As much time as my dis-ease of the mind takes, I have found the time to do something to help myself while helping others. I have gotten into activism. The possibilities to help are endless.
I do not remember when I first started to feel compelled to sign petitions, send emails and call my representatives. It just happened. Then it snowballed. Today I signed 15 petitions. I received the results of 4 petitions I signed. It was a busy day.
My signature, and the signatures of my like-minded activists, caused Ringling Brothers to announce they will phase elephants out of their shows by the year 2018, saved 2 bears in Sochi, shut down a roadside petting zoo and helped keep a herd of wild Mustang in Nevada free.
That was one day. Not bad for a woman who some days needs to find a reason to get out of bed.
Seeing that my signature helped a cause to be successful makes me feel like I matter. It is a small thing I know; but I did it. I got up, dressed, went online and accomplished something.
My Facebook friends have been known to say that “Marlene’s day is perfect if all the children are fed, animals safe and someone is pissed off by her political views”. That may be true. It is also a day that Marlene is not depressed.
The hours I spend focusing on something other than me are hours I am lost to myself. I am concentrating on others. I was struck by how satisfying this is. Helping implement change for others gets me out of my head and changes my mindset, for the good.
If, like me, there are times you forget what it is like to feel anything but bad you may find yourself smile for the first time that day. Smiling is a good thing, feeling happy releases feel good endorphins. If you are smiling you have dimmed the light on your problems in that moment.
Getting involved is a strange thing. You don’t feel so alone. There are many people who have interests similar to yours. Finding them is the fun! Start with a site like “Take Part”. There are endless pledges you can take and petitions to sign. Tracking results to see how you have made an impact through their interactive Dashboard is icing on the depression free cake.
You may suffer from depression but it does not define you. You are a complex, interesting person with diverse interests and you can make a difference. You have to get out of your head to do it.
Enhancing your life by helping others. Who would have thought?