Tag Archive | mental illness

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 – ‘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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Sifting Through Some Memories

Today I thought I would take some time and clear out some miscellaneous boxes of old papers, cards etc. I couldn’t just throw away the contents without reading them.

So many memories were stirred within me by the cards and letters that I found. Reading them brought some tears, but also rekindled many times of encouragement from so many people. Sometimes we forget those who walked alongside of us during difficult times.

What struck me is that there were so many cards, with thoughts of love and support and prayers. In today’s society with so much done electronically through email, texting and Facebook  and perhaps other social media, that not a lot of people send actual cards in the mail anymore. I’m sure there are some that do so, but it’s not so common. Having been raised by a mother who did send cards and letters, I generally will send one to those who are ill or bereaved, and still many Christmas, birthday and anniversary ones as well.

When I was re-reading them it brought back memories of my relationships and friendships I’ve had during my life. I found special letters from my kids to me also; many of which were from the years when I was suffering with depression. It’s not that my whole life was defined by depression, as there were many times that life was good. I worked part-time and sometimes full-time, helped raise our three children and handle the other usual things in life.

Depression does though heavily impact our lives and those we love. There is no denying that fact. I guess some of the tears today, were because I was reading what the struggles were like. I found a journal that I had been writing in during this time also.

For those who are struggling now with depression or other form of mental disease, please know that while we may not understand or believe that there can ever be relief from it; we CAN and I DID!!

Do I wish that it had not been part of my life; you bet I do. Do I understand why… not really, not fully. Can anyone understand everything about the whys and wherefores of life? I’m sure the answer to so much is a big question mark.

So while it brought some tears in remembering, it also brought joy… to see how many cared, loved and supported me at different times in my life…..and to remind me of how far I’ve come!

Is my life perfect now without depression present? Of course not!

It’s just life; with challenges, joys and sorrows….just like everyone else has……………………

Diane

So Many Going Through So Much

Most that follow me know of my limited involvement right now in blogging. I am so hoping to get reactivated as a regular participant, and reader of so many of your wonderful posts.  There just has been one thing after another going on, and my concentration level and energy and time, has been scattered. Some issues I hope soon will be eased in my mind and I will be able to move forward.

When I think though of the issues in my life, I am so aware that others have so much more to bear than what I do. For some it is health, both physical and emotional; others perhaps a relationship or other hardship.

There are those whose issues are critical , and who have very low support from others in their lives; and a couple who need that love and support so badly. Without a break-through, their lives will continue to be at an almost unbearable level. I say ‘almost’ because they have been enduring these conditions of every day.

Having a history of depression for most of my adult life, (free of it for many years now though); I can so identify with the hopelessness that they feel most of the time. It is so daunting to want to give something more than words.

Words of encouragement can help I believe, but words sometimes are just that….. ‘words’. (forgive my over-use of words)

For me, my faith that I put in God has been literally my ‘salvation’, because when all else failed, I had that. When Jesus walked on earth for 33 years, he felt every kind of hurt, betrayal, physical and emotional abuse, and that’s what I realized every time I felt so many of those things.

However, even having been raised in a Church with those beliefs, some have still been hurt, and so what can I give?

I guess that something a speaker this week at church; born in a mid-eastern country, who was taught that Christians were ‘evil’…. said;  that the reason he changed his mind and accepted Christ; was that by the actions and the love he saw and received, it was evidence that his preconceived and learned prejudice and even hate…. was wrong. He had been raised very harshly and had never experienced this kind of ‘love and acceptance’.

So… all that to say; I guess for now, all I can do is continue to support, pray for and give ‘words’… but in those words may they instill  that which is so necessary…………….. ‘HOPE’ !

 

 

 

Dear Depression

Day 13 of Blogging 101 is to pick a blogging event from the Community Event Listings, and participate in the next round. I actually didn’t know about this aspect of WordPress. In any case I chose the topic of writing the topic of depression, found at ‘Dear Depression’.

Dear Depression,

You invaded my life and my family’s lives for far too many years. I didn’t invite you in, but you were like a thief in the night and before I knew what was even happening, you were just waiting! Early in our marriage you determined to look for a way to begin your lies and deceit. When we had our first child, you took a gift given to us and decided right then and there to grab hold of me. The fatigue that happens when parents are new, and the baby doesn’t sleep much, was your opportunity to strike, and you did. Many tears for longer than should have lasted, because it began a process of doubting my abilities as a mother, wife and a person.

Early on, you didn’t always stick around for too long at a time, and I would get a false sense of security, only to have it shattered time after time as you lurked in the shadows of my mind.

I fought you and pushed you aside whenever possible, but each time you appeared it was for longer and longer you stayed. There were so many doctors, psychiatrists, therapists, medications and hospital stays from time to time. And then one year I felt like I was losing the battle, and despaired of life itself. The world and my family would be better off without me, and so on a couple of occasions I thought perhaps I should do something to leave everyone in peace, and that I would also be free!

However, intervention took place that saved my life that year, though it was a great strain on everyone who loved me. For a number of years, while your presence was still felt from time to time I was able to function more than in the past. There were still doctors, and medications and to be quite honest I thought you would be present in my life forever.

Then I met a doctor who took care of my physical needs, who also asked me to participate in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, and who was a Christian and also prayed for me. This doctor had so much patience and cared very much, and was able to take me from the past with all the years of clouded thoughts into the present, to challenge all the lies and doubts you had me believing all those years. And you know what happened don’t you? Within a matter of a couple of years with this doctor, and with God’s help, I was free from bondage.

So, you see you didn’t have the last laugh; I did… because there has been freedom now for many years, and you ‘depression’ don’t live here anymore.!!!

Note:  There is hope for anyone who suffers from mental illness and in this particular aspect, depression. I was able to still raise our family of three children, along with my husband and they said, that while I’m sure they knew from time to time, Mommy wasn’t feeling well, they said they never doubted that I loved them. They are of course all adults now with grown children of their own. And they all turned out pretty darn good… if I do say so myself!