Mental Health, Share But Be Prepared.

Mental Health, Share But Be Prepared.

Last month, I was in Southern California with my two kids, and took them to a beach with a warning sign, “DANGEROUS SHOREBREAK if in doubt, don’t go out”. My 8-year son was apprehensive to venture into the water, but I assured him I grew up going to these beaches and it was fine. Fine, we were not. Mila, my 6-year old, spotted a wave and took off running toward sand. Caleb and I, however, had our backs toward the open sea and didn’t notice our impending deaths. The not-so-giant-but-strong-wave took Caleb and I under and washed us up to land. We avoided death, but our pride was killed that morning. Caleb gave me a long parental speech about taking the warning signs more seriously, and I’m sure he will not let me forget this lesson until my actual death arrives.

I wish the movement of Mental Health Awareness came with a warning sign. Warning: Don’t share your mental health or advocate for mental health unless you’re strong enough to endure the fight. “Slogan: Share, but be prepared.”

Dak Prescott, Cowboy’s quarterback, recently shared his struggle with mental health, and a sports journalist called it “weakness”. The truth is it takes strength to talk about your mental health. Strength to be vulnerable, and strength to endure the potential punches from strangers and loved ones.

I think talking about mental health is wonderful, especially, during a pandemic when more people are processing a season of depression or anxiety. You’re not alone if you struggle with a mental illness. I also want you to be prepared before you share. Have a plan and be prepared if your mental health is used as a weapon against you. We’ve often heard, “hurting people hurt others”, and there may come a time when your vulnerability and words are used against you. To hurt you.

I live a vulnerable life where I share my struggles with mental health both privately and on my social media, and I have felt the bruises from enemies misusing my mental health against me. It’s not often, and definitely not the norm, but it does happen. I’ve been called names to my face and behind my back, and it takes strength to not let the verbal fight defeat my spirit or trigger my depression and anxiety.

Please hear me when I say, I don’t want you to stay silent in your struggle with mental health! No! I just want you to be prepared. To build your strength. To have a plan.

While visiting Southern California we went back to the beach every day. We got back into the water and braved the waves. Our little Texan-legs learned how to not get knocked down by the waves.

The waves will come, my friends. You’re not alone on the beach.

Hey, y’all! I’m Viv. I’ve been diagnosed with OCD, ADD, Depression, and Anxiety. I take prozac daily, and Vyvanse as needed. And that’s ok. If I were diabetic, I would probably be prescribed insulin. Your diagnosis doesn’t define you. What people say, good or bad, doesn’t define you. #everymindmatters #endthestigma

Joy Isn’t Canceled This Summer

Joy Isn’t Canceled This Summer

Let’s be honest, social distancing sucks. If you’re like me and are diagnosed with any mental health illnesses then this season of social isolation can potentially worsen our illness.

I decided to get creative with social distancing gatherings because I refused to give up on trying to find healthy, safe, and law abiding ways to interact with my neighbors and friends.

Have you heard of drive by or drive thru parties? Well, if you literally just can’t take another virtual hangout then this is the route to go! Those blue balloons pictured above are from a drive-thru baby shower, and the hosts of this shower were just the cutest! They set up a drive-thru shower in their front yard with just a table with food (Bottled Drinks and individually wrapped custom cookies), and I provided the balloon garland. Simple, safe, and you get to see people as you drive past/stop by the house. I NEEDED this. I needed to see a person’s face in real life.

Since then, I’ve been to or hosted several drive-thru gatherings and they have brought me so much JOY! For July 4th, our neighborhood parade was canceled so I decided to create a balloon photo backdrop in my front yard and invited my neighbors to stop by to take a family photo at their leisure. I know it’s not much, but I refuse to let Covid-19 cancel our joy.

Friends, throw a drive-thru gathering. This Saturday, 25th, is Christmas in July and a great chance to safely see friends for a social distancing celebration. I’m sure it will bring you JOY!