Future?

Slowly I take in the warm comforting solution that helps me wake up each day.   The people that leave for work are gone, and it is quiet.  Except for a snore or two from a nearby bedroom, I hear mostly the keys on the keyboard.  This is a rare morning for me.  Because my depression causes me severe insomnia, I must take medication to help me sleep at night.  This makes mornings extremely hard.  Getting up early can be almost an impossibility.  Wow, I never noticed how loud the wall clock ticked. My dog is asleep beside me in my recliner, and Dad’s dog is a few feet away staring at me from his living room bed.  It is pleasant. I am thankful for this few minutes to myself.

I have been reading and thinking the last few days about the condition known as depression.  While some say it is a myth, I know it to be a real obstacle.  There are times when the voice in my head tells me things that are completely opposite of the truth.  I know they are not true, yet the symptoms that accompany those thoughts make them hard to ignore.

You are worthless, you are unloved, you are stupid.  That is just a few of the things I have felt.  I know I am not worthless.  I have had to accept the fact that my disabled body can only do so much, but I am NOT worthless.  I am loved.  I have a wonderfully supportive, loving spouse who just adores me, I am still Daddy’s little girl, I have 3 children and a son-in-law who think I am the bomb.com, and friends and acquaintances that also think I am pretty awesome.  Even if all that were not true, I have a Heavenly Father who thinks I am to die for!  (John 3:16)

I am an intelligent being.  I am not stupid.  I may appear eccentric to some, but I am who I am.  I have tried in my nearly 50 years to never stop learning.  To be open to new challenges and adventures.  However, I can do very little physically, and I get motion sickness too easily for some adventures.  But all that said, I am a person who enjoys learning new things, and reading and of course writing.

When I first decided to begin this blog I was so excited, then I began to doubt myself.  Why would anyone want to read what you have to say? Came the objections. Fear tried to grip me, and cause me to stop.  But I plunged on.  No, it is not perfect, and I have a  ton of things left to learn to do better, but I will not let the doubt nor fear of rejection or lack of motivation detour me.

Jeremiah 29:11 in the Amplified version of the Bible reads, For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you, says the Lord, plans for peace, and well-being and not for disaster to give you a future and a hope.  Now I believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God, so this verse really speaks to my situation.  And to yours too.

God has plans and thoughts about us.  BOOM!  Mind blown.  In the book of Isaiah, it says that heaven is His throne and the Earth his footstool.  Now, why would a God that huge have thoughts on little ole us? (Southern expression intended.)  In a word, love.  Romans 5:8, But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  He did not wait until we accepted Christ to love us, He loved us before it all.

Back to Jeremiah 29:11.  His thoughts are of peace and well-being, not a disaster.  Peace. Remember peace?  When everyone and thing is quiet inside and out.  Those are the good days.  I wonder if His (God’s) thoughts are the reason that the symptoms come and go. I’m sure we can agree that well-being is not depression. Yet we have been given tools to combat these minions of depression.  I believe that is where our well being comes.  Spiritual leaders and the Bible, Doctors, and Medications, Therapists and friends, and someone close that you can confide in.  Sometimes that is a flesh and blood person and other times it is God himself.  You can talk to him as much as you want and He will never blab your business around town.

A support system is EXTREMELY important.  If you do not have one, get one! God the Creator has thoughts of us to give us hope and a future.  HOPE is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. FUTURE is the time or a period of time following the moment of speaking or writing; time regarded as still to come.

Hope and a future.  Sounds like a perfect reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Careful Directions

Life with depression can have its lows and highs.  There are days when you feel everything is wrong, and will never be right again.  Yet there are the days when the sadness seems a slight memory that you long to make a distant memory.  Those are the times when you push to do things that you do not normally do.  Today was that day for me.

My husband and I had taken a short drive into town together, which was a pleasant change of pace.  We even had time to hold hands and sing to some old Country and Western music playing on the radio.  It simulated the moments from when we were dating.  We have only been married for 9 years, but the stress we have been experiencing lately has caused us to lose track of time.  He is the man I have waited for all my life.  God took all the pain and sadness from all the past and multiplied it with twice as much love and happiness.

We picked up the middle child, Elyssa and ate lunch in town just the three of us. She is so busy with school and works during fall and spring semester we do not get to see her much.  Full of our meal and of all our chit chat, we climbed into the car to start for home.

