Category: DEPRESSION

Posts that focus on depression.

depression

The worst fear for a recovering depressive.

You know what it is.

Think about it for a minute.

If you are recovering from depression, your worst fear is that you will fail. If you have been depression-free for a while, your worst fear is that you will fall into that pit again.

Let’s be clear.

If you’ve never been seriously depressed, you have no idea of the overwhelming fear that can strike.

Death is easier to contemplate.  If ever there were an illness that felt as near-death as depression, I don’t know what it is.

If you’ve never been there, I hope you never are.

I am s currently supporting a few people  who are either in the recovery stage or the “I’m scared to death stage.” Both are wonderful people. Their ages are far apart. Their lives are totally different. Which, of course, proves that depression is no respecter of persons; it can and does strike anyone.

They are believers in Christ, all of them, although they are in different phases of their “growth in Christ”.

Then there’s me. I, too, have had some “rumblings” of depression. This would be quite natural as I’m also grieving the miss of my mother. My birthday is coming soon. This will be the first one absent my mom’s presence. Somehow, the first birthday without your mom seems one of the most painful experiences. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

I, too, have had some “rumblings” of depression. This would be quite natural as I’m also grieving the loss of my mother. My birthday is coming soon. This will be the first one absent my mom’s presence. Somehow, the first birthday without your mom seems one of the most painful experiences. I’ll be glad when it’s over.

The first birthday after her death was hard but I’m self-centered enough to think my first birthday without her will be worse. It’s always harder when you’re the one left behind.

  • My mom’s death.
  • Then there’s the horrible situation in Texas. I feel so helpless.
  • The hours of sunlight are shrinking fast.
  • Our present unrest in America.
  • Possibility of a third world war.

No wonder I’m struggling.

Put all this together and sinking into depression is a real fear for me. But as I write, I reminded of something I heard the pastor of the little church we attend when we’re at the cabin. We were purposefully walking in late. (I’ll you about that tomorrow. You’ll laugh.) He was at the end of his prayer. I heard him say, “Thank you, Father, for equipping us for whatever comes our way.”

My ears perked up. That’s right.  So often I forget that while God was present in my past,  while He ispresent for the present”, He is also the God of the future, “The Great Equipper” of whatever comes my way.

I live so much in the present that at times I forget my present was once my future that I worried about yesterday. And God has remained ever-present throughout it all.

Depression is terrible. It consumes every part of us. Parts we would never expect. Aches and pains. stomach and colon issues. Headaches. Insomnia. Hypersomnia. Nausea. Sounds like a commercial for the side effects of a prescription drug.

But for the Christian, God is ever-present. Not condemning us. Just holding on to us till our feet on a solid place again.

God bless and have a good day.

 

Why we should incubate our thoughts

I’m at our cabin in the woods sitting in my bunk house and I was glancing through a book I brought up with me. It’s by John Maxwell and it’s called The Fifteen Invaluable Laws of Growth”.  This part is from chapter four, “The Law of Reflection”.  Up to this point, Mr. Maxwell has written about reflection or as I have renamed it, “empty spaces”. He mentions how reflection needs to be purposeful.

“Incubation is taking an experience of life and putting it into the slow cooker of your mind to simmer for a while.  It is very similar to meditation. It’s like the “flip side” of prayer. When I pray, I talk to God.  When I meditate, I listen to him. Incubation is listening and learning.”

He goes on to say how he does this, which is by using the Notes “app” on his I-phone to store quotes he finds helpful. I use mine all the time but never thought to use it in this way. He says he keeps them there for days, weeks, or months, however much time it takes to discover an insight. (If you are experiencing depression, this could really help.)

Then Maxwell discusses “aha” moments.  You know, those epiphanies when you experience sudden realization or insight. It’s the light bulb turning on. I love it when that happens. This week at the cabin, I’ve had a couple. And I agree with Mr. Maxwell that the light just doesn’t turn on willy-nilly. It always comes after we’ve been “cooking” something in the back of our mind for a while. That’s why “spaces” are so good.

