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Below is an article I read and I thought it would be very helpful to others, enjoy…

Paul

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7 Ways To Keep Going

By Therese J. Borchard
April 7, 2009

A woman who lives with chronic pain said to my mom the other day, “You can’t sit around and wait for the storm to be over. You’ve got to learn how to dance in the rain.”

That’s a perfect description of living with depression, or any chronic illness. But what do you do on the days you don’t think you can take the pain anymore? When you want so badly to be done with your life … or at least be done with the suffering? What do you do when anxiety and depression have spun a web around you so thick that you’re convinced you’ll be trapped forever in those feelings?

I’ve compiled a few tools for moving past that harrowing darkness, suggestions on how to emerge from a place of panic, and techniques on how to dance in the rain.

1. Escape from the pain.

Lately, when my thoughts turn dark, I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want another life … I want a reprieve from the pain. I’m usually at a loss on how to get there. I’m tired, frustrated, desperate, so my thoughts follow the path that has already been blazed throughout the years … and I fantasize about intoxication or some other destructive behavior that doesn’t require a lot of imagination.

How else can I escape … in a positive way? Instead of romanticizing about death or inebriation from booze, I can research new kayaking routes, bike paths, hiking trails, and camping sites. I can invest the time I lose in unproductive and dangerous thoughts into planning creative outings for myself and for the family that will give me/us the reprieve that I’m craving. I can be proactive about finding sitters for the kids so that my thoughts won’t revert back to “stinking thinking.”

2. Track your mood.

An essential piece of my recovery is keeping a mood journal. This helps me to identify certain patterns that emerge. As I said in my “Me on the Bad Days” post, depression can flare up seemingly out of the blue, like a thunderstorm. But often there are telltale signs that can clue me in as to why I’m feeling so fragile. You can catch these if you’ve been recording your mood over time.

3. Talk about it.

I can’t get a therapy appointment round the clock, so I had better invest in some friends that won’t tire of me telling them that my thoughts are turning to mush again.

Over the weekend I called two friends and my mom. “I’m going there again,” I explained. They know what THERE means … without my having to explain or justify. I don’t fully understand how gabbing heals, the scientific explanation of why venting does so much good, but I can surely attest to it, and confirm the connection between talking about something and feeling better. It’s like you’re a scared little kid in a lightning storm, and a neighbor, seeing that you’re locked out of your house, invites you inside and makes a cup of hot chocolate for you. Well, maybe it’s not that good, but it’s close, which is why our phone bill is way up this month.

4. Repeat: “I WILL Get Better”!

As I said in my video, “I WILL Get Better,” I think about my Aunt Gigi every time I wind up in the depression tunnel, and remember her repeating to me over the phone a few years back: “You will get better. Repeat that. You WILL get better.” Peter J. Steincrohn, M.D., author of “How to Stop Killing Yourself” wrote: “Faith is a powerful antidote against illness. Keep repeating – and believing: I WILL get well. If you believe, you help your doctor and yourself.” And this paragraph from William Styron’s “Darkness Visible” always reassures me:

If depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease–and they are countless–bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.

5. Take baby steps … a day at a time.

On mornings that I wake up with that nauseating knot of anxiety in my stomach, everything seems overwhelming. Getting myself to the bathroom so that I can brush my teeth feels seems like a triathlon in August. So I don’t attempt the triathlon. I only have to worry about getting my left foot down on the ground. And then my right one. And then I have to stand.

I’ll look at my to-do list and cross off two-thirds of it. “What on this list do I absolutely HAVE to do?” I say so myself. Everything else can wait. And then I start with the first thing, and do the first mini-movement that I need to do in order to accomplish that. If it’s getting Katherine dressed, that means 1. Finding Katherine. (That’s harder than it sounds.) 2. Picking out an outfit. (Ditto.) 3. Helping her out of her nightgown and into her clothes. (That’s where my nervous system almost shuts down.) And so on. Each item on the list can be broken down into a dozen mini-steps.

6. Distract yourself.

Some days I’m just not worth much. All I can do is distract myself … to keep myself from thinking about how awful I feel. Just like Fr. Joe carved figurines out of soap when he was depressed, and Priscilla made jewelry to keep her mind off of her anxiety, I will try to do anything to keep my brain occupied and away from my hurt, sort of like I did when I was in labor: baking chocolate-chip cookies, looking through old pictures, listening to Beethoven and Mozart, watching a comedy, swimming, running, biking, or hiking through the woods. (I didn’t do all of that in labor, though.)

7. Get out your self-esteem file.

For the past few days I’ve been carrying around letters from my self-esteem file in my pocket like a baby blanket. Some people have told me that my self-esteem must be shallow if I have to rely on praise from other people. Maybe it is. But I have to start somewhere, and anyone who has sat in that panic place where you want to end it all, knows that it’s virtually impossible at that time to come up with a list of your own strengths. So you have to believe what other people say.

Return to EverydayHealth.com

Therese J. Borchard writes the daily Beliefnet.com blog Beyond Blue (voted by Psych Central as one of the Top 10 Depression Blogs) and moderates Group Beyond Blue, the Beliefnet Community online support group for depression. Her memoir “Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes” will be released in January of 2010. Subscribe to Beyond Blue here or visit her at www.ThereseBorchard.com.

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The last 2 days here in Michigan have been mild; the temps have been in the 40’s and today a light rain in falling. Spring is on its way! Yesterday I went outside just to look around, it has been so long since I have seen my grass and plants, I just wanted to look.  Mostly I noticed that everything is dead, that winter has taken a toll on my lawn and plants, I’m not concerned because I know that they will “spring” back to life soon. I love spring time, with all the new growth and the smells that return with the changing of the season.

