Give me…A quite and restful mind. A place to go to sooth my soul and ease my weary body.
Give me…A friend I can count on. A reason for moving. A place to go and not be alone.
Give me…Words to speak when my mind won’t let me. Love for the lonely. A pen and not a sword.
Give me…Someone to hear my prayers. Someone to see my tears.
Give me…Hope for my children. Peace in my restless world.
Give me…Time to heal. A love that is real.
Give me…Food for my hunger. Water for my un-quenched thirst.
Give me…A bandage for my wounds. A spotlight for my scars.
Give me…An undeniable reason to share my story.
Autumn is my favorite time of the year. I have heard that a lot from a number of people who suffer from some form of mental health issues. They say the same thing that I always tell people…Autumn is not the end of something, but the beginning of something new.
I know most people think that is what Spring is for, but Autumn is more of an awaking then even Spring is. Autumn brings out what the trees, leaves, flowers, weather and even the animals already know…that sometimes you need to shed some layers to rebuild what is broken.
Autumn is the most honest season there is. It holds nothing back, if it needs to remake something then it will. Autumn is the season that every other season wants to be when they grow up. Autumn takes nothing from no one and gives nothing but love and wonder to the world around it.
Autumn lets the leaves see what it’s like to be colorful to be vibrant. It let’s the trees see what it’s like to be full of green, yellow, orange, red and purple…then have nothing and start over again. Autumn gives you a chance to start over again. Isn’t that awesome? What would you do if you could shed something and start all over again?
Autumn lets you see yourself in another light. Lets you find your path in a different venue. Autumn is the friend that has your back and reminds you that nothing you do, or nothing you feel, or nothing you think can’t be changed. It reminds you that that is why it is here. So that you can, listen to the wind, witness all the beautiful colors…watch as a tree looses everything only to be promised something new and better is coming.
So Autumn is my favorite. It reminds me that nothing is permanet and that everything has a chance to start over again…that is why I love Autumn.
I was doing my usual walk this morning and I was listening to music…cause that is life…and a song came on that I have heard a thousand times, but this time I heard it differently. It was Lifesong by Casting Crowns. They talk about letting their firm belief in God be their Lifesong to God and all the people around them. A big amen to that…but with those of us who struggle with just trying to find our Lifesong, I have a novel idea.
What if you, your struggles, your ups and downs, your highs and lows…from depression to anxiety be a Lifesong to the ones who don’t understand. What if we could bodily go out there and show everyone that we are here and we would like you to know that we maybe bent, but we are not broken. We can do that we can show the world, okay maybe not the world, but at least your family and friends, that you have a Lifesong and that they need to know what that is. You have to get out there and show them that on a day to day basis you are giving everything you have to yourself to make you a stronger, happier, less anxious…etc, person.
You have to let them know that this is not something you woke up one day and said…”Hey you know what I would like…” and fill in the blank. Some of you get up in the morning and say…”Today will be better than yesterday.” or “Today I will not let others get me down.” or “The voices in my head will not dictate how I will feel today.” That is when you know that you are living your Lifesong, that is when you need to make sure that everyone near and dear to you know that you are more than what is visible to them. You are a strong person, scared person, a shy person…you are a person.
You need to show them your hopes, dreams, fears and your Lifesong. Let your Lifesong sing to them. Let them see you in all your glory and all your sadness. Let them know that you are here and you need them. You are opening up your nailed shut door and trying to let some sun in and that you would like them to come in as well.
It won’t be easy and you will have set backs. Most people don’t understand mental illness and there are many more who still refuse to admit they are suffering. So if you and I could just let our Lifesong sing to them…then maybe we can not only save ourselves…but them as well.
I would like to say thank you to Casting Crowns for their beautiful song Lifesong. You will never know how much that song helped me on my walk this morning. Thank you.
Who hasn’t wonder what it would be like to be Closer to Fine? I mean how freeing would that be? I know you have your good days, but you feel like the bad ones out number those.Well they don’t, or at least they don’t have too.
It’s easy to do, says everyone who doesn’t have any mental health condition. But if we can learn to take life less seriously, then maybe we can learn how to be Closer to Fine. Don’t tell me you don’t dream of doing that, just shouting out …YOU CAN’T HAVE ME…NOT TODAY! How exciting would that be, just to be able to tell the voices in your mind, the doubters, anyone who said something to you that you could not shake. If we could just learn to take life less seriously then we can be…Closer to Fine.
Picture dragging yourself out of the darkness and unwrapping the cobwebs that you wrapped tightly around you to secure you from the outside.Looking for the light that seems hard to find. Then there it is, the flicker that you need to shake off the fog…you slowly get up and start walking, slowly at first then your pace quickens. The light grows brighter and the fog lifts and then you find yourself standing in the glorious warmth that is…Closer to Fine.
