Sunday, December 23, 2012

Keeping it real x.0: island time

I really meant to continue writing every day this month, but things just happen... Like I have a million projects on the go, and in addition to a full day's work, on Thursday I decided to go for a run at my favorite place on the planet (Torrey Pines State Park and beach), and on Friday I tried to get a criminal record check (but went to the wrong type of police station), and then yesterday Ron and I were just busy enjoying San Diego (eating fish and chips and taking in the sunshine). Can you blame me?

On a side note, Google Analytics records the key words that people type before they look at this blog or my name. I have some odd, yet interesting search terms. FYI, they include:

  • American loonie
  • I hate Colorado
  • Zebra perch
  • Gender identity spectrum
  • Sexual orientation
  • Lemur stink fight
  • Seven gilled shark
  • Devil horse
  • Canada sign
  • Chameleon head
  • Hockey stick car
  • Cockroach tracks
  • Leishmaniasis
  • Cruising area condoms
  • Danish rhubarb desert
  • Are lemur bites poisonous

Wow. I think I may need to digest those a bit. Sure, lemur bite, cockroach tracks, chameleon head, and devil horse, sound about right. But, cruising area condoms and leishmaniasis? Am I a female sand fly who is serious about safe sex? THAT is a thinker.

Anyhow, back to mental health issues and some of the barriers we may face achieving mental wellness. A common thread we may face is shame. The shame felt in admitting to yourself that something is wrong, be it addiction, or eating disorder, or overwhelming anxiety, or simply the shame felt in admitting you need help.

How might we get past this shame? Reducing social stigma and normalizing shame-inducing feelings, is certainly one way. You have an addiction? Bummer, lots of people do. Get depressed? That sucks, so do I. Have a sick hate for your left foot? Talk to my husband, lol. But seriously, regardless of any one thing we may feel shameful about, we are not the first, and certainly won't be the last. Not to diminish the feelings of shame, which may be substantial, but these are only feeling after all. And feelings, we can change. Both as a collective, but also as individuals.

I've posted this before, but if you've never watched this Ted talk by Brene Brown (or even if you have), its worth the 20 minutes.

Signing off tonight, as an admittedly selfish, absentminded, lemur researcher story teller, with major depressive disorder, and roughly 15 lbs of candy around my middle. AND OWNING IT! And also sending a nod out to all my old peeps, who today, celebrated the life of Liam Davis. Who left this world far too soon.

Much virtual love,

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