Tag: DEPRESSION

what is coming out of your mouth

What is coming out of your mouth?

Why are some people so mean and thoughtless?

Why am I at times?

Why do we say such unkind things?

Why do we use words like “retarded” and stupid?

 Words by themselves are fairly neutral but we all know how we feel when we’ve been the recipient of a word used in a derogatory way. “Retarded” is a perfectly good word if we’re referring to something other than a person.

Many times we don’t mean our words to suggest anything other than what they literally mean. We’re not intending to hurt.

But words do hurt.

It’s absolutely ridiculous to think that “Sticks and stones may bring my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Who coined that ridiculous phrase anyway? And our culture has deteriorated rapidly in this area. Watch any reality show and you’ll see what I mean.  What has happened to our sense of humor that we think making fun of someone is even remotely funny?

What has happened to our sense of humor that we think making fun of someone is even remotely funny?

Of course, the “sticks and stones” phrase is meant to be used as a retort to someone who’s said something unkind to us. A way of getting back at them and letting them think their words didn’t hurt us.

Let’s be very careful our word choices. Next to our actions, our words say a lot about us and determine our own moods, more than anything else.  We simply cannot say cruel things to others without it hurting us as well.  I always feel a little sorry for someone who can’t control their speech because I know they are not happy people inside because…………..

Happy people use life-affirming words.

(By the way, if you’re dealing with depression you, of all people, need to use life-affirming words. What comes out of your own mouth will set the tone for your mood.)

God bless and have a good day.

(PS. I was downloading some pictures from my phone to my blog and apparently I accidentally hit publish for one of them which is why you saw a picture yesterday with no post attached. But maybe we can consider that a “teaser” for what is to come. I’m finally getting ready to share our kitchen re-do from a couple of years ago. I know, I know. A little late. But I’ve had to find all the before pictures which has taken a lot of time.)

630 WP drafts

Lessons learned from the past.

So….

I decided to clean-up some WP pages.

Guess how many “drafts” I have lying in wait.

630

That’s a lot of posts. The way I figure it, I shouldn’t have to “think” for almost two years!!!!

So I thought, why not share a couple with you from my very first days of blogging? You’ll get a good laugh out of this first one and although at the time

Here’s one from 2013

I had to quickly add this post.

I’ve really been feeling “down”, anxious. I was getting scared. Please, Lord, not after twelve years of living depression-free. Not a depressive episode.

There are some changes on the horizon that I’m not welcoming but they are not “bad” by any stretch of anyone’s imagination. I’m anxious because I’m worried how I’ll deal with it. But that doesn’t seem like enough of a trigger. BUT, I think the biggest instigator has been my frustration with getting this blog developed the way I want it to be.

The “Follow me button on Pinterest” is directing my traffic to someone else’s boards. Couldn’t get the “Pin It” button to work and then there’s the drop-down menu I’ve been trying to create for weeks. (I know, the rest of you probably breezed right through all of this.)

I’ve felt totally stupid and like the biggest loser e-e-e-e-ver.  I’ve been quite convinced that no on has had as much trouble developing a blog as I have. I don’t understand any of the technical language so even with precise instructions from the Word Press tutorials, I’ve been lost. I’ve read and read and read the same things over and over and over. I’ve experimented every which way I can.

Today the breakthrough!!!!!

I’ve come so far, huh? I can just about do anything with my blog now and seldom have to ask for help from the “Help” desk over at WP.

Here’s another from May of that same year. Why I didn’t post this, I haven’t a clue. I like it a lot and it brought back good memories.

What environment are you comfortable with? Do you like a lot of activity around you? Some people thrive on a caffeinated environment.They like the adrenaline rush they get from the go, go, go of life.

Others prefer a much slower place. They hate to be rushed. They like calm. In fact, they feel less energized if there is too much going on around them. It wears them out.

And it really doesn’t matter if they’re an extrovert or an introvert, although generally extroverts would fall into the first category and introverts into the second.

However, whether you are an introvert or an extrovert, if you experience from bouts of depression, it might be a good idea to change it up a little.

