sons-and-daughters

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Hilarious Family Portraits Capture the Chaos of Being a Parent

As any parent knows, raising a family isn’t always a walk in the park. Lifestyle photographer Danielle Guenther captures this sentiment in Best Case Scenario, a hilarious series that presents some of the messy, chaotic moments of parenting in a comical light.

Sons and Daughters (feat. Liz Lawrence)
  • Sons and Daughters (feat. Liz Lawrence)
  • Allman Brown
  • Sons and Daughters - Single
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"Sons and Daughters"- Allman Brown ft. Liz Lawrence

I stood in the Oregon rain this afternoon. I could feel my jacket growing heavier the longer I stood there. All of the thoughts that have robbed me of sleep over the past month dripped down my face and fingers, and sunk into the sand. 

This song has become the anthem of my current roadtrip. I watched my friends humming it’s tune while we built a fire on the beach. Glasses of bourbon and smoking cigarettes. Sitting around our cabin talking about life. Messy, messy life. 

All of it made easier with close brothers and perfect tunes. 

Cheers.

1. Cry. Pour your heart out in rivers and remove some of the water that was drowning the flowers in your lungs. Cry. Scream into your pillows like clouds. Let them take your thunder. Let them absorb the water you don’t need anymore. Your bed is your best friend today.

2. There are days where you won’t even want to see anyone’s face. Not even his or hers. Not even your own. That’s fine. Stay in bed today, baby. Skip a day of school. Just make sure to catch up on everything else later.

3. Get out of bed. Get some new clothes from your clean stack and take a shower. Wash the sadness out of your hair. Use a different body wash this time. Sing in the shower. Let the walls echo of you. You are a song bird.

4. Don’t sleep in your room. Sleep somewhere else, so that these thoughts and feelings stick to the walls of a place that you don’t normally sleep in. Sleep alongside me. Sleep in the living room. Sleep in the extra bedroom in your house. Take a vacation from your bedroom for a while. Come back when you’ve recovered. This might even take a month.

5. This is the perfect opportunity to take any old memories of those who fucked with your beautiful heart, put them in a box, and go out back. Burn those memories in a bonfire, just like you’ve burned the bridges. Make sure you are certain of this decision.

6. Turn off the notifications on your phone if you need to. Don’t talk to them when your head is at its lowest. Negativity is easily spread like disease. Your head is not the same when you are depressed. They won’t understand. They might be at a different mentality.

6 (a). If you find that talking to someone makes you feel better, Shut your eyes, look into the stars that settle underneath your lids, and pick the person that you truly want to talk to right now. Make a mental list of those people, contact each of them. (Don’t make a permanent list, though. This is because your answer might be different the next time you feel like this.) Call them. Message them. Email them. Love them. Say thank you right after.

7. Please don’t pick up a bottle. Please don’t pick up a blade. Please don’t take all those pills. Understand that your body is filled with galaxies and gardens and it is all beautiful beyond your understanding. There are other ways to handle things like this. Don’t let it win you over.

8. It’s morning again and you might feel like shit. Wear a different shade of eye shadow today. Make your lipstick different today. Wear another set of earrings. Wear bright colors. Listen to upbeat songs. Wear perfume or cologne. Wear your hair differently. Wear those old shoes you forgot about. Do something new. It might feel like dressing up a corpse, but soon enough you’ll catch on to how alive you look.

9. Go back and watch those funny videos that you used to laugh so hard at. Make a list of them and keep them in a personal playlist. Make sure you have them saved for the next time you feel like this.

10. These are simply tips I learned on my own. You and I will not have the same experiences. Make sure that you also find your own ways to get out of this.

11. Remember that it is not good to live like this. Make sure to wake up one day and say “I cannot live like this anymore, I need to stop this cycle and be alive.”. That will be your motivation. That is when you realized that you need to be living.

12. Remember that this is all temporary. Remember that there is always an end to a storm. Remember that these emotions come and go. You simply aren’t yourself when you are like this. It might there is nothing left to live for, but I promise there is more. How do you think I’ve made it this far?

—  Things I Want To Tell My Future Child When Depression is All They Know. (aesthetic-pastel)

John William Waterhouse, The Danaides, 1903.

In Greek mythology, the Danaids, Danaides or Danaïdes, were the fifty daughters of Danaus. They were to marry the fifty sons of Danaus’s twin brother Aegyptus, a mythical king of Egypt. In the most common version of the myth, all but one of them killed their husbands on their wedding night, and are condemned to spend eternity carrying water in a sieve or perforated device. In the classical tradition, they come to represent the futility of a repetitive task that can never be completed.

