I met Lisa in a Facebook group. I did not know anything about her aside from the fact that her wife had left her. The more I heard her story the more I saw that what is on the surface it is only a part of the story. That, by chance was the inspiration for my Tree T-shirt. If you haven’t seen it, click here. The concept is that there is so much more to one’s story, sometimes the part that is hidden is so intricate, and more complicated.
Losing a partner of so long is like losing the ground you stand on. But when you suffer from mental illness and the ground is shaky to begin with it makes for a double whammy.
There are many lessons from this story and as all of the interviews I have to narrow down to my personal top 3. But I ask of you, that in life, anything that you are exposed to, look for all the lessons. Often times we don’t dig in to try to learn, we think that life brings us situations for one reason when there can be so many…
Lessons for Life
Don’t judge a book by its cover. We all know this quote, but do we really put into practice? Are we kind enough, thoughtful enough, helpful enough? Do we know what takes a person to wake up each morning and start their day? Do we know how a life’s event can trigger clinical depression, anxiety and more? Listening to Lisa’s story I started thinking about all my relationships, my friends… their struggles and I thought that if they suffer from mental illness and are hiding this fact, which many people do, they really could use help… What can I do to be of assistance? We must be kinder, we must pay more attention to what is not superficial, and we need to be of service. As I always say: We are better together!
Success feeds more success. Good thoughts feeds more good thoughts. Good mood feeds more good mood. “Yeses” feed more yeses. It is so important to connect with people that bring the best in us, because the more good we put into the world the more good comes out of it. If we take risks many will turn out to have been good choices and from those you will be empowered to do more and reach higher and grow. It takes courage. It takes determination. Sometimes it takes a village but if you have the attitude that failure is not an option, like Lisa did, you will go out of your comfort zone to try. If you try and try again, eventually you will succeed.
- Listen to your inner voice. Life can change in an instant. So, getting used to listening to your gut and saying yes to new things can be the difference of a complete breakdown and a temporary one. Listen on your inner voice and believe in yourself so you can try new things and have the courage to accept the unexpected.
We all go through tough times. We are all tested in painful ways, but some of us manage to turn things around and build something beautiful and become joyous again. Some behaviors, attitudes are the difference between those who can and those who wish… I used to think that those with Mental illness would be part of the unsuccessful ones. How wrong was I. Mental health is a factor. It makes it harder but that is just another of the struggles that the person has to overcome. The fact is that with the right attitude, the right assistance and the right commitment anyone can turn Tragedy into Triumph.
I hope that anyone who struggles with mental illness and reads this post will be inspired and empowered to listen to their inner voice, to love themselves enough that they will invest the time and the effort needed for self-care and more importantly, know that they can find the path to a joyful and meaningful life.
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