The Sting of Stigma

(Trigger warning: This post contains terms mental health survivors may find offensive.)

 

When first confronted with the locked ward thirty years ago, you could say I resisted. I had an inkling something wasn’t quite right with me, but I most certainly had no interest in joining the ranks of the mentally ill. I knew almost nothing about manic depression, as bipolar affective disorder was referred to in those days, but I knew enough to realize even a whiff of that label would cause people to view me negatively.

I have tried over the years to enjoy Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy” song. Espouse the driving beat and catchy tune, party and dance to The Purple One’s genius. But the words still sting. Once you’ve lived through losing your mind, celebrating going crazy becomes difficult.

I wince when I hear people speak casually about the loony bin, straight jackets or being taken away in a truck. I’ve experienced some of those things firsthand and they’re not funny. It’s a universal fear to lose touch with reality so people often say things like, “Working from home is going to drive me crazy.” Mental health issues in the time of COVID-19 are real and I take umbrage with the way the terms are thrown around.

Realistically, I’ll never stop these types of slights. They bug me but result in what I’ll call first level insults. It exemplifies a type of stigma that is so pervasive it may never change. I take a passive approach and just smile along when I hear all of the euphemisms people have for psychosis. A more egregious type of affront has been delivered by people who ask me about my mental health like it’s a joke.

In preparation for the release of my recently completed memoir, I’ve been opening up in stages. At first, I only discussed my bipolar diagnosis with family and close friends. As I opened the aperture on my real life to more people, I’ve experienced stigma with a ferocity that surprised me.

“Are you crazy now?” I was asked at a family reunion.

“Shouldn’t you leave that on a therapist’s couch? Why do we need to know?” That came from a friend who thought my disclosure was way too much for her taste. These types of statements speak volumes about the people asking the questions, rather than me. I still felt slapped.

But the third level of stigma, which is even more dangerous, is the discrimination or social shunning I’ve experienced. After almost three years of working for a business partnership, I decided to disclose my diagnosis. There has been much written about the perils of disclosing a mental health condition on the job. On one hand, if no one knows, supposedly they can’t hold it against you. On the other, if you disclose, you can get accommodations if you need them. I felt confident in my abilities and my work was exemplary. I wanted to have the freedom to be myself in the office. I told the people I worked for I had bipolar affective disorder. Six weeks later, I was walked to my car with a smattering of hastily assembled personal items in a box. They called it eliminating my position, but the timing was more than coincidental.

I’ve lost friendships over the years as well. Well meaning people say, “They weren’t real friends” yet I was crushed at the time. Some folks encouraged me to sue my employers, but I chose to take a different tack. I used the time to finish my book. I don’t regret my decision to be open about my mental health status, yet I know it comes with risk. It’s in being open and sharing our stories that we fight the stigma.

I’ve lived most of the past thirty years in abject terror of being found out I have a mental illness. I no longer have that fear. I’m also realistic enough to know disclosure closes some doors for me. Stigma is real and it hurts. I’m willing to work for the time we can stand on our own merits and mental illness will not have the added burdens of shame and stigma it does today.

Colleen

You Are So Brave…

“You are so brave to share your story,” many people have said to me throughout the years.

“Thank you,” I would humbly reply and never felt like I was brave.

Each time I share my story of living, surviving and overcoming severe mental illness it becomes easier and the need to be brave becomes less. Additionally, the statement of “I am so brave to share my story” becomes even more inaccurate and untrue.

“I never felt brave. I was just being me–the only way I knew how to be.”

I know when people say I am brave to share my story of living with mental illness, they think it is a compliment. However, sometimes it doesn’t feel like a compliment. It reminds me I am different than them, when I don’t feel as if I am and I don’t want to be.

“I just took a different path that brought us to the same place.”

I feel like they think I am brave to share what is wrong with me and how I am different than them. It sounds like they are saying they think my story is so unbelievable and different that it must take courage to speak about it and I should be ashamed of it.

I, on the other hand, am not embarrassed or ashamed of my life or myself. I am proud of who I have become–my strength, courage, determination and resiliency to overcome my illness and many obstacles along the way.

To be brave you must be fearful of something first and it must be difficult for you to do. But, it is not difficult and I am not afraid to share the story of my life. I tell my story to increase understanding, make people happy, share love, inspire hope and encourage others that recovery is possible and that life is worth living and fighting for.

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When someone says I am brave it makes me feel like I should be embarrassed and ashamed to tell my story and share who I am, but I want to share my story and who God helped me become. I am not ashamed or embarrassed. Instead I am very proud of being a survivor and know I am beyond blessed to be alive.

Some people may think I am brave to share my mental illness journey because it is difficult for them to share their own stories. The reason people have to find courage to share their stories and even talk about mental wellness and recovery is caused from the stigma of mental illness.

Stigma puts fear in people to share their own stories. I pray one day people will feel free and uninhibited to share their stories and NEVER have to live in shame. We all need to hold our heads up high and feel free to share our stories without fear of judgement or condemnation of any kind.

People who live with mental illness need to understand and truly BELIEVE that mental illness is NOTHING to be ashamed of. It is an illness that you acquired and is never your fault. Instead of being ashamed of having a mental illness you must be proud because you are truly a survivor and an inspiring hero every minute of every day to keep fighting through the pain and stigma of mental illness.

The fact that I am alive to share my story is a miracle in and of itself. First and foremost, all the praise and glory must be given to God. I must share God’s goodness and grace to all I meet. That is the main message that needs to be shared and heard. I strive to always let God’s love shine through me and touch everyone I meet.

Additionally, the praises and compliments need to go to the listeners and readers of my story. I am thankful and beyond words grateful that I have an audience to listen and read my story.

Thank you for reading and listening. I hope I helped and inspired you in many ways. I share my gift of life with you so that you can live and thrive in your own life and enjoy the pure beauty of living and the precious miracle in each breath of life.


© 2019 Susan Walz | myloudwhispersofhope.com | All Rights Reserved

Joy Daehn Interview Feature

There are times when writing interview features for The Bipolar Writer blog that it gets personal to me because I can directly relate to the subject of the article. When that happens, I feel as if I must tell the story right. Today I share the story of Joy Daehn, originally from Sagamihara, Japan— and currently lives in Florida. You can find her blog at https://happy-thinks.com

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Joy Daehn: A Story of Overcomer

In every journey with a mental illness, we all start at the point where an event or something significant influences how your mental illness affects the rest of your life. For Joy Daehn, her mental illness started very young due to abuse.

“It’s hard to say if I was born with a mental illness or if it formed over time,” Joy explains about her mental illness origins. “I would say that it is my biggest curse, but also my biggest blessing.”

Since her childhood, Joy has always wanted to help others, find her purpose, and at the same time feel welcomed. Joy believes that her mental illness has allowed her to connect with so many wonderful people on her blog, but to reliving the trauma she faced a child is something she would never want to relive.

“There are good people in this world that sometimes ‘just don’t get it.’ They mean well, but they will never understand.”

On a daily basis Joy has to contend with her diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with dissociative symptoms, a diagnosis she finally got in February of 2018. Due to the fear about the stigma of mental illness Joy decided to put off evaluation— this is a common occurrence in this mental illness life.

“I honestly do not remember a time I have not struggled with some form of mental health,” she remembers, “I remember having suicidal thoughts as a child and being depressed as early as age nine.”

What Joy sees in her life is being able to understand what it is like to have suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks ruling her life. This understanding has allowed her to step into a place with other people that otherwise may not have permission to go. “And I say ‘with’ because I am still figuring this thing out.”

The hardest part of the daily routine of living with PTSD involves people who don’t know or don’t understand what it means to have a panic attack that is PTSD related.

“It has often made me afraid to go into social settings even though I enjoy being around people for the most part,” Joy explains about this type of anxiety.

To get through a single day Joy is very much a planner. Each day she has an agenda that Joy writes the day before, it helps her get through her daily grind. It has become a routine in Joy’s life, and it coincides with her mood journal that she keeps daily.

