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: 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

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: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.

Dear Fellow Traveler, Did you think life was going to go like this? You had plans and dreams about work, life, accomplishments, where you wanted to live and with who. Then mental illness stepped in. Now what?  I was 14 when the darkness fell on me. I had been a freshman: insecure, loud, loving, caring, smart, prideful, naïve, hopeful, occasionally hardworking, unfocused, etc. I played drums in bands, played goalie in soccer, and played risk with my friends, sometimes for days.  Then I was nothing. I was a contaminant. I was walking anguish.  I got home every day and carried myself upstairs to my room. I would turn on the radio, collapse into my comforter, and sob. The music drowned out the crying so no one else could hear.  I was not alone. Kay Redfield Jameson had bipolar disorder, like I do, and she survived. She had become a clinical [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: An Open Letter to a Fellow Traveler by Brandon A.2022-03-27T21:53:04-04:00

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

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher

Nancy Boucher is the ninth of thirteen children born into a first generation Italian American family. The importance and value of family has been an enduring force in her life. She taught special education for 24 years in public schools, starting programs for children with behavioral challenges. Her responsibilities included screening, observation, and evaluation; developing and implementing goals with students; consulting with teachers, administrators, and parents; and providing in-service assistance to staff. She loved my job, and was always attentive to and thankful to each of her students who taught her how to become a better teacher. She is well aware of the challenges facing families and their children when dealing with a serious condition, not yet totally understood. Twenty four years ago her youngest son got sick with a serious mental illness and her family's life as they knew it veered off course. They were catapulted into a wilderness [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Prayer to be Rooted in Love by Nancy Boucher2022-02-27T15:31:56-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.

Tina G. was raised a farm girl near Columbus, ND.  She spent many summer weekends at our lake cabin at White Bear Lake  Saskatchewan Canada.  She has loved the outdoors all her life.  She received a B.S. in Criminal Justice/Business Admin. She never cared much for indoor work so she spent about 20 years working with golf course landscaping.   During this time she raised 3 kids,  a daughter and 2 sons with their Dad.  They later divorced.   She then met Tim and he has a daughter.   They celebrated 12 years of marriage this year.   During that time all 4 of their kids graduated high school, their daughters have both married and they now have 2 granddaughters and are expecting a grandson in March!  They have 3 dogs that are theirs together!   Tina was diagnosed with bipolar disorder 1 and borderline personality disorder at the age of 33.  However, she feels [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Heart’s Hero by Tina G.2022-02-20T16:08:22-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.

Dear Claudia, As I sit here anticipating the 2022 New Year and wondering what joys and sorrows it will bring, I remember you. Our world is in the midst of a deadly pandemic, that frankly, I never thought I would experience in my lifetime. It’s an experience akin to living in a sci-fi horror movie. I sometimes wonder if I could magically change the fact that you developed a serious mental illness when I was a child, if your brain had remained healthy and you were still alive, would you have been the kind of mother I could call and kavetch with about what a struggle the pandemic is for us all. However, you died seven years ago.  You were 74-years-old when you died alone with both serious mental illness and dementia in an Atlanta area nursing home. Even with the dementia, you always remembered both me and Chris (your [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: A Letter of Redemption to My Mother, Claudia by Cathy B.2022-02-13T18:21:35-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson

MY MIRACLE CHILD It has not been easy since day one. Actually, before that. I had fertility problems that required tests, treatments, and lots of doctors visits. What came so easily for others was an uphill struggle for me. I just wanted to have a baby. Jeff and I married young, worked hard, and saved up enough money for a down payment on a house. After we moved in, my biological urge to become a mother really kicked in. But my body was not cooperating. Finally, after four long years, my dream came true. I was pregnant! by Donna Erickson Dear Ryan, I loved and wanted you so much, before you were even born. When you came into our lives, your father and I were over the moon and filled with happiness. But it was hard to raise such a defiant child. Tantrums lasted longer than my friends‘ children, and [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: My Miracle Child by Donna Erickson2022-01-30T19:50:19-05:00

Hope for Troubled Minds: I Didn’t Marry Bipolar Disorder

Do you love someone who has a serious mental illness (SMI) and want the world to know who they really are? Are you diagnosed with a brain disorder and want to celebrate how much a caregivers love means to you? From now until April 1, I am collecting love letters for my next book - Hope for Troubled Minds: Love Letters from Those with Brain Illnesses and Those Who Care for Us. Send your submission to tony@delightindisorder.org For a sample letter, here is one from my wife Susan.   Dear Tony, I love you. I knew from the start of our relationship that you had bipolar disorder. I appreciated your openness and candor about your illness. In the beginning, we talked for hours on end. Your laugh was (and is) infectious. I don't regret that our relationship moved quickly.  After being on my own for seven years, I was happy [...]

Hope for Troubled Minds: I Didn’t Marry Bipolar Disorder2022-01-16T03:34:54-05:00
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