Category: Mental Illness


For every tragedy, there is a cause, one which determines how society defines, relates, accepts, rejects, condemns, etc.

More often than not the media’s first instinct in tragedies caused by others is to look first and foremost for mental illness as a key factor behind someones actions.

Media Sensationalism of Mental Illness has devastating consequences on those who, through no desire or fault of their own carry a diagnosis filled with shame, guilt, fear, and isolation.

I cringe everytime I hear or read the words “the mentally ill…”. This phrase alone casts those living with a mental illness into a group of unfortunate aliens of society. Startling when one considers that one in four persons have some form or another of mental illness.

Rather than casting a stone at mental illness when a tragedy caused by a person strikes, look first at the person, the human being. Consider that persons actions inhumane… and leave it at that.

Perhaps in doing so, healing for those living with a mental illness will become more acceptable, as those living in shame, isolation, or fear feel no condemnation or judgement in seeking the road to recovery, as any PERSON struggling with any sort of problem or illness should feel free to do.

Let’s work together to eliminate the phrase “the mentally ill” remembering those who carry a diagnosis are simply people first and foremost.

©Sue Anderson, I.T.E.
Certifiably Silly & Positively Amazing TOO!
Certified WRAP Facilitator/Peer Support Specialist
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.” ~C.H. Spurgeon

The Sparks of Hope
©Sue Anderson, 2012

A Poetic Reflection inspired by watching “May I Be Frank”

When you’re feeling as though hope may soon disappear,

It’s okay to feel, go on shed that tear!

From deep within a spark will be struck,

Freeing you from all that muckity junk…

We live in a world filled with gianormous ups and downs,

We stumble, we fumble, we fall & we frown…

Then comes the day when a hand is outstretched,

To give us a boost when we’re feelin so wretched…

Grab hold of that hand, there’s no need to fear…

And soon you will find that’s hope drawing near,

A few tears may fall as the sparks start to rise

Give thanks as those flames of hope birth a brand new sunrise…

Watch as you sparkle, Grow as you shine,

Those flame’s of hope can roast marshmallows just fine!

So let’s gather round this campfire my friends,

Cause where there is hope, the love never ends!

Who’s ready for S’mores?!!



The Sparks of Hope
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2012
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps 18:32

Superheroes in The Merry old Land of Oz

“Of all people, you know who I am… who the world needs me to be.
I’m Wonder Woman & there’s a new journey to be started”
~Wonder Woman / Infinite Crisis #1 ~

For as long as I can remember, the Wizard of Oz has been one of my all-time favorite movies. When I was in Illinois, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that someone had decked out a Christmas Tree in Wizard of Oz memorabilia, complete with a wicked witch flying overhead.


I LOVE the Wizard of Oz story line, and most especially the parable it paints for me; That of Dorothy, The Lion, Tin Man, & Scarecrow, and Dorothy’s little dog Toto’s journey to Oz, the answers they seek, and the method of which they find them.

Those of you, who’ve gotten to know me, know about my fascination with Wonder Woman. I love the quote above because it reminds me that sometimes I still fall into that role of being that person “the world needs me to be”, rather than simply being myself. When I do this, much like “The Eagle & the Chicken” story I found recently, I let myself down. I chuckle as I remember “I’ve Gotta Be Meeeeee” from the Wonder Woman stories I’ve written!! Just being myself is SO much better!!

One night, I was out shopping for a few things, including some t-shirts for my husband. As Art in my mind is MY Superhero or Superman to me, anytime I find Superman memorabilia, I get if for him. The first of these was a Superman Lunchbox. He now has quite the Superman wardrobe & accessories collection, the latest addition was a pair of “Clark Kent glasses”. One of his co-workers is quite envious of his collection. When Art wore his “Clark Kent glasses” at work one day, his co-worker begged to know where to get them.

