Archive for October, 2012

Thank You Depression

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Be Grateful.

And no, I’m not crazy. Well, maybe a little but that’s not the point. The point is that I’m thankful for it.

It can be hard to put yourself “out there”. I get that.I understand that. It’s more important to me that people talk out loud about mental health so here goes…

I love my crazy, wacky, break the rules – skate along the edge, not at all conventional life.  What’s the alternative? It’s to hate it and that’s spirit robbing.

After my mother lost her battle with depression and addiction, I was raised by the heart and the man that is my Dad.  He remains my hero and nothing makes me happier than his name coming across my iPhone. Life is good.

My path from childhood to adult hood was full of adventure and love – heartbreak and healing. It was a long introduction to a disease called depression and as I weaved in and out of it, I was anything but grateful.

It is easy to be grateful when depression is in a dormant place and it is literally impossible to utter a thankful word when it’s not.

My best chance is that I know that there is always an end to a depression. I have learned and it is my anchor, this knowledge.

  • I am grateful because my depressions have crafted me into an especially insightful, compassionate and non judgmental person. I am a set of open arms.
  • I am hyper sensitive and that’s not always fun but It’s never going to change. Trust me, I’ve tried.
  • I give a whole new meaning to the word Moody.
  • I’m impulsive and creative and full to the brim with humor. I really laugh all the time.
  • When I’m not moody, I love talking with strangers.
  • I constantly learn. I learn from my employees, from reading from watching my dog wag his tail and think of the moment he is in.
  • I often believe I would be much further along in various areas if it weren’t for my mental health issues.
  • I am thoughtful and considerate…giving and loving.
  • I do not do Goodbyes. Ever.
  • I am vivacious …

What If? What If? What IF? ~ Part 1

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Back in 2002, while deciding whether to relocate to the west coast from the east, my boss made a spot on observation.

During one of my many, vocal wrestling matches with the decision that needed to be made, she exclaimed : “Geeeeze Leslie, I have never, ever met anyone that can WHAT IF themselves into a corner like you can'”.

She was right.

It is actually painful for me to make most  decisions. At least the medium to large variety.

As I look back, it seems it was easier to let the wind blow me or let circumstances make my important choices for me and determine my actions.

I do not know why but gonna go out on a limb here…I  suspect it has something to do with FEAR.

As an example, watch me come apart here: (I’m already breaking out in a sweat)

What if my boss Googles me and finds my blog?…What if she reads any one of these posts and what if she thinks I’m crazy? And what if I lose my job?!? What if  can’t afford rent and food?? and then and I have to live in a VAN down by the RIVER??? Pass the brown paper bag!

And so goes a never ending dialogue that lives within me. The subjects change – the process does not.

I have always said that I live my life “sitting on a fence” and it’s not the best, or I believe, the healthiest way to do it.

And my perch on the fence has robbed me of opportunity and confidence.

Everyone is afraid of something, I might be just be afraid of everything but mostly, of making mistakes.

The What-If  frenzy keeps you planted firmly where you are; safe, on the fence. Or is  it?

(in part 2, we’ll look at possibilities for managing the What-If gremlins)


Photo Credit: C-100-Today’s Best Music



Childhood Depression ~ What It Feels Like

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012


Shandi-lee {pieces}

I blog for World Mental Health Day


It’s a big day for me and I have a very passionate “hope” for many more.

The snow was falling, nearly crashing down like crazy outside the window and as a bonus, school was closed.  At 48, I can recall every crystal inside every single snow flake like it was a moment ago.

I laid there with my brother’s black and gold bedspread around me. If I buried myself enough, if I just pulled it up a little more, perhaps that would make the pain – the feelings that I could not articulate – it might make them go away.

  • Life hurt.
  • Every single breath I took, hurt.
  • The light outside the window, hurt.
  • The thoughts of yesterday, the present moment and the next day, hurt.

I simply could not escape it and that was all I wanted to do. I needed relief. I needed to be out of pain.

But at that age, I didn’t know that to be out of pain was “normal”.

My normal was the crushing oppression that is depression.

I was so young. Just 14 and I didn’t have the tools to deal much less the vocabulary to express or talk about it.

The 70’s were a very different time than we live in now and back then, parents didn’t spend half of their children’s lives asking “How does that make you feel?” or “do you want to talk about your feelings sweetie pie?”  like we do now.

To further complicate matters, my poor Dad was flung  into single parenting this rather unpredictable, moody, creative and spirited kid. I’m sure I gave him quite the run for his money!

What he did know was this:

He said into the kitchen phone in hushed tones “…and she’s despondent…”. That’s all I overheard. I had to look the word up.

The next day I was sitting in a Doctor’s office.  And thus began my on again/off again lifetime love affair with various shrinks all over the country (Someone has to pay their mortgage).

All kidding aside, my amazing father quickly recognized …

Finding That “Passion” Everyone Wants Us To Follow

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012


Am I the only one who has spent years on the look out for their passion? And what about my bliss? Where’s my damn bliss? Has anyone seen my bliss?

I am half joking here, but the other half I mean from the bottom of my heart. At 48, only now are things unfolding for me. And like so many of us, I had to be hit over the head with it.

Hindsight being 20/20, I can scroll through 5 years of Face Book and clearly see what I am attracted to – what draws me in. And after one  identifies a passion or two, what then?

I pose a question: As a person who is a Mental Disorder Warrior, do you struggle with inertia? Do you start but have trouble completing things? Do your ideas stay just that? Ideas, not action.

A few things that I recommend if you have binoculars in hand:

  • On or a like site, type in random keywords in the search filed. They can be about anything, not necessarily something that pertains to what your skills are. Then, see what comes up! Go crazy with it! Read the ads and use your imagination.
  • Google Volunteer Opportunities – this is a nice broad key word that will bring causes up from all over the country (and more). Remember, this exercise is about stimulating your curiosity, not practicality so don’t worry about geography.
  • Next time you see one of those continuing adult education catalogs, check it out! There is generally a diverse offering in your community from palm reading to fiction writing to cooking to pet grooming. And the courses are fairly inexpensive.
  • Ask “Could I?” and answer: “WHY NOT?” – there are no limits!

I can say this for certain: having fumbled and stumbled and accidentally finding a few things that make me feel passion, it brings me alive when I think of it.

What do you do? Have you found yours? What is it and how did you know?



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