Numbness–MIND KEY

It was a few years into depression that I really began to recognize that I was numb.

Being numb is an interesting place to be.  I have always been a religious person.  I have always had a relationship with my Higher Power.  So when this waned, I was confused–at best.  I wondered if I had done something wrong.  I will never forget days and months and years of feeling little to no emotion.  It really felt like the heavens were closed to me.  I continued to trudge forward…because I had faith in my God.  But I had no idea how all of this was going to turn out; I had no idea at the time if this depression was truly a permanent part of my mortal experience; I had no idea how deep and dark it was really going to get.  I didn’t cry anymore and I didn’t feel truly happy.  I moved through life trying to feel the genuine emotions that come from struggle and pain, happiness and joy.  The lack caused so much guilt and frustration.

But I felt alone.  So alone.  In a world swimming with people, with friends and loved ones who would have succored me had I let them in, I was alone.  There were days when I felt abandoned by God.  I did not understand it.  I thought I was doing everything I should to feel Him.

I did not think that anything could change.  There were periods where I felt okay.  There were glimpses of God’s love; there were moments when I knew He was aware.  There were times when I felt inspiration in my stewardship as a mother and as I reached out in my neighborhood.  But I went a very long time subconsciously believing I had done something wrong and that was why I felt little of heaven’s power in my life.

As I have unlocked depression in my own life, I realize that these feelings are a part of the illness; they are NOT an indication of misdeed.  If I cut my finger and it bleeds, the blood is not an indication of a misdeed.

Numbness.  It’s real.  It’s a casualty of depression.  But it does not need to stay.  The numbness began to break as I began to get to the root of the depression.  It was like the sun began to shine again.  It had been years of bondage.  Coming out of it made me feel like a butterfly emerging out of a cocoon!  If you are feeling numb, hang on.  You’re fighting for something much greater…something that you CAN overcome.  I know because it happened to me and I’m watching it happen to many around me.

Hang on.  Don’t give up.  Keep trusting in your Higher Power, whoever that is.  Do not allow the numbness to overtake you and convince you that you are unlovable.  Do just ONE thing today that tells your brain that you are more powerful than the numbness–get dressed, walk around the block, listen to an uplifting song, smile, read in a good book, find one KEY on this blog and do it…

You do have a choice.  Choose movement…It matters!

Medication?? A gateway?? BRAIN KEY

I will forever be grateful that in the year 2000 when I went to my doctor and said, “I have so much to be grateful for but I feel so alone, so sad, so angry, so lost…” that he suggested that I might have clinical depression.  I am grateful that he saw the signs and suggested an anti-depressant.  I will be forever grateful that this medication helped me to get to a point of feeling “level,” of being able to carry on with life in such a way that most people had no idea I was dealing with depression.  Side effects aside, medication enabled me to get to the point where I could look into the possibility of there being a different answer–even though it would be years before this came about.

Now that it is 15 years later, do I wish I had never taken the medication?  That is a difficult question to answer.  In my mentoring with those who struggle with depression, I never tell them to go off their medication.  Medication can truly be a gateway to begin thinking more rationally or even more logically.  It can be a gateway to looking at life from a more balanced perspective.  It can provide the avenue to find lasting healing.  Medication was this gateway for me.

The goal of my mentoring is to help people–with or without depression–to identify the answers in their own life that move them to a place of peace and balance.  I highly recommend a combination of talk therapy (through a mentor or a psychologist) and medication when needed.

I really like how Decker and Chatlin put it:  “Many psychiatrists treat severe depression with medication because they have found that the medication takes some of the ‘edge’ from the sufferer’s anguish.  Medication may be necessary to restore sufficient bodily and cognitive ability so that the depressed person has enough energy to change the thinking errors which accompany the illness.” (Reaching for Hope: An LDS Perspective on Recovering from Depression. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft, 2000. Print.)

So whether or not you choose medication, please recognize that it has its place.  It matters!

Blind Devotion–MIND KEY

Today I post a video that brought me to tears…tears of gratitude for the man at my side who did not give up on me, who believed in me even when the gut-wrenching days of depression did not.

