For a time, sometimes a long time, grief can leave you in a fog. Memories are all you have and the pain is gut wrenching as the sobs pull the breath from your lungs until they collapse in the dead weight of your chest.
You don’t want to, but you get up everyday and you put one foot in front of the other and you move forward, resting often, sighing heavily, straining to act.
But, you are doing this a miniscule step at a time. Every inhale and exhale is a healing force.
Where there’s breath there is hope. Where there is hope, I will create gratitude, for where there is gratitude, I will find peace.
Change is difficult for us sometimes. Often we avoid it or fight it because it scares us. There is a sense of safety in maintaining the status quo even if it is unhealthy.
When positive change occurs it can bring on stress even though the change is good for us. Sitting with the anxiety, feeling it run through our veins, through our heart, circle our mind again and again, letting it exhale through our breath can eventually allow us to become more comfortable with the stress. Like anything or anyone, the more time we really pay attention to the details of it, I mean really, really observe every nuance of something, the less threatening it will seem.
Today I will sit with my discomfort and get to know it by observing everything about it, including where I feel it in my body, my mind, and my spirit, and I will know peace.
When it comes to mental illness, often our moods are “all or nothing.” We are either on top of the world or in the pit of despair. If we are not careful, our behaviors can reflect our emotions, leading to chaos in our lives and problems in our relationships with others.
When it comes to the emotional ups and downs of mental illness, we can fight the temptation to act on them by remembering the phrase “Keep the Pace.” In other words, let’s keep doing what we do when we are stable. Let’s keep showering and going to bed at a decent hour. Let’s keep eating as healthy as we can and exercising moderately. Let’s keep our social activities up, but not excessive, and our verbal and physical boundaries intact and closely moderated. Let’s maintain an appropriate number of projects, neither dropping them all due to inertia nor starting too many.
When I feel myself slipping into either an elevated or a depressed mood state, I will remind myself to “keep the pace” and not feed into the insanity of my disorder by changing my behaviors too drastically. Just like a marathon runner, who neither sprints nor ceases to run at all, I must pace myself to participate fully in the race, and then I will know peace.
Is mental illness a hot topic? I am not sure, but you all have been doing an awesome job at reading and sharing my posts because according to blog industry experts, the more popular your blog becomes the more s-p-a-m it is likely to get. Thank God for Akismet!
Next month is Write into the Light’s 2-year blogiversary!
…which has me reflecting on my current goals for this blog as well as for Turtle Way’s blog (Turtle Way is a compilation of works submitted by artists and writers who have mental illness or have been affected by others with mental illness.)
Current Goals(in no particular order:)
I toyed with the idea of stopping Turtle Way’s publication until I reviewed the recent stats and saw that the issue released back in January is still receiving a great number of views. Yay! I love that people continue to (hopefully) gain strength and support from the artists and writers published there.
This brings me to Write into the Light’s original and primary purpose which is to offer understanding, strength and hope to all persons sufferring from mental illness.
In that light (no pun intended 🙂 ), I am going to place a lot of time and effort this year into finding a publisher for my daily meditation book. The daily reflections are written specifically for persons who have mental illness.
The newest and final goal I have to share with you, thus far, is to assemble a list of subscribers who would like to be part of a pilot audience for my book. This would involve receiving sneak-peeks of my daily reflections and providing feedback as necessary on how they affect you…if they help you cope with your illness or not…if they make sense to you or not…etc.
I have yet to finalize the logistics on this, but I am thinking of doing it either by email or password protected posts.
If you are interested in being a part of this pilot study and are willing to provide honest feedback (like serious critique) on how helpful or not-working-for-you-at-all these writings are, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.