Depression Getaway

encouragement, information, inspiration and hope

Would you like to be “AS HAPPY AS A PIG IN MUD”?

Finger painting was always popular when I was a elementary school art teacher. Who doesn't like squishing wet gooey stuff between their fingers? When I taught a painting class to the older children they loved to play with their paint trays after they were done, making a wonderful mess out of the remaining paint. And don't get me started on paper mache, always a hit with any age. You could really lose yourself in that gushy paste!

Pigs might love paint or paste too if they had the chance, but they instinctively know that mud is the superior ecstacy.

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New View, New Point of View

Writing about my kitchen window views these last couple of weeks makes me remember all of my kitchen views over my 67 years, twelve altogether. Some have been nicer than others but they all eventually became a familiar source of comfort to me. 

I no longer have a house in the country, so my view is quite different now, but I love it. I live in a small town and my kitchen overlooks the firestation, a few houses and the busiest road in town, which everyone takes to the arena and the community centre. I overlook our little parking lot too so I can see my neighbours coming and going. It is not exceptionally pretty but I love it just the same.

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SURPRISE! There’s a Man at my Kitchen Window!

This morning there was a man at my kitchen window! And that was a surprise since my apartment is on the second floor. Well, not a complete surprise since recently the windws have all been replaced and the sills were not in yet, so I was sort of expecting him. Anyways, it was a kind of fun surprise.

 

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The View from my Kitchen Window

farm

Years ago when I was a young wife and mother living on a farm, I used to enjoy a magazine called 'Country Woman'. It was a typical woman's magazine but featuring the country life and the women like me who lived in a rural area.  "The View from my Kitchen Window" was one of my favorite monthly features. Each one was a brief description of the view from the window of some woman's farmhouse and a picture was included.

Of course no one sent in an article about an ugly view from their kitchen window! Oh no, they were all idyllic settings like the one shown here. 

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Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful!

wonderful

"Wonderful!" I never tire of hearing that word. I was blessed for a few years to teach in a private Christian school. The prinicpal at that school was one of the most positive people I knew. And he was the loudest person too! But it is not so terrible to be loud when it is all positive. I was happy to have a classroom close to his office. He often left the door open. Whenever he answered his phone or replied to an inquiry at his door such as "Good morning Mr. Smith, how are you today?" his response would be a big loud "wonderful!" every time.

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“The Nicest Guy I Know”

I am attending one of the friendliest churches I have ever gone to. The picture above was not taken in my church but it could be! People are welcomed warmly and cheerfully and made to feel important and at home right away. I love that about my church.

Who doesn't like being greeted when you walk through any doors, whether that is at home, or in a store or restaurant, or maybe at work, and definitely at church.

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Crashing Gracefully: Is there a GROUPON for that?

Somehow the words 'crashing' and 'gracefully' don't really go together but this woman is ready to 'crash' into the water and she is doing it gracefully.

Now I don't think this little fellow landed quite so gracefully, do you?

Too often I will read a blog written by a mental health blogger to see "sorry I haven't written for awhile but I'm back now and hope to post regularly". I conclude that they haven't been doing well and couldn't manage to write. And then irregularly blogging will take place. Or I will read "I am crashing again. I hate this illness. I've been feeling well for so long I had convinced myself that maybe I was better and now this". Or I may discover the name of a mental health blog I have never seen before and I will eagerly google it and find that they have quit posting.

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Working with your Therapist: It takes Two!

Wow! These guys seem to have a great technique for one of the most difficult races of all time, the three-legged race.

Now this would be more typical, two trying to work together but pulling each other down. Maybe they had communication problems.

One time a few years ago, as I returned for my three month visit with my psychiatrist, I sat discouraged, in her office as she reviewed my file to get up to speed on my situation. She said "last time we were together you said you were managing".

"Yes, I guess that is true" I replied "but all I do is manage. My full time job is managing this illness. It takes up all of my life to do just that." I explained how I attempted to walk every day, eat healthy and stay away from people and situations that were negative for me. I told her that to a certain extent that was helping and yet I was still depressed most of the time.

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Therapy: One Size does NOT Fit All!

 

One of the great things about therapy, if it is working for you, is that once a week, or once a month you know you are going to spend time with someone whose only purpose for one hour is to listen to you and focus on you. That is a luxury. And during that time between sessions, if something comes up either in your circumstances or your symptoms, you know you will have an upcoming opportunity to discuss it with someone you trust.

The counsellors that were the most helpful for me were the ones who already knew me and my situation. My family doctor and my sister knew me the best and I trusted their judgement. I did not trust my own judgement. 

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Do I Need Therapy?

The first time I went to a therapist I didn't give it much thought ahead of time. I was desperate. Experiencing an unwanted and unexpected divorce, my life was falling apart and so was I. I was questioning everything I ever did and wondering what happened to lead me to this confusing place. I just needed to be in a room with someone compassionate who would listen to my sorrows, over and over and over. I wasn't even depressed – yet. And so a lot of thought didn't go into this choice. Gratefully, the good Lord gave me a kind and gentle therapist who had probably listened to many other women cry their way through divorce and knew more about such things than I did. It was comforting.

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