White Flag Raised

White Flag Raised

Well, my quest to be med free has come to an end.  The depression has made me sleep so much from Friday through yesterday and I have broke a few dishes among other things out of frustration every time I try to accomplish anything in the past 2 days. Everything is overwhelming me and I feel like no one understands. I took my first dose yesterday and am back on daily regimen.  Oh joy, I am loving the nausea.

It’s just been too much with my environment.  Really bad timing for life to hit me in so many ways.  Anyway, I am absolutely frustrated to be back to where I started and right now I just don’t know how to progress from here.


Why Do Depressed People Lie In Bed? A Surprising Theory

Why Do Depressed People Lie In Bed? A Surprising Theory

If you’ve personally suffered from depression or known someone who has, you know that when people are really depressed, they have a strong urge to stay in bed.

Why do depressed people lie in bed? It isn’t because of great snuggle time under the blankets. It’s because depressed people can’t bring themselves to get out of bed. Almost any activity or task becomes a painful ordeal, even things as simple as taking a shower or getting dressed.

A perfectly able-bodied person can’t bring him or herself to rise out of bed. How does this happen?

The intuitive answer is that a lack of motivation is to blame. Depressed people are directionless because they are under-committed to goals. Without goals to drive future behavior, current behavior becomes frozen for long periods. Beds are the most natural location for a behavioral pause, as the place in the house most associated with inactivity.

The intuitive answer is okay as far as it goes. The problem is that it just doesn’t go very far. It begs the question of how a person loses the desire to pursue goals in the first place. The answer involves a surprising theory that takes us closer to understanding how it is that low moods intensify into more serious episodes of depression.

First, we have to detour to contemporary evolutionary psychology, which tells us that moods have a function: Moods help us pursue goals efficiently. High moods help us to more vigorously pursue rewards. Low moods tell us when our progress towards goals is poor. Often, low moods first arise when we’ve hit an obstacle, or when an important goal is threatened. Our usual first reaction to a low mood is to redouble effort towards the blocked goal. If the goal still proves to be unreachable, the low mood will escalate. At some point, something has to give: Usually the person will give up, or scale back on the goal and/or move on to another activity that has a better pay off. Authors such as Randoph Nesse and Eric Klinger have made a powerful case for the utility of low mood. In a world where time, resources, and effort itself are all precious and finite, having an evolved mechanism to hasten disengagement from a failing goal is very important to survival.

These relationships between moods, goal and effort hold for a variety of species. A bear fishing for salmon without luck in a favorite river bend uses low mood to help it move on to another spot. For better or worse, human self-regulation is more complicated because we can choose either to act or not to act on our mood. I believe that humans are the only species that can decide to ignore low mood and to continue pursuit of an unreachable goal. In a sense, this creates the potential for a stand-off between the person and their ancient mood system. To resolve the standoff, the mood system must do something more drastic: It turns down the volume on goal pursuit, not only on the one goal, but on goal pursuit across the board.  Eventually, when the mood system wins the result is flat-on-your-back depression, with fatigue, torpor, a lack of motivation, the whole nine yards.

So this alternative theory turns the standard explanation on its head. Depressed people don’t end up lying in bed because they are under-committed to goals. They end up lying in bed because they are over committed to goals that are failing badly. The idea that depressed people cannot disengage efforts from failure is a relatively new theory. It has not been much tested in research studies. However, the idea is well worth exploring. It fits well clinically with the kinds of situations that often precipitate serious depression — the battered wife who cannot bring herself to leave her troubled marriage, the seriously injured athlete who cannot bring himself to retire, the laid off employee who cannot bring herself to abandon her chosen career despite a lack of positions in her line of work. Seeing these depressions in terms of unreachable goals may be useful clinically, and may help us better understand how ordinary low moods can escalate into incapacitating bouts of depression.




Don’t know why, just feels the best to look at.








