I am an aspiring writer, a researcher, a nurse, and a mother of two grown daughters. I have a restless spirit and an open heart, and neither is easily broken. Because I don’t ever seem to be content sitting still for very long, I am pursuing my masters degree and hope to be finished by next fall. Some of my favorite things to do are running, swimming, reading, hiking, kayaking, and traveling, although there are still a lot of places on my bucket list that I’ve never made it to.
I divorced a couple of years ago, after spending 31 years in a marriage that shouldn’t have lasted more than a year. I tried really hard to make it work, spending countless hours in marriage counseling, weekend retreats etc, only to finally come to the realization that it was time to let go. I am so glad I had the courage to face my fears and end a relationship that caused me a lot of heartache over the years. The takeaway message from this experience – I can’t change anyone but myself.For many years I have kept my family’s history of mental health issues hidden from everyone but my dearest friends. My childhood was tough and yet there were many happy moments as well. My mom had a life-long battle with paranoid schizophrenia, and her illness had a huge impact on our entire family.
I developed anxiety and an eating disorder during my teen years, partially in response to the stress in our home and probably partly due to genetics. Fortunately I was able to get help and recover from the eating disorder, but I have had anxiety on and off throughout my adult life.
It wasn’t until my youngest daughter developed an eating disorder and attempted suicide while away at college that I realized how important it is to speak out and become a mental health advocate. For too long people have been made to feel weak, ashamed, and less than human when faced with this type of illness.
I am blogging as a way to share my thoughts about mental health topics, to raise awareness and fight the stigma associated with mental illness, and to do what has always helped me through the tough times – write.Family has always been very important to me. The love for my daughters, grand-baby, sisters, friends, and family motivates me to stay healthy both mentally and physically.
I dedicate this blog to my mom, Shirley, even though I had a very tumultuous relationship with her because of her mental illness, I know she did the best she could. I hope that the near future holds better treatment options for people with mental illness.