Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

Video: On Perseverance

WARNING: I do not look like my chipper (manic) self in this video. And I wasn’t going to let you see me looking this way, but then I got an e-mail from Beyond Blue reader Nancy, and she was really struggling, and, well, I thought I owed it to you to show you how I look and feel many days, and what helps me at those times. Because of Nancy, I remembered that Beyond Blue isn’t about looking pretty on video, but about being real, and she gave me the courage to do just that.So this is a double video week. This one’s for Nancy. Thank you for giving me the courage to publish an ugly but honest shot. Hang in there.

  • Larry Parker

    I’m sorry you are in a bad place, Therese — but you are so courageous to put yourself out there with thoughtful and good words to think about and meditate upon.
    As you said, you believe you are on a mission — not a crusade in the sense you are striking down human enemies right and left — but a mission, yes, divinely inspired given your faith, to use your pain to help relieve others’ pain. (And perhaps striking down bad brain chemicals right and left, if nothing else.)
    And a noble mission it is. May your day(s) get better in this season of Christmas.

  • sally

    I loved this video. Loved it. The message was something that I truly needed to hear.
    The green background, I could do without (sorry), but YOU, with your dead-on realness & courage spoke volumes to me.
    Thank you for being brave and for being willing to put yourself out here each day to uplift & inform us. Thank you for your tenacity & open-ness & your willingness to share the hair-pulling frustrations with us as well as the successes.
    I wish you peace & light!

  • Lynn

    The best part of this whole BEYOND BLUE community is the honesty that everyone brings to it, especially Therese.There is no perfection here , just raw, honest , sometimes ugly, emotion.Anyone who suffers from these difficulties has had to learn to embrace their dark side.To find any kind of PEACE we have to bring this disease out of the cave , stare it in the eyes, accept that it exists( all ugly and deformed)and then embrace it and look beneath it’s surface to find the beauty that resides there. Sometimes I get all dressed up, put make-up on and get told how pretty I am. I hate getting dressed up , I hate the way make-up feels on my face, basically I think I look stupid this way. so I most always wear my overalls , go without makeup, wear my hair short(so I can use my fingers for a comb). This is the way I perfer myself, with no artiface, raw, honest, and sometimes very ugly, always imperfect and always struggleing to find My PEACE.You , THERESE are very beautiful without the make-up and fancy dress, always open, honest and willing to put yourself out there, even at your worst, which in my opinion is your best( well you get my drift anyway).Perfection does not exist in this world, and striving for it is not persevering, it is coming up aganist a brick wall and continuesly running into it, steadfast in the belief that somehow it will disappear eventually and we will be able to move on.The only moving on that can happen is when we face the beast , learn to Like it, love it , use it for personal growth and persever, stepping in, or over all the *&%# that life is made of. This community makes it easier.The world would be a much better place if everyone would admit and accept that they are not perfect, just like Therese does , just like we all do.Perfect in our imperfection.

  • Stardust555

    Thank you for sharing Therese. I felt like you were talking to me. Many Blessings.

  • Cindy

    Therese……thanks for being “real”. This was perhaps the best video you’ve made, because you weren’t trying to be “up beat”….you were very honest and spoke directly to me….as I’ve been feeling just like you. You have so much courage…more than I will ever have. God Bless all of us who struggle with mental illness!

  • Ann in Illinois

    Thank you so much for your insight. You are beautiful as you are. I can’t remember the chapter and verse, but the scripture that says “…by their fruits ye shall know them…” I want you to know that by the “fruit” of your honest and uplifting words, I know and see that you are beautiful, regardless of what you look like at any given moment. This post is what I needed today. I have been giving in to my depression of late. I don’t WANT to persevere! I don’t WANT to “endure it well”! But you said that persevering is essential when you don’t feel like it. That made me really think. It doesn’t matter whether I “want” to or not. I need to do it ESPECIALLY when I don’t want to. Otherwise, I am just making my life harder, and slipping further into the darkness. I’m going to go do some laundry instead of hide in the computer the rest of the day. Thank you for lighting a candle in my darkness.

