Mental Illness and stress is like a mountain. But it can be overcome.

There are many times in life that we feel stressed and need the motivation to keep moving.
I wrote this poem to motivate myself, and hopefully you, to keep moving, to cope, and put it all in focus.


In life there’s tribulation.
A crooked road lies there.
Every corner turned,
And crevice swerved,
Mountain peaks stand there.

From Spur Tree to Mount Rosser,
Sandy Gully to Blue Mountain,
I walked for miles around,
Confused and disoriented.

From Auburn to Duhaney,
From Crossroads to Molynes.
One day I just decided,
To take one step then two.
That’s when it all occurred to me,
There was a pattern there.

Emboldened by this fortitude,
I climbed up to the mountain top.
The drying shrubs and pines of green played fair,
Lashing arms and legs.
To say that if you do belong,
Why did it take so long?

It wasn’t simply cruelty,
To see if I would quit.
It was a way to prod me on,
Saying, “Go on, never quit.”

Suspended at the height up there,
I trembled at the scene.
To think if I had fainted right before,
A sight to hold, such beauty there, unseen.
A bird’s eye view so widely cast,
Only sparrows know the thrill.

I did a jig going down the other side,
Happy to behold that sight,
Too glad to have made it through.
I never looked back even once,
No need, I’d overcome.

For a while I dozed right off,
Contented in the breeze,
I felt along my back.
The road now straightened up with ease,
I bent a curve, and up ahead,
A soldier mountain glared.

I quivered at the sight of it,
Oh no, this one is higher,
Blocking out the light.
I spun around desperately searching,
There must be room for flight.

But like before and way back then,
I took one step and then another.
In life there’s sure to be many more.
Mountains in life?
No bother.

What is mental illness?

Mental illness is a medical diagnosis that refers to health conditions that result in changes in thinking, mood, or behavior, or some combination of all of them.
The changes results in an inability to function well in our activities, for example, in school, work relationships, recreation, etc.

Depression is the most common type of mental illness, affecting more than 26% of the U.S. adult population.
Depression is persistently feeling sad or blue, for more than 2 weeks to meet the medical diagnosis, that interferes in our ability to function.

Check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institute of Mental Health and the National Alliance on Mental Illness websites for information on mental illness.
Most importantly, they also provide links for online locators for various providers of mental health services.

Mental Health

Did you know that only about one in 5 persons have optimal mental health?

By definition, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Based on a report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General, it is estimated that only about 17% (that is roughly one in 5 persons) of U.S adults are considered to be in a state of optimal mental health. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Mental Health: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health, 1999.)

What will you do to improve your mental health and your ability to cope with the normal stresses of life?
TIP 1: Prioritize: everything cannot be a priority. Your check-list should at most have only 3 items. Nothing more should come onto the checklist, unless one is completed and/or removed