Long-time readers will know that I have shared my struggle with bipolar disorder on Gap Creek Gourmet numerous times. When fellow blogger Stephanie over at Olive + Tate wrote about her struggle with anxiety on a recent blog post, I reached out to her. It’s a brave thing to openly discuss our mental health struggles. I have always viewed my diagnosis as any other health issue, just like a recurring headache or a food allergy. But, I know so many people who see it as a stumbling block or a stigma. I asked Stephanie if she would join me. I also reached out to a few other brave women to join us in telling their stories. Our goal? To start a conversation about women’s mental health.
On May 24 at 6:30pm at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville, South Carolina, the four of us are teaming up to tell our story of how we found success despite living with depression, anxiety or, in my case, bipolar. This is not a medical forum. It’s real women telling real stories.
Did you know May is Mental Health Awareness Month? This event is a great start to a conversation that I hope outlasts May. We want women everywhere to not feel ashamed to ask their doctor for help. To not be afraid of repercussions from their boss if they have to ask for a mental health day. To not be afraid to tell their girlfriends that they are really depressed and need to talk. Some people even hide their illness from their spouse. Please get your tickets now. This event will help raise awareness about the stigma of women’s mental health.
Introducing our speakers:
Erin Harvey is a Greenville native and self-proclaimed multi-preneur who encourages others to “Live Your Story” while recognizing their worth. Erin knows there is more to life than a 9 to 5 and can often be found spending time with her beloved niece and nephew, discussing her love for the islands, why her dog is not named after Elvis, reggae music and all things zen.
Kerri Michelle Barbrey is a coach’s wife, and a baseball and football mom. She spends most of her free time at one field or another volunteering with youth sports, and cheering on her 11—year old son. She’s hostage to two fur babies, and is a crazy fan of Clemson football. She is proud to be an employee of the Public Safety and Emergency 911 family, where she is an engaging speaker and trainer. Kerri is known for having no filter from her brain to her mouth and finding humor in every situation. In her rare downtime Kerri can be found sipping on a glass of sweet tea while listening to music as loud as it will go.
Stephanie of Olive and Tate is a Starbucks fueled wife and baby boy mama who find complete joy in a generously poured glass of red wine under reasonably clean white sheets at the end of the day. Stephanie loves run on sentences, silence and fondly reminiscing about her pre-baby boobs.
Nichole Livengood is a PR Strategist, social media nerd, freelance writer, and networking beast. She is co-organizer of Greenville Small Plate Crawl, and writes the popular Greenville food blog, GapCreekGourmet.com. Nichole is an advocate of the Body Positive movement and speaks openly about living with bipolar diagnosis. She is mom to a 14-year old and a house full of pets, and has been married for eighteen years. She’s an entrepreneur, an exuberant starter, and hasn’t quite figured out what she wants to be when she grows up.
Please come out and support us.
Your mother, sister, aunt, wife, girlfriend… someone you know is dealing with one (or all) of these issues. Bring them with you. Let’s start this conversation.
Tickets are available now for $25 via bit.ly/starttalkinggreenville and a portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI). Make sure to purchase your tickets in advance and help us #starttalking.
*A limited number of tickets will be available at the door.
If you’d like to read my past posts about living with a bipolar diagnosis, please go here.