Friends..


Things to ponder, I received an email from a friend last night, (getting mentioned in the blog is a hazard of being my friend – my friend)  This friend was very encouraging and brought up some things I have not thought about, and reminded me of somethings I need to remember.

I will get to that in a minute, but here is the great things about friends especially christian friends.  I was saying in my last blog about how good and bad people treat you if you suffer from depression, and how I was feeling a little overwhelmed by it all.  My dear friend brought up some good points to remember and I want to share them.   The other thing about friends is when your mind misfires, you don’t know what is right or wrong.  I can get very confused about things and I am unsure of what reality is or is not.  The voices and darkness can take you off in a direction you would never think of, and the good things about friends are they can gently remind you what is right, wrong, and redirect you from wrong thinking.  Its like being really sick with the flu and not knowing what to do, because you are too busy being sick with the flu.  You forget to drink water so you don’t become dehydrated and you go to work because you can’t decide if you are too sick to be there.   You need someone to take care of you, remind you. 

I have mentioned that I have rules to follow when I am not right.  Things I have to do to keep my husband in the loop.  I don’t shop some places by myself,  I call when I take my anxiety meds, and there are more, however my friend also reminded me that as I head in to the season of  summer parties and family get together it would be wise to make some additional rules and talk to some of my family members  and prepare them for when things are not good for me.   Someone who is suffering from any other illness would do this so why wouldn’t you do this for the unseen illness of depression.   My husband and I need to sit down and decide as we go through this season what I can do and not do.  Direction will come from me, but there may be times where I can not be all things to all people.  The more I thought about this last night it was like hey silly girl — everyone illness or not, should have a guide line for this.  This is where women and mom’s get into trouble because we forget about ourselves in looking after the world.

Another thing to keep in mind is to remember that other people do not have E.S.P.  When I was first married I thought if I was cleaning the house my husband would pick up on what I was doing and help.  When that didn’t happen I thought if I do this loudly he will get the hint, I mean can he not see what is going on- its his house too, get off the couch and do something.  My man isn’t gifted with E.S.P.- darn it! so he didn’t catch on, and because he didn’t I got angry – dumb I know.  Well as I go through the ups and downs and the pulling back from people and then being out there,  I need to communicate that to people because everyone is like my husband. 🙂 

The most important thing my friend said to me was to  “give grace to us clumsy people all around you”    Ka Boom!  Oh my!   Grace – I forgot totally about Grace.    That slip of the mind Here is the thing about Grace we hope all people and God will grant it to us.   We seldom think of granting it to others.   I have not been thinking much about God lately.  I have been trying more to just cope.  I have not felt the darkness but more a intolerance and anger towards people and a need for quiet and being alone.   Grace trumps intolerance.  Love trumps being alone.   God has me in his hand, never to be grasped away.   As I meditated on God’s Grace, Love, and being his child and trusting that He does have my back.  It changed my thoughts.  I felt so hard done by, that grace was not an option.  I was tormented that Love was not a consideration.  Being a child of God was forgotten because I was felt defensive to my Mothers words.

God is great and his Grace endless as is his Love and his faithfulness to his children is also endless patience and kindness.  When I pondered these things and prayed about them I soon released my intolerance, defensiveness, and my forgiveness and humbleness and love for those around me began to flow.   This unseen illness is a hard row to hoe, (don’t you love country references — sorry farmers daughter!!) but truly it is a hard thing.  It can turn you so inward that you forget there are those who love you and want the best for you. It can create a vacuum where you see nothing but the pain.  The pain can be overwhelming and sometimes you can’t get past it,  but it comes in waves,  always remember and never forget who has your back.  God, family, friends. Amen!

