This blog finally became reality when I decided (after years of procrastination) to paint my dining room hutch. (I will post final pictures when I’m done. By the way, I love it and wish I’d painted it years ago!) The thought of possibly ruining it kept me paralyzed. But last Wednesday morning I knew the time had come. I was up early and painting by 10:00. For some reason, that morning’s resolve was an epiphany. After years of studying my nemesis, depression, and coming to terms with where I wanted my life to go, it just all finally came together like a really good recipe. It seemed as though during the night God had silently imprinted on my mind, “You can be happy. It’s o.k. I approve.” (I will share what I mean by “happy” in upcoming blogs. It’s not quite what you think and it’s almost never the result of trying.)
It seems there has always been a “worm in my apple”. There’s always something that wants to take away the sweetness of life. It’s like I don’t think I deserve to be healthy, to be happy, to make a mistake. Nine years ago, with my doctor’s permission, I decided to fly solo in my depression-no more anti-depressants. No safety net. The time had come to face my demons. This blog will share many of the techniques and strategies I’ve learned these past nine years that have kept me medication free.
I promise not to sugar coat my struggles. Managing depression (or better yet defeating it) is very hard work. It means getting real with yourself and the part you yourself play in your depression. (And we all do you know, no matter what the cause is. We all leave our own footsteps along the path of our depression.) The research is overwhelming to support the fact that most of us contribute to our own depression by the way we think, the things we do (or don’t do), how we take care of physical bodies, etc. Medication can only do so much as most researchers now agree.
I’m not an authority but I’m not a novice, either. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a hospital chaplain after completing two quarters of Clinical Pastoral Education. I have counseled many women and led many groups. I am not a pastor. I am, however, a Christian, and while I feel God was the power behind my ability to conquer my depression, many techniques I will share with you are applicable whether you believe the same way I do or not. I won’t try to convince anybody to believe as I do. That’s up to God.
This blog will be a little unusual because I will also post some of my latest DIY projects as I’m an avid “pinner”. (Please find me on Pinterest.) There might be weeks that go by when I don’t even use the word “depression”. But rest assured most of my posts will contain little gems of information meant to help you in your struggle. Life isn’t compartmentalized or narrowly defined. We are total beings. One part of our life affects the others. Painting the hutch, exercising, eating, reading, praying etc are all part of who I am. Painting my hutch was the result of realizing that tomorrow was going to come anyway (God willing) whether I painted that hutch or not. That doesn’t sound very profound until you really think about it. But I want my tomorrows to be full of dreams realized and new dreams immerging. I want my tomorrows to be depression-free which means I need to take care of today. I don’t want to always be afraid of making a mistake.
Tomorrow is coming for you as well. What do you want it to be?