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………………………

Advertisements

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……………..

From the depths


It has been a long week.  I had my first major anxiety attack in a long time.  I have had some twinges, some moments where I have had to talk myself down but this one was a pop the meds situation and it scared me, the thoughts going through my mind.  I almost checked myself into a hospital to be honest.  But my daughter left on a mission trip today for Panama and Thursday if I had done that she would have been majorly freaked out and I couldn’t do that to her.  So I called my neighbour who go to this restaurant every Thursday and invited myself and had my son drive me.  The kids were unaware for the most part what was happening to me but I had to get out of there and my husband was at a company golf tournament  Had I got in the van to drive myself I don’t think I would have stopped at the restaurant, I might have drove drove drove till I ran out of gas, I had a full tank.

So what was the trigger you may ask.  I don’t know I think it was building over time.  the previous week was a bit of a struggle, I blamed it on busy time at work.  This week I have been fighting a shadow on my back.  Its been there for days now.  I was doing VBS crafts this week.  I just did the crafts I didn’t teach them anything about the bible the craft/connection.  I didn’t believe it and I couldn’t say it and sound convincing so I left it.  I couldn’t even stand to listen to the music.  Every time they started I just cringed and the voices started up–” how can you listen to this, this is not really the truth– how can God be love when you are hurting so much”.  I had so many negative thoughts I could not stop.  But I was able one little victory – I didn’t voice them out loud, I knew what the voices wanted me to say but I would not say it.  But the thoughts, “walk away from his church, walk away from trying so hard, walk away from this delusion of saviour, love, truth, hope.  What is hope there is no hope just pain, death, struggle that is the real world.”  You can see how desperate the fight had become.

I asked my pastor to pray with me but couldn’t follow through – I felt foolish, and insane, and how do I say the things going through my mind.  Here in this format I can let it out, but face to face, out loud I am afraid I will totally give in. I kept thinking, First there was the word and the word became flesh–I didn’t want to add flesh to my words. I also didn’t want to be classed as insane, because that is pretty much how I have felt this week.  This week has also been a week of no sleep.  2 maybe 3 hours a night. I was doing VBS in the morning (only stayed to do the craft clean up and get the heck out of there) then working at my job from then till 2.  Cleaning up for next year.  I am officially done last friday, I now have a week to myself.  My daughter gone to Panama, my son working a 40 hour week, my husband still working too, then we go away for a week camping. It’s nice to have time to yourself but at the same time I am a little scared. I’m afraid of the extreme voices that came over me the past week.  I will fall back on our plan that my husband and I set.  I will (and I got heck for not doing it) call him at the first signs of losing it.  I didn’t last time cause he was 40 minutes golfing- what could he do from the 11th hole.  He is in his office this week and I promised I would follow the plan

I have no conclusions for this week… no Godly connections to make…. just an end of my writing for today.

Till Next time………………..

End of Vacation


It is my last day of vacation.  I work for a school so this year I have 6 weeks holidays.  It has been fun.  I have camped and sailed, bbqed some amazing meals ( well I bought and spiced, husband cooked- yummm) Tomorrow I head back to the office and dealing with 1200 teenagers, their parents and 100 staff members.  In someway I am looking forward to routine, in someway this means the end of the summer season, that makes me sad.  Not depression sad, but longing for warm days sad.  I love hot weather, the hotter the better. I don’t do cold well, and the thought of putting on jeans and dress pants  uggg!  It is what it is so adjust.

How have I been feeling?  I am still not sleeping well, in the past week I got 6 hours sleep one night, the most in a long time.  I average 3 to 4 most nights. I seem to get up and function.  I am not short with my kids, or husband.  I have been working like a dog these days, painting the house, gardening at home and at my church where they desperately need it.  I have done my fall cleaning and purged closets and dressers, moved furniture and cleaned the heck out of my house.  I am a clean freak, but in spurts.  I have anxiety over things not being clean, but a lot of the time I don’t give things a deep clean just a ‘hey that looks ok’ clean.  I have not been able to get back into a workout routine. Last week was good, this week I ran once and am too lazy in my mind to get out there.  But I will make up for that next week when I am back to work full time and organized again.