Sometimes, we need a little something that is just the opposite of what we’re used to. We need to force ourselves out of our comfort zone, to challenge ourselves a little.

How many of you have found that once you’ve exposed yourself to a different climate, you’ve actually liked it? And in the liking, you’ve discovered something about yourself.

Last year, although we didn’t plan it, my husband and I found ourselves attending some events we never would’ve dreamed we would enjoy.  A Tough Mudders contest, a hot-air balloon festival, a Thanksgiving day parade in frigid weather, and a ethnic-based (not our ethnicity) music festival. Of the two of us, I’m the one who doesn’t like crowds. I don’t like being outside in really hot weather or really cold weather. I feel very self-conscious in large groups. However, put me in front of hundreds of people to deliver a speech and I’m fine.

But I have to tell you, I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of each of those events.

I surprised myself.

It’s good to “shake things up”. We discover new dimensions of ourselves. We surprise ourselves. Not always, of course.  Sometimes we come away simply more aware why we don’t like something. That’s good, too.

So with the summer looming, why not shake things up in your own life? It’s hard to do when your depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations other than what we’re accustomed to, we have conversations with people who give us little snippets of encouragement.

It’s hard to do when you’re depressed. There is great comfort in the status quo. But sometimes, the jolt we need is in the unexpected. If nothing else, the more we put ourselves in unusual situations, other than the ones we’re accustomed to, the more we get a chance to learn ourselves.

We have conversations with people who give us little snippets encouragement when they had no idea they were doing so. Conversely, we encourage others by what we say. 

It really is a small world.

God bless and have a good day.

As I reread this last post, I thought about all the traveling I did when my husband was working internationally. I think back to the first time I road a train from a hotel in Bangkok to a huge shopping mall. My husband and ridden with me the day before so I could memorize the stops and know which number stop I was to get off.

To say I was scared when I did it myself is an understatement. But I did it.

Or even last year when I braved Lake Michigan in my kayak. (Of course, I was in knee-deep water, but still.)

And then blogging. Oh, my. What a disaster I was in the beginning. How I cried and almost threw the computer on the wall. How I almost gave up when my “followers” were scant. And now, over 1,000 of you.

Whoa!

If I post any of these drafts, I will let you know the original date.

Until then, God bless and have a good day.

 

 

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.

 

prayer comes in many forms and colors

Pain hurts. Now there’s a “Duh”.

I have the greatest empathy for anyone who suffers chronic pain. It’s no fun.

As you know,  I’ve had numerous foot surgeries. For the past two years, I’ve been able to walk without limping and without pain.

Until yesterday.

Even the limp is back. Needless to say, I’ve been discouraged. There’s pain in places in my foot I wouldn’t have thought could cause pain!

Now, this is not to elicit your sympathy. It’s just to acknowledge that pain is very much a part of the Christian’s experience.

I’m always amazed at those Christians who are proponents of the “Christians don’t hate to experience pain. We can pray ourselves right out of it.”

Hmmm. Do you think they would have dared tell Jesus that as he hung on the cross?

I don’t think so.

But it’s not just physical pain where Christians are not exempt. It’s the emotional pain as well and this garners even more disdain from those Christians I dub the “Christians for whom everything is always wonderful.”

Just wait.

If one’s lives long enough, they will experience some emotional pain. How traumatic it is, whether it results in true depression or not, might well depend on their willingness to admit it.

Maybe there’s something to be said for experience some pain before you have to experience a whole lot of it. Hopefully, I’ve already reached my “quota”.

But there’s to be learned from pain.

First of all, we get a “sampling” of what Jesus suffered for us.

Secondly, we learn to trust more. Wouldn’t you agree that our faith grows more during difficult times?. I wish it wasn’t so, but I’m afraid it is.

Third, pain, in all its forms, keeps us humble. Somehow when we’re in pain, it’s easier to empathize with others.

Since my mom died, I’ve found it easier to empathize with the pain others feel when they lose a loved one. Up to this point, I feel I fell short. The last year, and especially the final six months were particularly hard due to the dementia. So when I ran into a couple who were having a garage sale and they shared they had moved back to the area to take care of the women’s father who had dementia, I knew what to say. I was able to share the pain I had felt. I hope it helped.

