wh atma y me an s2 m3

Being mentally ill with depression means that people may not always get me. I’ve come to accept that.

I’ve also come to accept that it’s okay.

A lot of the times I don’t even get myself.

A.

Lot.

I guess “understand” would be a more accurate word.

It’s like trying to explain to somebody what May means to me, except it comes out sounding like this post’s title looks.

They may never understand what it feels like. And I’m happy that they never will. I would wish this on no one.

There’s so many things I’ve never understood about myself for years, and have only begun to within the past 5-10 years of my life.

A list of un-understandables in my life has been:

I don’t understand why I feel sluggish all the time. 

I don’t understand why laughing feels so forced.

I don’t understand why I want to be alone all the time.

I don’t understand why I don’t want to do things.

I don’t understand why I am always so tired.

I don’t understand why I see grey when it’s brightly sunny outside.

I don’t understand why at 42, I can still sleep until 1:30 on a Saturday afternoon.

I don’t understand why I set my alarm for 5:00 am and hit it until 6:00. 

I don’t understand why I think of suicide

I don’t understand why I pray to God to take me home in my sleep.

Over the years I have come to understand why though.

Depression.

A severe, deep-seated depression.

My Specter.

Picture 5

[SOURCE: https://indisposedandundiagnosed.wordpress.com/2015/06/10/this-is-what-chronic-illness-looks-like/comment-page-1/#comment-1817]

NOTE: This image is the original idea of Cass and her site at the above link. Check it out and give it a Like!


So for me, the new significance of May is about raising awareness of mental health. And in my case, severe depression and suicide. It’s about taking a chance, stepping out on a scary ledge, and talking about my mental condition to others.

Lessons Learned: Some Things I’ve Learned from My Depression

I would hope that you would take these things and hold them in your heart. Don’t forget them. Remind yourself of them. And learn from your mental condition.

A list of understandables in my life is:

  1. I have a condition, not an illness. I am not sub-human. I am not sick. I am an extraordinarily strong person because I survive through things other people can’t imagine having to deal with. I live my life a little differently than others because I live with affliction.
  2. I am perfectly imperfect, and that’s perfectly okay. I’ve learned to forgive myself and accept myself. I have a hard time believing the phrase, “I don’t let my mental condition define who I am.” I know what people mean, but I think in the end, depression has set some life parameters that I have to (or choose to) live by. If I don’t abide by those…rules, I start to hear Specter’s rusty cage hinges creak and I feel him scratching on the walls of my soul.
  3. What I feel is valid. I am not crazy. I may be a little broken. You may be a little bruised. But don’t you dare let anyone tell you you’re crazy. Don’t you dare let them make you feel that way. You. Are. Not. Crazy. Real talk.
  4. Only I will take care of myself. I must take my meds. Daily. I must eat healthy. I must exercise. Meh. I’m working on the last two. Have
  5. Strive to be empathetic and kind. You know why. You have struggles other people don’t know about. So do others. I remember a time my Lexapro had run out and I couldn’t afford a refill. I had been off it for about four days and I could feel the dizziness set in from withdrawals. Then the bottom fell out. Specter’s claws were dug so deep into my shoulders I could feel them carving at the bones. Someone put their hand on my shoulder and sat with me. I was in tears. I was choking my words out in a dark chair in a dim corner. He made a call to get me my medicine. That’s why.
  6. Be a servant when you can. Help others when they’re down. People have helped me when I’ve not deserved it. Free of charge. Pay it forward.
  7. Exude grace. Strive to give others the benefit of the doubt.
  8. Have grace on yourself. Learn to accept grace yourself. Be gentle on yourself. We beat ourselves up so much each day. Allow yourself forgiveness. See #2.
  9. People do understand – surround yourself with those people. There may not be too many. But you know what? That’s just about the right number anyways. Find your devout warrior supporters and cling to them. Share yourself with them. Open yourself up to them. It is empowering. It is healing.
  10. My God loves me. Me and God. Ahh, yes. For such a lifetime I’ve bashed myself for not measuring up. Engorging bucket fulls of self criticism, guilt, and shame for never feeling like I measured up. Never earning my dad’s approval, or my Father’s. All. Those. Years. And I got it wrong. His scars are enough to cover my soul. His Grace is the way to my healing. His forgiveness is the magnetic north to my moral compass. SOso many times I fail. Flat on my face. He’s always there to pick me up and hug me with a gentle, warm smile.

