Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Tell Me You Haven't Felt Like This

What it feels like to go through depression, by Iguana Mouth

Just Be There

Don't you wish that life was as simple as a Charlie Brown world? For those of you who are too young to know what I am talking about, Charlie Brown is a universal symbol of that guy with popularity issues. He's that average, everyday kid, who just can't do anything right; who struggles with everyday life. But he's also that faithful friend who is always there for you, because he knows that you struggle too.
We all need friends. We all need at least one person with whom we can be totally ourselves. And yet, everyday, I meet people through this depression community, who feel as though they are very much alone in life. To me, that is sad, because nobody ought to feel alone in life. Life is a gift to you and friendship is a gift we give to others.
So let's get generous and give the gift of friendship to someone, who like you, feels alone. I'm here. If you don't have anyone to talk to, message me on hangouts...  jabeau.2015@gmail.com or send me your email in the right hand column of this blog.
Let's talk...

Your Pain is Changing You

Inspirational Typewriter Quote / Typed On by WhiteCellarDoor, $12.00
 Today has not been a very good day. First, I only got a couple of hours of sleep and had to get up this morning for church. Nothing inside me wanted to go. I was tired, depressed and angry with the world. Or at least my small segment of it. I also felt totally justified in my anger. Now, just in case you don't know this, let me tell you something.
It's the wrong place if you want to wallow in your anger and hang on to it for as long as you can. It's the right place if you can embrace the music and get humble enough to realize that what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger and move on. Today, I chose to wallow.
I was still mourning the recent death of my sister, still in shock but more than that, I was angry. My sister did not have to die. She chose to die when she began drinking at a young age. Now, if you asked her if she was an alcoholic, she would say 'no'. But she finished off a bottle of wine every night for thirty years and the simple truth of the matter is, she destroyed her liver. And if that wasn't bad, the worst is yet to come!
I come from a family of eight children; I'm the oldest. Mary's husband, Steve, had the gall to say,
"I didn't know she was drinking."
Who do you think was buying the booze when Mary was housebound and too sick to eat? Yes, I was ripping mad and I still am at the level of denial my family is expressing right now. Of the eight of us, I'd say that five of us are alcoholics; possibly six. One brother may have cleaned up his act; quite frankly, he might just be doing a better job of hiding his alcoholism. But the others are all heavy drinkers and are all in denial of their condition.

Denial is a level of hell that too many accept as being just another day in the life. Denial slowly changes our acceptance of hell as just another day at the beach. I know that if I could talk to Mary right now, she would have great insight into her life and would be begging our siblings to PLEASE STOP DRINKING. She would apologize for not taking it seriously. She would cry when she thought of the influence she had had on her children. She would be a totally different person because meeting your Creator has that kind of affect on you. All the denial is stripped away and all that's left is the truth.

What is your truth today? Are you struggling with addictions? Are you fighting depression, (like I am) and sometimes feel like you're losing? Cutting? Suicide? Whatever you're struggling with ~ let's talk.
I am not a professional counselor and I don't have all the answers, but I care and won't charge you a dime. You can reach me here by sending me your email on the field in the right hand column, or message me on handouts at jabeau.2015@gmail.com

Let's talk.


Wednesday, 16 December 2015

I Love My Sister

On December 10, 2015 I lost my sister, Mary. She had been sick for a long time, but nobody knew just how sick she really was. She kept ALOT to herself, silently suffering, silently knowing she was dying.
I live across the country from her, about 3000 miles across the country and when they called and told me that she was in the hospital, something inside me KNEW something was not right. I knew I needed to go to her, but the earliest flight I could get was three days away and I so desperately wanted to see her, to know for myself that she would be okay. But the day before my flight, I got word from my father, that she had passed away, peacefully in her sleep. I was stunned. I could hardly believe she was gone.
I cried that whole day. Totally devastated, I cried for hours, gained control only to again lose it and cry some more. I was completely dehydrated by the time my husband got home from work. And still the tears came, again and again.
I decided to keep my flight anyway and had 5 hrs all to my own thoughts. At first, I was looking forward to the time alone. But then the negative thoughts began to eat at me.
"You shouldn't have cancelled your trip to visit this summer."
"You should have known that something was wrong when she stopped texting about two weeks ago."
"What do you think you will say to your parents? They've lost a child and you weren't even there to comfort them..."
"How are your siblings going to react? You know how crazy they all are ~ somehow, you know their going to blame you..."
"What makes you think her husband is going to answer your questions? After all, he kept us all in the dark all this time..."

