When ‘The Mask’ Grows Too Heavy, BarCARES Can Help

By Claudia McClinton

An NCBA member shares her BarCARES story in recognition of Mental Health Month.

Ten years ago I found myself in quite a quandary. My law partner had been appointed to the bench so I was practicing family law and criminal law (his former caseload) at the same time. I was also carrying the financial responsibility of three attorneys (don’t ask).

As you can imagine, I was in court practically every day and yet still barely scraping by financially. Worse, I was chronically stressed, not sleeping much, if at all, and my on-the-go lifestyle had me making poor health choices. One of those poor choices, for me, was the regular consumption of alcohol in an attempt to drown out the day. That choice amplified other poor choices and, in some cases, endangered not only my life but the lives of others.  I was going down a very dark path.

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Let the NCBA Help You Find Your Path to Wellness

In August, the NCBA is bringing you a free, month-long e-course on mindfulness. Register here. 

By Joyce Brafford

Once, there was a woman walking down a path who saw a baby drowning in the water. She rushed in to save the baby. As she returned to the bank with the baby in her arms she saw another child thrashing in the current. She braved the river again to save the second child. Before she could return, she saw another baby in the water. A man who was walking down the path offered to help. Soon more good Samaritans joined in to pull child after child from the water. Each passing person offered to help. Everyone helped except one woman who dared ask, “Shouldn’t someone investigate why there are babies in the river?” **

This parable reflects our lives in so many ways. We tackle problem after problem, and never stop to investigate the larger context. It’s the same with our mental health. We patch up and move on, never stopping to investigate how or why we are anxious, moody, unfocused or fatigued.

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