Depression Getaway

encouragement, information, inspiration and hope

Category: strategies (Page 1 of 5)

Depression Waterworks: It’s Worth Crying About

This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series Depression Waterworks

Crying was not only acceptable in the home I grew up in, it was encouraged. I come from a family of cryers.

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I can still hear my mother say after crying "I haven't had a good cry for long time. That was wonderful!" You would think she had just devoured a chocolate brownie!

I cry easily about a lot of different things. And when something strikes me really hard, like a remembered sorrow, I sometimes can't stop crying for a long time. But oh the relief! The burden purged. The sorrow expressed. The tears leave their tranquilizing magic over my body and I sense a wonderful cleansing from the release of so much emotion.

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Travelling Strategies for my Bipolar Brain

Travelling strategies! Everyone can benefit whether mental illness is part of the situation or not. If you're not stressed when you leave, many are stressed by the time they arrive. 

travelling strategiiesThe first time I discovered that there was a better way for me to travel was in the year 2000. My husband and two of my step children made the trip from Ontario to Florida in a minivan. My husband and 16 year old son shared the front seat and navigated and enjoyed each other's company. My 14 year old stepdaughter took the middle seat (this was when minivans had bench seats), made herself a nest and read and listened to music all the way. I took that rear seat, also a bench and spent much of the trip lying down (which spared my back), reading and listening to music. As long as I had my headphones on, no one bothered me. Oh there were still a lot of things about the trip that were challenging for this bipolar introvert, but at least the car time was as free of stress as I had ever experienced. For the first time I discovered 'travelling strategies', ways that I could alter travelling to minimize stress.

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Strategies: Mine are working, are yours?

'Strategies for Travelling' might be a better title for this post.

 

When I was growing up in the 1950's my favourite TV show was 'The Roy Rogers Show'. At the shows end it showed Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans, riding their horses off into the hills and singing 'Happy Trails to You'. I remember I sometimes watched it with my little friend Bobby and we would straddle the back of the couch like it was our horse and pretend we were Roy Rogers and Dale Evans as we sang along

The expression 'happy trails' or 'bon voyage indicate to me that there is something good about taking a trip. Not for me!

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Congratulations! You Made It Through Another Year! Hooray!

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Taking Control of Christmas Chaos

This past year I had good days and bad days. I know everyone has their ups and downs, not just people with bipolar disorder. But if you have any kind of mental illness, those bad days can feel insurmountable. Those bad days cloud over all of the good days. There were several times this year when I felt like giving up. There were moments when I thought 'how have I managed for so long with these awful thoughts, these feelings of hopelessness? Why do I have to live a life where I am weak half of the time as I would be if I had the flu?' But I managed! I survived! Some days I even thrived.

But I will avoid making any New Year's Resolutions. Why? In order to make resolutions I would have to analyze what I have not done well this year so that I could resolve to do better. And I don't want to remember that stuff. I want to hang onto the successes.

WARNING! DON'T MAKE NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS!

Give yourself a pat on the back instead!

This entire series on 'Taking Control of Christmas Chaos' won't be complete without getting you over the New Year's hump.

Making a list of New Years resolutions can just make you more depressed. That kind of list points out the parts of your life that you're doing wrong. You don't need to dwell on that, especially during your weakened post-Christmas condition. You are delicate. You need to be kind.

So here's an alternative plan. Make a list of successes for this past year. If you think hard enough you can find something. It doesn't matter how small it is.

Here's my list:

1. I survived.

2. I kept taking my medication even though it really doesn't seem to help much.

3. I'm still on speaking terms with everyone I know.

4. I survived supporting my husband through four surgeries, several trips to the big city, and compromised eyesight while he recovered.

5. I survived doing all of his jobs as well as mine. (Truthfully, I fell apart several times along the way, but I survived!)

6. I managed to craft a blog post every week.

7. I continued to search new ways to cope with this insidious bipolar disorder. I did not lose hope.

8. I adhered as much as possible to my coping strategies of walking, solitude, writing, quilting, reading and drawing.

If I made a list of my perceived areas of failure, it would be a much longer  and depressing list.

