Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


You Are Not Your Disease: You Are Not Your Pot

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my favorite posts of Jane Chin’s is her essay, “I’m Here to Remind You that You Aren’t Your Illness,” about breaking free of her “pot,” or her past and all the negativity associated with her struggle with depression, about her way of trying to experiment with a new vision of self tied less to her illness.
It reminded me of what the psychiatric nurses told me over and over again during my six-week outpatient treatment: “You are not your disease. Don’t suffocate yourself in your illness.”
I wanted to give them the bird, because it wasn’t so easy breaking free from something that had me shankled to my hospital chair, my mouth gagged and my ears stuffed with cotton, so that I was deaf to any noise besides the howling of the inner demon.
Dr. Chin writes about this process so eloquently, of letting go of the past in order to open oneself to the possibilities in the present.
Here are the first paragraphs on that essay. To read the rest, click here.

Medically speaking, I’m “in remission” from clinical depression. When I get the blues now, the blue mood does not expand and darken into the sinister depression that left me functionally crippled (albeit still highly functioning) for many years. For a while, I struggled with keeping up this website. I used to see this website as a constant reminder of the pain I experienced from depression and emotional abuse. Who would want a constant reminder of these? Moreover, I wondered if keeping this website would be akin to “holding onto my past” instead of “letting go of my past so I can get on with my life.”
I have gone through relationship “crises” with this website, and it’s sort of like parent-child relationship, although I can’t be sure whether I was the parent or the child. At times I hold it in gratitude, for this held a record of the shadows in which I lived for a long time, and a record of my emergence from those shadows. At times I rebelled against it, for I did not like the reminder of the shadows when life seems to be going so well and when I was supposed to be “out there setting big hairy audacious goals for myself.”
I took a few more years to understand why this website is still here, and why I still have work to do through this website. A major part of my understanding comes from Joseph Campbell’s book, Power of Myth, and what Campbell wrote about the Hero’s Journey. The hero can go out in search of adventure, or as many myths go, the hero gets thrown into an adventure that he didn’t sign up for. The hero would slay the figurative dragon or discover the figurative life-sustaining flame. However, the hero’s quest is not complete until he returns to the village and brings back the what he has earned to share with his people.
Dr. Hal writes about root-bound people who have lived so long in their pots that their growth have been restricted. Dr. Hal related his experience of trying to transplant trees whose roots have become so attached that the trees could not survive a change, and the trees ultimately had to be discarded.
I see myself as an ex-root-bound person who had a very colorful and very large pot within which I had spent decades of my life. This pot had both organic and synthetic substrates that my emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual grew from. At some point, my roots were becoming poisoned with what was in this pot, which incidentally had very poor drainage and was kept in too much shade (and I was not a shady plant).



  • Wisdum

    Hmmmmm, I just posted this over at Conversations With God, maybe it works here too!
    Ehhhhhhh! Screw all of that…go out and jump up and down in a mud puddle … or splash your hands in the toilet bowl … or pick your nose ! Joy is where you find it!
    “Come to me like a child!” (Yeshuah)
    We are born smart, and grow up to be stupid!
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Lynn

    I love this post. My partner for many years, he is scizophrenic,has lived in his pot, or I should say stayed in his pot for at least 30 years. I somewhat understand why this happens with mentally ill people. For him his voices have been his constant companions for the length of his illness, but for him the fear of what lies beyond his illness keeps him there, too he holds on to the fact that he is unusual, different. He has always been crazy George, to try to move beyond this leaves him just like everyone else and I truly belive that the very thought of giving up the ” friends” negetive and positive, by friends I mean his voices, he will be left completely alone, no one to be. I believe his fear paralyzes him , he stays where he is safe. He is a truly kind and loving soul who suffers everyday, he now also suffers with the many side effects that 30 years of psych. drugs have caused. His struggles are endless, yet he continues to love us , his daughter, and grandchildren and myself. It is a battle for him to remain present in this reality and the anxiety and depression that goes with all of it takes a huge toll. These illnesses ravage self esteem , relationships, the loss of human potential is beyond understanding. A doctor told his sister years ago he would probally never marry, have children or even work. He has done all of this and more. Was it easy , were we happy, did we succeed in having the american dream? Not by most standards, we fought through it every day,lost much, gained multitudes. We never owned a home, lived hand to mouth most of the time, we never had a new car, My children and myself wore second hand clothing. We always had a roof over our heads, food enough,We were looked at like we were less but in truth we are more because at the end of all of this we can all say we know what real LOVE is, his family never let him be homeless, his uncle gave him a job, his family helped us with money and support, still do. My daughter has a mental illness, takes medication,struggles with moods,they believe she is bipolar. The family helps with her two kids, will they be mentally ill ? Time will tell. We were critisized, stigmatized and ostrasized at times.We no longer live together him and I, we speak everyday. How do I feel? Like the universe cheated us big time! But sometimes I think that because of all of this I am able to truly Love and Give, I owe this all to Crazy George,his very supportive family, my very difficult, beautifully crazy daughter. This huge gift was very hard to see most of the time, still hard to make it out sometimes, alot of the time. At the end of the day, when I do stop to think about it all , try to make sense of it, there it remains bigger than life. This ongoing lesson of real LOVE. Sappy but true. :)

  • Cully

    Lynn writes: But sometimes I think that because of all of this I am able to truly Love and Give, I owe this all to Crazy George,his very supportive family, my very difficult, beautifully crazy daughter. This huge gift was very hard to see most of the time, still hard to make it out sometimes, alot of the time. At the end of the day, when I do stop to think about it all , try to make sense of it, there it remains bigger than life. This ongoing lesson of real LOVE. Sappy but true. :)
    NOT “sappy” at all… wow, not sappy at all!!
    hugz and Blessings,
    Cully

  • Melanie

    I thought it was going to be about the drug pot when I first read the title! lol! It was interesting though!

  • Kim

    Thank you so much for the article. My pot is full of many roots that are holding me inside my pot, not only holding me in but killing me root by root. If I stay in the pot, I lose my life…if i go outside the pot the fighting for life still exists. I am glad your website is still here…for it is giving light to me, the person inside my pot. Thank you.

  • Larry Parker

    It strikes me that BGG’s combox post on the blog entry about Charles Schulz of Peanuts is right on point (scroll down the comments after Therese’s text):
    http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2007/10/charles-schulz-melancholy-and.html

  • Deb M

    I know the meaning of living in the pot.
    Outside of it, is scary, for others have molded the plant.
    Just as kids mold the mother and the husband molds the wife….when both are gone….the plant??? What is it?
    Deb c

  • Margaret Balyeat

    Another GREAT visual image, T! One thought occurs, however, We all ARE the sum total of our life’s experiences,so some of those poisonous roots have trult become taproots and sent their tentacles down even through the bottom of the pot! Like a dandelion, which must be COMPLETELY uprooted or it will just grow back, those particular roots are here to stay in one form or another. Meds, therapy, positive attitudes or annoying psych ward nurses aside those suckers will fight to hold onto their(YOUR) life no matter how diligently you try to uproot and transplant them! It goes to the fact that negative/abusive childhoods remain with us into adulthood; the “hard drives” of our brains have permanently saved that data and are not so easily erased. Would that ththat data was the chubk that gets “lost inside the hard drive and require hours of recovery attempts to “find” again, but it just ain’t so! The data (at least on MY hard drive that finds a mysterious byteof memory in which to disappear is always the positive input; those years of being daily reminded of my worthlessness as a child are like Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel–theyALWAYS find their way home. (I wonder how many bread crumb ttrails there are in my psyche!)