A quick side note here.  Practically everyone in the world has a vice.  Some people smoke cigarettes, and some drink alcohol.  Some people get regular manicures and pedicures.  There are even people who have to have only the latest and greatest tech items.  This is not a judgment by any means, to each his own.  I have a vice.  Some people in my family might even say an addiction.  My thing is Diet Dr. Pepper.

Just for the record, I also have Hubby addicted. I can say with definite certainty that we are the only ones that in our home that feel that way.  I don’t think you could even pay any of them to drink it.

Well, today as we are leaving the parking lot, my dear husband reminds me that we are almost out of soda.  Now I am scanning the sale papers in my mind trying to remember who has our delicacy on sale.  Of course, the fog that comes along with my depression is playing with my memory.

I turned to my daughter in the back seat and requested that she ask Siri.  Her phone is more advanced than mine.  “Hey, Siri,” she said, and the phone beeped. “Where can I find Diet Dr. Pepper on sale near me?” Another beep comes from the small device.

“Okay,” the answer came, “I found a clinic with the nearest Dr. Pepper on…”I can not tell you exactly what Siri said after that because I was laughing so hard.  Actually, we all were.  We had gone from a beverage of choice being located to a real person of the same name.  Just crazy funny!  So many people use Siri or similar assistants every day.  I hope they are getting better results than we did today.

There are millions of self-help books, preachers, teachers, videos and CD’s, all claiming to know how we should live, and change and be in this life.  My personal experience is BE VERY CAREFUL.  Just because someone is popular does not mean they are in the right.  Just because they have published a dozen books is not proof that they are the one you should base your beliefs on.  1 John 4:1 read, Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God because many false prophets are gone out into the world. 

 You do not want to be deceived.  You do not want to follow someone blindly.  If someone is praiseworthy, you will be able to tell if you will only try the spirits.  Ask questions about what they say.  Do they line up with God’s Word?  If not, leave them be.   After all, today if I had followed Siri’s directions, I would have been sitting in Dr. Pepper’s office waiting for a beverage.  It really just would not have made sense.  Following people who look and sound good, but are leading people astray with wrong or slightly mixed up directions is a choice that will be detrimental to your eternity.

 

You really do not want to miss the article called GPS

The Bike Ride

I remember the sensation of riding my bike.   Up and down hills with the consciousness of my insides follow suit.  The abandon of the wind in my face and my hair touseling to and fro.

As a child, there were not many things that brought that joy.  Sure there would be the occasional moment of happiness, BUT me alone on that two-wheeled stallion of metal I owned the road.  Ever so often the path would become harder and cause the bike to shake. At these times I would grip the handlebar more tightly, and begin to be aware that speed is of the essence, and begin to pedal more quickly.  Sometimes the unevenness would bounce so violently that I felt more of a prisoner of the machine than the master. It would be disastrous to let go, so I clutch the handlebars firmly. With bated breath, I bite my bottom lip and urge the toy towards the calm just ahead.  The quick fix arrived as the course evened out. With relief, I pull the bike to the easement and stop. A deep cleansing breath is my first reward after my excursion. Slowly and carefully I attempt to loosen my grip on the handles. Although I have released my fingers, they remain in a tight curl. Tingling, burning pains surge through every digit. They do not seem to know that the ordeal is over.

I force them to stretch out still keenly aware that the circular motion seems to be burned in the memory of my hand. No telling how long will it take for these muscles to realize that the trauma is over.

Before long the pain is a distant memory and I climb aboard my ship of freedom.  The dismay, the pain, and anxiety are history. My laissez-faire attitude rises and falls with the clear comfortable passage that lays before me. I am once again master of my domain. King of my own castle. I am in control and on top of the world!

The bicycle that I rode for so long when I was a child is a perfect symbol for life.  Sometimes you are sailing along without a care in the world, and then You find yourself in a really rough spot begging things to smooth out.  There are even times when we fall off and have to pick ourselves up and begin to go again.

Now those of us who deal with depression and anxiety, we fall more often than most people.  We fall and we lay on the ground beside the bike and stare into space.  We dread climbing back up again, we fear to fall again, and we dread having to explain the situation to anyone.  Especially those who have no desire to understand.

