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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monday


Weekend over and back to work today– it’s going to be a busy one. Lots on the agenda at work and at home.  I leave for a work retreat over night Thursday night so that will be fun.   It was a good weekend,  spent some time outside pulled out the patio furniture – maybe a little early but seeing it makes me feel better.  Saturday was sunny and I spent most of the day cleaning out gardens picking up sticks.  Sunday cleaning up inside and putzing around, and had a nap, on the couch like a cat in the sun.  Time with friends, time with family, time with husband, went to church,  all the way it should be.

I was a little low this weekend. I haven’t been sleeping so I know that means watch out for the sadness incase it rolls in like a sudden fog off the water.    It did.   I turned my attention to praising God and ignoring the negative and repeating the positive.  Did the sadness just disappear, no,  I felt it, I just tried to work through it. Cleaned up stuff, did laundry, tried to take my mind off of it. In the long run I did ok. It’s just hanging on. Its Monday and I had another night of interrupted sleep.  I am back to a stepped up workout routine so we shall see if that helps.  I did 5 workouts last week and it didn’t help much, surely it will this week.

I prayed tonight with my Pastor his wife and my husband. It was a wonderful prayer time. God was with us and it was an evening of honesty and prayers of thanks.   It is a real blessing to sit with your best friends hold hands and pray.

An author; whose books we 4 have read, son, committed suicide. I didn’t know the boy but it strikes hard at your heart, only 27, good christian family – no drug abuse,  just died by his own hand.  It strikes hard at someone who suffers from depression.  A depression sufferer understands that the pain and anguish of depression that never leaves you.   Some days its better, some days its anguish.   It is a companion that never leaves your side. It is at the ready, as tight as your shadow.
In discussing things last night I don’t think some of them understood how when you are good you are never what you were, and when you are down you can never effectively communicate how dark and lost you are.   I was good last night but there were 5 of us praying I was #4 my depression #5.   Its like watching students in the hallway at school- they always have a knapsack on their back – mine is the weight of depression.

In the course of the evening, after I got home, I came clean about some of the things I had encountered over the past two years with my husband.  I hadn’t really told him that there were times that I thought about suicide, or the extent that I punished myself with not eating and belittled myself when I was down and couldn’t “pull up my boot straps” and get on with it.  I had told him that I had seen the line of suicide – and I did, I never thought how.   In truth; I did not think how to do it, but the consideration that death is a way to end the anguish  and how the line more encircled me instead of  just standing in front of me was true.  It is frightening today to think how far gone I was and how my husband, unbeknownst to him, saved my life one evening when I was alone in the dark.  Today it seems like a fantastical dream, but when I read my journal from those days, they reveal a death of spirit, and cornering of darkness, and a lost frightened girl.

The depression is the same today as yesterday, so how can it be different. It’s not drugs, it all goes back to one afternoon not long ago, laying on a couch looking at the clouds going by a window thinking I could have this for the rest of my life. I have harped on this before, but I have a strange peace from it and it has held on ever since then. The desperation of the illness seems to lessen. It has made it a part of my life. As I go through each wave the next down isn’t a surprise. I am not thinking on every up swing – “ok feeling good this is it”, only to be disappointed when the next down turn arrives. The second thing that seems to have changed for me is the words I read in the bible, Jesus always says when he arrives anywhere or an angel says when they are delivering a message in the bible, “don’t be afraid” Those words are said 380 times. You would think that we would be able to rely on those words. The dips I have had this week I have been telling myself “do not be afraid, and my trust in God”  seems to have increased so as the devil slithers around me and wants to strike fear in me I have not been afraid cause God is in control, Lord knows I am not. I maybe have come to terms with the fact that I have loss control of my mushy mind and set my expectations lower. Acceptance seems to have made a difference – for now.
Next once I get the specialist report, and decide my next drug plan, it is my plan to get off some of the more harmful drugs and keep on ones that are a little more – body friendly. Messing with them is never a good idea but I want to feel more like me and be able to cry at a good movie, love my husband a little more fully, and not feel the good feelings be pushed down with the bad feelings. First the doctor has to come through for me!! If I ever see that report.

till next time………………..

He has Risen in Deed


Easter has come and gone– time is flying on, except that Spring didn’t get the memo and it is still really cold in Ontario.  How I long for spring and warmer days.  Soon, it will come I am sure, in the mean time the birds have returned and are singing every morning and it is wonderful to wake up to them.   Easter was great, I felt good and spent some time with my Mom and some time with my husband’s Mom and husband and had our friends over, Easter dinner was a blast.

I called my Doctor today still haven’t heard about my psyc. assessment, called the hospital and they will fax it this week.  Its been over 2 months if I was suicidal I would be dead by now.  I am curious as to what the Doctor has to say, and I am on hold till I hear from her to see what drug decisions I need to make.  So we wait.

I have been feeling good, as I said, I feel like Jesus has calmed the waters of this storm. It has been peaceful and empowering. Maybe some of this has to do with the acceptance of depression.  Maybe the peace is a result of the process of Lent, an affirmation of God‘s Holiness and giving it defilement. Maybe I’m just on an up swing.  What ever is happening I am feeling stronger – this week.

I was listening to a sermon over easter and one of the lines that came out of it that stuck with me was what the devil said to Adam and  Eve to create the fall of man and this ties in with the death of Jesus, to right, Eve and Adam’s wrong.  Adam and Eve created by God were told not to eat from the tree of Good and Evil or they would die. The serpant, who was the devil said to Eve ‘surly you will not die’ or in other words: Gods words are not truth. He planted the seed of doubt. Second lie ‘eat and you will be like God knowing good and evil.’ or you know better what is good for you, take control, power over yourself ‘ I was astonished.  These words were spoken apx 4000 years ago, and they are the same words that the devil has whispered to me.  In my most confused states the devil has whispered the bible is not truth, God would not allow you to hurt so much if he were true.  Or come and rest with me you will not get peace in the light, hide in the dark, who will see you, take control and do not rely on God to find your rest, he afflicted you.  It is the same words he implied in the temptation of JesusDevil “make the rocks become bread” or take control of your situation why suffer.  Second temptation “I will give you the world….worship me” or come to me and get what God can’t give you- putting limits on God.  Third temptation was to prove who Jesus was and test God in to looking after him on the spot.  Or what the devil has said to me, God does not care for you – you are the lost sheep and he is not looking for you.  Mean while I was always in God’s pen I just needed to open my eyes and see it.

I have always  read Genesis and thought ‘I can’t believe that Adam and Eve fell for it’ how could they be so deceived, especially since they had walked with God in the garden of Eden? But I fell for it, and long before I suffered from depression.  Being in a depressed state, I have become more sensitive and  heard the voice louder, telling me in the same words.  ‘Surely you will not die, be in control, go to the darkness and be godlike and find peace.’  What I found was not peace, but torment.  What I found was not the love of God but hate of myself, my life, my being. The dark is torment hate, and everything God is not, but the devil wants to decive you but he can never snach you out of God’s hand if you believe

As I said in the previous blog. When Peter walked on water he quickly looked at the storm and the darkness below him instead of focusing on Jesus. When my mind gets confused and I can’t make sence of right and wrong you feel only the dark, the coldness of the water coming over the bow  of your boat. The emptyness as you feel you are the only person in the boat. Jesus doesn’t seem to be there, you are fightened of being sucked into the abiyss.  You are desperate, panicked in the darkness.  I have not felt that way over the last couple of weeks.  I feel as if I have a barrier up and the storm is far away, a distant memory.  I have put God in the right place of my mind, Divine and Holy. There has been a change over this Lent season, I am not sure of all the ramifications of it or can put a name or pin point a time or place of it,  I just know I am in a far different place than I have ever been before.  Praise God.

Till next time……………….

Holy Week


I am going to say I had a miracle this weekend. I have had a brutal cold, thanks to my son ( I knew I never should have taught him to share!  haha) So it’s a week and half still coughing to the point when I have a real coughing fit, I have to put my back against a wall because it hurts.  So Friday after a bad coughing  day and went to bed coughing and sputtering, ( I made a model T sound like a purring kitten)  but as I lay there I said “Lord I am so tired I need sleep please let me get some sleep tonight.” I woke up at 8am – I didn’t cough once all night. I felt so good I couldn’t believe it.

Friday my husband had a really bad day at work, with a co-worker, he was very upset. That Saturday morning I was so elated to not cough and felt rested that I lay there Praising God for giving me what I needed most. Then I put my hand on my husband and prayed for him.   My man is very heartfelt, conflict like that bothers him very much and he will play the events over and over in his mind.   I felt God poking me. Poke, poke, poke, the message I was getting “you prayed in silence now pray it aloud”. I did what a normal human does – ignored it.  So after a few more pokes, I started to pray aloud.  We felt uplifted, it was a good day.

It is a lesson on trust.  Trust is one of the hardest things to learn.  Depression takes away that trust.  You know your mind is not processing things right and you distrust everything.  Your emotions carry you away like a tornado from Kansas.  The darkness takes away your ability to see where you are stepping, there is no light upon the path; that you can see, and as a result you curl up in a ball unable to unclench your eyes afraid of the dark afraid to open them because you won’t see the light and you become paralysed.

I was reading about Peter the other day – I love Peter (if you have never read about him look it up in your bible – well worth it).  Peter is the sum of humanity.  He is a man’s man.  He is a fisherman, aware of nature, rugged, hard-working.   He is loyal, not afraid to grab a sword to defend himself  or his friends.  He is real, he knows who Jesus is and is the first to say go away from me I am a sinner.   He also speaks out of turn, lets his enthusiasm get the better of him, so he is heartfelt.  He denys he knows Jesus 3 times – he is like the rest of us. There is a story of the disciples in one of their boats and they are crossing a body of water and a storm blows up.  Its bad and they know they are in trouble – even though most of them were fishermen by trade, they are panicking.  They look up and here comes Jesus walking in the storm on the water.  As what is happening sinks in for these guys, Peter asks Jesus if he could walk to him.  Jesus asks him to come and he does and is doing ok, for a bit, then realizes what his feet are doing and sees the darkness around him and begins to sink, Jesus grabs his hand and helps him.  The meaning of the story is obvious.   But as I rolled this story around my mind I was thinking more of the storm than of Jesus.  The storm is a great example of our trials in life but also of the storm of depression.

The portral of people, who suffer from depression on TV, to sell the latest drug, shows people quietly sulking, at least that is how it looks.  There are times I curl up in a ball and can’t move, but the mind is nothing like what the body is doing.  The mind is swirling like a perfect storm.   Thoughts, voices, misconceptions, twirling around, you feel the coldness of the loneliness, the emptiness and you can’t shake it.  The fear of the wind of lies blowing from all directions as you feel yourself being blown all over the map. You see the darkness below you the abyss that wants to suck you down and never give you up.  This is exactly what Peter experienced, the wind of divisiveness, the dark abyss below, the fear, the coldness of  the emptiness, alone on the water out of the safety of the boat. The doubt of what you see to what you feel.

The next thing that happens in the story, besides Jesus saving Peter,  Jesus calms the storm.  The winds stop, the lake becomes like glass, and they are at their destination.  This is the season of Lent and beside it being a time of repentance, and lets face it, praying and repenting doesn’t last that long.  40 days of ‘forgive me God’ gets old.  Don’t get me wrong,  I need every second of that time, for I am a sinner.  but, Lent is a good time of introspection but it is also a time for expansion.  Expansion of thought, of trust, of faith.  This lent I have had some up moments, but I have been mostly down, but not lost in the dark.   Of all the readings, services and things I have done this Lent one thing sticks in my mind (which is saying something cause my memory doesn’t stick well 🙂 but it is the 5 words:  I don’t know my place.   God is Holy, divine, and I am not.  I don’t think of myself as wonderful and divine, but I do think I am; or am desperate to, be in control.  Don’t we all.  Depression takes away your control because chemically your brain misfires and you can not control it.  When I heard that, it felt like an arrow hit me in the heart!   I have had a couple of things that have bothered me through out this process of depression.  Why will God not take this from me? When will it be over? I miss my old self. I can’t believe I am suffering from this and how frightening it is to be really low.    And then comes the thought.  As a christian one of the major problems we have is not knowing our place.  As it says in Job, God asks ‘who is it that speaks words with out widsom’.  That be me!  I do not know my place and I want God to ‘fix’ me.

The reality of all these thoughts.  I am suffering from depression, it may and could last the rest of my life, I have an amazing Lord, Father, that is divine and powerful, and knowledgable.  I am not.  These thoughts have made humble, they have made me repent, they have brought me closer to God.  It has put me in the right place.  I know God is in control.  I have put myself in the place I should be, it has increased my trust in God and it has increased my faith.

So now what?  I am still a sinner, I am still struggling, I am still suffering from mental illness, I have up days and down, but the days don’t seem so hard, my heart feels more full.  Maybe this is just a moment in time.  Tomorrow could be a dark and evil day for me.  But if it is there are a couple of things I have to  hold on to.  I have the memory of the fullness of my heart and the joy I feel today.  I have a wonderful supportive husband, family and friends, and most of all I have hope…. amen

till next time………………………

Dear Lord


Dear Lord I am praying tonight for the brokenhearted. Me included, but more than me, I have been traveling around the past few days talking to old friends and people from my home town. Hearing their stories of late, having them tell me stories of past, stories about me and how I made them laugh long ago. I don’t know how this happened, I know you put them in my path these past days. I prayed with and for them. I am pulled down by the pain and heartbreak they are enduring but Lord I hope I was able to show your love and light to them. God bless them and show them the Light and the way. I need to spend more time with my Mom. She needs my help. Help me find the energy, time, and clarity to help her. Bless the people who are broken hearted and love them dear Lord. All these things I place into your hands and pray the prayer that never fails, may your will be done. Amen

The truth of pain.


Lord do not forsake me, for only by your hand is there clarity. For my mind is a jumble of mixed up thoughts. A pile of mixed up words. Darkness of confusion. As I sit in church and look at your cross I want to see the clarity your word. If God is reaching for man and man is suffering in a pain that the painkillers won’t heal and the doctors do not know how to cure, that the wine does not numb, how do you look at God and see his love. Do I not believe in it? My head says yes I believe in his Love but the pain of suffering can not help but make you think that you are being punished. Forgive my unforgiveness and unbelief, for the pain of the confused mind overshadows truth and love and creates a sink hole of darkness. As I take the body and the blood and kneel at the table of God, my mind is a swirl of light, dark, You want to trust but you feel punished, yet you ask for forgiveness. I do not ask for God to take this pain anymore, I have asked and it is still here. I don’t ask cause I fear disappointment. I know in my head that God’s timing is not mine, but God what ever I am to learn from this, how thick am I that I have not learned it, so this pain can be taken from me. A swirl of thoughts as I kneel at God’s table ….I eat, I drink, I ask for forgiveness, repent, yet when I leave, I do not go in peace. Its no where to be found, and that is the pain. A tight heart of hurt, a grip that never loosens, Drugs that numb you and a mind that thoughts are blank.

till next time……

Self


Self, I have been obsessed with myself the past few days. I have looked at myself from so many angles that I feel like I have been in a 360 mirror spinning around – like a dog chasing its tail.  I say I have been obsessed, not from a prideful point of view. Not from an admiring point of view.  From a critical eye, but more from an observation point of view.  You have those moments when you realize you have to sit back and look.  Depression is so much about feel.  I feel sad, threatened, frightened, in darkness, evil, hurtful, alone, unloved, unworthy. Depression is never about looking, actually most of the time you want to hide, close your eyes and disappear. Opening the eyes is not natural when you are fighting, taking prescribed drugs and coping. It’s funny as I look at my list of feelings – they are all the opposite of what God is.
The fruit of the spirit of God is Love  it can expel and conquer our selfishness. In a “me” generation it is easy to see why Me Self is so easy to fall into–we even inject it into our spiritual life. “God helps those who help themselves” NOT in the bible. Self is a curse when it comes to our relationship with God. Praise the Lord, Jesus was sent to save us from ourselves. There was a time, though it seems long ago, but there was a time that my “self” held its hands up to praise the Lord, full of joy. (And in a Lutheran Church lifting hands higher than your shoulders is saying something  🙂 ) I think this depression has taken so much from me that there is not much self left…..and to surrender this ragged piece, that, wants what the world wants, that sometimes holds on to the darkness even when I really don’t want to. To give oneself to God fully seems impossible. I know I have a sinful nature and that only through belief in Jesus can I really accomplish it, I don’t see much of me left to give. A thought — maybe my acceptance of mental illness is based on the fact that I see and feel a difference from before to now. Maybe my rejection is because I haven’t grieved for the person I was. In print that seems ludicrous. In my heart I understand it. I was an amazing multi tasker! I could easily be doing 3 things at once– I can’t do that now. I have times when I lose my train of thought half way through a sentence. I did that more than once when I had my dr apt this week. I have always had great comprehension, Now I have to bounce things off people as a sound board so I know what something means. I’m not drilling myself into the ground it’s just the facts. Side effect of the drugs, and that is a truth I haven’t given much merit. The drugs push so much down, and have several side effects. I have taken them off the hook for blame– I need to give it back to them–they effect my brain just as much as the depression. The new Doctor this week said that I have developed some good coping strategies and need to learn more for acceptance….I don’t believe this is a life long condition– but for now I have to face reality.

Since I wrote the above, I finished work and went to my work out group I created at work. We work out to the Insanity Work Out DVD from Beachbody ( kinda of ironic isn’t it — the work out is called insanity!….come on its kinda funny!) Shawn T the main guy on the DVD is calling us out– telling us to come on, we can do this, try harder, dig deep, lets go, — major pep talk while we work ourselves into a sweaty mess. Insanity is hard-core– very cardo very push and pull against your body weight, its boot camp like– google you’ll see. I feel very empowered when I do it and I can control how I work out and I get off on it to be honest. As a teen I never really worked out much, now I love to push my body over the edge, to see what I can to physically. As I was working out with my group I had a light go on as I was finishing up the work out. Shawn T is drill sargenting us- I’m getting pumped up on it – even though I am drenched with sweat and pushing on. I realize one reason why I have a tough time accepting my depression. I push myself. I can physically do things now I never gave thought to in my 20’s. After two kids, I ran a half marathon, trained for it myself, done p90x twice, done lots of other physical stuff and considering I never did anything like this before, I am proud of myself, and love to push myself to see what I can do next.
That is why I can’t accept my depression. I feel like I am two people; one is invincible able to physically push myself to do so much. Mentally I fall flat! I have limits and issues and they make me feel vulnerable and fragile. I am two people in one.
That is my revelation for tonight — need to think about this more.  For now however  I have dinner at my sister-in-laws to night.  Look out that could be another 4 blogs in itself.

till next time……………..