Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Hope and the Other Tools to Fight Depression

posted by Beyond Blue

On the combox of my post, “Suffering: the Irritant That Produces the Pearl,” a reader wrote:

In you I see a woman who runs and kayaks and all the things that exhaust me just to read.

As a read about your finding the tools/kits, I want tot say, PLEASE tell me what the tools are? Please share the key and those things that should be in my kit. I keep trying, hold down a full time job, have kids and am married. But I feel the struggle and those that have been wrapped around my poor family.

Please share all the tools in your kit.

Okay. First of all, I told that reader that she is in my prayers. Because for me, it starts there. Two weeks ago, a friend of mine was suicidal. He sent me a scary email that said taking his life was the rational thing to do. I called him and begged him to surround him with people until he could think straight or to go to the hospital. I felt very helpless, because I don’t know his family or his good friends, and I was hours away from him. So I went to God and lit many candles for him at church, and tried to put it in God’s hands as best I could.

Yesterday I finally heard from him, and he sounded like his old self. He did call his daughter, and she immediately called 911 and had him admitted to the hospital, where the doctors gave him a series of ECT treatments.

I believe that was a God thing, that my prayer was heard.

So, I start there. Pray. Even if you’re not a believer, try to connect in some way with a higher power or a consciousness in the universe that can somehow give you hope.

Hope is the most powerful instrument in my tool box. Without it, I’m in deep trouble. Yesterday I came across a quote by Martin Luther King that I love and that I will remember: “We must accept finite disappointment, but we must never lose infinite hope.”

So grab on to hope … in any and all ways you can.

Roses, for me, are a powerful symbol of hope. It never fails that when I have plummeted to a low point, a friend or a reader or someone out of the blue will send me roses.

Three or four weeks ago, I had one of those days where I could not stop crying—and although I write about running and kayaking, I do have days where I can’t do anything but cry … please know that … I am no superwoman, just another person with bipolar that struggles to get through many days—in the mail came a beautiful rose box filled with rose petals and potpourri. I don’t think this person had any idea of my disposition that day. But there they were – rose petals that supplied me with an extra ounce of hope that I surely needed.

I keep symbols of hope all around me: on my desk, in my purse, as jewelry, key chains. I need reminders all around me that those feelings of despair and hopelessness are just that … feelings … and that they are NOT accurate translators of reality.

Besides symbols of hope, there are the other tools that I often talk about: sleep hygiene (going to bed at the same time each night, waking up at the same time in the morning, sleeping between seven and nine hours of sleep, consistently). I believe that sleep is just as crucial, maybe more, than medication. Your body can’t heal if you’re not sleeping. Your brain needs that time to do all the processing that it can’t while you are awake.

I’m religious about sleep hygiene.

Medication. It could be that you are not on the right drug or not at the therapeutic level. I didn’t begin to get well until I found the right doctor. So I am adamant that people do the homework to get the right fit. These professionals can make the different in your life from trudging through every day to actually having moments of joy, where you completely enjoy the kid in front of you who is doing something obnoxious. Okay, maybe not ENJOY, but tolerate without undue amounts of pain.

Diet. Another important tool. Be careful of alcohol. It’s a depressant. Stay away from too many processed foods. I know I sound like a crazy health nut, but I can immediately see the change in my mood after eating too many simple carbs. Try to eat sugar in moderation. I’m not great at this one, but at least I know that, after eating a huge piece of cake, my hyperactive behavior isn’t mania. It’s the cake.

Therapy is wonderful tool. I don’t enjoy it. I mean, I love my therapist, but I look forward to therapy about as much as I do a dentist appointment, because it can be painful. I cry a lot there. I say things that I wish I didn’t have to. I’m afraid she’s going to think I’m a psycho. But every time I leave, I feel a hell of a lot better.

Friends. When I’m depressed, I isolate. It can be very difficult to make myself be around people. But even if it is forced and not at all fun, it usually gets tolerable and even pleasurable at some point – like after the third invitation. What usually happens is someone makes a sarcastic remark that makes me smile, which reminds me that my funny bone is broken and needs to be fixed. Because humor is a very powerful tool, as well. If you can find any occasion where there is a strong likelihood of your laughing – take advantage of that! Maybe even rent some comedy flicks.

