Causes. Just Because…s


Today’s Music: Louis Armstrong – What A Wonderful World
Note on Today’s Music: Shouldn’t it be, for everyone?

A lot happens in October.
It’s the first full month of autumn, and temperatures and the environment really start to change to match the season.
Halloween comes around, as does Thanksgiving for those in Canada.

There are also a few other things, at least as important.

The first full week of October is National Mental Illness Awareness Week (Oct. 7-13, 2012). You can find out more about it HERE.
What does that mean? Well, try and take a few minutes to consider those that do have mental illnesses.
Wonder if they – except for one hit of bad luck – are any different than you. And if giving a bit of compassion, instead of crossing the street or cutting off contact with “the crazy person”, might not be a better way to go.
Statistics say a full 25% of the population has a mental illness. Now think about how many people you know that might seem…off, but haven’t said anything about it. The stigma is probably one of the worst parts of it – not being able to come out and say Yes, I have BPD. Or Depression. Or…
Admit you have cancer, and the whole world gives you a hand. Say you have a mental illness, and people shun you.
That ain’t right.
Want to see how someone lives with it in a way that only enhances their cool? Yeah, of course you do. I can think of no better example than Lizzie Cracked, who describes it as part of who she is, not the total of who she is.
It’s a great place to start to begin understanding living with a challenge like that. And if you are afraid of those with mental illness, maybe what you read online will change how you act in real life…

But that’s not all!!!
The inestimable Nicole Warner tweeted that October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
There aren’t a lot of things that get me angry enough to do something stupid. Bad remakes of classic movies, and arc television shows that have crappy payoffs are two of them.
Another is abuse. Anyone in a position of power that takes advantage or abuses someone is…you know what, let’s not go there. I can feel my blood pressure rising as I think about it.
But you can read Nicole’s story here, and see what she did. And if you are in that kind of situation, I can’t urge you strongly enough to contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
And if there’s any way you think I can help, let me know.
I’ll be around.

And the final cause I’m pointing out is that it’s Movember.
I have no idea what the hell that means. But according to Becca, guys are supposed to grow mustaches to raise awareness about Prostate and Testicular Cancer.
Women are supposed to make out with guys who have mouth brows.
And all this helps raise awareness (and hopefully money) for cancer research.
Smooching, and cash for a cause. Win/Win!

But before anyone thinks this is a bit too heavy (and October has a few other causes this month), October is also National Dessert Month!!!

How’s that for an ending note?!?

Ok, that covers the serious for the moment. Think about the above. Help out if you can.
And don’t worry, I’ll be back with the inane soon enough…

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93 responses to “Causes. Just Because…s

  1. Great post to remind us. πŸ™‚

    x,
    Becca

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  2. Guapo,
    Thank you for showing your support to Movember.
    Le Clown

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  3. Can we internet make out ?

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  4. It’s frustrating to me that just because mental illness isn’t physically obvious–like say a fracture or pneumonia–people don’t understand it has biomedical causes just like any other disease. It is not simply “in one’s head,” at least not the way that phrase implies. Thanks for spotlighting it as well as the other issues you mentioned. Including the dessert month. πŸ™‚

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  5. Good choices, Guap. I do a lot of research on mental health issues and they are sorely misunderstood. We move away as you said. As for abuse, our reaction I think is often worse — denial.

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  6. A gripping Life

    All great causes, Guapo. I’m glad you had the good sense to tack on National Dessert month, you know, just to give the whole post some needed balance. I think I’ll go have a slice of pie while I contemplate these other issues.

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    • I would kill someone for a great slice of pie right now, Lisa.
      Fortunately, October is not “Don’t Kill Someone For Pie” month, so I think I can get away with it!

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  7. Wonderful Post! I remember your last post on National Mental Illness Awareness Week or was it month? Anyway it was one of my favorite post of yours. I thought it was very well written and brought a unique and important level of compassion to the topic.
    So where’s the recipe to that desert? Yum!

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  8. Two ss in dessert of course!

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  9. One last comment and I will go away and listen to the music link. I will check out your other links as well Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I didn’t want to leave that out in my comment as the causes you brought to our attention today are all important. :+)

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    • Thank you! I also enjoy the blog I linked to for that. (And the author’s twitter presence.)

      Your comment makes me think I should have also mentioned it was Pharmacist Month.
      Nah, probably not…

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  10. Dude…wow three causes all of them worthy and then dessert too… I missed the Domestic Violence one… how about ..it;s breast cancer awareness month too… ok I am stalling cause I am supposed to be writing brilliant stuff to educate and advocate … thanks for the boost – and the support – can;t tell you enough….. and always just when I need it too… which totally reminds me… on the list of dos….
    Lucy Im home you got some splainin to do!
    It made sense to me anyways…. You continue to Rock, Indubitably!

