Tag Archives: mental health

A heartfelt blog on depression


I am copying a post I put on Facebook. By the way it is one of the posts that I have got the most hits on and it makes me wonder just how many people out there are suffering from depression / anxiety and suffering silently or are at least to me unknown. It reminds me as well to remain humble and respectful of others as I do not know what they facing on a daily basis.

Anyway, here is the post:   No one ever should have to Suffer with depression. This just hits so close to home. To see the outpouring of support. I just feel so utterly helpless – to know that people are suffering. I do not know, nor can I pretend to know what Tommy was facing. But I can say boldly that I have had depression and I am trying to find my way through it daily. I am absolutely 100% not ashamed of my depression and it hurts my heart to think that others feel this pain and some feel that it is something they must face alone. I want no one to ever have to suffer this way. I hope people can be kind and understanding and if you have never been depressed then I am sorry but you have no place to say what a person should or shouldn’t do. God bless anyone suffering with any form of mental health concern, but especially to my brothers and sisters winning the battle with depression. (I am adding this ending) And I am terribly heartbroken and will mourn for those who have lost the fight.

That being said. Depression is a terrible monster but it is not “untame able”  I had a great therapist once who told me that until I know why my depression is there, that I should not get rid of it. Well trust me. I did not like what he said AT ALL. But after a while I got it, and I do know why it is here. My “buddy” depression has helped me help countless people. It has made me more human and it has grounded me and kept me aware of other’s pain and suffering and as much as I wish I never had it. I am equally glad in other ways for the experience for Depression has shaped who I am today.



Let me Lubricate your Mind (ALA “The Wiz”)

OK so I gott admit.. Its been a bit since my last post… Took some time off and was getting ready to launch my website. I hope you all will like it.  Anyway slide on over to http://www.samgaryjohnson.com sometime. I was keeping the oil theme going… I got one more thing to admit. I had never heard this song but thanks to a friend… It fits perfectly.

This Same friend asked me why I take fish oil.. Here is my answer:

Mental health… it lubes up the central nervous system. If you get omegas from Walnuts, Brazil nuts and Almonds and eat a lot of fatty fish and flaxseed you are probably good…plus fish oil is good for the heart and regularity but that is not me reason. So there is this myelin sheath on your Central Nervous System. So the sheath covers the nerves and when its lubed up the messages travel better and faster and get where they need to go and there is fatty oil in your brain and a lot of your grey matter in your brain is Fatty Tissue and so the Omega’s help keep the messages moving smoothly… if that makes sense… I need all the help I can get. I have been VERY DEPRESSED in my life and I want to do everything that I can to not be in those very dark places  Thats why I exercise AVOID rumination/think positive, and get good sleep and nutrition and connect with and spend physical time with others…..Some days/weeks are better than others.

I’ll end with a quote…It is not about what happens when you are down.  It is all about what happens when you get back up.



T.S. Eliot and other Heady Stuff

April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
memory and desire, stirring
dull roots with spring rain.”

― T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land

Dear Mr. Eliot   I think you are brilliant. I love Murder in a Cathedral and  Four Quartets and Lovesong For J Alfred and all that. I think you are so brilliant that I don’t understand you half the time. But one thing I can relate to fully is your dread of the long winter and the hope you have for Spring. I too long for Spring and think about your Cruel month when I see the first crocus pop through the earth. My guess is you often feared utter annihilation while you spoke of cruel winters, but a cruel winter can at times feel like an annihilation of sorts for me.

This winter in the United Stats has been cruel to say the least. However, it is not even the middle of March so I do hope your brilliant prediction of of a Cruel April was off by a month.

Winter for someone who has Seasonal Affective is a Slog through a personal wasteland. I often feel like two different people. I am my summer self and my winter self. I dont usually like my winter self and I wait expectantly for spring. The wait can sometimes be very cruel indeed.

