It’s difficult to write when you are so stunned you are speechless. I am dumbfounded. My body has taken a hiatus from functioning and my brain feels fuzzy. I may be bordering on a state of shock. I will even go so far as to say that I feel slightly dissociated.
My entire state of consciousness has just been altered by a random act of kindness from a Twitter follower with whom I have never had direct contact until yesterday when she emailed me to inform me that she had provided a link to my site on hers. Upon visiting https://www.ptsdwifey.com, I was thrilled to see that it was legitimate, and I especially appreciated the post “PTSD Talk Therapy – New Studies on CBT” https://ptsdwifey.com/ptsd-talk-therapy. Even as I type these words, I still see those of PTSD Wifey commenting on my blog entry for May, “Forget Facts & Figures: The Founder of TreasureLives Gets Personal.” bit.ly/2_TLs_Blog_Personal.
“Guess what?! I nominated you, Melody, for Best Blogger Recognition Award 2017! I really enjoy several different sections of your blog, especially the ‘Suicide Prevention Signs to look out for’. Good luck and keep up the excellent work.”
Me? Nominated? For an award? For writing about me? While my previous posts have been academic in nature, this time I make myself vulnerable: I discuss my own battles with physical and mental health conditions, my response to my brother’s suicide, and my thoughts and feelings regarding maintaining relationships with those struggling with chronic illnesses…and this nomination came via this particular post! Amazing!
Thank you, PTSD Wifey! This could not have come at a better time. TreasureLives, a 7 -month young organization, has been working with the Secretary of State’s Office in California to transition to non-profit status (as opposed to taking the traditional route outlined by the government which is to start from scratch.) Just 6 days ago, I received an approved copy of our Restated Articles of Incorporation, which is essentially the green light. This nomination for the 2017 Best Blogger Recognition Award in and of itself will bring much-needed publicity to our site as we strive to meet the financial obligations of the filing fees and to serve the public. PTSD Wifey, I promise you will never find a more grateful nominee.
What is the story behind TreasureLives? Believe it or not, it began as an eBay store! My response to the suicide of my brother, Jonathan Lazarus, was to open Lazarus Treasures. Sellers donated a percentage of their profits to The Yellow Ribbon Suicide Prevention Program. Wanting to do more, I incorporated TreasureLives. TreasureLives’ mission is to educate the public about suicide prevention and mental health. We have a YouTube channel which broadcasts memorials of lives lost to suicide as well as testimonies of lives saved. We recently created a group on Facebook for Survivors of Suicide Attempts at bit.ly/TLs_FB_SSA. Our goals for the future include the writing and distribution of a mental wellness curriculum that extends from kindergarten through college and mental health advocacy for veterans, seniors, and those with disabilities. If you visit our homepage at bit.ly/TreasureLives, you will access statistical information about suicide, an extensive resource page, and an online store. You will also find “A Dozen Ways to Donate” and see how you can be part of our Wall of Heroic Volunteers. To view the Wall, please visit bit.ly/TLs_Heroes.
Being a newbie myself, my main piece of advice to new bloggers is to beware of expectations – be they positive or negative. You never know who will come forward to support you, who will follow through and who will not. Silence can be deafening: Don’t let it drag you down. My second piece of advice is to remember that silence isn’t always silence. Remember that the absence of comments is not evidence that your words haven’t touched anyone. As much as I want to support my fellow bloggers, I do not subscribe to or comment on every blog I read, and that is true of the general public.
I am deeply appreciative of this “nomination” and in turn, have nominated 15 other bloggers. My understanding is that we are all winners and we are giving each other trophies by publishing links to each other on our blogs. I did a little digging to find these gems which are unique in their own ways, and I had my own variety of personal reasons for choosing them. Thank you all for sharing your knowledge, research, and experiences. I am honored to be listed among you. Congratulations, Everyone!
1. Deb for “Living in Stigma: Mental Illness Stigma & Living in Chronic Pain” https://cherished79.com/
2. Finn for “My Exploding Head: A Journey Towards Happiness with Depression, Autism, and Lots of Chocolate” https://myexplodingheadblog.wordpress.com/
3. Fiona for “Fiona Likes to Blog: Depression – Anxiety – Other Stuff” https://fionalikestoblog.com Post: 4. Kirsten Taylor for “Mental Health Blog: Experiences Raising a Mum Raising a Teenager with Bipolar, Anxiety, & PTSD” http://familyfurore.com
5. Kel J. for “Anxious Lass: Living with Social Anxiety Disorder & Chronic Illness” www.anxiouslass.com
6. Dr. Smith for “Stephanie Smith, Psychologist” http://www.drstephaniesmith.com
7. HealthyPlace for your Mental Health for “Building Self Esteem” https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/
8. Abbie for “Searching for a Stronger Me” https://searchingforastrongerme.wordpress.com
9. Rose for “Digital Escape” http://deadfear24.blogspot.co.uk/
10. The Turtle-Crazy Kid for “The Turtle of Happiness.” https://turtleofhappiness.wordpress.com/
11. Time Goes By: What It’s Really Like to Get Old http://www.timegoesby.net
12. Erin for “Daisies and Bruises” http://daisiesandbruises.com/
13. Melanie for “Clinical Techniques for Children’s Mental Health” https://kids-mental-health.blogspot.com
14. “GoodTherapy.org: Helping People Find Therapists. Advocating for Ethical Therapy” http://www.goodtherapy.org
15. J. for “Life Was Once Brilliant” https://lifewasoncebrilliant.blogspot.com
*To the fabulous fifteen bloggers above: I sincerely apologize if any of you felt mislead by being “nominated” for this “award.” As soon as I came to understand what it is in fact, I started putting those words in quotes. This is not an actual contest. There is no voting: It is a time-honored tradition of lifting each other up by giving each other some exposure…which is definitely worth doing, and we are ALL winners! With one or two exceptions, my “nominees” are relatively unknown. To make the most of this project, I sought you out. I would like to encourage you to do the same. Instead of “nominating” people from a List of Top Bloggers, find some jewels out there who could use a boost.
What should you do now?
d. A list 15 bloggers you are “nominating” for the “award” with links to their blogs
Thank you for your participation! ~ Melody