22 April 2012

HAWMC Day 7: Health activists choice

Health Activist Choice! Write about whatever you want today.  (Maybe try a bonus prompt!)
My choice: the quotation prompt from Day 2. This involves choosing a quote and free-writing about it so be fore-warned that the only editing will be for spelling purposes and, thus, the post may not be quite as polished/make as much sense as usual. This is just raw thoughts and feelings.
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.-Reinhold Nieubur
This quote is one that I've been particularly fond of for a long time. I think the first time I saw it, I was a young girl. I know that these days it is typically associated with1 2-step programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think it also applies to every day life in such a way that it is something we should all ponder on a daily basis. Even those who do not believe in God can ponder the wisdom of differentiating between the things that can and can not be changed and knowing which is which, and having the courage and serenity that is needed.

I think it applies particularly well to activism. Obviously it could be applied to activism of all areas, but for obvious reasons I'm going to focus on how it applies to activism in the arena of PPMD, and, the thought occurs to me, even just for those who are going through PPD and struggling to make it through each day. Yes, I sound jumbled, but that's the risk of free-writing. :D

First, how it could have applied to me when I was dealing with PPD. I remember that often, I would get upset about things and end up with a panic attack that could only be handled by taking an Ativan. For a long time, I didn't even think to start going "Hmm, what am I upset about". Finally, I realized that the reason for this was because I had to get out of the throes of the anxiety to even be able to think straight. Once the Ativan had settled me down a little, I would start to be able to think a little more clearly. This was when I would start taking deep, rhythmic breaths and just BE. Then, eventually, I learned to start thinking about what had upset me, ask myself to separate the reality of the situation from the extra upset I was feeling, and determine if I really needed to be upset about it. I still to this day use this method, in a sense (minus the Ativan), when I am dealing with a stressful situation. If it is the middle of the night and I'm awake worrying about something, half the time I end up reminding myself "I can not do anything about this right now" and forcing myself to let it go for the time. I only wish that I had had this printed out or on a necklace or something that I could use as a focal point, a mantra of sorts, to help me come out of the hysteria.

Now, as to how it applies to activism with regards to PPD. When we blog, tweet, or choose to engage in conversation in Facebook, perhaps we should make sure we ask ourselves "Is this something that I can really make a difference in right now? Will engaging do any good? HOW am I engaging?". Usually, I think, the answer for me is that yes, engaging should occur, but I need to think about WHAT exactly I am engaging and how I am going about doing it. If I see someone who is advertising a program that is GUARANTEED to prevent PPD by teaching you how to think the right way, I need to make sure that I stop, collect all my facts, and don't do the same thing that I accuse them of doing. I need to make sure that I present myself in a manner that makes sense and doesn't just come across as hysterical. I need to pick my battles and make sure that I choose to write in a way and on a topic that can actually make a difference. If I'm blogging//discussing something/someone who is spewing ignorance, I need to remember that my goal is not just to hopefully get who/whatever to think about what they are saying and how, but that it is just  as much about taking an opportunity to educate others who may be reading and seeing the things/people/programs I am blogging about.

In general, in life, how much happier and healthier might we all be if we applied this quote to our every day lives? Will you join me in making it your goal to think about this and apply it?

How has this quote/prayer/mantra made a difference in your life?


  1. You know, this is something I might blog about tonight! Thank you for helping break my writers block :)

  2. I love that quote too.
    Having three kids and ppd has really been difficult, because I had to deal with perfectionism as well.
    I am doing so much better, since I am accepting that I have to deal with this. That I have to slow down and walk this road for now. That there are things I cannot do right now or the way i would like to do them.
    Whenever I'm dealing with anxiety, I have to stop and slow down and make choices, in order to make things easier for myself.
    For me this quote applies to my every day life.