depression

didn’t make it pass day 3

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Little_Muslin_Voodoo_Doll_by_jazzy1453

So I didn’t make it pass day three of “May Cause Miracles.”  That’s right, it was so easy, I said.  A snap.  “I can do this!”

But life has a way of interrupting even the best of intentions.  I mean if all I had to do was to take care of myself, just me, no one else or no other creature, or no other anything, just maybe I could make it past day 3.  I don’t know.

I told myself I would catch up, or start over, I have not done either yet.  My plate of life is so full right now with……business issues, legal issues, my Mother is ill, my children aren’t settled, a house in disrepair, oh  and let’s not forget  the tax issues they just found from 2004!

There is even more than that, but that’s about all I care to put into writing.

I think I have done it all wrong.  I must have.  Everything. Wrong.  Since the beginning of my life I must have listened to the wrong people and taken in the wrong messages.  I don’t know how else I could have arrived at this place at this time.  Because how? Tell me how ?  One person can really want a better existence yet can’t ever figure out how to get it?

For the most part I have tried to do the right thing.  Even as a small child I knew not to belittle or mock others, I stood up for the underdog ALWAYS.  I would think, what would be best? What would be nice? What would be helpful?

Yet here I am, a struggling mess.

I can be sarcastic but only in fun.  You know a dry sense of humor….that alone shouldn’t have banished me to this place.

I eat healthy.  Food and weight isn’t my issue.   I do not long for material items.  I dont want or need the latest greatest anything.  I just want a simple peaceful life.

Maybe someone has a voodoo doll of me and they are sticking it with pins.  That’s about all I can figure, or I was a horrible person in another lifetime.   Oy Vey!  

Cheer!

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against the odds- 40 day attempt

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Have you ever felt like you were ready to change, to start something to better you life but you felt restricted by people around you?  It’s like trying to change life long patterns that no longer fit your dreams, and people around you take every chance to mock or dismiss your ideas.

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I have felt that way for several years now.  And I believe I allowed those outside influences to make my attempts at changing terribly difficult.

Face it, we all know there are productive methods for example, get yourself out of a rut. But when you talk about it, there seems someone is always more than ready to tell you how it won’t work, or you’ll never stick with it.  Then they might go as far to point out several of your past failed attempts to change.  That is the sort of thing that crushes me.

Even changing my eating habit is still to this day met with sideways glances and grimacing faces.   Usually from people who are closest to me.  “You eat that?! Gross.”   They may even mock where I read about it and challenge it’s validity.  In any case, the negative responses really effect me.  I wish they didn’t do this , but they do.

Some say you have to ignore them, easier said then done.   Others say you have to remove them from your life, and surround your self with more like-minded people.  Again easier said then done.

So today, I have to ignore them.  And tomorrow I have to ignore them, and for the rest of my life I have to ignore them.  I have to look past what they say, and stay on my path.  This is going to be hard, because my auto-pilot reactions is to self doubt.  My thoughts race to:  ” They are right, I do fail all the time. I will never be able to change.”  And the words I hear, plus the word I then tell myself  reinforce constant failures as my truth.

I am going to try.  Again.  I know that this will all be on me.  If I fail one day, I will have to get back up.  It all sounds so cliche, but I have no other options.  I have to gather every once of encouragement no matter if I find it.

Right now this is my guide:  A book:   May Cause Miracles  by Gabrielle Bernstein

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I’ll blog about  my 40 day journey.  Cheers.

Thirteen days of 2013

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This time of year is particularly hard for me.  Not to go into any depressing details, because I know everyone shares having events, both good and bad, that change the course of a life.

I, for some reason, can not get past what is no longer.  I am constantly reminded of the past.  Perhaps better times draw me in at first, yet inevitably terrifying times and less-than-good choices creep in my mind.  I used to be able to say I live with no regrets.  I am not so certain I can say that any longer.

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The new year is supposed to be the time for fresh beginnings and new starts, only I am not feeling it this year.  Depressing right?  I know I am not alone, and I know it is temporary, but nonetheless is real.  I feel as if the good and the lightness of life is sitting dormant like the woods.

13

Right now my count is 13.  Thirteen days I have wasted away without making one single ounce of progress.  I quit on myself.  I slowed myself down to a crawl into a perpetual holding patterned of procrastination.

