If I Woke Up Tomorrow…

If I woke up tomorrow with no fear what would I do first?  Fear is a very unpleasant emotion which causes a person to believe that someone or something may cause them harm, pain or danger and could also be a threat to them.  A person can develop a fear through conditioning or a learned behaviour (like a fear of dogs) especially if they themselves have experienced a traumatic event in their lives or have a loved one who may have, and in turn instills that same fear upon them.

My biggest fears I had growing up were never learned or conditioned behaviours, in fact they were and still are quite the opposite.  I have always had an extreme fear of thunder and lightning, heights and my greatest fear of all is undoubtedly flying. None of these fears stemmed from a traumatic event in my life and none of them were passed down to me from my loved ones, but the best news of all is, I have yet to imprint any of these fears onto my own children.

So how did I go from having some very common and quite normal fears to where I am today?  They say that most of our fears surface during our childhood and adolescence and continue to grow into adulthood, most of which are quite manageable in our day to day lives.  My fears that I have been battling since childhood have never really impaired my day to day life because let’s face it, they aren’t fears that control a person daily. Over time I have learned to weather a storm, stay away from tall buildings (and water slides) and lucky for me, travelling by plane is hardly ever in my vocabulary!

But again I am left pondering how I got here.  How going from having a few simple childhood fears has escalated into chronic and severe ones that affects every aspect of my life, most of which is not even triggered by an event or happening.  It’s just there, leaving me in a constant state of fight or flight response. This feeling causes me to have a very difficult time falling asleep and staying asleep. It also causes me to have a great deal of irritability and sudden outbursts of anger.  I am also continuously finding myself unsettled, lacking concentration, easily startled (and that’s an understatement) and ready to react to my threatened state of mind. I live daily with subconscious pains, a heart that is beating so fast it feels like it may jump out of my chest and unrelenting flashbacks.  It is a very lonely and scary place to be.

My fears keep me feeling incapacitated, guilt-ridden and impulsive.  The impact of feeling a chronic fear affects how I feel physically; it leaves me confused, forgetful and unavailable mentally.  It may come without any warning and leave me with impaired judgement. It stops at nothing to try and beat me down. It leaves me very vulnerable.  It leaves me feeling embarrassed and it leaves me very tired.

I’m pretty sure a lot of my fears bare no logic to an outsider looking in, but they are very logical and extremely overwhelming to me. I am able to recognize that many of my fears cause me intense anxiety and panic, and that they are often not realistic causing me to avoid many people, places and things.  I feel pressure to relent to my fears and often feel so powerless as well, but I also know that sometimes fear can be used to keep me safe and protect me from danger. I understand what triggers many of my fears and I am learning to talk back to the negative thoughts and engage the fears with fight instead of flight response.

Facing my fears head on takes a lot of practice and patience for me and my loved ones.  It’s been a long battle especially when my list keeps getting longer rather than shorter, but I have definitely been doing a great deal of reflecting while writing this blog in response to the very first sentence I wrote; If I woke up tomorrow with no fear, what would I do first? The answer is simple, I would place both feet on the floor and get out of bed! What would you do?

‘Put Your Sticks Out’

One of the proudest titles I have owned in my soon to be 20 years as a mom is that of “Hockey Mom” or more specifically to me, “Goalie Mom”.  For more than half of my 20 years as a mom, hockey became a huge part of who I am. I still remember putting my little boy on the ice his first year in house league all dressed in his hockey gear, barely able to skate and boom…he accidentally collided with another player and broke his wrist.  Fast forward 2 years and that same little boy who had been waiting both eagerly and patiently for his turn to play goalie during a tournament gets his chance to shine, and shine he did. He did such an incredible job that from that day forward his dream of becoming a goalie was fulfilled. The following season he joined a new team with some friends, at a more competitive level and quickly they became our family for many years to follow.

