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Surviving to Thriving.

Discharge Day was this week and I’ve never been happier to close a chapter of life than I am this one. We have a long road ahead, but this week we celebrate a big milestone. 2 {the middle child, 13} is ready to transition back to traditional school and into full outpatient aftercare. It’s an amazing accomplishment. D-day marked the 134th day of no self harm behavior. Yes, I will celebrate that day and everything this day means for our family, my threefold, defcon four, the sensational six and for our path forward.

It’s been a hard year. It’s been full of change, stress, hard times, hopelessness & mixed emotions. This year has also shown us that we can conquer all things together. We have amazing people on our side & I am so grateful for each person whether you offered a listening ear, a helping hand, a dollar, a prayer, good vibes, checked in or reached out. It’s been a uniquely challenging year. It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. However, we have gotten an education on mental health. We were given a choice to keep hiding in the darkness of shame and fear, hiding the truth of our challenges OR we could step out of that darkness and speak about what has been happening in our lives. I’m glad we chose the latter. That choice has allowed a little light and a lot of humanity to be placed on the struggles some face with mental illnesses and gave a voice to my threefold who have had a difficult time speaking on their feelings.

I was stunned to see how many people on my personal page had a child or grandchild who had a similar struggle they faced behind the closed doors of their homes. Then on my Facebook page for my threefold the messages, comments, and likes came pouring in after I wrote the raw piece about 2’s hospitalization . It’s lonely, hard, helpless and stressful to be the parent of a child with mental health issues and trauma when they go into crisis, then you add in more kids with mental illness, your own, and divorce. I’ve been living in between the rock and the hard place for some time now. I’ve tried to maintain a positive outlook, good attitude and not sink into the depths of depression and anxiety. I will be honest I’m human and I promise I have experienced every human emotion over these past few months.

I realized the why behind the stigma throughout this year as well. It’s not understood and it is often judged harshly. If you say it out loud it must be more for “attention” than reaching out for help. I ask you to educate yourself {and your children} if you have those negative thoughts about those of us who seek help not only professionally but also within the circle of friends. My threefold are only a few in millions of kids that suffer, they aren’t special in their diagnoses. They are unique because our family decided we needed more than just professional support. We needed personal support also. We received that support in many people near and far. We also got the criticism and judgements of other people, strangers, family, and friends. I am grateful for both. I now value my time and role more. I advocate better for my threefold now and I found that I’m not the only mom {chaos coordinator) that is going through a similar situation. I found people I never would have and learned things some may have not felt comfortable sharing. I’ve received a lot of support emotionally, financially, and physically this year. I’ve also changed my own outlook on mental health, mental illness, and began helping others who have reached out to me. I’ve been able to help people with navigating a divorce. I’ve helped people formulate a plan on leaving an abusive relationship. I’ve helped people with mental health struggles. I’ve been an ear for several people that are going through similar struggles. I haven’t been afforded the opportunity to touch people’s lives financially, but I definitely want to create that platform and make a difference in people’s lives. I personally know how financially draining the process is. Without the continued support of family and friends through our fundraising efforts we wouldn’t be where we are today, we wouldn’t be at discharge week.

I won’t let the critics take up space in my life or my energy. I choose today to celebrate 2’s discharge from her hospitalization. I will celebrate the 136 days we have like I did numbers 7, 14, 30, 45, 60 – and so on. Today I will celebrate her decision to fight for herself {to fight with me}. I celebrate the strength, courage, vulnerability, honesty, and faith it took her to commit to a better future. I celebrate going back to school. I celebrate the successful end of treatment that has been continuous since June 6th. I celebrate the hope we have for normalcy. I celebrate this day like it’s another birthday, because in some ways it is exactly that. My child in early June that I checked into an inpatient facility for suicidal thoughts, ideation and attempts is not the same child that I discharged from intensive crisis management. My child is much more than a list of complicated diagnoses and no longer broken down to the point of not seeing a future for herself. She was angry, she was impulsive, she was depressed, she was in a constant state of fear, and she was in pain. Today I picked up my little girl and she cried as we drove away from the facility, more than she did when she was admitted. She was happy to be headed back to a semblance of routine and typical teenage life. She is proud of herself. She finally sees a future. She sees the worth of her own life. She sees the payoff of 4 1/2 grueling months of hospitalization. She sees the path forward. That vision brought me to tears. The relief I felt in actually taking a breath and finally truly believing it’s going to be ok was magical.

Lastly, they may or may not read this but I’m going to do some shout outs…I know, cringeworthy. I don’t do short and sweet, but I’m going to try. {ha} E~my ppp {perky positivity peddler} my rock. You have kept me from losing all the sanity I have left this year. You’ve been the our biggest source of support and encouragement. You’ve picked me up off the floor and have drug me out of the dark place {kicking & screaming} more times than I can count. I know this hasn’t been easy, but I will never be able to express my appreciation, gratitude or my love for you. You were meant to be with me during this, I know it. I love you.

DEFCON Four- 1-you make me smile and are the most caring person I’ve ever known. You made me remember that there is still good. You’re a ray of sunshine that lights up the other people around you. I love you & I am proud of your growth & accomplishments this year. You are becoming a person who has the capability to do anything~better yet YOU finally are seeing that too. 3- my baby, you have made me learn patience. You have made me see things differently. You have challenged me. You’ve also made me realize that even though it’s tough we have to have fun. You make me remember what kind of mom I want to be. I see you my bug, and I see that you want to be the best you. You give it some time, and you’ll grown into it. Keep trying, everything will get better. I love you bug and I hope you always know that. BK {bonus kid} You crack me up! You kept me smiling and checked on me. You helped all the girls. You’re an amazing person. I’m honored to get to be a part of your life. I appreciate you making my threefold your family too. Youre an awesome and beautiful person. I love you. Last but not least 2. Oh my little love, you rocked my world this year and turned it upside down and inside out. You also made me find a strength I didn’t know was in me. I found my grind and my hustle. I found the true meaning of a mother’s love. You made me realize how much I need all of you. I realized that it was time for big changes. They came, ready or not. Your progress and fight has inspired me on many levels. You’re a bad ass. To see your transformation and your dedication to recovery will be a inspiration to all those around you. Thank you for taking the help you received. I am so proud of you. We aren’t threefold, defcon 4, the sensational six when there is a missing piece. This is a marathon not a sprint, but I know together all of us will continue to move forward and find healing.

To everyone who has helped, shared, prayed, commented message or reached out ~ THANK YOU! My girls and their strength is what has gotten me through my own hard times this year. We have all grown exponentially and we are all committed to working to be better each day. I am so proud of my girls and our family. The journey is far from over but we are happy to begin writing the next chapter and with that we hope we don’t only survive it, but we begin to thrive. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for everything you have done this year and your support moving forward to the future that these girls deserve. ☮️❤️😊~M

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