Self Care

Cornhole is My Self-Care

I can honestly say that I got one great thing out of the Pandemic and that is cornhole. The Pandemic for me was the ultimate trigger and the icing on the mental breakdown cupcake. I was in the middle of a divorce after being married twenty-one years. My home was a small downstairs apartment that smelled as bad as it was out of date. My youngest child was a senior and struggling with a major case of senioritis. I worked in the Accounts Payable Department and the bills still must paid and checks still must be printed, so I was one of the four people allowed in the building. It was a shock going from working with three other women every day to being alone in an accounting office. My oldest Son and Nephew were battling addiction currently. To put the sprinkles on top of this mental breakdown cupcake, I was turning the big 5-0.

Self-care starts with you!

Depression is like a wave at the beach. Facing the ocean, you see the wave forming a distance from you. But, instead of getting out of the water, your feet are planted in the sand. The sand begins to move under your feet signaling that it is coming. This is your first warning. The second warning is the pulling of the water towards the wave and away from the shore. The third warning is the smell of the salt and the foam that will consume your senses right before the crash. The wave hits and takes you off your feet and you go under. The red flags were there. The physical signs were there. No matter how strong you think you are, the depression wave can take you under.

God will also send subtle hints to slow down and rest the mind, body and soul. If we choose to ignore those hints, then He will sit you down. And God sat me down. The World offers numerous treatments for treating depression or mental illness. I chose a non-medicated and therapy-based treatment. Finding a good therapist is the key to successful treatment. If one doesn’t work, find another. Just like cornhole bags, if that one doesn’t work for you, try a different bag. Eventually, one will feel right.

No One Is Coming To Save You, Get Up!

The moment I realized that I was not Wonder Woman, and I could not save everybody is the moment that I stood up and saved myself. The Therapist I finally chose really listened and we met weekly for a couple months before She made the statement that changed my life. She said “Diana, on a list of the top ten life stress events you have 7 out of 10. You have raised six children. You have thirteen grandchildren. You have a full-time demanding position. You coached youth sports for 25 years. You helped manage a dirt track race team for your former spouse for fifteen years. Now you are active in preventing addiction and overdose awareness. You have spent thirty years taking care of numerous people other than yourself. While you are slowly drowning trying to save someone else. Who is going to save YOU?”

My assignment was to find an activity or hobby that was totally focused on myself. The stipulations were that I had to participate and not be a cheerleader for anyone else. The outcome of the activity of hobby had to be based solely on my actions. Keep in mind that even my sessions were on a Zoom call. Gyms were closed. Sports had ceased. Right in the middle of COVID and I am an energetic, social and competitive person. Not an easy assignment at all. I took this time to also let go. Let go of the control needed to feel accomplished. Let go and Let God handle it. Let go and Say No.

The Seed Is Planted

Diana Mendoza cornhole player

A Co-Worker began telling me about a Cornhole League that He was an active member of in the Summer of 2021. God provides in his time. I finally let my guard down and went to my first Blind Draw in December 2021. I had to walk in their gym ALONE. I had to stand next to that board ALONE. It was me throwing to a wooden board. This was not like softball or baseball. This bag was a totally different beast and I alone had to tame it. No one was hitting it back to me or passing it to me to make a shot. I had to make the shot on my own. I had completed my assignment.

Ten months later, I now throw bags at least three nights a week. I am a member of the American Cornhole League and a 2022-2023 Girls Throw Too Sponsored Player. I am a divorced 52-year-old mother of 6 beautiful children and 14 beautiful grandchildren, with #15 due any day. But, when I walk up to the board, the only numbers that matter is the scoreboard. And it is up to ME to put them there.

Diana Mendoza
901 Cornhole Nation

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