My thoughts for today…

IMG_1758I just got back from my morning run! Go me! Sometimes you just have to encourage yourself you know?! Sooooo…
My daughter and I signed up recently to volunteer at a local retirement home for the elderly. I won’t call it a nursing home or assisted living because they don’t. While the volunteer coordinator was giving us a tour of the facility she referred to certain areas differently than I have heard. An example that stood out to me was an area called “Memory Care” but the places I have worked at before refer to it as Alzheimer’s Unit/Lockdown Unit. Do you see how different that sounds? To me there is so much more preserved dignity in the title “Memory Care.” It just sounds more compassionate!! Well that brings me to this…if you read any Health book you will find ways to maintain good “Mental Health”. That means obviously that we all have Mental Health issues or somebody wouldn’t have put it in a book. We are all prone to sadness, thinking negative which can lead to a depressed state, we all have anger and all of the emotions of a “normal” human being. But for some reason when you hear about Mental Health these days it is turned into “Mental Illness.” Which one has the better “label?” Of course the first one! Maybe those of us that “supposedly” think we struggle more we really don’t! Maybe the stigma is tied to the term “Mental Illness” and that’s where our main struggle really is. Hopefully that doesn’t confuse anyone. Realty probably is that the “diagnosis”makes us feel different than everyone else. But we aren’t! Which leads me to this…I have been put in two situations that have just down right annoyed me. I have listened to two different parents refer to their kids as one of them being the “bad” child and one of them being the “good” child. I was also considered the “bad” child or “black” sheep in my family. I am not taking away from the fact that we all have to take responsibility for our choices/emotions and we all have to maintain good mental health to do that. But a lot of people that struggle with good Mental Health is probably not so much as there is an “issue” or “illness” there. It may just be the fact that we have spent years being “conditioned” by parents, teachers, society in general to think we are bad or something is wrong with us because of the choices we have made. And because we have been made to feel “bad” for that…our perception of ourselves is distorted from the get go because we are judged by our performance and not as a person. That would make anyone “depressed.” Which deprives us of “dignity.” An example is when we have gotten “angry” with “just” cause…we were made to feel like that emotion isn’t normal. Then we feel like a failure for having the emotion. Then, we never feel good enough and we don’t allow ourselves to fail or feel because we have pretty much been brainwashed to think there’s something wrong with us if we express ourselves. And a lot of it falls back on people in our lives who were too busy looking at our mishaps that they didn’t take responsibility for their own. And maybe they hurt us deeply with their actions and turned everything back around on us when we told them how we felt. This caused us to feel responsible for their “stuff” too. Which leads me to this…just recently my dad apologized to me and finally accepted responsibility for not being a good role model to me!! That was his words! WOW that was a BIG deal for me…it helped me realize I had a right to feel all of those feelings towards him because of some of his choices. I was a child he was supposed to be the parent. Just think if he had of admitted that a long time ago and we had been able to sit down and talk about our struggles or difficulties together things could have been so much different. Maybe if he would have chosen abstinence instead of alcoholism my life may have been better and the temptation for me to drink wouldn’t have been as strong. I “learned” by example because I was a child. I carried weight around with me for years thinking I was this terrible person because I got upset over his actions. I don’t know but, bottom line is we all make “bad” choices sometimes because we are human. And we shouldn’t be made to feel “bad” or be told that we are “bad” because of them. We should be allowed to express our feelings and gain understanding into ourselves and each other as to why we feel the way we do. And if someone tells us we have hurt them we should find out why they feel that way and evaluate ourselves. Then, take responsibility for it and offer understanding and vice versa. When my dad told me that… I told him there have been times I haven’t been a good role model, too. And I meant that with my own children because none of us are perfect. I was able to have compassion for him #1 because he was taking responsibility #2 because I’m a parent and no matter how good of a parent/role model you are you will make mistakes. Anyway, my so called “mental illness” now requires me to take medication and maybe that’s my consequences for destroying brain cells with drugs and alcohol for years. Also, all of the mental anguish for trying to be responsible for my actions along with other people’s. That alone was probably firing off neurons in my brain. I think even Jesus had mental anguish because he sweated blood. So, for me I think it’s not so much an illness as it is consequences and now I am learning ways to maintain good “Mental Health.” I don’t drink or do drugs anymore, I try to think positive and practice gratitude and I try to practice good habits now. I no longer accept responsibility for everyone’s actions just my own. I am growing in this area, but I have had to “unlearn” things also for better Mental Health. I have had to practice a lot of positive self-talk because I took a lot of negative words from others and I started believing them myself. Like I was a trouble maker, different, demon child, etc…. those words had power over me for a long time. I have had to literally write down notes to myself. Like, I am beautiful, I am a good person, mom, wife, I have a purpose, God loves me unconditionally no matter what, etc…,it helps! These are just my thoughts for today. So, if you are struggling with maintaining good Mental Health find things that work for you to help you! But first rid yourself of the label that has been given to you if you have  depression, mental “illness,” bipolar, ADHD, etc… and find the person set apart from all that and embrace YOU!! ❤️You are not any different from ANYONE else!!

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