Share Your Story

Dear Friends,

In these difficult times, people may be feeling down and not have the money or benefits to seek mental health services so we have set up an online community to encourage people who may be feeling hopeless, lonely and discouraged.

Nothing formal about telling your story…maybe you could just answer one or two of the questions below:

  • Have you ever experienced a period of depression?
  • How and when did you find hope?
  • Was there a time “when the mountain seemed too high?
  • How did you break through?
  • What were the tools in your “recovery from depression toolbox”?
  • How did you find the gift of insight, freedom and letting go of the pain?

Please share your stories and insights– they will be helpful to our community

Thank you.

Patricia Gallagher

152 responses to “Share Your Story

  1. This is how I feel:
    Dear liza…I think it’s starting to sink it….the last person who would want you despite Yr flows is supposed to be God,the Holy Spirit and Jesus……they too don’t want you….how else do you explain their silence to Yr cries…or their indifference to Yr circumstances…..or their unchanged attitude to the small things you do that you think would make them smile….it’s no wonder your parents didn’t want you….Yr mum couldn’t manufacture a sibling to keep you company on this earth …just died…then Yr father left you in the hands of a brother whose family suffers from insecurity of you being in their home….Yr boyfriend didn’t want you….how else do u explain the fate of him accidentally impregnt an older lady……you are wasting space and oxgyen….Yr a beautiful hard working gal and yet the world won’t give u a chance and even you don’t want you.

  2. I live with depression everyday. Even while I’m writing, the tears are flowing. Yes, I take antidepressants which I think helps a little. I do not have insurance so my visits to the county clinic with a nurse practitioner are limited. My hope is my faith. Without my faith, I would have ended my life years ago. I suppose I’m sharing this because sometimes I need to write my sadness down so I can remind myself that my hope and faith are my strength in these “lonely and sad” moments. I don’t often leave the house because most of the time, my home is my “safe” place. I try to find positive people to communicate with and I try to watch programs and read articles that are positive. I hope this helps someone else out there.

    • Dear bee. I can relate….you say the only thing holding on to is Yr faith…even when you feel Yr faith is in the fire…in an oven in hell.God help us

  3. Maggie Catagnus

    HOPE!!!
    WRAP Wellness Recovery Action Plan by Mary Ellen Copeland. Great wellness tool and resource. I apply it with all my peers. I’m a Certified Peer Specialist and WRAP Facilitator. I support those with mental health challenges. We work on their personal goals such as losing weight by going to ymca to do swimming activities, coloring, reading self help books, poetry, positive quotes and affirmations to name a few. Check with your county Mental Health office to be connected to Peer Specialist or want training to be one.
    Montgomery County Peer Specialist training are one of the best in world. So proud to be a CPS in Montgomery County P. Very rewarding career!! I luv going to work!

    • Maggie Catagnus

      Google WRAP Mary Ellen Copeland. It works to stay balanced and stable.

      • Maggie Catagnus

        I’m an individual who lives with Bipolar 1 with psychotic features, anxiety disorder and ADD. .ive been hospitalized 10, 11, 12 x’s lost rack. Mostly suicidal attempts and idealayion. I I’ve been through hell and back a few times but finally finding right psychotherapist for last 10 years and finally found right combo of medicine after being on about 20-25 medicines as a guinea pig. January 29th 1989 first breakdown. It takes time! Read ask questions educate yourself about diagnosis. Find support groups. Get connected to mental health resources in community! Work hard because no one can do it for you! Have the drive and motivation to self educate.
        Just Do IT! Recovery is a journey not a destination. Always moving forward learning and growing.
        I’ve had so many therapists and psychiatrist over these last 28 years I can’t begin to count. Don’t like one find another don’t like that one find another and so on and so on! Keep on Truckin’! You can become stable there is HOPE!! Maggiecatagnus@yahoo.com
        Contact me for more info and insight, I’m here to listen.
        To be a Certified Peer Specialist you must have a my diagnosis. We are your PEER!

      • Maggie Catagnus

        To be Certified Peer Specialist and WRAP Facilitator you must have mental health diagnosis. Every day is challenging but don’t give up!!

      • Maggie –
        I am also a Certified WRAP Facilitator. I work with NAMI of Mercer County NJ to make various WRAP resources available to our community. We do not limit these programs to just those in Mercer County. As of now we offer:

        2 8-week evidence based practice WRAP workshops every year
        A weekly online WRAP support group
        Publish “WRAP News from NAMI Mercer” twice a month which contains at least one article on ways to use our WRAP
        Annual “WRAP for the Holidays” – a specialty WRAP to help deal with holiday stress

        You are welcome to get involved with any of our programs and we will be glad to help you in any way we can with your programs.
        Our contact info: wrap@namimercer.org 609-799-8994 x19

        Akavar Dylutra
        Certified WRAP Facilitator
        Certified Peer Specialist

  4. screwthisimgettingbetter

    My mind is a scribble.

    As a pre-teen I used to lie in bed at night envisioning dying and how much better off the world would be without me. I wrote goodbye notes to my family in my head almost every night. I didn’t realise until I was seventeen that wanting to die was an abnormal thought. I had accepted these morbid thoughts as normal and assumed these thoughts debilitated everyone else too.

    I’ll never forget the moment I realised I was in fact suffering from depression. I had to be told by a good friend, as I hadn’t recognised myself just how unwell I was. That day changed me forever, my whole world as I knew it, came crashing down. In my last year of high school, this crippling realisation rocked my already fragile pubescent self quite significantly.

    Everything hurt, everything was hard and I cried for no reason, all the time. I self-diagnosed myself using JK’s online test and was shocked at my honest answers to the questions. This was confirmed by doctors and counsellors making me fill out endless questionnaires that only rubbed salt in my deep, raw wounds. All of this felt like an earthquake opening the ground up beneath my feet. I felt that the last few years of my life had all been a lie – I should’ve realised how damaging my thoughts and feelings were. I began to understand that my mind was in fact unhealthy and I felt like a freak. I always thought I was different in some way, and I realised this was what that feeling was – a hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach.

    I didn’t understand all of this because I had and have had by all means an incredible life and a wonderful childhood, with no issues whatsoever, so realising my diagnosis and having this confirmed was quite hard for me to wrap my head around. “Why me?”, was a question I asked myself and would continue to ask myself for years to come. But this paralysing question only made me feel increasingly wounded.

    I fought this for a few months, with some support from my then boyfriend, my mum and a select few friends. I was distracted heavily by my newfound university workload and the intense competition of getting into vet school. But suddenly, as a successful vet school applicant, I was flung into a world of overachieving extroverts and I didn’t know how to handle it. I was completely out of my depth and really struggled to connect with anyone in my class. I knew I wasn’t being myself, I was putting up a protective barrier, intimidated by all the walks of people I was now surrounded by. It took a long time for this barrier to come down.

    My first experience flatting was with a group of girls who I had befriended in the halls. They were bullies, but I’d call them ‘secret bullies’. The type of people that everyone else though were “so lovely” but in fact seemed to thrive off belittling and intimidating, making me terrified to come home at night. They were the type of people that confirmed my suspicions that no one liked me. This led me to my first suicide attempt. In hindsight, I guess I didn’t really want to die but I wanted them to feel shit for how they had made me feel. For some reason, I continued to live with them, enduring the torture until the end of the flatting contract.

    Breaking up with my serious boyfriend, shattered me. As did my realisation of his manipulative everything and unfaithful nature – he had degraded me to what felt like nothing. He was the sole source of my unhappiness for two years to come. I couldn’t believe I had let someone I loved so intensely reduce me to almost annihilation. And now I had to rebuild myself from scratch, learning who I really was without the overbearing shadow of someone else looming over me.

    I began to feel so much better as I relieved myself from the clasps of his grasp. This was the most positive period in my life where gradually I began to grow as a person and finally felt free from the repression I had grown accustomed to. It wasn’t all easy, as summed up by my diary entry on the 23rd of August 2016; “My mind is like a mad jumble of strings, like a scribble on a piece of paper and I can’t seem to grasp anything. I’m not sure if I know who I am, I feel like I haven’t really known who I am since I was 16. I’ve let myself depend on boys for so long that I can’t seem to completely establish who I am without feeling a bit empty… I don’t feel sad, I guess I just feel like I’m stuck in limbo and I need to get out. My chest feels tight all the time like I’m panicking in this weird place I’ve found myself. When I try to talk to my friends about how I’m feeling, I don’t really know how to explain”. However, I haven’t had a period where I flourished so much since.

    Fast forward to today. I had tasted the good life but now I’ve lost it all. I feel empty and I have nothing left to give. How can someone feel so much but feel nothing at all? Another suicide attempt failed and friends and family telling me that I will get through this. I just don’t know how. Everything is hard, even opening my mouth to speak, picking up my phone to type and of course opening my eyes every damn morning. A decade of feeling like this makes it seems like I’m never going to get better. It seems that this demon will haunt me for the rest of my life.

    Each day is a day of uncertainty. “What am I gonna do to screw up today?”. I ruminate on everything, even stupid things like what I said when I was on school camp at age fourteen. I have now come to realise I ‘post mortemise’ my every word, action and interaction. “Why did I say that?” or “I should’ve said…” are the sorts of questions I ask myself when I lie in bed at night. It’s exhausting caring so much. I just wish I could turn it all off.

    It’s incredibly hard living in a world where all you seek is the approval of others. I have always felt that no one likes me, even my own family at times. This was and still is a huge conflict in my mind constantly burning inside of me. Are people being my friend because they feel they have to? Or because they feel sorry for me? Or am I actually a likeable person? Still to this day, I am still battling with these thoughts. But I willingly take on other people’s problems so it consumes me and so I don’t have to face my own, putting myself on the backburner.

    The idealisation of falling in love is all I am living for, for the feeling that I once had but hopefully ten-fold. I just want someone who will love me unconditionally and be my best friend. I have to hold out for this, I have to believe I will find it, otherwise I will die. All I want is to build a happy life with someone and be a successful veterinarian fulfilling my passions. I know I need to learn to love myself first but the thought of this seems an impossible and exhausting feat. Tell me how I am supposed to create a bed of flowers from nothing; no dirt, no water and certainly no sunshine? I am at a loss.

    Jemma

    https://screwthisimgettingbetter.blog/

  5. Anyways continuing my story…. I wasn’t totally in a state of complete depression until recently when we found out that my brother was actually bipolar. I started completely balling for no reason. I started drinking a lot with my friends and getting super wasted. It got awful that time I started trying to cut myself. And I thought about suicide for 25% of the day. And I wanted to be there for my brother but I didn’t see how because I could only make things worse for him. I even starved myself for a weak just because I didn’t want to eat. But how can I talk to my mom when she has no idea what I’m going through she says it’s all about getting enough sleep and maintaining a healthy diet. And all I can think is that how can I get sleep when I have insomnia. She doesn’t know what I going through. My depression hits me at the randomness times and all I can think is I want to sleep I jut want to go to bed and never wake up. My dad knows what I’m going through and he and I have a system whenever you’re feeling depressed just come and talk to me and we’ll watch tv. But how can I explain what I’m feeling to him. It’s Horton so bad that I wanna stay depressed I just think my time on earth is expired and I don’t think anyone can help me feel any better. I’m so lost in my depression and insomnia there’s is nothing and no one that can help me.

  6. Hi I’d rather stay anonymous but I am twelve years old and I have been struggling with depression and insomnia for about two years now. To me depression is like an unwanted friend that crashes the party and makes me feel like there is nothing worth living for. It all started two years ago when my brother got depressed. As my brother got better I got worse and my parents were really busy with him they didn’t really even notice me which is understandable. As months went by I got worse until my mom finally noticed me and got me back on a steady path. I never told her I was depressed. my depression got better but my insomnia got worse. Although I was better my depression wasn’t totally gone I still had triggers and aftershocks that put me in an awful depressed state for a few days I wouldn’t sleep or eat or even get out of bed.

  7. Hi …Sorry I will not mention my name …I was 34 years women and I had one child ..I am well educated women ..But then also I can’t prove myself any where…No one except my ideology and my thought …Everyone is thinking I am mad and frustrated women …But no know what is going on inside of my mind I wanted to finish my life because it’s full of selfish … When I was small I always happy and cheerful and talkative girl. But one day I observe that my parents always doing more love to my sis and they think she is more capable then me I had always compromise things I life even it’s love aur marriage always… I had always tired to make others happy not me… But I am human being not God whenever I am thinking myself and always make me reliase that I am woman and their is no motivation I have no right to choice or happy… Now I have no self-respect no money no motivation nothing I have finish my life.. What should I do now I don’t know.

  8. I have written this to share with other people battling depression, to try to help get the word out about how we are not at fault about how we feel, and we’re trying our best. Many people need to understand this, so I have written this allegory. Hope you like it:

    An Allegory on Depression

    It was dark and sinister in the Dungeon of Mind. There was no escape except for one, and it was a mile high drop that no human could ever survive. I was tied to a sturdy pole, secured by heavy black chains, that would only loosen if I told “him” that I was ready to meet his demands. The only light was a single bulb above my head, and it only made the room much more frightening. I heard a slight rustle and tensed. I could sense that “he” was coming. And I was right, for out of the pitch shadows came Count Depression himself, who eerily resembled the grim reaper. He paced about me like a panther stalking a fawn. I knew it was coming. He ceased his movement and stopped unmoving directly in front of me. His breath was hot on my face, leaving me shrinking within myself, unable to bear it. Suddenly, he produced a cord and shrieked with a voice that weaken the bravest of men, “Recognize this?!” I knew it all too well. A thick cord, woven of all the insults and negative comments ever made about me, whether true or false. I simply quaked in answer. With a battle cry, he swung the cord, striking blow after blow to my body, cutting and bruising me mightily. Thai went on for quite some time, all the while I felt my strength and resolve fading. Finally, he stopped leaving me more dead then alive. As he turned to leave, I used the last of my strength to cry out, “Why don’t you simply kill me now?!” His head slowly rotated toward me, revealing a fiendish smile that made my spirit within me faint. “I leave you alive to heal, oh human. So when you are once again ready, I will come and repeat the process. Another beating. And I will not stop, i will not relent, until you tell me that you will leap off that exit and be done.” His sneer widened. “Or we can keep doing this…. forever.”

    Kerissa Morgan, age 17

  9. Honestly i cant keep it inside anymore.My name is christine and im just 13 becomin 14 in april.Ever since i was little i was innocent shy but somehow cheerful happy talkative and everything was perfect until age 11.I dont know what happened i was still the same happy as i thought but in six grade after some stupid bad memories of friends leaving me or judging me wich was stupid i just didnt care anymore i closed myself up and started cutting for the first time before my 12 birthday.I showed them to my mother on my bthday day she didnt show expression just like what is that dump thing and then as i thought id stop it i started more but not so deep that could recover in 1 day anyway by the start of summer i closed myself inside didnt talk at all just stay inside on my computer.In my first year of middleschool i cant even express the sadness cutting and other stuff. even more closed in not wanting to go to the beach. this year at ther start of 2 year of middle school i started cutting even deeper and burning just getting reminded of the image of blood everywhere in the bathroom breks my heart. my depression got just so worse i couldnt anymore .I just wanted to end it. everyday i could cry and pointing the sharp razer on my veins but trying to resist for what would i loose. after some months my mom saw the dump tv news about some internet shit people using little kids and becaus ei was always on internet and didnt talk a lot she thought i was one of the innocent kids so kept teasing me like christine get this off your heart and stuff.after going outside by force qwith some of my parents friends and their kids that are somesort of my friends and returning home to sleep she turned and asked me what happend i was like nothing she started hugging me and she knows tha tim not the lovey dovey person so i pushed her. then was when the drama started, i made her cry.seeing your mother cry because of you.i mean i couldnt even i left the room and went to bathroom and cried for about an hour with her teasing me get out get out afte getting out we talked and because she pissed me so bad i told her what i felt. But honestly it was a mistake she said oh ym god is that it? i thought you were liek on of the kids that got controled by the internet freak pedos and i just oculdnt she said its ok everyone can deal with some depression we will go to a therapist. no .Even worse i started screaming i lost control .Literally lost control affter holding it so many eyars inside and her saying this stuff then bringing up therapist i couldnt. i lost my mind i was almost like a psycho i started crying screaming dcestroying witht he sicross my canvas drawings and she told me i cant take this anymore like she quited dealing with me she said i call your dad or we go to the therapist. after she conviced me and went there to have the worst experience ever with that dump therapist maing me uncomfortable unhappy and saying i wasnt depressed.Honestly its beejn 4 months with not harming myself. because of volleyball but i still have the scars and the depression i try to be dump and not notice but im so sad i cant anymore. every day is so painful. But in this world its neither you feel the pain or the close ones do.Ill have to deal with the pain forever just to make other happy .

    • Honestly your mom seems a bit ignorant, and your psicologists seems unexperienced and judgemental.
      Depression can either happen because the person has something going on that makes them sad and they cant face it, or because of ones own brain creating too much of the hormone that produces the “sad” emotion. Considering you think it was stupid from the start its probable you had the last one (i dont know though, lol)
      But cutting and closing yourself defenetly wont help in either case, if anithing they just make it worse (yes, when you’re depresed it actually turns out kinda more painful to do things when you dont want to do anithing but still…). Voleibol was a good getaway. Id recomend you use that and anithing you can see yourself enjoying to pull yourself out.

  10. I have was diagnosed with depression and anxiety when I was 14 years old. I am now 18 and worse than ever before. I would cry, not sleep all night, be down all the time and I had loads idea what was up, so I decided to go to a ‘mentor’ (a school councillor) she asked me to take a test and then further referred me to a place where they would help me to get treated. I went once and never again as I was terrified of the idea that I was depressed. I spent months having countless sessions with her until I said I was okay, and then I had to go back as I was only lying to myself. That happened up until I was 16. I’ve always avoided help as I never could accept that there was something ‘wrong’ with me. I was a happy girl who enjoyed spending time with her friends and that was all.
    I tried to heal myself and prove that i was strong enough to do this without medication and extra help, but things just became progressively worse. When the time finally came that I knew I couldn’t go on like this, I finally went to my doctor and laid it all out on the table: I was depressed and suicidal at the age 16. At the age of 17 I was on sertraline (zoloft) hoping that this was the breakthrough and I could finally be happy again, but there was just something so off that to always seemed to bother me no matter what help I received and how much progress I made. I had my family and loving boyfriend by my side at all times, until he couldn’t take my moods anymore, but shortly after got back with me.
    My behaviour consists of worrying, anger, aggression, screaming, shaking, crying, being delusional and so on. I always believe that people hate me and I’m worse than everyone else during my ‘episodes’ and even when I’m feeling fine. I believe that if I don’t do things a certain way, something bad with happen to.me or someone I love, that I will fail or that I am very ill. On top of that, I have OCD which doesn’t come close to being as much of a problem as the rest, but it’s the amount that I have to deal with. I am a hypochondriac so I always worry that I will either die or I am dying or that I have an illness. A few months ago I had a panic attack so bad that I almost passed out and I only just managed to call myself an ambulance. I turned 18 this month and I am no better, if anything, I’m worse and at my breaking point. I found a way to deal with it for now until I start therapy again and I have people who love me and want to help me. Nobody has the same thing ‘wrong’ with them. Everyone has a different journey which is equally as difficult, so don’t avoid help. It’s the only thing you have.

  11. This is my story:

    In the throws of my deep depression and complete psychotic breakdown, I found comfort in knowing I would not live forever; that I would die someday and knowing this absolute was the beginning of my healing and coming out of the depression. Knowing it would all end someday and that I just had to wait for it provided my with the relief and hope that I needed to bring me peace. It gave a sense of tranquility and eased my anxiety. When I was deep in my depression; my worry of my future, the anxiety, kept me in that space. I knew nothing about my future in fact I believed that nothing in my future was good; that is what perpetuated my depression but when I remembered
    that I wouldn’t live forever it gave me an absolute, a certainty about my future that I needed to cure me. It gave me a sense of control, a control that comes with being sure of something. So it was a starting point.
    I thought ok, Debbie, you know for sure this won’t last forever because everyone dies so all you have to do is wait. And while you wait, play the game. Play the game of life; get up go to work eat visit your parents visit our friends workout shower go to sleep get into meaningless relationships have sex drink eat and repeat. Just keep repeating until the day comes. I accepted that it may take a lifetime but knowing eventually that I would die and everyone would too as morbid as it sounds gave me a starting place of comfort to spark my healing. So I started to play the game of life again. It was a lot of mental work. A lot of practicing of staying present and remembering it wouldn’t last. But everyday got better, I was a zombie it felt like for a while and there were moments I relapsed but I remembered that relapse was part of recovery at least in addiction and as far as I was concerned my mind was addicted to feeling bad. So I accepted those relapses, didn’t judge them and moved on. It took about one year to complete my cycle of recovery from my nervous breakdown/psychotic break/deep depression but I survived. I want to point out that at my scariest and lowest moment I dissociated, paced, experienced suicidal ideation, delusions and extreme paranoia. I thought of hospitalizing myself. I cried a lot. For no apparent reason, I would just cry and weep . A felt despair for the first time in my life. I felt alone. My thoughts would race and I would sleep a lot or not sleep. I felt psychosomatic symptoms where I suffered migraines for the first time in my life. I had never had a headache prior. The migraines were so bad I would have to go to sleep and they would cause diarrhea. One day I was laying on the sofa at my parents house so out of it I lost control of my abdomen as a self soothing mechanism i kept moving my pelvis in a circular motion. I remember watching it wondering If this is what would be perceived as a spirit possession in a third world. Nothing would console me. In fact my parents’ care and concern made me exponentially more depressed. I felt I couldn’t be alone. Nothing could distract me. I had lost my will power. The moment I thought I needed to be hospitalized was the moment I realized nothing no drug nor no one could help me but myself; no matter what I would have to do the work. As a trained counselor and working in the field for a decade I knew what treatment looked like and knew what I had to do and I recognize this may have been a cavalier attitude to have but at that moment I believed that. I knew no matter if I went to hospital or not I had to make a decision whether I’d live a life in and out of treatment hoping for someone or something to save me or save myself. It was my “aha” moment. I had to decide the life I was going to live so I decided that I didn’t know how nor if I could ever not feel this way but I certainly didn’t want to go through mental health treatment (drugs, therapy, hospitals) as I knew it. It was then that I said to myself, Debbie just play the game until you die, naturally.
    Two years later, I can finally look back and write about my experience. I am my normal self and I pray to never feel this way again. There are moments of deep emotion mainly around my menstruation but nowhere near what I experienced. It was so scary that I don’t even want to try to remember what it felt like. I am thankful I survived and had the will or strength or whatever you want to call it to go on. I know I am better to myself because of it but almost completely losing myself was the most soul shattering, worst feeling I have ever experienced and that I could ever imagine feeling. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But, it woke me up. I don’t feel like I’m living just to die now (and I didn’t hold onto that idea much longer than that first day, it was simply a springboard) I am back to my normal self of loving my family, friends, and life. It’s been a journey getting back to myself but I am living proof that you can survive and that with time, this too shall pass.

  12. My journey to Hell (and back)

    “Dante passes through the gate of Hell, which bears an inscription ending with the famous phrase “Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate”,most frequently translated as “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.”

    The above is only a short description of my state of mind for half of the year 2016. I was hopeless. Writing about Clinical Depression, a misunderstood and often misinterpreted illness is not easy. No words can describe the anguish, pain, misery and lifeless state of my soul.

    “Dante and Virgil leave Limbo and enter the Second Circle – the first of the circles of Incontinence – where the punishments of Hell proper begin. It is described as “a part where no thing gleams.”

    I had numerous needles stuck in my arm, many visits to emergency room, CAT scan, MRI, trying to find the origin of my pains. I had panic attacks, shortness of breath, headaches, insomnia, profound sweating and unexplainable pains. I couldn’t read a single paragraph, talk, or even drive. I was disabled.
    I was in Hell… !
    Depression comes uninvited. It is very insidious and it will slowly rob you of your soul, thoughts and mind. It will mask itself as being you. It’s goal is to kill you.
    Just remember, don’t listen to yourself when you are depressed , because this is the Devil or Depression talking. It is not you, because there is no Self.

    • Did you die and go to hell or do you have depression? (while its a simple matter of speach when someone compares their sadness or pain to the bigest sorce of pain they can think of (in most cases hell) you seem to take it a bit far) (depression is not hell, you are much more in control being in depression than you would be in hell)
      …cant promise you’ll be sadder in hell though.. Since unwilling sadness is a human emotion (and your soul doesnt carry your body around) but still… Lol

      • GreY
        Most likely you have never been diagnosed with clinical depression.That’s why I can sense the cynic’s tone in your reply.
        I was like you, full of energy and trust in myself. Didn’t believe in depression tales.
        Major depression kills more people than homicides do yearly. It is worst than cancer, because you know what?
        You know that cancer will kill you one day, but in depression you feel like your suffering will never end. That is Hell

