CaringBridge Website for Those on a Difficult Health Journey

I recently had a former coworker pass away from a rare disease. Before she passed, I found out about her illness through a website called CaringBridge. The website kept me updated on her condition, educated me about it and also allowed me to communicate with her and to assist her family financially during her health journey.

CaringBridge is made for those who are currently undergoing difficult health journeys. Their product is free—supported by donors. But sometimes, it can be hard to suggest CaringBridge to those who are in health journeys, simply because they can be hard to identify. 

They work with hospitals and healthcare systems to recommend CaringBridge to patients, but the best referrals always come from word of mouth. 

So here’s how you could help. Do you know anyone who currently could use CaringBridge? Would you be willing to tell them about it?

It would give them all the resources CaringBridge has—the Journal, the Planner, and the vital connections, comments, well wishes, and messages during this critical time. If you know someone, feel free to forward them this email. Here is a link you can send them to start a site and find more resources. 

<<Click here to learn more about CaringBridge.>>

www.CaringBridge.org

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Twill Care which can be found at https://care.twill.health.

IVF Blog You May Want to Follow

I have a friend currently going through IVF after experiencing many miscarriages over the years with no explanation. She is my age, 40 and I thought her blog might be interesting and/or helpful to some of my followers so here is the link below. She also has a Go Fund Me set up I have shared below, that I donate to every once in a while, when I can afford to if anyone else wants to donate.

https://idyllsofacadia.wordpress.com/

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Twill Care which can be found at https://care.twill.health.

My book is free on Kindle until end of day Tuesday and paperback now only $6 and hardback $12

My book is Free on Kindle until end of day Tuesday, June 28, 2022. This is a promotion Amazon allows me to do once every 3 months for 5 days so I will try to continue doing every 3 months. After that it will be only $2.99, and my paperback only $6 and hardback only $12 on Amazon. These will be the prices for a while or possibly permanently, and are almost the lowest I can offer to even break even. The Audible price for the audio book will still be $13.03, because I do not control that price, or you can get it free with an Audible subscription or trial. I will continue to donate at least 10 percent of my profits from any of these, even if small, and any profits from ads on my website and podcast to related charities. Just go to the link below to access any of them….

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Kopa which can be found at www.kopa.com.

What Helps Amanda, 39, with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Normally when I have something published by the Mighty, a mental health website, it is usually a blog I have already published here, but this time, it is a submission I sent in regarding what helps me manage my illness. Please check it out at the link below….

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Kopa which can be found at www.kopa.com.

Music Therapy

I was recently contacted by Joseph, who is part of the Community Outreach team at White House Recovery & Detox, and their goal is to educate the public on life skills and essential therapies and resources for mental health and wellness, in hopes to raise awareness and prevention.  

After reviewing my website, they thought their new article on Music and Mental Health would be an excellent addition to my resources and I agreed, which you can see here, https://recoveryatwhitehouse.com/music-therapy-and-mental-health/ . I have also added their main website as a resource on the About section of my website.

Here is some more helpful information Joseph provided: “As you may know, mental health issues are at an all-time high with more cases of anxiety and depression than ever before. The silver lining to the pandemic is that the stigma around mental health has dropped, making it easier for people to seek the help they need. One type of therapy I’ve found interesting to learn about is music therapy. According to the American Music Therapy Association, music therapy is an evidence-based practice of a board-certified music therapist to help clients achieve non-music goals such as improving mental health and recovering from addiction.”

I have actually been meaning to add more to a newer section on my site called “Music and Mental Health” including some blogs and podcasts about how music has helped improve my own mental health, so keep an eye out for new posts on that soon! Please feel free to share in the comments how music has helped your mental health and what music specifically and how? Or as always, feel free to share with me privately if you want me to share your story confidentially.

Raising Yourself

There is a Facebook page I follow and love so I wanted to share the website here and some content from it. I have also added it to the About section of my site.

“Hi! I’m Shelly Robinson, the heart and soul behind Raising Yourself. I am so glad you’re here.

When I first became a mom, I remember being so thrilled about the opportunity to teach my children all the things I wanted them to know. I was bubbling over with wisdom I wanted to impart, lessons I wanted to teach. Oh, I thought I knew so much.

Now, nearly a decade into this parenting gig, I have learned that they had far more to teach me than I had to teach them.”

https://www.shellyrobinson.com/

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Kopa which can be found at www.kopa.com.

