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A shout out to two of my SparkFriends - BrightPenny and Chloe453

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Today's blog inspiration has been brought to you by two of my wonderful SparkFriends - Chloe453 and BrightPenny so I want to thank them both upfront! emoticon

Chloe wrote a blog just the other day about "natural highs" and I want to share some my own with you. Here is my list:

~ Waking up each morning and being on "this side of the sod" (my father's mantra before he died

~ Laughter

~ My dogs and their antics

~ My husband and the way we connect over the silliest of things

~ Finding money in a coat pocket you haven't worn in a while

~ The contentment I feel during and after a relaxing walk

~ Hanging clothes on the clothesline and watching it blow gently in the breeze

~ The thrill of getting a package in the mail. Bonus thrill if it arrives from my brother

~ Hearing my mother's voice on the phone (when she isn't complaining about her health!)

~ Puddles are being dressed in rubber boots so I can jump in them!

~ Pansies and violas

~ The woods roads and trails surrounding my town - lots of places to explore

~ The warmth of the sun on my face and the smell of sunscreen

~ An outdoor fire (with the obligatory marshmallow on a stick)

~ Rain at night and waking up to hearing in and knowing you are comfortable where you are

~ My SparkFriends

~ My little house with the white sheer curtains blowing in the breeze

~ Berry picking (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!)

~ Cold, yet sunny winters

~ All of the seasons except Spring but appreciating the first robin of spring, the first dandelion etc

~ Knowing that at the end of each day life is good

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Okay, and the reason BrightPenny has touched me is, well, despite a great loss in her life, she has managed to be on of the most pleasant people I have met and most successful. She has lost over 60 pounds in 8 months and has done it all with a smile.

I wrote in a SparkMail message to her about my personal journey. This is what I said to her "I have to be careful to use SparkPeople as a tool along my journey and not to let it become my journey".

Her response was basically to make sure I used SparkPeople as a tool but a tool for what. If I wanted to use it for social engagement primarily or did I want to get serious about my physical health. I know the social aspect of SparkPeople has indeed helped my mental growth but there is a fine line between going with the flow and deciding to focus my efforts on my nutrition and exercise.

It is time for me to realize that until I put as much effort into my nutrition and exercise as I do with the social aspects of SparkPeople, my weight is probably going to remain the same. Only I can do this!!!! And I just might do it! Scratch that last sentence ....I AM GOING to do this!

xo Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/28/2012 1:44AM

    Love your list of natural highs -brought back some memories for me :)
Good luck in your balancing act of using Spark as a tool and as a social outlet! I personally think you can use it as both and I have. Even though I have confidence with my weight maintenance, I am not leaving Sparks because my friends are still on their journey and I don't want to abandon them..
I want to see you reach the happy ending of your journey and I know you will and I need to see more happy endings :)
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YIWEN39 4/25/2012 7:10PM

    That's a great list Susan :-) I'm sure you can find the right balance emoticon

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BRIGHTPENNY 4/25/2012 6:46PM

    Susan, you have made a decision and I particularly like the language you chose, "I am..", so you've decided to take on the physical as well! Believe me, it will feed into the other aspects of your life... and don't ever think it isn't a continuing struggle for me, but it is one that I do take on.. one day at a time and sometimes, i am really challenged..! thanks for the feedback! i don't think I need to wish you good luck.. if you tackle this as you do the social side you are going to be successful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHLOE453 4/24/2012 9:34PM

    Absolutely love you "list" of highs....they are beautiful!!! I treasure you as a SP friend more than you will ever know. Take care and have a wonderful evening. Hugs~~Kelly

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KAYDE53 4/24/2012 5:42PM

    Great list, Susan!!! Great friends are why emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/24/2012 12:36PM

  Shout out to you! What a great way to start the morning. I will think about my natural highs! You're the greatest! emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 4/24/2012 12:16PM

    It is hard to find the right balance.

Love your list! I share many of the same natural highs!

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BOVEY63 4/24/2012 11:39AM

    Awesome! Always good to focus on the positives!

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TEMPEST272002 4/24/2012 11:14AM

    I loved your natural high list. I'm a total grumpasaurus this morning & it made me feel better just to read the list. The distinction your friend made about the social aspects vs health is spot on... but, I was thinking back to when you first started SP & it seems to me that you have made marked improvements in your health - mentally & physically. Don't discount that! It has prepared you for the next part of your journey. Now you are ready to move forward on the weight loss & I have no doubt that you will find your way with that as well.

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HEATHERNL 4/24/2012 10:41AM

    That's beautiful.