Self discovery this week?  I am really hard on myself.  I have come a long way in that I don’t feel quite so much shame in having depression.  Writing this blog and the response I have had from it has helped me realize that I am not alone.  Depression is so isolating, when I fall or am down I want to hide.  The mind is a crazy thing. I wear glasses.  I purchased dark rimmed glasses cause I figured that I could hide behind them.  Silly, because I think a dark plastic rim won’t attract the person’s attention to my face. (ya right!)  I have long hair, I wear it down and close to my face.  I change my profile picture on my BBM and Facebook to that of a guitar, cause I can’t look at myself.  I pull away and close off from people.  What I should be doing is opening up, drawing close to people, God, surroundings, make an effort to look open to people and not hide behind things.

Being hard on one’s self is also part of depression.  I think some males that I know ( not my husband)  feel that depression caused by menopause or just chemical inbalance is just  PMS gone crazy and don’t take the symptoms and the way the brain works as serious. I think they feel that its just a phase and it will pass but give no credit to the fact that there are psycological issues the person is dealing with outside of it just being a chemical imbalanced.  This makes me feel like the depression is my fault and I can do something to pull myself up at will.  It isn’t that easy and there are other depression traits.   I am a little bit of a perfictionest.  My kids would say “A little bit!!!”  People who are, do sometimes suffer from depression, another depression trait is anorexia, a denial of self, and punishment.  I have been thinking of this a lot lately.  God has been bringing it up to me often too.   I have mentioned it a couple of times in previous posts but not in detail.  I am suffering not only from the effects of the up and down moods- which over the past two weeks have been good.  I am suffering from anorexia also.  I could go for days without food and never think of it.  There are days I feel bad about me and force myself not to eat as punishment.  There have been days when I have done a run or intense work out and then in the afternoon gone for an hour walk to work off more.   I have never put these words down in print like this before, so part of this post is self-realization.  I had said once to a friend that I had a big dinner coming up that evening and was saving myself for it, they thought I was not eating for diet reasons.  That hurt, but they never knew it hurt.  On the surface it may have looked that way but deep inside it was my punishment.  For what?  I am not even sure myself.  Maybe for having fun, indulgence, I don’t know if I can put it into words. I went to lunch with a friend last week.  I didn’t want to and almost cancelled.  She insisted we go to a chinese buffet.  I was ready to get in the car and run.  I couldn’t go there and eat all that food.  I ate some, and just made sure I spread it around my plate lots so it looked like lots.  I didn’t eat for two days after cause it was way too much food.  A punishment again.

God has reveled to me on several occasions that He made this body and it should be treated as a temple that it is lent to me on this earth before I return to my heavenly Father.  I know in my heart He is right.  But there is a wall between heart and mind.  Somedays I can eat at least two meals a day.  Yesterday I had 1/2 an apple and three slices of Turkey breast meat.  Is that wrong, Yes!

How do I do this with a family and husband.  We are busy we do eat suppers most nights together.  I will excuse my lack or little serving of supper do to large meal I had a lunch or nibbling all day long which didn’t happen. Or if everyone is working or out I just don’t bother cooking at all.  Or make a supper of something I don’t eat.  I don’t eat pasta, or pizza or bread items so I make them for the family and eat a salad for supper.  So what is this?  Its lieing, cheating myself, and wrong.  The meds do not make me hungry.  I have to say its been a long time since I have said I am famished.  And Yes some of this is control when I can’t control my mind, some of this is punishment for not being in control.  It amazes me that I have got to this place.  It shames me that I think along lines that I have never thought before.  It humbles me infront of God cause it is his hand made body I am abusing.

God has been by my side during all this.  He has been gently reminding me that it is ok to eat, it is ok to love my body.  That I am blessed with a body that can run, work out, move, dance, pray, and do many many things.  I should celebrate this body that God gave me.  Its not too bad for a woman in her — well lets just say I’m not 30, but I look good for not being 30 🙂  God has been reminding me that I need to rely on his Love.  His love for the way he made me, and that he made me to be loved.  God always has my back. He always has his arm around me and he is always there to show me how I can improve me and come into balance with myself and him. Today I make a plan to eat at least twice a day.  Its not perfict but its a start. What do I do if this doesn’t happen, I will have a follow up with my doctor in a few weeks I will tell her and see what we can come up with.   In the writing of this post God has made me face what I am doing. I see in writing the destructiveness of depression the destructiveness I am causing my body and how I am hurting my relationship with God and I know through him I can overcome it.  It all comes down to trust.

God’s blessings till next time.