Autism and Depression Resources

Recently I had Martina Maseko, the Outreach Coordinator with Elemy ask if I could add these valuable resources below to my site and after looking them over I was more than happy to share. I have also added these to the About Section of my site. Elemy is an innovative, tech-forward provider of in-home and online applied behavior analysis to help children on the autism spectrum meet their unique needs.

They recently created a free educational guide on autism and suicidal thoughts. This resource explains how to recognize warning signs in neurodivergent individuals and discusses suicide risk factors and prevalence. Important topics, such as treatment options and advice for parents, are also covered.

Please take a look:
https://www.elemy.com/studio/mood-disorders/autism-and-suicidal-thoughts

https://www.elemy.com/studio/mood-disorders/depression (ASD and overlapping depression guide)

Moving House After the Death of a Loved One

Added an infographic from https://threemovers.com/

Just Buy Her A Dress and She'll Be Fine

https://threemovers.com/

Image provided by https://threemovers.com/. This is a guest post, written by Lucille Rosetti. You can find more information about her, her book Life After Death: A Wellness Guide for the Bereaved and other articles at bereaved.org. When I went through severe postpartum depression, dealing with the death of two family members was one of the many things that left me feeling overwhelmed, so when she asked to share this story on here I was totally on board. Hope some of you find it helpful…

Moving House After the Death of a Loved One

Navigating grief is a personal journey, and there’s no set time frame of when you need to approach the emotional and practical aspects surrounding the death of a loved one. Following the death of a loved one, you’ll feel raw and overwhelmed. At some stage, however, you’ll need to take steps towards creating a…

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Mental Health and Violence

I am part of a wonderful group on Facebook and someone in the group just shared a post earlier this week. they allowed me to share it here while keeping them confidential:

“So today it’s my turn to share something I’ve been struggling with in the hopes that it can help someone else. I had one of those moments where you suddenly figure something out and wonder how the hell you missed it. For the last couple of months, I have been subconsciously holding my breath. I’ll be working or driving or just goofing off watching Youtube, just regular activities, and suddenly I’m out of breath and I realize I’ve been holding it without meaning to. It really freaked me out. Imagine if you looked down and found a note in your handwriting that you had no memory of writing. Your hand just wrote it without your conscious direction. It’s really disturbing. So, I looked it up. Apparently subconscious breath holding is not uncommon. It’s an indicator of stress. It seems like such a ridiculous thing. Most folks get headaches, or stomach trouble, or high blood pressure, but I gotta be different. Apparently, my body’s reaction to stress is to try and choke myself out. The problem is, I don’t feel stressed. I’m generally pretty happy. Life is good for me these days. It’s really been bugging me. I’ve been doing breathing meditation and fasting- both are easy ways to reduce stress and it has been helping. Then, today it finally clicked. I was talking with a coworker about how rough the last couple of years have been when it hit me. It’s not just the last couple of years. In the last 9 years I’ve moved back home, I’ve changed jobs three times, all three of my remaining grandparents have died, my Dad died, my stepmother died, my niece died from a brain tumor, a close friend committed suicide, my mother had a stroke, I lost two friends to Covid, then my wife and I got Covid and on top of all that, the government shot our economy in the foot right in the middle of me trying to build a new house. It suddenly occurred to me that I’ve spent almost a decade waiting on the next punch in the gut. So that brings me to a question. How many of us are walking around stressed the hell out and don’t realize it? How much of the violence and general craziness going on these days is because of people just like me? But they finally hit that last straw.”

First, I want to say that those last few comments speak volumes. As a society, we spend a lot of time arguing about gun control. I personally am not a fan of guns, I constantly worry about my daughter being shot at school, but this just started becoming a major concern towards the end of my time in high school in the late 90’s. Right before Columbine, there was a shooting at a high school in Pearl, Mississippi, the one my now husband would have attended had he not moved in 7th grade. He knew some people who were shot but recovered, he knew some people on the list the killer never made it to and he grew up down the street from the killer. The reason this story was not as big as Columbine, is because not as many were killed, because the Vice Principal of the school went to his truck, got his personal gun out, and held it on the student to stop him from hurting more, and possibly moving onto the middle school. The student was arrested and is still in jail today. He did not get the chance to kill more students or himself. The Vice Principal was awarded by some for this, and condemned by others for holding a gun on a student. I personally think he did the right thing, and this was one of the few examples of a good guy with a gun actually working out well.

