“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Before I begin, there is no sin (that I’m aware of) in accidentally spilling the water from your sacrament cup in the LDS Church (more commonly known as the Mormon Church). (Yes, I’m Mormon.) But when I was already feeling anxious, and clutching my multi-colored “Koosh” ball as a “mindfulness” technique most of the rest of the time, finding out that my tremors had gotten bad enough that I couldn’t hold the tiny clear plastic cup of sacramental water without causing a mini earthquake and spilling 10-15 water droplets all over my dress and hands mortified me. Me, the one who is not usually concerned with what other people think in so many areas of my life after over 20 years of dealing with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome, severe anxiety, severe fatigue, and depression in some form or another. The spilled water ran down my fingers and chin as I managed to place at least half the water from the small cup into my mouth and down my throat, at which point I placed the empty cup back in the tray, felt the small feeling of peace that comes back to be every now and then these past weeks where my anxiety level has risen a great deal, (ups and downs) and keeps me from falling headlong tumbling with my hands covering my eyes and other sensitive parts into a big, dark, deep black pit lined with who knows what.
It’s the friends I’ve know who have also dealt with mental health issues, both more and less severe than mine, who help keep me feeling sane and reminded that I’m not “odd,” just sick. In other ways, I may enjoy the “odd” appellation. I haven’t quite embraced it in this sense.
It’s the circles I’ve been in in various places I’ve lived who are accepting and even rather open that some of them deal with depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder, or have a family member with schizophrenia: or other “less accepted” or “less well known” trials in general. As if we’re empowered to be able to say, “I can’t do certain things anymore. I need help. How can I get through this again?”
But I remember this oft quoted phrase in mental health circles: “Your current survival rate of getting through hard times is 100%.”