of 13) and she and I are part of a group of girls who continue to stay close and even vacation together to this day since our graduation in 1991. She was troubled for many years, and many of us had tried to save her. And it was my greatest fear for her come to pass.
Something in me shook violently that day. I truly identified with her pain. And I needed to do something.
I got on my soapbox about mental health. I started blogging. I started walking and raising funds for the AFSP. And that is where I am today.
Grateful to be alive. Ever vigilant of my own mental health. And so damn sad that millions of loved ones around the world are lost WAY too soon…because of stigma and fear of reaching out.
That’s my story.
Today, I am continuing to stand up for mental health. I am walking in the The Overnight 2013.
PS. Very special THANKS to my first donation from a Twitter friend @FarFrmParadise from Far From Paradise Blog. She’s a mom of a teen with mental illness who attempted suicide and has lived through several hospitalizations since December 2010. And in her own words, her blog “…gives focus to families who suddenly and somewhat unexpectedly find themselves in the midst of a Mental Health Crisis, with little forewarning and less idea of what they are about to experience…This blog serves as a guide to dealing and working with mental illness service…based solely on personal experience….”