Mental Wellness Challenge – 2022, March 24

Mental Wellness Challenge

2022, March 24

My last challenge was to:

  1. Challenge yourself. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new or do something out of the ordinary.
  2. Make a list – “One thing I am grateful for this week.” Add something/s to it each day of the week.
  3. Be a blessing to someone else. Show up for someone who needs a hand.

While I didn’t rock my own challenge I did OK.  My comfort zone is pretty small right now – and I pushed at the boundaries.  You see, when I am – well depressed – its hard for me to even go downtown, to a store, main street.  I really do not feel very “at ease” in those spaces/places.  So – I went – four times I think.  Not for long, but I went.


One thing I am grateful for this week:

Friday:  I am grateful that I live in a country that is safe, free and stable.
Saturday:  I am grateful for the “coffee time” that I get to spend with my K on Saturday mornings.
Sunday:  I am grateful for my little house, that I have a roof over my head.
Monday:  I am grateful that my kids travels were safe and that they are back home.
Tuesday:  I am grateful for the fresh, clean water that comes from the tap – don’t even have to think about it.  It’s just there.
Wednesday:  I am grateful for my dear friend that I can unreservedly share my heart with.
Thursday:  I am grateful that – well, I’m here, I’m in the fight or battle or struggle or whatever this is that I am experiencing.


I really tried to be a blessing to another person.  “What little extra can you do?”… that was one of my mantras this past week.

There’s no denying that I’m “not good” right now.  This isn’t a three or four day funk.

When I talk about my depression, I tend to use an analogy of a wilderness/forest.  The deeper into my depression, the darker and closer things get until I am lost in some dark, sulphury, craggy place with sharp slippery stones and nasty pitfalls.

Where am I in that darkness?

I know I’m not lost into that dark craggy place, but I’m not confident just where exactly I am in the all the trees and the dense brush.  I know I’ve got that “check over my shoulder” feeling, the second guessing, the uncertainty that goes with this dark space, but I also know that I’ve been watching and careful to try really hard to keep my head up – to look skyward and to try to steer my way back from where I came – back into lighter territory.  I am pretty certain that I end up moving in circles from time to time, but at least I am moving.  I told a friend the other day that I am doing my best to keep moving – maybe not forward all the time – sometimes from side to side – but I’m moving.

Moving is a good thing, lest I end up stuck and the darkness grows around me.  I just have to be careful that I’m not moving myself into a deeper depressive state.

And, I have to keep doing my regular day to day work too.  Teach lessons, mark/grade papers, manage classroom issues and so on and so forth.  It’s the same for anyone with mental health issue.  The “regular day job” keeps going.

I know I share my journey with y’all – some I folks I know, some folks I don’t.  Having depression isn’t a shameful thing for me.  No different than so many other unseen maladies that folks have.  I don’t share my journey in my classroom.  I put on my mask.  It’s the socially accepted and expected thing to do.  When people meet you in the hallway and ask how I am, I don’t tell them that “Depression SUCKS… that’s where I am.”  I say – I’m here, or I’m ok, or whatever.

I know I am in my darkness when my joy is gone.  I know I love what I do.  Well, Ok, normally – I’m excited about teaching and mentoring my learners.  Lately though – I am finding it more and more difficult to be motivated.  The “joy” piece isn’t as bright or colorful… not as prominent.  100% – once I get into my space and start teaching a lesson, I kind of dissolve into the lesson and I’m temporarily distracted.  I’m a nerd I suppose.  I get excited about little theory pieces, and I find it super rewarding to see the sparkle of “I GET IT” in my student’s eyes.  The difference right now is that I feel like I am forcing myself to go to work rather than chomping at the bit – I’m feeling like I am pushing the cart, rather than being on the reigns slowing my donkey down…

The days are getting longer and that’s a good thing for me.  The war in Ukraine isn’t going anywhere and that’s not a good thing for me.  I try to limit my intake of news… most of it is recycled anyway.  Like most folks, my life/experience if chock full of crap that I have zero influence over.  Rationally, I would leave the things I have no control over alone… but my brain isn’t rational sometimes.  Well, not the whole thing, parts of it… and I ruminate over things I should just leave alone.  I’m aware of all this stuff – and that’s a good thing.  Being aware is big piece of being able to manage my mental wellness.

I’m going to keep moving.  I’m going to keep working at my wellness.  Perhaps Gandhi was right when he said “Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.”  I know life’s the journey – the destination isn’t that great… I’m grateful that I have the acceptance, awareness and commitment to continue on my joyous journey.

This week my challenge is:

  1. Practice gratitude. Share gratitude.  Tell folks that do things you are grateful for, that you appreciate what they have done.
  2. Quiet your mind. Find a space in your experience where you can quiet your mind and take a mental breath.
  3. Give yourself an attaboy or attagirl each day this week. Recognize some of the good things you do.  You might just be the only one that notices.

That’s it, I challenge you.

Please be kind, patient and accepting.  The world can certainly use more of all of that