Mental Wellness Challenge – 2022, December 01

Mental Wellness Challenge

2022, December 01

I haven’t posted here in a while.  A month basically.

I’ve been doing some writing and thinking – just not stuff that I can really blog about… hope that’s ok.

I should mention that I am considering “giving up the blog”… not the writing piece or the sharing my journey with others, but just the “OUTOFTHEDARKNESS.CA” piece…  A piece of this is straight up economics… I have other places and utilities that I use to journal with – the one I tend to gravitate to in called Penzu… so, I don’t need the blog space to journal… I am also getting right close to the point where I have to decide to renew all the certificates and registrations, etcetera that goes along with running a blog.  Its not massive costs – but there are costs… and before anyone suggests – thanks, but no, I don’t want to have any donations… that opens other cans of worms that I don’t want to be dealing with.  Time will tell.

When I closed out my last post I challenged y’all to:

  1. Read something you wouldn’t normally read. Give your brain a change.
  2. Eat something you wouldn’t normally eat.
  3. Talk to someone you haven’t spoken with in a long time.

How did YOU make out?  I did pretty good with the reading stuff that I normally wouldn’t read.  I’ve learned some new stuff about physics, psychology, rope making, planting trees… I also learned and/or relearned that my ALL IN brain certainly does jump into an idea… often times before I should… so I’ve been tempering my zeal for some “flavours” of media, reading, presenters, authors… taking some time to be more objective and to look at both sides of an idea…


Now – on the eating something out of the ordinary – ya, not so much.  I did have intentions of whisking my Karen away for a weekend, but the hotel/resort we were going to visit called me up a couple days before we were supposed to arrive and explained that they had a full resort of 12 and under children with them for that weekend… (They hadn’t known that when I made the reservations I guess)… anyway, we decided to just chill at home – but my plans for some “out of the ordinary cuisine” kind of went with the change in our plans… We’ll plan to get away another time…


I searched out a young man that I haven’t chatted to in ages.  He is a former student and is now teaching for a different college in Northern BC.  While the conversation was largely via text messaging, it was really good to touch base, find out how he was doing, what his challenges are and how he is getting along with teaching.  I actually didn’t ask him if he is working towards his BC Instructor Diploma Program or not… I do know that he is “up against it” with delivering some classes for the first time.  I am grateful that he still appreciates the lessons, the “work” that I had him do.  His recollections are that at least some of his success in the classroom can be traced back to his efforts in my classrooms… A teacher can’t really ask for more than that.

I’m not really certain what I should share about today.  I have a “stew” of thoughts on my mind, in my heart and on my shoulders.  Now, I like stew… its one of my favorite meals… but I’m not certain I like this kind of stew.  I and my “collective we” have “stuff” going on that is really difficult to swallow… the pieces are too big to gulp down the gullet and would likely result in indigestion if I tried, this stuff has been sitting in my proverbial “stew pot” for a long time and while some of it is becoming easier to chew on, its taking a long to time to process all of it for sure.  I’ve tried to turn up the intensity my slow-cooker to try to deal with stuff more quickly, but there are threads from my stuff to others stuff – and that just pulls on their threads… Hmmm – maybe – we have a bunch of the same ingredients in our individual stew pots, but we don’t have all of our pots on the same settings…  I hope my analogy makes a little sense at least… the problem I have is that I can’t share with other folks… my secret recipe… I really, sincerely, to the bottom of my heart, how that this stew I find my little family in turns out to be a spectacular feast, fit for the world… but I have to respect that I don’t have control over other folks processing rates, tolerance of accepts culinary practices, dietary restrictions and willingness to follow a recipe… and I suppose – this is – as it is suppose to be.

My own personal space, right now, is safe, reasonably free of discomfort and frustrations.  There are some pieces of my experience that are “fusercating” (a word coined by my daughter at age 4) me to no end – but I KNOW that this is a choice that I am making in this regard.  I personally have zero ability to change anything from where I am…. Then again – a whole bunch of life is like this…

I have been thinking about my physical being lots more lately.  I am very near ready.  Very near the point where I am disgusted (it is a motivation – an honest motivation) with my weight and fitness that I am starting to MOVE MY BODY.  I know that physical exercise is SO important for my health. Physical and Mental.  When I am “suffering” frustration (I know it’s a choice), I know that moving my body, getting my heart rate up, sweating a little, helps me to process all that energy associated to being “fusercated”.  I also know that getting off my butt and doing something – anything – “gets stuff done”… and I feel better IN my experience because I more instances where I feel like I have accomplished something…

I think to a question that I fella I used to drink coffee with used to ask the folks around the table: “If you had to run for your life, could you?”  This question has two real parts/pieces in my experience.  There’s the physical “running for my life” and there’s the mental “running for my life – aka – dealing with stress (good or bad), self care, etc).

