GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!

asger81

TIS THE SEASON!!!  It’s that time of year.  It is frantic, hectic, joyous…and magical, hectic, scary.  You have so much to do, right?  The holiday parties…work, school, church.  Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  The music starts earlier and earlier each year.  The shelves are stocked with ornaments, clothes, table decorations.  EVERYTHING must be perfect.  Or, does it?

For most people, this is a scary time of year.  The sun is gone, the demands are higher, the children are HOME!!!  What are you going to feed them while they are home all the time?  It is overwhelming and depression can suck us right back into that hole.

But, we are not going to let that happen this year.  Our mental health “problems” will not take us down this year.  We are going to embrace these feelings, share these feelings.  We are going to give ourselves a break.  Those of you battling these demons, don’t you hate me right now?!    Had I read this last week, I would have hated me too.  But, I held on.  I trudged through the thoughts which have brought me whirling down the hole before.  I GAVE MYSELF A BREAK!!!

I spent some time with a friend of mine who is battling the demons right now.  I know what she is going through.  Her thoughts are running wild:  guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness, to name a few.  I just listened.  I can do nothing to change the thoughts in her head right now.  I can listen while she works through her thoughts.  She needs to release them and analyze them.  She didn’t need me to say “you’ll get over this”, ” take a walk”, “write in your journal”.  When you are feeling like her,  those are not the things you want to hear.  You do not want to hear “read your Bible”, “God will take care of everything!”.  Where is God now?  Why is He doing this to me?  That is what she is thinking.  The only thing I can tell her is there is “the other side”.  By the way….God is there, you will see when you look back on that dark time.

In the past year, I have decided to quit using my Mental Illness as an excuse not to do things.  Someone once told me not to use it as a badge of courage.  Well, hell yes I should!!!   Of course, I had to do it in my own time.  Fall is a hard time for me.  Sixteen years ago, Dean was born, we were transferred to Nashville, and my mom died.   Every year it hits me like it was yesterday.  Every year I tell myself I will not let that year get me down.  This year I almost did.  But, I embraced the sadness.  I embraced the good memories sixteen years ago. I stared depression in the face and said: “not this year”.  Of course, that was about a week after feeling absolutely miserable.

We who battle CAN DO THIS!!!  We can take our badge of courage and turn it around to fight it….for ourselves and others.  Embrace how you feel and let it go.   I know this is a hard pill to swallow.  You may not be able to do that right now.  But, give yourself a break.  Let your family and friends know you are not feeling well.  Tell them you need a wide berth right now.  You do not necessarily want to be physically alone.  Hang out in the den with everyone.  You can still have your demons run through your head.  You have the right to feel bad.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!  Bring cups to a party instead of that amazing dip you bring every year.  Bring something premade.  Don’t bring anything at all.  There will be plenty of food left over.  Take the “it has to be perfect” mantra out of your head.  Hell, play sick and don’t go to the party at all.  IT IS OK!!!

Try to enjoy this time of year.  GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!

So…Need some help?

The mental health system is a mess. Yes, we are working hard to reduce the stigma of mental health, but are we offering solutions and insight on how to get the help you need? I have not found many published solutions. Psychiatrists numbers are low. It can take weeks, even months to get into see one. If you are thinking of a career change, Psychiatry may be the way to go!

My hope is to help you navigate the muddy waters of the system. It is difficult and confusing. I will also offer tid bits of solutions that may help you on a daily basis. I have days when I don’t even want to follow even the smallest steps to feeling better. THAT IS OKAY!!! GIVE YOURSELF A MENTAL HEALTH BREAK!!!

In the mean time, PLEASE turn to someone if you feel on the edge of losing control. It may be one of the hardest things you ever do. Message me on this site. I am not a professional, but I have a good ear. I understand the thoughts going through your head. I feel sure they have milled around my brain.

I have heard a saying: Do not give up until the miracle happens. Hang in there…the best is yet to come.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!

asger81

TIS THE SEASON!!!  It’s that time of year.  It is frantic, hectic, joyous…and magical, hectic, scary.  You have so much to do, right?  The holiday parties…work, school, church.  Thanksgiving AND Christmas.  The music starts earlier and earlier each year.  The shelves are stocked with ornaments, clothes, table decorations.  EVERYTHING must be perfect.  Or, does it?

For most people, this is a scary time of year.  The sun is gone, the demands are higher, the children are HOME!!!  What are you going to feed them while they are home all the time?  It is overwhelming and depression can suck us right back into that hole.

But, we are not going to let that happen this year.  Our mental health “problems” will not take us down this year.  We are going to embrace these feelings, share these feelings.  We are going to give ourselves a break.  Those of you battling these demons, don’t you hate me right now?!    Had I read this last week, I would have hated me too.  But, I held on.  I trudged through the thoughts which have brought me whirling down the hole before.  I GAVE MYSELF A BREAK!!!