  • Lynne

    There’s another analogy called to mind. It’s about two trees in an orchard both growing too close to a barb-wire fence. The first tree in it’s efforts to avoid the barb-wire grows up twisted and deformed. The second tree grows right through it and makes it part of it’s own trunk,and becomes stronger for it. You can’t avoid the pain of living but you can become stronger because of it.

  • Marquos

    Thanks so much for your post. It really speaks to me as I spent years defining myself by my illness. I have a good friend whom I would spend hours with sharing our sorrows and deep insights into our condition and railing against the sytem and yet desperately needing it to survive. As i have taken steps to identify more with my wellness, we have grown apart. She has very deep roots in her pot and craggy, heavy growth from it. She calls herself psychiatric survivor, and for a long time thats all she did was survive, all I did. As I focus more on my wellness I begin to see how selfish I have been in clinging to my pot, how much other relationships have suffered and how I had shut myself off from a beautiful world.

  • Jim G

    The pot metaphor is a great one, I have never heard that one before.
    I consider myself fully healed from Bipolar Disorder I. Although they say it is an incurable disease. I do take an anti depressant, but that is all, and not a super high dose. Actually it makes me permanently and slightly hypomanic. But I find that is a good, “out of the pot” way to be for me. The odd thing is I don’t cycle at all, it is permanent. And from the worse classification of Bipolar there is. I don’t know if it is the “new me” or the “old me” or what. Although that doesn’t matter.
    I spent some time in the online bipolar support forums. But not too much time. Because nobody else there was getting better, which made me a bit uncomfortable. I was able to offer more support than I asked for. Although if it is true it is in giving that we receive, I received support by giving it. But it wouldn’t be long before I’d purposely change my password to one I would not remember, and change my email address to a bogus one, so that I would sever the ties to the site.
    For the very reason you bring up in this post. It seems some folks take on their illness as their identity. I would think this might imply that they never knew who they really were to begin with. And – perhaps the rub is that when our brain chemicals are not optimum, it is hard to figure out who we really are.
    With the help of Rx, I have remembered who I really am. And life is peachy again. I can’t remember when it was as peachy. Again – that doesn’t matter as all we have is the present and future. No one “has” the past. So there is also no reason to get dramatic about our sob stories. I guess I am being a bit cold and insensitive on this one, but it’s true isn’t it? That we do not “have” the past? And that everyone has the same thing which is the present and future? Therefore there is really no such thing as wasted years from any disease?
    Why did I heal when I’m “not supposed to?” Because I refused to join the “bipolar club.” (Actually I don’t know the answer to the question, but I think this is probably part of it.) My case might be unusual in that I was diagnosed a few years before my one and only full blown manic episode (which was followed by a severe depressive episode – also my one and only, of several months,) with low grade unipolar depression . I took Prozac for a year. Then a year with nothing. Then a lot of stress which snapped me into full blown mania followed by severe depression. Which of course makes me diagnosed Bipolar I. Followed by getting better gradually, and experiencing Bipolar mostly as unipolar depression (but stronger than before,) with a few bunny hill hypomanias. But getting more and more stable on just Celexa anti depressant. Followed by a year on nothing since I had to cancel my HMO bill. Followed by getting on Wellbutrin XL. Which is my “fountain of youth” or “wonder drug.” And now I am in the (envious?) place of being slightly and permanently hypomanic. I am productive on a new job, which I am doing in addition to continuing to run the business I’ve been running since before the diagnosis of Bipolar. A job which is in perfect harmony with who I really am.
    I consider that fully healed – just with the dependency on Wellbutrin. : )

  • Larry Parker

    An unbelievably condemning message …
    And to think I was probably the recipient of some of that “support” on the Bnet forums. Egads. With that kind of “support,” I’ll take a shove off a cliff instead.

  • Stacey

    I have just recently realized how severe clinical depression has affected me throughout my life, but especially aince my divorce and many, many struggles since then, nearly 7 years ago…..am seeing a therpist, trying to read good books, and about to take some herbal remedies to help—-have tried just about all antidepressants on the market, and my body always reacts the same way…..25-30 lbs. weight gain! The I’m REALLY depressed! Has anyone else gone through this hole…..and managed so come out of it, and enjoy life again?

  • Lynn

    There are some plants who thrive being pot bound and many gardeners suggest that these plants not be repotted. Many plants , if their roots are not contained become a overgrown, uncontrolable weed.potbound or not plants find a way to thrive, especially if given care, and some of our pots are quite beautiful. even a broken pot is great the pieces are often used to create beautiful works of art! If you get my drift here. Grow where you are planted!!!! :)

  • Bridgette

    What do you do when you have fought out of the pot and you feel it sucking you back in? if you try to talk to people you are sharing to much, and humiliating yourself. you feel left out everywhere all over again? Suggestions for holding it toghther.

  • Jane

    Hello,
    I just recently started writing to this site. I have searched for a cure for my depression for about nine years now. My worst time is in the fall and winter months, during that time I can hardly get out of bed, I have panic attacks going to the grocery store, doing house work, dealing with the school, and the whole social part of life. I stay in my house most of the time. I have just ordered and started listening to End Social Anxiety Now CD and I was just wondering if anything like this has helped anyone else. I want so badly to beat this illness and I am not sure how. My children are growing up and I want to enjoy my life. If you have any suggestion please email me.
    God Bless You All,
    Jane

  • Anu Bose

    I have been slowly sinking into depression after being made redundant at my place of work. I am not young anymore and am finding it difficult to find work in spite of very good credentials.
    I find it difficult to pray, to to read the bible, to do all the things I used to do….
    My pot is a deep dark place….

  • Betty

    I have gone thru many crisis in my 60 plus yrs. And I can tell you that God, medical help, a few good friends, a loving family that understands has made it possible for me to survive. Please note God is first. There are times when I think he has forgotten me, but then I find myself surviving. (My father’s death from cancer, my son’s death at 34 from aids, my mothers death at 88 yrs of age, and now a husband that had cancer surgery in March. Twelve weeks into his recovery, we have a defibrillator problem, over 10 hours of repeatedly shocks at the local ER and finally it was corrected. (a faulty lead line this time), prior to that the first pacemaker, a staph infection from the hospital? was corrected and numerous antiobitics & then a new pacemaker/defib on the right side of his chest. With Gods help, I am surviving this also. It is hard, and I also feel that old pot sucking me right back to the bottom of it, but somehow, I survive. A positive attitude (which is hard sometimes) and love is what keeps me going. I just pray for each and everyone of you that is fighting this battle too. God Bless you,
    take care of yourself as much as you can.
    Betty

  • Dawn

    I have struggled out of, and been sucked back into, my pot over and over and over again.
    I am 54 years old. I have no job because I can’t leave the house on a regular basis. I have no money. I will be without a place to live in four weeks and even though I have a good resume, I can find no reason to go through the torture again when I know I will end up getting sucked in again. It makes me weaker every time it happens. I’m not certain at this very moment, but I have a strong feeling that this time the pot will win

  • Col

    I’m a Bipolar 1 and had been stable for a very long time.
    In fact even happy with my quality of life, getting out more.
    Making more friends. For I have accepted my disease years ago.
    Educating myself on it from new books to new studies.
    Then the floor crashed in.
    I was in a horrible car accident
    I had to make sure the other person was ok.
    God was watching me that as I skidded across 3 lanes of traffic.
    The EMT”s came and I ask them if I could I have a bottle of water
    He came with one and I thanked him
    The water was to refocus myself away from the accident.
    Because I felt a whopper of an anxiety attack coming on.
    They asked me if I called the accident in.
    I must have…she didnt have a phone and mine was sitting in my hand.
    After my husband picked me up.
    We went and got his Moms car
    The fear I driving it is unscridable.
    The vets.
    My sweetest Kitty (12 yrs old) had an abcess tooth
    Well guess what? I was more.
    She has cancer.
    Untreatable cancer.
    I took her home and let her play
    We are both fightingg diseases that cant be cured
    let her have some more happy time.
    Writing this has lifted alot of anxiety for me.
    I feel I’m surrounded by angels and thhey are saying “its ok”
    Col

  • Parla

    Been there done that. Depression, panic attacks, social disorder, I had it all. Didn’t leave my house for months, and tried to raise a family at the same time. I finally got so suicidal, I knew something had to happen. Went to the local “in house” psyciatric hospital…. only to be told, I wasn;t sick enough. Made it to a psychiatrist, only because he had a cancellation….. best thing in the world for me. I finally found a Dr. tht cared about me …….. took a hell of a lot of hunting, but I made it, am now on only a small amount of meds ……………… but my life is 100% different. Hang in there. There is a life out there. Keep asking for help.
    Hugs. P

  • jennifer

    I went through a ugly divorce about 3 years ago. I have 2 childern with this man. He left me broken hearted and lost. I left my boys in his care while I went home to regroup and alot of soul searching. When I came back my ex now wont let me see the boys unless it suits him. Over this past weekend i was lucky enough to get the boys from Friday to Sunday. Becouse I didnt have them home at the time I said I would, witch I called to let him know they were going to be late, he now says he wont let me see the boys anymore.Now the lost feeling that I thought I had managed to get rid of is now coming back. I dont know what my legal options are nor do I have the money to get a lawyer. The boys are aware of this selfish desion their father has made and wants me to fight him. I feel like I will let them down if I dont but my hands are tied. I can only hope and pray that my boys will see their father for what he realy is and that theyll undersdtand that I love them.

  • ann

    i have been diagnosed as schizoprenic. i realize now i do have an anxiety disorder and depression. i was forced to leave my job because of harrassment/discrimination. in addition, i hurt my back at work. i was the only one working so we have had some major financial difficulties. my husband is a disabled veteran and could not find work right away because of his disability. we had a daughter eight months ago and i think he was not ready for this. my sister and brother attacked me physically and hurt my back more. now, i can barely lift things or bend over. then, i was the one sent to a psychiatric hospital and hospitalized for over three weeks. i dont understand how this is allowed to happen in this country today. i even had eyewitnesses who called 911 for the attacks. my other brother who is a retired veteran was hospitalized also. he is going through therapy now and we are recovering. i just cannot believe how quikly one incident snowballs into this tragic sequence of events. i am coping but now i worry if i do something wrong or say something i might end up back in the hospital. i go to counseling weekly now to help cope with everything that happened. my husband has been understanding and has been trying to be there. i know it takes two to argue but not everything is my fault as much as everyone in my family makes it to be me. i just go from day to day and try to move on as best as i can but it is hard to at times. any advice for someone who has been physically abused her whole life and how to get it to stop?

  • brendabey

    I am 54 yrs.old and have for many years tied myself to imaginary restaints,but some how I have resurfaced and come out of it momentarily.I revel in the sunshine i even like me for a change. I understand the strong pull of your pot and the roots that seem to hold you prisoner but also that is the nature of your disease to confound and confuse you.Anyone can intellecualize that this is your fate but it is not,nor is it a compelling thing for us. What it is manifests in your comfortability and offers you nothing else, Everyone has a comfort zone and our pot is that area. I always knew that there was life outside of my disease but whether i wanted to seize the moment was always left up to me .I’ve gone through intense theraphy but to no avail,my disease comes back at any given opportunity so I try to isolate and keep busy,sometimes it helps,other times..Oh! Well,so you see you have got to dig deep down in your reserves and find something anything that will keep you on top of the water and keep you from drowning.I daresay the pot will win but it will have a heck of a time doing so.. So I send my love and concern to those who fight the Good Fight!!!

  • Nancy

    Larry’s comment:
    An unbelievably condemning message …
    And to think I was probably the recipient of some of that “support” on the Bnet forums. Egads. With that kind of “support,” I’ll take a shove off a cliff instead.
    Thanks Larry – This morning I had typed out a reply to that prior comment from Jim G., and I accidentally hit the wrong button and lost it. I didn’t have it in me to retype it or gather my thoughts on it all over again. I’m so glad you addressed it. You were absolutely right on. I couldn’t believe it myself.

  • SuzanneWA

    Oh, Therese, you’ve done it again! My pot is my bipolar disorder. At this point in my life (59 years old, and with a lot of water under the damn dam), I can’t remember what I was like BEFORE this illness. I have been bipolar for 39 years. When I meet anyone new, it doesn’t take long that I reveal that I am mentally ill; why, I don’t know, unless it’s to describe why I am what I am.
    During my three full-blown manic episodes, I made many wonderful friends who believed my delusions. As soon as I was hospitalized for them – these “fair weather friends,” disappeared. They were soooo sure I was what I said I was – a super-ego spiritual guru. I even told a tech in the psych hospital that I was psychic!! Looking back on my behevior in a manic episode, I see the comfort of the pot in defining me.
    Now, I feel I am a “highly functioning” bipolar. As the former blogger said, I feel I’m at a permanently hypomanic state. The problem is – if I stay here too long, it segues into a manic episode – and I cannot afford to go there. “Afford” does not necessarily mean financially afford – it means I will lose everything I’ve accomplished so far – own my own condo, have two cats that keep me grounded, have a wonderful boyfriend, and a few TRUE friends who encourage me on my walk through this life.
    I CAN say I’ve outgrown my pot, but some roots remain; namely, the euphoria I experience in a mania sometimes draws my imagination back. I struggle daily with this disorder, as I know my fellow surivors do. But – having outgrown my pot, I am feeling what I imagine “normal” to be like. I am OUTSIDE my comfort zone, and sometimes this scares me. Do do I do things on impulse, or do I stop and think about it? My “impulse” decisions have so far not led me astray, but who’s to say they won’t?
    I live by myself, so anything I do won’t be seen by the outside world as long as I’m alone. It’s when I’m out in society that I recognize the barriers of the illness, and I’m NOT to speak of what I know…
    Thanks again for this post – yes, we DO bloom where we’re planted, but even the most fragile of plants has to be uprooted to survive.
    BIG HUGS to all my fellow bloggers, and may God keep you in the palm of His hand.

