A dozen helpful thoughts

This is from Proverbs 31 Woman which is from a Christian viewpoint.  A Dozen Helpful Thoughts For When You Feel Depressed. 

I think it would be a good exercise to take each of the questions and write them out in your journal and think about why you might be feeling this way.  Of course I understand if you're tired of everything and don't want to do that.  I know how it feels when everything is exhausting and you don't want to do anything. 

In that case, you might just want to color or write something.  Find a hopeful thought and write it over and over and over.  Use different colors of Sharpies.  I do this and then draw pictures on top of it to make art.  I find it relaxes me, centers me and helps with the depression.  I write Bible verses but if you are not a believer, you can write anything personally meaningful to you. 

Here's a link to some great quotes on hope.  Brainy Quote

Infuse your life with action. Don't wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. Make your own love. And whatever your beliefs, honor your creator, not by passively waiting for grace to come down from upon high, but by doing what you can to make grace happen... yourself, right now, right down here on Earth.

Bradley Whitford

Turmeric as effective as Prozac.

That's what this study says.  I want to try it because I don't enjoy the side effects of Prozac and I do enjoy spicy food.   http://www.inquisitr.com/3574246/studies-show-turmeric-beats-depression-active-ingredient-curcumin-works-as-well-as-prozac/  In our quest to fight depression naturally, this seems like it would be a good ingredient to have on our side.    Unsure how to put turmeric into your diet?  I am too.  I found a few resources though.  Here's an article from Kitchn about how to eat it. and it includes this important note:

"Black pepper improves the bioavailability of turmeric, making smaller doses more effective" 

Here's a chili recipe that includes turmeric.   I may try this one.  Crock Pot 365.    I would think you could put a little bit in most chilis or spicy soups. 

If you don't want to eat it, or if you just don't feel like cooking (I understand) you can take it as a supplement.  Amazon

Apparently it has other benefits too.  Check out this article.   Apparently it helps with artitis and inflammation.  I'd better get onto making this chili.  :-) 

Anything that helps our depression is a tool we can use to overcome it and get back into life. 

It's been a rough year, but ...

I'm still here.  I'm still kicking.  I'm getting up in the morning and doing what I need to do.  I am practicing some mindfulness and being in this moment and getting better at it.  I think about washing the dishes when I'm doing them, at least part of the time, think about the warm soapy water, instead of using that time to worry about everything under the sun, think about what's not going the way I want it to, etc., which is my norm.  I try to go outside and sit for a moment, looking at the sky and the trees.  I try and connect with people.  I've been intentional in getting together with my friends, just going to Burger King to sit and talk and sip a soda, going out to lunch with a friend I've known from childhood, taking the initiative to set things up.  Sometimes we just get so busy with our shows we watch, running our own households, working (or looking for work in my case) and forget to schedule time to have real fun with real people instead of watching it on TV or reading about it on social media.  One of the things I like about the Big Bang Theory guys is that they schedule and plan to have fun together.  I'm working on it.  

I kind of had an epiphany last week.  I was sitting on the porch for my prayer time, whining to The Almighty about not being able to find a job and feeling sorry for myself and the thought came into my mind -- how dare I complain when I am at home, in this beautiful place, with the kids I have and a husband who goes to work every day and does not complain about it or about anything I do, how dare I?   I am blessed beyond measure.   So what if we can't afford extras like vacations right now? We can pay our  bills.  So what if my life is not perfect.  Its still good.  There is still good. 

A year after getting off Prozac, I am so, so, so much better.   I think know it was making me worse, not better, causing intrusive, frequent suicidal thoughts that are now just a part of my past.  If you think your antidepressant could be making you worse, talk to your doctor and find out if you need to change or taper it. 

Think about this moment, not the future, not the past.  Think about this moment.  You're reading this blog.  Take a minute, close your eyes and focus on your breathing, slowing it down and relaxing for a moment.  Think about 3 things you are thankful for, even if they are pitiful.   Sometimes, it's "Hey, I don't have the stomach flu"  or "I don't have vertigo today".  Vertigo is horrible and every day without it is a day to celebrate.  :-P  

I found a great blog on being positive today.  The Positivity Blog.  The tagline is Happiness and Awesomeness Tips That Work in Real Life.  How cool is that?  I'm going to be reading for a while over there. 

Hang in there. 

So now, add failure to the list. Or not.

So last week, I took a job I had been offered.  I worked from Tuesday until Friday and then I quit.  I could not visualize myself staying in that job and the company I was working for needed me to commit there for a year.  So, before signing my contract saying I would work for a year, I quit.  It was especially embarrassing for me because I had put it on Facebook saying that I was starting a new job and also I put it on Facebook saying that I had quit, in order to stop a lot of the questions about how the new job was going ... etc.   Next time I will keep any new job starts to myself.  (I may not even tell my immediate family!)   Lesson learned.  As a matter of fact, I've learned many lessons this week.  That was #1.  Another one is not to be seduced by money to a job that I really deep down don't want.   Also, I learned that physically I can do a lot more than I thought.  All this exercise this summer has paid off.  I learned that I don't want to be away from my home and family 40 hours a week because that is where my heart is.  I don't know how much longer these 2 kids (who are pretty much grown up now) will live with us and I want to be around for them while they are launching as much as I can.  Soon enough, they'll have their own homes, families, jobs and I won't see them very much.  I learned that I need a job that aligns with my core beliefs and if it doesn't I won't last long.  I also learned that I need to be able to be genuinely me at work, which I guess is basically the same as the core beliefs thingy but this job required me to be falsely cheerful and talkative and I didn't feel very comfortable with that. 

