Recently a friend of mine had a reading with a medium, and my daughter came through with her son. The message Cassie had for me was to assure me she is fine, and that I have to stop the chatter in my head. I chuckled when I heard this because there is just so much chatter in my head! It’s hard to stay out of my own way sometimes! I haven’t mastered the art of meditation yet.
Obviously, one of the things in my head, and what is so dear to my heart, is the mental health crisis in our country. Granted we have made great strides over the last few centuries, but we certainly have so much more to do. Personally, I feel this whole Covid-19 pandemic has been a total wake-up call from the Universe. It’s time we wake up and realize our world is still so broken, especially when it comes to mental health. Just in these past two days I watched a special on GBH called “Mysteries of Mental Health”. It was certainly an eye opener for me. Mental illness is just so complex. As it is, there are nearly 300 different types of mental illness diagnoses listed in the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). Add to this the long-standing stigmas associated with mental illness, as well as the lack of education and funding…it’s what you call a tragedy, in my opinion. I would venture to guess that there isn’t one person who hasn’t been affected by mental illness in some form. Whether they themselves suffer, or that they have a family member or friend that does.
My head spins…and I sit here and say to myself “how am I ever going to make a real difference in this world”. What I have come to realize is that I can do my small part. Maybe that small part can cause the ripple effect needed to truly make a difference. If I can just touch one person and make an impact, shouldn’t that be enough? One thing I have learned, and may I add the hardest way possible losing a child to suicide, is that I cannot control the outcome…of anything really. I need to stop getting so overwhelmed when I am in my head thinking about just how great this mental health crisis is. Honestly…this mental health crisis is just so staggering…on so many levels.
This past weekend I received a phone call from another mom that lost her daughter to suicide a few years ago. I do not know this woman, but a mutual friend had suggested we talk. So, when she called, she shared her story about her daughter, as I did mine. We were discussing the mental health crisis. I agreed with every point she made. She strongly felt that this crisis is a government issue, and I agreed. She stressed the need to get a bunch of moms to go to Washington and make our views known. She felt after talking to me that I was committed in helping bring change. I could feel myself getting all fired up! Exclaiming “YES”! “WE CAN DO THIS!” I felt as if I could actually help and make a difference! Until she said to me “so, you need to stop wasting your time making greeting cards.” Can you see the look on my face? Just imagine! In all fairness to her, she did apologize for that statement…profusely…after I voiced how greatly disappointed and offended I was! I did accept her apology. However, the damage was done. It was the biggest gut punch I have received in a while. So much so, I cried for two days after that and pretty much felt sorry for myself. I went down that familiar rabbit hole…again…”my daughter is dead…she killed herself…how could I have not known how bad it was…guilt, shame, remorse”…you name it. The chatter in my head was really loud! I thought to myself, “well, maybe I am wasting my time.” “I’m never going to make a difference…not really.” “Cassie will become just a distant memory to most”…etc., etc., etc.
I’m out of that rabbit hole today. This grief journey certainly ebbs and flows. It only took 3 days to turn it around, which is better than weeks at a time. So, here I am.
I wanted to share some pictures of Cassie’s Cause card-making in action. We make a great team! We launched the website a week ago, and we are off to a good start with 34 orders in house and $2,921.23 collected as of today. But there’s still plenty more we need to do! We cannot do this without your help! If you haven’t done so, please consider making a donation to the “cause” and/or buy Cassie’s beautiful collection of blank greeting cards today! Be part of the team with us! Your financial help is so greatly appreciated…and needed. I know Cassie is shining her bright light upon all of us and is making a difference from her heavenly home.