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Depression: Is "suffering" the right word?

Monday, October 04, 2010

The idea for today's blog came when I re-read what I had posted yesterday about coming up with, and listing, ten things I like about myself. It has to do with number 8 in which I stated "I laugh a lot....it fools a lot of people because they don't believe I suffer from depression"

I'm taking issue with my choice of "suffering" when describing depression. Sure there have been a lot of days when I've suffered but for the most part I would like to say "I'm living with depression". It doesn't flare up everyday nor everyweek but when it raises its ugly head it sure brings me to my knees fast enough to be actual physical pain.

I was first diagnosed as being "depressed" as a teenager although my doctor and I think I had it as a child. For the most part I was a very happy child except for March and November which brought a lot of gray skies and rain and drizzle. This trend continued into high school and into university and those months also coincided with term papers and exam preparations. Up until a few years ago, I was still having nightmares about not being prepared for a test, etc.

I've been suicidal twice and I don't want to go back there. I've felt like a lab rat at times as they tried to find the right combination of antidepressants to give to me. That, and I truly believed I would only need them for a short period of time and then I would go off of them. Not a pretty sight!

About a year ago, I committed myself to the local psychiatric ward where I stayed for one week. It was the best thing I ever did! It opened my eyes to so much. I know I'm not the worse case scenario but I also take pride in the fact that I recognized myself that I was going downhill fast. I think it takes a lot of guts to admit that!

So, although I said I'm suffering with depression, I'm proud to say that I live with it. I know the medication is working and I know I have to do my part to help myself too....hence the reason I joined SparkPeople! I'm learning to accept myself warts and all and I don't live in fear of depression anymore. Mind you, I don't embrace it either but I know from experience that the episodes will ebb and flow throughout my life. Things do turn around and I do feel better. The down times remind me of how good the good times really are!

Bless you all for reading this and learning a little bit more about me....and for accepting me anyhow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 10/5/2010 2:02AM

    You are very brave to admit you have this problem, and good for you for seeking any and all possible treatment. A lot of people just sweep it under the rug..or ignore it and wait for it to pass out of the worst. I hope more people with depression read your blog and take heart from it.
Well done!!

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KNOWMOREBBK 10/4/2010 10:08PM

    This is a beautiful blog. It's open, honest and raw. I am so proud of you!


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GAYLE-G-63 10/4/2010 6:46PM


I suffer from mild depression. You're absolutely doing the right thing. You're honesty is incredibly touching to me and should be to everyone. Kudos!

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Ten things I like about myself........

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Hello SparkFriends~

Apparently I responded to a blog that a total stranger wrote last week when she was having a really bad day and suggested that she write out ten things that she liked about herself. We have since gone on to become SparkFriends and I am getting a taste of my own medicine. I'm really good at telling other people they should have better self-esteem but am lousy at it myself.

Can I really come up with 10 things I like about myself without sounding conceited and vain? Here goes off the top of my head:

1. Am a dog lover!
2. Have been blessed with a decent sense of humour
3. I remind a lot of people of my father who was known for his kindness
4. I am spiritual and believe in angels that come in many forms
5. At 44, I'm finally liking my red hair....now that it is turning grey and I colour it....go figure
6. I'm stuck.....okay, I'm compassionate
7. I'm open-minded about people's sexuality...some of my best friends are gay and so is my beloved brother
8. I laugh a lot....it fools a lot of people because they don't believe I suffer from depression
9. I'd give away my heart and soul if somebody needed it.....I gave away some of my wedding presents during 9/11
10. Okay, really stuck here now: I like the fact that I can talk about my depression for what it is and not try to deny it.

I think my face is actually burning from coming up with my list......see, I told you all that I find it hard to talk about my so-called good points! Funny how that is!

Maybe some of you will carry forth with this and post things about yourselves that you like!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 10/13/2010 1:08AM

    Great blog...so glad to see that you were able to come up with 10 things that you liked about yourself!! AWESOME!!!

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GAYLE-G-63 10/4/2010 6:47PM


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Yep us "Rangas" have to stick together even if we have to help it along sometimes with a bit of dye.