  13. Hello everybody, you can call me V. My depression story begins way back in high school. Everybody says that a depression has to be triggered by an event, but not even now can I put my finger on one event that could have changed my life so drastically. I will start with the story a bit sooner than the moment I actually started taking medication so as to give a better picture of the setting. I entered high school in the best public school in town and in the best class (mathematics computer programming with English language intensive learning) as my mother and whole family wanted. You see, it was not up to me to make such important decisions, actually I never minded it, i am just a lonely girl that did her best at school, although I did fight with my parents periodically and on different matters. I was somehow at peace with my life and I did not know what I liked and if I did, I did not do much in that in that direction. I guess I pretty much obeyed the rules. I was a child living in the present and I was pretty confident. The future never concerned me in a real dramatic way. We never talked about it, there were no real plans as to what I knew. The first thing that shook me was getting lower grades than I was used to although I was doing my best as usual. I think it was too much for me and the demands of the teachers a bit too high.
    I remember being very stressed and concerned with my grades. I used to ask my colleagues a lot of questions on different school subjects but I never actually asked for help directly. Then my mother sent me to take private classes in computer programming, it was pretty helpful, being one of the subjects that I had trouble with. However, it was Math that scared me the most. The teacher was very strict and scared me a lot with his though behavior. Most of the helplessness and fear came from not mastering the subject well enough, as if I was disarmed in a battle, although his behavior was pretty rather despicable. He called us stupid, sometimes all of us, sometimes individually or he implied it. I personally felt inferior and guilty. I remember when I had my first paper graded F, I called my mother crying that I need private Math classes. But I come from a poor family that did its best with the everyday tight budget it lived on. So I did not get the private classes. Maybe it was better, apparently the teacher made pretty much money from giving private Math classes. Nonetheless, this situation was revealed later on, I was still in junior high troubled by the fact that I did not get the high grades I was used to, stressed with Math and computer programming. I also stopped playing volleyball as often as I used to after school. This robbed me from something that gave me physical and, little did I know, mental health. In our country not many practice sports. It had to do with the fact that those who did usually did it for prices or medals so they did it at a very high level. It was a way for poor or modest children to get the best of their talents. Don’t imagine a was a great performer though, I am only 5′ 2″ . But I put passion in it.
    So one day my mother takes me to a neurologist, I had no idea what illness that type of doctor treated, nor did I know why I was there, but I did understand something was wrong. Well apparently, there was nothing neurologically wrong with me, but afterwards followed a visit to a psychologist, a family acquaintance. The thing that impressed me the most was the fact that the lady had almost only white hair and a pleasant face which to me seemed too young for all the white hair. What I also remember is the yellow covered book she used to give me a test. It was an intelligence test. I asked for the results (as you already noticed, being smart is very important for me…) but she only told me that I am smart enough, what that means, I surely don’t know. I continued to go to the psychologist and talked about my problems in school. Somehow, I did loosen up, to be honest I don’t know how or why, I really don’t recall anything special from our appointments. I was kind of living on the thrill, but at least I did not spend my time bothering my classmates for help or trying to find solutions for sophisticated Math homework. I ended up copying the homework from some classmates every next day at school, in the breaks, while eating my sandwich. I did the same with some of the English homework, another subject at which we were supposed to excel.
    So, the years passed hastily and I found myself in the last year of senior high. The big scares started right from the beginning of the year, when every teacher with no exception warned us that it would be a difficult year with all the graduation exams at the end of it and that we had to strive. No wonder one could crack under such pressure. It was a very busy year. I started taking private Math classes (with some other teacher, not the despicable one) which added to the computer programming classes and to the extra homework for the exams we had to pass at the end of the year. In the meantime my mother had given up on the idea of me studying computer programming at a university in the future when one day she asked how I was doing in private classes and I told her my head hurt from staring at the all the numbers on the computer. Apparently she took that very seriously, though she never really told me anything about her plan for me to study IT. So while the other already young adults in my class were taking classes also for the exams they were going to take to enter the university, I was pretty much just holding on. I did make an attempt (I as in we, me and my mother and my father) to make an informed decision to start a career path I thought I liked. I wanted to get in a Fashion Design School, you can imagine what that meant since I had no real clue of the field beside what I drew on my own. But I was kind of proud of my drawings because they came from me and I enjoyed drawing. The attempt was limited to going to a painter and professor form our town my mother heard about was very good where he tested me and looked over my drawings. I did not get much of the meeting, I think he said I got talent but I don’t remember what emotions took over me or what I was thinking, whether I thought my mother did not give me any chance in this field, but I did not meet that artist again. We also went to visit an Art School in a big city where I could try to enter. I remember the worried expression on my mother’s face and the discussions we had afterwards. She was sure they could not support me through university if I did not get a dorm which was cheaper and depended on the result of the Arts exam I was supposed to take and if I did not get a scholarship. This was pretty much the end of my daydreaming…I just gave up. I remember I threw my drawings in the garbage that year or just after the first year at the university.
    At this point I felt pretty lost but I was going to try for a university where I had no exam to pass because it was pretty late to start studying and I was pretty much ok since I was not the only one in my class doing that. I picked the city myself, the majors as well: Business Administration, Pedagogy/Education or Journalism. I was going to apply to all of them so as to secure sort of a state scholarship and not to have to pay for my studies. Here, the best universities are still in the public system but the universities are allowed to have a mixed budget, public plus private, so most of them also offer paid undergraduate programs. That same year my great-grandmother fell ill to bed, being very old and frail. She raised my mother, me and my sister. My mother took her to live with us and she took care of me and my sister all the time because both of our parents had to work. My great-grandmother lived all her life at the countryside so you can guess it was pretty difficult for her to adapt to living in a town, in an apartment at the fourth floor with no elevator.
    It was in the month of April when it all happened. I started to feel afraid, so afraid that I thought my heart would race and stop. My mind was overwhelmed with negative thoughts. I was spiraling around the same thought (I found out later that this is called ruminating), I was worrying myself sick. I had no idea what was happening to me. I was afraid of death all of a sudden. I even had thoughts I could not control myself and I would kill my mother with a knife. Finally my mother got concerned enough with my behavior and with whatever little I expressed of my irrational fears and she took me to the lady psychologist. I explained to her my continual state of fear and told her some of my thoughts. She then talked to my mother and I found out I was going to be checked by a psychiatrist the lady recommended. I remember telling the psychiatrist the same things I told the psychologists and then she asked me extra questions which seemed very odd to me, she asked me If I had suicidal thoughts. I was afraid I would commit suicide but I had no thoughts of doing it. Anyway at some point she made it clear she is asking questions to find out if I should take medication or if I can make it without. She diagnosed me with anxiety disorder and wrote me a prescription for Paroxetine and Xanax. She said I had to take antidepressants because apparently anxiety and depression just come together in a package. To be honest I was not very present in those days, I felt not like myself in that period at all and it has been years until I got back even a piece of my old self.
    Since then things just got worse for me, from my depressed point of view of course. I was pretty amazed by the zapping I got in my brains as a side effect, the vomit sensations, the dizziness, and the vivid dreams. I stayed a week at home and then I went back to school. It was not the same anymore. A big part of me was much too preoccupied with what had happened to me, it’s as if I was purposeless and helpless and at the same time I was trying to fit back in the world I had just got out of. It was sort of a forceful living, like the people in comas who are kept alive by machines. I got admitted to the university, business administration major. I went, lived in a dorm with another 4 roommates. One year passed, two years passed. Another thing from this period, I was pretty sleepy all the time, it was really unpleasant, I was falling asleep at the early classes and I was not even a party animal so as to have an excuse. Some professors made fun of me, some colleagues as well. I had many relapses and had moments when I was shaking in bed trying to calm myself. I called my mother a lot. My family got pretty concerned with me. Even my younger sister was affected by this. She kept annoying me and telling me that it is only up to me to get better again but at the same time she wrote her final paper at English about depression and even considered studying psychology at the university for a period. I was very in my mind all that time. I made stupid things also like liking two guys and scaring them away with my insistent declarations of my affection. It was pretty weird, from a shy girl who only had platonic relationships to this girl who was too insistent. I was not vulgar but I did annoy them a lot. The medicine apparently numbed me from other fears I used to have as well. Anyway, I still remained a sexually inexperienced creature long after graduating.
    I have to mention that during this period I went to a psychologist more or less regularly. I even changed psychologists, but we’ll get there too. My main and strongest relationship based on dependency and strong, debilitating helplessness that I felt due to my condition was with my mother. Sometimes I think I lived through this period also for those around me. I don’t know how to explain this but when I felt bad and not on medication yet, I felt an incredible joy in connecting with others, being around them, as if behind these were horrible thoughts of fear of not being around anymore of not being able to establish relationships.
    I was in the second year at the university when my great-grandmother died. I went and saw her just before dying. She died exactly after I arrived and kissed her good-bye… This is not a coincidence. We, my mother, my sister and I were all there with her, her three girls. I was overwhelmed but since I was on medication I could barely cry, this is another effect of the medication has on me. My father was still working in another country and was not there with us. I was not of much help nor was my younger sister. My mother arranged everything. I was sad, but I could not express myself, my happy pills made me euphoric or sleepy. This passed too. In the summer holidays between second and third year at the university I came home and was going of medication. I had taken it for three years already. I hadn’t read too much on depression, I was still on the anxiety side of this whole deal. My expectations were strictly limited to getting off medication and doing what I did before it all started. But my condition got worse when the time came for me to prepare to go back to university, in my third and final undergraduate year. I started taking medication again, this time in a higher dose and she added another medication as well. The diagnostic was depression and the extra medicine was Seroquel (quetiapine). She said it would help me with the thoughts. I’d say this episode was worse than the first one. And it was worst mainly because of postponing so much taking the medication again. I guess we all hoped I was ok again and my mother refused to accept my relapse. So I started my last year in low spirits. My mother came with me when I had to check in at the dorm and she even talked a little with my roommate from then about my condition. Somehow she tried to make me feel secure and to ask for a little more attention for me from my roommate. To be honest, this made a little bit of bad impression on me, I have never been a trusting person. I was scared and more inclined to believe she would talk about my condition with other colleagues and I would just end up feeling ashamed. Despite all of this I had to believe it was a good a idea due to the fact that I was not feeling just fine and maybe she could help me if something bad was going to happen and in order for that to happen she had to be informed.
    By the end of the year I had gained an extra 10 kilo’s without realizing. This, I think, had to do with the graduation paper I had to prepare. I was stressed, I even changed my paper coordinator, I felt I could not do what the first one asked from me. It seemed too much, at least what I understood I had to do. It was the first major weight gain I ever experienced. Again I asked my mother’s help, it was another acquaintance of hers who gave me information for my paper, see we had to have something theoretical and something practical, I just complained so much that my mother sent me to this acquaintance. I am very grateful for this lady’s help, it was uninterested. This same year we had our banquet, so many dreams, so many expectations, but the reality was just different. No boy, no special evening. Oh…I forgot, there was this guy that gave me a ride to the banquet. He was more interested in me than I was in him. Apparently some people do have a good grip on reality. I am talking about this guy, judging by our similar heights we would have been a perfectly suitable couple…sex friends. I don’t know… My opinion on our relationship was that I could become more excited when dancing than when I was near him. Not to mention the fact that my libido was very low ever since I started taking the medication, this is another unwelcomed side-effect of anti-depressant drugs. Plus getting pregnant on medication calls for abortion, I found this out while I was checked up by the psychiatrist and a female patient called her telling her she got pregnant while on medication and without even thinking 2 seconds, the doctor told her she had to have an abortion because the baby may have malformations. This shocked me. I just realized I may never have children. I knew none of this when I first started taking medication for depression, neither did I know I would go through depression again and restart the treatment.
    I did very good on my graduation paper and continued my studies enrolling in a two year Master’s Program in the same field. The pressure was less in these two years except for the time I did my paper for the Master’s Degree. This was another period of transition, friends, colleagues started to scatter around and relationships ended or faded away. By the end of the last year I had changed the psychologist with one that charged less and I had got through a period of deep worrying when my mother put very much pressure on me because of her worries, she kept pushing me to find something to work, while expressing her worries that I would never be able to find a job because of my condition. It was an awful period. I was feeling hopeless and this just worsened my condition. I went to several interviews but the one I passed was the one posted on a church yahoo group, where people from my church posted announces and communicated. Coming to this point, I have to tell you that many times through the hardships I encountered I ran to the Church, I felt desperate. I experienced profound desperation so many times while in depression. I remember some good priests talking to me and most of them were extremely reasonable and told me that I have to take my medication and keep my faith. I just really wanted a miracle to happen and to put an end to what I was going through. It is so unbelievable how much suffering a depressed person goes through and how little of it the other people can see…because there are no physical evident manifestations. When I was little I had asthma; people could see I had trouble breathing, I took medication and I felt better and that was it, though it was unpleasant having restrictions, but when you are depressed and take medication and see that another side effect is actually depression or relapse when on medication, a lot of things don’t make sense anymore.
    I started working. I moved, I moved again and again until I found a place where I rented my own room in an apartment where the conditions were not very bad and I could afford it. The salary was very small, especially at the beginning. Then, when it increased, I could hardly handle all my tasks. I think you know by now I am not a very confident person, I have been lacking confidence ever since this whole drama started. I worked three years for my first employers. I did not feel appreciated or close to them although I wanted to. The company was very small. I was on medication all the time and I was in therapy also. Bad depression episodes recurred. An unusual period began. When I felt bad one winter I went with my mother to the first monastery I ever visited while in high school. I am so glad we went there. It was the first time for my mother at this monastery. We spoke with monk in charge of the monastery, we attended the masses. It was good…after a while. When I was there I was feeling pretty bad. The priests and monks there prayed for me. Here, we give notes with our names and those of our family to churches and monasteries so that the priests and monks or sisters pray for us. I guess it is no surprise given that here hospitals are so old and outdated and you have to buy your own medication although these are public hospitals. Even so, faith has always been part of our lives. I also confessed, got Eucharisty. On the other hand I went to a course for self –development, fell in love, almost made love with this guy, got cheated on, apparently nowadays relationships are mostly open… was hurt. He went back to his country, I was left with a fantasy. Got out of the job because the company was on its descending slope. Then I got depressed, I got another job in a different field of activity, it was only me and my boss. It turned out very intense, I did not get along with my boss or better said she did not get along with me. I did not have the determination, dedication, fast rhythm and almost perfect attention she was looking for. After seven months we ended our collaboration. This was a very big surprise for me, I always knew productivity mattered but given the fact that we were only two I also thought the relationship mattered, but it was productivity first. I am still very hurt and I cannot believe how much this affected me. It was a huge failure for me. Professionally, I considered I could handle things, I could …but I could not handle the fast pace and perfection, they way I was supposed to offer perfect services and make no mistakes. In the meantime I was making unsuccessful attempts to get out of medication without the psychiatrist’s knowledge (never do that!). I was somehow influenced by the psychologist I was and am seeing; she kept saying I could make it without medication… Bullshit… What I learned from this? I learned that when you do not prolong the coming off antidepressants and do not stick to your psychiatrist’s advice you may experience excruciating pain all of a sudden, your body, your brain will react strongly. It is the so called withdrawal effect. I prayed to die and not to do something stupid while I was feeling that pain. It is also true that I also prayed like this sometimes when I was on medication but I was feeling bad.
    The present. I am working, I found a job and I did not get back home with my parents. I put in extra hours, the volume of papers I work with is huge compared with I worked until now. I am doing my best, try to keep up. I feel overwhelmed a lot and I am behind with work but I am going to start from the beginning every day. I hope God helps me deal with my work or helps me find another job. I am waiting for a response from another company, it is quite due… I ask lots of questions at work, I do my best. This is very important for me acknowledge and also my contribution, the fact that I want to succeed, I put in extra hours. I appreciate when the colleagues give me answers that help me. Sometimes I am angry when others are inconsiderate or are rude. I have a harsh time when one of my superiors constantly points out mistakes. But I do react, I defend myself and I do enter arguments if I feel things are not fair. I am on medication (high dose), I am pretty fatigued all the time, I am not thinking about ever going off medication unless my doctor tells me to, I live my life one day at the time. It is though, I do not know what the future looks like, my parents are growing old, my sister will have her own family, nonetheless I have to have faith and take my medication, it is not terminal.

  14. Hi, my name is Anastasia. My story starts when I was 6 years old. My mom says I was always odd but she said she really realized something was wrong with me when I sat in front of the Christmas tree that year and begged my mom to die. I had everything a kid wanted tons of toys and a loving family. I was sent to the therapist after therapist after finding out I was seeing and hearing things they decided to put me on antidepressants. Being diagnosed with ADHD they put me on more medicine that my mom says drove me crazy. At the age 8. I grabbed a knife off the kitchen counter and threatened to kill myself. My family then went through a rough patch and we moved into a homeless shelter where i continued to hear and see things that were not there. This drove my mother to shake me and cry saying she didn’t understand me. I was then diagnosed with the proper illness which was bipolar disorder. I had several manic moods that ended up with fist fights with my mom and then extremely happy moods. I don’t know the medicine they prescribed me but it made me gain an enormous amount of weight. Over the years my depression has gotten so bad it is really hard for me to get out of bed I haven’t had a job for almost 5 months because I was haveing such bad anxiety attacks I couldn’t breathe and was shaking too much to hold anything. I started to physically harm myself at the age of 16 and even though I haven’t in over 6 months I still have the scars. Lately my bipolar has been so bad my friends and family can’t stand me. I frequently have suicidal thoughts but have never tried to commit suicide. I am finally 18 and my depression keeps me from living my finally grades in school were all fs except one D because I didn’t go to school at all. I know i should see a doctor but I’m terrified they won’t listen and will only prescribe me medicine that makes me gain more weight.

  15. I’ve never shared my story before and to be honest I don’t know if I’m ready to do it yet as I’ve always imagined it as a dream or an endless nightmare.

    I suffer from depression, anxiety and trust issues all pushed into once person…
    At an young age I watched my father abuse my mother for the silliest things from not doing his washing to not cooking food he likes. I nearly lost my sister due to my father strangling my mother and only released when I walked into the room, the scariest thought is what would have happened if I didn’t walk in the room when I did… Now I feel silly here I am crying my eyes out while I type this up. The abuse has happened for many years and continues to nowadays but now I end up standing in to where he threatens to hit me also, he hasn’t followed through just yet…

    But that’s not all he does, he also mentally abuses me to the point where I actually believe the words that escape his mouth. I remember being in a middle of shopping mall after a long day at work and they accidentally paid me less than they were suppose to, however this instantly became my fault since I’m not very good at confronting a problem and he began to call me every name under the sun along with the help of placing ‘useless’. Let’s just say I was crying in front of many MANY people and it was the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to me.

    Here I am 19 years later still living under the same roof as him because I’m scared I will get a phone call saying I’ve lost my mother to him… All because I wasn’t there to protect her.

  16. Catherine Mc loughlin

    Hi I’ll call myself mis do its not my real name. I need help I am suffering from server depression. I’ve been in bed for nearly 8 week s. I attend a mental health service but all they do is give you more drugs. I was abused as a child. This depression has never left me. I’ve done counselling been in a mental hospital. I should be the happiest person alive. I’ve great children, and grandchildren. I feel so alone. My marriage is over , my husband just does not help. I’m still in the same house as him I can’t afford and have no motivation to move. Please help

    • I feel for you, I was like you, helpless and unmotivated. I wished I was dead…
      You just hang in there, I know is hard. Time will cure everything.

  17. When i was 4, i was bullied. Even before that my sister hated me. So, ever since i was young i never knew what real happiness was. When I was 5, my classmates told me i was ugly. From there i promised muself i wouldn’t cry and up until now i didn’t. I did not have any friends and i did not want to go to school anymore. I was alone. When i was in gradeschool i isolated myself from everyone. It was that time when i attempted self harm. No one knew about what i was feeling. I kept everything for myself. I heard my siblings talking about how they wanted me gone. High school when i started going out more but beneath all that i was sad angry and confused. It was this time when i was molested. College was when i really started contemplating suicide and harsher self harm. Now, I think I’m giving up on everyone. No one really cares about me and i know that it’s not their fault. I know that it’s all me. I just want to run away and disappear. I’ve been judgemental because i was jealous and i regret it. I regret everything i did. Every mistakes i made. I wish i was better but sadly, I’m not.

  18. When I was twelve I fell into a deep depression, I started to self harm. I was to ashamed to tell my family, I started texting a hotline. There were some good days but mainly bad. I then trusted a friend and told her how I was feeling. She helped feel better but we stopped hanging out shortly after. Then recently I met 2 new friends with my school project of raising a goat. One of those friends just stopped self harming. They stood by me everyday… Even when I snapped at them. The other week it was late at night and I was having a really hard day all I wanted was to harm my self I water to feel pain. But I didn’t want to disappoint my friends… So I texted my friend, I had a long conversation and she helped me feel better. At the end she said I can see you re very strong… I asked her how, and what she responded made me cry..It is the small things mainly, its in the way that you still wil be quiet around your family even though you may need to make noise to feelbetter, you put them first. In the way you are trying to feel better rather than let the emotion just control you all this and more speaks of your inner strength.. With just that she made me feel whole again.

  19. *Short version typed on phone. Sorry for typos.*
    Hello… My name is Payton and I am 16 years old. I have fighting with depression and 5 anxiety dissorders my whole life without realizing it. My 7th grade year of middle school was when I started to notice it. I would never smile, or talk. I would sleep A LOT…. I just moved on with my life as if it were normal. My Freshman year of High School was when I really started to notice it…. My mother and brother liked to harrass me a lot…. I didn’t have a bad life or family, it was just simply too much for me. My parents were generous enough to take me to the psychiatrist after I came to them crying about this. I told them I had suicidal thoughts, but had no intention of actually commiting it. They put me on a 15mg dose of lexipro. I still felt the same way for a year…. I made my first cuts in the shower after I got harrassed by my mother. I never told anyone about it…. I am really deep into softball. I’m a really really good pitcher. The oppurtunity to go to a bigger and better High School presented itself when I was asked to move to play. It was the rivalry school of my old school…. I took my oppurtunity knowing it may have consequences. My entire old town hated me… My friends all hate me. Nobody really likes me there besides a few people, and my boyfriend. I got even more depressed by that. Then, a girl at my school currently decided tat she was going to talk about the new girl. I wouldn’t put up with that, so I tried to fight her. It stirred up a lot of stuff at the new school. Too many people dislike me for doing the right thing. I am now on Welbutrin and Prozac…. As a result I am not better and I’m still hated. Help?

  20. Please check out my full story and feel free to reply to my blog at allevin18.wordpress.com
    Here’s my story:

    My Story

    Summary: The Short Version

    Everything seemed to be going well, yet everything seemed to come crashing down. I had a decent job, a happy family, and a new house. It started in October and I knew my body was feeling different. I had been through one bout of depression three years prior (almost to the date), yet not nearly to the degree of what I was on the verge of.

    I jumped on medication and started seeing a therapist. None of this was helping and I continued to slip. As my family doctor believed my situation was more complicated than he had originally thought, he scheduled me to meet with a psychiatric physician’s assistant (the quickest appointment I could get). This psychiatric PA switched my medication and had planned to monitor my situation. As I gradually moved into a deeper depression, I began to have crying bouts, I was struggling to interact with people, I could rarely eat anything at all, and I was struggling to fall asleep. I also started to have thoughts of suicide. My wife and I discussed the situation and, with consultation of the psychiatric PA, decided that I should take some time off from work. My medication was increased and the hope was that they would have a chance to kick in before returning to work. In hindsight, I do not believe that taking two weeks of unstructured time away from work was the best decision. I did not want to go out because I feared bumping into somebody I knew who would question my absence from work. My wife and I created lists of things we thought I could accomplish around the house the next day. Impossible. I couldn’t even begin any of the tasks that we had discussed. Although I struggled sleeping, I would lay in my bed, hours at a time, rolling around unable to sleep. Lying in my bed behind closed doors was one of the only places I felt safe.

    I decided I would attempt to go back to work for the one week before winter break, as a sort of trial period. Work was challenging and I found myself often isolating myself in my office, rather than being in classrooms. I would get home, manage around my four children until it was their bedtime, and then meltdown, uncontrollably sobbing to my wife at night. Not only did I continue to struggle sleeping and eating, but my suicidal thoughts became more frequent. At one point, I found myself searching suicide methods online. Another evening, I looked in a mirror, holding my hand to my head in the shape of a gun, analyzing the best angle for which to hold it. The crying bouts continued. I eventually created a plan to take my own life, thought about it often throughout the day and even dreamt about it one evening. This scared me very much.

    I knew that I needed more help and at this point felt that I had been screaming for help and nobody was listening. I asked my wife and sister to join me at my next psychiatric PA appointment for support. The three of us essentially convinced the PA that I needed to take time off from work to enter a program for recovery. I took three weeks off of work in order to enter a partial hospitalization program. I spent my days in the program and my evenings at home. While this was a huge jump-start to recovery, there was still a long road ahead.

    Now, approximately two years after having gone through this major depressive episode, I continue to maintain a lifestyle that will support staying mentally fit.

    Please check out my “Full Story” and blog at allevin18.wordpress.com and know that comments are welcome!

  21. Hello , my name is Zeina, I’m 21 years old and I am a first year Medical Student. Around 4 months ago (January) I started feeling more anxious, scared and more irritable than usual. I generally felt down and bad almost all the time. I felt a pain on my chest that didn’t really go away at the beginning, and crying at night became a routine. I reached out to some close friends who I was and am very attached to and explained or at least tried to explain what I was feeling; they supported me although they didn’t quite understand it and kept saying that I had no reason to be down. I felt guilty; some people go through so much and have good reasons to be depressed, on the other hand nothing too bad ever happened to me yet this is what I feel and I cant help it. Every time I felt too bad id talk to my friends, and around mid-February I thought that I felt better. I thought it was over until 2-3 weeks later, when symptoms showed up again, and this time I had physiological symptoms in addition to more severe emotional symptoms. One day I couldn’t get out of bed because I felt too weak and my muscles hurt, I cried like before only now I felt scared, heaviness on my chest, and shortness of breath while crying, and I felt terrible most of the time.Every small argument, or misunderstanding got me mad and became triggers to start crying and withdraw away from people. I put a mask around people and pretend that I’m okay but I’m not. Most of my friends don’t ask how I’m doing anymore and ignore the subject when I try bringing it up, and one friend hinted that I talk about it partly to seek attention which got me mad because that is not my intention at all, and being too attached to them broke me down even more when they stopped asking; I have one friend who I continue to trust and she is incredibly supportive. I did lots of research about depression and anxiety , and now I’m convinced that I suffer from it, and my next step is to contact a therapist because I can’t go on like this although depression is starting to feel like a comfort zone. When I think of being happy it seems too far away and unrealistic, I don’t remember what it feels like; it’s like depression is all I’ve known. Although it is unfortunate that so many people go through it, it makes me feel less alone to know that there are others who know what it’s like to be depressed.

  22. I’m 14 years old and I’ve known my whole life that something was wrong with me. From a young age I’ve fantasized about causing harm to others. Part of me took pleasure from these fantasies whilst another part of me kept me from acting on these fantasies by reminding me how wrong it was. I’ve spent my whole life pretending to be a naive, and kind girl when really I’m part a monster and part a terrified girl who hates herself. When I was 11 I began to lose interest in life in general. I was once a straight A student, but I lost the motivation to do well in school. I figured out pretty quickly that I was suffering from depression. This is the first time I’ve told anyone. My depression didn’t sprout from bullying or anything like that, but more from the pressure of hiding my sadistic thoughts and my self-hate. Nowadays I spend all my time reading and watching YouTube videos as a way to escape what’s happening in real life. I know I’m pathetic. My life is great, and no one ever really did anything to me, yet for some reason I’m a stupid, self-loathing, pyschopathic loser. No one real actually bullies me, but sometimes I hear my own voice in my head reminding me of how pathetic I am, calling me stupid, and calling me ugly…I know I’m crazy. I just want to sleep forever so I don’t have to be tormented by my own mental problems anymore.

  23. My name is Hope, a very ironic name because I began suffering from depression when I was 5 years old. I tried to kill myself when I was 8 and again at 9 years old but no one ever knew because I was quiet and shy. I made good grades and never go into trouble. I was overlooked, even ignored as I suffered in silence. I survived but it was difficult. Depression in good children is often overlooked. My blog childhooddepressionhopekhm.blogspot.com is my effort to use my experiences and education to help others understand childhood depression especially depression in shy, quiet children. My hope is that other children won’t have to suffer the way i did.

  24. Although self diagnosed, I am sure that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder(SAD). For those of you don’t know, this basically means that my mood gets affected by the season and thus am more proned to feeling depressed when fall and especially winter comes around.

    I am now 23 and have no idea when I started having this disorder but I feel like it’s been going on for years.

    I have not seeked help nor does anyone in my life know because simply put: “I have nothing to be depressed about”. I know I’m one of the luckier ones and do not have severe depression. On top of that, my life is rather enviable: nice family with loving parents who also very much love each other, great group of friends, quite a few achievements in my life, no problems at school with decent grades and a wonderful boyfriend that I’ve been with for over 5 years. In sum, there is nothing wrong with my life at all and I’m not complaining; I’m actually quite grateful. But I guess I realize now that this seems to be one of the reason that I can’t get over my depression.

    The last person I ever approached was my ex-boyfriend when I was 16. He had some problems of his own so I thought he’d understand but in the end, he passed it off as me trying to get attention. He told me I was being selfish and unworthy of everything life had given me because how dare I get depressed when others would have killed to have things in my life. And I still believe some of it…

    It’s incredibly hard to get acceptance and acknowledgement for this problem from even myself let alone others. Because there is always the one simple question I can never answer: “Why?”. I’ve only recently begun to notice that it has to do with the seasons but that still doesn’t answer the underlining why. So what if there is less sun? What is there to be sad about? I’ve been told before that I have no good reason to be sad and even that I don’t deserve to feel depressed. Which is true. How can I get so depressed when I have a great life. How can I be grateful for everything I received but still wake up crying? How can I be so genuinely happy one moment and then at a drop of a pin, feel depressed the next moment?

    At this point of time, I guess I’ve learn to cope with it by acknowledging it to an extent… I don’t deserve to be depressed but I know and accept that I do get depressed. I guess accepting it has helped because the depression feeling last for less period of time and is less frequent, but I think for the rest of my life, I think I’ll have those random times when I feel so crippled with sadness, a sense of loss and unmotivation, frustration and hopelessness. I hope that I can eventually deal with it better so that it doesn’t affect my relationships with the people I love and care about.

  25. Hi. My name is Cara and I’ve had depression for about a year. I haven’t actually been diagnosed, and nobody actually knows about it. For the first couple of months after I started feeling a certain way, it just kind of clicked in my head what it was. I’ve had this constant feeling of just feeling nothing. Like a numb feeling and just flat. I just feel empty. And it’s never gone away. For about two years before I started feeling like this, I had a lot of stress about something. I spent all of my time overthinking and worrying and crying and having my heart broken so much that when situations changed, it was like the last hit that was needed to make me go into a depression. I had a breakdown in the beginning that lasted for 4 days and then after that I just felt weird. The thought of adjusting and how everything I had known and everything I spent my time and thought on, what I had pretty much dedicated my emotions and mind to was gone. I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know what to do. I feeling just felt flat. Numb and empty. As the year went on, I started to feel more and more drained. Like I had spent up all of my emotions and feelings, that there were none left. It got to a point where I didn’t even feel sad anymore. I just didn’t feel anything. When you have depression, it doesn’t take away your personality, so that still shines through. But you feel so dead inside. It’s like your outside self is acting fine around people so they’d never know you were like this, but on the inside you’re dead or suffocating. You just ache. Your soul aches. For a while it’s been a bit better since I’m off on break. It’s still bad but no where near as bad as it was before. Sometimes it got so bad, I couldn’t move. All my motivation to do anything at all was gone. Everything, even walking about or talking or just anything was so pointless. Nothing needed to be done. I don’t mean choirs, I mean everything in the world. It was like it was all a bunch of things people made up to occupy time and to entertain themselves. But now I have no excitement or joy in anything, making everything have no point. I’m afraid that when I go back to school I’m going to get that bad again. It felt like I could never be happy again. I didn’t remember what it was like to be happy. I didn’t remember what it was like to not constantly feel this way, and to be normally stable. I’m afraid that when I go back, it’s going to make it hard to make friends. I’ve always been awkward and a little anxious around people. None of my family knows about how I feel. I have cut twice and I think about death a lot. I’d never commit suicide, but I think about death and how wonderful it’d be to not be here. It’s like I’m just tired of life. Living and being here is exhausting and that sucks. I’ve been over sleeping and staying in bed all day. I want help but it’d be so hard to tell my parents. I mean how would I do it? Just coming up to people who have no idea about any of this and think I’m happy and normal and saying “Hey guys I know it’s a bit sudden but I have no doubt in my mind, that I have depression!” I don’t want to tell them about the story behind it, but I think a therapist or counselor would be better. It’s really confusing and complicated, but I just want to tell someone who’s not my parent. I had never heard about what depression was like or had it before all this, but after those first two months it just kind of clicked in my head what it was. I didn’t even need research of the signs and symptoms, it was like an almost natural realization. What I felt and for how long I’ve felt it couldn’t be anything but depression. It felt like nothing else, and when I did do research, I had most all of the signs and symptoms, and all the screenings, I could tell, were based off of feelings that I am feeling. I know they aren’t diagnosis’ but I always got moderate to severe depression and it made sense. I want to get help, but I know my parents wouldn’t believe me. They’d think I was being ridiculous and me not being able to tell them what had caused it would make them doubt it even more. It’s not a bad or irresponsible thing I did, making me not want to tell them. It’s just a very personal and deep subject that nobody really knows about, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable telling them. I know it sounds bad, but I get so uncomfortable with the thought of having that close ‘tell each other everything’ relationship with my family. It’s just too close for comfort. I’d rather a therapist or counselor or just somebody like that. If you can help, I’d appreciate some advice on how to get help in my case. I’m better than before but still not 100% and I want to be 100% again. Like I said, I don’t see myself feeling better in the next few years. I feel like it’s going to stick with me, but I’m hopeful that it won’t. It does get better for people, I know that. Just in different ways and different times. Being around people you enjoy spending time with and finding any opportunity to laugh helps lots. Advice that’d I would give from my experience is to not be alone as much. Thanks 🙂

  26. I have had depression for 2 years now and I am only 25, I know I have had it for the majority of my life I just didn’t realise. I have been taking medication for the two years on and off but the side effects are making me worse! They give me abnormal nightmares, they make me sick, constipated but worse of all they make me feel numb. I am actually incapable of feeling happiness, contentment or enjoyment. It has gotten so bad that I actually don’t know how I could live without the depression as sadness is the only “real” feeling I have, which is ridiculous as I have a child. I cope and I manage but it’s all a front because inside I feel like I am dying, inside I am paranoid and anxious all the time. It never stops! I second guess everything I do. I have to put on this show everyday, laugh at things I know should be funny but I just can’t do it for real. My sense of self has gone, I have no idea who I am anymore, I am simply what I need to be for others in my life.
    Any ideas anyone?

