2013 Mental Health Hero Cartoon-A-Thon
Drawing by Chato Stewart
My name is Chris Dean. I’m married to an awesome guy who swears he doesn’t mind putting up with me. We have four adult-kids who are surprisingly functional, considering they grew up with me as their Mom.
We all live in the Hoosier State surrounded by the petting zoo I have systematically managed to turn our home and yard into. (Cats, dogs, chickens, Muscovy ducks, geese, and one turkey who thinks she’s a dog.)
I am a middle-aged class clown, world-class music junkie with a SERIOUS i-Tunes addiction, read non-stop, write a health and humor blog (Life Your Way! http://www.pixiecd.com
), “doodle” on a cartoon blog (Totally Random Shuffle http://www.totallyrandomshuffle.com
), and (according to hubby)
don’t have hobbies, I have revolving obsessions.
In early 2011 I began contending with an odd assortment of symptoms. Like any “normal” gal, I made an appointment with the Doc, assuming they had all the answers. What I found instead was a seemingly never-ending line of tests and guesses about what the problem was.
Even though I started writing as a way to help myself and others deal with the uncertainties and ups-and-downs of the diagnostic process, it’s morphed into a way to help others who are living with chronic illnesses of any kind remember to laugh.
I have Unspecified Mixed Connective Tissue Disease and Fibromyalgia (the latest in a long line of revolving diagnoses…) although I prefer to call it “Bob” since it’s much less of a mouthful and sounds far less contagious. (It also tends to keep conversations with strangers shorter because if they look confused, I am MORE than happy to fill in the details.) I also live with Dysthymia, Panic Disorder with Moderate Agoraphobia, and Borderline Personality Disorder.
In the beginning I had absolutely NO intention of writing about my mental glitches. Somewhere along the way it became apparent that far too many people live with Mental Illnesses and do everything they can to hide it. (And I was one of them for far too many years!) That kinda changed my mind.
I believe it’s important to talk about mental health because silence feeds stigma and shame. No one should ever have to feel ashamed of any part of who themselves. So stigma, ignorance, and fear are some of the things I’d LOVE to see gone for good.
I’m a firm believer that EVERYONE should be an educated, empowered patient working WITH their Docs, as we are each and every one of us responsible for our own health, be it mental or physical.
In my spare time I strive for World Media Domination for purely altruistic reasons, of course. For instance, I hope to one day open a National Chain of “Medical Mystery” Clubs. Or sponsor my Dream Home-of-Cures. Until then, I just keep doin’ what I do while poking fun at life in general.
When she’s not annoying her family, you can find her on
FreeCounselingHelp.com is America’s only directory connecting people with affordable counseling. There are thousands of non-profit agencies within America that are available to help those with limited means. FreeCounselingHelp.com allows people to quickly search by ZIP code and find the best fit for their mental health needs.
Mentalympians is a mental health community development initiative to raise awareness of mental health recovery, inspire hope, reduce self-stigma, foster recovery and also connect individuals who are interested in campaigning for mental health reform.
I would like to thank Enzymedica’s Tom Bohager for his support. Enzymedica is Florida-based founded in 1998 to offer consumers targeted digestive enzymes products. Considered America’s #1 selling enzyme brand sold by health food store retailers. They also offer a FREE Digestive Enzyme interactive education program that is very helpful in learning the benefits enzymes have on our over all health. http://www.enzymedica.com/store/Digest-Gold
NLP Center is an International NLP Training Center offering unique, online NLP training. Our personalized one-on-one NLP certification program and NLP inspired personal development courses are paving the way toward the future of NLP training http://inlpcenter.org
Thanks to my wife Joan Winifred for her care, compassion and being my partner in wellness for the past 21 years. The Family Stew is about our family
View previous Newsletters.
Bonus My kids’ Drawings:
Sweet Pea 11 * Sweet Pea 11
Precious 10 *Precious 10
Belly 7*Belly 7