Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Find and Share Joy!

After a recent bout of clinical depression sinking me to my lowest pit, I find that I crave joy. I need to have joy in my life and want everyone around to have that joy!
Life is difficult, it always has been and always will be, we live in a fallen world. Looking around you in this world for true joy with true staying power is senseless. The only true source of joy is Jesus Christ. Any other source is temporary and can disappear in the blink of an eye. Jesus is for now, forever, for always! 
Christ's love for us never waivers, never dissipates because He grows tired of us. His love is every present, always, forever and ever. 
In our world we all crave love, truly, what's more wonderful than having someone love us and we love them back? It's an intense feeling to know that someone is thinking about you and loves you that deeply. The only problem with this love is that there are no guarantees, humans are not perfect and that love can waiver and die very quickly...we've all seen it happen time and time again.
I urge you to pick up a Bible, visit the Word and keep coming back to it. Find a good church that teaches God's Word, not a preacher that makes promises himself...that fellow is a fraud, only God's Word is truth, you can find it nowhere else. 
If you find that your life is lonely, you can't seem to find a reason to smile and you have no joy...talk to the One who can give you peace beyond understanding, truly it's that wonderful! Only then can you understand...and want to share your joy with everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How to help those with clinical depression.

For 25 years I have had clinical depression. If you're not aware of it, clinical depression is a chemical imbalance. It can happen to anyone at anytime. In my case it happened because of a time of extreme stress in my life, my body and my mind shut down. You can read more about clinical depression by doing research. I want to tell you how to deal with a person with clinical depression, from my years of living with it. This is about my journey, I know from talking to others and sometimes even being able to help diagnosis others through the years that my symptoms mimic most others, but not everything I experience is the same.

These are a few do's and don't's. 
Don't tell me:
  • If my faith was stronger I could be healed. (that leads me to a guilt trip and is not conducive to healing)
  • To just get over it. (you have no clue)
  • To try different medications, etc. I know this disease, I know my symptoms, I know changing medications could push me further down the deep dark well. 
  • You have had bouts of depression also. (You are comparing a minor headache to a months long debilitating migraine)
  • How blessed I am. (Logic can go out the window right now, I can barely put words together, I'm literally at the bottom of a well scratching the sides with everything I have trying to move up one inch at a time...only to keep sliding back down, I can't grasp logic)
  • How your friend had.....(Yep, I've actually had folks say, 'How bad is yours, my friend committed suicide from being in depression'.....once again not conducive to my healing)
  • Don't come up and hug me without asking. (Depression 'literally' hurts, I liken the pain to a horrible case of fibro (I don't have fibro, the symptoms seem about the same)your hug could give me pain that could last for days)
  • Don't stop by without asking. (There are times I can barely function, taking care of my daily needs is about all I'm capable of).
  • Don't talk to other people about my illness without my permission. (I know that look of pity and I don't want or need to be pitied)
  • Don't text me stories about this one or that one and what worked for them. (When I am in the deep dark pit, I can't even comprehend feeling better. To be honest I can't imagine I deserve to feel better....yep, it's that bad)
  • Don't talk loud. (Every noise is compounded when I'm down in the pit, I can't handle loud noises or chaos)
  • Pray for me, anytime, anyplace and tell me you are...I get great comfort in that, it's something to hold onto when I'm falling deeper and deeper.
  • Check on me if you know I'm alone and no one else is checking up on me. Suicide is a very real symptom, I may need help when I don't know I do. (For me personally the thought has only occurred a couple of times and those were the worst bouts I've ever had, in those moments Jesus was right there, I could feel Him surround me and redirect my thoughts). Generally for me it's more a feeling of wanting to climb in a hole or just disappear...or my term I use mostly is evaporate..I just want to sink into nothing. 
  • Understand that I will only be down for a few days (this last bout only lasted hours), then I will be okay. I'm not in need of fixing, I'm in need of healing time. Don't push me into things when I'm not ready. 
  • Remember that clinical depression is a disease. It's a chemical imbalance. It's not something made up in my head. I will get through the darkness, it takes awhile but I will climb out of this well. Every time I've been down here and want to just be in the dark all by myself, I see a tiny light there with me and after awhile I can realize that my Savior is there with me, not shoving me to climb out but sitting patiently while I try to find some clarity, then slowly we climb out together...every single time.
  • If you know what makes me laugh give it a try, laughter is healing and it feels so good when nothing else possibly can.
  • Ask me if I'm up for a hug, if I am hug might tight and don't let go for a long time. The human touch is a huge part of my healing. 
  • Tell me you love me, as often as you want. Specifically this time, since it's the first since my divorce I had a loathing for myself that only helped by being hugged and told over and over how much I was loved. This also was my first bout since becoming a grandma and just having her to hold gave me such comfort, everything about her brought me joy...that was a new feeling I'd never had before!
Know that these are just the thoughts from my journey but I know too many other's stories to no know that we all walk almost the same walk through it. It's a horrible dark place to be. Once again I don't deal with this very often as long as I'm on my meds. Last month my doctor and I thought I could go off the meds, my choice was cold turkey. It was a bad choice because I felt better than I'd felt in years until I could feel myself falling and there was nothing I could do to stop it. This was the worst yet, I actually was unable to grasp reality, was completely full of fear and couldn't even recognize my own daughter for a short time. My words were garbled, her words made no sense to me and yes, I believe I scared her badly. I have apologized so much that they have told me they don't want to hear it again, I know it's out of my control but it's so scary to be that far from reality. That is why I would never do drugs or drink alcohol, I've always wanted to be completely aware of everything around me.