Anyhow, there I was hunting t-shirts for my hubby when I suddenly ran across the funniest Superhero t-shirt, and thought…. This one’s for ME! It’s been on my chair at work in the room where my regular desk is, adding humor to the office. I got to thinking; I need to figure out a way to work this into something… I’m not sure what yet, but was certain it would come at just the right time.

When the Inspiration struck… I knew I was on to something… not all of the pieces were there, but I was on the “yellow brick road” so to speak. Picture if you will Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, or Spiderman on a journey to Oz. How do you picture them getting there? To help you along, I have a little ditty that I came up with for this purpose….

Somewhere over the rainbow
Super-man flies
And I simp-ply must wonder
If Superman ever cries

Somewhere out in the forest,
Lions Roar
And for each lovely lion there’s
A Tiger who longs to soar

Someday I’ll look up in the sky
And wonder why the clouds are far behind me
And sure enough I will see
They’re there ‘cause I – coullllld beeee Meeeee

This was sparked by a burning question that ran through my mind. “If Wonder Woman were Queen of the Forest, Would she “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”?

Without mentioning why, I asked that burning question of just about anyone I could think of… Listed below are some of the answers I received. I LOVED that people actually answered!! Yours may be listed, in which case I thank you ever so kindly for sharing!!

  • Of course not, she’d fly!
  • She’s Wonder Woman, she knows EVERYTHING!
  • She created it, she rules it! That’s the Queen!
  • No, she would rip it up and make a new road.
  • Why is there a yellow brick road in a forest?
  • Why would she need to go to Oz? She doesn’t have any issues… Does she?
  • No, why would she have to… Wonder Woman is Queen of the Jungle.
  • No, Wonder Woman wouldn’t need to go to Oz because she already holds the title of Queen.
  • She wouldn’t follow the yellow brick road, she would make so many new roads and pathways and each would look different, be different with each having a different end result!
  • Wonder Woman would follow every branch of the Yellow Brick Road that Dorothy did not.

If you havwn’t yet answered the floor is open… If you DID answer and your answer isn’t listed above, and I read or heard it, KNOW that I loved it. Anyhow, MY theory didn’t come until I explored a bit, some of this included taking into account the answers I received.

In my mind because of the storyline, I would imagine Wonder Woman, Superman, etc., in whatever mode of travel they preferred to use, following the yellow brick road. I’m CERTAIN Wonder Woman would find something useful in the Merry Old Land of Oz; I also very much like the thought of Wonder Woman building new roads, paths, etc., thus expanding her Kingdom – And I think to myself… 😉

Next, I got to thinking about the strengths of not only the Main Characters in the Wizard of Oz, but those of the Superheroes themselves. There’s something we can learn from them all… at least I THINK there must be, why else would we have them?

What were Dorothy, Toto & crew in search of? What do Superheroes have that the Wizard of Oz characters didn’t? How do you think they came to be superheroes? Would you consider any of the crew headed down the yellow brick road a superhero in some way or another? Why or why not?

In case you were wondering, the t-shirt that sent the internal marbles of my brain spinning bore the following caption: “Superheroes have issues too!” It has little pictures of the various DC/Marvel Comic Superheroes, beneath each one is listed their designated issue.

If there were any doubt left in my mind on the imperfection of Superheroes, it was quickly snuffed out when I did an internet search for a simple listing of each Superhero & their issues that were displayed on the shirt.

It was during that search that I ran across some videos on the “Barely Political” You Tube channel… “Super Therapy”! – I HAD to watch The Wonder Woman episode first, followed by the rest. I gotta tell ya, I absolutely loved them! Some are a little bit out there, but they’re all in good fun. Yes indeedy, Superheroes are not immune to the issues any of us face.

Regardless of what we do in life, we all struggle with something. The answers may lie hidden within us as was the case of the main characters in the Wizard of Oz or, we might need to seek outside help as they did from Oz.

In addition, we all have within us strengths, gifts, and talents & abilities. Much like those of the Superheroes, they are unique, often enhanced when utilized in conjunction another’s.

