Gofundme/Mental Illness Housing Grants!

Payday Friday and you have a ton of money to spend but not enough places to spend it? If not, consider donating $10 (I’ll accept more!) to my mental illness housing campaign! If you’re living from paycheck to paycheck, I’ll still accept donations to my worthy cause, lol ! I was pissed off and into action when my son was $40 short of qualifying for a special housing program and it was against the rules for me to provide the $40 because I wasn’t the client. My housing program will offers grants to the mentally ill homeless population engaged in their recovery and able to work. My goal is to support and empower, not enable! I need help getting it off the ground, and have already received $920.00! That might not sound like a lot, but it’s $919 more than what I expected!

1 in 5 adults is diagnosed with some form of mental illness, which means we are all touched by it in some way. Know anyone suffering from depression who’s life could be a lot better with just a little help, but they aren’t receiving the support they need?

Please remember to SHARE!

https://www.gofundme.com/mental-illness-housing-initiative?pc=fb_co_dashboard_a&rcid=a5c905378c8247d385a201086744478a&fbclid=IwAR3MN6qgnekudZ5mlvNQwhYU3s7ETKgY-Wtr-7j85jZvQ6eBsjo5lJU8BEs

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GoFundMe Mentally Ill Housing Initiative

I’ve been working on my autobiography, Renewal Of The Mind: The Upside to Schizophrenia for a while now. My initial goal was to share hope for families, awareness of mental illness for the community, and how I was changed at my core for the better based on his diagnosis. My WHY has changed over the years as my son lost everything he had, including his job, from a dysfunctional relationship. Revenge took the life he had created since his initial schizophrenia diagnosis 11 years ago. He was working full time, in school, and contributing to society. For the last three months, he has lived in his car because housing is unavailable. There’s an 8-year waiting list, and the shelters are already overflowing.

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I’m tired of hearing that’s just the way it is and allowing stigma to determine his destiny. An associate suggested creating a community event to raise funds for a housing initiative. I decided to take this on, but for others who have lost their voice, not just my son. There are many homeless, employable clients that simply need support getting back on their feet. This disease is cyclical and there is no cure, which means it’s possible the person will continue to cycle through fresh starts every three years. I want to put a program in place to help with their recovery, as many times as it takes. I created a Gofundme page to generate funds for the event I want to hold later this year. There will be a panel of speakers, a meal, and entertainment. Proceeds will create housing with support programs for those active in their recovery and employable. 1 in 5 adults suffers from mental illness, which means many lives are impacted across the globe.

I’m reaching out to the WordPress community, asking for your support in donating and sharing my cause. My link is below, along with an inside look at schizophrenia by a college student that created a program to support the mentally ill when they are struck down on campus. The disease usually strikes at college age, as it did my son. Cecilia committed to help their recovery and provide hope, as Schizophrenia is a disease of isolation. I want to do the same.

https://www.gofundme.com/mental-illness-housing-initiative

 

A Journey of Self-Discovery

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Like most, I’ve had my share of life-hacks I prefer to have lived without, but admittedly inspired maturity that otherwise might not have happened. My autobiography, Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Schizophrenia,  speaks to how my son’s diagnosis not only shifted his mindset but altered my mental makeup as well. My new approach to life was obtained by humbling myself in rooms of groups like Al-Anon, AA, self-improvement seminars, a cluttered library of self-help books, and years of psycho-speak. All of these represented support I didn’t think I needed until faced with something I couldn’t control. Years of digging deep lead to an excavation of my own internal decayed parts, a process as radical as the voices in his head.

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Not only was my family tree pruned, but like second-hand smoke, my education bled into the outside world and seeped into the relationships around me. Some improved simply because I chose too, others were eliminated because they weren’t in my best interest. There were parts that didn’t change, however. I’m still extremely nerdy, preferring quiet seclusion to a crowd without a purpose (that interests me), speak too much out of nervous energy at times, and at age 52, still, prefer jeans and a sweatshirt to red carpet attire.  I will always pass on high heels as I routinely trip in my mind simply watching other women wear them. Not a fan of pain, or of risking injury to my feet which will lead to my inability to have mountain therapy. I also see no need to spend money on shoes I can only wear five minutes at a time, entering social events, only to remove once seated. No thanks, lol….

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Writing my story also lead to an unexpected end to a ten-year journey of self-discovery. There wasn’t a lot left to unpack based on years of support groups and a mentor of 11 years, but one area in my life still required fine-tuning. Interacting with the opposite sex is a hot topic I will elaborate more on in my book. Finding dignity and my purpose through writing was like hitting the lottery!  While not even close to perfection, I’m definitely now a complete woman! I’ve learned it had nothing to do with who I am on the outside, but everything to do with who I am on the inside….

Happy New Year!

Though there were a few highs, 2018 was one of the most emotionally challenging years of my life. Each month offered an opportunity for growth (AKA PROBLEM!!!) that required a temporary and extremely stressful pause in my book revision. My growth spurts are never small and like children, they require my immediate and full attention, usually cost more money than the resources ($2,000+) available, and my entire life stops until this issue is solved (other than work because a mortgage must be paid). Though the warrior in me is still standing, she’s bruised, emotionally exhausted and ready to exhale into some much-needed downtime to recharge and regroup! Currently, there is no space on the calendar for that, but I’ve made a mental note of it.

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My personality is so goal oriented (perhaps a little intense) that normally my entire new years focus on self-development is complete and signed in blood for accountability by November 1 (with back up plans A,B, C and D), but not this time. I’ve decided I’ll need to physically add a quarterly binge on Netflix, and an upgrade to six hours of sleep to my running list in order to create those possibilities. I actually view those as the most challenging to manifest! For today, however, my laser focus is on the incomplete story of how my son’s journey through mental illness leads to an upgrade, not only in my physical surroundings but also of my character.