“And I will show you something different from either
Your shadow at morning striding behind you
Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;

Anyway, I am not one to lie down and take it!  I have been learning how to fight my FRIEND depression for about ten years now.  Some of my weapons, which are certainly less globally destructive than what Mr. Eliot was afraid of, but suit my purpose are: Exercise, Using a Light Box, Good healthy food, Good Sleep, Being around positive people, Practicing gratitude, patience, love, acceptance, forgiveness, and grace.  Being a giving person, and Im not going to rule out my Fish Oil either.

You will notice I did not mention antidepressants. I know that they work for some people. Sadly they did not work for me. I tried about three or four different ones until I decided that they are not working for me. Is it possible I did not try them long enough? Sure. But I needed relief now, not a year from now, and so did my family so I started trying a bunch of other things.

Self help, and therapy helped too! I will say that I have learned some cues and some triggers as well. When I am feeling ignored (comes from being the baby in the family), and when I am aware that I am being self critical that I am in a danger area for me and old Mr Saggy Pants himself, also known as Seasonal Depression, can strike up a foothold.

Anyone with depression needs to learn from their ” friend” depression to see what he or she is trying to tell you about how and why he or she is there. Im sure I have more to learn but I think I have a decent start.

So I will leave you with more of winter from Mr. Eliot and here is to an Inspiring Spring when we can muse about Walt Whitman and think of some Leaves of Grass  instead 🙂

“Winter kept us warm, covering
Earth in forgetful snow”



We are all in this together.

Everyone needs compassion
Love that’s never failing
Let mercy fall on me
Everyone needs forgiveness
The kindness of a Savior
The hope of nations

I posted the picture on Facebook. It got a lot of likes and comments. We live in a hard society. Im a hard person at times. I need desperately to work on this every single day.



Courage and vulnerability or that which I seek is seeking me (part two)

This Is Brene Brown:

This is amazing:  http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability

We live in the most addictive, overweight, and indebted nation on earth notes Dr. Brown. She suggests that it is because we numb.

A consequence of numbing the bad is that we also numb all of the good. Joy gratitude, happiness. So we fill the void with “otherness and the need to find absolute certainty” which sounds like religion, and politics, and research/the university, and perfectionism and lastly the media…….. This may, or may not, make sense to all of you. I sure hope that it does, but this person really really sums up what I feel and what I think about being healthy. It is not what you look like and it is not the image you portray to the world. It is, however, absolutely what is not only on the inside but what is going on on the inside.

Dr. Brown also said that vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change. YES YES YES Dr. Brown!!!!  Perfection is not the answer. Trying and doing your best and giving it your very 100% all is the heart of it all.

To be deeply seen, to love with our whole hearts, to practice gratitude and joy… THIS …. THIS is the heart of health. I am Far from perfect with all of this, but thanks to Dr. Brown’s comments. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.






Why Im doing what Im doing… or Whatever oneself seeks is also seeking onself

I was in the shower today where I get all of my ideas! And I GOT IT! I mean I just totally have it. I know why I do this and I know why I want to help people. See I’m a Mental Health Counselor… I have been thinking on and on and on when people talk about passion and when you love what you do its not really work.. Well I do love what I do. But it can be very draining. There are some sad difficult things that I hear daily, and it can be easy to get down. Also I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. (seasonal depression). I sometimes fall off the wagon, sometimes HARD with my depression. But that is why I work out. I mean sure, looking good is a nice by product but I workout because I KNOW THAT I HAVE TO for my mental health. When I work out, eat better, get good sleep etc. then I feel better. I am not over dramatizing this. It is a Matter of Life or Death for me. I have been thinking about coaching with teambeachbody, but I have thought… This is not really my thing. Im not like Mr. Fitness and have always been a skinny dude so who is going to turn to me for help with that……

BUT IT IS NOT ABOUT THAT AT ALL. Its about having REAL LIFE, not a life of sadness and drudgery but a life that is fulfilling and enjoyable. To feel good to be truly joy filled, you need more than medicine or a counselor, both of which can be helpful, but true health comes from within and taking care of the only body we got!