Posted on May 4th, 2023
When we first took in my nieces as foster kids many years ago, and began our journey of learning about trauma and severe mental illness, I think I would have told you that I didn’t really have any personal experience with mental illness. It was just a sad or scary thing that happened to other people.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and I am going to take the month to share more of my own personal story with you.
…I thought mental illness was a sad or scary thing that happened to other people.
I've since realized that before the girls ever came to us, I had already had several encounters with mental illness in my life — scary, sad or frustrating encounters that had written themselves into my heart and in my memory. Moments like:
The truth is we’ve all probably had similar encounters with mental illness, moments that may have left us afraid, confused, or feeling helpless. But I've found that when we can approach those moments with love, dignity, simple skills and awareness, we can turn them into lifegiving moments that can nurture others and leave us feeling more competent and loving.
That’s why I do the work I do, speaking to corporate and association audiences, and why I’m so excited about my Parenting and Mental Health conferences, in which we talk about tough subjects like depression, anxiety disorders, and suicidal ideation, and learn new skills in mindfulness that we can ALL use everyday.
So how about you? When did you first meet mental illness?
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