He improved and worked hard to become the successful goalie he is today through perseverance, dedication, training, coaching and his love of the game. He is no longer playing at a competitive level but he is still on the ice, living his passion each and every week with his new hockey family and although I am no longer part of the daily hockey grind I am still a very humbled and proud “Goalie Mom”.

Throughout the years hockey defined our family dynamics, always operating our lives around where the next game or tournament was going to be.  Even though there is no more schlepping from one end of the city to the other, no more packing up the family for a weekend away tournament, no more car stinking like a pair of dirty old socks, no more cheering when the team scores the game winning goal, the sacrifices we made and the dedication we weathered was all for our boys and all for our hockey family.

This week our nation, along with many other parts of the world is mourning the loss of another hockey family.  A loss that is beyond incomprehensible.  A loss of 15 boys and men, many of whom were just beginning their lives. For the hockey family who have been left behind trying to come to terms with their new norm, today they are desperately wishing they could be schlepping their son, brother, boyfriend and grandson from one end of the city to the other, packing up their family for another weekend away tournament, stinking up their car like a pair of dirty old socks and cheering their team on when they score the game winning goal.  Instead today they are only able to hold onto these images as memories while clinging to that team jersey they wore to represent their hockey family loud and proud.

Over the next many days, weeks and years to follow, this hockey family and surrounding community will need each other more than ever.  They will need to lean on each other and embrace each other in whatever capacity they are capable of for they cannot do it alone. For many people it is often very difficult to ask for help, but I know first-hand how crucial it is in order to begin the healing process, I know now it is imperative.

My son was still playing competitive hockey when I was in the throes of my illness and as difficult as it was to attend hockey games, team parties and weekends away at tournaments (sometimes only during a weekend pass from a hospital stay), I got through it because I had the love and support of my hockey family behind me.  Being part of a hockey family means you triumph together and you fall down together. For many of us on the team who were together for so many years we had the honour of watching our little boys turn into fine young men, sharing in each other’s joys and sorrows, helping each other out at every turn. I always knew they would be there for me and my family if and when we needed them, and boy did we need them at times, even if it was simply to drive our son to a practice or feed him a well-balanced meal before a game we could always count on them and I am so grateful to call them family.

Asking for help does not come easy for me, but staying quiet can have very serious repercussions for anyone who is struggling.  As the Humboldt Broncos family begin to heal I hope that they will be able to utilize the many resources been made available to them in order to help them move forward somehow, I also hope that they will take some comfort in knowing that millions of Canadians and beyond are there for them, cheering them on in the stands, staying focused while we put that puck in the top corner… because that’s what you do for our family.

My One Brave Night

Last night I was fearless.  Last night I was courageous.  Last night I was brave.  Last night I was able to be all of these things because of the love and support of my family and friends by my side.  Last night I fulfilled my goal of stepping up and inspiring hope for millions of Canadians who are affected by a mental illness each year.  Last night with the help of friends and family I reached my target and I am so thankful for that.  Last night together we had #onebravenight.

I needed to keep the evening as intimate as possible in order for me to not get too overwhelmed. It began with some of our dearest friends joining us at our home for dinner.  They arrived with games and alcohol in hand and I knew then that the evening was certain to be a success.  After dinner was over and plenty of alcohol already was drunk (not by me as alcohol is more of a depressant for me than a stimulant) we decided to break open the new trivia game that we recently purchased just for the occasion.  We played in two teams, kids vs. adults.  It was trivia from the 2000’s so I figured the kids would bamboozle us but I was mistaken because at the end of the day we all basically sucked!  Maybe it was from the alcohol being consumed or the distraction from watching the Blue Jays game at the same time which inhibited our concentration, but either way it was still fun.

After we finished playing the game (or more that we all just gave up) it was time for dessert which had been baked by my kids and my husband the night before.  They prepared all our favorite Passover treats (yes they do exist) one last time for the year before the holiday wrapped up.  As dessert was being served we were blessed with some more dear friends to join into the mix.  After the kids finished their dessert they left the adults to continue watching the Blue Jays game (and continue drinking) and they went off to play another board game, one that was probably not so age appropriate for all that participated!  Our friends eventually left and we cleaned up, got into our pj’s, got comfortable on the couch (Maggie included) and spent a half an hour deciding on what movie we should watch.  It was close to 1 am by this point, but we were committed to trying to stay up as long as we could.  After the movie finished everyone retired to their own beds.

There is definitely a very gratifying feeling when you know that your efforts are been rewarded or benefiting others.  Donating to charity or participating in its endeavors can be very empowering which is why they say it is better to give than to receive.  It allows someone the power to strengthen their own personal values and belief system by helping make someone else’s life better.  For me, this event definitely sanctioned a teachable moment for my children as well by having them share this experience with me and giving them the opportunity to see that they have the ability to make positive change in the world, no matter how big or small their undertaking is.

My evening was not about winning any type of race, or making sure that I stayed up all night, but instead it was about finding both my mental and moral strength and challenging myself to be a voice to a cause that is very near to my heart.  Most days for me being brave is often just having the ability to get out of bed, or face another day of uncertainty.  It is also knowing that there is no guarantee that I will find any sort of relief as every day feels like I am fighting for my life.  That is indisputably the most exhausting act of bravery.

Having depression and anxiety is not a weakness by any means but unfortunately it is still looked upon this way by many misunderstood and misguided people who cannot see mental illness as a real illness.  Knowing the battle I endure daily by the stigma of mental illness is probably my greatest act of bravery as I have opened up my world to you all by sharing my struggles and at the same time lending my voice to those who are still trying to find theirs.  This courageous act of bravery definitely has made me very vulnerable and susceptible to judgment, eye rolling and backs turned but it has also inspired a great deal of hope in others.  I also know that having my family with me through my journey is also one of the bravest things that they can do too and I love them all so much for being by my side #onebravenight at a time.

ODE TO MY OLD SELF

I lied awake late at night and began to reflect upon,
The last four years of my life and where the days before have gone.

I know that I cannot change the past, or get this lost time back,
For the more I even think it, causes me an anxiety attack.

I miss the person I used to be, who smiled all the time,
And had the confidence to see that there was no mountain she could not climb.

The old me would have not lost hope or relented to her fears,
Her laughter would have been enough as she wiped away her tears.

I look at my reflection of a person I no longer know,
And wonder if it’s even possible to return to status quo.

The person that I once was, has forever gone away,
And she is becoming a distant memory since that dreadful day.

No one can predict their future or how fate will play it’s part,
So please show kindness to each other, it’s the perfect place to start.

Stop and Smell the Roses

*Warning Triggering Content*

Springtime is the time of year in which many of us look forward to.  It’s the time of year for new and exciting transformations.  It’s the time of year when the temperature begins to rise to a more humane degree, the days start to get longer, the birds begin to chirp, the grass gets greener, the trees come alive again and the flowers begin to bloom.  Spring is a time for rebirth.

Rebirth is defined as a time to flourish, rejuvenation, revitalization and a renewal that comes after a decline.  This week will mark four years since my illness began and I am still waiting for that rebirth.  I am still waiting to flourish, to become rejuvenated, revitalized and feel a sense of renewal.  With every passing day, every passing month and most certainly with every passing year I have heard my depression and anxiety tell me in a very unsavory and enticing way that I have no purpose in life, that I am a burden to those who love me and that they would be relieved if I were gone, and it also continues to tell me that I am a complete and absolute failure.

Failure is a necessary part of life. Everyone will fail at some point in their journey through life.  Without failure we may not learn some valuable life lessons.  Without failure we may not learn what success feels like, and without failure we may not find our inner strength.  For me failure has become an overwhelming daily emotion, one that I can’t seem to find my way out of.   Some days may feel worse than others, days where no matter what I may have accomplished I still feel like a disappointment or days where I can’t seem to handle the simplest task at hand, and especially the days where my mind takes me far away from reality.  These are the days that make me feel like giving up is the only option.

