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Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue

March 2008 Archives

The Murky Politics of Mind-Body: “Depression Is a Brain Disease” 101

posted by Beyond Blue

According to yesterday’s comprehensive article in the “New York Times” by Sarah Kershaw, this month the House has passed a bill that would require insurance companies to provide mental health insurance parity. HALLELUIA! HALLELUIA! HALLELUIA! Writes Kershaw: It was the […]

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The Feast of the Annunciation: Gabriel and Directions

posted by Beyond Blue

Since today is the Feast of the Annunciation, when Mary said “yes,” I thought I’d reprint my “yes” moment, my “Saving Grace” moment. I’m directionally impaired. Always have been. When I was four, I got lost in the hallways of […]

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The Third Step Prayer

posted by Beyond Blue

God, I offer myself to Thee– to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them […]

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What’s Your Exodus Story?

posted by Beyond Blue

Have you ever had an experience of personal freedom? Whether you overcame an addiction, tackled that growing pile of mail, ended a toxic relationship, or took up a hobby you’ve wanted to try—I’d love to hear how you did it […]

Stephen Colbert’s Exodus Moment

posted by Beyond Blue

Stephen Colbert was interviewed in a recent issue of “Parade” about his painful past and how he has used his sense of humor to heal. I loved hearing about his “exodus moment” because it resembled mine: One wintry day in […]

Flex Friday

posted by Beyond Blue

I know you must be confused, because I was so consistent in publishing an interview each Friday up until a month or so ago. So here’s the deal: I will continue to do interviews on Friday, but probably not one […]

Bipolar Disorder I, II, Maybe III: There Are All Shades

posted by Beyond Blue

John McManamy writes an exceptionally informative article on the types of Bipolar Disorder as defined by the DSM-IV (the shrink handbook). You can get to his article and others by clicking here. I have pasted it below. There is far […]

A Sudden Shift in Moods: Andrew Solomon and Cyclothymia

posted by Beyond Blue

I remember reading the following Washington Post article in December of 2005, when I was trying to figure out what in the heck was going on with me. It helped me to understand the nuances that exist within the family […]

J.K. Rowling’s Suicidal Days

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beliefnet’s Lilit Marcus and my friend Priscilla Warner for the lead on J.K. Rowling’s quotes regarding her depression. As much as I am pleased that she admits her despondency in the years before the Harry Potter series, and […]

Young Pilot Ends Her Life at 26

posted by Beyond Blue

I was saddened to read about the suicide of young pilot Vicki Van Meter, who made news in the 1990s when she piloted a plane across America at age 11 and from the US to Europe at age 12. Her […]

Too Many Options? Try Closing Some Doors

posted by Beyond Blue

I have become increasingly aware that one of the stumbling blocks to my recovery from depression is my inability to make decisions, and my disdain for closing options. And yet closing doors is good for your sanity. Even in writing […]

Boundaries and Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

I wanted to thank all of you for your supportive comments regarding my boundary struggle lately with work and family. It was helpful for me to see how many others are at the same place. Like Beyond Blue reader Lisa […]

Group Beyond Blue: Setting Boundaries

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue Group member iLibertyi for starting the interesting discussion thread on Group Beyond Blue in Beliefnet’s Community called “Setting Boundaries,” which you can get to by clicking here. iLibertyi starts the thread with this comment: It seems […]

A Few of My Favorite Things …

posted by Beyond Blue

One of my very favorite movies is the 1965 classic, “The Sound of Music,” because I get goose bumps when Julie Andrews sings “My Favorite Things” to the children. What a powerful message for those of us living with depression. […]

Happy Easter, Dear Readers!

posted by Beyond Blue

I wish all my Beyond Blue readers a very happy and hope-filled Easter. May the miracle of the empty tomb fill your homes with peace and joy (at least for a day, anyway).

