Amazing talent from both West End and Broadway and hosted by Tim Rice at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo!
If you book through me, you get a 15 % discount! Code is ELECTRODEAL
Tickets at http://bestofmusicals.com
Amazing talent from both West End and Broadway and hosted by Tim Rice at the Hammersmith Eventim Apollo!
If you book through me, you get a 15 % discount! Code is ELECTRODEAL
Tickets at http://bestofmusicals.com
Modern medicine continues to reveal new complementary treatment methods that enhance the health care solutions we rely on every day. Equine assisted therapy is one of the most exciting and versatile treatment methods available. Research published in medical journals support the use of equine assisted therapy as an essential part of holistic mental health treatment for conditions as varied as autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, and anorexia.
Despite longstanding success in using therapeutic horseback riding and other equine assisted therapy techniques in health care treatment, many people aren’t familiar with the benefits. This information is especially relevant for parents caring for children who have mental health problems. Read on to find out exactly how therapeutic riding can make a huge difference in a patient’s quality of life.
Understanding Equine Assisted Therapy
Equine assisted therapy actually covers a wide range of activities and therapeutic techniques that leverage the unique dynamics between a patient and a horse. Treatment methods are supervised and directed by a medical professional, differentiated from recreational equine activity through a local ranch or social club.
Horseback riding has been shown to contribute to the development of improved coordination and balance, directly aiding the physical rehabilitation process. Additionally, activities like grooming and feeding can help to improve motor skills and problem solving. More advanced treatments may be performed under the direction of an equine therapy specialist.
Equine Assisted Therapy Treats Several Mental Health Issues
This list is by no means an exhaustive account of all the medical conditions that can be treated with equine therapy. Instead, it provides a sense of the how broadly the treatment is already being utilized.
Across the country, equine therapy has already been incorporated into mental health treatment plans for adults dealing with:
Holistic Mental Health Care Through Equine Therapy
Successful engagement with a horse is a physical, social and emotional challenge. That’s why it’s such an ideal complementary treatment for patients dealing with mental health issues. By working through the demands of horsemanship under the guidance of an experience medical professional, patients are able to work to build better habits and develop strategies for managing their symptoms.
Identifying Emotional Triggers
One of the most important benefits of equine assisted therapy is the relationship between a patient and their horse. Horses are extremely sensitive to human emotions, making it difficult to ride if a person’s emotions are running wild. The plus side is that this sensitivity can also be used to identify emotional triggers and help patients discover the root of their mental health issues.
Building Communication Skills
Due to their sensitivity to emotion, herd animal social dynamics, and relatively high intelligence, horses are strong communicators. They can also be easily agitated, making it important for patients doing equine assisted therapy to practice keeping their emotions in check. These lessons in self-control help the patient build skills they will likely rely on for the rest of their lives.
Overcoming Physical Challenges
Even the act of getting into a saddle requires are certain level of coordination. Unrefined motor skills are a very common symptom of a wide range of mental health problems. As a result, equine assisted therapy puts a focus on refining physical skills.
Gaining Confidence Through Goal Setting
Ultimately, becoming a good horseback rider requires individuals to master a long list of skills. The step-by-step process of learning to ride also naturally provides a set of goal posts for patients to reach for and overcome. The opportunity to set goals and achieve them is an important part of the emotional development process and a key perk of equine assisted therapy.
Explore More Equine Assisted Therapy Benefits
Another advantage of equine assisted therapy is that it offers patients an alternative, promoting holistic care. There is a time and place for medication, but I believe that the current cultural climate pushes for treating most conditions with pills and often fails to take a more holistic approach.
About the Author:
Lyle Murphy is the founder of Alternative to Meds Center, a holistic medication tapering and addiction treatment facility in Sedona, AZ. Lyle has dedicated his life to holistic mental health.
(image: Yellow Co )
This is my story on how even when things look dark, there might be change just around the corner.
You see, I grew up deep inside the Swedish countryside as an only child. My parents were rather old when they had me, so people often assumed them to be my grandparents.
In school, I was an outcast. Because I had only socialised with adults, I had a hard time bonding with people my own age.
Naturally, this made me socially awkward and anxious in social settings, especially around strangers and large groups.
One time, a friend convinced me to join a party. When I finally showed up, I felt everyone’s eyes on me, like radar-tracking from all directions. I locked myself into the bathroom. Looking at the person in the mirror, I couldn’t help but wonder what was wrong with him.
Later, I learned that my awkwardness and nervousness was much more common than I had first thought. It’s just that everyone hides their chaotic inner under a calm surface (just like I did).
I started studying behavioural science. As it turned out, social anxiety often starts small in life. But when we start avoiding social settings, our anxiety snowballs into a monster.
We can’t overnight break the shackles of social anxiety. But what we CAN do, is take small steps out of what we normally do.
I started doing things slightly out of the ordinary. Instead of looking down the ground, I forced myself to hold eye contact with people I walked by on the street, if only for a split second. After a few weeks, when that felt normal, I tried to hold it a bit longer, and maybe even smile.
My smiles were forced and awkward, and I probably looked like a weirdo. But over time, I could interact with people in a warm and relaxed manner.
Thanks to taking small steps and challenging myself a little every day, I became more confident as the years went by. Not just with other people but in life in general.
7 years ago, I started a blog where I teach people how to stop being nervous. That confirmed to me that I wasn’t lonely. We’re one big nervous family all in this together. So why not help each other?
I recently got the opportunity to leave all my friends and family in Sweden and move to New York City – a place where I knew no one. If I hadn’t had the confidence I have today, I would never have dared to do it.
Challenging my anxiety was my key to living life to the fullest.
But back then, in that Swedish forest, things looked dark. Thinking back to that time taught me a lesson:
Just because things are hard at the moment, doesn’t mean that it will always be that way. Life is ever-changing, and that’s what makes it so exciting.
This blog was written by writer David Morin who used exposure therapy to help his own social anxiety and find recovery.
Tomorrow, join in and learn what you can about bipolar disorder.
As many of you know, I have bipolar 1 disorder and when not on medication, have episodes of high mood- mania/ psychosis and low mood- severe depression. Thankfully I am in recovery but it affects so many people and is thought to run in families.
Remember you are not alone.
Bipolar UK- https://www.bipolaruk.org/
Bipolar in USA: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/conditions/bipolar-disorder
(image: Emma Sturgis)
Starting to live a body-positive life all begins with you, the individual. It can be challenging with so much pressure from society trying to dictate our lives. It becomes easier when you block out all negative forces and decide to start loving yourself and your body no matter what others have to say.
Loving yourself no matter what will increase your happiness and your overall peace in life. Here are four tips to help you down the body-positive life and feel total peace of mind about your body and physical appearance.
A significant number of girls have been through the trauma associated with body shaming, especially in high school. Some have taken the weight of the shame to our adult life where we lose our confidence and tend not to love ourselves as we should.
Many women and girls suffer from poor body image for years, or even through their entire life. The first step into living a body-positive life is by loving yourself first. We all come in different shapes and sizes, and no one is perfect. You just have to own your flaws and flaunt your strengths.
This can often be easier said than done, especially with years of social conditioning. You can achieve self-love through daily practices that make you feel your best physically and emotionally. Tell yourself every day that you appreciate your body and all it does for you.
You don’t have to starve yourself to fit into that wedding dress within an unrealistic time-frame. Diets don’t work and neither does overfeeding any time you are stressed, sad or angry. Stop for a moment and ask yourself what your body desires to look great.
If you feel that you are struggling to keep an eating routine and your mental health is worsening, accept the problem and seek inpatient eating disorder treatment. under a psychiatry team or your local doctor.