Even this post took some real effort on my part to actually write. (and I don’t care if  its good or bad. ) I had to write how I was feeling or I would just breakdown into nothing for another day.  (trying to avoid day #14)

In my front yard, behind the tangled bare branches of two maple trees, I can see a yellow house across the street.  I have nothing against this house.  However, in the summer I can’t see it.  It  is completely blocked by lush green foliage   It’s a depressing shade of yellow. Sun-bleached-sad from a constant west exposure, even that yellow house has had better days.

I have to stop!  I have to stop these thoughts that are feeding an existing “sadness path” in my brain.  This path was put there years ago and it’s a well traveled path.  I know I need to stop myself before I send those negative signals.  I have to replace them with new more positive signals.  I need to create new paths in my brain and start walking them.

I know what I have to do.  My problem: I find it difficult to do.

Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful and my life is good, well good enough.  It’s just some time a person feels low and these past 13 day that has been me.

Cheers!

Tip: Play music.  Listen to it whenever you feel yourself slipping into a bad place. Skip every single song until you find one that feeds your soul.

Inspiration: “The past does not equal the future.”-Tony Robbins

One-day one thing: Take a baby step.  Recognize that with every single step no matter of size, you create a path.

Share

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Today’s post is a “share.”

I don’t know many of you well, but I do know human nature.  And I think I can say with utter certainty that life is going to knock you down at least once in your life.  Way down.  And when it does, this blog post by James Altucher is here to help you.

You have to read the entire post (that’s an order) , which is worth every second of your attention to get to ” T ” which is pure genius:

” T)     Most important: When you have money, love, contentment, this is not when you have succeeded. These are the results. The trumpets are not blowing now. You’re sleeping and you don’t care. MOST IMPORTANT: the trumpets are blowing when you are at your lows and you take that next step forward. That is success. That is love of life. That is creativity and spirit and God.

When you are at the lowest, you are closest to God, to your faith, to a higher power, to an inner you. To whatever you want to call it. Nobody cares what you call it. This is your moment to shine, to show how much you’ve learned, to show how much you are able to succeed. There are no other moments as powerful. Please don’t waste them.

Please bookmark and share 20 ways to restore faith when everything goes wrong.  You never know who might really need this help on any given day.

Cheers!

Alone

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We are all alone.

Even those of us in the best of situations are alone.  It’s scary.  No one really knows how you might feel at any given moment.  No one can see the years of pain and suffering inside, because in our society, and probably in every other society, people put on the “face.”  The face of happiness and contentment.

Even on the internet, people say things, they think will “read well” and won’t make them look like a jerk or like a pitiful sour person.  Which, may be exactly how someone is feeling at the time.  Facebook is notorious for this.  If an alien came down to earth and used Facebook to gauge human feelings, they’d ask to smoke what all the Facebook posters are smoking right away.  “I want what their having”

Life is hard for everyone, and if it isn’t hard for you now, it will be difficult sooner or later.  And that’s most often when you will find yourself: alone.  Just you and your thoughts.

On top of that, our society has painted a picture that being alone is bad.  Having it all, isn’t being alone.  Plus did you know everyone can have it all ? That is if they are rich, or thin, or beautiful or if they buy this or that.  Maybe if you had college degree, you would be a more worthy person, or if you drove a certain car people would respect you.  If you drink this beer, you can get laid.  If you shop at this store, she will love you.

We’ve also been conditioned from an early age to worship youth, which is ridiculous.  Insane even.  The one truth in a life span is aging.  Everyone ages it can not be stopped.  And we age alone.


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So it goes to reason after hearing these twisted messages from birth,  when you find yourself alone, you may feel depressed and lonely.

No one, no thing, nothing outside of yourself can make you whole.  No one can repair your sadness or erase your fears.  No God is going to swoop down and fix you, no secret angel has your back.  There is no magic.

The only thing you can do is stop waiting, and start growing your love.  Be kind to yourself.  Try to eliminate hateful and negative feelings, especially the ones you direct towards yourself.   To grow your love, start with yourself.

I am starting with me.  For my “new me resolution” ( which I have already started, because a calendar means nothing) I am attempting to totally redesign my life to eliminate all the falsehoods that I have grown up believing.  The only thing I know is real is love.  Love is  limitless and timeless, and it feels good and it makes me happy.  And if I am alone, which we all are, then I have to make my love grow.