  27. All my life I have been a happy go lucky bubbly girl, the girl that others go to to get help and advice my life was perfect, starting a new life with my boyfriend in manchester. Life was looking amazing but life has a funny way of doing things. Overtime my mood started to change, I was changing as a person, small things. Refusing to get dressed not wanting to get out of bed, not doing my make up and for someone that takes pride in my appearance this is a big thing. I felt asif I was fading into the background. I was half the person I was. I was fading into darkness. I was a good person before and always in good moods I would laugh with my friends, talk for hours, eat well and sleep well. With the flick of a switch the darkness came, and it’s all I am left with, the darkness of my mind and the more I tried to reach for the light I was sinking deeper and deeper into that darkness and I was terrified. I am scared I won’t ever make it back to the light and that the darkness will just completely takeover me pulling me right down and I can’t breath. I try to explain what’s wrong with me but I can’t, the words get stuck and lost in my mouth. People look at me with confused faces: she looks fine why is she ill? What’s wrong with her? Is she faking it? Is it attention? They only see my shell, they don’t see what’s on the inside, on the inside Is an ugly war. A war that was started by me. I fight a battle everyday in my mind, I feel empty and that is sole destroying. It is so hard to explain to people what’s wrong with me when I don’t even understand myself. Depression is described as a condition that affects mood, feelings and behaviour it’s so much more than this.. It’s physical a burden so big it can kill you. I feel a weight on my chest so heavy it’s stopping me from moving keeping me bound to my bed, forcing me to stay their. Stopping me from stepping a foot out that door and a force is pulling me forcing me back into the house. Making my chest tight, and my hands shake from the thought of being around people. And feeling like I am actually going to die if I leave. I was on meds to get the Demons out my head, but it’s taking to long, after 3 different types of anti-depressants I still feel like I am drowning and out of control. I never thought could hurt myself but when things get tough it is so easy to cut, the instant relief it feels euphoric, it’s so much easier to feel the physical pain than the emotional pain I feel every single second of everyday. But it doesn’t last long.I feel worse. I have no motivation to succeed anymore my drive is gone and I have no idea why? I am so fucking tried of fighting for my life everyday. A battle a war within myself, if I have a good day, I feel guilty, guilty for feeling happy. I say everyday that life’s going to get better, eventually. Getting dressed, getting out of bed and out of the front door are the hardest tasks I have to do. With help from my amazing boyfriend he’s the reason I can do these things, if I can do it for him I can do it for me. I just need to try harder. I feel selfish, selfish because there are so many others around the world that have far worse things to deal with broken bones,famine, cancer burns. The problem is that depression mental Heath affects you in so many ways but it’s invisible, it hurts like a broken bone it starves you like a famine it eats away at you like cancer. I feel like my life is not my life anymore. I’m not in control. I’m watching someone else in my body taking over and I am screaming at her to get out, but people think that she is me! Even though through all the hardship and constant battle and war with myself I am proud. I am proud because I am carrying on. every sense on my being is telling me to end it because it’s to hard and I physically cannot carry on anymore and it would be so good not to feel this way everyday even if it means to take my own life. But even though I have lost myself there is a small part of the girl I used to be left. She is the part that is forcing me to carry on she’s the girl that would not stop at anything to get what she wants. So I am trusting her that she has it in her to grow and to fight not only to win the battle but the war too. Everyday I think of my favourite book and author and even though I am a long way away from recovery Every step is a step closer to winning the battle on the road to recovery and in the words of J.M.Barry’s Peter Pan ” To Live Would Be An Awfully Big Adventure” …..

  28. it’s been a year.

    gosh it’s been a year since i’ve tried to kill myself

    Sometimes it feels like if it was yesterday sometimes it feels like it was a billions years ago

    They said I’m better, I probably am

    But I feel like I’m going to relapse all the time i guess that’s part of the recovery

    My forearms still hitch sometimes i still happened to cry alone in my bed at night I still spend some days in my bed in the dark I still have panic attacks i’m still going to the psychiatrist every week I still cry in her office i’m still under pills

    But today I’m celebrating a victory, a huge one, I’ve seen an other birthday, I’ve seen the birth of my little cousin, the birthday of the twins, I’ve pass my exams, things that a year ago I didn’t think I would do one day

    A year ago I tried to end my life, I didn’t see any hope now I’m starting to having plans and dreams, I want to be a writer, I want to live on my own, I want a cat, I want to go to London, I want to meet famous people, I want to help people with depression and I want to breathe like really fully breathe.

    My psychiatrist said that since i’m 9, the little girl I was have been walking on a line between life and death and one year ago I’ve fell for the death but I got up and now I’m alive

    I’m proud of that, nobody seems to see it around, but I know I’ve made a long round since that day

    the first picture is me a couple of days before my suicide attempt I had already plan it I knew I was going to do it but I had still some hope I remember that day when the picture had been took, i was trying to scream with my eyes at the camera that I was about to end it all, that I needed help but no one had see it

    the second picture is me now, 12 months after, I’m not happy I’m far away from happiness but i’m less sad than I used to be, I’m still feeling lonely and I’ve still huge trouble with my family probably more than I had before trying to end it all, I’ve destroy my family by trying to destroy myself, they hate me, they hate themselves, they hate each others but I’ve loose that awesome relationship I had with my sister and my dad have found new jokes to make about me because he finds depression fucking funny but during this long and sad road I’ve realize that some people care about me more than I thought they will, my mom is still not sure about it but I know she cares she do it wrong but she try and that’s all matter , my grandparents and my aunt have been a huge support far more that they had to, I owe them my life

    my friend don’t know, I will probably never tell them but it’s not big deal they are not that kind of friends you can tell everything about , they are good to hang out with, watch movies, go to the theater, drink alcohol and smoke illegal stuff you shouldn’t, they are good at cheering you up even if they don’t know you’re sad and for the moment i guess that all I need

    I still have a long road to make, it’s just the beginning i know it, I may will relapse but today it’s a victory today, is my day, today I can look back and say i’ve made it, didn’t hurt myself since a while and today i’m alive i’m breathing, and I know a lot of us didn’t had this chance, today I’m proud of me

    I’m not okay and it will be hard but my psychiatrist tells me that I am stronger than I think i am, and guess I have to believe in it

    Today I raise a glass to me, to recovery, to depression too cause at some point it had been a blessing it had make me realize, how smart we can be but also how small we are, how much the world is suffering, how trust is something hard to find and how a nice chat with a person can change your world

    The problem with depression’s recovery is that it’s a long road

    At first it’s okay, cause there is people around you, trying to help you, people who cares, people who ask you if you’re okay, if you want to go out with them, if you need to talk, people who pick up their phone when you’re crying at the end of the line, people who hugs you and tells you they love you.

    But these people expect you to recovery in a couple of weeks, they expect you to wake up one morning and be okay, they expect that with an ” i love you” and a hug, you will get better in a short time, they expect you to say “thank you for being there, i’m feeling far much better now”

    But you’re not, you will not get better in a couple of weeks or even months it takes sometimes years to get better, recovery is long and you will relapse again and again before actually saying “i’m okay”

    People will abandoned you because they find you annoying, nobody wants someone who cries all the time, who don’t go out, who takes pills and don’t laugh at your funny jokes, nobody wants to take care of someone who cant get out of bed and always complains, nobody hangs out with someone who can’t handle himself,

    People will get tired of your shit

    The perfect recovery will be with people who don’t give up on you, people who knows you need a bubble around you to protect yourself from the rest of the world, people who knows when to tell you they love you, when to hug you, people who always be there when you’re crying in your bed at 4 am, people who will never pressure you about anything, people who will always tells you you’re good enough

    People like this don’t exist. There will be people who cares, but only for a while. Even your mom will give up at some point.

    It doesn’t mean you have to give up too.

    Depression’s recovery is a long road and you will be lonely, you will learn to not trust people, you will learn to not expect anything from them, and eventually you will learn to handle yourself on your own.

    It’s okay to feel selfish and to cry a lot, it’s okay to relapse, to have bad days or even to be angry against the whole bloody earth

    You have to know that you will get hurt by the others as much as by yourself

    People always talk about how you fall into depression, we don’t talk about the recovery part, the journey of how you decide to live instead of killing yourself, how every morning you make the effort to wake up, dress yourself, brush your teeth and meet the rest of the society

    In books, they talk about the urge of hurting yourself, the black hole in your chest, the jump from the bridge but what happened when you choose life , what happened when you choose recovery. Nobody cares. It will not makes you a hero at their eyes. Killing yourself will. But handle it. No, that’s just a story you don’t talk about. Nothing to praise about right ?

    i’m here to tell you that if you get trough this, you’re a hero. You’re your own hero. You don’t need anybody to approve it. You’re a warrior if you feel like a warrior. You choose life instead of death. You choose to fight. It’s hard and painful and this war nobody will see it because It’s invisible. But it exists . This war in your mind, this fight against yourself, gosh it’s the hardest battle in the world. But if you win it, you will be able to handle everything else.

    Depression’s recovery will make you feel annoying and you will be lonely, you will be alone in this fight.

    But at the end you will be okay

    And you will have no one to thanks for that

    Only yourself

    Happy first year dear depression’s recovery

  29. It feels like forever I have been dealing with depression… It started at the tender age of 9. Bullies would mildly make comments, and hit my arm from time to time. But also, I lived with a rather large family. With mentally challenged sisters and a huge jerk for a big brother. I would always stay in my room, living with those sisters, it was very loud. Yelling, cursing, and smashing.. My parents were very stressed. And would even get mad at me for small reasons because of their mood. And not to mention my really mean teacher!

    Then, I turned 10. Fifth grade was very stressful. I felt so dumb around everyone else, who seemed to get the math. I could never focus, and found myself drifting into thought during class. My teacher wasn’t helping either. She expected so much, but got very irritated at me. Sometimes making me cry silently. The bullies would glare and whisper things about me. Sometimes, just loud enough to hear… Saying things like “why is she so fat?”. Or “ugly idiot..”. I was terrified to get into 6th grade, knowing we would get more freedom. But one fateful day, in P.E. Someone started a rumor, about me being a cheating bully. Not to mention one of my FRIENDS started the rumor. I cried. Being comforted by my friend. That day, I swore to myself. I was gonna cut. And the act was pinned on her. I blamed her for my pain. When I got home, I managed to trick my mom into giving me a screwdriver. I got out a little pencil sharpener, and unscrewed the blade. At first I put it to my skin. To scared to try it. Afraid of it hurting me. (Also I had just turned 11) So I put it down and tried to calm myself. Before going back to it. At first I just poked the end into my arm, leaving mild marks. Before one night I cut across, and it started to bleed. And drew depressed pictures. This turned into a habit. Everyone around me were totally oblivious. I always blinked in surprise when I got back to my room, I had worn short sleeves with my cuts visible. And no one noticed.

    13 years old, beginning of 8th grade. Skipping a few years because its just the same things. Bullies, cutting etc.. Nothing exciting. Anyways, I was literally a dying person. My arms were covered in scars, and it was getting to be spring. So I started on my thighs. Where no one could see it. It was at that time I was very suicidal. Still oblivious family. I had lost my friends in an argument, they wished to not be my friends because they were getting teased for it. I was alone, shunned by everyone even my crush at school. On my way back home, the bullies followed me. Pushing me into the mud. They told me to kill myself. I went home, washing off in the bathroom. I didn’t tell my family of the incident… I laid on my bedroom floor. My kitten cuddled by me. I was listening to sad music. And I started to write a suicide poem. Got up, and went to get pills… (you can imagine what I did next) I woke up in a hospital, my parents by my side. They explained that they heard me scream in pain. And ran to my side. I got here just in time.

    Its been 2 months since the incident. I am now on antidepressants. And my family is very supportive. The bullies have been expelled. And if they pick on me again, my mom will make sure they get a restraining order. My advise, don’t be like I was. Scared to open up, share your feelings with a trusted person. It ure did help me very well.

  30. I have not yet recovered from depression. I might even say I’m almost rock bottom. But I know when I reach rock bottom I’ll grab a pick axe and keep going. And that scares me. A lot. But that’s not what scares me the most. What scares me the most is how I think. How I have a constant need for approval and praise from people. How I lie and manipulate to get that. How when people ditch and abandon me for someone else, I know I have no use here. I know I am not needed here because I can be replaced so easily. But I can’t leave. And I have no idea why. I have no need to be here but still am. It’s like when you’re not even hungry but go to the fridge any way. Don’t take anything. But then 10 minutes later come back only to be disappointed again.
    It started when I was 14. At 14 I started hurting myself. Mentally and physically. I sliced my thighs with a razor from a sharpener my mum got me for school. And it felt so good. It still does. I can feel all the worries flowing out of me with the blood. I feel the pain as a reminder of what I deserve. I feel the burn the day after as a reminder of how weak I am. And I feel the regret as I look into my family and friends eyes and tell them I’m okay. I can’t keep living like this but can’t ask for help. I just can’t. I don’t want to inconvenience people any more than I already am. People already call me annoying and irritating. And they know I’m clingy. I just don’t want to be here anymore

  31. … Hi. My name is rosella.. .. Maybe you might read this. Maybe not. Im a really happy girl. Im almost 16 year old. I said happy but that all changes at night.. I cry evrynight.. I feel really upset. And think about commiting suicide all day long.. Im so lost. Please help me..  ive been writing allot. Its really helped me. But what i write really scares Me so much.. This is the recent thing i wrote.. Dear mum, Mum you were always there for me, whenever I needed you the most. You cared about me when others a banded me. You held me close when I cryed endless tears. You made me feel like someone actually cared. I know that I could turn to you about cutting, depression or everything that hit me. But I desided this endless battel needs to end. I don’t feel the reason for living in this war zone any longer. My cuts are getting deeper, and im feeling worst I wanna leave this state of depression and be gone for good. I don’t deserve to die I don’t deserve to cry. But I have to if all I am feeling is lonesome. Your biggest hugs and kisses couldn’t comfort me from my pain this time. I don’t want you to cry, I don’t want you to feel pain, I want you to read this and know you did the best you could. I love you, but I don’t want you to have to worry and worry about me everyday. I want you to live stress free. I love you.Please dont think im crazy. Please dont ignore me.. In just need help please…

    Thanks allot.. My lifes always been hard.. I smile evryday but it just fades at night..Its like when you get home from school and you just sit there for hours.. Alone.All i can think about is the sadness in my head.. Nothing else.Im so scared. I dont know if i can bear it anymore.. I dont know what to do

  32. I write this so that l and others know we’re not alone in our struggles. I address my fears and woes, but know I haven’t given up hope and anyone who shares or relates should not as well. I write this so others realize the ways in which they shouldn’t joke about the subject because it only silences those voices who need to un-repress their sorrows.

    Drowning Above The Surface

    I was taught that knowledge was power, so of course I grew up with a strong sense of curiosity. I always wanted to know how both the literal and figurative cogs of the various process of the world worked. Now I’ve come to realize knowledge is a privilege, currency, but underneath it all it is a burden. Don’t get me wrong it is by all means empowering and all people should seek to better educate themselves. But some truths are hard to swallow, and we can’t always be brave like in the movies. As I grew up I felt the more I lived, the more aware I was of how life at any moment could take a shit on me. By the late years of high school you’re cognizant enough to know life is not eternal, and you know that its something you just don’t want to waste. That you only have that four year window of college to make or break your future. And you knew on top of that where you spent those four years could dictate your destiny just as much. At least that’s how I was thinking, sometimes even without realizing it. But that’s the fucked up thing isn’t it? That that was on my mind, or at least on my mind in that way. So paralyzed in a fear that drowned me in constant worry. Where I was. Where I was supposed to be by then. Led me to think I was throwing everything away when I wasn’t even trying too. How could it possibly be fair that at I already felt like I was wasting it? How could I throw away what I hadn’t even begun. Assuming this innate debt I would eventually (but soon) need to pay. That I had to do my parents right and be more than whatever I was then. Now. Prescribed fearful certainties like tic-tacs. Why did I feel like the end is near? Even worse sometimes it seemed like a really stressful beginning of a long end. You never want to become nothing, but there is certainly many times where you feel like it.
    Most people have a fear of God, and worry about their judgment day. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t ever myself. But eventually I realized that it was stupid to worry about things to could never possibly or conceivably be in my control. Where my real fear lies however are in the judgments of the people around me. When you grow up, as a little kid, you’re too young to know the world around you and what it seems to think of you. Ignorance can truly be bliss. It’s cowardly to adopt that mindset, but sometimes there isn’t enough certainty to be brave. Before I reached high school, I lived everyday with the aura or warmth of knowing that no matter what it would all be okay. I didn’t have constant nerves, worries or stress. I didn’t have my hands tremor for the sole reason of being in public, shaking in the wake of judgment. I mean shit I did theatre when I was young, and I have the plaque on my wall to validate what I did so where did these feelings come from? I didn’t sleep with my arms curled together under my sucked in stomach to become thinner (like that in anyway would ever help). I didn’t constantly wear sunglasses to create a barrier between myself and the world around me. Afraid that people might hear my thoughts or read into the fear in my eyes, like a lens could protect you from more than just the sun’s rays. I didn’t hit pause on my iPod walking by a group of people in order to ensure I knew what they thought of me like I was even on their mind. And even once you accepted there was no chance they were talking, looking, or even thinking of you, deep down a part of you wanted them too. Wanting to be noticed, to be remembered with a flattering legacy.
    I didn’t drink to drown out inhibition and concern or smoke to forget and distract myself from the ever increasingly intimidating world around me. I didn’t need to a puff before bed or a fifth to ready myself for a date or night out. You drown and numb yourself because for some unexplainable reason it feels safer not to feel, seeming far easier then coming up to the surface and facing the day.
    As I got older it became more and more like this with everything. In hindsight there were many things that stalled me that shouldn’t have. It’s like when you’re scared of the little bug that you know is more scared of you; if it freaks you out enough knowing the rest of the world thinks you’re a pussy doesn’t make confronting it any easier. When I was little I didn’t have fears of failure, or of being alone. I know I am by no means the only one, but that doesn’t make it any better. If anything I find that ultimately all I feel is guilt when I take morbid comfort in others sadness. Sometimes it can provide temporary happiness, but if I’ve learned anything over the years its that once the novelty of revenge ends all your left with is your lonely and bitter self.
    What makes it worse is knowing you’re being silly. Knowing that you’re over concerned, yet there is an intense wave of fear you constantly feel and can’t always shake Worried that your best may never be good enough, and that people might see that your best doesn’t cut it and view you less as a result. Unintentionally dramatizing life because of how increasingly mundane it was beginning to feel inside of that safety of solitude. Reading into things over intensively, working oneself up. Knowing how much of a prick you were towards others, all the things you ever said behind closed doors and knowing someone easily could’ve verbally violated you in the same way. Wanting to be tough instead of embracing flaw or weakness and the beauty and difference it presents in how it separates you from the world. Knowing how much your parents love you, but never feeling like you done ‘em proud. Afraid you’ll lose their love or make them regret bringing you into this world. Feeling like the extra/bad egg never meant to have been hatched. That everyone would be happier without you there. Feeling powerless that you can’t just flick a switch on the back of your head to forget or make you feel better when everyone else seems like they can. I’m not asking for things to be easy, but at the same time it’s always nice and welcoming for certainty in a world that seems to be setting people up for failure. Nevertheless it is my perceived reality, my mental prison that keeps me in shock. Too frightened to move forward. Towards more failure, and disappointment. The mind and intellect I should use to guide me towards success feels like tis wired to work against me. Programmed only to imagine the ways I would never be successful. It just feels like a weight building and building, and it clouds your mind to the point that it can’t conceive an outcome where you’ve done it. Where you don’t think you can ever earn or deserve it. It’s all unfounded, but again perceived reality.
    You become so freaked, so frightened you’ll do anything to make it stop. Shut down to the point that you only feel safe in your own world and space. Hiding underneath the covers, sleeping (or trying too) so you don’t have to feel for another second, minute or hour. You withhold all effort so that all of you isn’t left on the field, too scared what people might see or think. Too scared to show someone the peak of what you can do because you don’t know if you’ve cleared the bar. You become so scared you check out from the day and immerse yourself into the safety of your imagination, and you begin to distract yourself from reality, and chase a dream that is seemingly teasing and torturing you because you know or feel certain that can’t be you.
    Back when I was applying to colleges, I was constantly reminded of the fiscal factors involved in being a college student. I felt less and less like a person and more and more like an investment. A 280,000 dollar investment of my parents blood sweat and tears, and as a result every failure feels like I’ve literally sucked time and joy from them. Like a cancer just feeding off of them, thinking, knowing how much easier it would be on them if you weren’t there. That I couldn’t do my part and just “kick ass”. There is not enough time in the world for me to describe how many mulligans I wish I could’ve had. So many revisions to make. Memories to re-write. So many times where I wish I could’ve been stronger, especially when those around you exemplify the strength so eloquently. Yet you resist life and the uncertainty of progress because drowning in fear made it seem better to not look like the guy who couldn’t, but rather the guy who wouldn’t. Better to be called lazy then a failure, cause laziness is just unrecognized potential and there is a twisted comfort in knowing all the things you haven’t experienced and protecting the notions where it could all go right rather than live it when it seems it can only go wrong.
    It’s hard to say/write/type/think this. Especially when in the scheme of things my place in the world is filled with far many more opportunities than others could ever dream of. Just so embarrassed with yourself that you can’t see how green the grass is just beneath your feet. Feeling like an embarrassment because you know there are so many others who’d sell an organ to get to where you are. A little bit of doubt is healthy, it keeps ourselves in check. But I was drowning in it. I’m still drowning in it. Drowning in guilt. Unlike actually drowning, however, it’s by no means finite, or at least it feels like the fear doesn’t end. Paralyzing, unrelinquishable lurking feelings of paranoia and reckoning. Infinite suffocation. Like you’re drowning above the surface.

  33. mollie blackman

    I would just like to say before i start my story that i am a recovered and am no longer depresed this is purely to share my story and maybe help others! im from the UK

    I starting to become very depressed when i was just 14 but the reasons behind it start from since i can remember! My mum has Bipolar and has always been ill since i can remember and it was always hard to live with her! and she always had a knew boyfriend and was always moving house to live with a knew man, which was horrible for me and my sister who moved house more than 27 times and i went to 18 different school which always made it hard for me to make friends or to really settle down in once place. But everything became really bad when my mum got married! i was still small but there marrage broke up quickly! he was violent to her and to me and my sister and would lock us under the stairs for hours and we would hear my mum screaming! So that was the big reason why i first become depressed because i was always haunted by these memories.

    But when i turned 14 is when it became really bad and i started to cut my wrists! my sister was older she had left home when she was just 16 to move in with my grandmother so i had to stay with my mum. and i couldnt handle her and her bipolar alone. and when i was 14 i started to drink and smoke weed. and i moved in with a boyfriend because i didnt want to see my mum. i felt like noone understood me and that noone wanted me. i felt unloved. even though i was living with someone he was bad aswell and he was older than me he started to hit me and made me feel even worse but i wanted to stay there because i didnt want to cope with my mum.

    i started heavly drinking after my bestfriend died he was only 15. we was out late at night drinking and he got into a fight with another group of boyse and he got shot. it was something that effected me more than anything else that had happened. and there still not a day that goes past that i dont remember what i saw.

    My mum soon found a knew love intrest and went all the way to chile for a 2 week holiday to be with him. and she left me with my boyfriend even though she knew he hurt me but she didnt want to cope with it.. i was still only 14 when she left me. she traveled with my sister so i really was alone and my boyfriend was already with another girl but i stayed in his house anyway because i had nowere to go! i was at my worst. and while she was there i went out with my cousin and got drank and was drinking rum from the bottle.. a whole bottle to myself and i was drunk i was sick everywere and my cousin ended up taking me to hospital because she was scared!

    my mum soon returned from chile and told me that we was moving there! this made me even worse because i couldnt cope with moving agian and this wasnt a normal move house thing is was move the other side of the world! i didnt want to accept it! and although i felt alone i didnt want to leave my bestfriend.. i felt like i could tell her how i feel although it didnt help me then i knew i had someone to talk to.. but soon my mum left agian and told me she would send me the money over for me to travel!! after 5 months of waiting i traveled to chile.. noone there understood why i didnt want to talk or why i had cut arms. and i didnt want to tell anyone.. but after a while yet agian my mum broke up with her boyfrind and left agian and went back to england i stayed in chile with my sister and her husband and i started to drink and take drugs. i was in hospital 3 times in one year for drinking to much and i done a lot of stupid things!

    Right now i still feel depressed sometimes but i live a normal life and can now do normal things. i still live in chile but my mum and my sister both live in england! i am living in chile still and am engaged!
    i know my story may not be the worst but its proof that anybody can get through it…
    and once you find one special person it can chane your whole life

  34. To everyone who reads this comment, I want to let you know that I need to share these thoughts and comments, because helping others helps me, and I pray that by me opening up and speaking out, I actually can help someone! But this is not for fame or simpathy, but they are exact truths, which everyone needs, we do deserve better than the usual sugarcoated truths……

    But I was raised in a very poor family, I mean when I was younger me and my brother would go to the bread factory to beg for bread so that we could eat, I remember climbing a pear tree in our back yard alot because we had no food, my mom was messed up on drugs bad. We had no gas so we used kerosene heaters and I would go to school smelling like kerosene and the kids would pick on me alot, we often had no electricity, even our house was caught on fire a couple of times from using candles and lanterns, I mean it was harsh, but yet am I still hear, and will let you know that the Almighty God is wonderful, although I am not where I want to be in life, I am here, and

  35. Hi my name is Kelly. I was diagnosis with Bipolar Disorder in 2004. I knew for several years that something was wrong, but I wasn’t sure what it was. When I started my current job, it was recommended to me that I should have an intake done. That was when I discovered that I had Bipolar Disorder.

    The hardest part for me was realizing that this was the reason that I was so sad and anxious all of the time. The therapist and psychiatrist that I had helped me come to terms with the fact that I have Bipolar Disorder and they got me on the right regimen of medication along with individual therapy. I also attended the Depression Bipolar Support Alliance Support Group that is offered in Montrose.

    I have a wonderful little boy that will be four years old who is my pride and joy along with my boyfriend who is wonderfully kind and understanding. My boyfriend and my son are a very strong support system for me. I have good days and bad days. When I am having a bad day I remind myself that I have my son and boyfriend to take care of and be there to love and support as they do for me. Along with my boyfriend and my son the rest of family and my friends are a very important part of my recovery journey.

    I have learned that being a single mom is very enjoyable along with being a lot of work. Having my son has made me a stronger person. The relationship that I had with my son’s father made life a day-to-day struggle for my son and I. After several months of being abused I took my son and left until his father moved out. This was one of the hardest decisions that I had to make in my life, but it was the right decision to make for my son and my self. My son and I still have to deal with his father each day and that is very challenging. The emotional stress is very challenging for me to deal with. When the stress gets to be too much I have to step back and do a check to make sure that I am staying mentally healthy for my self as will as my son, my boyfriend, and the rest of my family and my support system.

    Everyday I get up and I take each day one day at a time. Some days it is a struggle for me to get up, I have to remind myself on those days that even if I am having a bad day I still have to get up and move on with my daily activities. I have found usually that once I get up and get my day started I feel better.

    Without all of the support systems that I have lined up along with all of the doctors, therapists, and support groups there a lot of other things that I have to do for my self in order to stay healthy. Some of those are: my diet, getting enough rest, journaling, and taking time for my self.

