Happy New Year 2012


Hola.  A week on vacation is never enough- We spent a week in Mexico and it was wonderful.  The sun, sand, time away, all good and peaceful for the soul.  Every morning we would wake to drink our coffee watching the birds and feeling the ever-increasing heat and it warmed my soul as well as my body.  God blessed me with a wash of peace.  I could feel it come over me like a comforting blanket, and lifted my spirits.  The ghosts of Christmas past did not follow me, they stayed in the past where they belonged- it was my greatest fear. I think for me the pain of the previous year frightened me into believing that I could replay or feel them all over again.  That was a lie that the darkness wanted me to believe.  The darkness wanted me to believe that the Birth or our Saviour wasn’t important and I would associate this celebration with pain, not a promise of light.  Jesus‘ birth this year became more to me than any family celebration I have ever had.   We bought no presents, we planned this expensive vacation to get away, and in some ways I was worried I was running away.  It concerned me because next year we would not be able to run away and what then?  Will the darkness find me and sink me down?  The devil knew all the buttons to push.

Here is what happened.  We stepped out of the commercialism, family ritual, expectations of people and left. Sounds like running away- but we just took a break.  What filled those holes.  Love.  We spent time as an individual family, just our kids, just us as a married couple, and reconnected.  We walked away from family problems, personalities and we all have those in our extended families.  We returned and spent two days with dear friends, and connected with them.  New Years Day I am sitting at my table with my friends for dinner, we had our close friends for New Years Eve and the day was our camping friends, and my thoughts were very much on my friends who I couldn’t be with that day and I felt a wash of love, peace, and joy.  Why, cause we get along with friends than family?? Well that may be true partly, I think God was giving me a deeper meaning.  He has blessed my family with friends that are life long.  There is an old saying that says, it takes a village to raise a child.  I was sitting, thinking and being with my village.  My heart overflowed with joy, I was sipping from my saucer cause my cup over flow.

So what does that have to do with depression?  Ya it is easy to feel all warm when you’re at a resort that is all-inclusive and the tequilla was flowing, no wonder I felt all warm and fuzzy!! Yes true, but and its a big BUT. Depression strips away all you hold dear.  Your mind fails you and you feel you are alone, sad, isolated, unworthy, disappointment, failure, better off anywhere else, even death than to be where you are right now.  Depression is a long struggle between feeling good to resisting the sadness which try to seep in and steal your happiness.  There are good days like the past two weeks and there are bad days like previous, and some days your mind completely leaves you in a storm where you don’t know which way is up.  Then God gives you a present like I am feeling now.  Shows me that I am worthy, smart, loved, blessed and in His protection.

As the plane descended on Mexico I was still battling the ghosts of Christmas past, I prayed that God could protect me from the darkness and show me even more of his light and grace.  I kept my eyes focused on him and my family and I felt carried by God through our vacation and even back here in Canada.  As I return to routine I hope that I can continue on this level.  But the chemicals in my brain may not allow it in a week or two or more but in the mean time I prepare as always for the next storm by healing my wounds, coming and studying closer God’s love and creating a foundation that is build on rock and not on sand – to handle any storm!

Happy New Year and God’s Blessings

The Night Before Christmas


Well here we are the night before christmas so to speak.  Just before we leave on Vacation and I know I am running away.  I spoke to my Brother-in-law today.  The family is fighting cause people are not caving to what others want.  My Mother is spending Christmas day alone cause we are away.  Other family will be there on the 26.  I am being haunted by the ghost of Christmas past.  To top it off I have had a stressful week at work implimating a new process at work and making it work.  I am ready to run.  It concerns me at to the running.  Maybe I think too much but here is the low down.  I can get away this year but what about next year??? I have to face my fears and spend Christmas here.

 

That isn’t it really my panic its from two things.  First I have been sad all week and have been trying really hard to be better.  And secondly I am  confronted by the facts that I am ill with this depression – and I have to go back to therapy.  My adjustments oin meds have made me more awake when I get up and I think that I can start working out again.  But I have been shaky this week and its been a tough week to keep myself on track  and not being sad.  I feel like I could cry evey day this week but it never comes. I feel like I don’t know what to do. This is not unknown words I have written.  These are not unknown feeling I have written about. These sound whiny and self pitying. I am pathetic! but the bottom line is again one more time I express how fustrated I am when the “mood “comes one and I can not control it.  This week I walked out on supper with my kids cause I couldn’t continue with out crying.  I hid in my room for most of the night. I feel like a failure because I can not control my emotions.  Pathic and whiny that is how I have seen myself this week I know that is not truth but its the feeling this week.

I think it us important to understand that feelings lie to us and the devil takes them and messes with us.

tonight I only have a short blog to say.  There are ghosts of Christmas past that need to be delt with.  Maybe in the next 365 days I can come to reason for with them

 

God Bless you Have a very Merry Christmas —- remember Jesus is the reason for the season!!!

December — already!!!


December already, how did that happen. Hard to believe it is that time already.  This weekend I don’t have much happening so its a good time to decorate the house — well clean the house first and then decorate for christmas.  Its a weird Christmas this year.  We are going to Mexico for Christmas, land in there a couple days before and leave before New Years.   I am starting to get excited for the adventure. I am going to miss my friends and my Mother but it makes for a real breaking of traditions. We are not buying a tree this year, no point.  I have this huge Ficus tree that already has pin lights on it so we are just going to add to it.  No presents to buy.  We told everyone not to buy for us we would not buy for them.  No Christmas shopping – It is really neat.  No cards to send we decided we would take a picture on holidays and mail them out when we got back as Happy New Year pictures.  There are some things I will miss but this is a once in a life time thing, so its ok.  Its kinda nice to shake up Christmas.

Last year I had my breakdown before Christmas and was so depressed I couldn’t bearly function.  I hated the holidays last year. I couldn’t stand the carols, the decorating, the services, the parties, the food. It all just was too much to swallow.

This year is so much different. Since my prayer meeting with my pastor and best friend, I have been feeling more and more like me.  I canceled my therapy meeting for next week.  I have been feeling good and with Christmas coming up I am a little busy to be driving across the city, for now.  I was standing in Canadian Tire this morning with my husband, I was listening to a christmas song with a sax in it, it was so pretty and then I felt a very soft little pop.  I was waiting for my husband to make up his mind as to what bulb to buy for the van lights and just thinking about God and my previous day’s devotions and half listening to the music and suddenly I felt excited for Christmas. Not because we have this big trip planned but just excited about the event its self.  The services at church the getting together with people, the parties we are going to, the little things I want to do to make christmas special for the kids.  It was all very neat, and foreign.  At first I was hey what does that mean.  Then I had this thought “I like Christmas” and then I rethought the thought and Yes I do like Christmas.  I know this sounds weird but here’s the thing.  I hated Christmas last year and for the rest of the year I kept thinking about how the depression started and how it was at the Christmas time of year and I have been putting such negative energy and thoughts around the Holiday that I was a little taken a back when I decided that I like Christmas this year.  The only thing that grieves me is I will be missing two of my favorite services, and my friends. To think about it now makes me a little sad, but I will be sitting on a beach in the sun so maybe I can live with

In the end I am feeling more and more like me, is it God, is it I am getting adjusted to the drugs, is it the therapy I have had, is it a combination of all of the above?  — well yes but I think that my prayer meeting with the 4 of us has made the most difference.  It was such a powerful prayer meeting– it is defiantly a do over. I think God is giving me a peace I haven’t had in a while and that is wonderful, as for therapy– not sure what to think yet.

This is all i have to say for now – have a great weekend

November Sunday Night


Sunday night.  I am not fond of Sunday nights.  It is a transition from fun weekend to work week.  I have a particularly busy week with tons of apts and a presentation meeting, and as Murphy’s Law would have it – they land all in the same week.  It will be a bad diet week. I will not have a lot of time to make supper let alone eat it.  I have put on 5 lbs.  I saw my Mother today who is very happy that I look better, from the last time I saw her. She said I was losing my good looks and my face was getting too thin– I love my Mom – so encouraging- actually I really do love my Mom, she has a way with words.   I really think she thought I had some life threatening disease cause she told me she has been worrying about me.  I don`t want to do that, I don`t want her to worry,  I love my Mom dearly,  but I can`t tell her what has been happening in my life.

