Social Media is a Great Aid to Get Information to Many People Very Quickly


I will admit that I have become addicted to social media in almost all its forms.  This admission comes as I just turned in a paper for journalism in which I had to keep track of ALL of my medial usage (phone, text, Facebook, Twitter, TV, games, books, magazines, newspapers, etc) for one week.  On the seventh day, I had to GIVE UP ALL TYPES OF MEDIA for 24 hours.  The fact that I’m writing about it means I survived, but not without a lot of insight about myself.  I am on Facebook and Twitter every day.  On Facebook, I interact with friends, play one game obsessively and check out the feeds to see what everyone is up to.  Occasionally someone will post something that I consider worthy of sharing with everyone.  This is how I interact with people who live all over the world, whom I have not met, but some of them I feel closer to than some members of my family.  During my day without media, I had no clue what to do.  I couldn’t even study because I would have had to read.  I ran some errands, came home, slept a little, walked a lot that day and pretty much climbed the walls.  But during that day it hit me “Social Media in all of it’s forms is incredibly POWERFUL!”  When I write a blog and publish it the post goes straight to my twitter feed and straight to my Facebook feed.  Whether or not people chose to click on the links is out of my control, but with 515 friends in at least 8 different countries, I know I can count on several people reading it.

As far as Twitter is concerned, I’m relatively new to it and I only follow 120 people with only 20 people following me but if you were to look at who I follow, you will see it relates to this blog and what I eventually want to do.  If you like it, please follow me @CharleneEgizi.

Using both of these social media sites, gives me access to a much larger audience than I ever would have without it.  I have also noticed an increase in fellow bloggers following my posts, which is really nice because that automatically gives me new bloggers to check out and I haven’t read posts by any of them that I didn’t like.  Now if someone would just show how to get my blog featured, I would be grateful.

Since International Survivors of Suicide Day is coming up on November 23, 2013 (all over the world, if you want to find an event near you check out http://www.AFSP.org or do a Google Search.  There are events all over the world), I thought I would leave you with another astounding suicide fact.

 

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It’s About Time – Maybe……Depends on Whether or Not the ACA Gets This One Right.


I just found an article online from the New York Post (one of the few papers that I read that I give any kind of credibility to) that the Obama Administration is about to release regulations that will require insurers to cover care for mental health and addiction in the same way as it covers any other type of illness.  These rules will apply to almost all forms of insurance.  In my opinion, this is where it can start to get a little tricky; for example if Medicaid is excluded from having to cover these new regulations, it could be almost the same as having no regulations at all, as many people with serious addictions and/or mental illness cannot hold jobs because of their illnesses, therefore they do not have top rate health insurance in place.  We will have to wait and see once the regulations are released by the administration and scrutinized and over analyzed by reporters, congressman, senators, etc.  Overall, this is the ONLY thing related to “Obamacare” that I have been on board with.  Overall, I’m not a big fan of socialized medicine (for elective items), as it has been proven time and time again that it takes about 10-15 years of REALLY, REALLY BAD, before socialized medicine starts to become “tolerable.”  As it stands now, the roll out has been so botched up, that I find it hard to believe that come January 1, 2014, everything will be running smoothly.  In the meantime, please read the article in the New York Times below.  

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/08/us/politics/rules-to-require-equal-coverage-for-mental-ills.html?smid=pl-share

 

 

 

 

We Are Not Alone


No, this post isn’t about space aliens and whether or not they walk among here on earth, but that would be an interesting discussion if I could get enough diversity in opinions together in one room.  I think that in itself, might be a great form of therapy.  YES, my mind does tend to wander in all sort of strange directions.  Thankfully, my friends who know me really well, know my sense of humor and are still around….that says more about them, than it does me.  LOL.  

November 23, 2013 is International Survivors of Suicide Day.  There will be gatherings all over the world where people can offer each other mutual support and guidance on coping with grief.  Before my brother’s suicide, the only time I thought about the subject was if there was a story on the news or in the paper, and, most of the time, it was related to a crime of some sort, murder suicide, a mass shooting resulting in the suicide of the shooter, etc.  My response back then was probably somewhere along the lines of “They deserved it after what they did!”  I never made the connection between mental illness and suicide before my brother.  But, hindsight, always being 20/20, it is easy to see now, and that is the main reason why I have decided to do what I’m doing – going back to school with a Master in Social Work being the goal and working toward getting mental health awareness to as many people as possible.  

If you are in my area on November 23, 2013 and you have lost a loved one to suicide or if you know someone who has, please attend this meeting.  If you do not live in my area, hit the WorldWideWeb, search for Suicide Survivor Day and find a meeting near you.  It will be informative, supportive, and beneficial in many ways.  

 

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Volunteering: An Unpaid Job Than Can be More Rewarding Than A Paid Job


Hello all,

So here it is,  my fourth blog for my journalism class.  So far I’ve included 2/5 things that I generated and one that someone else generated.  I’m on the right track.  Maybe….we shall see.

Today was a hard day for me.  I had class this morning – I still want to hurt the person who scheduled me for a 7:00 a.m. class after a class that ends at 10:00 p.m. Monday night.  However, with everything that has gone on in my family for the past year plus, I’m afraid that people who know me might take that action the wrong way.  Plus every time I try to hit myself, I flinch. Family suicide survivor humor?  At least it was my attempt at it.  After class, I came home and studied for the two tests I have next – the same Monday night/Tuesday morning scenario and then I went to have lunch with a dear friend after what seems like forever since we last saw each other outside of church.  That was fun and I always enjoy spending time with her.  She gives great advice.  From there I had to head south on the 5 freeway because Stephanie’s family memorial was this afternoon.  My oldest sister, Angelina just returned from Italy because Stephanie wished to be buried in the family cemetery at my villa in Florence.  It looks like the rest of the family will be going to Italy for the formal service there once all the students are out of school for their break.  I have six weeks off between semesters and I’m seriously considering spending all of it in the one place that I can totally relax.  Despite that the villa is where Pete took his life last year, I was there in December 2012-mid January 2013 and in that time, I can come to terms with a lot of it and before I left the country to come back to California, I was able in the room where ‘it’ happened.  Definitely one of the hardest things I have ever done, but with the help of a kitten who had hung around the villa (her, her mother and her siblings have been indoor residents since I left), I was able to get through that.  When I left, I instructed my cousins, who manage the property for me, to get rid of everything that was in the room and completely redo it.  While I am glad that my sister-in-law and I are getting along better, I hate that it’s because of another loss.  But pulling together as a family is definitely better than being torn apart.

Tomorrow will be a much better day.  I have an interview in Orange at the Mental Health Alliance of Orange County, where I have applied for a position as  a mentor.  It is an unpaid job, but sometimes volunteering can be very therapeutic.  There is something about serving others that takes your mind off of your own crap for a little while.  If I get this position, which I am pretty sure I will, I will be mentoring kids who come from broken homes and have been abused.  Part of the “group” that I plan to focus on after I’m done with school and have the degree that will actually lead to a job working with these kids.  I’m not sure if it will be a county position, or if I will be able to land a job with a foster organization.  I just know that after everything I’ve been through, I have much more empathy for these kids, because growing up, I was one of those kids with an abusive “father” who it turned out was  not my biological dad.  I’m pretty sure that there is no situation they could have experienced that I can’t relate too.  I’m looking forward to being a safe sounding board for these kids and most likely, in some small way by helping them to heal, they will also help me to heal.  That’s so much bigger than any paycheck I could ever bring home.

