Revisiting a post

I posted this elsenet and wanted to share it here as well.  I am running a fundraiser on giveforward and this is from an update on that site, page can be found here: Cheryl’s GiveForward Community Page


Sorry for the long gap between updates. So much going on!

First the good news. Barring any weirdness with my background check and othe pre-employment screening, I have a job starting on Jan 4! Hooray! It’s a temp gig and not full time but hey, it is something. I am so very happy about it. A little nervous because it is an entirely different track from what I’d been doing for the past decade or more. The pay is at the low end but again, it is something.

Visit to the (not) in-laws over the winter holiday was…..stressful. My (not) Mom-in-law will be 96 come March and there are changes that need to be made including getting her to stop driving. Possibly moving her into an independent living situation. Plus the (not) bro-in-law’s family continues to have financial issues. It’s heartbreaking to my partner who wants to be able to throw money at problems and solve them. But we don’t have the funds to throw anything. This trip was costly but as I said, the (not) Mom-in-law is nearly 96 and spending time with her is important. She is relatively healthy but you just never know.

I threw my wishlist in with the Secret Santa over on G+ and received lovely gifts. I hope that next year, I’ll be able to give gifts as well.

Anyway. Even with the job, I won’t get any income for several weeks more. Plus I still have debt to pay off. So, I am leaving this open and ask for your support until I am truly able to stand on my own again. I’m hoping that by the time this contract ends, I’ll have some other job lined up so will be able to pay all the goodness forward! I have several meds that need refills and some lab work plus a follow up for the kidney function stuff. And my ongoing therapy which is becoming tricky to schedule with having a job but my therapist has evening hours so yay!

Oh, I have seen a few places on various social media folks being or feeling duped by those putting up fundraisers. It makes me feel hesitant to make updates or post my fundraiser anywhere. But I am not duping y’all. I’m paying off debt, paying for medical supplies, going to therapy, going to the doctor and trying to get my shit together to be a useful member of society. Yes, I have also been given non-necessary fun things and been taken out to dinner and to the movies. If you feel I should only sit at home until I can afford those things on my own, that is fine. I do not want anyone to feel forced or coerced into supporting me. Give where you feel it will do the most good. I am planning on getting a semicolon tattoo but I’m not going to use any of your generous donations for it. Any dinners out or movies are from people who want to support me in that way. I do not use any of your generous donations for those things.

Your generous donations allow me to pay my copays for my meds, my doctor visits, my therapy sessions, my lab work and to pay off debt.

Your generous donations allow me to feel like a functioning human being.

Your generous donations do NOT go towards movies, dinners or any of the gifts I’ve received.

Thank you to all who have supported me with gifts, love, donations and other expressions of your caring. I am truly humbled that I have such wonderful friends.

Pretending to be a functional human being

This article showed up in one of my social media feeds:

I had been thinking about writing something regarding the way I pretend to be a functional human being. I wake up with pain of some sort every day on top of the depression (or alongside or whatever). Then I manage to get out of bed and do stuff. Nearly every day. To the extent that my partner frequently doesn’t realize just how non-functional I really am/feel. At my follow up with my doc, I’m going to ask her to do a thorough diagnosis of my arthritis and to discuss better pain management. My initial diagnosis a decade ago came with no discussion about how to manage it. Just a “yep, you have arthritis”. So I’ve mostly been using NSAIDS which is a concern with my recent decrease of kidney function.

So, it was incredibly difficult for me to start opening up about my struggles. My struggle with my depression, my struggle with my pain, my struggle with functioning at all. I spent a good deal of 2013 in bed.

Last year around this time, I took the step of getting a therapy appointment and then actually showing up for it. Thank goodness for therapists with online appointment requests! Making a phone call would have been too much. Phone calls fall squarely under social anxiety for me. I find them incredibly difficult at the best of times. A year ago, they were nearly impossible for me.

Some months after starting therapy, I started writing about depression on social media and the positive feedback I received was just amazing.  Opening up was a huge step in helping myself and apparently, helping others.

The stigma around mental health in the black community is awful.  I am here to say mental illness is not a moral failing.  It is a health issue.  There are resources out there to provide support, assistance and a path to wellness.  There should be no shame in having a mental illness nor in seeking help.

In the Beginning

As part of my therapy for depression, I’ve been openly talking about my struggle on social media (google + and facebook, mostly with a few posts on DreamWidth which are mirrored to LiveJournal).  I’ve been thinking of setting up an actual blog to try to reach more folks.  Not just out of vanity but because I want other folks suffering from mental health issues to know that they are not alone.  Mental illness is not a moral failing, it is a health issue.   I also want to point folks at useful resources such as

NAMI is National Alliance on Mental Illness and it raises awareness, offers support for those with mental health issues and their families.  There are NAMI chapters all across the US.

I also hope to find resources for those outside the US but most of my experience is US based including with the deeply flawed US health system.

I also have physical health issues which are tied into my mental health. I have arthritis and chronic back pain.  So I will likely write often about coping with those.  It is all connected to my overall general wellness.

Welcome aboard.  I hope to provide useful information and insights amidst my ramblings here.  I welcome feedback but will moderate comments to weed out abuse, trolling and the like.