Depression is NOT a Choice

Depression is not a choice. Do you hear me !!! Depression is not a choice.

You don’t just wake up one morning depressed. Depression creeps up on you slowly, little by little. It is mixed with highs that make you think you are ok. Highs that allow you to make others think you are ok. When reality is you are caught in a tornado that is spiraling out of control to the the point of no return. 

Depression pushes everyone away and isolates. Depression sets everything up for failure while you lie to yourself hoping and believing it will be ok. Depression is a slow killer worse than any cancer. There is no radiation, chemo or magic pill that will cure it. 
Depression is the one disease that is culturally unacceptable. That is why it is so hidden. That is why we are so shocked when friends kill themselves because of it. 
The question is what do we do when we find ourselves sunk into a depression?
I recently told one of my friends I was battling depression and the response I got was, to be exact, “well that’s your choice.” It has has only made me more depressed. Feel more alone. Be more isolated. 
Every moment I have to choose life. Every moment I have to choose to keep living. Every moment I have to choose to wake up. Every moment I have to choose to keep breathing. These are the real choices of of a depression. Depression is not a choice.

Help! I am falling!

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When I lost my rock I lost my way. My world shook. And everything that could fall came tumbling down, came crashing down around me, and I was left trembling. And now I've lost my way and I've not been able to find it. I've been lost in this vast world wandering around aimlessly trying and trying and trying to find my way. I've gone here and said is this where I'm supposed to be. I've gone there and said is this is where I'm supposed to be. And I've gone to the ends everywhere but nowhere am I supposed to be.

And now I sit here and wonder, is this where I'm supposed to be? Is this what I'm supposed to be doing? Is this really my purpose in the world?

I pray prayers. And earnestly seek God for the answers. But the answers that come, make me question if God even listening to me. Do I even believe that God would send the answers that have come? I don't know anymore. I say how can this be!! How could God allow this answer to come when he knows I so earnestly sought him and prayed to him? What is this about?!

And so here I sit confused. Still wandering around aimlessly in this world. Wondering if this is really where I'm supposed to be. But there is no answer.

How I long to find purpose and fulfillment again. How long to find love and happiness again. How long to find contentment and enjoyment in all that is around me again. I try earnestly to be happy in all that is around me but eventually catches up with me. Eventually reality slaps me in the face and I'm keenly aware of the fact that my world came crashing down around me and there's nothing I can do about it.

To look at me on the outside you would think I have everything that I ever want. But stuff without relationship, family, love, being surrounded by people is mere nothingness.

If I Could Get Home Again

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If I could get back home again.

I had been gone from “home” for 30 years and I thought, if I could just get back home again things would be good, things would be normal and happy.

I left because I was running away from my step-dad who was trying to kill me or at least I thought he was. No, I know he was. He has long since died and there is no longer a danger from him.

Since he is now dead I wanted to come home. I wanted to live near my mom, brothers and sister. I longed to have the relationships with my family that I missed out on for years. So I moved home.

What an illusion. I guess we all have had times like this, times where we thought if only it were this way or that way. I longed for something that will never be. I longed to be close to people who did not have a desire to be close to me. Now when I lived 2000 miles away they said and acted like they wanted to have me around but when push came to shove it just is not true.

Hope deferred makes the heart sick. Well, part of healing is acknowledging the lost hope, recognizing it will never be, forgiving and moving on. But still my heart breaks and still longs for what will never be. Now I must accept my fate. I must cry my tears of loss. I must heal from unrealistic hopes and dreams. I must accept I am alone and actively build friends and acquaintances around me that allow relationship to grow. I have always taught family is more than being blood related. Family is a bond that grows through hard work on both parties part.

If I could get back home again is not all that it is cracked up to be. Home is where we are. Home is where we are loved and accepted. Home is where we live and play. I have closure now. I no longer long for something I did not have and I no longer believe it would be better than what I had. No, it is just the same. Empty. But now I live with the realization that I can fill my emptiness with what brings me love and happiness and not feel guilty or long for something just beyond my reach.

How about you? What do you long for? What do you look back at and say, if I could just be there or do that? Do you long for a home that used to be but no longer is? In what do you need closure in order to move forward? Who or what do you need to forgive to heal? How can you fill your emptiness today?

Men!

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Does God really need to test us so we can discover what our character really is made of? Really, is this necessary? Let me tell you a true life story that happen to me recently.

As many of you that have been following me know I was widowed just over 3 years ago. I am now ready to get on with my life. I have begun to ask God to send the right man into my life. I have even described the characteristics I am seeking. I do not know the first thing about looking for a suitable mate so I am just carrying on with my normal life but leaving room for God to reveal the person he has for me.

I am a very outdoorsy type of person love kayaking, biking, hiking, etc. I am outdoors until there is no more daylight. I am also very involved in my communities. I live in an area where it is very easy to be involved not only where I live but also neighboring communities. I have gotten to know hundreds of people in the last couple of years and I love it here.

About a month ago I purchased a new kayak so I’d have one for me and one to loan out so others can have fun on the water with me. I have a carrier that mounts on the roof of my SUV to haul them around. I was trying to get the roof rack adjusted so the yaks would ride balanced on it. I was struggling like crazy and could not get it to adjust when one of the local police officers saw me struggling stopped and offered to help. I was very grateful especially when I discovered the rack would not have adjusted without two people sliding the bracket at the same time. He stayed and visited for over a half hour. I showed him my new investment and he shared he wanted to buy a fishing yak. I had just purchased one and he checked it out. We discussed our families and the joys of living in a very small community on a beautiful lake. I took note that he was a handsome officer.