If we could only learn that it is our personal trip. We must set our own personal goals, and learn to take care of ourselves.  Every single one of us experiences depression in a slightly different way.  It may overtake you more frequently than it does me, but my episodes may last longer.  It really is not important.  What matters is that we do our very best to care for ourselves.

There are people who love and care about you.   Spend quality time with those individuals and learn what you really enjoy doing.  Anything from putting together a jigsaw puzzle to skydiving.  Neither of those is my thing but that is o.k. too.  As my kids like to say, you do you.

So take the ride that is your life and make it exciting.  Do NOT allow yourself to lay on the grass and be afraid to get up.  You might miss out on the best part of life: LIVING.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the Storm

After the thunder rolls and booms like explosions in a war, and the dark, ominous sky seems to split and light up with the power of the lightning.  After the rain has fallen, soaking and saturating the ground causing the runoff to seek untouched places to fill, and the darkness has faded to grey.  There is space. A few fleeting moments of calm maybe even quiet, a thankfulness that the storm has ceased it’s raging, and the wonder of nature in its purity.  In that millisecond there is a type of Nirvana, the state of perfect nothingness. Peace.

 

This moment becomes more precious when the storm has raged longer than usual. When the lightning strikes are close and you jump seemingly out of your skin.  Your heart pounding in fear. Unadulterated forces working beyond your control. Winds howling, water punishing the earth below.  Then there it is peace. Catch your breath. Wait for the clouds to disburse. Along with the sweet peace trails hope.

 

Hope that you will again see the sun. That the flood will evaporate and leave land ready to harvest.  Yes, there is work after the storm and preparations for the next. For yes there will be another storm.  Flowers need sunshine and rain to bloom. So go ahead make your preparations. Do what you must do. Make sure you have your provisions and your umbrella and while you’re at it, grab your sunglasses, and watch for the sun.

 

Breathe in the peace after the storms in your life have passed by.  And cling to the hope that the sunshine is coming. Don’t just hope for it, Believe it! Know it. Wait and see what grows.  You just might learn to appreciate the storms as well as the sun.

Walking the Bird

When life gives you lemons make lemonade. I have heard that all my life. However, I believe, when you feel loaded down and stressed head to your local thrift store. I can not explain what finding a pearl among the oysters does for my moral.  I look for all types of items and for craft ideas it helps to think out of the box.  Or even what can you do with this box.

Well, today was a thrift stop day and my oldest daughter  I made it in just before a heavy downpour. It lasted quite a while which gave us plenty of reason not to rush through. I can guarantee you if you hurry you will overlook something.

My hubby always asks me why I buy things to donate them again later.  I told him I was just doing my part to stimulate the economy. Of course, he really doesn’t understand it but allows me to go on with my thrifty therapy.

So we ladies are shopping and find ourselves near the bins of stuffed animals. They were so full! Digging and digging to see who must go home with us, we finally picked up 4 mini animals. Each of them was chosen specifically.

We begin to push our cart away from the toy area when my daughter says, “What’s that?” She walked over to a shelf against the wall. Once she retrieved it, I could see fishing line connected to this fuzzy thing. Then I realized it was a marionette of sorts. It was this flamingo looking multi-colored bird.  He had seen better days and looked a bit haggard. Yet once my daughter got the idea of how to maneuver it, this guy came to life! His long fuzzy legs and feet stepped along as she walked. He would turn and look at people, and shake his head yes or no.  We were so busy having fun with it that we barely noticed people starting to stare.  She walked him to the front of the store getting looks and letting him strut.

“Oh my God!” One woman yelled, “I thought it was a real bird!” Then she proceeded to call over the rest of her family to see it.

That said discarded bird. No longer loved.  It became a tool to bring joy and laughter to others.  He is our bird now. And we will give him some much-needed love and pray we can bring joy to someone again.

Doing for others is a great way to help yourself too. Stop and look around you at the cranky, aggravated, mad, and just plain sour people that you will see.  So go ahead,  do something nice for someone else, and see how good it makes you feel!

 

We have more fun stories.  You can begin by clicking here: Marco Polo

Chick-fil-a Sauce

By now you have probably figured out that my family and I are “Eat More Chicken” kind of people.  We cook it at home and we eat it when we go out.  It is easy to get into a type of routine when it comes to your favorite eating spot.  My oldest gets nuggets, her husband a chicken club, my son a wrap, and my middle daughter always orders a regular chicken sandwich plain with Chick-fil-a sauce on the side.  These gospel bird creations make everyone happy if only for the few moments they are eating and digesting.

Anyways, the particular day of this conversation we are sitting around the table, chatting and passing out food.  My plain sandwich girl takes her sauce as always and prepares to put it under the top bun.  It is not a new thing, or an out of the ordinary thing and it usually goes off without a hitch, but…Suddenly I hear a shriek, “Oh, my God, I have Chick-fil-a sauce all over me.”

Now, this is a person who wants nothing but Chick-fil-a sauce.  No honey mustard, bar-b-Que, or ranch for her, no sir.  She is so sold on this condiment that I am not sure she would even consume her Chick-fil-a sandwich without it.  Yet, suddenly, this dressing that is the end all be all of the dressings is the most disgusting thing this young lady has ever seen.  She looks at me in desperation, “Mom, what can I do?”

I looked at her and replied,”Take some napkins and wipe it off.”

“Gee thanks, Mom,” she responded.

“You may want to go to the bathroom and clean your shirt and pants with a wet paper towel too.” I finished.  That really didn’t help much so,  we returned our thoughts to lunch.

CFA-Sauce

After an attempt at cleaning up and ate her sandwich with her second package of sauce. Because you never just bring one to the table and now we know why. Yet where the sauce has graced her tee and shorts, you could still feel the dip.  You could tell something has definitely happened. This could not be corrected without washing this set of clothes.  This sauce was good for the inside but not so comfortable on the outside.

Occasionally in life, things go along as usual.  You might even accuse life of being boring. No excitement.  Then your ordinary explodes and leaves you feeling dirty, sticky, out of sorts or to use a very technical term here, yucky.  It is at those times that the only thing that can help is to receive a good washing from the Word of God.  (Ephesians 5:26)

Some alone time in your quiet place to get things back to where they are supposed to be.  None of us are perfect.  No matter what some people may try and portray.  I am of the opinion that no one can know all the intricacies of the Bible, so we should read and study all the while asking God for guidance.  So, Take some time.  Clean up.  The world is watching and waiting to see how you will react when your sauce explodes.

The above photo does not belong to me and is used only for illustrative purposes only. No copyright infringement intended.

 

Caught in the Rain

       During the middle of a smoldering summer day,  I pushed the three and 1/2 wheeled shopping cart to my car.  I was under enormous pressure to complete my overreaching to do list that day, and I found myself stressed and overwhelmed.  The humidity made my clothes cling to me and the scorching rays of the sun caused my throat to be dry as the desert sand. I fumbled with my key and then opened the trunk to deposit my dozen or so plastic Mart bags.  I secured the cart with my left foot by the bottom bar and proceeded to make my transfer. “Last one.” I thought hoping to cheer myself onto completion. I misjudged the height of the trunk side and bumped the plastic bottles on the side of the metal trunk. The bag tore like wrapping paper on Christmas morning, and one by one my two 2-liter sodas bounced on the hot concrete and began to roll across the parking lot.  I panic and decide to chase down by purchases that were quickly escaping not even thinking about the fact that I had let go of the shopping cart. Now this Mart that we must shop at because there are no others is built on a slight incline. Just enough to keep any unmanned projectile picking up speed. I captured one of my soda bottles and then became keenly aware that my cart was careening in the direction of several parked cars.  

     I began to attempt to catch the cart for fear I should be the reason for someone’s insurance claim.  It must have been a sight watching a slightly overweight, middle-aged woman with a physical disability in her back, attempting to subdue a runaway shopping cart.  The miracle of Miracles, I reached the cart just before it kissed the side of a practically new Sudan. I panted in exhaustion and scanned the parking lot for a cart return.  I pushed the buggy to its resting spot mumbling under my breath about how stupid the whole thing was. Then I remembered I had one more soda to find. I use find here because, in hindsight, that was exactly what I had to do.  This thing had rolled underneath the cars and appeared to be completely gone. I was about to just give up when I decided to get down on my hands and knees and see if I could spot it. Simple enough. See it. Retrieve it. Go home.  

    So there I was crouching down, leaning on the sizzling pavement with my bare hands, and the bottom falls out of the sky.  It was one of those Florida summer pop-up thundershowers that arrive with practically no warning. I was feeling angry. I was on the verge of tears. Then there it was in my mind’s eye I could see myself: drenched and practically in a fetal position in the middle of a parking lot next to some strangers car.  I would have a hard time believing this story if someone I didn’t know were skulking around my car in the rain. Then from way down deep inside, I began to giggle. I knew I looked foolish. I looked crazy running across that parking lot chasing carts and soda bottles. Now I am drenched, makeup is streaking down my face, and my hair is tousled from practically standing on my head.  I smiled resigning myself to sacrifice the lost soda.

    I stood up and attempted to straighten my clothes as they hugged my torso.  I looked upward and allowed the cool rain to wash over me. I walked to the car.  I got inside and drove away as if nothing had happened. But I smiled all the way home.  It was all so silly. Before the rain, I was so angry, and now I feel almost giddy.

        We are all human.  We all make mistakes.  We all have issues. Next time you are not clear on what is causing a person to behave in an “out of the ordinary” manner just remember, they may have been on their knees caught in the rain.

 

For another good story click: Smiles 

My Triggers: NOW

Just like anyone who lives with chronic issues, I am aware of my symptoms.  I have depression/anxiety with panic attacks.  The triggers or things that cause symptoms to worsen can usually be easy to identify, and then easy to avoid. Sounds simple enough. If a particular person or a particular action creates more anxiety for me then I will just avoid them, right? Yeah, not so much. Besides overtime triggers can seem to change, reactions, as well as the response, can also begin to vary.

My symptoms began to terrify me in new and different ways this past weekend. I have suffered from anxiety with panic attacks for many years and I may not stop them but I have learned to slow them down. Well at least until my symptoms presented themselves uncommonly. Instead of heart palpitations, there was a weakness. Instead of hyperventilating, I simply had to force my air back and forth. Nevertheless, I was caught off guard by these new time thieves. Several hours later I still do not know what triggered that debilitating episode.  For more stories on symptoms and day to day life: Tidal Wave

So I make an appointment with my psychiatrist who after a lengthy discussion feels the medical Dr needs to evaluate me. Once I see the regular physician, she wants me to see a specialist. Now, while I am being passed from doctor to doctor I am receiving some treatment.  However, since I am being sent on is it the right treatment?  Or is this some sort of medical sport they play with us?  All I truly understand is that when you need help you generally do not want that to wait. Period.  Yes, I know I am not the only ill person in the world and that the doctor has other patients to see, but my symptoms are screaming at me which in turn make me want to scream at them.

 

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Medication

 

     So I will take my medication like a good girl and I will wait for my referral. And I will pray a prayer of thanks that God doesn’t require a referral.  He will see me now.  He will listen now. He understands now and is working on my behalf now.

Continue reading “My Triggers: NOW”

I will not turn 50, I will stay 49 Forever

I have decided to be 49 forever. I have a birthday this winter but have resigned to not move forward. Sure all my friends and family expect the big 5-0, but that is just too bad. It is not happening.  I’m too young to be 50, and not old enough to get the perks of a senior citizen.  Too old for the younger crowd and too young for the older group. A space of time in the universe when you just don’t fit.

My son tells me I am old, but he is a teenager and that is an expected position. Both of my grown daughters tell me that I am beautiful and do not look my age. Really? They can’t seem where time has marched across my face leaving crows feet and lines in their wake. I see them. The roadmap that shows that I have devoted many hours being mother, wife, caretaker, chief cook, and bottle washer.

O, I am not complaining.  I have had a blessed life.  Yet, here I stand on the cusp of “middle age” and I wonder if I have just been a passenger in the vehicle of life or if I have truly lived to the fullest?

My house is full of family members for one reason or the other. I seldom have a moment to myself, let alone a moment with my husband. I feel stress and worry that drag me down.  I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety with panic attacks many years ago. They do not necessarily do they come or stay in this order. If you have been there, you will understand. If not, you do not yet. My goal is to show what this regularly all consuming diagnosis feels like and how best I cope day to day.  Hobbies/crafts help with my diagnosis and I will share mine and ideas you might want to try. There is a biblical reference to each story I share. That will hopefully encourage you in your own walk. Laughter relieves stress so there will be a bit of that too. I am of the opinion, you can not survive without that!

So, while I  empty the nest, there is much to occupy my time. Join me on my journey and maybe together we can make a better world for those who fight every day.  Let us begin the journey here: Caught in the Rain