Most of us quit taking exercise and going to the gym because we hate working out. Exercise can be fun when we redirect the focus from it being a weight loss challenge to treating your body correctly and healthily.
You don’t have to attach any pressure or targets to your daily workout routines. Do exercises that are fun to you and even make it a social event with your friends. Once you start viewing exercise as healthy for your body , you will begin to love it. You will enjoy exercising because of how it makes you feel, endorphins from it will make us feel happy. You may even feel proud after a work out!
After all the stress and pressure that your body endures, it deserves to be pampered and treated right. Get some good fitting outfits, wear the best lotions, go for therapeutic massages and take frequent hot tub baths. Fall in love with every curve while you look straight into the mirror.
This will allow you to connect with your body instead of feeling detached and negative toward it. You can make these things part of each day. Carve out some time from your busy schedule to pamper yourself, even if it includes simply putting on your favorite perfume. It will give you a simple confidence boost to carry through your day. Always take time for yourself and don’t let your daily tasks take priority over caring for your physical and mental health.
Once you change your mindset, the journey to living a body-positive life will be so much easier. You don’t have to lose 20 pounds to start loving yourself and your body. You are much more than your physical body.
Knowing your worth is a gift to yourself and your body. Eventually, it helps you rediscover your true self. You will be able to go forward in the world with confidence and give your amazing gifts and what you have to offer, to the universe.
This blog was written by freelance writer Emma Sturgis from the USA
When it comes to emergency plans, usually we think in a more physical sense, but did you know that mental health emergency plans are important?
Mental health emergencies can be quite stressful, and if you’re in a mental health industry or have any personal concerns about your own health, providing the right help is important. Here, we will outline important tips to help you create a mental health emergency plan that will suffice.
Have a Support system
If you tend to get overwhelmed when an emergency happens, a big way to help reduce the trauma from it is to have a support system. Whoever you are and whereever you work, your own personal triggers and issues are still there. If you’re having issues coping, find a support system- a friend, family member or therapist that can help.
You may want to come up with a plan to help your responses to situations, especially when disaster strikes. If you do have anxiety and depression, do make sure that you have people that can help around you or reach out for help from a doctor or therapist.
Prepare For Emotional Reactions
Another big thing that emergency evacuation plan Melbourne (in Australia) does point out, is you need to make sure that you have the right idea of what might happen. You should know when you have chaotic reactions, and what you struggle with when disaster strikes.
Focus on what will help, what might happen when you do suffer from an incident, and make sure to communicate it to others.
Processing information is quite hard in a stressful situation, such as fear, anxiety, depression, or even a panic attack, and you should make sure that, with the group of people you trust or the medical profession, you do speak about what happens. It’s also important to make sure that you properly communicate to others. While panic attacks and sad emotions do happen, you should know that you probably will be upset about whatever will transpire. But that its OK to feel this way.
Be Prepared to communicate
A large part of a mental health plan is to make sure that you communicate your needs. If you need to, make sure that you explain any mental health needs, such as medication you might need, in an emergency, with loved ones. Its vital to your wellbeing even when stressful to communicate. Letting others know can help them and you prepare for the worst and take action if needed. You aren’t alone.
Keep Contact information on hand
Pharmacies can help you get emergency medication, but making sure that you have the contact information for your provider, any diagnoses, and dosages of medication are important. Make sure to let some people in your support system know, and also keep those phone numbers on hand in case if the emergency lines are overloaded.
Create a Recovery Bag
If you have extra medications, a comfort item, and anything that you can use to help in the case of an emergency or crisis, put it in a small emergency kit, which you can use if you need to attend hospital or appointments. Remember, emergency kits aren’t just for physical health aspects, but also for mental health. You need to make sure you’re prepared both physically and mentally for any issues that might transpire so that you’re not suffering.
Mental health during an emergency often isn’t focused on as much as say other aspects of your health. Depression, anxiety, and even suicidal thoughts don’t always go away, and you need to be prepared for that, and reach out for help so you can recover well.
