Category Archives: Depression

HEALED!

This house doesn’t seem to want to swallow me up as it did 5 years ago at the start of my empty nester living. 

I no longer hide in the master suite which seemed like a sailboat far away from shore. Which surrounded me with fog making it impossible to see the lighthouse. 

Soon prayer became a book I started to read but could never finish. I could start a prayer but soon the words left me and the tears found me.  I’ve learned since that tears are a language God only hears! I realizes I didn’t need the words for God to hear my heart. And oh how grateful I am that he understood those tears!

This time alone was a struggle for me! Soon it became my time of reflecting on the past!  The childhood memories, teenage years, rebellious twenties, early marriage years, and the secrets I kept for just about everyone in my life growing up.  It drowned me!  It choked me!  It haunted me!  It almost destroyed me!  It made me angry, a lot!  Was it possible that being a busy wife and mom kept me from facing the hidden demons I had packed away so long ago? Yes!

My empty nest soon played my past I never wanted to think about but thought about a lot! Scene after scene it played out ever childhood hurt, dug up ever teenage regret, wild twenties, early marriage mistakes, and repeated everyone’s secrets over and over in my head until I had no excuse but to scream out for help. So I did.

I plan to write it down here and to keep sharing with you how I healed and now how I live healed!

This empty nest that I thought would kill me actually rescued me. There was nothing left to distract me, keep me busy, or to mask my every emotion.  It forced me to seek God’s help like never before. I desperately needed him to heal my soul, repair my heart, to teach me to forgive and to let go. He certainly did!  I certainly healed, forgave, let go, and I continue too everyday!

The fog is gone and I know how to find my way back to the shore if I ever get lost again!

I enjoy my alone time now and appreciate the planned visits with my adult children.

I’m so thankful for the past five years and all that it has taught me and all that it has taken away from me! 

Stick around and live my over 50 living with me!

http://instagram.com/over50living

Growth Spurt(s)

A growth spurt is an occurrence of growing quickly and suddenly in a short period of time.

This is not about physical growth spurts but about emotional ones.

We all have had emotional growth spurts. The end of high school into college into the working world, from being single into a romance, from single into marriage, and from marriage back into being single.

I haven’t met one person that at an early age planned it all out and had it all go as they planned into adulthood. (If you’re out there, find me because I need to ask a ton of questions!) When it doesn’t go as planned, you’re expected to deal with it, move on, “grow” from it, and for the sake of those around you, don’t take too long doing it. Yep, growth spurts.

Well, guess what! Emotional growth spurts can be painful! Those painful ones need a healing period to adjust and then “grow” forward. If not, then you “grow” forward and unpack it on others.

So give yourself all the time you need in between these growth spurts! You will be a better person for it and you spare a lot of relationships in the end. But more importantly, you save yourself from stumping your own emotional growth.

http://instagram.com/over50living

Please Don’t say, they’re in a better place or Heaven needed them more.

In honor of my dad’s birthday in July…

My dad was such a great man! He was funny, talented, creative, and passionate about his faith. He could take a tossed out piece of wood and turn it into a treasure just to turn around and give it away. The kindest man you would ever meet. Five minutes with him was a lifetime with him! He was a friend to all! We called each other often and visited with each other often. We sang gospel music together in a family group. We sat together in church and prayed together…he was present in my life. By far, this was my greatest loss.

During his funeral, so many people said, “he’s in a better place”. Those words just smothered me and really made me feel worse because it just emphasized the fact that he was no longer here with me. Please stop saying this to people at funerals. It does not make the death easier!

I sure wish I could take back all the times I said it to anyone! If I could do it all over, I would had said what I really needed to hear myself, “If I could wake you up from this nightmare, I would”.

And for God’s sake, stop saying Heaven needed them. Heaven has all things amazing already. It doesn’t need us to make it great, Jesus already makes it great.

I know it was his time and Heaven is the place to go but it was the last thing I wanted or needed to hear at least not on the day that I wanted him back the most. Say it days before because to be honest (anyone who has lost a love one will agree), we aren’t listening to anyone during the days leading up to the funeral or during it for that matter. We’re just hurting and hurting bad.