Because of this and because this developing into an issue as I aged, I know it is not guns alone or it would have been before then of course. However, we are also the only country who has this issue so bad and also has the loosest gun control, so I see why some gun control is reasonable to many. I always read stories from other countries about the first major killing in a decade, and it will be a bow and arrow attack that killed a few people, or a car driving into people (which also happens here). I also once read about a school stabbing comparable to a school shooting here in regards to the number attacked, but none died in the stabbing while many died in the shooting. There is also a big focus on mental health. I think this is a little closer to the root of the problem, but still not as simple as that. Most people who snap and do something violent have not been diagnosed with major mental disorders, and some thinking this actual contributes to a stigma. Most people diagnosed with mental disorders do not hurt anyone. Mental health is like physical health and due to a number of environmental and genetic factors, anyone’s mental health can get bad. Now if someone does not get proper help and treatment, of course this can make things worse, but many cannot afford the help they need.

In the last few decades in America, the rich have become richer, the poor poorer despite some working more than one full time job, so in most cases this is not laziness or not working hard. I live in Alabama and the fact that I wish we were more like some countries who have universal healthcare, some even free or more affordable college and daycare, sick days, vacation days, paid maternity and paternity leave and way longer leave than we have, puts me in the minority here. Actually, that is not completely true. So many people I talk to, even ones whose voting expresses the opposite, say they are for these things as well. I don’t think most of those countries have billionaires or not as many as us, but they still have plenty of millionaires, but there is this understanding that when people have their basic needs met, it benefits all of society. There is less crime, and everyone is healthier, physically and mentally, so the cost of healthcare goes down. There is an understanding that taxes are not a bad thing when most of it actually goes towards the greater good through education, infrastructure, healthcare, childcare and other things we all benefit from. Even if you do not have children, someone else having childcare that allows them to be at a job to perform a service for you is to your benefit.

However, many see this type of thinking as globalism and a danger to society, personal responsibility, freedom and independence. People will tell you we are the most charitable country as an argument that we should not be forced into any of that, and should be able to continue doing it as we wish, but that is only because we have to be charitable for survival. Go Fund Me’s often pay for life saving treatments for people. Some around us would not eat or have healthcare or other basic needs if we did not constantly help and you often even do it in case you end up in the same situation, because you hope others would do the same for you. The percentage of money donated and taxes paid by those that have not much more than them, while others who could more easily help and either don’t, or don’t do enough is what happens when you count on people to just do the right thing. Many right above the poverty line start to resent those who are poor enough to get help, instead of resenting the rich. People are having less children or no children at all because there is no village anymore, it often feels like every man for himself. But we are not alone, you are not alone, we are all in this together and it is time we started acting more like that and helping each other more.

I related to my anonymous source’s post so much and even though I never did anything violent, I better understood how people get to that point after all I went through. Going through what I did changed my political beliefs and religious beliefs. I am not writing this to try and convert anyone else to my own beliefs. My anonymous source is actually a Libertarian, not a Democrat or Republican. We agree on many things, but not everything. It is hard to find anyone you agree with everything on, but there are so many things we do all agree on that I wish we could just do for the benefit of society, no matter what the party name is of the people we elect to carry it out. In a period of three years, my father died, I had my first child, my grandfather died, I was laid off from my job and my husband left. We eventually worked things out, but at the time neither of us realized how much those other things had affected me.

I had always been a very positive person and honestly quite judgmental of people who were constantly negative, or seemed to seek attention. We all have problems in life and death and layoffs and things like that are just a part of life I thought, and parenting is hard, even though they had never been a part of my life yet, especially all at one time. As these things happened to me, no matter how hard it got, I would say and think things like, things happen for a reason, there is a good reason this is happening, etc. I continued to care for others and put others above myself even when I resented it, even though I was not okay, and I was not receiving the love and care that I needed, and I was not taking care of myself.

I did not even want to live anymore and once I was finally open about it, instead of getting the love and care I needed, at first, I got judgment instead. Even though I had never acted this way before, I felt like this was my identity now. I still have two friends who have not spoken to me since, despite attempts to apologize and explain. Eventually, I wondered why I wanted to be friends with people like that anyways and how I ever had been, but the truth was, my depression came from trying to be perfect so others would love me, and the first time I felt I wasn’t being perfect enough, certain people abandoned me. That made me start to think I was right along and I did not deserve them or my husband or anyone, I deserved to be alone. Some of this came from the fact that the one and only time I shared my truthful thoughts one hundred percent with some family, they did not come to my wedding and did not speak to me for a long time, even though they shared harsh opinions of me, with me constantly. Many times I have shared my political or religious thoughts that differ from friends and family and been made to feel like an outcast.