If I listed the ways I could improve on my failures, I would become exhausted and depressed.

If I listed the number of times I lost hope, I would lose more hope.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Are you ready to make that list of your successes? Try it, it may not be as hard as you think.

I am so glad you stopped by Depression Getaway today. There is hope for depression. Don't give up, I'm praying for you.

Dare I say "Happy New Year"? Why not!

"Happy New Year!"

Wendy Love

Be the Parent, not the Step-Parent, to your own Depression Management

This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Treat Yourself to Success

seatbelt

Step-parenting is a tricky business. You are NOT the 'real parent'. You do NOT enjoy the same privileges or shoulder the same responsibilities as 'the real parent'. 'Step' means just that, you are a step away, a step down, a step apart from being the 'real parent'. 

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Soaking in Success, Starting with Success

This entry is part 1 of 4 in the series Treat Yourself to Success

 

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As an elementary school teacher, I was determined that children would achieve success whether they were the smartest kid in the class or not. Whether that success was just managing to get out a notebook and a pencil and write the date, or memorize a long scripture passage, success was the goal and I made sure that I structured lessons so everyone could experience a degree of success.

A teaching method I hated was a lesson that started out with a hard question such as, "Who can name the sixth prime minister of Canada?" Clearly the lesson was going to be about that prime minister. But I wanted to yell out to the teacher, "You do, you idiot! You know that name and you are supposed to teach it to us, so teach already!" That kind of lesson began with failure for a kid like me.

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‘Gentle on my Mind’ is my ‘Bridge over Troubled Water’

glenn

I remember it like it was yesterday. My happy childhood was lived out in a beautiful neighbourhood near the Scarborough Bluffs in Toronto, Ontario. I had a cozy home and a family who loved me. I worked hard and helped around the house but other than that I was an indulged kid with a privileged life. My time was my own and I spent a lot of my teen years lying on the floor in front of the 'hi-fi' listening to Glenn Campbell over and over and over. I had such a crush on him and loved his singing and his songs. 'Gentle on my Mind' was one of my favourites and a big hit way back then.

I was thinking about that song today, especially that title, as I was considering, as usual, how to manage this old depression.

'Gentle on my Mind' (lyrics) got me thinking about how we all need to be gentle on our minds, whether we are dealing with depression or not. We need to think thoughts that are gentle, not harsh. This does not come naturally, especially when you are depressed. I've always wondered what comes first, the negative thinking or the depressive mood? No matter, they sure happen at the same time!

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‘Worried Wanda’, the sneakiest ‘Depression Go-Away’

This entry is part 5 of 8 in the series The "Depression Go-Aways"

WorriedWandaNo introduction is necessary for ‘Worried Wanda’. Why you don’t even have to be depressed to know about worry. Everyone worries, right?

Yes, everyone worries. That is why I say that ‘Worried Wanda’ is the ‘sneakiest ‘Depression Go-Away’. She seems normal. But for those struggling with depression she is more than normal. She is a serious symptom to be dealt with.

Why? Because there is a difference between everyday worry and depression worry.

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How to tell the Difference between Rational Thoughts and Irrational Thoughts

This entry is part 4 of 8 in the series The "Depression Go-Aways"

confidentconnie

'Irrational Irene', do you know her? Is she you? Sometimes? Often? Seldom?

Why have I chosen this smiling positive face for 'Irrational Irene'?

Because, if you have a mental disorder, and you are being irrational, you usually don't know you are irrational at all. You may believe at that moment you are more rational than you have ever been in your life. You are often confident and forthright like this image of 'Irrational Irene'. Do you understand what I am saying?

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How Dangerous is ‘Manic Matthew’?

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series The "Depression Go-Aways"
MANIC MATTHEW

MANIC MATTHEW

I know this fellow looks carefree but he is actually ‘manic’. He is one of my ‘Depression Go-Aways’ cast of characters. I call him Manic Matthew.

‘Manic’ can present itself in many ways. ‘Manic’ is the other side of the mental disorder called ‘Bipolar Disorder’. Bipolar is a form of depression which shares the same symptoms as other forms of depression. It also has a flip side to the depressive side and that is ‘manic’.

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