February 8 Suicide Awareness Collaboration With TreasureLives

Suicide prevention and awareness with Betty's Battleground and TreasureLives

On February 8, 2013 Jonathan Lazarus–a brother to TreasureLives: Mental Health & Suicide Prevention and Awareness founder Melody Nolan–attempted to commit suicide. On February 8, 2016, Betty’s Battleground site author Elizabeth Brico did the same. John and Elizabeth weren’t alone in their actions. According to suicide.org, approximately 2,054 people attempt suicide every single day in the United States. Of these, an average of 82 go on to lose their lives.

Some people like to say that everything happens for a reason, but when it comes to suicide attempts, that line of thinking suggests some lives are more valuable than others. That some people are more deserving of life than others. But there is no “reason” to mental illness and suicide. Life, death and the trappings that come in between are not doled out based on who deserves what.

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Tales From The Other Side: “Growing Up With An Untreated Bipolar Mom”

Read about one woman's experience growing up with a mom who had untreated bipolar disorder-on bettysbattleground.com

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.comToday’s guest blogger, Christy, grew up in a household with a mother who had untreated Bipolar Disorder. I can’t claim to have the same experience, or anything remotely like it, but I do have an aunt who has untreated Bipolar disorder. We stopped speaking a couple years ago when she started calling me a bitch, excusing herself because of her own disorder, and then gaslighting my PTSD. Ever since then, I have occasionally seen rude comments about me that she’s left on other family’ member’s accounts. Anyway, she lives in New York so I don’t have to really bother with her, but I learned today that she’s coming to Seattle, AND she’s asked to see my kids. So I guess I’m gonna get to have another epic Tia A—- adventure!

Anyway, as annoying and borderline abusive as my aunt has been, it does not compare to Christy’s experiences. Please don’t misunderstand the intention of publishing this story. I in no way wish to demonize people with Bipolar Disoder. I previously hosted an interview and guest post by a Sheila O’Donnell, a lovely blogger living with BPAD. I published an author interview with Rebecca Lombardo, who wrote a book about her experiences being Bipolar. The late, and beloved, Carrie Fisher was a famous mental health advocate living with the disorder. However, all of these people also pursued treatment. Whether that means medication and talk therapy, exercise and self-care, writing and reaching out, or whatever-they manage their symptoms and actively seek treatment. Mental illness does not have to be harmful. Usually, it isn’t. But if a person has a serious mental disorder and a family, that disorder will affect her family. If she doesn’t get her disorder treated, it may harm her family.

We cannot silence true stories because they don’t fit the narrative we want to tell. I am a mental health advocate. I want people to understand that mental illness or injury doesn’t make people evil or abusive. But I also cannot lie and say that when people don’t pursue treatment of any kind, everything is OK. It’s not. Those of us with mental health conditions need outside support, but we also need inner drive. Christy’s story is an example of a family that was deeply harmed because their Bipolar mother did not pursue treatment.

Blogger Christy Zelaya opens up about growing up with a mom who had untreated bipolar disorder on bettysbattleground.comChristy Zelaya is 38 years old and lives in beautiful Bradenton, Florida. She lives with her husband Jose Zelaya, and their four children; two each from previous marriages. They also have two dogs who are their babies too! They have been living as a blended family for almost seven years. Jose was diagnosed with kidney failure in February of 2014 and is now on dialysis. They are hoping for a kidney transplant soon. Christy also lives with Rhematoid Arthritis, which is exacerbated by her weight issues. You can follow her journey at christyzspeaks.com.

 

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Tales From The Other Side: A Neurochemical Romance

Tales from the Other Side: A guest post series on www.bettysbattleground.com

Hello! Happy Monday! It really is a happy Monday because I have the honor of publishing this amazing guest post, and you’re here reading it 😉

Last month August did me the great honor of hosting my very first published piece about being queer on her collaborative mental health blog, Survival Is A Talent.  Today she has done me another honor: She has written a guest post for Betty’s Battleground, granting us readers intimate insight into her relationship. She discusses a topic that is dear to me: what it’s like to be in a romantic relationship with someone who has PTSD. What makes August’s story unique is that she also lives with a mental illness: bipolar type schizoaffective disorder. Neither she nor her now-fiance had their respective diagnoses when they first began dating. So this piece not only reveals the reality of life with a partner who has PTSD while combating her own symptoms; it also shows us what it’s like to discover that the person you love has a mental illness, while discovering that you yourself do too. This is a unique, beautifully written perspective on a very important topic, and I am proud to have the opportunity to publish it on my blog.

 

Oh also…if you think the title is unbelievably cheesy…don’t put that on August. The superb article is all her; the corny title is all me. Now to August…

August Pfizenmayer is the founder of Survival is a Talent. She is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media manager. A story about her life with schizophrenia has been published in the next volume of The i’Mpossible Project. It is available for pre-order and will be in stores November 2017. You can connect with her on LinkedInTwitterInstagramFacebook, and her personal blog.

A guest post about her relationship by August Pfizenmayer on bettysbattleground.com

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