Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Relapse: The Waiting Place

Thanks to an anonymous reader on my “Is It a Relapse?” post who wrote:

This is a great article! However, what have you done that helped you to come out of it since? I was hoping to read on and find out where you went from there (from this article). What were your next steps that made you feel secure and confident that you would be okay? Please continue with “the rest of the story” to the end.

My sanity update:
I am presently camping out (toasting marshmellows) in what I refer to as “the Waiting Place,” eloquently described in Dr. Suess’s “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” (see next post). That is, I’m somewhere between recovery and relapse. After a day or two of nonstop tears, I felt a huge relief and thought that the brief visit to the Black Hole was merely a consequence of going off of the hormonal pill that I had been taking to shrink my benign tumor in my pituitary gland.


Unfortunately, though, the anxiety snuck back in. In my mood journal, I’ve rated the last ten or so days as a two or three (the number one being complete sanity and five being close to hospitalization). For the nine months (270 days) before that, I enjoyed “one” days, minus the occasional PMS melodramas and stay-at-home-mom grumpies. During that time I woke up without the nausea and tight knots in my stomach.
But, as so many of you know, the black dog (as Winston Churchill and some Beyond Blue readers refer to depression) is never too far away because most of us have an invisible, electronic fence around ourselves that zaps the poor guy the minute he tries to escape from our little worlds. The hour you get cocky and think you can coast for awhile–that everything is “so” under control–is precisely when that black mutt bites you in the ass.
So, here I sit, (with many of you no doubt) in the Waiting Place. I’m not suicidal. I’m not looking up gun stores in the Yellow Pages like I was a year and a half ago or plotting a half dozen ways to end my life. But let’s just say (and I know this sounds horrible, absolutely horrible … because I do so much love my husband and family) at this very moment I would be relieved if my plane went down. When anxiety and depression have me by the throat, as they do right now, I become envious of elderly people and those with terminal illnesses because their end is near. Death seems as enticing as an all-inclusive Sandals vacation package in the Caribbean. The Waiting Place is about “existing,” as reader Bonnie described it on the message board of “They Just Don’t Get It“, until you can go back to “living” again.
As ugly as that sounds, it is an honest assessment of someone caught in the Waiting Place, and I pledged to myself and to God from day one of writing Beyond Blue that I would be totally sincere, completely and painfully candid, in expressing my opinions and feelings about depression in order to help those afraid to admit that they have, at times, scanned the obituaries to see who “won the lottery.”
However, should you right now want to log off and never return to my doom and gloom, let me say this, worth repeating from my original my relapse post: As bad as I feel at moments right now, I’m not without hope. And that makes this place so much more tolerable than it was the last time I visited (courtesy of all my sky miles, now that I am a platinum member of Club D). I know that the Waiting Place is only that–a temporary position that will ultimately lead me to a better spot where I will once again be excited about David’s soccer games and Katherine’s dance recitals, and when I can wake up in the morning with thoughts of breakfast, not how I’m going to manage through the day.

  • Wendi

    Therese, my heart goes out to you. I’ve been in that place many times; in fact, I just managed to leave it again a few days ago. Hang on, honey. My thoughts and prayers are with you. :)

  • Larry Parker

    Therese, as a fellow traveler, I always extend my compassion for your struggles.
    I hope you will indulge me — since James Bishop of reached out to me (publicly, through Bnet), concerned that I was misconstruing Professor Gordon Parker’s quote about “full recovery” being possible from depression, I composed a response that touches on many of the themes I’ve addressed on Beyond Blue — and concludes directly on the question of relapse:
    Thanks for writing me.
    With all due respect, I still profoundly disagree with you. In layman’s language, there is no difference whatsoever between “full recovery” and “cure.” And a medical professor should know this is how patients will take such words.
    Would a doctor say his or her patient is “cured” of cancer? Maybe once upon a time; but certainly not today, because we know now there is such a high chance it could recur/metastasize — and has, sadly, for several relatives/friends of mine (one of whom is likely to pass before the end of the year).
    With fitting irony, there is a wonderful commentary on Bnet today on “The Secret” and the difference between optimism and hope.
    “The Secret,” IMHO, is a trip into a seemingly magic tunnel with a bright light at the end — which turns out to be an oncoming train. It says you can think your way out of any difficulty — including depression. The authors of that and other similar philosophies (“creative visualization,” “the law of attraction,” etc.) IMHO almost certainly have blood on their hands from suicides of people who thought they had finally found “the way” — only to be hit by that metaphoric train of their Black Dog fatally biting back like a Michael Vick pit bull.
    Patton Dodd speaks of the difference between “optimism” and “hope.” Optimism is a mirage in this world (for anyone, not just those with depression); it says that everything in this world can go perfectly for you if you just try hard enough, which is an outright lie. Hope says there is a place for you in this world — but it may not be easy, and it may be filled with struggle. (Again, whatever your medical diagnosis or lack thereof.)
    Optimism is selfish, or at least self-centered. Hope acknowledges that there are others in the struggle with you. Perhaps why Jesus and other religious teachers speak of hope — not optimism.
    And back to the issue of cure — Big Pharma can’t cure us. ECT can’t cure us. Talk therapy can’t cure us. And Jesus isn’t coming back (unless Tim LaHaye is right …) to “smite our demons.” (Just an example, in case you are a non-Christian reading this.)
    Now faith, self-care and medical care might well combine, as Professor Parker would be correct to say, into wellness over the short-term, and even medium-term. If the phrase “recovered for now” was used, I would have far less objection.
    But with depression, it’s all so tenuous — today’s “full recovery” could be tomorrow’s hospitalization. IMHO, “the ward” — or at least one or two or three or more crippling days of being nearly bedridden — is always one glitch in one synapse away, no matter what we do …
    PS — Yes, I realize all this is backhandedly insulting your Web site, or at least its title. So for all who are reading this — I’ve gone through the last few weeks of your blogging, and it’s a VERY GOOD Web site on depression. Please don’t let this disagreement dissuade you from taking a look at the good work James is doing.
    (Besides, I’m sure the URL for “Finding Hope” was probably taken already when you registered the site … sigh.)

  • Margaret

    To me, the issue of a “cure” for the black dog is as close to assinine as anything can come! Even those members of the human race who don’t–lucky them!–suffer from depression as an illness or constant companion experience mood swings from day to day. sometimes these are what I call reactive, as when a loved one passes away, others are merely one of the many rooms in that mansion we know as life. We cant pinpoint a logical life experience which has made us blue or, conversely, happy, we simply are.(Cite hormones or neurotransmitters misfiring or endorphins if you like, but we awaken with a certain feeling for whatever reason. I long ago gave up on finding a “magic pill” that would allow me to consciously choose a given state of mind in the same way that I reluctantly abandoned the dream of having the “prize Patrol” show up at my door. It would be nice, but what are the chances? Perhaps the day will dawn when i’m proven wrong, if it does, I will be celebrating with the rest of you, but as I have made a conscious decision to live in the here and now, I won’t be holding my breath.Being the proverbial “cockeyed optomist” is akin to setting myself for a long fall into the very depths of the abyss to battle the snakes which make it their home, and i choose not to take that risk.
    On the other hand, it gets to be extremely tiresome to be told that I can choose not to be depressed, and tells me that the speaker has never been close enough to the black dog to even see its teeth let alone be bitten by them. yes, we have choices, but there are linits to them. What I CAN choose is to continue to work at it instead of just hanging my head and wishing for my own plane to go into a nosedive, and one of the ways in which I attempt to do that is by reading Beyond Blue to remind myself that this path might be lonely, yet I AM NOT ALONE. other proactive steps such as journaling, remaining committed to therapy and taking the meds which do give me SOME relief on some days are also a part of my arsenal for survival, and i bless Therese and others who have shared their own techbiques on her blog for giving me further ammunition. I haven’t yet come to understand why it is that knowing others share my misery is comforting knowledge, nor do I think it really matters why, but all of you who bother to respond and share should know that there are many like myself who have used your methods and benefited from your willingness to discuss one of those ‘not for polite company’ topics.
    Thank you! I pray that each of us will find the courage and stamina to not give up since that is the one thing which gaurantees the light at the end of the tunnel WILL be a speeding freight train intent on mowing us down1 “Hang in there” seems a trite phrase, but it’s what we all must do nonetheless. Together we can celebrate our days (even hours)of near ‘normal’ moods and our combined prayers for one another may evenrually bear fruit in the form of a “cure” There was a time when that seemed a pipe dream for polio and other physical ailments too! (That’s my ‘cockeyed’ personna breaking through and demanding equal time!) So not only must we each ‘hang in’, we must each commit to the struggle! Giving up is not an option!

  • churchmouse

    Thank you so much for this. It helps so much to know someone feels the way I do. You just don’t know how much this means to me. Thank you again for your honesty.

