#Mondaymusings-Lets talk about mental health on #Bellletstalkday

I have a story to share I always have. I have a big heart and a big vocabulary and I’m always up for a honest, open discussion. Yet the one thing that always silenced me was my depression. To speak of it meant a horrible feeling of shame that washed over me. I have struggled with the stigma of it since I was very young. I was four years old when my parents separated and with that brought an immense sadness. 

I had no control of it but I was glad to see the fighting stop in my daily life. There were still tears, prayers, and long heart to heart talks but the hurtful words thrown about so carelessly were gone. My Dad took on another life and family and my Mom was forced to make a life as a single parent to two little girls who needed her. She struggled with mental health too, sleeping at odd hours of the day, angry outbursts, tear filled days and nights as her heart was broken over her failed marriage. 

I saw it all, heard the stories, and did my best to comfort her. Being empathic I could feel every emotion and it was like a double edge sword living with this pain. I was so young and impressionable and yet I was growing wise to the ways of the world. I grew up like any other typical kid living in this  existence as I fought with the sadness and anger that would overtake my heart. The world was too loud, confusing, chaotic, and busy. I didn’t know how to cope so I turned to prayer, songs, and my faithful books. 

I grew into a sullen teenager and battled with anyone who would talk to me. My poor Mom didn’t know what to do and so we attended family therapy. I soon started having nightmares as triggers from my childhood came back to haunt me. I would go days on end not sleeping which means my Mom did do. I was finally diagnosed with clinical Depression and Insomnia 

I refused medication as I had such a fear of being drugged into what I call the “Ritalin generation.” It seemed like any child who couldn’t sit still, thought outside the box, and expressed a volatile opinion was put on the token drug of choice. I wasn’t going to be a statistic so I chose to take a more natural route. 

My Mom supported me with this as I changed my nutrition plan, got more exercise, and took Valerian and other herbs for my lack of sleeping pattern. It was a dark and confusing time in my life and I coped with it the best I could. I soon matured into an adult and had years of journals that commemorates that confusing chaotic time in my life. As I grew older graduated and attended college my mental health issues came back full force. The stress of deadlines, securing a student loan to attend school, and maintain a relationship took it’s toll. At the age of twenty I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder.

I also experienced a lot of death in my life losing both my Grandparents, parents, and my step sister all before I was the age of forty. I suffered with Post Partum Depression which I had with both of my babies and it was dark, devastating tunnel of grief and despair. What I hadn’t know that it was being overshadowed by Sensory Processing Disorder. I would come to know that when I took the journey with my children to a diagnosis.  Who both have two types of SPD, (also known formerly as Sensory Integration and Sensory Dysfunction Disorder) Sensory Defensive Disorder which means avoiding all sensory input to the central nervous system and  Sensory Modulation Disorder which is the opposite, it’s the seeking out of all sensory input to the central nervous system. 


Clara Hughes
I’ve learned a lot as a Mom to children with complex needs and I’m now referred to as a walking medical dictionary by my therapist. I’ve come to know from my experience that being a special needs parent is not for the faint at heart. We’re all struggling in our ways with parenting, making our marriages a priority, and trying to carve out some me time. Some of us struggle, swear, drink, and eat too much. I believe others do too they just hide it better. I still have another leg of my journey to take with my children as more letters of the alphabet are discovered with each diagnostic test and assessment. Since I’ve introduced therapy with a psychologist, a psychiatrist, occupational, physical therapists,  and speech and language pathologist their future is looking brighter with early intervention. 


Clara Hughes speaking candidly about her mental health
I advocate strongly on their behalf and my own and I share this glimpse into our lives for #Bellletstalkday. This is a mental health initiative in my country Canada and for every talk, text, tweet, and share Bell will donate five cents to Canadian Mental Health. Last year the campaign raised over $500,000 and I had the fortunate experience of meeting one of the spokespersons former two time Olympian Clara Hughes. 

Please share, talk, text, and tweet the hashtag #Bellletstalkday to erase the stigma of mental health and bring it into the spotlight than having it shrouded in darkness and fear. One random act of kindness can do so much to help others like one ripple across the water that can create a wave of understanding. 

It’s time for #Mondaymusings and all you have to do is this list of things. 

Write a post sharing your thoughts with us – happy, sad, philosophical, ‘silly’ even. Make it as personal as possible.

Use the hashtag #MondayMusings and link to this post.

Add your link to the linky which you will find either here and on the post of a co-host. Today’s co-hosts are Everyday Gyaan and Living My Imperfect Life

Use our #MondayMusings badge to help other bloggers join in too.