    Not only am I a person with Bipolar, I work in the Mental Health Field. I advocate everyday for people with Mental Health. Sometimes when I tell people that I have Bipolar Disorder they look at me funny and ask me if I should be locked up. For the longest time I didn’t know how to answer that and then finally I realized that when people say that they don’t really understand what I or anyone else with a Mental Health diagnosis goes through each and everyday. So what I try and do now when someone says that to me, I try to explain what is it like to have a Mental Health Disorder. I also explain to people that having a Mental Health Disorder is no different than someone having Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease or any other physical illness. People need to realize that you cannot have good physical health without good mental health.

    I want to get my story out to the public so that people will understand that people who have a Mental Health Disorders are just like any other person.

  36. Question 1: Please post your answers on our community site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just click the Tab and share your

    Answer: I was laid off my job in the summer of 2005 and it took me a year and a half to find another. I worked for the new start-up company for 2 years when we were caught up in the commercial real estate depression and my job was eliminated. I have now been out of work for 15 months and find very few opportunities for a 60 year old former senior executive. Instead of viewing life negatively like I would have done in the past, I wrote a book “Oneness Through Love – Reconnection” (available through Amazon.com) to explain the philosophy of Universal Unconditional Love from the Summer of Love in 1967 to my high school daughter. Every time I would start feeling the old anxiety of not having a job and not being able to provide for my family, I would write more about Love and Unconditional Love. Writing allowed me to tap into the Love of those around me and share the positive feelings I experienced. I spent more time with my kids and played ball with my 10 year old son several times a week. I also spent more time and did more things with my family and friends. As I allowed Love to flow, I found myself with a more positive attitude about life and how things would work out. Now when I start to feel depressed, I write about Love and send letters and emails to those I feel can help spread the message of how wonderful we would all feel if we showed Universal Unconditional Love to all. I am even starting a website OneWorldThroughLove.com to share this life philosophy. It’s very hard to be depressed when you surround yourself with Love.

    Question 2: On our site, we give encouragement to others. The experts are people like you who have been through challenges in your own lives and are now using that past experience to help
    others.

    Answer: I have found that doing things with and especially for other people, both immediate family, friends and even people we don’t know, to be very helpful. The shared love seems to take the individual anxiety, pain and suffering and tranforms it into the realization that love for other people makes life so much more fulfilling. It’s not how much money or how many toys we have, but the sharing of Love that makes us happy. Remember God is Love and we can change the world through Love.

  37. This is a story about those who are caught in the backwash of depression. It’s a true tale about my own childhood and I write it here for those who are dealing with this situation either now or perhaps have been through it and are still trying to extract sense and meaning from the experience.

    My father spent just about all of my formative years in prison. He was a violent criminal, that is as much as is necessary to give this tale some context. My mother had me at 17, she was a refugee from a system operating in Ireland that amounted to enforced child labour. The institutions that were part of this system were called, wholly inaccurately, orphanages. Many of the children placed in these institutions believed themselves to be orphans although this was not a criteria for entry. Officially these places were known as Industrial Schools, children were placed in them for various increasingly spurious reasons. This might be because of poverty in the family, criminal convictions on the part of one parent – usually the father – minor altercations with authority figures or any number of arbitrary. There is a very good book Suffer the Little Children: The inside Story of Ireland’s Industrial Schools by Eoin O’Sullivan and Mary Raftery which caused a national outcry in Ireland when it was published, but that is another story.

    Subsequently my mother had been through some harrowing experiences that had left her damaged in many respects. At 17 she found herself alone with a child and only the support of a dysfunctional family to rely upon. Although they tried they were not reliable.

    Children accept whatever is presented to them as normal. It is one of the facets of the inexperienced people that they are. They have no external reference points and consequently whatever is presented to them is their reality, it is what they know and becomes the landscape into which they merge. Whether that landscape is chaotic or ordered are not criteria, children are subject to the adult world that they enter.
    I found it a little odd but it was just what happened that my mother did not get up in the morning. From a very early age I became independent, dressing and feeding myself. My parents produced another child too, my sister, four years my junior so I became responsible for her from an early age given that my father was only an occasional visitor before being incarcerated again. I would return from school to find my mother still in bed. She smoked heavily and drank copious amounts of black coffee. This seemed to be what she lived on, eating only very occasionally, she was a tiny woman, not quite 5 feet tall.

    When she became frustrated, which was often, she would resort to physical violence. I was indignant that the stick she used to beat us with was one I had brought home, it’s a boy thing, finding the perfect stick is a crucial occupation in the universe that boys occupy!

    At the time I found the whole thing to be somewhat strange but, nevertheless, it was home, it was normal. My mother, like so many people coping with depression, could summon the energy to put on a good face when important visitors called, so much of the reality of our situation was private or obfuscated by a good act. It took me many years to formulate an opinion of my own about precisely what had been happening in those early years of my life and it was only through research that I was able to understand that my mother had been chronically depressed. I ahd tried to help where I could, I knew that she was struggling to cope and the older I became the clearer it was that she had difficulties in that area. I left home at 16, I had tried previously but could not survive without becoming involved in the limited and extremely negative options open to kids on the streets.

    I never knew until much later in life that my mother had been in an institution as a child, she was taken at about 18 months and spent five years until her mother rescued her and they fled to the relative sanctuary of England. It was my uncle who mentioned it and was taken aback that I knew nothing of this. My mother could only cry when I asked her about it, she said that the only thing she remembered was being locked in a cupboard and then would break down in tears. After I discovered this hidden side to my mother’s experience and development many of the difficulties we had experienced as a family became clearer to me. She struggled to come to terms with what she considered to be an embarrassment by choosing such an unsuitable partner and then was left to cope with a young family alone. I look back and realise that she did very well, my sister and I both went on to become well established professional people in our own right with families of our own who enjoy remarkable success in their chosen fields.

    What I realise now, however, is that my mother’s poorest decision was allowing herself to become isolated. She had no friends, and still does not to this day, in whom she could confide or share her experiences. She bottled things up and allowed them to fester, to stagnate and ultimately to become corrosive. My mother now is a very competent woman, she has a meaningful relationship with a different partner who she has been with for nearly forty years. I think that we, my sister and I have been able to help her through understanding her own situation and making allowance for that. At one point I was incredibly resentful because it is difficult to develop as a child under the shadow that depression casts over a family home, I never knew, I just thought my mother was odd, did irrational things and had hang ups.

    The lessons I have learned are that there is never anything so overwhelming that it can’t be tackled. Do not suffer alone, there are others who can help, even if only to listen. Get rid of the idea of guilt, there is no need for guilt about finding the world we live in intimidating or frightening. In the absence of understanding most things can take on an intimidating patina, understanding is the way forward. I had to distance myself from the situation before I could begin to reassemble it in my mind and understand the individual components of what made it unbearable to my mother.

    Children do pick up on these things. Even if their cognitive development is incomplete, children know intuitively when something is out of balance. Do not try to hide things. Do not bury them; in the cold light of day the ogres that people dance with diminish and become relegated to the bit part players in life’s drama that they actually are. We are born to experience a full and meaningful life, not to fall victim to the mantraps, snares and devices hidden in the forests of our own progression. I see now that human life is a sacred commodity and that singularly it is the most potent proposition that embraces us all. Our lives are to be explored, enjoyed and we are the pioneers of a journey into the interior of our own being.

    For each of us this has a different expression, takes a different form, we are no two of us alike, our uniqueness is one of life’s great endearments. There is no need to be held hostage by usurpers and imposters but… in the middle of the battle it is easy to forget that tranquility still exists away from the conflict. To be born at all was a great blessing, to have got to the point you are at shows courage and determination. Inside each of us is a nascent genius that when we access it allows us to flourish and prosper in ways that might, at the moment, seem distant and even impossible. It can be done, with help and guidance we can overcome any adversity and there is no nobler action than helping a brother or sister in their time of need.

    I remember well desperate days, days when I really didn’t understand what I or my sister had done to deserve a hail of blows delivered with a cruel stick and then after our mother was exhausted, our bodies smarting and our arms sore from deflecting blows comforting my younger sister who wanted me to explain why. Afterwards my mother would sob and beg for forgiveness and we would all hug together, crying and lost. None of us made those days, we simply found ourselves in them. My mother, pregnant at 16 with no knowledge of life, no experience to draw upon except the sadism of a brutal regime and the solace she sought in a partner who turned into a violent criminal and then my sister and I bewildered and confused. Afterwards my mother would take to her bead and we would make her coffee to try to lighten her mood, tiptoeing around in the hope that she would fall asleep. These things do pass, these storms dissipate.

    Let me tell you about the pearl. A pearl is the most lustrous and exquisite thing. It starts as a piece of grit, an irritant. It is a source of irritation to the oyster who then coats the grit with a protective layer to preserve itself. Depression is like this, it is an alien influence and we try in whatever ways we can to make it bearable. The pearl, having been continually recoated with layer upon layer, then becomes a prized object, a highly sought after property and so it is with depression. Dealing with any challenge makes us wiser, hence pearls of wisdom. Coping with something, negotiating its contours and understanding its dynamics makes us better and more useful people, to ourselves, our families and our communities.

    To each man, woman and child out there experiencing the adversities of coping with depression I wish I could look you in the eye and assure you it passes. Suffering seems to be implicit within the way our lives unfold but we learn from suffering, it is not for us to be consumed by it. What are needed are coping strategies, ways of relegating the symptoms of the condition when they appear on the horizon and the best mechanism for this is a policy of openness, a support network of family, friends or other concerned people who can help you to negotiate a course through a hazardous location. Whatever you are experiencing, you are not alone, others have been there before and come out the other side and there are others who can offer help, we are the greatest resource, use each other well.

    http://www.themechanicsofhappiness.com
    http://www.peterjlevine.com

  38. To all, I send to you LOVE and FAVOR in every area of your life; and every where you hurt…I won’t say that I know or understand what you’re going through…but, what I will say is this, GOD LOVES ALL OF US SO MUCH no matter what the problem…and it is HIS WILL that we LOVE and CARE for one another…and when you LOVE and CARE about others, this kind of LOVE it is of GOD because GOD IS LOVE, and HE has FAITH in us even when we don’t feel connected… regardless to the lies and the hurt that people or even yourself have caused…know that GOD’S LOVE comes from within it’s not fake and it is a gift from the GREATEST LOVE OF ALL and that IS GOD HIMSELF…And as it is written in first John 4:4 “GREATER IS HE THAT IS IN “YOU ” THAN HE THAT IS IN THIS WORLD”…because GOD IS LOVE and LOVE IS SPIRIT AND LOVE CAN ONLY BE FELT AND EXPERIENCED…I NEED YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU REALLY ARE ONE IN A MILLION…. LET NO ONE TELL YOU any Less…Concieved by a course of action that took place between your mother and father that had nothing to do with you, but, you were the result of the choice that they made…as a result out of all the millions of sperm seeds that GOD allowed to go forth and into your mother’s womb and make the connection, that, as a result GOD gave to You LIFE, and the GIFT of TIME… that equals Opportunity to Experience LIFE whether short or long to Live and Exist in this Natural Plane as a Human Being the very moment of conception programed with DIVINE ENGRAFTED DESIGN to be born with a measure of intelect, a body and a soul; Made and Created Whole…
    I AM a Near Death survivor and this is my story:
    I AM a living MIRACLE…Accidentally given an overdose of Penicillin in 1975 that caused anaphylactic shock; that caused convulsive HEART FAILURE, after being revived there was temporary BLINDNESS, PARALIZED from the waist down and suffered MEMORY LOSE…after my recovery, I was mentally slow and suicidal….then GOD Intervened and gave me a reason to live and to hope…HE gave to me a NEW cutting edge simplicity idea that changed Retail History Forever; and it is still evolving…!!!
    Born and raised to be a Christian…I was always a believer but not really committed to living the life style that I was raised to live….I dealt with the wrong crowd as most young people do; but, to make a long story short I GOT tired of going to HELL fast in the slow lane; living a very worldly life… and six years ago I decided to give my life totally to the WILL OF GOD; committed to living my life as a follower of CHRIST JESUS…. and I made a VOW that for HIM I will live and for HIM I die, and I will live a life of REPENTENCE and SALVATION; so that I can become all that HE has ordained !!!! It is my DESIRE to move out of his way; let go, and let HIM take the lead so that I can experience HIS Abundance that is my portion that HE has truly BLESSED…!!!
    I have turned GOD’S Testimony that is in brief my story into a Cause that will one day become a book; and hopefully into a movie because it changed World Retail History Forever…My story begins at : http://www.myspace.com/vcg54 and the Campaign Cause Blog is at : http://www.fourtypercentmandatelaw.blogspot.com
    Because of my near death experience I have dedicated my life
    to GOD in CHRIST JESUS, and doing all that I can to make
    life better for others… I AM A VOICE FOR THE
    VOICELESS…. I AM an Advocate For Disadvantaged
    Entrepreneurs I AM A WORLD CHANGER….SENT TO SET THE
    CAPTIVES FREE TO LIVE WITH THE HOPE OF A DIFFERENT KIND…TO
    LIVE LIFE WITH REAL PURPOSE AND JOY…NEW TIME, NEW DREAMS,
    NEW MONEY THAT HAS NEVER BEEN SEEN OR HEARD OF BEFORE…A
    NEW BREED OF ENTREPRENEURS THAT WILL RAISE THIS FAILED
    ECONOMY OUT OF THE ASHES AND PUT THIS GREAT COUNTRY BACK IN
    ITS RIGHTFUL PLACE…MAKING US ONCE AGAIN AN EXAMPLE FOR THE
    WORLD TO SEE AND SIMULATE ….BUZZ CRAZZ FOR INVESTING IN
    EACH OTHER !!!
    I have never written a book or manuscript before but it is my hope to do so…the two articles that is posted on the two social media sites was taken from a compilation of journals and stored information on cassettes…dating back from 1976; 1 year after the overdose that was, a near death experience that happen in 1975 at Detroit Doctor’s Clinic on Fenkel Ave….Leaving me with memory lose and having to rediscover every thing literally and after approximately 35 years later there has been great, good, and bad times and I am still recovering; but out of it all GOD allowed me to make a difference in the world…didn’t have the mind to sue and being that my brain had not a clue made every thing more of a struggle; and I became suicidal and confused as to what to do…bits and pieces of my memory began to return in the mid 8o(s) and the statute of limitations was 2 years after the incident…the statute of limitation laws in situations like these I do feel that they should be changed because if the statute for medical malpractice is 2 years in a case that results in memory lose and recovery come 5-10 years later perhaps even longer… recover damages are lost, the help from family and friends run out; what do you do?. If it had not been but for GOD and HIS tender MERCY I would have ended it all…But GOD !!..AND HIS GRACE, MERCY, and HIS LOVE for me has given me hope and reason to live to become a WORLD CHANGER AND A HISTORY MAKER…TO BECOME A HEALING MINISTRY AND TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN THE LIVES OF OTHERS….and so much more !

  39. From: Bobbee Cera
    Date: February 28, 2010 8:24:27 AM EST
    To: Patricia Gallagher
    Cc: bobbee Cera
    Subject: Re: [RC] Lessons #030 – Author – How to see the good things, when bad stuff happens

    Twenty years ago, some thoughts ran through my mind, which came “out of the blue” to me. I started writing these thoughts down during a difficult time in my life, and they were almost exactly what was being taught by Jane Roberts, author of seventeen books sold internationally, in which she and her husband Robert Butts dictated and transcribed material that Jane brought through in a trance. Most helpful was “The Nature of Personal Reality” a Seth book. Also most enlightening was Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, and especially his “Illusions, Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah”.

    Twenty five years later, after much introspection, I compiled my  personal thoughts into a book and had it published in 2008 by Xlibris Publishing, and it is now featured in the American Library Association’s catalog which was presented in Boston two months ago, and will also be featured at the ALA conference in Washington, DC in June, 2010. It has been quite an adventure, keeping track of my thoughts and the results that come about.

    If you are interested in seeing my book, you can go to www.bobbeecera.com.

    I would also be happy to send you, via email, an attachment of some of the excerpts from my 168 page book entitled “Wishbones and Miracles” which made me realize my reality and problems began within me, and not the other way around. I am also a portrait artist (Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits) and all of the illustrations were done by me, and I have been a professional entertainer/pianist for the last fifty years in many restaurants at the NJ Shore and Florida.

    I feel this is a major accomplishment made possible by those positive thoughts that resulted and were transcribed by me, but seemed to come from somewhere else, maybe my Soul. The words just “fell on the paper”  after studying the Seth material and looking within myself at my life’s circumstances and learning how to laugh about them. 

    When I recognized that I created my own reality and the same applies to everyone else, the problems became manageable for me. So, in the hopes of sharing my lessons learned with others who might think there is no way out of their circumstances, I wrote “Wishbones and Miracles”, available at my website http://www.bobbeecera.com.

    I thank you for your kind words regarding the poem”Sandcastle”.  rcera1141@comcast.net.

    ps…I would be happy to post some of those positive thoughts onto your blog, and thank you for the opportunity to do so.

    Sincerely, Bobbee Cera

    Sandcastle

    Everyday day
    I’m something more
    Than who I
    Was before.

    Every small
    Decision truly
    Makes a
    New revision

    In who I
    Am today
    As opposed
    To yesterday.

    Like a
    Grain of sand
    That’s added
    Into those I have,

    It fits another
    Piece of learning,
    Ever shifting
    In its leaning,

    Toward building
    What I see
    In this Castle,
    Which is me.

    Bobbee Cera, Copyright 2002
    All Rights Reserved

    On Feb 25, 2010, at 10:43 PM, Patricia Gallagher wrote:
    Dear New Friend,
     
    Oh my gosh, your posting is so amazing and helpful. Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just click the Tab  at the top of the page and share your wisdom that you sent to me. Also, as you look at the other tabs, I hope you will share your experience on other topics as well. If you are ever in the Phila area, please call for a cup of tea!

    On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Bobbee Cera, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits wrote:
     
     
     

    Here’s a response to your ReporterConnection.com query for Giving Encouragement To Others.
     

    To respond to the responder, (Bobbee Cera), email them directly at rcera1141@comcast.net (in some email programs you may be able to simply hit REPLY).

     

    To view this query online or submit a new one, CLICK HERE to log into your account.
    If you’re receiving this in error or for help, contact staff@reporterconnection.com
     
     

    TO:
     
    Patricia Gallagher, Website

    FR:
     
    Bobbee Cera, Owner, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits

    Type:
     
    Author (Author)

    (see full contact info at bottom of this email)
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 1:
     
    Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just
    click the Tab and share your
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Sandcastle Everyday day I’m something more Than who I was before. Every small decision Truly makes a new revision In what I am today, As opposed to yesterday. Like a grain of sand that’s Added into those I have, It fits another piece of learning, ever shifting in its leaning, Toward building what I see In this Castle, which is me. “Wags, Woofs and Other Tails” by Bobbee Cera Work in progress.
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 2:
     
    On our site, we give encouragement to others. The experts
    are people like you who have been through challenges in your
    own lives and are now using that past experience to help
    others.
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    “Wishbones and Miracles” by Bobbee Cera, copyright and published 2008. http://www.bobbeecera.com
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     Last Question:
     
    Anything else you`d like to add?
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Please visit my website http://www.bobbeecera.com. Thank you.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
    Responder Contact Information
     
    First Name:
     
    Bobbee
    Last Name:
     
    Cera
    Job Title:
     
    Owner
    Company:
     
    Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits
    City:
     
    Point Pleasant
    State/ Province:
     
    NJ
    Country:
     
    US
    Phone1:
     
    732-202-5696
    Phone2:
     
    732-202-5696
    Email:
     
    rcera1141@comcast.net
    Website:
     
    www,bobbeecera.com
    Responder Type:
     
    Author
    Client/ Spokesperson Name:
     

    Company/ Organization:
     

    Client Website:
     

    Client Phone Number1:
     

    Client Phone Number2:
     

    Client Email:
     

    Twenty years ago, some thoughts ran through my mind, which came “out of the blue” to me. I started writing these thoughts down during a difficult time in my life, and they were almost exactly what was being taught by Jane Roberts, author of seventeen books sold internationally, in which she and her husband Robert Butts dictated and transcribed material that Jane brought through in a trance. Most helpful was “The Nature of Personal Reality” a Seth book. Also most enlightening was Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, and especially his “Illusions, Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah”.

    Twenty five years later, after much introspection, I compiled my  personal thoughts into a book and had it published in 2008 by Xlibris Publishing, and it is now featured in the American Library Association’s catalog which was presented in Boston two months ago, and will also be featured at the ALA conference in Washington, DC in June, 2010. It has been quite an adventure, keeping track of my thoughts and the results that come about.

    If you are interested in seeing my book, you can go to www.bobbeecera.com.

    I would also be happy to send you, via email, an attachment of some of the excerpts from my 168 page book entitled “Wishbones and Miracles” which made me realize my reality and problems began within me, and not the other way around. I am also a portrait artist (Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits) and all of the illustrations were done by me, and I have been a professional entertainer/pianist for the last fifty years in many restaurants at the NJ Shore and Florida.

    I feel this is a major accomplishment made possible by those positive thoughts that resulted and were transcribed by me, but seemed to come from somewhere else, maybe my Soul. The words just “fell on the paper”  after studying the Seth material and looking within myself at my life’s circumstances and learning how to laugh about them. 

    When I recognized that I created my own reality and the same applies to everyone else, the problems became manageable for me. So, in the hopes of sharing my lessons learned with others who might think there is no way out of their circumstances, I wrote “Wishbones and Miracles”, available at my website http://www.bobbeecera.com.

    I thank you for your kind words regarding the poem”Sandcastle”.  rcera1141@comcast.net.

    ps…I would be happy to post some of those positive thoughts onto your blog, and thank you for the opportunity to do so.

    Sincerely, Bobbee Cera

    Sandcastle

    Everyday day
    I’m something more
    Than who I
    Was before.

    Every small
    Decision truly
    Makes a
    New revision

    In who I
    Am today
    As opposed
    To yesterday.

    Like a
    Grain of sand
    That’s added
    Into those I have,

    It fits another
    Piece of learning,
    Ever shifting
    In its leaning,

    Toward building
    What I see
    In this Castle,
    Which is me.

    Bobbee Cera, Copyright 2002
    All Rights Reserved

    On Feb 25, 2010, at 10:43 PM, Patricia Gallagher wrote:
    Dear New Friend,
     
    Oh my gosh, your posting is so amazing and helpful. Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just click the Tab  at the top of the page and share your wisdom that you sent to me. Also, as you look at the other tabs, I hope you will share your experience on other topics as well. If you are ever in the Phila area, please call for a cup of tea!

    On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Bobbee Cera, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits wrote:
     
     
     

    Here’s a response to your ReporterConnection.com query for Giving Encouragement To Others.
     

    To respond to the responder, (Bobbee Cera), email them directly at rcera1141@comcast.net (in some email programs you may be able to simply hit REPLY).

     

    To view this query online or submit a new one, CLICK HERE to log into your account.
    If you’re receiving this in error or for help, contact staff@reporterconnection.com
     
     

    TO:
     
    Patricia Gallagher, Website

    FR:
     
    Bobbee Cera, Owner, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits

    Type:
     
    Author (Author)

    (see full contact info at bottom of this email)
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 1:
     
    Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just
    click the Tab and share your
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Sandcastle Everyday day I’m something more Than who I was before. Every small decision Truly makes a new revision In what I am today, As opposed to yesterday. Like a grain of sand that’s Added into those I have, It fits another piece of learning, ever shifting in its leaning, Toward building what I see In this Castle, which is me. “Wags, Woofs and Other Tails” by Bobbee Cera Work in progress.
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 2:
     
    On our site, we give encouragement to others. The experts
    are people like you who have been through challenges in your
    own lives and are now using that past experience to help
    others.
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    “Wishbones and Miracles” by Bobbee Cera, copyright and published 2008. http://www.bobbeecera.com
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     Last Question:
     
    Anything else you`d like to add?
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Please visit my website http://www.bobbeecera.com. Thank you.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
    Responder Contact Information
     
    First Name:
     
    Bobbee
    Last Name:
     
    Cera
    Job Title:
     
    Owner
    Company:
     
    Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits
    City:
     
    Point Pleasant
    State/ Province:
     
    NJ
    Country:
     
    US
    Phone1:
     
    732-202-5696
    Phone2:
     
    732-202-5696
    Email:
     
    rcera1141@comcast.net
    Website:
     
    www,bobbeecera.com
    Responder Type:
     
    Author
    Client/ Spokesperson Name:
     

    Company/ Organization:
     

    Client Website:
     

    Client Phone Number1:
     

    Client Phone Number2:
     

    Client Email:
     

     
     
     


    Patricia C, Gallagher
    Author of No More Secrets – A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide
    http://www.speakingaboutdepression.com
    Cell” 267 -939 -0365

    Twenty years ago, some thoughts ran through my mind, which came “out of the blue” to me. I started writing these thoughts down during a difficult time in my life, and they were almost exactly what was being taught by Jane Roberts, author of seventeen books sold internationally, in which she and her husband Robert Butts dictated and transcribed material that Jane brought through in a trance. Most helpful was “The Nature of Personal Reality” a Seth book. Also most enlightening was Richard Bach’s “Jonathan Livingston Seagull”, and especially his “Illusions, Adventures of the Reluctant Messiah”.

    Twenty five years later, after much introspection, I compiled my  personal thoughts into a book and had it published in 2008 by Xlibris Publishing, and it is now featured in the American Library Association’s catalog which was presented in Boston two months ago, and will also be featured at the ALA conference in Washington, DC in June, 2010. It has been quite an adventure, keeping track of my thoughts and the results that come about.

    If you are interested in seeing my book, you can go to
     www.bobbeecera.com.

    I would also
    be happy to send you, via email, an attachment of some of the excerpts from my 168 page book entitled “Wishbones and Miracles” which made me realize my reality and problems began within me, and not the other way around. I am also a portrait artist (Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits) and all of the illustrations were done by me, and I have been a professional entertainer/pianist for the last fifty years in many restaurants at the NJ Shore and Florida.

    I feel this is a major accomplishment made possible by those positive thoughts that resulted and were transcribed by me, but seemed to come from somewhere else, maybe my Soul. The words just “fell on the paper”  after studying the Seth material and looking within myself at my life’s circumstances and learning how to laugh about them. 

    When I recognized that I created my own reality and the same applies to everyone else, the problems became manageable for me. So, in the hopes of sharing my lessons learned with others who might think there is no way out of their circumstances, I wrote “Wishbones and Miracles”, available at my website http://www.bobbeecera.com.

    I thank you for your kind words regarding the poem”Sandcastle”.  rcera1141@comcast.net.

    ps…I would be happy to post some of those positive thoughts onto your blog, and thank you for the opportunity to do so.

    Sincerely, Bobbee Cera

    Sandcastle

    Everyday day
    I’m something more
    Than who I
    Was before.

    Every small
    Decision truly
    Makes a
    New revision

    In who I
    Am today
    As opposed
    To yesterday.

    Like a
    Grain of sand
    That’s added
    Into those I have,

    It fits another
    Piece of learning,
    Ever shifting
    In its leaning,

    Toward building
    What I see
    In this Castle,
    Which is me.

    Bobbee Cera, Copyright 2002
    All Rights Reserved

    On Feb 25, 2010, at 10:43 PM, Patricia Gallagher wrote:
    Dear New Friend,
     
    Oh my gosh, your posting is so amazing and helpful. Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just click the Tab  at the top of the page and share your wisdom that you sent to me. Also, as you look at the other tabs, I hope you will share your experience on other topics as well. If you are ever in the Phila area, please call for a cup of tea!

    On Thu, Feb 25, 2010 at 8:53 PM, Bobbee Cera, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits wrote:
     
     
     

    Here’s a response to your ReporterConnection.com query for Giving Encouragement To Others.
     

    To respond to the responder, (Bobbee Cera), email them directly at rcera1141@comcast.net (in some email programs you may be able to simply hit REPLY).

     

    To view this query online or submit a new one, CLICK HERE to log into your account.
    If you’re receiving this in error or for help, contact staff@reporterconnection.com
     
     

    TO:
     
    Patricia Gallagher, Website

    FR:
     
    Bobbee Cera, Owner, Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits

    Type:
     
    Author (Author)

    (see full contact info at bottom of this email)
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 1:
     
    Please post your answers on our community
    site. http://www.speakingaboutdepression.wordpress.com Just
    click the Tab and share your
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Sandcastle Everyday day I’m something more Than who I was before. Every small decision Truly makes a new revision In what I am today, As opposed to yesterday. Like a grain of sand that’s Added into those I have, It fits another piece of learning, ever shifting in its leaning, Toward building what I see In this Castle, which is me. “Wags, Woofs and Other Tails” by Bobbee Cera Work in progress.
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     

     
     
     
     
    Question 2:
     
    On our site, we give encouragement to others. The experts
    are people like you who have been through challenges in your
    own lives and are now using that past experience to help
    others.
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    “Wishbones and Miracles” by Bobbee Cera, copyright and published 2008. http://www.bobbeecera.com
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
     Last Question:
     
    Anything else you`d like to add?
     
