Needed a mental health break


Apologies to all my dear blogging friends/family to whom I have caused worry during my recent absence. I so appreciate the supportive messages that continued to come in, thank you. Lydia, I appreciate you providing the update as you did. I am just sorry our exchange of messages was by answering machine and not in person. I do appreciate you taking the time to call and report back here.
Point came when I realized I needed a mental health break. Depression is not something that hits over night. You don’t just wake up one morning feeling down. No, it slowly sneaks up on you and is on you before you realize it. Anyway that is what happened to me.
I have always advocated living life, each day, to the fullest. It wasn’t until January that I realized, I wasn’t living life, I was enduring life. Not at all the way I want to spend my days. Doing some soul searching I realized that even a comment from someone that I felt was inappropriate, the sort that in the past I would have just blown off had me fretting, fuming and stressing.
Using the good old Internet I found I had all the signs is depression. First reaction was, me, Mr. Positive attitude, can’t be. I mulled it over for a few days and realized to live life as I wanted, I needed to do something. I hate having things hanging over my head. Rather just deal with it. Off to the doctor. I didn’t tell him of my self diagnosis but after talking that was also his diagnosis. He prescribed an antidepressant I have begun to return to my normal. Life is good and I am a lucky man..
I would encourage anyone that is enduring life, stressing over everything and live almost seems pointless. Talk to a doctor. There are medications that can help, I know.
Depression is a form of mental illness to which there is a negative stigma attached. There shouldn’t be. The brain is but an organ in the body as is the heart, kidneys…… And can be prone to illness in the same way. I have heard in the past depression is but a sign of weakness. A real man has the strength to soldier his way through it. To that I just say baloney. When help is available take it. Life is so much better.
With my perfect 20/20 hindsight I can now look back and see many of the causes of the stress that lead me down that path. Mostly self inflicted stress and feelings of inadequacy in not being able to do more to help Vi as she physically struggled this past year. Oh, be clear not once has she ever said anything. That is what I mean by self inflicted stress.
Good thing have my head together. Next 3 weeks could be stressful as I head for the heart procedure on April 2nd.
I have prayed about it, placing myself in God’s hands. What better place could I be

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9 Responses to Needed a mental health break

  1. Irene says:

    Dear Bill,
    “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back, it means it’s going to launch you into something awesome.” (Napkin Notes by Garth Callghan). Thinking of you often and praying for you always, Wiseman.
    Irene

    Irene, I thank you for sharing that saying. It actually makes a lot of sense to me. Something I needed to hear. Nice to hear from you, hope all is well

  2. lypenner says:

    Yes, Bill, I was sorry too we both missed each other, but it was great to hear your voice on the machine anyways. Next time hopefully it will be a “live” call. I will definitely keep you in my prayers as April 2 nears, that you will continue to trust that you are in God’s hands. So glad you got the help you need, no shame in it at all, and so glad to hear you’re back in the saddle here on the blog!

    Thank you Lydia, I do appreciate your taking the time to phone as you did. Maybe next time we can avoid the answering machines. Prayers are very appreciated. I have to admit this upcoming procedure has me more worried than did even going in to the open heart surgery. I am in God’s hands and what will be will be.

  3. M T McGuire says:

    Glad all is on a more even keel. It’s worth taking a bit of time to sort yourself out and I’m glad it’s working. Will be thinking of you on 2nd April. God bless.

    MTM

    Thank you my friend

  4. hilarymb says:

    Hi Bill – I’ve been taking a break too .. but nothing serious just a new hip. It’s good to see you are taking your usual pragmatic approach .. and I’m glad Vi is well, as you .. as can be expected – and good luck with that heart procedure on the 2nd … I’ll be thinking of you – all the very best – Hilary

    Hilary, I am so sorry to hear of your hip surgery. I hope all is going well and you will soon be up dancing. Take care my friend

  5. Fairyflutterings says:

    It’s lovely to have you back Bill. I’ve always believed in positivity but at the same time I sometimes wonder if we live in a world now where the importance of being positive is stressed so much that it can almost become toxic. I often read about people enduring the most awful life experiences and am struck by the almost one dimensional nature of the way the stories of those experiences are retold through a lens of positivity at the expense of taking the risk of saying that maybe sometimes there are days or weeks when things are almost too overwhelming to bear or to put a positive spin on. Maybe that risk comes from the fact that we tend not to know what to say when someone is not doing so good emotionally and I guess we have all heard the platitude, ‘think positively’. But life is about balance and expressing and sharing the good and tough times and finding a way for us all to say ‘right now I’m not doing so good’ and to feel that can be heard without others needing to rush us through those emotions but rather to share the space with us that lets us feel and process those emotions rather than deny them or try to push them into a box, hidden away. Those we love and who love us don’t go away, they walk beside us while we find our way. Sometimes we all need someone to be simply be there, not to say anything or do anything or try to fix us when we feel down but to let us feel what we need to feel and if those tough times endure too long then there are many drugs and talking therapies to help us through. Only by letting ourselves feel our sadness and not hiding it can that sadness dissolve into something more warming, more enriching. I’m not sure if my muddled thoughts have translated well into written words and by no means am I glad you are having a tough time but I am glad you have been able to share that. Somehow it makes you feel more human to me…..I have often been in awe of how you seem to absorb so much without it sometimes taking your breath away. I guess I just feel the more people share the ups and the downs, the easier it is for us all to say ‘it’s not just me that sometimes finds it all a bit too much’. Maybe what I’m trying to say is that sharing, and acknowledging and allowing ourselves to feel and experience the low times is in itself being positive, being more authentic. I mean no offence.

    Hi Fairy, I thank you for your comment and no offence taken in any way. Trust me my friend, I am just a regular “human” guy with all of the weakness, failings and struggles as the next guy. I agree with so much of what you written that I have much more to say. I didn’t have the best night last night and am tired. I will try to get up a post tomorrow I hope with more on this. Thank you my friend

  6. rangewriter says:

    So glad to hear from you and to learn that you wisely intervened in the demon that was trying to drag your indomitable spirit down. I wish you the best as you deal with the heart procedure and all that will entail. Look forward to hearing from you after you’ve caught your breath.

    Thank you so much for the kind wishes. I admit this procedure has me more rattled than any I have faced in the past. One of the higher risk factors is a stroke. The thought of a major incapacitating stroke scares me I have in fact updated my living will giving clear instructions should that happen. I want my wishes known should that happen. Hope for the best but at at least have preparations in place for the worst.

  7. melissahmead says:

    So true and so liberating. I lost my 1 year old son William before Christmas and have struggled to cope since. Normal reaction some might say, but I knew this was my achilly’s heel and unable to face it alone. I’ve had no choice but to accept help from varying sources including psychiatric hospital. I didn’t tell anyone to begin with because I felt ashamed, but then I realised that there no more powerful strength than admitting how I feel, not being ashamed of it and telling people, this is my pain. i started like you to write a blog, mostly to organise my thoughts, but I find sometimes it’s helpful to just get it out there in an open forum where there are no judging eyes. http://www.amotherwithoutachild.com

    Hello and welcome to the blog. I thank you for taking the time to share your so personal, private and so very painful time in your life. I popped over and read your last 2 posts on your blog. I could feel your pain through your words and it brought tears to my eyes. I can not begin to imagine how difficult this time is for you. My heart and prayers go out to you and your husband.
    You commented that it is helpful to “get it out there in an open forum where there are no judging eyes”. I totally agree with you on that, I personally have gained so very much through this blogging experience, I encourage you to keep blogging. I will be adding you to my blog roll.
    I also encourage, no I ask you to please continue sharing here. Here you have found a safe haven, totally free of judging eyes. You will receive loving support for yourself and may well help others in their own struggles. I do hope to hear more from you.
    Bill

  8. lypenner says:

    Melissa, I too thank you for sharing your story with us here. I will keep you and your husband in my prayers as you grieve this unthinkable loss. I agree with Bill that many others on this blog will support you with prayers and love. Feel free to draw strength as you can from knowing you are not alone, and I know that God who sees even the tiniest sparrow fall also is with you in your suffering, even if it doesn’t feel that way. Much love to you.

    Lydia, thank you for adding your support
    Bill

  9. Mel says:

    “An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. So when life is dragging you back, it means it’s going to launch you into something awesome.” (Napkin Notes by Garth Callghan).
    Now that, is a powerful visual in quote form. I love it! Thanks for sharing that, Irene. And thank you, everyone. This is an awesome, supportive, nonjudgemental place to come to. A place that I’ve felt cared about and heard….as well as listened to and supported. And protected.
    And thank you Melissa, for sharing your truth here, with us. I’m humbled and grateful. And I hope for your return here. No one needs to walk through the tough stuff alone…and you’re not alone, ya know?

    Bill….I’m just gonna hug the stuffings outta ya. You’ve got some serious “committee” members in that head of yours if they had you believing any of those who love you, here or there, would think LESS of you for getting help for feeling sad and overwhelmed by what’s been going on around you and inside of you. You’ve hsd so many losses, so many things ripped from your hands, so many things that you’ve had to contend with, that you DID soldier on to get done or get through…but, like many human beings, we forget to take time to take care of US. It’s okay….we know what that looks like cuz we’ve all done it. We don’t have your situation, your circumstances. YOU do. And you did THE best thing you could do for yourself and everyone that loves you, plain and simple.
    I’m proud of you.
    ((((((((((( Bill )))))))))))
    BTW….STILL praying for ya….ain’t stopping and you can’t make me. 😉 We love ya bunches yaknow!!!

    Thank you Mel your prayers and cyber hugs are always appreciated. This past year and a half or so has been exceptionally difficult for me. The embarrassing part for me is I can now see that so much of the stress I felt was self inflicted. It seems I can face head on my own health issue be what they may much easier than I can the issues faced by loved ones. The helplessness, frustration of be the family member sitting on the sidelines unable to do anything is much harder to deal with. Doing a post on this, please let me know what you think
    Bill

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