"How are you going to keep from crying? You won't get thru the first two minutes without bawling like a baby..."

By the time I got off the plane, all my insecurities were in control. I was lost in my thoughts, driving to the hotel and later, checking in. Called my parents and made plans to go out for dinner. Man, it was good to hear my father's voice on the phone! I felt like a kid again, seeking some reassurance from a parent! But I could hear the weariness and the pain in his voice and now I knew it was real. Mary really was dead.

Up until this point, I guess, maybe I had dreamed the events that led to her death. Maybe I would wake up and realize that she was fine and waiting for me to show up at mom and dad's place. But that was not going to happen. She was gone.

Over the course of the following week, I spent ALOT of time with my parents; had a great visit with my youngest sister, with whom I never really had much of a relationship. Spent time with Mary's husband, twice, and spent some time with one of their grown sons.

Overall, it was good. So what did I learn thru this time of sorrow? ALOT.

First thing that I realized was that I was a lot stronger than I thought I was. I learned that in the midst of shared grief, it's ok to cry and share our pain, together. I learned that Mary's husband had not kept everyone in the dark ~ he also did not know how bad off she was. I saw his pain and knew that everything he did as this played out was right and honourable.

I leave tomorrow for that long flight home, but it won't be empty handed. I'll return home with a new relationship with my baby sister and one of my nephews. I leave with the assurance that my parents will weather this, strong in faith and determined to live life to the fullest, for we never know when we'll be checking out. And last of all, I've learned that it's not all about me. This experience, though difficult to go thru, has re-enforced my connection with people who are dear, but distant from me. There is a time to mourn and a time for joy. This is my time to mourn and I am not alone.

If you are facing/have faced the death of a loved one and find yourself losing the battle to depression, let's talk. I think I understand what you're going thru and maybe I can help you see another side of your loss. Because there always is another side.

Let's talk.

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Life is Like a Camera...

And crop out the people you don't like! ;)
"Life is like a camera..." is so true! So often, tho, we have a look at the situation we are in and decide that life is too hard, too abusive, too boring, too lonely ~ too many 'too's' to count.
It sometimes takes ALOT of courage to keep going. ALOT of faith to believe that it will get better.

I really feel for youth today, who find themselves in situations where they don't know who to talk to. Or maybe they have confided in someone they trust, just to be betrayed and now find themselves in a worse situation. Whatever your situation is, please know that life will get better; maybe not immediately, but one day, you will have control over your own life. The real question here is:

                   What are you going to do with it?

I've met so many people who are just surviving, wrapped up in childhood pain and depression over their past mistakes or the abuse of others. It makes me want to shake them and say, 'Wake up! Your life is slipping away before your very eyes! It's time to get over your past and start living for today!"
Like the camera, it's time to 'focus' on what is really important in your life, to remember all the good times, and learn from the 'negative' things. So you had a crappy childhood. Or an abusive spouse. A crazy-ass boss. A car accident. A house fire. It's time to move on.

Last of all, take another 'shot'. Get the help you need. You are important. Medication or counselling and start talking to people who have been where you are. Find a support system. A church. A seniors club. Join the LGBTQ+ community if that's your thing. But don't sit at home and wallow in your sadness. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. DO IT TODAY!

Email me or when I'm online, message me. I'd love to listen and help you in some way. Remember that today is just 24 hours, but your life is so much longer, bigger, stronger and more confident than you are today!

Let's Talk!

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Sticks and Stones

Relationship QuotesDo you ever wonder why when you open your mouth, sometimes the most ridiculous things come out? I used to think that my brain was wired wrong. I'd be thinking one thing but saying something so completely different. It would often get me into trouble when I was a kid and as a result, I spent ALOT of time apologizing! As I grew, I learned the importance of communication. I learned that words are important. Unfortunately, I also learned how to hurt people with my words, and found my tongue to be a sword I wielded well.

Time is the best teacher and I've learned ALOT about being the friend I want my friends to be.  But to do that, you need a heart that is willing to learn from mistakes. Something you say today, can affect the people you love for many years to come. Something cruel you say to a stranger on the internet, can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Haters don't have to hate. (Sorry, Taylor Swift). They need help as much as the rest of us.

Has anyone damaged you with words lately? Have you said something that hurt someone you care about? Perhaps you need to protect yourself from the rumours of cruel idiots. If you're depressed today let me give you some coping skills to deal with some of the external pressures.

1. Don't allow the ugly taunts to damage you. Totally ignore any taunt that is negative, even if it's said as a joke. Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can do more damage than you realize!

