Step 1

Last year, I participated in a mentorship program at work. I did not think I would get anything from it, and I did not believe I needed to be mentored, but I figured why not? What is the worse that could happen? NOTHING; sometimes I stand in my way. I put my nerves to the side, and  I sent an email to my perspective mentor, asking if he would like to mentor me.  I was thankful when he said yes.  

The first meeting went well; I was a little nervous. We discussed his past and how he made it to the role he has today. I shared my past and my passion for the diabetes community. The meeting ended on a great note, and I promised that I would not be nervous the next time we met. 

What did I want to gain or learn? I knew I wanted to work on executive presence and my speaking/presenting skills, which I knew he could help me with, but I did not expect to work on my career development and myself.  

The following meeting I had with him was amazing and eye opening. He said one thing to me, which completely blew my mind,” Cherise, What if you stop thinking about the things you like to do and focus on the things you love to do.” I probably had a “stuck on stupid” look on my face; I was a little confused, but what he said made sense.  

In order to be able to get something out of this mentorship, I needed to look deep within myself. I was on a mission to learn more about me and focus on the things I love to do at home, work and in the diabetes community and learning how to balance my personal and professional life without losing myself in between the two.  

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Painful Memory

Yesterday I heard of Robin Williams passing through a friend’s Facebook status. I instantly clicked on the link and read he committed suicide. I was heartbroken; I did not know him, but he was talented, and he seemed very genuine. I admittedly said a prayer for his family, and then I thought of my own.

When I was five years old, my brothers and I was playing in the living room of our house. I am not sure what happened, but I remember seeing a rope in the shape of a loop and my mother standing on a chair. My mom did not see us, but we saw her standing with her head held low, tears falling from her and she placed her head in the loop. She looked up and saw her four children watching her-she got down from the chair ran over and gave us a hug. I can’t believe I remember that day like it was yesterday. I cannot believe my mom almost took her life. Robin’s death brought the painful memory of my mother’s attempted suicide.

I could not sleep last night-the still shot of my mother kept playing over and over in my head.  I called my mom this morning for the first time I was able to ask her about her suicide attempt (I received the ok from her post it here). 

Me: “Mom, every time I hear about someone committing suicide, I think about the time I saw you almost take your life.”

Mom: “Yes, I know.”

Me: “Mom, I am glad you did not kill yourself. I am thankful you did not. If you do not mind me asking, why did you almost take your life.”

Mom: “I went through a bad divorce, my childhood and everything else just kind of hit me at once. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Did you hit rock bottom? You felt like you could not go on?”

Mom: “Yes, I was tired. I was tired of being walked on and being used; I was depressed. I was in a dark place.”

Me: “Why didn’t you kill yourself? Did you have a conversation with God?”

Mom: “No, my kids saved my life.”

Me: “I am glad we walked in on you. I do not remember you getting help. How did you get passed the dark place?”

Mom: “My kids and faith. I stopped thinking about what others were saying. I blocked it out. I roll with the punches. I have never had the feeling or thought to kill myself since then.”

Me: “Mom, I am at work. I have to go. I am glad you’re still here. I love you.”

This Time Will Be Different

Over the past four years, I created two new blogs and a abandoned them a few weeks after I started. I asked myself over and over again, Why did I stop blogging? The only reason I could come up with is that I lost myself inside of diabetes advocacy and Diabetes Social Media Advocacy.

My entire focus was on the diabetes community; I placed the entire world on mute and turned my passion into a full time/part time job. I slowly found myself being “Cherise with diabetes”, and not that it is a bad thing, it is not who I am.

I am going to give blogging another shot, but it’s going to be different this time.

-Cherise