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“This helps me clear my mind of any negativity. Prayer and meditation at the end of the day it also helps me reset my thinking,” Joy says, “I guess you could say it’s much mental preparation the day before. I know my mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, so preparing to coexist with it seems to be the best option for me.”

Writing a mental health blog can be therapeutic and enlightening. I always ask my interviewees what they would like to share with the mental community— and this is what Joy asked me to share her little piece of wisdom.

  1. “I believe my blog has always been a place where people of any background can come over. I don’t believe there is a single person on the planet that is exempt from mental health issues.
  2. “But, if you read my posts you will probably notice that I speak from experience 99% of the time. So, from experience, I would share something with the faith community.”
  3. “If you read my story, you know the environment I grew up in did not believe in caring for mental health. You might relate to this if you grew up in a similar background. Although you may have left these teachings, there is a part of you that still nags at you and calls you a bad person for being the slightest concerned about your mental state.”
  4. “To this, I have to say; God did not only make you be a spiritual being. He created you with the intention to be a body, mind, and soul. Yes, caring for your spirituality is important for your soul, but neglecting the other two are completely contradictory to God’s design.”
  5. “You are not sinning for caring for your mental health. And trust me, the more you realize it’s okay to practice self-care, the more you will be able to care for others.”

Writing a mental health blog for Joy has done absolute wonders in her life. “Before the blog posts, I thought NO ONE understood the pain I was feeling. However, I started receiving messages upon messages from people just like me. These people and I have become a community, and it has meant the world to me,” Joy explains about her mental health blog.

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For Joy, life itself makes life worth living every day. Living according to PTSD’s agenda can be quite miserable according to Joy, but along with the planners she uses she has a vision board full of pictures. It helps her to stay excited about the good things in life, to have something to look forward to in this life.

To end the interview, Joy had this to say:

“Have a support group. I sincerely don’t know where I would be without the support of my husband, sister, best friend, and my boss. Some people will truly care about you if you let them. You are worth being cared for!”

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If you would like to know more about Joy’s journey with PTSD and her past you can follow the links below to pages from her blog.

MY SEXUAL ABUSE STORY AND HOW I FORGAVE MY ABUSER https://happy-thinks.com/2017/05/12/my-sexual-abuse-story-and-how-i-forgave-my-abuser/

TALKING TO MYSELF: HEALING FROM AN ABUSIVE CHILDHOOD https://happy-thinks.com/2018/01/26/talking-to-myself-healing-from-an-abusive-childhood/

I always like to end these interviews with my thoughts on the story I have shared with you in this feature on Joy Daehn. I am genuinely in awe that Joy dares to share her abuse story, it is something that I still struggle in my own journey—I barely talk about it. At some point, I hope to find the courage to do so.

Always Keep Fighting.

James

Interviewee: Joy Daehn

Interviewer/Author: James Edgar Skye

Mental Healthcare for Those That Don’t

Several months ago, I was forced into an inpatient hospital stay for my mental health. I was not suicidal, not planning to harm myself, or planning to harm anyone else. I was just very depressed and wanted to be watched so I wouldn’t plummet into the pit.

Instead, everything was made worse. You can read the entirety of my experience here: My Hospital Stay posted on my personal blog.

But today, I read this story: Chicago Psychiatric Hospital Is Under Fire Over Reports Alleging Abuse of Children

This was the hospital where I was interred. And yes, the staff didn’t give any ounce of a shit about the patients. The poor kids who were sent to Lakeshore hospital in crisis only to be sexually abused and traumatized by the staff supposed to be taking care of them. I can’t imagine what they’re feeling. I only pray they are getting proper professional help.

I’m sorry, but this is what happens when we neglect the weakest amongst us. This is why elections matter. What happened at Lakeshore was decades in the making, spanning back to Reagan and his defunding of mental health facilities.

I am so angry and upset that we allow this to happen in our culture. That those who are struggling emotionally and mentally are cast aside to be abused.

