Why Does Bringing Awareness to & Talking About Mental illness Matter To Me?

Well over two months ago, Awarecause reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in sharing my story for a cause that was important to me. I was really surprised that they reached out to me and also really excited to take part.

I agreed to share and they sent me a promo code to purchase a necklace at a discounted price and I got it two days later. I wear my #Awarecause necklace nearly every day and as I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, I thought I’d share a longer post about it.

I was originally going to pick a pink AWARE necklace for two women in my life that I have lost to breast cancer and talk about them, but as it was meant to be a personal “your story,” I decided to purchase the mental illness AWARE necklace instead. Just that category alone is compacted with so many different variables, but I try to stick to the two that have affected me throughout my life and I hope other readers are able to connect with it as well.

I see my story as being very interconnected with so many different points of my life that it is kind of hard to pinpoint just one thing that I associate with the importance of mental illness. As a detail-oriented person and essentially a type-A personality, I am known to others as being a self-starter and so internally driven that not much of anything will leave a dent or cause me, for even a second, to slow down.

But that’s not the case—I do not think that it can be like that with anyone, ever. I am the oldest in my family, so on top of natural pressure that leaves on me to work hard, be a role model and this spearheaded, pristine example, I face my ups and my downs.

What most people may not know about me is that every day I live/fight with and adjust to a physical disability that I was born with. I can walk but my disability has its limitations, and sometimes I have worse days than others to simply make it downstairs to walk my dog but I power through it. Keeping my mental state stronger, more determined, committed and progressive over my legs and body being in so pain and discomfort that I can’t really move around is a constant struggle.

All my life it has caused me to go through such overwhelming bouts of anxiety and depression, especially when I was younger and in school. Seen as the petite girl who walked funny or was occasionally walking half the day and in a wheelchair for the rest. While I know that being handicap(able) will always have its ups and down, I also know that it shouldn’t and cannot prevent me from doing everything I set my mind on.

But not every day has been filled with unwavering gumption, assurance, and confidence. Even though I am older now, those thoughts and feelings can still weigh on my mind. I’m more fortunate than others who lose that fight every day which is another reason why I think it’s important to continue to raise awareness and bring attention to anxiety, depression, and all other forms of mental illness.

Thank you so much for stopping by and viewing this post. And huge thank you to Awarecause for reaching out and asking me to share.

 

 

 

Until the next post,
Gia J

Yeled Tov by: Daniel M. Jaffe | Book Review

 

Yeled Tov by: Daniel M. Jaffe

Genre:YA, Coming of age, mental illness, LGBT, Religion

Rating:4 stars

Release: April 18, 2018

Publisher: Lethe Press

Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis: As he’s about to turn 16 in the mid-1970’s, Jake Stein notices a prohibition in Leviticus that never caught his eye before:  “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.”  This discovery distresses Jake, an observant Jewish teen, because he’s recently been feeling increased attraction to other teen boys and men. He’s even been engaging in sexual exploration with his best friend.  In an attempt to distract himself, Jake joins his high school’s production of The Diary of Anne Frank, but falls in love with the romantic male lead, obsessively fantasizing about him.  Jake feels lonelier than ever.

The next year, while a freshman at Princeton University, Jake falls for his handsome roommate, is beset by serious temptations, and engages in a traumatic sexual encounter with a stranger.  Seeking help from God, Jake tries to alter his desires, even dates a young Jewish woman in the hopes that she can change him, but to no avail.   Jake concludes that God could never love an abomination like him, so he attempts to prove his faith by ending his own life.

After he’s saved by his roommate, Jake receives unexpected support from doctors, family, and friends, some of whom have been suspecting his secret.  With their help, Jake explores a different way of thinking about the rules of Torah and himself, and begins to consider that he might actually be a yeled tov, a good Jewish boy, just the way he is.

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Book Review: Fairytales For Lost Children By: Diriye Osman

Rating: 4.5 stars
Genre: Short Stories, Cultural/Somali, LGBTQ+ Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Folklore
Publisher: Team Angelica Publishing
Release Date: September 1, 2013
I Graciously Received A Copy Of This Book In Exchange For An Honest Review
Synopsis:
Fairytales For Lost Children” is narrated by people constantly on the verge of self-revelation. These characters – young, gay and lesbian Somalis – must navigate the complexities of family, identity and the immigrant experience as they tumble towards freedom. Using a unique idiom rooted in hip-hop, graphic illustrations, Arabic calligraphy and folklore studded with Kiswahili and Somali slang, these stories mark the arrival of a singular new voice in contemporary fiction

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Book Review: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

 

Eat, Pray, Love
By: Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: Autobiography, Spiritual, Travel, Non-Fiction, Adult Contemporary
Rating: 4.2 stars
Release: January 30th 2007

Goodreads | B&N | Amazon

Synopsis:

In her early thirties, Elizabeth Gilbert had everything a modern American woman was supposed to want–husband, country home, successful career–but instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she felt consumed by panic and confusion. This wise and rapturous book is the story of how she left behind all these outward marks of success, and of what she found in their place. Following a divorce and a crushing depression, Gilbert set out to examine three different aspects of her nature, set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and on the Indonesian island of Bali, a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence.

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