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LESLIES537 4/24/2012 9:34AM

    emoticon Sounds like some amazing friends you have there!! emoticon

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    Susan, I am facing that issue right now--the one you were talking about with BrightPenny. The social aspect of Spark had totally consumed me, and I was not focused on the right priorities. I just don't know how I'm going to do this Sparkland stuff and still be active in real life. It takes far too much time to read everyone's blogs all the time, respond to them, and just the overall busyness of all that. But again, I don't want to let my friends go. I tried changing my name, but people you hardly know find you anyway and wonder what they did wrong! They didn't do ANYthing wrong, but too many acquaintances is just that! Too many! I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do... I learn from you all the time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Turning over a new leaf and some cute dog stories

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Hello fellow Sparkers!

Well, it appears that some of you seem to think that I can write which I find quite funny because I tend to just write whatever pops into my head and I don't spend hours figuring out what I am going to say. It somehow just comes out of me which my brother claims is a great characteristic because reading my e-mails is like having me there in person. (His words and not mine). Whenever I tell him a funny story I always lead up to it by warning him to put down any hot beverages because I don't want to be responsible for his spitting it out on his clothes and/or burning his privates. He gets a real kick out of that and (according to him) has saved him from scalding himself many times. emoticon

So, speaking of which, did I tell you these stories I wonder? Just recently, my groomer (well, she is actually our DOGS groomer and not mine) was dogsitting for her sister's dog. The dog has always been quite good do my friend didn't think anything of leaving her at home unattended. She also didn't give a second thought to setting up her Roomba to vac her floors when she was gone. Well, when she returned home that evening she found out the dog had several accidents throughout the house which the Roomba (a robotic type of vacuum) took and dragged everywhere!!! Honest to goodness!

Then there is the dog my cousin knows who was in the basement where several young chicks were hatched in an incubator. As each one hatched the dog reaches in and takes the chick in his mouth and gently cleans it off. Then when the chicks make a sound he goes to the incubator and takes them out and nestles them into his fur. This is a huge German Sheppard that has half the town terrorized just by its looks!!

My final story is about a good friend of my brothers who lives outside of Sydney, Australia. Fran was dogsitting her mom's elderly, half-blind, half-deaf, ancient poodle when she decided walk her off leash. Without warning the poodle took off down the block and turned into a church garden which apparently was having a BBQ for the area's homeless. Before she knew what was happening the dog stole a bunch of sausages and was quite proud of herself while Fran arrived trying to make excuses and apologies!

Oh, and before I forget I promised a friend of mine that I would start to eat better. That is why I am turning over a new leaf. This is the same friend who last year was eating herself sick and who ended up in ICU over Christmas with what turned out to be Type 1 (!) diabetes at age 55! She has gone from living on chocolate for breakfast to salads, cut out diet coke completely, and is losing a lot of excess weight. Last summer I wrote about how I felt she was sabotaging my efforts and now she is the one encouraging me to log my food! Wow! So, I am going to do it.....look out!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 4/23/2012 3:44PM

    I love the story about the German Shepherd the baby chicks! Fritz is a big softie too...but he scares the heck out of the postman and everyone else who comes to the gate!

Good luck with the new leaf...spring is the right time for new leaves, after all!

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JOANNANOW 4/23/2012 10:09AM

    You cheered me up on this rainy morning. The big dog and the little chicks warmed my heart. There's an up side to the rain as it makes the snow run off but it looks dreary and the dogs don't want to go out which is totally unusal.

Great news that your friend is encouraging you and inspiring you. I hope you can enjoy some creative salads together.

Happy Monday!
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HEALTHYBARB1 4/22/2012 11:53PM

    Glad to hear about your new motivation and loved the dog stories and smiles they brought to my face!! My lhasa apso is very old and blind and deaf...her nose still works though and she refuses to eat anymore unless she can smell dinner...making her quite a spoiled old lady....but we love her so we try to be as supportive as possible.

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TEMPEST272002 4/22/2012 8:50PM

    Cute dog stories! We once had a real giant of a rottweiler (140lbs) who adored our chickens. Every morning he would go to the chicken coop and count his chickens. If any got too far away from the coop, he'd gently nose them back. He would even let them sit on his back which was hilarious.

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KAYDE53 4/22/2012 7:55PM

    Loved your dogs stories, that Roomba one was too funny, I can just picture that!!! That's so great about your friend's turn around in her health mindset. I think it's so much easier when you have someone right there to help cheer each other on!! emoticon

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    I agree... writing from the heart is what endears your friends to you! Not to mention that you are a true, loving friend! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/22/2012 3:04PM

    It is because you write from your heart that we all enjoy it so much!

