The Benefits of Exercise for People With Depression


downloadI hate to admit it, but this is true. People have been saying it to me for years, and though I would nod my head in reply, I never got off my ass and did anything. Reason? I was simply too tired. No energy. I was having enough trouble just getting through a day – getting dressed and doing something other than staring at the TV – let alone having the energy to work out. I have depression to thank for that.

But I was wrong. At least I think I was wrong, or partially. Maybe timing is everything?

Recently I was invited to participate in a ‘challenge’ to get me into better shape and to simply get healthy. The request came from choir members – yes, I sing in a fabulous gospel choir – as we knew we each carried some extra weight, were eating crap, and were caught up in the circle of eating poorly, not exercising, and continuing to eat poorly. And, we felt crappy. So we created a secret Facebook page – to keep us accountable – and called it “iChose“. A positive and non-stressful take on it.

The goal is to post our successes, of course, and to feel accountable for what we are doing. But it is also a place to be honest, express our struggles and not feel judged. That is what is most important to me, anyway. I don’t expect to be perfect, and I’m not competitive at all. But if I give my word on something, I do it. 100% in. I have good days and bad days, like everyone, but I keep going.

So, it started as a 30-day challenge, and was for the month of April. It is almost done. However, we are planning to continue, starting a NEW 30-day challenge May 1. We will get together to talk about our progress (or lack thereof), support each other to stay motivated. I don’t know if all 5 of us will continue, but I surely will. I need to get back on the bandwagon, and I’ve been able to do so for the last month. It has to become a lifestyle choice to stay healthy, and this is very helpful.images

My exercises of choice have been walking and yoga.

Walking: To track my progress, I downloaded the “Runkeeper” app for my phone. It is a motivator, it can propose workouts of walking, running or biking, and everything is tracked. Here’s how I’ve done so far:

1. Tracked activities: 27. I started tracking my walks before this challenge began, but was sporadic. So this number goes back a few months but since mid-April, I’ve done 7.

2. In April, I’ve walked 34.3 kms so far. In March, I walked 22.3

3. I’ve started a proposed workout to be able to do a 5km run. It guides me through each activity I do, tracks my progress and even gives me ‘rest days’. If I don’t follow it, I get reminders to do so. Perfect for a lazy ass like me!!

Yoga: I took an ‘Introduction to Hatha Yoga’ class with one of my girlfriends back in Feb-March. I loved it. I blogged about it here:    https://paulettecake.wordpress.com/2015/03/12/the-benefits-of-yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression-sufferers/ Then, we decided to take a 3-month unlimited membership. The first month I didn’t go much, but for the last few weeks, I been going twice a week. It’s fantastic. I come out of each session feeling relaxed, a bit stiff, and much calmer. images (1)

However, I must say the walking has really been fantastic. Since I’m still on work leave, I can go when I like. Once I go back to work I’ll have to schedule it in, but I think the fact that Spring is finally showing its face has been a big help in me getting outside. The winter was tough…. I also live next to a fantastic park, (not even 2 kms away), and this week have done two 6 km walks. I’m outside, in nature, yet still in the city. Who could ask for more? I even did a walk last Sunday with one of the girls doing the challenge. It was fun to chat while walking, talk about our challenges, and exercise at the same time. I hope to do more of that.

Tonight is yoga, so I didn’t walk today. Tomorrow an interval workout awaits, and I’m already excited about it. I try to take one day off between workouts, or if I don’t, I walk less the 2nd day. I don’t want my body to get used to a rhythm I won’t be able to keep up with. That will be very unmotivating, and I want this to become a way of life for me.

So what are the benefits of doing this? Well, the MENTAL (or depression-related ones):

1. I feel ‘lighter’ in every sense of the word.

2. I smile more.

3. I am grateful to breathe in fresh (well as fresh as it can be in the city) air.

4. I am close to nature, which is so calming.

5. I feel less anxious. I guess I ‘evacuate’ stress through walking and yoga instead of keeping it all inside.

Oh, and by the way, since I started this exercise challenge, I’ve been eating WAY better too. My favourite meal these days is, after I come back from a long walk, to make myself a big salad with my homemade vinaigrette! Who’d have thunk such a thing a few months ago? Not me, that’s for sure…

My plan is to do a 5km run in August. Hopefully some of my iChose partners will do it with me…

Onwards and upwards.