Creating a plan to try and prevent or reduce this from happening with your medical team will help if a mental health emergency comes about. From there, you can get the help that you need in order to stabilise yourself, look after yourself and recover again.
This blog was written by Emily Bartels, freelance writer with an interest in mental health and wellbeing.
(image : etsy)
Earlier this week, on the 1st March, Be Ur Own Light turned 3 years old! I still remember starting this blog as an outlet for my fears, thoughts and emotions after leaving a job in 2016 due to acute anxiety and panic ( part of my bipolar) . Writing the blog and sharing thoughts has been so therapeutic and it has taken me on a journey that I could not have imagined when I started writing. As many of you know, this blog led to me writing for big media outlets and to my book deal (book hopefully will be out in November) and I am so grateful for the confidence it has given me too- and the chance to connect with people all over the world.
However, this year (as with the past 2), the blog has attracted a horde of talented writers wanting to spread their messages about mental health and wellness. Some have shared their personal stories of hope and recovery, others have given useful tips on health and wellness and we have covered topics as wide ranging as Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and addictions to drugs and alcohol. We have talked about pet therapy, writing therapy, mindfulness and yoga, amongst other therapies.
My guest bloggers have written about their recovery from mental illnesses like anorexia and bipolar disorder. National campaigns like the Diana Award also got in touch with us to discuss bullying and LGBT issues too and Jami charity asked us to cover their mental health awareness campaign (which I helped set up). Furthermore, Be Ur Own Light has also covered World Mental Health Day and Time to Talk Day this year, featuring personal mental health stories as a way to raise awareness and fight misconceptions.
Thank you to my amazing guest bloggers March 2018-2019 for your fantastic content:
Donna at Wildwoman Book Club for Self care
Lynn Crilly- Hope with eating disorders (book)
Cordelia Moor- Living with Quiet BPD for Time to Talk Day
Sarah- On Depression for Time to Talk Day
Peter McDonnell- Managing anxiety and psychosis for TTD
Cara Lisette- Recovery from anorexia and bipolar disorder for TTD
David Welham- Depression and Recovery/ Being a parent of children taking exams
Rachelle Wilber- Treatment for PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder)
Brandon Christensen- What is mental health stigma?
Charlotte Underwood- Overcoming Adversity/ The Saviour Complex
Ralph Macey- Managing Bipolar in the workplace
Manmohan Singh- Benefits of Yoga
Alex Sabin- Enjoying the Holidays after Addiction
Spela Kranjec- How to Accept Yourself/ My Journey in surviving Anorexia
Jami charity- Mental Health Awareness Shabbat campaign
Brookman- Avoiding a relationship crisis at Christmas
Sarah Cardwell- Womens health awareness
Anti Bullying Week, the Diana Award and Everyones Talking about Jamie
Allen- Recovery from alcoholism and mental illness
Lizzie Weakley- How to combat your eating disorder
Posy and Posy- Flowers for wellness
N- Poem on depression- Copy of my Mask
Dan Brown at My Therapy- Suicide prevention on social media- World MH Day
Lydia- On complex PTSD and recovery
Ashley Smith- how Physiotherapy helps with stress and anxiety
Amy Hutson- How Writing Therapy helps
Christine H- What family therapy is really like
Meera Watts- How Yoga enhances your lifestyle
Dawn Prime- How can Animal and Pet therapy help
Bill Weiss- Mental Health Stigma and Drug addiction
Dr Nancy Irwin- Signs your loved one is abusing drugs
Eve Crabtree- The MIND diet for Dementia
James Kenneth- Overcoming mental health challenges
Ellie Willis- A guide to mood disorders
AXA PPP- is social media bad for our health?
