Pays au dela

"As to the natural parts I have, of which this is the essay, I find them to bow under the burden; my fancy and judgment do but grope in the dark, tripping and stumbling [wobbling] in the way, and when I have gone as far as I can, I am in no degree satisfied; I discover still a new and greater extent of land before me, with a troubled and imperfect sight and wrapped up in clouds, that I am not able to penetrate." Montaigne-"On the Education of Children"

My domain name, "Pais au dela," is the original French translated here as "extent of land before me." My goal for this page will be to explore, in an ambling way at times, the great land before me hoping to find clarity as I advance. I will focus centrally though not exclusively on mental health issues in my stumbling march forward.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

NAMI Gratitude, a Growing Holiday Tradition

This is an article I wrote for the December issue of Grassroots the NAMI Huntsville newsletter. Without consciously planning it this way, it is the second year in a row I've written a Thanksgiving gratitude post about NAMI.

I am a somewhat shy person. When I’m in a good mood, approaching strangers to ask them for favors is already a mildly annoying challenge. When I’m depressed or particularly anxious, this challenge becomes an outright mind gauntlet—imaginary demons of impending doom, absolute certainty that something is about to go wrong and that just after that everything will. My natural predisposition to leaving other people alone has been an obstacle I’ve had to confront while serving as 2nd Vice President and Education Program Coordinator for NAMI. When I’ve called people to see if they would like to do a presentation, I’ve often been filled with distorted, exaggerated worry that I’ll be bothering them. What if they say no! Everything will go wrong, and nothing ever again will be right. The horror.

But confronting shyness to schedule our monthly speakers has repeatedly been a rewarding experience. I thank all of this year’s presenters for bolstering my faith in NAMI’s mission to help relieve the pain of mental illness:

Dr. Kevin Bowling-HudsonAlpha Institute

Dr. Marie Kirby-HudsonAlpha Institute

Dr. David Barnhart-Behavioral Sciences of Alabama

Jacqueline Wilson-NAMI Huntsville President

Rita Limbaugh-Mental Health Center of Madison County

Clete Wetli-Huntsville Recovery, Madison County Democrats

Richard Reynolds-Huntsville Achievement School

Brian Davis-Executive Director, Mental Health Center of Madison County

James Hickman-Mental Health Center of Madison County, NAMI Huntsville 1st V.P.

Dr. Tarak Vasavada-UAB Health Center Huntsville

I’ve contacted you fretting you would say no to my requests, afraid I’d be a thorn in your side by asking you to do free work for NAMI. All year long though, I’ve heard you thank me for providing an opportunity to speak. Your commitment to service is remarkable, and I’ve been blown away by your kindness and generosity. Thank you all for smashing my fears to pieces.

Nick Snead-2013 2nd V.P., Ed. Program Coordinator