I am so excited. This year is a much bigger deal than last year, because The Surrey Women’s Center will be involved, and I know the stories are going to be tough to hear and to share, but it’s important to get them on the record, and “I” get to be a part of making that happen.

Yesterday I heard the question “who did you help today?” some people measure our worth on our ability to help people, but then another question occurred to me… “does it count if the person you helped is yourself?” Yesterday I was pretty lazy. I did some writing, took a shower, smoked a joint, and then laid down because I wasn’t feeling well. I wasn’t feeling much better when I woke up so I went to bed early.

That was helpful. I helped myself. That matters, it’s important to pause and stop helping others when we’re tapped out so that we can harness our inner power and help ourselves for a little while.

Survivor’s Connection last year was all about myself. The pandemic was still new, and I was genuinely afraid.

Was I alone?

Did no one else feel this way?

Am I going to make it?

Can I make it?

Do I deserve to make it?

These were all questions I was asking last year, and even though the event didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to, it did teach me that no, I wasn’t alone…there were, and continue to be, others, who are struggling with mental health issues.

And there are all kinds of mental health issues that affect folks in a variety of different and increasingly challenging ways. Some people have bipolar disorder and are really happy others are really miserable, it’s a balancing act for everyone. That helps to know that.

Other people have PTSD and we all know symptoms fluctuate, but doctors don’t tell us that when we identify these symptoms I often wonder if it’s because doctors are so overwhelmed that some patients suffer while others get excellent care before the doctors are tapped out.

I knew a man who went to prison but didn’t get his meds, so when he came out he was much more dangerous than when he went in, because people didn’t know back then, or even now really, how precarious the lives of people with mental health issues can be.

Another woman during a frustrating episode, chopped down an entire tree by herself in a single day, just to get the feelings out. We all have different ways of dealing, and bringing my friends and allies together, with perfect strangers, to show people that we can have full and rich lives, is a really cool way to help others.

Especially now, when folks are scared of losing their social media communities with all the new innovations and changes, it’s important for us to connect while we are able so that we can cry AND laugh, yell, and release all the toxic feelings we’ve been holding onto alone.

If you’d like to join us, click the link below to sign up. You’ll be taken to the main page on the day of the event via the email link and it will tell you to “join this event.” And then the zoom link will open up. I’ll also be sending out emails to those who sign up, to make sure y’all don’t miss it as we had some issues with signups last year.

I am really excited to hear what everyone has to say, so if you’re interested in sharing your stories, or hearing from others please come join us. I promise it’ll be worth it.

Sending all my love,

Devon J Hall

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