Welcome to my personal fundraising page for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness! NAMI is the nation's largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to improving the lives of all those affected by mental illness. NAMI provides education, support, advocacy and awareness so that we all live better lives.
I have created this fundraising page because NAMI, and the work they do, is very important to me. Donating to me through this page is easy, fast and secure. Both NAMI and I appreciate your donation.
As many of you know, I ran my first half marathon in May and am gearing up to do another one in February. What you may not know is that when I started running last fall, I was experiencing major depression that was tearing apart my physical and emotional health. I put on more than 30lbs, I slept only in fits on the couch every night, my blood pressure sky-rocketed, I developed swollen vocal chords, I lashed out in anger, I cried--I even contemplated suicide.
I had been down this road a few times before – first in college and again in law school – so I knew the signs and I got help. I found a new therapist, increased my anti-depressant dosage, and took some much-needed time off of work. I started running after having not exercised since Leah’s birth 5 years prior, and more importantly for me at the time, I started my fundraising for the V Foundation and St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I focused on Juliana, Hudson, Allan, and Philip. Focusing on helping others helped me to literally put one foot in front of the other and eventually heal my body and mind.
It wasn’t until I started to regain my health that I realized how far down the rabbit hole I’d fallen. Sadly, not everyone gets out alive. Just like any other disease, depression is sometimes fatal, and I’ve felt the incredible pain and confusion of losing people I’ve cared about this way. I don’t know if they in particular ever tried to get help, but I do know millions of people never do because of the persistent shame and stigma around mental illness.
Even if you can’t donate money this time, please consider taking the Stigma-free Pledge. By agreeing to promote acceptance and challenge stereotypes, together we can change how mental illness is viewed in this country!
I am a high-functioning, high-achieving, successful woman who lives every day with a mental illness. I will not be ashamed, and I will not hide it. I know I am lucky to have a community of friends, family, and colleagues like you who accept and understand me for who I am.
Please join me so we can give that gift to everyone. All the best, Debbie