Jeanine Lebsack

Writer, research assistant, podcaster, reiki healer, and a passionate advocate for neurodiversity. On my writing journey I’ve discovered a plethora of passions including writing, researching, entertaining through song and dance, with a desire to explore and create something transformational and healing. I believe in the sacred art of storytelling and that there’s power in the written and spoken word. Join me on my journey using the magic of words, music, and heart song. I believe we create ripples of energy that flow throughout the universe and by sharing our stories it creates change, positivity, and healing. Have a listen to my podcast on Spotify and Anchor at House of a Writer.

26 thoughts on “#Mondaymusings-Lets talk about mental health on #Bellletstalkday

  • 27 January 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Excellent post. Must have taken a great deal of guts to be so candid.
    I don’t really talk about my mental health issues, I just acknowledge that I have them and my friends know so it is never really discussed.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • 27 January 2016 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you so much! I almost didn’t hit publish but I know this is a very important day for me. The bottom line is that it could save a life. Thank you for reading and acknowledgement of mental health struggles is scary but also liberating. ?

  • 27 January 2016 at 9:32 pm

    Well, I think you wrote OUTSTANDINGLY WELL, because as much as any of us with mental health issues want awareness raised, it’s truly a scary thing when it comes to taking the reins in our own hands, and opening up about our own issues, as trailblazers and role models…even as voices for those who can’t.

    I’ve seen the hashtag being used and THANK YOU for explaining what it’s all about and why it matters. That’s an awesome commitment and I’m going to get my butt on twitter and tweet the heck outta it!


    You’ve gone through so, so much, and I think what I love most is your determination to use your experiences for good, to right (and write) your wrongs, and use your hurts to help. That shows admirable gumption and strength of character, and oddly, I feel rather proud of you for this.

    • 27 January 2016 at 11:45 pm

      Oh wow that’s a heap of wonderful compliments that just fill my love bucket to the brim!!!I’ve been through a lot of things that I didn’t know that I would survive and by the grace of God I keep on doing it! Thank you for seeing my message and how important the mental health initiative is. I advocate proudly for it’s cause and want to do right by my children and for the ones without voices. My Mom always told me to tell my story even if it hurt because someone, somewhere might benefit from it. I felt sick hitting the publish button, but you’ve shown me there’s strength in the whole truth and nothing but the truth! That makes me proud of you too. ❤️

      • 27 January 2016 at 11:57 pm

        There is, there SO is. I think, too, that it goes some way to redeeming our past, and our darkness, that we can use it to bring light to others, and hope.

        I’m so glad you had a strong faith which kept you going. Mine proved trickier, wouldn’t quit, and still trips me up from time to time. I’m in ostrich-mode with it at the moment, but I kind of think I’ll get back to it one of these days.

        GOOD FOR YOUR MOM, and good for you, too. Your advocacy is important.

        • 28 January 2016 at 12:02 am

          Yes I agree I just want to be a better than I was yesterday. And by righting my wrongs and having courage to share them gives me a greater faith. I believe we all have a story to share the ones who want to help people will tell it. You do what’s good for you and on time you’ll know when it’s time to feel the fear and do it anyways. ❤️

          • 28 January 2016 at 12:05 am

            Thank you <3 <3 I hope so 🙂 In the meantime I'll applaud you, and am tweeting the HECK outta #BellLetsTalk 🙂

          • 28 January 2016 at 1:21 am

            And a huge thank you for tweeting the heck out of #Bellletstalk! You rock Lizzi. ?❤️?

          • 28 January 2016 at 7:17 am

            It was so awesome to see that kind of response! I even saw Ellen tweeting with the hashtag. ??

          • 28 January 2016 at 6:19 pm

            YES, I saw that she had been, but not her tweets. The one I saw most was William Shatner, which is AWESOME.

          • 28 January 2016 at 6:21 pm

            Yes he’s the best and a proud Canadian he gets involved every year. ?

  • 27 January 2016 at 10:32 pm

    Good On You For ‘Sharing’ Such A Sensitive Issue Jeanine – Bless You!! ?

    • 27 January 2016 at 11:47 pm

      Thank you Colleen I almost didn’t publish this because it’s so personal. I will not be ashamed of my struggles because surviving them has made me who I am today. ?

  • 28 January 2016 at 8:48 pm

    A very heartfelt post. I think the best words to describe you are “fighter” and “survivor.”

    • 28 January 2016 at 9:41 pm

      Thank you so much Mike that means so much to me. ?

  • 31 August 2016 at 12:31 am

    Great Post!

    I was searching for some articles about depression today and I came across your interesting page.

    I noticed that you linked to one of my favourite articles: http://www.helpguide.org/articles/depression/depression-signs-and-symptoms.htm

    Just wanted to give you a heads up that I just wrote a similar one. It’s like the article on helpguide.org, but more thorough and up to date: https://inspireyourselflc.org/depression-signs-symptoms-causes-test-treatment/

    Might be worth a mention on your page.

    Either way, keep up the great work!


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