I have since decided that, the strongest thread we have with the main characters of the Wizard of Oz & those Superheroes… That is, that We all operate best when we use our strengths, gifts, talents & abilities, empowering one another with support and encouragement, while standing strong for what we believe in.

The greatest gift we can give ourselves and each other is to step beyond our fears, calling the “Oz’s of our lives” out on the carpet “from behind the curtain”, look them straight in the eye as we let our voices be heard while respectfully demanding that which we need to soar. Maybe as we do so, some of us will be heard singing….

Whether I’m right, or whether I’m wrong,
Whether I find a place in this world or never belong
I’ve gotta be mee
I’ve gotta be meeeeeeee…

I’ve got a bucket of water standing by, just waiting for that Wicked Ole Witch, perhaps instead of using it, I’ll simply send her soaring, maybe she just needs to be accepted & allowed to be herself too!! Could it be that she may be singing “I’ve gotta be me” right along with us someday?! 🙂

Superheroes in the Merry Old Land of Oz
©Sue Anderson 2012 – All Rights Reserved
~Sue An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter & Love™ ~
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

Often times, with the weight of the world on our shoulders, we feel stuck, trapped, like giving up, like no matter which way we turn, it’s going to be the wrong way. We feel like tossing in the proverbial towel.

So many roadblocks, So many obstacles to overcome, and daily life becomes such a struggle. Who to talk to, Who to trust, is there anyone who will understand in such a way they can help us over to the other side? Is there anyone like that out there?

Sometimes it feels like there isn’t one such person, that there is no way out, and then before you know it your thoughts are going down a path that would lead to certain destruction.

Such was the case for me the last several days and without going into all the details of what led my thoughts there, I’ll just say that once again I managed to give myself just the boost I needed, without even so much as a plan other than to have something inspiring to wake up to.

I just downloaded a new app for my iPhone last night. It was an alarm clock with an option to choose a playlist. As my thoughts were reaching the ‘tipping point’, “I Believe” started to play, followed by “You are Love (Don’t Give Up), followed by India Arie’s “Beautiful Day”, followed by “Footloose”, and then my other alarm went off, with “I will lift my voice”….

The combination, the unique lifting of the storm clouds, gets me out of bed, dancing along. When the song is over and the morning D.J.’s start talking about having a need for inspiration and ‘tipping points’ I sit back on my bed in awe. “Better than a Halleluiah” starts to play on the play-listed alarm, followed by “Just Dance”. I couldn’t agree more!! lol

Coincidentally, the playlist was set to shuffle mode so the songs that I first heard this morning were not in the order I had chosen them.

Smiling internally and externally, my thoughts now on a brighter path…. “You’ll Never Let Me Go – Don’t Let me Lose my way” are the words to the song on the second alarm….. I’m no longer in that dark space I was moments ago.

My faith or spiritual path, often coupled with music is a shelter from many of the storms of my life. Today it managed to “Tip the Proverbial Towel Outta the Way”

As I end this “The Warrior” begins to play on my snoozed first play list alarm… I chuckle as I remember the picture of a Warrior I once wrote about after a lengthier though similar dark time.

What is it that provides shelter from the storms of your life? Be prepared to open your ears and hear the answers that are sure to come to a willing listener.

Tipping the Proverbial Towel Outta the Way
©Sue Anderson – (An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends & Laughter)™
All Rights Reserved
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

Less than a week ago I had a rather hair raising adventure. It was one of those adventures I TRULY could do without, uncomfortable would be an understatement as to how to classify it, so I have dubbed it “hair raising”.

Looking back, the oddity is that I’ve had similar experiences in the past, but it’s been a very VERY long time, yet the intensity of this one hit me like a ton of bricks, causing an anxiety attack that brought about gut wrenching sobs.

It started, the night before, at least that’s when I was aware that it had started. The next morning my husband found me curled up in my step-daughters bedroom (she still has a room here for when she wants to spend the night or, spend extra time with us, etc) So my poor husband thought he’d done something wrong. I reassured him that he hadn’t, and did the best I could to explain what was going on.

