Posts Tagged With: Depression

Finding My Purpose

Finding My Purponse

Feeling lost is no picnic. I really think it is the leading cause of depression. It’s at least a feeling I have to deal with from time to time. I’m a pretty positive person, full of energy, jam-packed with ambition, and overflowing with drive …on most days. I’m almost always busy, almost always going, almost never sitting still, and almost never bored …almost. My brain NEVER rests. There are some days I feel lost, drained, lonely, and completely unfocused. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.  That’s our little secret.

But, why?  Why do I go through those emotions?  Is it chemical? Is it physical? Is it mental? Is it genetic? Is it psychosomatic? Is it part of my PTSD? Is it hormonal fluctuations as I age further into menopause? It could be one, all, or a combination. I don’t always know the root cause. But, and this is a big but (sort of like my backside), I notice most often those feelings of depression, being tired, drained and lonely surface most when I’m without a purpose, when I’m in the transition from one purpose or the other, when life shifts and my needs and wants change – because that’s when my purpose changes, when my goals change, when my priorities have to be rearranged, when my emotions fluctuate and when my daily stresses and requirements shift.

I am a blessed, healthy, smart, capable, gifted and well-loved woman. I ‘should’ be happy ALL THE TIME.  I’m passionate …about EVERYTHING, I’m an empath, an artist, and a philosophical thinker – so I feel deeply about EVERYTHING – good and bad.  My joy is amazing, yet my grief is brutal, my love is overwhelming, yet my mistrust is deep-rooted, my belief is strong, yet my faith is full of doubt, I’m a walking, breathing contradiction.  But, God have mercy when I find purpose – because when I do, my focus becomes laser-sharp, my ambition becomes great, my gifts kick into action, and there’s literally NOTHING I can’t do that I set my heart and mind to accomplish.  My mustard-seed faith becomes activated, my strength builds, my courage grows, and I become unstoppable.

I amaze myself sometimes when I think of the things I’ve accomplished, the things I’ve overcome, the things I’ve survived, and the experiences (both good and bad) that I’ve had, and how they have shaped the woman I am today.  I’m only 48, but I’ve already lived an amazingly horrific wonderful scary exciting life.  I want to live another 48 years filled with even more adventures, accomplishments, experiences, and love …most of all love. Yet, I’ve done most of it alone, even when I was married or in close relationships I chased my passions alone.

I have loved very deeply, and I want to be loved just as deeply. I want to find a purpose that fuels me, but for this half of my life I want to share that purpose, drive, and passion with someone who loves me, wants me, and wants share their passions with me.  I have had many purposes in my life – daughter, sister, protector, mother, fiancé, wife, friend, student, cheerleader, fighter, worker, manger, boss, entrepreneur, reporter, gamer, survivor, teacher, humanitarian, coordinator, leader, singer/song-writer/musician, author, speaker, coach, editor, agent, buyer, step-mother, and girlfriend.  What’s next? When I find my next purpose – watch out, because I will be unstoppable.

 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: author T.L. Gray, blogging, Dream, Dreams, Faith, family, Health & Fitness, Hope, Hurt, Independence, Inspirational, Instructional, Life, love, Poetry, relationship, Relationships, respect, Spiritual, T.L. Gray, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Cares?

*A Poem by T.L. Gray

Restful body stirs just before the morning bells.

Eyes open. Stretching. Reaching for the last tendril of the last dream.

Musing. Contemplation. Wondering why I exist, why I continue to breathe. Who cares?

Body moves in motion, burning calories, fat, and stress.

Heart beats. Sweating.  Pushing myself toward the next healthy goal.

Thinking. Planning. Wondering why I push so hard, why bother. Who cares?

Fingers fly across the keys, examining, researching as I stay busy.

Mind races. Working. Fulfilling the requirements to take care of myself.

Living. Paying Bills. Wondering why I struggle, why I can’t get ahead.  Who cares?

Smelling the wonderful aroma, mixing the ingredients together.

Mouth waters. Smelling. Enjoying the tastes of my creations.

Cooking. Eating. Wondering why I sit alone, why the empty table.  Who cares?

Tapping the buttons, playing the character on the screen.

Mind occupied. Distracting. Losing myself into another world.

Gaming. Playing. Wondering how long I can disappear.  Who cares?

Pulling the covers over my head, as I snuggle up to my pillows.

Heart broken.  Crying. Wishing I could just disappear.

