About Judi Myers

The world is a big place. Each of us makes a difference. I'm here to remind us all that we have a voice to be heard and an impact to be felt.

Love Conquers All

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Of Doom, Strawberries and Love

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It’s serendipity. Perhaps the most beloved episode in television at this moment about an unexpected love story is broadcast only days before the month of love.

Intentional or not, Episode 3 of the newest HBO series, “The Last Of Us,” stands as a metaphor of what love truly means to all of us in this world and how it enraptures us to respect and preserve humanity, even in the face of global catastrophe and annihilation.

“Passion makes the world go ’round. Love just makes it a safer place.”

ICE-T

The broadcast brought viewers to their knees. On Twitter, the hashtags #LastOfUs and #LastOfUs3 blew up with posts on how epic the episode was. I personally tweeted that it is the GOAT of television writing, directing, cinematography, acting and the entire creative process. At the time of this writing, viewing soared to over 6 million watchers, a 12% increase over the series so far. 

So why? I’m not a TV critic, but I never thought I would be waxing such passion and awe about a TV episode – well maybe besides the collective series of “This Is Us” – let alone comparing it to the essence of love and the potential of the human heart. It’s ludicrous to think that TV could be so moving, so touching and so poignant, wielding such power over the emotions of people everywhere. 

Given the state of the world, I’d conjecture that we are thirsting for the core of our humanity. We have been searching for the very thing that fuels our will to live and steers us towards how we live. We’ve been deprived of validation, affection, compassion and spirit for so long that by engaging in two hours of watching true love unfold right before our eyes, we once again felt love filling our own hearts. And it was euphoric. 

“All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.”

hellen keller

We fell in love with the episode, and we fell back in love with humankind.

“Love is such a powerful force. It’s there for everyone to embrace-that kind of unconditional love for all of humankind. That is the kind of love that impels people to go into the community and try to change conditions for others, to take risks for what they believe in.”

CORETTA SCOTT KING

If you’re willing, watch episode 3 or invest in viewing the series from the beginning. There are so many stunning scenes, memorable quotes and a delightfully giddy encounter with strawberries that should warm your hearts and get you in the mood for Valentine’s Day. Of note, the episode was anchored with the song, “Long Long Time,”sung by Linda Ronstadt, written by Gary B. White, from 1979, now streaming at a rate of a rate of 4900%:

“Love will abide, take things in stride
Sounds like good advice
But there’s no one at my side
And time washes clean
Love’s wounds unseen
That’s what someone told me
But I don’t know what it means
‘Cause I’ve done everything I know to try and make you mine
And I’m gonna love you for a long, long time”

LINDA RONSTADT and Gary b. white

I’m disheartened that this exquisite moment in time will be fleeting, but maybe it’s enough to sustain us until the next one comes along. 

“Where there is great love, there are always miracles.”

WILLA CATHER

Happy Valentine’s Day! 

May you find love for a lifetime. 

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From Holiday Cheer to Health Despair

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Ho, ho, hope

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It’s concerning that the height of the mainstream holiday season—traditionally a boon for celebration and good cheer—is becoming a stage for mental, emotional and physical health. 

Do you notice an increasing narrative on combating stress, anxiety and depression, and a steady stream of content calling out warning signs, remedies and support resources related to “holiday distress?” In my neighborhood, The Chicago Department of Public Health posted a resource on “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay During the Holidays” on Facebook

And then there’s the tragic news of the sudden loss of beloved celebrity, husband and father Stephen tWitch Boss from death by suicide that has generated countless tributes of shock and sadness and sparked conversations on the urgency to address the mental health crisis.

The CDC reports that in 2020, 45,979 people died by suicide in the United States. That’s 1 person every 11 minutes. Further, the agency notes that 12.2M adults seriously thought about suicide; 3.2M made a plan; and 1.2M attempted suicide. There’s also a disproportionate rate of suicide among certain ethnic groups with the highest suicide rates among non-Hispanic American Indian and Alaska Natives and non-Hispanic Whites. The suicide rate among males in 2020 was 4 times higher than the rate among females. And people ages 85 and older have the highest rates of suicide.1

Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But it is not inevitable. There is hope.

U.S. Department of Health and human services

I applaud the loud and persistent voice giving attention to an ongoing untreated epidemic wreaking havoc on joy and happiness year-round let alone during the end of year holidays. But are we listening to the cries for help, seeing the warning signs of distress and taking the prescribed action to protect those in need, including ourselves. How can we make time and create room to deal with mental health issues with ourselves and others when we’re busy with holiday shopping, parties and the clock ticking on finishing projects and resolving unattended goals before the yearend? The causes and solutions become intertwined and blurred. 

The scope of this condition ranges from the overwhelming pressure of additional socializing, increased spending—oftentimes unbudgeted and spending more time with family—sometimes estranged, to the extreme pain of fear, fatigue, conflict, depression, anxiety and ultimately the feeling of inescapable gloom.

For most of my life, I’ve been dealing with the struggles of my own mental and emotional health. From overlooked childhood anxiety and self-esteem difficulties and young adult imposter syndrome to disregarded postpartum depression and now diagnosed chronic depression, I’ve been combatting my illness through therapy, medication and sheer self-preservation. Yet it’s exhausting and often times hopeless. And there it is: hopelessness. The state of plummeting into despair and the doom of surrender. 

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “Suicide can touch anyone, anywhere, and at any time. But it is not inevitable. There is hope.”2 The Department runs SAMSA: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

My Resources

What can we do? I’m no expert, so I’ll offer some of the ways I cope and resources I rely on:

  • Say it out loud; no one needs to be listening, but try to find someone who will, too.
  • Write it down, journal, make a private video or recording.
  • Consult your medical professionals.
  • Keep an eye out on social media for content and conversations. Many users do post credible resources and messages. Make sure to vet these. Here are a few I found:
  • And then there’s the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 988

Sending you love, compassion and hope during the holidays and all year around. 

Endnotes

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Suicide Data and Statistics

2The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Suicide Prevention Resources

Hello World!

Nice to Meet You

Close-up, abstract view of architecture.

Welcome to I’ll Say It For You or ILLSIFY!

/il’-si-fī/

This is a safe space for expressions, observations, rants and raves that give voice to thoughts meandering in minds and teetering on tongues.

And you’re invited to agree, disagree, augment, clarify or disregard altogether.

If you can’t find a way to articulate what you want to say or feel a little hesitant or reserved to speak out about something eating at you, then “I’ll say it for you.”

Nothing is right or wrong, black or white, right or left. I live in the “grey” and wide open spaces where free flowing dialog thrives and evolves.

Let’s dive in and see where this forum takes us. Remember, if you’re saying it, I probably am, too!