The human mind is a very powerful tool, sometimes it can be your best friend and at other times it is your worst enemy.  When suffering with depression and anxiety I can certainly tell you that it is without a doubt your worst enemy, a nightmare to be exact.  It evokes feelings of dissatisfaction, anger, regret and weakness which all seem to play a role in believing that you are a failure.  My mind continues to tell me many lies and exaggerations in my convictions as I am unable to find an ounce of self-compassion for myself while carrying this weighted-down, undesired emotion.

The definition of compassion is very straight-forward, it means to ‘suffer with’.  Self-Compassion entails showing kindness and comfort toward you in the same way you would ‘suffer with’ or do so for others.  Being Self-Compassionate means that you understand that you are by no means perfect or capable all of the time and that it is also okay if sometimes you may fail.  I am well aware that by increasing my Self-Compassion and becoming more gentle and mindful of myself will have monumental benefits for my recovery, slowly eliminating any harsh judgment and feelings of failure.

But four years ago this week I lost all sense of self-compassion, along with my ability to see the many new and exciting springtime transformations that have occurred each year since that day back in April 2014.  Even though I have continued to watch the temperatures rise, the days get longer, the grass get greener, the trees come alive and the flowers begin to bloom, I have only been able to see these transformations while standing in the rain, under the dark and dismal clouds.  Each of those raindrops relentlessly represent how my illness has made me believe that I have no purpose, that I am a burden to those who truly care about me and that I am a failure.

For now as I tirelessly stand in the springtime rain waiting to flourish, or become rejuvenated and revitalized, I will begin this coming year by learning how to stop and smell the roses more often.

Feeling Helpless

*WARNING: SENSITIVE CONTENT*

This past week has been very difficult, exhausting and complicated.  Some of which I will open up about today, but much of what happened this past week is still too painful to talk about right now.  It has been a week filled with so many mixed emotions especially feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.  I have spent this week working through my quandary with some much needed (and involuntarily) additional support in order to help me through.

My week began with a severe panic attack, it did not happen in the comfort of my own home or in a busy public place, but instead it occurred in my car while I was driving.  It has been two years since I had to stop driving at night due to my anxiety and issues with my eyesight (thanks to all the concoctions of medication I had been on), but over the last while I have felt my ability to drive at all has been hindered as well.   My judgement while behind the wheel has become obstructed by fear, uneasiness and panic.  I had always considered myself to be a pretty adept and confident driver but recently all that has changed, leaving me feeling even more hopeless and helpless inside and out.

The following day after my panic attack I needed to drive my husband home from a procedure he was having (he is okay!).  My anxiety began building up before dawn and the only way I was going to get through the morning was by ensuring I took an extra dose of some CBD oil.  The car ride home was especially quiet as I had just experienced another episode moments earlier.  When we finally arrived home (safe and sound) my husband was clearly concerned and unsettled.  He proceeded to articulate his apprehension towards me driving right now and in his own witty and sarcastic way he expressed how we would have been better off letting him drive home while still under the effects of sedation.

My illness has left me feeling defeated and powerless on more occasions than I can count which is why I am now left believing that I am beyond helpless.  Helplessness is defined as someone who is deprived of strength or power, unable to help one self, leaving them feeling weak, incapacitated and unfit to manage independently.  These feelings have significantly interfered in my daily life over the course of my illness as well as my road to recovery, in turn creating some serious consequences.  I am extremely frustrated and discouraged having lost all sense of self which has left me longing to just want to give up.  I feel as though I have been banging my head against a brick wall for far too long and that all my efforts are futile.