I had a reunion with my Dad`s side of the family.  My Aunt and Uncles avoid telling stories about my Dad, even though its been 15 years since he passed.  I don`t know if it is because they don`t want to cause us pain or they are still dealing with the death of their brother.  My Dad was the only one who has passed in that family- as far as my Aunt and Uncle`s siblings.  We have this reunion in my little home town, in the same little hall every second Sunday in November.  It’s around the corner from where my Dad is buried, so I go over every year and visit Dad, my grand parents and other long-lost relatives all in the same grave yard.  It is sad but its nice being near him.  To see his name in print and be close to the earthly remains of him.  I usually go alone, today I had my Mom my daughter and husband with me.  Mom was telling us stories of my Grandparents and Great Uncles there as well as other stories about my Dad.  It was nice to hear the stories and see her laugh at the silly things they did.

Family is a funny thing.  You feel so tied to them and as you get older, you hold on to those ties, because they represent who I am.  Maybe I feel that way because I now live in the city and I was raised in the country.  Not all family is created equal.  I have an Aunt who drives me crazy but we put up with her.  I guess I am being sentimental about Family because I have no real connections with my husband’s family.  I get along with his brother, but his Mother! It is a never-ending battle with her.  I can never do anything right and now it seems that I am in the dumpster again.  She tore a strip off me this week, again!.

I know this blog is to be about depression and it is my journey, this but this relationship is another part of some of the stresses I feel in my life.  One of the reasons I am running away for Christmas has to do with my Mother-in-law.  She doesn`t know what I have been through.  I don`t believe I can tell her.  She is very demanding and it seems the older she gets the more hurtful she is.   Last Christmas when I was trying to figure out what was wrong with me she raked me over the coals.  I can not face her this year and I am not making alternate arrangements to spend time with her and after the hurtful things she said to me in the past few days.  I am releaved  to be in Mexico for a week.

So how does this effect my depression well it doesn`t help.  I have been slipping slowly all week.  I was feeling so good and the sadness and loneliness has been stealthy creeping in.  My depression, except for the panic attack last month seems to be more of loneliness, and sadness.  It starts with a feeling like I want to cry but can`t cry to release it.  Slowly the feeling just grows, turns into loneliness and sadness.  I do not feel the shadow of darkness surrounding me, I do not fall in a hole.  I fight it and fight it but after a while it wears me out.

This week I have my second therapist apt. and I have a very busy busy week, maybe being busy is what will help distract me.

God I know this is a journey, I know that you are my Lord my Father.  Thank you for the Good Man you gave me as a my earthly Father.  Even though I feel like I have been short-changed in the length of time I had him as my Father.  I am blessed.  And I know you Blessed me with a wonderful man, and I received more love from him in the 31 years I had, then most people get from a full life time of with their Fathers.  Thank you for him Thank you for being my Father Dear Lord.  Lord I have such disdain from my Mother-in-law, forgive me Dear God Please forgive me in the name of Jesus.  You created her and love her and she is your child.  Help me to love her, and forgive her.  I can not do this on my own but with your help I can be a good Daughter-in-law and I ask for your Grace and help.  Lord I know you are never away from me but I ask that you keep close to me as I go though this time, lead me on this journey and show me your ways. In the name of your son Jesus I give all these things, my heart my soul my life in your hands Amen.

October Dr apt.


October Dr appointment follow up; besides being painful, a flu shot, it was the first Doctor’s appointment that I did not get an increase or change in prescriptions.  I am reprieved for 3 months.  So based on my previous posts in the last weeks how did I do it.  I told her I was feeling much better.  Not a total lie, I am feeling better except for this latest dip.  I have been feeling very sad, lonely and wanting to isolate myself the past week  Been taking my anxiety pills and that has made some things better. I guess you can say I did lie to the Doctor, but for good reason.  Its only been a month since my new pills, and I do not want anymore.  I want 3 months to see how I am doing and adjust.  Most of the side effects are gone from starting a new pill.  I still get dizzy spells, a little shaking but I don’t want to mess with the drugs anymore for now.  We will see what the new year brings.  I gained a huge 2 lbs in the last month so the doctor is not happy, that and another reason not to see her till 3 months, tired of being told off.   I have taken a break from some of my church activities. To be honest I would like to take a break from church, my husband would never let me and the kids need to be there.  I am still playing in the band but I am taking a break from Sunday School Music till the new year and the prayer group.  I am frustrated and tired.  I have been fighting demons over the past few days and I cannot pray any more.  I am in need of sleep and some time alone to gather myself. As this week ends I am not sure if I am sad or tired of the daily struggle.