     
     
     
     
    Answer:
     
    Please visit my website http://www.bobbeecera.com. Thank you.
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

     
     
    Responder Contact Information
     
    First Name:
     
    Bobbee
    Last Name:
     
    Cera
    Job Title:
     
    Owner
    Company:
     
    Pic-Ur-Pet Portraits
    City:
     
    Point Pleasant
    State/ Province:
     
    NJ
    Country:
     
    US
    Phone1:
     
    732-202-5696
    Phone2:
     
    732-202-5696
    Email:
     
    rcera1141@comcast.net
    Website:
     
    www,bobbeecera.com
    Responder Type:
     
    Author
    Client/ Spokesperson Name:
     

    Company/ Organization:
     

    Client Website:
     

    Client Phone Number1:
     

    Client Phone Number2:
     

    Client Email:
     

     
     
     


    Patricia C, Gallagher
    Author of No More Secrets – A Family Speaks About Depression, Anxiety and Attempted Suicide
    http://www.speakingaboutdepression.com
    Cell” 267 -939 -0365

     
     
     

  40. I saw your request to send in a brief passage that gives me strength from the Reporter Connection, from Steve Harrison. Although I haven’t dealt specifically with depression for long periods of time, I knew how it felt as I grew up and have much empathy for those who do go through this.

    The following are words that bring me great comfort and I wish this for anyone else:

    Just use the present moment as a testiment to reality: you are safe, you are not alone. The Creator is always with you, embracing you. Build trust by your PRESENT experience. Live in the present moment with a grateful heart; this is a strong and wise anchor.

  41. “It is none of my business what they think-This too shall pass”

    Here is a story I would gladly relate to anyone else on a personal development path. When I was in college my grandmother was just placed in a nursing home. My beloved grandfather was making the adjustment to being freed of the responsibility of caring for her, and was now living alone. I decided that to do my part in helping him to adjust, I decide to take the first Monday of the month and bake him a casserole to last a few days.

    I had never questioned his interpretation of the love I was extending. I was too busy getting all the joys that extending oneself, brings.

    After about six months he suffered an injury and was going to begin living at my mothers residence. One evening mom was expressing her frustrations of learning to accommodate his idiosyncrasies. My mother related that his cynicism was driving her crazy.

    This particular instance, was one of many she had to contend with on a daily basis now that he was occupying her living quarters 24/ 7. I will admit she was venting. She related that he was convinced that I was manipulating to get something in return for what I was doing with bringing him prepared homemade meals for the last few months. The truth came to the surface that he was accusing me of wanting something from him in return! He could not figure out what it was I was attempting to get as an outcome of my actions. My mother related his cynicism was driving her crazy.

    Today my mother and I laugh about how limited our thinking is, as humans. We lack the ability to sometimes recognize when others are not at the same level of awareness as we are. In this example, my altruistic intention to simply give back, all the joy he shared with me years prior, was beyond his comprehension. It was beyond mine, to think he ever doubted, or lost sight of my intentions. What he gave me was one of the most valuable life lessons. It came in the form of disappointment. I admit it took a little bit for me to come to terms with it. Honestly, if it had been anyone else I could have laughed it off at the time, but coming form him it hurt.

    My grandfather the only man who I had ever known loved me dearly, to his fullest capacity, questioned my motives in giving him love. I was crushed to find out that he made accusations about my character and could not see who I truly was at all.

    The wonderful lesson this mans ego gave me was one of Freedom. As a result of processing this meaningful pain, in time, I no longer had to worry about what others thought of me. I had the realization of his inability to receive genuine love. It was not about me. It was about him and his limitations. In the end this did not limit my ability to see all the good in him, and all the good things he came into this world to do, and be, and leave a memory of.

    So today, I am not so much concerned with your perceptions of me, and my motives.

    This lesson solidified my ability to rely on my own inner moral codes to guide my actions and decisions. Regardless of what others think or perceive. Today it is none of my business what others think.

    I remember the grace of compassion that was gifted to me by my creator, on the day of his passing, as I prayed this wonderful human being into what he perceived as heaven. I was given the gift of remembering , all the neat good things and sacrifices this man made in his life to be a good example. As well as the forgiveness he instilled in me, as a result of his own human shortcomings.

    It has opened me to further my own levels of self-forgiveness. As I am a parent struggling to break free of my own shortcomings, in relation to how I deal effectively with my own children. This experience has helped me to come to terms with the ways that I have failed them. It gives me great reassurance, to come into the awareness that my faults, may have opened the pathways for my children to broaden there awareness of their Creator, and their need for something far greater then my limited abilities to witness love.
    Thanks Gramps!

  42. It’s great to see so many responses.

    Whether you’re down in the dumps or clinically depressed, writing about it can help. Writing gives perspective and restores sanity. Writing is a lifeline as well as a record. Writing saves lives. Do not underestimate its power.

    B. Lynn Goodwin
    http://www.writeradvice.com
    Author of You Want Me to Do WHAT? Journaling for Caregivers

  43. I share this so YOU will Know that I came from a very dark place that I can now call, “once upon a time…” I hope sharing my pain & better than ever breakthrough will inspire YOU to reclaim YOUR InSpirited SELF and Be Free as I Am NOW Free! That which I have done is YOUR destiny, too!

    Here’s an excerpt taken from a book I’m presently working on publishing as part of my sharing & caring with people about healing, hope, Who YOU Are, and wisdom ways I learned which guide all I think, say, and do. I live to teach others what I’ve learned & to assist others in reclaiming their empowerment and enlightenment.

    “Sure, I remember being disgusted by the psychologist’s enthusiasm that I was a survivor of traumatic events*¹…But, as far as I was concerned, big deal! That only meant I was still alive… broken, in pain, miserable and holding the hand of one of my ‘best friends’, pain.

    “Get this…
    I actually felt comforted visualizing an image, of a hapless person, sitting by my side, reaching out their hand for me to hold, befriending me, and making me feel the solace of not being alone. I was being comforted by pain! How insane is that?
    Bizarre? I knooow…

    “I’d get indignant with all the excitement of being labeled a survivor because, in my mind, it was a hollow victory at best, and it felt like crap…I became aggressively adamant & articulate that surviving simply meant I was alive & living a life of quiet desperation, while my anger was roiling beneath the surface and leaking through the cracks edging their way across my mask of strength which was ever so slowly weakening under continued pressure of denials.

    “…the act of re-labeling my abuse & trials as a “survival victory” was doing nothing more than demeaning the pain of my horrid & shameful experiences by depreciating those cutting moments of my life, that would eventuate a breakdown, into a certain insignificance; survival belied my goal of desiring the relief of death…And, the destructive impact, reframed as a label of victory, was one unable to meet its ravages to my Soul, so it just stuck in my craw like a mouthful of dirt that I wanted to spit out, not embrace!

    “I finally arrived at the expression I considered healing – I was, am, & shall always be a Warrior Spirit Who is an empowered victor, and that is what made surviving palatable; plunging my sword into my wounds and bleeding out its toxicity was the essence of healing – the heart of victory.

    “Pain can come to “own you”…quite frankly, for years I idealized death’s door as sweet relief. You can reach a level of pain -physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, & even spiritually – where the only thing that matters is RELIEF itself. You explore all kinds of avenues that promise to offer that relief – the good, the bad, the ugly (alcohol, pain killers, alternative medicines, sleep, street drugs…you get the idea)…

    “Being a victor of non-temporary gain became my mantra & driving force. The call to get to cause consumed me.

    “I thrust my instinctual hand into my wild side where real power (so I thought) resided & expelled my rage to heal. I’d howl & bark till I bust, with might, through barriers …I was wielding a flaming sword with a hilt that was socked into a part of my psyche that would not take, “No” for an answer….”

    “This Gift which saved me then, later becomes one of my greatest adversaries to healing back into the fullness of my Spirit/God SELF of MAI SELFGnosis. You know, this is the “you are your own worst enemy” playing itself out as you re-orientate your reference center from pain avoidance to Higher SELF as your trusted guidance of life choices/healing.

    “With the advent of SELFGnosis (not recognized as that per se) influencing, accelerating & upping the ante of healing from psychology to transformation to transmutation to transcendence, the pain turned pink and clarified to a Bright beyond white clarity that is NOW peaceful & crystal clear – miraculously a cognitive conceptual memory of pain without emotional charge. Now that is the power of God/Spirit.

    “Call it redemption, call it revelation, call it salvation, call it enlightenment, call it a miracle… it is all that & more; it is SELFGnosis made real Above & “below.” And, it is freedom par excellence!”

    All to Love,
    Sharon Quinn,
    founder of SELFGnosis; co-founder of Antakarana Co-Creation Learning Projects (AKRNA) non-profit, and AMMA Montessori
    http://www.selfgnosis.org

  44. I share this so YOU will Know that I came from a very dark place that I can now call, “once upon a time…”

    I hope sharing my pain & better than ever breakthrough will inspire YOU to reclaim YOUR InSpirited SELF and Be Free as I Am NOW Free!

    That which I have done is YOUR destiny, too!

    Here’s an excerpt taken from a book I’m presently working on publishing as part of my sharing & caring with people about healing, hope, Who YOU Are, and wisdom ways I learned which guide all I think, say, and do.

    I live to teach others what I’ve learned & to assist others in reclaiming their empowerment and enlightenment.

    “Sure, I remember being disgusted by the psychologist’s enthusiasm that I was a survivor of traumatic events*¹…But, as far as I was concerned, big deal! That only meant I was still alive… broken, in pain, miserable and holding the hand of one of my ‘best friends’, pain.

    “Get this…
    I actually felt comforted visualizing an image, of a hapless person, sitting by my side, reaching out their hand for me to hold, befriending me, and making me feel the solace of not being alone. I was being comforted by pain! How insane is that?
    Bizarre? I knooow…

    “I’d get indignant with all the excitement of being labeled a survivor because, in my mind, it was a hollow victory at best, and it felt like crap…I became aggressively adamant & articulate that surviving simply meant I was alive & living a life of quiet desperation, while my anger was roiling beneath the surface and leaking through the cracks edging their way across my mask of strength which was ever so slowly weakening under continued pressure of denials.

    “…the act of re-labeling my abuse & trials as a “survival victory” was doing nothing more than demeaning the pain of my horrid & shameful experiences by depreciating those cutting moments of my life, that would eventuate a breakdown, into a certain insignificance; survival belied my goal of desiring the relief of death…And, the destructive impact, reframed as a label of victory, was one unable to meet its ravages to my Soul, so it just stuck in my craw like a mouthful of dirt that I wanted to spit out, not embrace!

    “I finally arrived at the expression I considered healing – I was, am, & shall always be a Warrior Spirit Who is an empowered victor, and that is what made surviving palatable; plunging my sword into my wounds and bleeding out its toxicity was the essence of healing – the heart of victory.

    “Pain can come to “own you”…quite frankly, for years I idealized death’s door as sweet relief. You can reach a level of pain -physically, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, & even spiritually – where the only thing that matters is RELIEF itself. You explore all kinds of avenues that promise to offer that relief – the good, the bad, the ugly (alcohol, pain killers, alternative medicines, sleep, street drugs…you get the idea)…

    “Being a victor of non-temporary gain became my mantra & driving force. The call to get to cause consumed me.

    “I thrust my instinctual hand into my wild side where real power (so I thought) resided & expelled my rage to heal. I’d howl & bark till I bust, with might, through barriers …I was wielding a flaming sword with a hilt that was socked into a part of my psyche that would not take, “No” for an answer….”

    “This Gift which saved me then, later becomes one of my greatest adversaries to healing back into the fullness of my Spirit/God SELF of MAI SELFGnosis. You know, this is the “you are your own worst enemy” playing itself out as you re-orientate your reference center from pain avoidance to Higher SELF as your trusted guidance of life choices/healing.

    “With the advent of SELFGnosis (not recognized as that per se) influencing, accelerating & upping the ante of healing from psychology to transformation to transmutation to transcendence, the pain turned pink and clarified to a Bright beyond white clarity that is NOW peaceful & crystal clear – miraculously a cognitive conceptual memory of pain without emotional charge. Now that is the power of God/Spirit.

    “Call it redemption, call it revelation, call it salvation, call it enlightenment, call it a miracle… it is all that & more; it is SELFGnosis made real Above & “below.” And, it is freedom par excellence!”

    All to Love,
    Sharon Quinn,
    founder of SELFGnosis; co-founder of Antakarana Co-Creation Learning Projects (AKRNA) non-profit, and AMMA Montessori
    http://www.selfgnosis.org

  45. The Wisdom of an Eighth Grade Educated Grandmother

    My story: I remember when I was in the valley of decision regarding a very serious matter. I wasn’t sure how to handle it nor if I’d make it through; however, I was gently reminded of a statement that my dearly departed grandmother once shared with me “one time ain’t always.” After pondering my grandmother’s simple phrase I found myself in a place of peace. Because of that I was able to make clear decisions, regain my strength and identity and land on my feet.

    My wisdom to you: Know that you are of value. You are beautifully and wonderfully made. You have the power and the authority to rewrite any part of your history that life has handed to you. It doesn’t matter whether the situation is generational or a one time event the keys of authority has already been placed within you. All you have to do is use those keys to change your current path.

    Because of my faith in God coupled with the wisdom and common sense of my eighth grade educated grandmother and the love of my own mother I was able to graduate college and
    years later write my first nonfiction book Check Your Keys I. A book that inspires you to take full control of your mental, spiritual and emotional life.

  46. When I went blind in one of my eyes after severe diabetic retinopathy, at first I became very depressed.

    My passion in life was martial arts and boxing, and the doctors told me, after 18 laser surgeries, 3 vitrectomies, and multiple retina detachments, that my left eye could not be saved. They also told me to give up on martial arts and boxing, because I could no longer endure hard contact.

    Because I could not accept that I would have to give up what I loved, I began to ask myself a better question. I began to ask not if, but how I could remain involved. Suddenly, the answer appeared like a flash, and it all became very clear. I discovered that my true path was to teach and mentor others. I went from athlete to coach in an instant, and found my true calling.

    Today I own my own martial arts, boxing and kickboxing studio. I use this as a platform to teach fitness, character education, self-defense and life skills to others. Out of that, I have also become a writer, speaker, and life coach. Had I not suffered what at first appeared to be adversity, I would not have found my true life’s calling, and may have lived more of a self-indulgent life.

    Today, I am far more blessed, because I have the ability to help other people live a life that is more fulfilling. The more I teach, the more I learn, and that is awesome!

  47. “Death is a temptress to the depressed because they use sleep as their escape and liken death to being asleep. But death is not sleep. Death is to be wide awake and to suffer the pain you instilled in others through your passing.”
    –Melinda Vail

    After the death of her late husband from suicide 15 years ago, Ellen Gerst met Melinda Vail, the Southwest’s leading intuitive therapist.

    As the statement above suggests, many suicides are committed by those who think their problems (and their family’s problems) will end with eternal sleep. From a spiritual point of view, how wrong they are! After all, death is about the survivor and the loss and sorrow that must be addressed. This point is discussed in the article, Suicide Survivorship: How to Resolve Your Guilt, and it may be read on Ellen’s blog on at http://www.connect.legacy.com/profiles/blog/show?id=1984035%3ABlogPost%3A28307.

    Ellen and Melinda went on to collaborate on a book: “The Other Side of the Vail: Spiritual Guidance for Everyday Living”, a no-nonsense approach to spirituality which gives the reader practical information and help on healing his/her life. They continue to offer seminars on spirituality and grief and to work on a book on understanding suicide.

  48. I spent too many years of my life denying I had a problem. It was always someone else’s fault. Eventually, I fell into the “black hole” deep enough, and realized I couldn’t stand who I was anymore. I finally admitted I needed to make changes.
    The journey to find my true self is most difficult. It’s ongoing and challenging even when I thought I knew what I was doing. In addition to therapy and medications, I’ve read whatever I could find to help me change. One of my most important lessons was from Dr. Phil, “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”
    My website http://www.consciouschoices.webs.com may help others realize change is possible. Also, my book YOU ARE ENOUGH…Choosing the Life You Want may be the catalyst for others to seek help.

  49. There’s a love song to GOD that has helped me so greatly at many times of my life, whether going through a divorce or dealing with a child’s sickness, or an injury… it’s the HU Song. It’s very simple to sing anytime for 15-20 minutes a day by just sustaining the ancient, sacred name of GOD… HU. Focus on loving GOD and gently look on your inner screen and gently listen with your inner hearing for any direction or answers. With regular practice, you’ll experience the calm and the Light and Sound of GOD. For more information go to: http://www.eckankar.org and click on HU Song. You’re welcomed to email me at creatingourourdreams@gmail.com if you like as well. May the blessings be.

  50. I have learned to use my personal experiences to show others that they too can survive the storms of life. I share my experiences in the books I write as motivational and inspirational tools that I also use to create income streams for nonprofit organizations to raise funds for operational and programmatic expansion and to sustain current services. I share the pain in my life to give others a lifeline to hold on to.

  51. The quote that gave me hope growing up was one my brother told me when I was 12. He said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent.”

    Realizing that I was gay for as long as I can remember, and believing society’s lies and myths about gay people in the 60s and 70s I almost killed myself at age 20.

    Periodically thinking back on my brother’s advice knocked some sense in to me and for decades have been leading a wonderfully happy and productive life.

    Paul Harris
    Author, “Diary From the Dome, Reflections on Fear and Privilege During Katrina”

  52. 10-year-old award winning author/illustrator in her book “Sewing a Friendship” talks about friendships. There are four best friends muster up the courage to include a girl, one they don’t think is very nice, with some very gratifying results.And also this book is a good example on why you should not judge those without taking the time to fully know them and their situation.

  53. You Restore My Soul

    Every now and then, satan will try the same old thing ~ presenting oppression in a different package. He trys to get me to think about and focus on something from my past – like, reminding me of a time in high school when I made a innocent but ignorant comment to another really nice young lady that hurt her feelings in front of a busload of students. I allowed satan to torment me for almost 30 years with that one. He’s also tried to harass me by telling me I’m a procrastinator, lazy, many negative things about my physical appearance or remind me of some other event ~ like rape or molestation & tell me it was my fault. That used to try and bind me in depression; BUT GOD, always reminds me of His Word ~ Hallelujah.

    What evil thing has satan been saying to you? (God calls anything “evil” that does not agree with His Word.) It may come as a memory of something you did wrong or any unfair or hurtful thing that was done to you. It’s anything that makes you feel bad about yourself. Take time to recognize & briefly reflect on what those things ~ those worries and cares are. You may be wondering, now why would I want you to do that. Well, I’ve heard it taught and it’s been my experience that until we recognize “it” as a worry or care, we hang on to it. “It” may have been with you for so long that you’re accustomed to and somewhat comfortable with “it” ~ not realizing that you can or should give it to God to handle.

    God’s intent is not to make us feel bad. He loves us. He does not put guilt and condemnation on us. Satan does though – but praise God, that He’s given us the weapon of His Word to stop him. (John 10:10; Romans 8:1) Ask God to show you the issues you need to cast on Him.
    Pray:

    Father, show me those things that I’ve been harboring as
    cares and worries. I remove all blinders and any hindrances preventing me from recognizing them in the past. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Take time to make brief notes of those things:
    ————
    One more thing before the main prayer: Now it’s time to cast your cares on God. He really did instruct us to. He didn’t design us to carry excess baggage. Pray:

    Father God, I completely turn these cares You’ve revealed to me over to You and thank You for instructing me to do so ~ because You care for me. Anytime satan tries to bring them back to my mind, I’ll remind him that I’ve left those things behind and am pressing for Your goal ~ Your prize for me. In Jesus name, amen. (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 3:14)

    Now ~ Praise Him with me for restoring our souls! Remember to make it personal. It’s YOUR prayer.
    ===================

    Father God,

    Thank You for restoring my soul. In my discouragement, You lead me beside the still waters by drawing my heart back to Your Word that reminds me to cast all my cares on You ~ for You care for me. Even when the circumstances of life make me feel as though I am living in the valley of death, You come to my rescue and remind me to fear no evil ~ which is anything that does not agree with what You have said. You are with me. You are on my side ~ I WILL NOT FEAR!

    You are not a man that You should lie and You have told me that You have given me Your joy ~ and it is my strength. You’ve given me Your peace and abundant life ~ and I receive it. You’ve told me not to worry about anything ~ but to come to You in prayer ~ with thanksgiving, and let You know ALL my requests ~ and Your peace which passes all understanding, will guard my heart and mind through Christ Jesus.

    You, Who CANNOT lie, have told me that You love me just as You love Jesus ~ so I believe what You say and receive what You’ve given me.

    In the precious Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

    Referenced Scriptures: (Amplified Version – Amp; New King James – NKJ)
    Numbers 23:19 (Amp)
    Nehemiah 8:10 (NKJ)
    Psalm 23:1-4 (Amp); 118:6 (NKJ)
    Mark 11:24 (NKJ)
    John 10:10; 14:27; 15:11;
    16:23; 17:13, 23 (all from Amp)
    Philippians 4:6-7 (NKJ)
    2Timothy 1:7 (NKJ)
    Titus 1:2 (NKJ)
    1 Peter 5:7 (Amp)

  54. A Failed Business Plan

    By Barry Maher

    A few years ago, a management and sales expert came up with what he considered a first-rate idea. With so many unhappy, lonely people in the world, he figured he could provide them with a little comfort and make money at the same time by offering them personalized, written advice on their problems.

    Since so many people have problems that are similar, he figured he could train his employees to write a quick paragraph or two of personalization, then fill up the rest of the letter with appropriate boilerplate.

    He placed trial ads in all the leading tabloids. The problems and the checks came pouring in.

    He read four letters. And immediately killed the project.

    “I realized I was dealing with living, breathing people,” he says, “not a marketing opportunity. I realized the answers I’d provide would have an effect on their lives. They all had such heavy burdens compared to anything I’d ever gone through. Their problems went far beyond the scope of any boilerplate, beyond the scope of any quick, pat answers. And I was completely unqualified to tamper in their lives. I ended up returning their money, and absorbing the price of the ads.”

    But he did a little more than that. With each refund he sent along a personal, handwritten response. This is one of those letters.

    Dear Lorie;

    Thanks for writing. Sorry to hear of your situation. Sometimes we simply have to endure until we finally get the life we deserve. And you’ve endured. I’m returning your $9.95 because I want you to have the money. From your letter, it sounds like you need it more than I do, and I want the best for you. I also want you to want the best for you.

    I know you feel small. I know you feel alone. But you’re not alone. You’re a human being which means that you’re related to all of us–a relative–a part of us all.

    Biologically–in your genes–all your ancestors going back to the beginning of time are a part of you. They struggled and slaved so that you, their descendant, would someday walk this planet. It’s taken billions of years to create the universe of possibilities that’s within you.

    If you undervalue yourself–if you sell yourself short–you’re undervaluing all of us, and all of those who came before you.

    And even beyond that, Lorie, you are, as an individual human, a miraculous being, more alike than unlike the greatest men and women who ever lived. More alike than unlike Jesus and Einstein and Lincoln and Mozart and Mother Teresa and Vincent Van Gogh–with many of their greatest qualities lying somewhere inside you. With thoughts and feelings and desires. And–most miraculous of all–the divinity within you which we call free will. Which gives you the ability to control those feelings and desires, and therefore to control your own destiny, to actually control what you are today and what you will be tomorrow.

    Your responsibility, as I see it, is to use that free will to make the most of every instant of the life which so many, including yourself, have participated in creating.

    Always the Best,

    Barry Maher

    Barry Maher speaks and writes on work/life balance, dealing with stress, communication and leadership. http://www.barrymaher.com

  55. The Black Hole of Love

    Love is good, love is a great. Love makes life great, really great! But when someone you love dies, suddenly your world crashes in and you find yourself struggling to see the light. If the person you loved was very close to you, then the tunnel gets, deeper and harder to crawl out of. It’s like falling into a rabbit hole. Your world is flipped upside down, and what you knew in the past is no longer, and what you see around you, as life going on, isn’t really because it doesn’t include you or them and you’re trapped inside this black hole of love. Yes life continues, taking you with it, but nothing is the same, everything you knew before is now different.

    The blackness is the void left behind by the person who is gone. There is no way to escape it, and when you are grieving you your life is enveloped in darkness and the darkness surrounds you. It is the absence of what life was with their love. When love is stripped away, it brings such sadness, mental anguish and piercing pain. Once you are touched by death you are never the same again.

    “Love never dies”, so when the person you love dies, it doesn’t mean you stop loving them. It just means you cannot have them in your life right now. What you shared with them before is now over, leaving you with precious memories. Yes life goes on, but for you the difference is you have to learn how to stop listening for their voice, reaching for their touch or expecting to see their face. You have to learn how to live without them. The sad truth is no matter how close you were or how much time you spent together, that time is now over, and the reflection of seeing yourself in their eyes is gone.

    People don’t really know about this, “Black Hole of Love”, until they fall in it after a break up. They cry, feel sad and try to heal their broken hearts. A heart mixed with tender emotions and remorse over loosing someone special. But even with this awful pain, it is just a tad of what the heart feels, after experiencing the death of a loved one. With break-ups there is still hope of seeing them again, or hearing their voice. But with death there is a hardcore finality of knowing you will never see them again, and the love you had is simply gone. We are all naturally unprepared for this kind of brutal truth.

    No matter what anyone says, there really are no guide lines to bereavement because everyone grieves differently. There are no directions on how to get out of, “The Black Hole of Love,” or how to get on with your life. But there are good and caring people who can help. In the end however, it all comes down to you. You have to push yourself forward. While there is no cheating grief, time does heal the pain and you will reach a day without tears. Eventually in time, your steps will lead you out through the tunnel, and with the help of your faith, family and friends, you will slowly step back into the world, which is a good place to be. Why? Because the love you lost is not left behind, but has zoomed ahead to where we are all eventually going. The more you move ahead in your life the sooner you will be together again.

    How do you avoid “The Black Hole of Love”? Easy, don’t love anybody. If you never let yourself fall in love, and if you never give love or receive love, then you will never risk the pain associated with death when they are gone. If people knew more about this, “The Black Hole of Love,” then I am sure they would never risk falling in love in the first place. Life without love is a much safer place to be.

    Only we do fall in love, because we were born to love. We love our parents, grandparents, our brothers and sisters and friends. We love our girlfriends and boyfriends, our spouses, children and families. We love a great deal because love gives meaning to our lives and we were made to love one another.

    St. Augustine wrote, “It’s better to have loved and lost, then never to have loved at all.” Oh how blessed we were to have loved them and to have had them in our lives. What pure joy.

    So remember if you find yourself struggling inside, “The Black Hole of Love”, think about how you got there. It’s not because you lost someone, but because you were lucky enough to have loved someone and love is good, love is great, love makes life wonderful.

    If there is one important thing to remember it is this. That same great love, the one that pulled you into “The Black Hole of Love”, will also help you find your way out. You can count on it.

  56. Jacquetta C Wyse

    I do not get my strength on my own…it comes from the Lord, Jesus Christ. I look to Him for all my needs. Yes, I have been disappointed by the expectation of others including myself, but you can’t beat yourself up because you or someone else did measure up to what you expected. You do your best to put it behind you and move forward. Disappointment has taught me that we are not perfect. I learned to accept me as I am when I looked in the Word of God. It is through His unfailing love and the shedding of His blood on the cross that in all my faults He still loved me.

  57. Hi

    I have had a lot of experience coping with loss.

    My second wife died from cancer when she was 32 and I was 43 and our son was 2. He’s 25 now.

    I divorced my third wife even though I loved her very much. I learned that The #1 Cause of Divorce is Marriage.

    I wrote lyrics after my 2nd wife died and I wrote my book For Certain I’m Hurtin after the divorce from my third wife. I’m doing really well now and I learned so much from my Quest for Shallowness.

    Here’s a lyric I wrote while coping with the loss of Jillian,my second wife.

    WORK IT THROUGH
    Losing a love is really tough
    The hurt can be so deep
    Your mind can wander on and on
    So much that you cannot sleep.
    You’re restless as you toss and turn
    There’s no one near to hold.
    It’s dark outside and inside too
    Everything seems so cold.

    But when you’re feeling sad
    It’s best to feel your pain
    Cause you really can’t begin anew
    Till you take some time
    To work it through

    Some people lose themselves in work
    And others take to drink.
    Some will jump to a new romance
    And never stop to think.
    Moving on will have its risks
    Ther’s not a guarantee.
    The only way to find the joy
    Is vulnerability

    But when you’re feeling sad,
    It’s best to feel your pain
    Cause you really can’t begin anew
    till you take some time
    To work it through.

    There’s a chapter in my book called The Lyrics of My Life where I show the progression from being devastated and in mourning and then getting back in the world and dating.

    One of my lyrics has a chorus that really sums up dating and life. The song is That’s How It Is.

    The chorus goes like this:

    That’s how it is when girl meets boy
    Hope for the future and a life full of joy
    Your never quite sure
    There’s always some doubt
    Sooner or later you figure things out…

    It takes courage to face your feelings. The biggest battles in life are the ones we fight with ourselves.

    I had to learn the Relationship Equation

    Men are about Sex and Attention and women are about being Provided for and Protected.

    In my Quest for Shallowness I discovered that I am about sex and attention( as all men are) and owning that was deep not shallow.

    On a lighter note…remember

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    Getting on with life
    Is up to you……

    Happiness is a choice!!!!