Learning this many lessons in a week is difficult and I feel very vulnerable right now.  I'm afraid I won't ever be able to stick to anything.  I'm sure most readers are familiar with the voice of gloom and doom saying (in our heads)  "You can't stick to anything!"  "You always quit".  You're a spoiled rotten baby who won't ever amount to anything!"


Step 1 of starting over, go to the library and get a book that is designed to help people find careers that fit.  Step 2, make a to-do list and start doing it.  Step 3, try and keep the sense of humor and the faith.

Even more on journaling for health.

Ways to use your journal for self care.
Follow the link above to find specific ways to use your journal for self care.  This is a great time to get notebooks on sale, since school is starting.  Get a journal and a pen or pencil and you will be able to lighten your mood and make yourself feel better.  It really does work.  While you've got the journal open, you might also do some doodling or coloring, both of which also help mood. 

Hang in there. 

Non-Drug Methods of Dealing With It.

Psychology Today - Tips for skipping the prozac.

This article I found interesting, because it mentioned a couple of things I hadn't seen before, one of which was advice to never skip a meal to keep your blood sugar stable and being authentic, plus ones we have heard before, like exercise, sunlight, natural supplements.  Combined, these things work.  Don't give up.  You can win this one.

On Grief.

My Mom passed away on June 23.  I know some people don't like the term "passed away" but it's all I can say.  In my head, even, I can't say "died" in conjunction with my mom.  Not yet.  My Dad passed 6 1/2 years ago and I thought that I knew what this grief experience was going to be like, having gone through it before, but I am surprised.  It's a different experience.  I had a different relationship with my mom than my dad and they had different illnesses, so they way that they died was different.  My dad had lung disease, COPD, caused by smoking.  He had become disabled with it, so that he didn't often leave the house, but he was happy as a clam, living at home, having mom take care of him.  I suppose that he hid details of his illness from me so that if you had asked me a week  before he was hospitalized (the week before his 80th birthday) I would have said that I thought he had 5 or 6 years left.  One morning, I was at the doctor's office and my aunt called me and said that dad had fallen and that they had called 911.  He never regained consciousness, really, and passed away a week later, in the ICU of our local hospital.  I cried rivers.  I cried and cried and cried and cried.  I could not go anywhere in my car without one of my kids because if I was alone in the car, I would end up arriving at my destination red faced and swollen from crying.  I could keep it together if one of the kids was in the car.  They were 17, 13 and 11 and one of them went everywhere with me, pretty much, for a couple of months.  After dad passed away, I lost interest in and did not participate in life for a while.  I kept working; thankfully I worked at home as a medical transcriptionist then, but I didn't cook, didn't clean and just watched TV all the time.  I binged watched NCIS.

I first noticed that something was not right with mom in 2003.  She had Alzheimer's disease and though it wasn't formally diagnosed until 2010, I knew about it long before then.  In 2013, we moved her into assisted living and in late March of this year (2016) she stopped wanting to eat or drink.  She'd lie down and sleep pretty much all the time at the assisted living facility, not engaging in any of the activities.  She would cry when the CNAs there would try and get her to go to the bathroom, get dressed or take a shower.  She was pretty much miserable, but unlike what you typically hear about Alzheimer's patients, she still recognized me.  She often called me mama or introduced me as her sister, but sometimes she called me my baby; any of the ways she introduced or greeted me, she still knew I was hers.  After she stopped wanting to eat or participate in life, she went down hill quickly, losing almost 40 pounds, feeling weak, falling, going to the emergency room and finally being admitted to a nursing home. Every day in the nursing home, we got worse news about her condition until she died 13 days after being admitted.  My brother, mom's sister and I were there to watch her death and though it was peaceful, it was still awful.  I cried every single day from the end of March until June 23 and then after she passed away, I felt dried up, like a husk.  We delayed the funeral for a couple of days until my son could get here from out of state and then we had the funeral and visitation.  Of course I cried at both of these, but not the volumes of tears I cried for my dad.  I think that because I knew that it was coming for longer, it was (maybe?) easier?  or maybe it just hasn't hit me yet.  Not fully.

It's funny how we react differently to similar events and I know that in some types of situations, it's not a good thing to just give in to your feelings (like doing things you need to do even when you're afraid) but in grief, you just feel how you feel and you just have to go with it and not get angry at yourself for not feeling the way you think you should.

This probably doesn't make much sense, but if you are grieving, ride the feelings, cope with them as best you can but don't ever try and make yourself feel guilty for not feeling the way you think you should.  It's hard enough.  Don't make it harder.