Thursday, August 04, 2011

*Whew!* This is Better

If you missed parts one and two of this post, go here and here to read them.

One of my co-workers was a major factor in getting me to seek this help. She has struggled with depression, herself, and takes meds for it. Guess she saw quite a bit of herself in me... And I remember her saying, "If this is what you need, you'll know it. You'll finally feel normal again!"
I have since informed her she was wrong. I told her, "I don't feel 'normal'. I have never felt this good before!" *wink*

Seriously.

For as long as I can remember, I have simply thought negatively about myself. If something went wrong, I figured it must be my fault. If someone did something better than me, I reasoned I wasn't good enough. And if I didn't measure up in a certain area, I took it as proof that I was sub-standard.
I wasn't unhappy all the time. I enjoyed much of my life. But when it came to thinking about myself, well, it usually wasn't a pretty picture.

As I read the book my doctor recommended, I gained understanding about myself - about why I am like I am. I learned practical things to do in order to produce rational thoughts. And, though I don't fully understand how it works, it seems like the medicine I'm taking helped me slow down - gave me time to think rationally, rather than falling into my regular pattern of immediately condemning myself.
I remember when Brian first noticed a difference. He commented, "I said something yesterday, and as soon as it came out of my mouth I regretted it. I knew it was going to make you start crying. But you didn't even respond!" Honestly, I couldn't recall what he'd said.
Contrary to that example with Brian, I still hear what people say. I still realize I am not perfect. I still don't clean my house from floor to ceiling every week. The difference is, I've learned to think rationally, and now I don't comdemn myself for those things.
I talk to myself a little more now. Like when I realized on the way to work one day that I'd forgotten the gas card, and wouldn't be able to fill up on the way home. I said out loud, "That's OK, Karen!" I do that a lot, actually. Reminding myself that little short comings, and things forgotten, are not going to bring the world to a sudden end. Kinda like I'm living in one big perspective check. LOL
But I like it this way. I feel better about myself. Feel like I finally have control over my emotions. And I'm able to function so much better - at work and at home. (Crying uncontrollably takes a lot of time, you know! *wink*)

So, that's my story. Well, kinda abridged, but you got the important parts.
I welcome your comments or questions. But, realizing someone may not be comfortable with the public nature of commenting, I want to invite you also to email me. My hope in sharing my story is that someone who is suffering alone may be encouraged to open up and get help. If you want to continue the conversation privately, I would be happy to receive your email.
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I had a couple requests to share the title of the book I read. It is The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J Bourne, PhD. To be honest, there were parts of the book I laughed at. Brought back memories of Saturday Night Live and the guy who looked in the mirror saying how much he liked himself. And there were parts that I had to gloss over because they were way too self-centered for me. (Yes, even me. LOL) But to be able to glean truth and wisdom, even common sense, was a huge blessing. Especially the parts about faulty thinking.

Karen

8 comments:

Leah @ Point Ministries said...

God uses modern medicine to work in our lives. When I finally realized that my anxiety disorder was a result of an abnormality of neurotransmitters and not a spiritual problem or that I was just a lunatic, I was able to talk about it and get help for it.

I always like to remind people that they have no qualms whatsoever about taking blood pressure medicine or medicine for diabetes or high cholesterol. Why are we so hung up on medicine for brain problems? I dare say not many people have ever been told to get their spiritual life right and their diabetes will correct itself!!!! Why should we think that would work with mental issues?

Ok, off my soap box now!!

TheUnSoccerMom said...

I think you are really awesome to share this. I've suffered with mild depression and I still get in my little "funks".

Many people think that Christians can't be depressed or that if we are, we aren't walking close enough with our Lord. So not true! Thank you for putting this out there. You are such a blessing!!

Irritable Mother said...

Leah - I appreciate your soap box. ;o)

Jodi - Thank you.
One of my favorits sayings is, "You go through what you go through, so you can help other people go through what you went through." I'm trusting God will use this journey - not only to draw me closer to Himself - but to help someone else walk through the same thing. He's good like that!

gianna said...

BEautiful! I'm glad that you are feeling clearly and can even joke about it! I love it! and you!

Irritable Mother said...

Thanks, Gianna. I love you, too!

Blue Cotton Memory said...

God uses doctors to heal, too. So glad you are feeling better. I understand about the crying. Mine was due to anxiety due to high stress situations over the last few years. I had to stop myself from thinking about what had just happened or about the future. I had to just live NOW. I had to train myself to not let my thoughts careen down the old paths, the paths where I would beat myself up.

So glad you are talking about his; women need to encourage other women as they deal with their challenges - and recognize they are not weak or abnormal!

Be blessed:)

Larie Writes-Proverbs 27:19 said...

Thank you Karen.

smooches,
Larie

Irritable Mother said...

BCM - Thanks for your words. I'm glad you're doing better, too!
Yes, we really do need to talk about issues like this. It's far too easy to suffer silently, believing you're alone. Indeed, we are better together!

Larie - You are welcome. :o)