Saturday, April 30, 2011

Week #2 - The Depression Cure

Hello all. I have to say I'm not totally keeping up with the program. I did a little this week and I still am taking my vitamins, but I really don't feel anything like what I felt when I was depressed. I think I'm over it. This week I was supposed to write down times where I was sad, and it only happened twice and it wasn't even that bad. So, thank the Lord, because I think He pulled me out of it, because I don't see any other explanations. I just simply stopped feeling that way. Though I don't feel depressed, I have a long way to go, but I do see progress and that's encouraging. I no longer hate myself. I am trying to just stay positive and see the good instead of magnifying the bad. There are some big changes happening over here. Eric will be finding out his orders next week and we will know where we're moving. I'm excited for a fresh start and I am hoping and praying we will be able to buy our first house with the money we've saved. I am learning all over again to trust God with everything, because His way is better than mine. You can say that all you want, and I have, but it's completely different to actually believe it and live it as if you do. Life application.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Week #1 - The Depression Cure

The first week of The Depression Cure was a great one! What a terrific start to the program. I am very optimistic and feeling positive about the whole thing. The first week focused on Nutrition. I took the suggested Omega-3 Vitamin and Ginkgo Biloba…both help with depression and increase mental focus. I also took my two iron pills for my anemia (one isn’t enough for me), as well as a one-a-day woman’s multi-vitamin and a Vitamin C too. So, all these I took once a day for a week. I felt such a difference. I was focused and I had lots of energy. I normally am tired a lot and just want to lie down; I didn’t feel this way at all. Also part of the program you have to watch your food and drink intake. So, I wrote down everything I ate and drink…I had to increase my liquids. The first day was pretty bad….I saw on paper how I actually eat. But I’m getting better. I also incorporated some personal things into the program that I wanted to get in the habit of….to read my Bible every day and spend a little more time on my appearance in the morning, so I don’t feel like a troll all day, like I usually do. Spend an extra 5-10 minutes and do my makeup…it really makes me feel good about myself and puts a little boost in my self-esteem. And reading my Bible every day realigns my focus and perspective with God’s and things seem a little easier to manage and deal with. Anyway, the results of the first week were encouraging. I was very focused, I had energy, I wasn’t tired or moping around. I even felt positive and good about myself, and didn’t feel sad or depressed at all that week, and I even got some difficult news that could've made things bad for me. But I didn’t dwell on it, just dealt with it like a grown up. I was in a good mood and was encouraged that I have the power to turn things around by taking small steps. Week #2 begins tomorrow and I still have to keep up with all the things from week #1, but this week focuses on Rumination. This means any time I start to feel negative or have depressing feelings, I write them down. Looking forward to the next week : ) Take care everyone.
Hope you had a nice Easter!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Being an Adult

What exactly makes an adult anyway? It's only partially age until you reach a certain number I suppose. Is it maturity? Attitude? Responsibility? Choices? I know people older than me who seem like less of an adult,even childish; yet I know people younger than me that seem like more of an adult than me, with even more wisdom. It's during the lowest times that our true self is revealed. Our natural response surfaces with our true feelings, not just what you want other people to see. Our walls go up to protect from vulnerability, hiding what is raw within. Maybe it's putting other people before yourself. Making the right decision, even when it's hard to do and involves sacrifice on your part. Isn't it sad that many times terrible trauma that happens to children force them to grow up too soon? But what makes them more grown up then us? That they had to face adult issues way too soon? Most definitely. I am 28 years old and don't feel completely like an adult. I think there is so much expectation as an adult. Get married, have kids, possibly have a career. It's like the checklist of your life. I have compared my life with the lives of my friends around me for so long, I feel I've lost a bit of myself. My life shouldn't be like everyone else's, and it isn't, but I need to celebrate my individuality more, what makes me stand out from everyone else. Maybe I'm too much of an adult, taking care of my responsibilities and trying to be the perfect stay at home mother and wife, but I'm not having any fun along the way. The fun is supposed to be in the journey, right? I just might be too focused on getting to the end result I'm not enjoying myself. Maybe part of being an adult is finding the right balance in life, and the right perspective and attitude as well. I put more pressure on myself than anyone else. Make sure the house looks perfect, that there is always a good meal to eat, that my husband and child's needs are met. My list in life doesn't even include myself, and I am now realizing how wrong that is. I need to give myself permission to take time for myself and make sure some of my needs are met too, and I'm now realizing that isn't a selfish thing. Jesus tells us in His Word to put ourselves last and others first, and it's true....but that doesn't mean I neglect myself...that's the difference. Maybe maturity is also looking at the bigger picture in the long run. Choosing to have a positive attitude. Doing the right thing when you really don't want to do it. Maybe I'm too focused on being an adult, I feel old and boring. I want to get back to enjoying each day, not just what I need to do to get through it. Do I want my daughter to look back at her childhood and remember me as being boring and not wanting to do anything? All I do is clean and cook? That's not what I want. That's not how I want to be. Here's the funny part....I have the power to change that...I just have to choose to.