All I Need to Know I Learned From the Easter Bunny

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks a million to Beyond Blue reader Stephanie for this cute find. All I need to know I learned from the Easter Bunny! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Everyone needs a friend who is all ears. There’s […]

Fox, Friends, and Me: Saturday Morning

posted by Beyond Blue

If you are up Saturday morning getting ready for some Easter egg hunt somewhere, tune into Fox and Friends at 7:50. I’ll be discussing my piece, “9 Ways to Live the Resurrection.” Worry not, I bring no models or chocolate […]

Jim Martin: Trials of the Saints

posted by Beyond Blue

Related to Jim Martin’s “America” article is his Op-Ed piece for the “New York Times,” in which he explains the Vatican’s canonization procedures. Again, I’m impressed with how succinctly Jim is able to explain a very complicated subject. He is […]

Laughing with the Saints

posted by Beyond Blue

You’ve heard of people praying with the saints. I’ve done plenty of crying with the saints. But laughing with the saints? I hadn’t thought of going there until Fr. Jim sent me this youtube video of his presentation at the […]

Video: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

posted by Beyond Blue

This Lent has been a tough one for me, and you all have been like Simon, helping me to carry the cross. I guess I just wanted to say thank you. And I hope the Beyond Blue community can be […]

Station Five: Simon Helps Jesus Carry the Cross

posted by Beyond Blue

I found this little reflection at a site called “Disciples Now.” I liked the simple prayer at the end. I wonder what went through Simon’s mind when he was forced to help you? Did he resent it? Did he think […]

A Visit from an Old Friend

posted by Beyond Blue

I was reading through “The Gift of Peace: Personal Reflections” by the late Archdiocese of Chicago, Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, and I was taken by his description of the visit he had with Henri Nouwen, just weeks before Nouwen’s death, and […]

FlyLady on the Cluttered Desk

posted by Beyond Blue

Several people have referred me to FlyLady.net, but I refused to go there until now because I feared that she would say something like your clutter problem is constipating your soul. Now that I have a clean desk, I logged […]

FlyLady for the Beginner

posted by Beyond Blue

FlyLady has a post especially for newbie’s like me, called “Beginner Baby Steps.” To get there, click here. Dear Precious New Member, I know that you have become overwhelmed by your home and the chaos that you have been living […]

James on Out of Clutter and Into Simplicity

posted by Beyond Blue

I really like what James of Finding Optimism has to say about clutter: Simplifying is about streamlining your life; removing the distractions that aren’t important to you. By freeing up time, money, and energy, you can give more attention to […]

Palm Sunday: Seeing the Big Picture

posted by Beyond Blue

Twelve years ago I sat next to an Indian man at the wedding reception of Eric’s best friend. He claimed that he was trained in the art of palm reading and asked if he could read my palm. “Ahh. Very […]

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

posted by Beyond Blue

Wishing you all a lucky day. Given that today is my sobriety anniversary, I’ve always liked this prayer by St. Patrick: I bind to myself God’s power to guide me,God’s might to uphold me,God’s wisdom to teach me,God’s eye to […]

Peter D. Kramer: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

I knew there was little chance of getting a personal interview with Peter D. Kramer, clinical professor of psychiatry at Brown University, and author of “Listening to Prozac” and “Against Depression,” among other books. So for my interview series, I […]

Hannah Montana Featured in “America”

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve been kidding my friend Jim Martin that he has become the Hannah Montana of the religious publishing world. He just spoke to an audience of 8,000 people at a conference in LA. Everywhere I turn around I hear him […]

Liza Mundy: The Marriage Vow

posted by Beyond Blue

Speaking of marriage vows, Liza Mundy highlighted an incredible commitment of love in her Washington Post magazine piece about a devoted husband, Dave Kendell, who cares for a disabled wife, Diana, and all that entails: preparing her meals, fixing her […]

Silda Spitzer: Should She Stay?

