Don’t Know What to Say? Sometimes Silence Is Golden


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I am a big fan of social media. First, it keeps me connected to those I love in times of isolation, and second, it allows me to speak the truth about Mental Health. In 2011 a diagnosis of  major depression, panic disorder and Generalized Anxiety,  set me up for some major time off work. This is when I became an advocate for myself and a voice for those with  mental illnesses who find it difficult to express themselves.

Remember, the journey to recovery is a unique spiritual, medical, physical, and/or psychological experience to be taken by the individual affected. In other words, what works for me, may not work for you, so when reading my post, please take that in consideration. Never, over the years, have I declared my way best (a fix all) yet, sharing my journey seems to resonate with some of my readers going through similar experiences.

Lately, I noticed awesome memes scrolling down my FB news feed, describing « what NOT to say to someone with depression, anxiety, PTSD etc ». I started sharing these, adding my own over the years, however, someone asked me just recently, « what DO I say to someone who is suffering in the moment? » Then it came to me. Sometimes the best thing to say in a moment of crisis is absolutely nothing. Sometimes, body language speaks louder than words:

I am here for you.

Be there. Sit there. Hold their hand. If they shoo your hand away, it may be because their anxiety is so strong they do not want to be touched. You may ask : « what do you need?  Often, I reply : « can you please get me a glass of water and sit with me? »

Often we sit… Once my daughter came  next to me and started breathing deeply, cuing me in the rhythm of deep breath and eventually I end up following, inhaling and exhaling together as I come down from a shattered morning.

Little gestures are HUGE

Just a few weeks ago, my good friend Diane came to pick me up to go shopping. As I entered the car shaken and immersed in anxiety, she said, in her awesome Dianish way : « Hey Chickie, hows it going? » I just sat there, silent as tears welled up. Then I answered:  « Not good, not good at all » . Diane immediately took my hand as I wailed on about this and that and that and this.

I kept  repeating « I’m sorry, so sorry for …. » (I felt like “here she goes again with the tears!’)

« Never be sorry for being YOU » she replied.

The feeling of knowing she was there next to me, rubbing my back, validating my feelings, and just really looking at me with loving eyes, helped me relax.

Comfort was all that I needed.

I will tell you one thing about most peeps with mental illness : We often feel like we are a burden to others. Especially when in a seemingly downward spiral that lasts more than a few days. So when in doubt, please just hold space for us, sit and listen.

That day, Diane blew me away. I have (and I am telling you the truth) never experienced a friendship so unconditional, so loving which allows me to be who I am and it is OK. In other words, there is nothing to fix about me. I am whole, and loveable just the way I am, even with my panic attacks, quirks, and sillies.

The power of a hug.

Silence can be golden, physical touch is too.  Feeling often alone I often  seek hugs, yet, there are times, that is isn’t possible. So when a person comes along and holds us in a big bear hug, this often melts away all tears or even better, allows us to cry in the safety of loving arms.

Did you know: In a study on fears and self-esteem, research published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that hugs and touch significantly reduce worry of mortality. The studies found that hugging — even if it was just an inatimate object like a teddy bear — helps soothe individuals’ existential fears. “Even fleeting and seemingly trivial instances of interpersonal touch may help people to deal more effectively with existential concern,” lead researcher Sander Koole wrote in the study. “Interpersonal touch is such a powerful mechanism that even objects that simulate touch by another person may help to instill in people a sense of existential significance.”  (source: Huffington Post)

Just this Christmas, my family was visiting (I had not seen my dad in a year) and it was time for them to leave.  Since I was the cook and host, I felt like I didn’t have much « quality time » with my dad. Although we speak every single day on chat, having my « daddy » around is always precious. It bring up feelings of comfort and protection. However, when it came time for him to leave, my heart melted into a big pile of mush, and for the first time since I was around 10 years old, I started to cry. The sorrow I felt was deep, and I wanted to run to him and wrap my arms around him and not let go.

Then, as fast as my dad turned around and said bye, I felt 2 arms around me, comforting me in silence.  It was my brother. The one who always seems to want to say the « smart thing to fix me » but he didn’t. He just hugged me until my dad was down the stairs and out the front door.

Silent and loving.

What a gift.

So, in answer to the question… What DO you say to someone in crisis :

« I see you, I hear, you and I validate you »… and that can all be said with no words at all.

