Time to Step Back? Maybe a Little.

I have been inspired by my fellow blogger, Dyane, of ProudlyBipolar… The Birth of a New Brain.  Her recent post “The Bipolar Identity Diet” hit home and hit hard.  I’ve been struggling with this a lot lately, especially since I was forced to cut ties with a national suicide prevention charity that so severely disappointed me (and that’s putting it lightly).  It has made me think.  I’ve continued on with my advocacy work and it looks like I will be the reason for some new Congressional legislation, but who knows when we’ll see that and how long will it take to pass.  I’ve focused so many years of my life to healing not only myself, but others as well (sometimes to the detriment of my own mental health).  Is it all worth it?  This fight needs to be heard.  Are we really going to change anyone minds?  So far, at least on some of the boards I’m on, all I’ve seen are very heated debates with no resolution.  No one side willing to concede that the other side has a valid point.  I think until we are able to allow each other to have our own opinions and be kind to one another regardless of how we feel, I see no end to this stigma that holds us back.  This could be the late night, non working sleep meds talking, but it’s how I feel at the moment…actually quite a bit lately.  My last meeting with a local legislator just left me feeling…blah.  He did’t seem to get it and no matter what I said or how politely, statistically, humanely I put it…it seemed to go in one ear and out the other.  He seemed more concerned about his next appointment.  That’s not to say they are all like that, but it’s very discouraging.

I still want to help.  It’s just  in me to help.  To what capacity I let it take in my life is another story.  It has begun to jade me towards other charitable organizations and that’s not a good thing.  You see, I know how much government funding these other organizations receive compared to suicide prevention and mental health care.  Let’s just say we have billions to go before we are even close to what they get.  I think I need to step back from the national charity organizations, let them do there thing.  I will focus on advocacy, because it’s in my blood.  I just see something that needs to be changed and I want to do something about it.  I just have to adjust my expectations of legislators, both national and local.  I think by doing that, I’ll be able to manage things a bit better…maybe actually get some sleep.  🙂

“If you believe in a cause, you must be willing to put yourself on the line for that cause.” ~ Adam Clayton of U2

“If you can have a sense of humor and think about what you can do for others it just seems to help take the focus off from whatever you’re suffering from” ~ Adam Clayton of U2 when asked to give advice to his younger self and other young lads.

*As you all know, I am a HUGE U2 fan and to know that one of my boys stands up for mental health (www.walkinmyshoes.ie) does my heart good.

6 thoughts on “Time to Step Back? Maybe a Little.

  1. U2, yay. They’re irish like me! I think your going to be a great advocate from this post. I’ve only started following you last night, but you write beautifully. I’m sorry that organisation disappointed you so much. And that legislator also. Some people will just never get it!

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    1. Thank you so much! I needed that. Sometimes it just feels like I’m spinning my wheels. I guess as long as I keep on going…that’s something. 🙂 Oh how I miss Ireland. I can’t wait to get back there someday. 🙂

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  2. Dr. Walker Karraa says:

    I rarely comment on posts but read them all! I am typing on phone at airport so forgive typos! I wanted to offer you support. This dynamic is very painful and rarely discussed. But it is common. And brutal. Being thrown under the bus by the causes we love kills a part of us. I have volunteered in all kinds of organizations. ..religious, mental health advocacy, PTA, postpartum advocacy, childbirth advocacy, psychological, political…and it is never easy. And you nailed the root cause: we don’t know how to not take sides and allow all of us equal input. We can’t allow difference of opinion. And there is an odd need to own causes. To associate with them in ways that are meaningful often means not allowing new or critical reflection. I mean critical in careful analytical form…not the common snark interpretation. I know personally the crushing loss of our passion. And the cruel, base, misogyny that comes along with it. People who have hurt you should know that. They have lost a piece of the solution.
    That said? Move on girl. Move on with your fierce self and let them eat their own. Send them compassion. ..but move onward and upward because much like our families of origin or abusive partners? It won’t change. Rise up…seek out trusted sources and wish them well.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very well put. What you said really makes sense. I guess I have to come at it from the stand point of it’s their loss. I will go on in my own way and make a difference because of what I have learned from them and because I can do this. Thank you!

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  3. I have worked for both non-profits and for-profits. Often non-profits take advantage of their workers and volunteers. Workers are not paid overtime and are expected to sacrifice themselves for the cause. I do not know the details of your experience, but I do know from my experience (and education) that organizations often parallel process the very dysfunction they are trying to help. For example, at a battered women’s shelter for which I once worked, everyone saw themselves and each other as victims and victimizers. Sometimes we must break out of the confines of dysfunctional organizations, even if they are doing or are trying to do good work. Take care of yourself first. In doing that, and in sharing your experience here as an advocate and a fellow mental health supporter, you are part of the solution. Thank you.

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