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The first step

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I've done a few 'scary' things in my life including:

-talking at a few funerals
-singing at my grandma's funeral-a song I composed
-singing songs I composed in front of a large group
-Bunji jumping
-exploring caves, and only getting stuck occasionally
-trying new food-including chocolate covered crickets, alligator, escargot, ect.
-traveling in a run down/dangerous neighborhood in foreign country without any clue how to speak the language
-interviewing government officials

WHy am I listing these things? To show how brave I am? No, these things aren't beyond what most people do, and there are many much scarier things which people have had to face. i just wanted to list a few things I chose to do, instead of things that happened to me to give some perspective.

Two weeks ago I went to the doctor. It was the hardest and scariest thing that I've done in several years. I told my doctor that I was suffering from severe depression.

Logically it shouldn't have been scary. I was telling my doctor about an illness which I had and needed help with. However, there's this stigma with mental illness which makes it seem like it's a character flaw. I kept thinking that if I just ate better, got a better perspective, took on less, ext. I could smile my way out of it.

I've tried to have this conversation numerous times and kept on chickening out by canceling an appointment or not bringing it up at a visit. Why am I sharing this? To say oh look what I'm dealing with/working on? Not really. Everyone has trials they are dealing with, and most of them are far more encompassing or challenging then mine. I have an extremely blessed life and support system. Even still, it took an enormous amount of effort to take that first step.

I'm not out of the woods yet, but that first step has given me significant relief and hope.

If you're struggling with mental illness of any kind, I just want to share my love and sympathies. My mantra with making healthier choices for food applies here too:

"You're not behind, you're just getting started"

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I think... it is hard because
    a) there is shame. Should not be... but I feel like sometimes my medical problems are all my fault.
    b) there is fear of responsibility... I'll be asked to do things out of my comfort zone or consistently which I have problems with
    c) I'm afraid of being judged... how many times have medical people made assumptions aboujt me.. they don't know me...or my situation and there is not the time or the desire to tell them everything
    d) I'm afraid of being hurt. Sorry, but sometimes what is said does hurt... rips at my insides.

    On the other hand there is hope.
    Honesty and asking for help are the step towards health and happiness. You know the joke about the person standing on the roof in a flood who keeps turning down the people who come by and offer help and he says he is waiting for God's help... then drowns and says "you didn't come" and God says "I sent people in boats!" There are people out there to help.
    Nothing changes if nothing changes. I would not say I am to blame for my problems, but learning and trying new things are part of the solution for solving them.
    Learning is a process. That includes making mistakes, getting hurt, having to admit something is not working. There is no one way that works for everyone so it takes patience, re evaluation and sometimes admitting that something (or someone) is not working for me.
    Celebrate the victories. When I break down the task into baby steps, appreciate my efforts, it helps me gain confidence.
    Nothing happens without a reason but it is part of a big picture. I have to Trust.

    1919 days ago

    Comment edited on: 11/17/2012 9:35:50 AM
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