My honest answers would be:

I’d be hard pressed to actually be able to run for my life.  I know that I can work and work – once I get into a routine – but I don’t think that I would be able to have a BIG level of physical exertion for a sustained period of time… I’m too fat, no cardio capability… and yes, I do know that I have all the tools I need to be able fix that… two feet, two arms, a butt that I can move – PLUS – I am fortunate to have resources that I can refer to… So-  ya, not so much for the running, but that can be fixed…

I am actually in a better place to “run for my life” mentally, than I am physically.  The last six years have had me staying pretty “tooled up” to help me manage my “Ds”… PDD, MDD, GAD, PTSD, ADHD, AUD, OCD… better some days, less well some other days, but – as a general observation comparing my mental wellness over the past 6 years compared to the previous three or four decades, I have been far healthier.  I actually have tools now…  I have a favorite saying that goes something like “You don’t/can’t know, what you don’t know.”  – and I know more about myself and the way that I move through my experience now than I ever have.

So – I’ve got work to do.  I’ve started making moves towards my physical well-being – and while progress is progress – I have to get myself from where I am to a place that I can see some improvement… I know me.. .I know that I’ll get into a routine and my “dive in with both feet – ADHD – impulse control goodies” will keep me there… but I have to see some progress and, for me, it’s the getting me from where I am – fat/out of shape/couch spud – to a routine where I start “keeping it going”.  I know this might sound really convoluted… but I set up systems… I have to measure my heart rate, exercise duration, weight, yada… I track it… and once I start seeing some changes – I’m pretty much into it… The trick for me – will be moderating this – learning to accept the eventual plateau that I am going to hit and to not get distracted by “flashy” stuff… (This if funny because I actually have electronics to help me measure numbers of repetitions of rowing strokes, yada… “flashy stuff”).

I lost a bunch of excess weight about 8 years ago… I wasn’t good, wasn’t in a good place… and during that weight loss – I saw this whole – “dive in with both feet” start to take over.  I have to admit that I felt really good when I was down a bunch of weight… but I also recognize that I had a connection to the weight loss that wasn’t really healthy… I can see – I know – I was “possessed” or better addicted to the process, to the continual losing of the weight.  When I think about this – I recognize the conflicting pieces of thought.. and perhaps, I’ll still be better off with going for it for a while…

There’s also a fatigue piece with this… When I get done at the end of my day – I’m outta gas.  Not physically, but mentally.  My mental endurance, processing, stuff loading quotient, is in the yellow part of my gauge… Red being OH -Oh…  Orange – Pay attention, Yellow – fatigue, Green – tanks full… My experience is that I respond more positively if I do something physical at the end of my day… and my “head” tells me – just chill for a little while…  It is IN MY HEAD for sure.

Enough of my back and forth with exercise for now.

Its December already.  We are making the turn to a new year.  Where did all that last year go?  So – There’s the holiday season coming up – and the jury is out on whether or not that’s a good thing… I find it more and more difficult  – as I get older – to “grow” holiday spirit.  The weather is cold, there’s lots of snow.. its dark when I leave for work, its dark when I get home.  I know I am not alone with all this…  So I try to remind myself  – and others – that its OK to just be OK over the holidays… Its totally fine to be sad or emotional when remembering those who have left us and are no longer at the “feast table”.  This year has been a tough one.  I’ve lost folks – lots of folks – on this trip around the sun.  I’m going to think about them, I going to let myself feel the feelings, and have tears if they come and laugh or smile too…


For this challenge:

  1. Contribute to your community. (Shovel a neighbors walk, drop a donation into the donation pot, pick a name on an angel tree, thank someone for their service… what ever you like)
  2. Consider doing something like: donating blood, putting your name on the organ donor registry…
  3. Don’t let the world wear you down. Find a good hard rock to shield yourself behind and use it.  That could be something like faith, exercise, friends or loved ones, acts of service…



That’s it – I challenge you.