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Another Journey with Depression – Shawna R. B. Atteberry
Oct 162007

The last six weeks or so have been very up and down. Of course there have been many things happening. Tracy’s infection, waiting to hear back from Beacon Hill on my book proposal, working on the novel and the Career Woman proposal, and the new ministry I want to start here. Tracy is in D. C. again for a check-up. He will be there a couple of days because they have decided to change one of the antibiotics he’s on. So I am alone again. But for the last six weeks, anxiety has ruled my life until depression steps in and then I collapse. About every other week I have a two to three day bout of having no energy. I mean none. I can hardly move or think. All I want to do is sleep. That’s all I have energy for.

Through meditation and journaling I am coming to realize how negative I am. Particularly toward myself. It’s no wonder I’m always anxious and worried with the negative tapes I let run through my head. I am tired of running in circles, so I made an appointment and saw my psychaitrist yesterday. We talked about the anxiety and depression. We also talked about stopping the negative thoughts when they start and not letting them trip around in my head and cause havoc. He also added another medication to my anti-depressant to help with the anxiety. We also talked about relaxing when I start feeling stressed. When I start feeling anxious, stopping what I’m doing, and practicing a relaxation technique to relax and redirect my mind to think about something else.

Like everything else in life, clinical depression is a journey. I am writing out affirmations to replace the negative thoughts. I have done a good job today of catching negative thinking and not letting it run amok. I think it’s only one day. But that is how I have to live: one day at a time. Today I did the things I needed to do get out of this cycle of anxiety-depression-collapsing. I prayed and meditated, practiced yoga, was nice to myself, worked, and ate well. And that is good.

My goal for most of this year has been to learn how to be nice to myself, to take care of myself, and to nurture myself. And to be okay with it–not feel selfish or that I’m wasting time. It is amazing how hard it is. It should not be this hard to simply take care of one’s self, to like one’s self, to love one’s self. The second command is to love your neighbor as yourself. Growing up I learned a lot about loving my neighbor, but no one taught me how to love and take care of myself. Now I am learning. Now I know how important it is to love me. But it so hard. Why is it so hard?

Although I fell pretty useless when I’m like this, I am trying to remember what I wrote just a couple of weeks ago. I say I’m in a fog when I’m depressed and not doing well. But when it is foggy outside, I love what it does to light. The light is not clear: it’s shimmery and ethereal. It looks otherworldly, and I wonder if those ghostly lights could lead to other worlds. I am enshrouded in fog, but my light is still shining. Does it shimmer in ethereal beauty like lights in fog? Can me and my light possible lead people to other worlds, other realities even in this fog?

Something inside of me says yes. I think that someone is the Holy Spirit letting me know God is with me. God is walking with me through all of this. God will give me the healing, strength, and grace I need to walk this path and still obey. It just may be different than I think it should be. I may not get as much done in a day as I want because I’m going to have to make time to take care of me: to pray and meditate, exercise, relax through the day, write and say affirmations to fight negativity. And there is nothing wrong with it. I cannot love people and pastor them if I do not love and take care of myself.

Related Links:
Fogs of Depression
Depression and Spiritual Direction
The Last Couple of Weeks

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 Posted by at 10:06 pm

  9 Responses to “Another Journey with Depression”

  1. (((Shawana)))
    we spoke of learning to live by the Spirit as a long and difficult journey in class on Monday- reading your writing I believe you tocuh on this being so- no quick fixes!
    Prayers for you- for peace and joy to bubble up in your life and spirit again.

  2. Thank you Sally. I’m feeling good today and taking full advantage of it!

  3. I love you, Shawna, and I both empathize with and care about your situation. Let’s talk.

  4. Jen, we are so on the same wavelength. I was thinking about calling you. I’ll email you. 🙂

  5. Love and prayers as you grapple so wisely and bravely with this difficult challenge.

    It is so very hard to love ourselves, especially for women, I think. I marvel at my daughter Katie’s frequent grace when it’s her turn:

    I love Mom and Dad and Nicholas, and Julian and Rachel, and Kathy (my aunt, her godmother), and myself, and everybody, and especially you. Amen.

    Hang in there, esp. as you wait for your husband to return. It’s hard to be alone for so long, I’m sure.


  6. […] Links: Another Journey with Depression Fogs of Depression Depression and Spiritual Direction The Last Couple of Weeks […]

  7. Thanks Laura.

  8. God has definitely given you so much talent. Reading your blog made me realize how negative I am with myself. I also was taught to take care of others, but didn’t know how to take care of me. I love your honesty about anxiety and depression. I too go through such battles. You speak from your heart and that is a testimony to what a gift God has given to people like myself. My son, Joey has gotten over his skin infection, thank God! He had us so scared because of him having CGD. I hope Tracey is doing better. Close your eyes after you have read this and put your arms around yourself…I am hugging you. Much love!

  9. Thank you LaDonna. I’m sorry I haven’t replied to the email you sent me. I’ve been having a lot of headaches with this bout of depression, so I’m limiting my time on the computer. I’m so glad Joey is okay. I will keep him in my prayers.

  10. […] Are You Saying to Yourself? Another Jouney with Depression Fogs of Depression Depression and Spiritual […]

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