Depression

I have been having a difficult time lately.  I think that is part of why I have not been blogging as much.  Blocking my feelings has been a definite part of the last three weeks.  And revelation has seemed far, far away.  As I have pondered my sorry state, I have recognized a couple of things.

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One:  I have been comparing myself to others.  Major no-no in the happiness game.  It is funny because I do not compare myself to the people who live around me.  They are somehow in a different category.  I compare myself to those women I went to college with.  Where are they today?  What are they doing?  How are they changing the world?  How many children do they have?  What???!!!  Their children are all almost gone and grown and out of the house???!!!!  Oh………………….wait………………………..they have three, right?  I have a few more than that.  Just a few.  Anyway, comparison of ourselves with others and then ‘seeing’ how their lives are so much better than ours, that is one sure formula for depression.  So I have to cut that out.

Two:  Lack of gratitude.  Along with that whole comparing thingy……..I have not been very grateful for the blessings I do have and the places I do make a difference.  A complete lack of acknowledgement on my part.  Ya’——-I had better get over that one too.

Three:  Eating.  I have not been controlling my eating.  On the bright side, at least I have not been eating the things I’m not suppose to eat.  Well………….except for that bite-sized Heath candy bar……….but we aren’t talking about that.  Oh, yes we are!  Whatever.  For the most part, I am not eating things I am not suppose to.

Do you have that issue?  Are there things you are not suppose to eat, not that they are against the Word of Wisdom or anything, but just things that you know for your body you are not suppose to eat?  For me, milk, and all milk products, even butter.  I have eliminated almost all of the milk, except butter, and the occasional bite of chocolate.  But I need to get rid of all of it, because I am allergic to it.   Stinky.  Milk is my favorite food!  Interestingly enough, I read somewhere (cannot tell you where because I read so much that I do not always remember the source I read it from) but, I read somewhere that foods you are actually allergic to, your body can become addicted to them.  Weird, huh?  But definitely true in my case.  Milk and I have a long history, with them being all of my very favorite foods, like real mac and cheese, pizza smothered in cheese, lasagna, chocolate, etc…  When I am having a hard time with my emotions, I want to self-soothe with a fatty bowl of real ice-cream, whipping cream, and caramel sauce, with a banana for good measure.  But I am digressing from the topic at hand.  The point:  do you self-soothe with your favorite foods?  This might be a trigger for you to watch.  When you just cannot get enough of that food, maybe you are hiding your true emotions or struggling more emotionally than you care to admit.

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It has helped me to remember, in my depression overview, that even Nephi and Alma, on occasion, wished they could be somewhere else, doing something else.  [2nd Nephi 4; Alma 29]  Unfortunately, sometimes wishing for those things also contributes to depression and a lack of gratitude.  I need to remember that ‘these are my days’.  I was saved from the foundations of the world for this time and this place.  Out of billions of our Father in Heaven’s children, I was saved to come forth in these latter days, to declare my undying love for the Savior and to stand tall and strong in the face of the wickedness of the world.  In Sister Dew’s book “No one can take your place,” she quotes Elder Maxwell as saying:

By divine appointment, these are [our] days (Helaman 7:9), since ‘all things must come to pass in their time’ (D&C 64:32).  Moreover, though we live in a failing world, we have not been sent here to fail.  Recall the new star that announced the birth at Bethlehem?  It was in its precise orbit long before it so shone.  We are likewise placed in human orbits to illuminate.  God is in the details!”  (Encircled in the Arms of His Love, 17-18)

A couple of articles from this month’s Ensign have been helpful in changing my focus:

Lasting Happiness (p. 16)
and
Beyond the Bubblegum Machine (p.49)
(remember that in the search bar after ‘lan=’ you can change it from eng to the first three letters of your language spa for Spanish, etc and read it in your language)

fineartamerica.com (I want bubble gum!)

I LOVED Beyond the Bubblegum Machine because I believe a lot of us get stuck into thinking that if we do what is right, life should be easy.  Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but it is not.  Life is just plain hard.  It is hard for me and it is hard for you.  But with the gospel and the Spirit and the right perspective, it is still possible to be happy even though it is hard.  Happiness doesn’t come from a lack of trials, but from the ability to weather your trials well, to know that when all is said and done, we have faced and slain the dragon.  We have become master over self, that is where the true happiness lies.

Side note:  Please do not interpret this post to mean that you can overcome all depression with positive thinking.  Sometimes that is true, you can.  But sometimes you need professional help because of imbalances within your body.  That is valid too.  I do believe that positive thinking will help both situations and perspective changes and understanding too.  But sometimes more is needed than just thinking.

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