P.S. I haven’t lost much weight – my metabolism is shot and is also affected by the meds I’m on – but it doesn’t matter…I’M HEALTHIER, both physically and mentally.images (2)

“An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” ― Henry David Thoreau

“When I’m in turmoil, when I can’t think, when I’m exhausted and afraid and feeling very, very alone, I go for walks. It’s just one of those things I do. I walk and I walk and sooner or later something comes to me, something to make me feel less like jumping off a building.” -Jim Butcher

“Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.” -Gary Snyder

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.” -B. K. S. Iyengar

“In the practice of Yoga one can emphasize the body, the mind or the self and hence the effort can never be fruitless.” –T. Krishnamacharya

The Benefits of Yoga for Anxiety and Depression Sufferers


I’ve started practicing Hatha Yoga. It’s fantastic.images (2)

Hatha yoga is the most widely practiced form of yoga in America. It is the branch of yoga which concentrates on physical health and mental well-being. Hatha yoga uses bodily postures (asanas), breathing techniques (pranayama), and meditation (dyana) with the goal of bringing about a sound, healthy body and a clear, peaceful mind. There are nearly 200 hatha yoga postures, with hundreds of variations, which work to make the spine supple and to promote circulation in all the organs, glands, and tissues. Hatha yoga postures also stretch and align the body, promoting balance and flexibility.( Medical Dictionary)

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I started by taking anIntroduction to Hatha Yoga‘ class with one of my girlfriends. For 8 weeks, once a week, we learned the poses, the ideas behind it and got help from our fabulous instructor, Isabelle, on how to do the poses. No stress at all. Slow and comfortable. We liked it so much we decided to continue. I have tried ‘Yin Recuperating’ classes, which are more passive but are great for relieving stress. I try to go twice a week. Eventually, I hope to go more often.

What do I like so much about Hatha Yoga?

  1. Meditation is integrated. We start every class just sitting and ‘getting in the zone’. Letting everything go. And we end with meditation too.
  2. We use blocks, blankets, etc., to support our bodies. Comfort is key.
  3. Yoga is not a performance sport. Sure, we push ourselves, but again, comfort is key.
  4. Stretching is a big part of it. I feel taller after every class.
  5. Breathing is also important. We always monitor our breathing while doing the poses.

I have also seen a big difference in my stress levels and my energy. I am feeling less stressed and anxious, and my energy is improving. Maybe it’s also due to the fact the weather is improving, but I honestly believe that yoga is the main reason.images (1)

“The mental component in yoga is as important as the physical movements. Yoga is not a competitive sport, but a means to self-awareness and self-improvement. An attitude of attention, care, and non-criticism is important; limitations should be acknowledged and calmly improved. Patience is important, and yoga stretches should be slow and worked up to gradually. The body should be worked with, and never against, and a person should never overexert. A yoga stretch should be done only so far as proper form and alignment of the whole body can be maintained. Some yoga stretches can be uncomfortable for beginners, and part of yoga is learning to distinguish between sensations that are beneficial and those that can signal potential injury. A good rule is that positions should be stopped when there is sharp pain in the joints, muscles, or tendons.”

So if you suffer from anxiety, depression or are just simply feeling ‘run ragged’, yoga can be a great outlet for you. The energy is good, calm and the people (students and instructors) are great. A safe environment where you can release stress and work on your body at the same time. I highly recommend it.

If you already practice yoga, you know what I mean. If you have in the past but stopped, consider giving it another try. For me, yoga has been a godsend and a wonderful surprise. I always thought it was cardio, performance-based and difficult, especially if you are a beginner. On the contrary, I felt okay even in the first class. A supportive environment is always great for that. I hope to eventually integrate it into my wake-up routine at home, and also add meditation to the mix. A work in progress.

“The yoga mat is a good place to turn when talk therapy and antidepressants aren’t enough.” ~Amy Weintraub
“I like the physical part, but I’m also drawn to the spiritual. For me, yoga is not just a workout—it’s about working on yourself.” ~Mary Glover, “Health Profile: Yoga leaves aches and pains behind,” Arizona Republic, 2004 April 6
“Yoga, an ancient but perfect science, deals with the evolution of humanity. This evolution includes all aspects of one’s being, from bodily health to self-realization. Yoga means union—the union of body with consciousness and consciousness with the soul. Yoga cultivates the ways of maintaining a balanced attitude in day-to-day life and endows skill in the performance of one’s actions.” ~B.K.S. Iyengar, Astadala Yogamala

Meds to Treat Anxiety and Depression


images (3)Herein lies the million dollar question: Should we, and if so, how far should we go in regards to meds to treat anxiety and depression?

