Just sharing one of the most inspiring poems I’ve ever encountered. I feel the need to share his amazing words everywhere. ❤
I finally made the time to scan in my favorite poem so that I can share it with you. The computer file was lost many years ago, but thankfully I have held on to the paper copy. Written October 23, 2005, Memories always has been and will always be my favorite thing that I have ever written. It emits raw, guttural imagination, touches on topics of different addictions, uses brutal language that a fifteen-year-old shouldn’t know (sorry, mom), and teases at suicidal ideation. Because of my constant love for the field of mental health and all things addiction, this poem really hit home when I started my educational career in that field. I have since decided not to complete my mental health degree (though I am still pursuing classes; that is a story for another day), but the passion that I have for all things mental health will never die.
This passion for mental health isn’t short-lived; I can still remember incorporating mental health awareness and suicidal help in a freshman economics project over a decade ago. It has been, and always will be, important to me, and that’s why this poem is so incredibly close to my heart. Many people don’t comprehend suicide, and that is understandable as there are so many different aspects to it. But, I want to enlighten you a little bit on suicidal ideation. I have never ‘been’ suicidal per say, though I would be lying if I told that suicidal thoughts had never consumed my addled consciousness.
See, there is a difference between being suicidal and thinking about suicide. Namely, in my case, this difference exists in the imagination and the sheer interest in the topic. I think about it a lot. Would I ever do it? No, because finality scares me just a bit more than anything else in this world. Suicidal ideation, I’d like to think, is relatively normal and common. However, it is usually without suicidal intent. Suicidal ideation with a suicidal intent modifier is when things can get dangerous. Check out the charts that I’ll tag at the bottom of this post. The first (colorful) chart is a great resource for determining the type and subtype of suicidal ideation and intent. This can help in understanding how different aspects of suicidal ideation or intent can exist with or without one another. The second is a scale of suicidal ideation. It is interesting in helping to understand a person’s suicidal intent.
I am currently in a graduate mental health counseling program and so far, every single class has emphasized self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-care. At first, I though this was silly. It’s graduate school. Shouldn’t we be learning application, perfecting techniques, analyzing theoretical approaches?! I am starting to really realize the importance of self-care, though. During one class last semester, the teacher insisted on making time for some kind (any kind) of self-care activity. In a profession like mental health counseling, self-care is critical because 1) it prevents burnout, 2) it allows the counselor to remain in check and focused on the client at all times and 3) it allows for a happier and healthier career, and therefore, lifestyle. Self-care is important for everyone, though. Not just counselors.
She encouraged anything. Meditating. Exercising. Walking. Journaling. I still couldn’t find the motivation.
The semester ended, and I kind of gave up hope, brushing off the idea of self-care because I just don’t have time (that’s great for burnout, right?!). Then, I stumbled upon an article on my news feed that struck a chord. Coloring as a stress reliever for adults? Sounds kind of crazy. But the science is there, and there are even coloring books made specifically for the purpose.
And, because we all know I’m an Amazon junkie, check out all the options here. There are “funny” coloring books as well as mandala styles. The mandalas are recommended as it the repetitive motion that actually aids in active meditation and stress relief, but hey, if you’re coloring, you’re unwinding, and that’s always helpful.
This is the one I bought: Between the Lines by Peter Deligdisch
It came in the mail today and I am extremely excited to get started. I hope that by taking a little time out of my jam-packed schedule to actively meditate and unwind each day I will find myself in a healthier and happier place. I encourage you all to find a self-care activity too, even for just a few minutes each day. And, if you want to try coloring but don’t want to buy the book, google free mandalas for adults. There are tons. 🙂
Good luck with your mental health and inner peace!