Tag Archives: Nancy Virden

Contesting for Mental Health are Fighters Who Fully Grasp the Concept of a Strong Mind

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Losing over half your blood supply is not healthy. I know, because that is what the worried faces of doctors told me last week.  After four transfusions and as many days in the hospital, my job is to rest and allow my body to build back its supply. As of Thursday, it is up to three-fourths of the needed amount for me to be declared well.

Jimmy Kimmel (host of Jimmy Kimmel Live) announced recently that his newborn son required heart surgery hours after birth.  Kimmel’s hopes, as most parents, are for his children to be happy, healthy, and to live to old age. Taking his baby to a specialist was a no-brainer.

I highly doubt if anyone thinks I should feel shame for going to the emergency room when I could barely walk. In fact, I was avidly supported by friends and family with visits, meals, and well-wishes. No one is booing Kimmel either for allowing a pediatric cardiologist to help his baby.

Yet when our body misfires in the brain, there is skepticism, judgment, or lack of understanding what to do. Support may be a few mumbled words and prayers, but usually quickly dies out.

It’s not that people do not care, they lack effective knowledge. So much hearsay and false information is believed, that trying to explain mental illness can be headache producing. Personally, it is tiring and annoying to address the same issues repeatedly with some who choose to remain close-minded. Those relationships are not the ones I want or pursue.

If you are a regular reader of these blogs, chances are you are a learner, eager to know what to do and say is when a loved one’s mental health is challenged. I’m grateful for you. 

Sometimes our bodies need a little help. That is why we use medications and vaccines, surgeries, and IVs.  When our bodies grow weak in one area, we try to fix it so we can go about business as usual. The same is true when our brains grow ill.  Medications and specialists are available to help bring us back to health.

Building back a blood supply is easy and temporary. Building a healthier mind is neither. Those of us in the contest for mental health are not lazy, weak, spiritually ignorant, stupid attention-grabbers. We are fighters who fully grasp the concept of a strong mind.

May is Mental Health Month, and we appreciate your support.  

Today’s Helpful Word

Ephesians 4:1,2 

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.  Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”  -St. Paul

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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

As Seen on Psych Central – 6 Words That Led to a Suicide Attempt: “She’s Just a Crybaby. Stay Here.”

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry


Today’s blog is my article published on Psych Central this week.
     click title ⇓

6 Words that Led to a Suicide Attempt: “She’s Just a Crybaby. Stay Here”

Today’s Helpful Word

Revelation 21:4(NLT)

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” (Promise from God)

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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

pic by LUSI on rgbstock.com

Radio and Podcast Interviews: The Telling of a Multifaceted Story

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2017  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

It’s always fun discovering the direction an interviewer will take in a conversation.  For each radio or podcast show on which I am a guest, the host receives similar background information. Yet interviews are never the same.

It is always best to let go of my agenda and allow the host to guide. After all, they know their needs and what their audience wants more than I do. Most often, I close my eyes, ask Jesus to give me the words, and follow what happens next.

Here are three examples.  The themes that developed are in blue.  I know you will receive insights you can use in your daily life challenges. Enjoy! 

(1) Discovering life and emotions after attempted suicide   Interview with Dr. Charles Parker on CoreBrain Journal Listen here: http://www.corebrainjournal.com/022  

(2) Common misunderstandings about depression, especially within the Christian community.  Interview with Jacquie Wayans on Don’t Give Up Radio.  http://tobtr.com/8895505  

(3) Abuse, and practical ways of finding and maintaining hope     Interview on A Fine Time for Healing with Randi Fine – http://www.blogtalkradio.com/randi-fine/2016/12/13/depression-suicide-and-recovery-with-recovery-advocate-nancy-virden  

Today’s Helpful Word

Numbers 22:38  

“I must speak only what God puts in my mouth.”

(from the story of Balaam, a prophet)

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

CompassionateLove Radio – Major Depression and Suicide, Nancy’s Story

CompassionateLove Radio: Combatting Stigma with Stories   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Nancy Virden Seminar, May-2016Show #19 – Major Depression Recurrent and Suicide Attempts

Your host Nancy Virden has struggled with Major Depression all her life. Her earliest memories of what may have been diagnosable depression are from preschool. Gross emotional neglect and domestic violence clouded her family of origin. Married at 20, she discovered that romance is not a cure for life’s ills.

Suicide and self-loathing were part of her thinking off and on for decades. Then at the age of 49, despair and hopelessness led her to a final decision to end her life. She was forced to look into her deeply held false beliefs, and consider a new, nearly unrecognizable worldview.

Once able to recognize what she had always denied, Nancy entered into recovery from a 40-year eating disorder and food addiction.  Her story is one of regretful history, but much more importantly, of a brand new start.  Available December 27, 2016. 

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*To join in this effort, please pray for Always the Fight Ministries, or give the book by the same title to a person you love, or donate your time. God bless, Nancy

3 Holiday Boundaries You’ll Want to Draw This Year

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

oosr7euCaroline: Boundaries? With my family? I have no say in anything. 

Tom: No one else is taking care of  all the flight plans, so I guess I have to.

Jackie: Personally, I could do without ever seeing Uncle Bill again. 

Darin: I cannot afford these gifts – but my wife expects them. 

Ah, December American holidays.  I’m not certain how some of these statements apply to faiths other than Christian, but it would come as no shock to learn most families have expectations centered around tradition. It is when we forget we have choices, that resentment, dishonesty, and compromise of our values take place. We flail about reacting to tugs from others until we are dizzy.

Or depressed.

Boundaries prevent this. We can choose to be an individual, not a victim, not co-dependent, and not a doormat. Boundaries keep us from being dishonest about what we want and how we feel. Genuine obligations suffer when we say yes to too much outside pressure. Anger over our supposed lack of choice threatens relationships.

Boundaries are not about stopping another person. We will never have control over other people’s choices. Boundaries are about what we decide to say yes or no to. What will we allow into our lives?

Here are 3 boundaries you will want to draw this year.

1) Time.  Look at your calendar. What are your bottom-line obligations? Of course, your job and immediate family will be on this list of top priorities. Closest friends are there too. Mark these on your calendar.

List all the other December duties you think you have.  These are time-consuming activities such as shopping, choir practice, taking your children to events, the annual Christmas party at work, etc. Now rate them 1-3 with 3 being the most significant and meaningful to you.

Place the 3s on your calendar if they fit. Then add the 2s and 1s in what time slots you believe you can spare. Say no to the least valuable so you can focus on the important. If two important dates clash, choose one based on your highest values.

2) Budget  Debt adds pressure and great cost to what could be a freer life. Think about refusing to create or add to it this month. On your calculator put in the December amount of your bills including life’s necessities like food, gas for the car, savings, etcetera. Subtract this from your real income (not potential income).

Reasonably estimate your extra December expenses such as food, extra gas spent on driving every day to choir practice, holiday clothes, decorating, and gifts. How much money do you have left?

Are there ways to save money like sharing a ride to choir practice or going without that red twinkling sweater? Is it necessary to add another strand of lights on your tree? Consider meaningful homemade gifts, or offering your time and service instead of merchandise.

After streamlining your December budget, divide what is available by how many people you are buying gifts for. This is the estimate of how much you can afford to spend on each person. Of course, the gift exchange at work is not as important as your gift to your spouse, and may cost less. However, now you have a reasonable figure from which to make your decisions.

3) Physical or emotional energy  We cannot fix or change other people. Sometimes the struggles of people we love takes a toll on our wellbeing. There are family members, places, and events that typically wear us down.

Thoughtfully think about your true limitations. It’s okay to be human, and understanding our limits is bright, healthy, and wise. Do you tire easily? Are you in pain after sitting two hours at a concert? Will seeing Uncle Bill trigger depression? Does too much social activity push you into isolation? Be real, and gladly own up to where you are presently physically and emotionally.

Look again at your calendar. Is it reasonable to believe you can do all those things and maintain good mental and physical health? If not, please allow that you are your top priority. This does not mean selfishness, this is self-preservation so that you will be fully present in your most important relationships.

Cut out or abbreviate those activities you would be wise to avoid to be healthy. You are free to limit your suffering by turning your energies to the most valued events and relationships this month.

Boundaries. We struggle to say “I can’t” or “I won’t”. But saying yes to the lesser equals saying no to the best. It’s okay to use your voice! Take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom of being in control of your choices.

Today’s Helpful Word

1 Corinthians 10:31
 
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

Hope For All After U.S. Presidential Election 2016

CompassionateLove Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

LET'S TALK white stamp text on red octagon

Everyone knows this election in the U.S. was divisive. Extremists and moderates alike have been afraid, and fear leads to anger. Accusations, and even acceptance of the intolerable, unmasked mass terror that the other side (or either side) may win.

Today some people are traumatized by all the fear-mongering, splits in family and friend relationships, a newfound or refueled mistrust of the next door neighbor, and many are scared.

Many are down and sad. For people with mental illness, this election may have been a trigger. Stress levels are high. I know personally 2 people whose symptoms have worsened into dysfunction because of the results.

Will we talk about that side to things? Can we discuss the effects on mental health? The election is not the only divide in this country.

Since becoming vocal about my struggles with major depression, one person learned of  my story and walked away mumbling, “I don’t like to read.” Another appeared to take pleasure in being the one in the know, and so repeatedly told people in our social circle that I was “too sick,” and a “nutjob.” 

Does this sound anything like the presidential election of 2016?

My message, and that of thousands of voices in the mental health advocacy arena, is that contact without judgment is the most precious and priceless and helpful act anyone can do for a person struggling with mental illness. 

This morning, a search on Google brought a desperate person to my website. The search was, “cant get out of bed, im depressed”.  They found my post titled almost the same words, “I’m Depressed and Can’t Get Out of Bed. What Am I to Do?” At the bottom of that post is a link to a page headlined, “Gain a Mindset of Hope.” Both articles were read today – presumably by the one who did the search.

This is why, despite painful consequences, I am grateful God pushed me to go public. As for those people who choose to remain distant or unaware,  I pray they listen and grow.

Today’s Helpful Word

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
-Saint Paul

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

 

Full Circle: A Week of Miracles Part Two

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Law and justice concept gavel

A week ago today I was in a courthouse watching my marriage of 35 years come to a final close.

Our separation began in September of 2013 following 2 1/2 years of marriage counseling. In the nearly three years since, my husband filed for divorce, and settlement and support discussions and hearings ensued. Last Thursday ended all that with our signatures on a decree stating the division of assets. Now we wait for the final paperwork.

Today’s blog will state nothing negative about either my husband or the Pennsylvania court system. As in any dispute, there are two sides to the story.  Instead, I want to share with you miracles of provision and peace that culminated last week.

It probably does not need mentioning that this process has been an emotional one. There were times of great fear concerning my future. You see, I have multiple doctors and a therapist stating I have a disability due to Major Depression Recurrent and Anxiety Disorder. In their opinions I cannot hold a regular job. One went so far as to say this is permanent.  A quick look  through my work history testifies to this as well depending on one’s point of view.

I do not want to believe disability prevents me from working a steady job. It is an uncomfortable prognosis. However, I have watched these professionals closely for over five years and not once seen them backtrack or deceive. Their personal as well as professional lives are ones of integrity. Each of them have thirty-plus years of experience. I have to take them seriously.

Most of all perhaps, I know they care about me. None of them would twist the truth for a court hearing because that would hurt me! Almost beside the point is the fact they stand to lose their careers if they throw out willy-nilly professional opinions. My husband’s lawyer is an ex-therapist and knows each of these people personally. He told me he would not dispute the disability factor because he knows they do not lie!

Long before anyone used the term “disability”,  I approached Always the Fight Ministries (begun in 2012, officially named last February) with caution. Over the years there have been times I could barely function. These episodes also prove my need to take it slow. The amount of promoting one needs to invest for entrepreneurial success has suffered because of these limitations. Attempts at seeking regular help have not borne much fruit although all along the way God has provided people on occasion when needed.  Usually I feel overwhelmed and unproductive.

Yet here I am. Despite all the above, speaking and writing is bringing in more earnings. A new radio show begins in August. Nervousness comes and goes because what if I cannot manage all this? What if a crash and major depression result again? What if I am disabled?  That is why moments like last Thursday are so poignant.