Great dog stories! So glad the first one didn't happen to me. YUCK!

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GAYLE-G-63 4/22/2012 2:51PM

    Thanks for the smiles, Suan.

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ILOVEMALI 4/22/2012 2:32PM

  love your dog stories. I have a lhasa apso, who is true to breed -- she alerts when she thinks that the gate to the monastery will be breached. She also alerts when she notices something different. For example, a leaf fell off of a plant in our livingroom and had landed on the couch. She saw it and it was "Danger, Will Robinson!" for 5 minutes! LOL emoticon

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My birthday wish this year and will the real Susan please stand up

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Yes, today is my birthday and I am really, really fighting to stave off a pity party. And it has nothing to do with turning 46 as I know I am in a better place in my life than I have ever been before. No, my depression suddenly didn't disappear off the face of the earth, nor did the sun decide to take up full time occupancy over our island and, yes, we are still undergoing a financial hardship. As of next week, we will be living on my unemployment insurance which isn't much as my job is only seasonal and part-time at that.

No doubt my special day is going to be different this year. I don't think there will be any presents and I am fine with that, really, I am. I know I have far too many physical possessions to enjoy as it is so anything else would be a waste. I am being taken out to a nice restaurant both tonight and tomorrow - today by my mom and tomorrow by close friends.

I think what I am sad about is that I miss my dad. Huh? Yep, I miss the way he always made me feel special everyday but even more so on my birthday. He would always make the special effort to call me as soon as he knew I would be up and would devote the whole day to doing whatever I wanted to do. Okay, now I sound like a child but I hope you all know what I mean.

I need to feel Dad in my life right now and that would be a perfect present for me. A few hours before he died he promised me he would live on in my heart and I know that deep within he is here with me. I am hoping some of you know what is like to have that closeness with their parents and that you don't think I'm gone off the deep end.

Anyway, I have to cheer myself up and stop this is in its tracks before Dad himself pops out of nowhere and smacks me up the side of the head. Ha! I got my sense of humour from him so he did give me a special gift!

So, where am I in my journey? Well, I'm not really sure. This has been the longest I have ever gone without blogging and I kind of missed it. Do you ever go back and read your past blogs? It is an eye-opener for me when I do. Somethings I have written make me squirm while other stuff makes me quite proud that I am honest. Yes, I have a mental illness but that doesn't make me who I am.

Speaking of mental illnesses, I had an interesting appointment with my psychiatrist earlier in the week. She "thinks" I am a completely different person than when I began seeing her about 8 years ago. You know me and my humour so don't be surprised that I piped up and said "okay, whom I am and what have I done with the real Susan." Thankfully she has a great sense of humour as well so I wasn't locked away!

According to her, I am at the stage where I am accepting of my illness and moving on. I am not letting depression (oh, and a slight tendency to be Bi-Polar - who knew?) dictate where my life takes me. I am not using it as a shield but rather to explain who I am and the role it plays in my life. She says I am much stronger than I think I am and am much more saner than anybody she has ever met?! Who me? Sane? Wow? You see, I have always thought I was slightly crazy and was only one forgotten pill away from being put into a straight jacket. But no, apparently a professional thinks I have an inner strength that I don't know about.

So, who is the real Susan? The real Susan is finally emerging and I am finding out that she might actually be likeable and a nice friend to have in my back pocket. So the birthday present I am giving myself this year is permission to accept and love who I am right now and not worry about who I was or who I might turn out to be.

Oh, and a piece of birthday cake wouldn't go astray emoticon


P.S. I think I just hear Dad clapping and cheering me on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLILA 4/21/2012 1:59AM

    Happy birthday to you and also to my granddaughter who turned 1 y.o. today.

Loved your blog and your attitude. You are indeed a strong woman!! You have been so blessed to have such wonderful memories of your dad... Have you ever heard the country song, "There Are Holes in the Floor of Heaven"? I am sure your dad is up there looking down on you and so proud of your strength and endurance and that you have kept his humor alive... emoticon

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KAYDE53 4/20/2012 10:59PM

    I hope you enjoyed your birthday & wish you many, many more!!! I think your choice of a present to yourself is awesome, and probably one of the many reasons your doc thinks you're a completely different person!!! I'll just bet your dad was right there with you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTHAWILL 4/20/2012 8:33PM

    Enjoyed reading your blog Susan. You are a prolific writer. Your forthrightness will help others experiencing the same journey. You do sound very confident and "together" . Congratulations on your accomplishments. Wish you a very Happy Birthday.