Dreaming. Not Sleeping. Wondering why I’m unlovable. Who cares?

Repeat.

Categories: Musing, Poetry, Writing | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Natural Stupidity

Natural. Stupidity

Why are our natural responses always the wrong way to act in a situation? It’s sort of like those stupid people in scary movies always making the wrong decision that would lead to a better chance of survival.

In fear, we run away and hide.  When has being alone and where no one can see you, hear you, feel you, or know you’re scared, been the best laid plan?  In my mind, I want to cling tightly to those who love me or who I love so they can help me feel safe.  Instead, I curl into a tight ball and shut everyone out.

In pain, we pull away and get angry at the ones who only want to help.

In depression, instead of surrounding ourselves with laughter, happy people, or exciting and vigorous physical activities that produce adrenaline and dopamine – we lay around feeling sorry for ourselves, being inactive, eating bad food, and ignoring everybody as we wallow in our depravity.

We’re stupid.  Life is too short for all this stupid shit.  Yet, here I am pushing away those who love me most, not sharing my pain, not seeking comfort in my fear from those I trust.  Instead, I’ve been playing with fire and hating myself for it.  I don’t know if it’s some kind of mental defect that causes me to punish myself, by hurting myself with destructive behavior.  It’s like I’m trying to make those who love me, hate me, before they choose to hate me on their own – as if me making them hate me would make it any better.  They would hate me if they knew how I was hurting myself.  I hate me. It’s like I’m on a crusade that declares, “Since I’ll never be good enough to love, I’ll bad enough to hate.”

Yeah, yeah… it’s stupid logic.  I’m not trying to justify this type of stupidity.  I’m just admitting I’m capable of doing it as much as the next person.

The next time you see someone being destructive and stupid, instead of judging them or get angry at them for playing the game, maybe take a step back and look at them with a different set of eyes.  Maybe they’re just scared, or they’re hurt, or they’re fighting battles you don’t understand – and they’re lashing out because they’re in pain.  Or maybe they’re just assholes.

It’s easy for us – outside the pain – to just say, “Get over it.  Grow up.”  It’s a different story when you’re on the inside.

Categories: Blog Post, Musing, Philosophy, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work Your Way Out

Work Your Way Out

There are so many times I’ve been down, feeling beaten, uninspired, unproductive, and sometimes question my purpose and worth.  This is part of the human psyche and something everyone experiences.  Then, of course, there’s depression, which only magnifies those feelings exponentially.

I believe most artists suffer from depression most severely because we are passionate, and just as much as we experience the beauty, magic, and wonder of life, we equally see the hardships, ugliness, and passionately feel the pain. 

We are individuals, unique in this universe.  Though we have common interests, experiences, and desires, there is no one else on this planet that has lived our lives as we have. In MY life, in my journey of climbing mountains, I spend just as much time navigating valleys.  For ME to find my way back up another mountain, I have to work myself out of whatever I’m struggling with, or I’ll become stagnant and slowly die on the inside. 

I have dreams, goals, and things I want to accomplish in this life, and those things do not just fall into my lap or happen on their own.  I have to fight for them.  Part of that fight includes working my way out of the slumps I find myself wallowing through.  When I can’t write and my mind won’t focus, and my motivation is almost non-existent, I buckle down and write anyway.  Yes, it is shit and stuff I’d never show anyone, but it gets me angry, gets me moving, gets my imagination going, and eventually gets me back to writing like I should be.  It is taking steps through the valley toward the mountain.  I can’t make it to the mountain without moving. I’m not going to float there and the mountain surely isn’t going to come to me.

When I’ve hit a plateau in my workout routine, I keep exercising.  In fact, I increase, change up my routine, try something new, but I work my way out of the slump. 

When I get tired of eating the same things day in and day out, I don’t revert back to the unhealthy foods that harmed my body and mind because I don’t see the desired results, I work my way out by discovering new foods, new tastes, new textures. 

So, if you find yourself in a gray place, neither black nor white, neither hot nor cold, and you want to get out – don’t retreat, don’t give up, don’t hide your head in the sand – work your way out!  Do the very thing that has you blocked.  At least give it a try.  It might not work for you like it works for me. 

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

This blog post has me thinking about a song by Lucy Spraggan called “Mountains”. For my friends and those I love who find themselves down… this is what I would say to them: 

“I know what you’re scared of – I used to feel it too. You’re not scared of climbing mountains – you’re scared that you can’t make them move. I would move them for you.” 