What else? Helping other people … preferably who are depressed. That pulls me out of myself faster than anything else. Writing Beyond Blue is a commitment that, I believe, has kept me out of the Black Hole for years. When I get notes that say that a post helped a person to have a better day, that is medicine to my emotional health. If there is any way you can give back and help, I think you will experience the same.

So those are just a few of my tools. I’d love to hear what you all have to say about getting through the day, or the things you do to stay out of the Black.

Click here to subscribe to Beyond Blue and click here to follow Therese on Twitter and click here to join Group Beyond Blue, a depression support group. Now stop clicking.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment PJ

    You helped me today. I am heartened to read your story- today and every day (she wrote, as she cried).

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2011/04/9-ways-to-live-the-resurrectio.html#more-1045 Elizabeth

    Great post. I have found that down time is very important in my recovery. WIthout it, I’m sure to get frazzled and out of sorts very quickly. I consider “downtime” anything I can do in my “house clothes”– you know beat up t-shirts and shorts in summer and sweats in winter. That means laying on my sofa and reading a good book or watching a movie or a TV show. Anything where I am alone (even in a house full of people) and resting in some way so I can re-charge my batteries.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/beyondblue/2011/04/9-ways-to-live-the-resurrectio.html#more-1045 Elizabeth

    P.S.- I don’t know how my name got linked to your Easter post. Everytiime I try to leave comments on here anymore– something goofy like that happens.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nicole H

    This is a great post. I am having a feeling-pretty-well kind of day, and this was like one of those reminders that the light does come back, hope is definitely a powerful instrument in the darkness and in the light.
    Thanks!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment sunLuver

    When I am suffering thru a prolonged depression I find it helpful to maintain both my personal appearance and my my living space in the manner to which I am accustomed . I , like many depressed people experience sever fatigue . For me , an exercise routine is an impossiblity . . I can however , with effort and determination muster the energy to keep my small home clean and organized and to maintain my skin care routine , cut and dye my own hair regularly , put on a bit of light make up and wear a clean , neat set of clothing each day . Ladies : please dont under estimate the effect these actions will have on your sense of well being .I find it easier to FEEL less depressed if I LOOK like I do when I actually am less depressed. Let’s get real : looking ugly makes a woman feel worse : even if she’s the only one who’s looking . In addition , I FEEL better if my living space LOOKS pleasing to me . My fatigue has resulted in things strewn about , visibly dirty floors etc . I rapidly learned however , that a state of disarray feeds my depression . I’m not always successful at maintaining my environment in optimal condition , but each and every step I take in this direction is benefiits my mood . I also buy myself a bouquet of flowers each week at the local farmers market . There’s something special in the color and transcendent beauty of flowers that find lessens the weight of my depression often times . Of course , there are those periods where I can’t leave my bed for anything that is not critical and there is nothing that can assuage the torment of my depression . But during those other times I employ these tools and get good results .

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Paula

    Right now I’m reading “Becoming a Humor Being” by Steve Rizzo. He is a former comedien, who stopped doing stand-up, and started public speaking (what’s the difference?). But in his book, he teaches how to look at everthing with humor. It has helped me so much!! Someone told me one time to lighten up. I’m trying, and I’m reading everything that I can get my hands on that makes me laugh. Humor is my main tool.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Marci

    I think many of us probably feel that Therese has it all together and we don’t. I , personally, think that same thing about most other people. That somehow they have figured it out and I haven’t.
    This post is very helpful. Therese, your honesty and inspiration have helped me so much. Thank you for being real.
    I see the doctor on Monday, for medication changes. Please pray for me, as I have had so many negative reactions to meds in the past.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment SJW

    Another awesome post, Therese! Another tool in my ‘tool belt’ is exercise, which you mention often. Exercise anywhere, but especially outside, has helped me when I’m in the black hole.

    I also listen to music. I have mixes for particular moods.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment JenB

    There are two tools my therapist helped me to find – that is, after we found a toolbox together. One is music – it is part who I am, it is in the very core of my being. I was a ballet dancer for 14 yrs (until I had a dance-ending injury); I also danced jazz. I played two instruments… I live and breathe music. Now, there are certain types of music and even specific songs for certain moods. My iTunes has me all set and it’s with me all the time. Don’t get me wrong, quiet is awfully nice sometimes, too!!