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  11. What about beards? Ain’t no regard for them?!
    Of course the more important ones are noted and will be supported.
    I consider myself well notified now. Thanks.

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  12. Everyone needs reminds like this post about important issues. I’ll keep it simple and just say “Well done!”

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  13. free penny press

    Three great reasons to scour the internet, become more aware and support some fine causes..We only can affect change through awareness & education.

    Louis would have said the same thing πŸ™‚

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  14. Thanks for raising awareness on this, Guap. I said in one of my novels that mental illness is a stigma, but should not be. That’s not really profound. I think most reasonable people know this. But anyway, thanks.

    As for me, I haven’t written my “What October Means to Me” post yet. I’m working on it. I’ll give you a one-word hint, though: Pecans. ❀

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    • Can we expect a recipe with that post, Stacy Lyn?

      It’s funny, people generally agree there shouldn’t be such an associated stigma, and yet…

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  15. I’ve literally been accused of looking like Satan when my facial hair in the goatee area gets past a certain length, which isn’t fair, because Satan is clean-shaven. This is an odd combination of things to have in the same month, but I support them all, or worded more appropriately than that.

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  16. Gosh, in all of my self-centered worrying about my new medication, I totally missed out that it is National Dessert Month! Thanks for putting me straight!

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  17. National dessert month!!! This is most excellent news… And makes me feel better about all the sweets I have consumed lately.

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  18. National SEX month too. Sooooo…Get it while you can. OK….OK…I just made that up BUT…Wouldn’t have been a GREAT idea???
    Muah!!!
    Sooz

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  19. Thank you for reminding us of all of these. The Internet is a good place because of people like you.

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  20. I didn’t know there were so many awareness months around until I got on WordPress… Feels like we’re making the world better, doesn’t it? πŸ™‚
    I’ll be as aware as I can be. (Especially about that dessert thing.) (No, about everything.) (Really!)

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  21. Nice post, Guap. All worthy of attention and recognition. Now…dessert month, huh? Hmmmm….

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  22. Going to share on FB. Hope you’re doing well!

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  23. I’m looking forward to having some blogging shenaingans based around Movember. I won’t attempt growing one, it comes out grey. I’m usually covered in stubble which is as long as I allow before I look like a hobo, and someone questioned this last week and said it looked odd in that I have brown hair and a grey beard. And there was me thinking I looked distinguished (reaches for the Just For Men).

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  24. Thanks for this my friend. I love what Lizzie Cracked said about describing mental illness “as part of who she is, not the total of who she is.” I feel that way about my “addiction affliction” too. It’s not visible on the outside, but it is certainly a *part* of who I am and why I am. But I am so much more than just that “part” too.

    In honor of desserts, I think I will eat cookies all month. (Like I need an excuse, right?)

    And I love the song. A timeless classic. You know the Eva version right? I shared it, but I’m not sure if we had connected yet or not- here’s her version:

    Have a fantastic week, thanks again for the post.

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    • Thanks, RoS – that’s a great version!
      I think Lizzie’s comment is probably the best way to describe it I’ve ever heard.
      Glad you liked the post, and keep on rockin! (and runnin!)

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  25. Why am I so freaking hungry now!?

    In all seriousness, I’m often surprised how uninformed people are about domestic violence. It’s shocking how many people think abusers wear signs when in reality it’s far more insidious, and many times it’s damn near invisible.

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    • And the victims get conditioned to deny it or blame themselves, L&L.
      Seriously, seeing/hearing about something like that is the easiest way to get me to lose my cool.

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  26. Thanks for bringing this to everyone’s attention Guap! People too often forget the “silent sufferers” who are just trying to live their lives. Too many of us never let anyone know the difficulties we are struggling with because of the stigma attached. And I can certainly get behind Dessert Month! (of course it will end up on my behind if I overindulge)

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  27. Good causes all, and well said as per usual. I was never able to get away with a mustache. Is a goatee acceptable? And Louis Armstrong on the one end with that dish on the other is a sweet set of bookends.

