Sunday, November 16, 2014
Sing Along Sunday and a bit about White Friday
Since I am up and it is almost 4AM, I figure I will try and coherently write this one out for you before I try again to sleep.
Unless you live under a rock, and I DO some days, you probably heard about Robin Williams suiciding a few months ago. Famous people doing odd things is really nothing new but you rarely see it among someone quite as famous as Robin. Also, if you don't know about his past, he fought and consistently won battles with so many demons like drugs and alcohol. I also know that he had issues with depression that ran deep and wide. He fought a serious war while making us laugh, cry, or even laugh until we cried but eventually the lights go down and he is no longer performing. In the last part of his life he was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia which left him hallucinating and having body control issues. I can assume that he researched it all well and came to the realization that his life quality would be rapidly declining one way or another and he didn't want to put his family through that. Now before you pass judgment, here is what I learned from reading up on Parkinson's as it goes when Lewy Body Dementia goes with it. LBD is bad enough but the symptoms are seriously aggravated and intensified due to the side effects of the Parkinson's medications. He was simply not going to (in his mind) beat this battle in a way that left him or his family any dignity. Does it suck? YES. Is it fair? NO. Is it any of our freaking business or our right to judge? NOPE.
But it really started something with a few of us, especially Jennifer P and I. If Robin Williams, comedy genius, could be suffering with severe depression then anyone could. His situation was unique, as is everyone's personal battle, but we wanted to reach people to know that they are not alone. You have a fighting chance. You have some place that you can come and get support from total strangers (or just strange people) and skip the judgment. When you feel like you are exhausted, we want you to stop and rest and talk it out.
So began White Friday. #WhiteFriday started as an event to wear white to show our fellow humans that there is help. There is NO shame in asking for help. And most importantly, you are not alone. We all have our own issues with depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bipolar, and even panic disorder. We like to think that finally in our lives we get it. We cannot make your problems go away but we can listen to you and acknowledge that depression and mental health issues look different on everyone. It is not just the blues but hey if you have those we will gladly listen to you rant anyway. We are trying to 'knock the stigma out of the park', '#whiteoutdepression', and even help each other 'Shine Bright' and remember that you ARE priceless and important in this world.
As of now, you can search for White Friday on Facebook and like the page. We are working on a website. I am hoping that we can assemble a more protected environment for people who don't want their business out there. It might even come to forums where we can break down topics to specifics and people can go in and talk about issues and get feedback and support from others who have that. No one is currently a mental health professional but as I mentioned above, we come from varied backgrounds and have quite a bit of experience with our own mental health challenges.
As for me personally, I consider myself bound by the National Association of Social Workers Code of Ethics. I treat forums, closed groups, and messages as private communication unless given explicit permission to share identifying information. I might speak in generalities with my cohorts to try and get a different view on assisting you but I will not divulge information that can give away your identity. I am a Junior in the Bachelor's of Social Work program and I am currently in the Practice phase. I will begin internship next fall. I take my career and your privacy very seriously.
I hope you will join us at White Friday and watch for the new stuff that we are working on. Please be patient though because the 2 other admins and I are all going to school along with working, mothering (whether it be husbands, kids, or both) and trying to sleep sometime. I hope we can make some progress over the holidays while school is out.
You can contact the blog at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can always message me on Facebook. If we are not friends just be aware that is might go into the Other folder which I don't check nearly as often as I should. As soon as White Friday gets off the ground it will be posted here so watch this space. Besides, we have a truly awesome and diverse group of women here blogging and it is really taking off. I think you will be interested, entertained, and maybe even educated while you visit us.
Here is one of my favorite Firefly Quotes and it is very true to my philosophy: