The Town of Fort Fairfield has been hosting it's annual Potato Blossom Festival from July 9th to the 17th. People and families come from all places and walks of life to join together and celebrate! There are so many events taking place right now, so check out their site for all the info. One event that we are particularly excited about is the parade. County Behavioral Medicine will be marching! Come see us, wave, and say hi!
We'll be there to help increase awareness of mental health and addictions. This is a cause near and dear to our hearts, as we all either have experienced or know someone who has experienced sadness, hurt, anger, alcoholism, jealousy, drug addiction, trauma, fear, confusion, doubt, a hard time focusing, and the list goes on and on and on... Mental health and addiction awareness isn't always about bad, scary, or negative stuff though... it's also about that whole other side of life, the side that includes happiness, joy, love, peace, fulfillment, contentment, acceptance, play, unity, support, laughter, and the list goes on and on and on... It's just hard to remember that sometimes, that being healthy includes both the good and the bad. Being healthy means trying to find that balance between the two. We know sadness because we know love, joy because we know pain, peace because we know anger. Life includes it all and we can all help support one another in figuring out our own version of balance.
During the parade, we're going to represent some of the characters from Disney's Inside Out. The reason why we chose this movie is because each and every one of us can relate to each and every character, whether you're 4 years old or 134 years old. Here's a breakdown of the characters so you can see what I mean. When the characters are referencing Riley, they are referencing the main character of the movie, an 11/12 year old girl, and these emotions work together to help Riley make it through life:
Disney and Pixar do an amazing job of depicting all the types of emotions we experience in our lives. They show us that these 5 key emotions (joy, anger, sadness, fear, and disgust) combine together to form other emotions such as happiness, jealousy, surprise, curiosity, rage, and the list continues... This movie and these characters make a great jumping off point when talking with kids, teens, and adults about emotions. Ask them what Joy, Fear, Sadness, Disgust, and Anger look like in their lives? How do they know them? What other emotions are there? Are they made up of sadness and fear, or joy and disgust, or maybe joy and anger? How many different combinations can you make?
A lot of us fear what we don't know. A lot of us fear what people will think of us. A lot of us get angry at ourselves as well as others... I could go on... Even with all of that though, we're all still OK, even though at times we may not feel it. So many of us hold in our thoughts and feelings... we shove them down and try to keep them there, because it's safer there where no one else knows or could get involved. But the thing is, when we try to keep things hidden, when we try to avoid or ignore, things don't change. Often we end up hurting more. That lump in our throat gets harder to swallow. The rage inside gets harder to control. The pain gets harder to escape... or ignore...
When we talk about things though, eventually we're able to see that we're OK. We start to see that we're not alone, that other people hurt too and they've had better days too (even if they were weeks or months ago)... We start to see that we can make it through this... again... together... we're all in the same boat here, trying to figure out how to live healthier lives with more balance, whatever that balance means to each of us individually. We're here to show people that it's OK to talk about and face things... It's OK to change... So let's talk about it...