Now…Let’s take back our lives and make this our new fight song! This one’s for you Niki.

“Cry Thunder”

Time after time as we march side by side
Through the valleys of evil and the torturing souls,
Night after night, for the glory we fight,
In the kingdom of madness and the tales from the old

Death by our hands, for the higher command,
As the darkness surrounds us hear the cries as they fall
Fire burning steel and the tyrants will kneel
Hearts burning stronger with the power of the sword

Set sail for the glory,
Pray for the master of war (pray for the master of war)
Sunlight will fall by the wastelands,
Endless rise for the heroes before

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Reckoning day, for the demons we slay,
With the force of a dragon we will conquer them all!
Chaos still reigns devastation and flames
For the ultimate glory when the legacy calls

March on
Through the hellfire
Blazing for the darkness beyond (blazing for the darkness beyond)
Nightmare return of the thousands
Giving rise to the heroes once more

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

[Solos]

Unholy darkness,
In the eyes of broken dreams,
Outside of the wasted and torn,
A land of tears still remains
Soldiers of destiny calling,
And the fallen will rise up again,
Conquer the forces of evil and fight to the end

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Titans of justice, fearless we stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Saviour of nations, freedom of man

Cry thunder!
Sword in his hand,
Warriors defending,
One final stand
Cry thunder!
Strong in command,
Blessed by the union, freedom of man

Blessed by the union of man
Cry thunder!
Yeah yeah

We are thrilled to introduce our newest member, Chris from Surviving the Specter

Surviving the Specter is a fighter.
Surviving the Specter is a fighter.

Survivors Blog Here is breaking out our best disco moves. Daniel has his well-worn Saturday Night Fever white suit, to match his personality, shirt buttoned to the top. He can’t get down like Travolta for fear of splitting his pants. The team is offering support for Daniel to “do the splits” Robert looks quite distinguished in his white suit and the splits, no problem. Why you ask? We’re excited to announce Chris from Surviving the Spector www.survivingthespecter.wp.com has joined our team. He is honest, funny, raw and leaves you waiting for next post.

Chris’s talent includes poetry, humor and writing. His site is laid out nicely, topics are easy to find. Chris has recently reconnected with his faith. He’s challenged everyday to leave negative feelings behind to move forward with a positive attitude.

Chris blogs to share and offer support. Comments provide important feedback the good, bad and ugly.

Welcome from the Survivors Blog Here team!

www.survivorsbloghere.wp.com

🙂 M

 

Heroes of Annihilated Empires

That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance. ― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Each person a collected marble every memory of them a tumbled stone like heroes of annihilated empires
Each person a collected marble, every memory of them a tumbled stone like heroes of annihilated empires.  Randstein

He sat silent at the table, his coffee hot and bitter.  He looked up to collect his runaway thoughts then continued to read an old book.  Around him life moved near light speed in tweets to Twitter.  Facebook connected ten thousand souls to only ten distracted minds that milled around in half-dazed skulls.  Next to him sat a woman. He knew in her day she was someone else’s love. Her hair was near solid gray, well dressed in blue, white, and spotless shoes.  She read a book he once read, perhaps thirty years ago. Continue reading “Heroes of Annihilated Empires”

We’ve Been Liebstered!

“We are sun and moon, dear friend; we are sea and land. It is not our purpose to become each other; it is to recognize each other, to learn to see the other and honor him for what he is: each the other’s opposite and complement.”
― Hermann Hesse, Narcissus and Goldmund

liebster award
We’ve been Liebstered!

We recently received our first award here at Survivors Blog Here from Rob Goldstein. Rob’s blog,  Art by Rob Goldstein, is a collection of writing, poetry, art, and photographs that support his theme of living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) and the right to full access to health care for people with mental illnesses.  Rob’s many works give us a close-up view of the struggle with DID and the challenges of health care for chronic illness.  Rob’s talent and honest forthright approach humanizes this struggle by bringing it out into the light and showing us the face of a spirit that strives to live a normal and productive life, to gain acceptance by dispelling fear and judgement, and to educate us with a gentle touch and calm tone.  Thank you Rob! You are an inspiration and a true Liebster in the WordPress community. Continue reading “We’ve Been Liebstered!”

STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters

One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ― Michael J. Fox

Rose and Stone
“I sometimes pretend I’m a Phoenix” – Topaz Winters, from Sticks and Stones

 

It’s my pleasure to bring you another poem submitted by Topaz Winters. Her poem takes us inside the maelstrom of a wounded spirit stuck between feeling the reality of unrelenting anguish from abuse, trauma, abandonment, and the dream of love and life as first imagined. The journey to healing is never swift or without setbacks captured in the line, “I sometimes pretend I’m a phoenix.” Topaz’s advocacy for survivors and awareness is greatly appreciated.  Topaz offered her poem as a tribute to the readers and authors that know abuse and trauma all too well. Thank you for your continued support, Topaz.  And now, dear reader, I submit to you, Sticks and Stones by Topaz Winters. Continue reading “STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters”

A Faded Rose

Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. ― Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

A Faded Rose

In a follow on to my side trip into aging gracefully, I made a few tweaks to this previous post to give a snapshot into the thoughts one has for a loved one as they grow old together and frailty begins to pull one away from the other.

The metaphor of life from a faded rose in my garden struck me one day as I watched it fade, almost over night.  Memories of youth and life played like a song in my mind even though the words played hide and seek as I searched my mind to no avail to remember dates, names, and faces of those long gone. How our lives fade came to me all too clear in that moment through the lens when the rose came into focus. Continue reading “A Faded Rose”

I Remember That Day

“The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Veterans
I REMEMBER

In flames and rivers of blood they lay,

With weary eyes, they saw their fate.

As the chaos of war reached for their souls,

Courage bid them rise and fight that day.

When the battle raged and wounded fell,

Death threw open the burning gates of Hell,

And good men carried the Brave away.

Remember Our Veterans

A Walk With Eternity

“We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.” ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

The Journey

 

I promised myself long ago that my life would be a walk with eternity.  I didn’t pray to be spared sickness, heartache or any dark moment life can bring.  When those dark moments found me, I never prayed for the light, a cure, a way around.  I prayed for strength to carry on.   Continue reading “A Walk With Eternity”

Upon Realizing I’m Old

ALBERT


“Age is not a particularly interesting subject. Anyone can get old. All you have to do is live long enough.” ― Groucho Marx

 

Hotel Staircase

Albert was eighty-eight years old today. He planned dinner with the boys to celebrate. Eighty-eight years. Not a small accomplishment by any means given the many challenges Albert had weathered in his life. He fought in the big war against the Nazis in Africa, Sicily, and up the boot of Italy until wounded. He spent two years in recovery, going from hospital to surgery and back again until it was all a blur. Continue reading “Upon Realizing I’m Old”

Of Joy and Shame

“Watch out for each other. Love everyone and forgive everyone, including yourself. Forgive your anger. Forgive your guilt. Your shame. Your sadness. Embrace and open up your love, your joy, your truth, and most especially your heart.” ― Jim Henson

Joy and Shame

 

Joy and Shame

The voice of Joy and Shame,

Forever call my name.

I hear their pleading day and night,

Step from the shadows into the light.

Come to me, the voice calls;

One rises, the other falls.

The touch of Joy, a fleeting game,

The rival player, a crying Shame.

I love them both, I cannot choose;

Side-by-side, they play my Muse;

At the end, I turn away,

They’ll be back another day.

Neither hopes to ever win;

But, they  know; I’ll play again. Continue reading “Of Joy and Shame”

The Wind Upon My Face

Windmill

I lived for the wind upon my face.
Rain and sun cleansed me;
But, the wind was my fate.
No storm pushed me from its path.
I stood steadfast and strong.
In time, the work I lived to do,
Nourished the soil and did no wrong.
My toil was the measure of my worth,
And all rejoiced in song.
I turned to the wind and gave my life,
My reward a productive earth.
But, then I aged and skipped a beat,
My body bent and worn.
I’ll not die an untimely death,
brought down by grueling pace,
My value from me torn.
I’ll stand erect, locked in my stance,
And weather every storm.
I shall simply live for the wind upon my face.