Category Archives: depression

Do Wha Diddy Diddy Dumb Diddy Doo …

Well there’s an eye catching little title. Nothing to do with this post.

Except for that first word, “do.”

And perhaps, the “Wha.”.

(Leave it to me to get something obscure from a song lyric).

The “do” and the “wha” refers to the “do what?” of my life.  Because so often I’m questioning what I do or don’t do. Am I doing right? And if I’m doing right, am I doing right?

Let me explain. And I’d better hurry up, before I lose you. One of my primary issues is keeping boundaries. And it’s not just the fact that people can take advantage of me. I volunteer myself and my resources. Nobody asked! It’s “What do YOU need?” versus “What do I need?” Then, when everybody’s happy, and I do mean ev.er.y.body, then  I’ll sit down and do my stuff. Complaining all the while, don’tcha know. But to do otherwise, to ignore someone’s need, to leave someone unsatisfied, feels very selfish, and just plain wrong. Sound familiar? (Cough: Martha)

This hurts me. Because after a while I’m feeling disjointed, disoriented, disorganized, and dissatisfied. It’s feeling like life is out of control. My laundry is weeks overdue, I haven’t made that phone call or done my writing, and I’m neglecting my job search and exploration. But maybe that’s the point. In seeing to someone else’s needs, I get to put off the things I need to do, or face, or feel. But that only works for so long. Soon I am in dire straits, and worse, blaming you.

So what is my business? How do I know? What is my responsibility, to you, or to me?

To know this, it starts with prayer. A common prayer of mine is the prayer Paul prayed at the time he was converted to Christianity (and isn’t that putting it mildly?). Having persecuted Jesus and His followers,, and having just condoned the stoning of Stephen, Paul (as Saul) meets Jesus on the road to Damascus.

And he trembling and astonished said, Lord,what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:6)

Simple, huh? Just ask God, and He will lead.

So why don’t I do it? Why don’t I make a habit of taking the time, first thing in the morning, to ask what He’d like me to do during my day? Why don’t I pause, before I say “yes,” or volunteer myself? It only takes a moment. Is it because I think I know better what’s best? Is it because I enjoy that adrenaline rush that says “Ooh, what have I gotten myself into?” “It sure has gotten hot in here.” Or, “Where’s the fire extinguisher?”

But there are concrete things He’s asked of me. I don’t need to pause and wait to be told; it’s in the Book. I can pray for others, one of the finest things that can be done for another human being. I can study and meditate upon God’s word. I can serve in my local church. I can spend time with other people the Lord has given me. And I can do my laundry.

Ok, perhaps that last was my mother talking. But you get the gist. There are many things I don’t make time for, and end up a mess. And if you’re like me, you’re spending time recuperating from time with others as much as you’re actually spending time with them (see: introvert). Maybe more. So you still don’t get things done.

It doesn’t mean I can’t drop everything in the event of an emergency, but it does mean that God has specific tasks for me. He has helped me, through a long history of anxiety, depression, and bipolar illness, to figure out what I need to do to take care of myself. He has helped me to know when it’s time to take steps forward in my recovery, and when I’ve taken on too much. He’s given me specific people, family and friends who know me well. They can see if I am “off,” they can give me that refreshing of the spirit that only a true friend can give, and it is mutual, I hope. If I’m neglecting all of that, or ignoring red flags, a lot of sour notes will ensue. And it’s not just me on the piano, or the Mexican food I just ate.

This is not to mention the fact that if my “good deeds” do proceed from my flesh, and not from the Spirit’s call, it’s not worth a whole lot. I am thoughtful of the following scripture in Romans 8:5-8:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

There is a whole lot in that there little portion of scripture! Among other things, it makes me evaluate things: Is my motive selfish, even when I appear to be focused on others? Am I looking to be comfortable, to be honored, to be liked? Am I trying, in my flesh, to make others happy? Maybe God’s intent is for that person to seek their own solution, or to sit with their own discomfort. Or, more than likely, for them to turn to Him, rather than to this friend who wants to make “aw better.” Sometimes, making it easier on someone else is not making it easier. It’s not just the two-year-old who needs to know they can do it themselves. And sometimes the attempt to “mother” someone does more harm than good. After all, “mother” and “smother” are pretty close.

Of course, there is such a thing as analyzing something to death. Sometimes I am procrastinating. Sometimes I am “enabling.”

But sometimes, I’m just loving.

And isn’t that what Christ has begged for us to do all along? As it is written:

And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. 2 John 5:

 

 

Ulla – Beyond the Yellow Brick Road

I hate to write this. And after many revisions, trying to articulate this clearly, I am just going to click “Publish,” and call it good. After one more read, then I will. And then one more.

Our Dear Ulla, a fellow bipolar blogger known as “Blahpolar,” who entertained us, saddened us, instructed us, inflamed us, embarrassed us, left us. She took her life, and now she’s gone.

I loved you right away, Ulla, loved reading your irreverent prose. The F bombs, the rants, the things we all want to say but can’t. The extremes of anger and sadness. I wanted to loosen my lips, but not THAT much. Being around it, I started to think it. I have no way to explain, only that it wasn’t good for me and the life I was trying to live. So I left off reading your daily blog. I tried reading you once a week, but I couldn’t. I tried to help, but my solution being God and godly things made you REALLY mad. You had your reasons, and I understood, but that was all I had to offer. So I popped in now and then, said hi, reminded you I still cared, but was it enough?

Ulla was as out there as anyone with bipolar could be. She called herself the bipolar dyke. I know some of my Christian friends would wonder, how can you love someone like that, who is out and proud and loud and bipolar and gay and “heathen,”and what if you catch it? Funny, huh? Not really. After all, there but for the grace of God my desire and passion could be for a woman. It can’t be an easy road. My response is more a tilt of the head, and then, so, what else are you about?

As everyone, I was shocked to find out you had left us, Ulla. Let’s just say it right out, you killed yourself. Why? I am so surprised at your choice. You were so strong, so determined! You had a purpose and that purpose was keeping US alive. Oh Ulla. What tipped you over the edge? But I understand, too. When you’re that depressed, you DON’T have a choice over your thoughts, your morbidity, and yes, your choices. And you, my friend, I am sure you looked at the whole thing practically, logically. I don’t believe you were one bit impulsive or emotional about it.

Where are you now? According to my faith, once you are gone you are gone, and if you’ve not chosen Jesus, you are really gone, to Hell, with no way back. But how could I tell you that? Besides, you knew, right? You’d been steeped in religion at one point in your life. I think. Am I remembering right? And shouldn’t I have said something, directly to you, sooner, more emphatically, more empathetically? I had my blogs about salvation, did you read them? But I should have said, Ulla, please, listen to ME. I should have begged, or at least, been a bother.

Then again, maybe you did know the Lord. Maybe you didn’t land in Hell. I believe that those of us who commit suicide ARE ill, and God takes that into account. Oh Lord. Oh Ulla.

And in some religions, it is GOOD to pray you into that good place. It is believed that you can take someone ordinarily destined for Hell, and pray for them, and they will go to Heaven. I know God can do anything, does do miracles. So I pray. Lord, have mercy. Lord, the ones I love, they didn’t understand. Lord, have mercy. It can’t hurt to pray, God wants us to pray, so I pray, Lord, have mercy.

Ulla, I am just so sorry I didn’t continue to be your friend. Survivor’s guilt, they call it. But not just that. I shoulda coulda woulda. You would now be telling me, F___ guilt. But there are some things I am actually guilty of. And you really were a friend to me. You did reach out to me. Or did I you? Regardless, we hit it off. And nothing I said was unacceptable, I was in a bad spot and you were my friend. And vice versa. I really should have done more. I’m so sorry Ulla. We are all asking, is there anything we could have done differently? Something that would have made you stay for one more day, a day things might have turned around for you? Oh yes I know this is totally self-centered of me, but would you please come back?

Ulla Ulla it just seems that if you had held on a little longer, you might have been okay. ECT does not work right away, you know that.  😦 What was it that tipped you over the edge? And was it the best decision? But how could it be?

That is one thing that haunts me. Whenever I find out that someone has committed suicide, I am so sad and horrified, but a part of me is envious, because I have what you have. And that thing that I have is the occasional hatred of life, so strong it can be overwhelming,  it can be all I can think of. The desire to leave, so strong.

But what you didn’t have is what I do have. The hope that no matter how bad things get, I have a future. A future in Heaven. I have Someone Who loves me, will love me forever. No matter who or what happens in my life, I have an assurance that is real enough that nothing else matters. Not my pain, not my misery, nor the endless days. And eventually those days change, and I am happy again, and can move forward. Write again, smile again, hope again. See that I matter.

I pray, as I said, that your endless days ended in Heaven. I pray that I can be a better friend.

But more than that, I wish you were here Ulla. You are so missed. I wish you were here.

 

 

 

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

Hope you have a wonderful day today my friends! Independence Day whether far or near, freedom from lack and freedom from fear. Big hugs! I have had so much discouragement lately, and so hungry, and blowing up like a balloon! Time to take the doctor by the neck and say ok, my Friend, time to get me off this stuff and onto something that works! And preferably something that makes me LOSE weight! THAT would make me “happy,” lol…

As usual wanting to avoid holidays, partly habit, partly just so dog-gone depressed. Lord please help me! Here’s to a good rest-of-the-year, whattaya think? And no I am not toasting with alcohol. Been “independent” of that since December 1985, all glory to God!

For those who have freedom in Christ, a wonderful song today. God bless you! For God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind! 2 Timothy 1:7

“What does the Bible say about Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression?

This post is quite good. It addresses the legitimate medical AND spiritual concerns that need to be addressed when helping a person who has bipolar illness. I agree with the Bible about sin and holiness. But the person with bipolar and other mental illnesses needs proper medical supervision and treatment. Going without that is extremely dangerous.

THE WALL: a blog of Baptist Voice Ministries

Note: as with many psychological issues, there are often both a physical and spiritual aspect of manic depression / bipolar disorder. While we believe psychologists often miss the true spiritual nature of the sickness, we strongly encourage anyone suffering with a mental illness to seek medical attention and counseling.

Answer:“Bipolar disorder” is a name that first appeared in 1957 for a severe mental illness. Before that, the same illness was called “manic depressive illness” or “manic depression,” though that name only dates back to 1921. Neither term appears in the Bible, but the Bible teaches us a number of lessons we can apply to bipolar disorder.

Bipolar disorder is a serious mental illness characterized by severe mood fluctuations. These fluctuations go far beyond simply being “happy” or “sad.” The “manic” symptoms can include feelings of extreme euphoria, marked increase in risk-taking, racing thoughts, forced speech, and increased energy. The…

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♪♫ Fly me to da moon…

Let’s get it over with: Happy Monday. Ok, I said it. No explanation point. (Ha ha, I got cha there, didn’t I?) And no, I did not really mean it. (The happy Monday! Pay attention y’all!) Because hey, who really puts “happy” and “Monday” together? It was purely obligatory at best. You are paying attention aren’t you? I meant the Happy Monday!

Anyway, this morning I noticed myself kind of singing the song, “Fly Me To The Moon,” in my head (Frank Sinatra sings this best IMHO. I would post a link to a video but gee you guys are distractible).

I most often sing this song, alternating with “Smile, though your heart is aching …” as a distraction, when I am somewhere or doing something that I would rather not do or be. Most commonly this setting and situation would have been in the medication room by the butler with a knife.