Just Breathe

Just Breathe

So much can change in a few hours.  From the time I began my earlier blog at 2:30 am to about 30 minutes ago the abrupt outbursts from others in the house are pushing me over the edge.  I pressed on with my itinerary… was in the shower at 7 and on my walk with unfortunately dog only at 7:30.  I came back and hung the valance in my office and tried to just ignore the random yelling.  But finally, I just couldn’t take it… “Do you know how much I want to yell at everyone in this house on a daily basis?!!” “Please for the love of God Stop!” I suddenly feel overwhelmed with anxiety.  My heart is racing, my breaths are labored, my senses are overloaded.  I sat outside after taking anxiety med (little extra) and there come the tears… OK time to move on. Here are tips on how to deal with my specific anxiety glitches… focus JenFaFa… I am sticking to my schedule … Just gotta get through this moment….

 How to Slow Down Your Racing Heartbeat When Feeling Anxious


One of the most common and frightening symptoms of anxiety is a racing heartbeat. When I was suffering from frequent panic attacks, my heart would beat so furiously that I worried I was having a heart attack. The following technique can be used to help calm yourself down and return your heartbeat to a more normal pace when feeling anxious.

It all starts with a deep breath…

When you feel overwhelmed with anxiety, take a very deep breath through your mouth and hold it in. While continuing to hold your breath, flex or tense every muscle throughout your body as intensely as you can. Feel every inch of your body tremble from the strain. Continue squeezing your muscles for 5-10 seconds, and then immediately relax every muscle as you slowly exhale through your nose.

As you exhale you will feel an incredible release of tension and stress throughout your body. Your heartbeat will slow to a more natural and relaxed pace as does your breathing, which helps to calm you down.

Breathe normally for the next minute or so and then repeat this exercise. Doing just one or two iterations is often enough to provide tremendous relief.

I’ve used this technique to overcome panic attacks when flying, stuck in traffic, and before public speaking. It helps provide immediate relief and can snap you out of an anxious state of mind. When anxiety arises, give it a try.


Accept that you’re anxious.

Remember that “anxiety is just a feeling, like any other feeling,” said Deibler, also author of the Psych Central blog “Therapy That Works.” By reminding yourself that anxiety is simply an emotional reaction, you can start to accept it, Corboy said.

Acceptance is critical because trying to wrangle or eliminate anxiety often worsens it. It just perpetuates the idea that your anxiety is intolerable, he said.

But accepting your anxiety doesn’t mean liking it or resigning yourself to a miserable existence.

“It just means you would benefit by accepting reality as it is – and in that moment, reality includes anxiety. The bottom line is that the feeling of anxiety is less than ideal, but it is not intolerable.”

Use a calming visualization.

Hyland suggested practicing the following meditation regularly, which will make it easier to access when you’re anxious in the moment.

“Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a favorite park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign [your] emotions, thoughts [and] sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by.”

This is very different from what people typically do. Typically, we assign emotions, thoughts and physical sensations certain qualities and judgments, such as good or bad, right or wrong, Hyland said. And this often amplifies anxiety. Remember that “it is all just information.”

 balloons GIF


That was very helpful.  There go my thoughts on those balloons.  Flying away from me effortlessly.


Look at this guy.  Just chillin.  Ahhh …a smile creeps to my face.

Image result for RELAXED

I can see clearly now the rain is gone
I can see all obstacles in my way
Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day
It’s gonna be a bright (bright)
Bright (bright) sunshiny day






A Little Reminder To Myself

A Little Reminder To Myself

Just wanted to give myself a pat on the back.  Here I am a month in without medication and going through daily emotional roller coaster and I am doing so well. The depression has been the hardest by far but still I press on.

Yesterday pushed me to a potentially dangerous place. But as I have found out over the past year, going to my blog has been a huge therapeutic tool.  I can sometimes spend an hour or more searching for tips, pictures or quotes or rewriting my post till it feels right.  Except my last one.  That one I just wrote and posted.

A year ago I would have lost it over the things that I am facing daily right now.  I would become useless, enraged or obsessed depending on the situation and sometimes just my stupid mood.

Last night as I was writing my blog on tips to deal with angry people, my daughter kept coming in trying to distract me because she was bored.  My husband kept calling me from the kitchen.  But I told her for the 4th time I am busy so she finally left me alone and I pretty much ignored him.

Last week I was ready to give up.  This week except last night, I simply copied and pasted what I needed to hear and it’s working.

To sit alone just focusing my energy on this task has become so intricate to making changes I didn’t think I could. Aside from being an outlet for me it inspires me to do better.


Another thing that happened prior to the mean person yesterday was deciding that I am pushing through this depression starting now.  Nell and I have both been in a very co-dependent slump and I made a deal with her that we are going to start a morning itinerary of our own to dos for the day.  We are going to hold each other accountable if we catch each other sitting too long.  Starting this morning we are going to push.

  1. We are going to take a shower with our first cup of coffee regardless if I’m working at home.
  2. We are going to take a 30 minute walk  with the kids and dog (thank you sunshine post).7:30 – 8 am when I am home, afternoons or evenings when I have outside appointments.
  3. We will take the kids to the library and park once a week
  4. Eat regularly and healthy meals (I sometimes don’t eat till dinner) and will have dinner ready when the guys come home.
  5. She will make work lunches the night before for her husband, I will pre-make coffee for everyone before we go to bed.
  6. I will work at least once a week on finishing my office and work on catching up loose ends on my desk,  she will pound the pavement for a rental and follow through on necessary errands.

I am taping this list to a few spots around the house and as my screensaver on my phone.  These 6 things are all I have to do.

I can’t help that I feel like mush, wrapped in darkness, wrapped in self pity,  wrapped in heavy.  I can however do what I have been doing in my blog… inspire myself.




I have noticed that the kinder I am the meaner people can be.  Today was no exception.  I agreed to do work for someone who had a very small budget (as in charging a flat fee for what would amount to about 1/4 of what I normally charge. I do things such as these because I have absolute compassion when people are in need I want to help.

I won’t go into details, cause I don’t want to make it about the actual situation.  But I will say  that I spent a lot of time at no charge  just trying to get her to the point of set up so I could begin working, because she didn’t come prepared. But, when I had exhausted my cost free options,  she became mean.  As it goes when people are mean in the face of my bending over backwards I get hurt.  I mull it around in my head and this time I decided she doesn’t deserve my time feeling angry at her.  As the saying goes… it’s like drinking poison and expecting the other person to get sick.

Yes I am blogging about it but only to say that I realize it is her issue, not mine. I thought maybe someone else at times feels like a sucker too and wanted to say I feel ya. I try so hard to remember that  I have also done much wrong in my life and God forgave me.  Yes I asked but still…. I know that people have reasons for being spiteful or rude.  Maybe they had a bad day, maybe they perceive they are being wronged in spite of lack of evidence, maybe life just made them bitter.

I used this particular opportunity to look up some suggestions on how to deal with mean people and I found a great article confirming on my conclusion and offering helpful tools. I know I tend to cheat using others insight but to me it’s about sharing when I find something worth repeating.





Mean people are all around.

They lie in wait hoping to spring their meanness on others.

They can be avoided. Simply don’t do anything productive and they will leave you alone.

Yet try doing something. Try producing art. Try taking a stand. Make an attempt to make the world better and you will be ambushed.

Mean people are like wasps. They take movement as a threat so they attack. Stay still and you are safe. Move and you are the enemy. (See: Don’t Be a Facebook Piranha)

Good people, however, have to move. We have to fix problems, find solutions, challenge the status quo. Good people can’t stay silent when injustice abounds. We can’t sit still when there is work to be done. We can’t do nothing when there is art to create.

Good people must act.

Mean people will attack the actors.

Which leaves one relevant question: how do we deal with mean people?

The most powerful approach to mean people is to simply ignore them.

It doesn’t always work.

