Mental Health Awareness Month
We Are Still Open
We’ve had numerous calls wondering when we were going to open again. We just wanted to let you know that we have stayed open throughout this whole crisis. We intend to be a resource no matter what is going on in the world. We still provide groups and ask people to distance themselves in the group and wear a mask.
Working Through Issues
This time, more than ever, is an important period to work through the issues that have been surfacing for you. When the normal distractions of life fade away, and there is nothing but doom broadcasted in the media, it is natural for underlying issues to surface. If you fail to use the proper tools to work through them, they not only will remain but may intensify.
I think what this pandemic has brought is a focus on the now. It’s almost like this cloud of death is hanging above. How do you face this? You have the choice to make this a good period or a bad one. The real issue is how you are with yourself when you live your life.
Unresolved Problems that Lurk in the Subconsciousness
We look at problems as blessings. When you process through a problem at the root, you grow, and that particular issue fades. Is it a one-time thing? Unfortunately not. There are a lot of unresolved problems that lurk in the subconsciousness and processing through them as they surface is what mental health is all about.
We initiated free aftercare for graduates of our PHP program for a reason, to continually process through surfacing problems. Let’s be honest. Have you been struggling during this time period? Under stress, it is natural to regress to an unresolved issue from that past and get stuck there. And hey, it happens to the best of us. If you’ve been acting like a two-year-old lately, now you know what is really going on.
Mental Health Awareness Month
It is ironic that May is mental health awareness month. How have you been? What have you done for yourself recently? Physically? Mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually? Has it worked?
Failing back into the old habit of putting your mental health on the backburner is what we call denial or repression. In facing what has been bothering you, you can rise above it, learn, and feel better about yourself. Have you made things or people around you more important than you? The meta-message you are giving to yourself is they are more important. This is your life. How do you want to live it? If you take care of yourself, you will be more able to care for them.
It is new for me to have a bit of an edge to an article. Perhaps it is just the passion I have on this subject. Or, it can be something else. As I look at my desire to help others, the flip side is my desire to help myself. It is true I have my own past. I had major depression, panic attacks, substance addiction, even homelessness. On many levels, I want to protect people from suffering my old fate and teach them how I climbed out of my own personal hole.
A Lifelong Process
This isn’t a one day or a one month process. It took me four years in college to learn these tools and fully grasp them. It has taken me 26 years to continually use them because they are a part of my everyday life. Am I asking you to be me? No, not at all. I am trying to emphasize that once you have the tools, use them, otherwise, it is natural to fall back into the limiting patterns that can immobilize.
I am hopeful. Many that are going through treatment currently have talked about the blessings of this pandemic. It has slowed them down. It has helped them focus on what is really important like family and friends and the relationships they have with business associates. If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of people in the world that touch the lives of others. You see them working at the market or a drive-through or delivering packages. When you are at peace with yourself, you make the world a more peaceful place.
I was reading a book yesterday that had an entry about a man that was struggling with God. He wondered why would a loving God allow pain and hurt and murder and all the negatives. The priest had an interesting response. He asked if the man would allow his son to ride a skateboard. Of course, he agreed. The priest reminded him that there are innate risks in skateboarding and often children fall down when they are learning, but to not let the child ride a skateboard would limit their enjoyment and mastery of other challenges in life.
Achieving Mental Wellness
When I graduated from the University of Santa Monica with a Masters in Counseling Psychology, the famed surgeon, Dr. Bernie Segal was the keynote speaker. He wished pain upon us all. He claimed that pain is a real motivating factor. Without it, we would lazily go through life and maybe take care of an issue. With it, we want that sucker to go away and will do anything to feel better.
I don’t wish pain upon anybody. My wish is for people to take care of their own self to the best of their ability. We are here to help you with that adventure. And trust me, achieving great mental health will take you on an adventure to your very core. It is not a one-time thing, or a one-time thing each day. Get into a daily practice that helps your whole self. Challenge yourself. Get back on that skateboard. Soon you will be doing some amazing tricks! And as always, we’re here to be your guide.
Compassionate Care is Always Available
There are many more tools and strategies you can use in your pursuit of happiness. Here is where we come in. Contact us at Basic Steps Mental Health and let us support and educate you on this journey back to your loving heart center. Imagine living a heart-centered life, regardless of what is happening externally. We’d love to be of help.
For 25 years, Dr. Scott Alpert, the clinical director of Basic Steps Mental Health, has treated over 7,000 people with mental health and addiction problems, using a Psychological approach that mixes and matches ten of the top approaches used in the industry. We are here virtually and in-person to help you get through this COVID-19 pandemic and many other difficulties you may be experiencing.
May you have good mental health.