Re-assessing Priorities & Mental Health

“Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions.”
 Dallin H. Oaks

Yesterday I began to think about how my priorities have changed throughout my life. As a teen my focus was on school. Then I began to move away from home and my priority was putting a roof over my head. I can recall the first time I went grocery shopping. Well, I got to the till and the cashier told me the total, I cried because it did not leave me much for anything else.

The next big event was marriage and once again my priority changed. I now had to provide for myself and my wife. Two years later and we welcome our daughter into the world. She totally shifted my priorities. She developed colic and I found myself walking during the night with her trying to settle her down.

Fast forward to the two years ago and I start having trouble with my back and hip Pain has a way of causing you to lose focus on the true priorities. Then the phone call for the surgery date. My priority shifted to keeping myself well, staying as far away from anything that would cause sickness, including covid 19.

Now my focus is on getting stronger each day, striving for progress with my hip replacement. Once again, priority has changed!.

So dear reader, have you found that your priorities shift during your life? If so, how has this affected your mental health? I would love to hear from you!

Purpose, The True Sense

Photo by Ian Schneider on Unsplash

“Definiteness of purpose is the starting point of all achievement.” ―W. Clement Stone


Every on in awhile I have at times asked the ultimate question, “what is my purpose for living”. Just the other day was one of those times.

For the whole population of planet earth the question would be as unique as is the number of those living on the big blue marble.

I have a vivid memory of telling my mother that I was going to be a preacher, I was not much more the eight years old. Then circumstance brought me to a fork in the road. My home church was needing a musician, it had been filled by my grandfather with his guitar. So, I added learning to play the piano to my purpose.

I worked hard learning the piano, studying the Bible with the same vigor. It wasn’t long before my purpose became reality. I would travel with an evangelist as the organist, then at certain days I was able to preach.

I have learned over my lifetime that purpose will fluctuate due to varying circumstances, such as marriage, children, career change, etc.,

I truly feel that some of my depression came when I lost the sense of purpose. When I stepped down as a pastor, it was shortly after that event that I tried to commit suicide. There have been other times of depression where I can pin point the event where I lost my sense of purpose.

I have asked that question, I feel at this time, this place, that I have purpose. Found in events, people that I would have never thought of. Having a sense of purpose brings about a calmness to my mind, a feeling of peace, tranquility.

So dear reader do not think that you are alone in this world when you find yourself asking the all important question, “what is my purpose in life”?

Circumstances Change, Change Circumstances?

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Image by Mary Pahlke from Pixabay

Circumstances do not determine state of being; state of being determines circumstances.     

Darryl Anka

https://www.wiseoldsayings.com/circumstances-quotes/

Before 2004 and my first true in house treatment my life was one big erratic mess.  No control over finances, emotions, relationships.  Always running from circumstance to circumstance.  Circumstances dictated my mood, I was just always swirling in a cloud of crisis’.

My inner being trying to be what I thought everyone wanted me to be, trying to be what I thought was my life’s calling.  Yet, the closer I got to my goal, the farther it seemed to move away.  Inwardly I was having self doubts, I began to place what I thought I believed under a microscope.  I was about to crash and crash largely.

I look back at all of the situations I found myself in and for the life of me I do not know how I survived with anything intact.  

There are times between that first big crash and my next brush with mental health in 2004 that are blank.  Literally, I have no recognition of certain times and places. The one incident that is ingrained in my memory is my first birthday in 2000 after my mother’s death.  I woke up that morning anxiously waiting for the mail to arrive.  Finally it arrived, went to the front door to check the mail box expecting a card from my mother. Of course there wasn’t one, how could there be she is gone.  I sat in my arm chair and cried probably that whole day.

I write these things now for I have seemed to find peace in opening up with these thoughts, these glimpses of life however chaotic it was.

I know now that I can no longer let circumstances change me, I must change circumstances to be able to be free to move forward, to see life in a different light.  Not like a young pup who hasn’t yet figured out that no matter how much he chases that tail he will never catch it.  

So, I will not let circumstances no matter how dire change me, I will set about to change circumstances!

Personal Progress Report

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Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization. Bo Bennett
Read more at https://www.brainyquote.com/topics/personal-growth-quotes

I woke up this morning with this thought on my mind.  That being is, my road to recovery is personal.  It is not a template that can be overlaid on somebody else.

Everyone is at a different moment in their recovery, different age, different circumstances.  Each are on different types of treatments, different medications.  Everyone has to find their personal road to recovery, chart their own progression.

For me my road has taken twists and turns.  I may have days where I will backslide for one reason, I am only human.

One more aspect of this journey I am on, I have started to apply it to my dietary regimen.  I have lost some weight already, no I am no Adonis,  hehehehe  🙂

I have also thought to myself that maybe I am just on the spectrum side of manic.  Whatever this is, I feel that I have taken a couple of steps forward.

I would encourage all who read this not to give up trying. You may take two steps forward then fall three steps back.  The important thing is that you don’t stay back there. Pick yourself up and try and try again.

So, dear reader I lift a glass for your personal success!