Your illness is valid

I have been asked numerous times to stop writing, and the intentions are good. I must address it though; this blog has been an outlet and safe place for other (and myself) for self-expression and realization. I continue to write because mental illness still has a stigma, and even though celebrities are bringing awareness to the topic I still have a challenging time finding the regular person talking about it (outside of combat PTSD).

The truth of the matter is that I enjoy writing, like genuinely enjoy it. It releases all the dark shadows from my psyche, and then I do not ruminate. I have heard many requests to stop writing because it is not healthy; when has expressing yourself ever been unhealthy?

I believe that the words are filled with good intensions, but you know what the path to hell is paved in. I keep talking about mental illness because repetition is the only way to get really good at something. Maybe, one day, my writings might change someone’s perception on a mentally ill person.

I am a wife, mother, full-time career worker, and part time college student. I am quite normal, and live is middle class suburbia filled with children and a playground. The only time that people see the depression or trauma lurking is when I am with my service dog, or during an attack. So, they may not see it all the time and dismiss it easily. There is even a book and several articles that say that mental illness is a choice.

It is not a choice. You are acknowledged, and validated.

Thank you to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

But what would you do?

I was asked recently by a follower of this blog, and a member of The Evolving Lotus, a question that had I had been asked many therapy sessions ago.  The question is simple: what do you gain from thinking so negatively about yourself? The answer seems to be more difficult to articulate. We gain nothing but self-loathing, low self-esteem, and sometimes more anxiety.

Being mindful is a good practice to follow, and this is meant literally. Mindfulness is not about forgetting that we are hurting; it is about not allowing being hurt to control our lives! Thoughts can come and go, just like clouds. So, let them come and go like clouds.

It is said to leave two doors in your mind open, one for letting thoughts in and the other for letting the thoughts out. For goodness sake, do not serve them tea! Easier said than done, this I know as a personal truth. It takes practice, and I will share with you my favorite practice.

When the thoughts of depression, anxiety, or looping are happening, sit back and close your eyes. Start to breathe in and out and allow yourself to feel your breath wherever it may be in that moment. Then let the thought come to you, acknowledge the thought, and then focus on something else (Duff, 2015). I know it sounds easy, but it is one of the more difficult techniques until you start practicing.

Show yourself compassion! You would not go to someone in the midst of a panic attack and be argumentative (or I hope not). You would show them love and kindness. Let love, kindness and compassion fill your life.

Thank you to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

References:

Duff, R. (2015). Hardcore self help: F**k anxiety. North Charleston, SC: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform.

Following up with yesterday’s post

Hello,

I do not know you, but I know you. You get stuck in your own thoughts, and sometimes cannot get out. I thought for Link Tuesday I would share some videos that help me:

Thank you as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

You need some yoga in your life

Okay, you’re awake and breathing. That is always a good start to a day; at least in my opinion. I am filled with motivation to make your day better. I have been filling my own cup as of late, and feel wonderful by doing it. I even presented an open conversation on online safety that was received well, and I am glad to have the support of both men and women. I believe that people think that only women are at risk, but so are men.

I was reading in Yoga Journal and came across an interesting article called United Yoga, and it depicted that many people are yoga teachers and students. We come in all shapes, sizes, colors, sexuality, and religion; that is what this piece was about. I cannot help but fall in love with Dan Nevins who was in the military until he lost both of legs in the Iraq war (Nevins, 2017). Before his injury his friend kept stating “You need yoga in your life,”. He was a big bad macho machine gun holding man! He simply said he would subscribe to being a meditation student of his friend. He found it easier to sleep with meditation (Nidra meditation and yoga are my favorites), and no longer had to drug himself to sleep. After the loss of his limbs, is friend continued to press about him needing yoga in his life. He made a commitment to her for a few classes, but his prostatic legs were not working. He did the impossible, letting go of his ego to remove his legs and he felt a jolt of energy. He finally knew what yoga was, a connection to the earth with your mind and breath. I will not ruin the rest of the article, but he saved a life through yoga.

Try and meditate, because you need yoga in your life

Thanks as always to Jenn Bovee.

Light up the Darkness,

TheLotus

References:

Nevins, D. (2017) United Yoga. Yoga Journal. 292, 44-45