Domestic Violence Awareness Month (Photo credit: U.S. Army Korea (Historical Image Archive))
Mental Health Awareness Ribbon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Pink In Honor Of Breast Cancer Awareness Month (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello my WordPress friends and family. I have not posted in longer than I had planned, but felt compelled to write tonight. It’s October…..a month of great significance in my life. First, there are many campaigns for awareness this month that are near and dear to my heart. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This past July, I had my third breast surgery for an annoying, uncomfortable, and somewhat disfiguring form of cancer commonly called DCIS. As cancer goes…..it is one of the “best” cancers to get as it is considered by most experts to be stage 0 and non-metastasizing in most cases. But is still surgery…….to my breast……which tends to mess with my head a bit as I happen to like my “girls” and am saddened each time a bit more of them is cut away. Ladies….and all gentlemen who love ladies…..spread the word! Get a mammogram and do your self exams. And if something seems wrong…..if you are bleeding from your nipples…..get it checked out because ignorance in this case in NOT bliss.
Next, October is Mental Health Awareness month…..another subject I am intimately familiar with. Official diagnosis on my records from respected psychiatrists list Dissociative Identity Disorder, Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, and Acute Anxiety. Full disclosure here…..I have not seen a psychiatrist for an independent evaluation since the release of the new DSM-V……so there would probably be a few more items added to my laundry list of diagnoses if I had.
October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness month. This particular cause is the closest to my heart of all. I used to say I am a survivor of domestic violence…..not anymore. Dare I say so boldly, I now consider myself a thriver. Yep, i still have challenges that affect my daily life as a result of the abuse I endured, but now I am not only functioning…..I am giving back. i completed my Domestic Violence Counselor certification at the end of July and got connected with a local women’s group that advocates for abuse victims. And I have to tell you……it has been a life changer for me. So many brave women come to me and say thank you for my help…..and the directors and non-profit staff members thank me and my reply to them is always the same. Your welcome, but the truth is You are saving My life. The volunteer work I am doing as a legal advocate at the county courthouse for those filing for protection orders and the community events where I get to speak to people and let them know about the shocking statistics surrounding this issue…..educating them and opening their eyes…..well this work has given me a purpose. Purpose is priceless! Purpose helps heal your wounded soul, empowers you, improves your self-esteem, and forbids you to isolate yourself. I will say it once more…..purpose is priceless. Purpose is saving me everyday…..giving me a reason to keep on going! So to those who thank me…..again all I can say is thank you! You are literally helping me save my life!
Finally, last month was Suicide Prevention Month. I have been down that dark, deep pit myself. I know the stigma and shame associated with it. I have felt the sting of being called selfish and attention seeking. I even admit that I still have dark days where the thought of ” i really wouldn’t mind if i went to sleep tonight and didn’t wake up” crosses my mind. But today…..I have better tools. Today….. I have better coping skills. Today…..I have a small bur growing support group of regular people who care in addition to the paid professionals that have been at my side for the past few years. Today…..I am doing okay. Today…..I can keep going
And on top of all that…..Monday is going to be my birthday. And this year…..this year I am going to celebrate it! Ah, the priceless gifts of October.
Birthday Cake (Photo credit: Will Clayton)