Bell-Lets-Talk2TODAY IS #BellLetsTalk Day.  For every tweet, Bell will donate 5 cents towards mental health initiatives. Please tweet this with the hashtag #BellLetsTalk !

Demystifying the Path of Depression


Walking the path of depression is probably the best gift Spirit has given me.  The opportunity for growth is extreme. However, not everyone goes through depression the same way.  It can take some longer than others to heal.  There is no magic pill anyone can take to rid themselves of this mental illness. You cannot “snap out of it” or “make it go away with positive thinking” and as my friend Mel Horrod cleverly said this week in a conversation about demystifying depression and it’s stigma:

Just pull your socks up’, was something I heard over and over again when I was ill. I couldn’t even get the socks into the washing machine, let alone put them on and pull them up!

Humor aside, many, including me (at one time) have judged another suffering from this, at times, debilitating mental illness, and made assumptions on how they are not doing enough to heal themselves.  Well today, I know this is bullshit!

Even as I continue the healing process myself, with my meds and therapy, there are still others who think they have the “magical cure” and now I am speaking up.  Don’t get me wrong, when others offer advice, I know it doesn’t come from dark place, comments and advice are often well intended in order to help the person with clinical depression, and even though their words are coming from a place of love, sometimes, words, just make it worse.

Now, let me reiterate, that there is a HUGE difference between being depressed, and actually having a diagnosis of clinical depression. When I google:  define depressed this is what comes up:

de·pressed/diˈprest/

Adjective:
  1. (of a person) In a state of general unhappiness or despondency.
  2. (of a person) Suffering from clinical depression.

  Don’t let depression define you!

   Know the difference!

Synonyms: dejected – sad – despondent – low-spirited – downcast

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Courtesy of taram.carbonmade.com

Everyone gets “depressed” every once and awhile, however, not everyone suffers from clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or any other disorder in the mental illness spectrum.  It is important to know the difference and act accordingly.  No one wants to suffer alone in silence!   Yet, the pains, aches, and overwhelming thoughts can be very scary.  One wants to chase them away…

Yet, in order to heal the pain, you must feel the pain!

So, read as many self-help books you want, post 1000 post it notes in your house with positive affirmations, listen to up-beat music, however, this is not the cure for depression, and this is where many of us get frustrated.  Sure these are all tools, and I use them all the time, but, there are times, when all I want to do is cry!

Why can’t I be happy like everyone else?  ITS NOT FAIR!

Because, you cannot will yourself to be happy when clinically depressed.  It just doesn’t work!  Oh.. yes, on some days it can, but others, one just has to wrap themselves up in a cosy blanket with all their favorite books, journals, music and maybe even a stuffy or your trusty cat or dog, and just be.  Feeling those emotions are painful, yes, letting them well up without pushing them away is the most challenging part.. You’d think it is torture!! Yet, this is the best way to heal.

Surround yourself with cheerleaders

Take clinical depression seriously.  Have tons of cheerleaders, those who have been through it, or those who really want to listen without telling you what to do.  Also, have a therapist you can trust, yes I know they cost money, but if you cannot afford one, keep calling help centers or community centers near you until someone listens!! Do not take NO for an answer.. and if you are too weak to do so, ask your “go to” person to help!

The dreaded “pill” 

Medication is an option only you can decide.  I was totally against medication for years.  I have a son who has ADHD, and trust me, I tried everything before resorting to giving him meds, now he takes his dose of Concerta every day, but only when he is in school.  For me, the meds came when I found this most amazing Therapist, she eased me into the idea for weeks, without giving me an ultimatum.  The decision had to come from me and me only.  I was very afraid of medication since I had a bag experience with Paxil 11 years ago, and I was afraid of negative side effects.  So I started taking low doses gradually increasing month after month.  Right now I am on 15mg of Celexa, and its working just fine.  I have no idea if I will have to take the pills for 1 year, 2 years or all my life, what I know for sure is, the pills have created a bridge between the darkness and the light, and I see the benefits now.

The journey is your own, and yours only.  No one can tell you what is best for you only you know in the deepest part of your spirit.  Listen to that, and if depression is numbing that part of you, and you cannot hear what it is saying… be still.. it too shall pass.  I am not saying to only hear what you want to hear, there are times when one needs to be shaken’ up a little!  Yet for this, there is a time and place.