  • Nancy

    Therese – I just got down here now to see your posts for today, and I am so glad that you decided to put this one out to the community. Not because you were mentioning me, but when I saw the replies and comments, it’s obvious what an impact of support you gave others in addition to myself.
    I wish that I could say that today was an easier, lighter day. It was not, and I suppose the the “perfectionism” or whatever shortcoming applies to my thinking and being along with my illnesses has me in the belief that how I feel now will never change.
    Again, today was just a day of existing; very ill, physically and mentally. I am going to play your video again, Therese, as I told you in my e-mail. I am going to play it every day until this period passes.
    I need to in order to persevere. Never did I think that anything would have me so beaten down for so long that I would lose the desire to persevere, just wanting to raise the white flag in total defeat and give up and surrender. I’m not referring to the good type of surrender that gets us to another level of health, such as when I surrendered to the notion that I could still drink socially and successfully, but that my truth was and is that I can no longer indulge in that.
    I’ve always persevered. It was probably one of my greater strengths. But I’m cooked, done and fried. I don’t have it in me to keep on trying. Steve keeps telling me to hang on until we visit the next specialist on December 11. I’m losing the faith, hope and belief. I think I’m only hanging on because of my 2 sons and what a horrible twist in their lives, which would alter them permanently if I were to do something harmful to myself.
    Bottom line: I am scared as I have never been. I’m afraid that I’ll have such a moment of weakness and lose sight of the big picture. I pray that a power much greater than myself sustains me to see this through. I am powerless. Came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity, and that God could and would if he were sought. I believe that God uses others as a conduit. That is you, my beautiful friend. Thank you T.

  • Wisdum

    Bravo Therese ! The ability “to stand naked before the crowd” is a very rare gift indeed. Attached to that gift is a lot of pain and suffering, that has been handed down by all the great Messiah’s of this earth. (some of Gods’ sense of humor I suspect, that nobody thinks is one dam bit funny, but God !) This was never meant to be Heaven, and may very well be a taste of Hell. So does that mean it gets better when we finally get to Heaven? Or perhaps it so dam boring up there, that God doesn’t even want to spend time there! Can you imagine how boring it must be to have a bunch of people for all eternity parading before you kissing your feet and singing “Allelujah!” Now that sounds like some kind of Hell to me! Now here, this is the most exciting video God could come up with. Written by God, directed by God, God playing ALL the parts, sitting in a theater, watching it, beside you hoping you like it ! How cool is that … Are we having fun yet ?
    LUV 2 ALL

  • Emma

    Thank you for being your courageous self and vlogging this video. You, your honesty and your soul are so beautiful and real. I am very thankful to have you as a presence in my life – even if it is just online.
    I really needed to see this today and hear your words – especially being that you were in a bit of a hyper/manic state. You see, for the first time in I can’t remember when, I was in a hypo-manic episode the past few days (and actually realized it) and its quite thrown me off being that I’m normally so deep in the black hole. I mostly thought I was just so happy and content (thank goodness for that, right?! 😉 ), and I suppose I genuinely was more than usual, however coming down from this high – even in only 24 hours – has a bit of a thump to it…
    I will be putting perseverance into practice again with more of a mindful and spiritual intention behind doing so, rather than just doing it and pushing onward because of your blog today. I will be thinking and praying for you and sending you good energy and thoughts for your perseverance as well. (I will also keep the Beyond Blue readers in mind.)
    And, thank you for reminding me of that Buddhist saying; it is one that has comforted and inspired me in times past and will do so again, indeed.

  • Emma

    Therese, my apologies I misread your post and thus posted myself an incorrect statement! I happened to read back and saw you wrote you were NOT in your usual manic state. Well my hypo-manic self read through that so quickly it disregarded the “not.” And, even thought while watching the video I noticed you didn’t seem too manic, I thought “well, everyone goes through it differently…” :) At least this this embarrassing mistake gave me something to laugh about this evening.
    I couldn’t find a way to delete or correct my post… Are we able to do so?
    Take Care,

  • Frank

    You are a fearless and courageous campaigner for the good in life, in yourself and in us. You are deeply appreciated.
    Each of us has good and bad days and I pray that the good days will far outnumber the bad – for all of us.
    Thank you, Therese, for putting us first and giving so graciously. We all have an opportunity to learn from the information you share and the insights you provide. It is great. And your humor is deeply appreciated. I can be literal (far too literal) and miss a good joke from time to time and say, “Oh, really?” That may happen once in a while to others who might miss the humor. We’re human. I thought of Emma’s wonderful apology – I do the speed reading approach sometimes instead of savoring the blog like a fine wine. I retain less and far less able to consider what I’ve read in those moments. You love your faith and that gives you the comfort to joke – and that’s good, no that’s great! Humor is a Godsend and a blessing. You’re great! So, don’t let our bad days or misunderstandings ever slow you down. Your blog is user friendly and a warm, safe place. Thanks a million.