You say that Republicans and Democrats are basically one and the same? I ask you, which party threw out mentally ill people into the streets? It wasn’t the one that espouses liberal philosophies.

On November 8th, 2016, our country decided to throw a hissy fit and elected a dangerous man. The mentally ill are already ignored and incapable of receiving quality care thanks to a president elected in the 80’s. What’s going to happen now? Are there going to be more Lakeshores?

Or can we get these monsters out of power and demand the dignity and quality care we deserve? I hope, when 2020 rolls around, everyone remembers Lakeshore Hospital in Chicago and what happened there. And I hope you remember what caused it to happen.

Because we cannot go backwards.

The Stigma of Mental Illness

I am so sick of everyone in this country calling White mass shooters “mentally ill”. Perhaps they are, perhaps not. But it shows a deep misunderstanding of what it is to be mentally ill and decreases the help in treatment of those of us who are truly mentally ill while further increasing stigma around mental illness.

Diagnosed Bipolar? Be careful, you might crack and go on a shooting spree! Which is complete bullshit.

We need to stop labeling the mass shooters as mentally ill. They are criminals, terrorists. Mental illness has nothing to do with the actions taken by a shooter. In fact, most mentally ill people are more likely to hurt themselves than anyone else.

We need to get rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness in order to start providing proper treatment for those that are mentally ill.

What do you think a person diagnosed with Depression or Anxiety or Bipolar or Schizophrenia starts to believe when an entire nation views mental illness as angry, white men with AR-15’s shooting people?

It makes us feel broken, that we are abnormal in this culture. We internalize these feelings and believe there is no hope for us. We are “evil” in some way. We may break and hurt someone. Which is complete bullshit.

Most mentally ill people are lashing in on themselves—they feel they are to blame for their depression, they are weak. It is some abnormality within myself that creates my sadness, my anxiety, my impulses, my self. I have a personality flaw.

When, in fact, I’m actually sick. I have a real disease called Depression or Anxiety or Bipolar. These things are real, not a part of me, not a character flaw, but an illness just like cancer.

We, as a culture, need to stop demonizing mental illness. We need to stop being afraid of it. You would never say “Try to fake you don’t have cancer. Smile. It’ll go away” to someone with cancer. Why say this to someone with Depression? Why invalidate a whole person’s struggle?

Mental illness needs to be better understood. It is not a character flaw. I’m not going to get better by “faking” it. I have an actual disease that affects my personality. It is dark. It is lethal. It is *real*. I’m not dangerous, I’m not someone to pity. I’m not insane or crazy or abnormal or any of that. I’m just like you, only I have an illness.

And once we accept this and stop thinking mass shooters are the face of mental illness, we truly can start progressing in proper methods of healing our minds.

We need better care. We need more understanding. And we need to dissolve the stigma around mental illness so people can feel comfortable asking for help. So we can improve the treatment of our mental health.

And so those of us with a mental illness don’t have to be so afraid in admitting we have an illness.

What’s the Make, Model, and Year of Your Mental Health Struggle?

Hi, I’m Chelsea. I drive a minivan.

I didn’t want to drive a minivan. When people learn that I do drive one, they start assuming other things about me. They also assume: I drive slow, am distracted, have no taste in vehicles, have children, will make a bad decision whilst driving because I’m probably turned around yelling at said children, and that I shop at Costco every day.

Now…. some of those things might be true. But, guess what? am not the minivan. I just drive it. am a person. My name is Chelsea. I am not slow, distracted, tasteless, children, bad decisions, or Costco. I am a human and I am also worthwhile.

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When you go out into the world, what sort of vehicle do you drive? Van? Jeep? Truck? Bicycle? Bus? Sedan? Train?

Are you large, difficult to turn, and roomy like that van? Are you fun outside but hard on the joints over speedbumps like a Jeep? How about pushy and a bit too high off the ground like a truck? Maybe you can’t really afford much in life or are environmentally conscious like a bicycle.

Our mental health struggles are our vehicles.

