Depression. It’s the voice that tells you that you’re not enough, that no one cares, or that you’ll
never make it. It’s what eats away at your self-esteem and steals your joy. It can even be the physical
ailment that leaves you going doctor to doctor, trying to figure out “what’s wrong with you.” Ultimately
it will leave you struggling to simply get through the day to day motions.
But God wants more for us than mere survival – He wants us to have life, happiness, and
fulfilment. Achieving this, of course, is often much easier said than done.
At a recent support group we talked about this very subject. How can you manage your
depression? Is there anything that can be done outside of medication? For me, the solution was found
through discovering I was gluten intolerant a few years ago. Having a body that is extremely sensitive to
just about everything, I wanted to try and avoid being put on medication for fear it would make things
worse or make me feel disconnected from the world around me. I searched endlessly for alternatives
until one day I recalled what a doctor had told me years previously about eliminating simple carbs from
my diet. After some research I decided to give the gluten free lifestyle a try and eliminated all gluten (a
protein found in wheat and other grains) from my diet to see if I could affect the biological foundation
associated with depression. Within days I started feeling significantly better, so much so that three years
later I am still gluten free. While everyone’s struggle is different, I found diet was a huge factor
influencing my mental health. After sharing my story at the support group, I was surprised to hear that
others had discovered similar connections with their diet as well. Some moms reported how other
factors like the role of supplements (including fish oil and multivitamins), exercising, and even just
having “me” time every now and again seemed to influence their personal and emotional wellbeing.
The unifying factor amongst all of these ideas is the concept of stopping and taking care of
ourselves. Many moms struggle to maintain so many roles and countless responsibilities that even the
thought of stopping momentarily seems foreign, maybe even selfish. In actuality, when we take care of
ourselves we have more to share with those around us. We deserve love and attention, including from
The last important thing we discussed came up again and again during our meeting: God.
Through Him we find solid ground and unconditional love, one of depression’s greatest enemies.
Sometimes we may fee low, empty, or weak, but He is always there waiting to catch us when we fall. He
may not always show you the bigger picture of what He’s up to, but He will always provide you with all
that you need.
I close with a quote I once read that has always stuck with me:
“Having a rough day? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That’s called purpose. You’re alive for
a reason. Don’t ever give up” – Anonymous.
Your life still has purpose. Keep fighting.
I am feeling brand new these days. I am a bit more reflective, little less filtered and tame. I am more direct and honest than ever before. I am noticing the fine lines but also noticing the lack of some. I am embracing my 4os. I am finding the looks from a younger generation quite intriguing as I stay committed to keeping myself fit and in shape. I am liking more things about myself and letting myself on the perfectionist wheel. I am more in tune with God and all He is to me. I am more connected to what I am supposed to be doing on this earth. Yes, I am embracing my 40s.
You ever notice how you see someone that you know one day and they look different somehow. It’s not their normal look. You look at them and their whole appearance seems to be wearing their feelings. If the change is positive, they seem to have a glow. Now, have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and you think…”something’s different.” What it is? What’s changed? When did your skin get so nice? Where did that glow come from? Well, I can say with all certainty it comes from…growth. When you stop worrying so much about what someone else thinks, when you stop feeling guilty for mistakes…when you start doing what you’ve always known you were born to do. I’ve been noticing this change in my 16 year old son. He was born beautiful (of course), but lately he’s just had this glow about him; a light about him. I know it’s from growing and settling more and more into who he is. What a joy for a mom to see. As for me, I looked in the mirror today and my skin was clear and I looked at peace. No, everything is not all sunshine and roses. Maybe that’s the reason for the glow. We know that even in the midst of the trials of life, we are blessed. We know we are here on purpose. Yeah, something’s definitely different.
I have a feeling if we ask that question we would probably get a lot of nopes and some indifference. Why do we take and stay in jobs we don’t like? We need to eat. We have a family;we have bills. Now for those who took the leap and quit their corporate jobs and moved into their passions, we tip our hats to you. For those who are still on the grind we tip our hats to you as well. Most of the leapers go into the non-profit sector. They are working everyday in their jobs to make a difference. Well, those who can’t do that, what do you do? Do you not help? The answer is: no, you can still make a difference.. What are some you can do this in your current position? First, you can talk to your boss/supervisor about starting an ongoing food bank or pantry donation drive. Your office can setup a basket in the break room with a sign saying ‘food bank donations’ and designate someone to drop them off when the basket gets full. Another way you can help is by forming a team for cancer walks or another worthy cause when the opportunities presents itself. Choose a fun name for your team. This is also a wonderful bonding experience. What a way to build a real team and boost morale. There are several more ways you can help without quitting your job. I’d love to hear some you’ve done at your workplace.
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I had a mini-drama this morning. As I was heading back home after dropping my son, I random squirrel comes out of nowhereand scurries towards me and the other oncoming cars. Why do they do this? Have they not learned from the roadkill on the side of the road. Here I was willing to risk my life for this squirrel as I veered in the other lane. I’m not sure what happened to him/her because when I looked back I didn’t see anything in the street. If that thing is stuck up under the car. Ok, let’s not talk about that. Well, I said all that to say this, it made me realize how sensitive I am. Oh, I fancy myself as this tough broad. I mean I’ve been through so much and I’m a single mom for 16 years I’m a survivor! Some tough broad I am screaming at the thought of running over a squirrel. I figure this is why I get so passionate about causes and can’t stand to see people hurt..even people I don’t necessarily like. I figure this is the reason I wear a tight armor and build a wall because I know how tender my heart really is. I want to be a strong woman, mom, believer…I do. But, I don’t want to be hard. I don’t want to have so much armor up right relationships can’t get through. I want to be able to trust and share my life. Who knew a little squirrel could be such a catalyst for introspection.