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WINGSONME 4/20/2012 4:00PM

Pat yourself on your back.Just look at all your birthday wishes you are sure doing something right..and your Dad knows that and helped make you the great caring kind person you are.. I know the pain of not having a Mom & Dad who we love, and are ever so close with, not to be with us any longer.....Happy Birthday my friend. emoticon

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MILLIE5522 4/20/2012 10:03AM

    Happy Birthday! I'm a little late but I have been away for a few days. I think your present to yourself is just perfect! As for the real Susan. I think you are an intelligent, caring sensitive person with a great sense of humour. That is how you come across to me and I should imagine your Dad was very proud of you. emoticon

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    Ahh, Susan... you are such a dear, dear friend! I am so sorry I missed your birthday yesterday, and I never even saw it in "the other place" we frequent!

How I will miss my dear Dad when he leaves this earth! He is technically my step-dad, but he shines far brighter than any bio dad could ever begin to attempt. I know you must feel a huge void if he was anything like my dad!

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I hope that you know I love you, friend. I'm glad we're connected. emoticon

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CHLOE453 4/20/2012 5:56AM


I am sure your Dad is with you on your special day, clapping & singing & still making you feel extremely special. I lost my Dad on my 25th birthday, so I sort of understand in a way of what you are going through.

Wishing you nothing but a great day and wonderful weekend!! Take care my SP friend as you are very important to many of us.

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POPSY190 4/20/2012 4:11AM

    Great blog. This is the anniversary of my father's death so I can sympathise with that feeling of something missing on your special day. But you are right, although we can't see or speak directly to them they live on in our thoughts and hearts and in our very existence as we are their creation! My father too had his problems with bi-polar episodes but he was also one of the most kind people I have known and had a fundamental common sense and decency. I think you are like that as well; when I look around at the attitudes and behaviours of some so-called "normal" people I think "sanity" or the lack of it is a fine line that most of us walk at some stage or another. The difference between you and many others is that you have the courage to acknowledge your difficulties and to do the best you can regardless. So you enjoy your birthday and the many happy returns of it that I hope will follow for you.

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_LINDA 4/20/2012 1:19AM

    Happy birthday my special friend! So very sorry your Dad couldn't be there in person to celebrate with you, but like your online friends, we are there with you in spirit! Wishing you many more up days then down, and know that your smile lights up a place brighter than any sun!
You are a strong woman Susan! You go girl!!!
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EJOY-EVELYN 4/19/2012 11:59PM

    There's something incredibly healthy about being a bit insanely crazy! Thesuspect the one thing you will ever hear said about you is, "My, she led such a b-o-r-i-n-g life!"

emoticon Happy Birthday, Susan!

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SUNNYSHINE- 4/19/2012 11:06PM

    Happy birthday, Susan! What a wonderful gift to give yourself the peace that comes with accepting who you are today. We are all worthy this moment. Do not let another moment pass where you do anything less than love and accept yourself. I too have struggled with that over the years; but as I work on it, I can feel the pressure to be anything other than me slowly melting away. Best wishes on your special day :-)

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CELLISTA1 4/19/2012 10:21PM

    Happy Birthday to the Real Susan! As you see, many of us understand how you miss your dad. My dad still appears in my dreams quite a lot and it's been 16 years since he died. This was a great blog.

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CHUBRUB3 4/19/2012 7:10PM

Wishing you health and happiness every day.

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HEALTHYBARB1 4/19/2012 4:20PM

    Yes!!! Your Dad would be proud!! I think it is great that you decided to be the real Susan and love her unconditionally because I am from a family where my Dad loved me that way and it sounds like that is the kind of Dad you have as well. He would want you to love the Susan he loves and to be the best Susan you can be!!
Happy Birthday to you!! Smiles Barb

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GEORGIAK25 4/19/2012 3:28PM

    Happy Birthday Susan emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
It is great to receive presents but to have love and genuine at that is more improtant. You are surrounded by that love here. Hope you can make the day special. I am sure your dad is there around you. Just close your eyes and drift off into the memories and you will feel him.

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KANSASROSE67 4/19/2012 2:43PM

    I totally understand how you feel about your dad. I miss my mom at times so much it hurts...sometimes we long to be taken care of in the way that only parents can.

Have a wonderful birthday and enjoy the new, stronger Susan!


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WAYSOFGRACE 4/19/2012 1:06PM

    Happy birthday!!!

