NAMI Metro Suburban Blog

#mindfulness: more than just a trending term

mindful
Mindfulness. I see this word everywhere—on my social media, in the news, in blog posts and articles. Sometimes I feel like as common as this word is, its meaning is starting to get lost. For example, many of the platforms where I see "mindfulness" mentioned are part of the problem. They contribute to the overwhelming proliferation of content via so...
Continue reading
  50 Hits
  0 Comments
50 Hits
0 Comments

From Isolation to Advocacy

1_BAArPHYdTBAC3-xbBJdZPQ
A lot of what I experienced at the height of my illness was accompanied by isolation. The year was 2002. And I was at home. The basement walls were moving and I felt the cabinets beginning to open. I was laying on the couch and had the feeling that I would not be able to get up. Even If I wanted to I could not shift my legs into a position to ...
Continue reading
  188 Hits
  0 Comments
188 Hits
0 Comments

Turkey, Pumpkin Pie and Giving Tuesday

giving-tuesday
The temperatures are finally dropping and the leaves are changing colors. The cool, crisp air lets me know my favorite time of year has arrived. I've been to the apple orchard, gone on a hay ride, and put out Halloween decorations at home. But through all of it I'm really thinking ahead the best holiday of the year. I'm thinking about Thanksgiving....
Continue reading
  158 Hits
  0 Comments
158 Hits
0 Comments

The Voice of Change

puzzle
Mental Health is a hot topic these days. More people are speaking up, telling their stories and showing compassion for those who struggle. Celebrities like Stephen Colbert, Demi Lovato and Kanye West are sharing their experiences with mental health conditions. Just yesterday, Chance the Rapper pledged $1,000,000 to support mental health services in...
Continue reading
  151 Hits
  0 Comments
151 Hits
0 Comments

Say It Out Loud: Are You Having Thoughts Of Suicide

na_ribbon2
When I was in college, I talked about suicide constantly. Just saying that word-suicide-in a safe and well-informed space, then saying it again, and again, has completely transformed the way I speak and think about suicidality. If you were in the right place at the right time, you could have walked down a hallway and heard twenty different students...
Continue reading
  127 Hits
  0 Comments
127 Hits
0 Comments

Take Your First Step

First-Step
I can say now that I have a mental health condition but back in 2008, that was my secret to keep. I always felt shame and thought that I was somehow different, or less than, those around me. I wanted to explain, to have people understand this was passed down through generations of my family and was not something I controlled. I wanted to speak out,...
Continue reading
  101 Hits
  0 Comments
101 Hits
0 Comments

This Year Will Be Different - Six Tips to Stress Less

students
Every August, as the back-to-school sales start rolling out, and the temperature drops a few degrees, I start getting the back-to-school jitters. I stockpile accordion folders, 3-ring binders, and gel pens to color-code my notes; I pick out the perfect planner, which will soon hold my entire life together. I try to make use of the advice I get ever...
Continue reading
  94 Hits
  0 Comments
94 Hits
0 Comments

What is Hope?

Hope
Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines hope as "desire accompanied by expectation of fulfillment or success." Hope is a word we throw around frequently at NAMI. We even use the tag line "Find Help. Find Hope." While attending the NAMI National Convention in New Orleans, the question popped into my head, how would I define hope? Is it the woman sitting t...
Continue reading
  97 Hits
  0 Comments
97 Hits
0 Comments

What My Recovery Looks Like

Recovery
Recovery, it has been such an adventure to find my path towards it. I decided to try to take control of my mental health on March 16th, 2017. I have Bipolar 1 and ADHD. My journey towards recovery has been a very short one but very eventful. I started with an idea of recovery that has changed with time. My original goal was to be functioning and me...
Continue reading
  101 Hits
  0 Comments
101 Hits
0 Comments

Mental Health and Substance Use - Two Problems, One Recovery

MISA
Imagine how it must feel to be labeled a substance abuser. A substance abuser is discriminated against. A substance abuser is called weak, immoral, incapable of succeeding in society, an outcast and a criminal. Because of the way that substances like street drugs are viewed in our society there is a huge stigma attached to them. They are "criminali...
Continue reading
  102 Hits
  0 Comments
102 Hits
0 Comments

Summertime Strategies for Self-Care

summer
With Memorial Day behind us, summer is officially here and that means for many of us, the next few months will be jam-packed full of festivals, cookouts, beach days and sporting activities through Labor Day weekend. Graduations, vacations, weddings, engagements, parties and household moves are also more likely to take place during the summertime. A...
Continue reading
  93 Hits
  0 Comments
93 Hits
0 Comments

Gardening as a Tool to Maintain Wellness

gardner
Feeling a little wilted this season? Add green care to your self-care routine. Green care is defined as self-care where one engages in any activity that surrounds you in nature and green care is completely free. Research supports findings that working in, with and around nature has been shown to provide significant improvements to symptoms in stres...
Continue reading
  91 Hits
  0 Comments
91 Hits
0 Comments

The Good in Everything

Good
It's been a little more than a year since I decided to really work hard towards being mentally healthy. It's such a learning process. It's all so new to me. I take my medication and go to therapy and I recently started writing a journal of my daily experiences. I have had manic symptoms for the past couple weeks and I am trying to stay in control o...
Continue reading
  89 Hits
  0 Comments
89 Hits
0 Comments

She Said Yes

heart
  It was at one of our first dates when Nikki told me she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. I would not call that admission a test, however I knew that the way I reacted to such an admission would determine the course of our relationship, and even if there would be another date. When I met Nikki, I was no stranger to mental illness. I had b...
Continue reading
  99 Hits
  0 Comments
99 Hits
0 Comments

Wherever You Go, There You Are

detour
At 18, I had it all planned out. I was going to start college in the Honors School of Eastern Michigan University. That would be followed with a job as a middle school teacher. Then would come a husband, children, and of course the puppy and the house with the white picket fence. Yet, here I am, 20 years later, with no teaching certificate and no m...
Continue reading
  91 Hits
  0 Comments
91 Hits
0 Comments

We Need to Talk

MHAM
I had two experiences in one day that reinforced how important a few simple words can be. The day began at the Hinsdale Metra Station, where, along with several partner organizations and volunteers, I was offering mental health information, green ribbons and a hot cup of coffee to commuters headed into the City. Most people took what was handed to ...
Continue reading
  100 Hits
  0 Comments
100 Hits
0 Comments

Responses

stigma
I find being open about my bipolar spectrum disorder to be very helpful. For many with a mental illness, it feels appropriate to maintain privacy. This decision is your own, and it is made for the sake of comfort and safety. In this piece, I will present some of the responses I have received, the most dramatic of which I will tell first. I was in a...
Continue reading
  105 Hits
  0 Comments
105 Hits
0 Comments

Why Join NAMI

NAMI-Met-Sub-logo
The reason I joined NAMI was simple - I was singlehandedly going to change the world and its perception of mental illness. Easy enough, right? I had recently had an experience with that dreaded " S word " (stigma) and decided that since I was blessed enough to have found my way to recovery, it was my job to show the world the real face of mental il...
Continue reading
  97 Hits
  0 Comments
97 Hits
0 Comments

Managing Anxiety With Acupuncture

CalmTheMind
I am a 35 year old woman that was diagnosed with Bipolar 1 and ADHD about 5 years ago. After inconsistently trying different medications and a hospital stay I realized that I needed to work on my mental health. On March 16th, 2017 I started my journey to a healthy Me. I take my medication every day and at the same time, I go to therapy once per wee...
Continue reading
  95 Hits
  0 Comments
95 Hits
0 Comments

The Phenomenon of Hearing Voices

613N1MIx7ZL._SX324_BO1204203200_
"I can create stellar castles and recovery dreams." At first this seems to be a quote created from a thought. This quote speaks to the broadening of the imagination. More imagination is something we could use more in this world. As we move forward through time and space we discover that the sky is the limit. It takes a lot of imagination to believe...
Continue reading
  92 Hits
  0 Comments
92 Hits
0 Comments