Entering the courthouse as a self-representative, I knew Who was my lawyer.¹   With face turned down so as not to appear mocking, low-key smiles broke out periodically at the visual of mere mortals, including myself, trying to negotiate justice. I knew Who gave each of us our mouths to speak.²  Any authority practiced in that room was from Him.³ As such, I had to smile. It was actually fun to watch Him at work, and all the more when I kept silent. (see qualification below)

Finally, I saw the fruitlessness of this particular discussion and asked for 30 seconds to prepare an answer. Bowing my head, I asked my Heavenly Father who has never once let me down, what to say. As I gave my offer, I sensed a shift in attitude in the room. If I am correct about that, it may have been because there was no gouging or attempt at revenge. I asked for what I believe God told me was right. It is not even enough to pay my bills.

Disabled. Not capable of regular work. No stable income. Not enough money to live. Sound bleak?

I know who holds my future! As I see it, God has a plan that is fun to watch unfold. Parts of it are revealed already. Instead of the negative what-ifs, I am asking new questions. Certain God led me to ask for the amount I did, I am equally positive there is a reason. What if I can? What if I have no more crashes that take me out of the game? What if I am no longer disabled? Most importantly, what if I cannot and God accomplishes everything through me anyway?

What is the miracle referred to in today’s title? Peace. Whether things seem to go poorly or splendidly, I KNOW there is a purpose.

I am not afraid.

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

– picture from Kozzi.com

Qualification on noted comment – This is not a theological statement intended as a right or wrong way of defending oneself in court. No offense or judgment is intended toward any readers who have been through the court system, work in the legal field, or advise others to use the court system. This was my experience alone. It was a moment of clarity for me personally as I learned once again to let go and let God. I had already stated my case. It is important for justice to take place that people have a voice.

¹ From  Jeremiah 51: 36. “…I [God] will be your lawyer…”

² From Exodus 4:11. “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak…? Is it not I, the LORD?”

³ From Romans 13:1  “…all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.”

 

 

Full Circle: A Week of Miracles Part One

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

photo-25488583Plans were not unfolding as I had figured them, and the weather was adding complications. My friend Danita and I traveled to Philadelphia last Tuesday so I could attend a final hearing in divorce court on Thursday. My emotions were a bit high-strung because I was returning to old memories and goodbyes.  

I knew, as did Danita, that my need to control the weather and other incidentals was actually fear about dealing with the past, and facing the ghosts that dwell there.

My years in Pennsylvania included suicidal despair, the end of my marriage, and a change of worldview. Going back was nerve-racking except for two planned highlights: visiting Lynne Cannenta,* my individual therapist whose reassurance had pulled me off the ceiling many times; and possibly speaking with a group of people experiencing depression and other emotional distress.

Following a special and happy visit with Lynne, I drove past the building where some of my most overpowering emotions and transformational moments had taken place while attending an IOP (Intensive Outpatient Program). It is a building where memories move me, and deciding to go in,  I was met by a sense of profound wonder.

Several years ago, I had tried to walk down the stairs and froze, paralyzed by dread. This time, only a little hesitation slowed my entrance into the place once awash with anguish to the point of death.

I do not know what I expected to see last Wednesday, but it was a surprise. Gone is the cabinetry, artwork, and big chalkboard. There are no signs with the Twelve Steps and crisis line phone numbers. In their place is a big hole in the wall, an entrance to a new hallway of offices.

Taking in the changes, my eyes landed where chairs used to be.  I looked for places I used to sit, where other hurting souls also bore their heartache and desperation. This is where we were given air just as our emotional lungs were collapsing.  This is where my life took an unimaginable turn.

So where was the remembered pain? I searched for the shadowy memories of hell and expected to feel sorrow. It was gone, along with the room. I celebrated that I too am not the same. Returning to my car, I joyfully and gratefully sang a little off-the-cuff ditty. “The ghosts are gone, the past is over, all that is left is hope. Looking forward, being me, the ghosts are gone and I am free.”

Three days later,  the invitation to speak with the group had come, and I was eager to meet them. Irony did not escape me. You see, I was heading out to the same IOP that I attended twice in 2011. In a new location, there was no connection to the building. However, it is the same psychologist running this program, who for years had worked to convince me of my worth.  Friday, I felt I was coming full circle.