Glad to know you like to laugh, it's the best medicine, it makes you and everybody feel so much better.

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JHADZHIA 10/4/2010 12:53AM

    Nice to have a fellow red head on my buddy list. I like being unique with that hair color too. It is rapidly going white though. Although the only people to ever like it were little old ladies. It is hard to come up with a list of self likes. A lot of us are on this journey because we didn't respect ourselves, and gained weight not looking after ourselves as a result. Here is to learning to love ourselves!

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KAYDE53 10/3/2010 7:45PM

    I think we have a hard time listing our strengths because we're taught not to brag & we don't want to sound like we are, so we're afraid to give an honest assessment of ourselves!! In reality, listing our strengths is not bragging at all & you did a great job of it!! Have a great week!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 10/3/2010 5:21PM

    It's always easier to give good advice than take it! Good for your sparkfriend for encouraging you to walk the talk. Good for you for following through and doing it!

Why is it so easy for us to list our faults & so hard to list our strengths? I love your list and feel like I know the real you a little better now. We have a lot in common. We're both open-minded, compassionate, dog lovers who laugh a lot and also experience depression. I only wish I had red hair!

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Halloween Challenge - END of Week 1

Saturday, October 02, 2010



As promised, here is my blog for the Halloween Challenge - Week 1....several days late, I might add!

Here are the scores I gave myself for the past week:

Nutrition: 3/5
Fitness: 8/10
Support: 8/10
Having Fun : I'm about to post a good site for great costumes 5/5
Blogging: 10/10

I'm attaching several pictures I got my husband to take earlier this afternoon! Don't the dogs look so impressed to be in Halloween gear! I think they are just ticked off that they had to share a costume and a hand-me-down at that!

My goals for the challenge are to be more supportive to my friends who have supported me and to try to get better at the nutrition side of things. I'm still having a very hard time getting enough calories. Somehow I am equating healthy eating with eating less!

Enjoy my pictures!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I love the pics! How cute! You are doing great on the challenge. Keep up the great effort!

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I think that the pup in the first pic looks a little p'od with the costume LOL, got that look my dog does when I stick a hat on him.

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LOTUSFLOWER 10/3/2010 12:14AM

    emoticon Your dogs are so cute!! So are you! Love the pics!

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JHADZHIA 10/2/2010 6:13PM

    Love your photos! Such cute fur babies!! I love Halloween, its my favorite time of the year.
Keep up the great work!
As for being under calories -keep nuts on hand, they add calories fast with a heart healthy fat boost! I use natural almond butter for my calorie fat boost. I find if I am low on calories I am also usually low on fat too. I am stuck in that everything has to be low fat and no fat so I end up getting little. Even the bread I have has only 1-2 grams per slice!

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TEMPEST272002 10/2/2010 4:56PM

    I loved the dog pics, especially of them sharing the clown costume. Too sweet!

Good job posting your before photo. It's hard for us to do, but it's part of the process and in a few weeks, you'll be glad to able to see the difference.

You're doing great on the challenges! Don't forget to post your week totals on the challenge thread on Sunday.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/2/2010 12:39PM

    Cute pictures. I fairly often get to the end of my eating for the day and find that I am short on the calories. It seems odd to need to "fix" it when I'm not particularly hungry. I worry about it more if I'm short in the carbs, proteins, fats, or folate. And usually that IS what happens when I'm short on the calories.

Would it all be easier if I actually followed the prescribed plan rather than doing my own thing? Could be. It's probably not going to happen since I resist rigid plans and restrictions.

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Where would I be without my SparkFriends?

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thank you from the very bottom of my heart to all of you who responded so kindly to my blog about my latest "flare up" of depression! I was afraid to post how I was really feeling because some people mistakenly think you can shake it off!

I deliberately went to be very early last night and started re-reading an old familiar novel and apparently I went out like a light. I'm a firm believer that if you are not used to napping and you fall to sleep like that your body is trying to tell you something.

