Thursday, December 1, 2016

Depression and Anxiety

This is a hard post for me to write. In general, I do not talk about my depression (diagnosed) and anxiety (undiagnosed). I am a bit of a perfectionist and try to put on a good front no matter how I am feeling. But, I feel compelled to write this post and feel like the Lord wants me to write and share it. So I am. I hope this post can help someone.

Before I go further, I want to emphasize that I am okay. Please do not take this post as a cry for assistance or an invitation to tell me what I need to do. Each day is a struggle, but I am getting through using methods that are working for me. 

I have struggled with depression and anxiety throughout my life. This fall, my depression and anxiety have been worse than the usually are when seasonal affective disorder hits me, even worse than last year when they were worse than usual. I have noticed thoughts that I identified in college as trigger signs that depression is hitting hard. I learned back then not to entertain those thoughts and to work to immediately throw them out. So that is what I am working to do now. I also have found the following strategies helpful:

  • A happy light - I bought mine last February, and it has been a big help. While doing NaNoWriMo last month, sometimes the only way I could keep myself writing was having the light on while I wrote. 
  • Prayer and Scripture study - These daily practices help me stay connected to the Lord. It may not solve everything, but it is a huge help.
  • Bliss drink - A family member recently recommended this drink to me. I tried it, and it does help reduce my feelings of overwhelming stress.
  • Hugs from my husband - I have heard that hugging can provide all sorts of good benefits. In my case, a hug from my husband often helps calm me down and lift my spirits.
  • Hobbies - Sometime participating in hobbies, even if I do not feel like doing so at the moment, can help lift me somewhat out of a funk. I have been pushing myself this week to cross-stitch for my business, and I have found the the cross-stitch helps soothe me.
  • Music - Sometimes I like listening to calming classical music, and sometimes I like listening to more peppy Broadway songs. Listening to music often helps calm me down or lift my mood.
  • Essential oils - Lately I have been putting a drop of lavender oil on my temples. It helps calm me down.
  • Setting things aside - Sometimes it is not worth it to try and face something, so I set it aside to face another day or time. Do somethings continually remain undone? Yes. But I feel my personal sanity is more important than getting everything done that is on my never ending to do list. 
  • Checking in - Each night my husband asks how I did that day. Usually I answer with just a word or two, "pretty good" or "I did okay." However, checking in with him each night provides a safety net, and gives me a chance to evaluate how I did that day. 
I am sure there are other things that I am doing that help me, but those are what come to mind. You might wonder why I do not having counselling and medicine on my list. I have tried those before and had some good results, but mostly not as great results. I feel like I am getting by all right without them for now, so unless I feel they are absolutely necessary, I will continue on as I am. 

Dealing with depression and anxiety is not particularly fun. I often feel angry and upset. Frequently I feel like crying, and I am not one to cry. I feel lethargic. I feel overwhelmed. I feel on the brink of metaphorically falling off a cliff. I am hoping that the symptoms will ease come spring. But no matter what, I have faith that I can make it through. And I am trying each day. Below is a short poem I wrote just before writing this blog post. My hope for us all is that we can keep trying. 

Sometimes I feel like crying,
Sometimes I feel like dying,
But I will keep trying.

Monday, October 31, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Sleeping Beauty Spin-Off

For NaNoWriMo this year, I have chosen to work on a story I've already started—my Sleeping Beauty Spin-off. I have worked on this story on and off over the last few years. Actually. the genesis for this idea came back when I was in high school. My friend Amanda and I decided to try to write a story together. That is where the seeds of this story idea began.

I have over 26,000 words written on the story so far, but there is much of the story to tell. So, I will create a new document, start from where I am, and work to get 50,000 more words written on it this November. This November is already shaping up to be quite busy, but I will do my best to reach the goal of 50,000 words written in November.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Poetry Again

I'm writing poetry again. It has been a few years since I've dabbled in poetry.

The other day I read an article in a magazine published by my church. The article talked about managing negative emotions. One of the suggestions was to find productive ways to express negative feelings. I am using poetry. I won't be dealing with just negative emotions in my poetry; however, it is cathartic to release negative emotions via poetry.

Having started writing poetry again, snippets of poems flow through my mind periodically throughout the day. Most will likely never been written down. As for the poems that do get written down, at this point I don't plan on polishing them. For now, they are a release, a way to deal with the stresses, and joys, of life.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Reading the Classics

Recently I decided to get back into reading classic books. I used to do it all the time, especially during college (since I was an English major). But I haven't read any recently. While I was in college, during the summer I would have the goal to read at least one classic book. For example, one summer I read Anna Karenina. I loved it. 

So this summer, I have set the same goal—to read at least one classic book this summer. I am currently reading Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. And I am liking it. At times it is hard to put it down. In many ways it is quite different than the books I have been reading. For example, I come across words I am unfamiliar with. I'm reading an electronic version (yay for free ebooks), so I can just tap on the screen and get the definition of the words I am unfamiliar with. It's quite handy. There are other differences, in the way the prose flows, etc. But it is a good different. I look forward to the journey of reading this book.

Note: To learn more about the bookmark in the image, you can look at this post from my other blog.


Karen Porter's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists