Recently, I stopped blogging for several weeks after being told to "quit putting garbage out there… you only want people to feel sorry for you." The 'cyberbully' went on to say I blame everything on depression, and all I care about is my drugs. The part that stung the worse was when she questioned my Christianity…
So this site is now in sections as I realize there are people who do not believe in psychology and mental health, especially depression (not to mention suicide). I am not only a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, but also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Graduating Cum Laude from Florida State University, I earned two Master's Degrees (Rehabilitation and Counseling Psychology) and an Ed.S. (Educational Specialist Degree). Since graduating in 1996, I have worked in a variety of settings, which can be seen on my
Advocating for students is one of my core passions. Too many students are placed according to diagnoses, especially those with physical disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy (C.P.) and Spina Bifida, preventing the student from being seen/taught/challenges as an INDIVIDUAL instead of part of a classification. Professional information (from years of attending IEP meetings in public schools), education (drawn from keynote speeches, conference presentations, and co-teaching at the University of Central Florida) and personal experiences (from having C.P., Attention Deficit Disorder) will be posted in the Rehabilitation section of this site. Teachers, parents, students and rehabilitation professionals are the target audience of this section.
The Psych section will be for readers who feel as though no one understands. Unfortunately, society veers away from addressing clinical depression, suicidal ideations, etc. As someone who has been 'on both sides of the counseling couch' so to speak, I continue to be amazed at how taboo depression is, even among professionals including pastors and psychologists. As I write this, my thoughts roam to Marie Osmond's recent loss of her son to suicide. He had been battling depression and media sources reported, "he went through rehab and was doing much better…" So very sad. Very sad, indeed. I am not ashamed to say I've sought help (i.e. been hospitalized) for being suicidal in 1993, and again in 2009. (To say I 'sought help' means I talked to someone, and as a result, ended up being put in a psychiatric hospital.) On the Psych section, I write about those experiences with anger, desperation, and profound insight.
Among the things I heard most when sharing my depression were comments like, "just pray about it", "you must not be a Christian if you want to take your own life" or "Where's your faith? You have so much to live for!" I've found the people who tend to be the most ignorant about depression are those sitting in church pews every Sunday. In fact, I actually had one congregant-friend yell "Go ahead and kill yourself! Stop talking about it and do it!" Rage simmers in me each time I think about how my 'church family' treated me, meaning this is how they treat others who come in for help with depression. Yes, the Church section of this site will definitely be fueled by emotion and bitterness (which I am praying God will help remove my anger and bitterness).
To balance out the dark, bitter stuff, there is a light section which is comprised of humorous anecdotes and miscellaneous ponderings. Life is funny - here's where I'll prove it!
Finally, the backbone of my identity is being a child of God. My relationship with Jesus is everything! I try to share glimpses of my interactions with Him and how He carries me through every minute of every day. But words cannot come close to delineating His presence in my life. Still, I must praise Him, and share how He is beyond majestic.