Lori Longoria- How baths and spas help relaxation
Tomas Sanchez- can alcohol raise stress levels and affect mental health
Dr Janina Scarlet- Therapy quest book
Cloe Matheson- tips to reduce stress
Paul Matthews- fitness and how it helps depression
Katie Rose- How to help anxiety and panic attacks
Anonymous- on sexual abuse
Kayla Clough- coping with post partum depression
Kara Masterson- 4 tips to begin the fight against drug addiction
Michelle Hannan- 5 tips to boost your immune system
Kevin Morley- Satori Mind- Tips to boost mindfulness
Sara Whitehouse at Stadia Sports-How sport can help mental health
Amy Boyington- How holistic medicine helps mental health
Thank you so much to all of you and I am excited to see what 2019 brings for the blog!
2018 was a very special year for me and my writing- being published in Metro.co.uk, Glamour, The Telegraph, Happiful magazine, the Jewish News and several other media outlets. I was featured in articles in Cosmopolitan, Elle, Prima, Yahoo News, Prevention magazine and Refinery29 and guest blogged on other mental health blogs too.
This year on the blog I wrote about my life with social anxiety and work anxiety, winter blues and SAD/ depression, I shared my articles about being plus size and a bride and about my recovery from bipolar disorder. Furthermore, I wrote about the Twitter hashtags I started #mydepressionmeans and #myanxietymeans, to help people feel less alone and share their own experiences online.
On the blog I also reviewed the brilliant book ‘Love and Remission‘ by Annie Belasco by Trigger Publishing, about breast cancer and mental health. Triggers mental health books are great and I read so many that I was unable to review due to time constraints including Depression in a Digital Age by Fiona Thomas and books by Paul McGregor and Ruth Fox.
This year we were given the accolade of being a Top 10 UK Mental Health Blog by Vuelio and were a shortlisted finalist in the 2018 UK Blog Awards (Health and Social Care category). I was also invited to the Mind Media Awards which was an incredible experience and this year, we have been nominated for Blogger of the Year in the Mental Health Blog Awards.
Be Ur Own Light continues to be read globally and I love receiving your messages about the blogs and finding new writers too. Blogging makes me happy and I hope it helps so many of you too and you love what we do here.
Heres to a productive, wonderful, fun and exciting year of educating and battling mental health stigma too 🙂
Happy 3rd birthday Be Ur Own Light! ❤ May this be a special year for us
Love and gratitude,
Writer of Hope with Eating Disorders : A Self Help Guide is Lynn Crilly, a trained counsellor and also a carer to her daughter who developed Anorexia and OCD at aged 13.
Conventional treatment didn’t help her daughter and so Lynn did all she could to learn about eating disorders and mental illness, in order to help her daughter recover. She trained in NLP techniques and became a counsellor, slowly assisting her daughter back to health.
Lynn has said,
‘I have experienced and learnt first-hand how hard it is to support a loved-one through to recovery from Anorexia Nervosa and OCD, and the effect living with mental illness can have on not only the sufferer but everyone involved, particularly the rest of the family.
I was keen to go on to give others the benefit and support of my knowledge and experience both personally and as a counsellor. Over the years I have had the privilege of working with some wonderful people and their families, each and every one unique, whilst I have been able to support them through their journeys. I too have learnt from them.’
I found the book very easy to read and incredibly informative. The first edition of Hope with Eating Disorders was published in 2012. Since that time, awareness of eating disorders have grown. Lynns website says about the book,
In this second edition, which maintains Lynn Crilly’s warm, non-judgemental, family-friendly approach, the more recently recognised eating disorders have been included, the range of treatment options – both mainstream and alternative – has been fully reviewed and revised, and the impact of social and technological change has been fully accommodated, with the role of social media for good and ill to the fore. New case histories highlight key issues, and throughout all references to research and stats have been reviewed and updated. Men’s eating disorders are now addressed by contributing author Dr Russell Delderfield. Since originally writing Hope with Eating Disorders, Lynn has experienced seven years of counselling practice and seven years of her own daughter’s recovery from an eating disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, underpinning her realistic insight into what recovery actually is and means.
