do’s and don’ts


It dawned on me the other day that I have never done – do’s and don’t- for depression.  You know in my head it sounded better than what it looks like in print.  However, Over the past few years I have learned a few things.  If you follow my blogs you know I have done a lot of don’ts.

There is so much swirling when you fall down in a hole.  Swirling is a good word it embraces the action and sound.  You feel swept up and the sound it’s like a tornado swirling in your head.  I want to paint a picture of what it is like. Thursday night I fell in a hole.  The months leading up to this should have been a tell-tale sign that something was coming.  I go up and I go down, the last few months I have been like a ball bouncing.  Bounce up and down, hit the floor bounce up a little less in height, another bounce just as hard and a little less in height again.  Thursday I didn’t really bounce, I blipped.  All week I had been building up to the fall.  Its kinda like watching your cat about to roll off the couch, you don’t stop them because you think naw it’s a cat they are smarter than that but you know its going to happen.

Things that go through the mind on the slid.  I am not smart, I am stupid, I am a burden, I am unlovable, I hate this body, mind, being.  I am not worthy, why would any body–friend, co-worker, husband, kids , God, give a damn about me or anything I do.  These are hard words, but these are the words and darkness that go through this globe on my shoulders.  There is a darkness that follows you around, a negativity that colours all you do, all you think.  The dark voices – and I will use voices, but you could say thoughts, demons, negativity- pick one — they all make you feel crazy.  But this is where the battle of depression happens.  In the mind and it is a battle grounds.  It confuses your words, your thoughts, it bends what you think you have straight. It twists your faith, what is truth. You think things you would never, or have never thought of before, and you are shocked.  If you have ever seen a battle field you know the grounds are never the same again.  They are hurt, broken, manipulated, not pretty, well groomed or ever the same. That describes  your mind and heart, they will never be the same again. 

Physically, I look down- seems a weird statement but its like a piece of wet wood in the sun.  I start to curl.  I don’t look at people, my heart races, I find it hard to breath, sometimes I feel faint, I fidget, shake, tremble  from the depths of my being, I usually end up in a ball on the couch or my bed.  My body hurts, my head aches, it almost is like getting the flu.  To do anything takes all the energy you have. You sleep when you shouldn’t, you blink at the ceiling most of the night when you should be asleep.  You can not concentrate, you can’t multi task, any negativity is like nails on a black board you want to put your hands over your ears and scream.  You don’t remember things.  There have been evenings where I have had to ask my husband what happened the night before or I find messages I sent on my phone that I have no memory of sending.

What do you do? I retreat, I hide, I am uncooperative, argumentative, I don’t want to go out. I don’t care, I spend too much money – that I do not have, I stay up late cause I am angry, I stop eating, I drink too much, I work out too much as a punishment for not being in control.  I try to control what I can, thus I don’t eat, don’t sleep.  If I sleep the darkness comes in. I text stupid things to people late at night. I put outrageous things on Facebook. I remove any pictures of me from the net. I want to get into a car and drive till I run out of road or gas, I don’t care what comes first. I don’t shower, care how I dress, what my hair is like, or any other grooming, nails feet etc.

What do you believe?  You don’t believe that God is real, the devil is creeping around you promising you peace in a nice dark place and when you get there, its screaming and everything but peace. Everything you believe in as truth becomes muddy and you know longer trust your thoughts or what you believe in because it all becomes a blurr.

These are the things that happen when you fall. This is what happens to me.

The don’t s  : Don’t mix anti anxiety meds with wine.  It only makes the hole wider and deeper that you are going to fall in.

Stay away from Social Media, don’t twit, tweet, facebook, text, bbm, email, or put anything in writing -you will not remember and in the morning you will be beside yourself with shame.  I shut off the phone give it to my daughter and she hides it.

Don’t OD on the meds.  I was falling last week and instead of taking 1/2 a pill when I needed. I was taking whole pills and doubled up on them and added a glass of wine with no food and sent myself  for a tail spin.

Don’t shop.  Shopping only makes you broke and you get stuff  you really don’t need.  It also puts you in a dangerous place.  I once had a panic attack at a housewares store, I walked back and forth with a bowl in my hand  for 45 minutes – I really thought the staff were going to call the cops on me.

Don’t not eat.  You don’t eat cause you hate yourself, and you can control what you put in your mouth but you are hurting your body physically more than you could ever know.  You need the energy to fight the battle.

Don’t drive when you are angry.  I don’t think I have ever mentioned this in a blog,  I have done some really dangerous things in my van because I was in a wrong mind frame and I should have never been behind the wheel.

Don’t lie– I can put on a really good face when I don’t want people, even my husband to know what I am feeling and where I am.  Be honest with the significant other in your life, be it friend, spouse, therapist. Someone need to know when you are slipping — its important.

The Do’s

First off there has to be rules.  You need a enforcer to make you abide by them.

Do drink tea.  When you are having an anxious moment or panic attack a beer or wine is the worse thing you can do — calming teas are so much better they help slow you down and stay away from coffee and pop too.

Do follow the directions on your meds.  You know they are there for a reason!

Do get some sleep – watching TV and channel changing till 2 in the morning makes it hard to get up in the morning.

Do go and spend time with friends.  Isolating yourself is not what you want to do.  Being around people is what you need and not at the mall.  Trust that people care, and they want to be there to be a shoulder to lean on.. and you know what — if they are not there to be leaned on, then maybe they are not true friends.

EAT.  Not eating only makes your body physically panic and that sets off the nerves and responses,  your body is already  in crisis from the chemical imbalance in your brain.  Food can counter act it.

Pray.  When I sit with my pastor my husband and my best friend and they pray over me – I  make greater gains  fighting this illness being covered over with prayer and protection from the darkness that lurks;  than in all the therapy I have taken.

Part two of Prayer – Do it for yourself.  When I open my arms and heart and say God I am not in control but you are.  All that I am and all that I have is yours. You put the earth on its axis who am I to demand anything from you for I am a poor miserable sinner.  Please help me fight the darkness with the light that only you put into this world.   When I give my self away – I gain my self.

Help– this all looks good on paper, like most best laid plans.  The thing is when you get the flu you need   rest and to look after yourself with meds, food, lots of liquids, and someone to help. This is an illness too.  You need the same prescription. Rest, meds, good food, lots of the right liquids and someone to help you — or just hold you while you cry.  You can’t survive a major  illness like cancer, flu, any type of surgery with out help from medical personal, loved ones, friends, even strangers.  This too is a major illness you need help.

Truth:  What is truth?  There have been times when the darkness in my head has screamed that  it wants me to say the lies to make them real.  God spoke the world into existence. The word became flesh in Jesus.  I firmly believe that if I voice the darkness in my head they will be come my new truth.  I have to adopt a mantra that God is truth and I will not voice the words in my head.  When I keep that going in my head it is my weapon in my battle.

I wanted to do this blog for two reasons, one, for those who suffer, again its like the flu.  You get sick and you get stupid– you are laying there with fever and chills and you forget to drink liquids.  You forget how to treat it cause you are the one sick– your too busy being sick to treat yourself. Two, for those who don’t suffer this is what it is like and these are the things that you can do to help.  If you are a significant other make a rule book.  I have to call my husband every time I take an anxiety pill.  If I get stuck somewhere due to anxiety or panic attack – he always has his phone on him I call.  For his part he knows me so well after 23 years together – he can tell by my face where I am.   I lose the light in my eyes and my face changes and he can see it. So can my best friends they can tell too.  It s a good plan. I don’t always follow it exactly cause you know I get forgetful when I am ill, but its a plan and its there for my protection.  And truly I don’t think I would be alive today if it were not for the people around me and the plan. I’m not trying to be dramatic – it’s just truth. Nature of the beast.

till next time………………………

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Day after


Well it is the day after my prayer meeting with my husband and pastor.  My husband dragged me kicking and screaming.  I got there and couldn’t speak I was so afraid.  We talked for a bit we held hands and we prayed — well they prayed.  As they did God kept telling me to confess the sins of the body.  It is the verse of Jesus saying that the body is a temple for the holy spirit and we should treat it as a temple.  God clinched my heart and was not letting me leave my pastor’s office till I confessed.  I did. It was tough.  When my husband and I left we went to get something to eat– they know I haven’t been eating.  We went home and I did a couple of things and then I laid down on my bed and the tears started.  Actually more discriptive the sobs started I cried and cried what seems like a long time.  My husband held me for a long time and adventually I fell asleep.  Today I feel a little drained – not anxious- and not so down and all around better.  Its is amazing how being covered over with prayer is such a blessing

 

till next time……………….