    The other is a hot bath – bubbles if I feel like it (they do help cover up the parts that I don’t like to think about) – with soothing quiet music, the bathroom darkened, lit only with candles and sometimes with some decaf (!) herbal tea. If it’s really late and I can’t sleep, I’ll warm up some mild (I know, gross, right?) BUT add some sugar and vanilla. It really makes it taste pretty good. I’ve found that if I keep the bathroom quiet and put all by my face under, hearing only the sound of the water is a really “centering” and grounding experience. I do have ear plugs, but still hear the noise that offers me that comfort. It’s pretty great time to spend in prayer, too! My husband knows to STAY AWAY if I’m in the bath!

    When I’m up to it, I can distract myself with reading. That concentration thing can be a bear though, so I stick to light, easy reading. I also have these geometric shape “coloring books” (Roger Burrows “Images” – they have them and others like them on Amazon). I grab my colored pencils and have at it. Now, sometimes my perfectionism gets in the way of that and it becomes stressful, but it’s right in my desk to try, at least. I have also downloaded a ton of sermons and will listen to them, but they are in my “all the time” toolbox :-)

    I love hearing everyone’s ideas! Thanks for this post, Terese!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Mary Anne Thompson

    Tea,

    It touched me what I read in your post. U have NO idea how much I enjoy your Pocket Therapist book. It stays next to my bed. I look at it first thing in the morning and last thing at night before I go to bed. You are one of the tools in MY toolbox, Belief.net and having you as a friend.
    The last wk has been alot calmer. I did have to put my 29 yr old son out of the house (2 wks ago) due to his drug addiction, blowing all his money, not contributing to bills only to my anxiety. He came by today to see me and the dog who he missed more than me, ha! He was still irritable and discontent. I told him he was only here 20 min and had already upset the dog and me. He said “fine I’ll leave” he got paid yesterday and of course offered no $ to his Mom who had to borrow hundreds of $$ to get the bills caught up, pay on a ticket the City of Houston wrote me for $180 as well as other things. He is staying with a friend who had kids and is not even appreciative of having a friend who will allow him to stay there. Please keep Josh in your prayers. It hurts me to see him like this, he said he did call about rehab but that he was not gonna pay the $400 deductible on his insurance to go in treatment.
    I am doing better ONE day at a time but please…everytime you see those rose petals, say my name to your Higher Power and think of me.

    love ya, Mary Anne

  • Melody Pierson

    Over a long period of time it seems we both share the same toolbox. However, I still have a tendency to keep people away unless they understan this the best they can.
    Good article…

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Terri W.

    Theresa, I also share some of your tools such as prayer, medication, hope, and diet (low sugar diet, which reduces bloating and keeps me in a calmer/more moderate state) and low alcohol consumption, only on occasion. A few more of my tools are reading my Echkarte Tolle book A New Earth, which is about living in the present moment. If you are living in the present moment you are not worrying about the past or future or thinking negative thoughts about your day. Most importantly you are not separate from living or people like depression makes you think you are. I walk/do yoga/bike 30 minutes per day, meditate too. Lastly, if I can during the day I try to do 15 minutes of one activity and 15 minutes of something else so I keep myself stimulated and not so easily apt to fall into negative thoughts. I also read your blogs and don’t feel i’m alone which is a healing to me…………Thanks Theresa!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment brooklynchick

    Like @Marci, I often think everyone has it all figured out!!! Somehow I am the only broken one. Great post to remind us all that it’s not true.

    My addition to the “toolbox” is a pet. Cats and dogs love us, don’t think we’re crazy when we cry all day, and petting them is VERY good for physical and mental health. On my bad days, I know ONE thing I am good at is being a good pet “mom.” They silently agree. :)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment cb

    At this point I think of the people who lost their lives in the “twin terrors” that struck Japan in March. For me getting through the day involves reminding myself that the more than 25,000 people who perished (through no fault of their own) had absolutely no say in what would be their final day on earth. My son lives in Northern Japan where he teaches English. When international news broke of the devastating calamity that hit Japan, I panicked, fearing that my son was gone along with those 25,000 other people. He survived, and it’s incumbent upon me to do the same. Sometimes my mind has to travel to far off places to gain perspective and maintain balance.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Kathy

