I’m with Crazy!

Mon. April 28, 2008 12:00 AM
by Bill Pritchard

As I do my daily commute to and from work every day I am always amazed at how many weird people there are on the bus. I'm not talking about stupid judgments on what someone's wearing or how their hair looks; I'm talking about the folks, who are talking to themselves, drinking Scope, or saving the chair next to them for their. . . "poop" (Sorry Stripes!)

One such fellow was shouting the other day as I got on the bus. His pleas were for each entering rider to know that the seat next to him was for his waste. "This seat is saved for my poop!" he would say. When I first got on I didn't hear what he was saying; only that there was some crazy guy yelling on the bus. This sort of thing seems to happen with me and my modes of transportation all the time. Sure enough as I passed by he looked up at me and shouted, "This seat is saved for my poop!" I don't know what came over me but I looked at him and said, "Oh! Pretty!" You had to be there.

Is it just me or are there more people like this guy in our world today? I'm not talking about crazy like our President crazy; I'm talking about people with some real mental problems. I want to be sensitive to this issue as I think we all need a little help over our lifetime! I do; however, think that we should be proactive (Def: pro•ac•tive adj. Acting in advance to deal with an expected difficulty; anticipatory) about our mental health. In short that means that we work out our minds. Think about it! How many times a week do you workout at the gym? Don't you think it's safe to say that our mind has equal or greater importance in strengthening?!

When I was a young man my father recognized that I was going through a rough time in my life. He wonderfully made the recommendation that I go see a counselor. It was one of the best choices I ever made! I would go see Kathleen 2 or 3 times a week at first; then once a week, followed by twice a month. During the first few weeks she and I were able to really tackle the roots of my problem at the time. We also learned more about me. It's funny, I've always had great friends to talk with, but there is something awesome about talking with someone who knows the human brain and its workings. Kathleen had insights that most folks wouldn't have. She helped me a great deal!

Perhaps before life gets too rough for you, you can develop a monthly relationship with a counselor in your area. Like a trainer at a health club, that proactive approach can only lead to great mental health.

Anyone who talks with me about life will most likely hear me suggest this idea! It is simply one of the best disciplines there is! At one point in my life I kept a journal every night before I went to bed. It offers the opportunity to reflect and study your life. Some days I would write what I was feeling; others I would talk about my day. I wrote the journal as if I were talking to a friend and that made it easier. Oprah Winfrey is famous for having her gratitude journal; which challenges the writer to jot down five things every day that they are grateful for. Now, I would use a regular little note book, but I've heard of others getting a nice leather bound book of paper or using the internet for their journal. No matter what the mode; the practice is very valuable! You will be able to look back on all your victories, trials, and thoughts. It will also help you to appreciate the positive in your life.

For some reason, this word seems to baffle people. In its definition the word means: Liable to being called to account; answerable. See Synonym responsible. (ac•count•a•ble adj.) I heard this term for the first time in my teens. I was always taught that you are answerable for your actions; of doing, being, not doing, and words. All too often people get away with things that they shouldn't and it weakens them. In my life, I've asked a handful of people to speak into my life and hold me accountable to the things that are important to me. My parents challenge me to a higher calling in my life. My friends remind me that my work/life is important and so on.

May I suggest that you place moments and mentors in your life to hold you accountable to success? Like a personal trainer kicks you in the butt for slacking at the gym; placing these accountability safeguards in your life only helps. Every week I have breakfast with my best friend. Most of the time, we catch up on our latest gossip and the activities of the week. There are times though, when we will talk each other through some of the hurdles that life throws our way. Having that consistent weekly connect has been one of the cornerstones in our friendship. I rely on those moments to keep me in line. Let's face it; it's our nature to mess up. Taking steps to make those mess-ups less negative is a smart choice!

Your mental health is something that you shouldn't take for granted. A well balanced life of physical and mental exercise makes the crazy, which all of us have get on occasion, go right away.