PSA: Be You

Public Service Announcement: Quit apologizing for yourself.

beyou

I’ll admit it… this is a HUGE pet peeve.  But I’m not a blogger of pet peeves.  So please take this for what it is… I’m jumping on the Brene Brown bandwagon and begging you to stop shaming yourself.

Just stop.  When someone stops by for an unannounced visit – don’t apologize for the state of cleanliness in your home.  They didn’t expect it to be spotless.  Stop jumping on Periscope and within the first 3 seconds of the video start apologizing for something.  (I know, I shouldn’t just pick on Periscope… this happens on most every social media outlet.)

Stop apologizing for the lighting, stop apologizing for the fact that you don’t have makeup on, stop apologizing for the fact that your kids are running around in the background, stop apologizing for the background noise…. stop apologizing for being you and what your world looks like.  Reality is reality.

By doing so you’re just adding to the tape player in your head that continually runs… shaming yourself of every expectation (your OWN expectation).

Grant yourself some grace and forgive yourself already.  Period.  You won’t be perfect.  I won’t be perfect.

No one expects either of us to be perfect … and if they do expect that of us we don’t need them in our lives.

Can I get an AMEN?!  Just be YOU!  The rest will come naturally.

Better yet… accept His grace… for it is enough.

Linked above is Matt Maher’s song “Your Grace is Enough”, which is based on the premise that Christ’s grace is sufficiently enough.  He has covered us in His love.  His mercies are new every morning.

Lamentations 3 tells us all about that.

 

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Movember topic: Suicide

My name is Lori.  I’m a woman.  I have vowed to support several friends in their participation in Movember.  However, I will not be growing facial hair.  Thank you for understanding.

Movember

What I WILL do is share information and knowledge and encouragement about Mental Health Resources.  <– click here for a list of local resources.

 

Today’s topic brings us to a somber, and all too real phone call …   this morning I received a call from a girlfriend, about another friend’s cry for help.  He is currently in the hospital, recuperating from making himself very ill …  and getting stronger before he can be moved to the psych ward for a 5150 hold.

I hung up from the phone call, broken-hearted.  For him.  For his family.  For his daughter.  For the daughter’s mother.  For the whole family unit…

There are so many people directly affected by his decision… and I feel selfish to be hurt by this news.  And I cannot imagine what those closer to him are feeling about his actions… sadness, anger, disbelief, confusion, concern, shame…

His heart must have been broken immensely…  broken enough to walk down this path of destruction.  Sadly his journey takes other people with him.

His young daughter must have so many questions.  It will take her a long time to be able to even comprehend and ask the questions that she doesn’t yet even understand.  And right now she is most likely feeling emotions that she doesn’t even recognize… all because of his decision.  And for her to wade through these emotions at this young age… just heart-breaking.

 

An open note to those considering suicide:

“While you may feel there is nothing good to live for, while you may be too afraid to tackle today’s challenges, while you may feel no one loves you, while you may be ashamed of your past, while you may feel your pain is too deep to handle, while you think no one will miss you… please know, there is another day for you.

“And then, after that, there’s another day for you… and people who want to help… people who have been where you are, people who will show you the way, people who will encourage you to make healthy decisions for yourself, people who will guide you towards mental health … you are not alone, your pain isn’t too much, the shame isn’t too big, you are loved.

“There is a plan for your life.  And suicide doesn’t fit into it.  You are wanted.”

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].  Romans 12:2 (Amplified Bible)

 

 

RIP Robin Williams

My first introduction to Robin Williams, like so many others, was Mork and Mindy.  The air waves filled with laughter and bewilderment as we watched this man, an alien from the planet Ork, get himself into and out of some rather hilarious predicaments.

Mork and Mindy | RIP Robin Wiliams
Mork and Mindy | RIP Robin Wiliams

“Nanu – Nanu!” we would say along with him, and laugh until bellies hurt.  This man, this alien, wearing suspenders and a goofy look on his face… he left an indelible imprint.

