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    -WISPY-   40,512
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Depression and the help of writing


Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I spent a very large part of my life with depression. Not the come and go kind, but the day by day constant companion kind when the world is just a grey, foggy, aching emptiness and time crawls by from one agonizing second to the next. I had everything outwardly. Husband, family, home, my own business - but I felt lost and empty and scared on the inside as if I was at the bottom of a very deep pit.

My life did not change suddenly but very slowly over the last 50 years. I could think of very little to be grateful for at that time and did not feel 'gratitude' at all.

One of the first things that helped was realising and accepting that I did have depression and that if anything was going to change I had to face that fact and stop running away from it with alcohol, sex, food, gambling - all things which gave a fleeting but short lived release, followed
by feeling even worse if that were possible. which ensured that I had to repeat the behaviour.

I started therapy and began to write daily. It was suggested I just sit down and write anything. If I couldn't think of anything then just write that. Thoughts come into our heads all the time
and writing them down where I could see them was the first step. The most important thing is absolutely no censorship. Once I got going I discovered how much pain and rage were all bottled up inside me. I found the courage to realise I hated God if there was one and I was sure I was going to Hell for even thinking it let alone writing down.

This is one of the things, the daily and often nightly writing when I couldn't sleep that began to help change my life. I began to find out who I really was, not who I thought I was, or wanted other people to think I was. I stopped pretending to be someone I wasn't - which I found out is quite different from consciously 'acting as if' in order to work into new behaviour patterns.

There was a lot I had to work through before I even began to feel a smidgen of gratitude for anything at all.

We are never alone once we ask for help. I believe that our heartfelt desire for the answer put out there into the Universe, to God, to whatever you personally believe there is, even if you don't believe in anything at all. That desperate desire from within seems to set in motion everything we need for our own particular journey.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECCABOO127 5/6/2014 12:32AM

    emoticon

Thanks for sharing. I've had many episodes of depression and think the last one that came to me in my mid 40s may be around for a while. Your idea of journaling is a great idea.

I also keep a happy thoughts book where I will write down anything that I've done that day that makes me happy--like doing the dishes when I am too tired to do it, or going for walk around the block. It makes me happy that each day comes, and I do whatever I can, and that I do not ever give up!

I plan on starting art journaling, too, as I think I can release a lot through art/drawing/painting, even though I haven't done it in decades.

It is the hardest to accept that depression is part of one's life, I think. Then, I am continuing to figure out where to proceed from that point to have the best life possible no matter what.

I cannot do what I used to do but that is okay. It is just a different stage of my life, and I do what I can and try not to guilt trip myself or ask "why" I can't do what I used to do.

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LARSIL 1/19/2014 9:16AM

    There are lots of Christian writers that encourage us to keep a daily journal - including writing out our prayers, and every once in a while going back to see how our prayers have developed, changed, and have been answered (or not - or not yet). Among them are Rick Warren, Max Lucado, James Dobson, Kay Arthur, and Chuck Swindoll - writers from different "generations" of Christian leadership. You're in good company - and using a blog (like SparkPeople) can be part of that.

Now I guess I'm going to have to journal, too....

Thanks for sharing something that's really important!

Larry emoticon

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MAESTRAPLANK12 1/13/2014 10:51AM

    Writing in a journal is catharsis, a human need for all of us. What an inspirational blog. Blessings today and always!

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SERIOUSLIM 1/12/2014 3:04PM

    I can particularly relate to "the desperate desire from within" as being the key to setting movement towards change. Thanks for sharing.

Comment edited on: 1/12/2014 3:05:02 PM

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CLEARNIGHTSKY 1/12/2014 2:39PM

    you are so right
you are so right
you are so right
you are so right

I stand convicted!!! (in the best way possible)

I've just placed a journal beside my bed and will be writing a few sentences every night. It's just so true that writing frees the real person you are.

Thank you for writing this blog post, Wispy.

