Posts Tagged ‘depression’

God is my constant. Tonight I was thinking about all the wild things that have happened in my life. I was struck by an amazing sense of thankfulness.

In 2008 I was facing my first Christmas alone. My ex spouse has filed for divorce a couple of months prior, I had just started a job, I was broke, worn out, frazzled and just broken.

But God was my constant. My world and the people in it changed literally overnight and for someone who does not like change that was really hard.

The next couple of years was a blur. It was filled with hard work, always hard work. It was filled with more tears than I ever thought I’d have to shed. I didn’t think I was going to make it.

But God was my constant. He was there, with me in the sleepless nights and in the heartache. He was the one thing that didn’t change.

Having bipolar disorder, there is not a lot of constant in my life. The past twenty some years have been filled with the adventure of living in this body I was created for. It’s literally been like a roller coaster. A roller coaster called a mood disorder.

But God was my constant. I held to him when I didn’t see the light, when the depression got so bad I checked myself into the hospital for help. Multiple times. Some might call me crazy but I think the crazy people are those who don’t get help.

Friends come, friends go. Family changes. Divorce rips through families like a tsunami. Mine and my family members. New family came and then went. But God was my constant.

The thread of my life is Jesus. He is what sews the patchwork of my life together and who mends me when I break. My life has become this amazing patchwork quilt full of people: my family, my children, my friends, neat people at my church, great people at my work. God is the thread that ties all of us to each other.

I lost count of how many times I’ve moved in 15 years. I’ve had many fluffy animals come into and out of my life. Change wasn’t welcome but it wasn’t a stranger either.

But God is my constant. I’m not sure where I’ll be tomorrow but I deeply comforted by the fact that the creator of the universe not only knows my name but how many hairs are on my head right at this very second.

He’s the constant to this girl whose world doesn’t have constants. And I know that no matter how my world changes He will always be my constant.

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Today I found my joy again. I was really sick with an infection for a couple of weeks which led me to feeling physically ill.

Then add to that a really mean spirited lady at work and some stress with that. Compound that with a small bout of depression and you have the perfect bipolar storm.

It came, it threatened to bury me but I’m still here. My parents and family always tell me how courageous I am but I think it’s more that I’m stubborn.

When stress threatens my peace I have learned over the years what to do. I rest. I sleep. I eat good for me foods. I take appropriate medicine. I spend time both by myself and I talk to those that I love and who love me. I cry, I sing, I worship with both my tears and my song.

I spend time with my dog. He’s better than any therapist I’ve ever seen and I’ve been to plenty over the years.

I pray. I listen to what I think God is teaching me.

I care for my body as God cares for my soul. The two come together again and the bipolar storm clouds roll away.

The sun has come back out. Thank you, God.

Two years ago I celebrated my birthday from a hospital bed. After being treated in the hospital for depression I became violently ill and was rushed from that hospital to the ER of the nearby Medical Center. I remember sitting talking to my doc and the hospital director then nothing. I think that I passed out.

Rushed up the hill to the other hospital to the ER and ICU. Out of consciousness for days as my kidneys almost failed. I believe my health was in serious danger. Don’t remember the first 6 days of being in the hospital at all. Apparently in my semi consciousness I kept asking my mom to bring me the green apples from across the room. Um. Right. I also told the nurse when she came in one night that I was busy hacking something on the computer. If I recall I told her my ex husband and I were actually the authors of the Dr. Seuss dictionary.

Finally came to, fortunate that the kidney problem wasn’t permanent. And I began to heal. Checked out of the hospital after 20 days only to find out a couple of days later I contracted MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph infection) from the hospital that I had for three months.

This was 3/4 of the way through being out of work that entire year and about a month after almost being homeless.

The pain from MRSA was worse than any pain I’d had from anything else is ever had including two csections, shingles and a host of other fun things.

Two years ago I was too weak to walk a block, go grocery shopping without a cart or care for myself. We bought me a pair of tennis shoes and I began to make healthy choices and things progressed.

What a journey just these past two years alone has been! God has continued to change me in countless ways. He allowed me to forgive what I felt was unforgivable. God has helped me health physically, mentally and spiritually from my past.

Today I celebrate being alive. When I was in that hospital bed so sick I realized that I desperately wanted to live. God has granted me more time and I’m so grateful.

Today is about reflection on God’s goodness. I’m thankful for my home away from home, my church, and all the wonderful people who have poured love into me.

Two weeks from tomorrow at this time I will be in my new apartment. This might not seem to be a big deal but it’s huge! It’s a fresh new start to the wonderful chapter of my story that I’m discovering each day.

As I delight in God’s goodness tonight I encourage you to think of something tonight you are thankful for.

Happy birthday to me. Thank you, God, for the gift of life and that you care for me then, now and forever. You alone are good.

Six years ago my ex spouse filed for divorce and I moved out of my home with a few pieces of furniture, a baking sheet, pan, a wooden spoon and a few clothes. My brother bought me a blow up camping mattress which I slept on and every morning I would wake up under 5 blankets and that darn bed was deflated!

I’ve had some rough times during the past years. I was ill more than once and fairly seriously. I battled depression that hospitalized me. My kidneys almost shut down. I ended up with MRSA, a staph infection that could have threatened my life. I was out of work for almost a year. I endured a horrible divorce. I am recovering from an abusive relationship. At one point I was almost homeless.

I don’t write these things for sympathy or support. Today I celebrated a wonderful gift from God. After a year contracting for a company, today was my first day of full time employment with them. With insurance and benefits!

I know that we are not promised tomorrow so we’re supposed to make every day, every encounter count. Today I celebrate God’s goodness and His caring for me. Even the timing of this job offer and the details with which I got with it were in His time.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings but today I celebrate what God has done in my life and how He is moving me toward my future. God is good. All the time.

This week we lost a beloved comedian, Robin Williams, to suicide. It has sparked much news coverage and also talk about suicide and depression.

I’ve been dismayed by some of the comments from Christians about depression. The same old dogma. What I don’t think people realize is that it makes them appear not compassionate.

If you’re not a medical professional and if you or someone you know and loved been suicidal then stop talking like you know what you are talking about!

I’m not defending the choice Robin Williams made to end his life but I’ve been in that dark of a place many times, when it honestly didn’t feel like a choice…

I’ve hurt so badly that I wanted to die. I made plans but I got help. I’ve stood on the top of a tall lookout planning to jump. I’ve hurt myself. I’ve held a bottle of pills and almost took them all.

Yes I have bipolar disorder but I’m also a Christian. One does not preclude the other. I have a vibrant, very real and authentic faith in God. But I struggle with mental illness that sometimes makes me lose sight of my faith. It’s in those times that I want to give up.

For me the moments when I felt the darkness and felt there was no light I was not alone. Some of those times were where I grew in my faith in God the most. God can take broken people and make beautiful things from them. Sometimes He even lets us break so we can realize how much we truly need God.

Throughout my life I’ve heard countless people talk about depression and their answer is to just “pray about it.” Simple and simplistic. Start with that then go see your doctor, have your thyroid checked, get a physical, see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Grow in your faith too but realize that spouting a simple cliche is not the answer.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression, please get help today. If you have thoughts of suicide call 911 immediately. Each life is precious.

Show compassion in the way that we treat the broken hearted. Show compassion in our dialogue about depression, mental illness, suicide and our beliefs of faith.

I choose to reach out and let down all the fear I’ve been hiding. It’s a risk.

It’s a beautiful thing to know and be known. -Francesca Batistelli

I’m only brave because God is making me that way but it wasn’t always so. I know what it’s like to walk on eggshells in your own house, around those who are supposed to love you. I know what it felt like to feel isolated and afraid to reach out, ashamed even. I was made to feel like all the problems in my marriage were my fault.

Of course I made mistakes. I’m very very human but the difference between my ex spouse and me is that I was willing to accept responsibility for my part.

In sickness and in health. yea, right. Living with someone with bipolar disorder is I’m sure hard and probably gut wrenching at times. I’m not blind to the fact that my depression and anxiety from it effected my relationships.

Do you have any idea what it’s like to be convinced by your ex that you should commit yourself to learn term mental health facility? He actually convinced me at some point that would be in the best interest of everyone involved. Mine or his?

Looking back is very painful. I’ve put a lot of it inside to cope. I’ve been afraid to talk about it for fear of reprisals from HIM. I’m done being afraid.

I have lived for about ten years afraid, since about the time my youngest was born. Afraid to rock the boat, afraid to talk openly about what I lived through. Afraid it would someday be used against me somehow.

with God you know that everything is possible. I feel a bit like David standing before Goliath sometimes. What I forget is that I have the God of the universe with me. That He cared enough about me to send His son to take my place. That God weeps with me.

I’ve learned that sometimes it is necessary to briefly look at the past to move past it to my future. Something about seeing where you once were and seeing how much God has worked in your life. That is Hope with a capital h.

Meaningful change by God is often not comfortable but I can attest that it is worth it. For me I had to be in the dark for a while until I could fully appreciate the light. The freedom I now have in Christ.

The things I’ve lived through were and are hard. My prayer is that I can honor God in the middle of the hard times as well as the good times. Maybe my deep sense of gratitude comes from the deep despair I lived through. I am grateful for each day. I trust God enough with each aspect of my life. Is that easy? Nope. But oh so worth it.

There is hope. God is that hope. I no longer walk on eggshells. I dance right on top of them loudly. Silent no more.

So which comes first? Do I buy the medicine with money I can’t afford so I can function better so I can get a better job? Or get a job then I can afford the medicine?

I grew up in wealth. I have a hundred thousand dollar education. Every advantage. And I’m making about a dollar more an hour than I did twenty years ago.

I’m weary. I’m tired. No these are not the same things.

I need a job. A good job with benefits.

I want to get a good job so that I can get a better place then maybe I can have my kids more. What a pipe dream. They are going to be grown and gone and I’ll still be battling bipolar disorder. Alone.

I want a good job. I dream of a little house with rose bushes. I dream of my little girls playing in the yard then coming in for dinner. It’s a good dream and it is what keeps me going on days like today when I am tempted to quit.

Image courtesy of Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net