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Hey! So Glad You're Here.

I’m Mona McGregor, the one behind My Secret Chaos.

10 random facts about me:

  1. I come from a blended family (Romanian, Vietnamese Chinese).

  2. I've been a graphic designer for over 23 years.

  3. I majored in Music Performance at Florida State University.

  4. My husband & I met on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in the 90's.

  5. I love my family and 2 doggies.

  6. I love running. It's definitely a form of therapy for me.

  7. I love fishing and boating.

  8. I love to eat, especially sushi.

  9. I love visiting new restaurants & breweries with the hubby.

  10. I love alt-rock music.

I'm blessed beyond measure to have an amazing tribe behind me. My family is my rock. They support me in all my ventures and teach me so much each and everyday.

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Why I started this blog

This blog was born out of the desire to help and connect with others who were raised by or has lived with someone with a severe mental illness. My experience was confusing, traumatic, and chaotic. Being raised by someone that was mentally ill brought on feelings of loneliness, self-loathing, unworthiness and shame. As a child of abuse and trauma, this can severely impact:

  • self-image

  • daily choices

  • thought patterns

  • relationships with others

  • how we perceive the world

  • cause emotional issues or disorders like anxiety, depression, etc.

I didn't really realize the impact of my childhood until I grew up. It affected every aspect of my life from my job, my ability to parent, my marriage and my self-worth. I struggled for years with my self-image (I often still fall back into habits of negative thinking, even today). In adulthood, when I had to be a wife, a parent, a working mom, a volunteer and start caring for my mentally ill mother, I realized, something HAD to give. I couldn't spin the plates anymore. I felt like this big imposter who was always anxious, overwhelmed, and inadequately equipped to function in life. It's like I couldn't breathe any more. But had I ever really taken a breath?

No lie, starting on the road to therapy and healing was HARD, but necessary. I'd do it again and again if I had to for my family and for me. Having faith in God, family and friends that supported me were lifelines that saved me from emotionally and mentally drowning. I'm grateful to God for every nugget of hope and opportunity for healing placed in my journey.

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Blog goals

This blog serves as a way for me to:

  1. share my experiences

  2. share the effects of those experiences on my psyche

  3. share how I have worked through or am working through those thought patterns and trauma

  4. connect and relate with others to promote community, healing and growth

  5. help fight the stigma surrounding mental health. People with mental health problems are just people. People with mental illnesses are our brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers.

 

Despite the struggle and trauma I write about, I'm the happiest I have ever been--Thanks to LOTS of professional therapy, love, faith, support and acceptance from my tribe. It's taken a lifetime of healing and growth to get where I am, but I'm still learning and growing. I think that is super important--NEVER STOP GROWING!

Oof, I know, this blog can be about the heavy. But you know what, sometimes you gotta get through the heavy to come out on the bright side. There is hope and opportunity for growth and change for anyone that has experienced pain and trauma. We don't have to stay in a dark place. We have a choice.

Please note: I am not a mental health professional. I am merely a gal who is sharing her experiences of growing up with a severely mentally ill mom in hopes my story would resonate with someone who is going through or gone through a similar experience.

 

If you are experiencing extreme feelings of sadness, depression or despair, please reach out to someone, seek professional help or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.