TAKE ON Mental Illness Reflections

Take On Mental Illness on November 7th came up fast but I was prepared. The day went so very well. We talked about timely intervention, the right medication, supportive people, a reason to hope, a reason to be well, and having something important to do which are the ingredients in my recipe for success.
Recovery is apparent to me when I can plan an event and get the support I need to pull it together. I had three guest educators including my husband Wade,my mentor Fay, and Erika a neuroscientist and a fantastic emcee Patricia Morgan. Friends Michelle and Shannon were on hand to help out as well. The audience was made up of peers, caregivers and advocates who gave me great feedback. It was a great day.
I am so humbled by the people who have come along side of me and have helped me. You know who you are. Thank you for believing in me and what I am trying to do which is give a message of hope that recovery is possible. People with mental illness are great people (who happen to have something awry in the wiring of their brains which does not change the fact they are great people). Even in the time I have been doing this work attitudes are changing for the better.



An event for those living with a mental illness, their family members, caregivers, front line workers, professionals and those interested in this issue.

Typically, those who live with a mental illness struggle with daily living. We often feel distressed, anxious and disoriented. Meanwhile, those who care for us may not understand nor know how to provide appropriate and effective support.

Join us and walk away with:
1. Tips to cope and thrive
2. Current neuroscience information in relation to those affected by mental illness
3. Understanding of a variety of mental illnesses
4. Stories of hope
5. Seven steps for a Recipe for Success

When: Saturday, 7 November 2015, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM (MST)
Where: First Alliance Church, 12345 40 St SE, Calgary, AB T2Z 4E6
Fee: $49preregister $55 at the door

Register at www.tinyurl.com/bmheventbrite

For more information call Elizabeth at 403-271-0707

Note: Light lunch included *(not gluten/allergen free)* If you have dietary restrictions it is advised you bring your own bag lunch.

Presenters: Mental health advocate, Elizabeth Anderson; psychology graduate, Erika York, who majored in neuroscience; caregivers, Wade Anderson and Fay Herrick; and MC, Patricia Morgan of Solutions for Resilience.


I am sitting in my living room and I realize I have schizophrenia, a terrible disorganizing brain disease. Wow. There is still another layer of acceptance. Acceptance is important because it brings peace and the opportunity to see new paths. I want more. As soon as I accept another layer of something I see new things on the horizon. I want to realize my potential and realize my business potential. I can continue to reach for that potential because I can see a new path. I am going to try today. I am going to see the new path and have the courage to take it.


I have come to the conclusion that having a mental illness is like wearing a new pair of shoes. At first you hate your new shoes (they are so uncomfortable and give you blisters) and then after a while they become more comfortable and then at some point you forget for long periods of time that you are even wearing shoes because feel like they have become a part of you.
The same process is present when you have a diagnosed mental illness. At first, there is range of emotions like dismay, despair and not wanting to have a mental illness. Then, after a while the diagnosis fits more comfortably and then you realize the diagnosis is not the whole of who you are. You can live with it and can go for long periods of time without the diagnosis being on your mind all the time because it has become a part of you.
The odd thing about it though is even though you have accepted it as much as you possibly can, another layer of dismay, despair and not wanting to have a mental illness can show up unannounced. This is what I have been experiencing for quite some time, all the while working on learning how to run a business and what to do.
Let me explain. I washing dishes while I had a friend over and I had many tasks to do that day. I had what I call “dominos”. Dominos is that childhood game that if you knock over one tile the rest will get knocked over too. I use this word to explain the overwhelming feeling that happens when in order to do one task there are many tasks that must be done in order to accomplish something. Take cleaning as an example, you must have bought cleaners, have rags or paper towel and rubber gloves. Then, you must have all the supplies, time and energy all the same time to accomplish this task. The dominos would be getting the cleaners and gloves from the store and finding the rags and then having the time and energy. Cleaning is a complex task if you really think about it.
I thought of all I had to do that day and the many dominos and started to cry. My friend said “What is wrong?” All I could say is “ I have schizophrenia…” I felt immediate relief. Trying to run away from the dismay, despair and not wanting to have a diagnosis I had been trying so hard for the illness not to interfere in my life that I was not acknowledging how it was affecting me. This turned out to be another layer of acceptance. (It helped me regroup and I just picked a couple of priorities to do that day).
Since that day, I realized I have not been in touch with you. I apologize. What I want is a sustainable business that is easy to track and fun to do that improves that lives of my friends and followers. Also, I want to help medical professionals better understand mental illness.
I plan to be better at keeping you informed about what I am doing and I am thinking up ways I can help you. So look out for my Ezine and other fun stuff coming soon.
If you have something specific you would like me to cover go to the contact page and leave me a note.
Thank you for following me and keep in touch!