When I got in the shower to get ready for work, the noise of THAT bothered me SO much, it frustrated the bejeebers out of me. After I got out of the shower I began pacing, wondering what in the hell was going on. I remember at one point trying to shake it off, as though it was making my skin crawl, the anxiety level was that high.

I sent an email off to my supervisor that I was running late, due to an internal traffic jam. No sooner had I hit send, my anxiety level heightened, guilt set in only making it worse, and within seconds my internal traffic jam became a unrelenting roadblock. It was almost as if “internally” I had just slammed into a mack truck.

Knowing at that point I was going to be even more delayed, Sobbing with each keystroke & with every ounce of strength in me, I sent out a second email to my supervisor. “More like a darned road block, trying to work it out”. The “f” word would have been a more fitting descriptive word to use for the situation, but I couldn’t bring myself to that level outside of my head. Funny how some things just won’t come out eh?

I did everything I could possibly think of to get myself out of it, phoned several of my “personal support team” if you will, and got voicemail everywhere. I didn’t leave messages, I simply could not handle it. Eventually I decided to take a second shower, rather a way of starting the day over if you will. Music & writing are 2 of my favorite and treasured wellness tools… In my head as I headed in for that second shower was what I decided to sing as I got in;

“I’ve got the power, to get in the shower”

I don’t know how long I was in that shower, but I added to that first line as it came in bits & spurts. The tears really started to flow somewhere along the line and I was really glad that there was nobody home to hear my uncontrollable sobs, I didn’t try to hold it in as I would have done once upon a time, I just let it flow. Those tears made it into my lyrics…

I’ve got the power, to get in the shower…
Fake it til you make it is what they say,
And I can do quite good on most any bad day,
But sometimes it seems that it’s harder than hell,
 No matter WHAT you do, you’re still not feelin well.

Then before to long you’re caught in a jam,
 When suddenly you find yourself in la la land Singin
 La La LaLa La La, La La LaLa La La La La
 La La LaLa La La, La La LaLa La La La La
 Gettin Jiggy Wit It… Freakin!

Totally tweakin and I started to cry
 Just lettin it go as I wondered why…

There are bits and pieces of the words I came up with that have totally escaped my mind… I catch glimpses every now and then, but am never quite quick enough to grab ahold of them. Perhaps it’s enough that I’ve remembered as much as I did.

Not long after I had gotten out of that second shower, I got a call back from one of my personal supporters, despite the fact I hadn’t left a message. She listened without judgement, we brainstormed over some of the possible causes, and by the end of the call I was emotionally & physically drained. I had crawled back under the covers as we talked, and once the call ended I had decided some extensive self care was what this day called for; soothing music, some warm tea, and perhaps a nap – at home, Gave myself permission to do the best possible thing for me, and sent off the final email of the day to my supervisor; informing her of my plan for the day, and my needs for a better day the next.

Several hours later I had a post op for appointment regarding some oral surgery I’d had the week before. Leaving from my appointment I noticed a billboard with the following quote:

 “All work and no play, creates for us an early grave,
ME Time is Essential”

Though I’m still experiencing some difficulty I DID make it to work the next day, despite the fact that I overslept. Ordinarily, this would have caused me to hit the ground running. So I did the next best thing, I calmly & methodically went about readying myself for the day to ensure that #1, I would make it to work, and #2, I wouldn’t be all stressed when I arrived.

I’m hoping this will all blow over soon, but in the meantime, I have an appointment with my doctor early in the week to have some tests run as a precautionary measure.

Do you experience hyper-sensitivity to noise and such? Does it leave you unable to think clearly, formulate a thought, or cause you to overthink or overfocus? If so, is there anything in particular that you’ve found helpful that you feel comfortable sharing with another straggler in this Journey of Life?

Silliness USUALLY works for me on just about everything – with one exception that I’m aware of…. THIS incident, and it’s continuing effects…

The Essential “ME Time” – One Days Remedy for a Dreadful Noise
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

It’s the Little Things That Count

 Joy is the will which labors, which overcomes obstacles, which knows triumph. ~William Butler Yeats 

Yesterday I was reminded of some little things that bring me joy. 