In the Arms of the Angels

If I had only one wish when everything was dark, and I felt alone in the world, and sometimes I even feel this today. I would have wished for a loved one to come, sit, read a book and NOT say a word when my tears started to flow.  I would have loved a hug, a snuggle or a pat on the back… The presence of the person, not the “advice” is what I would have needed at the time, and there are days, like yesterday, when I felt that too.  Yet, I am so blessed to have those friends, who in spirit, came to me every day, and offered me love and support.  I have a mom who still calls me every night a 7!  A dad who comes when I call, and I don’t call him enough.

I have my angels! My guides and my spirits!

I felt those loving warm arms of my late grandmother, and the warmth of my spirit guides whispering in my ears.

Love, in fact, is what held me tight… without love there would have been no light… Just like today, when I saw a glimpse of the sun, after days and days for rain and cloud, giving me just a tad of rays to brighten my day before the clouds rolled over it again, the love I received, even in small doses, the self-love and care I gave myself, I know there is more to come.

There will be sun, but there will be rain, and there will be storms, tornadoes and rainbows!  Just that when depression hits, it is the storms that envelop us, so please, just be there .. just be.  No need to cheer me up.. no need to “fix” me.. just tell me “I love you” and all is well.

Because, in fact, I love you too, and if someone you love is depressed, now you know how you can help.  Read them a story, offer to wash their hair, get them flowers, cook them a dinner, or just curl up with a book and watch them sleep..  Its is the most loving thing you will ever do!!

Wishing you love and light today!! 

Kim

In the Spirit of Depression


In Part IV in my series on depression. I thought it important not only to share my truth, but to continue the conversation about mental illness, thus helping one another find tools and ways to ride the waves every single day so none of us, whether you are depressed or living with someone who is, feels alone.

*note Part I in series starts here

I discovered, throughout this whole ordeal: my separation, my move, my past relationships with friends and family, that I had to learn to be my own best friend. Most importantly, I also had to deepen my relationship with the divine:  The divine in me, the divine in you, and  the divine in the Universe. This, is a task of great importance for me. To rely on something bigger than I, to surrender, to KNOW that I am not alone in this world. You and I, together, can find solace in knowing we are loved and supported.

Finding some sort of Spirituality doesn’t make depression go away. It does however, give you a chair so you can sit down and be with it while it is there.

– Mel Horrod

In the past, from a very young age I was always longing for someone to constantly be here to comfort me.. to be my security blanket… Where this feeling of incessant insecurity came from, I do not know.. Was it my parents separation, my father not always “being there”, the bullying at school, the feeling of being ostracized and not being part of the “in crowd”? This lead to bad eating habits and the constant urge to want lose weight over and over. Whatever brought me to today… whatever caused this person, who I am now falling in love with, to hate herself to the point of not even wanting to look in the mirror… is not of utmost importance (healing the roots are), yet, acknowledging that the path I have taken has led me to today has fired my critical urge to want wellness.

What I know for sure, is that I am a worthy and loveable human being. I know this!! right? But do I 100% feel this in the core of my being. I do not feel I am there yet.. and this is where I am going.

Which brings me to the subject of Spirituality. My spirituality has been there since the age of 4 (that is the earliest I remember). I believe 100% (this is my truth) that without the belief in God (this is my term I use to describe this amazing unlimited source I can tap into) I would be dead! Without my belief that there is spirits, Angels, sprites, light, Gods and Goddesses watching over me, I would not be of this earth. It is this belief that I am not alone which carries me through these troubled waters.

I also believe the divine works through people. Real people! I have surrounded myself with those you support 100% my well-being and detached myself from those who don’t. This is part of my spiritual path towards wellness, which also includes medication and therapy. Spirituality alone will not cure me, however, it has taught me to be aware and be there for myself in such a loving way.

In their book, The Mindful Way through Depression: Freeing Fourself from Chronic Unhapiness, the authors state in their introduction:

“Depression Hurts: It’s the “Black Dog” of the night that robs you of joy, the unquiet mind that keeps your awake. It’s a noonday demon that only you can see, the darkness visible only to you”. (p. 1 Williams, Teasdale, Segal and Kabat-Zinn)

Part of my spiritual path is to practice Mindfulness: The authors describe Mindfulness as:

“The awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally to things as they are.”

To me, this could mean during a panic attack to stop and focus on my feet touching the ground until the wave passes. Being mindful and grounded, instead of trying to “fight” the panic away is a tool I used often, which is, in fact, surrender and acceptance.

“Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

Lao-tzu

To sum up, my faith in God has been, and still is, a major part in my recovery. My understanding of the God in me, has brought me to here and carried me during the very painful times. My gratitude, for all that is and all that will be, creates a bridge for me to cross when times are tough. I am happy and grateful for this gift of depression, because it allows me to go inward instead of searching outside myself thinking I need to be fixed (no need to fix something which isn’t broken).

Even though I am battling depression now, I still choose happiness every day. Do I feel happy every day? NO! Do I feel happy in some moments of my day? YES! because I choose it.. because I know it is there, and I accept when it is not.

Remember we cannot chase away the blues when one is clinically depressed, however, we can use all the tools available: Medication, therapy, friendship, diary writing, mindfulness, and yes God whomever you wish him or her to be!

I leave you with this video of Jim Carrey as he explains how sprituality has helped him with Depression and Bi-Polar disorder.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfWN5EW5eo4

Love and light

Kim

Go with the flow


Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.  All life is an experiment.  The more experiments you make the better.  What if they are a little course, and you may get your coat soiled or torn?  What if you do fail, and get fairly rolled in the dirt once or twice.  Up again, you shall never be so afraid of a tumble.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


Last week I posted: Depression hits. Now What? = Love Yourself! I discuss the importance of self-love and the ability to treat and love yourself like you would a child or your best friend. This week I want share some of the strategies which help me with coping with certain fears, thus, often removing the feeling of overwhelm when I begin a new task.  Overwhelm, really makes everything bigger in perspective, so I need to break down tasks into smaller steps.

Dealing with depression and anxiety has been a challenge and a huge awakening at the same time. (see:  Let The Truth Be Known:  I Suffer from Depression) I realize, after some great reflection that depression, anxiety and panic have been part of my life since my early 20’s, maybe even earlier (according to my therapist) However, with this latest onset, I have discovered self-loving ways to overcome some of the challenges I face. These self-loving ways are things I didn’t do in past recoveries.. I mean yes, I started, however, I never took them as serious as I do now. There is the little voice inside of me (which I call my higher self) which guides me through. This “voice” is beginning to replace the “negative voice” which ruled my life for 20 years. These following strategies helped me “unlearn” the old and experience new and loving ways to be gentle with myself.

The two (2) things I needed to work on (huge mountains) were: 1. Self-care (Taking care of my body and showering) and 2. Going out / socializing. These 2 things, if I didn’t pay attention to them, could send me into a deep downward spiral. Think about it.. Looking yucky would lead to more self-hate, and not seeking support or running errands would lead me to feel alone and my kids wouldn’t have food to eat. So, during my treatment, these two areas of my life need to have some sort of plan. A flexible plan.. but a plan.

Remember, if you’re headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns!  ~Allison Gappa Bottke

Plans help me shape my world. I for one, was never really good a making plans and sticking to them. Even with the post today, I had a plan to find some terrific article to back up my post, however, I cannot find a single thing which I find “inspiring”. Being too rigid does not work either. “Go with the flow within guidelines” is my new motto! If I were to stick strictly to adding “facts” from an outside source, it just wouldn’t work. This gives me some control over certain situations and help me feel safe. Just like one would devise an “escape plan” in case of fire, I devise an escape plan in certain situations. Take going out for example:

Lets say I must take a bus to go to an appointment. Taking the bus is quite scary, because this means I am going to be far away from “home base”. Home base, is my safe zone. So I usually devise a plan before I leave giving me a 100% right to change my mind at any time. Meaning, I give myself permission to return to home base.

The first thing I do is to make sure I have my cell phone on me. Then, I stash a $20.00 in my purse. This allows me to take a taxi home if ever panic really strikes. Then as I walk out of the house… I talk to myself. I give myself support throughout the journey. Last week, I had to do this and I told myself I had permission to get off at every stop. This permission allowed me to go all the way!! Get it! When I know I have a choice.. it eases my anxiety.

Choices, we all have. Giving ourselves the right to choose differently allows for freedom. So in the end, I always end up where I wanted to go, or do what I planned to do, because I had a choice! I didn’t feel like I was choking on “I must” or “I have to”.. I felt alleviated with “I can, but I can change my mind at any time”…

As for taking a shower, I now get in the bath! I prepare everything around me. I may even break out a few candles and some bubble bath. I wash my hair with clean water from the tap and rince. Giving myself this “motherly” love is exactly what I need!

You can Google “Anxiety busters” or Depression Strategies to find tons of strategies which will work for you.

Yet, the message here is. Give yourself choices. In most instances, you’ll stick to the plan. However, if one day you don’t, that is ok too.. since it is part of trusting yourself, you can take yourself back home. Just like a mom who promises her child she will pick him/her up right after the first day of school, keep those promises to yourself too! I know I did, and it makes things easier.

Its going out and taking a shower still difficult for me; OH YES! However, now that I have “escape plans” and “mothering techniques” these tasks are much more manageable..and will get even more manageable as my recovery continues.

Keep on moving and smile!

 

 

Depression hits.. Now what? Love yourself!


Until you’ve found pain, you won’t reach the cure

Until you’ve given up life, you won’t unite with the supreme soul

Until you’ve found fire inside yourself, like the Friend,

You won’t reach the spring of life.

Rumi ♥

hhhhhhh

hhhhhhh

Last week I came out of the closet with my post: Let The Truth be Known:  I Suffer from Depression  I acknowledge the myths about depression seeking to help those who do not suffer from this mental illness understand just a bit more, and to furthermore relate to those who do.  The same day, I noticed this post opened doors to many of you who have had depression or are still fighting it.. writing letters and comments which warmed my heart. To you I say thanks!

This week I want to talk about the beacon which keeps me on top of things. The little light inside me which flickers the fire to stay focused on my healing. It is not easy, at times, when I wake up at 4am in sheer panic, like I did this week, wondering what the hell is happening? The wheels of life start turning so fast in my brain that I cannot fall back to sleep… It is quite scary.

However, I am reminded of how a mother loves her child. Being so close to my mother and my children, I realized this week, if only I can love myself like mom loves me, or how I love my children. So I set out to find words of comfort when I feel like the world is spinning. I ask myself “What would my mom say to me now?” or “What would I be telling my children?”

While researching this post, I found an article online: Self-Compassion: Treating Yourself As You’d Treat a Good Friend by Kristen Neff. She defines self compassion (after studying Buddhist writings) as: kindness, common humanity and mindfulness.

She writes:

  • Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be supportive and understanding with ourselves rather than harshly critical or judgmental. Instead of tearing ourselves to shreds when we fail or make a mistake, we soothe and comfort ourselves, providing the caring concern needed to try again.
  • Common humanity involves recognizing that all humans are imperfect. It allows us to connect our own flawed condition to the shared human condition so that we can have a greater perspective on our personal shortcomings and difficulties.
  • Mindfulness can be defined as the clear seeing and acceptance of what is occurring in the present moment. It involves being aware of one’s painful feelings in a balanced manner so that one neither ignores nor exaggerates personal suffering.

These 3 self-care tools are what I have implemented in my healing, along with therapy, medication and support.

These things often shed light on the situation I am going through and help me stay grounded in my personal space. So when I am having a panic attack, instead of trying to run away from it, which is often the case during panic attacks, I first drink a very tall cold glass of water (something my mom would tell me to do), then I speak to myself in ways that are soothing: ie:  “You’re ok!! This too shall pass”. I may also reach out on the phone or online to seek support during the crisis, and then stay grounded by following mindfulness techniques like meditating on my feet!! Feeling my feet on the ground, really helps me regain consciousness during an attack!

I have plenty of self-care tools to run too, thus I think its important for those suffering from depression to seek out those beacons of light to help in the healing process. We are not alone!

Concluding today’s post, Kristen Neff writes:

“…the more you’re able to admit the pain of being a limited human being and accept this fact with kindness and equanimity, the more you’ll be able to heal your pain. By soothing and comforting yourself, just as a caring mother soothes and comforts her child when he or she is hurt, you will be able to rebound from setbacks more quickly. You will have the emotional resources needed to take on new challenges and reach your full potential. Beating yourself up doesn’t help anyone — least of all yourself.”

