Writings from the Mother of Bipolar Bandit Part 8: A Mental Health Advocate Lives On

mom gazeboIt has been so hard to write this blog as it is just another way that it confirms  my mom is only in my heart and mind from this point forward.  I will no longer be able to email her, call her, or see her when I need encouragement and advice.

My mom, one of the best advocates I know for mental illness died November 16th. It is still hard to say or think. It does not even seem like reality yet.

She  blogged in hopes that other parents could learn from her mistakes and be encouraged when their children are struggling with mental illness.

She was my mental health advocate for over 25 years after I was first diagnosed and also advocated for others afflicted by mental illness who she did not even know. When she saw injustice, she was ready to fight for the rights of those with bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses.

She also helped by giving input to local meetings that dealt with mental health and often voiced her opinions and even got upset enough to try and do something about some things. She encouraged and was proud of me when I wrote letters to the editor regarding mental illness and they got published.

She tried to help my friends and family understand my illness so they could help and accept me.

She helped  me organize an event called Embrace Life Day last year in honor of mental illness awareness week.  It was very successful and it could not have been done without her help.

It is a hard thing to say, but…Mom, I love you and will miss you always!  You are in my heart, but there is such a void that I don’t ever see being filled.

I know that all the work that you have done as a mental health advocate will not be done in vain. You tended to work behind the scenes when it came to helping others. You were humble and wanted no recognition. However, I want you to know that I recognized it and that is what really matters.

So many others have talked about your smile and how you have helped others by writing cards and jumping in when things needed to be done.  These are constant reminders of how great you are and will help to keep your legacy alive.

I started Random Acts of Kindness in her name.

Twitter @givenot2receive

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Please check them  out. 

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About Michelle Clark Bipolar Bandit

I am a strong advocate for the mentally ill and have been since I was first approached by a lawyer in a psychiatric facility as a teenager. He wanted me to help him fight how the mentally ill are mistreated. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 17 after a full blown manic episode. Before that, I suffered from debilitating depression for 4 years. My goals are to help others by sharing my story and providing tips to deal with mania and depression. I often write blogs related to advocating for people like myself. I want to encourage, inspire, and educate those with #bipolar disorder and other mental illnesses and also include inspirational #quotes. I founded the group Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses and the page Mental Health Advocates United and have several social media sites that are related to bipolar disorder and/or advocacy. If you are an advocate or would like to be, I hope you join our FB group: Advocates for People with Mental Illnesses
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