The Importance of Teaching My Kids About My Mental Illness

As anyone who’s ever been around me or read any of my writing knows, I am very open about my journey with Bipolar Disorder. Having a mental illness is my reality, and being real about it is the best way I know to reduce stigma, educate others, and live my life the way I want to live it. Due to the highly hereditary nature of mental illnesses, it’s likely that at least one of my four children will inherit some form of it, and I know with every fiber of my being that this is my chance to help them accept themselves for they are completely, mental illness or no. That all starts with me embracing the parts of myself that might make others uncomfortable. In my piece on Momtastic, I discuss the reality and importance of teaching my kids about my mental illness, for their sake and the rest of the world. One of my readers whom I’ve been talking to for awhile now brought to my attention that there is a serious lack of options in books that can be used to explain mental illness to children. I can’t shake that idea now, and I’m seriously considering writing…

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Answering the Call to End the Teen Suicide Epidemic

After writing my reaction to a local teen suicide that hit close to home for me last week, I began to pray that God would use me in some way to help bring attention to Mental Health Awareness. I’ve prayed this prayer before, but this time I asked for a door to be opened so that I could help with the teen suicide epidemic, and He opened a door, so I forced myself to walk through it. Admitting that I am far from perfect isn’t difficult for me, as you know if you’ve read much of my writing, and I hate that Christianity has become synonymous in some circles with judgmental hypocrisy. We’re all imperfect, and I’m very aware of my imperfections, and I want people to know that He doesn’t care what you’ve done, He stills loves you and will always BE when everything and everyone else ceases to be. Let me begin by saying I HATE DOING INTERVIEWS. No joke, I will talk to just about anyone, anywhere, and I can drone on about mental health stuff ad nauseum, but don’t put the pressure of a camera on me. Well I got a phone call and email the…

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What Do I Even Say? Stopping the Teen Suicide Epidemic

This morning I found out about something that rocked me to my core, in several ways, for several reasons. A girl I’ve watched grow up over the past near-decade took her life before school today. She was super sweet, and her Mom is an absolute doll. Her Mom and I moved into the same neighborhood at the same time (within a couple of months of each other) and were both hugely pregnant with boys. Our boys grew up (literally) playing together and climbing the fence our yards shared to hang out. I can always remember the daughter being bubbly and sweet whenever I saw her around the neighborhood and that she loved animals so much that she started a dog-walking business when she about 10. She went around to each door and told the neighbors about her new business and even had little fliers printed up to hand out. I know that this girl went on to be a cheerleader and a very loved, positive influence in her school, but I also know that she dealt with depression. Her Mom and I discussed it at-length about a year ago, around the time my family was getting ready to move out…

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