Why does doing right make you Angry!


So I have had a bad week.  Spent most of it on anxiety meds and curled up in a ball at night.  I haven’t eaten most of the week and I have managed to get to work, and do what I have to do.  We launch a huge web based project next week for the next 2 weeks, and I have been coordinator for it,  so if this launches well– I am a hero at work!  I have been working out (exercise)  as a punishment to be honest.  I do a Beach Body insanity work out and its pretty high impact and I was really pushing it last night.  Today my husband who has been freaking out cause I have been so low made an apt for us to go to pray with my minister.  The anger flairs up again… what good does it do, just a burdon on a friendship, how stupid of me to need this type of care, people must be tired of this — I know I am.

How is that for a list of negativity.  I desperately want to be well, I feel like i need something to fill a void.  I search for God to fill it but nothing does.  Is this just the illness space, the devils space, Gods space, a prayer space or a space that needs attention – vain space . Or just space that is there created by chemical imbalances and can never be filled.  I don’t know.

I am trying to do right– I haven’t eaten for a few days that is wrong, I have been taking my anxiety meds that is good– had some wine.   Ok I guess I am not doing right.  But this prayer thing tonight is right and I am angry about it.  I know its the devil – its just so hard to separate the heart from the mind.

till next time…………………

Short on words


“Scripture  really strikes you hard – that might be a healing point – a ministry point – a  passage the Holy Spirit is using to break a lie you are hearing and believing  – a passage that you need to commit to memory and claim for yourself each  morning until you own it and it owns you.  When attacked by the lies of the  devil remember what Luther wrote… “one little Word can fell  him”… ”

A message from a friend in regards to my last post.   – it did nothing but make me weep. My first thought how did this all get so hard! There is a relationship between the word and eternal life.  The word became flesh.

“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging symbol.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, but have not love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames but have not love, I gain nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13
Tonight I have no love, I am fighting with loving myself tonight. I am having an anxiety attack.  I want to text, email, my close friends and express my breaking heart. I am tired of reaching out and feeling like a fool, in the morning. Tonight I am popping my pills and following up with a small but yummy glass of red wine and hiding in my room.
its dark out tonight and that is how i feel – tomorrow will be light maybe I can be that way tomorrow.
till next time………..

Sensitive


Sensitivity I have been so sensitive lately.  It’s not getting my own way sensitive.  Its the up and downs of sensitive.  Environmental sensitive, surroundings sensitive. This past weekend I needed to get into the country.  I was raised on a farm and I just need to get out of the city and flex my country roots.

Its strange how the meds push down certain things but heighten other stuff.  Meds can push down feelings.  Like tears of joy, tears in general, being over excited about some things just don’t get a rise out of me.  Standing in front of the congregation I had troubles singing praise songs cause I would get choked up and couldn’t get the words out.  My Daughter would perform at Church or in a music concert and I would cry through the whole thing.  When I dropped my son off at the airport for a mission trip he went on for a month I cried for days afterwards- when my daughter left on her trip last summer I could hardly shed a tear—that had nothing to do with one child or the other I just couldn’t do it.I was on the meds with my daughter.   Then there are other things.  A quick cutting word from a friend, or family cuts me to my heart.  Driving alone to work I can feel the pulling down of my heart. Missing my son who is at college. A sudden change in plans breaks my heart. Being out and not giving my daughter a hug before she goes to bed brings me down.  I have to make a real mental effort to pull myself up and sometimes it doesn’t always work.  Its like throwing mud against a wall.  Some sticks; some don’t– no rhyme or reason.  The meds push down some feelings but don’t push others down that need to be pushed. Stick / don’t stick.

I made my husband take me for a drive this weekend.  Tired of fall prep for winter so we hopped in the car and drove north to a little village and went through some antique stores. The day was sunny and warm, it was good to be in the country.

Sunday I could feel the same old conflict that sometimes happens when I go to church.  I am conducting an experiment.  It was communion and we went to the later service which has all the traditional Lutheran service of chants and readings.  I ignored the conflicts that were peculating in my mind and concentrated on the words I was saying.  I chanted my beliefs in the creeds and in the prayers.  I chanted in my head that all I am hearing is truth.  I believe in this truth. I will say with my mouth the words of truth and place myself in the light of the never ending God.  The negative moved away and left me. Took its seat back in the dark corner – out of sight, but not out of mind.  I felt refreshed after I received the bread and the wine.  God lightened my soul. Praise God.  It was a peace that stayed with me all day.