    Therese,

    I anjoy your posts so much. They have helped me since I discovered them on Beliefnet when I had a bout of major depression this past winter. Thanks to my doctor who worked with me on numerous adjustments in medication, I am now back to my former self only better. I say a prayer in thanksgiving each morning that I awake and am still feelilng good.
    My tools, in addition to the ones others have mentioned are meditation and studying Tibetan Buddhism. I am a Christian but have discovered that reading to understand the eight-fold path not only strengthens my faith but is actually a wonderful way to put it it into daily practice. The teachings of the Buddha are in no way contradictory to my Protestant beliefs. I recommend the book The Lotus Still Blooms: Sacred Buddhist Teahings for the Western Mind by Joa Gattuso who is a Unitarian pastor.
    Keep up the good work you do.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jojo

    My toolbox things are very similar,but like your roses,mine is the color PINK!!! If I feel down,I put on my pink. My wardrobe used to be mostly black.I laughed the other day when doing laundry because most of my clothes are now pink. Faith,prayer,hope,charity and family are very important. I had a breast cancer scare this year so pink is also my support of this and reminds me I am still here and very alive and to appreciate that.Everyday is a gift. GO PINK !!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Paula

    I will keep this post bookmarked to make me think of things to do when I can’t think of things to do. I am crying, but I am hoping.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Pauline

    This post has come at a good time for me. I’m in a lot of misery and have been forcing myself through the day. So far I’ve managed to stroll around the block. The other day I put a table where it looks outside and I sat there while I had lunch. I just went back on meds 5 days ago and it’s too soon for it to kick in.

    It was helpful to read ideas of how to cope. Praying is very difficult for me right now because I’m really angry about a number of things going on with me and my family. It’s difficult to see a God who cares in any of this. And, of course, I’m very, very tired with the exhaustion depression brings.

    Anyway, thanks, Therese, and to all who posted suggestions.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment barb

    therese, reading Beyond Blue makes my day. today isn’t a really good day, i am very tired (oddly enough, my CFS peaks in the summer and winter), but reading your posts day by day always are a bright note every day. i so look forward to reading them. thank you. i loved that you put your tool kit out here for all of us to keep and learn from. just like “The Pocket Therapist”, but in shorter version.

    all my best,
    barb

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa

    When you said:

    “those feelings of despair and hopelessness are just that … feelings … and that they are accurate translators of reality.”

    Did you really mean that feelings are “NOT accurate translators of reality”?? or did I not understand where you were going with the statement?

    And thank you for baring your soul to help those of us that suffer with you to know that it’s a hard battle for everyone.

  • http://www.thereseborchard.com Beyond Blue

    It’s me, THerese, even though it says Beyond Blue. First, thanks everyone, for you great suggestions and kind words. And yes, Lisa, that was a typo (as you well know, I make many of them) … meant to say that those feelings are NOT translators of reality. Thanks, t

    PS I hope to do another post based on all YOUR tools. So keep them coming. Thanks!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Joyce

    Lots of good responses here…I’m keeping this whole post for future bad days.

    Some of my own tools are listening to music, burning sage, burning unscented candles(sage is just about the only scent I can tolerate most of the time…part of having fibro), sitting outside, reading a good book, coloring mandalas, and working in art journals.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris

    Hi, Therese and All- First of all, thanx to all of you who share your experiences and your “tools”. The only thing that I can add is that I will keep repeating: “….and this, too, shall pass….”. I keep repeating it to myself and I’ve found it helpful. Even in the deepest of depression, where there is absolutely NO light visible, I know–from past episodes–that it is temporary. Of course, there is that part of the depressive episode that tries to get me to believe it will undoubtedly last in to eternity, I (try) to pay it no mind and keep repeating my 5 lit’l words.

    I also pour myself into my grandkids, IF I’m not “too deep” into it. I am very good at “beating myself up”. If it’s too bad, I wait. They don’t need to see me when I’m near that edge.

    I hope this helped!!

    Take Care Everyone–You are ALL in my Thots -n- Prayers!!

    And God Bless you, Therese!!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris

    Hi, Therese and All- First of all, thanx to all of you who share your experiences and your “tools”. The only thing that I can add is that I will keep repeating: “….and this, too, shall pass….”. I keep repeating it to myself and I’ve found it helpful. Even in the deepest of depression, where there is absolutely NO light visible, I know–from past episodes–that it is temporary. Of course, there is that part of the depressive episode that tries to get me to believe it will undoubtedly last in to eternity, I (try) to pay it no mind and keep repeating my 5 lit’l words.

