Christopher Robin

“Promise me you will always remember.

                    You’re braver than you believe,

                                    and stronger than you seem,

                                                and smarter than you think.”

~ Christopher Robin to Pooh

I have a sign in my living room with this phrase on it. I love this sign.

In part, my admiration for this phrase goes back to my being a child. I had a stuffed Pooh bear that I would carry around with me. I see pictures of myself with it and instantly feel more at peace. I associate Winnie the Pooh with comfort. So much so that when my daughter outgrew her stuffed Pooh bear I kept it for myself. I never out grew Winnie the Pooh.

The other motivation in this is because I have grown to realize the importance of a Christopher Robin. Having someone who believes in me when I don’t believe in myself is critical to my mental health. I don’t think this falls into the category of an unhealthy codependency necessarily, but more along the lines of having the reminder of the value that has been placed on me by God.

I wouldn’t call this codependency because I really don’t care for the most part if someone likes me; if a person doesn’t like me that is their problem. I don’t go out of my way to make people not like me, but I don’t place my value in that opinion either.

For instance, I don’t like snakes. I think they are nasty little creatures, and even when I see them on TV I feel a creepy shiver go down my spine. I am not afraid of them, I just think they are horrible. That all being said I can still appreciate the role that they play in the ecosystem, eating mice and whatever other little creatures smaller than them. I realize that they have value. Snakes, as much as I hate to say it, serve a purpose.

I don’t have to like them to see the value in them. (Although if I were God I would just introduce more owls to the world but whatever, not my call.)

While I would prefer if people liked me, more importantly, I want to know that I make a difference. I want to know that the world is a better place with my having been here. Not because I am of a higher value than someone else, but just because I have value.

My mental health tells me the exact opposite. My depression says that I am not good enough. My depression says that I don’t matter. My brain tells me every day that I am a screw up and the world would be better without me.

I need a Christopher Robin to tell me those things are not true. I need to hear that I am making a difference. I need to hear that I do serve a purpose. I need to be reminded that God put me on this planet for a specific reason and that reason is not to be a “good example of a bad example.” I need to be reminded that I am in fact braver than I believe, and stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think.

My Christopher Robin changes from day to day. I won’t rely on one person to dictate my value, that would be unhealthy.  And because of the severity of my mental health issues no one person could meet those needs anyways. Instead I listen when people say good things. I may not say, “Yes you’re right. I am a good person.”, when someone offers me their perspective but I at least stopped telling them they are wrong . I notice the impact I have on others even if they don’t know I was the one who impacted them. I search for the good that I do. I have invited people into my life who speak truth into me. And they do speak into me, even if my mental health issues make it difficult to believe it.

This didn’t happen overnight, it took years. This didn’t happen by accident, it is intentional. I have had to be open and vulnerable. I had to ask for help. So if you are in a position like me and you are reading this thinking, “I wish I had a Christopher Robin in my life.” You can. It is possible. Please keep reaching out. Please don’t give up on yourself because of the disconnection to others. I BELIEVE YOU CAN DO THIS!

And know that whoever you are, you can be a Christopher Robin to someone else. Never underestimate the importance of acknowledging the light that is inside those around you. That is the basis for respect.

A person who feels respected will feel their value.

A person who feels their value can change the world.

 

Nate Stewart

National Director of Mental Health for Celebrate Recovery

3 thoughts on “Christopher Robin

  1. Wow Nate, way to get to the root of it…. I too “need a Christopher Robin to tell me those things are not true.”
    I have been searching for something and I think this is it. I know I need to believe in myself but as I am trying to learn that, I need to start really listening to the compliments and not the criticism sent my way.
    I’ll still keep hoping for someone who’ll remind me that “I do serve a purpose” even if I haven’t a clue what it is or if I even have one 😛

    Like

  2. Nate, thank you for your encouraging words. This is the first time I have used Facebook in communicating anything. I ended up at a Celebrate Recovery meeting last night because of a Miracle. There is no other way to explain it. In a daily devotional on March 12ths reading it spoke about God’s presence and his words said “keep your antennae out to pick up even the faintest glimmer of My Presence. Right now I really need a breakthrough in my mental health and financially (no income and overwhelming debt). I recently closed my business and am completely out of money with nothing coming in. I have made some mistakes in the past that have placed permanent charges on my background information. I have applied for positions that have been way below my qualifications. My anxiety level goes sky high knowing there will be background checks and I may not even get a chance for an entry level position. I just need a second chance. Any and all prayers would be very much appreciated. Please also pray that I stay connected to CR,really work the steps and continue to pay close attention to God’s presence.

    Last nights miracle saved my life and is putting me on the path for a life made new.

    Thanks,

    Mike

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s