· Hot Chocolate
· Dancing
· More Chocolate 🙂
· Singing
· Spending time with friends and family 

As I drove to work this morning, I noticed a little girl around 10 or 12 running along side her Mother who was in a wheelchair, (at least I imagine it was her Mother). I couldn’t help but notice the look of joy they both had on their faces. Mom’s chair was not electric, the fact that her daughter had to run to keep up with her as Mom spun those wheels struck me with amazement, awe, and a deep feeling of joy for them both. What they had, was priceless. 

Often times we look so hard, and so long at the obstacles we find ourselves in the midst of, we sometimes forget to take a little time out for what I like to call “Joy breaks”.  Joy is something that helps give us the will to overcome our obstacles so that in the end, we triumph over them.  I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that sometimes this is easier said than done. 

Yet when we look at the time we spend alone… gazing out the window, or wondering what on earth to do, we can easily be overcome with a feeling of boredom. 

“Boredom before the fact is just a defense against enthusiasm.” ~Robert Bly 

Last week I was asked to bring some “fun activities” to an afternoon retreat. Since this group focused on mental health, I decided for one of the fun activities that we’d play “Mental Health Recovery Bingo”, and so I stopped on my way to pick up a few fun prizes which included, Hula Hoops, Hand Clappers, Silly String, and Gigantic Bright Orange Sunglasses. I also brought along a couple of my favorite karaoke songs and my little mini karaoke machine. (Of course I could NOT forget my Pom-Poms) 

As I wrote this, I couldn’t help but chuckle at the memory of these people who have become so very dear to me, dancing, & singing, while enjoying their prizes… And Yes, Just for the Record, that DID include hula-hooping!! I even loaned my pom-poms out…. The only thing I didn’t see was the silly string flying (Probably a GOOD thing!!) 

This was an afternoon that I found a lot of joy in, not only because of the enjoyment I saw that came from my contribution, but moreso because as soon as I walked in, I heard the music this group had gathered in a circle to make. It wasn’t anything fancy, a variety of drums, shakers, and other musical pieces, with everyone playing at their own pace, and yet it lightened and lifted the clouds I’d felt just moments before. 

Joy can be found in a variety of ways, so take some time to think about, and make a list of those things that bring YOU joy. Then challenge yourself to take at LEAST 10 minutes a day for a joy break, I can almost guarantee it’ll lighten your spirits. 

It’s The Little Things That Count
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

Worries and Confusion and Chaos Oh MY!

Worry gives a small thing a big shadow. ~Swedish proverb

Halfway to work this morning, I wondered if I had inadvertently left my work keys and badge at home. This is one of those things, nearly EVERY morning, I find myself worrying about. Thus far, Ive only once forgotten my keys. And yet, I still worry. Generally, I will check my bag first, and then my coat pocket which this morning produced positive results. Hurray, I hadnt forgotten them!

Statistics indicate that over 85% of all that we worry about never happens. These include worries over our past which can never be changed, worries over which we have no control, irrational concerns or fears, and future worries.

As I began writing this the song “You were on my Mind” started to play through my head. And I thought about how often our worries include another person. We find ourselves mentally going through a bazillion & one things.

· What will they think of me if…
· Does he/she REALLY like me, or are they just being nice?
· And my personal favorite If he / she really knew me, I dont think theyd want to be around me.

Ah yes, we can tie ourselves in knots over little things like this cant we cant control, and if were not careful, find ourselves in HEAPS of confusion, chaos, and turmoil. Interestingly, in the midst of typing this, I lost my connection. I was worried, that Id have to start all over again. I cant tell you the sigh of relief I had to breathe when it was all still there!!

