Dirty Dishes & Depression

Window, sill, clean.I have noticed this week and now that it is the weekend, I had a sink of dirty dishes and even a pile of clothes on the end of my bed.  I told myself each time that I would hang the clothing item up when I got home from work, which did not happen.

A week of feeling and fighting depression, perhaps a spiritual attack and probably so, but noticing my house taking a hit and dirty dishes in my sink.  I never do that and it is a telltale sign, I am fighting within. Exhausted. Looking at the dishes this morning and tackling them, I wondered if my husband even noticed and wondering what is wrong with me. I knew that was a far-fetched thought.  Although it made me giggle, just considering the thought.

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Today, the dishes are done and I am managing my messes, as I am getting through the mental chaos but it has been a struggle.  Ever been there?

We all deal with bouts of discouragement now and then and disappointment that can make your knees buckle from sadness, leading to depression. It is a lost and a lonely feeling with darkness looming over our heads. It happens.  Life happens. Give yourself grace and take care of you through it all with proper care and rest.

1DB42EB6-4F25-4AF2-B80B-1CC4BDF7A8D2If you have dirty dishes, piles of clothes, laundry, etc., just start somewhere.  Organize your bedroom, a bathroom closet, etc.  If you do not or have not used something in a year, get rid of it (give away, donate or pitch). Something!  Just start. It will help you feel somewhat productive even if overwhelmed.

I often use this phrase and have it on my bulletin board at work, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”

Know that depression can hit each of us.  Stop and recognize what is or has happened. Do not stuff your feelings down and ignore.  Take time to name the thoughts and feelings, forgive others and even yourself, as needed.  Journal through the mental chaos, if just a A04571B6-2518-41D9-8BC9-E6C7596EB0ECsentence. Make plans to search out a counselor. With that and when you do and go, please give him or her a chance, as one or two visits won’t do it.  They, too, are getting familiar and comfortable with you as you are them.  Of course, after a month or so, if it is not a good fit, there are others, don’t stop. Perhaps go see your family doctor and know there is nothing wrong with taking an anti-depressant.  Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.  The stigma of mental health needs to stop and be recognized — moreso today, than ever.

826666AE-68D9-4FD2-A2BC-93099F813291Sadly, with all that I wrote and recommended, many in my church family would be appalled, stating I did not have enough faith.  Sad!  I do have faith, enough to know when I need help and that the Lord will lead and direct me to the right counselor(s), which He did.  I have come a long way and still a long way to go. It has not always been easy but I am allowing Him to heal the broken places in my heart and life with a counselor’s help. I’m a better person and a Christian with faith renewed because of my decision to get help years ago.

Make a change today and do something productive.  Sometimes that is just getting up and taking a shower.  I’ve been there. You are not alone. Thankfully, your heart knows how to beat on it’s own, as your lungs allow you to breathe when no energy to do just that.  You’ve got this!

I know even through my week of feeling down and depressed with dirty dishes, the Lord still loves me. He loves you. Trust Him.

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Trust or Distrust?

6594C139-3701-4A6C-938F-FDE4ACD405B1There is a part of me that would rather you look me in the eye and say, I do not like/love you, I hate you, I do not want anything to do with you, etc., than to find out later it was all a lie, questioning our relationship.  While that would be horrific, at least I would know what I was dealing with.

To receive my trust, to know me, to hear me and to know I was loyal and then to crush my spirit, is like a knife in my back.  Sadly, that knife has been there many times.  I D4388487-BF85-4636-BCD1-D911E2A3AD9Fam kind of getting used to the sharpness and the dull pain it presents.  It just reopens and irritates the wound from before that I was getting over. How many times do I have to endure the agony?  It’s hard when it repeats itself, especially from those you would not expect.

As I was in counseling for years and still, trying to grasp the fact of this hurt, the betrayal, abandonment, rejection, distrust, lack of vulnerability, to name a few and realizing they were what I have dealt with in life.  Now, understanding the areas that get triggered and while pain exists through it, I know it is not the end of the world.   Thankfully, I can recognize and name the emotions felt.  Like, yes I have been here before and this hurts. It helps when you know what you are dealing with whether that be in the emotions, as such, or even the one causing the pain.  We may not understand what the other person is going through or the reason this or that happened but give grace and forgiveness, move on.

You would think that the ones that cared and loved you would not do such damage, but it happens. Shocking.

The question lingers… Who do you trust?E0C8227E-7587-4D3D-8938-E58FFA2A990C

It is hard to be vulnerable knowing that just this can happen.  You think you are in a safe place in a relationship but again, it happens.

3A9D2D89-A24C-47E1-A851-A5690FEADEEEThe walls get built to protect from letting others hurt you once again. Perhaps not allowing myself to be me, was something we discussed often in counseling, afraid to be vulnerable.  I understand.  How can the walls not be built to keep the pain away?  There is a distrust. It takes time and healing of such pain to dissipate, hopefully.  When you think you can trust again and it happens yet again, the walls go back.  The wall gets bigger.

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One thing I do know, is that the enemy wants nothing more to make us and help us believe the lies in order to stop our growth. The thoughts bombard our mind to just to stop it ALL.  I felt this so strongly the last few weeks. I do not know who to trust or to be vulnerable with and share; so the 52A72642-7651-4544-81AA-CDB596F1F7F5thoughts and decision of no more counseling, no more caring, no more nothing. Done! Just go to work, home and repeat. Exist. Exactly where the enemy wants me yet again, to be isolated and depressed.

I know better though because I went down that road before for years.  I recognize the enemy at work in my mind and my emotions.  I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and getting close to freedom in life and to feel joy.  I want that in my life.

The knife in my back yet again is just that.  What’s new?  I made it before, I’ll make it again. At least I know how to walk through this with more coping skills than I had years ago and I see it as it is.  The pain exists, tears come and go from the disappointment. Before, I would take it all upon myself, as there is something wrong with me or it is my fault, etc., but I am not taking the blunt of the negative feedback trickling in my thoughts.

Sadly, many get to this point as such or similar and consider the situation hopeless, too tired to work through the despair.  Suicide is rampant among us all. Keep going, you will get through this. Today might be rough but tomorrow will be better.

457B8EEC-3EEC-45DF-A2F5-FEA0AF846327As much as my heart hurts, I know that the Lord knows all about my pain.  I have to trust Him through this.  I did not have the energy before, years ago and for years, but now I do.  I will Praise Him through this pain and He will see me through.

Any negative thoughts, feelings and emotions that I have, not to forget the anger that rises up in my attitude, I know I must forgive the one(s) that hurt me.  I know, too, that I am to pray for them.2E833860-5258-4FC4-82A3-BA0B43CD1BB8

If you also are experiencing some pain or issues in life, trust Him. He knows your name and exactly where you are, too.  Life will throw us some punches and knifes in the back but we need to keep moving forward. You’ve got this!

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The Bible gives advice about trusting others after we’ve been hurt. Trusting God is the first, most important step. When we know that, no matter what men do to us, God will always be there, faithful and true and trustworthy, it is easier to handle betrayal or disappointments. Psalm 118:6 says, “The Lord is on my side, I will not fear. What can man do to me?” 

The second step after being hurt by trusting others is forgiveness. As Jesus told Peter, if a brother sins against you seventy-seven times a day and comes back asking for forgiveness, we should forgive (Matthew 18:21–22). 

https://www.gotquestions.org/trusting-others.html

What’s Wrong With Me?

What’s wrong with me?  Ever ask that of yourself? DDBF941F-2326-4A39-9ABB-26BABFCD97A9

Today, I did. It’s been a long time, I realized, since I have asked that and I did not miss it.

I thought I would try to listen to my former counselor’s video today while working on a project at work. One of the best counselors out there, and I am thankful to have had her in my life. Even after today, an emotional ride.

Even though I made it through the video, once it was over my throat was tight of anxiety, I felt sad and immediately went to the question that I have been able to ward off, which is ‘What is wrong with me?’ Sadness hit me hard with that and all the negative thoughts of unworthiness, unlovable, etc.

If I wasn’t in my office and having the auditor in the next room, I do believe I could have cried a river. Tears still leaked out my eyes but a big gush was in there, I was about to burst, an emotional breakdown.  FD32BC50-03E5-40E1-913F-C05612E20B09

So many sessions over the four years together, and we have discussed this matter so often, but I apparently still get triggered.  Understanding my childhood of emotional neglect, shame, abandonment, etc., of which my blogs express at times, I will always be triggered.  It’s how I handle it.

Perhaps just the fact of hearing her voice, as we are no longer counselor/client due to her health issues, my own grieving with this loss but I also felt hurt by her. I just don’t understand the whys that linger in my mind and my heart. I will probably never know the answers to the whys. How can this be? Why?

0E29E2B2-DAE3-4CD4-9773-C65DD7979CBBMy heart hurts. Dealing with questioning myself once again, the shame tore at me. Something must be wrong with me for her to basically invalidate me and minimize my feelings and feel the rejection deeply. The one that taught me different and encouraged me all those years and knows better. I feel totally confused. 29BFD495-44A4-4007-8AB9-C6A078436980

My whole being shut down holding my breath in the emotional turmoil, as I do and have done in life. Experiencing this once again, is almost debilitating. I’ve done so well. Today, not so much.  Perhaps this is a lesson that I need to remember where I have come from and how I have grown through the years.  I do remember it well, and I don’t like it.

