Who we are
In the days immediately following Sasha’s death, a small group of her closest friends banded together on the home front to prepare a memorial to their "Bestie" while Sasha’s parents Lynn and Mike made final arrangements for her return to Canada and her funeral in her ancestral home of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec.
Her "Besties" were key in assembling pictures and mementos of Sasha for display at the funeral parlour and the creation of a Toronto memorial for her friends in Ontario. Two of these friends, Felixe and Paige, both from the swimming community set the path in motion for a suitable long term remembrance of their friend.
With help from other close friends and Sasha's sister Kayla, they started a fundraising and awareness campaign by creating and selling orange/green/yellow and hot pink wrist bands. The bands inscribed with Sasha’s dates of birth and death and the phrase "Alis Volat Propriis" bore tags describing their initial mission:
"Today, these bracelets are worn as an expression of our remembrance of Sasha Menu Courey, and defiance of the inner struggle felt by the sufferers of Borderline Personality Disorder. These colours were selected to honour Sasha’s persona and love for everything vivacious. Please wear these bracelets as we are connected in the fight to raise awareness of the desperate need for research, education and support. The donations received will be passed on to the Sasha Menu Courey fund through Mount Sinai Hospital.
(She flies with her own wings)"
As the summer of 2011 came to an end, Paige and Felixe joined with Sasha’s parents Mike and Lynn, their own parents: Jerome, Annie, John and Barb to form "Making waves on BPD and suicide prevention". Along the way we have been joined by Sasha’s sister Kayla, her cousin Nicole, swim parent Christine and have been supported by a small group of talented and determined individuals who have assisted us along the way.
May 11, 2012 marked our official launch of school talks Borderline... what? - a message of hope.
Our efforts continue...
- We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better...
- Let's remove stigma from mental illness and Borderline Personality Disorder...
- We are all in this together, you are not alone...
- Validation before problem solving...
- Emotion Regulation Disorder is the new name for Borderline Personality Disorder...
- Let's teach DBT skills in schools...
- Let's intervene, let's intervene early...
- Show me compassion and empathy first, don't just tell me how to change
- Let go of judgments and believe in me so that I can believe in myself
- Accept me so that I can better accept myself
- We are all doing the best we can and we can all do better next time
- Take care of yourself then you can attend to others
- Be mindful - Observe, describe, participate effectively
- Observe your own emotions rise and that of others, pause then engage effectively
- Strive to be wise, not just rational or emotional
- Change what you can, accept what you cannot
- Validation is not agreement
- Validate, Validate Validate
- Be supportive, let go of judgements
- We can't control having strong emotions but we can change how we respond to them
- Hope is everything and is always there even when I cannot see it
- BPD is more common than Schyzophrenia and Bipolar Disorder combined 6%
- The suicide rate of BPD victims is 400 times that of general population
- BPD is the third leading killer of young women between the ages of 15-24
- 1 of 5 seek help, 4 of 5 benefit from treatment
- 4,000 young people die by suicide per year in Canada
- I am not the disorder. I am a person/li>
- Stop the Stigma - by Speaking Up
- Living with BPD is like not having an emotional skin
- Genetic vulnerabilities and invalidating environment could lead to BPD
- Mindfulness is not what you think
- Mindfulness is being present moment to moment
- Mindfulness is just observing, paying attention to non-judgement
- Patience, trust, non-striving and acceptance
- Mindfulness does not come by itself..it takes practice
- Let your breath be your anchor to observe thoughts as they arise
- Observe thoughts as they come and go like waves on the ocean
- Pay attention to what you are actually paying attention to
- What we frequently think we become
- Turning my auto-pilot off
- Only that day dawns to which we are awake - Thoreau Walden
- It is a radical act of love to just just down and be quiet for a time by YOURSELF
- You are HERE!
- Make each moment count!
- I am a valuable part of all that EXISTS
- I am Love. ALL is Love
- The practice of mindfulness is not to follow your heart but to train your heart
- It's OK, let it be
- Smile at thoughts, they are empty. The only power thoughts have is the power you give them
- The benefit will come to your life with consistent mindfulness practice everyday
- Whatever you do to make it mindful!
- Kindness is pure wisdom
- Mindfulness is free or craving, want or hate
- Be gentle to yourself as well as others
- When you feel connected to someone that connection gives you purpose
- Practice kindness whenever possible. It's always possible - Dalai Lama