I know it is hard, we just have to tell ourselves that we are worth it. That we can do this. We all want to be able to take a deep breath and release a big sigh and feel like the weight of the world is not ours to carry any more. It gets easier, promise, but please don’t give up. If you feel like all you are doing is taking a step forward and getting knocked back, well you probably are. But just remember that you took that step forward, you took a chance on yourself, don’t be afraid to do it again…cause when you do you will find yourself…Closer to Fine.
With many thanks to the Indigo Girls.
Like many of you, I was crushed by the death of Robin Williams. I cried for days and still do when I see a picture of him or watch anything he may be in. I was in a funk for a long time.
Robin Williams had his demons, he struggled with drugs and alcohol. Depression, that’s usually what makes comedy funny…ironic…but no one knew how deep his depression was. That’s a sad thing in itself. Why can’t we seem to get past not talking about it, what are people afraid of? That they will some how “catch” what we have, that we are just faking it, we just have to snap out of it!
It saddens me that we can openly talk about someone who has cancer, has had a heart attack or has any other “acceptable” illness…but not mental illness. Do you know how many people could be helped if the stigma was removed? It is like wearing a scarlet letter on you if someone finds out. Some of your friends start to act differently around you, if they stay your friend. That’s when you start to be a detective, who will be there for you, who can you trust.
When Robin Williams died a piece of me died with him. A piece of every mental health person died with him…why? Because when he committed suicide we thought…that could have been me! We all struggle with our demons and some days are better than others, some days you are sunshine and happiness some days you stay in bed all day in the dark and cry.
I understand that, what I want you too know is that if you ever get to that point, beyond the crying in the dark, and you feel like nothing is worth doing anymore then please think about Robin Williams…and then call someone, anyone…reach out to me I will hold your hand as long as you need.
I miss Robin Williams, a lot. I say it every time I see something on him. I think about him and wonder what he might be doing now…and I never met him. Just imagine what the world would look like if he was still here…but he’s not…and those of us who suffer from mental illness all wonder why?
With that, we must stand up for each other, we must check in on each other…we must demand that mental health be taken seriously. That we matter! Please if you need to talk call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1.800.273.8255, and remember that you are not alone.
I miss you so much Robin Williams. 💔
I know its been a while since I blogged, but my mind wouldn’t let me focus. However in the last few days the fog that was around me has begun to lift and I am able to focus better now.
With that being said, I am going to make this a little more personal blog than those in the past. There are a few things that have made me have an ahha moment. The biggest one happened on my 4 mile walk this morning, while listening to some music. So I hope what I write about today, in some way, can help someone else. So thank you in advance for letting me share a little bit about me and my silly life.
So here goes…like I said earlier, I was on my walk this morning, listening to music. I love music it just has a way to make you see things clearer.
Well this song came one, one by P!NK And there was a line in this song that just hit me. Now mind you I have heard this song a lot, P!NK is one of my favorite performers. So anyway, her song Who Knew came on and the line was, “If someone said three years from now you’d be long gone.” hit me like someone had just punched me in the gut. Do you ever get that feeling? Whether from a song, book, tv or movie. One that just puts things in a little better focus. That’s what that one line did for me this morning. Let me explain…
If you have read any of my earlier blogs then you know that most of my depression and anxiety come from my father. While the rest comes from me trying to conform to the environment I live in and also trying to come to terms with…how I’m not close to hardly Anyone and why God and church bother me so much. This one line in this song that I have heard so many times hit me so hard that I made a connection. My dad didn’t like me, didn’t want me and let me know that on a daily basis. I wished everyday that I was growing up to just disappear, go somewhere else or just die. It really didn’t matter to me. Just somewhere I would be wanted. Well God wasn’t answering any prayers so I was stuck.
So, hang with me I about to make my point, when I became an adult, got married had kids, we decided that we would give church a chance. I had never been a church goer and this whole God thing was a put off to me. He was supposed to be your “Father”. Well I knew about fathers. But in time I did get closer to letting Him get close to me. I did this with the patients of a couple of pastors I worked with. They let me go at my own pace and guided me when necessary. I worked there for six and a half years and by the end of that time the pastors I worked with, that I trusted just turned their back on me.
So there I was being rejected once again and this time I had let it happen. (Which is one reason we haven’t attend church on a regular basis since.) I had opened my heart and let an outsider in, ones I thought were my friends, shared deep secrets with…and in a blink because things got too hard for them, they bailed and left me to clean up. With no explanation.
So, when that line from Who Knew came one today, it was letting me connect the dots and realize that I was afraid of abandonment. Do you know how I felt in that moment? Well first mad…cause like that’s not true…then a since of calm…yeah it is true. I thought I had come to terms with my father not wanting me…but in that moment of complete abandonment, I wasn’t…Who Knew!