I know what you mean about being close to your dad. I am that close to mine, and I try not to think of what it will be like when he is no longer physically with me. That being said, if I am honest with myself, he's always with me whether he's on a cruise or across the table. He has instilled in me traits that I liked, taught me lessons on life, and I am who I am partly because of my relationship with him.

I too have mental illness, and you bet your sweet patootie we are stronger than we realize! You've come to a great place in your life, and I just know that you are going to love the you that the rest of us see every single day!

Now get out there and have a wonderful day!!! emoticon

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ASL191 4/19/2012 12:19PM

    Happy birthday to you.

I am sure your Dad is with you, as he said in your heart.

It sounds as though you have made massive steps in accepting you as who you are, enjoy your meals out and spoil yourself for free, a soak in the bath, a walk in the woods, a wander around a museum, doing stuff like that makes me feel good inside.

Enjoy the rest of your day :-)

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BOVEY63 4/19/2012 12:10PM

    Have a wonderful birthday and know that your dad is there with you, never leaving your heart.
Here's to finding, and loving, the real us ~ a gift I am giving myself too!

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JOANNANOW 4/19/2012 11:45AM

    Happy Birthday Dear Susan.... Happy Birthday to you!

My dad has been gone for more than 30 years and there are still days when I feel his presence in my heart. The cherished memory of a wonderful father is a great gift. Better than any physical present.

I hope the cake is delicious and the company of friends is delightful.

I would have to agree with your therapist ... sane is a good description of the Susan I find among the spark people. I love the way you think and write. Thanks for all the times you made me think and all the times you made me laugh. May 46 be the best year ever. Joanna emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDEEB7 4/19/2012 11:39AM

    Well done, Susan. Thinking of you and hoping your birthday is a great one, with many blessings popping up. Even just the memories of your dad are a blessing, aren't they? Wishing a happy year ahead for you. emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/19/2012 11:30AM

  Happy birthday -- I know that you and your dad will celebrate in your heart.

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KARBIE18 4/19/2012 10:48AM

    Happy birthday, Susan! I am sorry you are missing your dad. I know how tough that can be, but it's perfectly understandable. I agree that being told that you are a different person is a good thing, and that you SHOULD be proud of your progress.

Have a fabulous day!
Karen (Karen Hoytt Schertz - from FB)

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LESLIES537 4/19/2012 10:35AM

    Yep, you're right. That was the sound of him cheering you on, all right!! He would be so proud of the woman you've become! You have come a long ways and your therapist is right on the money with what she said! You are one of the strongest women I know! I $hit you not. emoticon

Love you doll face and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Enjoy that cake!! emoticon

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HEATHERNL 4/19/2012 10:16AM

    Happy Birthday Susan!!!!!
You are an amazing lady with so much to offer this world. It has much to offer you too.
I never knew the old Susan but I sure like the new one! Keep moving forward and know that you Dad is really with you. That sort of love never dies.

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PEDODGEBALL 4/19/2012 9:37AM

    Great blog, so honest and heartfelt. Happy Birthday to you.......... I would sing to you but i don't think you would want to hear my voice. Isn't it great to hear from your pychiatrist that they have seen a change and a good one at that. I hope to be there some day.
Well I'll let you enjoy your day. Have a good one.

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IMIN2GENES 4/19/2012 8:50AM

    You should listen to your psychiatrist, she's a wise woman indeed! You should be proud of who you are. You are a strong woman who is also very open and honest. Rare and wonderful qualities if you ask me! I'm here in MD clapping and cheering you on along with your Dad. I'm sure he's proud of you too and I'm sure he's wishing you all the best on your special day. Happy Birthday Susan!

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Down but not out - pictures included!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Well, after writing yesterday's blog I forced myself to go out for a walk to clear my head. I had walked about 1km when the rain started so I had several choices:

1. I could turn around and walk back home
2. I could dart in somewhere and call John to come get me
3. I could continue my walk

I opted for number 3 and ended up walking 4 kms all of which was in the pouring rain until I was so wet through that I really had no option but to call home for a ride. Even then I was wet right through to my underwear! But, I did it! emoticon and it felt so good after a long hot shower to be able to record 4 km in my fitness tracker.

You see, I'm down BUT I'm not out! Although many of you know that I am depressed what you don't realize is that I am also very stubborn . I am NOT letting depression win the overall prize! It might knock me down a day, a week, a month or even a year at a time but when I die I want to look back and say, Take that Depression.....You Never Did Win

So, I am back to picking up the pieces

I am going to take this one day at a time and each day I feel good is a bonus! To that end I know I must keep up with my end of the bargain. I must feed my body and soul healthy foods and ideas, I must be open, and I must be willing to take my medications and use my sun lamp. Sure all days are not going to be rosy but I will get through them!

