http://www.worldwideshop.store/krgilman

Blogging for Therapy

A Fractal Life



A daughter's fight for life against Bipolar Disorder
and Stage 4 Cancer: A mother's perspective.





Mixed Media



My experiences have taught me that life is in may ways like Artistic Mixed Media. (The Mask below are examples of glue-line resist and pastels.) All of these different elements combine to become something you always hope will turn out for the best. As in all things life related, sometimes things work out and sometimes they don't. When they do, everything is awesome. When they don't its best to start again and not let it stress you out. Learning a few coping strategies and being open to taking a few risks can payoff in the long run, if you don't mind and can accept a few disappointments along the way.

I created these masks early on like the one below while still in school at UT Austin. Why people tend to put on masks has always been a question I have often considered. Even though, I myself, am just as guilty as the next person. Why do we think it is necessary? All of us have done it at some point in our lives. Most especially in the Mental Health arena where people put on masks so others don't know they have a mental illness.





My daughter had problems with self-stigma and also with not wanting anyone to know about her cancer. She cut off most of the people in her life, stopped answering her phone, stopped going on Face Book, stayed home a lot either in her room or on the couch watching reality TV shows. Excepting the times when she became manic and felt better she would go out to visit, but still would tell very few people of her illnesses.

Many Mental Health consumers are afraid to come out of their Mental Health Closet. They wear masks to protect them from the stigma that surrounds us. Few of us have found the courage to raise their heads and say "I have a mental illness." People tend to hide their diagnoses while wallowing in self-pity and fear, constantly ruminating on how unfair life can be, while labeling themselves or others as their mental illness: I'm Bipolar. I'm Schizophrenic...etc.

Motivation too is problematic when it comes to mental health issues. It's as if 'Why Me?" gets stamped to our foreheads, while we look to others for help and do nothing to help ourselves. People with mental illness feel the world owes them something because they are suffering. It takes a while to understand that acceptance and self-responsibility are essential elements to wellness. It's easy to stay stuck and identify ourselves as our mental illness, like "Hi, I'm bipolar." or "What's going on, I'm depressed." This is frustrating for me because I've been there and I know others can succeed in their recovery if they just put forth the effort. Life's lessons can hurt. We are supposed to learn by our experiences in order to grow, and become stronger because of them.



Kathleen Ramey-Gilman, MS, CRC



703 Southoak Dr .Athens, TX 75751
krgilman1@fractal-life.com



A natural approach to health.



I offer free consultations. Give me a call