Marco Orlando

I owe it to myself to stay informed. I keep up with current events. I read the headlines in the news. And I’ll be honest, it can be a lot for any one person to take in these days. There’s a lot of variables and a lot of moving parts. With a pandemic still going on as a contentious election draws near, it can be overwhelming. Some of us feel like we need to do something to try to make a difference in the communities we live in. But it can be tough knowing where to start when it feels like we don’t have much control over anything.

It can be scary sometimes going through our daily lives not really knowing what to expect, not always able to anticipate what can happen and when. I understand, I’ve been there. I fight a lot of the same battles in my head that everyone else seems to have. Some of us are more transparent about it than others. I’ve spent years struggling with feelings of inadequacy and powerlessness, feeling like even my best effort is never good enough. I’ve spent many late nights replaying scenarios in my head, doubting myself, second-guessing myself. I want so desperately to do a good job and do it right, yet I’m often afraid of being wrong about anything.

I care a lot about other people. I worry about my mom and dad. I worry about my friend DJ Kat. I’m usually pretty understanding and I get that life happens. Everyone has their own issues that they’re all dealing with. I often wish there were more I could do to help them, but I realize that there’s really only so much I can do. I’ve been through a lot. I’ve experienced some tough losses in recent years, and I’ll admit I took some of them harder than others. Each of these losses had me questioning my own mortality to some degree. I lost a lady friend to a drug overdose three years ago, three weeks before she would have turned 35. There were times where I wasn’t so sure I would make it to 35 myself, yet I’m still here by hook or by crook. So now that I’ve made it this far, where do I go from here? What do I do now?

I’m more of a “live in the moment” person. Future planning scares me sometimes. But I know I will need to have some tough conversations around it later in life. No one lives forever. We don’t get to decide when our time comes. There’s always been this fear of the unknown, this fear of events yet to come. I worry what the future will look like when my mom and dad are no longer around. I worry when I get to be their age how that will look for me. I worry about not being able to hear well or see well, not being able to move about freely, having to depend on other people for everything.

My mind certainly keeps me busy these days, full of ideas, asking questions, pondering “what ifs.” Given recent events, I’ve had to remind myself to focus more on what I have complete control over right now and try not to worry as much about the things that I can’t directly control. I encourage everyone to be honest about their feelings and to talk things out with someone they can trust when things feel overwhelming. I know I do a lot of talking, but I do a lot of listening too. Other available resources are a phone call or text message away. None of us should have to feel like we need to do it all alone. Help is out there. Reach out.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
National Crisis Text Line: 741741
Maine Crisis Line 1-888-568-1112
Maine Warm Line 1-866-771-9276
Consumer Council System of Maine website
Nami Maine



If you are self advocate and would like to share a blog post with us please email Laurie Coldwell at   


The Speaking Up For Us (SUFU) blog contains views and opinions of each individual writer. The views and opinions expressed through these channels are purely the bloggers’ own and does not reflect the opinion of SUFU as an organization or any SUFU staff member.



Resize text
Click to listen highlighted text!