Changing my mindset will come, maybe not today though and tomorrow is questionable.  The rewiring of my brain, also taught by her, by reversing the thought pattern of knowing there is nothing wrong with me.  I am pushing through.  I have come a long way.  I am blessed. I am lovable. I am worthy.  A whole lot of ‘I Am’ statements will be said and will be in front of me to read. Most importantly, the Lord knows my heart, He knows my name and He knows exactly where I am.  My focus is and has to be on Him.

It will all come together and the positive side will surface once again within me, but as I feel the pain and acknowledge the hurt, I have to hope that healing will come.

What’s wrong with me? I just have a big heart and I care. There is nothing wrong with that.

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So if you have ever been in this place of hurt, let down, disappointed, even angered of a situation or relationship, you understand me.  It’s all normal. Most importantly is that the Lord loves me, sees me and I have to trust Him.  Same goes for you.  Trust Him.

039EC9C5-0D5F-4C09-AD99-901584023340Shame informs you of an internal state of inadequacy, dishonor, or regret. As a self-conscious emotion, shame informs us of an internal state of inadequacy, unworthiness, dishonor, regret, or disconnection. Shame is a clear signal that our positive feelings have been interrupted.

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Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. How many times have we said those words?  A song most of us grew up with hearing and singing, which you probably just did or will do now. You can thank me later. Actually, it is a happy, uplifting song. Sense of hope.  49B852EC-72F0-4EA2-898E-5B3BFB01A6D3

Yesterday morning as I walked with another walking buddy of mine on a longer route than normal due to it being the weekend and more time, we walked and talked and talked. This man is a mid-seventy year old, uses a cane to stabilize himself but can out walk me. He is always full of stories and interesting tidbits about travels, etc. You know the type, one of those that can tell a story and then another. Time has to be in your favor to enjoy though and that day was one of them for me.

We have walked together over the past few months at times and getting to know one another. His wife joins us at times, which is nice but today she was exhausted from traveling so it was just us.  The weather was perfect with a cloudy overcast and soft breeze. Perfect.

We know a lot of the same people and sometimes shocked how much in common we have with the age difference. I love it when the Lord allows certain people to cross our paths. While it may be for just a season, there is purpose and a friendship built.

In our miles of walking and talking, life seemed to pop up in discussion.  Each of us have a story.  He had made a comment about how counselors make us see things more clearly, which struck a cord in me. So true. With that, we discussed many topics and life issues leading to counseling. Sometimes in life, we get lost while 9EF3D05E-F682-4076-BBF5-B225B8F49ABCtending to the cares of everyone around us, our own feelings and thoughts evaporate and soon zap us leading us to ask that one question… Who am I?

E28F3FB6-EC2F-435F-851C-2EAAD04255D6Even this week, being with a dear friend, she said it, too, as her plate has been filled for months, if not years caring for others and putting herself on the back burner. It happens. Hopefully, some normalcy will come, I pray, as she settles back into her home and daily life.

Maybe you yourself feel lost. Those moments thinking or even being asked what do you like to do or even that one question.  Who are you?   In a sullen look and voice, you may think or even say, or maybe ignoring the question and perhaps reply, I do not know who I am.  I do not know what I like, want, where to go, to do, and so on. You just exist from one day to the next and soon days, months and years pass.

I have been there.  Exist.  Barely breathing.  Lost.  Afraid.  Stuck.  Wearing a mask with a smile.  Frozen in time.  Sad.  No voice.

Reading the lyrics later of this song when I got home, because now the song is stuck in my head, I found myself smiling and happy inside.  In my life, I felt the rain; I saw the dark clouds for years; I felt the pain, as my heart was broken and unloved. Too many obstacles were in my way, feeling overwhelmed.  The bad feelings of hate, anger and unforgiveness were clinging to me, while I was right to have, but I needed to release and let go.

There is more to life.  If you just make minor changes and build to regain your equilibrium back, it is a start.  Do not let the lie of it is of no use to pull you back in despair.  Keep moving forward.  Give yourself grace.  Rest.

The most important, is God.  Allow Him to be in this with you.  He is, but He is a gentleman.  He wants YOU to call upon Him.  He will direct your paths.  He will give you joy.  He does and will love you, as you are His child. Trust Him.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1Today, I can truly say and feel that the heavy rain is gone, dark clouds have disappeared, I see the rainbow and the blue skies are opening up to me like never before.  Obstacles are being removed.  While I still have many areas to tend to and always will because life will never be without storms, but I could sing, I can see clearly now.  There is hope for me (for you).

731BA8E7-B163-4F0F-98BD-9F659712431D3CF4D688-9502-452E-B6AD-256A95658348

There Must Be More

My prayer for years and becoming more consistent. Lord, there must be more.

