Depression Rhyme

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When someone is not well, but all you see is their smiling face
Then it’s hard to understand if you’ve never been in their place.
Oh, how deeply they suffer; how severe is their pain!
There are no words to express what’s so difficult to explain.

You can send your love and prayers, your concern and care
Yet you cannot truly understand them unless you are there
In that deep, black pit of despair and hopelessness
Where they are stuck in an agony no words can express.

A smiling face used with the words, “I’m fine,”
Will fool most of the people most of the time.
“She’s sick. She’ll get over it,” others might say.
They do not understand this is a day-to-day

Lifetime journey they alone must walk until their time is done
Only Jesus can be beside them, for He is the only One
Who knows the deepest depths that agony can bring
Since His agony was deeper than any human soul can sing

When they cry out for help, for relief from this misery
That no one understands, except others who are not free
Of a similar torture, for each torture is tailor-made
For the one who fights and endures until they have paid

The highest price they can to conquer one episode
Until it overwhelms you once more with its heavy load.
As the waves crash over, as you’re going down you think,
‘Will I go down into the pit or be set adrift to sink

On the ocean of depression? On the sea of despair?
Will it be for just a week or two? A month? Do I care?’
I’m so blasted tired, dear Lord, and I know this will never cease
Completely until I’m Home. Then I shall dwell in peace.

Sweet Memories

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I am absolutely amazed by how often I search for people from my past, not finding even a hint of their existence and suddenly there they are.  I’m even more flabbergasted when I find out they have been looking for me as well!!

This recently happened with a wonderful friend I knew from my teen years.  Actually, I’d met her in my early childhood because we attended the same church.  It was the church I went to before I was born because my family went there when my mother was pregnant with me.  We moved to another state for two years and when we returned we went back to our same church.  We moved again many times and my dad and I returned when I was a young teenager.  I was reconnected by circumstances with this friend I remembered from my childhood.  She didn’t remember me, but we got to know each other well as teenagers and became close friends.  We parted after high school, I guess.  I really cannot remember.  Yet whenever I moved back home after a lot of moving around on my own, I’d think of her and her family every time I’d cross their street.  Every single time!!

To my great surprise when I looked for her again, I found her.  To my even greater surprise, she had also been looking for me!!  We were able to talk on the phone and began to get caught up on the missing years.  We also talked about our teen years.  We had a second phone conversation — an extremely long conversation because I was so excited to talk with her and reminisce.  My mind was bombarded with sweet memories.

As we talked it was natural for the names of people we knew to come into our conversation.  One of them was my first boyfriend in my teen years.  When my best sister called a day or two after my conversation with my friend, I was talking about our conversations and my best sister had forgotten details of how I met my boyfriend.  I began talking about something I had not thought about in such a long time.  It all came back to me and for a while I became that starry-eyed, innocent fifteen year old again, in love for the first time as a teenager and getting my first kiss as a teenager.

I’d been “in love” with various boys when I was between the ages of four and seven and been kissed by some of them.  This is why I am emphasizing “teenager” as opposed to child.  Of course I’d had crushes on lots of different guys as I was growing up, but I was so painfully shy I didn’t know what to do except literally gaze on them from afar, hoping they would notice me and do something.  They never did.

This guy, this fifteen year old guy was different.  This guy on this bus with my friend and other people in our youth group at that old church I had attended three different times in my life.

My sweet and kind friend sent me a copy of his high school photo.  I am so thankful she did because I did not have any photos of him.  She also sent a copy of our high school photos.  Again, I was happy and thankful for her kind actions as I did not have these photos in my possession.

I was struck by how incredibly happy I looked in that photo.  Wow!!  I had forgotten about that photo.

I recognized her photo immediately because she had given me one.  I do not know why or how I lost it.  I do know I’ve torn up and thrown away many photos I have taken throughout the years.  Looking back, I think I did this during a manic phase when I was “cleaning out” or “rearranging” things.  A few I have later regretted getting rid of, but not many.  Now I realize I have not remembered them all or I would have a memory of what happened to her photo.  I also know that moving around as I did throughout my life, some things would simply go missing.  I do not know why that is so.

His photo was both familiar and unfamiliar.  I think the difference between his teenage photo and my memories of him is because I never saw him in a professionally posed state that is his photograph.  He was alive.  He was so alive!!  He was laughing, happy, silly, excited, joyful . . . except when he wanted to kiss.  That was exciting for me!!

