But I got transferred to a new prison: my mind.
The grass is always greener.
But we're never happy.
How Deb! Tell me how!
I can only tell you what works for me when I see myself snowballing into the pit of a depressive episode. Keep in mind that I suffer from anxiety and depression (mostly anxiety) -- so I am speaking from experience and not some idiot who thinks she knows it all. I don't. I'm still trying to figure it all out just like anybody else. But if my experiences and techniques can help someone else -- even just one person -- then my raw (and possibly embarrassing) honesty was worth dishing out on this public platform.
So hear me out if you wish -- my beliefs are strong.
Quick story to show my point...
A young man was at the end of his rope. Seeing no way out, he dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can't go on," he said. "I have too heavy of a cross to bear." The Lord replied, "My son, if you can't bear its weight, just place your cross inside this room. Then, open that other door and pick out any cross you wish." The man was filled with relief. "Thank you, Lord," he sighed, and he did as he was told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord," he whispered. And the Lord replied, "My son, that is the cross you just brought in."
I'm still sidetracking here, so bear with me.
It is all in my head.
But it is very real, just as depression is. Psychosomatic physical pain is real. It sounds mentally induced, which it is -- but it is a disorder of the proper functioning of our mental vs. physical pain.
Have you ever heard of the "broken heart syndrome?"
I experienced this three years ago when my dad passed away. It happened about six months into my grieving period (which is normal) -- and I started getting horrible chest pains, to where my heart definitely responded to what I was experiencing. I'll never forget one morning being in my kitchen and grabbing a glass of water. I sat on the stool next to the counter trying to just wake up. I started getting these these horrific chest pains that just blew me right off my stool. I was on the floor holding my chest with these jabbing pains that wouldn't let up. When the ambulance came, they gave me a little beta tablet of nitrate to place under my tongue in order to see if I was having a real heart attack. They took my vitals and everything was just wrong. The EMT guy looked at me and asked, "Is the pain going away?" And I was relieved that it was. "Yeah, it's gone." But not relieved when he yelled into his radio, "Not good! She responded to the nitrate! It's her heart!" I had to stay in the hospital for a few days. The EMT guy who helped me was the same guy who had to bring my father out of his house for the very last time.
And ONTO my point:
It took me to get to the ripe age of 40 (okay, 41) to realize that life is going to throw us quite a few curve balls. Life is also going to hand us a great deal of joy too. But in the midst of all of the suffering and happiness -- we need to have a constant joy. I've learned that if we appreciate the present moment, or "the now" -- we can learn to adapt to whatever comes flying our way. It's to understand that the past and the future are all illusions. I know, they were real to you and for me, but the past is gone. It magically disappeared -- but our minds dredge it back up again. The past equals depression. The future equals anxiety. Everyone wants to know what their future holds because they have so much anxiety about it, or anxiously awaiting to hear the "good" news. You won't ever hear a psychic telling a bad fortune about someone's future because they'll risk their future business. Would you go back to a psychic who told you that you were gonna die in two years? No.
I'm not a psychologist, nor pretend to be one. I'm a patient who has a lot of experience in dealing with this type of stuff from the other side of the couch.
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they are good for us--they help us learn to endure. And endurance develops strength of character in us, and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. --Romans 5:3-5
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog for some of her famous recipes!