Blog Posts by Courtney Burke

I am not the illness – the illness is in me #WorldBipolarDay

Bipolar disorder, also referred to as manic-depression, is a condition in which one swings between extreme highs and lows. It is an illness that consists of both euphoria and debilitating spouts of depression that can make day to day life impossible to manage. The moods are considered outside of the norm. But what is the…

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Tips To Help When The Mind Takes Over

So many of us have had a panic or anxiety attack and I feel like there is a lot of closet panic/anxiety,  so here are some tips, from me to you, for when the mind takes over: Anxiety manifests physically and the body goes into fight or flight mode. We begin to hunch over to protect our…

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The Rise Of The Mental Health Movement

I remember speaking with a few people my age at a gathering. We were talking about ambitions, careers and goals. I would always say I want to wake up with a fire within me. Often times, I have heard the response, “but does anyone?” — and at one point, I felt the same way. But…

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The Weather Is Not Bipolar

(Trigger Warning: discussion of means around suicidal thoughts/attempts) I sit here on National Day Without Stigma, gazing out the window while on the road. I’ve heard the words, “the weather is so bipolar” over and over and over again. I’ll usually smile or laugh along but deep down, my mind is elsewhere. I know stigmatizing…

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Here I go, on the road again

Monday was our first display at Merrimack College. The anticipation before a display always has me ready to go in the morning, ready to tackle the mission. There is always an overwhelming sense of solidarity among staffers, volunteers and faculty alike. There are many interactions that stick with me. Throughout the day, the fact that…

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Reasons To Keep Living

I sit here on this Sunday evening, as National Suicide Prevention Week begins. I think about returning to the road in a few days on my second Send Silence Packing tour. I reflect on the personal stories on the backpacks, the 350 faces that I carry with me, every second of every day. Faces that…

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The Road Behind Me

I sit in the foothills of the Sierras, looking out at the mountains in the distance while reflecting on this tour that is now behind me. 18 displays. Hundreds of conversations that shook me, that made me feel everything at once. Countless amounts of individuals whose tireless effort is the fuel that keeps this mental…

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