I’ve been dealing with some relationship issues. I feel this week of rest and enjoyment has helped me incubate my thoughts, and birth has been given to understanding. I don’t mean everything is o.k. On the contrary, it’s been really hard to face and accept. Now, it’s what do I do? I don’t know about you but I be my own worst enemy. I think that’s true of everyone at one time or another. Do I continue to give as much as I have in the past or do I pull back? And if I pull back, what will that mean?

Most of us have a difficult time letting go of a relationship. But sometimes it’s that, or sink under the weight of constantly trying to make it work.

The Bible says I’m to “guard my heart”. I’m not very good at that. I have a tendency to let people trample all over it, my heart that is. I don’t seem to have the same defenses that others have. I don’t even know if I can build any boundaries around my heart. It’s not who I am.

That’s why I particularly like this idea of “incubation” that John Maxwell suggests. Incubation gives me time to process before I act. When it comes to relationships, we need to take all the time we need before we do irreparable damage.

God bless and have a good day.

Are you as happy as you could be?

being who we are/google images

google images

It’s summer. A time of family, fun, vacations, swimming, cycling, hiking………ily, fun, vacations, swimming, cycling, hiking………

But for people with mood disorders, summers often trigger depression. It’s not hard to understand why and much of it stems from comparisons. When we’re around people who seem to be having a great time, families who seem to have it all together, lots of laughter, we often wonder why we aren’t that happy. Everyone else is laughing and suddenly we feel like crying.

What has happened?

We feel isolated and lonely. What is wrong with us, we ask.

There was a song from the sixties that went like this “Everyone is going out and having fun. I’m just a fool for staying home and having none……Oh, lonesome me.” Have you ever felt that way?

This is not to rain on anyone’s parade because those people we see may, in fact, be having a great time. It’s genuine. But it’s their present moment. It’s probably not what their lives are like all the time. And we all have those times as well. Days when we’re on top of the world. Days when other people look at us and wonder why they aren’t as happy as we are.

It’s called “comparing”. Or as I like to call it Facebookitis. You know what I mean. If you went by FB, you’d think everyone’s life is perfect. The crazy thing is, everyone else is doing it, too. So here we are, all of us going through life in a constant state of wondering why we’re not as happy as the next person.

But the crazy thing is, everyone else is doing it, too. So here we are, all of us going through life in a constant state of wondering why we seem to fall short on the happiness scale when the truth is we’re all pretty much the same. No matter how rich, famous or educated, we all do it, compare ourselves to others.

One of the bubbliest personalities ever is Goldie Hawn. And yet she suffers from depression. How many times do you suppose people looked at her and wished they could be like her never dreaming that inside she was miserable?

But since when does our happiness have to look like someone else’s? Or theirs look like ours?  I’m simply not a rah, rah kind of person. I have fun. I laugh. But I’m definitely more low-key. I experience lots of joy but it looks different on me. I am never comfortable in crowds;  that used to bother me.

Not anymore.

Sometimes I wish I could be more “over the top”, but I’m not. This is how God, history, and circumstances have molded me. I don’t see that changing anytime soon. I’m not sure it should.

Comparing doesn’t end with the comparison, though. It seeps into every part of our lives, souring our present moment and pretty much guaranteeing our future will be negatively affected, too. It steals our peace, the very peace Jesus promises. But maybe that peace depends on us making peace with who we are not who we think we should be.

Romans 9:20 says it all.

But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?'”

The next time you’re at a holiday gathering or anywhere there are a lot of people celebrating, be comfortable with yourself. You don’t have to act like anyone else. You don’t have to laugh or be outwardly exuberant if that’s not your style. (I’m not talking about social anxiety issues. That’s something else altogether.)

But if happiness is alluding you overall, you could be depressed and that would mean a visit to your doctor.

For today, be brave enough to be yourself and to be comfortable with yourself. I contend that as long as we’re trying to appear or feel different from who we really were created to be, there will be conflict and unhappiness within. Jesus was always who He was even though those that crucified Him wanted Him to be someone He wasn’t either.

They wanted a king, they got a servant.

Don’t let other people do that to you either.

