Thursday, December 30, 2010

A New Year

It feels like 2011 will be a better year than 2010 to me. Some of the things I am looking forward to in the New Year are to continue to work. It helps with money and my self-esteem. It also helps my mental illness; I hardly think about having a mental illness, because there is so much more to think about: work, and life. I am looking forward to having my youngest grandson, two years old, start coming to my apartment with my other two grandkids when they come to visit some weekends. It will keep me busy and happy to have him join us. I am looking forward to learn new ways to keep healthy by reading blogs like the healthy skeptic. I’d like to see fewer stigmas about mental illness in the coming year. People like Ron Artest of the Lakers supporting it and talking about mental illness helps a lot. From what I read in blogs and the news it will still take years to achieve less stigma. Some of the news about teenagers thinking they are cool by faking a mental illness like Britney Spears and others have is not helping either. Also in the New Year I hope our economy gets better and more people get jobs. There is a lot to look forward to in the New Year.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shadows in the Stairwell

Have you taken a walk up or down a stair case recently, without losing your breath, or leg muscles cramping; even then each step a thought and unfinished at a certain stair well landings to another floor. Mental Health is like this, one step at a time, one thought before another to be examined and then vanquished, while reaching the landing becomes the exhilaration of success.

I have many times found myself creeping up and down stairs, and within their turns, and have seen the shadows of my life, even thoughts within the dark recesses of unlit corners, within the turns of the stair wells; the shadows of my life. Ancient thoughts resting upon a single stair, which are unmoving; await footsteps to turn and descend and review the past once again, the laughter or pain, with or without scrutiny. When you reach this epitome of being, you are seemingly lost, no concrete thought established as to the next stair to be assailed.

In Mental Health we are taken into the hallways we have been waiting in to understand what changes we can make to find revelry instead of the gloom we have been living with. With different psychiatric techniques we can begin to perceive with our minds, the anguish and fears of which we begin to leave behind, daring to take a leap upon the flight of stairs and beyond the shadowy memories which caused our maladies to begin with. We move slowly at first upon the stairs, yet those single footsteps become leaps and bounds, coming and going because we believe we can be free, without standing at the base forever waiting if we can ascend our reach. Have you ever thought to stop riding the elevator and instead take one stair at a time in facing your mental illness?

Written By Donald Sammons

December 26, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Voices in Me

I sit in my chair

In the darkness

Being the light,

Sullen am I of the day past,

It’s only a memory now

As I don’t know if I can travel

To the cacophony

Of dreams only half fulfilled

While I smile inside

These are emotions that pass me by

As I close my eyes

While sitting near a window

Open to the world of ideas

And pedestrians,

Who never look inside?

To wonder my gaze within

As if re-tuned to old songs

Those that make me dance

With memories far away

Turning the sorrow of loneliness

Into a joyful melodic barrage

Of I am young again

Dreaming with memories

Not all so bad

Only truths

Which I can sing

While sitting alone

With what I believe is silence.

Written by Donald Sammons

December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Optimistic Approach

When times get tough and you think there is no way to get through it. Just remember when in the past there was a similar situation and you were able to weather the storm. I was reading somewhere about the optimistic approach to life. It is a belief that people will get through tough times. We always seem to forget when a new problem comes along that it too will pass and be forgotten. I noticed that I’ve been getting angry lately over situations and I know it is not right to exspend that much energy over something. This morning I decided to step back and look at the problem from the outside looking in. I came up with this idea, because in the past I made some decisions that were not right. If I could have stopped and looked at the big picture, it might have turned out different. It made me realize I do not have to get angry, because of someone else. I have been through a lot tougher situations and they have worked out O.K. If I can remember before a bad situation becomes worse, I will try and stop and look at the situation. I will take the optimistic approach.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Changing Pace

I was sitting in my 1st floor apartment, alone, my mind a blank slate as to what to do. There was plenty to do, shop for groceries; wash clothes, clean the apartment, and most of all write this blog for December. It had gotten darker as the minutes passed and I wasn’t in the mood to do anything; I was beginning to procrastinate, back-slide on my reality, let myself down and others.

In mental health programs, a lot is spoken about back-sliding or letting yourself down; this is also true of A/A and N/A programs, not keeping your promises and not working toward your goals. Being a mental health client, with the kind of diagnosis I have, I as well as others tend to drift, sometimes into negative thoughts, sometimes without any thoughts at all. I began noticing this, when I wanted to accept an invitation to a shopping outing, realizing I was having negative feelings about being in a crowd and walking for hours knew this was going on inside me, and being that upset, and thinking I wasn’t going to feel well I had to back out the invitation and understand what the problem was.