  58. “Everything I want is inside me” “Everything I want is on the other side of fear” (ar) “If you change the way you look at things the things you look at will change” (Wayne Dyer).
    My client was angry at herself as of last week. She wasn’t good enough, everyone was out to get her, she panicked when anyone criticized her.
    Today she is just plain angry and is routinely forgiving herself for feeling that way. Depression is beginning to lift. Anger turned inward is starting to pour out. Her friends and family are uncomfortable. “So what” she says, I have been angry for a long time and I am allowed to feel angry” “No one has the right to tell me how to feel!”
    An hour and a half of tapping on the meridian points and this client is calm, introspective, exhausted and relieved.
    “I never thought I could ever love myself until now” she says.
    Check out Emotional Freedom Techniques for a variety of problems including depression

  59. “Encouragement is a thumbs up to the soul!”
    Ambassador of Encouragement

    Many years ago I accepted a mission for my life. It comes from the Bible – Hebrews 3:13. “Let us encourage each other while it is still Today, so our hearts do not get hardened by the deceitfullness of sin.”
    Since that time, I have made it my mission to come alongside of people to encourage them and help them achieve their destiny.

    Jay D. Rohman
    Ambassador of Encouragement

  60. Scrambled Leggs

    Five years ago I was flying high. I was working as a Family Director at my church and also doing motivational speaking to major corporations. I was newly married and in fantastic shape; skiing, roller blading and I lived in Santa Barbara, CA which is like Paradise.

    All that changed in moments. I was struck down by an auto-immune disease, paralyzed in a half an hour. I had to learn to walk again, deal with chronic pain and adapt to all kinds of parts of my body malfunctioning. Getting into stable condition was my full time job.

    I finally wrote a HUMOR book about it, “Scrambled Leggs” (at Amazon). Yup a humor/inspirational book. Why humor? Because I used to be a stand-up comic and humor is my best weapon against adversity. In my book I say I have 3 saving graces: Faith, Curiosity and Sarcasm…the one I love the most is sarcasm, or as the Brits call it, a sense of irony.

    I lost everything I held near and dear including my health, my career and my marriage. But the thing is when you have had a brush with death, the rest of your life has a different meaning and perspective. I see the future as a realm of possibility and risk. (Hey I have nothing left to lose.)

    So I say, wake up and ask Gd what is possible today? Given what I have, what can I do? Who can help me? Because time’s a wastin’!

    Sally Franz, author Scrambled Leggs and FaceBook host of a site of the same name

  61. Hi Patricia,

    I know exactly what it feels like to be isolated and lonely. For over 4 years, I worked in a foster care home with 4 men with mental illness. At the time, I did not have a car and wasn’t making much money, so I wasn’t even able to afford a monthly bus pass. I also did not have many friends so it was a time of isolation for me, by choice. One thing I did benefit from it was getting closer to God. I was able to spend more time reading the Bible and understanding more of Who God is and who I am. Just knowing He is with me at all times, gave me comfort and the patience to know that change was around the corner. It wasn’t until I took a step of faith and left that position, that lead me to moving out of state to attend Bible College.
    I know why I felt discouraged. I really didn’t have a hope or dream to pursue. When someone has something to look forward to each day, it gives them courage to rise above their fears. If someone is facing fears that causes them not to do what they’ve always wanted to do, I would tell them that behind every fear is a lie. Once I discovered the truth was going to set me free from these lies, then I decided to believe them instead of the deception. I don’t believe in stepping out of my comfort zone, but rather expand it. What we do in our comfort zone we can do it in a new way.

    I was so isolated that I received just 7 hugs one year. Not a lot of loving affection during that period of time in my life. So I can relate to those who may not having any familyor friends who frequently visit and give them a hug.

  62. Finding my Joy.

    Several years ago I began a business that I felt in my heart would make a difference in the world and I would find the happiness I had been seeking all of my life. I had owned several businesses before, quite successful ones, but this new venture would leave is mark and bring me the fulfillment that had eluded me.

    When that business failed, along with the windfall of business failures in our current economic storm, I was devastated. My dream had been pulled out from beneath me and I was helpless to keep it alive.

    Everything in my life began to crumble around me. My husband lost his company, one of my children was diagnosed with a learning disorder and I was faced with the possibility of losing my home. We were living off of nothing more than credit cards and hope. It was then that I found myself in the throws of my mid-life crisis. My life was anything but joyful.

    I had lost my passion and enthusiasm I once had and I knew I needed to find myself again. Out of depression and desperation I created a notch in my day for me. At the recommendation of a friend I started walking each morning. I began getting up every morning a half-hour before anyone else to venture outside. In the beginning it wasn’t easy, it was dark and cold and I thought I must be crazy. But in those morning walks I discovered the glory of the sunrise and the opportunity that came with each new day. The fresh calm air cleared my mind, my body and my soul, and I began to reconnect with myself.

    In my thirty minutes a day of introspection and contemplation I made brilliant discoveries about myself. I wasn’t in a mid-life crisis. I was in a mid-life awareness, a mid-life reawakening, a mid-life rebirth. It was in those morning walks that I began to find myself and see the possibilities of life. I discovered that my life is nothing more than my own perceptions and sometimes illusions.

    In the quiet of morning I found gratitude. I stopped focusing on the tragedy and instead began to focus on my abundance, focus on everything good and right in my life. When I did it caused a shift in my perception. My attitude began to shift from negative to positive and the ache in my heart melted away.

    It was from this place of gratitude that I was able to forgive and let go of blame. I had blamed my partner for the loss of my business, blamed my husband for making poor financial choices and blamed the school for failing to recognize my child’s. In my letting go of blame I discovered freedom. A massive burden lifted from me that allowed me to move more freely though my life.

    And I became more self-centered. Not in a hurtful selfish way that took from anyone else, but in a way that was beautiful and uplifting for myself and those around me. I simply created more time to connect with my body, my mind and my soul. I began treating my body with the respect it deserves by feeding it healthy nutritious food. I pushed my morning walks from the slow pace I started with into running. I started reading more books that improved my spirit, and I began writing. My pen connected me to my source of inspiration and in the process I found my purpose.

    In focusing on myself and my own needs I began overflowing with patience and compassion for myself, my family and the world around me. In my compassion for myself I discovered the joy I had been seeking all of my life was always within me. All I had ever needed to do was take the time to look for it.

    It took a massive breakdown of everything I thought I knew to bring me back to myself. And although the chaos still surrounds me it cannot infiltrate my spirit. I am protected by the light that exists within me. I found myself and I found my joy.

  63. My book, “From Victim To Warrior” is about to be released in April. It’s a memoir of how I shifted from a victim mentality to a warrior one and therefore changed my life. Here is an exercise that has helped me find forgiveness. Forgiveness is for you, to heal and let go, to stop reliving your pain and to find true freedom and happiness.

    Do you ever notice a dog, how it’ll bark the whole day when you’re gone, get all worked up and as soon as you walk in the door all it gives you is love? There are no hard feelings, no, “where have you been?”, “How come you locked me up the whole day?” A dog does not hold any grudges. Little children neither. If you look at a toddler you’ll notice how she will kick her arms and legs, scream at the top of her lungs and then when she’s done with that go right back to loving you.
    I think back to when my children were young. All they had was love for me. As time went on they learned how to hold grudges. In fact I noticed how my middle one literally would look toward her older sister to see how she should react to what I was telling her. At those times I wished some magical being would swoop my teenage daughter out of the house so my younger girl can make her own decisions.
    In my life I have had to learn the art and act of forgiveness countless times. At first I held on to my victim role thinking that by making the other person wrong, holding that grudge firm would actually help me. What I didn’t realize at that time was simply all that was doing was hindering me from being happy. There are many things that people do to us that can seem unforgivable. But it’s only in letting it go and finding love in our hearts again that we can truly heal and be free of that dense energy. To find peace in our hearts and live a life of true happiness, it’s only in forgiveness and compassion that we can find that deep inner peace we all strive for.
    Osho says on forgiveness that, “It is not a question of whether a person is worthy or not. The question is whether your heart is ready or not.”
    A true understanding of forgiveness is to realize that there are no bad people. Everyone is divine. There are actions that are bad or the opposite of what we would recognize as divine. Perhaps the “soul”, notice my writing on that word, the “soul” purpose to experience that was simply to experience forgiveness. If we understood that there are no accidents then everything that comes our way we would bless, even those actions we deemed horrific.
    A master is one that takes every situation and looks for the opportunity, the blessings and love.

    As a child I had experienced tremendous physical abuse from my father. The abuse got so great at times I actually thought I would die. I grew up having horrible thoughts of hate and revenge. As I evolved and began to awaken to a new consciousness I realized that part of my healing was to completely forgive my father. I sat back and realized that he played his part perfectly. He acted as the sadistic,crazy man he is in order to push me to the understanding of what love, surrender, peace and forgiveness is. He got me to experience on the deepest level true love, a place so blissful that only the act of the total opposite could’ve produced it. In order to really experience something we need to understand and experience the opposite.

    Many years after the abuse I sat down and decided to write a letter to him. The beginning of the letter dealt with all of the actions he had done to me. There was blame, anger and tremendous pain in the letter. As I continued to write, I began writing words of forgiveness and love. Tears came streaming down my eyes. The letter ended with pure love. There was no anger left. I looked at what I wrote and was overwhelmed with emotion. It was a mixture of love and grief. I realized that I was allowing myself to heal. I had finally let go of all the pent up anger I had toward my father.

    I never sent the letter to him. The main purpose of the letter was for me to release the negative and bring forth the positive. That letter proved to be one of the most healing moments of my life.

    I did the same exercise to several people who I had felt wronged me. You can be completely justified in how you feel but the only one you are hurting by holding onto your anger is yourself.

    If there is someone in your life you would like to forgive, let go or heal from I recommend you try this exercise. Be ready to experience different levels of many emotions. You might be surprised as to how deep some of them are. That’s a really good thing. Don’t be frightened with emotions. Emotions are good. Let them out. Don’t allow anyone to stop your flow of emotions. It’s how you will heal.
    Begin with writing down what the “wronged action” is. It can be several or just one. Write down your feelings. When you are done with that begin to find forgiveness in your heart. Try not to stop writing. Allow the flow to continue. Just keep writing, even if it’s jibberish. Once you have written the forgiveness, see if you can extend love to that person. It might not happen right away. Keep trying. The act of love, no matter how hard you need to try is authentic and very powerful. Once you’ve done that sit in quiet. Allow any emotion that is coming up to flow. Watch and feel as your heavy rock unloads from your spine. Watch the light penetrate to your center and allow the bliss to flow into all your cells.

  64. My name is Michelle and I am 39 yr old Mom of 3 amazing boys! I am happily married – but my story did not start that way. Started out when I was 26 yrs old, and married to someone whom I am now divorced to. We had a 10 month old son at the time – well he decided that he did not want to be married anymore and left me. Come to find out that the story thickens as he is dating a 16 yr old Junior in High SChool. That felt good for the self esteem, and trust. I was devastated! Could not get out of bed for days, family would come and take turns taking care of my son for me – all I could do was cry. I just couldn’t imagine that this was my life. What did I do to deserve this horrible thing happening? Why me??? What did I ever do to him? He treated me like the trash he took out that day to the curb! Well after a few weeks of that nonsense I tried to go out to the store – that in of itself caused me to be depressed. So I made the decision to get up and not let him take anything else away from me! I deserved to be happy – I deserved to have a family – just because he did not want one did not mean I did not. I knew what I wanted in my life and I was going to make sure that happened. I was very fortunate to meet the real person I was to spend the rest of my life with! The father that my son deserved! In order for me to move on I had to accept myself and not hold onto bitterness as it only caused more distress. It took about a year for me to learn that and go through that process. I will never forget what happened.but hanging on to that only caused more resentment. Michelle Morton

  65. My journey of forgiveness, self-acceptance, and real understanding of who and what I am came in a big rush, at 9-day retreat called the Hoffman Process.

    For as many of my 40-odd years as I could remember, I’d always felt that there was “something missing” deep inside me–a hollowness. Looking back, I think I was angry at that absence, as if I’d been denied something; my anger took the form of cynicism and sarcasm. Although I had success and friends, I was a sad soul. The deep dive the Process provided into childhood learnings, misperceptions about my parents, and my until-then-hidden spirituality blew me wide, wide open. I forgave, I embraced, I swooned in the presence of my true self. I’ve never been the same, and I’m deeply grateful for the way my inner self finally dragged me into the light, and for the Hoffman Process being there as the piece of genius it is.

    So, that’s my (short) story. Hope it helps. I would highly recommend the Process to anyone who is depressed or bothered by doing the same dumb things over and over.

    http://www.hoffmaninstitute.org

  66. Surviving Love and Relationships with Alcoholics & Addicts

    I was married to the love of my life. About 5 years after marriage she turned to prescription drugs for ADHD. Not long after she began using illegal drugs. At the time our daughter was 6 years old and I suddenly found myself becoming a single Dad.

    Our marriage hit the rocks and her drug and alcohol abuse skyrocketed. I tried everything in my power to “fix” the problem, nothing worked. I began to work even harder to simply “change” her back to who she was before, again nothing worked. She dropped all of her responsibilities and began creating crisis after crisis.

    I was left to deal with everything. The resentment which grew inside of me was staggering. It’s amazing how you can love someone for who they were and simultaneously hate them for who they’ve become. One of my struggles was letting go of this “prefect family” image I tried to keep going. I also did not want to accept the position I had been placed in.

    Once I finally accepted that this is how things were and what I wanted was gone, I was able to forgive and move on. It takes time, don’t get me wrong, but it eventually comes. Each day I took a piece of my life, which had forever changed, and accepted it. Day by day I worked through this process. IMPORTANT NOTE: This will only work if you set out a direction and stick to it!

    James Ross
    Author & Speaker
    http://www.JamesInspires.com

  67. The post gave us an important Brainstorm session of all the options we could make use of on our blog.

  68. Great article. There’s a lot of good data here, though I did want to let you know something – I am running Mac OS X with the up-to-date beta of Firefox, and the layout of your blog is kind of funky for me. I can understand the articles, but the navigation doesn’t function so good.

  69. Regarding Gratitude….

    For many years, there didn’t seem to be much for which to be grateful. My childhood was filled with challenges, such as being taken away from my birth mother when I was three, attending boarding school from 3-5, being in a military family and moving to 14 different homes during my first 17 years of life, being physically and sexually abused, and a host of other more minor insults! People did not talk about gratitude during those years, except for my father, who insisted I should always be grateful for my step-mother (who was physically abusive to me)! You can imagine that I didn’t want to have anything to do with “gratitude,” with that association! In the early 1970’s, however, I started attending Spiritual Awareness classes. There, I learned many things, including a quote: “Gratitude is the Law of Increase. Be Grateful for the crumbs; and the loaves will follow.” This was an amazing concept to me, especially when paired with another thing I learned (now ratified by Quantum Physics), that wherever I placed my attention, I fed energy, and what was there tended to grow. I realized that by placing my attention on all the horrible things of my past, they would just grow and fester. However, I could slowly teach myself to focus on the good things of my present, and these, because of gratitude, would increase. That has proven to be totally true. Today is Valentine’s Day. My life is SO different than it was in the early 1970’s. I am married to a wonderful man, doing the work I love, am surrounded by a loving family, feel emotionally balanced about 95% of the time, have great things happening “to me” almost every day, and am happy. I even appreciate and am grateful for all of those hard times of my childhood, knowing they are what have shaped me into the person I am today! I’m so excited about all of this that I want to shout it from the rooftops–and I am. I am creator/host of three Internet radio programs, Full Power Living (www.emotionalpro.com), and Taking My Turn and Building Conscious Families (www.thewinonline.com). I’m writing books and articles, guesting on others’ radio programs, and a number of other things that allow me to share the wonderful things I’ve learned for making a better life, not in spite of all that has occurred in my life, but because it has and I am grateful for every bit!

  70. You raise a question about working my way through emotions…..Dr. Jeffrey Masson was a guest on my Internet radio program (Full Power Living, http://www.emotionalpro.com). He is the author of the bestselling book, When Elephants Weep. He collected stories from around the world that demonstrated that animals do have emotions, something that a lot of scientists still dispute. As I read his book, I became aware that animals deal with emotions in a very forthright and brilliant way. Their behavior is instructive to us humans; we need to follow their example! What happens is that 1) an incident/experience occurs that brings up emotion in the animal, 2) the animal registers this emotion immediately and proceeds to work with the emotion (growling, running in fright, becoming aggressive, etc.) 3) When the action proves successful (the intruder leaves, the animal reaches a safe place, the fight is over), the animal immediately returns to normal behavior, the emotion apparently gone. What do humans do differently? We hold onto the emotion with our brains (ruminating, harboring, nursing our pain). Instead, what we need to learn to do is 1) have the experience, 2) allow ourselves to feel the emotion(s) that arises, 3) take action as a result of the emotion’s signal to us, 4) let it go (“to forgive” means “to let go”), allowing the emotion to leave us and move away from us, and 5) identify and learn the lesson inherent in the incident (otherwise we’ll just have a repeat of similar incidents, because we are meant to learn something!). Working with emotions is really quite simple. If you have held onto them for years, they will have built up inside of you, and will feel scary to release (you might want to get some therapeutic help for this). Once that stored-up energy is released, however, you can work with emotions just in this way. We cannot “get rid of” anger, but we can learn to process and use it, and let it go, so that it no longer presents a problem to us, but is, instead, allowed to work as the tool it is intended to be for us.

  71. I feel sad when I hear people discussing “coping with” and “managing” anger, because what I have discovered makes doing these things unnecessary and shows them to be the partially-effective remedy they really are! I’m a “Recovering Angry (and Depressed) Person” (now known as The Emotional Pro!) who has had the deep pleasure of coming to a better understanding of emotions and anger, one that allows a person to “master” anger instead of working so hard to keep it under control.

    Here is some of what I have learned. 1) Emotions are given to us humans as tools, available 24/7, designed to help us navigate life.

    2) Each emotion offers us a different “signal” that relates to the action we are intended to take. For example, Love signals us to “come closer.” Anger’s signal is twofold: a) that a picture we hold in our minds of how something is “supposed to be” in the world has been violated. We think something “should” happen (and it doesn’t) or it “should not” happen (and it does). If our “shoulds” were correct, they could never be violated; the fact that they get violated offers the “signal” that our picture is incorrect and needs to be changed. BTW, “shoulds” can be changed; frequently they’re not even ours! b) that we need to take action.

    3) Emotions are “energy in motion” (e-motion), which indicates that they need to move (through us). Emotions, especially anger, become “negative” or “bad” when we block that movement by holding onto them. Any emotion held inside tends to grow (get worse or more powerful). We need to keep them moving, yet remember the principle “Get emotions out of you, but not onto others.” Scribbling with a crayon on a large piece of newsprint paper, speaking it out in the shower or into the wind at the beach, writing a “hate letter” we never send, or breathing deeply (moving the diaphragm) are ways of getting this emotional energy moving. Depression has been defined as “anger, turned inward on the self, that we are afraid of getting into trouble for expressing.” In my experience, usually in adults this is anger that we “would have gotten into trouble for expressing” when we were children. A lot of depression can be relieved by learning to express the anger (Note: do not claim anger as “my anger”!). You don’t need an audience for this expression–you just need to say it out loud!

    4) Every experience in life offers us something to learn. Learn the lesson of the experience and you don’t have to keep repeating that experience. A woman I knew got angry with her mother for criticizing her. At age 54, she thought he mother “should not” criticize her. When she accepted that criticizing was her mother’s “best thing,” she started counting the criticism (which made her laugh) and accepting the fact of who her mother really was. Amazingly, in a few short weeks, her mother stopped criticizing her! The lesson had to do with accepting who other people are, rather than going into resistance over who we want them to be.

    When you are filled up with anger, applying this information presents a challenge, so you may need help at first. Once this “system” is in place in your own mind and you learn to work with anger in a masterful way, however, this information is nothing short of miraculous. We are in a time in history where bringing ourselves to emotional balance is both possible and indicated for us. Please, don’t think you have to keep “managing” anger, because when you deal with it as the tool and friend it is designed to be, your entire life will transform!

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Ilene Dillon, MSW, has worked as a Transpersonal Psychotherapist and Marriage, Family and Child Counselor, for nearly 40 years. She is the author of 10 handbooks helping parents teach their children how to work powerfully with the emotions of anger, grief, guilt, hurt, fear, jealousy, loneliness, intimacy, love, and shame and remorse. Ilene is a Professional Speaker, Internet radio host, acknowledged Expert and is known as The Emotional Pro!

  72. I’ve personally dealt with panic attacks my whole life. It started when I was just a child and I’ve had to deal with them since then. I finally found a solution that has helped me get them done once and for all. I will tell you that it wasn’t quick or easy, but after a while I was able to finally get rid of them. I’m no longer dealing with them and its like I’ve started a new life not having panic attacks. I also saw a Dr. Oz special a few days ago, sometimes it isn’t a panic attack that is the root of the problem, I’d also recommend talking to your doctor. I wish you the best!

  73. This is the foreword from my new book, ‘Insiders:Outsiders – Personal Journeys Through Depression From Both Sides of the Divide’ which is available from my website. I hope you find this of some use.
    The Shorter Oxford Dictionary definition of Depression is:

    1. “The action of pressing down, or fact of being pressed down. The action of lowering or process of sinking, the condition of being lowered”.
    2. “A depressed formation on a surface, a low place”.
    3. “A lowering of quality, vigour or amount; the state of being lowered”.
    4. “Reduction to a lower degree or power”.
    5. “Dejection”

    You will notice that aside from No.5, Dejection, there is no direct mention of depression being a state of mental illness but the definitions, whilst referring to other meanings for the word, could equally apply to how a depressive could feel. Dejection, on the other hand is defined as:

    1. “The action of casting down, the fact of being cast down”.
    2. “Casting down, abasement, humiliation”.
    3. “Depression of spirits, dejected condition”.
    4. “Lowering of force or strength”.
    5. “That which is dejected”.

    I suspect that those of you who are reading this book who have or have had depression will resonate with these definitions of both depression and dejection but in no way do they adequately or accurately describe how you feel, think or behave.

    I must admit to being surprised at the lack of a clear definition for the mental state of depression but, at the same time, not surprised in that to each person with depression it will mean something completely different, a state that defies proper and meaningful definition in something as bland and inhuman as a dictionary.

    My intention in compiling this book is to share with you my own personal experiences of depression, how it has affected me and the people I share the world with. I have also included accounts from other people, people who are not rich or famous but are very special and unique who have either been affected by depression themselves, the insiders, or have lived and cared for people with depression, the outsiders.

    There are many books available on the subject of depression, reference books, medical books, self-help books and books documenting personal journeys through depression, usually by well know public figures. The accounts in this book are deeply personal to the contributors and they have shown great courage and enlightenment by sharing their experiences of painful times with a wider audience. Writing my own account proved to be an extremely cathartic exercise in the ongoing personal management of my severe clinical depression and has become an effective self-developmental process in ending the struggle and dancing with life.

    This book is unusual in that I have attempted to combine accounts of what it is like to live with depression and what it is like for those that live and care for depression sufferers. You will discover that there are many facets to depression and each contributor has their own unique experiences and stories to tell. It is hoped that those of you who read this book who have or have had depression, will gain a greater insight and understanding of the impact on those around you, particularly those who are closest to you, and the anguish and the pain they go through as they watch you in your dark days. It is also my wish that those of you who are the carers will learn more about the inner feelings, thoughts and emotions of those who walk alongside the black dog. For those readers who have never yet experienced depression, either as a sufferer or a carer, will hopefully take away an insight to help you better understand a condition that is so common yet so misunderstood.

    None of the words in this book, however, can really be a substitute for the actual experience each person affected by depression goes through, either the cared for or the carer. They will hopefully, inspire you to alter your perspectives on the illness and make you think and behave differently in a way that can support and encourage the goal of lessening the power of depression and to bring light and laughter to those dark days when all seems lost.

    The power of love, understanding and positive belief is unlimited and we must strive to maximise their potential so that it may negate the power of anger, frustration and dark thoughts. Believe it is so and it will be realised, seek and you shall find.

    This is not the first start in my journey through life, this started with the onset of my depression some 30 years ago, but it is the start of my understanding that my depression is a gift to me in order that I may help others in a similar place. A gift, I hear you say. Yes, the moment I realised it as so it changed my perspective completely and I have now embraced it and believed it to be my destiny and this has given me my true purpose in life. How many people can say they truly know what they were put on this earth for? It is better to embrace your foe than to fight them for you shall find a friend that can teach you many things about yourself you otherwise would not have found. Use this friend to take you to a higher level of understanding, enlightenment and empowerment. I am doing so and I am now starting the second journey through my life, one in which there will be no insiders and no outsiders.

  74. Depression can be very debilitating. It can even destroy one’s potential to live the best life of being on top of one’s game. Family and friends recognize the change and without intent, can add to the depression by pulling away.
    When a physician is involved, he or she is quick to prescribe medication which in and of itself can create medical side effects that can trigger suicide. One becomes a guina pig, trying one drug after another to find that right medication that brings peace from racing thoughts or anxiety driven paranoia, but nothing CURES. This equates to a lifetime of drugs to feel ‘normal’ which means functional in regards to someone else’s perspective of ‘normal’. Reports of side effects from these drugs such as muscle spasms or fog , and even heightened thoughts of suicide only make one susceptible to another ‘choice’ drug and referral to psychological therapy. Medically everyone’s passing the buck, and I mean buck as a money maker.
    I believe psychological therapy could be a remedy, but unfortunately the obvious clock watch and expense can be very disheartening to the one on the couch.
    This is only my opinion. What are your thoughts?

  75. I’ve suffered with depression most of my life, and after a younger sibling passed away unexpectedly this year my grief was compounded by thoughts of how she had actually committed suicide by becoming an anorexic alcoholic. I knew that my mother had unconsciously programmed us for depression when we were young by constantly telling us she felt like crashing her car into a tree rather than come home to us because WE were making her a nervous wreck. After writing my own book my daughter gave me Joel Osteen’s book, ‘Become A Better You,’to assist my healing. I received affirmation in this book that depression CAN be passed down for generations through the bloodline, but once it is recognized as such it can be overturned through prayer. With writing my book, ‘Born To Return The Gift’ my healing began, and with Joel Osteen’s ‘Your Best Life Begins Each Morning’ I receive encouragement to begin each day with a smile.

  76. My book, ‘Born To Return The Gift’ is a novel that chronicles a woman’s battle with depression. It is not a self help book but it is a product of excellence with the overall motive to affect people positively.

  77. Depression can attack you like a stormn out of the blue. I wrote all about my depression and how it led to my failed suicide attempt in my book “LESSONS FROM 1 NORTH: A GUIDE TO LIFE OUTSIDE THE ASYLUM”. The good news is that there is tons of help and life after suicide.

  78. Hello,

    Boy, I would be here all night and need a valium IV if I began to tell my stupid story!

    Diana G

  79. I have spent almost two decades fighting the disease (and it is a disease). Depression runs in both sides of my family, and looking back, I can remember times as a teen where I was probably depressed and not just “moody.” But my first bout of clinical depression was brought on by a series of losses, including an early miscarriage, moving, and financial worries.

    On the outside, I kept everything together. After all, I was a minister’s wife. I couldn’t suffer from depression, could I? What would people say?
    I was ashamed. Mostly, because I felt God had abandoned me, and I didn’t know where to turn.
    By the time I finally admitted I needed help, I was sleeping much of the time. I periodically suffered from a racing heart and shortness of breath. My appetite was gone, and I had no energy. I felt despair. And I saw no way out.

    Thankfully, my hubby Carey talked to a counselor in our church. She recommended a Christian counseling clinic where she used to work.
    For months, for an hour once a week, I sat with a lovely woman and poured out my story. I don’t remember much of the advice she gave me, but I know she listened. She also recommended I work through the book Search for Significance.

    Those weeks literally changed my life by teaching me to replace the lies I had believed (I have to be perfect, God can’t love me, I’m only significant when I’m accomplishing things) with the truth from His word (God loves me unconditionally, He’s the only perfect one, and I don’t have to do a thing to be loved by Him).

    My counselor also helped me find other tools to keep the disease at bay. I now make time to take my medicine (I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism after having our first child, so I take meds for that condition, as well as depression), read and meditate on scripture, connect deeply with friends and family members, exercise, and reach out to others who are hurting. There’s nothing like seeing others who are worse off than me to put things in perspective!
    I’ve had other bouts of depression since that first one, but now I know what to do. I go back to counseling, talk to my husband to let him know what’s going on, and cut back on my responsibilities. I make adjustments in my life, and usually find that I’ve been taking care of everyone else but me. Not good!
    That’s why the holidays are dangerous for me. My routine gets out of whack, and I forget to pace myself.

    Maybe you’re experiencing mood swings or changes in your sleep or appetite. If it lasts more than a few days, I urge you to get help. There are doctors and counselors who can give you the tools you need to climb out of your despair. Don’t suffer alone—and don’t be ashamed. Most people will experience depression at one time or another.
    Depression may always lurk in the background of my life, like a wolf waiting to pounce—but I know how to fight him off now.
    Thank God!

  80. In the past I had times when I was down and out, depressed and not wanting to interact with life anymore. Even going so far down to staying in bed for two months one winter in Australia. I had two men in my life at that time that were extremely loving and supportive with me. My husband, Gilles, and our boss, Mark.