Hope with Eating Disorders is a practical, supportive guide for anyone helping someone with an eating disorder be they a family member, teacher, sports coach, workplace colleague or friend.
You can find out more about Lynn and buy a copy of her book at www.lynncrilly.com/my-books
Note : Please read with care- Trigger warning (suicidal thoughts)
When a topic of conversation hits the mainstream, it becomes easier to understand and it spawns more conversations. It snowballs.
Right now, we’re living in a time when society is more open than ever about mental health. Issues are not swept under the rug (as much as they used to be, at least), and life-changing conversations are being had. For me, these conversations on Time To Talk day tend to be amongst friends. It feels…easier, to be open with them.
But what about having a discussion with your parents? What is it like to talk about mental health with a mother or father who has struggled, or currently is struggling with their mental health?
It’s tough. I will tell you that now. But it is important.
I know this because my mum has had depression for 12 years. The best way that I can describe her depression, whilst remembering that every experience is unique, is that it is like a cloud. Some days it can be lighter, and almost brighter, though still casting some shade.
Other days it can be dark, foreboding, and cast its shadow over any and all. The darkest time for her, and for our family, was at the beginning of her depression. It was during that time that I nearly lost my mum at 14.
I could almost say that she actually was lost to our family, if only for a while. I lived with a woman who looked like her, and sounded like her. But her words and actions were foreign and strange to me. Her drive and her energy seemed to vanish overnight, and a woman sitting in the dark, who felt like she had nothing to give, took her place.
I remember going to school, walking past her open bedroom door and saying goodbye to her as she lay in bed. At that time, when I asked her if she would be getting up that day, the only response I heard was:
Those conversations were short. They definitely weren’t sweet.
She struggled. I struggled. My brother struggled. My dad struggled. We were desperate for her to get better, and feared that she’d never make it out of the dark. Eventually, with help though, she did. But, while she is now in a better place, there are still highs and lows.
Because I was so young at the time, I never really spoke to my mum about her illness. Life carried on for me, and a new status quo emerged. But over time, we began to talk.
They still weren’t nice conversations, but they were a start. My mum told me how she felt suicidal, as she lay there in bed. At the time, she said it so matter-of-factly that it sounded blasé to my teenage ears. This revelation stung, and I couldn’t understand a simple question. Why?
Why would she want to do this to me? Why would she want to leave her two children without a mother? Why would she want to leave behind a husband who loved, cared for and adored her? These questions swam in my head for years, and I was incredibly angry with her as I saw it as some form of maternal betrayal. I thought she was selfish.
As I’ve gotten older and talked to her even more about this, my views have changed. I realised that my response was selfish. She explained to me that her depression made her feel so worthless, and so useless, that she would in fact be doing us all a favour by leaving our lives.
I’ve also realised that I’m incredibly lucky, because a lot of parents sadly succumb to this insidious disease. This needs to change.
That’s why I’m writing about this today.
That’s why I still talk to my mum about how she’s feeling. That’s why my brother calls me and lets me know when she’s feeling low, which is a common occurrence in winter for a lot of people with depression. As I live far from home, he reminds me that a quick conversation to ask about her day, tell her about mine, and maybe even make her laugh makes all the difference.
If you are, or have been in my situation, I urge you to talk to your mum or dad. I urge you to talk to your friends and family, because it can be a huge burden to carry alone. It’s like I said, when more people talk about something, it becomes easier to understand. When we understand the problem, we can start to treat it.
If you’d like to find out more about having these conversations, you can do so by visiting the Time To Talk website. They have a range of materials that can help you take that first step, and start talking.
This article was written by Sarah, a mental health writer for Time to Talk Day 2019. You can find her at :
Hi, I’m Mallory and today I am sharing my story for Time to Talk Day .