Some say no, some say yes. I am in the ‘yes’ camp due to my personal experience in my first major depression. However, I will add that meds are NOT ENOUGH. Cognitive therapy must go hand-in-hand with meds. I’ve been on my meds since 2008 and my psychiatrist told me I will be for the rest of my life. We tried to stop them altogether when I was doing well a few years ago, but being off of them just kept me tired, lethargic and ‘down’. I started to fall….and I knew the feeling.

I had to accept, to quote my psychiatrist, that:” My body does not produce the necessary hormones and chemicals anymore. Just like a diabetic, they are gone. Meds are needed to help me function normally.”

So I had been on a pretty low dosage until all the shit happened last fall. I was exhausted and without energy after my first 3-week visit with my mom. As soon as I came back, my doctor upped my meds, knowing my body was taking hits of too much stress and emotions and put me off work to rest. He doubled it, to be honest. Then, once I told him I was having panic attacks (after trip #2 back home), he added an anti-anxiety med. I was a total mess and was having panic attacks without being stimulated ‘on the spot’. So I took them and they did help.images (1)

Since going back on my antidepressants a few years ago, my doctor added a sleeping pill, as since my first depression my sleep has never been the same. I need 8 hours a night and wasn’t getting it. Being rested and sleep are very important to depression recovery. I started with one pill, then last fall, upped it to two. While the anti-anxiety and sleeping pills do make me fall sleep (after about 30 minutes in bed) I still can only sleep for 5-6 hours straight. After that, I wake up. I do go back to sleep, but it’s on-and-off. Not the profound sleep I need to become fully rested.

Things have stabilized in regards to my health since after Christmas (less panic attacks – probably due to the fact I have little contact with people back home other than my helpful friends) and no contact with my family who despises me. However, even being off of work and doing practically nothing, I still haven’t gotten my energy or my concentration back. Apparently those are the first to go and the last to come back.

So my doctor added a ‘booster’ med which has helped. I no longer need to take naps in the afternoon – I had been doing this since last December when my visits back home were finished. However,

I TAKE A LOT OF MEDS!!!!

images (2)A few weeks ago, my employer requested I see one of their ‘expert psychiatrists’ to get another opinion on my case, and to see when I could possibly go back to work. I met with him for an hour and a half, and in his report he brought about some ‘new’ findings:

  1. He suggests changing ALL MY MEDS.
  2. He says I suffer more from an anxiety disorder than depression.
  3. He is concerned that my sleep has not improved more with the help of the sleeping pills I take.
  4. He said that my leave of absence is justified, that I cannot work. I cannot concentrate and that is what I need to do at my job. However, with a change of meds, I should be able to go back in a couple of months.

My first reaction was panic: WTF?%$% Change ALL MY MEDS?

  • What will my psychiatrist think of the ‘new’ findings?
  • Will he freak out and disagree? Partially? Totally?
  • What if the new meds don’t work?
  • What if it takes a long time to wean me off the meds I’m presently on? (a suitable antidepressant is often hard to find as everyone’s body chemistry is different)

I have an appointment with my psychiatrist in a few weeks and we are to discuss the ‘new findings.’ I have no idea what to expect. However, I will say that I do agree with the ‘expert’ when he says that I suffer from anxiety more than depression at this point. But I must play devil’s advocate:

Maybe my antidepressants are WORKING? That’s why my depression symptoms are less?

If my energy loss is still an issue, what is needed to fix it? Not the ‘sleeping pill’ and/or the ‘booster’?

Anyway, that’s the story. Some will read this and say I’m on way too many meds. I need to get off of them. What I need is

EXERCISE!!!!

I don’t disagree, but winter in Montreal this year is hell – very, very cold, little sun, lots of snow. And, I have no energy to begin with. So is it easy to get bundled up and go for a walk every day when it’s -25? No. A vicious cycle I know. And I am getting a bit stir crazy. Spending my day in front of the TV is not my idea of fun. But it’s all I have been able to handle. Zone out. Exist. I’m listening and respecting my body’s limits.

