Tag Archives: depression and cancer

Bounce

I don’t do things halfway and when I go low, I go low. Take no prisoners, lethal sort of low.

My face couldn’t couldn’t get out of the way soon enough and so I made a minor mess of it. If you’ve never picked your skin you wouldn’t understand, but if you have, you know. Damned if you do, but in some sick way, self damage is an amazing way to relieve stress. However, just like alcohol, it tends to make things worse the following day.

That said, my mood is on the upswing. Sometimes when you hit bottom you bounce. I plan to take that momentum to propel me forward into some healthier activities. Writing (I’m on a roll), working on my health insurance, going to the gym and yes, painting.

It’s been a long time since I’ve held a brush but my easel beckons. And getting my art on might just be the perfect antidote to much of what ails me.

That, and the always amazing outpouring of love and support that a post brings–both here and on Facebook. Thank you. Know that every message goes straight to my heart in the best of all ways and that as alone as I feel at times, I’m really not. Because I’ve got all of you. ❤

Deepest Indigo

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Depression is having its way with me.

Yesterday I took myself to Five Guys for lunch. A small cheeseburger, fries and a chocolate malted. Not so bad, as I am working out again.

But then dinner rolled around and so did my gloom, just like a bank of fog. I started with a glass of white wine (that bottle was staring at me so I just decided to kill it). Some black licorice. Five olives. A beer and a banana. Cereal with goat milk kefir and frozen blueberries. My repast all over the place, just like my mood.

I feel as if my schtick is strength and positivity. For the curriculum vitae I am putting together I have Adversity Expert as one of my skills (given my lack of actual substance, I am taking some creative license with my CV). And honestly, I feel as if I am letting some of you down by so openly sharing my current depression.

However, in the name of keeping things real, this is part of it. Any one of the stressors in my life (emotional, financial, physical) is enormous and when you add them all together, it is, on a good day, extremely challenging. And on the bad days–overwhelming.

What I am describing is OTSD–ongoing traumatic stress disorder.

Yes, I am unusually resilient. However, almost thirteen and 1/2 years of dealing with this shit has taken its toll. Last night I managed to waken myself from a nightmare because (and I distinctly recall saying this to myself) ‘I don’t want to see where this is going.’

If only it were so easy to walk away while awake.

So please bear with me as I move through this tough place. As my Granny B was fond of saying, ‘this too shall pass.’ And so it shall.

The birds are back

A week ago I noticed the robins. In the days since: a bard owl, vultures, pheobes, juncos, flickers, wild turkey, and red wing blackbirds. With the return of the migratory birds, spring can’t be far behind.

The glacier that was once our backyard is slowly receding as well. It has been raining and the season’s first thunderstorm was followed by a bit of hail. As I traipse through the woods  the earth is boggy beneath my feet.

What I really long for is sunshine. Not only has the weather been gloomy as of late, so have I. It is not a state of mind that I find acceptable for very long.


This past weekend I spoke briefly at a conference for cancer survivors. There was a question and answer period and someone wondered how I deal with depression. I explained that the first thing I see when I wake is the framed word Gift; a reminder that each day is precious.

Of course, that awareness isn’t always enough. When my kids were younger and in a state of distress, I found distraction and diversion to be the best tactics. That is, unless I too was at wits end, in which case my response might be far less constructive.

A simple change of scenery can nudge me out of a funk sometimes as well.  Perhaps a few minutes laying on the floor with Buddy (dog pile), going out into the woods with my camera, trolling at a thrift store or immersing myself in a good book.

I just read The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. It is an autobiography by Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was the editor of French Elle. At the age of 44 he suffered a major stroke, during which he was deprived of almost all bodily function, a state referred to as locked in syndrome. It is a slim volume, which Bauby dictated by blinking his eye to indicate each letter; an unbelievably painstaking process.

Situational diversion was no longer an option for him, and he recreated his own world within his head. His recounting is simply amazing.

For me as well,  distraction is occasionally cerebral. Recently my oldest son, August, was in the midst of a personal crisis. Although we spoke often on the phone, I really wanted to actually be there for him. As I lay in bed at night, I replayed memories from the moment of his birth, as if by doing so I could hold him close.

When feeling sad, sometimes it is forgetfulness that I seek. That is, of course, only a temporary solution. Ultimately I must return to mindfulness, and embrace the here and now. Even when it hurts.