Say that you go out to the workplace after a difficult morning, only to snap at someone because they echoed a mean thought your Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder chugged and chugged and chugged. That wasn’t you, though. That was the OCD you have to take to work.

What about the night that Depression was your ride? That dark interior, battered trim, and iffy transmission was only how you got to the party, not who came inside.

And let’s not forget the lunchtime meeting you had with Anxiety. Your mechanic still shakes his head over the number of ‘strange noises’ you swear it kept making, the sudden stops, and its refusal to even start when you were at a traffic light.

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Thinking about mental illness as a vehicle might make you say, “Well, then, why can’t we just get another car?” Money, mostly. Circumstance. What your insurance will cover. What you need for your size of family, parking space, parking expenses, and (again) budget.

That’s not to say you’re stuck forever in your quirky transport, nor that you can’t address some of its more-limiting issues. In fact, you really need to address them.

-If you are repeatedly blocked from getting the engine to even start

-If you are constantly arriving late

-If you cannot seem to ever get out of the seatbelt when necessary

It’s time to see a mechanic -er, a therapist or mental health doctor of some sort.

No matter the age or condition of the vehicle, they can always help. No, your car will not be the same as when you first unknowingly signed that crappy contract and drove it home -but, do you want it to be?

And, sometimes, you do get a different ride. Sometimes you have no choice. Sometimes it’s better, sometimes worse. But, the car you drive is still not you.

You are you. Most importantly, you are always the driver. Never forget that.

Photo credit:
Rodolfo Mari
Pixabay
James Sullivan

I’m not “too sensitive.” I’m mentally ill.

It hurts when people erase us – our struggles, our scars, our victories, our invisible battles, a part of our lives that shapes us and our paths in ways others will never comprehend.

It hurts when people erase our mental illnesses.

gabriel-762937-unsplashIt’s like being told that everything must be your fault, a result of your flaws and weaknesses and choices; that it’s inconceivable that there is an invisible destiny carved into our bones by genetics and external factors of trauma or tragedy, leaving us learning every day the forever-evolving face of our mental illness and how best to get through the new day.

How many of us have at some point been told that we can be a little “too sensitive,” “too emotional,” or “too involved” ? How many of us have felt that we’re being told that our pain, our exhaustion, our hopelessness, our control over our minds slipping through our finger tips, are our fault? Our choice, even?

For me, I’ve heard it countless times.

“You need to toughen up.” “You’re too soft for this world.” “You can’t be so sensitive and expect to be treated right.” “You shouldn’t let things affect you this much.”

And in my head, with internal hot tears of anger and hurt at the erasure of my pain, of the war I have battled without complaint or surrender for as long as I can remember, all I can think when I hear that is, “thank you! So! Much! I am cured, of my depression, of my anxiety, and finally, presented with the easy to make and simple choice of “tough” or “sensitive,” I can continue my life with contentment and joy, never again to be pestered by the whisperings of my own mind! Bless you, kind sir!”

miguel-bruna-503098-unsplashI’m a little angry about it, I guess. And I should be. Because, when I’m at rock bottom, at my wits end, my life falling apart, my mind urging me to figuratively hit “quit without saving” on my existence, when I’m crying in the shower and in the elevator and in the moments no one is watching, when my hands are shaking as I desperately count the pills from my doctor and the consequences of absence from work, from relationships, from the world, are knocking on my door demanding that I attend to responsibilities even though I can barely attend to myself –

You telling me I need to “toughen up” and not be “so sensitive,” is erasing my mental illness, and you’re erasing the victories I win every single day with them, and you’re erasing the fact that mental illness is ugly, real, and that I am so so much tougher than you could ever imagine, because I face their hideous faces every morning.

It’s not that we’re “too” anything. It’s called mental illness.

Mine are called Depression and Anxiety. Whatever yours are called, kudos to you for fighting quietly or loudly or neatly or messily. However you win your battles, even on the days you lose, you’re not too sensitive or emotional or self involved or at fault. None of it is your fault. Call it what it is, and don’t let people who don’t understand convince you to agree with the shady voice in your head that tries to convince you it’s all on you, because it’s not, and I hope this is your daily reminder of that.

