You know You’re having a Mental Day when…

Crazy Train
Everyone, now and then, has a bad day. The difference between a bad day and a mental one can mean the difference between eating junk food for dinner or having a psychotic break. I’m a mental, a name I call myself and everyone dealing with mental illness.

A bad day is a good thing, it’s normal and everyone has them, if they don’t, they should. The more experience you have as a mental, the easier it becomes to see the difference between a normal ‘bad’ day and an ‘I’m taking the train to crazy town’ kinda day.

Here are a few ways to figure out what side of sanity you’re sitting on.

You know you’re having a mental day when:

1. You wake-up and wonder why the first activity of the day is so difficult. If the ensuite wasn’t so far away you wouldn’t have to think about it. After lying there wondering how you can avoid using the toilet, it you get up.

2. You manage to have a shower, dress and eat breakfast. By the time you finish eating, you’re exhausted so you take a nap. Your husband put in several hours of work already and your kids left for school before you started breakfast.

3. Standing in the middle of a room, lost in space, your kids ask you if you’re okay. You ask them why they think you’re not okay, and their answer is, that you’re standing in the middle of the room lost in space. You remember turning from the counter to open the fridge but you don’t remember stopping.

4. You eat cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner because anything else is too hard to make. When you go to the grocery store, you stand in the cereal aisle overwhelmed. Do you want the original flavoured or the vanilla, almond, honey, strawberry or chocolate version. You can’t decide so you go home and take a nap.

5. When your husband comes home and asks how your day was, your list of activities include: eating, napping and watching TV. You think your day was productive, your husband wonders why you didn’t go to the gym. You wonder why he didn’t ask you to climb Mount Kilimanjaro at the same time.

6. Are you the glass half full or half empty type? Is this a joke? You’re glass is empty, there’s a drought and you don’t care if it ever gets filled. Your husband asks you why you’re so negative which is cause for hysterical laughter. You’re depressed, you tell him, depression renders your mind incapable of positive, happy thoughts.

7. Then there’s the crying for apparently no reason, the desperate apologies and ‘goodbye cruel world’ speeches. You know you sound crazy and your family thinks you are crazy, so you try to make them see that you’re not crazy, which in turn has them thinking you’re in worse shape than they thought.

8. You don’t say much out loud but you’re having a lot of conversations in your head. You occasionally say something which causes your family to wonder whom you were talking to.

9. Family members ask you if you’ve taken your meds.

10. After a long day you wish your family goodnight and you’re off to bed. They’re giving you that look again because it’s not even close to bedtime.

One mental day is okay but unfortunately, one mental day usually leads to a mental week and weeks lead to months… It’s time to put your coping skills to work, call a mental health hotline or see your psychiatrist. Maybe you need some talk therapy or a dosage increase.

The clueless will tell you to suck it up, snap out of it, or get over it. Well-intentioned people think they’re helping, by giving you unwanted advice. Their advice will drag you down and not lift you up. If you want to get better you might want to limit your time with the clueless group.

Be kind to yourself and surround yourself with loving, supportive people. The mental days will get better as you recover, as the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” Mental illness can feel like a never-ending ride on the crazy train but it won’t always be that way. Just between you and me, do yourself a favour and avoid the clueless people.

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The Serenity Prayer

Th Serenity Prayer

Hate and Forgiveness

 

 

Forgive and Accept

I saw you through the window screen, drying dishes. “Hi, how are you?” I asked.

There was the briefest of glances before you said, “I don’t want to talk to you”. You spoke each word slowly and clearly, tightly controlling the hate you felt for me. You raised your eyes to meet mine and I recoiled from the darkness I saw there. All the hate and fury bubbling just below the surface, waiting for a release from which there was no return.

My heart finally understood what my head always knew; I was dead to you and always would be. My heart forgave you the day I apologized to you. Something wonderful happens when you give forgiveness, you receive peace even if your forgiveness is not accepted. I naïvely expected you to do the same but my pain never crossed your mind.

I will stop trying to extend the olive branch and leave you to your hate. You are the only one who can conquer it, and I hope you do before it robs you of all the joy you could be experiencing.

May you find the path that leads you out of darkness and into peace.

 

 

Pat the Character: A Character Study

MaxineThe cruise is in November and my roommate is a woman I don’t know. Frieda is our mutual friend and the one to invite me on the cruise. It’s her idea that we meet, to see if we click. We meet at Seaway Mall’s food court for a coffee.

There are people you meet and like immediately. Pat is like that. Her smile is warm and friendly, her eye’s twinkle suggesting she likes to have fun. She doesn’t miss anything, storing what she sees in that sharp mind of hers.

Pat and I swap funny stories about Frieda, all three of us breaking out in laughter. We talk about our habits; I make funny noises in my sleep, so does she. We both need down time to recharge, we’re sound sleepers, and we don’t want a clingy roommate. We’re both easy-going and enjoy a good laugh. We will get along just fine.

Pat is a mother and grandmother, who I suspect gets in trouble for acting mischievously. I can’t help but think that her family adore her and enjoy her crazy antics.  She’s had a lifetime of responsibility and hard work, raising her family and caring for animals on her farm. Married and widowed twice, she now lives alone and likes it that way. It’s her time now, no worries or attachments tying her down.

Time spent with Frieda and Pat is comfortable and fun. Two Christian women filled with God’s love and a joy for life that is contagious. I can’t wait for November.

This cruise will be one fun water ride!

Young Love

Teenagers

 

 

 

 

 

Dancing on the breeze, the letter dipped and twirled until it landed in front of me.

Sam,

“Will you go to prom with me?” the loopy scrawl asked. “I have loved you since kindergarten.”

Matt

Sam watched for Matt, hoping he would ask her to the prom, but Matt passed her lost in his thoughts.

“Ask her!” I whispered to the letter, as if saying it would make it happen.

Matt paused in the hallway, took a breath and turned around to see Sam walking his way,

“Hey, Sam!” Matt said, “I have something to ask you.”

Sam smiled.