Pick wisely

Staying alive while facing mental health battles seems to be a minute by minute choice. It’s the conversations that no one wants to have, but are more important than anything else you talked about today. There hasn’t been one moment in my last twenty years that I wasnt intimately aware of mental health. Between dealing with ever cycling emotions of puberty in my own body, and watching some of the others around me face battle deep inside.

Within that same timing I had my world flipped upside down because someone close to me lost the battle.

Talk to you lived ones. Listen when they chose to talk. You may be the only one they turn to.

That makes it all that much more important to chose the people you surround yourself with.

Make sure they are healthy for you, in the good times and the bad.

Challenge accepted

As we get closer to Valentines day I want everyone to challenge themselves to spice up the monotony.

Every relationship starts out with butterflies and heart jumps, but you will always get to the stage where its (dare I say it?) boring.

Spice it up.

Dont settle.

Life is meant to be lived with smiles and laughter. With love and soft touches. With spontaneity and a sense of adventure.

You are only as old as you let yourself act.

The Power of individuality

The power of learning to be who you are in the face of judgement is daunting. More daunting than most of us have the strength to admit. Even less of us can say that we have beaten the challenge of overcoming.

I have fleeting moments where this clarity hits me that it just doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. As long as I can live with myself and my family doesn’t have to deal with any repercussions from my decisions it shouldn’t matter.

And yet in the exact next breath I am forced to explain to my kids that other people’s perspective really does matter in some situations. If the home room teacher you get in the fifth grade gets the idea that you are a troublemaker within the first few weeks of class, then they tend to watch you more closely and scrutinize the things that you say in a different light, all year. Of course you can break that mold at any point by showing continuous good behavior but the original perception is always right there in the back of their minds.

The teeter tottering of this subject will always be up for debate, with everybody having different opinions from each other.  Hell, one persons take on this subject will change so frequently that it is hard to imagine that a person would honestly believe that they have a good leg to even stand on in a debate.

We like to thing that it has a simple answer, in a world where there is very few simple questions. In reality it is a highly complex dilemma that we will battle until our dying day.

It doesn’t matter what type of judgement haunts us since we all have different nightmares.

The way we choose to handle them is completely an individual decision however.

 

 

September is Suicide prevention month

September is Suicide prevention month. After being very personally affected by suicide during crucial growing years I feel as if I will always dedicate whatever I can to help prevent anyone from having to go through the loss.

Mental illness is still considered to be a thing people think that we chose.

Who in their right mind decides to spin the wheel and have it land on an invisible -illness?

From a chronic pain patient to a schizophrenic with bipolar tendencies and all things in between the reactions of disbelief are the same. No one believes that either could be a real thing. As if a person sees a tv show where someone acts a certain way so they are going to attempt to mirror their life around them. Don’t get me wrong, there are assholes out there that must do something like that. But the few that do should not be considered the normal.

Normalizing mental health awareness is something that has been long coming and should be held at the utmost importance.

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Reach out. Find someone that is willing to listen. Make sure they understand how important it is to you. You don’t have to fight alone.

Learn the cues. Find out how to see the signs. Let them teach you how to help.

Find a support group on social media. Find a group in your community. Make the call. Send the text.

1-800-273-8255

24 hours a day.

 

Warped perspective

Life is all about perspective isn’t it.

It’s changing how you see something. It’s changing how you let it affect you. It’s changing your surroundings when you need to.

It’s finding ways to convince yourself to start something new.

It’s finding a way to convince yourself to try harder.

To continue.

To convince yourself to finish strong.

To focus on the end result that you are trying for.

Perception has a way of making you realize that what you have been doing is not enough.  It could be that you look at a picture someone took of you and you suddenly see what other people see when they look at you. Maybe it is that you suddenly realize that you spent too many years making excuses to not go back to school. Maybe you feel like you are giving your coach one hundred percent of your effort, but are still failing to meet expectations.  Maybe its as simple as the fact that you read a magazine article on something that your had never really thought too much of, but it changes something that you do.

Don’t hold back.

There are days that go by that you get to just enjoy everything that goes on.

In comparison there are days that it seems like you are making choices that feel like they shouldn’t be yours to make.

As a parent there are times where you find out things about you children that takes your breath away.

Maybe its an anxiety diagnosis to a young child who has stopped sleeping and eatting like they had been. The realization that this will be a long term fight that your adorable little child will face. Hours of research on your behalf to find ways to handle the behavoirs and prevent anything from worsening, all while having medication pushed on you that you are just not sure if they are safe for your baby.

Maybe its your elementary aged child coming home talking about how they have been being bullied at school for the color of their hair or the glasses they have to wear. Obviously there is nothing off the table when it comes to bullying, so the reasons will always be different. It’s impossible to fully prepare them for how this will feel, and how to handle it. Their tears will rip you apart and make your soul growl with the urge to protect your baby cub.

Maybe it’s finding something in your teenagers bedroom that reminds you that no matter how close you think you are with them, they are still a teenager. The fears of the unknown comes on strong when you think of how the future will go as you stare at those cigarettes or drugs. Maybe its condoms, or money that they shouldnt have. One way or another it is something that serves as a smack in the face that could be the wake up call you needed to start helping you and your child figure out where to go from there.