Boy did I get a rude awakening………


I read a quote once that said “NEVER get too comfortable, you’ll get a rude awakening.  In the past week, I can honestly say that truer words have never been spoken.  For those of you who have followed my short lived blog so far, and if you’re not, please start, you know that on August 1, 2012, my family and I lost my brother, Pete, to suicide and less than six months later, in January 24, 2013, we lost my niece, Alexandra (Ali), to suicide.  That has been a struggle for those of us left behind, as you can imagine.  On October 2, 2013, 14 months and 1 day since my brother took his life, and 8 months and 8 days after my niece took her life, my youngest sister, Stephanie, took her life.  To say that it shattered mine and my family’s world (again) was a major understatement.  We were all still seeing various therapists and were just barely starting the scratch the surface of what had happened to Pete and Ali…But Stephanie?!  NO ONE saw this one coming.  My middle sister, Vittoria found her and I, better than anyone else in the family understood exactly what she was going through and would be going through, since I had been on a Skype chat with Pete when he took his life.  On top of the grief of losing a loved one, she could count on flashbacks, nightmares, and other symptoms of PTSD.  As of the time of this writing, we are not any closer to finding out the “Why” as were on that night. We all know, of course, that we will probably never completely understand the “why” other than at the moment that they took their lives, all three of them JUST WANTED THEIR PAIN TO GO AWAY…which is different than wanting their lives to really end.  At that final second, they were literally not thinking clearly.  Since Stephanie’s death, my oldest sister, Angelina has discovered some unsent emails on Stephanie’s computer, one of which was to me.  She asked me if she should send it and I told her that eventually, yes, I wanted to read it, but I would let her know when.  Until then, it sits in the “waiting to send” folder.  Pete left me a note and I still haven’t read it.  My therapist has read it to me, but it was so soon afterward, that I don’t remember what it said.  No one else seen it.  My therapist keeps it, so no one “accidentally” finds it and reads it.

In the meantime, we all wake up each morning and try to move on as best as we can.  After Pete’s suicide, our family was torn apart, (mainly my sister-in-law and I) but slowly we have been working on our relationship and are actually doing pretty good, considering the issues that were between us.  We all talk everyday, sometimes more than once a day in addition to school, work, and other activities.  My sisters and my sister-in-law and I get together every Saturday for dinner….ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSES.  It’s important to us to keep communicating.  I’ve become very active in the With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation since Pete’s and Ali’s deaths and because this blog originated as a journalism assignment, With Hope’s founder/CEO, Annette Craig, was kind enough to tape what has turned into a PSA for With Hope (she will be putting on the With Hope website soon).  After three revisions to get it just right, we are finally happy with it.  Please share it anywhere you feel that it will get exposure.   Until next time, here is the final product.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avd0dwtL6LQ

 

 

 

 

Journalism 110 – What I want to do when I “grow up.”


So, I have to do some blog posts for my journalism class, preferably discussing the job that I eventually desire…I must say I’m glad that there are some “older” adults besides me in my class.  Right now, my goal is to get a B.A. in Human Services and, ultimately, a Master in Social Work.  Somewhere before the B.A. is completed, but after I have taken enough of the “AA-T” requirements, I would like to take the required test to be an alcohol/drug counselor, that way I’ll have at least some income to help me pay for the graduate and post-graduate degrees.  Eventually, I want to somehow be involved with family survivors of suicide, which if you have read my blog before, you know is very close to my heart on a personal level.  The day after my brother’s suicide, I was connected with the With Hope, the Amber Craig Memorial Foundation, which is a non-profit focusing on teen suicide prevention through education and mental health awareness.  With Hope helped me get connected with a psychologist (who works a lot with family survivors of suicide) within 5 days for an assessment and I actually starting seeing the therapist, ironically enough on my brother’s birthday.  My therapist has been instrumental in helping me realize, among other things, that my brother wasn’t “crazy” just depressed.  

Anyway, since August 2012, I have been involved with the With Hope Foundation, and I think everyone needs to know the signs and symptoms of depression, which by itself can help to save a life.  Also, if someone talks about committing suicide, they aren’t just saying it to get attention…they are actually reaching out in one of the few ways they know now…DON’T IGNORE IT…TELL SOMEONE!!  Check out the With Hope website.  It has a lot of information, not just for teens or anyone with a teen, but for anyone who loves someone.  You may be surprised at what you learn in just five minutes on this website.  

 

http://www.WithHopeFoundation.org