till next time……………

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Unseen Illness


Sitting yet in another waiting room…This one is full.  I am at the hospital lab for blood tests and an electrocardiogram.  Its been two weeks since I start the new increase in the pills.  So now I get the test results back in 6 weeks when I  see my doctor.  Try this, try that, but to be honest as I sit here with 25 other people waiting my turn, I wonder why we didn’t do this two years ago?? Through all this trial and error, this is the first time I have had blood work done.  You would have thought I would have had it done first.  Now I have it because the increase in the dose of drugs has side effects that can affect my heart ( somedays I feel like I am jumping from the pot to the fire).  I should be here for another 35 minutes before I see a nurse to take my blood and ekg.  I have already been here for 10 minutes.  I had to fast this morning, and that means no coffee..I love my morning coffee. A unstable person waiting in office for 40 minutes, no coffee – who knows what could happen!! (a little stab at humor)  The lady taking the paperwork looks like if she smiles her face would crack.  I can tell from watching her (and Lord knows I have time to watch) she does not like her job, or does she not like people.  I feel like saying hey dear you have a job be happy, maybe she is suffering like me – and in that case I wouldn’t like dealing with all these people too.

I am feeling a little better today.  I shut my phone off  Monday night I didn’t want to talk to anyone. Tuesday was better, I slept last night – took sleeping pills — it isn’t a solid refreshing sleep but it was sleep and that makes things better.  I will not be taking them tonight – I don’t take them two days in a row. 

I sent my Mother an email asking for forgiveness for not staying on Sunday for supper.  I really didn’t want to be around people.  I told her we had things to do and couldn’t be there and I was so sorry for it.  She emailed me back and told me if I get off the fast track I am living on and take some family time I would be less stressed.  She also said I need to grab these moments to spend time with family cause the time will come where there will be no more moments.  I agree with her on the Moments argument, but you can’t do it all and that is why I came home we had other responsibilities and couldn’t be there.  She thinks I am living life to fast and thus my mental instability.  If  I had a broken leg I would get more leeway in my decisions to do or not do stuff, but this unseen illness is disrespected as “all in your head” (which it is) but I say ‘in your head’ with all the sarcasm I can create, because that is how people who don’t understand or people give it no respect, respond. 

A lady I know was diagnosed with Cancer 10 years ago.  It was not terminal and it was self-contained so there was no drug therapy needed, just an operation to remove it and that was it. I asked her when it was all said and done, what was the one thing that drove her nuts about the whole process.  She said that the one thing that surprised her the most and bugged her was that everyone who found out she had cancer treated her like she was dead.  People thought “well  cancer kills so she will be gone soon, what a shame”.   Some people, who know I have major depression, talk to me like I am two, or in a way that will “not upset me” cause they again don’t understand.   Or every time they see me it’s like –“So how are you doing” with eyes that express pity mixed with a bit horror at the prospect of me flipping out and grabbing a sharp object and killing myself on the spot.  At work I confided in a fellow christian who has been feeling guilty having to give up some committees she was on at church cause she can’t handle it ALL anymore, as she deals with her menopause.  Everyday at least twice a day she asks me “So how Are you doing?”   The devil in me wants to say – “well not good I am going out at lunch and jumping in front of a bus”  That does happen, its nothing to joke about, suicide is a very serious thing.  The reason I bring this up at all is that this Illness and it unlike cancer or any other disease effects your whole life, and people don’t take it seriously.  

In my Mother’s case – “you are involved in too much and you have to get off the fast track life and relax then I won’t need to be on medication and you can get a grip of your life. ” In her case when she faced menopause,  she just decided that she was just going to be happy and that was that!  Other people see it as PMS gone crazy, “oh its just one of those moods” go play guitar and distract yourself it will be fine” .” Go for a run”, “just suck it up buttercup.”   Or “oh she is angry and moody she must hate me!  What is with her? ”  (sister-in-law’s response to a really down weekend I was having)  Or “wow she is a little crazy  and acting weird, just stay away from her”   If I had cancer they would just think I was going to die and leave me alone.  With depression people disregard you, try to ‘save’ you, or pity you.  It’s enough to make you depressed !! (joke)

So as I go through the process of doctor apt’s, blood tests, dealing with life, family, kids, husbands, in-laws, work and trying to hold it together you have this back lash of how people expect you to be and when you don’t measure up they criticise you.  Their expectations are to be witty and funny and bubbly like always.  I can not do it.

 

till next time……………..