  • New Maggie

    I have just discovered you and thank God for your being. My mother suffered from depression for many years and no one understood what it was then. We also know that my Great Grandmother suffered from it as well. If there was anyone else, no one wanted to admit it. I have been sober for over 5 years and know what that big “D”does to us as I too have this big “D”..I also will hibernate from the world and eat anything I can get my hands on..
    I have learned to take it one day at a time and turn in all over to my Lord. You are such a wonderful candle in the darkness.. and am so thankful you are here. You light up my life Theresa…

  • Julie

    Keep up the good work! You can do it! You might feel like you are in a limbo stage of being neither here nor there and you don’t feel comfortable where you are at but you can do it!!! God is amazing and you will be walking in sunshine again. You are in my prayers.

  • Margaret

    The KEY words in the above posting that hit home with me are ” The waiting place is only that, A TEMPORARY POSITION”……That is so true!! Knowing that this “HORRIBLE FEELING AND DAILY PAIN WE GO THROUGH IS ONLY THAT, TEMPORARY.., makes it possible for me to get through another day without hurting myself and makes me appreciate the new day as it comes. Thanks for sharing because you brought me back some thing that I need to never forget as it is so easy to do. That is, it will get better… What we endured before will help us get through todays battle. Thanks again.
    Margaret in California

  • Jules

    I was disappointed when i read this depressing story. It sounds to me like humility and spirituality are nearly bankrupt. I have nearly 18 months clean and have been recovering from clinical depression for 5 years. Let go and let God. Work the 12 step program for addiction and depression and i believe your results will be undoubtably phenominal. Life is one of our highest blessings and i have found that when i turn my will and my life over to God….all things work out the way they are suppose to. I love you and Jesus loves you.

  • val

    Thank you so much for stating so well what I am going through.
    I have a Dx BiPolor…. I’*m medicated, seeing a Dr., but still
    Waiting…for the clouds to pass….
    I have been the apt… almost a month…
    I had a couple of good days…how does it happen…how can I make it happen again….) In thoughs days… I cleaned, cooked, went through boxes(we moved in January) put up pictures,and did some mending. I know I’m not lazy…. when I feel like it I work like crazy…whoops… Froudian slip? Anyway…the internet is my link….I am so glad… I have Friends… that can share and understand.

  • Mrs. ELois Poole-Clayton

    Just a word of encouragement to all who are going through touch times in there lives. When ever you encounter those negative feelings, remember to take a step back, be honest with yourself, after researching the situation, put the responsibility in it’s proper place, if you realizes that it’s not your fault, make an attempt to console the person who it belongs to and you will feel better about knowing that one, you’re not to blame, and two, GOD automatically sheilds you from being a liability for he wants us to be assets, (positive ones), to anothers life. If all else fails, remember that you did all that you could do and if you are truly trying to be one of GODs’ chosen few, you will then, attempt to seek help for that individual, meaning, you still has done his will and there isn’t anything for you to feel depressed about.

  • sue

    I am amazed at how parallel I am with you this past little while. I went to my therapist yesterday and got very intimate about the thoughts in my head and things I think and she has known me for 7 yrs looked at me and said ” oh honey if you were going to go crazy you would have long ago with all the stuff you have had to deal with” We both had a chuckle , but in reality the feeling that you are constantly fighting to hold onto sanity does feel very real. I have a medical condition ( mitral valve prolapse) that gives me piggy back anxiety attacks. I am learning more and more of this. Also yesterday I went to the dr to get a perscription of Lorazepam….just five…to carry around…just in case….I do this with my inhaler and my gravol…part of my ocd…i never use them but it brings comfort so hey whatever works :)
    I want to say to you Therese and to others that feel like they are alone in the world of a million that struggle with anxiety/depression etc. that we all gotta stick together…My sister came right out and said ” I dont understand people with mental illness” her ignorance made me feel like lashing out but I kept silent and thought this is WHY I have to surround myself with people who get it and can motivate me to get well….I am in the middle of relapse and recovery…..two weeks ago I still had thoughts of suicide….This week I am looking forward to my little guy starting kindergarten in 2008…LOL…the mere fact that I am looking forward to something…that I feel ANYTHING…is progress….

  • Genie

    Dear Sister…you are so amazing and we are so grateful for your sincerity, uncompromising honesty, and continued ability to inject humor into any and all situations. You are a gift, Dear One. You nailed my denial and turned it around into an honest acceptance of my own current darknesss. (Sneaky stuff!) Additionally, you are reminding me that “this too shall pass.” ‘As you give, so you receive’…some sort of cosmic balance sheet, or so It is said. Although at times such as these you can begin wondering what you did to deserve this latest episode you hope might just be the finale, I am here to remind you that all the positive energy you put forth is greater than all of that darkness, because you have created a force that simply put, has got your back. Thank you for all that, and I hope that the appreciation you receive (and that which may never be expressed) is an adequate although small return that is powerful enough to nudge you along and back into the Light…I’m heading that way myself, thanks to you…and a Starbucks frappaccino venti…(a girl’s gotta use what she can to at least try to keep that pooch at bay and hopefully, get him a behavioral trainer! Bad dog!)

  • Shannon Edens

    I know exactley how she feels. I’m cleen and have been for almost a Year.But tomorrow is a different story.I don’t look for Drugs,or anything. I am a very strong believer in God Almighty.But, I feel the same as she does. I feel tired of everything going wrong.And maybe one day, I will be at peace.with no worries,no pain,no more hurting.Everything happens for a reason,i know that.

  • Anonymous

    Putting out the fire of fear can be an amazing process! Honesty is the first Principle along with Hope the second & Faith the third. These three principles have saved many lives in the in between stages and the just ins and outs of life. Peace to all!

  • Lynne

    Before I started receiving this blog I wouldn’t even acknowlege that I might be a depressive. I hated the very idea of a “designer-label” and thought it was just an excuse and a weakness in myself. It is such a Godsend to be able to comunicate my feelings and know there are other troubled souls out there. It helps to know that this isn’t a weakness but an actual physical condition. I must say there’s been times when I’ve only seen one set of “footprints” in the sand and that God surely helped me find this website. I’m guessing he wants me to stick around for a while. I also know that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. My sister-in-law didn’t see it that way and that was ten years ago. Our family is still dealing with the aftermath. Something to think about…who your’e leaving behind.

  • Julie

    I too suffer from depression.Some days are great and others I just want to hide under a rock.I understand the whole concept of mood swings.I couldn’t kill myself though because I am more afraid of angering God than I am of living my life without my family. I know Whi is
    in charge and pray that one day He’ll return them to me.Hang in there and I’ll keep you all in my prayers.God bless!!!!!!!!!

  • samatha hoye

    I just now clicked onto your blog for the very first time because my email said “relapse or recovery” wow!! I just got out of a rehab program last month so this is very enlightening to see this in my email. So.. I am happy to say that I have 62 days clean off of what I call the “Meth Monster” I am working fulltime, practice dbt skills on a daily basis and will now read your blog and all the other comments.
    Thank you!!!
    My six year old son reads Dr Seuss to me every night.

  • dennis

    It is a joy to see “friends” here who express the personal challengse we face – and at the same time acceptance that this is a part of life – and that the natural cycle goes up and down.
    It’s humorous also to keep in mind that somewhere between the extreme up and the extreme down there is a space where we go through the process of being extremely “normal”. Now, there’s a thought.

  • karen

    Wow, I never thought about it like that. A waiting place. That is where I have been so many times. I feel so many times like I am just climbing out of what you called “the black hole” only to loose my grip and fall right back down. I have read a lot here and there have been days that it kept me from going all the way back where I was just 7 months ago. I tried not once but twice to end everything sincerely wishing I had. It is hard when nobody around you on a daily basis understands what is going on. I am only 2 months since my divorce was final and I thought things would be better by now but as you said it keeps coming back to bite me. I have come to the realization that there is some reason I was not successful and I am supposed to be here for some reason. As others have said, I am a firm believer in God but I have lost a lot of faith and feel like I am here by myself. It helps to know that there are others, even if you never talk to them or meet them, that really do understand. Even tho two of my wonderful children try hard to help me and understand and a good friend that has been there to help pull me thru many times I still feel even now like it us hopeless to even try. Reading this has helped me. Thank you so much.

  • Anonymous

    all of us are encountering different situations /trials in life,God is always there most esp. in times of that we are troubled, He is with us! let us hold on to His word,that brings life, hope and let us wait upon the Lord, He knows whats best for us! it is really worth it to trust the Lord Jesus.
    You are not alone…. He made us victorious through the cross, We are more than a conqueror… dont give up, ur situation will turn around.if negative thoughts come up,deal it with the word of God. be high in Gods word…

  • malen /philippines

    all of us are encountering different situations /trials in life,God is always there most esp. in times of that we are troubled, He is with us! let us hold on to His word,that brings life, hope and let us wait upon the Lord, He knows whats best for us! it is really worth it to trust the Lord Jesus.
    You are not alone…. He made us victorious through the cross, We are more than a conqueror… dont give up, ur situation will turn around.if negative thoughts come up,deal it with the word of God. be high in Gods word…

  • Jim

    I sure enjoyed reading all the comments. I am almost 50 and never
    knew what was wrong with me. When I was not self-medicating, my life
    was even worse. I used to drink a 5th of scotch a day, plus just about
    everything else you can think of, just to stay numb and not think, kind
    of floating on a cloud. But I would hit bottom again, and again. Lost
    great jobs, a marriage, money. I have been hospitalized 7 times for
    pancreatitis due to my drinking. I have experienced years of sobriety in the past, and am now. Several months ago I had a slip for about a
    week. Got my second DUI. My lawyer told me one more and I would be
    convicted of a felony, with mandatory prison time. I used to be a
    corrections officer, do not want to go to jail. I must be obsessive/compulsive, and very depressed. I just wish I could wake up one day without hating life. About the only time I enjoy life is
    when I go to sleep, even though waking up is horror. If it was not
    for God, and all the negative things that have happened to me, I
    would still be a drunk, or dead. I am just glad that God does send
    times of refreshing to my spirit. In the meantime it’s nose to the grindstone. Hey I am almost over the hump in this life!

  • paula

    I am in the waiting place. I suffer from depression. My medicine, Celexa, was no longer helping and I started slipping. I would just sit at work and stare into space. My doctor switched me to 300mg of Wellbutrin. Unfortunately, it was too much – last week I slipped and tumbled into the black hole we all know so well. While driving, all I kept thinking of was stopping on the side of the freeway and stepping into traffic. I was lucky enough – I thought of the poor person who would strike me with their car – they would have to live with the damage that I would have caused. My husband was with me – he suffers from bipolar disorder and is considered disabled because of it. He was depressed earlier in the week – at that time, I explained that I needed him – so he couldn’t kill himself. This time, it was his turn to tell me that he needed me, too.
    I made it through the weekend. I knew that I was going to see my doctor on Tuesday – he changed my dose down to 150mg. Unfortunately, I was still in the black hole. I almost fell asleep while in his office. I slept from 5pm to 6 am and was still so tired. I had horrible dreams. I went to work but couldn’t stay awake. I went back home to sleep for a while longer. Finally, after another horrible dream I woke up because I had difficult breathing. I wasn’t sure if it was my asthma returning or a side effect from the Wellbutrin.
    I went back to work and still couldn’t breathe. My boss told me to call my doctor. I called and they told me to come right in. By the time I reached my doctor’s office I was really breathing shallowly and rapidly. They had to take me into the office in a wheelchair – Before I knew it – I was being taken in an ambulance to the ER.
    They took lots of tests – EKG fine, lung x-ray fine, blood work fine. They finally told me that it was probably an anxiety attack. They told me that I shouldn’t breathe like that – take deep slow breaths – like I could control it. I’m taking another day or so off because my chest hurts so much from overworking my lungs and the muscles surrounding them.
    I am still so sad and depressed. I am sure that I will move beyond the waiting place but it is so difficult to be patient while waiting. I know the feeling of wishing to die just so the pain will go away. There is so much to look forward to but right now I can’t think of what it could be. . .

  • Fr. Benedict M. Sagra, OSB Oliv

    Just read your post today and I am so grateful. The relapse syndrome is something that is very interesting to me. I am in recovery myself as an alcoholic and other isms in my life. Just got out of a depressive state myself after having overwhelmed with sadness in my going and coming through life. One thing I learned about relapse is that it really starts in the mind with the first thought after giving in to the allowed trigger. I am so comforted and consoled by the way you present the issue. Hope to read more about it. God bless you!

  • Sherri

    I am glad I read your post today and am praying you feel better every day. Last month my daughter moved two states away, I knew it was coming and thought I was prepared for it – I wasn’t. I spent two weeks sleeping all night and most of the day. I have suffered from severe depression all of my life, have been treated for it over the past fifteen years. I am currently on disability. If it weren’t for my service dog, I wouldn’t have gotten up at all during the past few weeks. I finally realized what was wrong with me (why should it take so long to realize you’re fast approaching the black hole?)and added prozac to my wellbutrin. Then I waited. It finally worked, and I am now weening myself off the prozac because it seriously affects my memory. That was the closest I’ve come to the black hole in years. Thanks to God and my dog, I am back at my peaceful state of mind and pray for the rest of you to join me. Thanks for listening, only people who have been there REALLY understand.

  • Terri

    Yes, there will be good days and bad days. When I feel a relapse coming, it’s like a warm blanket covering me and takes sometimes a day to feel better. I get very emotional, like you described…like sharpening a knife to plot when you want to die. Then, you come to your senses and find the one thing to keep you from doing it. It could be wanting to see your children graduate high school, or doing something like seeing the Grand Canyon before you go. Wanting to die means you don’t care about these things. Obviously, you have lots of things going on in your life to keep you from acting on it. I know of one person, not close to me but a relative of my ex who did commit suicide with a shotgun in his home. Nobody could say why..he was a Vietnam vet with a loving wife, good job etc. He was however in physical pain with an illness. My mother’s brother hung himself in the basement when she was a child, her one sister found him. He did it because a girlfriend found another man. So why is it some people can move on and other’s can’t?

  • deb


  • Greg

    I don’t even know exactly why these posts began coming to my mailbox but I’m so glad they did.I went through a breakup with my partner in Feb. and was in true depression for approx. 3 months before things started to get a little better in my mind with regard to the situation.At its low point, I remember sitting on my commuter train and just thinking of what methods of killing myself might not be quite as awful as some others. I was scared just having such thoughts because that’s not who I really am at all and had never seriously even considered such a drastic thing. At the time it felt weird and surreal but I still did’nt rule it out because I was so incrediby sad.
    Things got a little easier over time but even know as recenty as less than an hour ago and a few times this week, I’ve had moments brought on by a song we loved or a restaurant where we had spent birthday dinners together and my eyes instantly welled up with tears.
    I feel like I may be in a mini depression now and am glad your writings always remind me that I’m not alone in this.Thanks for shring your thoughts and helping.

  • Joyce

    I suffer from severe clinical depression and I have had long periods of islation. My health is not good, my “grown” children bicker with one another constantly,and most of all I feel used all the time. But I learned to cope with it through prayer. The bible says to pray without ceasing and I have found it to be extremely helpful. I don’t know how spiritual you are but I do know that prayer changes things. I really appreciate your article and I will be praying for you.

  • Avenging_Angel

    Very touching story..I myself am going on 13 years sobriety/recovery….
    thanks for sharing it has helped me to understand those better that suffer from depression..L & R Angel 10-6-94

  • Alice

    I have never posted a comment anywhere but it is 4am and I am so sad and yes when will I win the lottery of death! I have struggled with depression since the age of 8 but I was 27 before I was diagonsed and put on prozac. For the next 3 years my life was the best I had ever known, but since that time it has been one deep black hole after another and after 15 years of this I really don’t have any reason to go on. My entire life I have heard it will get better but it hasn’t. Now I have fibromyalgia ans chronic fatique. I am in so much pain that I pray for death but am so weak that I can’t even muster up the physical strength to carry it out. I have been in bed for 10 days with no human contact and it’s only a matter of time.

  • Anonymous

    Those of us who have struggled with depression are very familiar with those feelings. They are impossible to imagine unless you have experienced them firsthand. Stay strong- it will pass- it will go away and you will feel better. I will pray for all of us who struggle with this disease as it is a true monster. God bless all of you


    after reading your story I almost cried because my husband has been going though hell for the past 7 years & only 2 years ago the dr. finely told him what is wronge with him. He has red blood cell cancer, treatable to a point, he has fibromyalgia really bad, chronic fatique, depression.Our life is a living hell most of the time. yes he thinks of death as a better side than being here. somedays I get so scared that he mite do something that I dont want to leave him to go to work.His pain gets so bad at times he prays for God, to just take him from here.It is almost impossible for him to work at anything. He used to garden, teach school, work in the yard, we even had a cookware buzness. It is sad to see him like this. so when I read about others I feel for there pain as well. I pray God, has his hand on you all. thanks for letting me be part of your worlds. my prayers are with yall kathy

  • Deb

    Please do not give up. I too have suffered from depression since childhood and now have fibromyalgia and some other medical conditions which have forced me to go on disability. There are some medications available that can help. Please see a doctor. Sometimes I’ve had to see several doctors before finding one that can help…and have had to try several medications before finding the ones that work…it’s not always easy. You may not feel like there’s no point in living right now,but please hang in there!

  • Christine

    Undrstanding, empathizing, dealing with depression is one thing. Doing something about it…taking action is another. I too have had anxiety disorders since I was little and depression I deal with on a daily basis. Yes I understand about the black hole that is always around the corner. When the hole finds me or I find it I am more aware and prepared for the hole so I can walk around it instead of falling in it.
    It takes ACTION to fall into the hole, it;s how we RE-Act to get out of the hole. It is a choice!!!! No one is here but yourself and yourself aone to conqthere that is going to stroke you and make you feel better.

  • Christine

    correction…on previous post. When you feel like your slipping into the hole embrace and visulize a bright light surrounding you with warmth and be at peace in the moment. If you have physical pain as in fibromialgia eat clean food people!!! The woes me I;m depressed I can’t get out of this funk, I want to curl up and die I won’t allow myself to tell myself those words anymore! YOU ARE WHAT YOU BELIEVE you say and if you feel these feelings long enough they do become a reality!!! If I do this… I am accepting the hole that I have fallen into and that I can’t get out. That I am not worthy to be saved I’m buried alive. Dig! Crawl, Fight> It’s your BIRTHRIGHT poeple. Start a diary every morning and tell yourself you are good enough, you are worthy, say it even if you don’t believe it!!!! Tel your self you are happy over and over again until you believe it. Get the negative tapes that have plagued you for so long out of your head. It is time people to keep life simple!!!! Pray , meditate, detoxify, believe in life!!!

  • Kim

    hi all and good thread.. alot of food for thought..I do however want to reply back to Kathy..first off i am a very grateful memeber of a recovery group called Nar-anon Family groups(for friends /family of those who are suffering with addiction in a loved one)…my 2 adult sons addictions amd me wanting/trying to save them lead me to the rooms of recovery… God and this program has literally saved MY LIFE..we talk of recovery/relapse…for ME I am IN LIFE RECOVERY~i have a Higher Power, 12 step program, a sponsor,sponsees, others in recovery, f2f meetings, online meetings and also a Nar-anon forum..I have learned many tools to help me deal with this challenge of LIFE and have meet many wonderful people to help support me and share in their Experiences, Strengths and Hopes..when i first came to nar-anon I was near death myself..not wanting to live and the idea of not being here sounded very inviting to me..i was in a real bad place and I had thought hmmmm if only my sons would get clean and find recovery then I WOULD BE OK…I needed to learn alot and one of the first thing I learned was that I AM POWERLESS over others and their choices…for some this can be difficult cause usually as parents we are trained to be the helpers/fixers..for me I embraced MY was actually a relief for me to find out that I am not the savior of my sons and I learned and am still learning how to trust in God for everything through finding my spirituality…this can work with all asspects of our lives with all people in our lives…I am not saying I have abandoned my sons..they are adults and have choices of their own to make..I have just learned to take the focus off their problems and start to look at my own problems and looking for solutions for MYSELF in a healthy way of life through MY RECOVERY…IT REALLY is not just 1 thing BUT many things that aid can be very difficult and painful for us to watch those we love sister has fibermyalgia and RA…myself I have MS and arthritis…so we both have stuff and the best thing I can do for my sister is for ME to be as healthy as I can spiritually and mentally, which has been a life style change for me for the better..for I can not help someone else if I MYSELF am soo ILL…TFAMTS(thanks for allowing me to share) and nice to meet you all..ILS, Kim

  • M

    love your candid posts. feels like you’re in my head some days. just went thru my own very deep dark ugly but comfortable place, doctor put me on abilify and seroquel. now I’m somewhere new. feels really different. good. never been here before. can’t say more about it, as it’s nothing like anywhere I’ve felt, as it feels good, happy, me, but different…. I’m going to be cautious, yet hopeful. Wish me luck please.

  • Annette Douglas

    I just read your article on the waiting place.
    I thought I was the only one who refered to depression as the black hole.
    Sometimes my black hole turns into a bottomless pit that I have to fight not to fall alway. Don’t want to lose myself.
    At least not before I experience how it is to feel free (for just a moment.

  • dena

    I was just thinking about you yesterday, mainly because I am doing a seven day St. Therese Novena (though of Lisieux, not Avila). I do not suffer from the kind of depression you describe, although the way my life has gone sometimes the last few years, it is a bloody miracle I don’t!
    I am in d/a recovery now twelve straight years, and a great mom, excellent divinity student, and overall pretty joyful gal. Regrettably, my extended family (sibs,mum) can’t stop bashing me (as they did when I was a child) for simply being human and making mistakes now and again. My biggest mistake thus far, has been ever getting involved with “those hideous 12-Step people” …
    Their behavior/feedback has worsened lately, especially now that I am temporarily living with mum, until I can decide whether or not to move back east to do a d/a counseling internship at a monastic style treatment unit near New England. Alternatively, I can go straight into the Divinity Masters program here in my hometown. I have already been accepted and my academic adviser is encouraging me to begin asap. But, I’m not so sure, and I just went through the move from absolute hell (my insane, alcoholic landlord suddenly became homeless and had to move back into the one house he was able to hang onto) – I had not nearly enough help – but, the small crew and I did the wretched thing in 100 degree heat. Still, my (sibs) family complained – “Why weren’t you able to move faster? More efficiently? Why did you have to move at all? What did you DO to your landlord?” No, they did no offer to help. But, I renew my love for them every single day – centering prayer is great, the Jesus prayer saves my life. My spiritual director has me on Lectio Divina, which I adore. What else helps me in my hours of darkness?? Oh, Adoration! Church tours, helping the homeless, talking to my grown kids.. Buddha. Thich Nhat Hanh. Monasteries. Spiritual retreats. Jesus.
    Am I rambling? May I ramble? Guess what? I am going to ramble .. and I will ramble into, I love you Theresa, for your courage, and your honesty, and I am entirely sorry you have been feeling so lousy lately. You are in my prayers. Now and then, I have a deep black day – and I had one last Saturday> all I could do was go from crying, to feeling horrified that there are folks out there who feel like that often! I prayed and prayed and prayed, and next day, I felt pretty good.
    But, alas, my 7 year old daughter’s father, who I love with all my soul, but I absolutely cannot be in a relationship with, simply cannot stay off the heroin/booze. He had some years clean – but, oops, one slip, two, three.. he’s been in court ordered lockdown treatment all summer (thank the Lord!)- but, out he is going to come next Tuesday, and already he is beginning to harass me – he’s upset, because, gosh, oh golly, I thought it was a real bad idea for him to be visiting alone with our daughter most of this past year – considering his bad habit of taking her into crack houses, and driving her in his car while he is loaded – did I mention he was arrested twice in two months for DUI’s? And, his alcoholic mother enables and enables him.. But, heck, that’s another chapter..
    Sorry. I rambled. You are in my prayers, you are my sacred cyber friend, Therese. love, D

  • Cindy

    Having spent 4 years searching my way out of that black hole, I understand completely all of the postings. I keep my journal with me all the time and it has been therapeutic. I see my drs. consistently, and take my meds as prescribed. I am 43 yrs. old and was raised on the “pick yourself by your bootstraps & deal with reality” philosophy. Well, I did that and lived it for 40 years. I faced all the realities of life with a solid faith in God and a support system from family and friends that most people will never have the luxury of enjoying. I had a very good, secure job for 23 yrs. I had blessings beyond my dreams. However, one night, at around 2am, I woke up from a sound sleep and started pacing my house. Not realizing both the physical and emotional pain, I was experiencing. The pacing went on for weeks. I didn’t eat or sleep until my doctor finally gave me something to make me sleep. From that point on I’ve nothing but days/weeks/months of some OK days and some days when I couldn’t get out of bed. While my support system tried so hard to understand, they couldn’t. Some of the support I thought I could depend on couldn’t handle dealing with me when I was in my black hole and stopped trying to help. They couldn’t understand why I couldn’t just “pick myself up by my bootstraps and face reality!” Suffering from depression isn’t that simple. So many times, I wanted to scream back at those people, “Do you think that I want to be like this? Don’t you think that if it were that simple, I would do it?” I’m happy to say that I am finally making some improvements. I’m working toward eliminating those negatives in my life that only keep me in that black hole. I’m only able to do it because of the rest of my support team that believes in me and are making it possible for me to make the changes I need to try to take some steps forward. Most importantly, they allow me to have those days when I’m not so able to cope and they don’t judge me as weak or incompetent for it.
    When I read the words, “somewhere between recovery and relapse” I felt like someone had found the words for me. Thank you so much for this place to come and not feel alone. Moreover, for all of you that are suffering, I hope and pray for you. Every night I go to bed thankful that I made it through another day. I continue to hope that we all find some relief from this emotional and physical problem we share. While I think that we all have different experiences that either cause this or bring it on, I believe one thing we all have in common is that until you’ve suffered through it, you can’t understand how it feels. Others may sympathize and try to support, but it is an indescribable world that can tear a soul and body apart. I can offer no advice, because I don’t each individual situation. My greatest one-liner has been from Scarlet O’Hara. “Tomorrow IS another day!

  • Raz

    Wow, I thought I was the only one who felt this way is a common phrase in things like this isn’t it? But it is exactly what I thought when I awoke this morning. I had an appointment at noon today and I decided not to go because I couldn’t find the right outfit to wear. The longer I spent on making this decision the less time I was giving myself to get ready, so I just decided not to go. And I didn’t. I was so depressed and feeling that guilt trip for not cancelling like a normal person would because I had no information on this appointment other than will I was to show up? I wrote to friends VIA email and reached out to anyone who would listen. To my surprise the suicidal feelings slowly left me due to the friends I never knew I had? But depression is a very scarey thing for me, it creeps up on me when I least expect it and lingers for days. I have a therapist who isn’t one of those who help twenty-four/seven and when I do finally get to see him I am speechless. I am a recovering addict who refuses to take pills to help me along the rough depression I experience, because I see friends on these so-called pills and are zombies. And zombie is not a word in my dictionary. I am full of life (or at least I used to be) I want that full of life feeling back, is it possible to get that back? I pray so much that I think God has closed his ears to my voice, if that is possible? Today I didn’t want to wait for his help, I was impatient in everyway possible, I wanted results now before it was too late. But as you can see, I am still here, but whose to say I will make it through the next time? (by the way the appointment I cancelled was a mood/anxiety session) Shame on me……….

  • dennis

    Good for you. Making choices is good, eh?
    Perhaps you are not depressed – just don’t want to “cast pearls before swine” (get analyzed at a mood/anxiety session when all you need is a hug from friends – well put!)
    I mentioned it before – got no response. De-pression is used a lot in medicine and psychology. “Press-I-On” is used a lot in spiritual healing. As with square dancing, when the feet are moving it’s impossible to be de-pressed.
    As in warfare of course the enemy sneaks up from behind – guerilla tactics, not frontal warefare!

  • malenie

    Wisdom in so many different flavors and individual’s preference/tastes are just as unique. I read and hear truth as my heart knows it.
    With so many bouts of serious “persistent” depression behind me and suppportive contact with many who are sinking into their dark abyss or dark nite of the soul (as I consider the deep sorrow to be) I trust I know relapse and recovery WELL…and being WELL is where I enjoy my life. Joy and Sorrow are experiences I am familiar with. My journey is much like many others and not at all similar to most.
    My courage, hope and awareness of self comes from being present with those who know and share a similar journey and can understand with empathy. Being Busy and Pressing ON or Pushing AHEAD is simply more harsh drama to peel aside. In my experience it is about paying attention in this precious moment to whatever is true and not attaching myself to it (be it feeling, emotional distress, mood, physical pain etc).
    Gently with kind patience for my brave spirit that seeks to soar and is often lost I persevere and meet recovery with joy….it returns in its season when I am most certain the curtain is drawn … all is dark, the audience has left. Taking a slight and humble bow nonetheless, my cast of supportive characters cheers me on and together side by side the show goes on.
    Observe each experience fully and not hope to grasp

  • FV

    I don’t suffer from depression but read your post everyday coz i love the way you write. I’m Catholic too & when you make mention of the saints in humour, I have to stop myself from laughing so much, my sides hurt & i can hear my mom’s voice yelling blasphemy!!!
    Just wanted to reach out& say that though I can’t empathize, I’m sorry you feel the way you do but you’re right about this being only temporary. IT WILL PASS.
    Lots of love, light & hugs.

  • Jacqueline Jones

    I really don’t know where to begin. I’ve never been motivated to write comments before; but I just had to thank you for your transparency. I to suffer from bouts of depression and have been on medication for sometine now. One of the strategies that keep me sane is that I belong to a Recovery Suppport Group, I don’t attend weekly meetings, however there is monthly Workshop and that works for me. Iam retired and now I am faced a diagnosis of “Parkinsonism” which neans I have some Parkinson like sympthoms. I am so greatful that my mind is clear and I have God to thank for that. One of my former Drs. asked did I need to increase my medication since I had so many new things to deal with, thank God I not only did not have to increase my medication
    but I now take less of it. Again thank you and also the others who wrote comments, they have truly helped me; to remind myself that this to will pass. Also, to take on one storm cloud at a time.

  • Kim B

    It great to know that we are never alone in our feelings. There is always someone or few someones that can relate to exactly how you feel. Although I am not feeling suicidal at this very moment, but I have been there on many occasions. Just last night, I had such a bad panick attack that I was afraid just to go to the store and get a pack of cigerettes. Someone told me that when I feel the emotional storms just focus on what is the next thing you have to do. Not the next things you have to do for the rest of your life, just the next thing in that moment. It could be eating, sleeping, picking up your clothes from the cleaners etc…but whatever it is just think of that and that helps with my anxiety. I don’t feel so responsible for everything at that moment. Just one thing at a time. And when that doesnt work I call a friend or 12….emotions and hormones are insanity at it’s purest form, but the relief is that even though we feel like we want to die, we don’t have too….God is a great listener:) If not God the Universe has great listening skills as well
    If no one told you they love you today, I do….

  • Vicky Kassar

    Depression is SUCH a hard thing to understand for those who don’t suffer from it! My husband thinks it’s tied to negative thinking and that by just thinking positively, you can get rid of it. I spent a lot of my early adult life just thinking I was wierd, feeling alone and isloated much of the time. I am on an anti-depressant which helps, but is no panacea. I have to work with my mind, and yes, thinking postitively helps, but isn’t a cure. Patience is. I read a book called Hope And Help For You And Your Nerves. It shared steps to deal with anxiety, 1. Face it. 2. Accept it. 3. Float past it.
    4. Wait for time to pass. The Float past it step is the hardest one for me. I try to focusing on something else. Whether it be watering the plants, playing a computer game, or watching TV. Anyway, it is comforting knowing that I’m not alone. Thanks for your writing Teresa!

  • Pandora Winsby

    I have had many ups and downs with depression also and I know that estrogen levels have an impact on it. I have discovered some hoeopathic remedies that help (Ignatia) also herbal ones (Hypercurim) also known as St. Johnswort. They have really helped. Also they have helped because of spinal injury. Hope this helps. I have have also been a mother four times and each childbirth affected me differently regarding the depression. When you are deep in it sometimes it is hard to think that there is a remedy or a way out. It is not just positive thinking.

  • Patricia Brandon

    So very few UPS,and multiple DOWNS! Seems like everything hits when a resident of The Waiting Place!! Trying to learn how to live without illegal drugs,and how to live with legal drugs(oh when will they kick in?),severe depression and adult adhd (self medicated with illegal drugs),since March of 2007,went to jail twice(four days the first time and 30 days most recent,poss of controlled substance,meth,and then probation revoked for using again),lost my job,cars is broke,can’t pay rent or bills,have a job interview but no way to get there,’friends’ disappear when you stop using(but who wants ’em anyway!),crap is stacking sooo high that I’ve worked myself into a total PANIC!!!!!!!! And I just needed to vent most urgently!!! Thanks for listening,have never participated before like this,and must say I’m feeling a bit less ‘freaked out’. Have so many things going on in my head I usually just try to ‘zone out’ to another place but then don’t really deal with the initial crap till I don’t have a choice,unfortunetly it all doesn’t just go away! Just want to end the dizzy,light-headedness that always appears with my panic!!!

  • Cheryl G.

    I say Amen to the thanks for Therese’s transparency and courage in maintaining this website. I have suffered severe depression at various times and am on medication now. My children have, unfortunately, also suffered from it, but are OK at present. This forum is an excellent outlet for those of us (introverts??) who do not really benefit as much from in person support groups. It’s much “safer” feeling to me. I also want to encourage Vicky that she’s probably right that positive thinking alone will not do the job. In my experience, just “waiting” is not always the answer, especially if the waiting produces anxiety rather than peace. Sometimes there are situations that need to be handled head on, and sometimes there are internal attitudes that need adjusting. Sometimes, the anxiety comes from an “outside” situation beyond my control, or a task I need to do, but am fearful of tackling. At those times, I find it helpful to do a physical activity, like exercise or knitting, just to use up the excess nervous energy and clear my head. God bless you all!!

  • ditsy

    To Patricia B and all out there that feel like there is no hope or way out. GET HELP Go to your local mental health agency and social services. They are there to help. I have been on legal meds for many years but it took a long time {and patience} to get better. every one is different and it can take a combination of meds to work. Don’t give up. Keep pressing forward. I am living proof that there is hope. I have been to hell and back and survived. realize that every day is different and as bad as today is, tomorrow will be different ABOVE ALL, KNOW THAT gOD IS YOUR CREATOR AND HE CAN FIX WHATEVER IS WRONG IF YOU LET HIM. Prayers are with you.

  • Mitche Leigh Hunt

    You must see a naturopolist — or whatever “doctors” are called that treat patients with natural herbs and diets designed especially for them. I am serious about this. We really are what we eat and how we metabolize it (which comes with the DNA). Your body would not have built a benign tumour on your pituitary if it had not been given either natural or chemical foods/drugs it could not handle any other way but storing them there. You must come to see yourself as a total biological system. I know that is hard because from day one we are told we are spirit residing in a temporary home here. (And, depending upon what church we were raised in, that temporary home is oft times considered sinful and our spirit is of God. Good grief!!!!) Well, so what! The home — temporary and/or sinful — has to be arranged so that the spirit can reside in it happily. Good luck to you. I have been depression free for a few years now. I am engaged in some great work and do not have very much time to screw myself over, so I have a simple gratitude routine:
    When I start my old terror scenarios (there are many which I have highly developed over the years) I say: “Stop it!” Then I begin a litany of what I am grateful for — what I have by the grace of the Great Mystery, beginning with my health, my head, my PC, so I can be in touch with terrific persons — such as yourself. I use my grateful routine whenever I need to do it: when I write, when I am with people who are driving me crazy, and when I can’t go to sleep because I am constructing the next day.
    You see, possibly because I am a creative person, I may never be cured totally. So I must make do.
    Good luck to you. Be good to yourself. That is all you really have. All of the rest is trimming and frosting and sparkles of opportunities and great and wonderful challenges — but they are not YOU!!!!!
    Mitche Leigh Hunt

  • tina

    I may have encountered the same thing in the last few months… I believe it started after i had miscarriage, following it after a few months a motorcycle accident… I’ve blamed my self for all of this… but when i start wanting to be alone…helpless… and depress… the accident left a big scar on my right leg and to now it still reminds me of that faithful night…However i want to recover I want to star anew…I want to have kids and want to start a new life since my husband and i maybe considered newlyweds (because my husband left to work abroad after our wedding)… And thinking about all this has helped me ward off anxiety,fear and depression… I’ve started to write on my diary again…and this time I made a list of things that can make me happy…And a list of things that makes me happy…so whenever i feel like im in the brink of blues and falling i just read my list and try to think more of other happy things that i could add on my list…and of course read my inspirational books (chicken soup) and pray for God’s guidance and help to get me through another rough day…I hope this could help thanks

  • Polly Fisk

    Hi, I know all about depression and what you call ” the waiting place” that is so true if you have ever suffered from severe depression you are right on with it. I have had the most severe depression ever. My son, George died in 2004. I miss him everyday. When he died I was so afraid because I suffered from depression anyways so can you imagine the pain? Now, I just get up and ask God to help me through the day. Most of the time he is right here to help. I also will suggest to you that Louise Hayes has some awesome books to help reprogram our thinking. Turn our negative thoughts into positive. I have been doing it for a few months and it works. Thanks for your story.

  • Patricia Brandon

    Thanks so much to DITSY for your prayers and support!! On the many,many days that feelings of hopelessness(amongst other demon emotions)occur,deep down I know that they will pass. Although on those numerous occassions I tend to lose all touch with reality and what I know to be true,thats what makes “the waiting place” so frightening!!! It’s like having an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other,each trying to convince you to heed their suggestions and adding to the already congested and confused state of my brain.Thanks for caring and listening ad responding!!!!!! Let’s all pray for each other!!! This is soooo very helpfiul! At least for today.

  • Ann-Marie Cunniff

    When you are actually able to get up in the motrning and recognize what you are experiencing you are in recovery. Depression is a Chronic Illness, it lies dormant inside and rears it’s ugly head when you least expect it.. But just knowing that….is a huge step in your existence with depression. Like all of us that suffer from a Mental Illness, addiction or physical illness the first step is recognizing (in some cases admitting or being aware of). Once you recognize the existence of Depression in your life, monitoring your thoughts (like through a daily journal) can be your true life saver. Look back and see where you have been and give yourself a break and a big pat on the back for having moved through this in the past. That should give you the ability to continue to come up to where days aren’t just tolerable but they make you happy.
    It’s just as frightening to suddenly recognize pure joy and happiness as it is to recognize and live with depression. Fear exists with anything that you are not familiar with. I have learned to find ways to quick start my days, (i’m not saying I have this beat), but blue days are just that to me now “Blue Days”. I find something to focus on, no matter how menial and take the focus off of myself and put it on to a project (hobbie, reading, creating)or to another person, You can’t lose when you get up and do something for someone else. It’s not an easy thing to do but it’s a necessary tool to help you have fewer blue days. I myself am taking an antidepressant (Elavil) and an anti- anxiety medication (Klonipin) but I only take them at bedtime now. I was taking Klonipin on a regular basis for a couple of years to help my live with the panic disorder that manifested Agoraphobia in me.
    I found great comfort and direction from the movie “The Secret” and the teachings of the masters in the movie, also Dr. Wayne Dyer has just released a book called “Change your thoughts, Change you life” another great source was “Conversations with God” Neale Donald Walsch.
    Take the focus off the blues and fill it with positive methods to heal and try helping others to take the focus off yourself, I always say,”I can do more for others than I can do for myself”.
    Sharing your story is a tremendous blessing, learn to accept the good that you are doing for others, let yourself be healed by that. Minimize your “blue days” with the positive steps you take everyday and you’ll see yourself lifting and staying up so much more than down. The “Law of Gravity” doesn’t apply to depression, you don’t have to fall down to start to heal, but you can use “The Law of Attraction” to heal yourself and others with you.

  • Diane

    Wow, you described perfectly just how I have been feeling the last week. I have been prone to depression for much of my life, on and off, and I am in a bad spell. The worst part is trying to anaylze why I feel this way. Blaming the wrong meds, my marriage, the kids, etc., and even lashing out at people. Then I really start to not like myself. I just want to hide, which is unfortunately what I tend to do. Mental illness is grossly understated.

  • Jen Michaels

    … I do believe, at some points, in anyone’s life, there have been aspects, that have caused stress, beyond comprehension, thoughts for whatever, the reason ‘it’ may be, puts a strain, on all of us, emotionally, mentally, physically, or spiritually…But ‘We’ must not lose, FAITH…know that The Universe, our Creator, has ‘big’ things for all of us…Never, to question, never to ‘think’, you have all the answers, at any age, at any time…We are all still learning!
    …Another aspect, I have found tricky is: if you didn’t learn those lessons, the first time around, shown to you, whatever lessons necessary, that you are required to learn, will continually be put in different situations, until having figured out the ‘lessons’, needing to be learned, in the circumstances, you, or anyone else, is put in…Make any sense?
    Stop, and smell the roses…Appreciate everything around you…The People, in your life, as much as you can, when you can, and know that the circumstances that you are in, are where you are supposed to be; Why question ‘it’?
    Be well…Take care, and until then, Jen

  • Doris

    I have felt that way and I am ashamed because you know our God is a good God and he said just take it to him and he will give you perfect peace but sometimes we are like children and he gives us a peace that last but for a while but we pick it up and carry what we gave him.
    I can testify I had marriage problems and my husband was thinking of leaving me and it felt like the end of the world. I made him to much of my life that’s when I decided to get closer to God than ever.
    Just get closer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Linda

    As I am reading your information I wish I were in the waiting place– right now I am in the black hole drowning– tears come very easily (which is not exactly what any employer wants to see)– I am losing friends because they are tired of me complaining and being depressed–
    I also have physical ailments which of course causes the depression to get worse– I keep hoping for that rope to drag me out but it is so dark I probably won’t see it

  • SuzanneWA

    Oh, Therese! To move from relapse to recovery (by way of the Waiting Place), IS an achievement. The Waiting Place is a place of foggy brains, and even foggier thoughts. When we’re in there, we just KNOW we’ll NEVER get out. But, my spiritual friend, we KNOW better. The light at the end of the tunnel is REAL, not a speeding freight train.
    I have always believed that God would place me in a protected place when I was in a manic episode. The first, in 1968, took me from the “hippie” life and sexual freedom I had embraced. My parents put me in the psychiatric ward of a hospital in D.C., for “a rest.” Little did they know, they were saving me from myself…
    The second, I was working in Medical Records in a hospital, and acting 40 miles away at night, in the play “The Odd Couple.” There were times I didn’t get away from the theatre until 2 in the morning, and driving home sometimes gave me hallucinations. I was also a sexual libertine at that time, too. (Mania brings that out in me…). The long hours and sleepless nights led me to pass out at work. When one of the doctors asked me, “Can you function?” I answered, “No.” I had lost my father suddenly with me at home alone with him the year before, so had a little PTSD. He had me transferred to the psychiatric ward of the University Hospital. Once more, I was saved from myself.
    The third time was more dramatic. I won’t go into the sordid details, but after my car was totalled by a stranger I had picked up, it SCARED THE BEJESUS OUT OF ME. Shortly thereafter, my brother drove me to a private mental hospital/rehab center, and I was once again “protected” from the outside world.
    I have only been “bitten by the black dog” once in my life, and that was one time tooo many. I had recovered from my last hospitalization, but did NOT stick with my meds OR counseling. It lasted ONE WHOLE YEAR, until I dragged myself to the local Community Mental Health Center, where a wonderful psychiatrist put me on an antidepressant, and within three WEEKS, I saw DAYLIGHT…!
    I wholeheartedly concur with the posts that say “Let go, and let God.” He IS our very help in time of need. Simple platitudes, yes, but so verrry effective…
    Glad to hear you’re on the road to recovery, Therese. Perhaps we’ll see your “sunny disposition” on a blog in the not too distant future!!
    God bless you, and “hang in there.”