Monday, April 4, 2011

The Depression Cure

I finished reading “The Depression Cure” by Stephen S. Ilardi PhD a few weeks ago, and I decided to give the program a try. It’s a 6-step program to beat depression without the use of any kind of medicine. I think my depression has gotten better. I’ve definitely come out of that dark place I was in last year. That place of hopelessness where you cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel and you convince yourself that every day is going to always be the same and never get any better. This state of negativity is toxic and the isolation is my poison. Every person I care about many miles away, it just made me sadder and sadder. Though I am a Christian, I shut out God, wanted nothing to do with anybody. Just wanted to be alone, yet I despised being alone. The worst war is the one within yourself, when your mind battles against your heart. I guess I never really understood what being depressed was until I experienced it. I thought it was just being sad, but it’s so much more than that. It’s actually a mental imbalance that manifests itself. So, when people you love get frustrated with you and wish you would “snap out of it”, it only makes it harder because you can’t. It’s just not that easy. Your mind takes over and you lose control. So, anyway, this book really helped. It’s nice to know you’re not alone and not the only one who feels this way. Apparently it happens to a lot of people but no one wants to talk about it. Fear of being judged maybe, or a sign of weakness. But when I experienced the depth of depression, I reached a point where I no longer cared what people thought of me being depressed. I was mad at myself though, that friends of mine have more hardships than me to handle, yet somehow I couldn’t handle my own simple life. I don’t work, I only have one child with no special needs, so why does everything seem so hard? I guess my coping skills have gone down the tubes, because it seems I can’t think as clearly as I should be able to. The control freak that I am doesn’t like to ask for help. I like to do everything myself my own way. Then I get frustrated that I can’t do it all. If I could clone myself I think I might be able to. So, reading this book and getting more information about depression is my way of the first step in looking for help. It was actually really helpful. It relies on behavioral methods and natural remedies and not medicinal ones. It is a 7 week program, applying one new focus to each week and carrying them through the whole 7 weeks.  The 7 focuses are: Nutrition, Rumination, Exercise, Light, Social Support, Sleep, and the last week is Evaluation. I’ve decided to follow it, adding my own twist to it and incorporate my own things I want to work on. I incorporated reading my Bible every day as well, and making myself put makeup on every day too. I don’t do it at home, but when I do, it makes me feel better about myself and puts a small boost in my confidence that I don’t look like a troll today. So, today is Day 1 of Nutrition week. I am keeping track of my food intake and forcing myself to drink more. I normally eat twice a day and drink about 10 oz of fluid the whole day. So, I am going to eat at least three meals a day and at least a full glass of liquid at each meal to start with. Also, the program says to take Omega-3 Vitamin, one-a-day vitamin, and Vitamin C every day which I got and took as well as my iron pills that I have to take because I’m anemic. I got up at 7:30am…took Max for a walk, showered, put on makeup and read my Bible. Just enough time before Becca woke up. Hopefully I can stick to this routine. I love schedules. I need schedules. I’m also trying to eat healthier, so for breakfast I made a breakfast sandwich (English muffin, egg, cheese) with a banana and 8 oz. orange juice. I am feeling good. I am feeling positive and optimistic that it’s a good start and every little bit of a good thing is a step forward. I am working my way up from not being able to look at myself in the mirror because I hated what I saw. Just hating everything about myself and nothing I did was ever good enough. I am trying to have a better attitude and look at things more positively, and learning to accept myself. That despite my shortcomings, inside I know I’m a good person and I have potential to do good things. To be a better wife, a better mother, a better person, a better me. The me I am meant to be.