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.

Love is Contagious

In the past week, Birmingham lost 2 prominent figures: Dr. Thomas Wilson, Mr. Bob Esdale. These men have represented all that is good in humanity. They loved unabashedly everyone who crossed their paths. They gave back to Birmingham all they had received. They have raised families who continue to make lives better. In the midst of chaos, they have been the anchors which keep us steady.

As we gather together to mourn the loss of these friends and family, I am reminded of the memories I shared with each of these men. Tommy was my uncle, my dad’s brother. He was one of “Those Wilson Boys” tribe; an elite group of misfits. He was fun, funny and always had a smile on his face. He would hold court, smoke his pipe and greet you with one of the greatest smiles I have ever encountered. He loved his family fiercely and they in turn loved just as hard. Even though I live in the same town, I do not get to see them enough. But they welcome me with open arms each time. He was the last of “The Boys”, leaving my dear Aunt Mimi to hold down the Wilson Fort. She alone has been able to whip Birmingham’s ass into shape.

One of my most favorite people in the world, Mr Bob Esdale, went to Heaven as well. I LOVED THIS MAN!! His daughter Mary is one of my oldest friends. They became my backdoor neighbors when we were in 6th grade. Hurricane Bob entered my heart and never left. I have special spots in my heart for people like him. I am not one to show outward love to those even close to me, however, he was able to draw me out of my shell. His big bear hugs could sustain me for weeks. I could feel his smile. Does that make sense? Just like Tommy, he loved completely and unconditionally. His kids love just the same. I had the chance to spend some time with Mary and other old friends last night sharing Bob stories. At times, not a dry eye was to be found. Other stories drew gut splitting laughter. He exuded shear goodness. I have no other way to express it. I know each of you knows someone like him.

Do you see a common thread among these men? LOVE. So many ways to define love exist. So many ways to express love exist. So many levels of love exist. It is there for the taking. If you are fortunate enough to know someone like these men who loves hard, keep them close. They make everything in your life better. Let down your guard and truly experience this love if only for a minute. You will be a better person for it.

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!!!