Saturday, November 24, 2018

Find your rock

I have to start this post by saying how lucky I am, because it's all about support. I am blessed with an amazing support system. My husband, my family and even a few friends have been my rock. 

I've learned that friends are tricky. They come and go, some after supporting you for years and suddenly deciding they no longer want to be in your life. Those losses are hard, but it's ok. Because even if you feel alone, there are always people who care. 

I've found that some of the best people to lean on can be those you've met through social media. Yes, Facebook can be a curse with all of those who pretend to have perfect lives, but it can also be a place to find groups where you are safe. Groups of people who understand. Some of those people may even become friends. It's interesting to me that some of the people I trust the most are those who it took years to meet and who I haven't seen since (but hope to again!) Some I haven't met and probably never will. But they are my people and I love them dearly. 

That said, there is no replacement for people who can drag you out of the house when you have no desire to go. Who can help pull you out of that cave of depression. For me, it's my husband. There have been friends here and there, but no one will ever compare to him. He senses when something is off, sometimes before I do. It's truly amazing.

I say all that to say this - find your people. Whether it be online, through your church, in your spouse. Find people who get it and won't run away when so many do. It's just as important as medicine, because that alone won't keep you truly happy. And if you don't believe those people exist, I promise they do. Don't be afraid to find them. 

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Cloud

Sometimes you feel it coming. Other times it hits you like a ton of bricks. This time, it was somewhere in between - feeling "off" without the depression actually setting in, until it did.

Tonight, as my kids ran wild instead of sitting at the table as they were told to do, I felt it. That black cloud
that consumes everything. That turns your mindset from optimistic to empty. That you can actually feel in your bones. My body became heavier. My brain felt foggy. And although I was looking at my family, my eyesight felt blank.

My world has changed again. The stress and loneliness has gotten to me. The chronic pain I feel with endometriosis has consumed so much of my energy and my ability to function. I'm. Exhausted.

There's a song out right now by Building 429 called "Where I belong" The chorus has words that have resonated with me in a way that only Satan could twist them...

"All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong" 

I hear this song on the radio all the time. I know that it's supposed to be encouraging, but all it makes me think of, especially when I'm down, is how much better the other side will be. So often I feel like I don't belong here, that the world would be better off without me. 

But I will fight, just like I always do. I will lean on my support system. I will get through it. I'm not entirely sure how right now, but I know I can. I'm aware enough to know my family needs me. That I am loved. I'm present enough to recognize that things are going south, to catch it before it's too late. 

I will survive again and again and again. Because I have no other choice. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Cry with Me

When someone struggles with mental health, there are tears. LOTS of tears. Tears because you are sad. Tears because you don't know why you are sad. Tears because someone said or did something hurtful that you just can't shake.

And it makes people uncomfortable.

One of my heroes, Mr. Rodgers, said the statement in the picture on the left and it's stuck with me for awhile. Why does crying make people so uncomfortable? We all know from experience that simply saying "don't cry" doesn't help 99% of the time. But what else is there?

When talking to anyone who has mental health issues, these things are especially delicate. So many times they don't know why they are upset. It's a tough situation, because many times they can't even tell you what they need. What I can say is this: listen to them.
Listen to them cry and vent and let it all out. If they aren't ready to talk, let them know that you are when they want to. Be their safe place. As hard as it is, there's a fine line between pushing them to get out of bed and be active and giving them the space they need to heal. This all depends on the person and the situation. But please, check on your friends. Even your happy ones. Because you have no idea what they may be hiding. If they know that you are there, they may just open up when they are struggling.

Please, go against your first instinct. Don't show people who are struggling that their emotions make you uncomfortable. Get phrases such as "stop being so bipolar" or "why are you so depressed" out of your vocabulary. If a friend who struggles hears you say things like that, how could they possibly trust you? Overall, just be mindful of the fact that you have no idea what someone is going through and when they may need someone to talk to. Be that person. You have no idea how much it may help.