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Toro Coffee Co. and Mental Illness Awareness Week October 10 2014

I just got back from a small adventure in Oak Harbor, at Deception Pass, here in Washington.

The reason I really wanted to get away was to think of a way to frame a comfortable "post", to tell you all about something that is so close to my heart...

This week is Mental Illness Awareness week. I am upset with myself it took me so long to acknowledge it (I was supposed to post something Monday). Why? Because, well, I myself have Bipolar, and although it is something I know to be a gift and part of me, there is so much, in fact, if not all, negative stigma around this unseen/internal conundrum that I get embarrassed myself...

How shameful that is for me to say!! I get heart broken re-reading that but it is true and by doing this helps me relieve my own stigma.

Today, in particular, is focused on Bipolar Awareness. This is why I did this. How could I wait this long? Yet, I am happy I went camping to clear my mind to write this from my soul.

I created Toro Coffee Co. to be much more than a farm and specialty coffee... and it is.

I wanted it to be a way my friends and family could connect with me when I seemed unreachable. Or maybe, I just wanted you all to feel where my passion goes and how useful it is when focused on what you're supposed to be doing with your life.

With T.Co (Toro Organics) I want to give back to kids like me who feel lost and abuse substances to not feel- Adults who felt like a million chances aren't possible and leave way too soon. I want people to know every time they share a post about Jim Carey and Russel Brand talking about the way life should be lived, that they too, have Bipolar. Their internet viral popular views on love, life, and all around understanding is simple, and a message to the world from their intricate minds.

There are many deep minds like Robin Williams who used humor to shield him from people knowing the pain he felt from the world, and being/feeling so connected to the world's heartaches- That to me is what bipolar is. And one more time, better yet, forever, Robin, you were in my lifetime and for that I am blessed to have watched such inspiration.

Bipolar is: "A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world." -Oscar Wilde
(also believed to have bipolar)

I use humor as a shield, coffee as a passion, harvests as a gift, triathlons as discipline, photography as my art, (even writing has come back passionately) etc., to help harness all my desire to stay within the realms and happiness in a world full of pain.

Helping others has been my mission, so, I get consumed with many of these outlets to harness any energy I am feeling. I feel I can never do enough, be enough, or satisfy enough...until last winter when something so life altering happened personally... I realized that all that matters is what I think of me, what my truth is, and ADVOCATING for the freedom to be that person. We all deserve a right to be who we are without consequence of others' opinions if you live respectfully and are kind to people. You would be surprised how many live in hate and I as well, feel sad for those people, because they may be fighting something I don't understand. That is the whole point and that lesson will stay with me forever.

By me sharing my work with others and my passion for life in a way that is "owning your truth", I can be understood better by my friends and family when I may be dealing with something that stems from Bipolar.

What is also interesting is many a time, the greatest moments of my life have been because of my Bipolar (Yes, I am serious)- Because, Bipolar is not a disease to me...it is just part of me. It is the part that makes me see a sunrise or sunset like it could be my last. It is the feeling I get when I live every moment to its fullest. I knew it would give me a platform to maybe help shed a light on what is possible when you give yourself a chance to accept the things you cannot change!!

I knew starting my company would force me to come out with all of me. This has been so revealing and frightening, but at the end of the day...if you know me personally, or get to know me on here, drink my coffee and see my mentality, (I fail many times too in my mantra about life but never stop striving) is to keep things Real and Positive, Strong, Disciplined, Passionately, then maybe, maybe, maybe, we could change the outlook of one person, just one.

That is enough for me.

Thank you all for supporting Toro Coffee Co./Toro Organics. I love my life and my job. You all are starting with us and we never forget that. It is a tough journey, but we will take it together.

I get amazing emails from people that make me cry. You all are amazing. Please note, I am not kidding, this coffee is magical because of YOU. You let me be me, and what a gift that is. THANK YOU!!

Melissa

A Creative

#MentalIllnessAwarenessWeek #Bipolar

PS- There is something I want to share with you, and that is how comics portray mental illness. If you get a chance please check out courageous work done by artist Ellen Forney - Cartoonist . She is a Seattle resident and I hope she sees this because if she saw my vision board, she would see, she has really inspired so much since her last comic. I owe her more than a bag of coffee. Like a hat, I owe her a tip of my "crazy" mind, and a thank you in person. Brave.

 

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