Monday, December 31, 2007

Devil Discouragement part II

Ran across a posting on another site I blog at & had to reply to the poster. This person has been having a rough go, and I gave her what encouragement I could. I thought I would share it with you here, as it seemed to fit right in with my last posting:

Depression happens to everyone, at one time or another. Sometimes it catches and holds us. You, specifically. Me, too.

For a while I was resigned in knowing I had the mood swings from the deep lows to the exuberant highs; I accepted one as the price for the other. Then the lows got lower, and the highs not so high. Then low and lower.

It got so bad I lost my job, in part, because of it. That, with a family to support, did not help the depression I was feeling.

I've been fighting my way back these last five years, and it is a fight. I say that to let you know that it's not easy, and I know it. I've been there at around 45-years-old rather than 25, and it's been a long hard fight, and I'm not entirely done with it, yet. But the light at the end of the tunnel is a lot brighter than before.

To help yourself, you've got to focus on the good things of life (cue ending theme of "The Life of Brian' now). Focusing on the things that depress you only gets you more depressed. You know that. You knew you had to leave the hotel room after dwelling on those thoughts all night, else you would have attacked yourself. Dwell instead on the things that make you smile. There are a lot of them and they are there for a reason. See something as simple as a flower (are there flowers in England this time of year?), or a snowflake and see the simple beauty of its order.

See things as you did as a six-year-old child (hopefully that's not a bad time in your life), and laugh. I'm told that as children we would laugh 300-400 times a day. Seeing our three-year-old at play, I believe it. As adults it's seldom above 25 times. The same source recommends at least 50 good belly laughs a day for good mental health. I'm not there yet, but it seems to be helping. Watch a Fawlty Towers rerun and get a good belly laugh out of Basil stepping on his roast duck, or Manuel not finding the dining room because the builders had closed it up. If Fawlty Towers is not your speed, find something else, Benny Hill or Are You Being Served. The point is to focus not on the trouble but on the solution. And the solution to being down is to find something to lift you UP. Believing in Jesus is supposed to be a grace-filled Up, not a guilt-ridden DOWN. Whatever your Christian friends are telling you, remember that fact.

I feel like I'm preaching at you, and if it comes off that way, I apologize. I just want you to hang on long enough to come out the other side of this as a whole person. Meanwhile, I've got another computer to fix, and there's a squirrel running around in the basement ceiling (Really!) that I've got to do something about.

God Bless and Keep Smiling!

I can't top that today, so I'll sign off with the usual ...

Yes, You CAN

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