2007 In My Rear View Mirror

I’ve made a pact with myself to have no New Years resolutions for 2008. Which that in itself is a resolution, of sorts. If you want to get technical.

I set myself up for failure each January when I vow to: a) get in shape, or “find my waistline” b) get my house in order, and c) get involved in a Bible Study and stick with it. There are usually more, but those are the top 3.

I’ve been reflecting quite a bit about this last year, and what I’d like to see myself accomplish in 2008. And it comes down to this.

I want to be happy in my skin. Where I am. That’s all.

And that, my friends, has been a hard lesson this year.

I was sitting in my gynecologists office earlier this year for the annual scraping of the cervix. I’ve been with her through 3 births, so she is acutely aware of many of my “issues.” She was asking me how I was doing. Pre-exam, of course. While I was still in possession of my clothes. And dignity. I talked to her about my ongoing relationship with depression.

I’ll pause here to say that I’ve really never talked about this before. In a serious manner. And while I’ve never been officially diagnosed with “depression”, it’s something I’ve dealt with most all of my life. My mother did as well. It seemed to really reach a fever pitch after Emme’s birth. This was also only a few months after my mother’s unexpected death. So, to say that I wasn’t dealing with life well, was an understatement.

This was a time when I should have sought help, but was too afraid, and proud, to speak up. I just prayed that it would pass. Eventually, it did. Depression, or the blues, or whatever you want to label it, has a way of ebbing and flowing.

So, sitting there in my doctor’s office, talking about my feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, and general all around crappy feeling (a medical term) I also had pangs of guilt. At this time in my life, if you look at it on paper, I have absolutely no reason to be depressed.

Which made me feel worse.

My doctor talked to me about counseling, drug therapy, and exercise. Pffft. Exercise. Whatever. And in the back of my mind, I remembered reading how exercise releases endorphins which are mood elevators. Plus it helps with all the hormonal upheaval. Blah, blah, blah.

But, a funny thing about depression is that when you’re in the throws of it, the last thing you want to do is ask for help. Much less sweat. On purpose. It was a fluke that I was even discussing it with my doctor.

She highly advised that I begin exercising, and if that didn’t work, seek out a licensed therapist. As a last resort, she wrote me out a prescription for an antidepressant and even gave me a sample. Wrapped in an unobtrusive little brown paper bag. I assured her that I wasn’t going to rush into taking the drugs without exhausting all other measures.

SUCKER!

I wanted to pop a pill the minute I got in the car. I mean, don’t we all want a “quick fix.” Drive thru therapy? A magic pill that makes us feel better? Even better, a pill that will help us lose 14 pounds of unwanted fat. In two weeks!

Just exactly who is the sucker?

I stashed the pills and prescription on a way up high shelf and mulled over my options for a few days. Then Fiddledaddy looked up the medication online to see what the side affects were. Possible side affects include weight gain, nausea, vomiting, and in some cases, can lead to suicide.

Allrightythen.

That’s going in the wrong direction. I got rid of the samples and the prescription. And waited. Waited until the depression did the ebb and flow business and I had a moment or two of clarity.

That’s when I started getting up at dark thirty to be at the gym by 5:15 am. I’m fortunate in that I’m not doing it alone. I wouldn’t do it alone. I meet up with my 3 SILs’ and 2 adult nieces and we work out for an hour. Four days a week. Sometimes it’s just Trish and me. Sometimes it’s all 6 of us.

And it’s working. I’m feeling stronger every day. Not just physically, but mentally. A few of you have asked me about the DVD series we’re using. I want to go into more depth about that later in the week.

All this to say, I know that more than a few of you are dealing with depression, the blues, the blahs, whatever. You’re not alone. I know different therapies work for different situations. Medication has worked for many. Under a physicians STRICT supervision, of course. Therapy or physical exercise is another great source of help. Just talking to a friend can also be so very healing.

And then there’s blogging. Which has done wonders for me.

And a whole lot of prayer. That mostly began with, “Oh dear God, help me.”

As this year draws to a close, I will vow to begin the New Year just taking one step after the other. Going forward, instead of looking back. Seeking the humor, and getting comfy in the wrinkly skin I’m in.

I believe it was Scarlett who said, and I paraphrase, “Fiddledeedee. Tomorrow is another day.”

Life is a journey. I’m awfully glad to be on it with you all, my blogging friends.

Have a happy and blessed New Year!

December 31, 2007

40 Responses to 2007 In My Rear View Mirror

  • Thanks! Just what I needed to read today. Feeling a big case of the blahs, but mine is due to pregnancy (I hope). While limited somewhat in exercise at this time, I will give it a go and hope those endorphins kick in. God bless you and Happy New Year!

  • Dee Dee,
    You are a blessing!