  • SalonMom

    I can so relate to everyone’s comments. I’ve suffered from depression on and off for years. I will not give up on recovery. I know somehow, someway, someday I will feel better and look back on all of the lessons I’ve learned, even through all the pain. I believe that it is in that time of pain, that black hole, that we learn our most important lessons in life. Any type of growth in life comes with growing pains and I try to tell myself that there will be a light at the end of the tunnel. My wonderful therapist has also helped me through these scary times when I didn’t understand what was happening to me. So for everyone one out there suffering with depression, pray to God that he helps you through this and try to tap into the lessons your supposed to be learning because I too believe that where you are in life is where your supposed to be. There are no accidents.

  • ~Ann~

    Hey Therese, this is the second time posting. I too am grateful for this site. I started working out again, cardiokickboxing, it feels great. I so didn’t want to go tonight, but my husband said it would make me feel better. I hate it when he is right. I also called my counselor and see her every other week. So that paranoid side says, why not weekly? does she not want to “deal” with me, am I hiding my true self from her without her noticing? No, I am just in a better place. Not to say I don’t have my moments, all the time. My coping skills have improved much to my own surprise. If it can happen for me, it can for all of us who suffer. Once again, life is simple, keep it that way. We tend to make it harder than it is. So my humble advice is get moving, take a walk, dance in your living room, read a new book-“Eat, Love,Pray” is my latest favorite, a great escape. God bless! Ann

  • Nita Fordham

    Hello Therese, Just a note to say thank you for your message & also a change to share a comment – We have a wonderful ~ Loving – Caring ~ Sharing ~ Awesome GOD who is taking care of us if we will only let him ~ Have Faith & Believe & Obey his still small voice talking to us through the Holy Spirit~~~Trust in His Word & Let our light be a beacon to others~~ Win the Lost ~~~~ help someone that’s in need ~~ be the BIBLE that some ever see ~~ Act & Be Like Jesus as much as we
    can so others will turn to Jesus as their Savior too..I am retired & in bad health – there are many dark days & nights for me but I always know that I can turn to God for help & I really do a lot of praying & talking to him – I ask for strength to take One Day At A Time & be able to live it to the fullest for thee – do all things I can do today as tomorow never comes ~~ Our life is like a vapor – here one second & could be gone the next – Let’s not take anything for granted~~ Thanks to you & all that have made comments – They have alsobeen helpful to me…God Bless Everyone & God Bless America too.
    With love & Prayers to all, Nita

  • Patricia Brandon

    To Linda,Please,please do not give up,I’ve been where your at soo many times and as recent as two days ago.It is so frustrating,isn’t it,the many,many DOWNS,and so few UPS! Are you seeing any type of medical or mental health professional? On any medications? There really is help out there,it is just often hit and miss to find the right Dr. or the right meds.And this ‘place’ we are while waiting for meds to work or for a Dr who really listens and cares is almost unbearable!! Never forget that there are others that understand and CARE about what you are going through and are willing to listen whenever you fill the need to share your feelings!!! No matter what you are feeling,UP or DOWN! You WILL see or FEEL that rope when help arrives to help you out of the ‘black hole’. SOON!!!! I care about you Linda!!

  • Lilly

    Right now, I am having “one” days and feeling well, but the honesty in your post made me grateful that people like you are writing to educate everyone. You are clear and honest and insightful. I know exactly what you’re talking about. I hope not to have black dog days again, but I know I will and I will remember that I will come out of them, just as you know you will.
    You make a difference. May God always bless you.

  • Patricia Brandon

    I tend to over analyze too! Are you a Libra by any chance?lol But am trying to remind myself that why doesn’t matter really,it’s what am I going to do about it. What is my next move? And there are those days that I don’t even want the sun to see me and I hide. Been focusing on reaching out to others,even if it is just opening a door for someone who has a arm load or making eye contact and smiling at them and if they smile back it makes me feel so much better! And who knows….maybe it made them feel better as well!! It is difficult for a person who has never been where we are to understand. That’s why I’m so thankful for being able to connect with you and the many others.THERE IS HOPE!!!!

  • Jean

    Hi, I admire your honesty, you will have good and bad days. It’s painful when you have children and a family that needs and love you and to continue with your little effort to get through another day. I been to the Black Hole and you can’t help feeling so powerless. I couldn’t even remember names, places and so forth. But I did come through it has been a continous battle. All we have is a day at a time, sometimes seconds, minutes to get through a day. Enjoy your family and love they have for you, so many people don’t even have that. So that alone is a blessing. I don’t have the time to get into my life it been very tradgic I lost my 2 brothers, father, husband and 2 boyfriends and my very best friend, who happen to have the same name as me. She had 4 children was diagnosis with Hogkins yrs before but it was in remission. It return in full force in 1999. I stayed by her side we were Buddhists and she stayed faithful till the day she died. She had no family to help or take care of her. I would go everyday to see her & the children we would chant and tried every alternate method to combat this diease. I was also working and going to school full-time at the time & raising my saon alone. She had one son who was retarded, very smart. We shared everything about our lives to each other every dark, secret we did not judge each other either. The hardest thing in my life was the day she died at home where she wanted to die. Two days prior when I stop by to check on her and her children…I whisper in her ear said Jean its time for you to go to your next place…she refused to take her pain meds from hospice so I place one in her mouth kiss her for head and said Jean let go. She was so worry about her kids she wouldn’t die but the pain she was in was tremendous. Sorry but I’m crying as I write this. I would also make her fresh juices everyday because she could no longer eat, boy, how she loved her carrot juice. She grab my hand so I would come closer to hear her and she said Jean promise me you’ll be here on Friday. I said Jean I’m here everyday she said no Friday I said of cause. Well, Friday morning in Aug. same day Diana died I was getting ready for school and one other faithful friend was their with her to give me a break. He called and said Jean I think she”s dead……I got dress woke my son up said come on Jean died we went over and yes she was expired. The hardest thing I ever had to do in my life was wake her children up and tell them their mom died. They scream and carry on because they were in denial about the moms illness. I first went into the room to see her she had the most beautiful smile on her face, I could see my friend was no longer in pain and went to the next level. She trusted me enough to know I would take care of everything. I notify her long lost sister, x-alcohloic husband, buddhist friends. But I did a Buddhist ritual first and chanted over her body and burn incense throughout the house. Then I let the children go in and say goodbye to their mom. Plus we met by accident I got the wrong number..just goes to show how life works. I had to watch the coroner take my very best friend out in a bag. I keep a photo of her and the kids in my wallet. But it took this for her husband who she love so much to get sobber and take care of his kids. 7 motnhs later my boyfriend died and my sweetie Golden Retriever. It has taken along time and work to recover. I attempted suicide I’m happy I never succeeded because I realize now how selfish I was acting. Especially that my husband commit sucide, my poor son I never thought how that would hurt him. But it wasn’t me it was the Black Hole I was in. So treasure ur love ones enjoy every second of them and thank God or your higher power for another day. I like to keep in touch with you and will keep u in my prayers. Sometimes life isn’t fair but life is right anyway. When your depressed let it be because it will pass. God bless you and your family.

  • Debbie

    “One” Days are great, and for us, not to be taken for granted. We don’t want to live in an anxiety world just waiting for things to turn to “two or three”. But we need to be so grateful for those “one” days especially when we have a “little relapse” time. We’ve all been there Therese, and like I’ve said before, we are all here for you.
    And although you are going through a “little relapse” time right now, your complete honesty about it is truly appreciated by all of us. I like to refer to it as a “little relapse” time because it takes a little time to get those “one” days back. But you will.
    Thank you so much for your writings, you always remind us to remain faithful and we are never alone in our journeys.
    God Bless You and remember how great, wonderful and beautiful we all know you are.


    Dear Therese,
    I am very intrested in your story could you please send me mmore informatiom. On how I can do this in my own life.