I hope that with the arrival of March next week the weather will improve so I can go outside. I WANT to go outside. I am not lazy nor am I feeling sorry for myself. I just haven’t had it in me. I can manage 1 activity per day – and those include a trip to the grocery store, doing laundry or cleaning the house. Nothing more. That is what depression and anxiety do to you physically.

So back to the meds: good or bad? In my opinion, no correct answer. I have always said meds + therapy is the key. I go to therapy and it has been a great help. I will continue to as I get tools to get through my days and control (at least better than before) my anxiety.

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Anxiety Disorders – Often Accompany Depression


imagesApparently I suffer from an anxiety disorder too. No surprise, after all I went through last fall, but according to an ‘expert’ I saw 2 weeks ago, I have:

  • Feelings of panic, fear, and uneasinessanxiety
  • Problems sleeping
  • Cold or sweaty hands and/or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • An inability to be still and calm
  • Dry mouth
  • Numbness or tingling in the hands or feet
  • Nausea
  • Muscle tension
  • Dizziness

What Causes Anxiety Disorders?

The exact cause of anxiety disorders is unknown; but anxiety disorders — like other forms of mental illness — are not the result of personal weakness, a character flaw, or poor upbringing. As scientists continue their research on mental illness, it is becoming clear that many of these disorders are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress.
images (1)Like other brain illnesses, anxiety disorders may be caused by problems in the functioning of brain circuits that regulate fear and other emotions. Studies have shown that severe or long-lasting stress can change the way nerve cells within these circuits transmit information from one region of the brain to another. Other studies have shown that people with certain anxiety disorders have changes in certain brain structures that control memories linked with strong emotions. In addition, studies have shown that anxiety disorders run in families, which means that they can at least partly be inherited from one or both parents, like the risk for heart disease or cancer. Moreover, certain environmental factors — such as a trauma or significant event — may trigger an anxiety disorder in people who have an inherited susceptibility to developing the disorder.

I have many of the symptoms listed above. On meds to control it, and they seem to be working. But a wave of panic can overcome me from out of nowhere. Nothing necessarily triggers it – unless I get a call from back home or I get verbally abused from a family member, which seems to have subsided at this point – but when it comes, it is debilitating. I realize my mother suffered from much anxiety too. Not diagnosed, just like her depression was not officially diagnosed although she took Ativan for over 20 years….she never had, or wanted, a day of therapy. Believe me, I tried to convince her. She suffered more than anyone knew.

Heart palpitations, feeling overwhelmed….not knowing how to get out of it. Meditation and controlling my breathing helps. Yoga helps. But I have trouble focusing on much. As I previously mentioned, my therapist thinks I suffer from PTSD – yes, you read right – I thought that was only for soldiers at war. Apparently not. I think the environmental factors I lived last fall really brought my anxiety to a head. The constant ‘abuse’ from the narcissists who surrounded me never seemed to end. All this happened while I watched my mother die. No wonder I’m a mess!?!

Anxiety and depression often go hand in hand. While my depression seems to be improving, the anxiety is still very much there. It takes up so much energy! I have to be patient to go through getting better. I think many people suffer from anxiety, not to a detrimental degree, but our society asks a lot of us now. Deadlines, too much work, kids to get to school, daycare, family activities….it’s a lot to handle.

If you have ever suffered a panic attack, please get some help. It is very dangerous, and you don’t need to go through it alone. I have, and it’s not fun. However, I know most don’t want anyone else to see them in that ‘state’. But they can help comfort you, calm you down.

So please be aware of this mental illness. I think many suffer from it in silence. If you have it, see a doctor. Meditate. Monitor your breathing. Learn ways to cope. I do. And take one day at a time.images (2)

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” – Charles Spurgeon

Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.” – Anais Nin

If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days.” –Kris Carr

Normal or Malignant Narcissism?