Over the course of the next few days I noticed he drove by the house frequently. And when I drove through the neighborhood he was frequently around. When I would go to the lake to put the yak in he would show up and park on top of the cliff and observe. I actually was comforted by the fact that there was an officer present while I kayaked alone on the lake because I knew if I got into trouble someone was close by. I began to wonder about him.

In my little town the police, fire and community center are all in one building. The fire station not only houses the firetrucks but also the zuma class and various other meetings. You can almost count our residents on your fingers and toes. I attended our monthly ladies auxiliary meeting and he made a point to come into the room to greet us. Ok I have now noticed him.

We hosted a community party and I had opportunity to observe and visit with him. He seemed unattached and very available. He asked for my number so I gave it to him. He text me that evening, very polite and the such. I began to think maybe this is the man God is allowing in my life. So I began to get to know him, but still a little cautious because I really did not know him very well at all. He was everything I was looking for in a man, handsome, kind, considerate, complimentary, affectionate, hard working, etc.

I had a strong desire to learn about his previous relationship, don’t know why, I just needed to ask. So one evening while he was over and we were visiting I asked him if he was single. Good question, right?!? And he said casually, no. I’m like WHAT? “Are you in the process of getting a divorce?” And he answered, “no.” So I asked, “Are you filing for a divorce?” Again he answered, “no.” He said he no longer lived with his wife. I am floored. I am speechless. I am in shock.

I have never in my life encountered this. I know it goes on but not in my life it doesn’t. I was faithfully married all those years and never once was unfaithful. I have never and will never commit adultery or even consider it! I cannot believe this has happened to me. I want to look on the bright side and say at least someone found me attractive and even desirable so there is hope for someone else. But I am upset. I wake with headaches now and have little desire to even eat. It has been over 3 years since my husband died and I have not dated at all and this happens, yuck is all I can say.

So, is God tricking me or testing me? Or did I just simply get thrown a curve ball in this upside down life we have the privilege of living in? Thankfully I am not desperate. I made a decision a long time ago to live a life of integrity no matter what. And today I get to walk it out. He continues to text and call me so I have to be utterly clear with him which will put me in a very vulnerable position.

This one thing I ask: please, no more test, God. I’ve met my quota for this lifetime!

Life Unfolds

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It is true life does just unfold in weird ways. I never planned most of my life, well I had a plan but the plan just didn’t work out. I lived and took the opportunities that came along and here I am. There is a lot of my life that I just simply love. There is some of it that I can do without. And then there are other moments that just are, for lack of a better description.

When I was a kid if you had of asked me if I was going to grow up and do what I am doing I’d probably said no way, yet here I am. And I am good with that.

If you had of asked me if I was going to move 1200 miles from my family I’d of said no way but yet that’s what I did.

If you’d asked me if I be widowed at age 50 I would have said absolutely not but yet that is what happened.

I never thought I’d be starting over at this age yet that is exactly what I am doing and enjoying it finally.

Life just unfolds all around us. We have to fully enjoy and capture the many moments that happen. We have to look for the open doors and walk thought them and just see what happens.

I am not going to let life pass me by while I wait for my future. No my future is unfolding all around me. I am going to jump in and enjoy this weird, wild ride called life.

What’s Lost

I was recently reading an article that boasted about what the author had gained over the years. I know better than to dwell too deeply on what I read. I have become an avid reader again this last year. I read everything, almost from novels to news articles and everything in between. I still dislike horror but love a good mystery.

The author of the article stated he had gained: a marriage, a career, a house and some security over the years as he aged. He also proceeded to disclose what he had lost. I had become too distracted by what he gained to even begin to be focused on what he thought he has lost. He gained everything I have lost in an instant. He too could lose all of that and more in an instant.

I wonder, more than sometimes, more like often, if people really realize how fragile life actually is. Sure we all know we could die in an instant. But there is something even more devastating than dying. Actually, dying is more merciful than being left behind. Being left behind and having my world crumble around me is by far the worst thing that has ever happened to me.

You may say or think I have not known or felt tragedy but you’d be mistaken. You see I was raised by abusive people. From what I have been told by relatives I was beaten up at 6 weeks and thrown into a trash can left for dead by my birth dad. I was abused physically, mentally and sexually by numerous male family members including my step dad, uncle, brother and strangers. I was a shooting victim at a bank robbery where I used to work. I was struck by lightening while riding in a car which gave me a stroke. I could go on but you get the picture. I have had opportunity to grow and thrive through a lot of adversity.

So on that fateful day when I lost my husband I had no idea everything I knew would be taken from me in the following weeks. Living through this loss has been the worst nightmare I have ever had to endure.

It has been 3 long years and I have almost depleted my savings. I work hard not to dwell on my uncertain future. I continue to apply for jobs only to be turned down, I am not so young anymore. Too young to draw any benefits so I must find find work. I, like the author of the article I am reading, had a marriage that I thought would last and we would grow old together, retire and move into eternity together. I though I had a career that was secure, after all I earned a doctorate, I am educated! I thought I would be able to keep my house, but it just was not so. I though I had some financial security for when I grow old, but I am thankful I have it so I can live on it now. In an instant, in a twinkling of an eye it all changed, never to be the same again.

Life is fragile. It is meant to be lived now and enjoyed now. We are not promised tomorrow or even today.

I Miss

I miss my life. I miss the past simple as that. I miss the people that used to be in my life. I miss the familiar. I miss the comfortable. I miss feeling loved and at least thinking I was accepted. I miss what I was. I liked what I was and who I was. I miss me. I don’t even know who I am now. I have not landed on my feet and may not. I don’t want to keep looking backwards but when there is nothing to look forward to backwards is all there is. Yes, backwards nearly killed me. Yes, backwards was abusive. Yes, backwards is not where I belong anymore but it is better than this emptiness I currently living in.

I feel like I am imprisoned with myself and cannot escape.