Look and Learn From Each Other

There comes a time in everyone’s life when it really hits them that not only is there someone else out there going through something worse, but there is someone else going through a situation in which no one wants to trade places with, regardless of how much or little drama is involved. It opens up their eyes and helps them realize everyone has something to deal with. Everybody has their own set of issues. Some problems are more serious than others, but it does not mean they are any more or less important. Everyone has a cross to bear. There are people who are struggling to survive. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. There are other people just going through the emotions of life and not really experiencing life to the fullest. They are either too busy, going through life too fast, or not paying attention. There are few people who live life to the fullest no matter what is thrown at them. Every single person has high points and low points of their life. It is not necessarily the actual high points or low points of a person’s life that matters, but how a person deals with those high and low points. Do they grow and learn from those high and low points or do they act out and ignore the potential lessons that come from those things in life? Every single person has done both. This is how people grow and learn.

Picture the homeless man living in a box on a dangerous corner downtown. He lost his job and not able to pay his bills. He was forced out of his home. Now people pass by him, judge him, and look at him with contempt.

Picture the loving wife and mother addicted to alcohol. She hides bottles in the attics, closets, and under a loose floorboard. She easily explains away lost money. She tries to quit over and over, but keeps relapsing.

Picture a troubled teenager. She comes from a loving, close family. Somehow she starts hanging around with the wrong crowd. She doesn’t do her homework and discovered drugs and alcohol. She is out of control, angry, and unhappy. Her parents are doing everything in their power to try and help her, but she refuses any kind of help.

Picture a healthy, elderly man living alone. His wife passed away recently. He is lonely. He pushed his friends away. He doesn’t want help from his kids. He is depressed and tired all the time. He has little interest in anything. He doesn’t want to talk and doesn’t want any outside help.

Are any one of these situations more important than the other? No. How many people would want to be in any of these situations? No one. Life happens. There are some situations in which people have no choice in how certain matters turn out. People have control over some things, but then there are other things in which they don’t. People need to judge less and leave the judging to God. People need to realize they are not the only ones hurting in this world. We all are. We are all dealing with something. Learn from each other. Put yourself in another person’s shoes and picture what they are going through. Look at what they are dealing with. Everyone is in this world to help each other. What matters to everyone in the four scenarios described above is that they are not alone. They want to know someone cares for them. They want to know that when they are ready to change their life and turn it around for the better, not only is not too late, but at least one person will be there to help them. Look around. What can we as a society and individuals do to help someone today? When people help others, they not only help improve someones life, but they improve their own as well.

Spring Cleaning My Life

SpringCleaningAfter many long months of the cold weather as well as blowing and falling snow, spring is finally here. There are still times in which the weather does not feel like it is spring, but according to the calendar, spring is here. It was a very long winter for most of us, especially me. I am not a fan of winter. I don’t even like to leave my house unless I have to when it is so cold. It is very difficult for me to do certain things in the winter time. I have to push myself to do things and I don’t like that trait about myself. Thankfully that is over with for a while. Now that the nicer weather is here, I am ready for some sprucing up and spring cleaning. That not only includes my house, but my life too as well.

I am at a point in my life where I feel just about every area needs a major overhaul and quickly. I am my worst critic, my own worst enemy, and can be my best friend all wrapped into one. I can be my own patient and a therapist at the same time. I can be own coach and player at the same time. Well, you get the picture! When I want something done, I want it done now. If I get something in my head that I want done or improved, I can’t let it go until it is done or I at least started it. However, there are many projects around the house that I don’t care about. Just ask my husband and extended family! How about that wallpaper in our bedroom that I started to take down 2 years ago and it is still not done? I bet 90% of people in my life forgot about that! How about the basement my husband and I said we’d begin to finish? Well, we haven’t even started it! What about putting up pictures on the walls of our house that we moved into 2 and a half years ago? Well, we haven’t got to it! The older I get, the more I realize that is not really important. To some it is. To me, it is not. There are more important things in life than that.

Spiritually and religiously, my life needs an improvement. I have always been more of a spiritual person than a religious person. I will always be that way. However, even that area has slipped away from me. It is time for me to get back to basics. For me, going to church and reading the Bible is very peaceful. It makes me feel better and brings peace to my soul. So why don’t I make time for something that brings me peace? Why don’t I do this on a regular basis? This to me is more important than taking wallpaper down in my bedroom. Scheduling time for spiritual activities is something I want to start doing and need to start doing.

