Depression/December

December is here! Holiday cheer at its best…so that’s what I hear. However, for those suffering from depression, well, for so many reasons, the “sadness” gets even deeper and gloomier. Maybe it’s the “postcard” images ingrained in our minds. Maybe it’s the filtered social media images that constantly assault us and make us think that “everyone is happy” except us. Or maybe it is just LIFE :-/

That Porcelain Doll has been shattered. The Plastic Faces have melted. And, even though the pain is excruciating, I can breath. I can walk in the freedom of who I am. The fitting in, the pretending was suffocating and oh, so, tiring.

My December won’t have fake tinsel and glitter. I will, however, be real and present for those that desire to have me around. AND, that, my friends is a gift worth giving; and the memories made are priceless treasures to cherish for years on end.

I am not sure where this “December” finds you. I hope and pray that “it” won’t bring you to despair. I’d love to pray for you, if you are inclined to share your need with me. We never walk alone!

THANK YOU to all who visit, follow, comment and like.

I am grateful for each and every one of you.

~~~Walking together, on this journey called life~~~

Walking

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” ~ Psalm 23:4

Walk” – the act of putting one foot in front of the other, causing forward movement. It could be a steady pace, a slow pace, a shuffle or a drag. The moving forward can be clearly evident or barely noticeable.

Through” – Google defines this as, moving in one side and out of the other side of (an opening, channel, or location); continuing in time toward completion of (a process or period).

Just to words to chew…to ponder…to meditate on. Just two words to steady the chaotic flow of my mind. Just to words to sink my teeth into, to savor every bit of their meaty meaning. Not a whole book, not a paragraph, not even a sentence, but two words.

Just like my physical body needs nutritious dense foods to function, my mind needs life giving words. Words that bring hope.

When the bottom falls out – heck! when it literally shatters to pieces – from under your feet, you need more than just cliches or pat-answers. When the shell of your precious daughter’s body is being lowered into a hole, ONLY the hope in the God of the Resurrection can keep you from throwing yourself after her.

AND so I walk, believing I will get through to the other side. But as I walk through to the other side, I will, by God’s grace be present for those that are still walking on this journey called life.

Here is to walking together ❤

Continual Process

Morning ya’ll! It sure has been quiet around here, but man has my brain been in a frenzy. Thankfully it is not one of those “brain explosions” that lay me flat, unable to function. No, it has been a steady flow of pondering, meditation, a-ha moments and just plain rethinking. Geesh, you’d think at my age, I’d be done “thinking”. Yeah, not going to happen, not this side of heaven.

As my brain churns, I have found it difficult to “sit down” and put into words what is coming out. In fact, I haven’t even done my regular journal writing, which says so much, since writing is typically the way I sort things out. It’s like having a pile of dirty clothes, which is so overwhelming you don’t know where to start. So instead of doing anything…just one thing…I simply do nothing. And, it is so bugging the heck out of me!

There is also so much apprehension in putting things “out there”. I thought I was doing better, but I’m realizing that I am still “fearful” of speaking/writing whatever my mind is pondering, given that the process is still being worked out. Deep in my sub-conscience I desire to put forth a “finished product”, whatever that may be, instead of the “journey” and the processing with all its twists and turns and deep valleys and mountain highs. Once again, I gasp at this, because I don’t want to put forth a Porcelain Doll image.

I pulled out some of my notes from Natalie Goldber’s Book, “Writing Down The Bones”:

“…doubt is torture…” “If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics out side you.” “…be present, unafraid, open, let the situation give you the subject…” “Dive into absurdity and write. Take chances, be fearless of failure.”

DOUBT, FEAR, OPEN…fearless of failure…! How is it that one gets to the point of not caring what “critics” have to say, yet somehow one finds oneself right back in that funk, that paralyzing funk that threatens to shut ones voice! My therapist says I give people too much power over me. Ya think! It’s my life long story :-/

Questioning what I have to say has been an ongoing struggle (Love of WritingThe Runaway ) Also, thinking that I have to “fight” my way to be heard or having to explain myself over and over. My concept of “healthy” relationships is, well, really skewed. Working on it, though 🙂 I heard actress, Leah Remini say, “I thought I had to fight for everything.” Ok, this sent me into deep, deep thought…which, by the way, continues.

I believe we are always evolving, learning. The day we stop learning, then, we stop maturing and hearing others around us; being open to change and not rigid statutes. I remember a time when I thought 40 years of age was ancient. Let me tell you at 52, that mind set has really changed. There was also a time that I thought if I fulfilled that “proverbial checklist” ALL would go well in the camp. Yup, that magic checklist is non-existent. Hardship and pain are part of this life journey. The question is not avoidance, but how will we handle “it” when comes? And, are we willing to receive help and ask for help when needed? Being vulnerable, transparent, learning to trust.

As you can see, lots going on in this brain of mine. I desire to continue to listen deeply, and write freely. To allow my pen to be ready to write even when the process is messy and unfinished, not waiting until “it” is boxed up, tied neatly with a pretty little bow. Cause let’s face it, if I wait until then, this temporary vessel will be resting in peace (Gosh, I am so ready, but I’m accepting that it’s not time yet).

Seasons

Seasons come and seasons go. None stay for long. Each with its enchanting beauty or with its nightmarish toil. There was a time I had no concept of seasons. I’m sure I was taught about them in school, but I guess it wasn’t important enough for me to pay attention. The weather was either hot or cold, with nothing in between. I recall first being aware that “there was” different seasons, and that there was a “time” of the year in which they took place. I was mesmerized by this new found “lost” information. Why hadn’t anyone ever told me about them? Ha! Well, they had I was just not paying attention.

As life has continued, I’ve become “aware” of seasons in life. However, some life-seasons are as “predictable” as weather-seasons. Some life-seasons can linger far too long, while one aches under its oppressive load. Others, one wishes they had never ended…they were far too short.

Take winter for example. Some places have the beauty of snow, which makes for a winter wonderland. It’s what you see on post cards, on romantic movies. Those beautiful white Christmases. But what about when you are shoveling snow? Frost bite? Wet and frozen toes? Blizzards? You get my point. It also makes “everything” green die all around.

I live in California, so I am not in the midst of snow and such. But I remember a winter that lingered way too long. We had fruit trees in our back yard. Those trees ended up looking like horrid “bushes of dead sticks”. I was so over it. The sight was not one I was fond of looking at every day. I was ready to yank everything out and “start over”. Maybe it’s the “controlling person” in me or the “fixer”, but something had to be done. The gift of “waiting” was definitely not mine. My husband convinced me to wait, which was no easy task.

Come Spring, I was mesmerized by the beauty of “regrowth”. Each bud, each shoot, each sign of “new life” was breath taking. I was grateful I waiting, although not very patiently.

TODAY I’m up to my neck, and at times completely submerged in “snow”. I have “no-shovel”, and even if I had one, I have no strength to “shovel-myself-out”. My winter-season is brutal and frigid. And, at times it feels like it will last forever. However, TODAY, I am reminded of those horrid-dead-bushes in my old backyard. AND…I have HOPE!