Danaus did not want his daughters to go ahead with the marriages and he fled with them in the first boat to Argos, which is located in Greece near the ancient city of Mycenae.

Danaus agreed to the marriage of his daughters only after Aegyptus came to Argos with his fifty sons in order to protect the local population, the Argives, from any battles. The daughters were ordered by their father to kill their husbands on the first night of their weddings and this they all did with the exception of one, Hypermnestra, who spared her husband Lynceus because he respected her desire to remain a virgin. Danaus was angered that his daughter refused to do as he ordered and took her to the Argives courts. Lynceus killed Danaus as revenge for the death of his brothers and he and Hypermnestra started the Danaid Dynasty of rulers in Argos.

The other forty-nine daughters remarried by choosing their mates in footraces. Some accounts tell that their punishment was in Tartarus being forced to carry a jug to fill a bathtub without a bottom (or with a leak) to wash their sins off. Because the water was always leaking they would forever try to fill the tub. Probably this myth is connected with a ceremony having to do with the worship of waters, and the Danaides were water-nymphs. 

Bipolar Disorder: A Mother’s Perspective
By Muffy Walker, The Huffington Post

Putting baby locks on the kitchen cabinets to protect my toddler was one thing, but locking away the steak knives from my 7-year-old was not something I ever imagined would be necessary. I also never imagined that I would need to use my skills as a psychiatric nurse on my own child.

When my youngest son turned four, my husband and I began noticing behaviors that were foreign to us. He had become unusually aggressive; having uncontrollable temper tantrums in the grocery store aisle, throwing toys across the room at his brothers, and kicking me at the slightest parental control. Once a gregarious, outgoing child, he had become fearful, frightened to go to school, afraid to be in his room alone, or afraid to go outside to play. He now shunned the beach because the sand bothered his toes. In the summer he wore winter clothes, complaining he was cold. The inside labels on his shirt and seams on his socks sent him into fits of rage.

Over the next three and a half years, we saw five psychiatrists, each offering a different diagnosis. Finally, after being treated with an anti-depressant, he experienced a full-blown manic episode and was ultimately diagnosed with early-onset bipolar disorder.

In addition to dealing with my son’s diagnosis, I found very little support for my family or myself. I began talking with other moms at the playground, explaining why my son was different and what his aberrant behaviors meant. We talked openly and honestly about it and encouraged him to do so as well.

In the early years, our openness came back to haunt us. Parents whispered about him at t-ball games, no one invited him to birthday parties, sleepovers or play dates. The children on the playground called him names like psycho, looney head and mental case. The boys taunted him and told him to go back to the mental hospital (even though he’d actually never been at one). Each day when I picked him up from school, he would shuffle over to the car with his head hanging down, telling me of yet another example of the bullying he had endured.

I wanted so badly for him to fit in, for the other kids to understand him and to accept him for who he was. After all, the children with diabetes or other physical illnesses were not excluded. Only those with mental illnesses were. I didn’t want my son to grow up ashamed.

Today, our son is 21 and he will tell you the worst part of his illness is the stigma. Why do we as a society stigmatize our friends, family, and others by branding them with a mark of disgrace? According to Dr. Thomas Jensen, a psychiatrist specializing in general and neuropsychiatry treating children, adolescents and adults, “The stigma associated with bipolar disorder can cause patients to conceal their diagnosis, experience additional anxiety, discontinue treatment, or withdraw from family and friends, which can lead to poor treatment outcomes related to noncompliance; social isolation and worsening depression; and the undermining of self esteem.”

And let’s not be fooled, bipolar disorder, along with other mental health disorders, can strike anyone. We need to help everyone understand that bipolar disorder is a disease, just like any other disease, that can be treated. According to Dr. Jensen, “Mental illness knows no age limits, economic status, race, creed or color. I treat every walk of life including highly successful business people, attorneys and physicians.”

Approximately one in four experience a mental health disorder in any given year, andnearly half of Americans will experience a mental health disorder at some point in their lifetime. It is therefore likely that you or someone you know has or will experience a psychological problem, and reducing the stigma will help them cope and treat their mental health disorders.

We can all play a role in eliminating the stigma around bipolar disorder and mental illness. Courageous individuals, like actress and producer Rene Russo, have stepped forward to show others with bipolar disorder that they are not alone. Will you help put a stop to the stigma?

To learn more about the International Bipolar Foundation, click here.
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Have a story about depression that you’d like to share? Emailstrongertogether@huffingtonpost.com, or give us a call at (860) 348-3376, and you can record your story in your own words. Please be sure to include your name and phone number.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

For more mental health resources, Click Here to access the Serious Mental Illness Blog
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