It has taken me months to get back to writing this blog. I just wasn't sure what direction to go. The blog started about the origin of Zion and continued on to the expansion of Zion, which I think is important information but I am sure it's boring to most. The blog ended with the death of our co-worker and wondering where we go from here to better understand and/or help bring awareness to mental health wellness.
After months, days, hours & minutes of thinking, this is what I have decided to share about Zion & life in general.
LIFE IS A JOURNEY- About 15 years ago my husband, Patrick, talked me into joining this new fitness place in St. Clairsville called Slender Lady. Slender Lady introduced my to Lori Smolira & Nicole Snodgrass & yoga. I was instantly hooked!
However, I went into Slender Lady with much resistance. Patrick pulled into the parking lot and said, "here it is - go in & join". I was so mad at him that I started crying. However, it was the best thing he could have ever done for me.
The reason I say that I went in with resistance is because I was depressed. I was struggling with post-partum depression. So, I know depression. I know how hard it is to work out of a "dark hole".
I believe that we all know some form of depression. We have all felt despair at some point in our lives. However, some people can overcome it & some people struggle their whole lives.
Now we have social media, which IMO, fuels fires and has increased anxiety, depression, bullying, & suicides. I would NOT want to be a teen these days! Bring the 80's back anytime!
I've made it no secret that my daughter suffers from depression & anxiety. We all just want our kids to be happy, confident, & successful. I THOUGHT I was doing everything right. Man, was I wrong! The turning point for me, that it was time to start educating myself, was also one of the most hurtful days of my life.
My daughter blew up at me one day. She confronted me by calling me a hypocrite. She said "you post all this stuff on FB and do stuff at Zion for suicide prevention and say that you care about people who take their lives and suffer from depression but you are a hypocrite because you don't care about me. I am severely depressed. I am suicidal."
My response was to defend myself, how could she think that I don't care about her? My exact words: "How can you think I don't care about you. I take you places. I spend time with you. I'm involved in school stuff for you. I take care of you- wash your clothes, make your meals etc. What do you have to be depressed about anyway? You have parents that love you & a roof over your head!!"
I wish I knew then what I know now because THAT was the wrong thing to say.
Her reply was, "I can't help the way that I feel."
So I started thinking, what exactly is depression? What is anxiety? What am I facing here?
Mr. Wagner, a founding member of Zion, always gives advice. We, here at Zion, call it Wagner Wisdom. One thing he said has always stayed with me, we do what we know.
Well, I thought I was doing everything right. However, I was not. I didn't know what to do anymore so it was time to get help for my daughter.
It has been a struggle; from finding the right fit of a therapist (we are on #4) to being embarrassed for my daughter, to being ashamed that I couldn't help her.
Embarrassed & ashamed, why?!
If she had a broken leg, I wouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed AND I would get her help.
If she had cancer, I wouldn't be embarrassed or ashamed AND I would get her help.
Why am I embarrassed because she struggles with depression, anxiety, & suicidal thoughts?
Why? Because IMO there is a stigma towards people who struggle with a mental illness. Sadly, I was one of those people helping to create the stigma. I told my daughter to get over it. I told her that she has a good life, a family that loves her & a roof over her head. JUST BE HAPPY!
Which led me to thinking and researching (that's my thing- I love to research). Can we BE happy?
I want to figure that out. It is VERY hard to be positive in a negative world. Everyone has bad days. However, not everyone can overcome those bad days. A ton of work can be involved in overcoming bad days.
While in Wal-Mart shopping, I found a magazine called "The Science of Happiness". That magazine led me to a book called, "The Art of Happiness- A Handbook to Living".
So, I am embarking on a yearlong journey of researching happiness and mental health wellness.
In this blog, I am going to discuss everything from evidence based western science trials to the Buddhist way of "training the mind", to my opinion (of course).
I am using Zion on this journey. I believe that Zion is a very special place. I believe, if you are willing, that you can find peace, tranquility, & perhaps an A-HA moment while sitting on the dock or walking the trails or sitting on the deck of a cabin.
I have become a part of something special. I feel that I need to use this special place, Zion, to further educate myself & others on suicide prevention & mental health wellness.
Life is a journey---
Slender Lady led me to Lori Smolira which led me to Nicole Snodgrass which led me to yoga which led me to being more open minded which led me to working at Zion which led me to Wagner Wisdoms which led me to researching mental illness which led me to better helping our daughter and hopefully others.
I am NOT a doctor. I do NOT have a degree in the medical field.
THIS is what I do have: an understanding of what it feels like to be depressed, an understanding of what it feels like to not be able to help a loved one, an understanding of the emotions that come with finding the perfect fit for a therapist, an understanding of people not listening, an understanding of being frustrated, an understanding of doing the wrong thing, an understanding of being at a loss, an understanding of needing help.
I have passion, life experience, & apparently a pretty special place to work.
Thank you for taking the time to read this extremely long Zion blog. Now I must go clean cabins, wash linens, & take care of our wonderful customers.
Stay tuned for what I discover in my readings & from working at Zion.
Hi, I'm Lori Kovacs.