Is this a new aspect of depression or of the time of year.  I was talking to a friend about Christmas,  I realized I just can not do Christmas this year.  It will be hard enough to get the decorations up.  But it dawned on me how afraid of Christmas I am.   Maybe some of this stress is from in-laws who I have only seen twice since last Christmas.  I have a dinner to go to next month and I am paralyzed at the thought of going.  I feel like I am a bunch of knots inside.

Jesus says in John 14:  do not let your heart be troubled Trust God and trust also in me (Jesus).  but I fear, I tremble,  I am unsure, paranoid.  I hate the helpless feelings that come with the loneliness and brokeness.  John 14:6  Jesus says I am the way the truth and life.  I know these things I know them in my heart, and in my head and in my soul. God also says come all those who are weary, I am weary but I will trust God I will try to resist the lies that I do not need God, church, and friends to complete me.  But everyone depressed or not need these things.

So I again ask God to forgive me in my denial of him, Forgive me in my closing of my heart, Forgive me in my isolation, I need to be under Gods wing and protected from the evil one.  Lord help to hear my Shepard calling my name and finding this lost sheep.  Amen

October: thinking of Christmas


I know — thinking of Christmas??? My family just booked a vacation to Mexico for Christmas break.  Just me my husband and kids.  No parents, in-laws, or any other family.  We will spend Christmas morning on a beach.  We have never done this and I am looking forward to the heat and break, and seeing the palm trees.  The last time I saw palm trees was 18 years ago.  So needless to say that I am looking forward to it.

A friend said to me “well you are going to miss the celebration of the birth of Jesus”  I said “ya but its something that everyone wants to do sometime take off for Christmas.”  Then the friend said ” True, but then again you were in a bad place last year you didn’t enjoy any of Christmas.”

I thought about last year, the breakdown I had, the deep depression I was in, the endless tears, fears, the darkness that surrounded me.  I hated Christmas last year.  Hate is a strong word but I was confused, I was scared, I truly thought I was going crazy.  When I sat in church and listened to the bible verses being read, it was like the they spoke another language.  I could not understand what they were saying.  On our Nativity night at the church where we dressed up as wise men etc. for the neighbourhood and sang christmas carols and read about the birth of Jesus, I was so angry that night.  To hear the elder read, made me want to put my hands over my ears and scream “Stop Stop, enough”.  I didn’t want to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth.  The lie had me convinced that I couldn’t believe it, and don’t listen to it.   That was last year.  This year when I had the discussion about my coming trip, I thought about Christmas Eve, how we would miss the evening candle light service; my favorite, and all the things we usually did to make Christmas special at home.  Then it hit me.  When we booked the trip and everything was said and done.  I was so relieved.  That was the feeling I felt.  Not excitement, not  “what an adventure”, I just felt relieved, like someone had taken a burden off my shoulders.  In my meditations this week it came to me;  Your running!  From what? From last year.  Last Christmas.

Running, I was in a lot of pain last year.  I suffered from panic attacks, deep depression, and paranoia.  I was being shadowed by darkness, in a way I had never experienced before, and it scared the crap out of me. This trip is going to take me away from all the usual events we do every year at Christmas.  Christmas Eve service and party at the neighbours.  Christmas day presents breakfast and coffee with kids and dinner with family.  Boxing day with the other side of the family.   December 27th is pajama day, no one gets dressed and lays around all day.  This year I was to host my side of the family Christmas and my in-laws on Boxing day.  Both events last year were very hard last year, I was so sad, and they thought I was being snobby.  They never figured that I was suffering from anything and I was too embarrassed to say anything.