I am a fairly healthy person with a few minor issues. I go to the dentist and doctor on a regular basis and everything is always normal. I have no major issues. I make sure and do some form of exercise every day. I either do some housework, yard work, running, riding my bike, or walking every day unless something gets in the way. A vacation can mess up my exercise schedule. The holidays and being sick can as well. When this happens, it is very difficult for me to get back into exercise. I have to really push myself back into my routine. Same thing with healthy eating habits. I have fairly healthy eating habits, but a day or two a week I don’t do so well. Okay, some weeks it is more than that! Even though I am a fairly healthy person, I feel my health needs a little bit of an overhaul as well.

My career is another area I am struggling with. Currently, this is my biggest struggle. I used to live near Lake Michigan, which is two hours west of where I am now. I had a great part time job that I loved. I didn’t want to give it up when I moved. I was forced to move for my husband’s job. For a while I thought about keeping the job since it was pretty much on my own schedule, but I realized it just wouldn’t work. I had to give it up. Without going into a long story, I have been in and out of two jobs of where I live now. Things happen and my career life is the pits. This is the area where I feel I have a lot to offer, but I am currently in a hole the size of our planet and I can’t get myself out. This has brought the most pain and depression to my life. This area of my life needs a huge improvement.

Everyone has area’s of their life that they want improved. For me, it is just about every single area and I want it improved now! There are times I have patience and other times I do not. I want to wake up tomorrow with every area of my life fixed and improved. However, it doesn’t work that way. That brings me to spring cleaning my life. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. I sat my husband down and talked with him about what is going on with me. That was step number one. I checked out some books from the library on self improvement. That was step number two. I love books and could have my nose shoved in a book 24/7. I then sat myself down and started to think about what I want out of life. That was step number three. Keeping a journal, or in my case multiple journals for multiple area’s of my life, was step number four. I put all of that together and hopefully I can de-clutter my life. I want the cob webs out of my life and my feet back on the ground. In time, I will succeed.

 

 

Breaking Out Of A Rut

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Why is it that doing something good for yourself, doing something that benefits your health and well being can be difficult? Eating right, exercising, thinking positively, and surrounding yourself with positive people are all ways to improve yourself and can make you happier. In addition, volunteering in the community and having a satisfying job will also make your happier. So why is it that many of us don’t do it? It just goes to show you how easy it is for all of us to be stuck in a rut and fall into a period of depression. There are many people out there in this world that think people with a mental illness can magically become better on their own and that getting rid of their mental illness will happen quickly. How the rest of us wish that were true! Recovery is a long process. It does not happen overnight.

This blog is not just to help me, but to help others. If one person reads this and finds some hope, motivation, and inspiration, I will be happy. It no longer matters to me that my family and friends know what I have been dealing with for so long. If one person gains something positive out of this, it is all good.

One thing I have started doing that I didn’t believe in before is thinking positively. It is said that thinking positive can help you in any situation. I have heard from numerous people, “if you think you can or can’t, you are right.” People who deal with physical illnesses, such as cancer, can live longer just by thinking positively. I have started doing this. Instead of negative thoughts going through my mind, I have begun to think that everything will be okay. I will accomplish what I was put on this Earth to do. Things will improve. Draining out the negative thoughts will not happen overnight, but over time, there will be less negative thinking.

Something else I started doing is volunteering. I have to admit, I can’t always push myself out the door to do it, but I am getting better. I love animals, so I am volunteering at the local animal shelter. Those animals will put a smile on my face any day! Also, I joined our local Lions Club. There are many ways to become involved in your community through a club or an organization. Meeting new people and helping others is the key to feeling better about yourself.

As difficult as it can be for anyone, let alone for someone who has a mental illness, exercise is another key component. I have been lacking in that area for some time now, but I promised myself after Thanksgiving, it is time to get back to exercising. Moving your body in any way for any amount of time will benefit you and your attitude. It is hard to get back into exercise, but what I find for myself is once I do it once, the second time is easier!

Something I thought of last night to improve myself is the Nike Slogan, “Just Do It.” Pushing myself to do certain things takes days, if not weeks. Over time, the thought will become an action and I will “Just Do It.”

There are many ways to help yourself out of a rut or a period of depression. Some people live with it the rest of their lives. Some people have to cope with their mental illness instead of overcoming it. Medication and/or counseling does not help everyone. Some go through this year after year with no end in sight. I am thankful that I feel like I can overcome this. Being the stubborn person that I am, I am determined to overcome it on my own.  I have become my own patient and counselor at the same time! Over time, even if you are not able to overcome your depression, your rut, or work through your mental illness, there are ways to cope with it. It is not easy, I know. I have dealt with this most of my life. It is possible to have a life and cope with your mental illness. It is possible that some people may have to deal with it the rest of their lives. Some people will overcome it. Whatever the case, there is help. There are options. There are ways to make your life better, happier, and more enjoyable!