On Loneliness

I’ve heard people talk about loneliness a lot lately ….. both men and women ….. statements like “I’m so lonely I can’t stand it” or “I’m so lonely being by myself” or “I’m so lonely without someone to love” and usually followed by tears or sobs.  Of course I have a few thoughts  about that!

First, I know folks and I used to be one ….. who are married and still complain about loneliness  so having a partner or roommate doesn’t necessarily cure the ailment!

Second, I don’t know about you, but at the end of a long workday …… coming home to peace and quiet is a welcomed gift from the craziness and stress of the world we all live in every day.  If your home isn’t your haven, what could be done to make it so ….. declutter?  New paint job? Rearrange things a bit?  Add some candles, pillows, throws?

Third, what thoughts occupy the voids in your mind when you are home alone?  Do you focus on your blessings or on your mistakes and/or misfortunes?  Do you consider solutions or do you prefer staying stuck in your own muck?

Fourth, what about hobbies and/or interests?  Go for a walk in your neighborhood and say hello to your neighbors …… maybe even make a new friend.  Do something for exercise.  Get a second job if you have too much free time on your hands.  Volunteer to help an organization that serves the elderly or needy.  Try a new recipe and invite a friend over for dinner.  Read a book or take up a new language or open your Bible.  Teach yourself to meditate.  I know you could help me think of more, ideas, right?

Fifth, opening your heart to a four-legged friend could be the best decision of your life if you go about it with the idea that it’s a forever commitment.  I’ll say it again ….. only if you’ll be the animal’s forever home!

Finally …… remember you are not alone.  As long as you are out and about every day you are always surrounded by other people.  To what extent you engage is your decision.  Don’t compare yourself to others because most people have something going on in their lives they wish wasn’t going on ….. know what I mean?  So turn your loneliness into productive time for yourself in this journey you are walking.  Being a one man/woman show usually doesn’t last forever.

 

Encouragement

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2016 has been a challenging year at best for me as it took me close to five months to totally recover from a stage 3 lacerated liver injury.  On top of the motion restrictions and physical exhaustion that accompanied my recovery, I have had a broken middle finger since the end of May which has imposed even more minor annoyances on my ability to perform even menial tasks and my independence in general.  My dear friend who has made himself available to help me is surely getting weary of the “can you come over and help me with ___”  text messages by now!

What I’ve learned these past many months is that most people I know have no clue about how to encourage AKA support AKA help one another, and this truth makes me sad.   It’s one thing to text a message that says “hope you are better today” and quite another to text “I’m coming over to walk your dog today” or “I’ll come over and vacuum the house for you” or “leave your dishes in the sink and I’ll come over and take care of them for you this evening” or “I’ll bring you a nice meal this afternoon” or “what groceries can I pick up for you today?” or “We will bring you some tennis balls for your walker” or even “I’ve been praying for you” ….. Do you get the point?  I found myself feeling depressed because I felt so isolated and forgotten by some who title themselves as friends on one hand, and on the other hand just wrote their absences off as “well everybody is busy and has their own lives to deal with” which is true for certain.  But are we not called to help and encourage one another and even make time for others when assistance is genuinely needed?

I also think of husband and wife relationships …… specifically about how I so often hear “he doesn’t help me around the house” or “she does a terrible job of keeping up on house cleaning” …… Sound familiar to which I ask “are we not to serve one another?”

So when I heard Charles Stanley’s message this morning, I thought here it is ….. well said, and I’m going to share my thoughts once and for all along with his suggestions on how to encourage one another.  He started with “We all need to be encouragers because we live in a world filled with discouraged people”  to which I say “Amen!” and I’m going to actively work at being better about encouraging others myself!  Join me!

Here’s how he said can be an encouragement to others:
1. By a sincere compliment
2. Always tell them the truth
3. Agree with them when appropriate
4. Pass on information to them that is helpful
5. Pray for them
6. Quote an appropriate scripture verse
7. Correct them when appropriate (with gentleness)
8. Tell them that you love them (from your heart)
9. Comfort them when they need it.
10. Assure them of your availability
11. Say thank you
12. Smile
13. Be quiet while they speak
14. Hug them
15. Serve them in some way
16. Accept them just the way they are
17. Be honest with them (at all times even if it may hurt)
18. Point them in the right direction
19. Motivate them to be their best
20. Reward them (even with just w/ words)

“Words of encouragement can keep someone alive.”

Depression and Simvastatin

“”This is the continuation of my story about Simvastatin (part 8).

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HA HA HA!  After all I’ve shared with you … who WOULDN’T be depressed for goodness sake?  AND just because mental health is my gig doesn’t mean I was immune to this aspect of Simvastatin.   Sure, I have had several sad events occur in my life during the past 3 years, and THAT type of situational depression is normal.  I knew though that resorting to a life of solitude for as long as I have is not normal and especially so for me because by nature I am a most social animal!   For me regarding this depression what was most troubling was the persistent thought that would creep into my head every night  for several months. It said, “Just get a butcher knife and cut the damn thing off (my painful left leg) because it’s nothing more than a dead tree stump.”  THIS MENTALITY IS NOT ME!  I had to FIGHT this thought …. It was so very strong and difficult to control.  It made me wonder if this is what suicidal patients struggle fighting with prior to receiving treatment.  Hmmmm.

Yes, there is much more to the depression aspect of Simvastatin than the obvious, and here it is ….

