Bogged Down

Stress! Stressed! Who me? Who you? We all go through it.

Stress Man

Life just has a way of throwing more on us than we want or need at times. I have someone very dear to me that is in the midst of this stressful period.

Sometimes as it comes, the process of working through it is tedious but manageable. Other times, it is so overwhelming that the mental chaos is too much and shut down occurs. Time to find a balance and regroup. Life.

Knowing I have been in this place so many times and seeing and feeling the weight of it on my son as he builds his business is so hard. As a mother, I want to help, take it 3A8A5AF4-C1FA-4B45-81E4-D3DB85BE7D18off of him and help him maneuver through the chaos but I cannot. All I can do is encourage and support him as he stretches his independence and capabilities. He will get it and be all the better but the heartache grips my soul. He knows I am his biggest cheerleader and he can always lay his head on my shoulder and will have my hugs and prayers.

Overextending oneself is prone to happen and when it does, you think I will never allow that to happen ever again. Well, you do. Each time through that, you do learn a lesson and at some point you look back and realize you did make it through and sometimes laugh at this mountain before you and others in the past were molehills. The pushing through of these times happens and part of growth but feels like hell.

So many times I have been there. I am sure you have, too. I cannot go anymore. I STOP everything. I do not want to see anyone. I do not want to do anything. I do not want to go anywhere. Shut down and hide from the world. I understand where my son is and what he is going through. PUSH!

Usually through these periods, we have forgotten self-care, to enjoy life and play along the way. It happens. We give and take and do for others and we forget ourselves. Then there are times, we play too much and really get in trouble at our own fault and now we must work through and chop away at what is before us. Balance. Get your plan of action together and sometimes a quick swift kick on your backside is what you need. Again, life!

A5F89032-A917-4AE7-9DA4-E286C5C08370Just do not stay down and give up. Never! My favorite saying is, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That is so true. If you have to visualize sections of that huge elephant before you, an ear is smaller than that leg. Gone. Then attack the next and so on. Whatever works, do it. Chop away and soon it will be such a sign of relief and the heavy weight of this so-called elephant is off your shoulders. Until next time.

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Don’t forget yourself. Remember to balance between work and play. Don’t give up. Ever!

When stressed, just turn it around. Desserts. Yes, I think I will.ED03C310-7FDA-438A-B5A0-F9BB9E159610

I’m Fine!

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If you have never dealt with depression, be thankful. If someone near you is battling with it, do not tell them to ‘snap out of it’ as it only makes it worse. Be patient, be a friend.  If you are, be kind to yourself.

I have dealt with bouts of depression in life. Many of you reading this may be or may have been or may know of someone in your life that is depressed.

I know what it is like to have each thought in the pic.
I have said, “I’m Fine” way too many times.62E5C4A9-D1C7-4AAD-A78B-C704D55FCB4C
I know what it is like to wear a smile when I just wanted to crumble.
I know what it is like to sit in church and nobody realizes the despair I am in.
I know what it is like to want to sleep forever and hope I never wake up.

Thankfully, I knew when it was time to get help.
Having a Counselor, a true Christian Counselor, to talk to has helped me, one that prayed with me at times and I believe for me.

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I know, too, “IT’S OK” to have a Counselor and to not feel I have a lack of faith or feel further condemnation.
I know to journal my thoughts and feelings and to work through them.  I recommend.
Most importantly, I know to read/study my Bible, trust God and to pray.  I totally recommend.

If this all hits home, please KNOW…. God knows your name, He knows where you are, He sees each tear that falls, and He knows the heartache within that you cannot explain. When I understood just that and grabbed hold of it, repeated as necessary, I felt encouraged.

He absolutely loves me (YOU). He cares. ❤️

Take one day at a time and when that is too much, take one hour at a time.

Did I feel like praying or praising the Lord through the depression? No!! Actually, I felt worse as the lies from the enemy were bombarding my mind of unworthiness, etc.

Encourage yourself in the Lord, even if it is just a word (Jesus) or a whisper (I need you Lord Jesus).

Work through this, don’t give up.
Find a Counselor or a trusted friend to confide in.
Trust the Lord. Draw close to Him.

