No yoga today…its at least 100 degrees in my bedroom upstairs. I need to go get an AC unit to have installed up here. I’ll do my breathing exercises before bed. Supplements, prayer + dog. Not bad.
I’ve been having these little breakthroughs of sparkly sunshine in my mind. Yesterday I was listening to music in the car, drinking my favorite anti-depressant Vietnamese coffee. For a small moment, everything was okay and I wasn’t drowning in grief or self-hate or guilt. Today I read a great blog post by one of my favorite writers…again…a moment of hope peering through the clouds.
I’m thinking about going back on medications, but I want to give the supplements a chance to work first. I’m up to 1000mg of the niacin. Will do that for one more week and then see if I can tolerate 1500. Been eating almost no meat, more vegetables and fruits, less dairy. Still eating a lot of sugar, but certain that in the big picture it doesn’t matter all that much. Trying to care for my brain. Still not certain what is going on in my soul. I know that this go-around with the depression is both physical and spiritual. Hormonally I am a little crazy but the acupuncture seems to be helping the hot flashes and so I hope will assist with the moodiness. Supplements, yoga and diet for the brain. I am not sure how to address whatever it is that feels like it is dying in my heart.
Okay, not really. But that’s another sucky thing about depression. It really makes me self-absorbed to say the least. I assume the worst of everyone and forget that maybe they might be going through some shit too. Sigh.
Today: 30 minutes yoga. Supplements down and dog training done. No prayers and no writing. But I am still here.
Depression sucks. I am so discouraged to find myself back here again, hanging on by a thread.
I’m doing some things to try and help. Things to hold onto until hopefully, the will to live comes home. Its a battle: the lousy thing about being depressed is how it takes away the desire to do anything that might help. It always seems like a better idea to stay in bed, sleep, watch television. Initiative is difficult to find.
Here is my current plan: Yoga everyday for the next 30 days starting on Aug 10. My minimum is 10 minutes on the mat, even if its just breathing exercises. I’m taking Omega 3 oils + niacin supplements. The dog needs a walk or training session every day. Acupuncture 1x per week. That’s it. I have other things I do as I can…writing, looking for a new therapist, talking with friends, prayer…but I don’t force myself. It only adds to one of those other hallmarks of depression…guilt…when I don’t make it.
I read this excerpt from a poem by Rumi “I did not come here of my own accord and I cannot leave that way. Whoever brought me here will have to take me home…” This is my conversation with God right now. You brought me here, you made me and you will have to take me home. My days of thinking I will be the one to send myself home are over (I hope). Right now, I am not thinking of suicide as an option. I pray that it stays that way.
I’ve been in the dark a lot this winter. Even my three week trip to Costa Rica was rainy and COLD in the middle of what they call summer down there. I didn’t see the sun at all except for the last two days. Anyway, I’m still here even though I’ve not been writing online at all.
I do a lot of fussing about how church gets it wrong. But today I am getting a chance to brag on how, sometimes, we are getting it right.
Sunday I went to my local church service in the morning and the pastor showed the video from Advent Conspiracy and talked about how and why our church is participating this year. In the evening, I traveled down to the mothership in Anaheim, and lo and behold another video… this time from TradeasOne.com talking about the importance of how and where we spend our Christmas dollars. Two services, two pastors encouraging us to think about Advent/Christmas in a new and hopefully better way. Way to go.
Inspired by this article I am starting my own 25 days of giving. I was sort of hoping that my project might have a clever name, but so far we are using the working title of 25 days of Advent. Not terribly original, but its all we got!
I started on Sunday, the first Sunday of Advent. And as a big old encouragement from the holy spirit, it happens that it was ‘church without walls’ day at church. So after a little worship, off we went to serve different people in the community. I unexpectedly spent some time wrapping Christmas gifts for a womens shelter. Today I purchased a gift for a 16 year old boy for Angel Tree ministries. The idea is to find a way to give something to someone each day.
Some of the gifts are not so literal. For example, I have had several opportunities to give the gift of undivided attention. Yesterday, I got to give this gift to an 8 year old friend who is memorizing a (very long) cheer for an upcoming parade on Saturday. She was thrilled to show us her expertise with the pom-poms and the dance. While I was at the shelter, I was able to listen as some of the college students I was volunteering with talked about their plans for the future. I’ve had the chance to offer the gift of organization to a harried pastor and also gave away a favorite jacket to a woman who needed it more than I did.
Only three days, so many opportunities to give. Once a day hardly seems enough 🙂 and I am having a lot of fun with this so far. Its helping to ease my depression and deepening my Advent joy.
I read a great comment on a blog today about the balance between counting our blessings and making noise/taking action in the face of injustice. She pointed out the truth that if women hadn’t made a ruckus, we might still be counting our blessings and unable to vote! I think that reader had it right. I believe it’s a good thing, always and everywhere, to count our blessings. Gratitude is a powerful state of awareness and a magical state of being. And Lord… may my prayers of gratitude today lift me up, sustain me and give me strength to fight the good fight when that is what is called for.
so…these are a few of the things that I love today…
Technology: Oh how do I love my satellite dish and all that it brings into my living room. Lately, I am really hooked on the sermons of a preacher I found on one of the Christian networks awhile back. He preaches at a church in Singapore of all things! So, here I am in So-Cal getting blessed by the words of a man who lives on the other side of the world. Cool. I am thankful for the internet which allows me to read about so many great and inspiring people; bloggers, writers, artists, thinkers, journalists, activists. What a blessing to be able to know of all these people and their work. Internet phone cards so I can communicate cheaply with my sweetheart, especially as we are waiting for Costa Rica to get with it and hook up communications with outside phone companies. And finally, a shout out to my beloved Tour. Kiss kiss to my new phone, even if she is smarter than I am.
People: My friends. Each one brings a special gift; insight, clarity, compassion, thoughtfulness, generosity, prayerfulness… there would be no life worth having without the love of my girls. My therapists and doctors, current and past, without whom I would not be here to tell my story. The generosity of people who have looked after me while traveling, the friendly faces at my neighborhood coffee place, pastors who have unpacked the words in our book in ways that have forever changed the way I go about living in the world. I am thankful for the man in my life whom I love and who loves me without reservation. People who are working to care for the world’s poor, rescuing girls caught in the sex trade industry, ministering to the sick and incarcerated. Parents raising children and step-children. Praise God for all of them.
Stuff: An apartment I love. A job that I don’t, but that provides me both the time and money to support my alternate life in Central America. Vietnamese coffees, taco trucks, pens and notebooks, Simple shoes and my cozy quilt from Anthropologie.
I have a million things to count as blessings…each day brings new things to appreciate. Everyday things like a roof over my head and food to eat, an accident avoided. Or sometimes a more exceptional experience…like the joy of sitting in a Costa Rican thunderstorm, sensing God’s grace and love pouring out on me, felt as clearly and as real to me as the actual rain. May I remember to pay attention to these things and give thanks to the one who makes it all possible.