And then there was Dead Poets Society, where english teacher John Keating (Robin Williams) taught us the meaning of “Carpe Diem”, latin for seize the day!

And you, after reading from me yesterday morning (before we learned of Robin’s demise) know how important this mantra is to me… a big part of it is due to this movie.  Thank you John Keating.  Thank you Robin Williams.

 

Dear Robin,

Please know that while we don’t know why you took your life we know that you know that you were loved and adored and touched by millions.

But we may never understand the angst you lived with.  We may never understand the pain you awoke to daily.  We may never comprehend your loneliness.

We wish we could have.  We wish we could have made it better for you.

Let your legacy live on in the laughter you left us.  Let your legacy live on in the positive things you offered to humanity.  Let your legacy live on in that sweet, funny, gentle spirit that so many knew of you (behind closed doors).  Let your legacy live on in the challenge for us to BE AVAILABLE to LISTEN to our friends who need a friend and LOVE them more Mork himself.

Let your legacy live on in how we seize the day…

– All of Humanity

RIP Robin Williams | July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014)
RIP Robin Williams | July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

 

I’ve compiled some mental health resources here.  But there are so many more out there.

Loving each other in spite of and beyond the stigma is where healing resides.

To my friends looking for support, you can call me.  You can call a local church.  You can be yourself and can talk to someone.  There is no shame in talking about mental health issues.  We are here for you.

To those looking for support as you learn to understand what friends and family might be dealing with… just love them.  Pray for them.  And let them talk to you.

We are here for each other…

RIP Robin Williams
RIP Robin Williams

 

More info here:  Mental Health Resources

Mental Health Resources | San Diego, Ca

The Amen Clinics |Daniel G. Amen, M.D. is a physician, double board certified psychiatrist, teacher and nine time New York Times bestselling author (and fellow student of my alma mater, Vanguard University). He is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost experts on applying brain imaging science to everyday clinical practice. The Amen Clinics have the world’s largest database of functional brain scans relating to behavior, totaling over 87,000 scans on patients from 93 countries. We treat a variety of conditions including ADD, Anxiety, Depression, Brain Injuries, Addiction and Weight Management. The Amen Clinics have six locations nationwide in Costa Mesa and San Francisco CA, Bellevue WA, Atlanta GA, Reston VA and New York City.

 

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention | Understanding and preventing suicide through research, education, and advocacy, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the nation’s leading organization bringing together people across communities and backgrounds to understand and prevent suicide, and to help heal the pain it causes.

 

California Institute for Mental Health | The California Institute for Mental Health (CiMH) was established in 1993 to promote excellence in mental health services through training, technical assistance, research and policy development.

Our Purpose – To promote wellness and positive mental health and substance use treatment outcomes through improvements in California’s health systems.

Our Vision – That California is the national leader in the provision of mental health services and support systems that successfully advance hope, wellness, resiliency, recovery and full community integration for all adults, children and families across their life spans.

Peer Support in Congregations – Is a statewide CIMH project designed to increase the capacity of faith-based organizations to provide peer counseling support and referral services. It expands the number of trained individuals available in congregations to support the pastoral efforts to serve individuals in crisis and needing support around mental health and substance use challenges.

 

California Mental Health Services Authority | The mission of California Mental Health Services Authority (CalMHSA) is to provide member counties a flexible, efficient, and effective administrative/fiscal structure focused on collaborative partnerships and pooling efforts in development and implementation of common strategies and programs, accountability at state, regional, and local levels, and fiscal integrity, protections, and management of collective risk.

 

Celebrate Recovery |The purpose of Saddleback Church’s Celebrate Recovery ministry is to celebrate God’s healing power in our lives through the “8 Recovery Principles.” This experience allows us to “be

changed.” We open the door by sharing our experiences, strengths and hopes with one another. In addition, we become willing to accept God’s grace in solving our problems. By working and applying these Biblical principles, we begin to grow spiritually. We become free from our addictive, compulsive and dysfunctional behaviors. This freedom creates peace, serenity, joy and most importantly, a stronger personal relationship with God and others. As we progress through the program we discover our personal, loving and forgiving Higher Power—Jesus Christ, the one and only true Higher Power.