So during this time of year which is heavily promoted as the best of all possible times for people who “have it all” or are trying to “get it all” –  if you find yourself alone, don’t sweat it, everyone is alone.

Focus on what is real; cultivate love, be generous with your love,  and appreciate any small miracles that follow.

_______________

Recommended reading: Return to Love

The Perfect Gift – Encouragement

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(written Saturday night)

To tell you the truth, I don’t even think I have a positive thought in my brain right now.  Do you ever feel that way?

Just another day of house hunting disappointments.  Actually two on one day, no make that three. I sick of moaning about it, so I will keep this short. The first and second house of the day were no good.  The first one was okay but not right for us.

The second one, which was my only remaining  “maybe” out of about 30, I found out  is in a neighborhood that is fighting a huge incinerator installment.  The incinerator will bring 500 diesel fueled garbage trucks thorough their neighbor 24/7 from all over the county.

People from the Sierra Group have even  joined the fight to protect the health of the animals at the nearby Zoo.  No incinerator like this one exists anywhere in the USA.  I learned all this from homeowners who had activist signs in their yard.  It’s horrible what the city is doing.  As I was leaving,  I told her her neighborhood was nice she answered,” Yes it is very nice, but you know we all have guns…… it’s Cleveland after all.”

The third house lifted me up.  It matched all the crossed off goals under my photo. It had everything, even enough land to build a Eco-house if we wanted.  We stopped for some Mexican food and margaritas.  I was so excited my husband said I sounded like I was on drugs.  I just kept saying, “It’s perfect.  This has everything we want! ” On and on, even the food was great. When we got home and we called for the lock-box code, but we were too late the house already sold.  My heart sank.

I did learn quite a bit  today.  I know where I don’t want to live.  I think I know where we do want to live, so that means I have gained some focus, and direction.  That is, at least for now, and that alone is wonderful because it was just yesterday that I had absolutely zero vision.  I’m still in limbo but with a much better  idea of where we are going…….eventually.

I like this even better than the last one.

Here’s the thing, I could have stayed home, done laundry and moped around because I had no idea what to do.  I was blank screen.  And honestly I would have done just that, except the laundry.  But my Husband made encouraged me get out of the house, and just drive through various neighborhoods.

Even now  although I’m still bummed, at least for some amount of time today I was overjoyed, excited and deliriously happy.  I felt like we hit the lottery or something.  We both were so hopeful and life felt fun.  Those moments with those great feelings we shared were wonderful.  Some days you get those moments other days you don’t. Some day you think you’ll never have another fun day the rest of your life.  Believe me I know.

The lesson learned:  You have to shake it up when you least want to.  When you want to craw inside a cave and let the dishes pile up because you just don’t give a sh*t – that is exactly the time you have to force yourself to do something, anything.  I am as bad, if not worse,  at doing this at the the next person.  It can be really tough to pull yourself up, by yourself.  I know for sure I wouldn’t have budged an inch, without loving encouragement from my Husband.  Thanks MrRat.

Cheers to the great moments.

Tip: You can give up once in awhile but you really can’t quit.

Inspiration: ” One of the most beautiful gifts in the world is the gift of encouragement. When someone encourages you, that person helps you over a threshold you might otherwise never have crossed on your own.” – John O’Donohue

One-day one-thing: Encourage someone, anyone.

I could be a drug addict.

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Magically, some how I was able to paint, raise children, work, clean, list paintings to sell, walk the dogs and go shopping, carpool kids, plan vacations, watch sporting events, join friends for lectures, belong to book clubs and enjoy social events, all at  same time.  I was super woman.

What the h*ll happened to me?

Devastation and deep depression.  Only the devastation was far less to be worried about, now looking backwards.  The depression, which I definitely categorize as pure sadness was so real.  Our business was struggling, my Mother became ill, my children were all leaving the house for college at the same time, a lifetime friend betrayed me, my other good friend died, and we couldn’t sell our house which had become to expensive for us.  And don’t even get me started regarding the IRS.  Dealing with all these issues was difficult at best.

So this is what I did.  I started a blog just for me.  I called it my sad blog.  I wrote how I felt.  If nothing more it provided an outlet.  Every morning I would sit down get coffee and listen to two songs and I would write as they played. Sometimes I  replayed them over and over again.

