Monday, October 5, 2009

Dealing with Depression

Depression can be overwhelming for some. You've seen the commercials on TV. For some, depression is due to low seratonin levels requiring medication. For others, it may be situational and temporary. But it doesn't feel good and it can ...zap the energy out of you.

I'm normally a very upbeat optimistic person. I tend to have a view that the glass is half full opposed to half empty. But there have been a few times in my life, that I can count on one hand, when I've become depressed for a time. I've always come out of it and it never lasted for years, but months.

I wrote a post recently called "Why You Should Read Heart Choices". One of the points I mentioned was that I was learning to be more transparent and real.

I wrote a post titled "Being Transparent and Real" on August 3rd because I really wanted to know how others felt. What we write on our blogs is out there for all to read. I tend to be somewhat private about certain things in my life. But I do believe that there are times when revealing something we're struggling with might help someone else. And for me, it helps to know ...I'm not alone.

Everyone who looks happy on the outside doesn't always feel that way on the inside. I spoke with my sister Christine yesterday about this very thing. She is a very optimistic outgoing personality. She also views life from the glass is half full mentality. But she's gone through so many trials in her life, including a very real challenge with her eyesight from a partially detached retina. She still must adhere to a strict schedule of positions to allow the retina to reattach and doesn't yet know the outcome. But Chris' faith has been growing through this latest trial. We've been able to talk about what we're each learning.

And last week, I got reacquainted with a family friend from Charlotte, NC. Lauri and my sister Christine used to play together as children. Our parents were good friends. Her mom was a bridesmaid in my parent's wedding in 1950. When Lauri read about Christine's eye surgery, she sent a card of encouragement. Chris read to me what Lauri wrote on her card as she was so touched by her kindness. The photo above is of Lauri with her daughter Jessica. Aren't they both so beautiful?

My mom always had a smile and a joke for everyone. Unless you really knew her, you'd never know how much pain she suffered inside her body. It was only when she was with those closest to her, would she let down her guard. She never wanted to spoil anyone's fun by talking about pain and suffering.

I've found that in the midst of these difficult times ... God is faithful.

I had one of those very down days this week. Normally I write my Thankful Thursday and Fitness Friday post weekly. But I didn't even have the energy to participate this week. Instead I took a time of rest, reading and praying. I also listened to Scott Samter's online Bible teaching from 1 John which is all about love.

During the course of the day, I had phone calls from three of my closest friends (Helen, Terri and Sue). They didn't even know what was going on with me that particular day. But each one offered encouragement, prayer and a listening ear. They didn't judge me for feeling the way I did. But they also reminded me of who I was; a dearly loved child of Almighty God; my Abba Daddy. My friend Jamie from San Antonio sent me an ecard and I got an email from one of my newly discovered relatives, Bill and Sharon Sumstad on that very day. How could I ever doubt God's love? He uses His people as His hands and feet in this world.

I have the most awesome bloggy friends and I'm so thankful for them. Lisa, Jill, Noreen, Lori, Debra, Iris, Jennifer, Sandy, Edie and so many more ...I thank you! I know I'm missing more of you but you know who you are.

Oh and by the way, I got an email from Sarah Dawn of Splashin' Glory. She's pictured above with Jill of Forever N Ever N Always when they had their surprise get together last week. Don't they look fun? Sarah Dawn and I are trying to find a day to get together too. That will definitely brighten my day. If you've never visited her blog ...you must stop by and say hello.

And if that weren't enough, I won a blog giveaway on Faithful Bloggers! I will have a one hour consultation with professional organizer Debbie Pendall. Oh my office needs this so badly.

Gosh, just writing this post has actually helped me. When I focus on all of the wonderful people the Lord has brought into my life, I really am thankful. And the smile does return to my face and it's genuine. Yes, life still holds many challenges but God is faithful and good. There's nothing like being refreshed by Him.

(Photo Credit of sleeping woman: Mihaly)

22 comments:

  1. I love the way you worked through the emotions in this post Debbie. That picture of Sarah Dawn and Jill is so cute!

    Thanks for the mention and I will keep you in prayer.

    Love you my friend.

    Psalm 121:1-3
    I lift up my eyes to the hills—
    where does my help come from?

    My help comes from the LORD,
    the Maker of heaven and earth.

    He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;

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  2. Bless you, I smile, because you are in the world.

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  3. Debbie, I'm really glad I've found your blog. I never dreamed, when I began this blog in June, that I would find such spiritual richness among so many wonderful Christian women. I relate to your post today...I'm tired, empty, and not sure why...but I believe it is a time for drawing close to the Lord, setting aside the business of my life, and evaluating what is important, and what isn't. I appreciate your sharing this today...I know many will understand and agree with your words...I know I do. God bless you, Debbie.

    Mary

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  4. Friends make everything easier to bear. You have some very good ones.

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  5. Hi Debbie-

    I wanted you to know that although I don't comment much and my visits are far between-- I love your writing and your honesty. You are my online version of a Titus 2 woman, and I am thankful for your wisdom and transparency.

    Praying for you!

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  6. Thank you for sharing your heart, Debbie. I know what a comfort it is to experience the encouragement of sweet friends.

    Hugs!

    - Kelly

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  7. Friends sometimes come in the form of God's grace.

