Hope for Troubled Minds: To Dearest Dad, most lovingly from Helen

Dearest Dad, It has been twenty years since you took your own life. I have only just begun to openly talk about your life and death. Why? Maybe it was because we didn’t celebrate your life with family and friends in early February, 2001. Maybe it was because I didn’t fully understand the extend of your mental illness. Maybe it was because you and Mom moved to Florida in 1972 and there wasn’t much visitation between the families. Thanks for being my father. I am blessed to call you “Dad” and want to tell the world about our life together. I remember living in our small house when I was very young. I was unaware that most six-years didn’t go to bed while the sun was still shining brightly. Mother would fix supper for Nancy and me. She would not eat with us but ate with you when you came [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To Dearest Dad, most lovingly from Helen2022-08-14T12:54:57-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.

When I was 17 years old, I delay enlisted into the Air Force. I had known at a very young age that I wanted a life devoted to the service of others. I was the oldest of four and already knew what sacrifice was or at least I thought I did. I enjoyed my time in the Air Force and short stint in law enforcement, but chose a different path because I felt I was too optimistic and in law enforcement you were always waiting for someone to make a mistake. Instead, I chose to go to college and work as a paralegal. Divorced young, I learned sacrifice as a parent. I was a single parent for 16 years. Sometimes I worked two jobs and went to college full time. I had aspirations of going to law school and making a real impact in the world. Then, two months shy [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: KyLee and her mother’s love.2022-08-08T11:30:38-04:00

Finding Hope Through Chelsea: Hope for Troubled Minds

Some time ago I was blessed to come to know a young woman with a deep faith and a beautiful smile. We shared a common diagnosis in a support group and did our best to encourage one another. She was wise beyond her years and her compassion has lasted beyond her time on earth. Her legacy lives on through family and friends and those they encounter. This letter is from Tricia, her mom. Dear Chelsea, Gosh where do I begin? You were our “oops” baby, LOL! After 7 years of having a family of four, we thought our family was complete. God had a different plan though because, little did we know, it was far from complete. You came into our lives 5 weeks early, which scared us to death, but everything turned out fine, you were just in a hurry to meet your new family. You brought love and [...]

Finding Hope Through Chelsea: Hope for Troubled Minds2022-07-31T21:09:02-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures

Diane has been a pioneer in sharing her story publicly to a wide variety of audiences including health professionals, students, city councils, church members peers and law enforcement since 2013. "In Sickness and in Mental Health" was one of a handful of biographies on bipolar disorder and is now on the top 100 Bipolar Books on BookAuthority.com. This is her letter to her husband and life partner Greg.     Lover, our life together has been like no other and we went through fires before we even met. We have had many challenges, yet so many victories and blessings along the way.  I thought that I finally had a grasp on our mental health conditions back in 2013 since it took me seven years of observing our recovery road to write our story In Sickness and in Mental Health: Living with and Loving Someone with Mental Illness. Since then, there [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Ripples, Waves, and Heroic Measures2022-06-01T18:05:35-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.

Dear Bobby, One of my greatest accomplishments in life was becoming your mother - I had hopes and dreams for the man you would become. Your intelligence, compassion and determination in everything you did brought me a great sense of pride. Bipolar disorder no doubt changed the way I see the world and what I now want for you, my loving son. This brain illness at times has made you say and do things uncharacteristic of the person that I know is deep inside of you.  It is an illness that has caused much turmoil for you, for this I am deeply sorry and only wish that as your mother I could take the pain away. Despite great suffering, despair and heartbreak, bipolar disorder has taught me so much. It has taught me that we live in a world where those with serious brain disorders are discriminated against.  We live [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: Dear Bobby, from your grateful mom.2022-05-07T17:49:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom

Jonna Terhune is a social worker living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She writes, "... [my diagnosis] does not define me.  By the grace of God, I am still alive and blessed to have the support of my best friend/mother.  I know this letter cannot show the extent of sacrifice and love that my mother has given to help me live but I do hope that it gives a glimpse into our experience.  I pray that one day I can give back as well as pay it forward.  Thank you for spending a few moments to read my letter to my mom."   To my best friend, I call you mom, I never thought I would make it this far.  You stood by me through all the sleepless nights, not just as an infant but as a teenager and adult when mania engulfed me or depression strangled my heart [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To my best friend, I call you mom2022-04-13T14:32:55-04:00

Will you lay down your life for me?

Jesus asks his disciples and us this pivotal question of discipleship. It has often been interpreted as martyrdom. Will you die for me? But I learned this week that the Greek word translated life here is not bios, or physical life but psuche, which describes our inner life of thoughts and feelings. So Jesus is asking: Will you lay down your internal orientations and agendas? Are you weilling to pattern your life around my example? Will you let your heart come into sync with mine, until you care about the same things as I do. (from The Reservoir: A Fifteen-Month Weekday Spiritual Formation Devotional by Renovare). This insight makes all the difference in the world to me. It affirmed my decision to go on psychotropics, for instance, in an effort to experience relative balance and continue to provide and be present for my family. Had I not been a husband and a [...]

Will you lay down your life for me?2022-04-10T18:49:49-04:00

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus

April 6 I am facing a major dilemma in my mental health care. I am currently taking a prescribed medication that makes me extremely drowsy much of the day. I sleep 10-12 hours at night. I'm getting anxious about projects I've committed to do. I feel I'm letting people down, myself at the top of the list. Now I could talk to my Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about weaning myself off this medicine but my dilemma is it is the one and only thing that has worked out of many dozens of psychotropics for curbing my mania. Manic episodes are great for energy, but they can also shorten life span. My choice? To be sedated, or To die young. What would you choose?   April 7 It's 3 am. My favorite time of day, though I would like it even better if I were getting up early refreshed from sleep. As [...]

A Blessed Union: Sleepless in Columbus2022-04-09T00:58:38-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats

Kwee Ann Yap was born on March 31, 1963, in Selangor, Malaysia.  She is the youngest of 3 siblings.  Growing up, Ann was not keen on socializing, she mostly kept to herself to avoid any kind of social activity.  She loved reading and spending time with her family.   Steve was born Steven Nonaka on August 25, 1949, in a Sugar Plantation Hospital in Waipahu, Hawaii.  He is the oldest of 4 children, a brother and two sisters.  His stepfather adopted him and his younger sister, changing their last name to Fukunaga.  The family moved several times before finally settling in at Pauoa Valley located in Honolulu, Hawaii.   In late 1997 Steve decided to explore a forum for pen pals, and it was there he found Ann’s bio and started to correspond with her.  Steve felt Ann was a good and loving person in working with children with developmental disabilities.  They [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: To My Dearest Ann from Your Honey Bunches of Oats2022-04-02T15:37:20-04:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates

As an American Curbside Caregiver and SMI/SBD Advocate Linda Rippee Privatte supports her disabled blind brother with a serious brain disorder who has gone untreated for 34 years.  Since then, he has been homeless for 14 years.  She is one of two twin sisters who advocates for change in the United States, also known as 'Twin Tag Team' and more recently as Twisted Sisters Advocacy & Activism for Serious Brain Disorders. They each do things the other cannot.  Her twin, Catherine, is skilled at social media awareness, advocacy, and education, but Linda is the last family member capable of reaching Mark on the streets and providing him with the necessities of life.   To my younger and only brother, Mark; I grew up believing that love could fix anything…that love conquers all. That love would carry us through any situation.  I believed that family never gives up on family.  I [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Twisted Twin Sister Advocates2022-03-20T15:25:50-04:00
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