    I also pour myself into my grandkids, IF I’m not “too deep” into it. I am very good at “beating myself up”. If it’s too bad, I wait. They don’t need to see me when I’m near that edge.

    I hope this helped!!

    Take Care Everyone–You are ALL in my Thots -n- Prayers!!

    And God Bless you, Therese!!

    Chris*

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Cindy

    Tools that help me cope with my depression are: journaling about my thoughts and feelings freehand, I can examine them better and challenge my stinkin’ thinkin’, making,collages of feelings pictures and words and pasting them in my journal..or anything creative, reading past journal entries where I can see that God brought me through other difficulties and trials is also helpful. I also try to get out and take a walk with a friend or family member at the park, in our neighborhood, or at the mall. The combination of mild exercise, sunlight, and conversation really help! I also get my fix of positive and encouraging blogs like Beyond Blue and Girlfriends in God. Remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us!

  • http://NPRstoryMondaymorningMay13 Janet Ohlsen

    Dear Therese,

    You have been a wonderful source of information and terrific humor that I can relate too. I have been chosen to be involved in a story on NPR about Mental Illness (Bipolar/Depression blah…balh..)and getting the right help and about therapy and so on….I have used some of what I learned from you in your books and blog.

    I was not sure how to reach out on this but I wanted to reach your blog groupies too maybe they will get somethiing out of the story. There will be experts on forms of therapy also.

    Monday May 16 “Morning Edition” Not sure of time check local stations.

    Stay safe and happy everyone,

    Janet

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlZkdgYzKk8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL Paul Moore

    Dear Therese:

    You mention roese, after prayer, as a source of hope. I don’t pretend to have the answer to anyone’s prayers, but I have written a lieelt ditty about Saint Therese, and roses, and it’s on YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watchv=SlZkdgYzKk8&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
    There is no music, and the video runs a little behind my voive, but I hope the point is clear: Somebody up there likes us.

    God Bless to you and yours from myself and my wide, Mary Louise

    PS There seem to be lots of Therese songs on YouTube, most of them probably a lot more professional-sounding than mine!

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Sally

    I will try to take this advice to heart. Many things in my life are not going well right now and it is difficult to even get out of bed unless to self medicate. Lost a relationship without so much as a good-bye. Now it seems I may lose my job if I don’t “shape up”. Going through changes in my medication after being misdiagnosed and over medicated for five years. I read your book Beyond Blue which convinced me it was time for a second opinion. The change in the medication is a slow process and a difficult one. I feel very alone. You inspire me to keep on going.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Coll

    I found a good book. There are so many out there to weed through, when I found one I could use in my toolbox, I needed to pass it on. Its called The Depression Cure by Stephen Ilardi. Bold to use the word cure, but it has some really sound information for those of us who MANAGE our depressive states on a daily basis. While I would not expect this book to be salvation if in the depths of a major depression, (I’ve been there and needed medication to pull through), I find it extremely informative and helpful in my day to day maintenance. I am off medication now for 7 months and am determined to learn to live my life med free. There is good info on why depression is so epidemic in our culture and simple changes we can make to help us stay healthy. The book is simple and fun to read which I found to be very important when experiencing that inability to concentrate symptom. C.

  • http://omega-3fattyacids Paula

    In one of your previous posts you casually mentioned omega-3′s and you mentioned a 7 to 1 ratio that was recommended? Do I remember that right. I can’t find it again. I bring it up because NAMI’s ADVOCATE has an article this time about Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and they also mention omega-3′s as potentially helpful. Can you repeat or expand on your use of omega-3′s and whether you think anecdotally it is helpful. I am not expecting you to endorse omega-3′s, but I think that since they are included in the NAMI article and are also in the big book of bipolar as I call it, Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorders edited by Terence A. Ketter, M.D., that it perhaps bears a mention here as a tool in your tool belt?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment John

    Therese,
    I discovered your book Beyond Blue in the library a few days ago and will finish it tonight. It is wonderful. I have been depressed for decades but so far I’ve survived (although at times just barely). I have bookmarked your blog and hope to use it (and the reader comments) to help me deal with this wretched disease. Thank you, and best wishes.
    john

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Razz2

    (((Therese & all )))) <- these brackets represent hugs and for me hugs are often very important. When I'm having a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day …. just being able to hug my husband or my dog gives me relief. It's the physical contact to something I guess. I don't want them to "fix" it …I just want to feel less alone… or soothed as a child wants to be.