Heads nodded as listeners were reminded they are not alone with their scary, confusing thoughts and overwhelming feelings. I shared strategies that work for me to overcome a sense of worthlessness, powerlessness, and hopelessness. They responded openly. I felt the connection to these, my kind of people, as I am certain they did.  

Eventually, Dr. Jay* turned to thank me for coming. Something had attracted my attention the whole hour, and I said,  “Before I go, I have a question for Dee.*”

“Sure,” he said.

Facing one of the women in the group, I asked, “Dee, do we know each other?”

She nodded.

“Were we in IOP together long time ago?”

The rest of the group reacted in surprise. Dr. Jay said, “Oh! I wondered about that!”  Dee nodded.

Tears choked my voice. “You said something to me back then that altered my life. I asked how it could be okay for me to spend so much time, effort, and money on myself when I should be busy serving other people. Do you remember?”

She nodded again with a faint smile.

“You told me it would be hard to be there for other people when my own needs are not met.  You said that by taking the time to gain understanding, I would one day be able to say to someone else who feels hopeless,  ‘You can get to the other side.’  Do you remember?”

She nodded.

“Dee, thank you.”

No circle is complete unless it ends where it started. Because of her I saw the value in allowing my mental health to be priority.  Offering hope is now what I do as a business, a ministry, and lifestyle.  What grander privilege could there be than to remind her,  “You too will make it to the other side”?

The ghosts are gone. All that is left is hope.

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

– picture from Kozzi.com

*not their real names

An Unlikely Lesson from Frodo and Cinderella

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2012 (edited 2016)  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

Sometimes truth has difficulty getting past all those double-locked doors and windows leading to our brains. We can be given information,  observe its evidence, and  even experience it firsthand – yet somehow remain convinced our opposing  perception is correct.

When the Lord of the Rings Trilogy came out I told my sons I would never watch it. “Too violent,” I complained.

“You have to watch it, Mom,” they insisted. “It’s a great story. You’ll like all the people stuff.”

People stuff aside, it took over a year to convince me to give Frodo and Gandolph a chance. The only reason I did was to use it as leverage to get my uncultured family to watch what I wanted them to see – a live Ballet.  The deal was set.

The movies were enchanting, after all. Tolkien’s characters came to life as Frodo and Sam made their treacherous journey to destroy the One Ring. So captivated was I by the ‘people stuff’ I had to watch it all again in one day. All nine hours.  I’d become a fan.

Taking our seats in Cleveland’s beautiful second-only-to-Broadway PlayHouse Square, I was the only excited one in our party. The boys were there to submit to the deal, and my husband had acquiesced to be a good sport. Sure enough, as if to further torture eleven and fourteen year old boys, the playbill told us we would be watching dancers spinning and leaping on their toes for three hours. No violence here, just a sweet love story between a servant girl and her adoring prince. A full night of Cinderella. In ballet.

‘Squirming’ is perhaps too light a term for what I saw out of the corner of my eye as the curtain opened. The magical atmosphere of lilting music combined with bright costumes and alluring dance failed to warm them to the experience one bit.  Well into the evening, I glanced over to see how those two were faring.

Suddenly they busted out in laughter! There had been a choir of “oohs” by the audience.  I turned to see Cinderella’s horse-drawn carriage slipping off the back of the stage! A coachman had ungracefully jumped off to save his neck, while other dancers-turned-heavyweights-in-tutus straightened the huge prop on wheels.  Everyone back on board safely, melodious sounds and twirling dances resumed. Everything returned to as it should be at the Ballet.

Except now my giggling sons had reason to be entertained. For the rest of the program, I saw shoulders shaking, and subtle finger-pointing out of the corner of my eye.

Having been told about the movies, then experiencing them changed my opinion.  Not so in reverse, as my adult sons continue to insist ballet is only interesting if there is a great fall. Hmm, maybe Humpty Dumpty?

This is similar to how I perceive reactions to the topic of mental illness.  It is as if some people feel tortured at the thought of learning about it, have made up their opinions, and simply refuse to invite in any more insight. That is too bad considering a quarter of us will struggle with a mental disorder at some time in our lives, and depression is the number one commonality between all human suffering. The topic is too big to ignore.

Because of casual dismissal of mental health issues, stigma continues. People who need treatment remain fearful or ashamed. Just think, treatment that is 80-90% effective will not reach half of those who need it because depression, suicide, and other psychological matters remain taboo.