What we are thinking about are all the times we should have said more, done more, shared more, loved more, visit more, and appreciated them more while they were alive. And we are thinking, how in God’s name are we going to live without them now!

Somehow, I’ve learned to live without my dad. Yes, it’s been a process. Even though there were those days after and long after that whenI had force myself to get up and well sometimes I didn’t get up, a lot of days I didn’t get up! But, here I am still learning to get up every single day. The hurt never went away “in time” which is another thing that we should stop saying, I only learned to live without him.

I’ve learned that to live without my dad only means to live without him “present”. His voice is still with me in the music he sang. (He went as far as to leave us a CD singing 12 of his favorite gospel songs)

I have all those memories of being in church with him, riding next to him on waterslides at family vacations (while in his late 60’s), and camping at our hunting lease in very cold Texas winters.

And I have some of those gifts made out of tossed out wood.

Sure, he may not be present physically but some how he managed to stay present in my life even after his death.

Happy birthday daddy!

I sure miss you! Thank you for all that you instilled in me. Somehow, I’ve managed to live more and to live more each single day! Remember to save me a place at the table! I’ll be seeing you but not any time soon. You see, I’ve learned how to live again! I love you!

http://instagram.com/over50living

Teach me to share my baby!

Let’s go back to the beginning;to the moment when I held my baby for the very first time when the nurse gently laid my bundle of joy in my arms.  The emotions that overwhelmed me just can not be explained or put into words. My smile and tears spoke the words for me.  Those tiny hands and tiny feet were so delicate and soft.  I was very careful touching their arms and legs trying not to rub to hard. I admired their rosie colored cheeks. I combed back their perfectly placed hair.  It was amazing! It was happiness! I was blessed to experience this twice. First when my son was born and three years after him when my daughter was born.

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My family and friends told me to enjoy every minute because time will fly by so quickly. So I did! Kindergarten, high school, dating, graduation, driving, their first job, college, and more dating, then their first love, their first crushing life changing heartbreak, then their first “true love”, and before I knew it I had fast forwarded 20 years! I loved it but I also hated it! I was conflicted with so many emotions just like at their birth but these emotions are so, so different. There’s something very different. Something unfamiliar. Something I’ve not felt before. Something struggling.

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Do you remember when your son/daughter was in kindergarten and you taught them to share their toys but it was hard for them to understand because until then, they didn’t have to? It’s that feeling right there, as a mom, no one and I mean no one ever taught “mom” to share “baby”! Sure they said enjoy the time and blah blah blah but I don’t remember ever being told I would one day have to learn to share them. Maybe it’s just me or maybe I didn’t listen or maybe I just didn’t want to share. Whatever, whichever it was, it for sure was a difficult time for me. Here you are with an adult son/daughter and you are no longer the first person they run to and whisper their secrets to or tell you the joke of the day. Here you find yourself feeling left out in a sense because as “mom” you used to talk about their day with them but now they have a true love they run to first.

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I’m happy they are in love but at the same time I felt like something was taken from me without permission. No one said I would have to share! It’s such a roller coaster ride. I mean don’t get me wrong, I have always encouraged them to seek after love and when you find it don’t let it go. I preached, “You are the Prize and not the Game” to teach them to value their worth. But whoa, I have to share! This was so not in the manuel! This unfamiliar feeling was something I had to deal with slowly and gently yet I had to do it quickly because I didn’t want to be selfish and controlling or that person that Dr. Phil has on his show because their son/daughter wants them to stay away. I want to be that mom that sits back and when she looks at her son/daughter she says, “Look at what a played a part in developing”! Which is a well rounded man/woman loving with their whole heart.

I want to be that mom that knows because her son/daughter don’t come to her with everything now is because she did raise them to be a great independent man/woman. I taught them to share and they taught me to share.

It makes me proud knowing they love with their whole heart and respect the person they are with enough to put them first!

Yesterday

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He walked away this time and it just felt different.  His voice was a tone attempting to sound happy.  As he waved a backward wave, he said, “I love you sis.”  Any time before, it was, “see you later”.  It was all different in every way;his voice, his choice of words, his unexpected visit, his energy, and the vibe it gave me.