  • Miss. Bridget

    I like the writing about the pot not being you and you not being the pot but sometimes one needs a sense of comfort until she is strong enough to venture on her own. Sometimes that pot is a comfort to wounds that are trying to heal. Sometimes when one leave to soon one will fall when she least expects. For instance you attend a funeral and think well you cried quietly then loudly with the family and say well I had my cry now I am ready to face the world then out of the blue you reminince and there you go crying because you truly did not get over the pain of separation.
    See you get a huge celebration when you marry. Then you have lasting positive feelings then you have a baby and a celebration breaks out again then you have death and there is no celebration and you are left with those lingering feelings of what you wish you had done and said then you have the thought of bargaining with the creator and think surely HE will answer your prayer because you have a relationship then told after all the praying it is beyond praying it is too late the deceased one is gone. Then you cry you try to turn it into a praise of worship but deep down you are crying from sorrow. One must realize that one must release all the tears and also remember that GOD always catches every tear even though you cannot see him.
    There is not a wound GOD does not feel. And one must remember that when one is going through sad moments. But knowing one is human one wants someone who is there to comfort her instead of hanging to just words alone.

  • belindablue

    Hi, my pot is seasonal depression and seperational anxeity, on top of a life recovering from rape. It has not been easy on me, the anxeity can be intense and sometimes i start loosing myself in a fog.
    I keep trying to remind my self that i am not in the past and time has chaged so many thing including me, and the hardest part is trying to complete my education,with out a breakdown.
    That was then this is now,but it isn’t easy.Any tips i could use them.

  • Lynne

    Belinda, I can only imagine the kind of hell you’ve been through. I at least had childhood friends with dark secrets too and we walked through each other’s hell together. I think that is the one key thing that kept me sane. The fact that you can talk about it is so courageous and admirable! You are pursuing an education, also commendable. You are your own heroe! Keep talking…believe me it will help and if you breakdown ..get back up…there will be someone there to listen. God Bless.

  • Jim G

    Most people don’t like change so I suppose it isn’t surprising I had pushed two people’s buttons. I really had the same message as Therese though – albeit more blunt.
    To Suzanne:
    I do not go beyond hypomania. It is unfortunate that you do. What I do find though is since I am sort of a new person, I have to learn by trial and error all over again – which is what we do when we grow up. So in some ways I am growing up all over again.
    However, psychiatrists don’t realize that last point at all. That it is possible to adapt to your new persona. If the idea works maybe I can write a book about it. It’s just a new spin off the old power of positive thinking.

  • peggy

    i too have lived in a pot for many years. i always thought that i was just over reacting and that i wasnt as bad off as i thought but i was diagnosed with bi-polar disorder, major depression and abandonment issues along with substance abuse, child hood rape and physical and emotional abuse, i am so glad i was able to read this, i know i am not alone but it helps to know that i am not the only unshady plant living in shaded areas of my life that sometimes doesnt see light for a long time, thank u again.

  • Nancy

    Jim G. – the comment had absolutely nothing to do with a reaction to the subject of change being a “button pusher”, as much as you may like to think so. I’ve incorporated enough changes and accomplishments in my life demonstrate that the quality and content of my life is not defined by my illness and I am not my pot. My lists of achievements far surpass a new job and continuing to run a business. I only add that as you seem to define yourself by those undertakings. First of all, I am a child of God, which to me, puts us all on the same playing field. I am no better or less than the next guy/woman.
    It was the audacity and arrogance to view yourself as such a superior human being that after some period of time, you looked down upon others as being less than when they did not achieve victory as you perceived they should have in the bnet forum.
    I overcame drinking as a form of self-medicating over 15 years ago and have helped numerous women continually throughout those years who wanted help, even if they did not succeed in the way I had hoped for them. God’s will is that we help each other. That where we have breakthroughs and sucesses and have been blessed in life, we are to utilize them in other ways besides self-serving pontification, move on and leave the poor slobs behind, who don’t get it yet and aren’t on the same fast lane of reovery.
    However, you yourself state that after a short period of time you were tired of being the giver, when you went to a place to receive; that you changed emails and created bogus ones. The gift of my own release from certain demons made me only more grateful and willing to do God’s will, which was to help the next sufferer.
    Perhaps your intention was not to come across as pompous and egomaniacal. However, that was exactly the tone it portrayed.

  • Larry Parker

    Jim G.:
    Your assertion that you are far superior to anyone you encounter on depression support forums, and that anyone who is still sick need only look in the mirror for the blame because they feel sorry for themselves (and seek support from the “wrong” people — i.e., other people with depression) is the height of arrogance.
    And how DARE you take the name of our intrepid blogger in vain. Therese has more compassion in her little finger than you do, going by your judgmental words, in your entire body.

  • Mary Ann Kincaid

    The most that I have done / accomplished is – to have ‘realized’ that I had lived in and still do live in “a Pot”.
    I’ve spent years struggling with getting out of that pot. Right now I’m not sure … What matters is that I have seen beyond the pot, and what is suppose to be possible; it isn’t possible for ME, though. I’ve, also, learned that my roots may be shaped from what was / is in the pot, but I know that I’m not “the pot…at least, not entirely.
    It can be ‘very scary’, overwhelming even, to leave the pot that I’ve known for so many years – my whole life. While I did premeditate adventures beyond ‘the pot’. I haven’t been, to the best of my knowledge, an accidental “hero”; however, I have been the “reluctant and momentary hero” who was drug out of the pot (kicking & screaming)because, they (Psychiatrists & Therapists) thought that, if I didn’t emerge, my roots would rot to the point where I would die.
    Once out of the pot, I experienced additional {options}, that, I was unaware of when I was in the pot – and – Agoraphobia enveloped my entire being! There were ebsuing struggles. Periodically, I came out with the upper hand and the possibility of holding the darkness at bay. In those periods of light & fresh air, there was / is a new way of understanding who I was / am and how I can see myself.
    I’ve had to give up (repeatedly) habits and thought patterns that I was very comfortable with, albeit, quite destructive to living & enjoying life. I’ve tried to learn to enjoy life & accept that I am deserving of such. I’m still learning & trying. I don’t know that there is, (or) ever will be, an end (or destination, if you will).
    Life is hard and scary. I find comfort, if not peace, within my solitude.
    You want to leave the pot, but you don’t know what is beyond the pot and whether there is even life outside of the pot, never mind how miserable life was inside the pot. This website is still here, and I still write here, for those of you who know that your pot has grown stuffy or sick.
    “out there, setting big, hairy, audacious goals for myself”

