Archive for Deep thoughts with Steph

Mental illness is not a game.

Nor is it a joke.

Prior to September 3rd 2009, I was a relatively normal, mostly happy, pretty well adjusted person.

Then I lost one of my closest friends.

I’ll never forget that day. Depression robs you of so many things (including your memory), but some things are forever etched so firmly into your memory that no matter what you do, you can’t forget even if you wanted to (and yes, sometimes you really want to).

Everything changed for me that day, I didn’t know to what extent until quite some time later. I just knew that I wasn’t OK and didn’t feel like myself. I had never lost someone so violently and so unexpectedly until that point. I’m no stranger to death as most of my family is gone. It wasn’t until several months later that I started to do some digging into what was wrong with me.

Diagnosis: Type A-Typical depression (typical when you suffer a traumatic event including death or a really bad break up and more). It generally doesn’t last forever and if you’re fortunate, talk therapy is usually the ‘cure’. I say ‘cure’ because depression doesn’t truly go away. It’s a disease and it can lie for a long time before rearing it’s ugly head again. Something that rears it’s ugly head whenever I loose someone that I love.

I also got diagnosed with anxiety, which is depressions best friend.

Along with OCD.

Having to live with all three of these things changes you, it changes who you are. It constantly affects every aspect of your life. Personal and professional and there’s not much you can do except learn to cope with it.

Depression is mentally, emotionally and physically exhausting. It robs you of your memory, it robs you of energy, it robs you of having a normal life.

It’s not something that I often talk about, there’s a huge stigma and a lot of ignorance surrounding these things. People mean well, but it’s so frustrating that it’s just easier to not say anything at all and try and deal with it the best way you know how. I am also a private, somewhat introverted person. I don’t often share my feelings with most people because they really don’t get it.

I don’t hold that against anyone because it’s not their fault, they haven’t walked the same path(s) that I have, nor have they suffered the same losses that I have either.

It does not however, make it any less real.  

Just because it’s not something that you don’t understand, it does not give you the right to dismiss it, nor does it give you the right to mock someone who suffers from these things (and more) so that you can have a laugh at someone else’s expense.

So needless to say, it really upsets me greatly when I hear incidents of people being the butt of someone’s jokes or the punchline or people who deliberately go out of their way to upset someone because THEY think that’s it’s funny.

Because it’s not. 

Mental illness is not a game. We have no control over how we react to things, believe me, if we did, we would. So when you openly mock someone that you know, care about or love, you are not only dismissing them, you’re also dismissing their disease.

That’s not okay, that is never, ever okay. 

When I see/hear/experience these incidents, it calls into question a persons character. I can’t speak for anyone else but it truly makes me wonder what on earth is wrong with you.

Be the change you want to see in the world.

End the stigma, don’t contribute to it.


I don’t know about anyone else, but I really needed to see this today.

I hope you are all well.

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Here’s to you, to us.


What about the others?

This is likely going to hit a nerve or five most likely.  It’s not my intention to do so, this however has been something that’s been riding on my mind for a while and I feel that it’s time I spoke up and said something.

I support and stand by anyone who has a suicide related cause, after all we’re all working towards the same goals.  This is not a competition, this is a fight for survival.  However it saddens me greatly that the media generally focuses on the younger LGBTQ community due to the rash of suicides that occurred (sadly) last year.  Now before you start sending in the hate mail, I have scores of friends who are members of the LGBTQ community and I absolutely adore them!  They add color to my life, inspire me and help me to learn about their plight(s) and in turn allow me the benefit of educating others.

That’s a beautiful thing. For that, I thank you!

However, what about the others? The friend who couldn’t cope with his broken heart and hung himself from a tree in his best friends yard only to have his best friend find him?  What about the friend that was suffering from bi-polar disorder, battling an addiction and just couldn’t cope anymore and took matters into his own hands by shooting himself in the wee hours of the morning? What about the guy I went to school with (both elementary and high school) who ended his life because his rights as a father were taken away?  What about the friend who felt that he couldn’t contribute to society and for whatever reason decided to end it one night after overdosing on barbiturates? What about the person I knew who jumped to his death because life had taken too many wrong turns?

Those are just examples of people that I know of personally.  They were all straight, white and male.  They all suffered in their own minds for reasons that I and others that knew them can only speculate upon and where’s the attention for them?

