Enduring the maelstrom of mental illness usually portends a passage through certain stages. First is the catastrophy, with its shock and denial that overwhelms, confuses, and consumes. We superficially seek to normalize what is utterly abnormal, denying its magnitude, its misery, and its implications.
Then comes the coping, with its anger, guilt, and resentment, followed by reluctant recognition, acceptance, and grief. We incredulously blame the victim–blame someone!–and distance ourselves from the awful reality. We then invest our whole selves to address it in classic co-dependent fashion. Eventually we come, grudgingly, to recognize the new tragic reality, a cruel fate which brings us to grieve the loss of time, expectations, and dreams. We endure a chronic sorrow.
And then we emerge. With new understanding born of pain and acceptance born of suffering, we begin to see situations and shortfalls–so many of them!–desparately screaming for solutions. We know too much to abide the mediocre, miserly status quo. We see too many others flailing in the maelstrom. We resolve to act. We turn to advocacy.
PyschOdyssey.net is all about advocacy, especially for families caught in the maelstrom. By organizing, providing, and connecting to a host of resources, PsychOdyssey seeks to hearten, strengthen, and ultimately emboden families to advocate on behalf of their loved ones, and for all loved ones living with and through mental illness. PsychOdyssey is also engaged in specific advocacy projects, which it is our pleasure to describe and deliver in this new “Advocate…” section of our site. Mental health advocacy projects include: