Letter Requesting a Letter of Love or Support…

I thought I would share a great post that I just read this morning written by Corey L. Richardson, LCSW

Picture credit: treatingmooddisorders.net

Corey has a blog called “Treating Mood Disorders” and writes about Wellness Journals, Mood Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Mental Health, Love Letters.

I LOVE the idea of having a “Wellness Journal”. Most of the time when I write it is about getting all of the crap outside of my head. A wellness journal is a book that you put together of positive things that you can look at when you are feeling depressed. It’s is like having a shield around you helping you to focus on positive thoughts instead of negative ones.

via Letter Requesting a Letter of Love or Support….

Fears

Fear. We all have them and some of them are “black and white”. I fear bats, clowns, and wooden nutcrackers (you know-the ones that come out at Christmas, they FREAK me out-LOL!).  …But I also have much deeper routed fears. They are:

  • Fear of abandonment.
  • Fear of getting hurt.
  • Fear of rejection.
  • Fear of someone taking away something or someone.

I question my decision making process and quite frankly so do others. I sometimes hear: “Why would you do X if X happened?”,  “Why do you continue to do X?”

When making business decisions I take the bull by horns so speak, get things done, and get stuff ‘a movin’ & a shakin’ (this is how I talk sometimes-lol). Yes, I have to admit that I have been successful in some business endeavors…personally..I have not.  My little head is filled with all sorts of if’s, and’s, and buts, (LIKE big buts, and I don’t mean the booty kind!). I make myself tired just  “treading the water”.

I just discovered a great blog called “The Positivity Blog“. The title of blog post I came across was appropriately named “5 life-changing keys to overcoming your fears“. You have to read this post! What stood out to me was the following sentence: ‘To change yourself and overcoming fear you have to be prepared and willing to redefine yourself.”

Redefine myself. Hmmm. Where do I begin? I need a HUGE u-haul truck (maybe an 18-wheeler) to redefine me….but it HAS TO BE DONE. Many of you might of heard of the “12 Step Program” and it usually is associated with Alcoholic Anonymous. I admit right now that: I have been 7 years sober and only made it through steps 1-3 and reading and I. REPEAT. READING Step 4. I just read it- that’s all. Step 4 : Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.  Ladies and gentlemen I just had a “Ah-ha” moment. I never did step 4 therefore I never did steps 5-12.

I know I have a long road ahead of me and I know I HAVE to do these things:

  1. Find a sponsor that will guide me through the 12 Steps.
  2. Call my therapist (who I cut off a couple of weeks ago-blog post later on that) and be CANDID- completely. No b’sing her either.
  3. Get back to church.

Do you have fear of changes? If so please share and if something has helped you overcome your fear I would love to hear it.

Forgive So You Can Be Forgiven

Even though I am an author I don’t read. Period. I just don’t do it. I have all the intentions of reading and have a host full of new books collecting dust. In June, as a matter of fact, June 6th (my youngest son’s birthday) I purchased a book called “Let it Go” by T.D.Jakes. T.D. Jakes is a New York Times bestselling author of Reposition Yourself, Making Great Decisions” (and no, I haven’t read it).

I clearly remember the night of June 6th. Hysterically crying, over-tired, and emotionally spent. I have had some serious issues with a family member for quite some time and was in a struggle with emotions of anger, forgiveness, betrayal, and what I thought God wanted me to do. I popped onto Amazon.com and honestly don’t know what I searched. It was probably one of those great marketing methods of “Related Products” that show up based on your previous history purchases (like right Kelly…all the other self-help books that you have NEVER read-lol). I ordered the book, it arrived, and it has been inside the drawer of my coffee table until today, when I needed a coaster for my coffee it was shoved in the back under a bunch of papers. Do you think that sometimes some things happen at a certain time for a reason? I do.

[ As a side note- I am just starting this blog and you will see me mention God a lot. There is no intention on my part to force my beliefs on you however if it does move you towards God that is fine too. 🙂 ]

I guess you can say this week I had a “spiritual awakening”. I thought I had one before and if you have ever attended Alcoholics Anonymous you will hear that phrase. Realizing today how very selfish I have been in the past I can now honestly admit that I have and had a hard time accepting that I have done wrong. I have done some things that will affect others for a very long time. I was meant to find that book today…I just know it. Part of the summary of the book says:  “The spiritual truth he explores in Let it Go concerns forgiveness and why it is important for those on the receiving end of wrongful behavior as well as those who commit acts of wrongdoing. This book explores forgiveness as an idea and at the same time offers specific and clear actions for readers who seek to apply the idea in their daily lives. Offenses are a part of life, he says. But conflicts can be resolved and relationships do have a future, if we learn how to forgive.”