From the ages of 15 to 17 I didn’t speak very often, and when I did, my voice came out stifled. With the onset of a depressive episode, one of the first things to go is my ability to speak. I find it difficult to form sentences, and utterly draining to have to speak out loud. Even writing becomes increasingly more difficult. My illness robs me of words, the tool I most often turn to when attempting to write and claim my story. I’m quick to shut down when I feel the rumbling of inner turmoil.
It makes it awfully difficult to communicate with me; friends and family often feel left on the outskirts, unsure of what to say or do. And even with improved coping mechanisms, and countless therapy sessions under my belt, I find that even a whiff of depression causes a knee-jerk reaction to shut the blinds, so nobody can see through me.
When I was in my first diagnosed year of depression, my brother started sending me a “song of the day”. He would email me a link to a YouTube video, with a song he hoped would tap into my inner workings. He believed that even muted by hopelessness and despair, there was one language that would break down my emotional barriers: music.
Each day I looked forward to the songs he would send, always carefully selected to reflect my struggle. We had created an emotional connection through lyrics and the kick of a bass.
Music has always been something that speaks to me on a level that feels deeper than some of my peers. I’m one of those people who wants you to be quiet when I’m showing you a new song, so as to fully appreciate its beauty. I’m one of those people who can feel goosebumps prick the surface of their skin, when the perfect note is sung. And I’m most certainly one of those people who can be propelled out of bed with a beat that you can actually feel in your veins. Music has always made sense to me, and I loved how my brother was able to tap into that piece of my identity, and speak to me when I didn’t have any words of my own to offer.
Fast forward to the present day, and I still find myself trapped in the thick brick walls that I have painstakingly built around myself. Knocking down walls that thick requires effort, and even if I want to let a person in, I can barely push the walls open wide enough for them to slip in. It has put a strain on many friendships, but one in particular really struggled from a lack of open communication. We came to what felt like a dead end in our discussion to improve communication. And that’s when I looked back and found a detour that would lead straight into my heart and mind. Music.
Most people have songs that spark an emotional reaction within. For me, music is strongly intertwined with memory and emotional energy. If I could pick one song each day to send to my friend, perhaps it would shed some light on my state of being. If she sent one back, maybe I would better understand where her mind was in that moment. It was a way to have intimate communication when words were difficult to find. I texted her my idea, hoping this would be enough to show her I was committed to growing, without having to emerge from my fortress too quickly.
We have sent each other songs back and forth, learning about one another from every track selected and played. We ask each other questions about what the song means to us in general, or at that specific point in time. We talk about how it may be the beat or the lyrics that drive that particular song home for us. We discuss topics we wouldn’t breath otherwise. It’s an invitation that says, “Hey, I want you to come closer. I want you to hear me and know me”. And there aren’t any rules. You can send multiple songs if that better captures your day. It’s an open process that lacks structure, empowering us to communicate freely, with love and understanding.
My walls still remain intact, but their structure is starting to weaken a bit. Some days I’ll still add more bricks, and others days I’ll knock a whole bunch loose. When robbed of my ability to use words, I lose all sense of connection to the world around me. Music throws a line of connection my way, and it’s helping me find healthy communication in my every day. If you ever meet me someday, I’d love to exchange songs, so we can really get to know one another.
Mallory told us: ‘I have had a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder for 9 years. I was given both diagnoses at the age of 15. I have also more recently been given tentative diagnoses of disordered eating and OCD tendencies. I currently take medication for my anxiety, but no longer take antidepressants after years of painful side effects. I currently engage in therapy once a week, and follow a treatment plan that focuses on nutrition, exercise, meditation, DBT skills, and creative coping. I also want to acknowledge that I do not see anything wrong with medication, and it absolutely has a wonderful place in treating mental illness.’
Mallory Gothelf is a mental health advocate in recovery, a blogger at https://www.theinfiniteproject-mallorysfight.com/ .
She can be found online @mallorysfight