I did eventually get the help I needed. Even my mom and stepdad did not understand at first, but they helped me anyways as they always have in any situation no matter what, and my husband eventually came around as well. I often feel people are tired of hearing about my experience, but I don’t repeatedly tell it because I think what I went through is worse or any more important than everyone else. I do it so others know they are not alone, because I did feel alone. I do it to educate people on what I did not even know until I went through it myself. I do it because I especially now think we are all in this together. When someone is unhappy it can affect us all, and no you cannot help everyone. People have to want and accept help, myself included when the time came, but you can help some and you can try your best to take care of your own mental health, because when it came down to it, my main rescuer was myself. I kept waiting for someone to rescue me because I was tired, but I had to put in the work of figuring out how I got there and why, how to get back out and how to try and not get back to that dark place ever again.

I still get frustrated at others who seem to stay in the state of mind I was in all the time, who never seem to get better, who seem to always blame others or their situation, yet at the same I get it more now, I really do, and many have been through way worse with much less support. I even understand people having to set boundaries for the protection of their own mental health, and I actually think that is a good thing, and much better than enabling someone by letting them mistreat you and others. I took this into account with my friends who ghosted me, but I still think once I did everything to get better and sincerely apologized, their continued ghosting went from them setting boundaries, to cruelty that hurt and will forever hurt. It took questioning everything I believed in, how I was raised, analyzing my entire life and childhood for me to heal and in doing so, I learned things I knew could heal others in my family, but some of them do not want to do what it takes to heal, at least not yet. I have not completely given up hope that some might one day, and when they do all I can do is be there for them.

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos. Amanda is also a Community Champion for a website and app about physical and mental health called Kopa which can be found at www.kopa.com.

Twill Care Mental and Physical Health Website and App

Recently I was asked by someone who was familiar with my website if I would be willing to share my story to help contribute to a website and app being developed. I was awarded a $50 Amazon gift card for an hour of my time. The website and app are now active at https://care.twill.health/ . This website and app are not only for the pregnancy community, but also for general mental and physical health. Please check it out. “Twill Care provides people with the support and connections they need to manage their physical and mental health. They offer high-quality education, relevant features and tools, ways to create meaningful connections with other members, and access to experts. Twill Cares’s vibrant community knows what other members are going through—because they’ve been there.”

“It’s nice to know that when you’re going through a trying time, there are people who know what you’re going through and can help you through it!” —Twill Care member 

I have also been asked for become a Twill Care Community Champion which asks you to spend 3-4 hours per month across different projects. “Champions are volunteers who partner with the Twill Care team to help them maintain a supportive community for their members. Champions may be asked to: • Welcome newbies and become a familiar voice in the community • Comment and create posts to help support and inspire others in the community • Test new features and provide feedback on the member experience • Discuss your health experiences with the Twill Care team for research and spotlights • Attend quarterly calls to discuss new and upcoming features and special projects. ” In return, you get behind-the-scenes access and hear about the latest features first! Plus, you get a direct link to the Twill Care team to share your ideas. Share your story Champions may be featured in member spotlights, articles, and on social media. You may get to test new features and let them know your thoughts and get compensated for your time. Champions also receive special swag and rewards for being part of the program. I a very exited about this opportunity!

Bio: Amanda Dodson Gremillion published her first book in 2012. She began revising it in 2019 and republished it as Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine. The story chronicles her experience with severe postpartum OCD, anxiety and depression. Amanda is a graduate of Auburn University, and now lives in Calera, Alabama, with her husband, Jay, their daughter, Aubrie, and their two dogs, Honey Girl and Cooper. She hopes to write more books in the future. Follow Amanda’s journey on Facebook,  or twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaGremilli2 and order her book here.  Also, follow her on the Mighty here Amanda Dodson Gremillion | The Mighty Contributor or listen to her podcast here Just Buy Her A Dress and She’ll Be Fine • A podcast on Anchor . You can also find her on Instagram here Amanda Dodson Gremillion (@justbuyheradress) • Instagram photos and videos.