It isn’t always an option. (See: The Ends Don’t Justify the Mean)

Yet far more often than we realize, the best thing to do with a mean person is to do nothing.

Ignoring someone has great power, because most mean people are looking for attention.

Like a two-year old who hasn’t learned how to get attention in a positive way, they get attention the only way they know how—by acting out.

Obviously a parent can’t ignore every bad action by a child, but energy is better spent by engaging good behavior and ignoring bad behavior.

Ignore what you can.

  • Don’t respond to rude comments.
  • Don’t react to obvious slights.
  • Don’t passive-aggressively write a Facebook post about them.

Simply ignore bad behavior.

When ignoring is not an option and you have to respond, consider the following:

Don’t fight fire with fire. Mean people do not give you the right to act mean. By doing so, you become no different than them.

Don’t play the one-upmanship game. The danger of responding to a mean person is the temptation is to be more mean than them. They are then tempted to be more mean than you. Eventually the ugly conversation turns brutal.1

Be firm. There is a difference between being mean and being firm. The first is inappropriate; the second is necessary. Mean people are used to walking over people; they are not used to someone standing firm. Stand firm. Be unmoved by how they respond. You are in charge of your emotions; do not hand control of yourself over to them. (See: The Number One Rule of Disagreement)

The meaner they get, the kinder you get. Make it a game. Mean people want others to be mean so they can justify themselves. Kindness takes away the justification.

Love. The command to love is not saved for only those who love you first. Just because someone is mean doesn’t give you the freedom to stop loving them. Remember, Love Doesn’t Always Feel Loving so don’t confuse being walked over for true love. But do figure out the most loving action to take toward the person and love them.

Mean people are all around, but their meanness says more about them than it does you. Rick Warren says, “hurt people hurt people.” When a mean person tries to hurt you, remember they are the ones who are hurting.




Challenge Negative Thinking

Challenge Negative Thinking

Do you feel like you’re powerless or weak? That bad things happen and there’s not much you can do about it? That your situation is hopeless? Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself and your expectations for the future.

When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it’s important to remind yourself that this is the depression talking. These irrational, pessimistic attitudes—known as cognitive distortions—aren’t realistic. When you really examine them they don’t hold up. But even so, they can be tough to give up. Just telling yourself to “think positive” won’t cut it. Often, they’re part of a lifelong pattern of thinking that’s become so automatic you’re not even completely aware of it.

Negative, unrealistic ways of thinking that fuel depression

All-or-nothing thinking – Looking at things in black-or-white categories, with no middle ground (“If I fall short of perfection, I’m a total failure.”)

Over generalization – Generalizing from a single negative experience, expecting it to hold true forever (“I can’t do anything right.”)

The mental filter – Ignoring positive events and focusing on the negative. Noticing the one thing that went wrong, rather than all the things that went right.

Diminishing the positive – Coming up with reasons why positive events don’t count (“She said she had a good time on our date, but I think she was just being nice.”)

Jumping to conclusions – Making negative interpretations without actual evidence. You act like a mind reader (“He must think I’m pathetic”) or a fortune teller (“I’ll be stuck in this dead end job forever.”)

Emotional reasoning – Believing that the way you feel reflects reality (“I feel like such a loser. I really am no good!”)

‘Shoulds’ and ‘should-nots’ – Holding yourself to a strict list of what you should and shouldn’t do, and beating yourself up if you don’t live up to your rules.

Labeling – Labeling yourself based on mistakes and perceived shortcomings (“I’m a failure; an idiot; a loser.”)

Once you identify the destructive thoughts patterns that you default to, you can start to challenge them with questions such as:Put your thoughts on the witness stand

  • “What’s the evidence that this thought is true? Not true?”

  • “What would I tell a friend who had this thought?”

  • “Is there another way of looking at the situation or an alternate explanation?”

  • “How might I look at this situation if I didn’t have depression?”

As you cross-examine your negative thoughts, you may be surprised at how quickly they crumble. In the process, you’ll develop a more balanced perspective.