Before you get any further, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Phillip Davis. I am (at the time of writing this) 43 years old. I married-without-children and am an elementary school teacher, author, and publisher. I have been dealing with depression and anxiety or bipolar disorder (depending on which doctor you ask) for nearly 25 years. I feel it’s important for you to know a little of background to provide context for anything I have to share with you.
A couple of other things:
1. I am not a licenced therapist, doctor, or psychiatrist. Any advice I offer is from my own experiences and observations and should not be interpreted as medical or mental health advice. If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, please contact a mental or behavioral health professional or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800–273–8255.
2. What is Peppermint Lightning? There are two answers for that. First, it is the name of the first novel I published; the story of a young girl who sets out to restore the Christmas Spirit to a town that has lost its “magic.” That sense of magic and wonder is called Peppermint Lightning in the novel. Second, Peppermint Lightning is about spreading kindness, generosity, and compassion. Though I write on several topics and Peppermint Lightning can be a poor umbrella under which to write this, my “travel” blog, and suspense novels, I have stuck with it because ultimately everything I do is to spread goodwill in one form or another.
Finally, what is this blog about? As I mentioned, I have roughly 25 years of dealing with mental health issues both first and second hand. I’ve lost friends and family to suicide. I have been through crises and come out the other side. I volunteer on my county’s mental health and addiction recovery board. I am not a professional in the field, but I have a lot of experience. I want to share that experience with you. Maybe you can benefit from it. It’s important to know there are people who feel like you do, who have felt like you’ve felt, and to interact with them. It’s important to know that someone sees you, cares about you, and understands you. I can be that person.
Full disclosure: I am writing this blog under Medium’s partner program in hopes to earn a few dollars as a “side-gig” because my wife and I want to follow a dream; a reward to ourselves for overcoming the struggles we’ve faced over the years, and I need to supplement my teacher’s salary a little. I say this because I don’t want to seem disingenuous, offering my help and experience out of compassion, then profiting off of it without being completely transparent.