I remember the first day at school after the weekend we met.  Homeroom was where we had to be when the bell rang for the start of the school day.  My homeroom looked out over a street we had to cross to go to different buildings for different classes.  For example, my biology class was in one of those small buildings across the street.  As I gazed out the window that morning from a higher storied window, I saw a guy with blond hair, his head down as he quickly crossed the street heading for the main building.  My stomach immediately dropped because my first thought was, ‘That’s him!!’  My brain didn’t have time to rationalize it could not be him since he went to a different high school.  That was another first:  My stomach dropping when I thought I caught sight of my boyfriend.

I always got butterflies whenever I saw him, no matter how often I’d seen him.  I loved laughing with him.  I loved the way he smelled.  I love how he held me.  I loved.  Him.

Such sweet memories:  My dear girlfriend who has entered my life for the third and I hope final time.  My first teenage boyfriend and all my “firsts” that followed for several months in my fifteenth year on this planet.

I know from talking with her that my sweet friend has had a pretty good life considering the ups and downs we all have to go through.  I pray my old boyfriend has had a good life.  My friend told me his father, the minister of our church when we were teens, passed away a while back.  His mother, whom I never really got to know, is still alive.  My boyfriend is single — something my friend made certain to mention to me!!  I naturally played around with the idea because of all the feelings that came rushing back with all the memories.

Part of me wants to reconnect with him, to see how his life has been, to find out why he did not go into the occupation he told me he wanted.  It was an occupation that quite surprised my fifteen year old self.  Maybe he did go into it, but it turned out not to be the right fit for him.  He lives in a different state and I’d like to know what led him to that state and to that occupation.

Part of me realizes we only knew each other for a short time a long time ago.

Part of me does not want to tarnish in any way those sweet memories.

Part of me wants to add new memories to the old ones.

Whatever happens or does not happen, I thank God for my renewed friendship with my dear friend and I thank God for all the sweet memories from those teenage years.

ADDENDUM:  Look how I called him “my boyfriend” in the fourteenth paragraph down from the top/four paragraphs up from this addendum.  A Freudian slip?!?

Battle For The Net

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If you woke up tomorrow, and your internet looked like this, what would you do?  Imagine all your favorite websites taking forever to load, while you get annoying notifications from your ISP suggesting you switch to one of their approved “Fast Lane” sites.  Think about what we would lose:  all the weird, alternative, interesting, and enlightening stuff that makes the Internet so much cooler than mainstream Cable TV.  What if the only news sites you could reliably connect to were the ones that had deals with companies like Comcast and Verizon?  On September 10th, 2014, just a few days before the FCC’s comment deadline, public interest organizations are issuing an open, international call for websites and internet users to unite for an “Internet Slowdown” to show the world what the web would be like if Team Cable gets their way and trashes net neutrality.  Net neutrality is hard to explain, so our hope is that this action will help SHOW the world what’s really at stake if we lose the open Internet.  If you’ve got a website, blog or tumblr, get the code to join the #InternetSlowdown here:  https://battleforthenet.com/sept10th

Everyone else, here’s a quick list of things you can do to help spread the word about the slowdown: http://tumblr.fightforthefuture.org/post/96020972118/be-a-part-of-the-great-internet-slowdown

Get creative! Don’t let us tell you what to do. See you on the net September 10th!

via Battle For The Net.

Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

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Since I’ve not been able to write anything for such a long period of time, I was slightly stunned to open my email a few days ago and find an award from an old blogging buddy of mine.  I was partially stunned to find that I had received an award at all.  I was also partially stunned because I had  not heard from him in quite a while.  This is probably because I haven’t written a post in quite a while.

It’s always a surprise to me to find anyone has given me and/or my blog any award.  It becomes an extra-special award when I receive it from others whose writings are so much better than mine.

This is one of those awards because it comes from Kevin at Voices of Glass.  You can find his blog and this award page by clicking onto:

http://voicesofglass.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/touched-and-honoured/

I was touched by what he said about my blog and me and I’d like to include his quote here:

” . . .  a blog which is very dear to my heart. As a blogger and part of the mental health writer’s community you sometimes get to know other bloggers and are honored to follow their fight. The blogger behind this blog is one such blogger and is dear to my heart. Her strength and faith coupled with her honesty and ‘realness’ is an inspiration to me.”

Thank you so much, Kevin, for such kind and encouraging words!!

According to the rules of this award, I am to:

1.   Display the “Wonderful Team Member Readership Award logo on my blog.

wonderful-readership-award2

2.  Nominate fourteen bloggers whom I admire over a period of seven days, all at once or little by little, linking to their blogs and informing them about the award.

Anyone who knows me and/or my blog will know the nomination part of any award I and/or my blog receive is the most difficult of all for me to complete.  I have followed countless numbers of blogs through the two and half years I’ve been blogging.  Some I stop following because they quit writing and some because what they write cuts too close to the bone and I simply cannot bear to read it even though they write well.

I usually look for more blogs whenever I stop following someone, but during the same time I have not been able to write I also have not been able to read other blogs.  This includes blogs I’ve been following since I started my own blog.

There are a couple of exceptions, however.  One of the exceptions was just nominated by Kevin for this award at the same time he nominated me.  This leaves me with just one person that I can nominate at this time:

Laura at Bipolar For Life which you can find by clicking onto this link:

http://bipolarforlife.me

Laura has led one of the most fascinating lives and one of the most horrible lives I have ever had the privilege to read.  I feel like she’s my dear friend and if ever my health and finances reach a good state, I want to fly somewhere to meet her and visit for a while.  I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever that she will be discovered by a great editor who will lead her to a great publishing house.  This will begin the first of many books about her life to be published.  I’ve already made her promise to give me an autographed copy!! :)

Kevin, I again thank you for sending this award to me and my blog!!

Laura, I hope you will be able to accept this award and pass it on to others. I know you deserve it — both you and your blog!!

Writer’s Block: A Massive Ball of Multicolored Strings

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I have been trying for months on end to write a post . . . or two . . . or three.  There are so many things I want to write about because so many things have happened.  Yet encompassing all these things is the horrible black depression that has held me down and prevented me from doing anything.

I go spiraling down and get stuck there.  I do all I know to at least get my head above water and take a deep breath.  Then it seems once I get that breath inside me, I get sucked back down again.  It seems like since I went into that extremely bad depression that started coming in the final two weeks of the radiation and hit full force the next month, I haven’t been myself.  Instead I’ve been this person sucked down into the whirlpool of depression, covered up sometimes with despair and unable to see any horizon at all that I can hold onto with the faith that things will get better.  They don’t get better.  They are the same.  It’s only my soul slowing changing and my body growing older that is different.

The changes in my soul are so wonderful!!  They’re so marvelous!!  These various changes that have happened over time are what I’ve wanted to write down for anyone to read.  Yet I can’t even get so far as to start writing in my head before I’m sucked back down into that whirlpool where depression takes over completely.

As time has gone on, the things I’ve wanted to write about have become overwhelming.  I saw in my mind’s eye this morning a giant ball of strings of all sizes, lengths and colors.  I see one string and remember how much I want to write about simply that one string.  I try to pull on it, but it has become entangled with another string and I remember how much I felt like I needed to write about that string, so I began pulling on it.  I then discover that particular string is twined about a larger string that makes my heart fill with pain.  ‘Oh, yes,’ I think to myself, ‘I remember that string quite well.’  That’s the string that laid heavily upon my pain-filled heart.  That’s the string that I debated with myself on whether it was too personal to share with others or whether, because the revealing of the string in words would show more of my nakedness than I ever let anyone know about, I would be helping someone else who might stumble across my blog and be helped by my words.

Eventually, I’d get pulled down and enclosed by the depression so deeply I was not able to function or the ball of multicolored strings was becoming so large that I was overwhelmed by where to start, what to choose, what to keep only to myself, what was now dated, what was now forgotten, etc. that I simply felt the task too daunting.

This is why I’ve been silent.  This has been my life for over two years.  I know better things are coming.  I know better things have come.  Yet the bad parts still loom.  The depression has one of its longest-lasting holds on me that it has ever had.  The devils on this current level of my spiritual life are meaner than any I’ve met on any of the previous levels I’ve been on throughout my life.

For me, this just means that I have to keep staying here no matter what comes my way because I still belong to Jesus and He’s still right here by my side.  I feel like I’m having to prove that I really, truly, soul-deeply and forever have learned my previous lessons and will not forget them.  I think this is due to preparation for whatever might be waiting for me on the next level, if there is a next level for me and if I do leave this level and climb up to the next one.

Also, and I know this is silly, but I’m getting closer and closer to the age my dad was when he died.  I have this silly fear that I’ll die before I make it to sixty years old because that’s what happened to my dad.  I know it’s silly and it’s a lie from the enemy of my soul.  I have also spoken with my best sister about this and she said she felt the same way when she was my age.  So death has been on my mind a lot.

It’s also been on my mind because a dear friend’s daughter went to Heaven a little over a month ago.  She was only twenty-four.  My heart’s still full of sorrow for all who knew and love her.

Before anyone asks, yes, my meds are still working.  That’s why I’m still here on this planet.

