Monday, April 23, 2012

Music to Inspire: The Fray "How to Save a Life"

This song is a couple years old, but I think it shares an important message. We need to reach out to our friends, our family, our peers. Sometimes it's hardest to talk to the ones we are closest to, but even if they never speak to us again, isn't it better that we tried? Imagine how guilt-ridden you'd be for the rest of your life if you thought you could've done something, ANYTHING, to help and didn't do it.

We all live side by side in this life, but we're often in our our heads, stuck inside our own thoughts. Take notice of those around you. We are not alone and the more we include others in our lives, the richer it will be. I've noticed one sign that I'm feeling better for me, is wanting to hang out with people, especially those I haven't seen in awhile. I want to catch up and talk and laugh again and just enjoy other people's company. Try not to let people slip away from you!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Movements That Inspire: Love is Louder

Love is Louder is a movement dedicated to connecting people who are feeling bullied, abused, sad and alone.  I first noticed it on twitter, as celebrities and others would hashtag #loveislouder than...hate, bullying, frenemies. Anything. Twitter is a really great way to spread such a powerful and positive message. There are people out there who won't believe you, who will ignore your pain and suffering, who will tell you to 'suck it up.' However, there are also people who love you as you are, and if not, you can also be the one to love and believe in yourself. I realize I am bordering on cheesy here, but Brittany Snow, MTV and the Jed Foundation have partnered in creating something special here. I think we need to consider all the ways that Love is Louder in our lives, or how to turn up the volume!

I even submitted my own photo and writing on my palm/taking the picture took some skill.
You can also visit their facebook community page here

What do you think Love is Louder than?

Friday, April 6, 2012

In the News: Too Much Focus on Happiness?

This short clip I stumbled across raises some interesting questions. If we are constantly focused on 'being happy' we could end up being miserable. I think often times we don't really have a clear idea of what being happy looks like for us. Being carefree is not truly a possibility as an adult (however, I did spend a fair chunk of my adolescence being miserable with depression, which I wish on no teen). And maybe just as often we really think others are so happy in comparison and they are not. I think the best we can do is be open and honest about our pain and try to lean on others for support.

At the same time, another thought being raised here: "Is happiness a choice?" This of course is something I struggle with so much. Mind over matter. I do believe in the power of positive thinking, however, sometimes my mind fights a losing battle with my depression. Then I think, "I'm weak, I don't deserve to be happy."

Unfortunately, this discussion was so brief, and I really think there's a lot more meat to it. I do like the suggestion of breaking it down to small, conscious choices to improve your mood. Some things I do are:

1) When a song is in my head, I like to find it and listen it, and sing along.
2) When I'm out and about, I try to smile at people and show patience.
3) If someone lets me cut in during traffic, they always get a wave :-)
4) I like something, I say something because why not share the good stuff?
5) If I need to be reminded there's good in world, I watch this

What are your 'happy' choices?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Today I Feel...Inspired

Photo credit / More by artist 
In a bit of a reversal, as my emotions are sometimes in constant swing, I feel very inspired today. After the last "Today I Feel" post, things were not so hot. I missed some classes, got behind on work, even skipped therapy which I NEVER do. I just felt so disconnected, ugly, worthless and...defeated, as I mentioned. Luckily, I made it though, and it was my lowest low, because the only thing that got me through was the fact that I had started new medication and thought I should wait to see if it may kick in. And it did.

I actually feel medicated now, which is a bit of a downside, but at the same time, I know I need it to help get my life back in order. So I'm pretty grateful for that. I also decided to open up and tell more people in my life about my depression. I somehow wanted to preserve this "normal" image in their eyes and honestly, that isn't my normal. And I'm actually hurting myself by trying to keep up appearances, as being depressed was my secret shame.

This past weekend I had to present my blog to my advocacy class (hence the previous post) and I feel like I 'came out' as a person that suffers from depression/anxiety. It felt really good.

I feel inspired now, as today the host of The Mental Illness Happy Hour Paul Gilmartin commented on my blog post on the show, and it was really encouraging. Then looking back, I found out that Teresa Strasser who I really respect and admire had actually responded to my comment on her blog too. Seriously, when you reach out and are honest, people do respond, maybe in not the ways you expect, but they do.