I totally agree! This is new for me too.. so the next time you are so bummed out your body is riddled with fear? What mothering technique could you do to self-comfort in a loving way?

Note: You can find more information on the writings of Kristen Neff by following the link to her site: www.self-compassion.org she has written a book entitled: Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind

Blessings of love,

ooo

Let The Truth Be Known: I am clinically depressed


As the darkness started overshadowing the light.. I knew it was time to admit there was something wrong.. something very very wrong…  Kim 

2 years ago, I fell to my knees.. I was in the shower getting ready for work and for a moment everything stopped .. I couldn’t hold on any longer..  I dropped in fear.. calling my partner for help. This was the beginning of a long rollercoaster ride to myself… and I am still riding!

I am writing this post today because I think the world needs a crash course in depression. It affects many of us, men, women, children and teens.. yet I feel there is still a stigma attached to it. Those who have never experienced depression, cannot understand the challenges our minds and bodies experience. Not all people share the same symptoms of depression, and to the eyes of some, a depressed person can be judged as lazy or just fearful. This is not truth. The truth is, depression is an illness and there are several symptoms attached to it.

Here are some of my symptoms:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Difficulty doing ordinary things like: showering, getting out the door to do groceries, reading, focusing, even doing the dishes can be a HUGE mountain to me.
  • Anxiety and panic (borderline agoraphobic)
  • Ruminating and worrying (a gazillion things go through my mind)
  • Crying, hyperventilating
  • Not recognizing myself in the mirror (self-image)

According to Deborah Grey, in her article, Top 10 Depression Myths Debunked, she states: “For all the misconceptions about clinical depression, it seems that there’s a depression myth for every truth — and this makes it difficult to get a real sense of the illness and its capacity to be treated.

Perhaps part of the problem stems from our vocabulary for moods and mental illness: We use “depression” to describe so many ranges of experience that the meaning of clinical depression can get lost in the mix. Furthermore, because simple bad moods are a universal experience, many people think if they’ve had the blues, they know all about depression.”

Judge of your natural character by what you do in your dreams. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

In the past couple of months I’ve been judging myself! These are the old tapes which run through my mind trying to tell me I am lazy (for not working) I am slow, and if I could just “snap out of it” all will be ok. However, depression doesn’t work that way. Lately (due to the onset of the meds) I’ve been reading EAT, PRAY, LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert, I really love the way she explains her depression, and I want to share a few excerpts here.

“When you are lost in the woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you’ve just wandered a few feet off the path, that you’ll find your way back to the trailhead any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and it’s time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don’t even know from which direction the sun rises anymore…. “

She continues:

“I took on my depression like it was the fight of my life, which, of course, it was. I became a student of my own depressed experience, trying to unthread its causes…. …. What a large number of factors constitute a single human being! How very many layers we operate on, and how very many influences we receive from our minds, our bodies, our histories, our families, our cities, our souls and our lunches!! I came to feel that my depression was probably some ever shifting assortment of all those factors, and probably also included some stuff I couldn’t name or claim. So I faced the fight at every level.

And here is where I am at: (same time frame: 2 years)

“The last thing I tried, after about two years of fighting this sorrow, was medication. If I may impose my opinions here, I think it should always be the last thing you try..” she continues “Those drugs were part of my bridge to the other side, there’s no question about it, but I wanted to be off them as soon as possible.”

The part can never be well unless the whole is well.  ~Plato

I could excerpt more, because I totally identify with this whole discussion on depression in this book! I felt as if I was her. The truth is, this part of the book, confirmed I did the right thing by starting on the meds. I want to Attraversiamo (Lets cross over) to the other side of the bridge!

So as much as I would like to say to my friends and family: Please be patient with me… What I really need is to be patient with myself. I need to give myself as much love, compassion and gentleness at this time.. because frankly, depression sucks!!! I wish it would just disappear, and I can continue to move forward better, stronger and faster! Yet, it is not the will of God right now. My choices may have led me to here (but I know there are medical factors involved too) and I must make myself no 1 right now. Moving forward, always, today getting out the door to go shopping is moving forward.. cooking dinner = moving forward, taking a bath = moving forward, writing a blog post = moving forward. This is NOW! My now.

Thus I am

Kim

Continue reading here:

21 days


They say (and I really never found out who “they” are) it takes 21 days to create a new habit.  It takes 3 weeks to settle into a new way, a change, a transformation of sorts.  A couple of months ago, I blogged about my truth, that I was looking for my new place in order to begin a new adventure.

