Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting A Life, Finding Your Hope: Mental "Wellness"

What is it that you want your life to look like?
Let's play a game...you know, gettin' silly wi it for awhile. :) (are ya feelin' the Will Smith thing I've got goin' on?! :)
We've spent a whole month looking at and reading lots of stuff about "mental health", "mental illness". After all - May is "Mental Health Awareness Month" you know. :)

Let's change that.

Let's take a look at finding "Mental Wellness" and lose the conversation about all the other stuff for a minute. Let's just focus on finding "wellness", what say?
So lets toss down the the 'tude...peel back the protective shell, shake off the stress, blow out the anger...
and imagine............
Life is good. I can close my eyes and in my minds eye as I turn my face upward toward the sky, I'm outside in the warm spring air, standing at the top of a green knoll. I feel the warm breeze brushing gently across my skin. My cheeks are warmed by the sun, I feel my hair being tousled by the wind. My arms want to reach up to the sky and I stretch, stretch....further. My toes wrap around the the grass that is so green I can smell it's clean, fresh scent...
And I am good. I'm at peace, I feel joy that wells up within my being and feels as though it might burst from my chest. In my minds eye I'm running, free, childlike and happy; thrilled at this simple moment that is my entire life.
I'm embracing my "now", living my life...
Instead of wishing I could "get a life" as I did for such a long, long time.
This is the dream that kept me going over those years where I was lost in that dark place. This dream was buried beneath a lot of stuff, issues, pain.
But as I reached deep within myself and began to peel back the layers, one by one, I was able to grieve the losses, the hurt, the pain. To let go of the rage at the injustice of what I had survived - without justice no less. To release and no longer relive the life experiences that made me who I had been - a person doing the best I could with what I had to offer the world....
And I heard someone tell me that the only way out, was through...
That I could learn to do better, be better...
Be whole.
There were no short cuts, no doctor, pill or therapist that could magically make me "better", stop the panic, the nightmares, the flashbacks that I would shut out by dissociation as the drugs and alcohol had lost its luster long ago.

Depression, dysthymia, mania, psychosis, paranoia, racing thoughts, isolation, rocky and abusive relationships - this was the life I'd been living and told was my "lot" in life. There was no way to fix whatever was "disordered" in my life or to turn it around and make me - my life - ordered.
I heard for the first time that I had the power to learn to change these things that had made my life the hell I had survived all these years in that mind numbing state that I called the "land of the living dead".
And I was pissed.
Pissed off at the world, that I'd never even been close to creating the fantasy life I'd lived in my head all those years. At the providers I'd gone to for "help" and who told me that there was no solution, no "cure", that this was to be my life forever - that I needed their help, their "treatments" to survive, but that I would never thrive or grow beyond what I was.
Broken.
And I took that anger and directed it, with purpose, into becoming my own best resource. I drew my own map, discovered my own learning process and set off on the most amazing journey of my life. I did this with purpose and intent; with awareness and finding the insight that would set me free...
And found my way here.

To the life that I choose...every day.
Q: What is your dream? What do you want your life to look like? Close your eyes for a moment and reach back to that place that you loved - or create a new one if you lost or haven't had your own dream before. What does it look like? What do you feel? Freedom? The sound of the ocean? The heat of the desert?
Where do you find your hope?

Where do you find your own empowering solutions?

4 comments:

Rebekah--Goddess in the making said...

Its hard somedays to imagine it, but other days its not so hard, I hope that as time goes on it gets easier and easier to visualize my life in a positive way.

I see myself in a city, one that is close to the mountains and the ocean, its late fall and its cold and the leaves are colored and the air is crisp and clean and I dont worry about the future...Im not afraid of being alone, Im not scared of "what if's" and "maybes" I just enjoy being alive and knowing that my life is worth something, even if it is only just worth something to me...no more doubts about who I am or what I am or if Im right or wrong, because I KNOW the answer.

That gives me hope.

Susan said...

I can see the picture you paint, Rebekah and it is lovely! I'm so glad that you've found that place that can touch you before you can touch it. Thank you for sharing your hope here today...:)

Suzanne said...

I had a dream years ago that if my life, my story, could help just one person, everything I had endured would have purpose. I never believed it could go much farther than that, but somehow it did and wouldn't you know it ... helping others is addictive, even when you don't see their faces or know their names.

Now I have a new hope & dream. I see my book finally finding it's way out of my hard drive and into the world, and my story of healing & recovery used to inspire, teach, give hope and support to many other lives. I want to reach out and let everyone know that recovery begins in the soul and cannot be judged or labeled by anyone but the individual themself.

No longer buried neck deep in lemons, but rather sharing the gift of the fruit with all that pass by. I grow older and wiser, sitting at that lemonade stand, offering refreshment and sharing stories about how we all made it to the top of the mountain, flooded in sunshine, with fruited trees as far as the eye can see.

Susan said...

Isn't that something how we can find our hope in making sense out of things that make no sense? It's wonderful that you've found a new hope and purpose to share what you have found, Suzanne:) You paint a lovely, peaceful picture! Thank you for sharing you hope with us here!