(This was written about six months after I started blogging. I’ve edited and added to it for today.)
This blog finally became reality when I decided (after years of procrastination) to paint my dining room hutch.
Strange, huh? Let me explain.
Painting my hutch is something I thought about for years. Can you believe that? I mean what was the big deal? It was just paint after all. The hutch was over twenty-five years old at the time. What did I have to lose? Just some time a quart of paint.
I was up early the next morning, painting clothes on, and ready to paint. I never thought twice about it. Here it is from this last Christmas.
For some reason, the decision to paint the hutch was an epiphany. After years of studying my nemesis, depression, it just all finally culminated in this decision to change a lot of things. It was like everything just came together like a really good recipe. This is a picture from a few years ago.
It was as though God had silently imprinted on my mind, “You can be happy. It’s o.k. I approve.”
It seems there has always been a “worm in my apple”, (the original name of this blog.) There is for most of us. You know that one thing that keeps us from happiness. That one thing we usually preface with, “if only.” For me, it was (past tense) depression.
There’s always something that wants to take away the sweetness of life, if you let it.
It’s like I didn’t think I deserved to be healthy, to be happy, to make a mistake.
Fifteen years ago, with my doctor’s permission, I decided to fly solo in my depression, no more antidepressants. No safety net. The time had come to face my demons. In this blog, I have shared many of the techniques and strategies I’ve learned these years that have kept me medication free.
I don’t sugarcoat my struggles. Managing depression (or better yet defeating it) is very hard work. It means getting real with oneself and the part one plays in their own depression. Because:
no matter what the cause we all leave our own footsteps along the path of our depression.
The research is overwhelming that supports the fact that most of us contribute to our own depression by the way we think, the things we do (or don’t do), how we take care of bodies, physically and mentally, and many other parts of our lives for which we are responsible.
Medication can only do so much as most researchers now agree.
I’m not a mental health professional but I’m not a novice, either. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a hospital chaplain after completing two semesters of Clinical Pastoral Education. I have counseled many women and facilitated many self-help groups.
I am not a pastor. I was, however, a Bible teacher, a lay counselor, and a speaker for retreats and conferences. While I feel God was the power behind my ability to conquer my depression, many techniques I share with are applicable to non-believers as well. I don’t try to convince anybody to believe as I do. That’s up to God. All I know is that I wouldn’t wish depression on anyone.
This blog is a little unusual because while I tackle some pretty heavy topics, I also post some of my latest DIY projects. I like to say I was “pinner” before being a “pinner” was cool.
Weeks go by when I don’t even use the word “depression”. It’s a hard subject to write about all the time and because I no longer suffer depression, it often means I have to dig up feelings from the past. That can be hard. But I don’t ever want to forget those very dark times because they are my reminder that I don’t ever want to go there again. But rest assured most of my posts contain little gems of information meant to help you in your struggle even if I don’t always use the word. That’s because:
life isn’t compartmentalized or narrowly defined. We are total beings. One part of our life affects the others.
Painting the hutch, exercising, eating, reading, praying etc are all part of who I am. Painting my hutch was the result of realizing that tomorrow was going to come anyway (God willing) whether I painted that hutch or not. That doesn’t sound very profound until you really think about it.
I decided I want my tomorrows to be full of dreams realized and new dreams emerging. I want my tomorrows to be depression-free which means I need to take care of today. I don’t want to always be afraid of making a mistake.
I’m getting ready to paint another piece of furniture I’ve been having a hard time deciding about. I’ll be excited to show you the before and after. This time it hasn’t taken me years to make up my mind.
Tomorrow is coming for you as well. What do you want it to be?
God bless and have a good day.