It all seemed to film in slow motion;me standing at the front door waving to his backside, the cold winter air chilling me from head to toe, blinking Christmas lights in the background, and that weird unexplainable feeling as if to say he never planned on returning.  I stood at my front door watching him drive off and I prayed a prayer that only God could hear that went something like, “keep him safe, Lord.”  Our family would say our last farewells to him just a few weeks later.  It’s been 8 years now and it still feels like yesterday, but why?

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My brother and I weren’t as close as we could have been but we weren’t distant either.  He was there if I needed him and I was there when he truly needed me.  Did we visit each other often, no.  Did we call each other everday, no.  But, we loved each other.  We fought at times and often went without talking but always found a way to forgive and forget.  He had his lifestyle choices and I had mine.  He knew how I felt about his life choices and I knew how he felt about mine.  We just let each other live and let live.  We didn’t leave anything unspoken.  I used to feel like I didn’t get a chance to tell him goodbye but as I reflect back to yesterday, I realize I did, we both did.  It was that goodbye just weeks before his passing that comforts me still today.  I somehow knew it was our last goodbye.  His passing will always feel like yesterday because time is to short for us all.  Time has a way of standing still when you can’t turn time back.  So, it will always feel like yesterday to me.

His farewell was just the beginning of changes to come in our family at least this is my observation.  It gave us all a rude awakening that life is short and you have to be happy and have no regrets!  I can’t speak for my other 6 brothers or 1 sister but his death pushed me to seek my inner issues and seek my “real happy”.  Sure, I didn’t do anything about it until a year ago but it was the beginning pavement to my healing today! 

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So what happened that caused me to begin to heal, you ask?  Revelation happened!  It was that moment when I realized that what I was so successful in hiding for so long, I didn’t have the strength to control anymore by “hiding” it.  I found myself not able to leave my room or want to get out of bed. I had to deal with that “depression” covered with anger or it would kill me and put me in the same place as my brother.  It still took months later to say the words, “I’m depressed”.

It’s been a full year of healing, seeking God, and letting go.  The “letting go” has been the hardest but I’m better for it today.  The finish line is still within reach but I’m closer than I was, yesterday!

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Real Happy

Have you ever thought about what makes you happy? Have you ever thought about where your joy comes from?

Is it your Lord?  Is it your children, love interest, family, friend, or all the above?  A multi combination of who, what, when, and where.  Maybe it’s the universe or maybe it’s the earth.  Wherever your “real happy” comes from, you know it sometimes, a lot of sometimes, takes a lot of work. 

Yes, there are days you just can’t get out of bed and sleep is the only desire you have.  The day becomes night and the night becomes day.  You missed out on life and life missed out on you.  It’s a weight of another kind of unknown power that will not allow you to show your presence anywhere. 

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What actually happened?  You just can’t explain!  Could it be that yesterday beat you down so bad that it sucked the breath right out of you?  You were doing so well with your progress to find “real happy” but it took those hateful, abusive, heart crushing words to push you two steps back.  The people around that never hurt you just don’t understand why you lock them out.  This hurt was there before your husband or kids came along.  It comes from years of hearing “those words”, the yelling, the threats, and the many times your heart was stomped on that steals your “real happy”. 

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Why is it that it didn’t affect you so many times before but now, now it just sneaks up on you and won’t go away?  You know it’s that one person, thing, demon that gets you every time!  It shows up or calls you just to cuss you out or threaten to “straighten” you out with violence.   It’s, “Do as I say or else!”  You know what actually takes away your “real happy”.  Oh, you know alright so you avoid it, them, or you lock them out of your head but somehow it, “them” finds you and pounds on your heart like the many, many times before! 

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Yes, you know you will recover because you must…you must…you always do!  Whether you do it for those around you that can’t understand or you do it for you…you must.  Your “real happy” will peek out again and again if you keep pulling from your God, Universe, family, or friends.  You know you must!