God bless and have a good day.

pergola

What to do on a really tough day

Today is a tough day.

It’s my mom’s birthday. She died two months ago. I am going to visit the cemetery and wish her Happy Birthday. I’ve been dreading this moment. I had so hoped she would make it to this day but I didn’t want her to suffer either.

So what am I doing to do to get through the day?

Well, first I’m going to cry, probably a lot. I bought her a card yesterday. At first, it was going to be a birthday card but I settled on a “Miss You” card.

Also, I haven’t been feeling well since she died. Surprise, huh? I have IBS and have had my entire life and it’s flaring up big time now. When I was younger, I would go on a baby food diet. If it doesn’t get better, I may think about it again. I’ve tried probiotics, the yogurt, giving up coffee, etc. Nothing is working.

Did you know that serotonin is produced in the gut? So if I can’t get things to call down I may actually consider a mild anti-depressant for a short while. That will be after fifteen years of being pill-free. Many medications are used for other than the usual protocol. For example, anti[-depressants are often used for an IBS flare. You can check it out here.

So there’s that.

So how am I going to spend the day? How should you if you’re having a day like this?

I will have my devotions shortly and remind myself that God understands how I”m feeling and will provide a way escape (I Corinthians 10:13) as he always. has.

I will remind myself that death is as much a part of life as life, that I will get through this. (As I write this, I’m not buying my own rhetoric. Isn’t it crazy how we can know something in our heads, and yet we experience it completely differently? I wish my heart would hurry up to catch up.)

I will take my walk.

Because the cemetery is close to a couple of thrift stores, I may check them out.

I might read on the deck under the pergola my husband and built a few years ago.

pergolaAs I write that really sounds good, iced tea, a good book and just maybe a nap outside. In other words, I plan to be very good to myself.

Sometimes that’s exactly what we should do.

It’s not selfish.

It’s not self-serving.

It’s survival.

God bless and have a good day.

ps. Tomorrow I’m going to tell you about a book that I can say is the best book I’ve ever read.

 

Psalm 34:18

How to walk on a tightrope without a net

Thank goodness I don’t ever have to try this.

I don’t like heights anyway and I’m not that sure-footed either.

Right now I do feel like I’m walking on a tightrope. I find myself trying to keep really busy just putting one foot squarely in front of each other on that rope so as not to fall. Fall into what?

walking on a tightrope

For me, it would be depression. If ever there was a time I could slip into the abyss it’s now. As I write this post, I’ve just been over to my mom’s to visit my brother who is still living in her house. I will be selling it to him. I haven’t been over there for over a week. Now, I know why.

It’s too painful. It’s her furniture. Nothing has changed.

Except she isn’t there.

I had no idea it would be so hard to be in the house but it was. I’ve been there before since her death but today was one month since she’s died. I felt my feet slipping a little. I could feel the gravity pulling me down. Then I remembered what I read in Psalm 34:18 this morning.

New International Version
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Are you crushed in spirit? You don’t have to experience the loss of someone you love to be brokenhearted or crushed. It can be the loss of a job, health, a home, dreams, etc.

This verse reassures us that God is especially close to us at these times. And not only is he close; he saves as well. I don’t know how much time there is between the closeness and the saving, but we know for sure that God rescues in time, his time.  Personally, I would like it sooner rather than later but as long as I know I am going to be saved, I’ll hang on.

I believe that the reason I had come to Psalm 34 this morning wasn’t accidental. I believe God knew this was going to be a rough day and he wanted me to have this in my arsenal for the afternoon. In fact, I had prayed specifically this morning, having no inkling why that God would be especially close to me today. And then I read this Psalm which was the next one in line.

(For those of you who don’t know and may want to know,  my regular Bible study routine is a Psalm and a Proverb in consecutive order, then an Old Testament book and a New Testament book. It works for me. )

God never leaves us on our own. He always provides, always rescues.

Psalm 34:18

We just have to believe that. That’s what I’m doing today. I’m believing that God is who he says he is and will do what he says he will do.

I hope you are, too.

God bless and I hope you have a good day.

 

 

 

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