October’s Featured Blogger: Looking for the Light

Our featured blogger for October is blogger, artist and mental health advocate, Melinda Sandor of the Looking for the Light Blog.

Melinda is also the driving force behind SURVIVORS BLOG HERE, a collaborative of online mental health advocates who write and make art.

If you have questions about in joining the Survivors Blog, send a tweet to @SurvivorsBlog2.

Digital painting of a bridgr in muted tones by Melinda Sandor
Harbor Bridge by Melinda Sandor

When did you decide to start your blog?

I started my first blog, Defining Memories, in 2005 when my Granny had a stroke. Defining Memories was an outlet for the pain and frustration of caring for my grandmother.

Why did you name your blog the ‘Looking for the Light Blog’?

I wanted to find me. I have a psychiatric diagnosis, heart disease and for the last four years Chronic Lyme disease. To move beyond illness I decided to write about other topics. I am good at research and learning, so I started the ‘Looking for the Light’ blog.

Was the decision to be open about your history of abuse a difficult decision to make?

Writing about the trauma that caused my mental health problems is not painful. The response from other bloggers was amazing; I think sharing my worst moments might help someone else to hang on another day.

Do you see some of the stigma surrounding mental illness beginning to lift?

 In 1941, John F. Kennedy’s sister Rosemary suffered from an agitated depression. The procedure used to control her outburst was a Prefrontal Lobotomy. The surgery went wrong. At the age of 23, Rosemary was institutionalized. Her father never acknowledged her mental illness; she was called retarded. Today the stigma continues. Too many people see the fiction in movies as the truth. I want to scream when someone refers to ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. People believe what their fed. I was scared of my first ECT treatment but not because a movie but because it was the first time. I have since had 22 ECT Treatments and can say each one was essential to my health. Am I going to cry why me, or blame or question God? No. I have to use the treatments that work and do my best.

A digital painting of a purple blossom
Flowers by Melinda Sandor

Is there a political dimension to your blog?

The ‘Looking for the Light’ blog is about education and advocacy. I get angry when politicians make uninformed decision that hurt people.

What advice do you have for bloggers who write about mental illness and trauma?

Write about what you know and be comforting. Most of us are not professionals so don’t tell people what to do but guide them to good sources of information. The best way to help others is to work on yourself, and avoid platitudes. The Sun will come out but not every day.   

Tell us a little about The Survivor’s Here.

The ‘Survivors Blog Here’ was born of frustration.  I believe in consistent focus on ones mission. I decided to turn the Survivor’s Blog Here into a group effort and invited other mental health bloggers who seemed to share the sense of mission to the group.

Thank you Melinda!

A Photograph of a lounger in front of full bookshelves
Melinda’s Study by Melinda Sandor

Looking For The Light Blog

Survivors Blog Here

All images (c) Melinda Sandor All Rights Reserved

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Scapegoating Children in a Calculated Ploy to Win Votes is Child Abuse.

In January 2014, the California GOP made a calculated decision to target trans students in a ballot measure to overturn new protections for California’s transgender students.

The California Referendum on AB 1266, Transgender Student Participation Based on Gender Identity (2014)  did not make it to the ballot but that didn’t stop the GOP from scapegoating trans people to win votes in the 2016 election.

The RNC made a strategic decision to start a new culture war over the rights
and humanity of an estimated 700,000 transgender Americans.

The result is Trump’s ban on trans people in the military.

This cynical intrusion of the lives of innocent Americans is already
unacceptable.

But to start by using the children of California is repugnant.

If you agree with me, please call your GOP reps and tell them to stop toying
with the lives of innocent people.

Tell them you want policies, not scapegoats!

 

Speed Dial Congress 202-224-3121
Speed Dial Congress

 

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved

Congressional Switchboard Graphic found on Twitter.

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Racism, Violence, Sexism, Exclusion, Fear

Trauma symptoms were crippling this week; I think I’ve lost three
or four days.

Trump and the Trump/Putin attempt to re-institutionalize blatant
racism and homophobia in the United States is driving me crazy.

A brutal history of cruelty and hate has marched into the present
and demanded control of our lives.

A young woman is dead because our President incites violence.

White Supremacists will kill our democracy to preserve a heritage
of spilling innocent blood.

I am living proof of the life long damage bigots inflict on the children
of the people they target.

You can do something now to stop the abuse of a child:

Say no to racism!

Say no to fascism!

RefuseFascism.org

 

Seven things I wish people knew about mental illness found on Pinterest
Seven things I wish people knew about mental illness – found on Pinterest.

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