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Writing a book is one of the hardest things I’ve ever attempted and with zero experience, it still sounded like a good idea at the time when suggested during my Life Coach certification process. In fact, this blog was born as a way to improve writing skills on a budget since I lacked resources and time. Perhaps I’ll add learning the ins and outs of storytelling to a future list but today’s reality suggests it’s best to continue learning via on the job training. My immediate focus is to FINISH my 2018 goal (I REALLY hate leaving things incomplete!) which allows 11 days, not an entire year, to mold Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Schizophrenia into its final form while working two jobs! The race to my final destination is on!

If you care to share, I’d love to hear a few of your goals and why you chose them.

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“HELP! A Short Film On Mental Illness (The Roommates Youtube Podcast)

The universe has finally aligned my challenging schedule (history of a variety 4am and 1pm shifts including weekends and holidays) with the Coordinator training for the NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Illness) Family To Family 12 week course. Schizophrenia touched my life personally 11 years ago. I attempted to navigate a system as dysfunctional as the clients they serve, educate myself in order to work from a position of strength and gain the trust of the voices in my son’s head to see if I could receive a consensus for treatment! The inability to protect her child impacts a mother unlike anything ever experienced. When I learned there was no cure, I initially lost all hope. I’d survived a lot in my life, but never battled an enemy I couldn’t see! Some can empathize up to a certain point, but no one REALLY understands unless they’ve experienced loved ones holding conversations with people they can’t see and wondering where they are sleeping at night. There is no coming back from that image!  It’s time to give back and an honor to train under the women that carried me when I didn’t think I could make it! 

Once Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Schizophrenia is complete, I plan to lead a movement for changes in the Mental Illness system! Families need a voice regarding treatment (clients must be a danger to self or others before treatment can be forced and hopefully no one is hurt during the incubation period) and medication per month for my son’s dx was $800!  Those are my two pet peeves, though there are more! I’m aware it will be an uphill battle to change the system, but my son and my legacy are worth it!

Check out the short film for insight into mental illness, and the information regarding the Family To Family course below. Word of mouth is powerful, please share!

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NAMI Family-to-Family is a free, 12-session educational program for family, significant others and friends of people living with mental illness. It is a designated evidenced-based program. Research shows that the program significantly improves the coping and problem-solving abilities of the people closest to an individual living with a mental health condition.

NAMI Family-to-Family is taught by NAMI-trained family members who have been there, and includes presentations, discussion and interactive exercises.

What You’ll Gain

NAMI Family-to-Family not only provides critical information and strategies for taking care of the person you love, but you’ll also find out that you’re not alone. Recovery is a journey, and there is hope.

The group setting of NAMI Family-to-Family provides mutual support and shared positive impact—you can experience compassion and reinforcement from people who understand your situation. You can also help others through your own experience. In the program, you’ll learn about:

  • How to manage crises, solve problems and communicate effectively
  • Taking care of yourself and managing your stress
  • Developing the confidence and stamina to provide support with compassion
  • Finding and using local supports and services
  • Up-to-date information on mental health conditions and how they affect the brain
  • Current treatments, including evidence-based therapies, medications and side effects
  • The impact of mental illness on the entire family

What People Are Saying

“Before I took the course, I felt alone and overwhelmed dealing with my daughter’s mental illness. By taking this course, I have met others who are going through the same things I am and have learned about many resources that I never knew existed.”

“I thought my wife and I knew just about everything there is to know about the system and the illness. Boy, were we wrong. Without a doubt, this is the best support course I have had the privilege of taking part in, bar none.”

Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Mental Illness

I’m finally at the end stage of my first book, Renewal Of The Mind; The Upside To Mental Illness. Pregnant with it for two years, I can’t wait to give birth! My son was diagnosed a Paranoid Schizophrenic almost 11 years ago and his breakdown was the genesis of my own mental shift. An upside (of many shared) in my life, of this debilitating disease, was my decision to place myself in a better financial position by eliminating debt (which I was married too and drowning in). Along with the stress and fear of the unknown, mental illness can also create a financial burden.  At $200.00 per week, his medication was the equivalent to my mortgage and had the potential to bankrupt me had I been responsible for payment. I followed Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball, working two to three jobs for 7 years and gave debt a black eye (accomplished in 2015!). Although reprieves are possible, there is no cure for schizophrenia so I knew I needed to plan ahead.

At the end of my story, I’d like to share ideas for upgrades to our mental illness system. For example, a major pet peeve is that the family has no say in the treatment unless the client fills out a release of information. Of course, they have to think something is wrong with them in order to do that, so odds are against it. When my son was positive he was Jesus and I the Virgin Mary (I was honored, lol), I was still turned away by the system when trying to force him into treatment. He has to be a danger to himself or others, which basically means someone has to get hurt first (something isn’t quite right here). If you’ve ever wondered why the parents didn’t stop the massacres their children committed, it’s simply because we have no power once the client is over 18. It’s extremely frustrating to watch your child unravel and there’s nothing you can do but wait (in prayer if you are a believer) until they hit the pavement. My prayers also asked that no one is with him when he lands! My son and the support group in his head flat out refused treatment and I was outvoted 3 to 1! I was told he has rights, I don’t, but lucky me, I’m allowed to pay his medical bills!

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Whether you’ve been touched directly (most know someone with a mental illness as even depression falls under that umbrella), indirectly (friend or family member suffered at the hands of a mentally ill person), or think not at all, please share your ideas which I will include with mine. Mental illness has the potential to touch and end the lives of anyone each time they leave the false security of home behind. That makes it a societal problem and it will take a community, maybe more, to change our current system which is as dysfunctional as the clients they serve! I aspire to be a part of the solution, not someone who simply bitches about the problem. Will you join me?