Some days I might not feel like walking and I will give myself permission not to. Some days I will struggle to stay the course but at least I'm on my way and as they say finished last beats did not finish which in turn beats didn't start!

Some well meaning friend asked if I felt cheated because I live with depression. Are you kidding me? Things could be so much worse that depression, as ugly as it can be! Yes, there are times I have the "why me" moments but then I think "why not me". There are many, many different faces to depression:

Here is mine!

And here is the look of satisfaction after resisting crawling into bed and instead getting out to walk in the rain!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GERIKRAGH 4/19/2012 1:35PM

    What is worse than depression? Depression that is not treated. Thankfully you are doing everything you can. I am a depressive person. I've been on meds for years and try everything I can to feel better. I also walk when I feel like it and don't walk when I don't feel like it. I don't let it get me down!

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WAYSOFGRACE 4/19/2012 1:12PM

    Love love love this!!!

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PATIB13 4/18/2012 3:25PM

    Yeah for you!!! I hope the days after this have also been full of moments where you kick butt. Congrats!!! emoticon emoticon

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IMAVISION 4/16/2012 9:22AM

    I am so proud of your choice to be strong & do what is best for you.

Your "satisfaction photo" speaks volumes.

Be blessed with continued success!


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KANSASROSE67 4/15/2012 3:12PM

    I love your pictures! You just look like someone who finds delight in life! You will look back someday and be able to say, "I didn't let it beat me!"

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LESLIES537 4/15/2012 1:45PM

    You look awesome! Love the look of satisfaction on your face in pic #2!

And nice job finishing your walk in the rain! Isn't it amazing the sense of accomplishment from doing something you could have easily made an excuse for? Good for you, sista!! emoticon


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SARAHCLARK5 4/13/2012 8:43AM

    Hi there ! I was rather surprised to see the name of the author of your t-shirt quote : C. Hunter Boyd. My maiden name is Boyd and my eldest brother is called Stuart Hunter Boyd ! Strange isn't it ! I'm so glad that you have decided to kick back at depression. We will help you ! Some days it's just one foot in front of the other stuff , but others , things just fly ! We hope that withour encouragement you can fly more often ! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/12/2012 7:58PM

  It is brave to continue moving forward. Congratulations, Brave One! emoticon

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CALGARYNEWF 4/11/2012 7:15PM

    Well done Susan!!!!

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_LINDA 4/11/2012 1:45AM

    LOVE the photos! For sure shows Susan the winner, the depression beater, the victorious! Keep on winning that battle my friend, one step at a time!!!
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Q8PRINCESS 4/11/2012 12:16AM

    I like you poster. The t-shirt reminded me of the marathon runner in the olympics, i think form summer Montreal games, who finished his race even though the race was declared finished almost everyone had gone home. The TV filmed him coming into the stadium and finished his race.

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GOOZLEBEAR 4/10/2012 10:11PM

    Congratulations on getting that walk in instead of giving in, You are awesome!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHLOE453 4/10/2012 9:20PM

    You are truly an inspiration!!! emoticon emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 4/10/2012 8:21PM

    What a great attitude! And I love your page background. Doggies are the best!

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SUNNYSHINE- 4/10/2012 8:15PM

    Congratulations on digging deep and continuing your walk in the rain! I was picturing as you walked all the little seeds of depression being washed away. Have a great rest-of-the-week!

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REJ7777 4/10/2012 7:49PM

    Congratulations on getting a 4 km walk in, in spite of the rain and the depression. I'm impressed! emoticon

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MILLISMA 4/10/2012 7:19PM

    What a great job! You gave depression a kick in the butt. Keep up that wonderful attitude.

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CODEMAULER 4/10/2012 6:31PM

    Often the best workout is the one you don't skip - way to go!!


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HEALTHYBARB1 4/10/2012 5:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
So proud of you! I think depression is just like my long term pain and autoimmune issue...it never seems to go away!! We always have a choice to get up each day and do the best we can. Your smile in the last picture and your rosy cheeks say it all....this is how success feels!! One day at a time is what we do and each day that we do our best is another day closer to that healthier lady we strive for!! Hugs to you today and and great big Way to Go!!! Smiles Barb
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POPSY190 4/10/2012 5:37PM

    I think "I did it! Despite how I felt!" can sometimes be a huge tonic. Good for you sticking it out. And isn't it a good feeling when home again, warm and dry? emoticon
Your pictures say it all!

Comment edited on: 4/10/2012 5:38:21 PM

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SPARKLISE 4/10/2012 4:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAYDE53 4/10/2012 4:13PM

    Great job, Susan!!! Keep on, keeping on!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EJOY-EVELYN 4/10/2012 1:51PM

    You are such a winner in my book . . . although my book doesn't mean all that much. I see you have one of the most resilient and beautiful spirits around. Love the smile, too . . . it's contagious!

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NEWMAC2011 4/10/2012 1:24PM

    Way to go! And great outlook!

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CHUBRUB3 4/10/2012 1:13PM

    You are an amazingly beautiful, resilient and successful woman.
You can do this!
you are.

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BOVEY63 4/10/2012 12:47PM

    So awesome that you "Just Did It!"
I love the saying on the shirt!

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GUNNSGIRL91303 4/10/2012 12:03PM

    I struggle with depression too, in a big way. Good for you to go out and walk despite the rain! Victories like that help us get through the dark times. Keep up the great work and take care!

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CCASKEY37 4/10/2012 11:25AM

    I am right there with you. It's seems so easy sometimes to sit indoors and rot but you feel so much better when you get out and get going. When the weather is crappy, you're cold and wet and the wind is in your face, you feel ten times better for having finished what you started. Good for you!

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JOANNANOW 4/10/2012 10:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are wonderful!
Keep on keeping on... it's the only way and you are on the only path.
Sending hugs
Joanna emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 4/10/2012 9:27AM

    Good for you! I think that at least 70% of Sparkers suffer from mood disorders ranging from depression to bi-polar disorder to OCD. You're in the right club!

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Starting over but just don't know when

Monday, April 09, 2012


May I please have a "do-over"? Nothing seems to be working for me right now and although that does sound a bit whiny, it is the plain and simple truth. I've stopped logging in, I have allowed some fantastic Spark friendships to lapse, I'm not active on any of my teams. Maybe it is time to take a Spark break? I don't know.

For some reason, deep within, I can't even fathom my life without Spark (which is a good thing, isn't it?) so maybe I will just step back and take a breather. Has anybody else gone through this? Would you share what worked for you to get you back as an active Sparker?

I am fighting hard against this depression and SAD. It ebbs and flows so some days are a lot better than others. Most people with SAD find the winter tough but my worse time is March - May and sometimes even June depending on the weather. I've been sitting in front of my SAD light, I take my vitamin D, and I try to get out and walk regardless of the weather because time with my dogs cheers me up.

I finish work in two weeks which right now seems great. I want to focus on getting more physically active and will do so by resuming water aerobics in the mornings. I need something to get me up and out the door.

Maybe this will pass and I will be back to blogging tomorrow but right now I feel I need some me time..which is probably the last thing I really need! emoticon

Hold tight my friends. I am down but not out!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CODEMAULER 4/10/2012 8:01AM

    I think all things in life have cycles. I know that I've been 'coasting' a bit lately as other things have bubbled up. As those things subside, I find myself reaching for the things that didn't get as much attention. It happens to all of us.

Keep you and your loved ones in the important places. Everything else is available as you need/want it.

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SVELTEWARRIOR 4/10/2012 12:09AM

    Maybe just Spark a little every day?? Maybe keep in touch with just one or two Spark friends? You always have to do what you feel is best for you. What ever you decide please know that you are cared for greatly

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KAYDE53 4/10/2012 12:06AM

    I never really quit SP, but I have gone through times where I do the bare minimum, log in, look over what interests me, & that's all, just to stay active. But whatever works for you, Susan, only you know! Maybe you do need to just take time off & re-evaluate!! We'll be here waiting!!! emoticon

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YIWEN39 4/9/2012 8:17PM

    Hey Susan, you gotta do what you gotta do. And that is: for YOU. So if you feel like you need a break... we'll be here for you when you get back :-)
It sounds great that you will start water aerobics again very soon, I hope it will help! And don't forget those vitamins and light ;-)
Take good care of yourself!

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_LINDA 4/9/2012 2:32PM

    Its pretty hard to feel like doing much when you are fighting the double whammy of depression and SAD. But one thing you should never feel is obligated to the people on here. We are all in this to improve our own lives. We understand that. Making yourself a priority is is your first concern and finding out what works for you, whether its Sparkpeople or something in your own real life.. Your loyal friends will always be here when ever you decide to come back. That is what friends are for. But do what ever you can to make yourself feel better. I hope your days get sunny and warm, because being out in nature really is uplifting.
Take care of yourself, my thoughts are with you in this struggle,
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 4/9/2012 1:54PM

    You can rally Susan! You can do this!
So glad to hear your doing your SAD and vitamins. Try to rally your friends and family to help get you out and about.
Love and hugs,

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NEWMAC2011 4/9/2012 1:23PM

    I think we all have to do what works for ourselves. I've taken a few weeks off from SP every now & then. Do what you need for your own journey.