    Gilles would constantly try to reach me in the place of numbness I had fallen into. He would encourage me to talk about how I was feeling, and the times when I wasn’t able to find the words and would just cry, he would rub my back and just be a strong presence that I knew I could trust, and that loved me unconditionally. He supported me in every decision I made and celebrated every step of the way as I was able to take back my life, to understand my behaviors, and to move into the place that I find myself now. One of healthy mind, body and spirit.

    Our boss, Mark, was someone who presented a different perspective to me. Gently urging me to look at myself and the choices that I was making. And giving me clues as to which direction I could choose to go in. It was his unwavering faith, encouragement, trust and love that also gave me the permission to really go for it, and to learn and grow into the empowered women I am today.

    If you are feeling down about any part of life, look around you, ask for the support you need to be shown to you. If you are open to help, it is there waiting for you. I am living proof of that.

    Holding the space for us all to embrace the light side of ourselves one step at a time.

  81. 5 years ago – the night before I was turning in my resignation to my cooshy exec. job with a large shopping center developer – I got cold feet. Up until that point, I was excited to be entering the world of entrepreneurs but the night before my big day – I was scared. I called my Dad. He listened to me talk in circles and then he began to ask me a series of questions. He asked me to recall all the accomplishments in my life… both big and little. Then, he asked me “what is the common denominator in each success?” “Me” was the answer. He said – if I’ve achieved those accomplishments and I’m the common denominator, then this next goal is no different because I still have the one key, successful ingredient “Me”. That was it – less than 3 mins. and I had my courage restored to full blast.

    Fast forward 5 years….

    After I graduated from college I lived with my parents for a few months until I got my dream job with the aforementioned shopping center developer. On the night before I was moving out and moving to OH, my Dad came into my bedroom and sat down next to me and said that if I never remembered anything else that he ever told me in my entire life – he wanted me to remember these two things… and he handed me a little yellow sticky note and in his hand writing it said “Set your sails forward and don’t look back.” “Cream always rises to the top”. All these years later I still have that sticky note and I’ve always lived by those words.

  82. Fear is an unseen enemy that can emotinally cripple and quickly erode your life. I suffered from anxiety, panic and fear for most of my adult life. Too afraid to leave my home city for more than 20 years, scared of bridges, traffic, shopping centers…the list was long and convoluted. Although I am a scientist at one of the top medical schools in the country, my analytical brain hurt me more than helped me. But here’s the good news…what I found out was that when you want to make deep and lasting changes, recovery begins first on the inside. But one major gap is having the confidence to take a risk, a risk to get better and to heal. This is where my friend Pam, a middle school math teacher, saved my life. She was the friend and confidante I needed and appeared in my life at just the right time and the right place.

    Although I laid the groundwork for healing by learning to disagree with the terribilizing voice within, Pam gave me the push and the arm I needed to shakily take those first baby steps. Pam not only encouraged me to take my first flight, she went with me. She held my hand as the plane ascended above the foggy St. Louis morning into the bright sunlight. It was shocking, but I wasn’t afraid at all, I felt a new emotion…elated! As Pam held my hand as we continued our ascent, I glanced over to her. She had tears welling up in her eyes. Pam knew my struggles very well and had helped and encouraged me each step along the way. Now, she realized something else…I was taking my first steps into totally healing from a lifelong disability. Pam’s friendship and gentle touch was all I needed to give me the confidence that all the power I really needed, was already inside of me.

    Now, I have flown all over the world, spoken at talks packed with scientists and even wrote a book in a quest to offer that ‘arm’ to others who also are struggling. My dream is that what I learned will help others. By working from the inside out, by learning to take a risk, you can overcome not just some, but all of your challenges with grace and style.

    For more information see http://www.anxietyrescuebook.com or contact Kathryn Tristan tristan@anxietyrescuebook.com 314-503-6256

    “Our thoughts create our lives…we must choose them wisely!” –Kathryn Tristan

  83. Dear Ms. Gallagher,

    I hope this note finds you well – thank you for helping others!

    Growing up I played baseball and developed a great relationship with one of my coaches. As I got older, I moved on and played baseball in high school and at a junior college. We stayed in touch some but not as often as before.

    There was a period in my life – after high school – that I was really making some poor decisions. I knew that I was not doing what I should be but that did not matter at the time. My parents would tell me that I was messing up with no luck – when you are 19 mom and dad’s opinion does not always mean much.

    At this point, my old baseball coach called me. I was living in a different state and he got my number from my parents and just called to let me know that he was there if I needed someone to talk to. I ended up telling him about the mistakes I was making and he just listened without being critical. After I was done, he offered me some words of encouragement that changed me.

    It was his words that snapped me out of my irresponsible frame of mind. I got my act together and began living up to my potential. I started doing much better in school and stopped making foolish choices.

    It has been 13 years since that talk. My old coach is no longer with us physically- he passed away much too early last year – but he remains with me in spirit. I am now a husband, father of two little girls, a special education teacher and an author. Without my coach’s words and encouragement, I don’t know where I would be today.

    Thanks so much Ms. Gallagher!

    Sincerely,
    Danny Kofke
    How To Survive (and perhaps thrive) On A Teacher’s
    Salary
    http://www.dannykofke.blogspot.com

  84. I was a very troubled teenager during the 1960’s. Somehow I found a couple of Yoga books and read them, and thankfully they resonated with me. However, the real turning point was in finding my Yoga teacher in 1967. This master was my guiding light and I have no doubt that my life would have fallen into ruin had I not found her. She saw in my dedication to learning all of the deeper philosophies of Yoga, the natural talent I had to teach it. At that time Yoga teachers were not easy to find in NJ. And, those of us who did Yoga were considered strange, so it was a challenge! I studied with her for about 3 1/2 years and it changed my life forever, as Yoga was taught very differently then. As her only protege’, I spent alot of time with her learning about the history of Yoga, the practice of it, the application of it in one’s life, how to properly teach it. Through it I have achieved a life long health benefit, overcame severe depression and went on to host a Yoga TV show, “Yours Truly, Yoga” on one of the educational stations. I have continued to remain in active duty, as it were, in the world of Yoga and am recognized as an expert, sitting on advisory boards, and often being a guest on TV and radio as well as in print. I would like to pay homage in this paragraph to my teacher, GuruMa Muriel, who, by the way is still teaching to this day, even at an advanced age. She gave me a gift that I can only repay by sharing it forward with others. My advice is to take your Yoga practice and learn to apply it in your life. Study it’s philosophy and ancient wisdom and enjoy your own life changing journey (be willing to change yourself for the better)…..what a trek that will be! 2009 Recipient of the Jewel of India Award. The Yoga Diva with the Flying Carpet! “Remember To Keep smiling and think happy thoughts.”

  85. Love this thread. This is an audio interview I did about yoga and boxing and the power of the mind.
    and the power of my HE-RO (barry ‘the brawler’ becker) Having people in our life support us is huge in our healing and yes, yoga is a remedy for everything.

    You can listen online. I”m the July 6 interview in the archives. I hope you enjoy it.

    http://www.MotivationalMindsRadio.com

    this is an article I wrote for Yoga Chicago magazine, along the same thread.

    http://yogachicago.com/jul09/yogaboxing.shtml

    namaste, sumya
    I look forward to hearing more inspiring stories of healing.

    I want to “Beat the Health Out of You”

    http://www.sumya.com
    Former 4x World Champion Boxer
    Yoga Alliance Certified Teacher 500 hours
    Personal Trainer
    Massage Therapist

    Empower yourself with 7 habits of health for Body, Mind & Spirit.

    • Thank you, Sumya. I know nothing about yoga but if you tell me it is the cure for everything, I am so ready to try it. So here is my commitment to you, this week I will go to a Yoga class.

  86. I was in the third grade when Mrs. Agnes Conner changed my life. I had been sexually abused by a neighbor when I was 6 and just starting school. I couldn’t concentrate and was dyslexic on top of it. I was depressed and thought I was horrid and stupid. Mrs Conner didn’t pressure me to perform, she focused on what I was good at, and what I liked to do. I drew a lot. It was all I could do well. She praised me and encouraged me in art, even getting one of my paintings in an All City show, where I won first prize. Slowly I began to come out of my shell and she encouraged my reading by helping me find books I liked. She also encouraged me to write and hugged me. She made me feel like I was an acceptable, likable person again. She made me promise not to ever smoke cigarettes (which I never did). I struggled to read but by the 4th grade I was reading, and by the 6th grade I was reading at a 12th grade level. Sadly, we moved to a different school district after third grade and a I never saw her again. But I can tell you that I would not have graduated from High School, much less achieved a Masters Degree graduating Summa Cume Laude if not for Mrs Conner!

    • Melody,
      Oh, don’t you wish there were more Mrs. Conner’s out there to help all of the little children who need her love and warmth? This is a topic that I care very much about. Thank you and please visit again soon. We have to find Mrs. Agnes Connner! Does anybody know her? An Oprah topic, for sure!

  87. I’ve had several “angels” who believed in me along the way. One in particular was my Grade 7 and 8 teacher, Mrs. Hagey, who knew that I was struggling with a difficult family situation – my sister and my youngest brother had both been diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis, and I was full of sorrow and rage. One of my outlets was writing poetry. Mrs. Hagey would walk up and down the aisles during math class looking over everyone’s shoulders. She knew I was writing poems instead of doing long division, but she never chastised me. Instead, she told the class that one day I would be a great writer, and asked me to read my poems to the class. By doing so, she let me know I’d been seen, and that she believed in me. All these years later, that kernel of belief and hope she planted in me is in the book I’ve written, “Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister’s Memoir,” a story of fighting for your life and your dreams and never giving up.

    I’ve had several angels since Mrs. Hagey who have lifted me up through my journey, or caught me when I fell. I’m grateful to all of them.

    I am also blessed by the legacy left to me by my late sister. I learned these tenents by witnessing her struggle against physical deterioration and depression while growing up with a life threatening illness. Although she lost her battle at the age of 26, her legacy lives on for all of us.

    THE 5 PILLARS OF PAM’S LEGACY

    Copyright 2008 Heather Summerhayes Cariou
    Sixtyfive Roses: A Sister’s Memoir
    http://www.sixtyfiverosesthebook.com

    WE CAN’T CONTROL LIFE BY BEING AFRAID OF IT.

    So often we make our decisions from a place of fear. Fear separates us from our abilities. It does not protect us, nor will it alter an outcome. Being afraid is natural, but acting out of fear is not the same as using your survival instinct. When we choose to move forward despite our fear, our abilities are empowered, our faith is restored, and our hopes are renewed.

    THE ONLY POWER WE HAVE IS OUR POWER TO CHOOSE HOW WE RESPOND TO WHAT LIFE SETS BEFORE US.

    We are not defined by our circumstances, but by our possibilities. When we cannot change what life sets before us, we are challenged to change ourselves. At any given moment we can choose despair or hope, revenge or forgiveness, fear or faith. The choice is always ours to make, and therein lies our power.

    THERE IS JOY TO BE FOUND IN EACH DAY.

    No matter what our circumstances, if we take the chance and opportunity of seeking out beauty in the world around us, there are moments in every day that can be treasured. These moments of joy may be small, but they are powerful. If you can’t find the beauty and joy in your day, create it.

    UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GIVING UP AND SURRENDER.

    Giving up is an act of anger or despair. It implies there’s still some fight left, some unfinished business to complete. Surrender is a release, a letting go. There is peace and contentment in knowing there is nothing more to give, or receive. Surrender can only be accomplished with love.

    NEVER GIVE UP!

    Become a Warrior on behalf of your own life!

  88. In January of 1973 I received a personal thank you from a college chemistry teacher. She thanked me for attending the second half of her course ( I had been in the hospital during the first half). Her thank you took on special meaning in the summer of 1976. That was when that same chemistry professor became the first female president of the American Chemical Society

  89. When I was 25 years old, I was a mother of three small boys. I was married, living in a mobile home and I was a stay-home housewife & mother. When I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.) I had relapsing/remitting incidents with loss of vision, weakness & numbness in my legs, lack of bowel and bladder control and difficulty walking. I was scared, my boys didn’t understand, my parents were in denial and my husband didn’t deal with it at all. In fact, two years, later, he left us and I went through a very painful divorce. Trying to find a job was my first task. With no work experience, after being a stay-home mom for 11 years was hard enough, but was I supposed to tell the employer about my illness?

    Within a month of my separation, I had a job. The pay wasn’t extraordinary but I was just excited to have a place to work. The lady who hired me and trained me was about my parents’ age. She seemed very businesslike but she also had a very fun, friendly personality and the warmest smile. The more time we spent together, the more I learned about her. It seemed that I was reliving a chapter in her life. She was once a single mom trying to raise her children on her own. She worked a hard 40 hours a week. She had problems getting her child support just as I was. She loved to dance and have fun and she had waited o ut for her Prince Charming.

    Each time, I told her about a tragedy in my life, she seemed to have a comparable story to share. I’m sure at the time, it was stressful for her, but she taught me how to laugh about it. I found that I shouldn’t stress the small stuff. She gave me hope that things would get better for me someday. She made me see things in such a different way. After awhile she became my mentor. Not only did she teach me about office etiquette, she taught me how to carry myself with style: how to be pleasant, but firm; be warm & friendly, yet professional; and to keep my goals achievable. The most important lesson she taught me was the “Serenity Prayer”: God give me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the Courage to change the things I can’t; and the Wisdom to know the difference. I never realized how many things I could apply this to in my life.

    This very special lady is one of the strongest women I’ve known, yet she was so gentle at the same time. As a manager, she criticized in private and praised in public. She appreciated the little things and didn’t take the bad things out on me. She asked and didn’t accuse. She was determine d yet patient. What an amazing woman. The last time I talked to her before she passed on, both of her children were raised, married and had children of their own. They were a very close family and she was brave to the end in her second battle with breast cancer. I had always hoped that I could pass my knowledge down to others. To believe in them, be patient with them and teach them – to help them without criticism. Maybe I could even give advice about raising children and laugh at the things my sons did. Perhaps, I may even be able to introduce them to my Prince Charming who I waited for.

    Here I am now, several years later, with many job positions under my belt and I have had the opportunity to teach many women about work etiquette, style and hard work. I reminisce about some of the things my sons did that does seem more humorous now. I am married to my Prince Charming who I waited patiently for. I am proud to tell them about the Serenity Prayer and how they can apply it in their life – at work or at home.

    I am so proud to have known such a very special lady – my teacher, my employer, my friend, my mentor. — I miss you Berni: my Guardian Angel

    • Sherri –

      Thank you so much for your story. Your experience in waiting for your opportunity is a valuable insight. We look forward to any addtional stories you may wish to share in the future.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  90. A few years ago my life hit rock bottom. My ex wife and the mother of my children said she no longer wanted to be with me. I wanted to start over so I moved from Alabama to Georgia.

    Mind you, I had limited money, no job, and no place to stay. A childhood friend said I could sleep on his floor until I could get back on my feet.

    It was my first Friday night in a new city and my friend ask me to go out and dance. I refused at first but I later realized I needed to get out for some air.

    I asked an attractive young lady name Kim to dance and we grooved until the lights came on for us to go. We exchanged numbers. I never expected to meet someone so nice so quickly. Even crazier thing is that she lived 90 miles away.

    I was thinking about how my life had changed and I said woe. I looked into the bible and I saw the word woe. I also wanted to see how the dictionary defined woe. Woe meant trials or tribulations. In life a woe to you might be a job loss and to another it might be a broken relationship.

    One day I was thinking how I could reinvent my life so I wrote down the word woe on a piece of paper.

    As the document spoke to me it revealed that woe now meant WOE as in Word of Encouragement. From there I received this slogan. “Before you leave work or go to sleep tonight, give someone a WOE, a Word Of Encouragement.”

    I shared my concept of WOE with Kim and we decided that before we end our conversation each night someone had to give a WOE. Since we first danced we have been together for six years.

    She has been the light of my life. Kim helped me go from woe to WOE.

    Please watch my DEMO (Derrick’s Encouraging Message to Others)

    Encouragement Speaker Derrick Hayes
    “Give Someone a WOE, a Word of Encouragement”

    Creator of Derricknyms
    Author of 1 WORD Is All It Takes™ (Fall 2009)
    Publisher of The WORD http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=puyEcTCiQ1g
    info@derrickhayes.com
    http://www.derrickhayes.com
    (706) 615-1662
    (866) WOE-7879

    • Derrick –

      Thank you for your positive and encouraging messages. We look forward to your future contributions to the community.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  91. There are so many people who have fetched me out of the fire over my life, but one situation I remember for its altruism:

    In college, one of my jobs was a work-study position, one day a week at an office in which I felt I didn’t have much to offer. However, the secretaries were always most gracious to me, and one in particular always offered me a snack and conversation as the afternoon finished out.

    She could not know this, but I was in a miserable relationship at the time, and was usually quite sad, so her simple kindness and humanity became like a moat in my week. She, along with another dear friend, kept me afloat for the time when I was ready to escape the abuse.

    I thank God for such “guardian angels” which have blessed my life.

  92. I am the co-founder of a start-up company that I joined over 2.5 years ago. In one sense, it was an easy decision. I was going to get a chance to work with some of the leading researchers in positive psychology and I was going to have the opportunity to help people fight stress, anxiety, and depression, and help people create engaging, meaningful lives. On the other hand, I was going to leave a stable consulting career for a risky start-up that had an incredibly long list of issues.

    I am very fortunate to have a wife and a best friend who believed in me. I have reached out to both of them on numerous occasions and both have responded in different, but very helpful ways. My wife has been patient. She has had to cope with my mood swings, the possibility that the company will go out of business, and many other adversities that every start-up encounters.

    When I was weighing the decision to join the company, my best friend said something that will always stick with me, “In a year, or two, you are going to be telling people your own story of resilience and how you took this company from almost going out of business to being incredibly successful.” Since then, we have had dozens of pep talks that almost always start with his saying, “No matter what happens from here on out, you should be very proud of what you have done…”

    Every day is challenging with this company. But, every day, I know that I can count on these two to believe in me.

  93. My name is Mike and I am a 41 year old research professional. For the past 20 years I have struggled with major depressive disorder. While it is normally well managed with pharmaceuticals and theraphy, it occassionally overwhelms me and leads to a downward spiral into disfunction and suicidal thoughts.

    For several years now one of my greatest champions has been a former boss and dear friend. This gentleman, for whom I have not worked in years, has none the less always been there as a sounding board and coach. I am invited to family dinners, given motivation and job leads and was once even smashed in the face with a cake (a birthday tradition) by one of his three children. Most of all he has been a role model for living for the things that are most important to you despite what others may think. Real friends like this are very hard to find.

    • Mike –

      Thank you for showing the importance of our friends as we deal with depression. Please come back and keep us updated on your experiences.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  94. My mother was a timid creature all of her life. Being married to an old-world Italian who believed the woman’s place was in the home didn’t help. All that changed, though, when my mother, with only an eighth-grade education,
    sold an invention to a major American manufacturer. Her idea, which you may well have in your home, created jobs for hundreds of Americans. Her experience made her realize what power each of us has.

    While she had always believed in me, she didn’t encourage much risk-taking. When I decided to start my own business, though, she advised me to move beyond the safe, the comfortable, the secure. She proudly declared herself a role-model and insisted I venture forth into unknown territory. She became my personal GPS and I’ve never lost my way since.

  95. Advertisers use the image of everyone is doing whatever they are advertising so people will buy their product. It is not true that everyone is having a family reunion, a barbecue, going to the beach or being loved and appreciated.

    Once you understand that these are the fantasies created to sell products and that many people are alone, lonely and not able to do the fun things portrayed in the images on TV and in magazines you can have a more realistic view of the world. You can then use the fantasies that appeal to you to create your own enjoyable time.

    That may be taking a blanket and sandwich to the park and inviting someone else to join you with their lunch, going on a bus ride around your town and seeing first hand the number of people not doing fun things and smiling and saying hello, visiting a new playground with your family at another part of town or whatever you feel you wish you were doing. The trick is to see that a change in attitude is what will make the difference and not buying the idea that “everyone but me is having a wonderful life.”

    True self esteem comes from within. You have control of the messages you tell your Self. It can be a hard argument with the old habitual messages but the fight is worth it. Strong self esteem is trusting your Self to think your own thoughts, hold your opinions and be the person you want to be.

    • Marilyn –

      Thanks for pointing out how the advertisers affect our thinking.

      We look forward to you posting other insights in the future.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  96. As a successful artist living the good life, I must keep a clear and positive mind in order to work and to create. Here are some tips that I can share to fight depression without drugs or therapy.

    1. Be in a thankful mindset. You cannot control what life throws your way, but you can control how you interpret it and how you allow it to affect you. A martial arts master once told me that “thankfulness is happiness.” Thanking God for your blessings puts you in a better mood than cursing your challenges.

    2. Have a vision and a purpose. Try to discover what God wants you to do in life. Get up everyday and follow your vision. I get up each day at 4 am and get to work because I love being an artist and feel that is my mission in life.

    3. Depression is a luxury item reserved for the rich. If you stay busy working to make your life and the live’s of others better, you just do not have the time or energy left to be depressed.

    4. Change the input in your life. Put in art and music that lifts your mood. Remove those people, places and circumstances that upset you.

    5. Do not waste your precious time and life energy on being depressed. Think of your time on this earth as a bank account. Use your time wisely and positively.

    6. Art and music are friends you can always count on. Collect art and music that life your spirits.

    7. A pet can be there for you. My cat Miro is always a source of joy.

    8. If you have a good relationship cherish it and work to preserve and to make it better. I am blessed with a wonderful loving wife. Staying in a bad relationship will not help anything–get out. Do not destroy a potentially good relationship with your negative attitude.

    Thanks,
    pablo

    I am an internationally recognized artist known primarily for my drawings and sculptures of dancers. I have been featured in books, magazines, newspapers, radio, TV and film. Currently I live and work with my wife Beverly on our historic 1856 ranch north of Austin, Texas. Before acting as my full time muse and business manager, Beverly was a model and then in sales and marketing for Diane von Furstenberg, Revlon and Ralph Lauren. You can see my work at http://www.pablosolomon.com

    • Pablo –

      Thank you for your suggestions. These are excellent actions that the commmunity can use.

      We look forward to your future contributions to the community discussion.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  97. We’ve all had those moments. They are especially difficult to bear after the loss of a loved one. But, being alive is all about making choices. We can choose to sink further in to depression or we can
    choose to do something about the feeling. Here is a short list of what I do when the blues threaten to take hold.

    Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D. (keynoter, corporate trainer, author of 60 business books and one e-book, Principled Persuasion, named a Director’s Choice by Doubleday Book Club when first released)

    1. Go see a comedy at your local theatre, even if you have to go alone. (You see many other single souls there. If you like challenges, commit to speak to one other solo-person.
    2. Get physical. Go for a walk or engage in some other activity. Sign up for line dancing.
    3. Read a gripping book.
    4. Call a true friend, explain the circumstances, and invite yourself over.
    5. VIsit the local animal shelter, even if you aren’t going to adopt.
    6. Put on music, loud music, and dance to it.
    7. Become absorbed in a hobby. If you don’t have one, create one. Get a calligraphy book from the library and practice. When you get good, volunteer to send out invitations for
    local charity fundraisers.
    8. Watch television. Empathize with the families of our brave young men and women who die daily in a foreign war. Realize how fortunate you are to have your life. Those soldiers
    will never have the gift of years that you have been given.
    9. Sign up for a trial period in a dating service. Make some new friends.
    10. Become a volunteer. You’ll forget your problems as you concentrate on helping others solve theirs.

  98. I am a nurse, a mother and a wife. I overcome feelings of depression by putting strategies into place. As a person caring for others takes its toll. The daily commitment without a break leads to chronic stress, frustration, guilt,resentment and depression. Negative emotions begin to affect your physical as well as your emotional health.

    Time way from responsibilities and duties of the daily grind can rejuvenate and refresh the spirit. It gives and individual the energy to continue on with life.

    Positive self talk goes along way in dealing with how you feel and respond. Instead of thinking about all the things that you think went wrong or seeing the negative, look at things from a positive perspective. It will take some work, but give yourself credit for things you do. Pat yourself on the back; tell yourself you are doing the best you know how to do. Acknowledge that you are learning something new everyday about yourself, that you have taken on a difficult challenge and you are making a difference.

    Rephrase things from “I should” or “I must” to “I choose to” or “I need to.” Phrasing things in a more positive light takes away negative energy.

    Consider this scenario:

    “I should take time for myself. I must take better care of myself” versus “I choose to take time for myself because I need to take care of myself.” The change in wording can alleviate negative feelings.

    Take time to find laughter and humor in everyday. You should laugh often. It is a great stress reliever and also boosts the spirits. I work hard at not taking life so seriously.

    Find things that you enjoy and allowing yourself time and the pleasure to enjoy them will decrease feelings of stress, guilt and depression.

    It is also important that when you are experiencing negative feelings, such as guilt, resentment and frustration to realize what you are feeling. If you identify the feeling, try to identify what caused that feeling to present itself. Emotions and feelings are reactions and responses that are not rational. If you can identify what is going on and causing you to feel this negative emotion, then you can work at changing either the behavior that has caused the feeling or the intensity of the response.

    You can overcome depression by starting to take care of yourself. Work at changing your negative thought process. Take time to exercise everyday and practice positive self talk. Struggling with depression is an ongoing battle. It takes a conscious and daily effort to overcome it.

    • Diane –

      Thank you for sharing your story. Highlighting the importance of positive self talk is very important. I know that the community will benefit from what you have said here.

      Please come back and share more of your insight soon.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  99. I am so proud to be a part of this movement! The Gallagher family is one in a million and Patricia has been so supportive with my work in mental health advocacy! I look forward to continuing the process to finally “STOMPING OUT THE STIGMA” of mental illness by continuing to share my struggle with OCD and depression and trying to provide hope for others that their “better tomorrow” is right around the corner and to NEVER take a step backward just because someone has the audacity to judge you. You are all beautiful and deserve every opportunity and gift that life has to offer! God Bless us all!

    All my Best,
    Melissa Ann Hopely
    http://www.mindingyourmind.org
    Missy3girl@comcast.net
    “It’s time for a better tomorrow, TODAY!”

    • Thank you, you are an inspiration to me. I never understood what OCD was about. You are such a success in all that you do! Hope you keep sharing your experience, strength and hope with the community.

  100. I wasn’t diagnosed with long term depression until my late thirties, I just thought I was crazy! My teens, twenties and early thirties were a very painful emotional rollercoaster (definitely not the amusement park kind!).

    My Mom had died suddenly from a brain aneurysm when I was 24 so we never discussed depression, though she did have me in and out of counseling, entirely ineffective and just pushed me farther inside myself. I’ve come to learn that it is highly likely she suffered also and so did her grandfather. Knowing made a big difference.

    I fought not to be on meds as for me they addressed only the symptom and not the cause.
    And being high energy, they ruin my productivity, yes I do like to control my achievement levels! Instead, I watch my diet (especially careful of sugar as that can tank me), alcohol (addiction is in the family), exercise regularly (daily), and do my best to get busy doing anything when I feel melancholia coming on. Even if it is going to the car wash, driving to the post office, getting groceries, going for a walk, anything to remove me from the solitude that descends. (I now do a lot of online work in isolation.)

    I’ve been to some incredibly dark places and find that the greatest support comes from unwitting friends who just run a bit of interference. They in effect distracted me. They didn’t talk about my being depressed, they knew that I didn’t want to talk about it. It can be unimaginably consuming. But simply insisting we go grab dinner, or catch a movie, or do anything. It made a life saving difference.

    In the depths of my darkest period, I was very busy (business was great, my health good, nothing externally wrong that anyone would notice) and whenever I was in front of clients working I could suspend, the moment I climbed into my car, the darkness descended again, the mental anguish became unbearable. It is completely undefinable and the only successful way to counter it is to get absorbed in something else. Today, even 30 minutes in social media like Twitter and FB can be enough to lift a black mood.

    They still happen and likely always will. I hide it really well most times, and actively manage it without medication. Part of it is attitude, part of it is physiological, and it is all emotional. I work every day to keep the parts in balance. I have no desire to discuss it except with those it may help. It is almost ordinary to me at this point (in my forties) and the diagnosis and learning that it is genetic helped me greatly.

    Let the toxic people out of your life, get active, stay healthy, honor yourself and your needs, get help, but know that the greatest help lies within you, sometimes you just need a little outside assistance to find it.

    • Hi Melissa,
      That sure is a powerful posting. You are inspiring me with all of the conscious things you do to keep the moods at bay. Avoiding the sugar, the daily exercise, getting absorbed with an activity. Hmmm….so maybe that half of container of frosting that I just ate was not a healthy way to cope. I look forward to hearing from you again soon! Thanks for sharing.

  101. For me the answer is Yoga. So much of depression gets stored in the body. Through conscious movement, breathing, and meditation, a great deal of healing has come my way.

    • Thank you, Alan. Several people have suggested that. For me, that will be a brand new tool. I appreciate you sharing that. Please come back again and share other insights. The more the merrier!

  102. I was depressed most of my life with a low-grade depression called dysthymia. I didn’t want to be a whiner and so I self-medicated with alcohol. This turned to alcoholism. I finally recovered from my low-grade depression, alcoholism and also social anxiety by treatment with a low dose of an anti-depressant. It saved my life!