Each week, I try to come up with a topic that all ties together in a neat little package for my Positively You Group. By Friday morning, if I havent been inspired by something, I worry over what Ill manage to come up with. It seemed suitable today to put this worrying to good use!! lol

Positively You On My Mind

When I woke up this morning
Positively You was on my mind
its Pos-itively Truuuue
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I got words to find

So I went to the computer
Gave my fingers pains
Yeah, ty-ping cause pain
I got troubles, whoa-oh
I got worries, whoa-oh
I came home again –NOT

I guess Ive always been pretty fortunate in finding what I need to put this all together. I stumbled across the following in an article about worry on the selfgrowth.com website

“Worry can wear you down emotionally and physically. There are many ways that you can deal with worry. Some especially effective methods are summarized below.

The Dalai Lama has been quoted as saying If there is a solution to a problem, there is no need to worry. And if there is no solution, there is no need to worry.

His message is to focus on the solution and not the problem. However, when wrongs can’t be righted or circumstances can’t be controlled, one must accept the things they cannot change.

The Logic of Statistics

Many people who have written or spoken about worry have told the statistics story. The earliest source that we could find of the story and most probable author was Thomas S. Kepler, a respected biblical scholar. He wrote about a woman who realized fears were ruining her life. She began to keep track of what was worrying her and she found:

· 40% of the things she worried about were about things that would never happen.
· 30% of the things she worried about were about things that had already happened, water under the bridge.
· 12% of the things she worried about were about others’ opinions and when she thought about it she realized that criticisms are often made by those that are jealous or insecure and therefore unjust criticism is a disguised compliment.
· 10% of the things she worried about were needless health worries, which made her health worse as she worried.
· 8% of the things she worried about were “legitimate,” since life has some real problems to meet.

If you consider the above as probable statistics, it would seem that only 8% of the things that you worry about are worth the worry. Next time you are worried about something, perform a check to see if the worry is in a category other then the 8% category and if it is, perhaps logic will help free you from the worry.”

Things do have a way of working out, and I know I need not have worried. So what will you take from this experience of mine? Does it help to know that those things we worry about dont generally happen?? If Im honest, Ill say, yup to a degree anyway, as long as I remind myself!!

Worries and Confusion and Chaos Oh MY!
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

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You! Magnificent, Amazing, You!

When you look at that title, I wonder, what your thoughts are. Care to share? I know for many of my younger years I felt anything but magnificent, or amazing words like that just DID not fit what I was taught, by my Mom anyway.

My Dad on the other hand always believed in me. He was my cheerleader, the one person I could almost always count on to soothe my ruffled feathers except of course when he was scolding me for something or another. Usually it was for getting into the Ho-Ho’s, or the Twinkies that my mom had stashed away for his lunch. (Yes indeed, I come by my sweet tooth honestly!!)

Even though I knew my Dad believed in me, it really bothered me that my Mom did not. Her favorite word you see was stupid. Oh how I learned to dislike that word!!  It always has a tendency to make me cringe,even  still to this day.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with my therapist about my fear of letting go of certain things, many of which are papers that Ive saved over the years for one reason or another. There are certain things, no matter how hard Id tried, I found VERY difficult to dispose of. During the course of our conversation she picked up a statement Id made regarding getting rid of these things I may need to prove someday x, y, z.

When she brought this to my attention how often Id said that in this, and previous sessions, she asked why I felt that need to prove something I fumbled for a minute, and then it hit me. Old childhood scars that I thought were long since healed still haunted me. Holding onto things, was a way to prove I wasnt stupid, that I’d made the right decisions, etc. to whomever,whenever, whatever the case might be.

A pile of papers that Id been holding onto for years, left my house last Sunday. It wasnt easy, and I’m still struggling with whether or not I did the right thing, but the funny thing is since then, I’ve felt a bit more motivated to make a bigger impact. And I aim to!!

Thinking about this, I think about the messages we may have heard as children, and not really thought much of, but if leave them be, we will never truly see the possibilities, the choices, or the strengths we have within ourselves, and give them free rein.

