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Showing posts from February, 2013

"Agree to Disagree"

dis·a·gree 1. Have or express a different opinion. 2. Disapprove of. "Tomato, tomato. Potato, potato. Let's call the whole thing off." Disagreements are the stuff that daily life is made of. Too often, however, we associate disagreements with a negative connotation - they are bad things, things to be avoided. Things that we "disapprove" of. Whatever happened to the idea that a disagreement is simply having and expressing a difference of opinion? I think that I like that definition better.

I have a dear family friend who, whenever our families get together, we always end up after dinner in the living room having a hearty debate about something, anything - everything. Topics range from gun control to media to the differences between Canadians and South Africans. Yes, voices become enthusiastically loud and blood pressure rises. But here's the thing - our debates are always respectful and engaging. And they always end in a hug and a kiss. Oh, and they also always en…

"An Olympian and Me"

  If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.- Buddhist Saying

When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”- Author Unknown

February 12th was Bell's Let's Talk Day and I immersed myself in the discussion that was taking place across Canada. There were tweets, facebook posts, news stories, conversations at work, and television specials. For me, it was bliss. To have so many people talking about a cause that is so close to my heart was pretty wonderful.

Although I am by no means an expert on my illness, depression, after 20 years I have learnt a lot about it. But I heard someone say something on February 12th that provided me a new level of comfort. It was Olympian Clara Hughes. Clara said that she thinks about depression on a day to day basis. Some days are good for her and some days are bad. So why did that rather ordinary statement resonate with me? Because every time that I have heard her speak about her experie…

"Let's Talk. Again!"

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Speak louder than the words before you and give them meaning no one else has found The role we play is so important we are the voices of the underground and I would give the world to you Say everything you've always wanted, be not afraid of who you really are, cause in the end we have each other, and that's at least one thing worth living for, and I would give the world to you lyrics by Ian Axel ~ This is The New Year
The post previous to this was all about the reasons why we don't seek treatment for mental illness. My favourite guest author, my mom (!), did a great job of highlighting some common reasons why so many of us choose to remain silent. I can understand all of them. However, I made a different choice. I made the choice to talk about it. First, I talked about it with my mom. Then, with my doctor. As I started to feel a bit more comfortable with my diagnosis, I star…

"Cocoon of Silence"

“A little boy was having difficulty lifting a heavy stone. His father came along just then. Noting the boy’s failure, he asked, “Are you using all your strength?” “Yes, I am,” the little boy said impatiently. “No, you are not,” the father answered. “I am right here just waiting, and you haven’t asked me to help you.” - Anonymous
Here I am again – Kristin’s mom. She and I recently had a conversation about why people don’t get help when they are suffering. Since I was one of those who suffered untreated in relative silence for about 35 years, I will bare my soul here a little more.

Here are just some of the reasons depression suffers may not want to get help:
·They don’t want to admit they are depressed if they are surrounded by family and friends who think depression is a sign of weakness. Sometimes it’s hard to take the leap if you don’t know if there is a safety net to catch you.
·They might deny they are depressed if they aren’t sad 100% of the time, not realizing that clinical depression has…

"Yellow Post It"

"I like smiling. Smiling's my favourite." ~ Buddy the Elf  This morning the nicest thing happened. I was on my way to work and I stopped at a corner to wait for the walk signal. As I did, I looked to my left. There, on the pole, all alone, was a single yellow post it note. There were no other posters proclaiming the newest cool club or upcoming concerts or ESL lessons. Nothing. The pole was empty except for this lone message, "You can do it. I believe in you." I instantly smiled. I wonder how many others did, too.

I have often said that inspiration is all around you. Sometimes it is staring you in the face, like my sunny friend, the yellow post it note. Sometimes you have to look a little deeper. I think it's a skill worth cultivating, searching out the good and inspiring in life and recognizing it when you find it. It's particularly important if you fight depression. It's another tool in your mental health tool kit.

Last week was rough for me. On …