Be A Finder
The Be A Finder Project really started over 20 years ago, when I went through a very difficult and scary experience that caused me to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have since dealt with many mental health challenges as a result of that period in my life, including anxiety, panic attacks, and depression, as well as the permanent effects of PTSD. I struggled to let people around me know what I was going through, and what I was needing. I know that I am not alone in this. People in significant amounts of pain often have a hard time reaching out for help, and even when they do try their loved ones often don't recognize their cries for help. So I created the Be A Finder Project to give people with mental illness a voice, and to educate people on how to find and help the people in their lives who desperately need to be found.
Here’s the scoop:
There's so much misinformation out there about mental illness. People have all kinds of stereotypes around what mental illness is and what it looks like. The reality is that most people with mental illness are very normal people. They don't all struggle to get out of bed. Many are able to maintain successful careers, have relatively stable marriages, and raise happy children. They do all this with the added pressures of dealing with a brain that works against them. That alone makes them pretty amazing people. And. It’s really, really hard. A little bit of compassion and support along the way can be the difference between thriving and barely surviving.
It's really important that you go to reliable sources for information on mental health. The wrong information can hinder your ability to be useful, and can cause you to miss red flags. Here are some websites where you can start your research:
National Alliance On Mental Illness
National Institute of Mental Health
Why it matters:
Everyone deserves to be seen. We all want someone to find us in our struggles and lift us up. Sadly, many people do not feel like anyone really sees them. My goal is for everyone to feel found.
I know what it's like to be stuck down on the floor. I've been down there, and I got back up. I am now offering myself as a guide to those who have not been down there, and I'm sharing my story in the hopes that it will give a voice to those who are still down there.
When we tell the stories of sickness and recovery, we break the stigma that surrounds mental illness. We need to keep the conversation going, so we can help each other rise back up.
Below you can find links to my stories, and those of my friends, lessons I've learned, discoveries I've had, and hopefully some encouragement when you need it. Just click on the title that is calling to you.
For When You Are Struggling:
The Broken Vase
It's Really Okay To Be A Mess
When You Can't Find The Beauty In Your Life
I like clean eating. I like healthy foods. I also have a pretty serious love triangle going on between me, all potato chips, and cookies. In fact, I often drink my very healthy green smoothies while eating a bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream potato chips. I'm calling it balance. So while you will find links here to my posts on healthy eating, please take them only as suggestions, and not as evidence that I consistently follow anything resembling appropriate dietary recommendations. That being said, I do find that when I manage to eat healthy, non-processed food most of the time I feel so much better. And sleep is my favorite thing in the world, next to coffee. So I figure maybe if I post my experiences, and you share yours with me, we can help each other at least drink the smoothie first before diving into the chips. And then go take a nap.