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Deep Thoughts

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Nine out of ten times when I’m given advice on how to cope with life while struggling with an episode of deep depression and anxiety, words that are meant to comfort me and give me hope, are exactly the same as those I’ve been repeating to myself for what seems like forever. The familiar phrases, such as “this too shall pass,” or “you’re stronger than your illness,” are permanently branded on my brain. So it came as a surprise, more like a shock actually, when just a few days ago, someone who knows me very well told me that I think too much.

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Ship Ahoy! Learning to Navigate

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I have a list of people that I trust who I can call when I am feeling alone, afraid, or confused. I have learned to be unwaveringly honest about what is happening in my internal world, to speak my truth even when it doesn’t sound “right”. If I need to talk about distortions, fears, and anxieties, I just do.

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Throwing Out the Trash

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If only I had been diagnosed and treated before everything snowballed into chronic, untreated depression and anxiety. But, times were different then and society didn’t have the resources, the tools, the words, the red flags and the awareness campaigns like we do today. I’m grateful I can live now under the careful watch of mental health professionals.

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Dying of Kidney Disease by Cinda Johnson

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This is unbelievable and yet horrifyingly true. ‘Jenny’ had been fighting her illness for almost half of her young life. Her foe was familiar yet still terrifying with its relentless and changing symptoms that reoccurred despite a long list of medical interventions. She had been through intense treatments with numerous side effects and a lengthy hospitalization when she was 11. Now, at 15, her illness was back with a vengeance.

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Letting Go of Fear

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In my various conversations with people pertaining to depression and mental health in general, it’s come to my attention that stigma is not the only reason why those who are struggling with their emotions are reluctant to go for help or treatment – the reason is FEAR.

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Making the “Ask” Together by Cinda Johnson

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We all need a team of friends and family. In addition to raising money for NAMI and BC2M we walked with a team who “get it”. We walked with new friends and old who have been to the edge of hell with mental illnesses. Some have experienced great success, stability and recovery and some are living with unbearable heartbreak.

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Why We Walk

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This past weekend our BC2M team took part in the Milwaukee NAMI walk for the 4 year in a row. It’s been a great experience, I love the Milwaukee NAMI staff members and the other walk teams; we’ve developed some great friendships and connections over the years. I’d like to share how these experiences have influenced my perspectives and strengthened my commitment to NAMI, BC2M and to supporting my family and all families affected by mental illness.

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