Your Own Bridge

In the warm sunshine of Florida, I find myself running outside often. I started training for a half-marathon, and well- never put it down.

I love the freeing feeling of being able to use my own body to go to the extra mile and push myself to the limits.

We are fortunate enough to be renting a place right next to a mile-long bridge.

Sometimes I love this bridge because of the challenge it hands me running over it, and some days I dread the challenge. However once you get over it, you are on a nice flat pace of sidewalk all the way to the beach.

This particular day, I was aiming for an 8-mile run. I took off the opposite way of the bridge and decided I would use my last two miles to climb over it.

I could see the finish line, I started toward the bridge and noticed a walk way I had often seen but never taken the path. I decided I needed a change of scenery so, I decided to journey the road less traveled.

I started on this sidewalk that turned into a beautiful park right under the bridge.

Suddenly, I realized that I really needed to turn around because I wasn’t going to get that good burn that the giant bridge gave me. I decided I would find the end of the trail , then turn around. However, it came to my surprise- a beautiful elongated pier that actually had a little steepness to it. My own personal bridge.

Going around the small park under the bridge actually gave me the mileage I needed to finish my 8-miles, and I had this view that was unlike any other.

Looking at the giant bridge on my tiny pier, a lesson came to my mind.

Personally, I’m always looking at “the big bridge” of life. The “big bridge” gives me the run I think I need,the “big bridge” gives me the view I think I need, the “big bridge” is the best option for me, so I think.

However, the “big bridge” is the main path, the average path everyone uses to get to their destination.

Sometimes, God gives us a “road less traveled”, a tiny pier if you will.

Sometimes He needs us to enjoy the scenery, journey a path to build mileage on our run of life, maybe to build character, learn- He takes us through small parks, pathways perhaps that we may not have known existed.

The only thing we can be certain of is that it is a part of His grand plan.

The road may be tough, you may be ready to stop your race, you may be just ready to walk home- but we cannot give up.

Your bridge is unlike any other, and you were called to a purpose. A purpose, journey, pathway that was only designed for you.

Rest a minute, and take a good look at your view- because it was created just for you.

Life can get hard, and there are times we all feel like giving up. It’s okay to wonder why things happen, its okay to ask for direction, it’s okay to voice how you feel about where you are in life, it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to not be okay.

But- We must never give up, friend. Your value is too precious. Your light is too bright, even when you may not see. If you feel like giving up, if you feel hopeless, please reach out and reach for help.

National Suicide Prevention Hotline:

1-800-273-8255

Love you all- keep taking the road less traveled and it’ll take you to a destination you couldn’t even imagine- your own personal bridge. Never give up, the world needs you.

Amber Lynn Carroll

(A.k.a Jake’s sister)

Medicine for Thought

My husband came down with the flu right before Christmas. He woke up around 3 A.M. on Christmas Eve in a constant shiver. I knew waking up Christmas morning, it was time to get medicine. He had developed a fever over night, and his temperature continued to rise.

Although the flu may not be a major deal to some, I was terrified knowing the recent reports; the different strains that had been floating around. We immediately acted on it and got into a local doctors office.

As someone who suffers from depression and anxiety, I often wonder why we don’t treat our mental health the same.

There are days that sometimes I have to fight to be happy or not irritated for no apparent reason. Sometimes, I have thoughts that would never cross another person’s mind. There are days I wake up and I have to fight to leave my home because I’m in a constant state of worry.

As a society, if we recognize these things in ourselves and others- we should act on it immediately. Don’t waste another second. We should recognize the signs symptoms and seek out help, just as we would for any other illness.

There is a great article on Nami.org that is from the perspective of someone who suffered with mental health disorders throughout her entire life, but no one saw the signs.

https://nami.org/Blogs/NAMI-Blog/February-2019/Growing-up-Without-Mental-Health-Support

Hoping this helps someone in some way.

Amber Lynn Carroll

(A.K.A Jake’s sister)

(Disclosure: I do not own rights to this article or media in this blog post. We share blog posts, media, articles, etc. to point people in a gentle direction towards learning more about mental health.)

Self-Confidence and Mental Illness

There were many times in my life where I didn’t understand the concept of self-confidence.

People would say “have confidence” in yourself, and quiet frankly, I had no idea how to do that.

I would think to myself, “what is confidence? Do you pull it from the air? I just don’t have that trait.” When you have depression, sometimes it’s hard to comprehend.

Before I realized I actually was suffering from a mental illness, it was nearly impossible to feel like I could ever have confidence.

By being aware and treating my mental health, it was a beautiful feeling to finally believe in myself and see myself how I was intentionally created.

I still struggle, but I’m constantly trying to grow.

This article is a wonderful way of explaining the difficulties between self-confidence and mental illness.

https://www.healthyplace.com/other-info/mental-health-newsletter/you-can-be-self-confident-when-you-live-with-mental-illness#self-confident

Cheers,

Amber Lynn Carroll

(a.k.a Jake’s sister)

(Disclosure: I do not own rights to this article or media in this blog post. We share blog posts, media, articles, etc. to point people in a gentle direction towards learning more about mental health.)

Yoga helps with anxiety and depression

Jake always loved yoga. He said it helped him to feel more at ease and calm. I myself believe in the power of yoga. It gives our body the focus and breath that we take from it in our daily lives.

If you are new to yoga the poses my look awkward or you may wonder how your breathe can be tool to create calmness.

Yoga is about your focus on you not how well you do the pose. It’s about you honoring yourself. Be good to you today.

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression

– Tracy Pennycuff

A.K.A Jake’s Mom

(Disclosure: I do not own rights to this article or media in this blog post. We share blog posts, media, articles, etc. to point people in a gentle direction towards learning more about mental health.)

Know the Warning Signs

Growing up, I was unaware I had a mental illness. Unlike other children, I had extreme anxiety going to school, excessive worrying, sleepless nights.

As an adult, my anxiety and depression kept growing and manifested into habits that were hurtful to my body.

Finally, I reached a point where I knew there had to be more than just how I felt. I was able to learn more about my mental illness and take control.

I found this great article at Nami.Org, and it lists warning signs that you or your loved one may be experiencing mental health issues.

Know the Warning Signs

Never be afraid of reaching out for help or talking to a mental health professional. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Take care of your “creativity organ”.

With Love,

Amber Lynn Carroll

A.k.a Jake’s sister

(Disclosure: I do not own rights to this article or media in this blog post. We share blog posts, media, articles, etc. to point people in a gentle direction towards learning more about mental health.)