If you have a story of hope to share, please send it to us. We will feature stories, anonymously, on our site.
From your event organizer, Billie Hills
This fundraiser was born from personal experience of living with mental illness and the struggle in finding help at a time when it mattered most. My story of living with Borderline Personality Disorder is long and will have you resting your cheek on the palm of your hand in about six seconds. However, it's important for people to understand what BPD is and the wonders of DBT therapy.
After a lifetime of living with the crippling effects of mental illness, I have been given the opportunity to live a life worth living. I'm living in a world of more awareness and emotion control. A majority of my days, I'm living like and feeling like a person without mental illness. I'm still alive. Because I had help. Because I was given hope.
It's important to find a way to offer this hope to those that may not have access to therapy that can truly change and save lives. If even one person is given access to DBT therapy through the generous people that donate to this fundraiser, then it's all worth it. All of it.
From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your interest in this fundraiser.
Please be aware the the following stories or poems may be triggers for you.
All stories are shared with permission and at at the request of the individual sharing their story.
These stories are shared with the hope to help break stigma. Read them with an open heart.
We hope all dealing with mental illness find the hope they need and encourage all to look for DBT help in their area.
I am an advocate for Mental Health and the Prevention of Veterans Suicide in our society I am motivated by a very simple purpose: To reduce the Stigma that surrounds Mental Illness and improve the quality of life of those who suffer from it. No More No Less With such a broad and optimistic vision it would be easy to get lost and struggle to know the best route to that destination. The key comes in remembering it isn’t a destination but a constant journey. Mental illness will always exist. Stigma will always exist. As such, it is a purpose that can be achieved every single day. But also a purpose where there will always be so much more to be done A purpose where we can never get complacent and feel that we have achieved all that can be achieved. But also one where the incremental gains made either by one person at a time or on a larger scale, all matter. People matter. Emotions matter. These gains, regardless of how small, MATTER.
Fight for the dog (a poem for Jessica) you're going to have to fight to survive. don't fight for life - life isn't always what you hope for. fight for today. fight for the dog. fight for the hug with your sister. fight for the best burger you've ever tasted. fight for the first time you see the view from the mountains of Brazil. fight for the moment you realise you're in love. fight for the full moon on a warm night. fight for tired feet at the end of a long day doing what you love. fight for the kids who shriek with delight when you walk in the room. fight for how great it feels to be kissed. fight for the first time you look into your baby's eyes, for when he curls his chubby fist around your finger. don't fight because people tell you death is a bad idea - right now, it might seem like a great idea - and don't leave because you want people to miss you - of course we'll miss you - fight because you can't let them win - the voices that scream for your surrender, and whisper promises of peace - they're lying. fight for the truth beneath the noise. because some days will be better and some days will be worse but every day is another page of a story worth fighting for.
SUICIDE Before I start this, I’d like to get a few disclaimers out of the way. First, I’m not a danger to myself or others. Please don’t take this that way. Second, I’m not doing this for attention, I’m doing it to raise awareness for mental health. I’ve found that being raw and real about my own struggles has helped others, so I do it for those who haven’t found their voice yet. Third, I know this will cause some of you to see me differently. I know, and I’ve accepted that. However, I ask that you don’t treat me as fragile. If you’ve got questions, ask. I’m an open book about this stuff. Now that that’s out of the way, here we go. Suicide. Killing yourself. That’s what I want to talk about. Specifically, how suicide relates to me. It’s a highly stigmatized topic, and humans tend to go one of two ways when confronted with it. We either ignore it, or treat it like a priceless china artifact, delicate and frail. This in turn continues a vicious cycle of people wanting to reach out, but not wanting to for fear of judgement and alienation. I’m safe, I’m not harming myself, but I’m suicidal. I’ve waged an internal war against depression and anxiety since I was medically discharged from the ADF in 1996. Twenty-one years of fighting an endless battle really does a number on the brain and the psyche, let me tell you. Being suicidal falls into a grey area. I could be having a proactive day, helping others that suffer, but suicidal thoughts will linger. Being suicidal is different than having suicidal ideation. It’s an actual feeling. It’s a dark cloud that is shrouding you, it’s anxiety and depression. Your drowning and there’s no air. And coming down from that feeling takes so long, you believe it’s impossible. These feelings aren’t reality though, I know I have things to live for, I know things will get better. I know my family and friends love me, and those who don’t like me, don’t matter. People with mental illness live in dark places with grey areas. Even on good days, it’s a buildup that comes in waves. These feelings are never truly gone. And I wish more than anything, that they would disappear. Every day may be hard, but it makes me stronger every day. By Steven Pardoe