    If you are not feeling right, get help…there is a ton of help available. There’s no reason to suffer any longer.

    • Vivian –

      Thank you for your story. I am sure that many others in the community have similar experiences. Sharing your story shows that no matter how alone we think we are – someone else is experiencing the same thing. This community is helping people to find others who are traveling their path.

      We look forward to your sharing more of your story with the community.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  103. I attended my faith service today and the message I heard was NOTHING VENTURED, NOTHING GAINED. My son is working in Florida and he has been asking me to come down to visit him. I really want to drive to Florida from PA. So, if you are along that Interstate 95 route, please let me know so I can schedule a visit to share our message of faith and recovery with your group -mental health support group, church, school, etc. There are so many people suffering with depression, and their loved ones suffer, too. So, as we travel on our “Book Tour with a purpose”, I hope to meet you.

  104. I struggled with depression since childhood. However, I was not able to TRULY overcome depression until my 40’s when I made a single, life altering decision.

    I had erroneously come to believe that people in “authority” over me were allowed to be angry at me, but I was never allowed to show anger in return. My showing anger would result in more anger toward me, and possibly punishment. Then I realized that my depression was caused by me burying the anger I felt toward others (in relative authority positions over me) letting their anger out on me.

    I was on zoloft at the time, and a tiny dose worked wonders for me, but I didn’t want to be on medicine for the rest of my life. So I made the conscious decision to confront people who were rude and ugly to me and tell them their actions/words were uncalled for and wouldn’t be tolerated. I also decided to express my anger when I felt it, but in a controlled way (not rude or ugly, or I would be no better than them).

    The people around me did NOT like me standing up for myself or showing anger, but I didn’t care. It was my mental health at stake, and if they didn’t like me expressing my anger (as they expressed it all the time), then they would have to deal with it themselves. And they DID.

    To this day, if someone is rude or ugly to me without a reason, or expresses it in a way that is unacceptable to me, I call them on it and tell them that behaviour will not be tolerated around me. I remove myself from that person until they apologize. They also got used to me being able to express my anger, and have accepted that part of me as well.

    So if your depression is actually anger turned inward or buried, then give yourself permission to express that anger in an acceptable manner, and draw boundaries about how people express their anger around you. You have a right to express your anger, and to determine how other people act around you. You just have to push through that fear of their angry reaction, and get through the initial backlash, but the people who truly care about you will accept you, anger and all.

  105. Depression is an insidious mental and emotional state that robs so many of so many things. Personal relationships, their work, their happiness, even sadly, their life. Like so many have already written here, they did not even know they were depressed, just that their life was not working. Sometimes there are specific life-altering situations that are the onset, other times depression just creeps in over time and wreaks havoc. Thankfully, the word is getting out that depression, anxiety, panic attacks in all their forms, are real and just as serious as any other “medical” condition. Unfortunately, like alcoholism, drug addition and obesity, mental health issues still are not given the priority they should in terms of ways to seek help and assistance in paying for it (think insurance companies here). But, still there is hope through forums such as this and from those of us who have been experienced and/or overcome its clenches.

    Until I was 36 years old (I am 50 now), I really had no idea that there was anything truly amiss emotionally. I had gone through many bad situations (usually of my own making) and a terrible marriage to an alcoholic police officer and left the marriage with two young children. He made my life a living hell even after the marriage and was able to gain custody of my children. This sent me into a great downward spiral and I turned to drugs and alcohol.

    Fortunately, before the damage was too great, I had the opportunity to enter a treatment facility for these problems. This was helpful because some real conditions I had had all my life were diagnosed (dopamine deficiency for example) and was given medications to moderate some of the ups and downs I experienced that were not under my control.

    However, when I left treatment, I still struggled very much. Eventually began drinking again, got a DWI and again sought help. This time it was through church. I had a friend who said she had a “bar ministry” and talked me into going with her to her church. It was a Christian non-denominational (I had been raised Catholic which had not worked for me). I can’t tell you how much this helped me. I threw myself into every aspect of this church even going to the church services for young adults.

    Things are still a bit hazy about this time, but I was also introduced to the concept of co-dependence. I read the book, “The Road Less Traveled,” by Scott Peck and couldn’t believe what I was seeing! There was my life laid out in print. Wow!

    Between church and this book, I did have an emotional healing of sorts and found that my drinking and drug use were not of addiction but of emotional distress. I also thought I had learned enough to take off through life again. I married not long after, got my life on “track” and thought I was cured. Not so.

    My husband and I experienced years worth of difficulties, 2 floods through our home, family illnesses and deaths and other crisis situations on a most regular basis. Through this time, I sought help from our family physician and ultimately ended up on Xanax for anxiety and most recently Pristiq for depression. These drugs, in combination with the drug for my dopamine deficiency made such a huge difference. I realize that there are many arguments both pro and con for turning to prescription medication to battle stress, anxiety and depression. But, for me, I believe that these drugs allowed me to be more stable and deal with what was going on in my life. Believe me, I still had worries, fears, anxiety etc., but they were more realistic and manageable instead of overwhelming.

    Despite my being more stable, my life and marriage were still not in a good state. My husband and I had put our marriage almost completely put on “hold” while we worked through the business of life. Then, over these years, my husband’s drinking turned into alcoholism. Finally, after thousands of dollars spent to handle legal issues (dwi’s, PI’s etc.), my husband went to treatment. He had quit his job in anger and I had gotten laid off while he was in detox. On the surface, things looked very gloomy but I made a decision to not let all this overwhelm me. We did not have the money for treatment (insurance would not pay), all if it went on credit cards. I have my unemployment benefits which just cover the bills but no more. Everything else is going on credit cards. My husband and I needed counseling. Not covered by insurance so it is all going on credit cards. The bottom line for us is that we realize that it is “now or never.” There was no way our lives could continue the way they had been and no way we were ever going to be happy as individuals, happy with each other, be of benefit to our children or family or really successful in our lives without serious work. We are racking up considerable debt to do this which may sound very foolish in these times but we are committed to getting better.

    I would also like to add that as a result of my husband’s entry into treatment, I sought ways to find out what about me needed to be examined. Lo’ and behold, there was that co-dependency thing again. In really examining my life…all of it…I see that so, so much had to do with this malady. So, I am working very hard to examine the problem and its impact on everything in my life thus far and to heal from it and learn to be different. I really want to bring this up because it is my belief that you can suffer depression for its own sake or for underlying reasons such as co-dependence or other issues. It is very important to look around for anything that might play a role in the depression you are experiencing.

    Now, my husband and I are both working different “programs” so to speak. We have agreed to live a bit more separately (but not totally apart) for a while to allow us to heal as people and then try to re-generate our marriage. The road ahead looks long but very promising!

    I hope that anyone in distress will seek help, anywhere you can find it. It is much easier to withdraw and be isolated than to force yourself to get out and face whatever there is to be faced. Take one small step at a time and know that you are not alone. I can’t say that going into amazing debt is right for everyone but there is nothing so important as taking care of yourself. I read somewhere that a person would not hesitate to spend whatever was necessary to try to cure a “disease” they had contracted but are not able to do the same for a disease of the mind, spirit or soul. Every person is worth fighting for and every person deserves the chance to be happy and life a fulfilling life.

    In closing, I am using a combination of tools. Medications, counseling, self-examination, lots and lots of reading, support groups, online resources, spiritual, physical movement, service, better eating habits and a determined decision to be better. I wish all of you the best and am thankful for this opportunity to share.

    • Thank you, Lynne. I am going to go out today and read the book you recommended by Scott Peck. I have heard so much about it over the years but did not know what it was all about. And the co-dependence thing….I think I have to look at that big time. Hope you write again.

  106. I cared for my father and mother, in my home, until they died–of heart disease and breast cancer, respectively. That period of caregiving was terribly, terribly depressing itself–watching those you love inch their way toward death on a daily basis was almost too painful to bear.

    Following their deaths, those, the sense of loss was equally difficult. I found myself crying, uncontrollably, in public and private places. To protect my sanity, I had to force my brain to create new neural pathways–when I started to think of them, I would force myself to think of something totally different, totally absorbing.

    I also asked everyone I knew not to talk about them in my presence. Grief can overpower, can incapacitate even. For me, avoidance was the only escape from its grip. Some use the “fight” approach; I had to use”flight.”

    • Marlene –

      Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that you are feeling much better these days.

      The community looks forward to any additional insights you have regarding how you are overcoming your depession.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  107. I found myself in bed for two months one winter in Australia. I had no drive, will, or desire to interact with life. I was just numb…

    It was suggested that I try Prozac to remember what it felt like to be happy. That one suggestion propelled me to find out why, and how I arrived at this point in my life.

    It was the discovery that I had a Spirit that was connected to my Mind, Body and all of life that helped me to lift myself out of the void I felt trapped in.

    I begin to write in my journal and that helped me to slow my mind down enough, and to begin to understand how I was really feeling about myself and the way I was living. Up until that point I had used my addictions to alcohol, cigarettes and Marijuana to cover and control my behaviors.

    Through writing I connected to my inner voice of truth. That I am a being of love, I am worthy of living a life in light, and I have value to add to this world through sharing the truth of our authentic natures.

    Thank-you for creating this web site and for bringing this taboo subject to those who are finding themselves still fumbling around in the dark.

    Blessings to all as we journey through this life.

    Melisa Sarazin
    Author, Personal Empowerment Mentor, Life Explorer
    http://www.myauthenticnature.com

    • Melissa –

      Thank you for sharing your story. Many people have found help when they slow down and find their inner truth.

      The community looks forward to any additional thoughts you would like to share.

      Akavar, Site Admin

  108. I am a psychiatrist. Perhaps that’s enough said, but it is true we do have our problems, too. Often times depression comes as a result of a signifcant loss or a major disappointment. I have experienced my share of each of those.

    The one major experience I would share relates to a relationship which wasn’t working. I was despairing over what I could do to make it better. The more I desparately tried to hold on to the relationship, the worse things got.

    I remember that I was driving in my car when I realized that although the relationship was important to me, I could survive without it, perhaps even find a better one. Sometimes we cling to something far past the time we should let it go, because we cannot perceive that we will recover and find happiness somewhere else.

    Once I backed off, realized that all I could change was myself, things got better and we are happily still together 22 years later.

    I also write and speak about my experience.

    • Dr. Loren –

      Thank you for your insight. Some of us forget that even those helpiung us have their challenges. This story will remind the community that all of us have occasional detours from our intended path.

      We look forward to any additional insights that you can share with the community.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  109. Hi,

    I just wanted to share my story, but anonymously. I am a musician by trade, and for some reason that means I’m more likely to be prone to depression than others. At least, I’ve observed so many others of my singer friends have bouts with it.

    After a friendship ended with someone who wasn’t very healthy for me, I began spiraling into depression, but I didn’t even know it. It wasn’t until a mentor suggested that I go see a professional that it even occurred to me I needed help.

    My self awareness at that point was very low. I just cried frequently, isolated myself, and slept a lot. And experienced many other of the symptoms that I wasn’t aware signified depression.

    How I found hope was this: through my faith in God, through medication, and through counseling, not necessarily in that order. I was a student at the time and therefore prices were greatly reduced for me, (free) but I would really hope that people struggling with depression could find a low-cost counselor to help them cope and to find what might be causing the depression.

    I also found that treating myself nicer was important. I found that I didn’t do very nice things for myself very often. Forcing myself to get my nails done, to do things that I enjoyed like reading a book, and wearing makeup and doing my hair even when I didn’t feel like it helped me to start gaining my self respect again.

    The very worst thing about depression is that people honestly believe there is no hope for the future. I can testify that that is blatantly false. The future is bright and filled with hope for everyone.

    I look back on my long bout with depression and remember how I didn’t see anything in my life would be able to go right, and that saddens me, but I want others with depression to know that life can be better than you ever dreamed it could be if you just wait, work, and hope. It did for me.

    • Thank you for your story. These tips will help the community to overcome their depression.

      We look forward to any additional insights that you have to share.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  110. When I was 25, my brother (my only siblings) hired three 16 year old boys to murder my mother. She was stabbed and strangled to death and dumped in a ditch. In one night, I lost my entire family and I felt like the rug had been ripped out from under my feet. Who I thought I was and what I thought I was capable of, changed in a heartbeat. Despite the shock, weight loss, sleepless nights, anxiety and depression I was still able to maintain, focus on and grow my career. As you can imagine, I tried everything to heal myself – medication, therapy, psychiatry, group counselling, victim support groups, reading. You name it, I tried it, but none of it actually worked. I learned to deal with the issues “intellectually” but not emotionally.

    It wasn’t until I began to understand exactly how my mind worked (from a scientific perspective) that I was able to devise my own technologies and tools to heal myself. I left my career as a lawyer and chartered accountant to retrain as a clinical hypnotherapist, psychotherapist, Master of NLP and Thought Field Therapist. I use these techniques and my own personal story to help others. I believe the story telling component is critical. Because I come from a true place of understanding, compassion, authenticity and love, I am able to go where other coaches and therapists cannot. I can ask the tough questions and get my clients to connect with their emotions, dreams and resources (inside their own mind) that they never knew they had.

    As you know, life’s not always pretty. It’s hard, it’s messy and it’s unpredictable! It’s often stranger than fiction and it can break your heart. But real life is also magnificent, beautiful and awe inspiring. We each are a composite of the experiences and conditioning we grow up with. There is goodness and kindness all around us and I believe that “we survive or prosper because we are able to stand on the shoulders of giants”. Giants that do indeed take the form of great philosophers and scientists, presenters, poets and writers and giants who perhaps more importantly take the form of a good friend, a wise elder, a loving stranger or a protective teacher. Everyday hero’s who profoundly touch our lives and change its course without ever really knowing the gift they have given.

    This life changing experience and belief in the value and wisdom of everyday heroes inspired me to write and published a book about my journey which is called “On The Shoulders of Giants”. My life’s work is to share the knowledge and tools with others so that they might find hope, overcome depression once and for all and move beyond their past and perceived limitation. Since discovering these insights and strategies I have overcome depression, insomina and panic attacks and I have had the honour and privilege to watch many other people do the same.

    The power of the mind is incredible and each person has the capacity to re-write negative conditioning from the past and begin living the life that they were meant to live.

    • Rhondalynn –

      Thank you for sharing your story. I am sure that the way that you understand how to use the power of your mind to overcome your challenges will inspire the community.

      We look forward to any inspirations you may have in the future.

      Akavar – Site Admin

  111. Henry sent me his story by email and asked me to post it for him.
    Patricia Gallagher

    I would encourage anybody who is currently LOWER THAN WHALE S— on the bottom of the ocean to stop thinking about themselves and help others.
    Thats the secret.
    Comments here are from a Vet in a VA hospital.

    YOU HAVE A SHORT “snapshot” of one of my low points which occured with a 12 guage shotgun pointed at my head..loaded.. finger on the trigger.. that’s about as low as I get. Why did I stop ? WELL.. to tell you the truth I just had a fleeting thought that.. HEY.. I’m just not going to do this to my girls..or my 85 year old mother upstairs… the hell with this stuff. That said I put the gun back in the rack.(UNLOADED).
    Not too long after that the ‘Panic Attacks” started.
    I had four of them… the first two resulted in my leaving the house upside down on a stretcher..I can still remember what it looked like with my nose pointed up … going thru the front doors and outside to the driveway and the ambulance.. Then I learned about the use of paper bags over the head and how to stop them if they reocurred. As a result of this stuff the doctor (family) had me meet with a Psychologist… for five weeks. That led to my being evaluated by the Penna. Hospital (4;th and Spruce) as being BiPolar … Depression…nest stop was at around 60’th and Market. A huge building full of shrinks.. that charge $250 and hour.Thats enough right there to cure anybody. Three appointments and he decided that he could not help me.. so I went to a man on City Line Avenue back of WCAU TV in an apartment building. He turned out to be the founder of something called COGNITIVE BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS.
    I found this to be really interesting and was able to pick it up again here at the SEVC SoEasternPa Vets Center… with an intern getting her Masters in Cognitive BeHavior Analysis.. after six months of that I have not one clue in the world on how you prevent depression other than not to get into the situation in the first place..

    What generated the above : OK… Up in the middle of the PENNA Pocono Mtns. there is a large resort … Skytop. The second one is BUCK HILL FALLS, and the third one is the old Mt Pocono… or Pocono Manor.
    My grandfather and two other men started Buck Hill when it was three men, a pine tree and a DEER.
    It became a 500 room world-class four star hotel with full resort amenities including an olympic pool, 27 holes of golf and fourteen tennis courts plus two hundred cottages abd 40,000 acres.

    One afternoon while I was emplyed as Sr Vice President of a well known markeing-driven corporation, I was home when the phone rang. I have absoultely no idea what I was smoking in my pipe whenI heard my cousin say that they were about to close the Inn and shut it down for financial reasons and what could I do…?

    FOR SOME INSANE REASON… I replied.. “Not to worry… I’m ON THE CASE…so saying left my nice job which paid the bills which was nice since I was in markeing and advertising and had had about six too many jobs resulting in financial pressures on my family and particularly my wife.

    My wife, the daughter of the President, Group One of Union Carbice.. did not think this event was one bit funny and neither were the bills rapidly accumulating.
    An arrangement was made with about four other fellows I knew to start the Buck Hill Development Company… which at long last was able to raise enough money to continue this effort to save the INN./RESORT.

    An arrangement was made with a Hedge Fund Dealer connected to Morgan Guarantee Trust in New York and their clients in China and Belgium for $160 million US dollars to float the hotel and 40,000 acres of the “Wildcat-Hollow” section of land to the West of Buck Hill Property for the exploration for natural gas. A cottage was to be purchase for $550,000 for Carol and my use along with that of two of the families connected with the BUCK HILL DEVELOPMENT CO.
    My salary was pegged at $250,000 per year for ten years with an extention of ten at my discretion..plus a “Golden Parachute” providing $2,500,000 to me in the event that my services were terminated.

    The deal was set. The time as to be 10AM Monday morning. Television coverage was handled by our PR company along with the working press . We had the red ribbon, the pretty girl, the scissors and the flowers. all set.

    At four thirty PM on the preceeding Friday the bank called and told me.. “Henry, the money is not coming” the Belgians had defaulted on their part of the derivitive funding and the Chinese Hedge-fund management back down immediately.

    These arrangements were consumated after Carol left me in Bryn Mawr… and she was not aware that they had transpired..

    The catalyst for my depressed state was not the above financial situation… it was that my pal… my wife who I had known since 1964 walked out. I just could not believe it and still don’t; I loved her then and I still do or I would not be writing those notes every week.. The real problem came when both of my daughters would not allow me to attend their weddings.

    You have a daughter.. there she is a foot long and you start thinking about her wedding and all that comes with it… you think about it for twenty six years and they the rug gets yanked out from under you. TWICE. THAT JUST FREEKIN DID IT.. TO FREEKIN MUCH. Hoever, not matter what it took… I kept on a very good footing with my girls ,their husbands and now the grandchildren.

    – – – – ** – – – –

    CHAPTER THREE

    THAT Was ten years ago. I still have wonderful relationships with both of my now all grown up girls—– thank God for that.

    HOW TO GET OUT OF THIS DEPRESSED MESS…

    After I had been here in the VETS CENTER for about a year I moved from independent living into the big building which is really a nursing home/with full access to major medical facilities and personnel both here and in Phildelphia. For a year I did nothing except think…

    After a year I felf that if I were ever going to get myself out of this mess I would have to to come up with a plan.. a direction to go.. a purpose so to speak. I found it when I ran for President of the Resident Council (represents 200 Veterens).. twice and I plan on a third term. This requires weekly meetings with the administrative personnel at the top of the pyramid.. and counseling the Vets on an as needed basis. Second, I invented a FOOD REPORT.. to the top management here (first in the country) to evaluate and make recommendations on the food served to the men and women in this facility. That requires about twenty hours per week. Third, I discovered that
    a brand new major museum is being planned for the Valley Forge area… AMERICAN REVOLUTION CENTER. A #375,000,000 project to present the entire sweep of the Revolution and its impact on modern America. After some soul searching I did conact them and offered my services for a new area… CREATIVE THINKING>>> NEW IDEAS FOR THE MUSEUM as it is in the launch phase, as well as in stage one thru five of its devopment.. providing a constant stream of fresh new creative approaches to its six or so natural markets. I am delighted to report that I have been working for them for about a six months now and have submitted twenty eight (28) new ideas for markeging the museum in a “tight/restictive” economy with fifty two competitors withing a twenty mile radious. Two days ago the local paper… The Philadelphia Inquirer annouonced FRONT PAGE… that the ARC was leaving Valley Forge and relocating to Third and Chestnut in Philadelphia.. two hundred yards from the LIBERTY BELL. and that
    work will begin immediately.. complimenting the National Constition Center, Carpenters Hall etc. I repot to the Sr. Executive Vice President for Corporate Development and am too excited to have problems with depression..

    – – – – * – – – –

    CONCLUSION: I got out from under the yolk of depression by being with a lot of very supportive people who encouraged me to become very active. I have to admit that along the way there were a few prayers offered up for my wife, Carol- our two girls who I love a LOT.. and for the ability to help some othere people had stories a lot worse then mine. I ‘
    re-confirmed the old idea that no matter how bad off you get there’s always a cowboy from the West with a story a whole lot worse than yours…’

    TO ANYBODY WHO IS IN REAL TROUBLE … I would suggest that he or she DO SOMETHING for other folks.
    My litle story pales… alongside of the folks here who have lost thier legs..arm.. arms.. or all of the above. How about the family members of folks here who have severe ALZHEIMERS.. or are BLIND.. or who have not family to relate to. By having a plan and putting it into action and making it work and change and grow it is just possible to haul yourself out of the basement…but you need a plan. And you need to be busy. I work most days from five in the morning until midnight .. and watch TV while I work.. or read .. or talk with other people. I was given and have learned to use a computer for the first time in my life and it has saved me. I am back in the world… connected]to my pals from the past and making new ones most of which are younger than I am. I have been lucky enough to discover ABOUT.COM which hooked me into a nearly imersion course in French for a year and am now working on my french daily for a couple of hours including meeting some folks in Paris, in Antibes, and in
    Juan le Pins, France… on the internet.

    • Thank you, Henry. I actually met you a couple of years ago at the VA hospital. You sent my team of angel pins to Laura Bush and she sent you a letter thanking you for them. I hear that now you have sent some to the Obamas in the White House. I hope you receive a nice letter from the First Lady.

  112. Dear Patricia,

    Thanks to you and your family for boldly facing what so many people choose to deny or stuff down — i.e. the path of honesty about depression.

    The most recent severe depression occurred in 2005. I’d been focused on a relationship which I believed was leading to marriage and “comfortable retirement to the mountains” at age 50; had enjoyed a lot of travel with this lovely man and hadn’t been paying a lot of attention to my public relations clients.

    No big surprise when the clients melted away. But the man disappeared without a trace that May and I felt like I’d been kicked in the chest. I was devastated.

    All I could do was sit on the gravel path in my garden and pluck weeds from between the stones while wondering, What am I going to do? I seriously thought about killing myself but decided it would let too many people down.

    As an entrepreneur since 1989, I’ve experienced many peaks and valleys — and reinventions. It seems the Universe comes along to give me the cosmic kick in the rear every so often, with loss of everything– clients, significant other, “the old way of being,” just so I will break down to experience breakthrough.

    At the same time, my father became too debilitated to walk, and it was up to my sister and me to move him and his 30 years’ worth of accumulated stuff jammed into three stories of his home in Buffalo to the Philly area where he could be closer to my sis. A huge, maddening and depressing project in itself.

    As a Registered Yoga Teacher since 2003 and practitioner since 2000, I knew the benefits of yoga… but I never realized that yoga could–and would –save my life.

    From a physiological standpoint, one reason yoga helps stabilize moods is because of the deep abdominal breathing. Simply stated, deep breathing stimulates the diaphragm, which massages the vagus nerve.

    This thick nerve runs from our brains down through our heart centers and into the abdomen, and when it is stimulated in this soothing manner it sends calming signals back up into the heart center and then to the brain, causing endorphins (positive biochemistry) to flow.

    Breathing shallowly into the upper chest creates the opposite–the fight/flight response, and causes adrenaline and cortisol to start streaming through our bodies, which immediately causes anxiety and tension.

    Literally, the best possible thing we can do to combat depression is deep abdominal breathing, and stay focused on the breath rather than letting our thoughts of doom take over.

    In yoga & meditation we learn to observe our thoughts, i.e. “Oh, there’s another thought,” and just get back to focusing on the breath.

    Keeping the facial expression calm also helps. When we clench the space between the eyebrows that’s part of that old caveman response to the saber tooth tiger. Studies have shown that the muscles in the face create chemical reactions in the body… and when the corners of your mouth are turned up, it’s a positive chemical response. The thing is, moment by moment most of us have no clue what our facial expressions are doing to our biochemistry! (Not to mention nutrition, which another of your respondents touched on).

    These are just a couple of physical cues that helped me weather that severe, months-long bout with depression. Rather than jumping off the bridge, I decided to finish my book, BACK TO THE GARDEN: Getting from Shadow to Joy, which was also a huge part of my healing process–converting calamity into positive action. And thank God I chose that path.

    You are a dear and I totally admire what you’re doing and sharing with others. Thanks again.

    Love,
    Patrice Dickey
    Speaker, Author, Registered Yoga Teacher,
    Spiritual Transition Coach

    PS–101 Simple Ways to Kick Depression & Get Happier Without Prozac– my free Special Report–may help.

  113. I have always been a sickly person. From the time I was an infant to my late 20’s, I have experienced many health challenges. Some of my experiences include mega doses of antibiotics as an infant, severe PMS as a teenager, a diagnosis of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, chronic sinus infections, digestive difficulties, chemical sensitivities, food sensitivities, and a severe disc herniation in my lower back. My immune system was severely compromised and my nervous system was fragile. I did not have a fulfilling life. I was in survival mode and was not even really living. I was miserable.

    Through all of these experiences I began to realize that my soul was longing for true freedom. I did not feel comfortable or at home in my own body. I began to understand that I was the only one that could change my experience. When I was at the very end of my rope, I made a choice that I wanted to feel good. I wanted health. I wanted freedom from the limiting belief systems that I held within my body and mind. Thus began my miraculous journey of healing.

    I sought out the guidance of holistic practitioners- chiropractors, naturopathic doctors, acupuncture, an allergist, and more. I gradually changed my diet and began to learn about nutrition. I made myself the most important person in my life and took responsibility for my health. I attended nutrition school and learned to love myself.

    As I healed myself, my mind expanded and my lifestyle changed dramatically. In a few short years, I feel like I have lived many lifetimes. I went from practically being a hermit with a limited social life, to experiencing all that life has to offer me. My world opened up as I opened myself to new things. As I let go of old pain, I created more room in my spirit for positive experiences to come into my life. My physical body literally became stronger and more flexible as my spirit became stronger and my mind more flexible. As my heart opened, the tightness in my muscles softened. As I felt supported and confident in my new life, the pain in my lower back disappeared. The beautiful part is that I know my entire life from this point forward will be more of the same. I will continue to grow and evolve. I will continue to release my past. I will let go of more hurts from the past that I currently do not even realize are even still a part of me. I will continue to strive for the best and thrive in the life I create for myself. That is my story of my past. The story of my future is my destiny and my creation.

    What I have learned through healing myself is that I needed to start making conscious choices. Today, I choose the food I put into my body. I choose friends that love and support me. I asked for lots of support and help from God and the universe, nature, and the people in my life. I choose the environments in which I place myself. I choose my clients. I choose to keep chemicals out of my home and use essential oils instead. I choose to let go of old hurts and focus on what brings me joy. More than all of these things, I choose health and Love whenever I have the courage to do so. I now know that I can be empowered in any situation based on how I choose to perceive it and my response to it. It’s always my choice. Always.

    If you are reading this, please choose HOPE!
    Love, Susie Beiler

  114. Thank you for what you and your family are doing, Patricia! I think it’s so important to talk about mental health disorders – record numbers of people are experiencing depression and anxiety these days, yet so few are willing to admit it and share their experiences with others.

    In my speaking work and also as a wellness expert for the media, I speak very openly about my experiences with depression.I know how much it would have meant to me at one point, to hear someone else’s story. I reached my lowest point during my residency training, and also had occasional panic attacks in med school, during times when various circumstances combined to make my life feel out of control.

    Looking back, I now realize that my mind and body start getting panicky or depressed whenever I’m doing something that’s not in my best interest, or following a path that deviates from my best direction in life – it’s actually proven to be a great “early warning system” for me! Depression and anxiety have turned out to be my best friends, as healing from them has taught me so much about how to live the life that’s right, and happiest, for me. Today, I use what I’ve learned to help other people.

    Virtually all the good I have in my life right now (including a delicious, totally unexpected side career as a flamenco dancer)came out of those dark days.

    Dr. Susan Biali, M.D.
    Author, Speaker, Medical Doctor and Flamenco Dancer
    http://www.susanbiali.com

    • Hi Susan,
      Thank you for being the first to respond. I know that when I talked to you by phone a few months ago, that you were a very special woman with an important message for the world. A medical doctor who found her true passion as a flamenco dancer…now that’s a story I want to hear more about.

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