Animal Friendship

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survivor55:

This video proves that animals have souls just as we have souls. A soul is a mind, a will and emotions. They don’t have the spirit that God placed inside of humans, but they do have souls!! Such a great video!!

Originally posted on MOONSIDE:

View original

I Get It

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Do you know how you can understand something even if on some level you know you really don’t understand it?  Then one day something happens and suddenly you get it.  You honestly understand it.  That just happened to me a few moments ago.

Anyone following my blog knows about the circumstances regarding my neighbors.  In a previous post I wrote, My Outer Limit, I talked about how God had enabled me to keep enduring their treatment until I had gone past my limits of what the old me would take from another person.  For those who haven’t read that post, I talked about how we all have a limit, a line drawn in the sand that we won’t let someone go beyond.  Phrases like, “If you ever . . . ” or “I’ve reached my limit with . . .” or “I’ve had all I can stand and I can’t stand any more!!” come to mind.

Since I wrote that post nothing has changed with the neighbors because they will not change.  It doesn’t matter to me because that’s between them and God.  What matters is how I’ve changed.  So as they went about their normal harassment all day and all night, some days I’d start to say, “God, I’ve about reached my limit with them.”  I’d stop myself before I got past calling on God’s name.  I realized I had gone past my limits and was still in my outer limits.  It is in this area that I find I have no limits because I’ve never been here before.  This is brand-new territory for me.  There are no lines drawn in the sand.  It would be equivalent to saying there is an end to infinity.  It’s an oxymoron.

For reasons I cannot comprehend, the weekends have always been the worst.  More evil machinations abound.  I’ve done the best I know how to change my part of it by asking God to enable me to live on the weekends the way I do during the weekdays.

In the past, partly because of a week’s worth of constant interrupted sleep each night and mostly because I didn’t want to have to face what they put me through on the weekends, I’d stay up as late as possible on Friday nights so I could spend as much time in bed on Saturday.  This action on my part would mean I’d be up all night Saturday and sometimes all day on Sunday, too.  I’d be too wired, too nervous, too anxious to be able to relax enough so my meds would work and I could go to bed and sleep as much as possible.

For a long time I wouldn’t admit to myself that I was hiding out in my bed. I finally did admit it after I began basically sticking to my normal schedule on Saturdays.  Sundays I still spend a lot of time in bed.  “One day at a time” applies here — first Saturdays are conquered and then Sundays!! :)

This past weekend was the worst it’s been in a long time.  I have never felt such hatred directed toward me.  It was as if I could feel it trying to enter into my home like venom trying to poison me.  I was sick Sunday, Monday and most of yesterday.  I was not physically ill nor was it the physical illness that often, for me, comes hand-in-hand with the mental/emotional illnesses I have.  This was different.  As my best sister said to me on the phone yesterday, “You were poisoned.”

I slept and rested last night.  Truly slept and truly rested.  It was wonderful!!  It was magnificent!!  It was a gift from God that I asked for in a way I don’t believe I’ve asked before.  When God comes through, He really comes through.  Jesus does not do things halfway.

The evil schemes of the enemy of our souls and of my neighbors was fierce today.  One neighbor gets so upset when she can’t awaken me.  Please remember these are people who have banged on my bedroom wall and screamed at me through the bedroom wall when I’ve been wide awake in the living room reading a book, when I’ve been in bed reading a book, when I’ve been in other rooms doing things one has to do and when I’ve been in bed talking to God before going to sleep.  Apparently my very existence angers these people.  It’s sad on so many levels.  One sad level is the fact that they have never taken the time to get to know me.  I’ve tried by being kind to them and by giving them opportunities to know me.  Needless to say, it has not worked.  They have accepted my gifts, my kindness and my friendliness but they have not accepted me.

Another thing the neighbor(s) do is whenever I shut and lock my front doors for the night, they really pour it on.  Darkness and evil have always gone hand-in-hand.  Since they are bullies, they are really cowards underneath.  Cowardly people who are evil perform their evil actions when they feel protected by the cover of darkness.

This evening before I shut and locked my front doors, one of the neighbors began doing what she usually saves for after sunset.  The ones she eggs on joined her.  Bullies need to have others on their side because they are truly afraid underneath and need the support of others in order to do their bullying.

I couldn’t help but chuckle because it is so ridiculous!!  When it didn’t end after a few hours I knew I had to talk with God.  I quoted Scripture about Who He is and who I am in Him.  I started talking to my God in my living room and continued the conversation as I walked into another room and kept talking to Him as I was doing what I needed to do.

