Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac
Mental health issues seem to come with a gift in the creative arts — or maybe it’s just part of the human condition.
I’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness. But it’s probably because I’ve never been to a psychiatrist, except once when I was 12. I overdosed on my stepfather’s prescription medication and woke up in the hospital after having my stomach pumped. I had to visit a psychiatrist then, but I didn’t know him, didn’t trust him, and wasn’t about to tell him why I was trying to escape life.
I have since published many poems and short stories about my childhood trauma — mostly in three volumes of Break The Cycle. In May 2023, I will launch another anthology dealing with mental health issues titled SCARS.
Mental health, like our physical and spiritual health, will decline — and we will suffer the consequences unless we work to improve it.
This quote recently popped up in my Facebook memories from about ten years ago. It sums up my mental health to this day.
“If I focused on the challenges, obstacles, hard times, or tragedies in life, I would not get out of bed from being so depressed. Instead, I find the lesson or greater good in EVERY situation. I stay in gratitude and keep the faith even when I want to cry or scream. I keep dreaming and find joy in simple things, like bubbles.” ~ Kathy Chaffin Gerstorff
Writing, blowing bubbles, walking in nature, swimming, praying, deep breathing, and listening to music are my go-to activities to relieve stress, anxiety, and too much reality.
Reading and learning also help strengthen my mind. I recently read a book that helped my mental and spiritual health.
Praise the Lord and Pass the Prozac: A Helpful, Hopeful, Humorous Devotional by James “Jim” Watkins and Faith Watkins
I initially hesitated to read this book because I don’t even like taking an aspirin for a headache. I prefer holistic healing of the root cause rather than a pharmaceutical solution for the symptoms.