My friend Anna who blogs at Girl with Blog introduced me to the 31 Days challenge which was started at the Nesting Place. The idea is to blog for 31 days straight on one topic. Wooo….31 days on one single topic. That’s a lot of writing…but for some reason, I was feeling especially compelled to try it this year.
And since it is my first time, I had no idea where to begin. I put a plea out on my FB page and got several ideas back from my friends and family; 31 days of Faith Formation, 31 Days of Mental Illness, 31 Days of North Dakota, 31 Days of Being a Single in the Church, and 31 Days of Thoughtfulness. I feel like I at least have something valid and vital to say about each of these issues but I was still having a hard time narrowing down my topic. I wanted to blog on faith formation because it is something I love and am passionate about. I wanted to blog about being a single in the church because at 36 years old, I am so ready to be a mom and a wife (with no prospects in sight). And I wanted to blog about my family’s journey with mental illness because it is a topic that many people don’t talk about often and need to be more open about.
Sometimes I realize that I am thinking too hard when the topic is right there in front of me. So here it is my dear readers and friends. Here is what I will be blogging about for the next 31 days….
Yep, that’s right I am going to blog about my family’s journey with mental illness. I can hardly believe that I am writing these words on a page, because it is scary to share so much of who I am; to be so vulnerable. Yet I feel compelled and called to share our story in the hopes that it will bless others.
My mom has lived with a mental illness most of my life. Shortly after my sister was born my mom had a nervous breakdown. I was three years old when that happened and I don’t know anything different. Growing up Mom was in the hospital at least once a year. It is so much a part of who we are….who I am. So my hope and prayer is that during these 31 days, we will spread the awareness of mental illnesses and will break the stigma that comes with the illness. (And it is pretty cool that Mental Health Awareness week falls in the middle of the 31 days as well)
Day One: Being Brave
Day Two: In Sickness and In Health
Day Three: Unspeakable Joy
Day Four: Teach Us To Pray
Day Five: Mental Illness Awareness Week
Day Six: A Whole New Perspective
Day Seven: Breaking the Silence
Day Eight: Washing Each Other’s Feet
Day Nine: A Poem for My Momma
Day Ten: Hey, You, Child of God!
Day Eleven: The Bravest Thing You’ll Ever Do
Day Twelve: God Is Holding You
Day Thirteen: Making Decisions
Day Fourteen: A Special Companion for Mom
Day Fifteen: Media and Mental Illness
Day Sixteen: A Surprising Encounter
Day Seventeen: Broken and Loved
Day Eighteen: It’s Not Fair
Day Nineteen: Who I Am
Day Twenty: Out of the Darkness
Day Twenty One: Yeah, Me Too!
Day Twenty Two: Everything I Ever Learned
Day Twenty Three: Educating about Mental Illness
Day Twenty Four: Koinonia
Day Twenty Five: A Broken Heart
Day Twenty Six: Sunday Simplicity
Day Twenty Seven: Out of the Pit
Day Twenty Eight: Identity
Day Twenty Nine: The Value of Tears
Day Thirty: You Are Powerful
Day Thirty One: Giving Thanks for These 31 Days
Thank you for willing to be so vulnerable with us. I am grateful for being able to accompany you on your 31-day journey.
perfect topic for you! Mental health/illness is the synchroblog topic for October; I'm almost definitely going to participate this time. Do you want me to invite you?
Wow, thank you so so much for choosing to put yourself out there in such a vulnerable, beautiful way! I linked up behind you on "The Weekend Brew" and what an absolute blessing that I did! Both my husband and I are in the mental health field and I appreciate SO very much you writing in an effort to take away the stigma. Coming from a counselor, I want to say a big giant THANK YOU!! And I want you to know, as I was reading your post about how you chose your 31 day topic, I prayed for you and your family. I look forward to following your journey!
Tara, thank you for sharing your journey with us. Fellow 31 dayer here who will be following you this month. Your posts will no doubt be a wonderful blessing to others, many who have walked in your shoes.
Thank you Sister for your candor. There are more of us than you can imagine. Bless you indeed. Stopping by from Tell His Story.
I just realized you already did the 31 day challenge last year. And you're definitely not a newbie to fmfparty. Well, hey anyway. You still inspire me:)
Tara, I share your experiences in navigating through Mental Illness. My daughter has Bipolar; my sons and myself struggle with anxiety. Our daughter's journey has opened our eyes to a different perspective on life. Have you heard of Amy Simpson? She is a Christian writer whose mother was also mentally ill. Thanks for opening up the conversations.