My CNN piece just went live.


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.
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28 Responses to My CNN piece just went live.

  1. April says:

    Yay! Thank you for speaking for the rest of us!

  2. Strength says:

    Your blog just moved me so much today! I am a health professional with a history of bipolar, eating disorder, self injury, suicidal ideation, and addiction. Every day I have to hide who I truly am for fear of losing my job- no one wants a provider like THAT. My dream in life has been to some day teach other young girls and women that they CAN live a life without pain and fear of themselves, that no matter how dark the bottom is there IS hope. I still struggle. And I don’t think that will change. As you said, I am who I am. It brings me great peace to read your words and the words of your followers, and know that there are so many others like me, that have struggled, continue to struggle, but that WE ARE NOT ALONE! Thank you for your boldness and honesty. Some day I dream to be able to speak as freely as you do.

    “In weakness I find my strength”

  3. Paul says:

    Read your article today, strikes home with me. Thank you for writing and wish you all the best.

  4. Grace Colasurdo says:

    Thank you so much for your candor and honesty. There are unnamed folks whose lives will be saved by knowing they are not the only ones who live in the hell of undiagnosed and/or inadequately treated mental illness.
    I have major depression and can remember feeling depressed/suicidal from about age 6. Both my parents and all of my siblings suffer with depression, but our generation is more open and accepting to a degree.
    My children are not too understanding and I had feared needing hospitalization in the future as I think it would end being able to grandchildren. After reading your story I realize that maintaining sanity needs to be the priority. I have found a wonderful psychiatrist who has me on the right meds (at long last). My Christian faith reminds me that my God who loves me would never remind me of all my past faults; this is as vital to me as my meds.
    Thank you again.

  5. Ky says:

    Thank you for sharing your story!! I too am a survivor I attempted in high school and your description of the pain is so accurate! I have recently been placed in a very emotional time in my life with thoughts of ending it all due to the pain. Thankfully I held on just long enough to get into the Dr. To get new meds. I wish more people understood what goes on in our brains and that it’s not a matter of being strong. Only those who have felt it can truly understand but maybe with more awareness will come more understanding. Thank you for sharing your story!

  6. Rob says:

    I think it’s quite possible that your writings have saved my life. I now believe that there is hope. Keep writing.

  7. Susan says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. It means a lot to me because I lost my mother to mental illness and her suicide 23 years ago when it was a teen. You are brave beyond words, and inspirational in the way that you have come forward to speak out.

    I also read the CNN story from the sister, and I’m so glad that people are being real. This is so important and very timely for me since it is Mother’s Day and close to the anniversary of my mom’s death. I am glad that I found your blog and look forward to reading more!

    I wish you the best and Happy Mother’s Day!

    Thank you, Susan

    • Christine O. says:

      I am so sorry you lost your mother, Susan. Thank you for the sweet sentiment and the kind feedback. I wish you a peaceful day and healing. Xoxo

      • Susan says:

        Thank you. I am also struggling with the same dark thoughts you are talking about. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, and it does give me hope. My mom struggled for a long time with her illness and I know her 3 children kept her going for many years, but eventually she did convince herself that we’d all be better off without her.
        I can say that we have definitely not been better off, and I also really struggle with the fact that there will never be a turn-around for her; that she’s never going to get better. Those are very dark thoughts for me, and I continue to go to counseling to try to work it out, but at some level, I do worry about myself sometimes. But I promise to continue to move forward and to make progress. This blog is like a breath of fresh air and new hope!!

      • Christine O. says:

        “New hope” is what it is all about. Some have done the same for me. It is an honor for you to feel that about my writings and experiences. Thank you, Susan.

  8. Devon Vaughan says:

    I read your article on cnn, it really hit home for me. I would like to email you my story with some questions. Could you send me your email address? Thank you!

  9. Been There says:

    Christine, you’re so very brave for going public with your story and sharing details about the trials and tribulations of your recovery. I attempted suicide in April of 2002 and was admitted to a psych hospital for several days. The most difficult part immediately after my attempt was the realization that my “plan” had failed, and it would be necessary to re-enter the world I had tried to escape from. After lots of therapy and the right medications, I’m in a much better place 12 years later. Suicide is no longer an option because I tried that once and it didn’t work. After living with depression most of my life, for the past several years it seems to have practically vanished. I can’t explain how or when it happened, but gradually I began to accept myself as I am and stopped blaming myself for perceived failures. At 61 years of age, I’m convinced that some of it is due to simply the aging process. It’s my hope that your struggle eases soon because I know how difficult it is. Thanks for casting light on a topic that’s not easy for most to talk about.

  10. Utku says:

    Hi, Christine I read your story on CNN and after on this blog. I felt the same things, that ”Zombie” you described had lived in me for 1.5 year. I was calling it ”chemical pain”. It was like; living with sorrow and self-judgement and not being able to move, or get out of the house, even my bed. It was very hard to make even trivial things, such as washing my clothes, taking shower, shaving, cleaning, things you do in daily basis. Anyway now, after 2 years i am much better, i can take care of myself, i can cook, clean, i even finished a big project at work. But i am on the edge now. I think suicidial. It’s not for i have depression, it is for i’ve changed too much. After depression , sth worse occured. Social Phobia, i can’t make eye contact with people, even with the closest ones. So other people think that i’m weird. I know that i’m weird. But i can’t help it, i know the medication is the solution but, am i going to use medication for all my life to make eye contact with other people. I also have 3-4 other illnesses like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Stomach Hernia, humpback, angina and others.. and this mental illnesses, now my career is also in danger. I have to go to military 6 months for obligation. I see no future for myself. I know you maybe you read this and reacted like ”what can i do?” and i understand it. But all i want to know is how can i find the strength to cope with all this. You’ve been through the things i write here before i guess. Is there any silver lining?

    Thank You.
    P.S. Sorry for my english, i’m not a native speaker.

    • Christine O. says:

      There is a silver lining. (And I couldn’t even tell you weren’t a native English speaker). It took my fling completely apart before I would accept help; but I am so glad I finally did. Not that I don’t still feel depression or anxiety anymore, but I now have to tools to help me, and that makes all the difference. I don’t know where you are from so I am not sure what resources are at hand, but surely you have emergency rooms? If you feel suicidal go there IMMEDIATELY. They have to keep those visits secret here and they can make referrals and give you resources to work from. You will be in me thoughts, my friend.

  11. Utku says:

    I’m from Turkey, 23 years old, young boy(just the appearance) There are some places for me get help but if i go that places probably they will decide me to get hospitalized for a short period (1-2 weeks), this will cause to get permission from work due to health issues and they are going to send some kind of report to my workplace explains my psychotic condition and cost me to lose my job and of course rumours will spread about me that i’m crazy person. I have nobody, literally nobody, I lost my dad at early age and i have 2 sisters and a mother who is the cause of my depression. We are not in contact over 2 years. Thus i don’t get any financial help from my family. All i have is my job which is in danger as i told it before. In your writings, you point that the family is the key, and i don’t have it. (just my older sister, i have contact with her but she is married and pregnant so she has a lot of trouble and her own family) Anyway you are a good example for people in our condition and i thought that it may be helpful to turn your experience into good purpose for myself but of course our situations are different. Everybodys is situation is different. But it’s nice to know and see that there is a little hope for everyone.

    Thanks for the compliment to my English. That’s the only thing i succeded in this life. 🙂

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