What am I doing? Yep that is the thought that is swirling in my head today as I begin day one of the #write31days challenge. I have blogged for a month on my blog before but never on one single topic. And the topic that I am choosing to write on for my first time is not an easy topic to talk about either. In fact, for many, they avoid the topic at all costs and turn the other way. And that might be the exact reason I am feeling compelled to write on this topic this year; mental illness and my family’s journey with it.
I am the oldest of two girls and our mom had a nervous breakdown right after my sister was born. (She is three years younger than me). Growing up was not easy because mom’s illness was and still is a huge part of who we are. Mom was in the hospital at least once a year. I don’t remember anything different. But because of the stigma associated with the illness, I kept pretty quiet about Mom’s illness. It wasn’t until I went to work at SuperAwesomeBibleCamp that I finally opened up about Mom’s illness. And let me tell you what a freeing moment that was! There is so much holiness in being able to finally share our story and who I am because of that story with the world! Yet it is also scary….scary to bear my soul and be so vulnerable.
Yet being vulnerable is a gift. I love what Brene Brown says about vulnerability. She writes,
“Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy–the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
I am not exactly sure where these 31 days will take me…or us! But what I do know is that it is important for me to share my story especially with the death of actor Robin Williams still so fresh in our hearts and minds. Mental illness does not need to have the final word, but rather love; God’s love for all God’s people does! Mom has NEVER let her illness get in the way of who she is. She is one of the most faith-filled women that I know! So for these 31 days, I am choosing to be vulnerable…to be brave; brave enough to share our story; to overcome the darkness and find the infinite power of light found in the midst of my story as a daughter of a woman who daily lives with a mental illness!
I saw your blog on the 31 dayers group on Facebook and was immediately intrigued. I am writing something similar for my 31 days challenge but a little different. I will be reading your story with great interest throughout this month. God bless you as you write!
I want to keep reading. this has affected my husbands family as well.
Thank you for your willingness to be brave to share your story. I know that many will be touched by it.
I am touched and believe me have a personal interest in MI. I want to pray for you, Tara. Lord thank you that you are The Living Word who became Flesh to bring love light and healing into a world of darkness. Your Kingdom is Forever, and we acknowledge Your name Above All Names. I ask you to do a work through the words here, through Tara and let your Holy Spirit lead as she ministers grace, truth, salt and light…Give her words when she has none. Let her shine bright for you and may that be an invitation to others along the journey who seek encouragement, grace and truth. In Jesus Name, AMen.
Wow you are brave! I'm sure this will help others!
This is so cool to be able to look back on. Bravo for stepping out in faith. If it weren't for this challenge we would have never met! I am sure you have impacted many through your words. Here's to round two!