When others let you down, and they will, there is only ONE that you can trust and depend upon.

May YOU be ENCOURAGED!!

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the  of my head.  Psalm 3:3

https://www.openbible.info/topics/depression

Info on the photo: esyla designs/Pinterest
“the idea is that everyone has their own battles they face. they say that the biggest lie people say is when they respond “i’m fine” or “i’m tired”. i guess i just wanted to bring this to light or something, because i know so many people who hide things behind their smile.”

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Dangling

B3FB919E-FF34-41CA-8ACC-E34E35CBA3CEJust sharing my life and present situation, as I try to adjust from one counselor of four years to another. I have to remember and remind myself that they are not the same.

I find it funny now that I often got irritated with my former counselor if the previous week’s session was not touched upon again. Let’s pick up where we left off at please, as I was still dealing with the thoughts and issues from the previous week. Most of the time, we did or she realized and understood the chaos it caused me, if not. Other times, we would cover many areas and panic came as I held up my hand, fingers hanging down and moving; she knew and understood when I felt I was dangling. No doubt she found me irritating but she hung in there with me. Too many issues in front of me to deal with and the chaos would come to the forefront. Stop the dangling!A7F0E4A9-8DE5-4D12-9C04-A0ACA8464D8B

Now, as I am with a new counselor, rarely do we pick up from the previous week’s session. With that, I had to ask her some questions recently. Although, I knew her ways were and will be different, I get it. I have grown through this transition although it has not been easy but I am not going to remain stuck.

So what if we don’t pick up on last week’s topic. Part of me is even shocked with that comment although I/we carry on. Asking questions of the counselor helped me get a better understanding of her, how she manages my records, etc. That’s just me. I have to have order somewhere in my mind but coming to the final conclusion, she is there to help me and I know my records are secure. Let’s move on.

D9046ADA-B82D-4B95-8D6A-33B2E1D883A9As a client, we are allowed to ask questions. Also, prior to meeting with a new counselor, we should do our own due diligence and research of him/her. End result is to trust and go forward. Then the role is reversed, as the counselor asks many questions and gets to know us with our private, personal, deep-dark secrets and a relationship is built between a counselor-client of trust. 51F8BCD1-4F15-44DA-B8A7-C1BD08B7F593It’s pretty awesome, especially when you can open up and share. Healing begins within you.

I feel that it is to your best interest to make the most of counseling, the time between sessions, to do research, read and trust the Lord to bring healing. Isn’t that why you are in counseling anyway? It is not just the counselor’s responsibility, it’s yours, too.

Pray not only for yourself to receive the therapeutic guidance from the counselor but for your heart to be open to receive and your ears and mind to hear. Pray, too, for the counselor to be open for the Lord to speak to them for and to you. There just might be some WOW moments and light to a dark corner of your life, at times.

A3B1CAEF-F72F-485B-8DD8-D1EA9B453A5ECounseling is not easy. Depending upon what you both are dealing with in these sessions, it is downright hard. Many times with my prior counselor, I have wanted to get up and leave in the middle of a session, other times never come back but I did because I was determined to move forward.  It was no surprise to her, as we discussed those facts often. Thankfully, she was mean enough to put up with me and I appreciated and loved her more for that reason.

So now as my new counselor and I get more familiar with one another, trust deepens and healing continues. I am looking forward to what lies ahead and how our counselor-client relationship will develop and if she pushes me (my buttons) to be the best person I can be. I think she will.

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If you are considering a counselor, hopefully this will help give you a glimpse of my experience. It is worth taking care of YOU, you have to. Wish you the best! ML

Don’t Give Up!

Sometimes I find myself amazed, not in just things and people around me, but in myself. With you not knowing me and many really do not, I have come a long way.

ED9BB722-F0B6-40C9-A2F7-885A662507D6Depression can wipe anyone out and while I knew I was in depression, I did not realize just how bad. Hanging on by a thread for years due to life situations, a dead marriage, other areas and at times a bad hair day.