As I looked around and was imagining what I might do this year in the gardens I notice that one of my trees’s, a Japanese Maple, was budding. There on each branch where tiny little buds, little pods of life waiting to break free, to feel life for the first time, to soak in the warmth of the sun and sway in the breeze, to experience life as a new.

In a way I am very jealous of that bud, it is changing in to a beautiful creation, transforming in to a wonder before my very eyes, and all it is doing is what it is made to do. No effort is put forth beyond what it is created for. This bud attends no classes on how to be a better bud, or how to make the most of your buddness. Nope, this bud is just doing what it was created for, it is becoming a leaf.

How wonderful of it, how simplistic of it and how grand. This tiny bud is becoming what it meant to become. No self-help books were read no seminars attended, it just is. This bud knows what it will be, and where it will go without being counseled or couched. No amount of positive talk will make it better than it already is and no TV doctor can create a new and better bud that this one. In its simplicity it is perfect and in its buddness it is perfection. I am truly jealous!

Humanity has placed upon itself conditions that create imperfection of the perfect creation. We are created in our maker’s likeness, we are created out of love, yet we find no perfection in our humanness and we find no love in our loveless. Unlike the bud that knows only how to be a bud, we, in our humanness, know nothing about how to be us. We seek others to help define what is already defined, we read and research ways to become, yet the bud just becomes, we try and fail, yet with the bud there is no trying and failing only doing and succeeding.

The complexity of life that we choose to live in has created a loneliness of soul, a loneliness that causes us to search for other us’s, us’s that already know, others that have become. Yet with all the searching we do we never seem to find the us that is truly us. We look to others for help, we cry out to the world, yet no one seems to hear. We cry out to be like that bud, yet we cannot be, for we are us.

I envy that bud, so simple yet so complex. The change it needs to perform is natural and automatic, it has not past to hold it back, it only has a future to draw it out. The bud knows no limits to its change; it will become a leaf regardless of what it may want. The bud of that tree will fulfill its destiny, it will become a leaf.

Humanity is of a fallen nature, we have sinned, and the sin of time holds us back, stunts our growth and creates chaos in an ordered world. We are not like that bud, whose plans must be followed, we are a creation of thought and action, we are a creation of love and hate, we are a creation created for struggles and strife. Yet each day we strive to create a new us, a new world, one in which we can shine and achieve the usness we were created for.

No, I pity that bud in its budness, it cannot think, nor can it choose, it is a bud, simple as that. No I do not wish I was like that bud, I am glad I am me, in all my humanness and chaos I am complete.

The searching for betterment of us is in the perfect plan of the loveness that created the imperfection of us.

 

Paul

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Today I heard my heart song, literally. I had a doctor’s appointment, and they listened to my heart using an ECO Cardio thing… Very scientific name… And I heard my heart; I heard the music I make every day.

 As I laid there listing to my heart my mind drifted to something Dr. Wayne Dyer said in one of his talks and has written in his books, he likes to say “Don’t die with the music still in you”. I have never really given it much thought prior to today. I have always thought it to be a nice saying, something that sounded very profound, but not really. That is until today.

Today I discovered that their truly is music in me, I have a rhythm and a beat. There is an orchestra playing inside of me… I have songs of love and loss written on my soul, and the melodies of life racing through my veins. The backbeat of sorrow is over played by the upbeat of joy and the symphony of tomorrow is playing today.

What I am trying to say is that my life, my being is my heart song, and I am performing it daily, moment by moment. My existence in this world has add a new note to the Oratorio of life, and each fading note leads in to a new one, with the change in tempo and pitch live rushes on to the end, and all of humanity has added to the score. Each note is written, every movement is recorded as the record of humanity is played out once more.

So as Dr. Wayne Dyer states, “Don’t die with your music still in you”, learn to play it, sing it and enjoy it. Use it to create a better song for all of humanity and leave this world a little better than you found it.

Paul

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When does helping a friend become a “Doctor / Client” relationship?  I was asked this question the other day. Basically when does one cross that line, when does my advice to someone cross over from friendly advice to clinical advice.

 

To me, the line is when you become the replacement to professional help, when they stop seeking to outside help, or when you replace their ability to help themselves.

 

I am willing to offer my advice to anyone who asks, and sometimes to those who do not ask, I always have something to say about most things. I offer up what I feel is the sound advice, based on my moral standards. I offer it freely and expect nothing in return.

 

But there comes a time when that line between friendship and Doctor/Client relationship is crossed, when it is no long is friendly advice, but clinical evaluation. And that can become dangerous for both you and your friend.

 

It can lead to misunderstandings and an end to a friendship. Most of us are not qualified to offer clinical advice, nor are we trained in how to truly evaluate the person.

 

Of course each situation is different and we have to evaluate each one on its own merits, but causation should always be used. Friendships are of great value and should not be used as your own personal counseling sessions, but on the same token friends will listen and offer advice or just listen and offer only an ear, and often times that is all that is needed.

 

So when do we cross that line, I would say when we see our friendship slipping, we start to feel as if we should bill the other for the time we spend in “session”. The going rate, if you would like to know is $45.00 to $100.00 per hour. When you fell they now owe you for 3 hour, then you may have crossed that line.

 

So be careful, proceed with caution, but do not let that stop you from being the friend you are meant to be.

 

Paul

 

p.s. My advice is offered freely, I am not a professional, everything stated in this blog is from my own mind, or where stated borrowed from others. I do not charge, but you are welcome to purchase items from the Things to Buy links on the right side of this blog…. Thanks. J

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