Phoenix Rising

Soap Bubbles

(Reblogged from the The Narcissistic Continuum: http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2010/01/should-i-tell-narcissist-hes-narcissist.html, Original publish date: January 16, 2010)
My last entry described healthy narcissism as a developmental process. Today, I’d like to write about ‘malignant’ narcissism and how people’s lives are endangered when society accepts self-admiration as ‘normal’, even desirable. My concern with the increasing acceptance of narcissistic behavior as normal (healthy) is that we are eroding the warning signs of pathology. The more normal self-admiration becomes, the more likely we are to rationalize, minimize and maybe even ‘idealize’ signs of pathology.
In my generation, we made decisions based false assumptions about people’s capacity to change in a loving relationship. Now we are facing an interesting turn of events: the belief that self-admiration is normal or healthy. This concerns me because of my personal experience with ladder-climbing narcissists perceived to be confident and successful. For them, people are means to an end. Ambition…

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Valentine’s Day and Relationships…for People Who’ve Survived Narcissists


imagesWhat relationship, you say? I don’t know about you, but my ‘love’ relationships have been pretty dramatic to say the least. I am presently single and have been for a while. In protection mode, one could say. I was raised by a narcissist, surrounded by them in childhood, married and divorced one (he left me) and have had narcissistic friends as an adult. I’m past that now and can ‘spot’ them, but there are, as one can imagine, deep repercussions of such things.

Today is Valentine’s Day. Honestly, I’ve always thought it a ‘tacky’ holiday, and only when I was very young and foolish did it mean something. As an adult, as even as a married one (remember though, to a narcissist) we didn’t really celebrate it. He said, and I agreed, that it was just a way for restaurants and florists to make money. He had said ‘Every day should be Valentine’s Day’. Yeah right…. It wasn’t, believe me. And it wasn’t entirely his fault. I had my part to play in it too.

It seems that over the last few years, or maybe I’ve become cynical in my old age, that Valentine’s Day marketing starts in January and is in overkill until the day has passed. My facebook feed has been flooded by all sorts of things related to it:

  • What to do if you’re single
  • What to do if you’re in a relationship
  • What to do if you like someone who doesn’t know yet
  • What to cook your lover
  • 50 Shades of Grey
  • What kind of chocolate to buy…etc.

I see these posts and honestly want to vomit. I mean, come on! Am I that cynical? I feel lonely most days but that has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day. It has to do with the fact I’m grieving my mother and the fact I have no ‘family’ – no parents, no siblings, no kids. It just seems to come to a head on this day.download (1)

I’m reminded of the narcissistic relationships I’ve had. Glad I have moved on and survived them. But you know, I must admit it would be nice if someone special in my life told me he loved me and appreciated me. On Valentine’s Day or any other. I think that’s what I miss. Narcissists do that only if they want something in return – compliments back, sex, or something. So my heart is still confused as to what is sincere and what isn’t. That’s what bothers me. Will I ever be able to fully grasp when a person is really genuine to me? Not sure. I seem to always be on my guard. I guess I always have been, then foolishly let it down only to let myself get crushed. Poor judgement.

I will always wonder if my judgement is on or not.

I will always need someone I trust to corroborate what I’m feeling. I just don’t trust myself anymore and probably never will.

That is not a good place to be. There is certainly some fabulous man out there for me – one who can deal with my baggage, understand it and not run from it. My insecurities. My fears. I have a tendency to run away as soon as things get a little uncomfortable instead of talking it through. I am getting better at doing that, through therapy and overcoming my fears if only for a second or two. I’m fragile emotionally and probably always will be to some extent. Whoever comes into my life needs to know that and help me through it. Not as easy task.images (1)

So today I’ve decided to focus on the friendships I have, the people who are in my life who support who I am, and be grateful for them. Not have any expectations or focus on what I don’t have. That is not always easy because whether it’s healthy or not, society tells us we need a husband, a family, a dog, a cat, kids and a career. AND to not be overwhelmed. I don’t know anyone who isn’t.

So I wish all survivors of narcissists an extra special dose of love today. You’ve been down a difficult road and will have emotional scars for the rest of your life. But don’t give up on love; protect yourself but not too much, open your heart and listen to it. Don’t sabotage something that could be good for you. Be patient, not only with others, but most importantly, yourself. That’s what I’m trying to do. A work in progress, for sure.

Onwards and upwards.

When you protect yourself from pain, be sure you do not protect yourself from love.” ― Alan Cohen

“I name you today, heart fears. I am small, but you are smaller. You will not stop me. You have a voice, fears, and I must listen, but then I will open my heart. I will love you right to death.” ― Anna White, Mended: Thoughts on Life, Love, and Leaps of Faith

“What happens when people open their hearts?”…”They get better.” ― Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

The Ups and Downs of Depression


imagesIt will be February 1st tomorrow. Some people have seasonal disorders; affected by the changing seasons. This winter, in Montreal at least, has been tough. COLD. BITTERLY COLD. But I do not suffer from a seasonal disorder. Sometimes I wish I did.