–  Steph

Ideas for Mental Health Recovery

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One of the critical components of mental health recovery in my mind is finding the things that work to make you happy.  Over the years I have used different things to get me through the worst months of the year (my SAD months.) It differs from person to person because one person’s illness is not exactly alike, so find what works for your specific mental health recovery.

What I have found useful in my life is role-playing video games as they get me through some of the worst depression in my life. It is a way to escape the reality for a few hours and focus on something different. It gives me an opportunity to reach goals and feel good about myself when depression is taking over.

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Writing is my greatest weapon to deal with the ups and downs of my mental illness. The writing projects that I am currently working on and this blog are so helpful.

There are other things that I am working towards as we head into the final three months of 2018. I had many lofty goals this year, but there are still somethings that I would like to try out– like photography. I have talked to other artists and photographers about how therapeutic taking pictures is for their mental health. When I use video games or reading books to escape my mental illness for a few hours, it is the same for them with photography. It was one of my goals to start the year, but I got further away from it because of the cost.

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What started this blog post was one of the fellow bloggers asking me how people deal using different forms of media like books, video games, watching film, photography, and even writing. This blogger mentioned that people coping with trauma often get into horror movies and books because they connect with the genre. I can relate to this in so many ways. I got into reading Edgar Allan Poe because of the connection to the “dark romanticism” feel of his work, and his influence is in every aspect of my writing.

What I want people to get out of this post is this, there are so many ways out there to cope with mental illness, and these things are essential to finding what will help with your overall mental health.

Before starting The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog, I was lost. I had my writing but it was not enough.

Then I started this blog and everything changed. I have used this blog to improve myself through shared experiences in mental illness, and now I am more open to sharing my experiences. I wrote my memoir because of the amazing mental illness community here on WordPress. It has been what has helped my mental health recovery. Find what helps you get through the tough times, and it will make these times less harsh. Never dwell of the negative and always move forward.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Julius Drost

Arturo Rey

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James & Carol Lee

Isami Daehn Interview Feature

There are times when writing interview features for The Bipolar Writer blog that it gets personal to me because I can directly relate to the subject of the article. When that happens, I feel as if I must tell the story right. Today I share the story of Isami Daehn, originally from Sagamihara, Japan— and currently lives in Florida. You can find her blog at https://happy-thinks.com

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Joy Daehn: A Story of Overcomer

In every journey with a mental illness, we all start at the point where an event or something significant influences how your mental illness affects the rest of your life. For Isami Daehn, her mental illness started very young due to abuse.

“It’s hard to say if I was born with a mental illness or if it formed over time,” Isami explains about her mental illness origins. “I would say that it is my biggest curse, but also my biggest blessing.”

Since her childhood, Isami has always wanted to help others, find her purpose, and at the same time feel welcomed. Joy believes that her mental illness has allowed her to connect with so many wonderful people on her blog, but to reliving the trauma she faced a child is something she would never want to relive.

“There are good people in this world that sometimes ‘just don’t get it.’ They mean well, but they will never understand.”

On a daily basis Joy has to contend with her diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with dissociative symptoms, a diagnosis she finally got in February of 2018. Due to the fear about the stigma of mental illness Joy decided to put off evaluation— this is a common occurrence in this mental illness life.

“I honestly do not remember a time I have not struggled with some form of mental health,” she remembers, “I remember having suicidal thoughts as a child and being depressed as early as age nine.”

What Isami sees in her life is being able to understand what it is like to have suicidal thoughts, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and panic attacks ruling her life. This understanding has allowed her to step into a place with other people that otherwise may not have permission to go. “And I say ‘with’ because I am still figuring this thing out.”

The hardest part of the daily routine of living with PTSD involves people who don’t know or don’t understand what it means to have a panic attack that is PTSD related.

“It has often made me afraid to go into social settings even though I enjoy being around people for the most part,” Joy explains about this type of anxiety.