  • Jim G

    Maybe what we have here between myself and Larry and Nancy is “a failure to communicate.” Or a breakdown in communication. Either I wrote poorly, or my writing was read poorly. Doesn’t matter who’s most at fault. Chances are it’s me, as in the book I am currently reading, “The Hypomanic Edge, the Link Between a Little Craziness and a Lot of Success in America (by a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins – it’s no slouch of a book by any means,) the author mentions several times just in the first chapters I’ve read that hypomanics can have a frantic writing style. Which is perhaps one of the *cons* of being hypomanic. As you know, there are a half dozen cons and a half dozen pros. The pros outweigh the cons in my humble opinion. Which is why I have set the Lithium aside in case I ever do go hyper than hypo. (Lithium brings me down in 2 or 3 days, not the 3 weeks that is the claim. As I tried it recently but decided to not continue, but to save it “in case of emergency.”)
    But I might as well attempt to explain what I wrote as I really didn’t intend it to be as harsh as two people read it to be. As after all, I am speaking from experience – I have not enjoyed the benefits of permanent hypomania for long – only a year and a half. I mostly have experienced bipolar as low grade depression. Previously entitled, “we are all in this boat together.”
    “I spent some time in the online bipolar support forums. But not too much time. Because nobody else there was getting better, which made me a bit uncomfortable.”
    *** I did not mean to imply I was superior to folks who were not getting better. It was just that I felt the odd man out since I had gotten better. From BP I to BP II to BP III and now to whatever permanent hypomania is (there are some pdocs who have more classifications than the norm.) And to be more honest than my original post, I would generally end up feeling like I was spending too much time for my busy life in the online world in general. Whether it was a political blog or a bipolar blog. I have a business, I am substitute teaching, I have two small children, and I am in the middle of getting a teaching credential, so spending lots of time in the forums was going against the reality of my priorities. I do like to help others. I felt I didn’t need as much support as others because I had gotten better, which is why I mentioned I gave more support than I asked for. And I think that is a responsible thing for bipolars who are either in a productive mood or who are permanently productive, to lend a hand to those who may not be as fortunate temporarily or permanently. Since we do know what they are going through based on our past experiences of dealing with bipolar prior to healing.***
    I was able to offer more support than I asked for. Although if it is true it is in giving that we receive, I received support by giving it. But it wouldn’t be long before I’d purposely change my password to one I would not remember, and change my email address to a bogus one, so that I would sever the ties to the site.”
    *** Again this was for two reasons. 1. – Not enough time, combined with some tendency to be off task and obsessive. Just a reality I needed to move on and not be addicted to the forum. What I mean by changing my email and password was so that I would lock myself out as I would get sort of addicted to spending more time in the forums than I had time for. 2. The very reasons this blog brought up. ***
    “…It seems some folks take on their illness as their identity. I would think this might imply that they never knew who they really were to begin with. And – perhaps the rub is that when our brain chemicals are not optimum, it is hard to figure out who we really are.”
    *** I am not speaking from a superiority complex here. I am speaking from experience. I forgot who I was. Whether the forgetting contributed to the depression/bipolar, or whether the depression/bipolar contributed to the forgetting, is up for analysis. I actually think both cases are true in my own case. I mentioned “rub” to say that we may be out of touch with who we really are as spirit and not body, as a human being (our spiritual self,) because of our mental illness. Our true identity gets lost. Thus it would only be natural to grab onto something to fill the void. Yes I would agree that I was insensitive in this bit – the part about never knew who they were to begin with. In my own case, I think I didn’t know, then knew, then forgot, and then I think the forgetting was one factor in the mental illness. And then mental illness becomes another factor in forgetting. The point I am trying to make is with the right medication (I’m not a typical case for “the right medication” I realize,) we ultimately can remember who we truly are as spiritual human beings. For me it turns out to be being a high school teacher. I am 45, so it is a mid-life career change for me. Although I’ve worked with disadvantages children as well as advantaged children in other jobs in the past. Interspersed with corporate jobs where I was not at all in touch with who I am.***
    “With the help of Rx, I have remembered who I really am. And life is peachy again. I can’t remember when it was as peachy. Again – that doesn’t matter as all we have is the present and future. No one “has” the past. So there is also no reason to get dramatic about our sob stories. I guess I am being a bit cold and insensitive on this one, but it’s true isn’t it? That we do not “have” the past? And that everyone has the same thing which is the present and future? Therefore there is really no such thing as wasted years from any disease?”
    *** I would venture to say that I wasted a decade of my young adult life because of the two factors of being out of touch with who I am and also because of low grade depression. But I have come to the conclusion that grieving over this lost decade should not take a lot of time. Because we can’t change the past. Why wallow in it? We do have the present. And we have the future since we can change our future based on our actions and plans and goals. In one way, we are all equally wealthy because everyone rich or poor has only the present moment. When you look at the ultimate resource as being time. If you doubt this, just ask a rich 60 year old person how much money they’d be willing to spend to purchase deducting 3 decades off their age. Come to grips with what really happened, without any soap opera exaggeration of what really happened, and then move on.***
    “Why did I heal when I’m “not supposed to?” Because I refused to join the “bipolar club.”
    *** By club I do not mean bipolar support forum. I mean the label bipolar. If that offends you I think you are being overly sensitive. It goes back to the original post – the power of positive thinking regarding, if you label youself with a disease, you are most certainly going to have a better chance of retaining that disease than if you don’t label yourself with the disease. ***
    In conclusion, I am better able to be compassionate towards the disadvantaged youth I work with, hypomanic, than not.

  • Jim G

    I forgot to clarify one last part:
    “Why did I heal when I’m “not supposed to?”
    Here I am attributing “not supposed to” to the psychiatrists, not the patients. Bipolar Disorder is considered in incurable disease when you read the definitions of Bipolar Disorder all around the Web.
    The bottom line is I can totally see where you mis-read me, because I probably did write in a rushed manner. Hopefully I have put out the fire with my explanation.
    On a positive note, I feel more rewarded now, working as a substitute high school teacher for disadvantaged students, as challenging as they may be, than at any time in my life. Possibly with the exception of running the low budget summer camp for disadvantaged youth. Both the same amount of reward I think. But I am more productive hypomanic than not, which makes me happier as a person as well as rewarded for making a difference for the youth. High school students it seems to me, are on a similar wavelength to hypomania, low grade hypomania that is, and I just seem to be a better teacher this way. Granted there are a few times when I push the envelope. But again, I think we can grow accustomed to the new “us” rather than jump to tranquilize ourselves with a mood stabilizer so quickly for fear of being inappropriate. I think we can adapt to the new person we find ourselves to be.

