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.)
“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:
Fear of failure,
Saying yes when you want to say no,
Hugs to all who read this blog and keep thinking happy thoughts.