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Fri Jul 23, 2021, 09:24 PM

My wife and I have an adventure ahead.

My wife and I have been doing a lot of walking lately. One challenge on our Fitbits is 100,000 steps in a single day. We wanted to take that challenge, but raise it to the next level. Recently, my wife and I attended at Make it OK event, and learned more about them. Make It OK is a community campaign to reduce stigma by starting conversations and increasing understanding about mental illness. https://makeitok.org

Make it OK helps by training people on what to say, and more importantly what NOT to say, when someone opens up about their mental illness.

My wife lives with PTSD, anxiety and depression. I live with, what I consider, mild anxiety that sometimes prevents me from doing things sometimes.

My wife posted this to her Facebook page, and she's a much better writer than me:

Since starting the organizing process for the Make It OK - One Step At A Time fundraiser I have had the opportunity to talk with a lot of people. It has been during each one of these conversations that I am more and more convinced that mental health awareness needs to come out of the shadows. We are taught to never let anyone see our weakness, to put on the brave face, to hide our feelings... But weakness or frailty is human. Having times of uncertainty is human. Having emotions is most certainly human. Yes, there are times when we need to have control over our thoughts and feelings, but not because we need to be ashamed of them. That's how the stigma surround mental health can take root.

As I stated, I have had a lot of conversations as of late regarding mental health. Some people have opened up to me; telling at times very heartbreaking stories of struggle. These are the people that [Thav] and I are walking for. These are the people that I am willing to push myself through a physically grueling experience for, even if this project only helps one of them. Some people have been supportive. Yet, the hardest conversations of all have been those that show the other side of the coin. The ones that show why we have so far to go, and why people are hesitant to seek help. Just yesterday, one such conversation ended with the statement, "I think what you are doing is great, but there are a lot more physical illnesses out there that are more important." We are also walking for people who feel like this. I know this person was not intentionally trying to say anything hurtful, but the message surrounding mental illness has long been that people who are dealing with mental health issues are not as important. If you are someone who has received a message like this, even from those who love you, let me assure you.... YOU ARE IMPORTANT! YOU MATTER!

[Thav] and I are still seeking your support. I am humbly asking for your contribution toward the Make It OK campaign so that we can continue the conversation, and educate others. You can give securely at https://givebutter.com/MakeItOKIASteps.... Thank you to everyone who has donated so far, offered words of encouragement, agreed to walk with us for part of the way, and so much more. Together we can accomplish a lot. Together, we can #MakeItOK.

After the hand the world has dealt us over the past few years, there are many of us who have acute mental illness, but many more have chronic mental illness. We need to come together and help those who are struggling be OK again.

DU, I'd like your help. Please help us support this cause by learning how to help someone Make It OK. Also, please join us as we do our journey. The path to handling mental illness isn't a short one. However, the most important part of that journey is the first step.

I'd like you to visit https://makeitok.org and learn more. If you'd like to support us, or just watch our occasional live stream, we're at https://givebutter.com/MakeItOKIASteps

Let's help Make It OK again.

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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply My wife and I have an adventure ahead. (Original post)
Thav Jul 2021 OP
ret5hd Jul 2021 #1
Thav Jul 2021 #3
MLAA Jul 2021 #2
Thav Jul 2021 #4

Response to Thav (Original post)

Fri Jul 23, 2021, 09:50 PM

1. Re: steps (I know, not the main topic)...

for me, that would be something north of 40 miles. I generally walk 5-10 miles a day, occasionally more, and can keep up a 2.5 mph pace for quite a while, even with a decent uphill. Altitude bothers me more than incline.

Im not sure I could do that. That would be walking for over 16 hrs straight. Good luck to ya on that goal. Let me know if you get it.

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 23, 2021, 10:33 PM

3. I will!

We have a plan already. there's a town about 22 miles away, with plenty of stops along the way. We got good shoes, lights, defensive spray, external batteries for phones, etc. We're planning on leaving at midnight, we'll get to our "half way" sometime in the morning for breakfast, then head back.

I hope you can at least check us out as we trek, and definitely check out make it ok.

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Response to Thav (Original post)

Fri Jul 23, 2021, 10:17 PM

2. Best of Luck!

Hope my small donation helps 💖💖💖💖💖💖💖

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Response to MLAA (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 23, 2021, 10:36 PM

4. Thanks!

Every bit helps, thank you so much!

I hope you are able to watch us, and I hope all the tech works out for us to stream it properly. Since we are going to be at this for 16+ hours, we're obviously not going to stream the whole thing, unless you REALLY want to watch us walk in the dark while listening to audio books or a comedy track.

Stay awesome, MLAA!

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