Categories: Blog Post, Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Writing | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Be Happy

Image

I’m learning that the happier I am, the happier people I attract, and the happier people become around me. Happiness and joy are contagious. I feel better, stronger and am less afraid.  But also just as addictive are the negative depressives.  Another important thing I’m learning is that I don’t have to allow these negative depressives into my life – it’s okay to cut them out.

I’m not talking about beautiful friends who may be having a bad day, a hard time, or a moment of sadness, weakness, or depression.  Being a good friend is reaching out and being a comfort to them, lending a shoulder, a hug, an attentive ear – and doing all we can to be there and lift our friend out of the dark place.  Those are the best opportunities to share our happiness, be an inspiration, and be a good friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the wonderful friends in my life who helped me.

What I am talking about are those who ONLY look at the world with negative dark-colored glasses, where they seek out all that’s wrong with everything (yes, the world sucks and there’s a lot of bad things going on – I don’t stick my head in mud and pretend I live in a fairy tale), look for the bad in everyone, expects everyone to hurt, have manipulative intents and alternative motives.  I know.  I used to be that hurt, angry, little girl. It’s not a nice way to live.  It ages and beats you down and crushes your spirit.

I’m becoming that irritating person who chooses to look for the silver-lining.  I show up to work smiling, singing and spreading positive platitudes, skipping through the day making all negative depressives want to stab me in the face. But I choose to still smile, because they have no idea what I’m going through, or that most days I’m fighting some of the biggest battles in my life, or that I walk around terrified and alone almost all the time.  My smile is my weapon.  An upbeat song in my heart, or playing in my ears through my iPod, is my armor.

There will be days when I’m going to need to be carried, because I’ve dropped my weapons and have been overcome by the shadows of depression – but those days are happening less and less as I become happier.

Proverbs 16:24: “Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and medicine to the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart does good, like medicine.  But a broken spirit dries the bones.”

Smile today, especially if you don’t feel like it.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Health & Fitness, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Expectations

Expectations

 

I wish there were no bad days or bad news.  I wish everything always worked out and the plans we’ve made for ourselves go off without a hitch.  I wish everyone loved everyone and that dreams really do come true.  There are a lot of things I wish, and I’ve learned over the years I’ve built those wishes into expectations.  When those expectations fail to be met, I then become overwhelmed with disappointment, depression and despair.

What do I do about that?  What can I do?  Do I never dare to dream or wish again?  Do I stop expecting the unexpected?  Of course not, but that’s easier said than done and vice versa.

Life sucks sometimes and it certainly isn’t fair.  It always seems as if chaos and karma target me personally more than anyone else, and as long as I am self-absorbed and wallowing in my despair, that’s all I can see.  I KNOW, I’ve been stuck there for some time now.  However, I’m beginning to look around me, take notice of other people’s pain, other people’s disappointments, and other people’s despair and expectations.  This evaluation doesn’t erase mine or take away the real pain and fear I constantly feel, but it does help me realize …I’m not alone.

My depression lies to me and tells me I’m on my own, but I’m not.  I’m so thankful for the friends who have stuck by me, with me, and beside me through this time, because I’m beginning to realize just how much of a ‘downer’ I’ve been.  Yes, I’ve been hurt and afraid.  Watching those I really love and care about around me also hurting, makes me realize how much they’ve really been there for me and put up from me.  I feel so helpless to their situations, but I’m filled with compassion because I truly understand how they feel and know what they’re going through.  I only hope and pray I can be even the tiniest bit the friend they’ve been to me. I love them dearly.  I appreciate them more than I could ever express.

Do I still have expectations?  YES, even greater ones.  I don’t have the facts and figures, the studies, the charts, or the evidence, but I have faith in myself and in my friends.  No matter what happens in this world and what we all have to go through, whether good or bad, the love we have for each other is really the only thing that truly matters.  Money, success, romance, fame, achievement, or status doesn’t mean anything without having people you care about share your life with you – and you share your life with them.  Their love for me and my love for them is truly where I draw strength and find the courage to live – to live fully.  I’m beginning to understand… our love for one another is truly where God lives, at least the God to which I believe.

We only get a short period in this world.  Life is too short to waste it being angry, disappointed and hurt.  Help me keep my focus on the love and friendship I have – and you know what… I will make it, I will survive and I will LIVE life to the fullest.

Till next time,

~T.L. Gray

Categories: Blog Post, Inspirational, Musing, Spiritual, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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