Today, I have the honor of publishing an interview with her about parenting with PTSD. I hope you enjoy her open honesty and quiet, powerfully direct way of communicating. I certainly do! One thing is different this time: I’ll be publishing all of her answers here. I’m just too terrible at keeping up with the newsletter, obviously. I still owe you the bonus answers from the past three months so you’ll get those, but from here on out these surveys will be published complete. You should still subscribe though, because I have some pretty amazing surprises coming up and you don’t want to miss them!
I also want to briefly draw attention to a past featured mama and guest writer here: Brandi Kennedy. Brandi’s beautiful family is struggling right now, and as a result she’s holding a fundraiser to try to make ends meet. I’ve been in that place before and it’s not a great feeling. If you know what it feels like to be unable to provide everything your family needs on your own, despite trying your best, I hope you’ll consider making even a modest donation to her fundraiser.
I am honored to introduce Andolina as this month’s Parenting with Mental Illness interviewee. She’s a beautiful young mother who lives with Major Depressive Disorder and moderate anxiety. She also lost her father to suicide. I can only imagine what that kind of loss is like, and I thank her for her sharing her story here on Betty’s Battleground. It breaks my heart to hear about yet another woman whose birthday has been ruined possibly forever–this time by a tragic loss.
A person recently left a very interesting comment on my blog post about forgiving our loved ones who commit suicide. She (I’m actually not sure of the person’s gender, but am using “she” for the sake of clarity) noted that she had lost her spouse to suicide several years back. Then she asked me to re-write my post to exclude the term “commit suicide.” She informed me that there is now a movement to have people say “died by suicide” rather than “commit suicide,” due to negative connotations associated with the word commit, and the idea that suicide is an act for which the victim is not culpable.
I’m familiar with these kinds of language movements. There’s one also in place around the word “addict,” for which I’ve had several losing battles with editors on the titles and language within certain of my articles. My problem here is that I’m not sure I agree. I don’t agree that the word commit is inherently negative, nor do I agree that people who attempt suicide have no volition whatsoever. They’re ill, usually, but if we say they have no power, that can be dangerous to people struggling with suicidal ideations. Is our commitment stronger to the living, or the deceased? I do believe we should respect and honor those who lost their lives to suicide. I do believe in awareness. I don’t know how I stand on the language. Will you leave your thoughts in the comments?
In this article by Mandy, a mother who hails from the Netherlands, she describes her lifelong struggle with depression, and how a combination of therapy, self-care, and antidepressant medication helps her manage it. Right now I am putting together an article about medication and the stigma faced by people who use it. There are different levels of stigma associated with different medications. For example, the focus of the article I’m writing is methadone and buprenorphine, both used to treat opiate dependency and addiction. But medicine for other mental health conditions face a fair amount of stigma too. How many times you have you seen that meme telling people pills are shit and trees are medicine? Did you know that many advocates of the 12-step program do not consider users of appropriately prescribed psychiatric medication, including antidepressants, sober? Stigma is real and it is rampant. So I commend Mandy for standing up and advocating for the medicine that has allowed her to thrive.
Mandy is a 33 year old working mom. She is married to a graphic designer and is the mom of a three year old. Mandy is currently in the midst of a career change and will be going to nursing school in September. She blogs about trying to live a balanced life on www.mommandy.com You can follow her on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/MomMandy84/