April 30, 2023

May Is National Health Awareness Month!


Good Monday morning, my friends! Monday Morning Coffee Talk returns next week, but today is all about Mental Health Awareness. May is many things, among them Mental Health Awareness Month. This little space here allows me to bring awareness to mental health and the need to break the stigma associated with it. Several years ago, when I was finally diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Health Anxiety, I realized I had suffered silently for too long. In retrospect, I realize I was concerned about what people would think about me if they knew I had mental health issues. Those days are long gone, my friends. Finally becoming unable to live with the intrusive thoughts affecting my life and being forced to seek treatment were the best things that could have happened. Now I have the proper dosage of medication, regular sessions with a fantastic therapist, and a knowledgeable primary care physician and psychiatrist allowing me to manage these conditions that are part of my life. 

Anxiety is hard enough. Thinking you are alone with anxiety is unbearable. In sharing my experience, I hope to help even one person see that living with anxiety is possible. You are not alone in your worries, fears, anxiousness, and intrusive thoughts. I am proof of that. Recently I realized that my anxiety has lessened and that I can handle certain situations without becoming anxious or obsessive. My mind isn't ruminating, causing me to seek reassurance about things I fear. When I thank her for helping me, my therapist reminds me regularly that she is there to provide me the tools I need but that I do the hard work. Just recently, I realized she was right. I wish I could say a magic wand exists that will take all the anxiety, fear, worry, and obsessions away. But that will never be true. The truth is, I work every day to manage my OCD and anxiety. I accept that it will never be gone entirely, but I can honestly say I am managing it in a healthy, productive way. 

I have learned a few things that may help you on your mental health journey.

*Show yourself the same compassion you show others. What do you do when someone you love is struggling? You offer help and support. Do the same for yourself. You deserve it.

*Accept help. Let your loved ones in. Struggling with anxiety while trying to keep it a secret is unimaginably hard. Don't ask for reassurance. Just ask someone to listen.

*Talk to professionals. Your doctor will help you find a counselor or therapist to talk with. And know this. Anything you say to the therapist has been said before. Be honest about your anxiety, your obsessions, and your fears. 

*Medication can and does help. With your doctor's help, find the right one with the correct dosage. It might not be the first one you try but keep at it. You will get there!

*Stop Googling. Let me say that again. Stop Googling. Just stop. Stop looking for answers on the internet. 

*Find an app to help. I love the Dare Response! It is the very best thing I have found to help me with my anxiety. Click HERE to go to the website. I use the app every day.

*And finally, keep at it. Show up for yourself every single day. When you start to see a change, keep going. Like brushing your teeth or washing your face, managing your anxiety should be a part of your daily routine.

Thank you for the support you have given me over the years. You have given me the courage to continue talking about my mental health challenges. And I hope I have done the same for you. 

Have a cozy Monday, my friends!
Thanks for visiting!

(Insert cute puppy pics here.)

Billie Jo

*Google for the image.*


  1. I'm glad you were able to reach out for help and that you are talking about it here to help others.

  2. Happy May Day, BillieJo. Your posts have been impetus to help me help myself. And, knowing I’m not the only one has helped tremendously. I love what you said about whatever you tell your therapist, they’ve heard before. One of the worst things about OCD is how it makes us isolate, thinking only we have those thoughts.
    Kindness and patience, as you said, are vital, too.
    I’ll have to check out the Dare app you mentioned.

  3. Thank you for sharing, I'm share it took courage to write it all down. Glad you were able to identify the problem and find the help you needed.

  4. Lots of good advice here! I'm glad the stigma is lessening and proud of you for sharing!

  5. My poor daughter suffers from anxiety and depression, and I myself was diagnosis with a mild case of OCD and neurotic depression. Lord help us. But, we are learning to talk to each other. It's hard. My oldest granddaughter has anxiety and her sister has ODD (that's a hard one). But we are learning to cope thru therapy and honest communication.

  6. I could not love this more Billie Jo! God bless how you share in this space and help many. Such wonderful words of wisdom and tools that you share too. It's easy to see how much your tools help you and how you thrive as a wonderful wife, mother, daughter, family member and friend because you take such good care of yourself.

  7. Thank you for this. I love it. I, too, suffer from mental iIllness and it is so important to be understood in our struggles and to know we are not alone. I am here for you if ever you feel a need to reach out. I know anxiety. I have suffered from depression. And I am currently trying to manage my own mental health challenges. It is dauntingly hard, completely exhausting, terrifyingly scary, and so, so difficult...but our faith and having supportive, understanding, loving friends can help ease the struggle, at least, a little.

  8. I think there are a lot of people struggling with one form of mental illness or another. I think it is admirable of you to share your story and I am sure it will be very helpful to others facing the same situation. It is wonderful that the topic of mental illness is being talked about more openly now hopefully taking some of the stigma away.

  9. Excellent post! Very helpful for all of us! There are more of us who cope with some form of mental illness that we ever know. It’s very kind of you to share your story. Sending you hugs and encouragement!

  10. Such a great post! I think that it is hard for people of a certain age (myself included) to be open and honest about mental heath issues and we definitely need to break the stigma! I look at my kids in high school and college and they definitely seem more aware and willing to reach out for help when needed. I think we can definitely learn from the younger generation in that regard! Hugs to you!

  11. A wonderful and much-needed entry. I suffer from depression, epilepsy and other diseases. It is important to be open to contact with other people. It's good to have a passion. Be healthy. Hugs.

  12. This is great advice for people suffering with this. I'm glad that you got yours under control with the right treatment and care. Your words are clear and concise, and most of all, sincere.

    Your Header is sooooo delightful, I love it. Coffee, chocolate, good reads, all my favorite things. And your pups are precious.

    Happy May days, Billie Jo!


  13. Thanks so much for sharing your story and advice...it's so hard to tackle the ups & downs life tosses our way. Some days I feel the weight of anxiety - brain nose that just won't quiet down. I find myself whispering to myself, "Shhhhh" trying to get it to pass. Truly, sharing your story and what works for you inspires so many, and keeps us from feeling alone. Thank you! Mary

  14. Thanks for sharing what you've been going through in your life. Mental health is a good thing to keeping self motivated and a caring person. I remember when I had a concussion in 2020, after an injury, that I needed to start reading and writing. At times I still say the wrong words but I get corrected kindly from family and friends. I tell myself that I need to keep walking and look words up if I don't how to spell them after remembering that word. Oh...that's how I spell it. 😃
    God bless and have a great week...Becky 🌷


Thanks so much for saying hello!

Billie Jo