Change of Perspective on Mental Illness

Changing Perspective on Mental Illness

The part about counseling that I look least forward to is the diagnosis portion.  No matter how many times I have challenged clients to view the diagnosis as a separate thing from their personality, it never fails – many of them view themselves as the diagnosis.  Sometimes the clients will use the diagnosis as a pessimistic barrier.  “I can’t do ____, because I am bipolar”, “I will never ____, because I am schizophrenic”, etc.  There is nothing wrong with limited thinking, but how great would it be to be optimistic about a diagnosis?

I am currently reading Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson.  She is open and honest about her battle with mental illness, with a funny twist.  I find myself at times laughing out loud with her descriptions of thoughts and plans of action.  The book is refreshing because Mrs. Lawson shows that mental illness does not need to cripple you; if anything it is about embracing the differences and finding joy in knowing that you are not like everyone else.  She views the term “crazy” as a good thing, opposed to bad.  I have mixed emotions on finishing this book, because I have yet to find another author with the same perspective as hers.

If you or someone you know is viewing their diagnosis as a burden instead of grace, I would highly recommend this book.  Not only will you or they be deep belly laughing, but it will broaden your/their view of mental illness.  Enjoy reading and let me know your thoughts!

Happy Wife….Happy Life!!!

Exercising together is fun. Royalty Free Stock Photo

For the past six months I have been cooking/eating healthier. Which means my family has been eating healthier as well. I originally made the change in our diet due to my husband’s cholesterol. It was not extremely high but it was out of normal range. In efforts to lower his cholesterol, I made a change for us all.  Not only did I change our eating….I began to exercise more times a week.  I have finally got my family to join in on this as well.  My husband reports that I appear to be less stressed and my happy go lucky self.  Apparently there must be something to the “Happy wife….Happy life” saying. I am very happy that we are working together as a family to better our health….it has been a wonderful experience. Less stress, less fussing….happy me= happy family!!!

I would like you guys to pick a day and go to the park or take a walk as a family….come home and cook a healthy meal in the same manner……..I do admit I still do most of the cooking but that’s another topic!!!

Healthy wishes to you!!!

I don’t have (e)x-boyfriends — I have (wh)y-boyfriends.

I don't have (e)x-boyfriends -- I have (wh)y-boyfriends.I am a peculiar individual… with that being said up front, I can not stand the term, ex-boyfriend.  It correlates too much with the word exterminate (as I would with pests) or ex-nihilo (meaning literally nothing).  I would never wish to exterminate my former relationships or disregard what we had.  Instead, I prefer to call them (wh)y-boyfriends.

Why was this individual introduced into my life? 

I do not regret my past relationships, because I know they prepared me to be with who I am today, the love of my life.  I look back to my very first relationship with Jeremy in 8th grade.  Jeremy was the person that was there to join in on my awkwardness to find normalcy.  Not that our relationship was normal, because it wasn’t, but to know that one awkward individual is not alone felt comforting (especially as a teenager).

In 10th grade, I dated James who taught me how to appreciate romantic gestures.  He would pass biblical verses related to love to me in school and demonstrated chivalry acts by opening up doors, waiting patiently on me, etc.  He was the epitome of what a boyfriend should be.  Nonetheless, my road to love did not end here.

Fast forward to college where I dated Tre for 4 years.  Tre taught me about being family oriented.  I always enjoyed traveling to the valley with him and being around his family, where I was called “mi hija”.  I never felt so much warmth and acceptance than I did with his family.  When I eat chorizo and egg breakfast tacos, I mentally transport myself down memory lane with his family.

Why did the relationship end?

To tell you the truth, I was the one that has severed ties from each of the relationships.  Some of it due to moving to another city and some of it due to just growing up and apart.  After the crying, packing away the memories into a shoe box and moving forward, I look back at my past relationships and thank each of them for molding me.  I only listed 3 of my past relationships, but there are a ton more that have inspired me for who I am, in between them.  When these relationships ended, I started a new beginning for myself with the lessons I received from each of them.  I look currently at my husband, David, and realize that all these lessons that I have received from  those in the past have pointed me in the right direction of marrying an individual that displays those traits on a daily basis.  David joins in on my craziness, he knows how to be romantic with me and he is my other half in creating stability for our family.

So, I ask you this: Why give past relationships the “ex” when they deserve praise in molding you for who you are today?  And possibly who you are with currently!

Cotton

Cotton

“The fabric of our lives” is the slogan for Cotton Incorporated.  A very true statement, especially for my husband and I.  We recently celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and there are many threads that are coming together to make us.  As I review the past two years of marriage with the person that I love, I realize that we only just begun weaving the threads together.  We are constantly working to improve our bond by coming to God as one, supporting each other in our endeavors and enjoying special, intimate moments.  Throughout the two years, we have had our share of arguments and achievements.  More days that were good, opposed to bad.  However, our fabric is in no way perfect… and I don’t believe that it is meant to be “perfect”.  Perfection is a standard that we will never reach, so I’d rather stay in the moment and count the blessings that we have made progression.  I admire those that celebrate 20+ years of marriage.  One day I hope that my husband and I reach that milestone, along with more.  After all, with each anniversary the “traditional gift” gets better and better.

Have you sat back and admired your progression with your spouse lately?  Regardless if you have made it to year 2 or year 52… be thankful that you have a partner in life that chose to share their pain, joy and love with you.  Thank your spouse today for what he or she has brought forward into the relationship that makes you strive for progression.

Counseling vs Advice

FaithOutTheWindsow

Many people believe that counseling is a quick fix. Although counseling has taken strides in the science and mental health community it is still worlds behind the other sciences. I have learned that when education people on the importance of counseling and advice. So many people come to counseling with a ‘fix me’ attitude. As counselors we are not in a position to ‘fix’ people. When giving advice you give a person a solution to a problem. The problem with advice is that people expect you to take full responsibility when things go wrong. As counselors, we serve as an educated sounding board equipped with skills to share with clients to help towards better coping and happier living. An unhealthy mental state is similar to obesity. In many cases it did not happen overnight and cannot be fixed overnight either. It is important that people understand that counseling is built on a relationship between client and counselor and just as in any other relationship, there is work to be done. I like to view counseling as an herbal remedy. It does not require any pharmaceuticals and it works over a period of time. In counseling we do not give advice as an end all be all, but rather guide clients towards conclusion that they may have overlooked on their own. Counseling is an outlet for an individual by a neutral person to work toward a healthier mental state.

A Mother’s Love

A Mother's Love

God has already described a mother’s love for her children and family better than I ever could.

“She looks well to how things go in her household, and the bread of idleness (gossip, discontent, and self-pity) she will not eat.”     Proverbs 31:27 (Amplified Bible)

She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family…”   Proverbs 31:15 (NIV Bible)

“…Don’t turn away from your mother’s teaching.  What they teach you will be like a beautiful crown on your head.  It will be like a chain to decorate your neck..”  Proverbs 1:8-9 (NIV Bible)

To all the mothers (grandmothers, mother-in-laws, Big Ma’s, sisters, aunts, nieces, godmothers), we celebrate you!  So everyone, Honor your mother just as God has commanded us today as always.