To get through a single day Joy is very much a planner. Each day she has an agenda that Joy writes the day before, it helps her get through her daily grind. It has become a routine in Joy’s life, and it coincides with her mood journal that she keeps daily.

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“This helps me clear my mind of any negativity. Prayer and meditation at the end of the day it also helps me reset my thinking,” Isami says, “I guess you could say it’s much mental preparation the day before. I know my mental illness isn’t going anywhere soon, so preparing to coexist with it seems to be the best option for me.”

Writing a mental health blog can be therapeutic and enlightening. I always ask my interviewees what they would like to share with the mental community— and this is what Joy asked me to share her little piece of wisdom.

  1. “I believe my blog has always been a place where people of any background can come over. I don’t believe there is a single person on the planet that is exempt from mental health issues.
  2. “But, if you read my posts you will probably notice that I speak from experience 99% of the time. So, from experience, I would share something with the faith community.”
  3. “If you read my story, you know the environment I grew up in did not believe in caring for mental health. You might relate to this if you grew up in a similar background. Although you may have left these teachings, there is a part of you that still nags at you and calls you a bad person for being the slightest concerned about your mental state.”
  4. “To this, I have to say; God did not only make you be a spiritual being. He created you with the intention to be a body, mind, and soul. Yes, caring for your spirituality is important for your soul, but neglecting the other two are completely contradictory to God’s design.”
  5. “You are not sinning for caring for your mental health. And trust me, the more you realize it’s okay to practice self-care, the more you will be able to care for others.”

Writing a mental health blog for Joy has done absolute wonders in her life. “Before the blog posts, I thought NO ONE understood the pain I was feeling. However, I started receiving messages upon messages from people just like me. These people and I have become a community, and it has meant the world to me,” Isami explains about her mental health blog.

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For Isami, life itself makes life worth living every day. Living according to PTSD’s agenda can be quite miserable according to Joy, but along with the planners she uses she has a vision board full of pictures. It helps her to stay excited about the good things in life, to have something to look forward to in this life.

To end the interview, Joy had this to say:

“Have a support group. I sincerely don’t know where I would be without the support of my husband, sister, best friend, and my boss. Some people will truly care about you if you let them. You are worth being cared for!”

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If you would like to know more about Isami journey with PTSD and her past you can follow the links below to pages from her blog.

I always like to end these interviews with my thoughts on the story I have shared with you in this feature on Isami Daehn. I am genuinely in awe that Joy dares to share her abuse story, it is something that I still struggle in my own journey—I barely talk about it. At some point, I hope to find the courage to do so.

Always Keep Fighting.

James

Interviewee: Isami Daehn

Interviewer/Author: James Edgar Skye

The Bipolar Writer Blog Needs Your Help!

 

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This is part two: The Bipolar Writer Blog is still working towards its goal, we are not quite there, please donate what you can as we work towards upgrading to a business plan.

I didn’t want to get to this point where I have to ask my fellow bloggers for help. I want to start with some background. I started The Bipolar Writer blog back in September of 2017. I had no idea that it would grow into this amazing thing that it is now– a place where members of the mental illness community could have a place to voice their stories.

If you have been following my blog, you know that I have been working since November of 2017 on my memoir. All the money donated since that time has been put into a fund to pay the artist that is creating a cover so I can self-publish. Every cent that I have is going for that purpose.

With that said, on WordPress, I pay for a premium service. It allows me to keep The Bipolar Writer blog steady by having the chance to have its domain name. It has helped this blog grow. I have less than a week left before I need to pay for the next year, but it makes sense for The Bipolar Writer to develop we must expand to a business plan. It will allow me to do so much more for the mental illness community.

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What I am asking is for donations so that I can take The Bipolar Writer to the next step. Below you will find a donation button; it will allow you to donate a minimum of 2 dollars and any more than you can add a number (2 would donate 4 dollars). Anything you can give towards expanding this blog would be much appreciated. The goal is a total of $277. Help me take this blog to the next level!

Also, if can hit the share button below so we can get more people involved.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

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