As I continued talking — whispering actually, so I couldn’t be overheard by the neighbors since the walls are so thin — it dawned on me.  I finally got it by the time I sat back down in my chair in the living room.  By talking — or whispering — my thought processes as they progressed I found the Truth.

This is what life is!!  This is what each day of our life is all about!!

I know this.  I know the Scriptures where Jesus said, “In this world you will have troubles; but be of good cheer.  I have overcome the world.”  I know the Scripture where Jesus said, “If they treat the Master this way, how much worse will they treat the servant?”  I’ve had to memorize Scripture as a child, both in the denomination I was born into and at home as commanded by my dad.

Yet it took eight out of the ten going on eleven years I’ve lived here to be forced to endure, to learn how to persevere, to stay and obey God instead of saying, “To heck with this!!  I’m outa here!!”  Eight years of being “rubbed the wrong way” by these sandpaper people whom God put in my life for the purpose of teaching me, growing me up and rubbing off all the rough spots on this vessel of clay which He created.

Eight years of questions, eight years of doubt, eight years of complete faith, eight years of total trust.  Eight years of depression, anger, fear, PTSD, anxiety, nervousness, tension like you wouldn’t believe, upset stomachs, upset digestive system, upset nervous system, holding my breath the way I learned to do when I was a child in a dangerous environment, walking on eggshells the way I learned to do when I was a child in a dangerous environment.

Eight years of fighting God, eight years of yielding my will to His.  Eight years to get to the place of acceptance, eight years of reaching my outer limits and fifty-seven years to learn what Paul said is reality.  Paul said, “I have learned to be content in all situations.”

I’m not comparing myself to Paul whatsoever!!  He was an unbelievable man of God!!  What he endured was far worse than what I’ve endured, but his letters, his teachings, his life before He met Jesus on the road to Damascus and after He met Jesus is a shining example of what each of us could have.

I’m not sure if I’d qualify what I finally realized as “contentment.”  I think I’d qualify it as a deeper acceptance.  With that deeper acceptance came the realization that everything is fine.  Everything is good.  It doesn’t matter who does what or if they don’t do what.  It doesn’t matter who says what or if they say what.  It doesn’t matter who thinks what or if they don’t think what.  It doesn’t even matter what my best sister thinks, says, does or doesn’t think, say or do.

Nothing matters except Jesus and me.  Nothing whatsoever.

He has indeed, as it says in the twenty-third Psalm, prepared a table before me in the presence of my enemies.  I’ve known this for quite a while.  What I now understand is this is what it means to daily take up my cross and follow Jesus.  It seems so simple, yet I did not truly understand it until now.

I follow Jesus, my God, no matter what, no matter who, no matter.  I pick up my cross daily and choose for that one day to follow Jesus.  Then the next day I pick my cross up again and for that one day I choose to follow Jesus.  Then the next day . . . and on and on and on until He calls me Home.

For the past eight years my cross has been my neighbors, their attitudes against me, their false accusations, their hatred, their actions, etc.

Since I am choosing each day to follow Jesus, I will continue to follow Him and keep my eyes on Him and keep my thoughts on Him as much as I am able to do so.

My God and I walk this walk together.  Nobody else walks with me, but Jesus.  Nobody else can walk this walk for me.  Storms may come.  Storms may go.  I may have doubts.  I will have temptations.  Sometimes I’ll be able to overcome those temptations and sometimes I’ll give in and sin.  Yet no matter what and no matter who, I’ll repent, be forgiven, take my cross up again and follow Jesus.

This is life:  A one-day-at-a-time walk with God.  Again, it’s so simple once you truly realize what that means — what that involves.

The enemies don’t leave.  They may change, but there will always be enemies.  My circumstances, my friends, my family, my physical/mental/emotion health, my finances, my dwelling, my feelings, my thoughts — all these may change and most of them probably will.  Yet still my life is choosing to pick up my cross in whatever form that may be and choosing to follow Jesus daily.

This is life and it’s okay.  I’m going to be fine.  I AM fine!!

I’m strong.  I’m a survivor.  I’m a conqueror.  I’m one who endures.  I’m one who perseveres.

This is my life and I’m beginning to like it.

This is my life and I’m so very thankful to every single person who ever prayed for me, who ever encouraged me, who ever forgave me for sinning against them and for those who still pray for me, still encourage me and still forgive me.

Most especially I am thankful to my God — my Abba, my Jesus, my Holy Spirit — for getting me to this point.  It’s been miraculous, desperate, unimaginable, fun, exciting, scary, wild, calm, wonderful, horrible, strange odyssey and I wouldn’t have missed it for anything!!

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