Another SHOOTING! 🤦🏼‍♀️

Another SHOOTING! 🤦🏼‍♀️

I rarely am out on weeknights. But tonight Jack and I met friends for dinner. My phone was tucked away at the bottom of my purse that sat on the floor. Yes, I realize that’s disgusting but not the point. We met at 6 and left at 7:30. I couldn’t hear my phone but when we walked outside I had 36 text messages and countless missed calls.

I answered the phone and was told that there was a shooting at a local restaurant 4.2 miles from my house. A mother and her children were shot, possibly others, and the shooter by another person dining there. What??? Why???

The person is believed to suffer from mental illness. When will this stop? WHY are people not being treated for mental illness? I have a couple of theories — 1) anytime our state wants to make budget cuts it’s usually in the form of mental wellness. 2) the stigma that is placed on people for being “sick”!

We are all broken to some degree.

*This post was written in May of 2018 & apparently I forgot about it and didn’t post. So let me add this now..

Since typing this initial blog – there have been several other shootings. This is beyond my comprehension. And innocent lives being lost is EFFED up! Having to second guess whether or not you attend CHURCH or the MALL or go to WORK or take your child to SCHOOL is sick!

Bless the hearts of everyone effected in any of these past events and future ones. You want a gun? Cool. Pass a background check AND a mental health exam. ANNNND using resources to help those that are mentally ill.. you know, early intervention? Will that end this all? Certainly not but I bet it would sure lessen it. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Mental Health Awareness Month (May)

Mental Health Awareness Month (May)

Growing up I only thought depression existed. My mom battled with it and still does. I always just loved life. I was and still am an early riser, “sad” folky music makes me happy, even mundane things like laundry make me feel great (when they’re finished and hung up… I mean who really likes laundry? I could go on.

And we have all felt and dealt with our fair (unfair) share of heartbreak and aches. I remember dealing with something traumatic that lingered for a few years and went to the doctor. She suggested I took Lexapro. I was terrified and mortified. I couldn’t be depressed! That’s for broken people or so I thought then. But you know what? I was a little broken. Praying, exercising, eating healthy, enjoying my one healthy child (I hadn’t had Jack yet) wasn’t “fixing” me. And I needed some help. I took it for 2 1/2 years and I have zero shame in that NOW. I got pregnant with Jack and prayed I wouldn’t get PPD. And I didn’t! 🙌🏻 BUT! And are afraid to reach out for help because of the nasty stigma that goes along with that. I’ll post again on PPD because I think it’s an important topic but this post is about something different.

Bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive illness, is a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. Sometimes, a person with severe episodes of mania or depression also has psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations or delusions. The psychotic symptoms tend to match the person’s extreme mood. For example: Someone having psychotic symptoms during a manic episode may believe she is famous, has a lot of money, or has special powers. Someone having psychotic symptoms during a depressive episode may believe he is ruined and penniless, or that he has committed a crime. As a result, people with bipolar disorder who also have psychotic symptoms are sometimes misdiagnosed with schizophrenia.

People with bipolar disorder may also misuse alcohol or drugs, have relationship problems, or perform poorly in school or at work. Family, friends and people experiencing symptoms may not recognize these problems as signs of a major mental illness such as bipolar disorder.

Bipolar or any mental illness really coupled with substance abuse is scary. It’s the feeling of waiting for a bomb to go off. Never knowing what that person is capable of and fear taking over the amount of love, compassion, hope, & patience that once existed for that person. It breaks up families.  They aren’t in control. How could they be? And no amount of reasoning, pleading, reassurance, etc. will work.

I don’t struggle with bipolar disorder or substance abuse but I’ve been directly effected by it. And it’s awful beyond words. In one study for example (Psychology Today) of 314 people, 8.4% were capable of or had committed violent crimes when substance abuse was present as opposed to 1.0-1.5% of those that just had the disorder. That’s quite a difference, right? It’s not only awful for the loved ones but for the person themselves living with this disease(s) and something must be done.

A 2009 DOC study revealed,

that 55% of incarcerated offenders with some form of mental illness had been convicted of only non-violent offenses. Among the prison population, over 40% were for drug and alcohol offenses. Putting people with mental illness or addiction behind bars is not effective in either reducing crime or helping these individuals recover from their illness. Also, for someone on a prison mental health unit, the cost jumps to approximately $175 per day as opposed to $48. Providing appropriate mental health services to someone in the community to keep them from entering the criminal justice system costs approximately $15/day!

Certainly, I am NOT saying that those that have VPO’s for example, violate them, etc. shouldn’t have to have consequences. They absolutely should. Nor am I saying that someone that commits a violent crime shouldn’t be penalized. I am saying that if that individual has a mental illness along with substance abuse rehabilitation should be looked at first. Mental illness NEEDS to be treated. And the stigma that goes along with it needs to disappear. (mental illness) (mental illness and substance abuse) (domestic violence)

Mommy Wars

Mommy Wars

I recently blogged about a little boy kicked out of a library in truth because he has autism. In that post I also touched on red dye and how that we’ve had meltdowns in public and while most people rolled their eyes one person actually cared enough to help.

Yesterday Jack-Jack and I went to Sprouts. As we got in line a mom pulled up with her cart and a little one screaming, crying, and trying to run through the store. There was one mom with her little in front of me and a single woman behind me. I asked if the mom with the upset little wanted to go ahead of me. The lady behind me smirked “good idea” I assume to get the screaming child out of there as quickly as possible to she could finish her phone call.

This sweet momma took my offer. I helped her unload her groceries onto the check out conveyer while the mom in front loaded her bags for her into the cart.

THIS is how we should be. Mommin’ ain’t easy.

My friend happened to call while I was leaving and I was telling her how amazing it was to see women (moms) come together and HELP each other.

The same friend called me today to tell me about her evening the night before. She worked until 5, couldn’t pick up her 3 year old until close to 6 because of traffic and because of bad weather. She had to go to the grocery store to literally grab a couple of things FOR HER SON.

She acknowledged that he was already upset… I would be too. I know I’m hungry and tired by 6-6:30 but he also hadn’t seen his mommy all day. — this kills her btw. She misses him so much throughout the day she’s often in tears and the last thing she wants is for him to be upset. NO mom wants that.

He was in a typical 3yo meltdown faze.. one you can’t rationalize or fix because THEY can’t. They have big emotions and can’t express WHY their upset like we can. Duh. He wanted a treat. She was getting him one for after dinner but of course he kept changing his mind as kids often do and getting more upset by the second.

A woman looks at her and says not only in public, around others but in front of her baby that she can’t let him get away with that or he will continue. WHAT?! WHY? Mind BLOWN.

This complete stranger has NO idea what my friends little was going through.. what if he had just fallen or had a bad day or countless other possibilities? This complete stranger had NO idea that my friend was in excruciating pain and has extreme anxiety regarding bad weather. She didn’t care. She wanted to share her judgement and be done.

This is heartbreaking to me for my friend and all of the other mommas that have experienced this (including myself) because this is NOT helpful in any kind of way. Instead it’s the opposite, harmful!

WHY can we not find it in ourselves to stop the judgement? Why can’t we be a village? One of the beauties of parenting is being given the opportunity to raise our children as WE see fit given they aren’t abused or neglected.

“I really want to run into the store while my little one cries, screams, hits, etc.” said no mom ever. But guess what… sometimes we have to.