 

Clearview Treatment Programs | Clearview Treatment Programs, started in 2000, operates multiple treatment centers in the Los Angeles area. Clearview offers a full continuum of care, including residential, day, outpatient, and transitional living treatment centers. Our specialized evidence-based Center for Psychiatric Disorders and Addictions treats people who have struggled to achieve recovery from their psychiatric disorder or addiction, with a focus on the underlying causes, not just the symptoms. Clearview Women’s Center for Borderline Personality and Emotional Disorders is a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) program that was created specifically to treat women struggling with symptoms of BPD and emotion dysregulation. Our staff has been extensively trained in DBT, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, and other evidence-based therapies to be able to provide the most comprehensive treatment possible. Clearview is committed to the long-term success of our clients. To learn more about Clearview, visit http://www.clearviewtreatment.com or contact Kim Cartwright at (310) 422-6847 or kim@clearviewtreatment.com.

 

Cloud-Townsend Resources | The mission of Cloud-Townsend Resources is to help people grow and reach their goals personally, professionally, spiritually and relationally.  Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend have been bringing hope and healing to millions for well over two decades, helping people discover solutions to life’s most difficult personal and relational challenges. Their material provides solid, practical answers and offers guidance in the areas of parenting, marriage, dating, emotional struggles, leadership, and personal and spiritual growth. Drs. Cloud & Townsend offer a wide variety of local growth opportunities and online training courses. They also have over one thousand recordings available in their extensive audio and video library. Visit cloudtownsend.com or call (800) 676-HOPE (4673).

 

Fiesta Educativa | Dedicated to empowering families of persons with disabilities, Fiesta Educativa, a partnership of families, professionals, consumers, friends, and agencies, embraces as its mission the goal of universal support towards the enhancement of the lives of persons with disabilities. For more information, please contact us at (714) 533-2533 or cmercado@fiestaeducativa.org.

 

FINDINGbalance | FINDINGbalance is the leading Christian resource for DAILY help with eating and body image issues. A 501(c)(3) non-profit, we serve people all over the world with small group tools, online

videos, our annual Hungry for Hope eating disorders conference and our new Lasting Freedom online eating issues support program. www.findingbalance.org.

 

Fresh Hope | Fresh Hope is a network of Christian support groups for those who suffer from mental health challenges and for those who love them.  The purpose of Fresh Hope is to provide a safe, non-threatening setting for people who have mental health challenges, their family and friends.  It is a place where they can share insights, progress and setbacks in an effort to exchange information and encouragement with a Christian context so that they might come to a point where they are not only surviving, but enjoying and finding joy and purpose in their lives.  For more information, please visit www.freshhope.us or contact us at info@freshhope.us or 402-932-3089.

 

Hope & Healing After Abortion (Project Rachel) | Hope & Healing After Abortion (aka Project Rachel) assists all who have been hurt by the act of abortion. Specially trained companion ministers meet one to one with women who have had the experience of abortion, significant others who were part of the decision to abort, as well as those who may have assisted in this procedure. All conversations are held in the strictest confidence. Emotional, spiritual, and sacramental support is available for all who are seeking reconciliation, healing and recovery from this event. Email rachels_hope@juno.com or lbrunolli@yahoo.com.  Phone (858) 581-3022 or (760) 745-2529.

 

International Bipolar Foundation | The vision of International Bipolar Foundation (IBPF) is to be the world’s most valued authority on Bipolar Disorder and to envision a world in which Bipolar Disorder is prevented and cured. The mission of IBPF is to improve understanding and treatment of bipolar disorder through research; to promote care and support resources for individuals and caregivers; and to erase stigma through education. For more information, please visit ibpf.org or contact us at (858) 764-2496.

