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Do we smile at this kind of event? #SuicidePrevention

Suicide prevention walk opening ceremonies

Sunday was our big community walk for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention here locally in Seattle. You may know I'm on a Board of Directors here in Washington State, so I was there as volunteer event staff, a new position for me. At last year's Seattle walk I was a volunteer handing out honor beads to attendees, and years … [Read more...]

Be a Superhero #EndSuicide

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These people are real live superheroes. Each one has survived intense suicidal thoughts and/or suicide attempts. They all have an illness that's symptoms often include intrusive thoughts of wanting to die. And that is so so very scary and sad and frustrating, but no matter what, they continue to fight. So to me that makes them superheroes, even … [Read more...]

Avoid the Media and Reach Out

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There is so much sadness all over the internet today--as well as ignorance about mental illness and suicide--for me and for many who have either lost loved ones or who struggle themselves, it's really hard to read. The loss of a beloved public figure like Robin Williams is heartbreaking. We all feel as though we knew him. He spoke publicly about … [Read more...]

Social Media Silence

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Yesterday both my mom and my friend Angel (who I met at last year's Overnight Walk, see pic) messaged me asking if I was OK. And I am...OK. I guess my last blog post about things I hate about mental illness and my "social media silence" as Angel put it were signs to them. I can feel a lack of balance with my meds and a kind of mild … [Read more...]

10 Things I Hate About Mental Illness

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I'm not ashamed to have mental illness, but it does really suck to have it...for lots of reasons. Can you relate? I know I'm not alone here. So many things to contend with and fight against on a daily basis. There are days I want to scream, or cry, or maybe both. So what are 10 things I personally hate about mental illness? Here we go. 1. The … [Read more...]

Spontaneous Combustion

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I always burn out after a big event. Sometimes I think of it as a hangover, but this year its definite burnout. So its taken me several days to write this. After months of fundraising and planning, last weekend was the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Overnight Walk, bringing suicide out of the darkness. This year was a 17-1/2 mile … [Read more...]

My Illness Lies and I Can’t Help But Listen

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A couple nights ago I had the worst headache of my life. OK, maybe not the worst. I get headaches a lot and sometimes they're bad. But this one seriously made me want to vomit. I couldn't fall asleep and just wanted to cry, and since I've been spacey and not myself. But honestly, I'm pretty sure I know why. A couple of weeks ago I started … [Read more...]

Guest Post: PTSD and the Abused Child now Mother

TRIGGER WARNING: Child abuse and post traumatic stress disorder. Child abuse crisis information can be found at  www.childhelp.org/pages/hotline-home. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline is 800-4-A-CHILD … [Read more...]

Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health {On the Move}

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This Sunday, May 11th, Postpartum Progress--the world's most widely read blog about perinatal and postpartum mood disorders--is  hosting its 6th annual Mother’s Day Rally for Moms’ Mental Health. 24 letters to new moms, one posted each hour on the hour, from women who have been there. I'm honored to be one of the writers for this annual … [Read more...]

My story is not over; and neither is yours.

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A semicolon represents a sentence the author could have ended; but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life. Today is April 16th, which is the day of the Semi Colon Project. A day when those who have struggled with grief, or been suicidal, or self harmed, or lived with a broken heart, or have been depressed, and have made it … [Read more...]

Our Stories Are Not Over #SemicolonProject416

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I recently read about the Semicolon Project on Healthy Place. It really spoke to me, and when I shared the information in my mental health blogs group on Facebook, many of my fellow advocates responded to the campaign; especially as writers living with mental illness. I just love the imagery and personal statement of this awareness … [Read more...]

The Life Saver

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I stayed up past 3am drawing something... I was so inspired and moved to be creating it that I just couldn't stop. I know some of you (but definitely not all of you) know I've been struggling in a manic phase. I saw my doctor just under 2 weeks ago and she completely revised my med doses because it was just getting out of hand. The not … [Read more...]

Share Without Shame

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. On Saturday a few friends and I went to the Overnight Walk Kick-Off Event in Seattle. We were there as representatives for our Washington Chapter, but mainly the goal was to introduce first timers to the National 17-mile Overnight Walk, and encourage those still thinking about it to take the plunge. I was honored to be invited to speak as … [Read more...]

Postpartum Bipolar Disorder & World Bipolar Day

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. I'm over at Postpartum Progress this morning and we're talking about Postpartum Bipolar Disorder. Many women who experience PPD in the classic sense also experience the very often misdiagnosed symptom of hypomania/mania. And some women even go on to actually develop chronic Bipolar after childbirth. Its something I know I never realized … [Read more...]

World Bipolar Day March 30

Cristi Comes WBD

. It wasn't until recently that my doctor realized I had more than Depression and Anxiety as I had thought my whole life. After having kids I also started to display the symptom of Mania as well. Living with Bipolar Disorder isn't something I'd wish on anyone. But its a part of me and it doesn't define me. I am so much more. March 30th is … [Read more...]

Why Support My Suicide Prevention Fundraising

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. I've got a fundraiser going for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention that you may have heard about. But why should you pre-order a shirt and donate to this vital cause? What does the AFSP do with that money? How does it help bring us closer to the goal of suicide prevention? After recently becoming a member of our local Washington … [Read more...]

Mental Health Triggers Explained and Tips

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. Have you ever seen a blog post with a "Trigger Warning" at the top? Have you wondered what that means exactly? There are a lot of normal everyday things that can trigger symptoms of mental illness like anxiety or panic. For those of you who don't have a mental illness it might be difficult to understand. Or maybe not. But things that may … [Read more...]

Once Upon a Time: Depression #DayofLight

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. Once upon a time, there was a 20-something girl with a family history of mental illness. But she didn't know that at the time. It was something that wasn't talked about. Something that lurked in the darkness. When she started struggling herself, she didn't know what it was. She felt confused, alone and sad. She stopped eating and lost 10 … [Read more...]

Bring Depression Out of the Darkness #DayofLight

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. On Wednesday February 5th bloggers from all over the country are collaborating to flood social media with personal stories about living with depression, and accurate information on managing and living with the mental illness. #DayOfLight was created to shine a light on depression, and share resources for those who are struggling with the … [Read more...]

PPMD Screening: A Matter of Life Or Death

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. GUEST POST By: A'Driane, mama of three, wife to a nerdy futurist, and a color addict who gets a rush from putting paint to canvas. A PPD & PPA survivor, she now strives to find the beauty in living despite the chaos of Bipolar Disorder Type II & OCD. An ardent believer in the power of transparency and vulnerability, she owns her story … [Read more...]

This is My Brave Show: Auditions Open

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.   This is My Brave, the show: "Opening up about Mental Illness" is the brainchild of passionate blogger and mental health advocate Jennifer Marshall (@bipolarmomlife). I wrote about her endeavor earlier last year when she Kickstarted her event (with success) and now that the event is set and auditions are scheduled, I wanted to share more … [Read more...]