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  8. Debbie~ I love how transparent you are being - because it does make a difference in others.

    I'm also thankful for your bloggy friendship. It's an amazing thing to be heart friends with someone you've never met in person!

    Continued prayers for you, KNOWING that Our God IS Faithful to you and your family - and to us, too!!!

    Love you~
    Jennifer

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  9. Thank you for this very helpful post. I suffer with depression too sometimes. Just knowing someone else can relate to it is a big help.

    Blessings!

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  10. Debbie - I love you!

    You are such a blessing and precious friend!

    I thank God for you!

    Hugs and can't wait to meet you in person!!!!

    Jill

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  11. Whenever I hear of anyone that battles depression I think of David. His highs were incredible, but his lows were equally so - - he being God's man extraordinnaire.

    Since I passed through menopause I have had very few down days. But in my younger years they came often ... some born of body chemistry, some born of really tough life challenges - betrayals and losses.

    With the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, I see them very differently now. My friends were priceless, but in some amazing way those days drew me to a place in my walk with the Lord I'd never have gone otherwise.

    I came to see & feel His touch in those very real valleys of the shadow of death. The darkness is as light to Him, and that alone often gave me just enough hope to hang in, and hang on until it flickered anew in my own soul.

    Thank you for your candor. We all need to be that open with each other. It has a way of instilling confidence in the hearer, if not the teller. It is also the raw material for the compassion we owe to each other (2 Cor. 1:3-7).

    Hugs & blessings,
    Kathleen

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  12. Dear Debbie,

    That is neat to hear how the Lord impressed so many people to reach out to you in this time in your life. He is really a personal God. It sounds like you have been refreshed with your time alone with God. You are such a neat person and a real blessing to so many of us. Thanks for sharing from your heart.

    Love,
    Sue

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  13. Debbie, thanks for this post. I appreciate your honesty--it's necessary and it's very helpful to others. We all struggle from time to time.

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  14. Debbie,
    I often think of this verse when I battle depression.

    Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.
    Provers 14:13

    No one, No one ever knows how another feels. Not even if they have the same experience. We all cope with things differently.

    Being transparent is being honest.

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  15. Bless your sweet heart. I wish I could give you a big hug.

    I'm thankful for my friends too, Internet friends included.

    I have always enjoyed visiting your blog Debbie. You are such a blessing!

    Love & hugs,
    Beth

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  16. This was such an encouraging post. It really does do one well to look at the blessings, and you do that so very well.

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  17. What a blessed person and a wonderful role model you are!
    Being honest about depressions is important to all those who think depressions equals failure.

    Even more important is that God never turns his back to us.
    During your blackest day, He proved his care and being in your life.
    And you did not blame him for your "down" day, but praised him all over the web for his goodness and care for you.

    I've learned an important lesson today.
    Thanks for sharing.
    From Felisol

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  18. Precious Sister, I smiled, cried and prayed and praised all in this one post for you dear friend.


    The photos are beautiful. My prayers for Christine remain as they do for you.

    We've all faced moments of discouragement and despair so you are not alone Sweetie. I'm lifting you up to the LORD.

    Edie, shared the WORD that was in my heart to share with you. Psalm 121.

    I love you.

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  19. Debbie,

    I feel like I'm sitting right beside you here. You've expressed so much of how I feel on any given day. 23 meds and hard to keep awake and the enemy whispering failure in your ear all day long has taken its toll.

    But then God....I can not escape His faithfulness for whatever I need and in whatever form it may come. Even in reading this, I thought, I'm not alone (selfish thinking, huh?).

    You are so right when you say God will give us what we need if we open our ears and eyes to listen and see. And I want you to know...I love you. Even when I'm not so present...I'm lifting your name up.

    Love ya tons!

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  20. Debbie,

    I feel so bad I never read this! Thank you for mentioning me. I'm so behind on blog-reading. But since you e-mailed me last week about Fitness Friday, I've mentioned you in prayer many times.

    I know the depression thing is real, girl. You won't get any judgment from me. Only compassion and probably a stupid joke.

    I love you sweet friend.

    Sandy

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  21. Debbie
    I am so glad I found this post, and you...I can hardly wait to read others posts of yours.
    I have become follower of your blog...I don't want to loose you, and I will grab your button before I leave.

    Ever since I have lost some(3 in the last 4 years) young(ish)friend due to all sorts of illnesses, I have become depressed and even angry at God our good Father...this too makes me sad.
    I don't want to feel either of these negative feelings towards the God I love so much...
    The reason I tell this is because you are right! There are a lot of people who walk about as if "OK", and they are sad with in... for many a reason.
    I am glad, graetful you are writing on such diffucult topic's of discussion.

    I find it very curious... every time I think I am going to "close up shop" on this blogging thing I do...our good Father finds me another reason/blog...to keep going.
    It surprises me how many faithful Christian women are out there.I wonder do you and other wonderful women know, just how much you are truly helping others,like my self?

    I am learning so much as a christian wife and mom and even grandma... due to christian blogs such as your.
    Thank you,thank you.
    .... Keep the "shop" up.

    Blessings
    Gracie
    PS: Sorry this is so long:\

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Am I a kid or what?

Am I a kid or what?

I love this place...Carmel, CA

I love this place...Carmel, CA