So you lay there in the darkness and silence.  Maybe you pray.  Maybe you listen to music. Maybe you just sleep cause let’s face it…sleep shuts off “those words” that repeat over and over in your head.  You want to explain but can’t, you tried, but just can’t explain why today you can’t get out of bed and struggle for your “real happy”! Yet, you know you will, maybe not today but maybe tomorrow. You have strong caring people around you, a husband, a son, a daughter, and a best friend that will not leave your side until you are “you” again!

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610 Loop

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Soon after I received my driver’s license, I started my (Houston) 610 Loop sessions.  The first time I drove on this amazing interstate of connected cement was just to familiarize myself where it would take me.  It fascinated me to know I could start at any on-ramp and end up back in the same location once I made the complete loop.  I was hooked! 

There were no interruptions, no masking, no conversations, no yelling, no drama, and no expectations while the radio was blasting!  What I accomplished in these 2 hour sessions at least once a month was life saving for me.  It was a comfy blanket that would wrap me up in peace and rock me back to the strong woman I needed to be to protect me from that dark demon(self destruction).

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This 610 Loop helped me become an awesome driver, of course, but more importantly it helped me through childhood glimpse of nightmares, move on from breakups, write songs, pray, get closer to God, make life changing decisions, get a grip on my brothers death, calm down and just relax me from a stressful day.  Oh, this 610 Loop was my escape and my nudge in the right direction (no pun intended). 

The sessions became far apart since my first 610 Loop intervention almost 20 years ago but every now and then, instead of driving to get a grip, I take this amazing 610 Loop when life is good, I take myself on a session of thankfulness, recollection, and heart searching.  It takes much longer than 2 hours now but it’s still worth it…for different reasons now but so worth it!

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Masking Depression

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There’s a whisper in the darkness that overwhelmed me with fear.  It called out to me softly, often, only I could hear.  I prayed, “Oh, Lord please help me, please!” These flashes of yesterdays are consuming me!

This large family of mine kept me busy, the dramas, birthdays, holidays, barbques, church, gospel music (another day, another blog), all the many many events that kept me so busy, helped me wear a mask.  This mask I wore for over 10 yrs had many layers and I wore it well!  

My weekend “gospel singing” mask had broken to pieces when I made the choice to really put God first and stop pretending that behind the stage there wasn’t raging chaos.  My “keep all secrets” mask was weighing me down so I pushed my family away.  My “strong sister” mask fell off when my brother died suddenly 2 weeks before Christmas and a piece of me just died with him.  So the hard, thick layers of my mask was thinning.  

It wasn’t until a very hurtful argument with one of my siblings that completely broke off my last layer of my mask.
In the roller coaster ride of emotions on the way home with my husband, I tried to pray but words escaped me.  I tried to hold back the demon that was forcing his way out.  Soon it all came pouring out of me.  The many childhood nightmares, the secrets I kept for others, my young single adult life regrets, my anger, my hatred toward those that taught me how to mask.  I had to make it to my bed that helped me cover up this monster roaring inside me!

I fell to the floor of my bedroom that knew my demon well.  My husband did all he could to comfort me in his arms and hold me up.  It was too late, the dark fog was here to stay this time because this time my mask was thinner and I was weak.  There was no one hiding!

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I, uncontrollably screamed in agony and shouted out what was locked away for so long.  Every reason for my anger, hurt, and sleepless nights. This demon of depression stepped in quick before I could backup and tuck it away.  It was out there and it was gonna stay. It unveiled my hidden demon, the mask was gone! 

The fear of being alone was overwhelming and I was so far from “myself”.  My breath was leaving me and I didnt want to wake no more.  Sorrow was now my church.

It wasn’t until weeks later and full blown depression had set in, that it started to turn for me.   I was laying on my couch, alone and on my last thread of hope, when Pastor Steven Furtick of The Elevation church in NC
http://stevenfurtick.org
sent me a private Facebook message.  He said the spirit of God moved him to write me.  This was unbelievable that a Pastor of over 17,000 members and miles away, that I only heard of months before because he preached once in my home church, would be moved to save my life and I mean, save my life!  His words were right on with what I was feeling and his encouragement was so uplifting! I have since heard all his sermons online. 