  • Tweetie

    Thank You & God Bless. I have learned through a wonderful friend, I call Ma-Ma Sandy, that everything is in Divine Order. This has been proven many times in my life & even more so these past couple of days. I am a recovering alcoholic/addict of 5 years. I had the pink cloud thing for awhile & then the blue skies would come & then the black holes.My skies seem to constantly keep changing.
    I was attending college & living with my Mother when I got a call saying my Ma-Ma Sandy & Daddy Calvin needed me to move back here & take care of them. She is disabled & he is a very severe diabetic w/ all kinds of other problems. I was still suppose to be able to go to college—that didn’t happen. The vehicle I was going to use got broke & my college $$ did not come in until 2 mths after school started.This was a hard time for me & I started having thoughts of getting the shotgun & walking to the woods out back & ending this life so I could go to a better one.I felt myself being consumed by the Black Hole…. NOOO!!! What about my GrandDaughter? She would be so hurt; gotta get out of this hole. I had already started crying b/c of something that was said & the dam of tears began to flow.(Thank God). I walked out on the front porch & I started talking to God b/c I wanted him to know how upset I was w/him. “God—Why are yoy doing this to me? I asked you to work things out for me but you didn’t. I have Prayed & Prayed about you working things out for me to go to school & you didn’t listen. WHY?? I quit drinking/drugging. I am good person. Why won’t you help me? I can’t take this anymore.What am I suppose to do now?” I cried harder & the thought (God talking) came to me—“Just Let Go!” What?,I ask.The thought came again,”You need to let this go for now. Everything will be o.k.” I surrendered; I let it go. Such a weight was lifted from my mind & my heart. Instant relief & sanity were restored to me.The thought comes again,”You are right where you are suppose to be.” If I listen & pay attention and ask God to lead the way I will always be where I am suppose to be—even if I may want to be some where else.haha.
    During that school period I was really needed here & w/ all the drama that others bring to this house there was NO way I could have studied like I need to & I would have failed. I know this for a fact now.
    The reason I started writing this is b/c I saw the letter titled: Between Relapse & Recovery.I was grateful that I took the time to read it. I usually delete mail & save the ones I want to read later. Later means 4 mths to a year.haha. Anyway, After choosing to be alone for 5 years I met a Man on-line.We dated. Things were great. 6 mths later I tell him I Love him. A couple of weeks later he invites me to move in w/him. A couple of days later—I am kicked to the curb like a stray dog.Dadburnit!!!! That Big Black Dog has bit me in the ass AGAIN.My mind was in total shock for about an hour. No words were spoken on the 1 hr & 35 min drive back here. I didn’t want him to see me cry but the shock wore off & the tears started.I muffled & smothered my crying & wore my sunglasses even though it was dark.
    Soooo once again, I was dancing under my pink cloud but in the blink of an eye I was hit by a tornado. I am not allowing the Black Hole to pass this way but I am very hurt, sad,& depressed. Not sure if I can keep my sanity/sobriety staying here b/c somebody always has drama going on. I feel like I had been set free for 6 mths & now I have been thrown in jail. The Survivor part of me keeps saying, “You’ve been through worse, you can do this”. My mind & my heart are tired & they really want to quit. They keep asking,”What’s the point? You won’t ever be happy for long anyway. Smoke a joint & relax—go get drunk & forget about it”. At this moment my heart is aching & the tears are flowing. Guess I’ll go now. I just wanted to thank the people who started this whole thing & those who have written their life stories here. God Bless Each & Everyone of You. I will keep you in my Prayers.
    Peace Be With You, Tweetie
    Rainbow Warrior
    Is there a straight link to here? Is this page always on this link? I really want to stay in touch on a daily/weekly basis. Thank You All.

  • Shamefull

    I want to thank you for sharing your story. I know what I need to do, but I’m going through the shamefull part, and it’s not for me I don’t want to hurt my family by airing all my dirty laundry embarrassing them anymore.
    My addiction as they already know it has done just about enough. To go any deeper Is a hard thought for me.
    There I go putting other people before me, trying to Recover.
    Somebody Help Me.

  • Patricia Brandon

    SHAMEFULL: A couple weeks ago in my substance abuse group,it was brought to my attention just how self defeating shame was. There is such a difference between being ashamed of something you have said or done or simply ‘messing up’ or making a mistake!! Also learned that there is a huge difference between lying and denial. Lying and shame is knowingly being deceitful whereas denial is acually beleiving what you are saying or doing to be true. As a in-the-very-beginning-stage-of-recovery-addict-depressive-adhd-bipolar? person myself,still trying to find Dr.Right with an accurate diagnosis,and the painstaking wait for the correct combination of medication,where you are at is a place I can relate to. Please get help….FOR YOU!!!!!!! Hold your head up high and be proud at least of the fact that you are admitting you need help. I know for someone has always been the ‘caretaker’of everyone elses emotional needs,it is very very difficult to seek “help’. But once you do it is such a relief and feels as if a 100 lbs has been lifted off your shoulders. And how can we be there for anyone else if we are overwhelmed. Just keep being a good person who is able to look in the mirror(most the time anyway!) confident that that person has always been honest,never cheated any one,nor stole from any one,and who sincerely cares about the well being about others. Just don’t neglect careing for yourself as it seems to me that you are a GOOD person you just don’t realize it yet!!! The road seems to be twisted and bumpy,with potholes and everlasting construction and confusing road signs and way too many forks,littered with garbage and speed traps and inconsiderate drivers,but what a great feeling to arrive at your destination in one piece and safe!!! At least for this day!! Learning to take things one-day-at-a-time and trying to not let all the crap that I have no control of clutter my mind(which is extremly difficult) is the only way I have found,so far,that seems to be of some help. Hang in there and you are in my thoughts and prayers!!!!!

  • Robin

    I know and believe with all my heart – and this is for all of us –
    that this too shall pass . . .

  • Anonymous

    Oh, God, where do I start ? That “hole” everyone describes is where I reside…… I have moments when I’m not there – but I ususlly slide back there. Oh…. those minutes and thankfully day’s , well a day, when I’m not there are so absolutely great – how I wish they would stay. I feel like having my hair done, eating, dancing – things that use to feel normal – man, their so fleeting….. Drinking was never a problem for me – didn’t drink a drop for 6 1/2 years – never smoked before – another “person” took it up at 50.. People are surprized I’m the age I am – actually my therapist said I’m “stuck” at 14 – How in hell did I start to smoke at 50? The hole misses me. Babs

  • Nancy

    I feel like I have been in a “waiting place” since I was 12 years old, and I am now 51. I take my meds, I am much better than I have been in the past, but I am just biding my time. As soon as my responsibilities are gone, which would be my mother, aunt, and my 3 wonderful greyhounds, I am in trouble. Deep serious trouble. I will not need to remain here and deal with all my insecurities, feelings, and the bullshit of life. I will be free to leave, and perhaps, maybe, find some relief. I do live with hope, that maybe tomorrow will be better. Maybe tomorrow I will have a break through. Maybe tomorrow my life will change. Once my responsibilities are gone though, I will be free to do what I feel must be done, what I have been waiting to do for the last 39 years. God help me.

  • Celebrity News

    That is f*ckin’ awesome . Very good and interesting article. Thanks for helpful and useful information.

  • http://TESTIMONY John

    Great thanks to Dr Egbon Golden who help me bring back my ex girlfriend
    My name is john, am from London i was in love with a girl called recheal will both
    love each other very much, to cult the story short something happen she left me for
    another man, i love her so much that i always want to be with her she left me just
    because i don’t have enough money i beg her to come back but she refuse i tried all
    my possible best to get her but the more i try is the more i lose her, so i have know
    choice than to contact a spell caster this was really bad almost all the spell casters
    scam me and collected my money this was very serious so i contacted one again and
    i said to my self how long will i continue to be losing money that i don’t even have,
    but when i contacted this email address called icandoshrinetemple i told him everything
    about my girlfriend and how i lost my money he fill pity he was ready to help me he told
    me that my girlfriend we come back to me and she we be my forever so i did not trust him
    when he was telling me, all i thought was that he want to also scam me and collect
    my money but i just give him a try and it was my last bus stop, i do all the necessary
    thing he told me to do after then i ask when is she coming back he said i should just
    relays and wait so i do but i was very panicky in 7days time she called me on phone
    and was begging me to let her come back i accepted her immediately because i love
    her so much, what would i have done if not for this man, he have prove that not all the
    spell caster are scam he is a real man, so that is how i got my ex girlfriend back.
    Am telling you all out their if there is anybody who can help you is no other person than
    Dr Egbon Golden his email address is ( he have help
    so many people i have benefit from it myself and this is the time you will also benefit
    from him know matter what the problem is and if you are contacting him, tell him your
    problems and he we be ready to help you.
    Thank you so much DR.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Melody

    Yes!!! Am so happy because i now have children who called me mother.
    My name is Miss Melody, am from England i have a short sorry to tell you all. I got married six years ago and ever since i have no child that we call me mother i became a laughing stuff the worst of all my husband parent call me a
    thing that dose not produce, my husband who love me before became so wicked to me i cried and i cried i visited a doctor and the doctor told me that i cannot give birth to a child again, everything was now becoming very worst that i was now thinking of hanging myself and just die because i have know choice, but when i was thinking of that, i was searching for something on net so i came across one email address called
    CHILDBEARINGSOLUTIONTEMPLE so i quickly contacted his email address so i found out that she is a woman and i explain all my problem to her, she told me that i was going to have children not even child now oh! children she said i was shock and very surprise because nobody have ever told me that i will even have a child but she said children, She told me everything that am going to do to have my own children she said that my womb was spiritually tied.
    Oh! God bless this woman, even if its means to give her everything that i have now i will do it because am so happy, life without a child or children is not a life, so i done everything necessary she told me to do.
    So after two months to God be the glory and to the woman who help me called (DR GIFT EFE) i was pregnant, to end the story i now have two children a boy and a girl. Everyone in my family are now very happy with me.
    So if you are in any situation like this do not wast anytime just contact this email address CHILDBEARINGSOLUTIONTEMPLE@GMAIL.COM she will be there to help you.
    Thank you so much (Dr gift efe) for helping me.

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