Some powerful stuff, huh? I have A LOT to learn. I feel like a newborn again..a newborn in re-discovering that my actions in many ways have been wrong. I need to re-learn so many things and I know I will stumble along the way but I can honestly say I will move forward being humble and with the focus of others first. Two things I need to do is to start getting back to reading the Bible and also to start reading this book. I will certainly put my insomnia to good use!

Coping with Severe Depression


I usually don’t share anything personal about myself online. I have always been that way. It can be very easy to “hide” behind the computer.

This is really, really hard to write this post because I have always appeared to so many that I “have it together”. However for almost ten years I have been trying to deal and cope with having a mental illness.  I have “Major Depressive Disorder“.  You might be reading this and might think being depressed every once in awhile is normal. Yes, it is, but being severely depressed most of the time is not.

Towards my late twenties the depression set in. I self-medicated with alcohol and hence I developed another problem-alcoholism and I lost my first marriage due to my behaviors. Thankfully I have been sober for over 7 years through the grace of God.

So what is “Major Depressive Disorder”? Wikipedia’s definition: “Major depressive disorder (MDD) (also known as recurrent depressive disorder, clinical depression, major depression, unipolar depression, or unipolar disorder) is a mental disorder characterized by an all-encompassing low mood accompanied by low self-esteem, and by loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. Major depressive disorder is a disabling condition that adversely affects a person’s family, work or school life, sleeping and eating habits, and general health. Depressed individuals have shorter life expectancies than those without depression, in part because of greater susceptibility to medical illnesses and suicide.”

This summer has been the hardest time of my life. My depression peaked to the point where I was suicidal and had to be hospitalized. I know that my depression this time was not only a severe chemical imbalance but also due to some serious personal issues that I have been going through. My hospitalization lasted for almost two weeks. In the past ten years I have been hospitalized three times. Most of my friends don’t even know this; I was ashamed and embarrassed to tell.

In the depths of my depression I isolate. Isolate to the point where I am almost hiding out; literally my friends, especially one of my closest friends say: “You are falling off my radar”. Sometimes I push away the people that care and love me the most. Sometimes I feel so absolutely horrible that I want to crawl in a closet and never open the door.  If you have never experienced severe depression it might be hard for you to understand this. Many friends and loved ones have told me that I am a “mystery” or “I just don’t get you” or “You can be so warm and loving and then so cold and distant.”

So many people also tell me that I just need to “snap out of it“, “you have everything going for you“, “just get down on your knees and pray“. Honestly I wish it was that easy- I have learned there is no quick fix.

So what am I doing now to cope?

  1. Realizing the importance of having God in my life. I am not writing this to preach to you but just sharing what has worked. I became a born-again Christian in my teens and for 25 years have “back-slidden” (as Christians may say) and have “come back to God” several times. This past Tuesday night everything came crashing down. Reviewing the past year of my life I realized that even though I had voiced that my relationship with God was closer in fact I had moved further away from it. I cried and prayed almost all night. I prayed for God to help me, forgive me, to show me how to make amends, to ask him to comfort those who I have hurt, to ask for His help through this dark time in my life, to help me overcome my depression. Even though I have been crying for almost four days I do feel closer to God than I ever had. My depression improves when I am in constant contact with God.
  2. I found a doctor who has really helped me. I really, really don’t like taking medication and have been on several types over the years and have also gone without taking medication. This past year has been a roller-coaster of medication alterations. I wouldn’t say I am completely satisfied with my current medication regimen but I feel like it is better than it used to be and I am thankful for that.
  3. Realizing that my children have been my rock. I love my kids. They mean the world to me. Both my boys have showed me so much love this summer. My daughter has helped me so much with my little one. She is almost like a Mom to him. I am so very thankful for them.
  4. Leaning on my friends. I love you. I love you all. Please know I appreciate you and all you have done for me and my family. I know some of you don’t understand me and perhaps reading this post might help you. I know I have pushed some of you away, some very very far to the point that I don’t know if I can regain your friendship. I am truly sorry for any pain or hurt I have caused and regret pushing you away. I hope to be more able and willing to accept help from you.
  5. Forgive yourself and forgive others. I have made many mistakes and have hurt some very special people in my life. I asked God to forgive me for what I have done to others. I also just learned today from a dear friend that I also need to forgive others.

I am not writing this post to gain sympathy or to portray myself as a victim.  I am writing this in the hopes that if there is one person that I can help by reading this post it will be worth opening up to the public about my mental illness. I know for me that I need to be vigil and constant in knowing what helps me. (In fact I think I am going to print out the above 5 things I wrote about above, laminate it, and put a copy in my purse.)