  • Larry Parker

    Thoughts and prayers headed north …

  • Nancy

    Thanks Larry – That means a lot to me.

  • Tracey

    “You are a fearless and courageous campaigner for the good in life;”
    Hi Therese, I can’t say it any better than Frank.
    One of the aspects of Frank’s ‘fearless and courageous’ that I mostly appreciate are the times you are vulnerable like today. I can’t explain why it makes me feel safer, but somehow it does.
    Plus I’ll tell you something silly. Things have changed but when I grew up in beautiful Southern Md it FELT like I was wilting in a field of rednecks. It was hurtful because I was thoughtful and sensitive and never felt “part of.” At Salisbury Univ I flourished some. My roommate’s brother went to the Naval Academy and we used to spend wonderful weekends hanging out with him and his friends from the lacrosse team. It was a blast. Their humor was mine and I felt at home EXCEPT… where the Notre Dame girls came into the picture. Arghhh! I also had some sailing friends in the area. In my youthful mind I began to aspire to be more ‘Annapolis-y.’ Maybe you know what I mean. I wanted to be one of those attractive, well educated Annapolites!
    Seems silly now, but when I first came across your blog it was to watch one of your videos. Here was this attractive, well put together successful woman, and then I see you’re from Annapolis! Hey, that’s Tracey’s wonder woman! I’m not finding the right words today, but I think of what friends have said to me, about not comparing my inside with other people’s outsides. Well you have shown me that even pretty people, educated, from more affluent areas than mine, are real inside. Your demons aren’t tied up in a preppy, pretty little package. If you can look past my word fumbles, I think you know what I’m TRYING to say. I thank you for sharing ALL of you.
    Thank you Therese, for your courage and generosity.

  • shannon

    i wish there were more good days than bad. how can you perserver when you have been cut down to less than part-time(10 hrs a wk), you have two kids that their birthday’s falls on the same weekend,(one will be 15 on Sat. and the other will be 4 on Sun, thank God that my other one’s birthday is in the summer) and you have bill collectors calling you and being ugly to you as if it was hurting them because you cannot pay this month or because you are late? I am tired of telling them the story of being just about unemployed and that my husband works outdoors.(when it rains, he doesn’t work.) I have the same bills as any one else, house payment, utilities, phone, ins, car payment, and the wonderful orthodontist. i am tired of trying to perserver. i want it all to go away. i am tired of picking and choosing who gets what, when and why. i can guarantee you the only reason i am hanging on is because of my 3 girls and my husband. when i feel myself slipping away my husband will call out of the blue(boy, does he need to call now)or my little one yells to me that the goats are out of their pen. i feel as if i am just whining, but if i don’t get this off my chest it will just build and build. don’t get me wrong, i truly understand that someone out there is in a worst situation than i am. it’s just that my heart is hurting. i have all this sticky notes on my computer, you know that positive reenforcement stuff, telling myself to be calm, quit crying, it will be ok, and that i am NOT crazy. it’s just not working today. i read earlier a quote from T. Roosevelt, “If you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot in it.”
    thanks for letting me vent my frustrations to y’all.
    i will try to perserver, i will try to perserver, i will try to perserver. eventually I will overcome.
    Thank you and God bless you in your daily situations.

  • Larry Parker


  • caroline

    I only recently started reading your blog, but have read many past posts and want to thank you for sharing your voice. As someone who has battled depression throughout my adult life, as well as being the child of an untreated bi-polar parent, I applaud your courage in sharing your personal journey and appreciate your work to educate.
    I have recently come to the realization that I just don’t have to sit passively by and let depression kick my butt. I have created my own list of pro-active behaviors that I can use to stage a coup against the darkness–similar to your 12 steps. What I NEED to know is when you are on the losing side do your 12 steps go out the window? or do you somehow still find a way to muscle through and do what you know is good for you even though everything in you says NO! and you really don’t care. Does your rational mind win out? I haven’t been able to “muscle” through and keep up my plan and I just would like to know how you handle this.
    Thanks so much for sharing your voice and my the sun find you,

  • Cindy Whitney

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! You made my day. Having experienced your song, I have to say you are a truly brave woman. Of course, I had to share your video with my son (bipolar) my husband (bipolar) and various other family members with mental health problems (this includes myself). But my family also has a great ability to not only be there for each other but to laugh, too. And your song is great! God bless you for being so candid and real. And in my opinion you look wonderful! Happy Holidays to you and yours. Cindy

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