~~~ Spring always follows Winter ~~~

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens” ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

Fisted Hands

Hands closed…tight, tight! Veins pop, the flow of “life” is cut off. Holding on for dear life, thinking, “if I squeeze tighter ‘nothing’ will be lost; nothing will ooze away.” It has been said, “he who dies with the most toys wins”. Grab, grab, grab…holding tight, oh so tight. Eventually, there is no room for “more”.

This could be said of possessions, but what about relationships? People come into our lives for a “moment” in time. Nothing and no one stays forever. My parents, both gone. My sister, my brother – gone! Friends whom I thought would be around forever, gone! Some have physically moved away, others relationally, while others have completely been severed.

There was a time I thought that by holding on tightly I could protect, shield, keep forever. That’s not how it was meant to be…acceptance is a journey worth taking.

Learning to be present, in the moment, because “tomorrow” will bring its own or it will never come. Today is a gift! This moment is a gift! Drink deeply of the moments gifted to you. Keep your hand open, your heart open…love, live, laugh!

The Impact of Words

“I’m so proud of you!” Wait, did you just say that to me? I must have heard wrong. You don’t mean it. You’re just saying that…and on and on and on.

Used to having every word and decision questioned, positive feedback is hard to accept. I remember once I was asked to handle a task. I asked for all the requirements and such. The person giving me the lead said, “You got this! I know you can handle this. I trust you.” I almost fell off my seat. In fact, I myself questioned “my every decision”, so afraid of making a mistake. Once the task was finished, I remember thinking, “I did it! And, it went really well.” I was so surprised.

Words can build or tear down!  Words can wound or heal! They can be said to me or I can say them to others.

Let me be slow to speak and quick to listen. Quick to give positive feedback, and slow, or better yet keep my mouth shut when tempted to criticize or tear down.