• Mary Elizabeth Sieg-Weeks

Mental Health and Inner Strength

Mental health! Let's face it our experiences change us. They affect us negatively. If we don't deal with our experiences properly or process our feelings in a healthy way, we carry it with us wherever we go. These experiences begin to make our decisions for us. Before we know it, we are a big puddle of negativity that zaps everyone that dares to come near us.

There is no shame in using the services of a counselor to help you get your mental health in shape. I am a giver. I am a caretaker. I have my own personal baggage that weighs me down. I was once reminded by my sister that in order to properly take care of my husband and kids I must also take care of myself. Then she said, "Well, who is going to take care of them when you are dead?" I'm telling you now, that question hit me like I ran full force into a brick wall. I was racing around like a lunatic trying to take care of everyone and everything so my then sick husband didn't have anything to worry about.

I put my own health on the back burner. I told people I don't have time to go to the Dr. because of this reason or that. Other people and situations needed my attention. But who is going to take care of it if I'm dead?

Who is going to keep hubby sorta sane during and after treatments? Who is going to take care of the kids? Your mental health is just as important. Who is going to juggle all the balls you have up in the air if you allow your mental health to deteriorate? You cannot get the job done or fight another day if depression has you locked on the couch all day.

The trick is to figure out who you are now and who it is you wish to be and to take at least one step toward that goal each day. Part of that is setting boundaries and sticking to it. Listen to the words you tell yourself. Are you giving yourself encouragement or tearing yourself down? If you are allowing yourself to speak to you that way, you are probably believing you deserve for others to speak to you that way. Would you speak to your best friend the same way? Treat yourself with the same respect and expect it from others as well.

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