Anyway, today brought more rain and drizzle but I went to work and then immediately after arrving home I left again and took the dogs for a walk...err...ran triple what I did! I have to admit I trudged along for the first bit but felt better as the tension left my body. I'm really behind in my Halloween challenge but I have been tracking all week but just haven't put it on the computer yet.

Thanks again, SparkFriends, for being there for me! Bless you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



I too am glad you are doing better today. While I haven't suffered with depression, I would never assume it is something to brush off.

Glad you got some exercise in it's supposed to help, or so they say!!

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POOH_BEAR_69 9/30/2010 11:30PM

    So glad a new day was able to give you a fresh start. I hope things continue to be on the "up" for you in the days and weeks ahead.

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TEMPEST272002 9/30/2010 5:43PM

    Glad you're feeling better today!

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KAYDE53 9/30/2010 3:14PM

    Glad to see you're feeling some better!! I have bouts of depression too, so I can totally sympathize..I take a med for it, but sometimes, even with that, I get that all too familiar feeling. It's something we just have to work through in our own way. Bless you on your fitness journey!! emoticon

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LESLIES537 9/30/2010 2:06PM

    It's so good to hear that you're feeling better...amazing what a little sleep can do for ya sometimes. I totally understand where you're coming from there. emoticon

Thanks so much for the friend add too! I've done the same! Looking forward to building a friendship and sharing our journey's of health and happiness together! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/30/2010 2:07:15 PM

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SUZIEGREY 9/30/2010 1:50PM

    Glad you are feeling a bit better today. As S3XYDIVASMOM says, it is amazing what a good night's sleep will do for you.

Bet the dogs enjoyed the walk as much as you did.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/30/2010 1:08PM

    Amazing what a good night's sleep will do for you. And walking is good for the sole and the soul.

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Having a rough couple of days.....sorry friends

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I've been having a rough couple of days so I'd like to apologize to my friends on Spark for all but ignoring them. As most of you know, I suffer from depression which comes and goes much like the ocean's tide. For the past couple of days, I've been sad and overwhelmed for no apparent reason. My whole body is affected and just today I fell face first in the Tim Horton's parking lot. Thankfully I wasn't hurt but I just wanted to crawl away. Even my dogs don't bring me joy when I am like this and that bothers me the most! Anyway, I'm going to chalk the past few days up to experience and get up tomorrow morning with a smile on my face!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

METALLICAT1 10/1/2010 2:02AM

    You just take care of yourself first. We'll be here for you no matter what. Take you're time. There's no reason for you to feel sorry of feel like you're ignoring us. I'm sure your doggies even understand and are there for you. Prayers and hope you get better.

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POOH_BEAR_69 9/30/2010 11:32PM

    You have the best attitude, and that is a big part of winning the battle... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OUBACHE 9/30/2010 12:37PM

    Sorry to hear you are in a bad place right now. One of the wonderful things about dogs is they sense when something is wrong, and love us unconditionally. They will be there for you, and so will your sparkfriends. Take care and I hope things look brighter soon.

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LESLIES537 9/30/2010 9:51AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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So sorry you have been having a rough trot that past few days. That you are Sparking says alot for you at the moment. Take your time to get yourself back into gear, we will all be here when you come back to help you on your way.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/29/2010 5:55PM

    Take really good care of yourself. It sounds like you understand your condition. I like what you said about it: "depression " . . ."comes and goes much like the ocean's tide." I hope that being aware that it will eventually go away helps you get through.

Comment edited on: 9/29/2010 5:57:02 PM

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JHADZHIA 9/29/2010 4:19PM

    So sorry to hear you suffer from this :((
Hope things get better.
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TEMPEST272002 9/29/2010 3:49PM

    emoticon I'm sorry to hear that you're struggling with depression. I suffered a serious bout of depression 2 years ago - and the way you describe your feelings, well I remember feeling like that. Sometimes it's all you can do to hold onto yourself. Do what you need to to care for yourself, but remember that we are here for you. When you have a rough day, blog writing can help. Venting in my blogs often helps me clarify my own thinking and my sparkfriends' comments help me regain a sense of perspective.

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SUZIEGREY 9/29/2010 3:37PM

    Sorry to hear that you have had a rough time of it the last couple of days.


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