Random Acts of "Kindness"

Posts tagged ‘depression’

LAND MINE

Loss of a family member is especially hard during the holidays. I made it through Thanksgiving, then Christmas and New Years. We left an empty chair at my husband’s place at the table on Thanksgiving. I cooked the traditional dinner, maybe more celery, onions and mushrooms in the dressing. We put up a Thanksgiving memory tree. Wreathes and lights went up on the porch. But no garlands. Lights and garlands were not on the stairs in the house either. I sent out a Christmas letter with the cards, sharing the news of my husbands passing to those I hadn’t phoned. The Wild Thing gorilla I bought for my husband celebrating his first cancer surgery now is wearing blue lights. The Nativity didn’t surface this year.

I made some cookies but not many. My husbands favorite I totally reinvented. Tasty but I hopefully won’t do that again. Of course, I don’t know if I will make those cookies again. For the most part, I haven’t made any of his favorite meals, except for biscuits and gravy for Christmas morning. Christmas Eve we normally have the family over. The holidays became very busy so our youngest daughter’s family wasn’t able to make it but our oldest daughter and her husband were able to come. I didn’t cook. We went out for Chinese instead.

I don’t know if survival mode was in session, that I was purposefully omitting things that would bring me pain. I’ve donated some of his stuff but his closet and dresser are still packed with his clothes. At the store, I avoid the men’s department. Of course, I’m not spending a lot of time in the woman’s department either.

Various things happen that alert me to the fact his spirit is with me. I will truthfully say that I wish I felt his spirit more often. EXCEPT WHEN THE BLOCKS ARE ON! My phone DID NOT pick up any messages on Christmas.

On New Years day I picked up one of our catalogues to look for a couple of items. Turning the pages, I saw MANY THINGS that I would have ordered for my husband. I wasn’t expecting the pain that generated in my body when I remembered he was gone.

I order a new Inspirational Calendar every year. I write my bible readings, Queen Of Heaven readings and daily happenings in it. I ordered it late this year and when it arrived I put it somewhere where it would be SAFE. It was so safe that I couldn’t find it. Finally on New Years Eve it surfaced. It was NOT IN A PLACE I would have looked. The second week of January has the message “Every night, sit still and ask yourself, “What have I done today.”

It has been two months since he passed, I’m not waking up from a bad dream. More difficult days are coming: The anniversary of my mother’s and brother’s death, my husband’s birthday, and my father’s passing. I’m NOT looking forward to my first trip to Woodhaven.

Anniversary’s are TOUGH! “WHAT HAVE I DONE TODAY?”

RECOGNIZING SPIRIT

RECOGNIZING SPIRIT

Loss is a hard feeling to deal with. Especially when the person who has crossed over is very close to your heart. I am EXTREMEMLY LUCKY. When my father passed over more than twenty years ago, he sent me a message that he remembered me. I was alert enough at that time to recognize it. And that has made all the difference. Now I’ll admit that my mother has probably been active in my life for many years. But she was skilled in her activities. My father is skilled too, BUT IT WAS IMPORTANT TO HIM THAT HE LET ME KNOW HE WAS FINE.

I wrote once that I’ve crossed a bridge. Over the years I have received many lessons from my “spirit team.” I have detailed many of those experiences in my book JOURNEY WITH ME. In fact I was reminded of the book recently when I sent an e-mail to my family, giving them homework — to read a chapter a day or a week –to remind them how spirit interacts with our lives. Their grief was very visible.

Thankfully my husband also sent me a message after he passed. Thankfully he is often with me at home and when I am out and about. I recently crossed paths with a gentleman who is 102. He was shopping at the store, not using a cane or a motorized cart. He wants to live to be 105. That same day I met a woman who is taking care of her handicapped husband. They watched a movie together and he laughed. He thanked her. He was glad that he could still laugh. We talked for a short while. During the conversation she told me she saw her deceased father sitting in the back of a car. I saw the spirit of a dog who had recently passed run through our house but I don’t normally see things. I don’t “see” things when I meditate either. My daughter confirmed that I’m not visual.

I like to have presents under the tree for my family for Christmas. They don’t need to be large or expensive, just a little surprise. I wanted a present for our son. Nothing called his name when I was looking for a gift. He had already announced that neither of us needed anything. And he is right! That doesn’t solve my problem! Until my husband went shopping with me and I found the perfect present. It would have been perfect for my husband if he was still alive. Hopefully it will be perfect for my son.

When my husband was alive, shopping was NOT his favorite activity. Especially when I wanted to visit many stores. I don’t know if his feeling for shopping has changed but I love RECOGNIZING HIS HELP.

THEY ARE BACK

THEY ARE BACK

I DID NOT MISS them. A while ago it dawned on me that I hadn’t had a hot flash in a LONG time. Maybe they thought I missed them. I DIDN’T. Days passed and my birthday rolled around. Accomplishment. I’m 75. The day of my birthday I didn’t feel like celebrating. My husband has lung cancer. He had his first chemo treatment and handled it as well as could be expected. He is on oxygen. Climbing the stairs to our bedroom was too much hard work. I DID NOT feel like celebrating.

