NAMI Metro Suburban Blog

2 minutes reading time (485 words)

Take Life One Cookie at a Time

When looking for inspiration to get going on a bad day, the words of the popular children's book come to mind. If you are not familiar with

"If you give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff, the story begins with "If you give a mouse a cookie, he's going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he'll probably ask you for a straw." It continues in that fashion with one thing leading to another, in tiny increments. Perhaps a mental health version of the story could inspire those who struggle with getting out of bed due to depression or anxiety. This is how I would start my story book:

If you want to succeed on a bad day, you have to take off the blankets.

Once you take off the blankets, it is easier to get out of bed.

Since you are already out of bed, you might as well brush your teeth.

Once your teeth are clean, you will be ready to take a shower.

After you have taken a shower, you are going to have to get dressed...

And on it would continue, until hygiene is taken care of, breakfast is eaten, and you are walking out the door to start a productive day. Of course, this is a simplistic example. Obviously, overcoming the obstacles of depression can be much more difficult than following the format of a children's story but maybe it is worth giving the concept a try. Bottom line, no matter how small, every action you take is forward motion and one of the few things I remember from high school science is, Isaac Newton found that objects in motion tend to stay in motion.

People often use the phrase, "one day at a time"; however, to an anxious or depressed mind, even one day can be overwhelming. That is why I take it one moment at a time, one baby step at a time, one simple task at a time. You may not wake up ready to move mountains. You may wake up dreading just getting out of bed and brushing your teeth. Yet, after a full day of small moments of forward movement, you may look back and find that mountain has moved. Or, perhaps you will look back and see that all you did was get out of bed and get dressed. Both are accomplishments worth celebrating.

The story "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie", after taking a long winding path, ends with the mouse circling back to want another cookie, thus beginning the story all over. The same is true with life in general. If you didn't accomplish what you wanted today, that's okay because you are here and you made it through another moment, another hour and another day. Tomorrow is our chance to start over again...and don't forget to grab another cookie as you do!

A Season of Darkness
 

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019