So many times through those years, my mind screaming, ‘please help me’ to those around me, mostly my church family although that meant opening up and being vulnerable. My screams remained within and I continued on with life draining from me slowly. The Bible story of those holding up Moses’ arms is what I needed. I had no strength on my own in any area, just enough to work and come home and repeat like a wash cycle.

Exodus 17 “Moses became weary, and so Aaron and Hur responded by holding up his arms until the Israelites were able to finally defeat the Amalekites.”

Realizing, I needed someone that I could trust and talk to, was when I did my research for months and prayerfully sought out a Christian Counselor. That was almost five years now. Had it not been, I do not know where I would be today.

4305C053-1C2E-477E-A0C6-3F21D27FBD68While I spent many years with her, and that being many, long and hard sessions, it was worth it all. At times, some sessions were like a breath of fresh air but many were down right in the trench digging through the muck of my life and situations where I did not want to continue and just give up and die. Apparently, I did not give up nor did I die. I believe without a doubt that the Lord led me to her and in those four years, we covered a lot of ground.

Now I am seeing others to take me to my next level. I want more in life so I will continue to pursue just that. Just this week, there was a change in me and I recognized it with open arms. I have changed. I am not the same person, as before. I could not help but smile and feel happy, like another breath of fresh air entered in me. Welcomed.

Struggling with depression is not easy. Sure I will have some down or blah days still, we all will, but nothing like before. This breath of fresh air did not come overnight. Many times, fighting like a cat in a paper bag, it felt like.3C674A4B-4030-49DA-A35A-5750739EF3EA

If you are dealing with depression, take one day at a time. Take care of you in all areas (emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually). Open up with a trusted friend or find yourself a counselor. Most importantly, take care of yourself spiritually, find a Bible believing church and worship the Lord.  He knows your name and He knows where you are.

You are worth fighting for, remember that!

Overwhelmed

Have you ever heard the saying, I have so much to do that I don’t have time to die? I have a plaque hanging in my attic bedroom relating to that quote. 60B33F47-76BB-4593-AE7C-7B7F835D5AC8 I have had it for years because not only is it funny, I feel it to be true. Too much to do. End result, if and when death happens, it does not matter. Humor helps when the stress of life seems to swallow one up.

Many times this week, I have been faced with the fact I need to do or that, etc., feeling overwhelmed and panic sets in. The panic of freezing because I do not know where to begin. Chaos takes over in my mind and I become stuck out of unknowingly what to do, fear of dealing with some issues and just plain thoughts of ignoring and that maybe it will go away.

I will face it all and begin but I think I will write about it all for now. Procrastination at its finest, just because.

When I started my present job many years ago, I was completely overwhelmed. It was out of my league I guess you could say. Knowing I can organize and bring order to an office so that it will run efficient is a talent I have. Some offices need my help. In all my years, I had never had an office job to make me cry but tears would fall at this one, early on, due to the amount of work plus long hours of staying late while others were home enjoying their family or perhaps already in bed.

2BF3F1BF-5C85-46AA-B6DE-79A1BEBBBF33To this day, I still have on my bulletin board above my desk that reads, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” That was what helped me tackle the files in front of me day after day and some nights; one file at a time. Well, crying out to the Lord oftentimes of I need your help, direction and wisdom to get me through, or how can I make this better, etc. Today, my office run smoothly and very orderly but it did not happen overnight.

This week dealing with a health issue that put fear on me of death and the thought I do not have time to die, I realized I need to get some things in order. Last night I was informed of another matter that will affect me, I again realized that I need to get real serious of doing the same. The alarm is going off in my mind and it is time to problem solve yet again to bring order, not in my office but life. Pressure to push through when I would rather procrastinate and keep my head in the sand or feel like child and have a temper tantrum. Again, my quote came to mind of “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” And again, crying out with Lord I need your help, direction and wisdom.

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If we do nothing, nothing gets done. Taking that first step, making an effort and pushing through will bring results. So if you are feeling overwhelmed as I am now or have been or later will be in a situation, know first off that the Lord knows where you are.

