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His creed…

I started my morning watching an interview on Nightline with Scott Stapp. Scott Stapp was the lead singer of Creed, a very popular group from the 90’s and best known for the song he co-wrote With Arms Wide Open. I was definitely a fan of their music, and still am. Allow me to segue for a moment to share my faves:

My Sacrifice – the first two verses are so freeing…

Hello my friend we meet again
It’s been a while, where should we begin
Feels like forever
Within my heart are memories
Of perfect love that you gave to me
Oh, I remember

When you are with me, I’m free
I’m careless, I believe
Above all the others we’ll fly
This brings tears to my eyes
My sacrifice

My Own Prison – this song served me in my long fight through weight loss feeling like a prisoner in a body that I knew was not representative of the soul living inside. “I’ve created my own prison” they lyrics recite.

MY ABSOLUTE FAVE is One Last Breath

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
Maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

I’m looking down now that it’s over
Reflecting on all of my mistakes
I thought I found the road to somewhere
Somewhere in His grace
I cried out heaven save me
But I’m down to one last breath
And with it let me say
Let me say

Hold me now
I’m six feet from the edge and I’m thinking
Maybe six feet
Ain’t so far down

YES all are perfect lyrics to bring us back to what was inspiring about Scott’s interview this morning. As someone who knows what it feels like to be “six feet from the edge and thinking maybe six feet isn’t so far down…” and also someone who said to her surgeon recently when they warned the risks of anesthesia that “I win either way; I am going to wake up with Gary or my Mom by my side…what is the risk?” the topic of mental illness/health is always one close to my heart, mind and soul and will continuously be thematic throughout my blog.

In 2014 Scott Stapp hit rock-bottom, posting disturbing videos and making paranoid 911 calls that were released to the public. He blames a mixture of alcohol and prescribed meds for the psychotic episode. He notes that his trauma goes back to childhood. Damn. Why is childhood such a traumatic event for so many. (I wonder what trauma my kids will claim?)

“The Space Between the Shadows” is his new album coming out next week. Getting much acclaim already is a song that he wrote Gone Too Soon as a tribute to his friends Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington who both committed suicide two years ago.

Scott Stapp notes in the interview “i don’t know that there is much that could have gotten through to me…because I was not in sound mind”. This is a testament to how dysfunctionally-private mental illness is; it builds a wall around its victim not allowing them to see OUT and rarely allowing those close to them to see IN; unless really paying attention and hopefully before it’s too late. This is why it is so important to be in touch with your own mental health and have a tribe around you that you can call, ones you can trust, ones that get it and that get you. But that is only a “thing” if you are fearless in calling it out.

A recent TED Talk from Eleanor Longden noted, as she was going through the throws of mental illness, that “someone died in that place and yet someone else was saved…a broken and haunted person started that journey but the person that emerged was a survivor”. You see not every story of depression ends in tragedy. Many come to know the process, the journey, to be worth the benefit of seeing it through. She, through her TED Talk, and Scott Stapp, through his music, are giving back to a community by “sharing the burden for someone suffering and holding the hope for their recovery”.

Eleanor goes on to note that “many people have harmed me in my life and I remember them all but they pale in comparison to those that saved me and helped me save myself. When you are aware of it you can do something positive about it for you cannot oppress the people that are not afraid anymore”. #Word

Another notable TED Talk with Elyn Saks notes that “everyone becomes psychotic in his or her own way” (Just ask my kids…Saturday CHORE mornings at the Kiel house will likely be what they will site to their therapists as TRAUMA!). Elyn goes on to note that “my head was too full of noise”. How many of us can identify with this in some form? My favorite quote from her talk is…

The humanity we all share is more important than the mental illness we may not #Preach!

We all have a responsibility to continue to acknowledge Mental Health regardless of our infliction or not. “For those that deny the experience are the most enslaved by what they have (or don’t).  While you hide from it, it grows.” – Andrew Solomon  

I conclude with lyrics from yet another favorite Creed song “What if”…

I know I can’t hold the hate inside my mind ’cause what consumes your thoughts controls your life

So I’ll just ask a question
A lonely simple question
I’ll just ask one question

What if
What if
What if

You decide the “What If…”, what if you got the help you need today, what if you didn’t, what if you got better, what if you got worse? You decide…I did and my “What if”…well let’s just say I do the work and the work does me well.

This is life as I see it – L.

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