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National Mental Health Awareness Week

Well, even though I am in school to be a Mental Health Professional some day, I am also in grad school and busy, so I neglected the calendar.

And as someone who is occasionally mental, well, that would also explain why I forgot….

I have written about my personal experiences and shared some resources on this blog over the last few years, here are some if you are interested or need them. Let’s not wait for a family member or a celebrity death to make us aware of this problem.

My Depression

My Depression, part 2

Last Time About my Depression

Afraid of Bad News

State of the Brian Address

Book Recommendations:

Unholy Ghost

Lincoln’s Melancholy

What I been Reading

 

 

 

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38 Years–Keep Your Heart Young

State of the Brian Address

Another year. Another Birthday. A lot has changed. A lot has remained. Been a roller coaster!

My back-to-school-life-change has gone well.  Though my wife considers it a mid-life crisis. You really can’t be too young for mid-life crisis, because who really knows how long you will live. I don’t know if I am concerned about inching closer to a milestone like 40; but I am very aware that by the end of this calender year I will have lived longer than my biological mother. Not creepy. Not interesting. Just there…lingering.

I love school. I feel just as at peace and content with the decision to pursue this degree/career path as I did a year ago. I have enjoyed the teachers, books, concepts, people, etc.

Working and “working a real job” have been challenging. Very challenging. It’s not so much the work, I stayed busy as a minister with many emotionally draining weeks. But having zero flexibility and not seeing my family often enough has been hard. Waking at 4:30 most days and no longer using my snooze button has been………

I just started a new, less crazy job closer to the house and Marisa got a job for the Summer at Kohl’s so we are grateful.

Somewhere in the past year, I lost my filter. I have reverted a little to “Brian, circa 1995-1996” (my Freed friends might remember that well). My personality has shifted a little. I chat up waitresses and clerks, joke with strangers, and make a general fool of myself for laughs at work and school. I have more confidence and feel mostly comfortable in my own skin. Trying to be myself without being too much of an idiot. But on some days those two overlap.

After taking a break of a few months away from “head meds,” I felt the need to start up again. I “fell on black days” back in the Winter but am doing better now. I am glad I started again. Life has been stressful balancing work, family, school, church.

Life is good, though. School rocks. Work is work. We have a wonderful church family (Hermitage Church of Christ) that has blessed us in many ways. I am giving a devo tonight outdoors after some lemonade and cookies. Family is adjusting well to life in TN. School and scouts going well for the kids.

Trying to stay young at heart. I really think I want to work with kids and young people. Humans from elementary schoolers to college students will hopefully be the focus of my career as a therapist/counselor.

A great blessing in the past year has been my young friends at school (the older ones, too). They sometimes make me feel old. But mostly make me feel young. My cohort/classmates are an amazing and talented group. I am grateful for them. S/O to Lipscomb peeps!

For my birthday, I just want you to listen to this Brandi Carlile song. It’s cool.

“Don’t go growing old before your time has come…..”

 

 

Scare Away the Dark

Beautiful, inspirational song. Been listening to it alot lately.

Well, sing, sing at the top of your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
Feel, feel like you still have a choice
If we all light up we can scare away the dark

We wish our weekdays away
Spend our weekends in bed
Drink ourselves stupid
And work ourselves dead
And all just because that’s what mom and dad said we should do

We should run through the forest
We should swim in the streams
We should laugh, we should cry,
We should love, we should dream
We should stare at the stars and not just the screens
You should hear what I’m saying and know what it means

To sing, sing at the top of your voice,
Love without fear in your heart.
Feel, feel like you still have a choice
If we all light up we can scare away the dark

Well, we wish we were happier, thinner and fitter,
We wish we weren’t losers and liars and quitters
We want something more not just nasty and bitter
We want something real not just hash tags and Twitter

It’s the meaning of life and it’s streamed live on YouTube
But I bet Gangnam Style will still get more views
We’re scared of drowning, flying and shooters
But we’re all slowly dying in front of computers

So sing, sing at the top of your voice,
Oh, love without fear in your heart.
Can you feel, feel like you still have a choice
If we all light up we can scare away the dark

My poor little neglected blog…..

I am ramping up for the most busy, stressful, exciting 3 months of my life.  But I think I need to blog more to get through it.

I still haven’t shared much from my retreat. Kinda processing.  Kinda moved on.

I may go way back to share more of my story.  I left off around the time I returned from Italy and before I went to Harding.

I have been reading my journals/diaries from HS and college and laughing at myself.  May share some poems or stuff from way back.

I will prob blog more about psychology/mental health stuff since that will be a focus in my life the next 3 years and until I die.

And talk about transitions.

We’re moving!

Well, I have been sitting on some news.  We haven’t really made an announcement other than tell the church and family plus a few friends.

I resigned from Echo Lake the first Sunday in February.  We have been here nine years and love the people and the area but are ready to move on.  I am admittedly, worn-out, burnt-out, and tired.

I will be pursuing a Masters in Counseling while taking a break from pulpit ministry.   I have wanted to work on a counseling degree in recent years but doing it while still preaching (even online) just wasn’t feasible.  Our first choice is David Lipscomb and Nashville, TN.  The program includes licensure (upon completion, I will be an L.P.C.–Licensed Professional Counselor) and I may look for a preaching position after finishing or a counseling job.  It will be a three year program.

The congregation was disappointed and surprised when we told them but were understanding and encouraging.  We will remain here until the end of June.  One of our good brothers will be the interim minister while the church looks for the next preacher.

We are excited about the future and at peace with the decision.  We look forward to being closer to much of our family.  We are glad to have friends already in Nashville. I am really excited about school.  Psychology has always been an interest and my ministry experiences have led me to this decision.  Marisa and I have talked and prayed about it since last Summer.

The kids took the news well and are also excited about Tennesse.

We appreciate your prayers during this crazy time of transition.  Packing up and moving is hard enough, but saying good-byes in June will not be fun.

We are already looking for a place to live in Nashville area, so if you know of anything…

Also, pray that we find the right church family.  This is not as urgent time-wise as the roof over our head, but WAY more important.