811F460B-9F1D-4726-8CDC-33587BE13524No matter if you feel as though you are begging for His help, and we often do, but direction and wisdom in an area that needs attention to go forward in an area or in a perhaps stupid mistake you caused, He knows already.  He is there for me, you and each of us. He wants us to call upon Him.

If the quote helps you, use it, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

We all get overwhelmed at times. The head in the sand trick will only cause more issues. Deal with whatever and move on.

Line in the Sand

A72E248C-B0F6-4503-9306-84BA5BF15076While each of us are unique and different, which is a good thing or life would be boring, so are counselors in their sessions. With that being said, that also would be boring and definitely useless, if not.

Just recently while seeing my counselors, I have been observing more, such as their counseling techniques, office system/files with notes about me and their surroundings.  Somewhat, okay comparing my last one of four years to present ones.  While a lot deals with the OCD in my life and my organizational skills, one drives me insane. Do I say something or let it continue to make me question them. I believe I need to speak up or there will be a wall of distrust and chaos within. We have that right to do so, as clients, as there must be trust.

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I have had and a total of five counselors in my life. Each one was good in their field and just what I needed at the time and still. As a client, I also have a right to end counseling, which I did with my first one back many, many years ago.

At that time, I enrolled in a New Life Live, a Christian workshop for women. This weekend workshop was to help women understand and gain strength and healing due to issues in their marriage due to porn usage with their husbands and the betrayal felt. Maybe a one last-ditch effort to save their marriage and self-esteem which was slowly dying within myself.

As nine of of us women from all over the United States gathered in this small office area, it became evident we were all in a battle. I was amazed how many traveled the distance in order to survive.  Desperate housewives.

09321795-BA50-40AE-940A-E4196E4476B7Afterward, I was probably the closest in mileage, only forty-five miles away, I decided to start counseling sessions with the leader/counselor. I did, on a monthly basis, if not twice a month. Unsure if I really gained information to grow but at least I could talk freely and feel safe to talk. I had always kept my marriage problems silent to the point I was suffering. Shame. This workshop and counseling was my effort to take care of me, unknowingly because I thought it was more my marriage, that I now know.

After about a year, my husband was invited to join and reluctantly, he did. The first session, within minutes, sitting on her couch together but not touching, she asked him if he felt he needed anti-depressants. BAM, right out of the shoot. No doubt, I was shaking my head yes but if not, my mind was screaming, YES. This counselor has his number, so I thought.

Months went on with couples counseling, individual, etc. It was one session when she, the counselor said to me with him in the room, that any woman would love to have him. In my mind, it came a screeching halt and shock on my face, as in a movie scene. What? I knew at that point, I had lost the battle. He has won her over with his calm demeanor, his porn usage and lies. My self-esteem, confidence and desire to even exist became less than before. It’s all my fault, I am the bad wife, I caused his porn usage and continued heaping the negative thoughts.

As we went yet again and again, it was this one night that I had had enough. While I did not say anything, my shock and boundary came into play, it had to.  While discussing issues at hand and making himself look good with her, now I see he won her over more so and now she feels all motherly with him.  He speaks, saying, ‘I don’t love her and I don’t think I ever did.’  I just turned toward him and said, WOW! FA895C6C-FB8A-40F4-91D3-DC25E21DACBE

It was a long, quiet drive home filled with anger in the air.  Rightfully so. With that though, I found my voice, not in a screaming manner but authoritative. I am done. I will not make your appointments, do your laundry, cook for you (another story in itself), and whatever else. My focus was on our children from that point forward. He just could not figure out why I was so angered over that and threw it up in my face that I took it out of context. 800BDEF7-0FA3-48BC-AE93-2587C1A502E9Seriously?!? Just stab me in the back, I’d heal quicker. Those words should never be said to a wife.  Ever!

8CEF791D-3B26-491A-BAC7-7465D3F0A30FThe counselor on the other hand wanted to meet with me more, which I declined. Soon after, he left going to her, too. No push from me so he won’t; plus, he won.