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NWILKER 4/9/2012 1:21PM

    Definitely do what is good for you and i think we have all taken a break. I was totally a lurker, so I kind of felt connected and in touch.

No-one should expect you to comment or say hello every day! Think about your regular real world friends - you don't send them an email or phone them every single day, you do it when the mood strikes!!

Take care of you and the rest will fall into place!

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OUBACHE 4/9/2012 12:04PM

    I struggle with some of these same issues. If anyone were paying attention (and I hope they're not), they would notice I haven't blogged in quite some time. I just haven't been "able" to -- hard to explain, but maybe you'll understand. I sometimes feel like taking a spark break, but have found what works for me is to be kind of a spark lurker. I'll log in, often huddle and track water at least, take a poll, and just poke around. I guess I'm kind of playing mind games with myself, because by doing this I don't feel like I've quit or given up, but it gives me kind of a break. Sometimes I feel like I sit in front of the computer too much, anyway, when I should be outside moving around and burning some calories, so it's all a matter of balance. Just try some different things and combination of things until you find what feels comfortable right now. Switch it up later when you feel like it. BE GOOD TO YOURSELF. Come chat with us anytime...we're here for you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/9/2012 12:00PM

    I was feeling the same way a little over a month ago but then realized how much this site, and my awesome friends here, help me through it all.

I am sure the depression and SAD have a lot to do with how you are feeling. Maybe try scaling back for a few days and see how you feel ~ you will know the answer.

Take care Sweetie!

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CHLOE453 4/9/2012 11:26AM

    Oh Susan...you will know when the right time comes to get actively involved again. Sometimes we just need a few days/weeks of "just me time" to get refocused and decide what our goals are in life. I wish you nothing but fantastic luck on finding that path. Take care of yourself. Hugs~~Kelly

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GLORYANDME 4/9/2012 10:45AM

    Take it one day at a time and do what you can do each day. You might have days where you don't even want to log into SP, and that is okay. Don't project and don't beat yourself up. Take care of yourself. SP will always be here. (((((Susan)))))

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REJ7777 4/9/2012 9:19AM

    It can be awfully difficult to be motivated when struggling with depression and SAD. I hope that you'll get outdoors and *do* things. Some fresh air and exercise can put a brighter spin on things. The challenge is opening the door and taking those first few steps. And sometimes that means walking instead of Sparking. (Sparking is easier, and it can become self-deceptive if we sit and spark too much.) I wish you well, my friend! emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/9/2012 9:21:10 AM

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IMIN2GENES 4/9/2012 9:17AM

    I think Mimi left you some very sage advice. It's true. You don't need to apologize and you certainly aren't disappointing anyone. That is something we do to ourselves. It's okay to take the time and find the balance that suits you. It's so easy to make me feel guilty. So when I'm not commenting on everything, I start to get down on myself. The hardest thing for me was to let go of that. I have to remind myself all the time that my friends will still be here and will understand. We're here to share and support. Sometimes you'll need more support and sometimes you'll be able to give more support. That's just the way life rolls and that's okay. Take care of you!

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Q8PRINCESS 4/9/2012 9:11AM

    I think it's common to feel like this. I almost quit a couple of weeks ago myself. Hang in there! You have to do what is best for you. It could be down that slippery slope or the best thing for you. A real help right? No matter what, I still be here.

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    I have recently "emerged" from something similar. The hardest thing for me was cutting myself some slack. You are not "disappointing" anyone, nor do you need to apologize - those are just things we do to ourselves I think (at least I do). What I did was really "dial down" my Sparking so that it wasn't causing stress to me, and then slowly add things back in when I was ready, instead of quitting. I do my friend connection via Friend Feed - I see what's in my feed and comment on statuses and blogs. So I shut off everything except the thing most important to me - blogs - until I felt like I could handle more. Now I have on blogs and status. I used to also have on weight loss and fitness minutes, but I can't deal with that all yet. I also have "allowed" myself to NOT read every blog and definitely NOT comment - something I used to do religiously. I am slowly trying to not "feel bad" for not doing this. And of course getting down to basics...the tracking is the most important thing, and so I've started again. I'm not perfect - but I'm okay if I track for part of the day and not all - it's still better than not tracking at all.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:


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