Keep checking back to this blog for insight, knowledge, and compassion. There will be no Prince Charming or Humpty Dumpty.  There will be plenty of people stuff.

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COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

  • picture from Kozzi.com

 

Cleveland Has Found Its Anti-Depressant: Joy is Palpable Today

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness  (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

IMG_20160622_101335The last time Cleveland won a championship, I did not care.  I was three years old, in a smaller town, where people held a stereotypical view of the big city up north. You’ve heard it, the mistake on the lake.

When I found out I was moving here in 1987, I cried. It was bored into my brain that Cleveland was a nasty place to live. I asked God to please show me beauty in Cleveland.IMG_20160619_100507

It did not take long.

Soon, seven points of beauty proved to be antidepressants in this city. Today there is sheer joy in the streets. Cleveland is proud of our NBA Cavaliers.

The beauty in Cleveland is in the breath-taking Lake Erie. One of the largest bodies of water on the planet, it is a peace-giving, life-renewing, place of rest. Walking along its shores fills me with wonder and calm. The people who walk there are friendly, and I have not noticed anyone doing anything to hurt another person or the landscape.

The beauty of Cleveland is found in people’s front yards. If you are a Clevelander, have you taken the time to look? Little beauty spots sprinkle the lawns – flowers, trees, memorials, tokens of faith, flags of honor and sports’ teams.  There is an aura here of pride that shows up in front lawns.

The beauty of Cleveland is found in its hidden treasures. A quick drive through the city may leave you with an impression that we do not have a lot of money, and our tastes are lacking. I only say this because privately owned places of business can look a little dingy on the outside. Gazing only at the superficial, one might assume that business is flailing and the owners do not care. Wrong.

Step into those places and see for yourself the pride people take in their hard work. Go in the store that needs paint, and where the outside light is dim. Inside you will likely find a beauty spot you never expected to see. My experience has been,  for the most part, walking in to orderly, well-run, eager-to-serve ma and pa shops. I see a single woman starting her own dry-cleaning business, two friends excitedly taking over a hardware store, and franchise owners who greet their customers personally. Is Cleveland perfect? You can choose to glance at what you do not like, or to study the real heart of the city which is beautiful.

The beauty of Cleveland is found in its park system. Metroparks is one of the best park layouts in the country. Its walking, running, riding, and horse-back trails are stunning in any weather. Trees loom over valleys and homes, surround rivers, and are filled with birds. Sights, sounds, and smells are invigorating to the soul.

The beauty of Cleveland is found in its Fine Arts. Playhouse Square is second only to Broadway. We have a world-class orchestra. Our museums house rare and precious art by the Masters.

The beauty of Cleveland is hope. Each year, resident sports fans say, “Maybe next year.” Believeland has the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. We have the Republican National Convention coming next month. We have a surging enthusiasm.

And now WE HAVE A CHAMPIONSHIP!

The truest beauty in Cleveland is its people. They are the pulse, the beat energizing this beautiful city. If you do not live here, and you think you are a sports fan, try this on for size:

Our downtown closed today. The mayor declared a holiday. Businesses all across the metropolitan area are letting employees leave to go to the victory parade. Radio stations are talking of nothing else. One major television network is devoting the entire day to the Cavaliers and our city’s celebration. I drove down the street earlier this morning and do not think I saw one person without a Cavs shirt or hat. Cavs flags are on cars, porches, and doors. People are talking of little else.

As many as 800,000 to a million people are expected at the parade today. Let’s keep this in perspective – Cleveland’s population is less than 500,000. Traffic is jammed from 30 miles out as the parade kicks off in about an hour. People were lining the street as early as 7:00 last night. The Lakefront airport is fully booked. Busses are taking up to four hours to get to downtown and returning for more eager, patient riders.

In short, this city has gone wild with joy!

Proudly wearing my Cavs t-shirt, I was asked if I am a Cavs fan. I answered the way I think many people around here feel, “I am a fan of Cleveland.”

If you have not lived here,  you do not know the meaning of die-hard fans. Watch today on TV, listen to the commentators. I guarantee they will mention our amazing fans. That is because fans of Cleveland make up this city.

And that is beautiful.

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NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.