We are privileged to share blog postings from our Ambassador Jessie Close, Adrienne Gurman, Henry Boy Jenkins, and other guest bloggers.  Please visit regularly as our content will be updated often.

Understanding The Shame

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I feel guilty for having a mental illness. I understand that it’s likely a genetic disorder, but rational thought is hard to come by. The internalized guilt I feel is the very definition of self-stigma. That’s how I choose to see it. If I’m going to advocate against stigmatizing mentally ill people, then I guess I’d better start with me.

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Define Normal

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In grade school, I was treated like an outsider. As an art student it was hip to be vague, so no one seemed to notice my inability to interface. I was simply considered aloof. In truth, I was dying inside for the wish of connection. It wasn’t meant to be. The voices in my head dictated my actions, often compelling me to behave irrationally.

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Accepting My Mental Illness

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Wellness is not a singular phenomenon; there’s a whole world out there that needs healing. If I take care of myself first and learn as much as I can about my illness, then I’m able to share my information with others. I can present my experience with hospitalization and medication to caring and curious people.

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The Power of Music

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I have very little power over things in my life, except for how I choose to perceive things. I can’t control other people’s actions or words, or any circumstance that comes my way from out in left field, or the frequency that my bipolar challenges run on. But I can choose to surround myself with positive energy, including music.

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Full Time Unemployment

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Thankfully, now I’m in a good place. Even on a bad day, life is pretty good. I believe this is in part due to more day-to-day routine, calm and time for joy. I have the space to see the middle-of-the road moods before they can fester into something more serious.

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It Is Not a Dirty Word

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My voice is not only that of a survivor, but also one of a medical provider, as a nurse practitioner. I utilize my journey to help others and to advocate for them. Mental illness and suicide do not have to be invisible. They are topics that need voices and I am one of those voices.

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