Maybe its taking your adult children with you on a weeklong vacation to a relaxing place to reconnect, and they bring their girlfrind who cant handle her liquor that she insists on drinking everyday. The idea of listening to your child trying to keep them in check in front of the family or kids that are there. How do you discuss domestic decisions your child has made that you dont agree with? What do you do if your child has chosen someone that is horrible for them or for there children? At what point can you intervene or chose to stand back and see where they plant their feet?

Or maybe no matter what age you are when it happens, you find yourself burying you parent or parents. The devastation is the same whether you are 10 or 60 when this happens. Obviously there are more complications the younger you are, however the void in your heart is the same. How does ones heart handle the hole thats just been punched thru it? How do you make the decisions you need to make in the middle of those feelings?

I watch another side of this in the hospital I work for when the conversation of when to allow them to give up the fight happens quite often. As a worker bee in these situation my heart is not on the line, but watching others break during this process never gets easier.

How do you handle having a day that this type of decision looms over you?

I have seen everything from relief that the persons pain will finally be gone, to refusal to understand that the basics of the situation.

Old, young, sick, healthy, planned or sudden.

I’ve watched selfishness as people can’t face living their life without them, and I have seen selflessness when people realize that the other persons pain is more important then their feelings.

I’ve watched elderly family member peacefully check out after a full life, and I have seen a young child fight for every breath after a car accident, just to lose the battle.

I’ve seen everything from heart attacks to suicide, and the families that have to react and make decisions they never saw themselves making.

Those days, and heart-renching feelings, make the days that I dont have to make, or see, any decisions being made even better.

Sometimes you just need to breathe.

**All stories here are things that I myself have seen or dealt with this week. Respect your medical feild people that you find yourself dealing with. From the CNA that shows compassion, to the nurse that seems to be always running. From the person that answered your emergency call to the person that shows up with flashing lights. The social worker that helps the decisions being made to the secretary sitting behind the desk at the station of the hospital or nursing home. They see you and understand you better then you think. Yes they are busy, sometimes TOO busy. Most have your best interest at heart, even if they can’t take the moment to tell or show you because there is so much else on their plate.

Are you aware?

Have you ever really sat and tried to pay attention to how you affect the people around you? The people close to you but also your old friends and relationships.

Recently I watched a weird video on Facebook that they put old friends, or old lovers in a room together and had then ask each other a series of questions. Some of them were simple questions about when they were closer, how did they interpret or appreciate certain behaviors. Or now that they are so far removed, can you discuss a problem that occurred between the two of you that caused the end of communications.

It made me start to think about whether people who I have severed ties with, their choice or mine, know what kind of memories or hurts I came away with.  Then I realized that was a selfish way to look at it. Did I really feel like I had a grasp on how they felt and what memories that they walked away with?

I don’t.

I never spend the time to care what they walk away thinking or feeling because I am too worried about my own. Which I am led to believe is normal.  I am fairly positive that the majority of them do not spend much time thinking about my feelings.

Matter of fact, I am fairly positive most of them spend the majority of time assuming how I feel without every actually asking me how something has affected me. When did that become the norm?

So here I start thinking about if I have ever left a positive emotion to people who I no longer spend time with. I have always tried to be pleasant with strangers and acquaintances that I touch base with from time to time, so I am not as worried about them right now. I fully believe in the act of kindness to a stranger or person in need. That is what drew me to work in the medical field.

For a person to be an ex lover or an ex friend, that means that at one time they had to be my friend/lover. To be considered that close to me, that means that I liked you enough to allow you that close. I cared enough about you to allow you inside my boundaries. At some point, I loved you.

Sooner or later, in most situations the betrayal that happened in our past will fade, the emotions will diffuse. Sooner or later, the hurt is not fresh. The feelings don’t cut as deep. The wound isn’t open anymore.  And at that point you get to make a choice. Do you decide to move past the feelings and be able to shut the door to the person? Or will you keep that emotion close to your sleeve and react every time you see them or have to talk about them. We all know that it is healthier to forgive and forget, but it sure isn’t easy.

It is much harder to face the realty of what kind of memory they have of you. They got to see you at your worst. When you were hurt, yelling, crying or maybe even just at your wit’s end. Maybe they got to see your jealous side as things got weird.

They saw your mistakes. You saw theirs.

While the friendships or relationships are irreconcilable, you should still take a moment to think about the effect you had on them.

Were you the one that scarred them to hell and back? Did you cause them real emotional damage? Are you the person that they talk about when they describe the horror’s of their life?

The next time that you are complaining about the things that they did to you, the ways they made you feel, can you honestly explain your side of things out loud to another set of ears and not be embarrassed?

Now  of course you should never live your life always apologizing for the things that you have done, and everyone knows that mistakes happen. Everyone has reasons to do the things that they have done. I am not asking you to reconcile with any person in your life, nor do I think that you have to forgive them or look around the wrong doings that they have done to you. I also don’t mean that you have to change yourself in any way because of a jerk who may have a low opinion of you. This is strictly about knowing that you have the ability to effect people, good or bad.

Defend yourself. Respect yourself. Honor yourself. Understand yourself.

Most of all, be yourself.