Bottom line is this: Yes bullying IS an issue, being different or LGBTQ can in fact be a struggle for some as well.  However it’s just not the bullied or the LGBTQ community who suffers.  We all do at some point in our lives and sometimes there comes a point where regular everyday people can’t take it anymore and take matters into their own hands and end it all.  Leaving their loved ones to wonder why.

They matter too.  Let’s not forget about them.


It’s not going to turn out the way you thought…

*Re-posted with gracious permission from Kate   NAOYP has no direct affiliation with Kate or any of her subsidiaries or business.  Stephanie just felt this was a lovely, meaningful post worth sharing, please enjoy!  

It will happen later. His best friend will ask you out instead. You’ll be kissed in the movies instead of on a beach. You’ll end up going to a different school because the one you thought you’d get into didn’t work out.

She’ll move away. Someone else will move in next door. She’ll be a little weird at first, a little more shy, but ultimately really good at riding bikes and playing dolls.

That part you always wanted will go to that other girl instead. And you’ll rock it out in the chorus like your life depended on it. Because on some level it does.

The road you were going to take will be flooded and closed. The inn where you were going to stay will be under renovations. He’ll be taller than you thought. And have a funny accent. But will be a good kisser nonetheless.

You’ll get a flat tire on the way to that crucial meeting and end up peeing your pants laughing with the gas station attendant over a copy of Us Magazine. And someone else will fill in for you because they always do.

You won’t get that dream job like you thought you would. It will go to someone else with far less creative drive and vision than you. Someone far better suited for a cubicle than you.

You’ll be put in groups with people who put your panties in a wrinkle. You’ll sit next to someone on the plane who you’d never talk to except that they won’t shut up…and you’ll end up staying in touch for years and taking family vacations together.

Five years after you graduate life won’t look anything like you would have imagined. You’ll be single when you thought you’d be married. You’ll have kids when you thought you’d be in the Peace Corps. That trip to Laos will get delayed because you’ve got to stay home and take care of your grandmother. Laos will be there. You’re grandmother won’t always.

He’ll move over seas and oddly the Atlantic Ocean between you will bring you closer than you ever dreamed possible. You won’t get engaged, married, or pregnant when you thought.  You’ll miss the bus/train/plane/ferry that you thought you just HAD to be on.

You’ll fall off the turnip truck. You’ll jump on a different bandwagon than you intended.  You’ll get fired when you thought you ought to be getting hired.

You’ll realize you forgot the outfit you had planned to wear and that the shoes are all wrong now that you have a full-length mirror to see the whole outfit. Your shirt will be wrinkled and you’ll spill red wine on your white jeans.

Your dog will eat your five-year plan. You’ll drop your Blackberry in the toilet (at least once.) Your computer will crash and you’ll delete the first draft of your magnum opus. You’ll accidentally delete your hard drive and end up with a clean slate.

You’ll show up late to the date with the guy you were sure was going to fit into your husband suit and realize he’s less than graceful under stress and not so flexible. (Better to know now than later.)

When you thought you’d be baking pie and living behind your very own white picket fence you’ll find yourself doing something so entirely different you couldn’t have even imagined it a year before.  There will be moments when you’ll look around and not even recognize your own life…in a good way.

You’ll take a wrong turn and end up in an entirely different city than you intended. You’ll dial the wrong number and end up in love with an entirely different person than you intended.

You’ll flunk out and end up taking five years instead of four to graduate. You’ll have your heart broken when you were sure you were with the one and then meet the other one a month later. You’ll move to a new city to start a new business with those perfect new business partners and then it will all go to shit. And you’ll move across the country again only to realize that that’s where you belonged the whole time.

You’ll drive as far away from home as possible thinking that it will make you feel free. Then you’ll get homesick and drive back four months later because you suddenly feel trapped.

You’ll imagine the open road, country music playing loud, you signing at the top of your lungs, and flirting with a new man in every town. And then you’ll invite someone to come with you on a whim and realize driving around the country by yourself was a terrible idea anyway…and that its way more fun when you’re traveling with someone you love.

You won’t do it at the right time.

You’ll be late.

You’ll be early.

You’ll get re-routed.

You’ll get delayed.

You’ll change your mind.

You’ll change your heart.

It’s not going to turn out the way you thought it would.

It will be better.