(Recovery is a LIFE-long process) 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge- Day 30


Day 30: What does recovery mean to you?

Over the past year and two months since the incident involving me and my family I have worked hard to understand exactly what recovery means for us. Mental illness and suicide is a much bigger issue and subject than me, and so for this; the last day in this 30 day awareness challenge; I wanted to focus on something other than my personal story and the selfish reasons as to why I chose to take this up as a lifelong cause.

It doesn’t matter what I’ve written or said during this time right now. The statistics and charts don’t matter the reason is this; Lives continue to be lost every day to these illnesses. We lost one more yesterday.

As I reach out to the local community and the school district affected, I realize this is an issue we are well under-educated on. People don’t know how to react, how to respond, what to say to the family.

So today the meaning of recovery is (as defined in the dictionary) “the act of obtaining something useful from unusable sources” or, making something positive come from something terrible. Recovering from something such as this requires an entire community. This happens way too often and it needs to be addressed. It has to stop. These children and the young adults they will grow into need to know that these hopeless feelings can be lessened; the pain can get better. We have to become less afraid of saying the word ‘suicide’ and ‘counseling’. We have to stop feeling as if seeking help is a weakness. The shame of approaching our peers or a professional or anyone to speak up and ask for guidance should not be a hindrance. There is no shame in therapy. There is no embarrassment in taking medication for such illnesses. Just as we would not feel awkward in posting Facebook pages and fundraising sites or walking on behalf of a sick school mate or coworker who is bravely battling cancer; we should neither feel so in support of anyone who is fighting hopelessness and mental strain so vigorously that he takes his life, or if one was to attempt to.

Recovery for me, personally, means never having to lose one more life to a fatal depressive episode via suicide. I plan to be in recovery for the rest of my very long life.

*If you or someone you know is fighting the urge to harm themselves, please instead call 800-273-(TALK) 8255*


not over

via 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge- Master List.


About Christine O.

I had been a young, single Mom to two girls for ten years; until March 9, 2014 when I married my soul-mate Jason. I’m a former 20 year+ full time executive in a demanding field turned business owner (this year); marathon runner, daughter to the perfect parents, oldest sister of a highly successful ‘normal’ younger brother and ‘functional’ single-mother (of 3) sister, coach, boss, best friend, member of the church choir, volunteer for the local NAMI, AFSP, and CASA organizations, and have over time become well acclimated to the world of mental illness after a life changing event or two. I have also become known in my community as the one who takes on the High School year after year in attempts to have a Suicide Prevention Program in place (as in Texas statute). My goal in writing, blogging and learning as much as I can about such subjects is to defeat stigma associated with brain disease, preventing suicide in the future, and saving my family.
This entry was posted in children, depression, family, friends, medication, mental illness, recovery, stigma, suicide, Therapy, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (Recovery is a LIFE-long process) 30 Days of Mental Illness Awareness Challenge- Day 30

  1. nikkisth0ughts says:

    This is so beautiful, that you decided to make this about awareness. I agree 100% on this. Especially the part saying we are well under educated. It is so very true. Hopefully together we can all bring more awareness and erase the stigma! Keep on fighting 🙂

    • Christine O. says:

      Thank you, Nikki! You always leave the most encouraging comments. I appreciate you SO much. For whatever reason when I think about what I felt in the past and how depression and anxiety affected me and my family, it doesn’t hit me quite as hard as when I learn about someone so young as this kid was (16). I just feel like I should be doing so much more. Like you said, we just have to keep talking, writing, and fighting. And taking care of ourselves, too. xoxo

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