When the time came to move out of my life and into this new one.  I was so excited.  I was counting down the days to freedom, and boy oh boy I couldn’t wait!  I would finally be free!! … I had no clue what I was going to face once in my new place, yet I was so sure it would be much much better than where I was..  Yet, to my surprise I was faced with something even more scary:  Myself!!!

Don’t get me wrong, my new place is great!  It’s clean, fresh, and full of light.  We established our space, the children and I, and finally got to the point that YES, this feels like home.  Yet, something inside of me was screaming!  With no internet, limited cell phone use, and no cable tv.  I had no place to escape from what was going on inside me.  My support system online was gone, and my family and friends had limited time for me.  My adult mind understood that, however, inside of me I was angry, hurt and felt so alone.

I tried different ways to ease the discomfort I was feeling.  For one,  I started buying the newspaper (something I haven‘t done for many years) but I couldn’t sit still long enough to read it or do the crosswords (although the crosswords did become a good distraction week 1 and 2).  My stomach was in knots from the moment I woke up until I went to sleep.  The movement in me felt dark and cold and I thought I was going crazy.  Literally!

Speak the truth to yourself about what you feel, about what you need, about what you see, about what you want. So many of us don’t tell ourselves the truth. We don’t speak the truth into our spirits. And then we can’t understand why there’s so many dishonorable things going on in our lives. This is about you and your voice and your truth.  Iyanla Vanzant

One day, after calling a local health center for help, I was put on a waiting list for therapy, yet thought to myself:   “How can I wait 2 and a half months when I need help NOW?!!!”  I was determined not to take “wait” for an answer.  So, the next morning I followed an instinct I had previously to go to the community center.  I put my coat on and walked across the street, opened their door and walked right in.  I was in tears when Sylvia (a kind woman) greeted me and she asked how she could help.  I wanted to know if there were any support groups for separated/divorced people.  She led me into her office and listened with a gentle ear.  I felt welcomed, I knew right there and then I walked into the right place.

Sylvia, referred me to a licenced life coach/psychotherapist, who called me that night to set up an appointment for the next day.  I was so relieved.  I went promptly the next morning and she greeted me with love.  We immediately set goals for myself, but most importantly, she listened to me, she valued me and acknowledged me.  That was exactly what I needed.  To be seen and heard!!!  She also urged me to keep contact with my online friends, however, I didn’t know how since I didn’t have access to internet very often. So I got creative and asked two of my online friends if they would be so kind as to keep my company through texting.  They accepted and I felt even more connected spiritually to them and the outside world.  Thanks Ladies!!

Being unplugged for 21 days was a gift in disguise, it helped me face the darkness I was experiencing to an intensity that I couldn’t handle, which led me to seek help (thus the reason it is important to seek help when your gut is telling you, mine told me years ago).   I am now taking responsibility for my life, and facing my truths.. YES ALL OF THEM! One at a time.

In order to do this, I must be kind and gentle with myself.  Right now I am reading In The Meantime by Iyanla Vanzant (for the 4th time) yet, every time I read it, I work on something even more deep.  This week I was reading this passage which is extremely powerful:

She writes:

“With the old you gone and the new you emerging:  when you find yourself in a situation similar to one you faced in the past, you can create a new response.  …. Love those who come to wallow in your stuff with you.  As you are loving them, you can fogive you.  FORGIVE YOU FOR MAKING IT SO DIFFICULT ON YOURSELF… Forgive you for having such bad feelings about the people who have been trying to help you.  Forgive you for asking and allowing other people to help you hurt yourself.  This is the ultimate demonstration of responsibility and just about all you will need to propel you up…” p 278

I cried at this point, because I know, I am the bully to myself.  That is the truth I was seeking.  From now on… no more bullying:  I am kind and gentle with me and that my friend is a promise I am making to myself.

Being back online is wonderful!  I do not think I want to go 21 days unplugged again.  I am a true believer support through spirit and even though my online friends come from everywhere around the world, they are my friends and I need them.  However, I will take more time offline to focus on things which I need to work on, and that is what I call balance!

So, if ever you are experiencing a life crisis, go unplugged for 21 days.. You would be surprised at what you will find.

Blessings!