Thank you P!NK.
There are things that you have to do to make your illness manageable…meditation, exercising even medicine. Then there’s the things that you do in spite of your illness.
This could be anything, from talking to friends, watching your favorite movie, finding something you Love on sale…with a coupon! Yes you do so many things to enjoy yourself in the midst of some crazy times. And damn it you should. I know it can be hard…and there will be times when you don’t feel like doing anything for yourself. Understandable, but just because of one bad minute, hour, day…etc, doesn’t mean that you stop. You take that time and hold it, embrace it, learn from it then you let that shit go and do what makes you feel less crazy.
There are too many things in life that can control us if we let them. But there are also so many things in life that can build you up and bring you back to life. You just need to take those baby steps and go out and conquer your sidewalk, lawn, grocery store…whatever, just take it slow. Now if you will pardon me…I’m going to Starbucks!
So I don’t know about you, but I have to keep my mind busy. Which is why I have been lax in writing this week. You give me enough time to think…we’ll lets just say it won’t be pretty.
Can you relate? I mean if given half a chance the voices in my head would take over and the “party” would begin. So as I was saying, we all have that one thing that we have to avoid when it comes to the mental condition we have. The thing we would avoid at all cost. Big crowds, small crowds, loud places…quite places. Not having enough to do, having to much to do.
Being scared if you stop to breathe…or stop doing anything, we’ll nothing good can or would come from that. That’s the time when you think of everything ugly, bad…ETC! Could and does happen. Well most of the time it’s not a good thing.
Like I said I’ve been busy this week, not that it always helps. There are days that even keeping busy doesn’t help. Sometimes it just delays the inedible. That you will eventually have to face the darkness that’s in you. The thoughts that scare you…make you wish that you could scrub your brain free.
But you know what? You don’t have to fear those “down” times. You don’t have to keep busy so you won’t be afraid to be alone or be with people. You just have to be willing to sit down not be afraid and have those…Idle Thoughts.
So how many feel like this? You feel like you are finally making progress in your condition only to be thrown a monkey wrench. A monkey wrench that seems to take all the wind from your sails. You look in the mirror and ask yourself…”Why do I even bother trying?” Why? I’ll tell you why…because you are going to fail from time to time…not what you were expecting right?
But it’s true, you will have some fabulous fails…but you will have more fabulous achievements. It may not seem like it when you are in one of those fabulous fails but they are so worth it. They will grow you more than some of your fabulous achievements. Why? You ask again…because if you are like me when you are in you fabulous achievements high you think nothing will ever bring you down. How on earth could you ever have depression, anxiety etc. You are working it. You start letting little things slide and for a time it’s okay cause you feel so good. You are on your highest level of getting shit done. Nothing is going to stop you…you don’t even have time to stop and care for yourself.
That’s when it happens…you have your fabulous fail. You start talking shit about yourself, like how much you screw things up…how stupid you are…the list is endless. You just don’t see how you could ever be happy again.
But you know what…(and this has taken a long long time for me to learn, and it’s not something you can force on someone either. They have to learn it for themselves.) You can be happy. When you learn how to manage your fabulous achievements and keep them in check…I know weird right? But when you suffer from a mental condition that is something you have to learn to do.
When you have the fabulous achievements “mastered” the fabulous fails won’t look and feel so bad. Know that I’m not saying this will be an easy walk…cause I still struggle with this and it’s something I probably will for the rest of my life. But I can’t and won’t let it consume me and neither should you!
If you take your victories and hold on to them share them dream of
them speak them then when the fails happen…you may have taken two steps back…but you know you’ve already taken one step forward.
And that’s a Win!
Everyone deals with anxiety, depression or whatever the illness is that we try and hide, differently. You have to find the one thing that makes you feel like you. The real you, not the fake one you feel like you have to show people…the one that makes you run through the flowers…jump on a trampoline…the you that not only sings in the shower, but sings in the line at the store.
No apologies! None, you are meant to be you. You the awesome mom or dad. You the fabulous dresser. You the one that sings the true song in your heart. The only thing that matters is that you be free.
Break those chains that are keeping you afraid. I will give you something from me…I get my butt up every morning at 6:20 and walk with my dogs 2-3 miles. Yes there are days that I do miss and I see what it does to me…but if I miss a day I get back out there the next day walking and singing to my songs on my iPod…while my dogs look at me with love. I do it for me…I see the person I want to be when I’m done…I like that person.
When you feel your world start to fall apart or the walls close in…please don’t shut yourself out. I know it is easy to do, but this is the time that you are free to become what you can become…and that my friend is…UNDONE!