Most Internet memes are harmless, or even amusing. They proclaim that someone has a wonderful granddaughter or that kittens are cute.
But some memes that travel the world sow unhelpful or even hurtful ideas as they go. This one appears mild and even inspiring, but to a person with mental illness, it says a lot more than appears on the surface.
Once again I have gotten a tattoo, supporting the cause of mental health.A few months ago, I became a part of what's called the semicolon project and wrote about it in this post: http://wp.me/p4e9Hv-9G. For those of you who aren't up on the terminology, a semicolon tattoo represents mental health awareness, especially erasing the stigma, and suicide prevention....more
I was in Ireland, on a bus full of journalists and two monsignors. The sun was shining, though the day was cool. We were on our way to some scenic inn where there would be a fragrant peat fire and servings of Irish coffee.The guide was playing a mixtape through the bus's sound system. The song playing was "All God's Critters," by Bill Staines, a folk song I knew quite well. Here's the chorus:...more
In the past week I have been out of the house more and seen more people than I have in years. It’s almost like having a social life.In the past week I have also slept more than I usually do in my sloth-like, torpid existence.I think the two are not unrelated.If you follow Spoon Theory (http://www.butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/) you know that each spoon represents an amount of coping that you can do....more
I have been seeing Dr. R. for eight years. He helped me through my major meltdown and skillfully, gradually mixed the cocktail of medications that would get me and keep me functioning at an acceptable, livable level. He got me through my near-brush with ECT.Dr. R. is moving to another state. He sent all his clients a letter listing half a dozen or so local psychiatrists he could recommend, though he didn't know if they were accepting new patients or what insurance plans they took. This week was my last appointment with him....more
I was grocery shopping and when I came to the cereal aisle, I found myself light-headed and breathing raggedly.My husband dropped a knife in the kitchen; I jumped and all my muscles tightened up.We were driving down the highway, when suddenly I flung my arms out to the side and gasped loudly.In none of these cases was anything actually wrong. (Although the incident in the car nearly caused an accident when my husband turned and yelled, "What? What?")...more
Kittens.Jumping.I want to go home to bed with my kitties.These are my mantras. Or something.I repeat these phrases, under my breath if anyone is around who doesn't know I do this. At least I think it's under my breath. I have at times walked out of a restroom stall to see people looking at me strangely.My husband says they are "grounding statements," though I understand proper grounding statements are usually more like affirmations – "I am safe." "I can handle this." "I am a good person." How I ended up with mine I don't quite know....more
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