I know that I have never shied away from trying new treatments or therapy, and that I have been given many tools along the way in order to assist me in identifying many of my triggers but still I am left with an overpowering sense of helplessness.  I compare my illness to that of riding on a roller coaster, one with many ups and downs, twists and turns and one which leaves me feeling so out of control and most definitely helpless.  I am so terrified and want to scream in order to get off the ride but it won’t stop, not on my own terms anyways.

My therapist has been working with me toward a common goal of ensuring I lose this feeling of helplessness.  This goal in which she is hoping to achieve over the next little while will be done through Hypnotherapy, something she is clinically trained in.  It is something I have never tried before and I am very nervous to do so but as I have stated above, I never shy away from any new therapy or treatment.  Hypnotherapy is a guided hypnosis or a trance-like state of mind which focuses its attention completely inward to find natural resources deep within ourselves to help regain control or make necessary changes in our lives.  Together we have worked on a list of areas that she deems imperative right now to concentrate on and SIX pages later I am set to try this next part of my journey.  She has reassured me that it is very relaxing and that I will be in complete control. She has also promised me that I will not feel violated in any way or start quacking like a duck next time I hear my name called out.

I Am Woman, Hear Me Roar

Last year the world was met with unprecedented repercussions from women everywhere who finally found the courage to say #timesup.  Although International Women’s Day has been celebrated for over a century, this year felt different.  This year felt like a new beginning for women to be able to take center stage (and I don’t just mean celebrities at award shows!), yet women have been taking action against their injustices, their inequalities and their overall rights since the beginning of time so why then in 2018 do we still seem to have so far to go until we achieve these goals?

International Women’s Day for most women is a day to honour and recognize our achievements we have made, celebrate the women in our lives who have helped contribute to our achievements and it is also a day in which we acknowledge the challenges we still face today as women.  For me it became another day of feeling worthless, hopeless, guilty, angry and ashamed.

It’s fair to say that women in general experience much more adversity and tribulations throughout our lives than men do, I mean have you seriously ever imagined what the world would be like if men got their periods every month for an average of 40+ years, or if they had to carry a baby inside their bodies for 9 months and then give birth to it, multiple times for many.  We as women are also far more susceptible to discrimination in the workplace, sexual abuse and the inability to feel safe when walking alone.

Having two teenage daughters (and a soon to be adult son) who are now facing the responsibility to ensure that the next generation of women continue to find their voices, take the platform and become empowered is met with mixed emotions for me right now as my illness has left me feeling like a less than capable guiding force in their lives.

For me the definition of a woman is someone who is confident, hardworking, loving, smart, proud and as Helen Reddy said it best, strong & invincible.  I look at these words I have written down and can’t help but feel sadness, a sadness that runs deeper than my illness, a sadness that awakens it.  Am I doing my best to ensure that my daughters (and son) learn how wonderful and competent they are in order for them to feel self-empowered and conquer their dreams and goals?  Have I instilled enough strength in them in order for them to believe that they deserve to fulfill these dreams and goals?  Have I encouraged them and given them the proper tools to use in order for them to realize how truly powerful they can be?

My illness says otherwise.  The guilt and shame I bestow upon myself when it comes to raising my children and what lasting effects I may be causing them by lacking my own sense of self-empowerment.   I know that for one to feel self-empowered does not mean that you have all the answers, or that you are perfect by any means, but I do know that to feel empowered takes determination, courage and inner peace.  It’s learning to let go of your past criticisms and regrets in order to take on new challenges; It’s about trusting others as much as you trust yourself to not pass judgment upon you; It’s about creating a positive attitude and having control over your own thoughts and beliefs; It’s about being honest with yourself and having the confidence to show the world just how powerful you truly can be.

Depression has an influential way of taking away someone’s personal empowerment and although everyone feels a lack of confidence or insecurity from time to time, I need to remind myself that I am doing the best that I can right now to ensure that my children become empowered adults even if along the road they encounter a few bumps, a few imperfections and even a few scratches I believe they will get there and that maybe, just maybe my journey will have helped them find their way.

