Whatever that takes

I believe that it is important to live each day completely.  I believe that each day is a gift and should be cherished.  I believe that each day offers blessings.  We need to appreciate them.  I believe that every day should contain a challenge.  I believe the challenges enrich our lives.  I believe that our biggest challenges can be our biggest teachers.  I believe that we learn our most important lessons when we least expect to be learning anything.  I believe when we talk about our challenges, they become more surmountable.  I believe that if we are blessed by age, we should cherish each added year.  I believe in “not hiding” the cracks in our lives.  I believe in improving ourselves.  I believe that others see us in a kinder light than we see ourselves.  I believe it takes more energy to hate than to forgive.  I believe that what we accomplish in a day is more important than what was left undone.  I believe that the sky is the limit.  I believe we control our limits by how far we allow ourselves to push the edges of our world.  I believe in communication and compromise.  I believe that no one knows what you are thinking or how you are feeling if you do not tell them.  I believe that realizing these beliefs is often difficult.  I believe in learning to help yourself whenever roadblocks occur.  I believe that helping yourself includes reaching out to others for support.  I believe there is often stigma attached to reaching out for support.  I believe that without the fear of stigma more people would seek the support they need.  I believe our goal in life should be to live the best life possible – whatever that takes.


Today I am ready

This week marks the one year anniversary of my writing this blog, anxietymusings.wordpress.com.  This blog was started as an assist to help me stand up to and eliminate the stigma that is attached to mental health illness.  Having an anxiety disorder, I was very aware of this stigma, and wanted to be proactive in helping to reduce the stigma, and perhaps one day get rid of it entirely.  Until this moment, I have been using a pen name to sign my posts, but it is time for me to come out of the closet from where I have been writing, and to write under my given name.   Close friends and most of my family knew that I was writing about mental health issues.   But I justified not using my own name to the wider audience because I was protecting my family.  I did not want any possible backlash to affect them.   The real truth is that I was not ready to open up to the world. I was scared of the stigma.   Today I am ready.

My name is Leslie Pontz.


Below are related links.

What is Stigma?




A Lifetime Commitment

On May 1, my mom had a stroke.  As sudden illnesses typically do, it took us totally by surprise, especially since this 93 year old woman was driving, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning her own apartment just a few hours earlier.  As one of her three progeny, I was helping to gather information, make decisions, be an advocate for her care, and participating in the cheerleading squad working towards her recovery.  The picture was bleak, and my sister and I were stretched thin.

I am not writing to tell you about the amazing recovery of a determined woman, but to confide in all of you that I was scared.  I was scared, not only for my mom, but for me.  I was afraid that the intensity of this medical situation would weigh heavily on me, and I would end up in the depths of another anxiety event.  That scared me more than the prospect of dealing with all the details of a hospital stay and the accompanying decisions.

Although I did have some anxiety issues, I was able to easily work my way through these reminders of my illness.  This recent episode is also a reminder that this illness is a lifetime commitment that can be managed with the appropriate tools.

Below are a few organizations that can help you find the appropriate tools.