I spent some time with a friend of mine who is battling the demons right now.  I know what she is going through.  Her thoughts are running wild:  guilt, shame, fear, and loneliness, to name a few.  I just listened.  I can do nothing to change the thoughts in her head right now.  I can listen while she works through her thoughts.  She needs to release them and analyze them.  She didn’t need me to say “you’ll get over this”, ” take a walk”, “write in your journal”.  When you are feeling like her,  those are not the things you want to hear.  You do not want to hear “read your Bible”, “God will take care of everything!”.  Where is God now?  Why is He doing this to me?  That is what she is thinking.  The only thing I can tell her is there is “the other side”.  By the way….God is there, you will see when you look back on that dark time.

In the past year, I have decided to quit using my Mental Illness as an excuse not to do things.  Someone once told me not to use it as a badge of courage.  Well, hell yes I should!!!   Of course, I had to do it in my own time.  Fall is a hard time for me.  Sixteen years ago, Dean was born, we were transferred to Nashville, and my mom died.   Every year it hits me like it was yesterday.  Every year I tell myself I will not let that year get me down.  This year I almost did.  But, I embraced the sadness.  I embraced the good memories sixteen years ago. I stared depression in the face and said: “not this year”.  Of course, that was about a week after feeling absolutely miserable.

We who battle CAN DO THIS!!!  We can take our badge of courage and turn it around to fight it….for ourselves and others.  Embrace how you feel and let it go.   I know this is a hard pill to swallow.  You may not be able to do that right now.  But, give yourself a break.  Let your family and friends know you are not feeling well.  Tell them you need a wide berth right now.  You do not necessarily want to be physically alone.  Hang out in the den with everyone.  You can still have your demons run through your head.  You have the right to feel bad.

GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!  Bring cups to a party instead of that amazing dip you bring every year.  Bring something premade.  Don’t bring anything at all.  There will be plenty of food left over.  Take the “it has to be perfect” mantra out of your head.  Hell, play sick and don’t go to the party at all.  IT IS OK!!!

Try to enjoy this time of year.  GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!!!

There are no words

I listened to S Town this week.  I knew early on in the first episode what would happen to John.  He said he couldn’t describe his darkness in words, but I think he did a damn good job.  Maybe that is because I could relate to the darkness John experienced at times.  I could relate to the highs as well.  Manic Depression, Bipolar, is a beast.  It will alter your life.

Unfortunately, I believe some people battling this beast will not ever respond well to the solutions of this mental health world.  Not enough medicines or therapy can “cure” those genius’s who suffer so deeply at times.  John was one of these people.  So were Einstein and Van Gogh.  Don Mclean sang it true in “Starry Starry Night”: “How you suffered for your sanity” and “This world was never meant for one as beautiful as you”.  John was beautiful.  Beneath his crude language and disparaging look on life, was a genius.  He was an artist.  I believe true, genius artisans suffer from this world the most.  John expressed the beautiful side of  him through his hedge maze, gardens, and especially his clock “work”.

Minds like John’s, Einstein’s and Van Gogh’s just do not understand this world.  I’m not a genius by any means on their level, but I totally get it.  Those of you who do not experience the darkness as these men have, and so many people today, do not understand.  Your practical minds cannot understand the beast that can tear up your mind and skew the world into this dark, tornadic hell.

John tried to cry out for help so many times.  Bibb County did not have the means to help someone like John.  They do not have access to the medical community or even the literature to help someone like John.  I believe he tried medications once early on, but they dulled his brilliant brain and he could not express himself as well as when he is without the meds.  I have experienced that throughout my life.  I have been over medicated at times to the point I was a hollow shell, numb to the world around me, almost as bad as the depression I battle.

A large group exists that believe you will go to hell if you commit suicide.  To those living in the darkest depths of this world are essentially in hell.  The world can be too much for them.  Any place would be better than this living darkness.

For the majority of those battling mental health, I believe solutions do exist.  Research and medication have  come a long way.  More people, famous or not, are speaking out and trying to reduce the stigma.  However, it is still not enough.  I was looking at a company the other day that sponsored three different cancer fund raisers and nothing close to any mental health fund raising organization.  Mental health touches just as many people.  But it will take time.  It took a long time for people to recognize the scope of cancer.

In many instances, it is too late.  Teenage suicide attempts and completions are on the rise.  They are the second leading cause of death in this age group.  The Jason Foundation (jasonfoundation.com) is one such entity battling the epidemic.  Many states, including Alabama, have passed the Jason Flatt Act.  It requires school to include training and education in suicide awareness during the in-service training.  It stands to reason since educators, coaches, etc. end up seeing  our kids more often than we do as they get older.

Suicide is tragic no matter how you slice it.  I am not saying that it cannot be prevented with those like John, Einsten and, lets not forget, Robin Williams.  I just think that the darkness in these brilliant minds is too much to bear.

Remember, it is Mental Health Month!!!!