Secrets Shared: World Mental Health Day 2012

I blog for World Mental Health Day

 

It’s World Mental Health Day today and for me that means that not much is different except that I am extra inspired and energized to keep sharing and putting myself out there in an effort to help people discuss mental health topics.

It’s a normal day of work and the busy single mama schedule. Life continues whether I participate or not. But, lucky for me, I had already written and submitted a blog post to WEGO Health for the Tough Stuff theme this month. With a great sense of serendipity, the post was published today… on World Mental Health Day!

This post is special and scary for me, not this one, but this one, the one over at WEGO Health, called “Learning to be Okay“. I have only written one other time about the subject matter in that post (self-harm) and I am fearful of posting about it again. But no matter what, it is the truth, it’s part of me and a part of what has made me into the person I am today. It is an important topic related to mental health and can’t be ignored. We can try to cover it up but it only hurts others by doing so… it only brings more sadness to the many who suffer in silence and shame.

Help me support the thousands of people who hold secrets too close and feel great pain because of it? Help me to let the world know that it is okay to talk about really tough stuff? You can do this by sharing my post (either this one or the one at WEGO Health) and by sharing the message with your friends, loved ones and communities that you don’t judge people because of their struggles. All people, yep, all people, deserve love and kindness and help when they are hurting.

Thank you from my heart.

Amy

Thank You for Second Chances

How often do you feel like you have missed the boat or missed your chance at something? I know for me, I can feel this way all too often.

There are so many weekends or days of the weekend that I feel like I have missed my chance to have good family time with my kids or the chance to get out and enjoy life because I am so tired from the previous week. I use a lot of energy just to make it through the week, (I know most of us do) and when the weekend comes around I feel depleted. All too often, I end up not “living” the way I would like to, perhaps too much time spent napping or taking care of household chores or just not feeling motivated.

I can get really sad when I feel like I have lost my chance, like I have missed moments that can never be regained. And the reality is, that is true. I can’t get those moments back. But instead of spending my time moping I have to remind myself that next weekend I will get another chance and that there are still moments in this day to make the most of. Too much time can be spent wishing for a second chance rather than living in the moment we have right now.

I felt sad today, about this stuff and about some other things in my life currently, but I finally ended up saying to myself, “Enough of feeling sad for today!” And I chose to do what I could and live in the moment of second chances, making the best of the time I have left in the weekend. It’s not that I lost the whole weekend to feeling bad, but today I missed most of it and it was especially pretty outside. It was one of those days that screamed “live” and I didn’t feel like I was living.

So tonight, I am taking life up on it’s second chances and living the moments fully, being fully aware of the sounds and scents that I surround myself with, treasuring things like the setting sunlight peeking through the fall leaves in the tree and the blinds in my kitchen. I smell the aroma of meatloaf in the oven that I prepared and see the glimmer of candlelight in my living room. Jason Mraz’s latest CD plays in my stereo, serenading me. I have designated time after dinner for family game time. I am embracing these moments.

I am always grateful for second chances. Some things we can’t get back, but still, we have this moment and this day. And we have the chance to live it beautifully.

Death of a Health Activist

3 1/2 short years ago began my journey into health activism. I fell into it. I wandered into it by accident and happily. It wasn’t happiness that brought me there, but so happy I was when I realized I had a voice to share. So happy I was to learn that people wanted to hear my voice!

Now, it feels that my voice is just a whisper in a big crowd and I am sad about that. It’s no one’s fault but my own and just the way life sometimes has it’s way with us.

About a year and a half ago my life began to turn inside out. I went through separation and divorce and I was thrust into the world of the working woman with two children to provide for. My activities online came to an almost sudden and screeching halt. My work for causes I feel so passionate about had to take the backseat as I just did not have enough time in my day for this new world of working outside the home 40+ hours/week and all that comes with single parenthood.

Now, I am here again… trying to inch my way back into this world where all of my passions are the same but not much else.

I get this sense of being lost in the crowd and as if perhaps my time has passed? But the truth is, I think it’s just about turning up the volume and being present again.

This month, the wonderful people at WEGO Health have a theme of Tough Stuff. They are working with health activists to put the tough topics on the table and working to inspire them to dig deep and talk about the nitty gritty. I have submitted a post to them on a sensitive subject matter but of course, my wheels have been turning about other tough topics, too. And this is one right here:

I feel like I lost my reputation and voice as a health activist and I have to earn it back again… and that just really sucks. I worked really hard for that voice and to have to rebuild it, again… it sucks big stinky cheese.

I see these people winning awards online and being recognized for their work and that is awesome because everything they are doing is amazing! But, I feel sad, like an outsider (in the community I think I helped to build) or a player sitting on the bench during the big game. I am still a part of the team, right? Can I come back to the team (please)?

These are those thoughts and feelings that just creep up and I suck up and swallow down, because it’s no one’s fault but my own and life’s circumstances. This is tough stuff because sometimes life causes the death of a health activist, even if they didn’t want to die.

So maybe it’s time to be reborn?