  • Larry Parker

    Jim G.:
    The bottom line is that you are claiming that your experience is the only optimum experience for those with bipolar, and that your experience is a superior experience to anyone else’s experience with bipolar disorder.
    There is a lot of evidence to the contrary in your own posts:
    *** By club I do not mean bipolar support forum. I mean the label bipolar. If that offends you I think you are being overly sensitive. It goes back to the original post – the power of positive thinking regarding, if you label youself with a disease, you are most certainly going to have a better chance of retaining that disease than if you don’t label yourself with the disease. ***
    The absolute worst thing someone with bipolar disorder can do is … forget they have bipolar disorder. (Some of us, of course are not merely hypomanic, but have full bipolar disorder, and need our mood stabilizers to function, contrary to your assertion.) If we do, we are tempted by the siren song to stop taking our medicine — which is the way to disaster. And Kay Jamison can testify to that more than anyone.
    Also, the power of positive thinking — creative visualization/”The Secret”/the law of attraction — is another siren song, IMHO. As I always say, if I try to create what I visualize on a manic jag, I will either end up in the hospital, in jail, or dead.
    *** Here I am attributing “not supposed to” to the psychiatrists, not the patients. Bipolar Disorder is considered in incurable disease when you read the definitions of Bipolar Disorder all around the Web. ***
    By your own testimony, you are hypomanic. Ipso facto, you are not cured. Bipolar disorder is, by all current medical studies and protocols, a lifelong disease. If you have a paper or expert who will testify to the contrary (who’s not a Scientologist, that is), please let us all know — we will be overjoyed!
    *** And I think that is a responsible thing for bipolars who are either in a productive mood or who are permanently productive, to lend a hand to those who may not be as fortunate temporarily or permanently. Since we do know what they are going through based on our past experiences of dealing with bipolar prior to healing.***
    Absolutely! That’s why I’m not only active here on BB and on the Bnet forums, but am a facilitator for my BDSA support group here in New Jersey. But the flow goes both ways, unfortunately — when we feel better, we can give support; when we don’t feel as good (this is a disease of recurrent and relentless mood swings, even with medication, after all), we can get support. Yet you seem to be blaming anyone who actually deigns to admit they need support — as well as saying the very act of me being involved in BDSA overidentifies with “bipolar” and thus dooms me to continue to suffer out of self-pity. (Clue to the wise — my brain chemistry dooms us to continue to suffer, not a curse from G-d …)
    Jim, for all that, to the extent you feel you have found recovery (not a cure, recovery), that’s wonderful.
    But to the extent you feel if we don’t follow you as our new guru, we can only blame ourselves for our illnesses
    PS — I can certainly relate to high school students being hypomanic. I certainly was — I even saw the school psychologist regularly. Yet it took 10 years to diagnose in retrospect what should have been glaringly obvious, and another 3 to get me the EXACT diagnosis to receive the right family of medications. (And another 7 years to actually get the right mix, down to the half-pill for a couple of my meds.)
    Is this feeling sorry for myself? Maybe. But contrary to your assertion, bipolar disorder is not only a lifelong disease, it is also a progressive one. If you look at fMRI scans, those with bipolar disorder quite literally have brain damage. Which means being diagnosed and properly treated earlier might — MIGHT — have helped alleviate, or at least ease, the plagues which have befallen me in the last decade (divorce, bankruptcy, extended unemployment, impending eviction, etc., etc.).

  • Cheri

    Thank you for taking the time to keep your web site going. This is so inspirational to me. My nephew, whom I adore, is bi-polar and I see his struggle daily. Can’t wait to share this with him. God bless and keep you!

  • Christine

    Oh yes, thank you so much for keeping your web site going. Before this web site, I felt as if I were all alone it this dark tunnel searching for the light at the end. Theresa the light that you carry has shown me, I am not alone, there are alot of us looking for that light from outside ourselves, even though we all have one of our own; we are just afraid someone might see us. And guess what, THERE IS NO TUNNEL TO ESCAPE FROM!
    Thank you Theresa TODAY IS A GOOD DAY.
    Christine, NC

  • Brad

    We only write when we are able, and we are only able when we are UP. I am sorry to burst the BP bubble, but we are all the world’s foremost experts of our disease. When I am lucid/delusional, no one better even think about contradicting or correcting me. I am smarter and better than anyone. When I am high, I am ten feet tall and bulletproof.I hang out on the fringes of various support groups, and am empathetic to the painful reminders that we are all scarred and destructive individuals -but I am really sick of mentally ill people declaring they have discovered the key to a cure.I am sick of psychiatrists that are more concerned with getting published than actually following up on what happens to their patients, and I am really sick of trying so hard to be normal when inevitably I crash and burn in a most humiliating way. We are all a bunch of liars.

  • Larry Parker

    Brad:
    Powerful and much, much needed words.
    Ironically, you contradicted your last line with the rest of your incredible post. By being humble and admitting your lack of judgment when manic, by admitting this is a lifelong disease, by admitting that psychiatrists are sometimes too worried about the big picture than the patient in front of them — and especially by admitting that society (certainly workplaces, and often family and friends as well) force us into boxes in a way that is unhealthy for us, you are not telling lies.
    You are telling the ultimate truth about bipolar disorder.

  • spiritualone

    I have had phases of depression and extreme happiness, but I have never technically been dx with bipolar. I think most problems were inherited(learn what live- or nothing good to learn from what live-ages 1-21). I had to learn from mentors and the real world. Then I had to shake off, unlearn and relearn bad and good behaviors. Then I had to learn tools to an emotionally, spiritually, psychologically, physically, all of them had to be ingrained and established to a different POT if you must. I talk myself into being happy and I take responsibility to make myself do things to keep me happy. All in the holistic category. So I believe that it just takes some unlearning, relearning, rerooting, and repotting for some. Education and the three C’s are a must. C’s= Consistency,control(of self),clarity. Now I feel that the only reasons I fall back are due to no energy. I think that all somehow interconnect so it all falls back to the ROOT OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND DOING HEALTHY THINGS FOR OURSELVES. When we don’t we can fall.

  • ann

    it is hard to being diagnosed as schizo. people treat me with kids gloves now. i wish i was never diagnosed – it gives others the perfect excuse to pick on me. it gives my family more ways to abuse me like asking if i took my meds yet. it takes two to fight but now i will always be wrong no matter what. it makes me sad that i was the one physically abused and it is okay that people do that to me. i even had eyewitnesses and still the hammond, in police placed an emergency detention order on me. then i was hospitalized for three weeks and forced medicated. i even almost overdosed because they gave me too much. i dont understand how this is allowed in this society. i guess lies are easier to believe than the truth.

