I have three blog posts in the queue--one on food (borscht and hummus), one on local night life (including our first silent disco experience) and one on boat sitting (which I think I might be able to add to my resume after this trip)--that should come before this one if I stick to my chronological order, but I felt compelled to share this one first. (How does one fall behind when they have no schedule or nothing urgent to do baffles me, yet here I am, three blog posts behind.) Disclaimer: I am not an expert on this topic and am simply sharing my thoughts and feelings from the limited experience I have in hopes of bringing more attention to the topic. For a long time, mental health concerns was the white elephant in the room. It wasn't spoken about. It was something people hid. It was considered imaginary or something in your head. While I'm proud of the progress we've made as a society to remove the taboo and stigma behind mental health challenges, there is still a lot of shame and uneasiness around the topic--we still have a long way to go. I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone out there who hasn't had experience with a mental health illness, either going through something first-hand or witnessing a loved one struggle. Whether it's a long-term struggle or a small bout of it, it happens to all of us. In the words of my friend, Charles, "You see a Dr. for physical help, dentist for dental help, lawyer for legal help...but are afraid/ashamed to see someone to protect the most valuable thing you have, your mind?? There's nothing no more wrong with you and your mental health concerns than there is with someone with high blood pressure, diabetes, cavities, or any other malady. It simply means we're not perfect, and that's perfectly fine." Preach. Cosign. Turn the volume WAY UP on that. (He also shared this link that I thought was an excellent read and should be read, shared, bookmarked, and re-read when you need a reminder.)
So where am I going with this? Why am I sharing this? Well, because I know I have friends and family who are in a weird spot. And because I know there will be a time and day when you may find yourself in a weird spot. Because sometimes I feel like I'm in this weird spot. Yes, me, smileysejalee. And because when you shake up your routine from go, go, go to include white space for thoughts and ideas, your mind wanders--and this is the topic my mind found itself wandering to over the past few days. My weird spot is usually an outcome of me over thinking everything and living in the past or in the future without enjoying the peace and beauty of the present. A weird spot can mean any kind of change, big or small, that's making you feel unlike yourself or putting you through a transition period or just leaving you in this sense of uneasiness. I'll be the first one to say that I like being uncomfortable, I think it's the best way to experience growth and understand yourself and your own boundaries, but being uncomfortable and being in a weird spot aren't the same thing. A weird spot can bring feelings of emptiness and doubt and anxiousness, it can have you longing for a comfort or a memory or a place or person, it can consume your thoughts and your energy, no matter how much you try to fight it. No one wants to be in a weird spot and many times we fight even acknowledging that we are in a weird spot, instead clinging to the hope that one day we'll magically be out of it, someday we'll be okay again. Instead of hoping for a one day, someday, there are things that we can try to help get out of that weird spot.
Talk to someone. Take a break. Do something that brings you joy. Meditate. Exercise. Disconnect. Take a deep breath. Practice positivity and optimism. Pray. Seek help. Be kind to yourself. Do something that helps bring you peace. In some cases, it may mean medicate--but do that under the supervision and advice of a professional. (I know there are lots of different ways, these are just the ways that came to mind for me. What techniques or methods am I missing?) These things may not bring you out of a funk but they are baby steps towards a better place. Know that you're not alone and that there are people who are cheering you on, who want the best for you, who think you matter and are sending you love and good vibes. And if you're in a good place but know someone that's in a weird spot, as tough as it may be for you to reach out, they probably need you more than you know.
To all of those that I know and love (and even those that I don't) who are going through a weird spot--I'm sending you a great big hug and an open invitation to talk, whenever you need to. Invest in yourself and your own mental health. Let's get you to that one day, someday when the feelings of that weird spot will eventually fade into a distant past memory.