I’ve recognized over the last several years that one of my strengths is in writing. The other day I was told, Im waiting for your book to come out. I was humbled, inspired, and awed all at the same time.

There are things we each enjoy doing. If you were to look at those things,  could you see them as one or more of your strengths? If someone encouraged you to pursue those things, what might your life be like? What hidden miracles are within you waiting to be discovered?

One thing I’ve learned is that if I dont believe in myself, in my abilities, my strengths, etc., HOW can I expect others to?  There can be miracles when you believe.

Take a moment to look within, and try to discover what those abilities and strengths you have. What would it take for you to believe you can achieve your hearts desire? Perhaps, like me it starts with believing in yourself?

If you’re able, listen to the song When You Believe by Celtic Woman as you take that look within.

You! Magnificent, Amazing, You!
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

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Every 40 Seconds Someone asks Why?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nd-2EkA4LgI

This song by Rascal Flatts poses the question Why? So beautifully to those lives lost to Suicide…. EVERY 40 seconds a heart is broken

http://www.nami.org/MSTemplate.cfm?Section=Standing_with_Her_in_the_Rain1

Hello Friends,

At church this morning, our Pastor spoke about the movie “A Brilliant Mind” – It was a great sermon, and afterwards I shared with him about Mental Health Awareness Month, and about this article I’d just read which I think challenges churches to look for ways to reach out and accept those with a mental illness. My intention was just to send him the link to the article as promised, but I found myself writing more, which prompted me to to reach out… and share it with each of you as well. Feel free to share with others as you feel led.

The above link will take you to a story I personally found very touching. You may, or may not be aware that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Most people today know someone who’s been diagnosed with a mental illness. This could be anything ranging from depression, to schizophrenia and variations of many other disorders as well. Because of the stigma associated with having a mental illness, many do not seek help, or are afraid to share such a diagnosis with others.

There are many organizations today working to wipe out the stigma associated with having a mental illness. Glenn Close and Ron Howard have developed a series of Public Service Announcements which can be viewed at http://www.bringchange2mind.org Each one of them tell a different story. Perhaps one of those stories strike a chord within regarding that of a person you know. Perhaps that person described is yourself.

As a person who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, I found only one problem with the videos. The T-shirts worn by those who suffer bear only the name of their diagnosis. I once had a therapist who gave me a different viewpoint. One that made perfect sense…

If a person is diagnosed with cancer, are they labeled as cancer? Of course not. Many persons today who are diagnosed with a mental illness on the other hand, are labeled as their illness. This is where the stigma starts. By seeing those diagnosed with a mental illness as their diagnosis rather than as a person first. I then was able to see myself in a different light.

I truly believe God designed our bodies in such a way that he knew what he was doing. I also believe that there is no part of the body which is exempt from some form of illness, including the brain.

Years ago I belonged to a Christian blogging community. I read several things on some of the blogs regarding psychology as a practice that was not something God would approve of. In response to these I found myself writing a poem titled “May I Have an Exemption Please?” The comments that I received though well intended questioned who I was praying to? who I was putting my faith in? and if I was praying correctly. The poem and my response are attached for your enjoyment.

I consider myself blessed to be able to encourage and inspire others in my present job because of what I’ve experienced, and because of the things I have learned along the way. I’m excited at the doors that have been opened to me because of my willingness to share those pieces of my life.

This Thursday May 6th the company I work for is having it’s annual fundraising gala. It’s a night to celebrate the milestones that our mental health community has made, and to raise funds to support more programs, reach more people, impact more lives, etc….. You can find out more information on this event by going to http://www.smh.org

On May 15, 2010 NAMI will be having it’s annual walk… I would love it if you participated in whatever way you feel comfortable…. See the following for info on the NAMI Walk!
www.nami.org/namiwalks10/SEA/suebsingin

Have a Fantastic Day!
Hugs,
©Sue Anderson, All Rights Reserved 2010 – 2011
An-ders-(S)on-shine, Silliness, Stories, Legends, Laughter, & Love™
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. Ps.18:32

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