Tag Archives: despair

great blue heron

frozen (in)

my friend had a tough time with her sprained ankle. the pain impeded her ability and she self-admitted she was isolating.

it got to the point where she seemed to be coming out of her shell. we even planned to do something together. the next day, she came down with a cold. this ended up to be one of those horizontal colds. you might know about those; it’s a cold where not only is horizontal the preferred position, but it’s the only position. needless to say, our get together got postponed.

Continue reading

return from lake 22

tolerating our dark emotions

i continue to sing the praises of the pixar movie, inside out. i have made so many fruitful discoveries since i saw the movie. it has been a powerful and learning process for me since seeing the movie.

for those of you who don’t know, inside out is about the emotions living inside the head of an eleven year old and how those responses color her world. i still shake my head in amazement that a supposed “kids” movie could do such and excellent treatment of emotions and emotional responses.

Continue reading

a needle in a haystack

this is based on of a post by my blog friend shoe1000. I thank her for inspiring me.

imagine a haystack. the hay in the haystack represents all the noise of getting through depression. hiding in that stack are the potential keys for getting to the other side of depression. these could be anything from medications, friends, support groups, therapy or even your aunt mabel’s advice on how she made it through her depression by sitting in a mud bath daily until her depression went away, “Oh, in ’bout six months i reckon,” as those words still echo in your ears.

Continue reading

to take or not to take

this week, i have had a question of my own mortality rolling around in my head. no, not i plan to find a tall bridge, more of a long term outlook. ya see, i had my annual physical this week and my cholesterol came back high. being a good modern doctor, she pushed statin drugs. do i take them or not? the question arises, why?

Continue reading

bird in the reeds

2014 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

thanks to all my old and new readers, alike.  i reactivated my blog after a 14 month hiatus from, your guessed it, depression! more like despair. that sucked about 10 times worse than depression. depression, for me, feels like I have a fight change, despair, not so much. it feels more like i’ve been beaten.  personal advice, avoid despair at all cost! It has no redeeming values what so ever.

I feel thankful that hope has returned to my vocabulary. hopefully,  2015 will include publishing s new book. more about that later, though.

click on for the full report.

Click here to see the complete report.

reflections off the water

numb the dark and you numb the light–update

Face the dark to see the light. It seems counter-intutitive. But the last few days have borne that out for me.

Before Friday, despair ruled my life. It felt far worse than depression. Hope hovered at an all time low. Getting out of bed, took most of the energy I had. Thankfully for Mary, I managed to do that before she got home from work.

Then Friday came. I had a difficult day, first getting flooded, misusing the ultimate threat, running, and finally receiving the request to not come home. That had to be one of the worst days of my life. On Saturday, separation ruled the day as Mary and I stayed apart.

Something happened in those two days; the experiences forced me to face the dark. Darkness seemed to rule the days. Or did it?

The fog o’ despair lifted. The despair that had ruled my life for months had cleared. The light which couldn’t penetrate the fog had become visible. What a rapid and sudden change! and on the back of such horrid events!

I’m not out of the woods, yet. There is still much work to be done. While the despair  has completely cleared, the depression is still there at some level. Thankfully, it seems to be at a level that can be worked it and handled.

My challenge is to continue to keep looking at the dark, so I can continue to see the light. By doing that, I will be able to continue my journey out of the, now, nearly 22 month cycle. (Ug, that’s too long.)

wintery island

here’s to getting to feeling better

i hate were i’m at. this depressive cycle sucks! sucks, i tell ya. sucks! it really does.

i guess i should be thankful i’m not suicidal. why the hell not. this is the worst i’ve ever felt. my thoughts today went to leaving my life behind, all of it. finding a nice comfortable bridge to live under.  now i understand why so many people with mental disorders end up on the street. somehow in my sick mind, that would make everything all better. sick i tell ya, sick.

i guess i’m thankful that i’m not suicidal. for that reason i know i’m not completely filled with despair. the despair needle has to point to something less than 100%.

what’s in the other part of the tank? the opposite of despair, HOPE. There’s got to be some hope there. that’s gotta be the reason i’m hanging on.

right now i feel a little like george in it’s a wonderful life,

“help me clarence. get me back. get me back, i don’t care what happens to me. get me back to my wife and kids. help me clarence, please. please, i want to live again. i want to live again! i want to live again. please God, let me live again.”

bird in the reeds

avoiding suicide’s side effects

my last psychologist, Jacob Mathew, introduced me to the works of psychologist, Kirk Strosahl. i have made reference to his work before, the three i’s of depression. He has done work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, or ACT.  this is a new, scientifically based psychotherapeutic modality that is part of what is being called the “third wave” in behavioral and cognitive therapy.

in The Suicidal Patient,  Strosahl asserts that suicide is  a permanent solution to a temporary problem. he contends that suicidal thoughts are a common place in human experience, and best understood in context of language and a problem solving strategies. the suicidal person considers trading the elimination of her/his distress and despair  for their life. The distresses, whether it be external, financial problems, problems with the law, family or relationship problems,  or internal like depression, anxiety, or psychotic breaks  drive the despair. their thoughts goes to the elimination of distress as a short term gain. in the process, they overlook the long term and permanent side–effects of a suicide.

Strosahl attempts to shift the thoughts of the suicidal person: “while i recognize that you are in pain, can we discuss other possibilities of dealing with your distress that doesn’t require trading  in your life?”  he introduces the three i’s of depression, inescapable, interminable and intolerable. hopefully the person struggling can see themselves in one or maybe all three of the i’s. he then works to get the struggling person to see that these problems are temporary and they can be overcome.

with my most recent depressive episode, i notice i, for the most part have struggled with two of the three i’s,  inescapable and interminable. if that’s all that is on my plate, i am free of suicidal ideations. the problem occurs when i add intolerable to the mix. at that point, my plate becomes too full and my despair starts to peak and taking my life starts to creep into my mind. that’s not a fun thought. thankfully, i have not struggled with intolerability recently, so thoughts of taking my life have dissipated.

looking at the three i’s, they are all a form of despair. it is the despair that causes problems, problems that can seem to big and overbearing. the challenge to me and other people struggling with suicidal thoughts is to replace the thought and feeling of despair with the opposite, hope. i can’t say i’m there, yet.

while not there, i have started a travel down the right path; at least i have hope that i can beat this despair. i guess that’s a good start.

rock in the water

connect the dots

“…Again, you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference…” steve jobs, 2005

that’s the thing about a major depression; it clouds my mind and makes it hard to think. stuff the use to happen without even trying, now become major tasks. important calls that really needed to happen two months ago for my own well being, still remain uncalled. a whole plethora of self care is strewn about like ships on a rocky shore after a major hurricane; it’s all flotsam and jetsam being continuously pounded against the unforgiving shore.

looking back, my dots just seem like a massive jumble of disjointed and discombobulated nebulous mass of something. they almost don’t look like dots. looking forward, if there can be a looking forward while in major depression, it is kind of like 20/400 vision; everything is such a blur to me. nothing seems to be in focus.

and that’s when things are going well. when my depressive life is in on the rocks, looking forward can be a major seemingly unaccomplishable task . the thought runs to there are no dots to look forward to. all hope gets lost. There is no trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever in those moments of hopelessness. questions arise in my head about why even continue if there are no dots. there is no reason to live if there are no dots to potentially look forward to. what was once a unthinkable option, suicide becomes an option.

that’s the challenge for me, and any person in a severe major depression, for that matter; don’t lose hope,  trust in something, your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever, .  believe that the dots are out there. on a clear night, as i look to the stars, i have to convince myself that the number of dots available to me far out number the stars in the sky. because, “Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path, and that will make all the difference.