Emotions, Patient Support Voice, Paying It Forward, Trauma Voice

March For Our Lives

If you are in the D.C. or Madison areas, come join The MindReset as they walk to show support for safer communities!

Screenshot 2018-03-19 at 5.26.02 PM

The Madison team will be meeting at the Library mall – 2 East Main St. – @ 9:45 AM in front of Memorial library.  Please email us at join.themindreset@gmail.com if you would like more information!

Advertisements
Emotions, Feel Good, Gratitude, Patient Support Voice, Paying It Forward

The Communities We Build

The narrative for young men growing up has been so clear- an unabashed sense of the need to be strong and unpenetrable. As far away from being perceived as weak as is possible. This is the narrative I also grew up with, and it is reinforced so often by not just parents but also peer relations and the social constructs that surround us in each and every moment. I point this out because this narrative has led to the community expectations that we battle with today: If you are a man, you should show no weakness, talking about your feelings is weak- don’t do it. 

This narrative does nothing but propagates the idea that if we do have feelings or emotions, we need to hide them for fear of being found out and excluded or othered. This is something that contributes to the stigmatization of mental illness. One of our main goals at The MindReset is to help de-stigmatize mental illness and help individuals know there is a place that is welcoming and will support them even if they are not strong or brave enough to find a voice to open up. 

Something really great has happened in the last couple of weeks in the sports world- typically a place that exemplifies the hyper-masculine narrative. Multiple high profile NBA players and all-stars, Demar DeRozan and Kevin Love, both came out about their own mental health struggles. This is so very important to help de-stigmatize mental health as they have very large platforms and also contradict the stereotypical narrative of an athlete. It was not easy for them, just like it is not easy for others who live with mental illness. 

A really important aspect of mental illness is that for some, they may be completely blind to it. Part of the reason for this could be that they may not have been taught or ever learned how to be reflective and more aware of themselves. Someone might know something is off, but not know what it is and if they are in an environment that discourages talking about feelings and emotions, they are likely not going to seek support or answers. 


“I realized how many issues come from places that you may not realize until you really look into them. I think it’s easy to assume we know ourselves, but once you peel back the layers it’s amazing how much there is to still discover.” – Kevin Love 


 

This gets to the point of being mindful and really trying to understand yourself. The big picture here though is that peeling back these layers is something that you may need help with. This is why it is so important to build communities that are welcoming and understanding- communities which are inclusive.

The MindReset is a place where we want to open those conversations and work towards rethinking the way we live by creating more supportive, inclusive, compassionate, and kind communities. 

I’ll leave you with a quote that speaks to me on so many levels and hopefully does the same for you:


“We need to give each other the space to grow, to be ourselves, to exercise our diversity. We need to give each other space so that we may both give and receive such beautiful things as ideas, openness, dignity, joy, healing, and inclusion.”

— Max de Pree

Feel Good, Paying It Forward

Mindful March Challenge

Welcome to the Mindful March Challenge!

The purpose of this challenge is to improve our awareness of how much we are engaging in kindness to ourselves and to others. It is all about turning the idea of being mindful into an actionable practice!

~ This event is in honor of those who are facing challenges with their mental health, chronic illness, or disability. ~

 

Undoubtedly, sometime in our lives we have been or will be challenged to a point where our mental health might become compromised. For some, events will occur that may make it really difficult at times to feel hope or see the silver-lining that always exists in our lives. The aim of this challenge is to encourage ourselves to be mindful of our own thoughts and feelings and then to extend this positivity to those around us.
Together we must cultivate a shared culture of support and understanding instead of isolated emotional harm. For those who are going through mental healing, realize that even though it puts you in a place of vulnerability, it is really important to ask for help. Please realize, that maybe as much as it seems, as much as you might be afraid of being judged, you are NOT ALONE. As a community, we must understand, support, and inspire ourselves and our affected peers to keep healing in a positive and healthy way.

So how can we do this?

Download, participate, and share the Mindful March 2018 Calendar!

– Click “Mindful March 2018” above to open calendar PDF –
The challenge consists of a short list of six or fewer simple activities that can be performed daily, slightly more difficult activities weekly, and just a little more difficult monthly.

Each of these activities is a small act of kindness that you can challenge yourself to do for yourself or for someone else.

Each week has a theme: Support, Inclusivity, Compassion, and Kindness. Activities in each themed-week will be more heavily focused on what you can do to demonstrate each theme.