posted by Beyond Blue

What’s worse for kids: a bad marriage or divorce? The Eliot Spitzer scandal asks that questions all over again, not that I’m implying that they have a bad marriage. It’s just that, well, Silda’s husband hired a hooker. There’s sort […]

Kathleen Norris on Sloth and the Weary Soul

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve always understood sloth, one of the seven deadly sins, as laziness. But Christian author Kathleen Norris helped me understand the “sin” in a much broader context, and one that’s intertwined with depression. (Not that depression is a sin. I […]

Fr. Jim Martin on the So-Called Deadly Sins

posted by Beyond Blue

I think my friend, Fr. Jim Martin, did an excellent job of explaining where the media went wrong in all the hype about “the new seven deadly sins.” Below I’ve pasted his blog post from “In All Things,” a blog […]

NPR’s Coverage of the New Sins

posted by Beyond Blue

Fr. Martin also appeared on National Public Radio to explain the new social sins. Click here to get to his segment. From the interview: “I think it’s to remind people that sins are not just individual,” Fr. Martin says referring […]

Road Rage and the “Drivers’ Ten Commandments”

posted by Beyond Blue

Okay, so if I was in any doubt that I had committed a mortal sin, now I know God’s nodding his supremely good head. Because also on the NPR site is a review of the “Drivers’ Ten Commandments.” Umm. Yikes. […]

Modern Mortal Sins: It’s Good to Review

posted by Beyond Blue

Confession: I had to consult my “Catechism of the Catholic Church” today to review what, exactly, is a mortal sin: A grave infraction of the law of God that destroys the divine life in the soul of the sinner (sanctifying […]

Trapped in Dysfunctional Relationships? Love With Your New Brain

posted by Beyond Blue

Awhile back I wrote a post about the fear center within your brain, the amygdala, and how identifying it’s reptilian instincts can often spare me some of the panic it produces in my nervous system. I tell myself that my […]

Beware of the Head Rush: Emotional Affairs of the Head

posted by Beyond Blue

I think it’s also important for addicts and depressives to keep in mind the head rush that happens in the infatuation stage of a relationship. Not confusing the dopamine and norepinephrine high with true love is so crucial in making […]

Dear God: Why Lazarus?

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God, We get to the infamous “raising of Lazarus” story today, which, depending on my mood, either gives me hope or ticks me off (you know, just like everything else I read in a foul mood). In the Gospel […]

Thomas Merton on Fear

posted by Beyond Blue

I like this passage from Thomas Merton about Lent. It makes me think that Merton would approve of my Lenten resolution, to give up self-loathing. He writes: The purpose of Lent is not only expiation, to satisfy the divine justice, […]

Teresa of Avila: The Desire Is Enough

posted by Beyond Blue

I wanted to share this quote from St. Teresa of Avila because many of you loved the prayer by Thomas Merton that said the desire to love God is enough. In this passage, another of my favorite saints basically says […]

Talia Mana: How Do You Move Beyond Blue?

posted by Beyond Blue

Since we crossed a big milestone this week, I thought it would be appropriate to republish my very first interview–with Talia Mana who directs the Centre for Emotional Well-Being. She wasn’t part of the “How Do You Move Beyond Blue?” […]

Everyone Needs a Blankie

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader Jeff for this cartoon. Codependent or supportive? I’ll let you be the judge.

The Last Lecture: If You Knew You Were Dying

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to my friend Priscilla Warner who forwarded me this video from college professor Randy Pausch. You may have already seen it, “The Last Lecture: If You Knew You Were Dying,” because it has been downloaded over a million times […]

Thursdays with Ben: What Would You Change?

posted by Beyond Blue

I’ve had death a lot on my mind not because I’m suicidal (yeah!) but because, as I said a few weeks ago, my running partner passed away. Today was his memorial service. I am so inspired by Ben—by his enthusiasm […]

An Assignment: Your Life Mission Statement

posted by Beyond Blue

You guys like these assignments, right? Beyond Blue reader Margaret says she does, so I let her speak for the rest of you. Feel free to ignore these, of course. However, this one has been really helpful for me. Earlier […]

Group Beyond Blue: Who Do You Want to Be?

posted by Beyond Blue

There’s a great discussion thread started by Beyond Blue member ilibertyi called “Who Do You Want to Be?” at Group Beyond Blue in Beliefnet’s Community. It goes along perfectly with today’s topics. Here is what iliberty writes on that thread, […]

Some Things Will Just Have to Wait!

