Going to mix things up once again…I’m unable to volunteer at the homeless shelter for a few weeks because of commitment to an ongoing family issue. Let’s take a Mental Health Monday approach…
The author—Rita—bought her shoes at Payless a couple of years ago. She abhors shoes and would wear sandals all year long except for she lives in Canada, land of the ice and snow.
What is your biggest mental health struggle?
“The black dog of depression. It’s been hanging around on and off since my teens. I can manage just fine—work, family, life—for years and then a setback comes. I’m going through one right now. Purely situational. Caught in the crossfire of a bad situation. I know it’ll turn around. It’s just taking so much out of me to keep the black dog on a long, long leash. You know how the song goes…”Hello, darkness, my old friend- I’ve come to talk to you again!”…well, that song’s not about depression but that line rings true for me. A person can be doing very well in their life and then have the rug pulled right from under them.”
What helps you cope?
“Talking with someone removed from the situation to put things into perspective. It’s easy to see things with the “dark” lenses. And, react. I’m not saying you need to see things through rose-coloured glasses. I’m just saying your glasses may need gentle cleaning.”
“Another thing that helps me is prayer and having people pray for me and for my family. ‘Let go (of the situation) and let God (handle it)!’… we’ve all heard that, well, stop thinking you can control things you cannot change. Exactly.”
“Find time each day to do things you love; that you do for you. Get lost in them and forget about everything else. You deserve it!”
“Keep a great sense of humour. I’ve been dressing up a Halloween skeleton almost daily for fun, taking pics and sending them to a few people close to me. It’s a small thing but it’s fun and you connect with others a bit, too. Make other people laugh and be happy.”
“I wasn’t going to pose Mr. Bones today…I totally lost my sense of ha-ha…but I told myself, ‘No, this is what you need to do.’ So, I poked fun at myself. I didn’t have Mr. Bones crying, that would be too sad; I had him dress up as me and be blogging. Find a routine and keep at it if you’re troubled by depression. The dog will lift off your back once more.”
“Two more points…look for people to help you. My paths crossed today with another swimmer who is also a therapist and female priest. She encouraged me to google: Stephanie Goldstein and mindfulness. It’s been a busy day, I didn’t do it yet but I don’t think it’s co-incidence that our paths crossed.”
“The last point is from what my Dad would always tell me, ‘This too shall pass!’”