Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month – A Creative and Personal Journey

Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month – A Creative and Personal Journey is what we have for you today. I decided to combine the two to create a beautiful layout of my son thus bringing National Scrapbooking Month and Mental Health Awareness together.

I suffer from depression….

as do others in our family. My son suffers from severe depression. He is one of the bravest, strongest and most amazing men I know. I am taking this time to share his story, with his permission, in hopes that even if it helps or educates just one person, it was worth it.

My son Christian is one of the most intelligent people I know and truthfully has been since he was 3 1/2 and reading at second grade level.

No, I am not kidding.

Amazing, right? In 4th grade he was officially diagnosed with ADHD (I also was and have the same) and we were both placed on medication. Christian was NEVER or EVER WILL BE a cookie cutter kid.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want him to be.

He is creative, authentic, sweet, caring, compassionate, loving, intelligent, funny, silly down to earth, sensitive and he suffers from severe depression. Sometimes, it hits him like a brick for no rhyme or reason, sometimes things can trigger his depression. The great news, he has a great team of doctors, family and real friends that truly love and care about him. They care about his well being, support him and most of all try to lift him up. These are important factors.

It is important who the company is that you keep.

Christian struggled with numerous issues as anyone in high school does. Specifically, where does he fit in. He decided it was easier for him to create a persona who everyone thought he should be than to be OK with who he is. He didn’t think anything he was or would pretend to be would ever be good enough so this didn’t help either.

Insecurities in high school.

Pretty common but they don’t effect everyone the same way. This is when the depression became more and more apparent. Instead of dealing with his feelings, he chose to stuff them which turned to even worse depression. He then chose to use substances to ease the pain he was feeling. This didn’t help, it just exacerbated the problem and prolonged a solution.

There were a few incidents that happened that really opened our eyes to how large of a problem it was.

Sadly, the new normal kept changing and by the time we realized how bad it had gotten, it was obvious that there had to be action taken.  Little did I know it saved his life. Somehow, someway, Jon and I were strong enough to make the hard decisions and do what we thought was best.  As parents, you never know but Christian himself has said that it saved his life and he is grateful.

HE WAS NOT AT THE TIME.

He went through rehab and IOP (Intensive Outpatient Therapy) as well as going to see his doctors regularly. Between that, talking to peers in the same situation, opening up and working on him and how to process his emotions in a healthy way, he continues to be a beautiful work in progress. Just like the rest of us. He also LOVES comedy. The more inappropriate, the better. Yep… APPLE doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?

Christian suffers from severe depression. Period.

This is part of who he is and that is OK. It is part of who I am too. Still OK. Christian now uses the tools from his therapy and is more vocal about what he is feeling.

Although it may be difficult for me as a Mom or anyone for that matter, to hear that your child is having intrusive thoughts.

It is the HEARING of these comments come out of his mouth versus when my husband had to pull a belt off of his neck that is BEAUTIFUL MUSIC TO MY EARS as you can imagine. Mental illness and mental disorders are no joke.

They are not to be taken lightly.

It does help to get therapy and a good medical team to help you with a great treatment plan. If you think something is wrong with you, a loved one or you have concerns, ask questions. SEEK HELP. Offer support, give a hug, lend an ear, You never know how much that could mean to someone. It could change their life forever or even save it entirely.

Below is a picture and post that Christian shared on Instagram in 2017. I shared it on my IG page a few times as well but in case you don’t have Instagram, I copied it here.

acreativejourneywithmelissa

Depression and anxiety are all very personal mental disorders . Everyone says: “If you need anything, don’t hesitate, I’ll be there for you. ” What they don’t understand is one in that situation probably won’t ask. Below is a look into my son Christian’s story. It’s about as raw and vulnerable as it gets. If you feel compelled, share your story in the comments. Feel free to repost this. Keep this going and reach out. As Christian has said, even if it helps just one person, it’s worth it. ❤ Shared from my son Christian’s Instagram post with his and my husbands blessing, of course. David would have been 54 in November.  He and Jon Mueller were only 18 months apart. He passed away December 24, 1984. Suicide effects everyone. Even people you haven’t met yet. ❤

#ACJwM #suicideprevention#youAREworthit #depressionisreal#talktosomeone #gethelp  

In Christian’s words…..

❤ This right here is my uncle’s band jacket from high school. it smells like moth balls like crazy but I don’t care. wearing it now just kinda makes me think about things. like, what if I had gone out how he did? what if I had succeeded when I tried to? I had always thought that it wouldn’t matter back in the day. like everyone would be relieved and not distraught, like it’d be a weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders and not more weight added on. but looking at all the pain and heartbreak it caused my family, and even the sadness it causes me, realizing I’ll never get to meet the man my father had so many great times with growing up, I now realize that I’m seeing it from the other side and that everything I thought before was absolute horseshit.

when you’re stuck down in that hole for so long, you can’t see anything but the carvings you made on the walls. all you listen to is the thoughts in your head telling you you’re not worth shit, you’re a burden to everyone, you won’t be missed when you’re gone.

I realize now that it’s all bullshit, every last bit of it is complete and utter bullshit. you are loved, and you do matter, more than you realize. and you will be missed, by everyone, even those who aren’t even alive yet. ❤

NOW, are you ready to get creative and celebrate Mental Health Awareness and National Scrapbooking Month? Let’s do this!

Supplies Needed for the Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month – A Creative and Personal Journey Creation

A Creative Journey with Melissa Awareness Ribbon Set #1 Stamp Set

Acrylic Stamp Block

Black Ink

Journaling Pen

5 x 7 Picture

2 wallet sized pictures

Mat for Picture

Secondary Mat for picture

Adhesive

Dark Blue Ribbon

12″ x 12″ Decorative Scrapbook Paper

This is the paper I chose for this layout. I really love the texture and color palette for the Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month – A Creative and Personal Journey Project.

Take out your ink, stamp block and paper to stamp on. Place the stamps on your stamping block.

Stamp your sentiments onto your paper for your Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month Project.

Cut out your words. I purposely did not cut my words perfectly straight. I wanted to have them be a little bit imperfect.

Using your journaling pen, draw a rectangle around the stamped sentiment for your Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month Project.

When I printed my pictures, I printed them on card stock not photo paper. I love the texture and how they blended better with the picture.

*Photos Courtesy of Giovanna Fernandez

Adhere your white paper to the back of your 5 x 7″ picture. Place adhesive on the back of the white matted paper and adhere it to the blue paper.

Take out your wallet photos. Place the two pictures on the right side of the photo. Be sure not to line them up. It’s part of the aesthetic of the creation.

Apply adhesive to the back of the ribbon.

Place the ribbon with the adhesive side down ensuring it is lined up.  Press the ribbon firmly down on your ribbon.

Apply adhesive to the back of the words.

Adhere the words along the ribbon strip. There is no particular order or shape that is cut.

WE FINISHED IT! How awesome is this?!

Now for this weeks giveaway! I am giving away a $15 store credit to our store to help you get creative!! It was so popular, we decided to do it again!

Be SURE you are a subscriber to our YouTube channel and to our Blog/E-mail list and make sure your names are matching so I can verify you are subscribed to both to enable you to be eligible to win! Winners announced next week so be sure and check back! Winners will be announced next week on our Mondays with Melissa blog post!

BE SURE TO check to see if you are a winner EVERY WEEK. If you do not contact me within two weeks, you forfeit your prize. Thank you for your understanding.

Now for last weeks giveaway! I am giving away a $15.00 store credit to our store!!

The winner is DAWN !!!

Winner, please send me your contact information via contact page on our website, which post you are a winner from and I will get your prize out to you! Thank you so much for being a YouTube follower and subscribing to our mailing list/blog posts!

Thank you for joining us for the Mental Health Awareness & National Scrapbooking Month – A Creative and Personal Journey Project. CHECK BACK NEXT WEEK TO SEE IF YOU ARE A WINNER!

Have a wonderful week and thank you for going on A Personal AND A Creative Journey with Melissa.