You may be wondering just this?, or perhaps you’ve heard all the sensationalised success stories of“how Yoga has changed my life”. Yeah I know it all sounds a bit….well...you know….REALLY? As a Yoga teacher battling a mental health disorder and lifelong depressive illness I may just well be the right person to ask, if indeed Yoga will change your life because I’ve been there, done that ….and got the t-shirt to prove it. (if you taken a look at the Roo Betty store you will in fact already know that)
So let’s start at the very beginning what makes me qualified to answer this question. Well...I’ve suffered from depression my whole life from my early teens to mid forties. I’ve been on medication which at times has helped a bit. I’ve chatted to health professionals and I’ve been diagnosed Bi Polar II. I’ve been suicidal and numb, I’ve cried for days and not wanted to leave my house, and I’ve painted on the smile and talked myself into leaving the front door. I’ve coped and managed at work, whilst having a family and I have a million and one coping strategies. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. I’m now off my medication and surfing through life's highs and lows. But how did I get to this point and how did yoga help?
For years we have battled our mental health. Trying to hold it all together at school or work, only to get back home and it all to fall apart and unravel. Either in a waterfall of tears or a torrent of abusive words directed at ourselves and others, all with self hate as the headline. If you can relate to this then I hope that what I am about to write helps you.. I’m writing this because I get it. I’m writing this because for years I tried to fit in and as a result medicated myself on a daily basis. At first it helped with the symptoms but over time gave way to a vicious cycle of wellness, before descending back into self hate and misery only for the repeat to fade technique to be adopted. Until one day I stood up to my mental health, got to know it intimately and learnt how to make it work for me rather than the other way round.
“Be kind!” probably the most banded about words of 2019/2020. The most printed slogan on T-shirts - yepRoo Bettyalso has a tee especially designed with those very words. But what does it actually mean and are you really embracing the full meaning of those words?
Are you REALLY being kind?
Kindness is important, after all it’s in our DNA, it’s why we thrive. If we didn’t care and all ran around as individuals all humans would probably become extinct years ago. When you’re kind it’s like planting a seed, the roots spread out and start to affect others. But being kind isn’t as easy as you’d think.
Pondering my own mental health whilst writing a blog about World Mental Health Day…..Yep! The irony isn’t lost on me.
I know this mood, it’s defiant, restless, irritable, she wants to shout inappropriate things at inappropriate times. Reigning her in is hard, she wants to laugh and cry at exactly the same time. She’s the devil on your shoulder telling you to “go on” - to whatever that devil may care act, you’re about to perform. I’ve grown used to her, in fact I kinda know when SHE is gonna drop by. To make a point, I may be Bi-Polar or I may be Autistic or I may just, be ME.
If you’re reading this ….then Suicide may have been on your mind? I don’t need you to answer that by the way...but if you’ve heard a voice in your head , please don’t feel ashamed or embarrassed. I want to dispel some myths about suicide and also offer a voice of support and help to anyone who may be experiencing these thoughts.
Today isNational Suicide Awareness day. On this day we remember those lost…we think of those left behind and we reach out to those in the darkness (I try to do this most days but you know, a day is a day to sucker punch it to you).