Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.
April showers come
in time to relieve early
spring’s crazy heat wave.
I try to keep Sunday Gratitude posts up-beat. I like to find moments of joy that restore me to share. This week that’s been hard after months (years?) of struggles, so I’m going to talk about depression, essentially a negative topic, and how I deal with it.
Occasionally we have tough times, where too many things pile up at once and overwhelm us. The aging process itself can bring depression as your body no longer allows you to perform the way you are used to. Everybody handles these things differently. Some people are so crippled mentally and physically by depression they can’t even get out of bed. Some people get relief from anti-depression drugs. Others of us make ourselves get through each day and be productive through a sheer force of will.
Depression looks different for different people. For me it is a constant sadness, including feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, uncertainty, insecurity, and faithlessness. Then there is the anxiety of constantly being on edge, never knowing when the next struggle or crisis will occur. I feel like crying but crying doesn’t help or change anything. I experience brain confusion which limits my ability to make good decisions. I experience distrust of other people. I experience self-doubt which results in procrastination. I also experience anger and frustration because despite the current lip service to choices being up to you, and “you can do or be anything you want”, I find this simply isn’t true. Especially if you can’t get work you are qualified for and would like to do.
I avoid pharmaceutical drugs like the plague. I have bad physical reactions and find I rarely get relief from my complaints. Sleeping drugs, for example, give me worse bad dreams than I usually have. Pain medicines give me stomach pain and no relief from the original pain. Other drugs have given me rashes and anaphylactic shock. I am not inclined to choose trying them when offered by doctors.
I fight every day to find relief and restore my mind. I read, I research, I study, I write, all in the pursuit of stimulation, inspiration, possibilities, and opportunities. I reach out to friends and respond to their inquiries. You never know who might have a suggestion you can run with and make work for you. As hard as it is, I try new things and reach out to new people, because again you never know what might end up working into a situation you can make the best of.
I make myself take some form of exercise every day. If I had my druthers, I’d rather lie around all day, but I believe physical exercise is important to keep the brain working properly, and truth be told it hurts more to have no exercise than to force myself to do it. I don’t seem to gain aerobic benefits any more, but I can maintain a certain range of motion. I swim three nights a week and walk the other days. I let my mind wander during exercise and while walking I keep a notebook and pen in my pocket in case of inspiration. I carry a camera to record moments of natural beauty.
I refuse to succumb. I’ll never give in or give up. I may have to work through depression every day of my life and I will keep fighting against it. And just maybe things will go my way one day. If not, I hope to find my eventual death, a part of life we all go through, a release and relief from the struggles of life.
Color Watch – colorful attractions in my neighborhoods this week – Purple shooting stars. Yellow dwarf iris. Tiny pale pink fairy bells. Yellow native Oregon grape blossoms. Pale yellow belled blossoms I don’t know the name of. Purple lilacs, this bush came from a start from a plant my grandmother brought to Oregon when she moved from Idaho, more than 50 years ago.
Current View – Penguins of Madagascar (2014, rated PG), a DreamWorks animation. I was looking for silly amusement. I found it. * Binged through two seasons of Death in Paradise (2011, not rated), a BBC mystery TV series set in Saint Marie, a fictional island in the Caribbean. Formulaic but amusing, the British detective’s beach front home comes complete with resident gecko.
Currently Reading – The Girl who Fell from the Sky (2010, fiction) by Heidi W. Durrow. Interesting coming of age story of a mixed race girl whose Danish mother threw the whole young family off a 9th story roof in Chicago, and what she learns about growing up half black and without a father in her life in Portland. Finished Shadow Tag (2010, fiction) by Louise Erdrich. Erdrich is a prolific author and this is the first of her work I’ve read. Well woven and well written, sad and disturbing ending. Finished The Autistic Brain: Thinking Across the Spectrum (2014, psychology and neurobiology) by Temple Grandin and Richard Panek. I recommend this for anybody interested in how the brain works as Grandin explains neuro-typical brain function and the differences with the autistic brain. Even more positive, Grandin gives advice for helping young autistics into the adult and working world, often a concern for parents raising these children. Second Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit from Your Passions During Semi-Retirement (2013, career changes) by Nancy Collamer. Just as it says. Exploration. Yes, concurrently.
This week I have been grateful for:
- Neighbor kids choosing the end of my driveway to create a cute chalk art drawing.
- Lilacs. The scent of lilacs. The purple color of lilacs.
- Warm weather, shorts, and sleeveless blouses.
- Getting through each day.
- Waking from nightly bad dreams and the comfort they are just dreams.
- Intelligence and my brain that still mostly works.
- Though limited in duration and scope, still being able to walk.
- Getting a little sun and my skin becoming a browner shade of pale.
- Seeing some old friends from college days.
- Wild Oregon weather.
Hoping you have a lovely week.
Namaste. Peace. Blessings.
Floral ribbon border by Laurel Burch
Floral paragraph dividers by Susan Branch