#MusicMonday 11 November 2019

Lest we forget, today is not only #MusicMonday but also Veteran's Day. And I think that the song for this Music Monday is very fitting. Because also, lest we forget, that one of the Duchess's main missions is the importance of self-care. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Now, for Her Grace the past couple of weeks, it hasn't been ugly, but it hasn't been great. I think that there are many of us affected by the change of seasons. For some of us, our moods and downswings are situational and can be dealt with accordingly, while others of us have chronic conditions that must be treated as such. There is no shame in either one or any variation. And I would hope that many veterans would concur.

For me, the past couple of weeks of self-care has looked like focusing on preventative measures. Taking vitamin D, because my blood tests show I'm consistently low and when fall and winter approaches we can all fall low. And apparently, vitamin D has an impact on mental health. Other preventative measures include a focus on the priority of social outings so that I don't overextend myself.

And the last is to remember to lean on someone, just as others have relied on me to lean on. I lean on Dear a lot, and even without words, I rest my tiredness on him, as we tend to do for each other. And over the past couple of weeks, I've tried to make time to spend one on one with friends. One on ones are important, for me at least, because it allows for the richness of connection and community, which can be a powerful antidote. And it can allow one to be honest. If, by chance, you're able to start in the mirror about how you honestly feel, you can state how you're feeling in a conversation. It took a while to get to the mirror part, but a habit I picked up while in therapy in college was to tell my friends, at the very least when I wasn't feeling well, that I'm not feeling well. Usually, that's all I disclosed, but for me, it was enough. It proved enough because I immediately didn't feel isolated.

I imagine there are those out there, veterans and civilians, who feel similarly. And if you do, and if you cannot start with the mirror, I encourage you to tell someone just a simple statement of, "I feel ___." You can follow up if you need to, or you can simply leave it at that. Because in choosing the right person to disclose to, you will find that that person will sit with you, and make space for your blank that you fill in, whether it's happy, sad, angry, or whatever. Hopefully, they will make space for you.

My favorite two lines in the song are about swallowing one's pride and about bearing a load. Because no one can fill those of your needs that you won't let show, and there is always someone up the road who is willing to help share your load. Coincidentally, this is also the song play in my head whenever I do need to ask a favor of something. I swallow my pride and ask for help. And usually, I have found, that the favor is granted. And then I cry, ashamed of my pride and also grateful to have someone willing to help.

So, this #MusicMonday, which is also Veteran's Day and a special emphasis on those who may be too proud, don't be afraid to lean on someone. No one can fill those of your needs that you won't let show.

P.S. Amber Riley has quite possibly one of the most amazing voices out there, and I just think the world should know.

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