Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ladder of Hope

Day 33 of 365 Tiny Changes

Some days, I wander for hours, trying to come up with a topic to write about.  That’s the one thing I didn’t think about when I committed to writing a blog entry every day for 365 days.  I never considered that I might have to hunt for a topic.

Sometimes I find the topic in an e-mail, or a Facebook posting.  Sometimes I find it in the grocery store, or a book.  Today, I found my topic in a text message.

I have a very dear friend who has a daughter who is battling deep depression.  He texted me about a recent incident with her.  I offered my support.  What more could I do in a text message?

Text messages don’t give me the room to elaborate, but blogs sure do.  I wanted to tell him, that man, he sure came to the right person for understanding and support.  I wanted to tell him that I had been right where his daughter is, in spades.  I wanted to tell him that there is only so much he can do, because the cure to depression is choice, her choice.

Yeah, yeah, there is clinical depression, depression caused by unbalanced hormones and on and on.  That’s where doctors and medications come in.  But, if that were the whole answer, why would people on anti-depression meds still be depressed?  I totally believe that the majority of depressed people are depressed because they haven’t decided they don’t want to be.

I know where of I speak.   I’m 50 years old.  I have been unemployed for the last 18 months.  I have a total of $500 in stock to my name, no cash.  I own a home that is unlivable, due to the state of it’s rehab.  I owe roughly $75,000 to a multitude of debtors.  I have one adult kid who can’t find a full time job, and is living with me.  I have another adult kid who lives in South America and barely speaks to me.  I have enough unfinished projects to out live me by 50 years.

If you were to just read the facts of my current life, you would offer to load the gun for me, so that I can put myself out of my own misery.

In the late 90’s I was overwhelmed and under supported.  I had, what I felt, were huge demands being made of me, and I was failing, miserably at meeting them.  This failure was being pointed out to me from every direction, by my boss, my boyfriend, and my kids, and anyone else who could get a word in edge wise.  I became depressed.  Extremely depressed.  I became so depressed, that I attempted suicide.  Not once, not twice, but 3 times.  They were pretty lame attempts, obviously, because I’m still here.

The third attempt was the turning point.  When I woke up the morning after, I remember thinking, “What the hell!  If I can’t get on with death, I might as well get on with life.”  So I did.

I began making significant changes in my attitude.  I began setting boundaries.  I began saying “Fuck you!” a lot more.  I started finding friends again.  I set positive goals for myself, that were based on what I wanted, not what any one else wanted.  In other words, I began to take my life back.

I discovered that my depression stemmed from anger.  Anger at a lot of other people for taking advantage of my weaknesses, but mostly anger at myself for not holding true to my own values and the person I wanted to be.

For me, not leading an authentic life, almost lead to the end of it.

In my opinion one of the best cures to any ailment, is to get out there.  Get out there in the world, with open eyes, and really see what your looking at.  We are surrounded by miracles. 

Just think about the building you’re sitting in.  If you really think about all of the thoughts and the processes that went into creating it, you would agree that it is a wonder.  Every part of the building, every little nut, every little nail, had to be created by someone, somewhere, some time.  The same with the car you drive, and the hand held device you use every day.  Almost everything you touch, all day, every day, is a miracle of thoughts coming to fruition.

Go outside, nature is a gift from God.  Enough said on that one.

See the people you pass each day.  Really see them.  They are here for you to interact with, to give to and to get from.  Even if it’s only a head nod that says, “Yes, I acknowledge your existence.” 

We are all here for a purpose.  Depression, drives us off our path and into a deep black hole, of our own making.  We are mistaken if we think we can’t climb our way out.  The ladder we need is built by our own outward focused thoughts and actions, one rung at a time.

Try it.  Give a $5 bill to a homeless person and watch their face light up, and then pay attention to the feeling you get.  Rung one is in place.  Buy a box of cookies, and take them to the elderly neighbor next door, and ask if she would like to share them over a cup of tea and a little chat.  Watch how excited she gets, just to have your company, and then pay attention to the feeling you get.  Rung 2 is in place.  Do what ever it takes to build as many rungs as you need to get back on your path to a purposeful existence.

If you’re depressed because the old purpose is no longer in existence, due to job loss, divorce, death, then find another one.  When one purpose is fulfilled, and yes if your purpose no longer exists it’s because you have fulfilled your part in it, choose another one. 

There are purposes galore for you to embrace.  If you’re not sure what your specific purpose in life is, pick one, any one, and try it on for a while.  It just may lead you to the exact place you are supposed to be with your custom fit purpose waiting for you.

Get over yourself!  Get up!  Get moving!  Get out there!  The world needs you and your gifts, desperately.  You just may be the rung on someone’s ladder of hope.  How can you just sit there, knowing someone else needs you?  Yes, YOU!

Tiny Change 33:  Call my shut in sister, 3-4 times a week for a chat.

How have you battled your emotionally low times? 

Best Regards,


Tiny Blessing of the Day:  I am blessed to be able to share my gifts with those I love.

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