Late to the Party

Welcome to Wednesday!  It’s time to bring another blogger into the Nation as a Sluiter Nation Recruit.  Don’t know what a Recruit is?  Check here.
This week I am bringing you someone I met while I was collecting votes for the Mom Central grant contest.  Cristi from Motherhood Unadorned and I were in the same category, and thus each other’s competition.  She won.  And it couldn’t have gone to a more deserving person.  I also consider myself a winner because through it all she and I have gotten to know each other.

Cristi is a has a true heart of compassion.  She has lived through depression just like me, but she has had to witness so much more heartache.  Part of her mission on her blog is to raise awareness and help prevent suicide.

But I will let her tell you.

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Hi Sluiter Nation! I’m so honored to be here today. I love Katie’s blog, her openness is a gift. Really I’m just a newbie blogger finding my way (6 months and counting). I was pretty late to the party, but I’ve been so motivated. To write. To connect. To share. To help. And here’s why …

This year marks 20 years since high school graduation. Ah! I said that out loud!

About 24 years ago, I attended a slumber party. I was 13, a freshmen, meeting new friends at a new house in a new part of town. It was Dina’s house. She and I bonded over Head Bangers Ball on MTV, watching the World Premiere Video of Guns & Roses Welcome to the Jungle. We were both convinced “They’re gonna be huge!” Ha. We were right.

My group of girlfriends began to formulate that night. Four years of high school memories, and if you can believe it, 20 years since. About six years ago, we started our own annual girls reunions, a few days of friend time each summer. So fun! But also a chance to reconnect (we live all over the country now) and share in our journeys of motherhood, health and family.

I was also late to the motherhood party. Dina became a mom in her early 20s, the others in their mid to late 20s. I was a nice ripe 34 when my son Ronin came along. My girlfriends were my examples of marriage and motherhood. My cheerleaders through dating and finding my love. My support through cross country moves, mental health issues, infertility treatments, pregnancy and birth.

We are bonded for life. But one life was lost way too soon.

In December we lost Dina to suicide.

I think of her as my muse. I started blogging because of her. I just knew I needed to do something to honor her, to work through my own lingering mental health issues and parenting challenges, and to help others through theirs. To fight for suicide prevention for all I’m worth. And to actually try to have a little fun doing it.

I’ve become a part of something very special. A community of bloggers, of mothers, of readers who just don’t want to feel so alone anymore. An online group of girlfriends … supporters, cheerleaders.

Motherhood is hard. For all of us. In many different ways. But it’s ok. If we can share who we really are, what we’re really going through, without fear of judgement or prejudice, we can overcome anything.

I truly believe that whatever your struggle, it’s valid and important because it is yours. Some may have it worse, some better, but that never diminishes what you are going through. And I’m certain someone else is going through it too.

Trust me. You are not alone.

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Cristi is a true gift to the blogging world.  I really see great things coming from her true heart.

I encourage you to follow Cristi on twitter and facebook.  And then check out these lovely posts:

A post done for The Red Dress Club’s RemembeRED prompt:  First Time

A post about what and when to talk to our children about our scary times:  When Should We Share our “Scars” With Our Children?

A very honest confession that I can totally relate to:  Being a Mom does not 100% Fulfill Me.

Another post close to my heart (which was also syndicated on BlogHer): I’m Not a Bad Mom Because I Take Medication

And another post for The Red Dress Club (one of MY prompts that I gave about sand memories):  Visualize Happy

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 Check out the latest highlight over on my sponsor page…just for baby girls…so cute!

Also check out my latest book review: The Red Tent.

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About Katie

Just a small town girl...wait no. That is a Journey song. Katie Sluiter is a small town girl, but she is far from living in a lonely world. She is a middle school English teacher, writer, mother, and wife. Life has thrown her a fair share of challenges, but her belief is that writing through them makes her stronger.

Comments

  1. Katie, I can’t thank you enough for sharing my story, for your kind words, and your friendship. 🙂

  2. I think this honesty is so amazing. Depression can be very confusing, especially when one (ahem) doesn’t want to admit to it.
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Its SO not easy to admit depression but wonderful things can happen by seeking help, and they’re not always what you’d expect. thank you so much Ostriches for reading. Take care.

  3. Lovely post Cristi, nice to meet you!

    I’m so sorry for your loss, for Dina. I hope that by blogging, you have found some peace (on top of making lots of bloggy friends, and all that amazing community support).

  4. I read her article “I’m not a bad mom because I take medication” on the blogher website awhile back. I could relate, obviously, having been through severe depressive episodes for nearly 18 years. I liked her instantly.

    I did not know about her plight to spread the word about suicide prevention. Having been suicidal with 2 failed attempts in my teens, I am certainly going to become a follower (if I’m not already, I have to go check).

    Thank you for featuring such a strong woman and mother. I appreciate when others share their struggles so honestly.

    • Hi Molly, Thank you for reading, and while I’m not *glad* you can relate, I’m glad to connect with another kindred soul. I’ve also been suicidal myself in the past. I’d like to think that you didn’t fail at suicide but succeeded at living, and I hope you continue to do so. Take care!

  5. Thank you for featuring this new friend. That post about being a mom not being 100% fulfilling really spoke to me. Thank you Cristi for your honest words.

    • Hi Roxanne, Thank you for becoming a new friend, and its so nice to hear my post spoke to you. Its not always easy to admit motherhood is not perfect.

  6. I had no idea that you lost your friend to this
    Monster. I was so at a point where I felt that was my only way out. It’s scary to think it. Hugs

    • Kimberly, thank you for being such a wonderful supporter and online friend. I can’t tell you how many friends I’ve met online since Dina’s death and while I still struggle with the loss of her, I know I’m on the right path. I’ve been there too actually, and it is SO scary. I’m glad we both found other ways to survive. Hugs to you too. 🙂

  7. Welcome Cristi!
    I feel for your loss. I lost an aunt to suicide (my Mom’s little sister) shortly before high school began. I know it can be so hard. It’s wonderful that you’re honoring Dina’s memory… and using your ability to do something productive and helpful with the grief is so fantastic. Hugs.

  8. Cristi is one of those people I think I was destined to meet, and it happened to be through blogging. Sometimes I’m tempted to drive the 3 hours south to meet her, but I’ll get to meet her at BlogHer and I’m so glad.

    All the things Katie has said here are so true – Cristi is amazing in her dedication and love and I’m so sorry it started because of something so tragic.

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  1. […] to be guest posting on over at Sluiter Nation as a Sluiter Nation Recruit! Drop by and check out “Late to the Party” and let me know what you think. Thank you so much Katie for having me […]