Today May 16th, bloggers across the world are uniting and joining the 3rd Annual American Psychological Associations’ Mental Health Blog Party. Together we will become one loud voice to help reduce the stigma that surrounds mental illness, inspire others with real life stories and let people know:
You are not alone.
Why does mental health matter to me?
I’ve been at rock bottom, wanting to end my life, overcome with the darkness of major depression and anxiety! I would never wish that darkness upon anyone. Sadly, the reality is, over 121 million people worldwide are affected by depression and over one million people take their lives each year. Yet, still there is a stigma attached that holds people back from seeking help.
Yes it’s true! At a time when I had lost hope, was searching for answers, Dan’s book appeared and gave me hope. I have lost count the amount of times I have watched the Peaceful Warrior movie and am grateful that I had the honor and privilege to train with Dan at the Peaceful Warrior Courage training in February.
I invite you to watch this brief clip… one of many inspiring moments in the movie…
“A Warrior is not about perfection or victory or invulnerability. He’s about absolute vulnerability!” says Socrates
1. What drives our fear of being vulnerable?
2. How are we protecting ourselves from vulnerability
3. What price are we paying when we shut down and disengage?
4. How do we own and engage with vulnerability so we can start transforming the way we live, love, parent, and lead?
I know for me personally, when I am at my most vulnerable is when my true courage, resilience and surrender shines. Vulnerability allows me to connect deeply with others, beyond surface relationships. Vulnerability is not weakness, it is the strength and courage to say “Hey, I’m not myself today!”
There is No Stopping or Starting with Mental Health
A gymnastics champion, Dan’s life as he knows it is shattered along with his leg after a motorcycle accident. His whole sense of being, value and self-worth is gone, he falls into a deep depression and has thoughts of suicide.
“Just ignore what happened to me?” pleads Dan.
“A warrior acts only a fool reacts.” replies Socrates.
“And what if I can’t do it?” says Dan.
“That’s in the future, throw it out!” proclaims Socrates.
“Well how would we start?” asks Dan.
“There is no stopping or starting, only doing!” states Socrates.
How often does the questions Dan poses – I can’t do it! How? – happen to you?
All that matters in this moment right now is what you are doing. In the depths of depression, focusing on this present moment is of great benefit to your mental health. When you get caught up in the how, it is easy for fear to take over – fear of failure, fear of not getting better, fear of what others will think. Depression is dark and lonely, yet it doesn’t have to be that way.
What can you do right now to take one step (a baby step) forward for your mental health?
- It could be as simple as getting out of bed.
- Choosing to live one minute at a time.
- Taking a shower.
- Calling a 24 hour Crisis Line for support.
Vulnerability and doing – two important pieces of saying Mental Health Matters!
Thank you to American Psychological Association and the many wonderful bloggers, standing up and saying mental health matters and you matter.