Feeling Brand New…Thanks To A Loving Heavenly Father and the Most Amazing Book…

     As I have been quite vocal on the subject, most of you know I’ve battled depression for many years…11 to be exact.  During those years, and at the request of counselors, I have spent a LOT of time trying to figure out where the depression came from…I could write volumes on that.  At Dr’s requests I accepted that severe depression is in my genes ( I do have some crazy stories from my ancestors) so I should get used to the idea of taking medication for the rest of my life.  I was also told I should expect to be depressed for a while since my situation WAS depressing and until it changed I wouldn’t be happy. :/
     After a counselor said they couldn’t teach me anything else because most of her patients were usually better after 6 months (thanks… :/), I was finally sent to a psychiatrist whose recommendation to me was to be “less stressed” and make sure my husband and I get out for an overnight date at least once a month, even if it was just Motel 6.  Being on Food Stamps at the time, as well as Financial Assistance from the govt., our church and family just to get our bills paid, my husband being recently laid-off and me being too sick to keep a job and with 2 kids at the time to find a sitter for, Motel 6 might as well have been the Ritz!  Just paying the gas and finding a sitter to make it to the apt. had been a miracle.  And on top of all that I was supposed to make more time for ME?  Like, “get my nails done” or “get my hair done?”  If I could afford to do those things, I probably would not have been feeling so low in the first place.  🙂
     Years of increasingly lower thoughts and emotional pain led to me eventually being suicidal.  This mental state would last for months at a time, with a couple teasing “good weeks” in between.  Saying that that’s a terrible way to feel would be a gross understatement.  When you are that low you feel crazy for staying alive and going through that pain again day after day after day.  In my case I endured it for my family, but I would go to sleep at night crying, knowing I would be getting up in a few hours to feel all of that sadness, despair, and darkness again as another day started.  The idea that there were just more and more days of life to endure was overwhelming and heartbreaking.  You pray for something to change…anything.  If your circumstances and health won’t change, you pray someone will crash into your car so you’ll die accidentally.  You hope you’ll have a heart attack while you sleep.  You just want the pain you feel to end.
     In my case, I had been told I wouldn’t feel better until I found the right medications which always meant months of dealing with unknown side effects as we tried to see if the prescription even worked, all while trying to take care of my kids.  That’s the hardest part.  How honest can you be?  How much can you say to your Dr. without risking losing your kids?  They are the biggest reason you are trying so hard to go on every day, yet if you seem like you can’t handle taking care of them they will be taken from you, only adding to your stress.  At the same time, if you put on a happy face and faked happiness as well as you could, people didn’t take you seriously when you really did need help.  Even my own husband sometimes didn’t know how terrible I was feeling because I was trying so hard to feel better, even though I was really dying inside.  When it came down to it (I knew from friends who had had neighbors go into mental health institutions and my own friends) you could often only stay in treatment like that for a few days and then you were right back in your everyday situation.  With a hefty new bill to pay.  Since financial stress had been the biggest trigger for my depression and with no family close by to help, all-day therapy never felt like a real option.
     So I dealt with it.  My husband did.  My kids did.  But we all suffered.  Really.  We tried our best to have fun.  That was how I got through day to day, by having fun, but it was not a cure.
     I now realize (thanks to an INCREDIBLE book I read, Behind The Veil of Depression: Finding The Power Within, which I will write more about later) that a lot of the counseling I received was a BIG waste of time that just prolonged my depression. 🙂  I’m smiling because I don’t have hard feelings.  I know the counselors were doing the best they could with the resources they had.  I am not against counseling.  Counseling is how we learn tools.  But you have to learn the RIGHT tools.  I know now I don’t HAVE to be depressed while my circumstances are like this.  I CAN BE HAPPY during ANY circumstance.  I don’t HAVE to be depressed because of my genetics.  I don’t HAVE to be on meds my entire life.  I can be in control of my own life and mental state.
     And that is SO FREEING!!!!  By believing (like I had been taught by professionals) that my financial situation had made me depressed, or that it was part of my genetic make-up, or that my mental attitude was decided by how I was raised or treated now as a mother, by agreeing that it was because of everything and everyone else, I GAVE AWAY THE POWER TO HEAL.  If it’s genetic’s fault, I’m stuck.  How depressing is that?  If it’s my situation’s fault then I can’t feel happy until our financial situation is better…another depressing thought when credit and employment positions take years to improve.  But I always knew that many people living in much greater poverty and much more difficult circumstances were still happy.  So why couldn’t I be?
     If I had kept believing what I had been taught I would still be grossly depressed.  I would still be suicidal.  I would still have no hope.  I had hope on the surface before, but now it is in my core, my soul and I feel so alive and grateful!
     I am really excited to be writing more about this transformation.  The first step was recognizing that it was MY OWN THINKING PATTERN that brought on my depression.  Basically, I GAVE MYSELF DEPRESSION.  That’s going to sound strange and foreign, because we don’t usually think of it that way, but it’s true.  By thinking negative thoughts over and over again we affect our subconscious, we reset our body into accepting this sad, depressed condition through which we experience everything.  By accepting that it was my own repetitive negativity, I take responsibility and gain the power to change it.  I can change my thought patterns and change how I feel.  I don’t have to feel sad forever.  I don’t have to feel hopeless until our circumstances change.  I can start feeling better immediately, and I did…by believing ultimately in God’s plan for me.
     That’s all I can write now.  I want to keep sharing hopeful insights, and pictures and my journey of emotional and physical healing, I’m just not sure where. LOL  I might split up the info between a few blogs…I’m not sure how to organize it since this was meant to be my “professional” blog for whenever I get back into writing fiction.  I don’t know that I want to saturate it with personal photos which I will be sharing a lot more as part of my positive thoughts.  However it all works out though, I am SO excited to BE EXCITED AGAIN, from my heart and soul about everything this process can bring.  Thank you for reading!  This life IS WORTH LIVING!! 🙂  Luv, Eva