Learning To Forgive Myself

‘In order to heal we must first forgive…and sometimes the person we must forgive is ourselves.’  Mila Bron

As human beings we are oftentimes more critical of our own selves than others turning us into our own worst enemies.  We find it easier to give another person the benefit of the doubt, allow them some leeway in their behaviour, or choose to give them a second, third or even a tenth chance to correct their actions because we want so desperately to believe they didn’t really mean it.

So why is it so difficult to do the same for ourselves?  So why is it so difficult to feel the same empathy for ourselves?  So why is it so difficult for me to learn to forgive myself?  Forgiveness is when a person consciously chooses to let go of negative emotions, displeasure or indignation in order to excuse the wrongdoings bestowed upon them by another human being.  Forgiveness does not necessarily mean that you accept, reconcile or excuse the actions which hurt you, whether it is physically or emotionally, but it may certainly enable you to feel empowered instead of allowing it to define you.

I have spent the better part of my journey placing self-blame on myself for being sick even though somewhere very deep down inside of me I know that my illness is not my fault and instead it has impaired my rational thinking and judgment.  It has become an all too familiar practice for me to blame myself for things which may or may not even be in my control.  It is quite common for me to perceive any situation or circumstance that have an unfavourable or adverse outcome on myself even though I had nothing to do with it at all.  This type of reaction for me is probably the most crippling and toxic form of emotional abuse.

Even though somewhere very deep down inside of me I know that my illness is not my fault yet I continue to feel that somehow it is and that I willingly brought it upon myself.  I also know that you would never tell a person with Cancer or Diabetes that it is all in their head and that they should just ‘snap out of it’.  This holds true for any type of mental illness too, yet here I am almost four years later inflicting self-blame upon myself…daily.  Maybe it is because the more I blame myself the more I begin to uncover how distorted my views really are of myself.

From what I have uncovered about myself recently has been nothing short of overwhelming to say the least, bringing up continuous feelings of guilt, worthlessness, regret, remorse, indignity, hopelessness and self-blame.  This combination of negative emotions leaves me feeling less than capable and unforgiving in my daily life.

Forgiveness is a process and that process is different for everyone.  For me, in order to take the proper steps toward forgiving myself I first need to understand that I can’t control my past and I certainly can’t magically undo it either, I just need to learn how to accept it.  I need to try to acknowledge how to give myself a break and recognize that I did the best I could with the resources I was given throughout my childhood forward.   I also need to teach myself how to unravel my feelings of self-blame by categorizing and prioritizing them in order to begin healing, but most of all I need to hit the ‘stop’ button every time I catch myself ruminating which creates the vicious cycle.

I know that my mental wellness depends on my ability to learn how to stop the self-blame and open up my heart to forgive myself.  It may very well be the most difficult part of my recovery because learning to let go of that disparaging and critical voice in my head which has been holding me hostage for so long still seems so undeserving.  I only hope that in time I can learn to give myself the benefit of the doubt and that second, third or tenth chance at forgiveness.

Communicating Through Crisis

This past week was met with so many mixed emotions.  It was met with a considerable amount of pain, with great sadness, with extraordinary anguish and a significant amount of reflection & revelation.  Throughout this week while trying to cope with my afflictions and anxiety I became extremely lost, inhibited and unsure.  I immediately felt myself facing a mental health crisis and needed to resolve how I was going to reduce its impact, but I simply didn’t know how to or where to turn first.  My husband quickly and unselfishly pointed out to me where I needed to begin and reminded me of my mantra which has been continuously reinforced through a multitude of therapists and facilitators; that ‘I Choose Me’.

I have talked about the importance of making sure that ‘I Choose Me’ before, however, when I am faced with having to ‘Choose Me’, it is met with a great deal of resistance as well as feelings of guilt and apprehension.  These feelings which are quite normal for me by now can and do often turn unsafe and self-destructive if not addressed straightaway.