A few days later, I noticed that my hair was wet, so was my shirt. I changed clothes and did not pay any attention. Until it happened again, and again, and AGAIN. I finally realized what was going on. HOT FLASHES were back. Is this supposed to make me feel younger? It doesn’t!

One flash a day is bad enough. Yesterday I changed my shirt THREE times. Each time my top was VERY damp. I DO NOT like damp clothes. The last thing I need right now is to get sick myself. Just what I need — more stress.

My husband has made some progress. He was able to climb the stairs and sleep in our bedroom. Two or three days of progress. Then various things have sent progress in the wrong direction.

I’d like to apologize for not having anything publish last week. Sadly that might be the first of many times that I miss publishing a thought ramble.

I don’t like to share all my frustration and worries on paper. Some one suggested that if I wrote, I might feel better. “My friends in high places” are always ready to help. One of my words for today was adversity. Not what I wanted to hear or read. The bible opened to more fighting. I didn’t read the chapter. Oatmeal that I was making for breakfast ran out of water and needed another 10 minutes to soften. My blood pressure pills escaped from their pill box and hid on the floor. The computer that I’m using developed a black screen. SCARING ME! One of the plugs for the connection had loosened and I ran out of battery. At least it was an easy fix.

TAKING STOCK

I really like the fall season. I like the cooler temperatures and the changing of the leaves. I don’t know what the reason is but the fall season also brings on a depression. I don’t know if it is because winter is coming or the seasonal changes.

Fall came early this year. The drop in the temperature at night reminded me that summer was almost over. I knew that there would be many warm days ahead. Suddenly I started thinking of what I have accomplished and what I have failed to do. When I realized that my thinking was more negative than positive, I looked for positive.

Now I will admit that I had HELP! First I did a belly flop on the deck at the camper. Luckily I didn’t break anything. Various body parts PROTESTED. Our granddaughter was on hand to witness my fall and did a great replay for her parents.

Back home, I took Robin for her morning walk and ended up cutting my head on the latch to the gate. Head wounds bleed profusely and I left a trail of blood down the sidewalk, up the stairs and into the house. I had lovely red hair for a few hours. I didn’t want to wash my hair until the wound had a chance to firm up.

My daughter asked what “my friends” were trying to tell me. I really didn’t know. BUT I started to take stock. I didn’t have a thought ramble ready to publish so I sat down and wrote two. My weight has been creeping up again. I’m still trying to find the right food plan for me. I decided that I would cut back on the wine. I would limit it to two glasses. My next decision was to exercise on a regular basis hoping that would help my flexibility. I started, then life interfered again.

On a beautiful summer day, my husband and I visited the zoo. I asked him to call our oldest daughter. When he tried, he learned that his phone had lost ALL contact information. When we went to the phone store, we learned that they could NOT restore his phone book. I had been considering giving up my flip phone for a smart phone. My family was having trouble understanding me when I talked. It was an EXPENSIVE afternoon. We left the store with TWO new phones. They COULD NOT transfer my phone book to the new phone. Days later, I still DON’T have all the numbers entered.

Something is still going on. Last night I noticed that the watch band on my Fit Bit watch was only holding on by a thread. When I contacted the company, they asked me to send a picture of the watch. I used my NEW phone to do that. BLOCKS are on, I was successful in taking the picture, but NOT in sending the photo to them.

In the past few weeks I have been reminded about a couple of things. Deepak Chopra shared that the greatest gift he could give to the world was to show up as himself. I realized that is what I have been trying to do. Whatever the situation, I help when I can and try to be open to learning. I also recently learned that as important as it is to forgive others, it is even MORE IMPORTANT TO FORGIVE YOURSELF.

SLEEPING DRAGONS

I have a very hard time coming up with titles for my thought rambles. This title is courtesy of a meditation that I listened to this morning. And it is so fitting to my life right now.

Supposedly it is Spring but the temperature and the weather is not reflecting the season. It looks and feels like winter. The flowers are not confused, they are breaking through the surface. The birds are not confused — more are arriving every day, waking Robin up with their morning song. I would love to state that my mood is lighter, happier but I dislike lying.

It feels like I am at the bottom of a very dark, deep pit. The gray skies are not helping. Recently because of either age, or weight, or changes in the measurement — my blood pressure is up. I now require medication — strokes run in my family — one of my aunts was stricken by one and lost most of her quality of life. I’m reminded regularly that I have many more years to accomplish something. What? I have no idea? But in order to enjoy a good quality of life, I need to be in reasonably good health.

When I fell backwards, down the stairs before New Years, my blood pressure was extremely high. So high that my children pestered me to go to the doctors and I received medication. Recently I accompanied my husband to the doctor for his visit. On the way we had a “discussion.” My children were concerned about my cough and wanted our doctor to make sure I didn’t have pneumonia or some other health problem. When the nurse wanted to take my blood pressure, I knew I was in trouble. I knew I was still UPSET. I was RIGHT! My blood pressure was so high she wanted me to take it the next morning and phone her with the results. Thankfully I took it again that night and it was down. I also took it the following morning and it was still in a safe range.