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  28. I β™₯ U, dude. Thank you SO MUCH for telling other people about DV Awareness Month and spreading the word about my story–and maybe propelling someone else to safety. Much love! ~Nicole

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  29. This is a great posting El Guapo
    and I will be thinking about what you
    have added about mental illness,
    as you say there are many levels
    of same and one should never judge
    another based on something that is
    not understood, indeed judging is
    something rather insulting I think 😦

    As for the moustache idea, well there
    is no way that I am going to look like
    a rat looking over a scrubbing brush
    for anyone so hard lines girls πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ lmao

    I like the dessert graphic, actually there
    has to be a spare spoon knocking around
    here somewhere and when i find it…

    Well I will be enjoying the deliciousness
    of those sweet cherries, I like to add those
    to a fine pair of… Never mind πŸ™‚ lol

    Enjoy your afternoon El Guapo
    and be wicked I always am πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Androgoth

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    • We don’t stand on ceremony here, Androgoth. Feel free to use your fingers.
      Or someone else’s if they’re agreeable. πŸ˜‰

      I couldn’t agree more about the judging what isn’t understood. As with most things, I think education as to the signs and symptoms of various conditions makes them easier for the rest of us to grasp when we run into those affected. And there are times when most of us fall into a depressive, or manic or other frame of mind.
      (Really hope that doesn’t come off as pompous as it looks…)

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      • Not pompous at all my wickedly fine
        friend, indeed I agree wholeheartedly πŸ™‚

        Have a great evening El Guapo…

        Androgoth

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  30. And don’t worry, I’ll be back with the inane soon enough…
    Whereas I have found a way to make everything I say inane.

    I never get tired of “What a Wonderful World.” It IS a wonderful world, despite the heartbreaking BS we so often have to wade through.

    I agree with you regarding the stigmatization of mental illness. I’d say that we need to further look at some mental illnesses and determine whether they ARE mental illnesses. Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t meant to make light of these conditions or say they don’t exist, but to look at some of them in context. In this case I’m referring specifically to ADD. As may be obvious (or maybe not–it seems obvious to me) I have ADD. However, I have a hard time considering it an illness, because so much of how my brain works is what makes me the person that I am. Yes, I fight a constant battle to stay organized; my office is littered with lists and reminders; my wife tells me sometimes a week before she wants me to do something, and then reminds me every day (it may sound like it, but it’s not nagging) until the day of the task; decision-making can be difficult. But for all that my brain responds for me in wonderful ways; it keeps me laughing at my own jokes; it’s easy to think laterally; to think in metaphor; every thought brings a host of complimentary thoughts. I wouldn’t trade my brain for a “normal” brain.

    ADD is so often used as an excuse by people for why they haven’t attained the things they want. I recognize that it’s significant in its way, but we are not broken and moreover, should not be defined by our ‘illness.”

    As I said, though, I am very glad to see a renewed focus and hopefully a de-stigmatization of mental illness.

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    • My only problem with “What A Wonderful World” is that it’s too short, Smak.

      I agree about the rush to label. There are those that have a serious chemical imbalance. But there is also a rush (especially for children) to medicate them as fast as possible. And many kids, at some point, show the behavior of ADD/ADHD without having the chemical issues, just because they’re kids.

      In any case, whatever the mental condition, the stigma is definitely something we could do without.

      (My wife constantly has to remind me of stuff too. but that’s because I’m lazy.)

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  31. It always takes me a while to get here, but when I finally do, I read, listen and always – I SAY ALWAYS learn something new! Thank you for letting me know about all things October ( and I had no idea about Movember!!). Keep on keepin’ on!

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    • Thanks Carmen!
      Don’t tell anyone you’re learning stuff here or I’ll lose my street cred.
      Unless it’s “learning a cautionary tale”…

      Glad you found something worthwhile here, and it’s a pleasure to see you, wherever you turn up!

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  32. I’ll tell you a cautionary tale!! (Morbid joke if you know my story. HAD to go there, just HAD to!)

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  33. I had no idea there were so many worthy causes in October. But now I do and thank you for bringing more awareness to them. This post was a good reminder to step aside form the rushing river of activities and ponder . . .

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  34. A lot of people still refer to mental illness with sayings such as, “satan in your head”, infact, i was having a discussion with a christian woman who said that today, if I had bit my lip any harder i wouldve exploded. She was 2 years younger than me, something needs to be done, because parents are passing on their views to their children and its catching.

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    • Your restraint is waaaay better than mine, Rays.
      Having ones head up ones ass is as incurable as many other conditions.
      Sadly, it isn’t stigmatized at all.
      And I agree – I think the effort educating people makes is the only way to change perceptions.

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  35. to be honest, the response I felt at her sheer ignorance and narrow view roared up an emotion which I couldn’t even vocalize or put into words… im very rarely left speechless, but shes my age, shes not supposed to be so ignorant. I wouldve just breathed fire out of my mouth and lost my job.

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  36. Let us send prayers to those who are suffering from mental illness. May they receive understanding and more love from people, friends and family around them.

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  37. Because this week is observed by groups and organizations within communities, it is also an opportunity to build relationships with and partner with public health organizations and community groups in your area, such as the local chapter of NAMI, (National Alliance for the Mentally Ill). Together you can make a public witness to raise awareness about mental illness, prevention, treatment and advocate for effective public policy including access to adequate mental health care in your community.

    Like

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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