I want to help bring mental illness out of the closet, into the open and into everyday conversations. I want to promote understanding that anyone can be effected, and that because of the stigmas attached to having mental problems we often  hide our pain.

I also have developed a belief system based on lots of positive, insightful sayings, and thoughts, that help me keep on track when I stumble. I want to share some of them. I have gathered them for years and have no idea who said them except for one that is mine alone.

A couple of weeks ago I delivered 225 yards of my fabric stash to my favorite charity, The Linus Project.  They make quilts for children ages birth to 18 years old who are hospitalized.  I have talked about  my giant stash in a past blog when talking about my obsessive, compulsive activities connected to falling in love with and buying fabric for my quilting hobby.  After the delivery I visited with about ten ladies there and went to lunch with five.  A most wonderful thing happened.  I mentioned that I was blogging about being Bipolar.  We spent the next several hours talking about different types of mental illnesses.  Several of the ladies either had family members, friends or acquaintances with problems ranging from depression to Bipolar Disorder.  I have known some of these ladies for over two years and had no idea mental illness touched any of their lives.  No no acted embarrassed or uncomfortable sharing deeply personal and touching stories.  I think we all left happy we had found a place to share our feelings and thoughts.  Someone asked me why I was “Brave” enough to talk openly or even Blog about being Bipolar.  I laughed and said that since I had become old, fat and ugly I had nothing to lose and was tired of mental illness being treated differently from having cancer or other health issues.  No one chooses to have cancer and no one chooses to be Bipolar, etc.  Everyone laughed.  What made this moment of discussion so special was that it happened so naturally.  Had a discussion group been offered to any of these ladies entitled A MENTAL ILLNESS DISCUSSION I doubt if any would have shown up.  Not because they don’t care but because it is a subject that is hard to talk about with strangers.  I think the warmth of our friendship made our visit and open sharing organic, safe and very  meaningful.  I hope sharing this  story will encourage others to try this approach in getting the message out to the world.

Now for my sayings and thoughts.

“Nothing ever stays the same, things always get better or worse.”

“Stop stewing, start doing.” (I made this one up to help me not procrastinate)

“Can’t make sense out of nonsense.”

“How is that working for you?” (Behaviors…..my grand kids hear this a lot from me.)

“Report abuse.”

“I can’t argue with the ten commandments.”

“Active listening is very valuable. It is an art. Hear what is really being said.”

“A passive/aggressive personally is really hiding a coward or bully.”

“Right fighters don’t want honest communication.  They just want to be right.  Walk away.”

“When someone won’t own their part of a problem, walk away.  You are wasting your time in solving the problem.”

“Don’t believe those who tell your they love you, believe those who show you they do.”

“No matter how long we have traveled on the wrong road, we can always turn around.”

“Change starts with you, but it doesn’t start until you do.”

“Nothing is as painful as staying somewhere you don’t belong.”

“When changes are needed it might be  painful, but necessary.”

“The only  person you have control of is yourself.”

“Taking care of myself is not selfish.”

“What I think and eat has an effect on my mood.”

“Attitude is a habit.”

“No progress can be made in an argument.”

Don’t invest energy in things you have no control over.”

When someone say they understand the problem but make no change they are either saying “I don’t want to change”, or “I am not going to change”.

“There is no elevator in life, only stairs that have to be climbed one at a time”.

Seven things to give up:
People pleasing,
Doubting self,
Negative thinking,
Fear of failure,
Criticizing self,
Saying yes when you want to say no,

Hugs to all who read this blog and keep thinking happy thoughts.

About Martha (Marty) Dickson Patterson

Marty: Retired from sales and management near Seattle, Washington.
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Fear, Mental Illness and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. 🙂 im glad you had such a great talk! I always find it so interesting when someone brings up the topic of mental health in conversation. Peoples compassion and stories always astound me. We are getting closer to stamping the stigma out and that’s a good thing. By sharing our stories we are shaping others that it’s ok to admit that your not ok. And that it doesn’t make you any less important for having a mental illness.

    I loved your quotes! They are great and are something I should really listen to. I do a lot of those things and need to train myself not to.

    I once invented a similar saying to they one you created. Which is also about procrastination! “The quicker you get it done, the quicker you can have fun!” Haha. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • ahuelon says:

      It is amazing the solutions we have in our tool chests that go unnoticed when we need them the most. I am guilty, for sure, for losing focus and not following my own advice. We are all here to remind each other that there are things we can sometimes do to improve our situation. Different things work for each of us at different times. I love reading what works for others. May I add your quote to my list and use it in the future if it fits what I am writing about? I have lots more that I will interject now and then but will never do a list like I did here. I just thought of another original one. “Might as well do it now. It’s (the chore) not going anywhere.” Hugs

      Liked by 2 people

  2. When brought out into the open it’s amazing how people will listen and share their own experiences, makes a difference.

    The stigma however is still there and can only be reduced by awareness, and recognised that it is an illness not an indulgence.

    I enjoyed reading this post and would like to reblog with your permission, when I do my guest post feature.

    Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Moongazer says:

    I love your blog posts! And I agree wholeheartedly that mental health issues need to be understood more widely.

    Your list of things to avoid made me “eek!” though lol. I am very guilty of all of them 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. abodyofhope says:

    Wow! What a big step for you to come of of the Bi-Polar closet 🙂 So glad to hear it went so well and you were so well received. Mental illness touches us all in some way, so maybe because of you, those women will be brave and feel like they can share something going on that they might need a friend for right now…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on The Rabbit Hole and commented:
    Check her out, this piece gives great insight in why we should talk about Mental Health and all it’s aspects.


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