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader Barbara who forwarded this great cartoon to me that she found on The Ironic Catholic (a wonderful site, by the way). Can any of you, um, relate????

Video: On Boundaries

posted by Beyond Blue

Ah yes, boundaries. How is it that mine are knocked down as often as the towers of blocks David and Katherine build? I am getting better at boundaries. Therein lies my hope. And I’m sure constructing them will eventually get […]

People-Pleasing: Today Is Not Your Day

posted by Beyond Blue

I’m reading, and rereading this archive post this week. Today would have been a good day for me to wear the t-shirt that says, “I can only please one person a day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow doesn’t look […]

Crossing 1,000!

posted by Beyond Blue

I suppose it’s a good thing that I’m OCD? Because Beyond Blue has just crossed the 1,000 mark! I remember when Amy Cunningham who wrote “Chattering Mind” crossed 1,000. I thought to myself, “Wow. She must have been writing for […]

Just Listen

posted by Beyond Blue

I can’t count on my hand the number of times I’ve sobbed in front of a complete stranger because it’s happened more than a hundred times. But I can count the number of times I’ve been on the receiving end […]

Love the Person, Hate the Behavior

posted by Beyond Blue

“The Way I See It #199,” on my Starbucks coffee cup Saturday morning (a quote by Berkeley Breathed, the cartoonist and creator of “Opus”): “I’m not sure about people anymore. They’re responsible for some pretty nutty stuff. Individuals I’m crazy […]

Dear God: On Becoming an Ex-Suicide

posted by Beyond Blue

Dear God, You gave us the perfect prescription for recovery from depression in today’s reading, from Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (5:8-14): Brothers and Sisters: You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children […]

Glenn Slaby: Gifts of a Stranger

posted by Beyond Blue

Thanks to Beyond Blue reader Glenn Slaby who sent me his story. I think it points to the small miracles that can happen everyday if we make ourselves “transparent under God,” or become an “ex-suicide.” Sometimes, when paths cross in […]

Previous Posts

Seven Ways to Get Over an Infatuation
“Bewitched, bothered, and bewildered am I” wrote US songwriter Lorenz Hart about the feeling of infatuation. It’s blissful and euphoric, as we all know. But it’s also addicting, messy and blinding. Without careful monitoring, its wild ...

posted 12:46:43pm Feb. 19, 2014 | read full post »

When Faith Turns Neurotic
When does reciting scripture become a symptom of neurosis? Or praying the rosary an unhealthy compulsion? Not until I had the Book of Psalms practically memorized as a young girl did I learn that words and acts of faith can morph into desperate ...

posted 10:37:13am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

How to Handle Negative People
One of my mom’s best pieces of advice: “Hang with the winners.” This holds true in support groups (stick with the people who have the most sobriety), in college (find the peeps with good study habits), and in your workplace (stay away from ...

posted 10:32:10am Jan. 14, 2014 | read full post »

8 Coping Strategies for the Holidays
For people prone to depression and anxiety – i.e. human beings – the holidays invite countless possibility to get sucked into negative and catastrophic thinking. You take the basic stressed-out individual and you increase her to-do list by a ...

posted 9:30:12am Nov. 21, 2013 | read full post »

Can I Say I’m a Son or Daughter of Christ and Suffer From Depression?
In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, we read: “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” What if we aren’t glad, we aren’t capable of rejoicing, and even prayer ...

posted 10:56:04am Oct. 29, 2013 | read full post »

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