She was brilliant. Could pull countless facts at the drop of a hat, details about obscure topics, pop culture or even high school science, without blinking an eye.
She had the memory of an elephant. She could tell you what she was wearing on her first birthday. What it felt like on her first day of school.
She was an incredible mom. Her son knew his colors and shapes and much more by age 2, because it was important to her to teach him. To read to him. To love him.
She was a caring friend, daughter, sister, cousin. All she ever wanted was to be loved and love in return.
And she had mental illness.
She lost her battle December 25, 2010 to suicide.
This blog Motherhood Unadorned was directly inspired by her.
Her death brought my own mental illness to the forefront once again. It touched my soul in deep and meaningful ways.
She became my muse to start writing about my own experiences with chronic mental illness, PPD and suicidal thoughts.
She inspired me to tackle the often taboo topics that I have chosen to address on this site. A way to remove the stigma of mental illness. To fight for suicide prevention. To help other women (and men) feel not so very alone in all of their parenting challenges and success.
Since January of 2011 I have written the words that in my heart I know she was also desperate to say. That it sucks to feel alone in your head. That this life can be overwhelming. But even more so with mental illness.
Her name was Dina. We had been friends since we were 13 years old. 24 years later, our group of girls is still very close. In fact, we do annual reunions as a group.
This summer one of us will be missing.
Please. If you are feeling depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, out of control. Ask for help. You are NOT alone and you ARE loved.
I write in honor of a dear friend lost too soon. I’m Blogging for Mental Health.