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To the stranger who hugged me

Today I was seeking outpatient care at a new facility in a new city. Things haven't been good for me lately. We moved across the country and life happened and I stopped taking my medication for bipolar & borderline plus I lost my therapist due to the move. I was manic for about a month before that all came crashing down in the form of a suicide attempt, a stay in psych and a major depressive episode to follow. Today was finally the day I was going to pick myself up and go get help. I drove to the facility, open minded and feeling hopeful for the first time in weeks. I got there and it was a walk-in, first come first served situation. I was too late. I wouldn't be seen today, the receptionist said. I immediately felt my body go numb and tears started flowing down my face. I was trying to stay calm but I was spiraling, fast. Feeling stupid for getting my hopes up, feeling like no one cared, all of it. I had it in my brain that I was going to be seen today, that I'd get medication and I'd be okay. Luckily, I did get seen after about 2 hours, but what happened in between me checking in tearfully at the front desk and me finally being seen by a doctor was the most simple of things. Another patient, a girl about my age, saw me, barely able to speak from crying so hard. We made eye contact and then I went to sit in a secluded area of the waiting room. She then walked up to me and said something along the lines of, "brighter days are ahead, and I know it doesn't feel like it, but you're going to get through this." And then she asked me if she could give me a hug. A complete stranger, who was there for problems of her own, wanted to comfort me. I said yes and I sobbed in her arms. Eventually, I gathered myself and we sat and talked for awhile. She told me about her problems and I did the same. Sometimes these mental illnesses can feel so isolating, but we all have more in common than we think. I'm so grateful for her. I wish I had gotten her name. She gave me comfort when I needed it most and I'll never forget that. #helpingothers #MentalHealth #Bipolar #BorderlinePersonalityDisorder

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The Power of a Plan#Care #helpingothers

#caringbridge #help #Support #emotional

Most of life’s important transitions include a plan. Whether we are preparing to buy a new home, checking out colleges for a high school graduate, or considering a new job, a detailed plan truly eases the process. The same kind of plan can make a real difference with caregiving. Whether one is caring for a child with cancer or for an adult recovering from critical surgery, consider the following ideas and questions.

Begin by clearly naming everything from who will be the primary and back-up caregivers, to who will pay the bills, attend the medical appointments, and who will do the cooking. Don’t just assume that everyone understands the roles. Discuss it with each individual and create a basic, though adaptable, schedule.

How will you remain connected to support resources? Friends and family love to help, though don’t necessarily know what you need unless you tell them. In fact, they could be timid about even asking but happy to open a CaringBridge site for you if you requested it. Though it might feel awkward to make specific appeals, others will likely find it helpful when you do. Asking a neighbor to pick up a grocery order or a child from soccer practice is easier than asking a neighbor to guess what you need.

How do you plan to talk with your child about her or his illness? How will you care for your own physical and emotional needs? Don’t hesitate to consult a social worker or child life specialist for age- appropriate language. This will help the treatment and recovery process, as well as manage clumsy questions from well-meaning friends. The most important point to remember is to make the plan, don’t guess as you go.


Writing my story

#Stories2Connect #helpingothers #homelessness #Recovery

Hi guys. I’ve noticed a few people mention that they have shared their stories about mental health challenges and some even mentioned they got them published in various pamphlets, magazines, etc. I’m curious if there are certain to reach out to about this or do I just share some of my stories here on the mighty? Thanks everyone!!

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You cannot pour from an empty cup! #selfcare #Selflove #reminder

We really do need to try our best to take care of ourselves so we can help OURSELVES first and THEN help OTHERS...if we ignore our boundaries and ourselves then we CAN’T help others to the best of our’s great to want to give and help and share BUT we need to start with OURSELVES FIRST and then we can be our BEST selves for US and then for others! #bekindtoyourselffirst #Kindness #Selfcompassion #helpingothers #boundaries #rest

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Defeating Depression

I learned that if I just sit around and doze off, I will get depressed. I'll feel like I've wasted away a day where I could be doing something to help others. If nothing else I should be cleaning my apartment. Essentially if I'm unproductive the depression rises, but once I get off my ass and start doing something, I feel great. When I accuse myself of wasting away a day, I've taken up reminding myself what I've done in that day.

Today for example, I make beads like the ones in the bracelets in the photo. I just give bracelets like these away since they are my personal prayer beads and making them is like therapy. A friend with Lupus asked me to make her some. Helping someone in any way shape, or form makes me feel better about myself. No depression arose today.
#BipolarDepression #Depression #helpingothers #fightingdepression #Productivity


On the other side #stayathome #Lockdown #SocialDistancing

I’ve been thinking a lot, I hope that the one thing that comes out of this, one of many I guess, is that people realize that #Anxiety attacks, #panic attacks and #Depression are all very real and that they can happen to us at any time. Sometimes there may not be a rhyme or reason. And sometimes the trigger boops you on the nose. If you are #alone , you aren’t not alone. We are here we know, we understand. Reach out! #helpingothers


Has your trauma ever helped someone else?

#CPTSD I find that because of my life experiences I am more sensitive to situations.That can be beneficial. As a teacher for 18 years I was more in-tune with why some bully.I was in-tune with students who were emotionally vulnerable. I could FEEL the needs of a bully or struggling student. That made me approachable.That made my room a safe room. That made me not judge them as stupid or lazy when they failed a test or struggled completing homework. That made me not judge them as mean when they teased or bullied.5 years retired now.I STILL have former students contact me. #helpingothers