I am writing this from my “couch“ but by no means am I advocating for it to be the place for me (or you) to stay for long periods of time. I am concerned with the new every-day- now- requirements coming from all forms of government to stay put inside and to keep a safe distance—(six feet)—from others, can become a real problem especially for those of us who experience depression. Precautions narrowly defined are not considering the possibilities of secondary consequences.
I am not pretending to be an expert, but feel justified to recommend that we all need fresh air, to go outside for daily walks or to sit quietly in sunshine with a good book in hand, saying hello to others and stopping to talk with them at a safe distance, (not sure six feet).
Point in hand, I took a walk this morning, stopping at Einstein’s Bagels for a Lox and cream cheese bagel and coffee. Few people were out but sitting at the outdoor table was friend Ella who lives in my building and her dog Lexi. Ella has an illustrious history as a person with a Ph.D. who once raised money for wells for people in Africa. She looks like someone you could write a beautiful story about. When I sat down with her we both agreed that taking walks is important.
“These people who are choosing to stay in their apartments and not go out are just a bit cuckoo,” twirling her hand around her ear. (Not informed of our improved vocabulary you understand!) Later we walked to the Memorial Park across the street and met with the friendly dog walkers who meet up daily. None of them felt the need to isolate either, one of them with a story of a neighbor who is agoraphobic and never goes out stating humorously that her disorder is now the new “normal.”
It was fine to get out but there were differences noted: fewer people walking, fewer people in the park which will not close as there is no way to close it, thank goodness!, fewer people getting coffee, even at Starbucks. Forever available, the river remained the same; strong, reliable and calming! I will continue writing every day with some nuggets of information for you to ponder over.
May I suggest that you go outside for a walk, sit somewhere enjoying watching new spring flowers and birds chirping with paper and pen for writing or markers for drawing. Be creative.
What other thoughts, ideas, suggestions do you have and want to share?
About Gayle Bluebird, aka “Bluebird”
Bluebird has been a pioneer working to change the culture of the mental health system for many years in different parts of the country. She is known for “Altered States of the Arts,” and promoting the arts to heal from trauma and emotional abuse. Over the years she has formed national networks of artists, writers, and performers, networks of artists, writers, and performers who tell their mental health stories through art. She has also received many awards, including the prestigious “Voice Award” from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) in 2010. In her last position, she was the Director of Peer Services in the state of Delaware, where she helped to develop and implement several peer programs, including a successful arts center, The Creative Vision Factory. Now retired, she spends much of her time writing daily poems on Facebook. She created a curriculum and soon to be launched Elective course for the Academy of Peer Services called, “Transforming Lives through the Arts.”
She has also written a book called Tootles’ Tails, that contains stories written in the voice of her dog, Tootles, soon to be published. You can find her on Facebook or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.