URGH! You guys are driving me MAD!

Back to the whole point! Distraction! I would sing that song, “Fly Me To The Moon” whenever I did not want to be or do whatever it was I was being or doing. Not that “where I’m at” today is so horrible. Although, Monday would be right up there with horrible, I really don’t mind helping my friend, or doing the writing, it’s just that my Monday is not purely my Saturday today, and I don’t like that.

If all that makes sense to you, here’s a banana. You don’t need to listen to any more.

Er, not that the rest of you lot have to. Listen. Again, pay attention. Not that the rest of you have to listen. Except, by now, you are a captive audience due to the fact that my stellar writing has already reeeeled you in… muahhh haaa haaa…

HO-kay… where was I.

The explanation point (Heh):

Most times, my Monday is my Saturday. I make no appointments, have no obligations, really don’t even make myself get dressed, if I don’t want to.

Um, I rarely make myself get dressed most days but that is beside the point. Pyjaminators unite! Rawwrrr!

Gee I’m acting like it is my Saturday! The brain feels like it … tonk tonk …

So what do I have scheduled today that that has me in a state of upheaval?

Well, not much. I have an older friend who has to go to the doctor’s. And I have to make up some writing words, about 2000 today.

Now, notice, it’s not like I am straight out.

Nor do I resent my friend. I want to help her. She sounds torrible! When you can hear someone wheezing in church from one row up and one aisle over, they really need to be seen!

Ok, let’s be honest! It’s the words that I resent.

I don’ waaannna… Pffhh… surprise surprise.

Ok, let’s start visualizing. You finish the book. It is halfway decent (and I am pretty sure it would be, if I finished the dang thing!) You finish writing the book, and even editing it!

You send it off to an editor, a friend-of-a-successful-friend maybe even …

It gets published! and read by many many, who beg the publishing company for the next book in the series! Which is (theoretically) already written, edited, and ready for publication! (even more theoretically)

Mm hmm… (picture wry Madea-like look)

Ok, that’s not the look I was going for. Try this.

haha. That’s not the look either. Well, trust me, Madea gets skeptical. Okay?!

Now I am suitably distracted, even more so than I was by my mental “Fly me to the moon.”

And so – “Get to work, Kathleeeen…”

Off I go.

But first, breakfast. Ha ha ha!

I told you …

I said that when the crocuses appeared my depression would magically disappear. Well … here go.

I’m waiiiiting …

BY the way, I am very pleased that I am still working on my novel for Nano Camp and it’s going pretty well! Last night I did some prompts with a friend via some youtube videos put up by Nano Camp. Unfortunately, for the first prompt, I wound up coming up with the video for 2014, not 2015. Also, I heard the word “thoughts” when they said “box.” But the prompt caused me to have a very interesting conversation between my characters, so it’s all good. I would share it with you but I am bashful about sharing my work until I have a chance to pick it all to bits.

All in all, I am so happy with my progress. Happy that when I get behind, I don’t quit. Happy that when I don’t feel like writing, I do it anyway. It’s pretty cool how much writing you can produce when you write!

On that profound note, I bid you adieu as I go back to waiting for my depression to lift. 😀

Will Attend …

Well I respectfully decline, once again, to live half a life/existence and wait until the hour of my death amen.

I want my life back! Well, I want that part of my life that is filled with joy, with ability for my body to obey my will to want and to do.

I just started an outpatient program yesterday to help me with my depression. It’s from 9-3 daily and consists of group therapy, education, occupational therapy, and just in general hanging out with someone other than my own fine depressed self. Means up and bathed and dressed and there by 9 which is a huge stretch all by itself, lol… but it’s good for me.

I’ve been through it before when I was really depressed, and a few times when I was manic too. The staff is really great and many of them have worked there for years, so it is almost comforting to need help (lol)

I enjoyed reading your blogs tonight. 🙂 Keep going!

I will be back at it when I can