Accepting Change – That Stinkin’ Thorn in My Side

My favorite flower is a native to the southeast of the United States. It has a fancy-schmanzy botanical name, but is commonly called the Southern Magnolia. I wonder how “they” arrived at that name 😉

I pass by a magnolia tree when I must leave the house, but it’s in a blind spot on a curve in the road. It would be hard to photograph without trespassing, or to be run over by a car.

Ha! That’s partially untrue. I have not felt the photography bug lately. One of the byproducts of depression and/or the medications to manage it. However, I am fighting to move through the thievery of what I enjoy.

I can only do so much, and I’m trying to take it one step at a time in order to avoid the frustration, and choosing to give up–because giving up is an easier route.

The trespassing and the safety issues from the road, are true.

Anyway, this is one of the flowers I can honestly say is my favorite. Against the dark green color of the leaves, the creamy white blossoms are a vision to behold.

I said I would not write about my depression, but yeah, there are some things to share with the “normals”. Perhaps it will help someone understand what a friend or loved one may be experiencing. I am neither writing for encouragement, pity, or praise. This is simply an example–dear weedhoppers. 😀

Most likely, more than a few people enjoy the changes of the seasons. Changes in seasons are spectacular. The beautiful colors of Autumn leaves. The quietness of newly fallen Winter snow. The Spring regeneration of life. The warmth of Summer heat. Maybe some of us only have a difference between hot and not-so-hot, or rainy and not-so-rainy, but they are seasons?

To a person suffering from any sort of mental illness/disease, change is difficult. In my experience, routine is soothing. But then I have perfectionist traits, and change screws with my visions of what I expect to be perfect. Add to that, attention deficit disorder, and I have the makings of a perfect storm.

Changes come from all directions at times. I experienced too many major life changes, loss of loved ones, and a change in health–within too short of a time frame. An extreme abundance of change before I could catch my breath and rebound from each one.

I reached a point of major defeat. Due to my predisposition to depression and anxiety, my mind wanted to escape in any way I could find. I gave in to the darkness of depression because I was too tired to continue the fight.

I know–get knocked down over and over, but we should continue to get back up. That isn’t possible to a person suffering from a mental illness. Standing back up doesn’t mean our minds are immediately transformed into a positive mind state. We are fighting inside, and all the positive thoughts in the world will not change a depressive mind state.

Setbacks are a different story. Deep depression, no. Positive thinking cannot bring a person out of depression. I haven’t found it possible.

If someone has had a clinical diagnosis of depression (not just sadness for a couple of days), experienced an episode, and “thought” their way out of it, I would seriously be interested in the technique used. I tried VERY hard to bring myself up with positive affirmations. I looked in the mirror and said them. I read them. I listened to tapes of affirmations (ooops, had to edit here because I am dating myself….I listened to CD’s, or recordings). Nothing worked for me until I sought professional help and the proper medications. (okay, I’m regurgitating words)

Moving along…

Running is useless–whatever we are running from will, no doubt, finally catch up. Eventually, we grow up and have to face life head-on because with adulthood comes responsibilities.

Logically, I know that without change and diversity, life would become extremely boring. Emotionally, change attacks my mental strength. Adjusting is a fight–even when I know it’s coming and I look forward to it. My mind spins, and I feel physically ill.

I have chosen to continue the fight because I know I will be successful. I have to take care of myself because I know that I have a funky tormentor lurking in the back of my mind, waiting for a weak spot in my defenses. While change diverts my attention, my focus is still on recovery.

Giving up is not an option for me.

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About April

I'll come back to this when I find out who I really am. I've been through some extremely rough patches but they have made me a better person. I blog if my brain is functioning first thing in the morning.
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22 Responses to Accepting Change – That Stinkin’ Thorn in My Side

  1. aviets says:

    Thank you for sharing your favorite flower. It really is beautiful, and I’ve never seen one before. Pretty much everything else you shared today I HAVE

  2. aviets says:

    Well. let’s try that again. My keyboard has some very stupidly placed buttons that, when I accidentally touch them, do very naughty things…

    What I was going to say was that, as you know, pretty much everything else you shared today I have seen up close. The fact that you find the courage to write about it and to keep moving forward? That is beautiful, too.

    • April says:

      Haha! I replied to your first comment…

      You are going through changes that would seriously weaken me. I admire your strength.

      The Southern Magnolia is only grown in the deep south…as far as I know. I have seen magnolias in other parts of the country, but they don’t look like these. They are really beautiful. The trees aren’t deciduous, and they seem to flower from late Spring to Fall.

  3. April, your honesty and vulnerability are so special but so hard to experience. The fact that you would write and share it, to help someone else in hiding, is indicative of your giving personality.

  4. Even though you don’t like to write about depression, you speak from an honest place that resonates with me and I’m certain others as well. I’m actively fighting it right now and it is tiring. I just want to escape. My latest tactic has been leisure reading (or rather listening) as I attempt to clean my disorganized house. I just read a book called Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple. It was exactly what I needed. It was hilarious but had some serious topics. The main character had agoraphobia as well as some other mental illnesses I would guess. I’m looking for a new book that is similar but it will certainly be hard to match. As for change, I wholeheartedly agree. It’s hard. I credit my latest funk with our adjustment to back-to-school.

    • April says:

      Change is what usually spins me around. With kids, no matter what their ages, life is constantly changing.

      It’s not that I don’t like writing about depression, I just want to write about it in a more encouraging way. I have battled for so long, and I finally feel as if I have the right combination of therapy, medication, and my own determination to manage my disease, and to live.

      I hope you are feeling better.

  5. bmagpub says:

    Hi April. Thank you for sharing such intimacies – I am amazed by the strength you show – as you say, it is often easier to just give in. You do inspire me :-). We have a magnolia tree in our yard that has recently started flowering – purple and white blooms (as seen in the photo of the wax eye I posted a while back. Now, every time I look at it, I will think of you. :-). Hope that you have a good day today. Brett

  6. April, I hope if there is anyone who has a loved one struggling with depression who can’t easily communicate how they feel-they read this. I know everyone is ‘different’ but you speak so honestly it might give others insight to help those they love. I’m glad you’re doing what ever it is you must, to get through over past and beyond. Bravo.

    • April says:

      I have trouble speaking when trying to describe my thought processes to my husband. He reads my blog, and it has helped him understand what I have trouble getting out of my mouth. Maybe it’s because I can read over, and delete the stuff that wouldn’t make sense–heck depression doesn’t make much sense to me at times. Anyway, it has been a bonus for our family relationship—not to say he doesn’t still struggle to understand. 🙂

  7. mewhoami says:

    Good to hear! Stay strong. Change can be hard, but without it we would have never obtained the wonderful things in life that we have. Change has its benefits. It’s like a surprise gift, just waiting to be delivered.

  8. Pingback: Thankful Thursday | Tripping the Light Fantastic

  9. suzjones says:

    Oh April. Your raw honesty is a constant source of admiration from me. I was talking to my oldest daughter last night about my son and his frustration that he is not ‘getting better’ quickly. She said something really wise. “Mum. We don’t get better. You’ve never gotten better. I’ve never gotten better. What we do though is learn to live a new way of ‘normal’ “. And as much as I hate to admit it, she’s right.
    Hang in there girl. We can do this. 🙂

    • April says:

      I can remember being where your son is with the frustration. It wasn’t until I realized that there isn’t a cure, that management and a new “normal” is what I had to accept.

      I have my days, but they are more manageable. I was strong headed before, depression has made me even more determined.

      Yes, we can do this! 😀

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