  • Thank you for your honesty and transparency with this guilt-ridden issue. I needed to read it today more than you could dream. Thank you for writing about something that you never have before. You followed the Lord’s guidance and, therefore, touched my heart. I pray that your progress will continue as you fight the demons of depression. Pray that I, and others like me, will step up in our own fight. Personally, I need to stop some self-destructive behaviors (nothing horrible, just self-defeating and silly and immature) to really make a change. I have great hope placed in what 2008 will bring for me in this area.

    God bless you and your family.

  • Thanks for posting about this. I, too, have struggled on and off with depression since I was 14. I have been on meds, which only made me not care that I was depressed. I finally got off meds three years ago and went with exercise and SAM-E.

    It can be a rough journey, and often times you feel so alone. Take care and keep up the exercise.

    Have a wonderful 2008.

  • Thank you so much for your honesty in sharing this.

  • I’ve had trouble with depression, too. I wrote about it on my blog once.
    http://toddleddredge.wordpress.com/2007/02/08/the-gun-2/

    Regular exercise and sunlight have always helped me.

  • God is good. I have had experiences with this phenomena in the past , enough that my husband encourages me to exercise and even started exercising himself. Go you!

  • Awwwh, I have warm fuzzies after reading that. I deal with seasonal depression…I have done meds in the past, and while they helped me, I had no desire at all for s** and I had no appetite and wanted to sleep all the time. So while it helped my depression, my life wasn’t really better.

    Exercise is really key. I wish I liked to exercise. I hate it. 🙁

  • I love your transparency and have been a lurking fan of yours for some time. Thanks for the advice–I’ve been wanting to get back on the treadmill but have lacked the motivation. Tomorrow I go!! I guess I wasn’t aware that exercise could contribute to higher spirits, so there’s an added bons. Thanks again and Happy New Year!

  • On the journey with you. One day at a time.

  • How I wish we were closer so I could join you in the mornings. I fight the need to exercise becasue I tire so easily … but, I know it will help. Darn it.

    So, John is buying me a comfort bike (ie old lady bike) so I can get out with my professional rider family (who think 25 miles is a short ride).

    It has to help.

    Right?

    If not, I’m coming back for the rumball recipe.

  • Thank you.

  • What a beautiful goal. (Note I didn’t say resolution.)

    May God’s grace shine strong on you in 2008.

    And may your workout continue to pump some kick-butt endorphins through your system.

  • I think sometimes it is hard for us to see all of our blessings even when they are right in front of us….lets all work toward doing that in 2008.
    You are a wonderful person…keep kicking butt with that workout.

  • Found your blog through Antique Mommy. Thanks so much for sharing about your experience with depression and how you’re working through it. Very encouraging.

    Happy 2008!

  • Thanks for sharing your story with us. I have been going through basically what you are describing for about 3 or 4 years now. You are right about blogging being a help. It is the reason I do it. I’m going to get back to exercising too, since when I was consistant this past year I was MUCH better.
    My prayers will be with you as you continue your journey.

  • blogging does help! i’m not sure about the exercising though. you’re amazing me with all that stuff.

  • ahhh….yep. I hear exactly what you’re saying. Tried the meds route for the last eight months and have NOT been happy with it after the first few weeks. This year I’m going to try the exercise. By the way, one of my new years resolutions is to comment at least once a week on all the posts in my favorite blogs list….you’re on it, so here I am. LOL. Wonder how long I’ll be able to keep that one! HA. Hope you have a wonderful new year. =) And by the way, I sincerely admire your capabilities of medicine tossing. I wish I’d done the same thing….

  • I have found blogging very cathartic as well. But my issues are such that it’s a real exercise in discretion. Sometimes I blow it. People get mad. It keeps me humble.

  • Dee,
    thanks for keeping it real for your readers. Although it’s not easy to have all of your “secrets” out there for anyone to read, it’s very much appreciated by so many to know they’re not alone.
    Guess that means it’s time to dust off the sneakers & start sweating a bit!

  • Exercise does make you feel more ‘alive’. I walk just about every morning, and yesterday, I stepped it up a notch. I doubled my distance. My knees actually said bad words to me the entire time, but I blew them off.

    I took myself off of anti-depressants after 8 years. It wasn’t a smart move, and there are so many days that I want them back, but I don’t want to depend on drugs.

  • I have been there, meds and exercise and all. I post about it occasionally. Ten years ago was probably the worst time. I was not myself. I always want to tell people, “You will get through it. You will come out on the other side and feel OK to be in your skin again.” The guilt issue I completely understand. And if a woman is a Christian, the guilt is worse: “How can a person who claims to intimately know the source of all peace and contentment be so–opposite of that?” In fact, a desire to reach other women about this issue is one of my main goals of blogging, although I don’t mention it all that much. Thanks for your honesty.

  • You are amazing, and I so enjoy showing up here and laughing with you. But you are more than just laughs for an audience, you are an encouragement, an example, and a light in the darkness. Thanks for shining your light…even when it means showing the cracks in your armor to let that light shine through.

  • DeeDee,

    Thank you for being so transparent. I also thank you for sharing what helps you with depression. Not many people want to admit that publicly much less void meds andthing healthier. I praise you for your strength. You’re the second blogger this morning on my list that has spoken about depression.

  • I’ve come to the same point with exercise…I have (slowly) started to add some in to my week, and have noticed my mood lifting as well. I’m planning to add more when I get our new homeschool schedule worked out so that I can figure out a good time. Thanks for posting about this!

  • This isn’t related to your post, but I wanted to let you know that I made the chicken picatta recipe you shared on Shannon’s What’s For Dinner Works for Me Wednesday last night to take to a couple in my Sunday School class who just had a baby. (Wow that was a long sentence.) Anyway, it was SO GOOD that I seriously considered keeping it and eating it myself, and not giving it up!! Now I can’t wait to fix it again, this time for us. 🙂 Thanks for such a quick, easy, yummy recipe!!

  • Wonderful post, Dee Dee.

    I think depression is the number one issue for so many women. Thanks so much for posting in such a wonderful way…

    Many times during your post I found myself thinking, “Wow, it’s like I wrote this!”

    Love your work, Hawt Mamma, I se why everyone loves ya.

    And, Now, So Do I!

    Love & Blessings to ya,
    Alli

  • Oh, In case you wondered, no I do not use spellcheck. D’oh!

    Can we just say it adds to my charm?

  • Wonderful post. . .I, too, want to be happy in my skin. . .

    Yes, exercise does wonders for depression. I am also amazed at how the Internet has changed how we women can reach out connect with other Christian women and moms for friendship and support.

    Happy New Year, Dee Dee! Keep writing. . .it does wonders for the soul and for your readers, too!

  • Thank you for your honesty. I deal with seasonal depression. I KNOW that exercise helps – especially if I can manage (in MI) to get a little sunshine too. Even so, it is soooo hard to get motivated. I am trying to blog about my walking victories. We’ll see if that kind of accountability works!

  • Lovely post, DeeDee. You really touched a nerve (or ten). It’s been a lifetime issue for me and, in retrospect my mother. Who has only been gone for four months now. It’s been one of the most poignant holidays I’ve had.

    The exercise is starting seriously as soon as I get home. I’ve played around on my dad and sister’s exercise equipment and the little I’ve done has been really good for the brain (as well as the nether-regions).

    Happy New Year! You certainly blessed 2007 for me.

    Always in Him,

    Julie

  • Thank you. And again I say thank you.

  • DeeDee – this time last year I was very depressed. I felt that I was around people all the time but was still so lonely. I stumbled upon blogs and yours is one that helped me ‘get a grip’. Laughter truly is the best medicine and I couldn’t find anything to laugh about. Thankfully you and a few other blogs helped me.
    Words alone can’t express my thanks! 🙂

  • Oh, Amen to all of the above! Bless your heart – thanks for sharing it!

  • I have a post working about this as well, but I haven’t been brave enough to finish it, let alone publish it. I want to be where you are, and my new years resolution has more to do with that, than anything else. Finding happiness through God and exercise and acceptance of myself for who God made me and not who I wish I was. And not in these little peach pills that sit on my bathroom sink. Thank you for being honest about this topic. I cannot help but think it will be an encouragement for many.

  • Thank you for this post. And Happy New Year to you, my bloggity friend.
    I like the new hair cut, by the way. 🙂

  • Dee and all,
    I too have issues with depression, have had for more than half my life and discovered after searching 14 years for help that it was a chemical imbalance. I have been on meds for the better part of the last 7 years. I guess I really need to do a full post about it one of these days, but long story short my 30th birthday was the first one I was ever happy to celebrate that I remember. I have come so far in these years. I have been slowly sliding recently, wondering what I was going to do because my meds weren’t working like they used to. My mom made me go to the dr while I was home for Christmas. I talked to him about my meds and how I could feel myself sliding. He put me on Cymbalta and I can tell a few differences so far. I am glad there are meds available. Exercise and endorphins are great, but only go so far for some of us.
    Steff

  • I can’t say enough on how blogging helps me in my “mental heath”.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    Happy New Year 🙂

  • Yes, blogging is my therapy too. Sometimes its better than a therapist because you get so many sounding boards.

    But man I wish there were a magic pill that would make me get my butt out of bed in the morning and make me want to run. The funny thing is – I know I’ll feel better when I get into it. I always do. It’s the starting that I have to hurdle.

    Loved the sincerity and beauty that you’ve exposed in this post, Dee. It’s a perfect way to start off the new year.

  • I like your thinking out loud kinda post. I enjoyed visiting via the CHBM, but you made me think that transparency isn’t all bad. Sometimes in my own rant or reflections I wonder, why in the world should you share so much stuff with a faceless readership. And your joy shines through in reminding me exactly why. Thank you. Have a great New Year.