Daily Archives: 2014/04/28

Dad’s American Beauty

This spring I am interning at the Mental Health Association of Essex County. One of my key assignments is to co facilitate a sibling support group for individuals with a brother or sister who is living with mental illness. My tribe. Just like me. My role in the group is not about me, and yet, thanks to my sister,  I am steeped in the experience of the group from the tips of my toes to the top of my head. Working in the group, and approaching her birthday,  I slowly caught myself going a bit numb. Averting my eyes from the obvious herd of white elephants entering the chambers of my heart, the memories of Deborah and her craziness, the ways she hurt me, the ways she hurt herself and, despite it all, how much I miss her. The missing began long before she died, when she first became ill. All that much more, then, do I miss her, truly.

So this weekend, I found myself paying a shiva call to the family of a beautiful young woman, whose vivacious and generous life seemed to end midstream, too soon, unfinished. The whole way there, I cried for my sister. In awe, in gratitude, I cried. This is what I have missed, I realized, the open grief. The loss of the one, resonated with the loss of the other, like the vibration of a bell, ringing out in concert, in sympathetic response.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Happy Birthday, Wild Thing | Dad’s American Beauty.


Although we need to be more supportive and understanding of mental illness, I firmly believe that we should also be promoting mental health.  People need to understand the benefits of good mental health, how precious it is, how they can work to ensure they look after it as much as they do their physical health for all round well being.   I also believe the subject of mental health is easier to swallow for many people.  Mental illness can be frightening but mental health and all the positive feelings that come with it, is much more alluring.  Just think of the millions of motivational pictures and inspirational quotes we get plastered with in social media.  If we can make the subject of mental health more sexy for people and get people talking about their positive wellbeing, then maybe when mental illness comes up it will be treated with the respect it deserves and people will be encouraged to get better in a positive way through support and practical advice.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit What is your Picture of Mental Health? | NomNomHelp.

Death By Context

Soldiering on and faking it til I become it (a lá Amy J Cuddy) are two strategies I use daily. Their measured success as campaigns does not dictate their continuance. Some categorize this as ignorant. Some see it as a rudimentary attempt at self-presentation. Some don’t even notice their employ … but isn’t that sorta the point? I chose to embrace my blog as the iTunes Store to my recordings of cognitive dissonance: general consumption is not guaranteed (nor desired), MPAA ratings or conceptual censorship will be actively resisted (sorry Tipper my life has enough of that already), there is artistry involved (hopefully observed), and, although not necessary, it’d be nice if I blithely produced a viral hit (not aiming to be the Justin Timberlake of WordPress here). Wish me naïve luck and questionably add to my gaining sense of self by following DeathByContext. That is all..

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit 20/20: Business Attire (Sans Jay-Z) | Death By Context.

The Bipolar Bum

“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”

Find out more!  Visit Blog For Mental Health 2014 | The Bipolar Bum.


I. Being bi-polar doesn’t automatically make you “crazy” (thanks, U.S. media!)

Heck no. Many people who are bipolar do not kill people and drive their car into a wall. Many of us seek treatment when we are feeling “out of control”.  As for others, it usually does not end up in violence or other forms of aggression.

As for teenagers, however, that is a different story. Teens many not understand what is happening to them and choose to act out. Please have some sort of vague understanding when you’re dealing with a younger person with mental illness. It is only hurting them when you yell at them and say “just act normal”.

Read the post in its entirety!  Visit Blog for Mental Health 2014 | FatAllie.com.