A Mental Health Moment: Beginning with the End

Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPCC, LLC

By Bernadette Joy Graham, MA, LPCC, LLC
The Truth Contributor

I often think about those I have lost when I am reminded of something they said or did that is relevant of the moment.  New Year’s always reminds me of my late sister Melissa who passed away in March of 2023.  She said “however you start your year will determine how your year will end.”

       I never could quite put it all together as the majority of the end of my years lacked much memory of how my years started outside of starting a new school semester in January and ending a school semester in December.  Many years have passed since my school days but what I have noticed is without the starting and the finishing school semesters, I never felt no real control over those years as in what should I do this year? Where should I go?  Some individuals make New Year’s resolutions and goals but how many actually stay the course?

Last month I wrote about the importance of doing an end of year mental health check-in.  In addition to the check-in, I suggested readers do a year in review or reflection if you will.  Regardless if they found it to be the best or worst year of their lives to think about what they learned about themselves, about others, and life in general and how taking those lessons into the new year could begin both an easier and healthier way of making changes.  Changes that may have been needed for many previous years.

Instead of New Year’s resolutions that often fail by March, why not start the new year being like a chapter of your life book in which you get to write?  Fast forward and think about the December 31, 2024 ending of your chapter.  Include things like what it is you want to have accomplished?  What do you want to have experienced?  What would you like to have learned? In what ways do you want to grow?  And with whom should you spend more time in case they are missed?

As I shared, I was lost in my years not spent with education.  I just expected the best of each year and unfortunately 2023 was truly my worst.  Take a mental health moment and try a different approach this year.  Begin with the end in mind as this will enable all of us to give our 2024 a title and a theme.


“What shall I do this year?

What shall I become?

What shall I learn –truly learn

And know that I have learned

By the time I look at these pages next year?”

Lorraine Hansberry


Bernadette Joy Graham, Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and Certified Grief Recovery Specialist can be reached at 419 409 4929.  www.bjgrahamcounseling.com   Email:  graham.bernadette@gmail.com

If you feel you may be in a mental health crisis, please call 988 or go to the nearest emergency room.