I Lied!

it is what it isToday on my Facebook Author page I posted that I was going to go to my local library and write. I feel privileged they have given me my own bookcase and they share my books with our readers. That’s the Wells Public Library.

I have been in a funk lately so my detailed life came to a stop. The problem with ignoring the details in a life,  they don’t go away they just pile up and wait for you. I shared in a an earlier post I have days when  it is hard to start my day and I need to find something positive to help me get moving. Today my positive was that I woke up refreshed with energy in my head and body. Maybe I needed to ignore those details for a few days or weeks so my brain could wake up again.

Today I posted on my author page  I was going to write but guess what– I lied. It wasn’t an intentional lie it was what I planned on doing, but all of a sudden I felt like tackling my desktop, sorting all my greeting cards and filing them so I could find the right one to send out to the right person at the right time and….wait for it…I am going to tackle my email accounts and clean it up and start reading my emails that I have ignored. Again, another detail I couldn’t handle for a short time.

Something in my heart, a whisper perhaps as I was writing my gratitude journal and praying this morning, told me I needed to do this. Oh…and I also admitted I needed help and called a Quickbooks Accountant to help me get organized in that part of my life too. I always felt I didn’t need one with my meager earnings but even us small time earners should know what we are doing with our finances and I am a dreamer not a numbers person.

Lesson for today—-it’s ok to change your plans, just admit to your little white lie, and when we can’t see the pennies through the dimes–ask for help. And–forgive my mistakes in this post, I am not an editor and I feel ok with that and mistakes, but be assured when I write my mysteries I have editors.

I am soaring with hope today. I hope you are too.

Can Optimism Live Inside Depression?

I try to be optimistic. What many of you may not know is optimism doesn’t come easily to me. It used to be easy to be optimistic when I was younger but life has a way of beating you down,and chemical changes in your body, and pessimistic environments can add to the problem because misery loves company. I sank into the mire of the muck of life.

I think I have battled depression since the birth of my third child. That seemed to trigger something inside of me. Not only was I prone to crying and doom and gloom, I was prone to anxiety. Professionals told me it was depression brought on by chemical changes  along with some things in my personal life that might be a trigger, but I didn’t listen. After all what did professionals know? And I didn’t like the way the pills they gave me made me feel. Looking back I believe if I would have believed the professionals, I would have had to look at some things in my personal life that were not working and I wasn’t ready to do that.

But I functioned, smiled on the outside, laughed, and kept on going. I can’t say I was debilitated by depression but I always felt a sadness on the inside, a numbed joy. I didn’t alway experience joy the way I felt other people did but I kept smiling on the outside. I kept telling people I loved what I was doing and I kept busy so I didn’t have to examine what I was feeling on the inside.

I raised my family with my husband. I was the ultimate volunteer. I was a good employee at jobs I claimed I loved, and life kept hopping along.

A few years ago after a couple of breaks of bones, deaths in the family and a change in our life financial circumstances I became ill. It was an actual physical illness that I could not seem to recover from–pneumonia, drugs causing a serious case of acid reflux disease and severe depression and anxiety. I could not leave my house–I did not want visitors–even my children and grandchildren and they didn’t want to be around this basket case of a person anyway.

I had a few friends that stood by me through thick and thin. They did not abandon me in my depression and anxiety and neither did my family. My daughter, who is a Pastor, was especially helpful and told me I needed time to grieve all that had happened in the ten years before. I had kept on going like an energizer bunny through everything and I hadn’t taken the time to grieve the loss of my mother, our secure financial position, a divorce in the family, a change of jobs and starting a new business I really didn’t want to start, although I didn’t admit that to anyone. I had to let my dog go who I loved deeply because it was thought he was part of the problem. My best friends had also moved. All of these life changes took me down and I didn’t want to get back up. I might also add that during the past year I had went off a low dose of medication I had started after a severely broken leg and surgery. I had been taking  it to to help with the anxiety triggered by that break and months holed up in my house. I felt it was a weakness and so I tapered off and quit the medicine.

I had cried and smiled during the last ten years and I could smile no more. I had days when I felt I couldn’t go on and I know God is good because at the exact moment I was crying for help I would get a phone call from an unexpected source saying, “God just put on my heart that I needed to call you right now.” Those phone calls got me through another day and another night. I might add, although I never considered suicide, I can understand because when you are drowning in anxiety and depression you just want the pain to stop.

Little by little I found my way back, through prayer and small steps. I began to write on this blog a silly story. Each day I woke up with the next chapter in my mind. I distanced myself from things that were causing toxic feelings in my life, that made me feel less then. I found positive people to be with, meaning they had a positive outlook on life. Their glass was half full instead of half empty. I read positive stories, began a gratitude journal and a prayer journal. I read encouraging blogs and happy upbeat stories. Every day I felt a little better.

The best thing I did was reach out to the readers of my column and explain the problems I was having. One of the most difficult things during this time was trying to write an upbeat column week after week. There was no creativity inside of me and I fear it showed in the columns I wrote. Once I shared with others what I was going through the the real healing began.

I am sharing this because I know there are others out there like me. I feel my life has become about my books and silly writing and my goal is to make people people smile and laugh. I think I am doing that.

I feel by not sharing the other part of the process I am being deceitful. Sharing optimism helps me stay optimistic, but for me it is not always easy. Every day I wake up and that chemical or gloom and doom person rises to the head of my morning and I have to make a decision to find something postitive to start my day. I need something to feed me and if I don’t do that, my day is up and down or down. For me, and I imagine for many other people it is work maintaining a positive attitude.

