So incase you have been living under a rock there is this viral thing going around on the interwebs that past few weeks. it’s an Ice Bucket challenge for ALS. It’s pretty simple you video yourself having a bucket of ice water dumped on your head or you give $100 to ALS. Pretty simple and not something I am choosing to engage in. There are several reasons but one big one is I choose not to.
In our house we donate money in places where we feel it is needed. Places that are not already getting thousands and millions of dollars. I’m going to donate to a cause that I can see my dollars and time directly benefiting. So where have we donated some money?
Before we go there little disclaimer. I’m not telling you this to get a gold star. This is our life and our choice. You can put your money where you feel it is best used. If that is ALS, then great love, all the power to you.
We have donated to a group that is working to bring cuddle cots to our local maternity ward. You can check their Facebook group here. Cuddle cots help families who have experienced a loss of a newborn be able to spend a few moments together. With donating to this I know I am literally buying time for a family. We also donate to our local food bank, which will feed our community, our neighbours.
We choose to take our money and help where we can really help people. Yes, these big charities can help find cures or at least treatments for nasty awful diseases, but that is in the future. Right now I can help someone by sending my dollars where they are really needed, today.
So no I won’t dump ice water on my head or donate to ALS. While You may enjoy it I have no desire to perpetuate this. While I may not be popular, and a bit of a party pooper that is how it is.
Be aware this may not garner a bunch of Facebook likes, but hey that wasn’t really what we were going for, right?
Did you ever go to summer camp? My first time was when I was 13. I spent most of my youth going between parents homes in my summers and camping. But as a child I never went to summer camp. This year after much discussion and pondering, we decided that Damian could go to camp. He will be 8 this year and we found a camp that a friend of mine had been attending her whole life. Plus she was going to be there the week that D was able to go so he would have a familiar face. ( and someone for mommy to check in with, on stealth mode)
The camp he went to was a small non denominational Christian based camp. Both of these things were important to us. It is a small camp with a great staff to camper ratio, 1:3. They keeps the kids so busy with activities, theme nights and lots of personal building. The have a chapel time where they can keep things focused on the saviour, but not too much that the kids are bored with it. Activities include archery, rock climbing, skateboarding. They have a challenge rope course, they do drama times, campfires, water activities. I’m sure there is more that D didn’t tell me about that they did in his 6 days of extreme fun.
I loved when we picked him up that other staff members knew who he was and said bye to him by name. When I checked him out his cabin leader told me that he had some wonderful scripture based talks with Damian. It filled my heart with immense joy that I sent my son somewhere that he was loved and cared for, for the week. While I missed my biggest boy so much that week I know it really was a great choice for us to have sent him to camp.
This week the world was rocked by the death of Robin Williams. He was one of those actors that people just knew about. He was EPIC! I knew in memory in our house we have been watching his movies the past few night just bringing the laughter and remembering him and not focusing on his passing. That is what really had been what his family had requested. Remember the legacy, remember the man. I have seen many tributes to his name and most of them have been wonderful. I only say most because I’m sure I haven’t seen them all so there may very well be some bad ones out there.
This moment though I am going to discuss his death. It’s uncomfortable because it wasn’t natural causes. Robin Williams committed suicide. The funny man of the world made a choice and ended his life prematurely. This fact alone has lead some people to use his death for the normal everyday anti suicide/ depression propaganda.
Propaganda, you say?!?! No one wants anyone to ever decide to take their life. We are having people here. Knowing that they can reach out. Telling them that it is okay to talk to some one. Bullocks, is what I say on you.
If you have ever been in that dark place that is depression you might understand what it feels like to want to end your life. Depression is not just something that can be fixed by sitting down and telling someone how your day is going. Depression isn’t just one thing. Most times it is together with other mental illness. Often anxiety, angrophobia, food addiction and substance abuse, pair up with this dark monster. At times when people are telling you to reach out, often you just want them to go away. Them telling you that you need help, doesn’t feel like it comes from a place of concern but a place of judgement.
What most people don’t understand is depression isn’t just a one day or few week thing that is instantly fixed but a good chat with a friend. Depression, true real depression is a debilitating force that crushes your very soul. It is a weight on your chest feels like it crushed your last breath with every thought of how you are once again a failure. I really want people to understand how different depression is from feeling sad or having a bad day.
So really what I am trying to get at is telling someone who is experiencing sever mental trouble and you are concerned about them. Stop telling them to seek help and get it for them. Be there be a force in their lives that not only shows that you care but that you are consistent. When you are dealing with this at times having someone consistent can be a saving grace. Stop telling someone that you will be there and actually BE there. If you are worried that someone you know may commit suicide, be there. Actually be there. The onus is on you, that other person is suffering and is not capable of rational decisions.