I waited awhile, at home, alone and began to search for something to do; still I sat quietly with all there was to do, finally reaching for the sewing needle and thread to begin to sew a pair of pants that had been hanging in the closet for weeks on end. I began to relax, and it felt good. I was taking control of the negative emotions I was having by focusing on something that made me feel relaxed. This doesn’t mean you have to darn your socks, yet something as easily, can relax the conscious mind and that what was needed, not an escape, yet something calming to clear the mind of excess baggage. Often times, books, or television or even walks won’t calm the high tides of the conscious mind yet something quieting as a pen and paper, paints or clay can unleash the negative thoughts anyone is having, if you’re willing to find the silence within to smile again.

Know that fear, and anger cloud our minds and if you realize that to keep your goal in mind to overcome your illness, you will become that much stronger, because you know you want to succeed at what you want to achieve, being better without being hostile or bored, growing with patience and pleasure.

Written By Donald Sammons

Monday, December 6, 2010

How Far Do We Go

There was an article in the newspaper a few months ago, where a football player committed suicide. He was no longer playing football as he expected to be playing; 1st string, he was in debt, and he was only 23 years of age. He was an impressive football player in college and was growing in the National Football League. So, why did he commit suicide, after two knee surgeries, his finances squandered, with his family problems escalating? Why could he not find help, was life too intolerable for him? It is said desires are unconscious, in our young man’s case those desires could have been changed. I thought about this, his age, his career and began thinking what if he were 20 or 30 years older. We think of suicides of the young, the notables in society, especially amongst minorities, very seldom do we think about suicide in people who are in the mid-fifties and later on in life. There happens to be 17 deaths (suicides) per 100,000 people in the 75-85 years of age group and this may not even be a correct figure. There are silent suicides such as deaths from overdose, starvation or dehydration, these methods stemming from unworthiness, insecurity or low self-esteem. These emotions destroy the positive ideas and make positive the negative ones. The elderly have a greater rate of completing suicide, because they own firearms, this is usually found to be in double suicides, married couples, spouses whom have aged. What has this to do with a 23 year old football player? The elderly and those in their middle aged years have lived a long time, most without any notoriety and have raised families or never have. Our football player never gave himself the chance to envision and live life in a positive aspect, nor did he want to conquer his fears which had led to his untimely demise. What’s the reason for suicide in the elderly? Loss of interest, lack of self caring, refusing medical help, heartbreak, feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, even putting their life in order, there are lifetimes of memories with the elderly which can cause the one negative thought in life to change it all. The high risk groups are the aged, white males, and the divorced and the strongest factor is having a psychiatric disorder, such as depression which is often the culprit. Society looks at the suicide of youth as a tragedy greater than those of the middle age or elderly. So, why is it not preventable? One reason is that the public sees depression and suicide as normal when it comes to aging or even notoriety in youth. Seemingly treatment for depression seems to be the necessity to keep anyone from suicide and though there are many treatments for depression, the best thing anyone person can do if they realize a friend or family member is suffering, from sadness, grief or loss, even with temporary moods of depression, is to help them realize they should accept professional help with other family members that care and hope that psychotherapy and medication can help them recover from their depression, which in the long run is better than self destruction.

Written by Donald Sammons

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I was watching “Three’s Company” a 70’s show last night they had a guy that showed up with a laughing box. It reminded me that I had not seen one of those since my uncle had one in the early 70’s. It is in a bag and laughs and you laugh at it or the person who bought. Either way it does bring laughter. I do not know if they still sell them or have better models now. I still have not found a newer show to watch besides “America’s funniest videos” that make me laugh. I also read an article online about recovery titled Laugh. In the article they say that “One minute of laughter is equivalent to five minutes on a rowing machine or eight minutes on an exercise bike.” Laughing is good for you. The article goes on to talk about how laugh groups are forming across North America. It is good medicine and the article also states that laughter is good medicine is found in Proverbs of the Bible. I try to laugh as much as I can. I can remember when I was on a ward in the State hospital. They asked what I did at home so they could make my stay better. I told them me and my brothers and sisters use to tell jokes and laugh a lot. The staff there started joking with me every day and it did relieve stress. I am always on the lookout for newer shows that can make me laugh, like my old 70’s shows. Also in the article, they say that world laughing month is in April, I will have to remember that. I would believe that proves that laughter can provide benefits, whether you are in recovery or not.