So now what? What do I think of this revelation? I think its right.  I am running.  I can’t face the families, the services, the parties, the events that I couldn’t handle last year.  What am I afraid of?  I am better these days for the most part.  I have been feeling sad and lonely this week but nothing like before and I can talk myself out of it for the most part.  Being around a lot of people sometimes makes me anxious, but I am trying and sometimes I take my anxiety meds. or if I can, walk away and take a breather for a minute or two I can handle it.  Panic attacks are gone for the most part, the darkness seems to be leaving more and more.  Today it seemed closer but it’s still along way off.   I feel God is near me and I trust him completely to look after me.  I don’t feel crazy anymore.  I have adjusted to this illness and not so embarrassed anymore.  Does any of my extended family know-No but I will deal with that another time.  There are people you can tell you are going through depression, and there are people who don’t understand it at all, that is my extended family.  So ya I guess I am running.  I can’t face Christmas in Canada yet.  I can’t face family and Christmas church events yet.  The pain and brokeness from last year is too fresh.  I have come along way baby ( sorry couldn’t resist the line) but  in some ways I feel I haven’t come far enough.

So this year I will try to have some Christmas traditions in Mexico.  I am sure we can create some new ones and maybe we can find a church service on Christmas morning.  I think it maybe a time of healing and maybe next year I can cope better.

All with Gods help cause truly I can do nothing by myself. Through God there is healing. Through God there is hope.  Through God there is life.

Amen

Then Christmas was over


I was feeling better, it seem to be over, the darkness, the hole seemed to dry up and all was ok, for a while. Jan came and was almost over I thought, wow I must have just had a bad season, The death of my friend’s son maybe over showed Christmas or something, but I was ok.  Then the darkness came back. It was different this time it didn’t swallow me, it slithered around my ankles and attempted to pull at my pant legs to pull me in. I didn’t fall into a hole, it came upon me like a smoky fog. The depth of the darkness wanted to drown out the light.

Here is an excerpt from my journal Jan 12 2011

“It’s a sad day, not sure if its hormones though I suspect they are, or its that devil
of depression sneaking around me. It is seductive depression, it’s a itchy coat
that completely envelops you.  Joy on the other hand is a fancy
dress. You wear it on special occasions not wanting to get it dirty or messy,
always aware that you are in it for a short time, never really believing that a
fancy dress could be worn always. Why can’t joy be like a comfortable pair of
jeans always ready to wear no matter what you are doing, where you are going,
always feeling good. Never worrying it will end, or never come again.

The darkness of depression swallows like pin the tail on the donkey it binds you,
spins you ‘round, and you can’t remember where the light is.

I am fighting. It sneaks around me but I fight. I cannot reconcile things in my
mind. The devil confuses me. I know God is powerful, creator, my heavenly
father, my source of love, my savior, the I am- God! But What about those who do
not find God. What about my friend’s son who took his life? What about my
brother, who turns his back on God, thinking me a freak for loving the creator
of the earth. We pray for these people, we pray for their souls their minds
their hearts. But the son is dead, the brother unchanged. Did we pray wrongly,
or is free will stronger than prayer, than God. Right now this is the thing I
cannot reconcile. This is what haunts me and keeps me up at night; I think this
is what is at the heart of my depression. Maybe I believe in a touch by an
angle type of God or magic God. One that saves in the nick of time and in an
hours time with commercials. “

God is not that way. What the devil likes to do is confuse you. Depression is caused;
for me anyways, by a biological chemical reaction in my hormones. When you are
not at your best the devil prowls around like a lion seeking to devour you.
What I learned through this bout of depression, my grief was not the source of
my depression, my sorrow added to my sadness, but when I could separate that I
felt sad, and confused from my faith. I soon realized I was not having a crises
of faith, it was a distraction, I could separate faith from sadness and I was
lifted up. God rescued me. I saw that faith did not cause depression and faith
helped me ’cause I could give my grief to God, he reconciled it for me in the
poem I wrote in the previous blog. I felt better and I thought Great making progress
I should have this thing licked! No God had other plans for me. In the mean
time, I went to my Doctor. Even though I figured things out as to what my
depression was not, I still could not function in the state I was in. One
Saturday I had a break down. Full on my face stretched out on the floor break
down. In front of my kids, in front of my husband, and totally freaked them out.
Then I went to my doctor. She is Great! She put me on meds to help. And they
did help keep me from the extreme but they did not stop the depression and here
is where the rub is. You will not cure it by meds they help but there is a
lot of stuff you have to do to help yourself, to heal yourself. But with God’s
help I am getting stronger. With some amazing friends I am coping and that is
how I am handling it for now. More on my journey next time. Come back and read
more. GW