Our Love Survives Mental Illness

View More: http://staceywindsor.pass.us/marshall_familyPhoto Credit: Stacey Windsor Photography

When I got married at the age of twenty-four, I never imagined I’d be looking back at our past ten years of marriage with the realization that our love has survived mental illness.

But the reality of mental illness is that it doesn’t discriminate. Like cancer, it strikes without warning. Like cancer, it’s life-changing. Like cancer, it tests the strength of the important relationships in your world. It’s ruthless and heartless, and at times I felt as though I were drowning and I’d never come up for air.

I met my husband when I was nineteen years old. We dated [Read more…]

The Year I Learned to Jump

Year-Learned-JumpPhoto Credit: Jimbo N via Compfight cc

“ALWAYS DO WHAT YOU ARE AFRAID TO DO.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Even in the midst of my intense wrestling match with bipolar disorder, right smack in the middle of the chaos of a frazzled mind and rattled sense of self-worth, I somehow knew one day I’d take the type of jump where there’s no looking back once you launch yourself into the air.

I knew I’d face my fear.

Today, in these moments when I type here in my makeshift office and upload my words to this space which has become my launching pad for jumping off my cliff of fear, I’m [Read more…]

The Thanksgiving Clock

4236278556_cef6edb710Photo Credit: Brandon Christopher Warren via Compfight cc

Last year at Thanksgiving time, our world was turned upside down when our daughter’s health was threatened by a disease neither my husband nor I had ever heard of. She spent ten days in the hospital while the doctors tried to figure out what was causing our baby all that pain.

It was one of the hardest, most scary times in our life as a family.

Finally, after tons of tests, three different IV antibiotics including vancomycin {traditionally known as the drug of “last resort”} and no changes, they moved forward with a 12-hour procedure called IVIG. The morning after the treatment, she perked up and her personality returned. The relief we felt was immeasurable. Forty-eight hours later we were going home.

 

In our daughter’s hospital room, there was a huge digital clock displayed on the top of the wall opposite the bed. You couldn’t miss it. The numbers glowed red as you watched the seconds of your life pass you by, morning, noon and night. It didn’t make a sound, but it didn’t need to.

There were plenty of moments I caught myself staring at the clock while my daughter napped. I wanted to reach up and snatch the seconds that were slipping away. Time was moving too fast. It was disappearing before my eyes. If I could only grab onto time and tuck it away, I’d make sure I didn’t waste it.

 

Watching time that closely changed me.

 

The big red hospital clock taught me to count my blessings. Not just at Thanksgiving time, but every single day of my life. Because I’ll never know when my time will be up. It was a brilliant reminder that even when we’re not paying attention, time is passing silently in the background of our lives. I want to make every moment count.

These days I sometimes stand by the clock in our kitchen to hear it tick. It only takes a few seconds of listening to the tick, tick, tick, to be reminded of how precious life is and how it’s important to savor as much of it as I can and to be thankful for all the seconds which when added up equals my time here.

I’m thankful for time this year. Time with my family and friends, time to work at what I love, and time to admire all the extraordinary people I’m meeting along the way.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Be sure to count your blessings. Tomorrow and every day.

 

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

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Staying Brave During the Holidays

I met Pauline Campos through social media. Her tweets are funny, outrageous, smart, and inspirational. She is a columnist for Latina Magazine, authors her own blog – AspiringMama.com, and the Founder of GirlBodyPride.com, a blog dedicated to helping women to grow strong in mind before all else. She lives with ADHD and works to help eliminate the stigma surrounding all types of mental illness through her writing and her outreach.

I love this about Pauline: “But when it all comes down to it, I’m a mom trying to reach out to other moms.” {quoted from the Platform page of AspiringMama.com}

Pauline did just that, and offered to make a video clip for Anne Marie and I on why she believe in our show, This Is My Brave and the Kickstarter we’re currently running. She spoke on our Update video and also pledged a generous donation to our project. We couldn’t thank her enough for her support. But she didn’t stop there.

Pauline accepted a guest post I wrote for her blog, GirlBodyPride, and it went live today. Thank you so much for allowing me to share my story and our project on your blog today, Pauline! Your support for This Is My Brave is beautiful and so appreciated.

Staying-Brave-During-the-Holidays

The holidays are coming up and for me this time of year is always bittersweet. The end of October marks the anniversary of my postpartum psychosis experience. Leaves changing to shades of yellow, orange and red, combined with the smell of real wood-burning fireplaces in our neighborhood on a chilly night can take me right back to that place of fear and disbelief buried deep within my memory.

Why me? Why did it have to happen to me?

I try to focus on the excitement of my kids deciding what they want to dress up as for Halloween and the carving of our pumpkins, turning them into…{to read the rest of the post, please click over to GirlBodyPride. Thanks so much for reading and Happy Halloween!}