Advocacy ~ The Door Swings Open

I find myself pondering how fascinating life truly is.  Just last Thursday I was feeling kind of down because of a decision I have made regarding graduate school.  I’ve decided to take break and spend some time recapturing the things that mean so much to me.  With that decision has come some sadness because I absolutely love to learn.  I have invested a lot of time and energy in graduate  school, made some wonderful friendships, and I think that I would be a great counselor.  Maybe in time I will fulfill that desire, but for now I am going to take a deep breath, exhale…enjoy my beautiful family and volunteer with two amazing organization’s: the Karla Smith Foundation and The Balanced Mind Foundation.  And I am going to embark on a few new projects.

I’ve heard the saying that when one door closes another opens.  Wow!  As the one door, gently swinging back and forth much like a forgotten open screen door at a vacant beach house, begins to close…finally finding it’s latch and clicking into place as the breeze pushes it shut…another door swings totally open.  It opened  with gusto!  It’s like a storm has been brewing, regarding the mental illness of our loved one, and finally as it begins to settle down a gust of remaining high wind blew a door open.  This time the door opens to advocacy which has become near and dear to my heart in the realm of mental illness, suicide and stigma.  I want desperately for my daughter and anyone coping with a mental illness to live a life free from the stigma that has accompanied mental illness.  I want to help others…to reach out and say you are not alone.  We walk with you.

Well…needless to say I did not wallow long in my unhappiness regarding my decision to take a break from graduate school because I received an incredible email last Thursday.  It was from a young lady in St.  Louis.  She is currently working with her peers on creating a short documentary for a school project. The assignment focuses on thinking critically about the world with an emphasis on making positive changes.  And she emailed me!  I was so surprised!  She shared that she was touched by the blog and wanted to know if I would consider being interviewed.  I told her I was honored, and that I would be happy to help out.  Honestly, I am so excited that our nations young people desire to learn about subjects like mental illness so that they can in turn be a voice.  This wonderful young lady actually said that she desires to be a voice for those with mental illnesses.  I’m astounded and touched.  There is such promise for those living with a mental illness and their loved ones, especially when young people willingly and openly open their minds and hearts to learning about a topic that many find difficult to talk about.

Since the blogs inception I have found myself wondering at times if I am doing the right thing by being an open book and sharing my story.  Today, I realize that indeed I am doing the right thing.  If it means making a positive difference it has to be the right thing.

And so I stand in the threshold of a new open door…