Posts Tagged With: reaching out

Going Crazy…Be Back Soon

Going crazy…be back soon. That’s my favorite joke I tell myself every day lately. If I could find a bumper sticker that said that, I’d buy it. I’m sure there’s one out there, I just haven’t looked.

I know, it’s politically incorrect to make fun of or joke about, well, just about everything nowadays. But I’m simply laughing at myself when I say that.

The way I see it, I can laugh or I can cry. I choose to laugh. You see, I’ve battled depression off and on throughout my adult life. At times the battle nearly did me in. Luckily, blessedly, I’ve had people on my side, even if I haven’t always recognized it or allowed them to help.

I’ve also had family members, close and distant with their own mental health demons, and all the daily battles and years long wars that entails. Some lost that war, and what a horrific loss.

My best advice from the front lines? Don’t be silent about it. Don’t be ashamed by it. Talk to someone about it.

A close friend, a clergy member, a family member, a health care professional, a counselor anyone. There are help lines you can call, there are more people out there who have been exactly where you are.

And if you’ve been there, don’t be silent about it either. It’s not something we should be hiding. Our experience could be the saving grace or the hand that deflects the last straw.

Imagine realizing the person you’ve looked up to as a role model, the with it, always together, mellow person lets you know they’ve battled one of those mental health demons. Wouldn’t you want to know how they did it? Would you feel safe talking to them about your own worries, or the concerns you have about a spouse, a child, a parent? Imagine then, being the person who could help, and then open up and be that person.

Back in the Paleozoic era, when depression grabbed ahold of me and pulled me into a dark and bottomless pit, there was one medication available to treat it. Now, the list is longer than my arm.

You say you don’t want to go the medication route? Fine, there is still help and caring people with information you could use to win this war.

Today is World Mental Health Day.

Reach out for help. Or reach out to offer help. Either way, don’t be silent about it. Please.

Click here, or here, or here, or here, or here to learn more, to get help, to start opening up, to begin to change the world.

And then, enjoy these lovely jokes about being crazy. Because we all need to laugh.

mh28The aspiring psychiatrists were attending their first class on emotional extremes. “Just to establish some parameters,” said the professor to the student from Arkansas, “What is the opposite of joy?”

“Sadness,” said the student.

And the opposite of depression?” he asked of the young lady from Oklahoma.

“Elation,” said she.

“And you sir,” he said to the young man from Texas, “how about the opposite of woe?”

The Texan replied, “Sir, I believe that would be giddy-up.”

frank-cotham-if-you-have-any-mental-health-issues-you-d-like-to-discuss-now-would-be-new-yorker-cartoonQ: How does a crazy person travel through the woods?

A: They take the psycho path.

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And these t-shirts are pretty funny, too!

Seriously, laughter might help, but it’s not a cure, not usually.

Ask for help. Offer help. Open up. You’ll be glad you did.

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Categories: Mental Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Small Things That Get Us Through

The last four months of last year I was working two part-time jobs.  Added up to about fifty or sixty hours a week.  They were physically demanding, on my feet for much of it.  A lot of lifting and carrying involved.  The exhaustion was formidable.  After all, I’m not a spring chicken, as my dad used to say.  There were days when simply getting out of bed seemed like a major accomplishment.

One of the jobs, in particular, was the sort of position that  can make a person feel invisible and maybe even small.  There are a few jobs out there like that.  I’ve had a few of them over the years.

There are advantages to that invisibility.  Being disappeared allowed me to observe with unabashed curiosity and clarity.  I watched all sorts of interactions between people that I filed away for future inclusion in a short story or a scene in a novel.

Most of the time I didn’t mind not being noticed.  I was doing my job, which, if I didn’t would be noticed and create some big problems.  Maybe that’s the way most jobs are.

Occasionally, a tough day would rear its ugly head and getting through the first job of the day was discouraging and weightier than normal.  Moods can do that to me.  On just such a day, nearing the holidays, I was the recipient of a gift.

I’m sure that the gift giver didn’t realize how significant her gift was.  I’m sure she didn’t even consider it a gift.  She’d be shocked if she knew I thought of that gift a year later, that I still have the package the gift came in.

Here’s what it looked like:

Yes, she offered me a cup of hot chocolate in this very cup, which I’ve kept.

Suddenly I wasn’t a disappeared person.  I was me, a fellow human being, like her, just trying to get through the day.  The invisibility cloak slipped off my head and fell to the floor around me.  I felt cared about.

Somewhere in the universe, some cog clicked into place that settled some ache in my heart that day.  I felt lighter.  I felt lifted.  I felt love.

Her gift to me was more than hot chocolate.  It was acknowledgment, personhood, a hand of kindness, recognition, friendliness, caring.

Reminds me of this quote:

I can do no great things, only small things with great love.“
– Mother Teresa

Here’s wishing  you a month filled with small things, received and given.

Have you had anything like this happen to you?  What was the gift?  How did it help you? I’d love to hear about it.

Categories: Gratitude, Love | Tags: , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

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