stillness storm

Stillness within a storm

Inside my mind, along with others that live with mental illness, rages a storm. No wait…a hurricane. It is one that some don’t know where or when it began. This same hurricane seems to have no end in sight. The destruction that it delivers is not wind and rain but instead pain and confusion. There are days that the hurricane is weak and I am able to live through it. Then come the days were it is a force that is determined to be heard and in control. I have found that on these days, I survive the hurricane by simply holding the “STOP” button for a few minutes to find the stillness.

Palm Trees

They are such an amazing metaphor for my life. You can search Google and YouTube for proof if you don’t believe me. It doesn’t matter the strength of the storm, they seem to always bend but never break. I have never seen a palm tree snapped in half from any of the hurricanes that have come ashore. There are two simple messages that nature has been trying to tell us since forever. The first and most obvious is ‘To bend but never break’.

A strong foundation

That is the second message nature has tried to teach us. The root of the palm tree is another reason that the trees can within stand any strength of wind from a hurricane. This source of foundation is strong and very important. Same goes for us dealing with a mental illness. We must have a strong foundation to rely on and also fall back on when needed. I consider myself lucky because I have family and my girlfriend to fall back on. Not everyone has that, so I want to explain to you the power behind pressing the “STOP” button.


We all have the ability to press the awesome “STOP” button in our life. Have you ever…

  • Felt like your life is spinning out of control and don’t know which way is up
  • Been with a group (friends or not) and had your mind be flooded with emotions and thoughts causing you to be overwhelmed
  • Felt like you were going to cry from the onslaught of your mental illness during a time that you were not able to let it out
  • Wanted to scream “SHUT UP” to the negative thoughts while at the dinner table

Me too! These are just some of the examples that I have experienced. In the past, these would consume me and totally ruin my day. These would cause me to “shut down” until I felt it was safe to try returning to normal, well somewhat normal. Then one day I figured that “it” doesn’t like it when I just…stop.I have found out that for me, my mental illness feeds off the chaos in life. Chaos is stress, reliving the past, worrying about the future, remembering all my failures, etc… In short, chaos is all the negativity in my life.

So where is this “Stop” button?

It is found in whatever brings you peace and back to the present moment. Each person is different but here is a few of them that works for me:

  • Standing outside with my eyes closed and listen to the sounds of nature
  • Taking a knee while feeling the ground to remind myself that I am here and not stuck in the past/future
  • Listening my favorite music or the sound of it raining

You can hold the “Stop” button for as long as you want to. For me, five minutes at most usually helps bring me back. It is up to you to determine what brings you calmness and for however long because each person is different. The minute you figure this out, you will have made yourself a little more powerful than evil you are battling with.

The storms in our mind, just like everything else in life, will come and go. From now on, don’t ever let one of these storms ruin your whole day. Take the time needed to press the “Stop” button and regain control of your life. You have the power and strength to make this happen. Be still, for the storm is weaker than you. Until my next post…Share. Inspire. Conquer.


  • Lisa @ The Meaning of Me (#)
    August 16th, 2017

    I love this. Such a simple act like you describe here (love the knee to the ground) can give us a moment to regroup before continuing. That can make all the difference.

    • Thomas Ives (#)
      August 17th, 2017

      Thanks. I have found that the little and simple things help me the most.

  • Shareen Mansfield (#)
    February 16th, 2018

    You are such a beautiful soul. I absolutely love teasing you!

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