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Showing posts from January, 2013

"A Million Thanks"

"That best portion of a good man's life; his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love." ~ William Wordsworth
A couple of weeks ago I introduced the challenge of committing 52 acts of kindness over the coming year - one kindness for each week. I like to think that I am pretty generous and kind on a good day. So the challenge is not so much in starting a new habit for myself, it's about sharing a secret with you: being kind to others makes you feel good. Shh! Don't tell anyone. Random acts of kindness is not a new idea. I see a few versions of this all around me. A friend recently posted a challenge on facebook: the first five people who responded to her would receive a surprise gift sometime this year. It might be a piece of handmade art or a coffee date. The catch was that you had to then pay it forward to five more people. I recently picked up Chatelaine magazine and read that they have also have a kindness challenge: the Kind Cycle. Yesterday, I…

"Depression Hurts"

"Never underestimate the pain of a person. Because in all honesty, everyone hurts. Some people just hide it better than others." ~ unknown
Have you seen that commercial? You know the one. It's filmed all in grey and brown and shows a depressed woman and her little girl, sad 'cause her mom is "sad". It's a commercial for an anti-depressant. Which one, I have no idea. But it's tag line is clear and simple, "Depression hurts." Yes, it does. It hurts in the literal sense.

In my last post I made a reference to the classic misconception that depression is all in your head. I said, yes it is - your brain, actually. I was being a bit glib. The point being that mental illness is a real thing - it's an illness with scientific proof. But a dear friend, who also happens to be a chiropractor and wellness advocate, called me on it, kinda. And I am glad that she did.

Dr. Foster wrote, "Several years ago Candice Pert, PhD found that our 'mol…

"All By Myself"

All by myself
Don't wanna be
All by myself
Song lyrics by Eric Carmen When you are suffering from depression you feel so all alone. Painfully alone. The antidote for that is to get out of your house and hang out with some friends, right? Ironically, one of the things that would most make you feel better, being with friends and family, is often too difficult to even comprehend. It's one of the great contradictions of this illness. Loneliness and depression go hand in hand. In my experience, and I know this is the case for many of my comrades in arms who have also fought this illness, I have had the overwhelming desire to withdraw from people and community in general. And I have done just that. You know, deep down inside where there is still a little bit of light and hope, that it would make you feel better to be with people who love you. But you can't quite bring yourself to do it. You can't quite gather the energy and, yes, courage, to stir from the darkness. It s…

"52 Acts"

"Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart. " ~ Winnie the Pooh I was recently inspired by a tragedy. Yes, something purely awful and heartbreaking turned into something inspirational. I am speaking about the tragedy at Sandyhook Elementary School in the United States. There is so much sadness and despair in the world. Suffering is just part of the human condition. But suffering can bind us, humankind, together. It can make us stronger if we choose to let it and it can teach us lessons. I won't get into the political debate about gun control (for the record, I think guns should be banned, but that's just me, a bleeding heart liberal) or about the role that mental illness may or may not have played in this tragedy. I'll save that for another post. Today I want to focus on the positive. Great tragedy can bring about great things. The journalist, Ann Curry, began a tidal wave of positive energy with a simple idea: #26acts. Her idea was that …