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Category Archives: Depression

Decision: depression? I don’t think so. Sort of a poem. Only sort of.

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Selfish because energy is lacking? Because tears too readily fall? Back off with your loose lips flapping, If you’ve heard one you’ve heard ’em all. It’s easy to judge from outside the disease, Point fingers and offer advice, Maybe, just maybe, stop your ignorance please, Your judgment comes at a price. The price you pay you’ll come to see Is stigma perpetuated, friendship wilted, Don’t tell me what is wrong with me, I won’t be bullied, I won’t be guilted. Depression is not selfish. Take heed. Depression is disease NOT choice, It’s not uneducated opinions I need. If you’re my friend, then hear my voice! No one would wish to feel this way! So kindly keep your wisdom to yourself, Be mindful of the words you say. Do your research; I’m too tired to explain to someone else.

Poverty & Mental Illness

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I can speak only to what I know of the subjects of poverty and mental illness. I’m sure studies have been done regarding the link between the two, but this isn’t about those studies. Nor do I mean to imply that people who are middle class or wealthy cannot have mental illnesses. It happens, I know, across all demographics. However, I do question the link between chronic, persistent mental illness and not having enough money to meet basic human needs. I, at least, have a job and insurance so that I can see a doctor and afford my medications, and somehow, with the help of food pantries, help from family and payday loans (a very poor solution, that one, but sometimes necessary when you run out of gas money or toilet paper before payday). My anxiety level has been so high almost constantly for the past few years. If you’ve never struggled to provide for your family, you may not understand. If you’ve never had a panic attack, you may not understand. Right now, even with the medication for anxiety and for depression (because, though I have bipolar disorder, I’m depressed much more often than I am manic), I’m not myself and not really sure who that self is anymore. I wanted better for my children than this. I grew up poor. You’d think I’d be used to it, right? Even as a child, I worried about money, rarely asked for anything because I didn’t want my parents to feel bad that they couldn’t afford something that wasn’t a necessity. I cry myself to sleep. I am trying so hard to be a good person, a good wife and mother and a good provider. I am trying so hard to trust that God’s providence covers us too, but at this moment, having to choose gas for the car so I can go to and from work over buying groceries, I feel like a failure. On top of the anxiety and depression, there is the poverty. Poverty is full of fear for me. It is also full of shame because as much stigma surrounds it as surrounds mental illnesses. I am just a person. I like to laugh, I love my family and if I could just be happy, I would. I often wonder, if I wasn’t always feeling like I’m walking on a thin, almost invisible line between having enough and not having enough, would I still have panic attacks? Would I still cry myself to sleep and be so easily irritated that I feel as though I’d be better off alone? I can’t answer those questions. I can only repeat that I am just a person, like anyone else.

Day 166/365 photos

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My ten-year-old came home early from school today after getting sick.  Looks like she misses her last day of fourth grade! 

On another note, I know the quality of my photos lately is blah; I’m a bit on the depressed side right now and just can’t make myself focus on finding a good shot.  I know, none of the photos are GREAT since I’m not using a real camera, but frankly, I’m not even trying anymore.  I will again, someday!

Fighting Depression

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No one can force me to feel
Anything I won’t allow;
Mine is the choice and
Mine is the power.
Cruel words and actions, though,
They hurt me still –
Harsh criticism
Deep away I squirrel,
Stored for future use,
When my thoughts tell me I’m useless,
They become high octane fuel
To keep bound my spirit, down and depressed.
It takes courage to pray,
To hope and have faith,
To choose to leave
That numbing space,
One heavy foot in front of the other,
One day at a time;
To learn peace, realize your dreams
And know love, it’s worth the climb.

Life of a Mom: installment nine, all that glitters… has value


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I’m not the best mother.  I’ll be first to admit that.  When depression or anxiety get the best of me, it’s hard for me to be physically close to anyone, even my kids.  I pray daily that my problems aren’t ruining their lives and that they know how much I love them.

That said, one mistake I made with my firstborn, who I raised on my own until she was six, was in not helping her to develop her imagination.  I’m sure she had opportunities while I was at work, and I’ve always worked full time so that’s a lot of time, but when we were together, I was her playmate.  Tired from working and wanting to read to her and build memories with her, I wasn’t usually game for make-believe.  Not that she was ever very into pretend play even without my reluctance.  She knew that I’d entertain her.  That’s not to say we never played dress-up or with dolls, we did.  We also explored parks and spent time painting, dancing and singing… and while she’s often “bored” these days, less than a year ago, she filled a jar with what adults would call rubbish:  soda pop caps, rocks, pop can tabs, etc., and called the jar her “treasure” – so maybe I didn’t fail entirely, or maybe she learned to use her imagination despite me… at any rate, with my second child, I’m much more able to stand back and let her do her thing.

There is a lot involved in why parenting my second child is totally different from the early years with my firstborn.  First, I’m married to my two-year-old’s father, so she has always had two parents.  Also, much of her life, her father has been a stay-at-home dad, so she has been raised mostly at home.  Finally, I recognize that she is learning pretty well without the structured play I enforced on her sister at that age; without my interference, she plays with her friends even when they aren’t around (two of her friends’ names, especially, I hear regularly… she has pretend play down to an art and although sometimes it means an even messier-than-usual house, she can entertain herself for quite awhile). 

I’m happy to say that whatever I didn’t do to nourish one child’s imagination, both of them yet can see the value in objects of unimportance to adults; for that, I’m thankful.  All that glitters is not gold, it’s true, but is there any good reason why our children shouldn’t pretend it is?

117/365+ proof of God’s love


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I’m feeling chaotic.  My house is a mess and no one wants to help tidy things and after working all day and grocery shopping after work, having eaten very little and thus feeling a bit hypoglycemic, and dealing with an intense bout of PMS, the last thing I wanted to do when I finally got home was to pick up everyone’s messes.  So I didn’t.  I ate dinner and tried to ignore the mess that increases the chaos inside me and I was doing well until my ten year old started having screaming fits about homework.  I didn’t handle things well, not at all.  Tired and no longer able to overlook the chaos, I became angry and suicidal.  No, I didn’t do anything.  This isn’t the first time my knowledge of God’s love has saved me from myself.  I will continue to have faith and I will fight to be positive, because I’ve so often witnessed firsthand His love, it’s time for me to stop taking it for granted.

Day 114/365 photos


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This is a partial portrait of what depression looks like:  it’s just 8:00 p.m. and I’m in bed, avoiding my family because, frankly, I’m extremely depressed right now.  Maybe it’s just part of my bipolar cycle, maybe it’s the stress of our financial troubles, maybe my blood sugar is out of whack again, maybe it’s my older daughter’s regular screamfests, maybe it’s fear that nothing is ever going to get better, maybe I hate my job, maybe I need different meds, maybe I’m still a little freaked out about my little one choking last night.  Maybe I’m just feeling sorry for myself.  I’m too tired to fight it and there’s no one to talk to here, so I’m in bed.