There are daily challenges. The first time you do that act on the day it is assigned, you can give yourself 5 points. Every time you do that same task within that same week, you can give yourself 1 point.

There are weekly challenges. If you complete the weekly challenge by the end of the week, you can give yourself 50 points. If you do it again another week, give yourself 10 points for every other week you do it.

There are monthly challenges. worth 500 points, if you continue this challenge for more months, then continue on with 100 points per month!

We also encourage you to set personal daily, weekly, and monthly goals, worth 10, 100, and 500 points respectively. If you journal and reflect on your experiences doing this challenge, give yourself 200 points!

Finally, we want to grow this community of compassion. Help us do this through social media! If you post to this event, sharing your positive deeds or someone else’s positive deeds. Give yourself another 25 points for each post. Check out the point breakdown below:

MindReset Points
*TMR = “Total Mind Reset” or “Take a Mind Reset”
Instead of saying “mind-blown”, say “TMR, total mind reset” when something has totally altered your way of thinking, or when someone is so flustered in their own thoughts and need to take a moment to step back or remove themselves from those thoughts, say “TMR, take a mind reset”.
The point system is self-monitored. Be honest with yourself about how often you are doing these acts.
You can challenge yourself, your family, your colleagues, your classmates, your friends, your organization, whomever. Set your own prize, but in the end, we all win just by attempting to be mindful!
Please ask everyone in your life to join in on Mindful March. This month we can challenge ourselves to elevate our health and improve our community through positivity! 🙂
If you want to participate in this challenge by yourself or as a team, fill out this form HERE. We will follow up with you to see how things are going!
Thank you for at least considering a way to make this world a better, kinder place!
-The MindReset Team

cropped-tmr-logo.png

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
4 years old, Brain Injury Voice, Emotions, Paying It Forward, Reflections, Suicidal Ideation

Part 1: The Promise – Why I use my voice to stand against laws that do not help suicide prevention.

Every traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor heals at a different rate, but I notice there are certain qualities or characteristics that lend themselves to a more rapid and higher quality healing process. In this post, I am going to refer to a promise I made in my third-year post-injury when I began to see the most progress in breaking out of what I call the “trauma-loop“.

To explain this loop in brief, I will share with you how it feels to write the type of post you are about to read.

Personally, I find these type of posts very difficult to write. I hate letting my trauma-self out because she is crippled by the fear of being stigmatized and misunderstood. This part of me is incredibly thin-skinned and unable to handle criticism or negative judgment. She is so sensitive, harder to control, and is the most vulnerable to being engulfed by hopelessness.

Being traumatized is such a weird condition (PTSD – chronic) or state to be in (acute). I find that when people with trauma are belittled for who they are, it only traumatizes them more, and makes it even more difficult to operate or want to participate in daily functions. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that individuals with trauma often stifle their feelings because it may not seem worth the risk to be open and honest about their pain.

The benefit of suppression is that it is a temporary coping mechanism that can turn into a long-term solution where one habitually becomes accustomed to and learns how to operate day-to-day with no disturbance. However, like a latent disease, the potential for future, insidious, or more diffuse harm is magnified. Regardless if someone chooses to be open or not about their trauma, they are at risk for being caught in an unpleasant and relentless loop, that over time may diminish their sensitivity to hope or compassion. This is why I personally decided to figure out how to free myself from its chains.

In another post, I can explain how I did this, but my hope for this post is that readers understand the importance of supportive, inclusive, compassionate, and kind communities. Part of the reason I was able to get out of the loop is because I started engaging with other people with chronic conditions and disabilities.

Before I likely viewed these groups of people as simply patients because it was an implicit bias that I was something else, a student pharmacist. The space I was operating in consisted of relatively healthy 20-something peers who luckily for them, but unfortunately for me, did not know what chronic suffering felt like.

The majority of new peers I introduced into my life were TBI survivors like myself, but there were also people with cancer, HIV, various mental health conditions, and more. Our common threads were in the symptoms we had and how our conditions affected our abilities to function and interact with others in our lives. When you wake up day after day being sick with no end in sight, feeling that the odds of healing are not necessarily in your favor and there is no certainty that you will get better- perhaps it’s easy to imagine why suicide rates are higher in certain populations with these factors.

For today, there is no need to get into the weeds of the behind-the-scenes torture I experienced when I wasn’t holding up my “normal” front for those around me. What I do want to share is a promise I made to my community because I am grateful for the time they invested to help me build perseverance, compassion, humility, patience, and purpose. They gave me a reason to always look for light and to be unafraid of the darkness if it were to disarm me.