I played this one first:  the house that built me

Then I would play this one: you haven’t seen the last of me.

These songs brought me comfort and put a voice and words to my feelings.  However they also made me cry.  You see I  could  barely speak during this time.  Most times I would try to talk, tears would start flowing, all on their own.  Sad slow tears would well-up and peacefully roll down my cheeks.  I was a mess.   I wore sunglasses to work,  closed my office door, fell behind on everything I needed to do.  I stared out the windows or at the screen. There was no relief.  None.

During this dark period there were moments when everything was going to be fixed.  Once we were close to working a deal with the bank, or the time we almost merged with a company in Connecticut.   We were in final stages in both instances.  Hopes were high, everything was making perfect sense, everything look good, then boom.  Neither deal closed.  Up and down, hope and disappointment. Repeatedly.

I was broken.

I continued to do what I could, which wasn’t much.  Here is one entry from my personal  blog:

Sad but True

The best part of my day is knowing it will end.

Right now I can say I am better.  Much better.  I have listed some of the things and people who helped me to  pull myself up and out of my sea of despair. (btw- I am allergic to all antidepressants, so they ended up not being an option)

1.)  I joined Cross-fit. (thanks Libby ) That helped me with my energy level, attitude and it boosted my self confidence. Plus I got stronger. Even though it was really expensive it was well worth the investment.

2.) I started to get rid of all the useless stuff in my life.  Thus the birth of the “Unpack the Rat.” I was doing the work anyway and I thought I may as well write about it, so I could recognize my wins and grow though the process.

3.) I started to embrace ideas which I always admired but I never truly believed they could ever fit into my life.  I made room for new ideas.  In other words, I believe in possibilities once again.

4.) I started reading these bloggers – Thanks James and Claudia. Highly recommended.

5.) I stopped trying to prove myself to anyone.  I am what I am, either like me or not.

6.) I let go of any shame.  The financial disaster didn’t just hit our business  it was global.  Our business was categorized as “small enough to fail.”  (my choice words for the “selected” bails-outs sound like this @#$% ^%$@#%)

7.) I stopped pretending everything was okay. Then I identified what I could change and what I couldn’t change.

8.) I learned who had my back.  It wasn’t my siblings or in-laws.  I acknowledge that those family members are never going to change.  I stopped wishing for, hoping for and expecting something that never did, and never will exist.

9.) I looked to my husband.  I realized without him I am nothing.  He is the love of my life.  And he is my rock.  He has my back – forever and always.

10.) My children are among my greatest loves.  They are my  are super heroes, helping, never complaining, and always offering up the bright side of life.  I can’t even list how many ways they have supported and inspired me during my life.  I am so very proud of each of them.

The list could go on and on, so many other people deserve my gratitude.  Some of these people I know well.  Others, I don’t even know their names.

Anyway, time eventually ran out and  I had to tell my kids we were losing their childhood home.  I felt we let them down. I was ashamed to tell them we sold our house to the bank.  (We were lucky to do that, we  avoided foreclosure.)

My one son said to me, ” It doesn’t matter Mom.  Home is where ever my family is.”  I was stunned by his comment.  I will never forget his kind and wise words.

Perspectives from those I love and those who love me helped pull me through.  I take it one step at a time, and I still have a long way to go.  But I have faith we will get there some day.  And that “there” will be a place that we all will call “home.”

(I would like to add, this took me well over a year.  Maybe as long as 18 months, and still to this day sadness creeps in.  At least now I know I can somehow, some way, make it not hurt as much.)

Tip: Know who is your real family, and always keep the door open for new members related or not.

Inspiration: One of my daughter’s message of encouragement.

I woke up to this message, my daughter had primed the entire kitchen during the night while I slept.

One-day one-thing: Getting back to de-cluttering:  Sort your cosmetics, first-aid inventory and general bathroom supplies. These items expire, forget how much you paid for them, they are useless clutter.

PostScript: Just moments after writing this I was slammed with yet one more enormous disappointment.   I know why people turn to drugs, prescriptions or not.  I know.  I am growing so very tired of the fight, but I can’t give up, I’ve work too hard to get here.  I’m grabbing a beer.  And maybe I’ll read my own posts, how to stay up, and faith in not knowing  and then again maybe I won’t.

Cheers with a smile. :)