Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Welcome to Lighting Up The Sky.

I created this blog because I'm committed to making a difference in the fight for suicide prevention. I believe ending stigma around mental illness is critical to these efforts. Having conversations and speaking up are important ways to start. I believe we also need more research, better treatment, and a way to make resources and services more readily available to anyone who needs them.

Professionally, my background is in non-profit development and administration. Three years ago I went back to school so that I could move into a field that I cared about deeply. I am pursuing that career and am proud to now work as a counselor at a drug and alcohol treatment center located in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I'm a lifelong resident of California and love this state, especially the northern half. I have one grown son, who I adore. I make a lot of artsy crafty things. I love movies. I love superheroes. Especially Wonder Woman and Superman.

I enjoy sharing my writing, You can find my separate writing blog, here: Ink Splattered Soul.

And, I have a personal vested interest in suicide prevention. My mother, El Collie Kress. died by suicide in April of 2002, and my boyfriend, John Macaluso, died by suicide in April of 2017. They were both needed in this world, and their deaths were heartbreaking and tragic. My heart goes out to all fellow survivors of suicide loss, and I hope you find some comfort on this site.

I am also a survivor of two suicide attempts, one in 1987, and one thirty six years later, in 2013. I attribute both attempts to mental illness that was not being well managed. I suffer from PTSD and an eating disorder. I am also an alcoholic and addict in recovery. Far more than I would like, I understand what it's like to have stigmatized conditions.

I also believe in healing. I believe in recovery. I believe in reaching out and speaking out. I believe that every story is important and I believe that all of our voices matter.

Thank you for being here. I hope you find the information you are looking for and that you find some support and a lot of hope, too.