Thursday, April 11, 2013

I Stand for getting through hard days.

My adrenaline was running top speed all day yesterday with the production of Dancing with the Stars of JMU last night.... no wonder I felt worn down, exhausted and a little depressed today.

One of the hardest things for me in accepting my mental illnesses is the fact that they are never really going to go away, and also I can't control when my symptoms will flare up. I can work really really hard to keep myself healthy and in recovery - but sometimes it is still just going to be extra difficult.

Today felt like one of extra difficult days.

I did my best to stay focused on the tasks of the day at hand though - mainly classes. And worked on reframing my thoughts. Have you ever done that before?

Today ALL day in fact my brain kept saying "just give up, it's not worth it." so I had to counter it with "you're tired - and you are worth it - take it easy".

It helped me get through today in my after production emotional roller-coaster ride type of thing....

...and it worked kinda (but don't tell my therapist I said that haha)....

Today I stand for getting through the hard days because we all have them. Sometimes we don't know why they are hard, and sometimes we do - but doing little things to get through them - asking for support, reaching out and taking it easy are all things that I stand for today.

#JMUhopestrong Video

Song by: Melissa Ann Hopely
Video by: Erin Elizabeth Casey

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I Stand for #JMUhopestrong

It's done.

7 WONDERFUL dancers and 7 WONDERFUL Stars got on stage and danced for a purpose that really matters to the JMU community - or anyone for that matter. They put themselves out there saying - it's okay to need help, to talk about mental health, to ask for help, to encourage one another.


This event has been in the works since November 2012. Every single minute, hour, phone call, email, meeting and arrangement was 110% worth it - because JMU heard the message loud and clear: we're in this together. Life happens - and we are not alone.


Dancing with the Stars of JMU for Suicide Prevention happened because students, faculty, staff, administration, organizations and the like all came together and said: "Our mental and emotional wellbeing are important too."


Tonight may be over, but always remember that you're not alone. Always remember that you matter, always remember that you are worth the time and the energy that it takes to become the best you!

Always and Forever #JMUhopestrong

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I Stand for following your dreams....and your heart.

Dancing with the Stars for JMU happens in about 19 hours. It's crazy to think how many people have been encouraged to speak out and start conversations because of the creation of JMU Dancing with the Stars for Suicide Prevention.

I'm thrilled - heart pounding - mind racing - nervous - excited for a room of hundreds of JMU students to hear the message: "You are worth the time, the effort, the energy and the support that you need to figure out/become/and LIKE who you are."

College is all about developing our minds intellectually. But how are we supposed to use what we have learned if we don't understand ourselves, or cannot regulate our emotions in healthy ways so that we can become the productive, self sufficient, dream chasing, life loving, innovating people that JMU has been preparing us to become?

If there is one thing I've learned at JMU it's that you can't run away from yourself (and well, probably a bunch of other stuff too)... but, since I entered in 2008 I've learned that no matter how hard you try, no matter how much you succeed, no matter who you impress or don't impress - you are who you are at the end of every single day. If we leave here not knowing who that is - or not knowing how to take care of ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally in very basic ways - then how are we going to use all the other knowledge  we've learned?

My name is Erin Casey. I Stand for following your dreams, pursuing your passions and your heart - but at the same time being able to look yourself in the mirror at the end of the day when everyone is gone - and know that you - who you are regardless of all else -are perfectly okay -- or better beautiful in YOUR way.

That is what Dancing with the stars of JMU is all about.