TechMom Tuesday: Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor

I am TechMom. I am a mom. Because of technology.

Search and Destroy (the TechMom tots) were born 13 weeks too soon (because who needs a third trimester when you have technology). I did not get to meet my sons the day they were born. A team of doctors immediately surrounded them, gently placing them in computerized incubators. A team of nurses hooked them up to sensors – the critical results to be displayed on the monitors above their isolettes.

It was technology keeping them alive from their first breath of air.

And it was the help of technology that helped drive me forward with a purpose, to share my story and deal with the emotional fall out of prematurity.

About a year ago, I saw the call for submissions to a book on mental illness. I laughed.

Because sometimes they only way to survive is to find the humor of the situation. Or, at the very least, make inappropriate jokes that diffuse the situation in your mind (your mentally misfiring mind, that is).

Over the last few years there has been a push to end the stigma of mental illness. One way to end the stigma is to begin talking openly about mental illness. I couldn’t agree more. (Although I did have second thoughts when I shared my affliction with ABC World News Tonight back in 2012.) Increasingly, I discovered that those conversations occurred with the friends who lived in my computer.

Personally, I’m fighting against depression and anxiety.

There is no one “right” way to treat diseases of the mind. It is very wrong to simply dismiss them, telling someone to “think positively.” But it is treatable. And in the meantime, we live our lives – sometimes even finding little moments to laugh.

You are not alone.

And I’m taking a stand on my technology soapbox here to make sure everyone out there, living in my computer world, knows they are not alone.

SMITH Final Book Cover
Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor

The anthology, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor is now available.

Seriously. Go buy it now. Yes, you – you are the target audience of this book, even if you’re rolling your eyes at me right now. Whether it’s you or someone you love, this anthology will allow you to see the humor behind the darkness.

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About the book:

Living with a mental illness is a journey that one in four Americans will travel at some point in their lifetimes. The stigma and misinformation surrounding the public perception of mental illness is appalling and unfounded. Those with symptoms fear judgment and being ostracized, leaving many to suffer in silence. Awareness and understanding are crucial in eradicating negative attitudes about those with mental illness. By creating an honest dialogue about the highs and lows of mental illness, the non-suffering public will gain a better understanding, and those suffering may be more likely to seek the support they need.

In discussing their own personal experiences with mental illness, popular bloggers and creators of the anthology Alyson Herzig and Jessica Azar envisioned a book that would squash stigma and support readers that are facing their illnesses alone, Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor was born. They gathered a group of talented humor writers who personally battle mental illness. The authors willingness to share their personal stories is inspiring, and shows that living with mental illness doesn’t have to equal a life of endless misery. While the lows of living with mental illness can be devastating, the disease doesn’t define the lives of these contributors. Surviving Mental Illness Through Humor contains essays that will make the reader’s heart ache, as well as ones that will make them cry with laughter. The groundbreaking anthology leads the mission to ‘laugh stigma into submission’ by inspiring attitudes of acceptance and compassion.