My learning from this experience is that I have to be in better control of my body. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t get angry because there are many times when that response is called for. My husband knows the right buttons to push to get a response. I just need to be aware — a sleeping dragon is within. I don’t need to awaken the beast! I need to be able to take action to quiet it back down. Many memories from my past don’t always bring warm thoughts. Throwing them out instead of dwelling on them is appropriate. I can’t change the weather outside, maybe I can change the weather inside of my own body. That will continue to be the challenge.

GRATITUDE JOURNAL

January — grey skies, freezing temperatures, cold wind — it is enough to make anyone depressed. Blue skies, sun, green grass — hiding for days. Various vitamins, teas haven’t helped. Since I’m trying to regain some of my flexibility, I’ve committed to exercising EVERYDAY, except for Sunday. I haven’t seen a decrease in weight, and depending on the day, I’m not seeing a change in flexibility yet. But I have just started — I’m not giving up yet. I will admit that the soreness in my knees isn’t helping.

Recently we were at Wal-Mart and I happened to find a daily planner that had pictures to color. At first I wasn’t going to buy it. I already have two journals that I use on a daily basis. I have an inner reflections calendar that tracks the day of the week. It has lovely photos and inspirational sayings. I use it to write down important happenings of the day. I’ve used a new version of the planner for many years.

I also have a weekly/monthly planner in which I log doctor appointments, planned travel and other important notes. It has facing pages for the month — easy to see when we have plans for a specific period of time. I log the titles of my blog — trying to make sure I have something written. The daily pages I use to note the food I have eaten, how many steps I have walked and how much I have slept. I don’t use calorie counts or measurements on the food. That might explain why my weight is staying the same. This is the third year that I have searched for this particular planner. I’ve discovered that having the month in my face helps, especially since now I log in my husbands sugar numbers. It has allowed me to change doctor’s appointments when we have had a conflict.

Since I have these two books — why do I need another? I put the book back on the shelf and explored other spending opportunities. Checking off items on my shopping list, I remembered something my husband wanted. After I found the item, I found myself back in the aisle that had the planner. No surprise, it was in my hand, and checked out at the cashier. I still didn’t know why I was picking it up.

What to do with the new planner? I’ve decided to try something new. I’ve decided to make this planner my gratitude journal. I log in my exercise for the day and earn the opportunity to color a bit of the picture. The space for writing is very small. Sometimes I can easily fill in all the lines. Sometimes I’m digging for anything to write. I’ll admit that almost each day of my life contains something to be grateful for. Especially if I’m out and about. I might be in the right place, at the right time to help someone. I might hear a bird or meet a neighbor. I don’t always remember. Writing them down helps. If the day has been quite, If nothing else, I can always write down that I woke up. I will also admit that I don’t feel the need to finish coloring the picture.

I haven’t been doing this long enough to know if it helps with depression but it is a start.

ICE

There is no warning — doctor’s appointment, test results, accident — nothing like that, life is normal — no warning that I’m walking on ice and I’m about to fall through. All of a sudden I find myself in this black hole that I can’t crawl out of. The news on TV doesn’t help. Actually I try to avoid the news but it finds me. Policeman killed in Texas, Hundreds killed in France, Police killed in Louisiana — the world in which we live desperately needs the HELP OF GOD. Or has He/She given up on us. I DON’T BELIEVE THAT FOR AN INSTANT.

Normally when I find myself in a black hole, I avoid people and definitely WRITING. How can I stay positive? How can I write anything of value that would help either myself or others? Interesting questions — NO ANSWERS or are they? This morning getting ready for church I opened the bible to: Isaiah 49: 9 ” saying to the prisoners: “Come out.”

Good! I will admit that this didn’t necessarily help me. Come out from where? Am I a prisoner? But it is my custom to read the whole chapter. “The Lord called me from birth.” I will admit that gave me pause. I’ve read this before, and usually think “I’m in trouble now!” Did it HELP? I am sure it probably did — because I’m sharing this ramble with you rather than hiding under the mess of stuff that is my life. Recently a person about to retire shared his plans with me — he has two pensions which he is banking. He plans to work another year before he retires to Phoenix where his grandchildren live. I’ll admit that sounded wonderful, maybe? This gentleman sounded like he liked to go places. My husband likes to drive but he is particular about the food he eats. When we were in Texas he DID NOT LIKE THE FOOD available there. Traveling with him is interesting unless I’m doing the cooking. Are we supposed to travel — good question? How? We lost our motor home in the tornado last year.

Now I’ve stated before that I do not hear or see “my friends in high places.” But they get their messages to me anyway. Recently I’ve been getting hit on the head A LOT. It might be because I have not been writing.

Whatever the reason, it is comforting to me that I have “help” in higher places. Recently we were at the camper and I noticed a woman pushing an enclosed stroller. As I passed by I noticed she had dogs for passengers. I just had to stop and talk to her. I’m glad that I did. She noticed my shoes and told me of a source of the shoes I was wearing. A) I found them comfortable. B) I didn’t think they were expensive and didn’t know how I would get more. Question solved. Just a little “help.” As you can tell, I NEED ALL THE “HELP” — I can get.

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