There are some days I just can’t do it. I wallow in self-pity, gloom and doom and tears. There are some days I just have to do that. I can’t pretend it isn’t there anymore and I let myself have that time to mourn, grieve and cry. Of course this affects my health and then I usually spend another day visiting my beautiful bathroom. Sometimes those days come when I spend the week or days letting cutting words, others opinions and worry reign in my heart without acknowledging these things are bothering me. Again, I am toughing through it and smiling on the outside. But I now know when this is happening I know I need to find something positive to feed myself.

We live in a real world that is not always positive. It can take us down if we let it. I have to fight everyday to not let myself be taken down again. I have admitted and take a very small dose of an anti-anxiety drug again, I have meditations that I use and positive reinforcements on hand all the time. I love the smell of lavender as it calms me down. Each person has to find their own way through the maze of sadness that might take them down.

This morning,after one tough day this weekend, I felt I needed to share because I want others to know there is hope, but it might be work to find it, but it is worth it because living with optimism, gratitude and joy will change your life. You need to know it is fine if you can’t feel that everyday. That is my opinion only. Every person needs to find what gives them joy and go with it.

This blog is usually about my books but I think I am going to change it out a little and make the blog on my website about my books and my writing. My goal has always been to make someone’s day a little brighter and a little better but I don’t think I can do that if I am not real and own my feelings. So that’s it. I don’t know where this is going to lead but I will share my days, my ups and downs. I hope you will do the same and if this post wasn’t what you expected I apologize, but I felt it needed to be shared so if there is one person that has felt the same way I have, it will help them to know there is light waiting for them in the world.

I have this painted on my bathroom wall. It reminds me everyday to look for the crystal rain.image

I Believe In Miracles

I believe in miracles. When I say the word miracle the thought that comes to mind first is a big life changing happening such as what we Christians celebrate on Easter Sunday with Jesus resurrection.

As Holy Week for Christians is being celebrated I ponder what we believe today. When I was a child it was easier for me to believe in the miracle of Easter and miracles in real life. Although as a child I can’t name one miracle I believe happened. Again–think big–life changing–someone coming alive again–miracle thoughts. But I still believed they could happen. I didn’t have anyone anywhere proving to me miracles couldn’t happen. I had faith as a small child does.

Lent and Holy Week as a child still have impact. I knew what Lent, Holy Week and Easter was, and I held it in reverence. There was no debate on whether I would attend the Stations of the Cross and Holy Week services. Even though I protested the length of the Saturday Evening services, which went on for hours, I had to attend the service.

Good Friday afternoons was also a given for services with stores closing for two hours so churches could hold Good Friday services. There was nowhere to go during that time so you went to church. At home we also made Lent a special time and I had no doubt what Easter meant and yes, I had Easter eggs and Easter bunnies but the main focus was on the religious part of the holiday.

These practices remained with me through most of my adult life but this year I feel them failing. I haven’t attended religious services as much as I usually do. Wednesday evening Lenten Services were missed. The outside world intruded on my life, not for any good reason but the fact I let it. In the world we live in my Christian holiday practices are not front and center and it makes it harder to stay true to the things I was taught so many years ago. I must say I feel Easter this year has almost become just a blip on my radar and I don’t like feeling that way.

As I ponder my reaction this year I look around me and wonder what is going to happen years down the road. Will the religious holiday of Easter disappear from our lives? I look around at children and even my grandchildren, and wonder if they truly know anymore the meaning of the reason we celebrate Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Even though children are being raised in the churches, is the little time they now spend in church going to make an impact on their lives?

It used to be communities made accommodations for people to practice their religion. Communities adjusted their schedule for the churches. Now the churches adjust their schedule for the communities so people will come to church. Sunday School and activities adjust to shorter times to accommodate sports schedules and more. If churches didn’t adjust schedules, would anyone attend? Yes we have more diversity in religions but I suspect all religions might be having the same problem.

And so we are back to the question–will Easter eventually just fade away? Will the miracle at the tomb no longer be remembered? Since that was one of the first miracles I was awed by as a child, will my and others beliefs be changed, especially when it comes to miracles? If my recognition of Easter changed this year because of society’s influence on me will my recognition and belief in miracles be changed too? Has it already? I have never seen someone be raised from the dead. Is that perhaps why my celebration of Easter has fell by the way side? Is it too hard to believe the story of Easter? Is it too easy to get mired down by the rhetoric of the politicians, the hate groups, the naysayers and so our belief’s crumble from what we believed as a child. Or if those beliefs were never there or never taught then why would we believe the story about crucifixion and resurrection?

I will tell you why I believe in miracles. I pray for a friend to be healed from a twenty-two year battle with cancer. I ask for a miracle of healing and my friend tells me she already has many miracles because she is still here and still fighting. She has lived to see her grandchildren. She feels she has had her miracle even if she is not healed.

A baby of a relative is born early and has many health problems. The parents consider it a miracle that the doctors were able to save him and he will live a good life. The doctors and modern medicine being brought into their life were their miracle.

I see my Christmas Cactus grow and flower and I see a miracle because I haven’t killed it yet. I see miracles every day. They may not be the earth shattering miracles that we expect but they are in itself a miracle. Had I not been brought up to hear the Easter Story, the way I look at things might be different. Our journey starts with the impressions of our childhood. Will the Easter Story be part of the childhood of the children of today?