Through Pastor Furtick’s teaching series such as “Crash the Chatterbox”, I was freed of this demon of depression that was choking my soul and everything around me! 

I have begun a jounrney to find myself in this empty nest which if you haven’t figured out yet doesn’t mean an empty home but means my heart, mind, and true self free from the chains of depression.

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Please seek help if you are struggling with depression. Depression is not something you can “just get over”. There are many people that wear the same shoes as you do and understand the darkness it locks you in. I know all to well how depression forces you to push friends and family away. You are not alone!

Healing!

This house doesn’t seem to want to swallow me up as it did months ago.  I’m actually getting closer to finding me in all this space.  I no longer hide in the master suite upstairs which seemed like a ship so far out that a fog made it impossible to see the lighthouse.  On this ship, prayer become a book I started to read but never finished.  I could start a prayer but soon the words left me and the tears found me.  Looking back now, I realize I didn’t need the words for God to hear my heart and how grateful I am that tears are a language he understands!

Regardless, I hid this struggle,  even from the strongest person looking back at me in the mirror. If she could smile, laugh, sing, or sleep (a lot of sleep), this demon stayed under control.  Oh but it would show its face, especially around the Christmas season because it was my time of the year for reflecting on the past!  The childhood memories, teenage years, rebellious twenties, early marriage years, and the secrets kept for just about everyone in my life.  It drowned me!  It choked me!  It haunted me!  It was destroying me!  It made me angry, a lot!  My empty nest stood in replace of my mirror and like a movie it played. Scene after scene it pulled out ever childhood hurt, dug up ever teenage regret, judged my twenties, displayed marriage mistakes, and repeated everyone’s secrets over and over in my head until the coffin cover blew off and exposed myself to me!

This empty nest that I thought would kill me has actually rescued me. There was nothing left to distract me, keep me busy, to mask my every move.  It forced me to seek God’s help like never before to heal my soul, repair the heart, and to teach me to forgive.  Sure, I won’t forget but should I forget what has caused me to be so strong?  This ship is near the shore now and I am not taking my eye off the lighthouse until my feet stand firmly on shore.  This process of healing only began because of my empty nest.  It is because of great sorrow I now have great strength.  And, how grateful I am for it all!

http://instagram.com/over50living

The wrinkles tell my story!

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It’s 1984 and high school graduation is behind me.  These boys I’m dating are not marriage material but I’m far from saying, “I do” to anyone.  I’m 19 years old which is the same age my daughter Grace is today and I was not about to do the norm and by norm I mean marriage right out of high school or college.  The gym is my second home, I’ve just learned to drive a car, and the world is now calling my name.  To speed this up, the next 8 years are filled with traveling, dating, dancing, laughter, and memories of lessons learned and lessons taught…sorry boys I never meant to hurt you but you were the path that led me to my soul mate!

All I can think about now is marriage!  A blind date? Ok, haven’t done that yet, why not!  Thank you Lord he’s handsome and tall.  He’s making me laugh, ok that’s a plus.  He has a career not just a job, another plus.  The final test…does he have a relationship with the same God I serve?  Well, it would be something I witnessed.  He walked down to the front of the church and I was honored to see him give his life to Christ while on our 3rd date!  We were married 6 months later.

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Now 23 years, 2 kids, a son, a daughter later we had our ups, downs, many blessings, laughter,  failures, farewells to love ones who left us way to early, quick trips to Texas Children’s Hospital, friends moved away, job loss, several homes taken right from under us, financial loss, career change for the better, major surgeries, heartbreaks, graduations, car accidents, floods, snow, and many many wrinkles later. 
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I may be in an empty nest trying to find myself now but I didn’t get here without the hard work of pouring the foundation for their future and ours.  This empty nest is a blessing.   A blessing for my wrinkles.  It’s a pat on my back for raising a well rounded responsible son and daughter.  The silence is loud and the nights are long but it’s showing me that my wrinkles tell the story of how I got here!  This empty house is not a punishment but an accomplishment!

A special thanks to Debi Caballero for the title! I love you!