  • Wisdum

    Uhhhhhhh … settle down children ! Or you will ALL be sent to bed without supper !
    There are all kinds of pots out there, and the most dangerous pot for all of us in the Pity Pot (which I noticed only a couple of people hinted at) ALL of our roots come from the same plant and that is God “I AM the Tree of Life” not only that but “I AM the vine, you are the branches ” Unfortunately, in the struggle toward the Light, there are many obstacles and it is never easy finding the Truth that shows the Way. (dam ! this is starting to sound too parableic )
    Listen, the vine here is a Strawberry Vine and its offshoots are called “branches” and they may be grown in a pot or on the ground covered with a lot of straw to shield it and keep it humorous (that means moist to all you non plant people … or “peeed my pants” to all you comedians out there) Strawberries are the only fruit that has its seeds on the outside (just like Mother Earth and its seeds/peeeps)
    When the branch is of the age of reason (or is that season?) it will send its own roots down to establish itself as an independent branch or being. You can cut it off at that point and it is on its own … ALL on its own, and Old Mamma Vine ain’t got nuthin to say about it ! But Papa Sun does keeps an eye on the progeny but still does not interfere, except for sending some Light every day, and a sprinkling of Truth …”Nothing”, is real ! … “Nothing”, to get hung, about !…Ahhh ! Strawberry Fields Forever !… Wait a minute, that’s a metaphor for Flander’s Fields, where there are 500,000 small white blossoms planted, shaped like crosses, laying there … dead , waiting to take root! … “When will we ever learn … When will we ever learn !”
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Jim G

    Larry -
    The reason I mentioned what I do in my job is Nancy (who also projects) comparing my amount of compassion with that of the authors. If someone is going to call me on my compassion, when I haven’t mentioned compassion at all, I have the right to defend my reputation and clear the record.
    “By your own testimony, you are hypomanic. Ipso facto, you are not cured.”
    Only if you consider hypomania to be a disorder. I do not. I’m glad you like your pot.

  • Wisdum

    Listen up ! This is a site to deal with some very serious problems we ALL have in this Life ! The opinions (and symptoms) manifested here are typical of what our every day lives are like (and it sucks !) Lary stated right in the beginning that this site (in his opinion, of course) is all about empathy and compassion … and I added in deliverance. What we have here and in our everyday lives is reality…grim reality … and there ain’t no reason to apogidize for it. We are ALL here for the same reason, and we ALL have some serious issues with mankind and God … especially God … especially the God of Uncompromising, Unconditional Love. It has been said by the athesists “If there is a God, He sucks at communication !” … God has no problem communicating with us at all ! It is we who have a problem listening ! Freewill sucks, but lack of Love sucks even more. There is no such thing as forced Love ! You can call it anything you want, it is not Love. Love can only exist within freewill. If freewill ceases to exist, then Love ceases to exist. If Love ceases to exist, then God ceases to exist, because God defined Him/Her Self as Love with a simple I AM !
    LUV 2 ALL
    Wisdum

  • Nancy

    Wisdum – That line of
    Uhhhhhhh … settle down children ! Or you will ALL be sent to bed without supper !
    was so funny. I was thinking more in terms of what I relayed to Therese, which was that it was as though the teacher left the room and everyone went wild. I can’t believe some of this stuff is still going on and on and on. Enough – end of topic.
    Everyone behave, sit in our seats and let’s start over.
    God bless Therese and all of us.

  • Larry Parker

    Jim G.:
    I will restate as briefly and factually as possible:
    1. You did say that your justification for being a teacher was that you are “compassionate.” That’s indisputable.
    2. Hypomania is in the DSM-IV. That’s indisputable.
    3. I hate my pot. That’s not indisputable, but everyone who has a long history with me on BB certainly believes it.
    4. When a BB community member’s integrity is attacked wrongly, whether mine or another member’s (and you targeted both), some of us aren’t just going to sit there and take it.
    And that’s DEFINITELY indisputable.

  • Tammy

    you know i am not realy sure that this comment has anything to do with trees or branchs. But what i know is that i have been struggling with depression or entertaining the thought of even haveing it, and to read this page and realize that i am not alone in my crazy distorted thoughts and feelings makes me know and realize that maybe just maybe I am not as alone as i sometimes feel. Thanks to all who have the courage to be just who you are .

  • GATOR-WILL

    ALL I KNOW IS IT WAS HARD GIVING UP MY POT BUT ESPECIALY MY BONG AND HOMEMADE GLASS PIPES, YA KNOWW WHAT MY FATHER ALWAYS USE TO SAY RE GARDING LIFE :IF YOU WANT TO KEEP A HARDON DONT MESS WITH IT! I HOPE MY HUMOR DOESNT OFFEND ANYONE AND TRUTHFULLY I LOVE THIS SITE, THERE IS SO MUCH GOOD KARMA HERE, GOD BLESS, LATER ;GATOR-WILL

  • Diane

    i am new to this site, i’ve been reading it for awhile. I’m lost,
    i grew up in a strict God fearing home where God and the bible were used as whipping sticks to keep me in line, look crosseyed and you were going to hell. well at 18 i discovered the real world, and all hell broke loose. I met the man i married 2 years later, it was a wild and crazy time, after about 5 years, i started praying
    god would change him, he was reckless and i was scared. Well, he answered my prayer big time, but i was just hanging on his coattail of salvation. After 10 years of prison ministry, ss teacher ect – i got sick of thinking at least life wasn’t as bad as it could be. So i walked away and got bitter and angry. But i have found out our life is a mess and hard whether i’m being good or bad. My husband is bi-polar and our life is a mess. things are spinning out of control and there is no way out. ironically i will be going to jail this spring, and my husband just got out. Depression has got a hold on me and i can’t get out of the big black hole. My parents say just trust God again and all will be well. I feel like the distance between God and me is too great to ever see the other side again. Because of the way i was brought up, i am not worthy of God and his forgiveness. The temptations of this life seem too great to pass by. I am glad i found this site, for it lets me know i am not alone. I will be going to see a dr soon, they say i am bp too. it would explain alot, but it scares me to death. please keep posting and praying for me and my family, i still have a little bit of faith left, maybe that will be the stepping stone on which i can build the bridge back to God. thank you for reading this.

  • chrissy

    i have been in recovery for many years and my higher power who i choose to call God, and i don’t judge anyone else’s,to me means pure love,forgiveness of yourself and others, i have a lot of support from others who feel the same way, i don’t go to church, i consider the whole world and all of us my place to worship.i don’t preach to anyone and if you met me you wouldn’t ever know about this unless you asked me how i stayed sane in the face of such odds, i used every drug but crack and extacy and drank too, so i know about depression. i truly beleive whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.i’m also a cancer survivor and have hepatitis c and for some miracle i have had it for 30 years and i’m still here. i haven’t been able to afford to have these conditions treated properly because i make too much for disability and can’t afford health insurance, but i know i could live to be 100 or drop tomorrow with a clear conscience and no fear.i heard someone say that when you plant a seed you don’t keep digging it up to see if it has roots, instead you take care of it and nurture it and of course water it and as time goes by, it will grow into something beautiful if you take care of it. to tammy and diane, i wish i knew you and could give you some love,you are in my thoughts and prayers and i can tell you it’s NEVER too late to rise out of the ashes like a phoenix and fly.love to you both.i’m new to this site and hope i didn’t babble too much, but after reading their stories i would never forgive myself if i didn’t reach out to them.God loves all of us and i beleive He’s the only one who can judge us,but he loves us all so much because we are his children,and i could never judge my children with threats of damnation or hate.and when i read the bible i look at the whole message not just one page or the other and it is a book of love. chrissy

  • Carol Mathes Rice

    Wow!! This pot must have been just right to hold such a unique species of life. I told my daughters that we may find all that works for life and health if we keep searching in the ocean, and in the rainforest. I was wrong. It is in each other’s beginnings. Thank you for your charging out to share from that space to make our unfolding healthier.