Every time I go through one of these episodes I come out feeling like I must help others who deal with it. That is why I wanted to share this, so you can watch for this in folks you know and possibly get them the help they need. I was sure that my Clinical Depression was gone but I will live with it and consider it a blessing...so many have so much worse.

In case you're wondering, yes I did go to the doctor. Yes, they made me talk to multiple people to make sure I wasn't going to do harm to myself, etc. The last fellow (who seemed to think he was a psychiatrist or something...I think he was an intern) finally asked:
Would you be happier in a room by yourself or a room with a thousand people? Well, I had answered so many questions I was so tired of them and I thought this one through completely....I said, I would be equally happy in both situations. He asked why and I said, 'Because I have my Savior with me every second of every day, regardless of the situation He is there and He is my joy!' Well, he tended to snark at my answer and probably thought I was more psycho than he thought, I didn't care! Just told the truth! Once again I share this to help you deal with someone with clinical depression...and above all make sure they get the help they need, make sure someone is keeping tabs on them and make sure they're eating, drinking, etc. Those basic needs are extremely important. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Losing My Sweet Daddy

My sweet little parents, Fred and Lorene (Rene) Mills, oh how we adore them!
On Friday we lost my sweet daddy to Cancer. He was in hospice for a very short time before he left us. We are so thankful that he did not have to linger and his pain is now gone, God is so good.
My daughter, my brothers and I all read something we had written at the funeral. I am going to share mine here, for my online friends and to have on record.
Read on April 10th 2016 at my father, Fred Mills' funeral.
'As I sat at the hospice center last Thursday-watching my little daddy resting-a million thoughts were going through my mind.
It's like I'm an observer as my mind sifts through memories, some great, some very difficult. I was two years old when my parents divorced. I was 29 when they met again. I was 30 when I was matron of honor at their wedding, in those in between years I was raised by my mother and never saw my father.
It was an interesting experience getting to know my father as an adult and to be honest I had a lot of anger to sift through and maybe a big of growing up to do. I eventually came to realize it wasn't about me. I had a wonderful husband and a very happy marriage, my parents had a chance at that for the second time-I wanted that for them, we all did.
They went on to have 25 wonderful years together and I got to know my dad-he was always happy-always loving and a very funny guy.
Back to the hospice room: I started wondering what he was thinking. Can he hear us? It didn't really matter at that point-we had said all that needed to be said. We had our usual argument of who loves who more-for the record, my daddy, I love you more!
It does seem like he went away so very quickly-just last Saturday he was joking with the transport drivers that brought him to the hospice center. Just one week later he took his last breath. How wonderful that our Heavenly Father showed us such mercy in making the end swift for his faithful servant. As his family, that adore him, how could we not be thankful for that? His pain is gone and his earthly journey was a long one. 
In his 85 years on earth he had many adventures-I have a feeling he's experiencing the greatest adventure of all right now.
(For those reading that did not know my father, you need to know that he had an arsenal of jokes, all very clean, all very corny but he had the knack of making you laugh every single time! Oh yeah, just so you know...my name is Judy ;)
Today-I would like to be his voice-I want to tell you what I think he would want you to know.
Here is Freddies' top ten list of things you need to know!:
1. Don't be sad. I was blessed with incredible children and grandchildren that I loved so very much. I am so proud of each and every one of them...But...umm....Judy was my favorite!
2. That brings me to #2-What do children and loose bowels have in common? The run in your jeans/genes! If your parents didn't have children-chances are you won't either!
3. After being without my little Rene I was once again honered to be her husband and love and take care of her for 25 years! She's my sweetheart!
4. Remember-Judy was my favorite!
5. Always hold onto this-I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13. This will help you get through this and much more in your life.
6. Did you know I traveled to every state but Alaska? Turns out Heaven's beauty surpasses it all! Of course that's no surprise.
7. I know my jokes were repetitious and maybe a bit corny! You see, I just loved to make you smile and hear your laughter.
8. My pain is gone-I'm so enjoying walking the streets of Gold!!!
9. I want to thank you all for being here for my family and for loving me. I love you too. Please take care of my Rene.
10. This one is very important! Judy was my favorite..!
That's it.
My daddy in a nutshell-loving everyone and finding joy in every day.' 
Our loss is truly Heaven's gain. But my daddy lives on in the faces and lives of his children and grandchildren!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

So excited!

Yep, they're coming to our little ole town and I'm so excited!
We had to drive quite a ways to get to the store we like to frequent but now it's going to be a few minutes away.
Big news for our little town!
I am very happy about it. Others not so much, many folks say it's a 'cheap' grocery store that doesn't belong here. 
That my friends is the voice of ignorance! 
Aldi has come a long way since we first started going there. Their produce is excellent, they have tons of gluten free items. Since they don't have a huge employee base, they can pass on those savings to the consumers through a lower price point on groceries. I think of it like the old town general stores. 
I am not brand loyal to large companies that load their products with unnecessary fillers, I just want the plain simple stuff with a couple of ingredients, that I know how to pronounce! And you can get that with not a lot of hassles at Aldi!
Can't wait!!!