|Tree with top 30 feet missing|
The next day, my sweet cat, Angel, died. She seemed to not seem well on Sunday and was gone on Tuesday. A tornado of mourning has overtaken me. Angel has been my boon companion throughout hundreds of hours of deep physical pain, depression, and loneliness. Somehow she knew when I had retreated to bed and was in need of her gentle comfort. Appearing from out of nowhere, Angel would seek permission to come close by looking into my face and gingerly placing one paw on me. If the answer was “yes”, she would settle in beside me, calming me with her softness and purrs. How I will miss her.
Three tornados…inside and out. They’ve ramped up my depression; so it goes when tough circumstances arise. (And why do they seem to come in threes?) I feel exhausted and spent. I compare it to how I used to feel after my final exams in college. I was a procrastinator, so I would have to study for exams for hours on end, skipping sleep and living on “No Doze” tablets. (Anyone remember those? Caffeine in pill form? Today’s energy drinks “got nothin’” on those things!) After my exams, I would somehow drive the 2 ½ hours home, grunt out a hello to my parents, and dive into my bed, where I would remain for the next 24 hours.
Yep, that’s just what depression feels like right now. I want to dive into bed and stay there until I feel rested. But, unlike my college days, I don’t need to rest-up. Going to bed would only make me feel worse.
There are a few things I have learned that work much better than going to bed.
Here are Four of Them Worth Considering:
1 - I have a general rule to live as well as I can, despite severe pain and depression. Here it is:
Judi’s Rule for Living as Well as I Can:
“Never get too tired, too thirsty, too hungry, too hot, too cold,
too stressed, too emotional, or too still for too long.”
2 - Allow myself to wallow in ramped-up depression for a day or two. This might surprise you, but I have found that when circumstances heighten depression, I do better in the long run if I allow myself to feel the full weight of it--mentally, physically and spiritually for a day, sometimes two…but never three (or I can fall into a pit that is harder to climb out of).
3 - Get in the green. I need to be outside. Whether I am working in the yard, walking in the park, kayaking on the river, or just reading the paper on my screen porch, I feel better if I am outside or near outside. Oppositely, if I am stuck inside for more than a day or two, depression will get a hold of me easier. No matter how awful I feel, I always feel better if I go outside. (Tornadoes notwithstanding!)
4 - Pray scripture that speaks hope and positive emotions into my life. Because I believe that the Bible is the Holy inspired Word of God, praying scriptures has supernatural power to change our hearts for good. How I do this: I look up scripture in several different versions--using www.BibleGateway.com as my quick and easy resource--and then I re-write the scripture as my personal prayer. Here is an example of how this works:
Lord, you are in charge;
All my comings and goings are in you care.
I delight in You.
When I stumble, I do not fall hard.
For you always have a grip on my hand.
( In the theme of Psalm 37:23-24)
Here are a few other scriptures I have found uplifting--I hope you will look them up:
John 16:33, Psalm 42:5, 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 147:3, 1 Peter 5:6-7
Until Next Time, Live Well, Friends.