Pain should make us more “open” and understanding of another’s pain.

I’ve never lost my home to a natural disaster, the type of which is hammering Texas.  I did have a tree fall on our house many years ago and I remember how I felt then. While that was nothing in comparison, I can take my mind a little further and think, “What if my whole house had been destroyed?” To me, losing my home is the second rung on the ladder of disasters, with death and/0r a terrible prognosis being at the top.

Recently, I went through a season of pain with someone. Watching them suffer broke my heart. I felt helpless but I wasn’t.

I prayed hard. Not just in the morning either, but throughout the day and every time they’re name came to mind , which was just about all the time.

That’s the skill we hone when it’s someone else’s’ pain. We really learn how to strip aside all our fancy words; we learn how to “get real” in our prayers.

We cry out.

We don’t worry about whether we are being too honest or not. (Is that even possible?)

We set aside our “genteel” notions about prayer.

We pray a whole lot more like Jesus prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Maybe that’s the biggest benefit of pain-learning to pray better.

God bless and remember there isn’t anything you can’t say to God.

 

depression

Tailor-make your depression recovery plan

Here’s the thing.

Everyone’s different. No surprise there, huh?

Everyone’s different “looks” and feels different. Maybe a little surprise there.

There are certain hallmark strategies for recovery that will benefit most people on their way to recovery. No surprise there. But just like the unique people we are, some of the recovery strategies that you will develop will be totally unique as well.

Just as everyone’s depression does have similarities, so do they have their differences. Some people find sleeping difficult, some sleep a lot. Same with eating. For example, when I suffered clinical depression, o functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I walked in a fog all the time.

For example, when I suffered clinical depression, I functioned pretty normally. But I felt like the “walking dead.” Nothing drew my interest; there was no joy in anything. I felt like I was in a fog all the time.

The worst part was grocery shopping.

Seriously.

I don’t know why grocery shopping was excruciating but it was.  For one thing, I couldn’t avoid people. And I just knew that everyone could tell I was depressed. Plus, it seemed everyone was happy. Also, I couldn’t make decisions about what to buy. It was overwhelming.

The next hardest experience was simply being around other people whether at church, birthday parties, family gatherings. I felt so disconnected from everyone. Back to the whole “walking dead ” thing. Again, I just knew everyone knew what a mess I was.

These were all my perceptions, but they were very real to me.

For my own recovery, there were certain strategies that worked best for me. Exercise was crucial for me to keep my depression at bay, as was (and is) keeping my “gut” operating as normal and regularly as possible. My spiritual life and keeping “short accounts with God” was also crucial. (Keeping short accounts with God means keeping a constant “communing” with God, especially in regards to forgiveness.)

I also made my bed everyday. Watch this video for someone else’s opinion about this. It’s really good.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxBQLFLei70

Something else I did was to make sure I was presentable when if you’re depressed is pretty darn hard to do. But I would look in the mirror and at least do my best.

Other people might find it’s what they’re watching on TV or what they’re reading that is the trigger for them. Some people find it’s other people that trigger their episodes because they are so negative. So they avoid them when and if they can.

Someone else I know finds that keeping busy works. A different person I know finds controlling their thoughts is their first line of defense. (This is a big one, by the way, for everyone. Some just find it easier to reign in their thoughts.)

I think the point is that while the symptoms of depression are the same for everyone, they are tolerated differently. Recovery from depression always means a different way of thinking and adapting to our world, and yet the how and the timing is different for everyone.

As Dorothy Rowe writes in her groundbreaking book called simply “Depression”, “depression is a prison we create for ourselves. So if you think of it that way, there are many different ways to break out of a prison, aren’t there?

I hate depression. I hate it for you. I hate it for me. I hate it for everyone I love. Does that make it clear enough?

But…..

Depression is not a death sentence. Most everyone survives it. And sometimes, there are some great lessons we learn.

You know that eclipse we all watched yesterday. To me, it was very spiritual. It reminded me that no matter how dark it gets, God is still there shining his love on us and leading the way.

More tomorrow.

God bless and I really hope you have a good and happy day.

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