Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Get Moving

FINALS ARE OVER!! Praise the Lord!

So, sorry it's been awhile since I posted. Clearly I've been busy with finals, interviews, work, etc. But, I'm back now, and I have some interesting thoughts for you.

A dear friend of mine made a big life decision recently, and it has turned out really well for him. So, I told him  I was happy for him. He responded with, "Thanks. Now, I want to be able to tell you that I'm happy for you by this time next year, if not before."

What a challenge. Then, he asked me what I wanted. Strange how someone asking what you want and challenging you to change your life for the better makes things crystal clear. I know what I want. I haven't yet discovered how to get there. But it's still a step.

What practical steps can you take to make yourself healthier? What's keeping you from it?

Leave me comments or click here to email me. Ask advice, leave comments, whatever you need!

Love y'all!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

When it all Falls Apart

It seems like when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong. Has that ever happened to you?

It seems inevitable that we will all experience periods of time when everything just seems to go wrong. The real question is how we choose to deal with it. Personally, I find that I need to to deal with each thing separately, even if they happen all at once. Some would argue that this is unhealthy, that blocking out the second catastrophe in order to deal with the first. Perhaps they're right. But it's the only way I've found to keep from spiraling into deeper depression and injuring myself in such circumstances.

How do you cope when life collapses on you? Leave a comment or click here to shoot me an email at

Don't Touch the Apple

"It's one thing to not want something; it's another to be told you can't have it." 
- How I Met Your Mother, Season 7, Episode 12

Have you ever experienced this harsh reality? I have. I didn't want kids until I had to have a hysterectomy. Now, I really really want them. I didn't really want to go to my friends' parties or go dancing and such until I discovered that I have a husband is just pretty much never going to want to do those things. Now, it's my definition of fun.

What is it about those things we're told we can't have that makes them all the more enticing? Some people have told me that my desires for kids and socializing purely because I can't have them is a result of the Fall (of humankind, Adam & Eve, etc.). Not true. See, Adam and Eve were told not to eat the apple. They did. This is BEFORE the Fall, okay. There is simply something intrinsically interesting in what we can't have. I can't explain it. I can only say this: when you want something you've been told you can't have, slow down and take some time to make that decision. You can also try to find substitutes that might tide you over until the craving passes (just never try to substitute anything for chocolate - it's not worth it). For example, instead of rushing into adopting a baby, I got another kitten, who insists on waking me up periodically throughout the night, is extremely talkative, and chews on/eats everything in sight. In retrospect, a baby might have been the better choice there...

Wanting what I can't have also contributes greatly to my depression, self-injury, and suicidal tendencies. When I get wrapped up in mourning the one that got away, the babies I'll never have and hold, the farm I'll never have, and the husband's love I'm not likely to have, I begin to unravel. Those are times when I tend to self-injure in some way, whether visible or not, and often consider suicide. So, I haven't figured out how yet, but these are things I now know that I must not think about. For now, my temporary coping mechanism is to recite to myself all the bad things having that thing would/could bring. It's certainly not a permanent fix, and it may not even be truly healthy, but it keeps me safe for now.

What do you want that you can't have? How do you cope? Does it contribute to your health and safety issues? Comment here or shoot me an email at

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Too Much of a Good Thing

I made fruit salsa this weekend for dessert for a lunch with friends. It is amazing. But, as I found out the hard way, eat too much, and you'll feel sick. There are lots of things in our life that are this way. Listen to a song too many times, and you'll find yourself annoyed by it. Watch episodes of the same TV show for too long, and you'll probably get tired of it. Play the same game too many times in a row, and you'll need a break.

What other things do you find yourself getting tired of if they occur too often? Please leave ideas in the comments or click here to email me.

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Power of Repetition

As I've been jotting down some of my thoughts for my therapist this week, it has occurred to me that the thoughts that repeat themselves over and over are probably the ones worth paying attention to. After all, we all know the power of repetition. We repeat words to take oaths, to get married, and to learn. I will never ever forget the Spanish phrase, "Repitan, por favor," which means "repeat, please," even if I forget all of the other Spanish I ever learned. Why? Because I heard it so often. It was repeated.

Now, some of my repeated thoughts are just ridiculous, and I haven't recorded all of them because, well, I think my therapist currently believes me to be generally sane. ;-) For example, every time I think about recording my thoughts, I think "monkey monkey underpants," which is a line from Gilmore Girls. Which may well qualify me for in-depth psychiatric care...

Anyway, I'm also learning that what my parents always said growing up is true: "Be careful what you watch and listen to. It becomes what you think." Yes, yes, it does. This morning, I woke up with a line from a song repeating in my head, "Even angels have their wicked schemes, and you take that to new extremes. Just gonna stand there and watch me burn?" I'm not really sure if this is a bad thing to have repeating in my head just yet, but the point is that the things you watch and listen to do, in fact, find their way into your thoughts. So, consume with caution.

Finally, on a more serious note, I've begun to notice that I frequently record some variation of, "I'm a horrible person" in my thoughts log. However, that thought isn't the one that concerns me. I'm more concerned with what thoughts or events lead up to that repeated thought. See, if I can figure out what prompts the negative repeated thoughts, maybe I can stop them. Maybe that's the first key step in healing.

I encourage you to give this exercise a try. And be patient it takes awhile to get used to recording your own thoughts. If you want to heal, you most likely need to get in touch with your thoughts, too. Let me know how it goes for you. And, as always, click to shoot me an email!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Hard Decisions

Hi, y'all!

Sorry I've been less consistent in posting here. While I love you all and enjoy writing to you, I've also made some time for me to spend time with my non-digital friends lately. I encourage you to do the same. I'm not sure there's anything better for my depression than spending time with people I genuinely love.

Today was therapy day (still working on saying that without being embarrassed - and there's no need to be - therapy is helpful sometimes!). Last week, my therapist and I embarked on a journey towards learning to love myself, but biblically, not in the way our self-obsessed society encourages you to love yourself.

This week, we addressed tough decisions. We've all made them (or avoided them): what major to choose, which college to attend, which job to take, how much to spend on an apartment, whether or not to remove yourself from someone's life, etc. What tough decisions do you face right now?

I'd like to encourage you to consider what your hardest decisions really are, though. I've spent the last year believing that the hardest decision I was facing was what to do about my marriage. However, my therapist has aided me in discovering that the real hard decision I currently face is deciding to care for myself and figuring out how to do so. I suspect that many of you face that same tough decision. So, how do you care for yourself while still keeping the biblical principle of loving your neighbors as yourself? I certainly don't have the definitive answers, but here are some ideas that I hope will help you:

  • "Take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:5) - I'm starting this process by writing down my thoughts periodically so that I can objectively examine them as data later. The reasoning behind this activity is that my thoughts of self-harm are most likely triggered by other thoughts. If I can identify those thoughts, perhaps I can get ahead of them and keep myself safe.

  • Make time for your safe social network. In other words, those friends you would trust with your life, who you know are not going to cross any lines, those are the people you need to make time for. Go have fun. Spend some time away from the physical manifestations of your problems, whatever they may be.

  • Objectively evaluate what the people in your life who are not meeting your needs or expectations can do about that. There will be some things they simply can't give to you. Figure out how you can fill in those gaps yourself or find someone in your safe social network who can fill those gaps. It does you no good to continue to expect someone to do things they are simply incapable of doing.

  • Be honest about what you need, as well as what you can provide in your relationships. If you can have realistic expectations from the start, many relationship issues can be avoided.