Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Days: Kicking depression's butt

I woke up this morning with a new attitude. I believe I'm responsible for my own happiness. I can't expect someone else to make me happy, just like someone else can't depend on me to make them happy. It comes from within, we can each control our own emotions. At least I believe that applies to most of us, but not all of us.

Some people have true depression, not just a few weeks of being in a funk, but months or years of deep sadness. They need mind-altering drugs to get through each day.

One of my nieces has been on a mixture of anti-depressants and anti-psychotics for several years. Unfortunately, her doctors have never found the magic potion to make her a happier person. Today she's a shell of the girl I knew twenty years ago. It's heart-breaking to watch, and I often wonder why she can't just "get over it", but after watching her suffer for the last sixteen years I realize she can't just shake her sadness. It has consumed her.

I, on the other hand, can do something about this sadness I've been going through. I've been in an unhappy place since before Christmas. I thought it was kind of a post-traumatic stress thing from my project from hell I was on at work. However, it had been two months since that project ended and the sadness seemed to get deeper and darker.

I'm not sure what happened overnight to make me realize I don't want to go through life wallowing in self-pity, but I woke up feeling optimistic and positive today. Even when it seems like things are bleak and happiness is impossible to find, half the battle is still having the resolve to fight back. I have the resolve to fight this depression. It won't consume me any longer. Life is short. I can choose to be miserable and sad, or I can choose to find the good in this life and build on it. I chose the latter.

Valentine's Day
I started the morning by  downloading a Valentine's Day card for my husband. American Greetings has a cool website where you can add pictures and customize the card. Since he gave me roses and a romantic card yesterday I thought I should at least give him a card. He said I seemed kind of down lately and he wanted to surprise me early. This from a guy that last year ran to the store at 4pm on Valentine's Day to buy a card and flowers.

I was going to make buckwheat blueberry pancakes in heart shapes for breakfast but my husband is on a new health kick and opted for scrambled egg whites and fresh strawberries.

Finally, after living with me all these  years and watch me count calories or Points for most of those years, he's getting on the bandwagon with me. Although I'm finding it a bit annoying to hear him tell me what he can and can't eat, especially when milk, bananas and olive oil are on his do not touch list. I keep telling him you can't believe everything you read, but he tends to not listen to me.

We don't have anything big planned for the day except I finally get to see the second Twilight movie. It's my turn to pick the movie, although I loved Blind Side, even though it was kind of about football. As far as Twilight, what can I say, guess I'm just a teenager at heart and still believe in young love (vampires...not so much).

We're also going to hit the gym this morning. My husband is starting to go to the gym with me. The only problem is on the weekends I tend to workout longer, usually about two hours. He's done in an hour and wants to leave. The solution is we go in separate cars. It's not environmentally friendly, but it's only three miles and it keeps me from resenting him going with me.

Food tip of the day
Did you know one teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4.3 grams of sugar? Did you know one Weight Watcher orange sorbet and ice cream bar has 20 grams of sugar, or almost five teaspoons of sugar! It's only two Points, but that's a lot of sugar. Not exactly a healthy snack (especially if you eat two in one sitting!). A Weight Watchers don't.

P.S. - By the way, if you think Jesus was just a man, check out this email I received. It was sent four days ago, but I didn't read it until today, after I posted this morning. I know this wonderful person has been praying for me. I'll leave the author anonymous, but wow, a rather profound statement!

Here is something that it took me years to learn. NO ONE is ever going to make us happy. Happiness comes from inside ourselves. No man, woman, or child will ever be able to 'give us the attention' we crave. My husband still comes home from work and sits in his recliner and falls asleep in front of the tv. But I now know that he isn't really ignoring me. It is just how he is. I know he loves me completely; and he knows I love him. How do I handle it? Eating was always something I did to 'fill the void' and I am struggling, as you are, to break THAT one. But I can now find joy, happiness as it were, in simply being me. Imperfect as I am. I am a special creation of God. That should be enough. It isn't always, but I am growing and getting better. The only one who will never fail you is God. He can, and wants to be your source of happiness. All you have to do is let Him.


Ida said...

I think I know why you woke up with that attitude. God is good and answers prayers.

Rettakat said...

You wrote: "Life is short. I can choose to be miserable and sad, or I can choose to find the good in this life and build on it. I chose the latter."

That is powerful. I've been reminding myself of that lately. I'm glad you are feeling better.

Heart shaped pancakes... sounds cute! Online, I saw little egg-shapers, and they have one that is heart shaped, that you plop your egg into and it fries up into a heart-shaped egg. :-)


Lisa "One Mom's Weight Loss" said...

Isn't God good!! That is awesome!!

I'm so glad that you are feeling better.

Kerri & Katie said...

SO awesome. Read this post from my personal blog:

your email reminded me of that!
God is good.

Patsy said...

Hope you feel much better soon... I kind of know where you're coming from to some extent... Although I don't suffer from clinical depression, I have TERRIBLE PMS for weeks at a time and it really gets me (and everyone else!) down.

Making an effort to go to the gym and show your hubby how much you love him is a great way to improve your mood naturally. :o)

Miz said...

I LOVED reading this as for me it was an epiphany as well.
G-d, selflove, whatever we choose to call it we need to come to it on our own and, in a way, decorate our own soul andnot wait for someone else to do it for us.

xo xo,

antgirl said...

Wooot! You are special. Warms my heart to read this and see you are realizing it yourself.

As a sufferer of the big D and anxiety with a big A, it is not something you can just get over. I feel for your niece.

I can tell you that by accepting imperfect me and attending to my own happiness, life has become something much more extraordinary. :)