Use Your Words: July 14th, 2017

Hello and happy Friday! Today's writing adventure is one where a group of fun and amazing bloggers get together and are given between 4-6 words that they need to use in their blog. They can use it any which way they want as long a they work in those words. At the end of this post you’ll find links to the other blogs featuring this challenge. Check them all out, see what words they got and how they used them. 

I’m using:  Hard work ~ Stone ~ Hair ~ Limelight

They were submitted by:  The Bergham Chronicles Thanks Jules! :)

A half-eaten cup of chili in a cardboard container, I can see how it doesn’t look like much.

But really, it is so much more than that.

After a long week, all the days and weeks seem long lately, I needed a moment to relax. In the middle of the workday I did not think it was possible. Momentarily, I stared outside admiring the sun shining down and paid for my chili wondering the last time I took a lunch-you know a real lunch, away from the desk, not on a conference call or a Web-X, not running errands because its the only time I have during the day....just sitting and eating...and goodness relaxing.  As I gathered my spoon and napkins….because it's not  an issue of if I would spill….but when, I reflected on an article I recently read. The article discussed how an employee was pleasantly surprised by her boss's supportive reaction when she stated she was taking a mental health day. This mentality is something that needs to be the mainstream consensus…not shared over and over and glowing in the midst of the limelight. 

At this point in our society, with all the knowledge we have on mental illness (and yes I accept there is a long way to go), there is no reason that we should have archaic views on mental illness. I have said it before and will say it again, mental health is just as important as physical and spiritual if not more so. We do not mock those who break a leg who go to the emergency room to get treated. So, why in the world would anyone find it acceptable to degrade someone for seeing a counselor or take medicines to regulate their chemical imbalances? Or if someone needed to check into a facility because their mental health was deteriorating so badly it was affecting their every day life or needed to take time off work to get back into a health mindset...there is nothing shameful about that. Not one iota of shame is associated with it. 

What is shameful is that too many people think that if those with mental illnesses could just put in a little 'hard work' that they will be happy. Let's just clear something up right now, shall we? Those with mental illnesses, chemical imbalances, high anxiety, severe depression-work pretty hard to function in exhausting every day society. They smile when they want to scream. They force themselves to go to work when they want to stay in bed covered in darkness. They hang out with family and friends when they would prefer to pull out their hair. And they do these things to try to fit be 'normal', to do what is expected of them. Because too often, when people admit they have a problem, when they share they are sad-they are shut down. Those suffering are told that 'they will get over it', that it may just be a 'phase' or due to 'certain circumstances'....but in reality when someone finally admits they have a concern...a problem, it has taken them all the might they could muster to get that out-so respect them, respect their honesty and their willingness to confide. If you cannot get them help....point them in the right direction, talk to another trusted individual who could offer better insight, help get them to a counselor, refer a hotline, tell them to call their doctor, call 911 if its emergent or take them (or ask someone else to) to the emergency room if need be....just, don't disregard it or brush it off. 

I did not always have a strong stone resolve to stand up for those with mental illness, mainly because I spent so much time denying I had severe depression. 

But after I had to reset myself, after I needed time off work to focus on me and my life that seemed to be spiraling out of control, I am one of the biggest and LOUDEST and probably the most annoying people who advocate for self-care and mental health awareness. A year ago, I would have never wrote those words-that I had severe depression, but the more I write them, the more I become comfortable with them. Not comfortable like a pair of relaxing slippers that you long to slip into after a long day  but comfortable in the sense that I don't blush or hide my head when the discussion on mental illness comes up in every day conversation. Comfortable in the sense that I share parts of my story, not all the time, but when I feel I can I will so I can educate people on my experience. Every time I get met with....'but you seem so happy...' And, maybe I do seem happy. But that does not take away from my real struggles. Not all days are good days, not all days are bad days, but some days...are dark. And in the darkness, I can stumble to find the light. So that's why I make it a point to shed light on the subject whenever I can so the words, 'mental illness', 'depression', 'bipolar', 'anxiety', 'mood disorders', are not scary foreign words....but words that are comfortable enough to accept them and digest them without freaking out and associating outdated stigmas with them.

Oh and the chili?

That was a break I desperately needed in the middle of my work day. 

I gathered my cup, sat outside with the sun shining down on me and listened to the wind,  the water and everything around me...and did nothing on my lunch except eat and relax. Because, I am worthy of self-care. Just as you are. 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Baking In A Tornado              
Cognitive Script               
The Blogging 911         
Sparkly Poetic Weirdo        
On the Border                 
The Bergham Chronicles            
Simply Shannon                   
Southern Belle Charm          
Bookworm in the Kitchen        
Part-time Working Hockey Mom


  1. wow, so amazingly written and well worded. Everyone should read this.

  2. Excellent post, Jen, and I love the last paragraph. Self-care is so important. If we are not looking after ourselves, nobody else will.

  3. I could not agree with you more. From just sitting outdoors all the way through being hospitalized, our mental health is vital not just to us but to all around us. It truly does ripple. Sadly it seems that in our current political climate things will get worse before they get better.

  4. Wonderful! And so true. A must read for everyone!

  5. I've gone through similar. Depression is no joke. You fight every single day to stay out of that dark hole. Some days it works some days it doesn't. Hope you have more light days than dark!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Jumbled Up Mix of Thoughts on This Past Year or the Tried & True New Year's Letter

How Are You....Really?

Thankful, Yes, Even For The Pain.