D5817F1C-679D-44D8-90B1-05E8B78AE004As we cry out to Him, He hears us. It may not feel that way, but that is when we draw up every inch of faith within us. The pleading of our soul screaming out possibly inaudible to those around us, the thoughts in our mind as we go through our day, the tears that leak out from the corner of our eyes which sometimes become like a waterfall. No matter how, He knows all about us. He knows what we are struggling and no matter how big or small. He sees and feels our hopelessness.

To break it down even more, He knows ALL.447C01BC-3D44-43C7-9FE7-C0C3E86BDBF2

He is just waiting for us to give up trying to control the circumstances and allow Him to take control. Sounds easy enough. Right? Still we want to help. Our wheels spin and He patiently waits. No doubt how the song, Jesus Take The Wheel came into existence. The writer finally got it and blessed us with the lyrics that many relate with and enjoy.

While He is patient with me, I know I am not in many areas although I am in other areas. I have had to be, plus I am still here. Years upon years, and still I have dealt with some situations in my life that seems like there was no end in sight. Except death. Sadly, there were times years ago, I welcomed that. Total hopelessness.

Not now, as I have hope because I have worked too hard to get to this point in my life.  Whether my situation changes or 35450FAD-E178-4E61-A84C-DCF94CFBCDEBnot, my faith in the Lord and worship will continue and actually increase.

Even though the words, Lord, there must be more, come out of my mouth or cross in my mind, I feel there really is more.  Long time coming and I wait.

2A1B2D71-19CE-4C04-A688-3E1479939DCESo where are you?  What are you going through?  Do you feel stuck in a rut?  Hopeless?

There is only One that knows you like no other.  The Lord is there for you, as He has been for me at my darkest hours and in total hopelessness.  Trust Him.  If you take one step, He will take two.  If you need to see a counselor, go!  They can help sort out thoughts and help you regain lost years through the sadness, which was a lifeline for me.  Just take care of you.  There is more to life than a pit of despair. I don’t want to be in that pit for the rest of my life.  I had to make a choice.  You have a choice.  Let’s Live!

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Deep Roots

The roots of abandonment can go far and be buried in the depths of your soul, well mine anyway.  While I know I am not alone, as I have read too much of others confessing the same.  It just makes you feel alone, that nobody cares and the sadness can swallow one up in a gulp.

Today was no exception.  I opened up an area that I just tend to scrape the surface but that scab fell off and I was in pain from the triggered effect.  Oh my God, how much more do I need to deal with this pain in my life?  Will it ever go away?  Have I been pushing down all the emotions still, all along?  Honestly, I know that answer.  I do.  It has been a lifelong trait that I fall into easier.

2DE93CB1-8FB6-4F42-86F4-AB6AB485AC70The movie, Something’s Gotta Give, with Diane Keaton (Erica) and  Jack Nicholson, a cute romantic movie where she is a writer and finds herself emotional while writing her best book and movie ever, came to mind.   It was Erica’s wailing and screaming while tossing typing paper from the typewriter and the used tissues from the tissue box to sometimes hit the garbage can as creativity was overtaking her.  I tend to relate to this scene each time I see the movie.

So many times, I would love to retreat and do the same, to allow my creativity to flow.  My life experiences in snippets only show up here through my own emotional battles.

Recognizing my emotions and naming the loss and sadness that I was feeling was the easy part.  Years ago, I did not know to do that so I have advanced in this turmoil, thanks to my counselor.  It is how to move forward and heal from it, I find hard.  So like Erica, I can wail, scream through my distress while FBF67FD9-262C-42D1-A50A-427B3497558Cwiping the tears as they flow.  That’s while although being alone in my office, I can let go somewhat.    Thank goodness, I have dark, tinted windows as I was an emotional mess while driving home safely.

Praying, Lord I need you to love me through this loss, this pain.ACEB5344-6FB1-417B-A354-0FAA1BF3D956

Knowing, too, I was tired from a long weekend and then a long day at work.  I needed a nap, which I took.  It is self-care to do such and we all need that, too.  It is not always laziness but to recharge what is depleted and my emotional tank was running on empty.

A2DCEFD4-F915-4E93-9CD3-96904D7E38CFGive yourself grace through these times, if you experience.  We can all be triggered in areas that have been a touchy area in our lives.  It is recognizing and feeling the pain to get through for further healing.  Don’t push it down and ignore because of the pain.  Preaching to myself, right here.  Even though this afternoon was rough, I am moving forward.  The struggle did not last as long even though it felt like it.  With that, I remembered my former counselor saying that to me, that it did not last as long.  My thoughts were, if you say so lady, although I knew she was right.  It’s not easy to go through the pain but worth it.  We’ve got this!  One day at a time.

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