This morning I went to Facebook to see what bible message my friend had put on for the day.  Sometimes these messages hit the nail on the head sometimes they are convicting.  Today they made me angry. “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God.  You are not your own, you were brought at a price.  Therefore honour God with your body.” The anger hit me like a ton of bricks.  The negative flew from his chair and in my face, in a moment that I never saw coming and confronted me with a barrage of new challenges and confrontations, and realizations.  I hate this body that God made me.  I do not love myself. It is worthless and should be thrown away.  These were the sudden truths that came from me. I opened a message to send to my friend who put the message on FB.  I opened it and told how I hated the message and hated me, I wrote it about a dozen times and never sent it, no will I.

What is the point of this post?  Hard truths of this illness don’t die. Hard truths of the bible never die, nor would they ever because they are the truth of life and spirit and soul and so many other things that I do not understand, but know they are there because the Lord keeps giving me glimpses.  How?  you may say can you make such statements of God, and hate yourself.  The one personal thing that God has given you.

I have been staring at this for a while now trying to form a answer to this question…………I guess I do not accept that I am a child of God. I hate this untrustworthy body that will not work, and has betrayed me, and I punish it with eating disorders that I am fighting again. Well actually not fighting – giving in.  I still feel angry sometimes for this.  I guess I am shocked by the force of the anger today

I will blame it on the meds– some things stick some do not.

till next time……………..

Surprise


I shared my poem with my husband.  He liked it, it expressed alot of feelings that we have felt as a family dealing with this tragic event.  My husband expressed that he was concerned that I felt responsible for my friends son’s death.  I don’t feel responsible, I am sad I didn’t talk to him that day.  That moment was pre depresson for me, or at least I though it was.  My husband made the comment that I was suffering then but I wasn’t aware.  WHAT! I asked him directly if he thought I was showing signs of my depression even before the death of this boy.  I always figured that I started suffering months after that.  So now I am left wondering —how long have I been  screwed up?  Then it begs the question when did my mind start to fail? and it also leads to —  could it ever been trusted?  I believe it was good at one time.

I know that maybe it doesn’t really matter but it makes me question me. It makes me embarrassed, it makes me feel very uncomfortable.  I know this may be vain, but what did people think of me before.  Did people think I was going crazy?  Or how far in the deep end was I before I realized I needed to go to the doctor, before I knew I needed to start the meds.

Stability is a hard thing to grasp when you are suffering from depression, most of the time I am fighting it.  Most days, I am trying to resist the devil and his ways.  My base line is shaken.  I have a base line in my head when I think I was normal.  When I think I remember what it was like not to struggle.  It is the place I hope to get back to.  Like a person who learns to walk again after some tragic accident.  One day it is my hope I get back to a life without meds.  A day when I wake up from a full 8 hours sleep and felt refreshed and don’t have to pop meds to keep things undercontrol.  Could cry because you are happy or sad but a fleeting sadness. To relax and feel normal– I know what is normal?  What is the truth of normal?

It is a confusing day.

till next time…………..

 

730 days Explained


730 days  was about my friends son who took his life 2 years ago.  He was 21 from a good family full of love and God and all things good and right.  His depression got the better of him.  The last I saw him was 3 months before – my family and his family were camping – I watched him sit in the rain with a book a umbrella  – looking so sad, and I walked passed himthat day more than once – he looked like he needed some space.  I will never forget that day– the look of loss on his face, the look of pain.  At the time I had no idea what he was fighting, I hadn’t travelled down that road at that time.   I figured he is 21 and a man he didn’t need his Mother’s friend needling into his business.  I know that one moment if I had stopped might not have made a difference- but it does make you wonder.  Today he is in God’s hands, and my family help his family try to heal.  Jesus said when the people murdering him were nailing the nails into his hands, He prayed “Lord forgive them for they do not know what they are doing”  I think that prayer was also said for this boy/man.  He was a man with an education,  great job, and a life time of future and hope in front of him but he was a boy who suffered from depression was embarrassed and didn’t know how to handle it and in the end followed the dark voices to the grave.  Jesus conquored the grave.    It is another reason I started this blog, to share the pain the defeats, victories and all the ups and downs that come with this illness.   Thank you for reading.

till next time……………….