happinessrightnow

Happiness Is the Key to Attracting Everything

Mental Health vs. Happiness

on November 29, 2011

Today I want to share about my experience in the stigmatized world of mental health.

As I’ve shared in previous posts, I am a survivor of a diagnosed case of post traumatic stress disorder. It got so bad several years ago that I could either get help or die. Just like most people, the last thing I wanted to admit was that I had an emotional/mental health problem and needed help.I thought that it was a sign of weakness to get mental health care. I would almost rather die than get help. I did not want to be seen as weak or weird.

Well, thank goodness that it was “almost” because I did get help. And it was the smartest thing I ever did. I learned not only why I had post traumatic stress disorder, but why I felt the way I did and why certain things upset me the way they did. I learned why I was susceptible to being conned and most importantly, I learned what to do about it.

To make a long story short, I became very interested in helping others to overcome their own stigmas about mental health. I published a newspaper for my community that listed all of the available resources, articles to educate people and personal recovery stories by people who had successfully had a mental health recovery or were actively participating in one.

It became a mission for me to help overcome the dangerous stigma that is no more than a misplaced paradigm. I became determined to shift the paradigm, on a large scale,  into a more healthy one. I knew that in order to do that, I needed to boil it down to salt so that people would understand that mental health is not boring, its not shameful and it affects every person on earth.

I reflected deeply on what mental health is and why it has a negative stigma. I came to the realization that when we talk about mental health, we are really talking about happiness and well-being.  So I thought to myself that we need to think about mental health as happiness and the pursuit of it. People do not attach a stigma to the pursuit of happiness or the pursuit of well-being. Well there is no difference. That is exactly what we’re talking about.

I also realized that mental health can be seen as a spectrum with severe mental illness on one end and optimal human functioning on the other. We all move along that spectrum as life brings its myriad of ups and downs. As I said in yesterday’s blog on Wisdom, the wise person learns coping skills that keep them centered in their hearts and they learn to comfort themselves when life throws curve balls, sometimes one after another.

Something I love to do when life throws me a curve ball is to write poetry. I try to focus my poetry on something positive and how I would like to feel, instead of focusing on the bad thing that happened.

I’m going to leave you with a poem (actually a song) I wrote called Enjoy the Simple Things. I wrote it when life threw me a curve ball. It helped me to quickly overcome any negative feelings and get back to center. Let me know what you think.

Enjoy the Simple Things, copyright Tammy Kevwitch

I don’t know where I’m going
I only know where I’ve been
Some things I’ll never repeat
And some things I’d like to do again

I’m not afraid of the future
And I’m no longer afraid of the past
Life can be a mighty adventure
So relax and don’t take it too fast

Chorus:
Stop and enjoy the simple things
Take time to listen when the blue bird sings
Life is way too short and the miracle too great
So take in the beauty today or it may be too late

Sometimes we all get angry
And sometimes we all feel sad
But when we walk in the spirit of Love
Mostly what we feel is glad

Right now I’m feeling happy
The journey has just begun
And now that we’re together
We are gonna have a whole lot of fun

(Repeat Chorus)

I hope your future is good to you
And I hope that mine is good to me
I hope that you make a lot of friends
And that you prosper in their company

So here’s to your success
And here’s to your serenity
And here’s to peace on earth
And here’s to peace in our community

(Repeat Chorus)

Advertisements

2 responses to “Mental Health vs. Happiness

  1. Great lyrics to your song “Enjoy The Simple Things”

  2. Neseret says:

    Hi Tammy,

    I love your song/poem. Especially the part here….

    “Stop and enjoy the simple things
    Take time to listen when the blue bird sings
    Life is way too short and the miracle too great”

    This is so true. We have everything we need to be happy within us. Often it is the little things in life that mean so much.

    When we do take the opportunity to stop and really pay attention we will find each of us have so many things to be thankful for.

    Thank you for a wonderful reminder!

    As far as your view of mental health as a spectrum, I look at exactly the same way. Stigma comes from lack of knowledge and understanding. Although in today’s information age it is more like ignorance than anything else because the knowledge is readily available.

    Perhaps what it will take is more and more people being open to talking about their experiences. You’re definitely helping through sharing your story and through your blog. Continue doing what you’re doing.

    Cheers to raising awareness and ending stigma!

    Peace, Love & Gratitude,

    Neseret

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: