Tag Archive | depression

Reflections From the Past – but I Left Them Behind

In preparation for selling our home in the April, my husband ‘W’ and I have been trying to de-clutter all that we can, as we’re going into an apartment. In doing so we found some things that are from a long time ago, causing ‘reflections from the past.

Now my belief is, that really one should basically not  look into the past too much especially at the worrisome or difficult times. But in having to clear some of it to decide what to throw out, I read a bit of the notes from cognitive therapy I had done and also some writings from a couple of journals. I didn’t read a lot of it but enough to take me back in time to the last period of depression that I had suffered.

We also were deciding what VHS tapes to discard, and so watched a couple not knowing what was on them. There wasn’t anything bad in them, but one was of a cruise we took during another of my ‘episodes’ of depression. We went with his two brothers and their wives, and it reminded me of how little I enjoyed that ‘what should have been’, wonderful vacations. I didn’t recognize most of what ‘W’s  brother had video-taped. I spent so much time by myself, lying down and sleeping so much.  I don’t think I ever went up to the top deck, where the pool was.

I suppose we thought that the cruise would brighten my spirits, but instead it seemed to intensify them.

If you have suffered from this ‘darkness’ of mind and spirit, you’ll know that sometimes good and nice things, or people laughing and having fun make you feel worse.

Anyway, I didn’t stay in the negative zone too long, just long enough for a few tears. I shredded all the material, dried my tears, and left it all behind.

I never want to revisit that place, where at times I could not see any hope or way to feel joy again. It is in the past and will remain there……

I looked into the past for awhile, but only to find out how far I have come!

Thankfulness Mondays – Those Quiet Moments

Week 32 (of 52) I’m joining Bernadette from ‘Haddon Musings’ each Monday, posting of things large or small to  be thankful for, in an effort to offset areas of negativity that surround us on a daily basis

As I’m sitting here, it’s Sunday evening and thinking about what I would write, there was a realization that just being able to sit at home relaxing, was something to be thankful for.

While we all have concerns about situations or people in our lives that may be going through difficult times, I thought that there can be those quiet moments, when we can turn everything in our minds ‘off’ for a little while. There can be a temporary respite from everything, and we can just enjoy whatever we are doing.

When we can’t do this, it can wear us out. When we can’t stop the concentration of all that is not right in our world around, it can be debilitating. I remember so well going through many years of intermittent depression when negativity was so present in my mind, and peace was nowhere to be found.

Depression is not something we ‘invite’ but for many reasons, it just happens. And it’s not just as simple as thinking only nice thoughts, but so very much more. Negativity takes over and robs us of hope. For me it took a long time to find a way to examine my thinking pattern, that had developed over the years, and by doing so, with the help of God and a very kind and caring doctor I was released! Not that I don’t think or have those trying and sad moments, but it’s not the same.

So today, I am just thankful for those quiet moments of reflection and the peace that I have.

I hope that you have, or can find that same peace if your mind is troubled…….  !

2 Timothy 1:vs 7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 

 

Thankfulness Mondays -” I Have A Dream “

Another Monday (week 24 of 52) participating with Bernadette from ‘Haddon Musings’, recognizing things in our live to be thankful for, offsetting many negative issues that surround us all daily.

I’m thankful for the ability to ‘dream’ and to recognize some of them being realized even greater than what I could ever have imagined.

When I was young my greatest dream was to one day have a family; to love and to raise them to be the best they could be. The dream was never to insist they be a doctor, lawyer, politician or anything that evaluated their worth by how important or rich they became. My only hope was that they would grow and be ‘good people’.

Because my mother instilled in me that love, compassion and kindness were more important traits, I wanted the same for my children should I have any in my future.

When I was going through many intermittent years of depression, my dream was to be well and enjoy life more than I did, but even more importantly to alleviate the times that were difficult for those around me, that had to see me so unhappy.

There were hopes and dreams that I might make a difference in this sometimes chaotic world we live in.

Well, I have to say that the fulfillment of the important dreams that I had, were more than I could have asked for or imagined… as is written in the Bible. That’s what God promises to those who can believe Him.

I have a family to love and cherish, and who share that love. They have made lives for themselves and are happy.

Several years now, I have been freed from depression…. not always from sadness or problems… but ‘depression!

I was able for many years to work for an organization that helped people overseas and within our country, who were/are in need of the very basics in life.

…And having said that, there are so many in this world that can’t even hope to ‘dream’ for anything different than what they have known for much of their life; war, hunger and physical health.

So I’m enlarging my ‘dream’ to hope for their future, that one day they will have all that they need!

Family picture last year. Our three children and us.

Family picture last year. Our three children and us.

Thankfulness Mondays – ‘Hope’

Again participating with Bernadette of Haddon Musings for week 21 of a year, taking Mondays to post about something that we are thankful for, offsetting negative thoughts  and actions in our lives and in the world in general.

Today, I’m so thankful for all that’s implied in the word ‘hope’.

There really is much in our lives and in the world we live in, that can rob us of joy and peace. I know I’ve had many obstacles in my life, and when you suffer through depression ‘hope’ fades….. but it never totally abandoned me! There was always a flicker of hope, even during my most difficult times. That’s what kept me going; kept me believing that I could get better; and I could overcome.

I was confused and troubled and cried out to God for help, but there was always that ‘flicker of  “hope’ within me. This scripture verse I believe is apropos.

Romans 5:3-4 “We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”

Now I don’t believe that we exactly rejoice when we’re going through difficult time, but in retrospect everything I went through made me stronger and made me who I am today.

So I can say that in a sense, I cannot be unhappy with that time and what I learned as I persevered, and hope grew within my very soul.

p.s. I just found out this is my 5th year anniversary for blogging.

always-start-from-hope

Thankfulness Mondays “Reblog’ Please Be Patient with Me –

Thankfulness Mondays – Reblog
I participate with Bernadette from Haddon Musings each Monday for a time, just being thankful for things large and small. This week since my sister is staying with us, I have posted a blog I did in 2012.
I am so grateful for friends and family who continued to love me during some very difficult times during periods of depression. I am also thankful for the past number of years that I have been released from what I called in one of my first blogs….as ‘The Darkness’… Diane

hometogo232

I’ve written a little about the fact that when there is a person with some form of mental illness how the people around can help them. But this is about the fact that maybe one of the most important things that a spouse, parent, sibling, friend or anyone connected with that person can do is to ‘be patient’.

That one thing while it seems so simple is anything else, ‘but’. It is something that must be demonstrated over and over again…and in many cases people just can’t do it. It wears thin after awhile. For me, it took my family and friends years of patience. Some couldn’t handle it and slowly pulled away. I don’t blame them really as it can be an exhausting situation. After all who wants to be around someone who is more often than not in a negative mood, and really can’t participate…

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Thankfulness Mondays – ‘This Little Light…….. ‘

As I’m participating with Bernadette of Haddon Musings, taking the opportunity to share some of the many things we have to be thankful for in our everyday lives, today I’m thankful for ‘light’ !

Of course there are different kinds of light. With the autumn weather and the oncoming winter coming,, there will be less hours in the day when we will have sunshine. It is now getting dark around 6:30 pm or so. I appreciated the summer with the warm weather and sunshine, and not getting dark so early. But we have electricity which means I can turn on all the lights I want…. maybe some candlelight  too!

There are some who actually have a condition called ‘seasonal affective disorder’ or (S.A.D.) during the months that have less sunlight. It can cause a level of depression. ( My sister has this.) There are special lamps now that you can buy, at pharmacies and other stores, whereby you sit near it for a period of time during the day. I know someone who uses one, and they have said that it does help.

Some of the types of S.A.D. Lamps available

Some of the types of S.A.D. Lamps available

Then there is a ‘lightness’ of our spirit, or the opportunity to share some light to someone who is going through some difficulty. I remember when my own spirit felt darkness all around. during the times I suffered with depression. In fact one of the first blogs I wrote, I called “The Darkness”!

And I don’t mean that we have to try to cheer up the person, because that’s the last thing they need to hear really; they just want understanding, and support and to perhaps listen when they need to talk….  but maybe we can be the light that can  give them some hope.

I’m remembering a line in a children’s song from Sunday School….  “This little light of mine….I’m going to let it shine”.

 

 

Thankfulness Mondays – I’m Not Perfect !

Another Monday joining Bernadette from Haddon Musings, being thankful for things large and small and in between!

I was just thinking about the fact that I used to struggle with ‘the perfectionism complex’, and am so glad that for the most part I finally realized that it is futile to attempt to be perfect.

When I was younger and also not so young, I hated to make mistakes. I’m not sure when it started to bother me so much. Maybe it was when I was in school, and being very shy. A few times I can remember being laughed at or embarrassed when I answered a question incorrectly. It made me much less likely to hold my hand up when the teacher asked. I can even remember a teacher in Grade 6 or 7, who told us that since there was going to be an observer in his classroom, he wanted everyone to hold up their hand when he asked for an answer. He said to hold up your left hand if you knew the answer, or your right hand if you didn’t know the answer. So I held up my right hand! He picked me by mistake and then ridiculed me because I didn’t; slamming his ruler on the desk as he did so. I was mortified! I don’t think I ever told my mother even, as she probably would have put in a call to the school.

Anyway, I went through much agony different times through my life getting so upset when I would make a mistake. This was very difficult to deal with as I struggled with intermittent depression through most of my adult life. Thankfully, I have not for the past several years. It makes it hard for relationships also, as one expects others to be perfect too. It is not a reasonable expectation to do so, because it just isn’t going to happen!

There are times when it almost sneaks back into my thinking, even as I have tried to learn new things such as painting. But I catch myself, before it takes root and it’s such a relief.

So if you’re like-minded and tempted to expect perfection, I hope you’ll be kinder to yourself!

I’m not perfect…. and I’m so grateful not to worry about trying anymore!

My 'less than perfect' painting of fall colours..

My ‘less than perfect’ painting of fall colours..