Perhaps you are not married.  Maybe you are and your marriage is in shambles.  Maybe you are and your spouse does not understand.  Maybe you’re divorced.  Maybe you are a teenager.  Maybe you feel no devotion from anyone.  Whoever you are, whether or not you have the devotion of someone in your life like this video depicts, I invite you to believe me when I say that God above has this kind of devotion for you.  He is orchestrating people into your life to help you.  There will come a day when you will feel the devotion depicted in this video.  Will you accept it?

Please just plant a seed of desire.  It matters!

Peace — A KEY

Whether or not you struggle with depression, this book is an incredible look into how we can have peace when war is raging all around us–war at home, in our marriages, in our parenting, in our relationships.

Please join me for a great conversation!

Today’s Challenge–MIND KEY

I am trying to honor impressions I get about the posts I should write.  And so I share the following as it is happening in real time, right now, today.

I have just been reminded of the importance of understanding that challenges are truly a part of our mortal experience.  It is what we think and do as a result of these challenges that makes the difference for us.

I woke up this morning feeling extremely irritable.  It was compounded when an interaction I had showed that I would need to have a difficult discussion today with this person.  I wanted to close off, to ignore it, or to go to the other extreme and unload my frustrations on this person.

I went to my exercise class.  With thoughts swirling around in my mind, I knew what I needed to do the second I got home.  I needed to write and burn, to weed and feed.  I have practiced this key for    3 1/2 years now.  I know how it works.  I’ve seen miracles in me as a result of it.  I’ve witnessed hearts be softened because I was at peace during difficult conversations.  And so I committed to do it.

And now I am writing this.  The idea came to take pictures of the process, so here they are.  I know that the voices are telling you you don’t have time to do this or it won’t work or it won’t help.  I invite you to try it anyway.  Create a space where tough conversations can happen without attendant negative emotions and energy.

The final part (the feeding) is the declarations that I just created to fill in the void created by releasing toxic negativity:  
I create a conversation with ___________ that is peaceful.  
We discuss a difficult subject with honor and respect.
I honor their choice to accept or reject what I offer.

IT MATTERS!

The Truth Experiment – MIND KEY

“Your beliefs act like filters on a camera, changing how you see the world.  And your biology adapts to those beliefs.  When we truly recognize that our beliefs are that powerful, we hold the key to freedom.  While we cannot readily change the codes of our genetic blueprints, we can change our minds and, in the process, switch the blueprints used to express our genetic potential.” (Dr. Bruce Lipton, The Biology of Belief)

For years and years I held the belief that depression was something that was not going to go away.  I reiterate this point again to illustrate where my thinking used to be.  When I made a shift and began to think that maybe, just maybe, there was another answer than depression for the rest of my life, I had some powerfully strong experiences that really made me question the idea that there was another answer.  There were many times when I just wanted to give up, to give in.  But something in me has incredible fight.

Perhaps you don’t feel this.  Perhaps you feel no hope.  Perhaps you believe that there is absolutely no way out of your depression or anxiety.  It’s okay.  Will you just seek for a desire to be free?

I have learned that our positive and negative beliefs affect every aspect of our lives–social, spiritual, temporal, and physical.  And so I share a key tool to help you find out about YOU–to find YOUR truth.  I call it The Truth Experiment.

Take a piece of paper and make two columns.  For the next week, take 60 seconds each day and write down all of the negative phrases that come into your mind about who you are or what you want to accomplish.  In the column parallel to the negative thoughts, turn the phrase around–write its opposite–along with one other positive thing.

The first time I did this, this is what my list looked like:

The Voices                                                                 
I am tired and I am loosing steam.              
No one wants to hear my story.                    
You should not deliver your message.        
Your mind is too mushy to learn.                
You can’t change.                                          
It is so overwhelming to be a mother.          

The Truth
I am vibrant and I enough energy to do what is important to me.
Thousands of people want to hear and you are great!
You should deliver your message and it will help many.
Your mind is alert, attentive, and you can learn much!
You are changing and it feels great!
Being a mother brings vitality to your life. Your children are anchors for you.

Depression FEEDS on negativity.  I know just how incredibly negative the voices can get.  I invite you to choose to have a desire to be the one in charge of your thinking…and try the experiment!

It matters!