 

Mental Health Grace Alliance | Thrive. Support. Training: We use a holistic process towards mental health recovery. We provide personal assistance to navigate professional care and improve personal life management. Our Mental Illness Recovery Program and support groups reinforce professional care. Lastly, we uniquely help the church understand the biblical and clinical perspective of  mental health difficulties and disorders. For more information, about Mental Health Grace Alliance please visit mentalhealthgracealliance.org or contact us at (562) 270-6105 or (949) 275-8953 or info@mhgracealliance.org.

 

National Alliance of Mental Illness – San Diego | The National Alliance on Mental Illness in San Diego is the city’s voice on mental illness. We are part of the grass-roots, non-profit,national NAMI organization founded in 1979 by family members of people with mental illness. We are also an affiliate of NAMI CaliforniaWe have a threefold mission: 1) Support people with mental illnesses and their families by helping them find coping mechanisms for their daily struggle with brain disorders; 2) Educate people who have mental illness, their families, and the general public about mental illness with the goal of dispelling ignorance and stigma; and 3) Advocate for more research and an improved system of mental health services across the nation.  At the heart of NAMI San Diego’s mission is the sharing of information and striving to end the stigma associated with mental illness. To this end, we offer a Helpline, support groups, educational meetings, newsletters, a lending library and a number of classes on mental illness held at various locations throughout San Diego County.  http://www.namisandiego.org/

NAMI San Diego Helpline | County-wide, confidential, family and peer-staffed support phone line for individuals with mental illness and their loved ones.  Provides non-crisis phone support and referrals and increases knowledge of mental illness, resources and related issues.  (619) 543-1434, 10 am – 6 pm, M-F

 

National Catholic Partnership on Disability | National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) was founded in 1982 to implement in dioceses and parishes throughout the US the Pastoral Statement of US Catholic Bishops on People with Disabilities. NCPD provides resources and training so that Catholics with disabilities can be nourished in their faith, and actively contribute to their parish communities.  NCPD’s resources include two monthly e-newsletters, thirteen webinars, and offerings from the following sub-groups. The NCPD Council on Mental Illness produces resources on mental illness, such as the Welcomed and Valued DVD and Manual. The Ethics and Public Policy Committee provides input to governmental agencies on issues such as euthanasia, organ donation, and prenatal diagnosis. The Autism Task Force is producing an App for helping children with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be able to attend Sunday services, and is also reviewing curriculum materials for sacramental preparation in order to advise educators on best practices and resources. For more information visit the NCPD website at www.ncpd.org.

 

San Diego Behavioral Health Services | The Behavioral Health Services Division provides a continuum of mental health and alcohol and other drug services for children, youth, families, adults, and older adults.  The Division embraces Live Well San Diego, the County’s over-arching initiative to promote healthy, safe and thriving communities throughout the County of San Diego.  It promotes recovery and well-being through prevention, treatment, and intervention, as well as integrated services for clients experiencing co-occurring mental illness and alcohol and drug issues.  The Behavioral Health Services Division provides services under two systems of care:  Adult/Older Adult Services and Children, Youth, and Family Services.  For clients requiring hospitalization, a third division–Inpatient Health Services—provides services at Edgemoor, Distinct Part Skilled Nursing Facility, and San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital.  The website links telephone support numbers, information on providers and recent campaigns on reducing the stigma of mental health.  Access and Crisis Line/Referrals: 1-888-724-7240.  http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/bhs/

 

San Diego Psychiatric Society | The San Diego Psychiatric Society works to improve public awareness of mental illness and increase legislative and financial support of psychiatric care. Members work in community mental health organizations, academic institutions, government settings and private offices and advise the legislature on mental health issues.  (858) 279-4586.