There are many warning signs that someone may be in crisis or in need of immediate intervention that are important for loved ones to detect in order to de-escalate the situation. Many of these signs may come without any warning but it is important to remember that no matter how big or small they may seem to you, it is always best to follow your instincts.  Some of the signs to look out for are; a sudden change in mood or eating and sleep patterns, intense agitation, unclear thinking or irrational thoughts, loss of reality, making harmful threats to oneself or others, isolating themselves, self-harm, an increase in alcohol or drug abuse, experiencing hallucinations or delusions and showing suicidal ideations (I’m pretty sure this list is a conclusive look at the week I leave behind).

When someone is in crisis I can assure you that communication is essential in limiting an increased or heightened risk.  It is important that the individual feels acknowledged and validated by effectively listening and of course always remembering to use an empathetic & non-judgmental tone, but most of all, show compassion.  For me, talk therapy has been a necessary part of my treatment to help me cope with my feelings, help me problem solve through my issues and help me change some behaviours that may be contributing to my symptoms.

Talk therapy often involves more than just ‘talking’ which may sometimes include journaling your thoughts, keeping track of your moods or participating in certain activities. Talk therapy is oftentimes crucial in understanding your mental illness, defining & reaching goals, coping with stress & anxiety or overcoming your fears & insecurities.  Talk therapy can also play a notable role in understanding past traumas, learning to recognizing triggers and most importantly help to establish a plan for weathering a crisis.

There are several different types of specialists who are trained to counsel individuals in talk therapy, but finding the right match can sometimes be the most difficult part.  This very intimate relationship needs to be feasible for both parties involved in order to get the best results.  There needs to be chemistry and a high level of trust present on both sides which has been extremely challenging for me, some of which I have talked about before and some of which I may never be able to talk about.

I have spent many restless nights before a therapy appointment wondering why I am wasting my time only to leave that said appointment the next day, scratching my head, thinking ‘wow, that really was a waste of time!’  But for the first time in almost four years I feel as though I may have finally found that person, a connection worthy of a restful night’s sleep (which I’m working on).  From my first appointment with her it just felt different this time, and, being different is in fact a good thing.  The role of a therapist is to have clear boundaries which are safe and focused and although having loved ones to confide in is very cathartic, they are not always the most objective or non-judgmental when it comes to certain aspects of our lives, especially in crisis.  With that being said, instead, their part in your recovery may  best be served as a guiding force, listening to you, inspiring you and cheering you on all the way to your next appointment!

One Brave Night

This year on Friday April 6, myself,  along with the support of my husband and three children (ages 15, 18 and 19) will be participating in CAMH’s #OneBraveNight Challenge to inspire hope by stepping up and staying up.
The week of April 6th will mark four years since my life changed forever and four years since my family’s lives changed forever too. They are the one and only reason why I have kept fighting and they are what motivates me to share my story through blogging by trying to enlighten, educate and encourage others who may be struggling themselves or have a loved one who is struggling.
Mental Illness affects 1 in 5 Canadians throughout any given year and is still very much stereotyped, stigmatized and discriminated against making it even more burdensome for individuals to reach out and ask for help.
With your support, welcomed participation and generous donation to our #OneBraveNight Challenge, CAMH will continue to improve upon their greatest needs including innovative research, public awareness efforts and the ongoing redevelopment of their hospital.
For our #OneBraveNight Challenge we will pass the hours (until we pass out) with some pizza & popcorn, Netflix (suggestions are encouraged) and maybe we will even dust off a good “ole fashioned” board game.  I will complete the challenge with a blog to follow.
Again, let’s help inspire hope together for people like myself living with mental illness now – and to defeat mental illness.
Thank you to everyone who has supported my journey and continues to support it thus far.

 

http://give.camh.ca/site/TR/OBN/OneBraveNight?px=1156105&pg=personal&fr_id=1101

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