Mental Health Monday – Wheel of Emotions


I started my recovery through depression and anxiety in the spring of 2012. Obviously, there were issues prior to actually getting help, and I owe it to my friends and my doctor for seeing the problems and putting me on the right path. 

One of the things that I truly needed to survive were anti-anxiety meds taken daily. The problem is that with the prescribed dosage I lost a lot of emotions. Not just awareness, but the feelings. For myself, I needed to be able to be sad when the time arose, like when my mother-in-law died. We adjusted the dose, and it’s better, but I could have really used this in those early days. I plan on looking at this chart in the days ahead and expanding my emotional vocabulary.

[Clicking on the picture will take you to the original article.]

Provided from Sarah Schuster on The Mighty. Clicking on the picture brings you to Ms. Schuster’s post and information on the graphic in relation to her mental health. Copyright, S. Schuster (c)2018-2019



I hope I can get home tonight in time for our television show. I hope the toilet doesn’t overflow before we get paid and call a plumber. I hope Glenn is alive on The Walking Dead. I hope and pray that I will, but today I am still just a bill.

Hope is the pleading in a child’s eyes when the ice cream truck goes by.

Hope is waiting outside the surgery or for the tests to come back.

Hope is the light at the end of a tunnel, and coming over the mountain top.

Hope is the line in the sand between destiny and despair.

Hope is the potential in a baby’s tiny fingers and wiggling toes.

Hope is getting on the right train, but being okay if it’s the wrong one. Nothing wrong with riding it for a couple of stops and taking in the newness of someone else’s something.

Hope is not reading ahead even if it kills you.

Hope is knowing the end of the story, but still thinking it might be different the second time.

Hope (no one’s watching) is licking the barbeque sauce off your fingers.

Hope is a rainbow at Niagara and a pink sheep defying gravity.

Hope is the smell of rain on stone and the tinkling sound of rain on water.

Hope is mist and a thin layer of fog.

Hope is an empty gas tank close enough to the gas station to not run out.

Hope is this close to the finish line and that far from the meadow.

Hope is a waterfall and a stream and a rock all apart and not.

Hope is communion and community and the sun coming up every morning.

Hope is a compass rose and a triquetra.

Hope is a butterfly wing and an endless supply of pen and paper.

Hope is the missing puzzle piece.

Life is hope.



It’s a little bit funny that joy is the first prompt of this season’s memoir writing free-write. I am in  the middle of reading both James Martin’s book, Between Heaven & Mirth and Pope Francis’ most recent exhortation, The Joy of Love. I swear if he uses the word conjugal one more time, I will throw my Kindle from a window.

Joy is one of those words that I look at as somewhat old-fashioned. I can be happy, fun, excited, well, good, but joy sounds like it means harp-playing angels and arrow-twanging cupids.

There are also certain words that I hear in certain voices and joy is one of them. Whenever I hear the word joy in my head, it is in Mira Furlan’s voice. She is a Czech actress who played the Minbari ambassador in the Babylon 5 television series. There’s nothing particularly special about the way she says it, but it’s been the way I hear that word since her narration of the opening. Without knowing it, she layers it with context, emotion, and meaning. My priest always welcomes new people with “great joy” and the first time he said it I flashed to the sound of Mira’s voice from twenty-five or so years ago.

Despite my current readings, I am neither joyful nor mirthful. I’m subdued, and joy is not subdued. I think joy happens in retrospect; as a memory of something too wonderful for mere words.

Joy is substance, joy is flavor, joy is the smell of rain, and the tweet of the 5am birdies. It’s the glow of the moon on my face or my hand when I reach towards the window in the night. Joy is your sleeping child or running unexpectedly into a friend during errands. Joy is my lilac tree in the yard and the smell of hyacinth.

Where do you find your joy?

Prompt – Joy


This was supposed to be posted on Friday, but with Prince’s unexpected death and the beginning of Passover, I delayed it until this morning. Future prompts will appear on Fridays.

Now that my writing class has started up again, I’m going to share our prompts with you and hopefully encourage you to do your own free writes. Remember that free writes are ten to fifteen minutes of stream of consciousness writing related to the prompt. I sometimes call it spewing. We all have our words for things.

The class is six weeks, but with homework this prompt exercise should go on for about twelve weeks.

Share your writings by linking them in the comments.

Our theme for these next few weeks is Emotions.

Today’s prompt begins with Joy.

Have fun!