November 10th, 2010
I am the proud owner of two dogs – Phoebe and Savannah – who amuse, inspire and comfort me every day. They are my very best friends. As I let them out this morning, they horrified me by their behavior with a defenseless squirrel. Thankfully no one was here to witness my complete meltdown.
Mid-process, my son called and said: “What’s wrong Mom?” I told him the grizzly story, alternating between sobbing and trying to catch my breath. The remains were waiting for me ominously outside.
I couldn’t reconcile the love that I have for my dogs with their atrocious behavior. My son suggested I get some help with the clean up and I told him that there was no one I could ask. I had to let the dogs out again so it was important that I handle this immediately.
How I wished someone else was here to handle the dirty work. Sadly, that wasn’t the case so I chose to put on my big girl pants and face my fears alone.
The question I asked myself was this: How can I make this awful situation as easy on myself as possible? What would help me even the teeny-est tiny-est bit to get through this?
Here’s what I did. The results were nothing short of miraculous for me.
First, I turned on the kettle to make a cup of coffee when I was done; the whistling kettle would also get me back in the house quickly. I took the lid off the trash so that it would be waiting for me. I grabbed a large grocery bag and lined it with another large plastic bag. Carrying the shovel and the pooper scooper, I began cleaning up the lawn avoiding the area in question. I found some ratty dog toys that I threw in along with some other debris in the process and finally approached the scene of the crime. Once there, I allowed myself to scream, cry, quake, shudder and everything in between including falling into a dull silent reverence for the helpless creature. After a few attempts and some deep breaths, it was over.
As I was coming in the house I asked myself what good could possibly come of this.
Immediately I thought of sharing this with you as evidence of what happens when we can face down our greatest demons. To hold in my mind that my beloved dogs would do something so awful (even though I know they’re simply acting on instinct) was excruciating. It brought up all kinds of other losses for me.
And, if I didn’t know how to ask myself the question of how I could make this easier, I could have ended up paralyzed with anxiety. Just asking myself the question somehow opened up ways to handle this that would be more merciful.
I then realized THIS is precisely why I designed my teleclass Your Health Your Way.
I was living proof of the fact that asking myself the right questions to create greater comfort and ease around this horrible situation made all the difference in my ability to move on in my day and share this powerful story.
There is so much stigma around mental health issues. And that stigma is one of the leading reasons people who struggle with these things try and tough it out, ignore it or pretend it’s not happening.
That may work for some people.
What I offer though is a choice to face your pain and find a way through it with comfort, support and simple steps that you can apply as things happen in your life.
My class will help you see options where you may have felt helpless. It will help you find hope, where you may have felt hopeless.
My son called later and asked me how I was doing. I told him that I felt I had faced down one of my greatest fears. He asked me if I felt happy. I told him that I didn’t feel happy – but I felt empowered and independent.
My class will also help you feel empowered and independent when managing your mental health.
Dealing with chronic pain, anxiety and depression is difficult and I can’t promise you my class will make you instantly and forever happier.
But, what I can tell you is that this class will open up possibilities for independently and effectively managing your mental health in a way that works for you.
If you’re struggling with this stuff, I hope you’ll consider joining me. If this isn’t for you, please pass it on as you never know who is silently dealing with the effects of chronic pain, anxiety and/or depression.