 

San Diego Rescue Mission | For more than 50 years it has been more than our purpose – it has been our privilege — to help San Diego’s homeless and poor populations create better lives for themselves and, in turn, build a better community for us all.  Our comprehensive programs meet basic needs, then go further. They help our clients address the challenges behind their homelessness for positive, lasting change.  They provide an opportunity for those in need to take control of their lives, find a new level of stability, and return to their communities as fulfilled, contributing members of society.  http://www.sdrescue.org/

 

To Write Love On Her Arms | To Write Love On Her Arms (TWLOHA) is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury, and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire, and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. For more information, please visit http://twloha.com/ or contact us at

info@twloha.com.

 

Veterans Services Office – San Diego  | The mission of Veterans Services is to provide professional services for military veterans and their dependents and survivors who are entitled to benefits from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, the State of California, and other agencies as applicable.  The Veterans Service Office was re-established in 1987 to serve the veteran population of San Diego County, which has the second largest veteran population in the state. The office assists veterans and their dependents and survivors to obtain benefits from the federal, state and local agencies administering programs for veterans, and provides advocacy to the veterans community regarding entitlement rights to federal, state and local benefits programs.  For more information, please visit http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/hhsa/programs/ais/veterans_services/ or contact us at (858) 694-3222.

 

 

(editor’s note:  this list of resources is partially composed of vendors who attended or spoke at The Gathering on Mental Health and the Church, hosted by Rick Warren and Saddleback Church.  Local San Diego, Ca resources have been added as well.)

What is “Hero Syndrome” and why should we be careful of it?

As the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility”.  Do you know who originally said that?   Breaking news: It wasn’t an original from the Spider Man movie.  Voltaire coined this phrase.  And that was waaaaaay before Spider Man.

That power and responsibility is attractive.  That hero-like character is an attractive one to follow, right?  I mean, who wouldn’t want to say “I’m friends with Spider Man!  He stopped by my house last night to save me from thieves!”

Admit it, didn’t most of us idolize a few superheroes growing up?  But this responsibility taken too far or misguided or for the wrong reasons… well, at some point it turns into “with great power comes great delusion“.  Sorry friends… I hate to burst your bubbles.  But, strengths pushed too far often times become weaknesses.  

 

mr.incredible
Mr. Incredible

 

What is Hero Syndrome?  Messiah Complex?  Savior Complex?  Samaritan Syndrome?

Some say it is an innate desire to step in and save the day.  They are even known to fuel moments of chaos so they can step in and rescue others.

 

The hero is driven by the need for approval, recognition, and/or feeling needed and valued. The need is met briefly by the “high” of being asked to do something, but it is exactly this short-lived high that makes it an addictive cycle. – Laura Berman Fortgang

 

Don’t get me wrong… there’s nothing wrong with being a good friend, for helping someone out, for helping someone find a way to meet their needs.  But when you put your job at risk, when you sacrifice what’s best for your own family (time, finances, etc), when there are no boundaries between you and your community, when you feel the pressure to please others, when you risk your own well-being on a daily basis, when your motivations are “others driven” you can’t take care of yourself  …

If you’re mostly focused on meeting that addictive desire to feel loved, appreciated and worth-while… it’s no longer your purpose.  It’s an addiction.  It’s attracting friends to you.  They’re telling you things to make you feel better about yourself.  Which feeds even more into that addiction.

Fight against it… set boundaries and say NO and realize that sometimes others need to figure out their problems on their own, learn how to actually ASK for help for the resources they need to tackle a task on their own or GROW UP and deal with it… well, isn’t that better for YOU and for others in the long run?

 

And this takes me back to a scripture I highlighted just a few days ago:

“Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

Ephesians 2:1-10  (The Message)

 

We have one supreme messiah, hero if you will… his name is Jesus.  And while we can commit our ways and motivations and desires to doing His good work… in the end it is He who has saved us.

 

 

And that’s just one more thought that has been rattling around in this blog-brewer I call a brain for several weeks now…  superheroes are over-rated.

 

Resources

more from Laura Berman Fortgang

Chronic Hero Syndrome, article 1

Chronic Hero Syndrome, article 2

Martyr without a Cause