Hannah Galliers has navigated through her journey with Borderline Personality Disorder, known in the United Kingdom as Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). Although Hannah’s official diagnosis with BPD was recent, she has been on a healing journey through meditation and mindfulness practices and other therapies for several years.
Debbie DeMarco Bennett grew up in a difficult home situation and moved to foster care as a teen. She went through her own Hell, and chose to go back, to help those who live there. For Debbie, recovery started with a diagnosis.
Within the next 24 hours, more than 3,000 teenagers in the United States will attempt to take their own lives. Seventeen of them will succeed. Jackie Simmons’ daughter, Stephanie, shared that statistic when delivering a speech which would change lives and inspire teens to come together with Stephanie’s sisters and to create, “The Teen Suicide Prevention Society.”
On December 22, 2020, 24 year old Yocheved Gourarie took her own life. Yocheved was a kind and thoughtful person. Loved by all. She was a top student, always maintaining perfect grades in school and at the time of her passing, was in the process of applying to PHD nursing programs. Posthumously, the family learned that she was accepted at Columbia University in their DNP program on track to becoming a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. Unfortunately, her battle with mental illness raged, and she succumbed to it, not having fulfilled her dreams.
Growing up, Nichole and her family knew she was different; something just seemed “off.” But she wouldn’t get diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder until she was 20 years old. As a young child, she assumed everyone was having a similar inner experience to hers, so she didn’t even think to ask for help. Her parents didn’t understand how much was going on in her brain. During a manic episode, Nichole left home and moved in with a boy several hours away. When the mania subsided, she found herself in the deepest depression of her life. She took herself to the hospital many times, and was turned away every time before finally getting admitted for attempting suicide and being taken home by her parents.
Laura Messner grew up in a typical home until her parents divorced when she was eight years old. After she became aware of how little she got to see her father, she began chasing after perfection in every way she could think of to “earn” his attention… until she developed an eating disorder and eventually attempted suicide. She came to learn self-love and to take responsibility for her own pain and healing journey. As a teenager, she resisted help because she was unwilling to admit that everything inside was not perfect. It wasn’t until her late twenties that she came to understand that her struggles stemmed from the pain she felt from seeing herself as a victim of her father’s abandonment.
As 2020 comes to a close, we continue discussing our ability to harness the power of resilience that can be accomplished when focusing with gratitude. It is crucial to learn how to shield ourselves and create boundaries from things that are harmful to us and to become aware of our triggers. We learn to say “no” things that will hurt us and give ourselves permission to ask, “Is what I’m going to do going to help me in my recovery, or is it going to set me back”.
After having seven episodes of psychosis and Bipolar I over the course of five years, Zahava List finally got through five years without a single episode. During those five years, she started an organization called Chazkeinu, which offers a support group to Jewish women and their families who are dealing with mental illness.
As the end of 2020 nears, Matana reflects back on the changes, growth and hurdles that we’ve seen and learned from. Inspired from the positive moments, we focus on the power of resilience and our commitment to keeping this attribute a constant thread in the fabric that weaves us.