Maggie

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GOING4GOAL2014 1/11/2014 6:28PM

    This blog took enormous courage to write and I am so proud of you for expressing these feelings! May you always remember how blessed you are to be here and how much we all need you. emoticon

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DREAMWEAVER1637 1/11/2014 1:27PM

    Very well written


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JAE_HENNINGTON1 1/11/2014 11:37AM

  I learned this lesson later in life it has been a comfort to me in my darkest times

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 1/11/2014 11:06AM

    I find many answers come from writing our thoughts. emoticon

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ANNEMARGAR 1/11/2014 7:56AM

    Wispy -- thank you for th powerful blog. Journaling is a wonderful thing. I too fear that someone will find my journal perhaps the book that Kaligirl recommended will alleviate that fear - allowing me to be vulnerable. Thans for sharing!

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ERIN1957 1/9/2014 2:54PM

    What an absolute treasure you have shared here.
I believe this speaks volumes to so many and will help others as well.
The raw honesty is so real when you write, what a loving gift.
Wispy, God Bless you and your loving wisdom,
to share and help us all through your journey here.
Love you!
Erin

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AJDOVER1 1/9/2014 1:28PM

    I picked up my journal a couple of days ago and I was surprised to see how long it's been since I've written. I guess I've never seen a direct link between writing and release from depression.

Maybe it's time to approach it again, maybe from a different angle. At least your blog has inspired me to give it some thought. Thank you!

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KALIGIRL 1/9/2014 8:57AM

    I've yet to open myself to the kind of vulnerability you so graciously blog about, but am looking forward to reading Brené Brown's "Daring Greatly" as part of my Early Bird group.
Here's the link her TED talk: "The Power of Vulnerability." www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o
and the link to her interview with Krista Tippett
www.onbeing.org/program/
brene-brown-on-vulnerability/49
28

For as you said, "We are never alone once we ask for help"...
Namaste
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Comment edited on: 1/9/2014 9:00:07 AM

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CELIAMINER 1/9/2014 8:28AM

    Wispy, your blog does a great service to all of us out there who are depressed or who have suffered depression in the past. I was about to say I fell into the latter category (past), but I really have to wonder based on my lack of motivation the past few months. Thanks for making me think and, in particular, think about parts of me I'd rather not see. You are a super inspiration, and I hope everyone "likes" this blog so it will become a Popular Blog and spread your message further.

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NOWYOUDIDIT 1/9/2014 4:51AM

    I had a year of therapy where I wrote everything down that had hurt me as a child. It helped the memories fade into memories instead of flashbacks. I love writing and "setting it free". When I was 16 I used to write letters to God and bury them, or wrap them around a rock and throw them into the lake. My abusers told me it was crazy. But I believe it saved me!
I love the therapy of writing! And I believe if you are courageous enough to tell God what you really think, you are courageous enough to realize He loves you regardless. emoticon

Thank you my Dear Dear Wispy for sharing your battles. I Love you!

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KATRINAKAT23 1/8/2014 10:14PM

  I have thought of journaling my thoughts, but I always worry that if something happened to me my sons would find them and there are things I wouldn't want them or anyone for that matter to read.

I do believe though it is a good tool to use, I just don't have the courage.

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TOKIEMOON 1/8/2014 7:43PM

    I'm so glad that you found writing to be an outlet to help you find the inner you amongst the demons. Your writings always seem to be from the heart and well thought out. May you always have serenity.
emoticon emoticon Denise

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LINDA! 1/8/2014 6:17PM

    I can certainly relate to that black hole of depression. You have written a wonderful blog. You express that there is HOPE for us. We just need to find a way out.

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LIVE_AMAZINGLY 1/8/2014 6:03PM

    I too have had years and years of severe depression as you have had. Writing also helps me sort through and deal with the pain inside, so I can let it go. There are some who want to fault what they term 'negative writing' but getting that stuff out can leave a clean feeling.

When I went to alcohol treatment many, many years ago they taught us that we had to release that cr#p, or it just sat inside us building steam and affecting us in every way. And, a huge part of treatment was teaching us that we had to let that stuff out, either by writing, by therapy, or by having a conversation with the person. Sometimes that 'conversation' was in the form of a letter that was not actually mailed to them, but helped 'confront' the issues so they could be released.

I too spent many years hating God, and sure too that I was going to Hell. But, you know, God can handle our feelings, and he can read our souls and hearts, and he knows we are but innocent, hurting, wounded people. Inside my heart I actually felt a love for God, but couldn't reach it because of all the pain that humans had foisted on me, which I blamed God for allowing. But then over and over in my life there were instances that happened where there was no other way to explain it other than God was sending me a message that he was still there for me. I will explain 1 of the many instances.

1) I was in a head on collision. I was driving a Corvair Monza (with the engine in the back and the hood containing the trunk). It was a small car. I hit a 1970's Cadilac head on. We were both going 80 mph. My car literally spun like a top.

Here's the God thing. A police car happened to be right behind me, and so he was to me in literally seconds. The cop said I should have died in that accident. And, he also said that in this instance, if I had been wearing my seatbelt I surely would have died.

Here's more of the God thing: I always drove with my glove box open with a cassette player on the glove box, cause the cars radio didn't work. For some reason that night I got this (intense) gut feeling to not use my cassette player that night. So I drove with no music, which made my long drive at night miserable and long. Several times I went to pull over, open my glove box, and set my cassette player there, but for some totally unexplainable reason I felt 'compelled' not to do it. I never understood WHY I was doing this.

Also, I (always) wore my seatbelt, so I didn't understand why that night I just had the 'feeling' that I just didn't want to wear it.

In my accident it turned out that if I had been wearing my seatbelt, I would have ended up with my back snapped/broken. And, if I had not closed my glove box that night, when I went flying around the car I would have been decapitated by the open glovebox. Cause I landed on the floorboards of the passenger side exactly where my glove box lid would have been open.

I am convinced that God coerced me into leaving my seatbelt off that night and closing my glove box. To save my life, so I would eventually see HIS hand in my life, and come closer to HIM.

Comment edited on: 1/8/2014 6:08:42 PM

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PHOENIX1949 1/8/2014 4:44PM

    Right on & write on.

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SHERRY666 1/8/2014 3:42PM

    I LOVE ALL YOUR BLOGS WISPY......... YOU GET RIGHT INTO THE MATTER OF THINGS AND LAY IT ALL OUT ON THE TABLE FOR ALL TO SEE... YOU HAVE COME SO FAR IN YOUR JOURNEY..... I WENT BACK AND READ YOUR INTRODUCTION ON YOUR PAGE TODAY...... AND FROM WHERE YOU STARTED TO WHERE YOU ARE NOW IS AMAZING......... YOU ARE SUCH AN INSPIRATION........... I WAS GETTING WORRIED ABOUT YOU TODAY........ DIDN'T SEE YOU ON OUR NORMAL POSTS...... BUT I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE YOU NOW........ AND I KNOW AFTER READING THIS..... I WILL BE HEARING FROM YOU.. emoticon

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X_MONICA_X 1/8/2014 3:11PM

    Thank you for sharing pieces of you and what you've discovered about yourself and being so open with us Wispy. I too, find that writing helped me a great deal and I also discovered where the root of all my pain, hurt, frustration and anger started from. Reading, therapy, supplements, writing and support all has helped to get me where I am today. Just one thing still working on though... is forgiveness.

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Comment edited on: 1/8/2014 3:12:02 PM

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SHALOMFROMWOO 1/8/2014 2:45PM

  I'm so glad you wrote and I found a great deal of inspiration from your words.

Keep writing - keep Sparking.

I find SparkPeople to be so very wonderful in so many ways. The opportunity to post Blogs, receive feedback and have all this support and encouragement for leading a healthy lifestyle.

Take care and have a wonderful day!!! emoticon

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