2. Don't engage bullies on the internet. Who died and made them boss anyway? Give them the shade of disregard. They only have what power you give them.

3. If news broadcasts on TV upset you, don't watch them. They will only bring you down. Choose instead to do something you enjoy, like playing with your dog, or baking cookies, or go for a run. You won't miss anything on the news that you won't hear about later.

4. What kind of music do you listen to? Does it have a hateful message, or is it something that will make you feel good about yourself? Everyone knows, the music you are drawn to when you're depressed is not necessarily uplifting or positive. Have an album or song that you can turn to that will lift you out of the darkness, not hold you in it's grasp.

Have you discovered anything that helps you climb out of the dark hole of depression? Share it with us.

Let's talk.

A Personal Story by Nick Dawson

Just wanted to share this clip with you all with permission from Nick Dawson, a fellow blogger. He has an important message for those of you who may be struggling. Click link.

A Story by Nick Dawson

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Who Amongst Us is Strong?

Today was an okay day. I got up around noon and struggled with dizziness and nausea for a few hours, but overall it was a good day because today, I was the Master of the Universe and today I felt strong.

Or so I thought. All it took to shift my world upside down was my crazy-ass husband flipping out on me for allowing the stew to over cook. Suddenly, my brave fa├žade, was flushed down the toilet. I didn't say anything. I just added some hot water to the stew and quietly took his over reaction, but inside, something inside of me began to die.

Immediately, my mind was flooded with negative thoughts and ways in which to get back at my husband (somehow, salt in his tea sounded a bit immature). I began to spiral down into my deep, dark, ugly depression.

My only saving grace was the fact that I chatted with a new friend online, and he reminded me that I am in control of my own emotional state. Slowly, as I listened to his problems, mine did not seem so big anymore. I found positive thoughts dripping from my fingers onto our PM and even after we said 'goodnight', I began to feel stronger once again. The strength continued to inspire me to write my mom an email (not an easy feat) and then to move on to my daily blog.

I've said all this to say, that, sometimes the strongest among us are the ones who smile through silent pain and fight battles we know nothing about. If I am any gauge by which to judge, then let me define bravery for you. Depression is one of the most challenging of all wars and only the brave survive. Strength may come and go at random, and so much of the battle is hidden from the people around us, but only the brave and the strong will come thru it as Master of the Universe. So hang in there. If I can do it, you can do it too.

Let's talk.


Thursday, 26 November 2015

The Tormented Soul and Suicide

 Depression is one of those things we can keep hidden. The son of a friend of mine, recently committed suicide. He was 29, part of a rock band, working a good job and nobody knew how he struggled with depression til after he died. His mother found his journal, which he had kept since he was 12 and as she read it, she wept, because, even that far back, he wrote of feeling hopeless and frightened of everything from school to sports to church. He had spent hours pouring out his heart to these pages, and yet he seemed to be so easy to get along with, so likeable and outgoing. Nobody would have ever guessed that he was broken inside.

Suicide is a sickness like cancer. It creeps up on you with little negative thoughts, sadness, anxiety, fear etc. slowly growing inside you till it makes you so hopeless, that you think the only way out, is death. Who in their right mind would think that killing yourself is the only logical thing to do? The only way to get relief from the voices in your head?

 I can say this, because a little over a year ago, I had reached the point of no return and swallowed a bottle of sleeping pills. I was convinced that there was no other way out of my depression and that dying was the only way out. I had momentary insanity. Was not in my right mind. Was so, completely, wrong. I had been surcome by a feeling; an idea. Nothing more tangible than that.

Did I learn anything? After eating my share of humble pie, getting back on my meds and attending some counselling, my biggest lesson/regret was all the people that I hurt and scared silly. I discovered who my true friends were. I discovered how much my kids loved me and terrified my husband into pulling his act together. But the best thing that I learned was that I didn't have to listen to the negative thoughts that had plagued me for so many years. I suddenly had control of the situation. I didn't have to be influenced by all the negativity; I could combat the thoughts with positive thoughts.

Maybe you need help. Maybe it's hard for you to think positively. Maybe you are slowly dying inside. Talk to somebody. Talk to everybody, til you find someone who gets the struggle you're experiencing. A parent, a sibling, a teacher, a friend, a doctor, a counsellor, a pastor, a priest, a rabbi. Don't stop until you find someone to help you find some positive reasons to conquer the negativity. Things might look depressing right now, but tomorrow's a new day.  I wish I had known that my friend's son had been so tormented. I wish I could have done something for him. For her. Maybe I can do something for you.

Let's talk.