He won alright, no real marriage. He can continue on with his selfish ways with porn, believing he is all that because the counselor said what she did to enforce his behavior.  I’m the bad one in this whole scenario and Satan played his games mentally with me.88e6b2cf-66aa-4544-8dee-66d3712a8abe.jpeg

Those were dark days and sadly years for me but… had it not been, I would not be where I am today. I learned that I was caring for me, even if I felt numb to life and was physically putting one foot in front of the other. I was setting boundaries, as I deserved more even while I battled negative thoughts that it was all my fault. Plus, courage to keep my head up and move forward when I would had rather died and be done with life. Through the mental torment, I had to trust the Lord but even then, I felt He did not love me either.  Unlovable.

Don’t give up, keep your focus and trust the Lord to carry you through the craziness of life. He knows your name and He knows where you are.  I had to fight, not physically but spiritually, mentally and emotionally.  9F612C2F-1B60-4EDB-9F23-3D203477A1A0

While my faith in a counselor wavered for some years due to that situation, I did not give up.  I picked up my big girl panties and found another, just for me.  I am better today and stronger emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually than ever due to help from great counselors and trusting the Lord.  My faith increased, as He was all I had to cling to in the midst of the battle.

The Lord will meet you where you are.  Trust Him. 💕7AEF5CAE-4893-4666-8CA6-716FB3CE222B

Journey of Life

947F91A9-B1D8-49C6-8138-5C2EEA15DF62Here I am, home from my counseling session and so thankful of having such great counselors as I deal with life. I would not be where I am today had it not been with each one.

Mental health awareness has been quite visible lately in the news and on Facebook of not denying or keeping your head in the sand that it does not exist. It does. Look around and listen to the news, there is mental health issues of all levels around us. Some being hidden by a mask or fake smile and those that are down right out there and may cause issues.

Why is there such a stigma of counseling and sadly in the church making people feel shame in going? Many years I secretly went to counseling almost an hour away to avoid my church and members from knowing I needed help. You know, those that will say I did not have enough faith in God. Those that will bring shame, which is why I went out of my way to go. No more!8DDBBD6E-CF15-41B4-BEFC-5BD3D2AC9032

I found myself, as I was leaving my counselor’s office the other day and several women were in the waiting room. I couldn’t help but think about them and wonder why they were there, too. Did they feel shame being there or did they just accept that they, too, need help. For a moment, and to be honest, I felt a judgment of them, just as many would and have in the past and/or in our experiences. Wrong! I captured that thought quickly realizing I just walked out of a counseling session. I am no better than them and we all need to support one another. It’s that stigma that latches on.  I’m sure others have had that of me.  While that quick lesson allowed me to see both sides, I politely smiled and wished them a good day. As we make these appointments and deal with life, that is self-care and much needed for me, you and others.  It’s okay!

We all have issues. Even counselors, doctors and so forth. I totally recommend seeing a counselor for issues or just to stay in tune with life and healing for yourself of past, present and for the future.  In my case, it started with marriage but nowadays it is to help me grow and heal some much-need broken places in my spirit, soul and body. I am a better person with counseling. Not having a spouse to relate to and cry on his shoulder or my close friends that do not live near, I have my counselors. Yes, counselors.

For this period in my life, I started with one to help me get over my last counselor of four years that left due to health issues.  We were dealing with abandonment issues in my life, yet I was abandoned by her. While not her fault, still it was and is still hard some days. Talk about a double whammy! Plus, I have another counselor to help me move forward in life, not so much focus on past counselor. Both have been good for me in my journey right now.  It’s been a good thing.

A2D1DCB8-345F-4FBF-9E47-A34CDC8843BAJust with my last appointment, she said that a poem reminded her of me of my past counseling experience, which I will share. Perfect. Again, I have had the best and thankful for what each one has done to help me grow, understand life, and even understand myself.

So, if you are considering to go see a counselor, do it. Give it time so each one can get familiar and build a relationship.  If after a time and there is no connection, change your counselor but do not quit taking care of you. There are some really good ones out there. Just know YOU MATTER and YOU are worth it.DE7BECC3-28B7-4B8B-83B3-C9265B356DA0

Just FYI, there is a lot of information on Pinterest regarding mental health, groups on Facebook and Google searches, too.