No, I suffer from depression. I am presently in bout #2, following a hellish autumn due to my mom’s illness and passing, and all the family strife that is far from over.

I’ve been in a ‘down’ of depression since then. Almost 5 months. And since it’s my 2nd, harder to treat and different to treat than the first time. Meds are, of course, part of the mix. Anti-depressants are increased, anxiety meds are added, sleep aids added too. I’m still completely unable to concentrate on anything – I can’t read, I can’t focus on one thing for more than a few minutes. I’m all over the place. Even when I talk, I go from one subject to another incoherently.

Now I’m on another medication to ‘boost’ me – I just can’t seem to get my energy back.

I am normally an avid reader, and someone who has had ease at focusing on a task. All that is gone right now. I just sort of ‘exist’.images (2)

While I’m not isolating myself on purpose (a common effect of depression) I do live alone, am not working, and have no family around to support me. My friends are fantastic – did I say fantastic? – and are doing their best to support me. But I still spend my days alone in my fucking head.

If someone invites me somewhere, I may or may not go. If it’s a big crowd, NO. I can’t seem to handle being in crowds anymore – me who is the most social person you’ll ever meet – I get overwhelmed. I have gone back to choir, and this week I was able to stay for the whole practice. 80 people who are loving and kind are great but have been too much for me. Everyone is so concerned; I get lots of hugs, but I find myself talking about my ‘shit’ and it stirs up things I can’t always deal with easily.

I should be walking more – but that is the vicious cycle of depression. Exercise helps enormously, but one needs the energy to do it. Some days I spend entirely in my pjs. Watching TV or fiddling on the computer.

I am not very patient. Getting tired of always feeling tired.

This past week, Bell had a campaign ‘Let’s Talk’ – an awareness campaign about mental illness. The message was clear – stop hiding it or pushing it under the carpet. http://letstalk.bell.ca/en/

The stats are staggering:

  • 1 in 5 people are touched by mental illness in some way (few admit it)
  • more and more teenagers are being diagnosed with depression and anxiety
  • millions of dollars are spent each year on anti-depressants and sick leaves

I wish I had a solution for all of this. But the pace of our lives in 2015 is crazy. My case right now is due to severe family stress and death, but many people are silently living with all sorts of problems. No one wants to admit they are having trouble keeping their head above water. But it’s often too much. We often take on too much.

We want to keep up with the ‘Joneses’, keep our bosses happy by working a lot and performing, keeping our kids updated with their devices, having the newest cell phone, etc. Something has got to give. What it is, I don’t know.

But our society is SAD – in general. Watching the news is so depressing. Extremists, killings, threat of war, images of war in countries on the other side of the world. It seems like a movie but it isn’t. It’s happening right now.

Anyway, I am trying to stay as positive as I can in my situation. I see my doctor and therapist regularly, take my meds as prescribed, and meditate. All of those help.

But mental illness takes a long time to cure – and in my case, may never be cured. I have to learn to live with it. Learn to live with my anxiety, even in simple situations. At least now I have more tools to help, and can identify when I’m having ‘an episode’. But it really takes a toll, not just mentally, but even more physically.

I’m simply taking one day at a time, and hoping tomorrow will be a better day if today is not-so-good. I hope you are doing that too. images (1)

So that’s where I’m at. Still on this long road to recovery and ability to function in our crazy society. Thank God I have good doctors and thank God I have paid leave from work. I am blessed to have such benefits. That is stress I wouldn’t be able to handle, I know that for sure. I have no one to fall back on or to help me. No husband, no kids, no family.  If you do, and are feeling depressed or down, use them.

Depression doesn’t go away, it just gets worse if not treated. And it can be treated effectively. I focus on NOT feeling helpless in regards to my health and my life.  One just needs to ACCEPT it, let go, and get help. Exactly what I am doing. And I firmly believe I will recover from this bout, yet I know it won’t be tomorrow. I have to continue to be patient and do my best every day.

“You hate when people see you cry because you want to be that strong girl. At the same time, though, you hate how nobody notices how torn apart and broken you are.”

“That feeling when you’re not necessarily sad, but you just feel really empty.”

“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end. The fog is like a cage without a key.”