  • Louise

    Interesting article and I can identify with the similies, because I’m not the one with depression, my daughters and 2 granddaughters have it.
    Perhaps, after some coming to grips with their illness this article might mean something, but try sitting down with someone who’s in the midst of a major depression episode and telling them they are like trees whose roots have outgrown the pot they’re in, or that they are not their disease. Personally, I deal with the problem the best way that fits at the time and hope for the best, the depression itself is enough to deal with when it’s going on, they sure aren’t made calmer by platitudes and “wise” sayings. I just do what I can to help them hold on to the knot in the end of the rope they’re struggling to hold on to!

  • David K. White

    hi to all, i am new to this site, i have slowly found it to be interesting over the past few months, i at this time am kicking hydrocodone, but im using dorveset to help, i think than i will ween off that with over the counter, and then hopefully nothing,i am 41 yrs old and i remember my first hint of depression looking out a window when i was 10 yrs old, i at a very young age started self medicating with drugs and alchoholl, the last time i used was 1 week ago, a crack benge, i have been taking 2mg xnax for over 7 yrs now, and wellbutren, i had ben on lithium for many years before that,i was a member of AA FOR 17 YRS, I did an 8 yr soriety stretch, some where along the way, i was miserable, depression hounted me ,or i would go on these highs that would shame me horribly when i crashed..i fell inlove i guess you could say and got married to a woman whom was alot like myself, i had 4 kids with 3 different women along the way as well, i recieved a devorce and was worse than ever, i wanted to not live,suicide frightened me, i just didnt want to live!I went into an empty church on new years 2000 wanting to die, it was 2 hours after midnight, i didnt know GOD , i surely did not know anything of JESUS, I SAID IF THERE IS ANYBODY OUT THERE PLEASE HELP ME I CANT TAKE THIS ANY MORE,I PICKED UP A BIBLE THAT WAS THERE AND OPENED RANDOMLY TO PROVERBS, I READ SOME, THE WORDS WERE JUMPING OUT AT ME, I WAS THE GUY IN AA THAT WOULD PULL PEOPLE TO THE SIDE AFTER THE MEETING IF THEY HAD SAID THE WORD JESUS, AND TOLD THEM NOT TO SAY THAT BECOUSE WE HAD A GOD OF OUR OWN UNDERSTANDING, UNBELIEVABLE!WELL I KNOW JESUS NOW, I STILL TAKE MEDS, AND I STILL FALL DOWN, WHY IS THE BIGGEST MYSTERY TO ME, I AM A SINGLE FATHER THAT HAS TWO OF MY 16 YR OLD CHILDREN LIVING WITH ME, I LOVE THEM SO MUCH, THEY LOVE ME SO MUCH, WE EXPRESS IT ALL THE TIME, SURE THER ARE MOMENTS NOT DESIRED, BUT WE MAKE IT, MY CHILDREN HAVE NOT YET USED , THEY KNOW ALL ABOUT ME, AND TO TELL YOU THE TRUTH THEY LOVE ME EVEN MORE BECOUSE OF WHOM I HAVE BEEN ALL MY LIFE, MAYBE ITS BECOUSE THEY FILL SAFE IN KNOWING THAT BY NO MEANS DO THEY WANT TO END UP LIKE ME. I DONT GIVE UP, THERE IS ALWAYS A NEW START, UNLESS OFCOURSE YOU PERISH , BUT I OWE IT ALL TO JESUS,I CAN SAY NOTHING ELSE.MAYBE THIS LAST THING, THERE IS NO CONDIMNATION IN CHRIST JESUS.

  • CAROlyn F Battle

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR HONESTY. I MOVED ON FROM THE BLUES BEFORE MY TRADEGY BY MAKING A DECISION TO GROW OR DIE. I IDENTIFY WITH THE WAY YOU SEE GOD. AS A YOUNGER PERSON I ALWAYS THOUGHT THAT I WAS ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN AND EVERYONE WAS LOVED AND FORGIVEN EXCEPT ME. HOW DID I MAKE THE DECISION TO GROW OR DIE? A HEART BEAT AT A TIME. I SURRENDER TO THE FACT THAT I HAD AN ILLNESS AND THAT I AM NOT THE ILLNESS. I ALLOWED ATLEAST ONE PERSON TO ENTER MY LIFE. I TOOK RESPONSIBILITY WORKING WITH THE DOCTORS. I USED MY GIFT AS A WRITER TO WRITE SOMEONE ELSE AND THE LETTER WERE ALWAYS UPLIFTING INSPITE OF MY MOOD. I CHALLENGED THE NEGATIVE THOUGHTS BY INVENTORY WHAT I DID GOOD FOR THAT DAY. I KEPT MY EMOTIONS IN CHECK SO I COULD FILTER OUT EXTERNAL OPINIONS AND NEGATIVE SUGGESTIONS. GOD SPEAKS VERY LOUDLY THROUGH PEOPLE.
    EVERYDAY WILL NOT BE A GOOD DAY; HOWEVER, IF YOU STRIVE TO BE HAPPY IN THIS LIFE TIME YOU WILL GAIN INSIGHT ABOUT YOUR GOD OF YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING. FIRST SEEK HIM FROM WITHIN AND HE WILL WORK THROUGH YOU FROM WITHIN OUT. LIFE IS VERY MESSY HOWEVER WE DO HAVE THE RARE OCASSION TO MAKE LEMONADE.
    PLEASE DON’T GIVE UP THE BEST IS TRULY YET TO COME AND YOU ARE A MIRACLE
    CAROLYN BATTLE

  • Pat Rodriguez

    I found this web-site by accident. Wait, I take that back. I don’t believe in coinsidences. HOW do you get out of the pot. I’m a recovering addict,18 years. I battle depression. I also have RA, fybromyalgia, and sjrogens syndrom. I feel I am my desease. I have issues from childhood, both parents were alcohoics. I went through hell trying to keep the peace in my house, I was 12. I was afraid to have my friends come over after school, just in case mom was passed out, or so drunk she couldn’t walk a straight line. I can’t get past this, as much as I really want to. PLEASE, help me, where do I start.
    Thank you for your honesty. I identified with it so much, it kind of took some pressure off. Like there is a light at the end of the tunnle.
    Thank you for creating this web site. You are a STRONG person, the way I feel, I would not be able to keep it up. God Bless You, Pat Rodriguez

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