Anita: Engaging in Self-Care

Anita is mindful of the need to manage her own self-care and has identified strategies to help her stay grounded.

I soldier on. I put it here in a little compartment and I go to work. Sometimes it comes out but most of the time it doesn’t at work. I have a friend who has a son with mental illness and we go on walks and share our experiences. That’s helpful.

She acknowledged the staggering difficulty of managing life while supporting two children living with mental illness. She also recognizes her strengths and advantages that help her to cope.

I’m really strong. I have had many blessings in my life. I have had so much privilege as a white person and as someone who can function well. I always had a safety net with my parents. I don’t know if I ever used it. But it was always there—I knew it.

For a physical outlet that allows her to focus on the present moment, Anita began playing hockey in her 40s. She attends a support group and meets with a therapist. She participates in NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) events. In addition, as a guardian ad litem volunteer, she advocates for children’s best interests in the court system.

Note: A guardian ad litem is a representative appointed by the court to protect the rights of infants, minors, and mentally incompetent persons in court.

More of the Story: Changed Expectations