I promised them, “I will not forget what you did for me and that wherever I go, I will find a way to take you with me. I promise I will try my hardest to use my voice when I am able.”

Feb. 8th, 2018 – Day 1681 (or 4.6 years from my mind reset): An action step was taken to fulfill this promise. I participated in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – Virginia Chapter’s first capitol day in Richmond, VA.

The evening after work of Wednesday, February 7th, I took the BoltBus down to Cary St. in Richmond. It was only about $17 one-way (half the price of a train!) and it was a nice trip. There were only two other passengers, so it was nice to have space and access to a plug for charging. I spent the majority of that time relaxing, listening to music, and reflecting on what I was doing. I reflected on the thing that caught my eye about attending capitol day, HB 42 to decriminalize suicide in the Commonwealth.

In Virginia, the act of suicide is considered a crime.

I was shocked because suicide is a result of someone dying from a mental health condition. Just like people die of heart disease, cancer, or infections, people can also die because of mental health. If someone died from any of the other causes listed, I don’t think many would feel comfortable calling those individuals criminals. Likewise, in most cases, death is final and the individual who died from suicide would not experience the consequences, rather their families and close ones would experience the salt thrown on the wound of grief. Moreover, having laws that criminalize a finalizing action related to a disease state doesn’t prevent it from happening and also stigmatizes having mental health challenges.

Is someone a criminal because they feel hopeless? No! I know this kind of person could benefit from continual and compassionate support, practicing a mindset of alternative options, and realizing their full potential.

This law did not sit right with me, and I decided, okay, even though I have not been a Virginia resident for a full year yet, it doesn’t matter. Wherever there are people suffering and lives are on the line, barriers to achieving relief must be removed. I don’t need to know you to stand up with you or for you. I would hope that even though you may not know me if you knew that I was hurting, you would help me hurt less.

For the post today, the piece I want to leave my readers with is that when we speak of suicide, it is best practice to say, “the person died of suicide” rather than “the person committed suicide.” People commit crimes, but people die of suicide. 

Let me know what you think – Do you know anyone who is trapped in the trauma loop and could benefit from some insight? Do you know anyone who has escaped, and how did they do it? Finally, what are your thoughts on suicide being a crime?

Later this week, look forward to more of the lessons I learned at Capitol Day. Thank you for reading.


cropped-tmr-logo.png

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com
4 years old, Paying It Forward

The value of kindness is greater than gold.

Today I got pho with Anita* and Ollie*. Anita is from El Salvador and speaks wonderful Spanish. When I stay after hours to finish my work, the cleaning staff do an incredible job of making sure everything looks tidy for us the next day. I personally am not a huge fan of cleaning, so to me, what she does is a big deal. I recognize her and the other custodians because they do necessary work that is worthy of appreciation.

One day Anita was tidying up the kitchen. I said thank you in English and realized Spanish may be a better option. We started conversing in her native language and over some time she started sharing some really good food places…OKAY – going through my belly is immediate entry into my heart.

So today I got to have lunch at a place where her and her son frequent often. She looked extra beautiful, not just because she was dressed differently than her normal work attire, but she radiated happiness. Ollie is also very handsome, but especially his soul.

Anita said to me that she told her son there was a chica at work who was very amable. Who didn’t just “Hi, hello, how are you?”, but would stop to chat in Spanish which she really liked.

Hmmm, I’ve been in situations where I have really appreciated when others took the time to get to know me beyond surface level. Personally, that helped me practice being more vulnerable, but more importantly, it encouraged me to thrive.

For me, encouraging kindness and empowerment is extremely important. I am very aware of how these attributes allowed me to be in the position I am in today, and I am always incredibly grateful. It is pretty busy in DC, so one-on-one thank yous for being my friend and being nice is a little tough to swing, but don’t worry, I still practice what others gave me by giving it to others…which I believe they probably appreciate too.

After all, the value of kindness is greater than gold.

 

*Names changed.


cropped-tmr-logo.png

Please do not hesitate to reach out to the MindReset community.

The MindReset is a community of individuals who seek to inspire a social movement geared toward creating a more Supportive, Inclusive, Compassionate, and Kind society where anyone and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

  • Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theMindReset/
  • Instagram: @The_MindReset
  • Twitter: themindreset
  • #TheMindReset #TMR #SICK
  • e-mail: themindreset@gmail.com