“A recent article by You et al calls into question the potentially beneficial effects of statins in the treatment of depression, and even more significantly, the article suggests that statins prescribed for cholesterol reduction may actually cause depression. Since cholesterol plays an important role in neuroprotection, low cholesterol may adversely impact neurotransmission, thereby increasing the risk of depression.  Earlier research has demonstrated that patients may be vulnerable to depression, violence, or suicidality during the first month of statin use, with a reduction in risk following that initial period. You et al challenge this contention, stating that depression risk may increase with long-term statin use.”

 

TBC and if you are interested …

Read the entire article at http://www.empr.com › Features

On Loss

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After watching my dear friend’s casket be lowered into the ground today, I walked away debating in my mind: is my invisible valentine-type heart filled with many holes of sorrow or has each loss contributed to one original hole so that now I have one gigantic vast void in that heart?  Tomorrow starts a new chapter without Jeanine, and I will take a ride up to the lake for breakfast and a walk on the beach.  Life goes on.

What are losses like for you?

FB and Depression

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Check this out … FB is NOT an accurate representation of our lives and CAN make us SICK!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/facebook-depression/

 

 

 

 

Social Isolation During Holidays

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Social isolation is one of the biggest predictors of depression—especially during the holidays.

People who are lonely or have feelings of disconnectedness often avoid social interactions at holiday time. Unfortunately, withdrawing often exacerbates the feelings of loneliness and symptoms of depression. These individuals may see other people spending time with friends and family and ask themselves, “Why can’t that be me?” or “Why is everyone else so much happier than I am?”

Experts advise a regimen of self-care during the holidays, which includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining a regular sleep pattern, and exercise. In fact, as little as 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise can provide an immediate mood boost similar to the effects of an antidepressant medications.

One of the best things a person can do, however, is to reach out to others despite how difficult it may seem. “That loneliness should act in a similar way to thirst, motivating you to change your behavior in some way,” says John Cacioppo, Ph.D., director of the Center of Cognitive and Social Neuroscience at the University of Chicago.

 

(from healthline.com)

Good Question

Can’t . . . or Won’t?

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Good question about ANYthing that we are allowing to occupy a space in our lives that we KNOW is not good for us.

MY ANYthing is most likely not YOUR ANYthing … and rest assured … we all have SOMEthing and that SOMEthing might vary day to day based on any external stimuli … right?

Today mine was devouring almost an entire bag of vanilla Oreo cookies just because I was hungry and I could.

What’s yours?

Changes in Latitudes

And changes in attitudes … thanks Jimmy!

Tonight I’m thinkin’ this describes my mentality lately … a restlessness in my soul that’s of an unknown nature … a fear that sets panic into full throttle … a hopelessness that this is all there is … and then I KNOW I’ve been away from you all for too long!  I also KNOW you’ve been there too!  Hey tho … I’m looking so much better these days maybe I SHOULD hit that beach in the Keys!  Ever been there?  I used to live in Florida and few beaches compare to its’ white sand and turquoise waters.  I know … I could plan a PROJECT 10 retreat there!  Would YOU come?  Will you JOIN ME?

Yes, life IS good!

Here I am again and when I arrive … Sometimes I FREEZE in my momentum.

AND when THAT happens, forget everything because discouragement sets in and I have to make appointments with myself to set myself straight!  HaHa!

Who relates?

 

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About Suicide

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I have been absent from blogging because I have been” processing” my 25-year young Godson’s suicide just a week and a half ago.  He wasn’t famous so he didn’t get worldwide attention, but we have been dealing with the heartbreak just like America has for Robin Williams.  During this past week, this subject has been on the media more than ever before, and when we ponder our Michael, we are learning that he did indeed pull away from family and friends a few weeks prior to taking his life.  He was also engaging in risk-taking behaviors and bought a firearm.  He posted dark pictures on his FB site.  Michael was adopted at 4 days young, and we know his birth-mother was a drug mother and suffered depression which made Michael at high risk for these struggles regardless of his loving adopted family.   No one is at fault for Michael’s death, and we are grieving as we attempt to understand knowing very well we may NEVER know all the details.

I did some research on this topic and found these stats to be even higher than I imagined.  I like sharing with readers so we can be more informed and MAYBE help someone else before it’s too late.  It’s tough to do though because once a person has his/her mind made up …

This is from a site called dosomething.org

  1. Nearly 30,000 Americans commit suicide every year.
  2. In the US, suicide rates are highest in the spring.
  3. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death for 15 to 24-year-olds and 2nd for 24 to 35-year-olds.
  4. On average, 1 person commits suicide every 16.2 minutes.
  5. Each suicide intimately affects at least 6 other people
  6. About 2/3 of people who complete suicide are depressed at the time of their deaths. Depression that is untreated, undiagnosed, or ineffectively treated is the number 1 cause of suicide.
  7. There is 1 suicide for every 25 attempted suicides.
  8. Males make up 79% of all suicides, while women are more prone to having suicidal thoughts.
  9. 1 in 65,000 children ages 10 to 14 commit suicide each year.
  10. There are 2 times as many deaths due to suicide than HIV/AIDS.
  11. Over 50% of all suicides are completed with a firearm.

BiPD

June 25

Went to a seminar on Bi-Polar (now referred to as BiPD in the medical community) last week and am STILL processing the information. For starters, BiPD is no longer diagnosed as a psychological disorder … it is a medical disorder caused by genetics and chemical imbalances in the pre-frontal lobe of the brain. Interesting stuff.Do you know anyone with BiPD and what is life like to the best of your knowledge?