    I struggle with diet and exercise even though I know first hand how helpful they can be. However in my depressive states I need all the motivation I can gather just to make it through the day. Putting one foot in front of the other.

    A couple of things that have helped me tremendously is being a volunteer. I'm a volunteer water color painting instructor at an Assisted Living Center. Not only do I get relief because of the creative process that goes into the preparation for the classes but the joy I experience from the students makes me feel great. One thing about working with the elderly is that although they may struggle with your instructions (some are deaf, some have dementia, some have motor issues) they all think that you're "such a dear". They appreciate your efforts so much and who doesn't want to feel that they're doing something "good" in this world. I know being told that "you're such a sweet girl" (I'm 57 LOL) can do more for me than a double dose of my meds!

    The other, and just important tool for me is to stay connected with people via forums such as this. I also belong to one that focused on recovery from alcohol and drug addiction for women. So often we feel alone and on our own. It's like no one else in this world can possibly feel as awful as I do. What comfort it is to find others experiencing the same things. True we all have our own unique set of symptoms but in the end we "get" each other and that's what counts. Being able to talk about your feelings in a safe place is truly wonderful and something I thank God for all the time.

    I do not want to be defined by my illness, instead I want my illness to just be one part of a much more interesting individual. That's what keeps me fighting. That and being stubborn.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Razz2

    ack! I should have done a better job of proof reading before I pushed send. I confess I’m used to being able to edit after posting so I’ll have to keep reminding myself to fix things first on here. I meant to say:

    There are a couple of things that helped me tremendously. One is……

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lisa

    Therese, I wanted to ask if you could please pray for me? Right now I can’t believe in a thing.

    I have been struggling with severe agoraphobia, depression, and social as well as generalized anxiety in a way where I can’t afford to get the treatment I need.

    I’ve tried so many avenues to get help and nothing has worked out.
    It’s hard for me to have hope in all of this going on.

    I have to hide in shame and no one in my family truly understands what is going on and gets down on me and thinks I have it easy.

    I want to go to church to light a candle, but I can’t even leave my house.

    If you could please ask that I be guided, protected, and given the assistance I need..and some angels. I would really be thankful.

    I read your post above and felt inspired to ask this request since right now I am no frame of spirit to pray for myself or have faith in it.

    I wanted to let you know that St. Therese and the Little Flowers has always been one of my favorite saints, and there have been interesting times where I was thinking of her only to find a prayer card that belonged to my mom in an odd spot or someone fwding me an email with her image, roses, and prayer.

    Maybe you can pray a novena on behalf of her for me?

    Thank you Therese. I can see very much why you were named that. You do big and small acts with great amounts of love just as she did!

    Love, Lisa

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grace

    In my tool box: the things that stir my soul and release my mind.

    Laughter – the most healing tool, ever, for me.

    Sleep – without it, I can’t handle stress, tend to become physically ill or in pain. I know this, and yet, I find it hard to GET the sleep I need. I rarely sleep more than a few hours at a time, and if I do, I’m so proud of myself…I’ve been to sleep studies and various doctors but nothing has worked so far…not the traditional sleep rules…I just continue making myself try new techniques…the best one I’ve found so far is

    EXERCISE. I now make myself get some exercise even when I’m exhausted so I can fall asleep at night, at some point.

    Music – - it changes my entire mood sometimes and uplifts me spiritually in a way nothing else can do. It’s my drug of choice.

    Friend therapy – my favorite kind – these friends are hard to come by – they are precious – being able to spill my guts out to someone who won’t judge me for it the next day – - someone who will make me laugh and love me no matter what. These people are rare, wonderful, and are my spiritual family.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Grace

    One more thing: hope based on life experience.

    I know it will get better because I’ve been there before and gotten through it. This too shall pass, it will, because it has and it does.

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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 measures to control a mood disorder, that faithfulness

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 the drama queen at the water cooler). Why? Because we

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 third, stuff her full of refined sugar and processed f

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 is difficult? What if, instead, everything looks dark,

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




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