Sunday, June 29, 2008


Castle in night
Originally uploaded by 3ABXO3

If at church you feel you don't fit in
And cannot function well,
While others flaunt their pedigrees,
You've nothing much to tell,
When worldly honors are all stacked up,
Your pile's too short to view,
Just remember it won't matter
When you know God's love for you.

There's a room in Jesus' Kingdom,
With a light that shines within,
The lamp that burns there burns for you,
Just go and stay with Him.

( Click on the picture for photo credits. Poem by Donnell Allan.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Six Months on Copenhagen Harbour

Six Months on Copenhagen Harbour
Originally uploaded by [Zakkaliciousness]

I start on my third anti-depressant today.The mood stabilizer continues to be very helpful. Perhaps this new medication will be the special something which will move me away from this Copenhagen Harbour of a life.

I'm hopeful.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Anti-Depressant, Video Form

(Thank you for sharing this, N.)

Down the Halls

Down the Halls
Originally uploaded by Nocternal Oxide

Visit this blog post for one young mother's detailed description of an anxiety attack.

(Click on the picture for credits.)

Promise: Isaiah 54: 10-14

Originally uploaded by bored-now

10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
11 ¶ O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires.
12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.
13 And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.

(Please click on the picture for photo credits. Scripture passage copied and pasted from

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Driftwood Downturn

This week I dared to take a drive with my husband to visit the Pacific Ocean, just ninety minutes from home. The ride down was nice, and I thought I was going to be relatively okay. And I was--until we parked at the dunes and got out of the car.

I should have felt in good company. The people in the parking lot seemed to be as crazy as I, albeit a different kind of crazy. They were Westport surfers, donning wet-suits in preparation for hitting the waves in 50-something degree weather. Their minds were completely focused on surfing, so I found them to be oblivious to our presence, which was comforting. Trouble began for me when I started to the beach with a climb up the slopes of the dunes. I had to keep my eyes focused on the sea grass and flowers, as I felt I somehow didn't have the mental capacity to look up as I climbed. As we topped the little hill and saw the beautiful ocean and sandy beach before us, we were blocked from them by a massive pile of driftwood, much like that pictured above.

I have navigated many a pile of driftwood over the years of my life, and I usually very much enjoy the game of picking my way through. But this time, I felt my mind darkening at the sight, and I wondered if I was going to pass out. I became nauseated and was fighting back tears. It was all I could do to concentrate on each step made by my husband, and to follow precisely in his footsteps. He was very kind, and offered a hand, each time it was helpful, to step down from one log to the next.

Once we were through the driftwood, I collapsed on his shoulder and sobbed.

Soon I was removing my shoes, though, and sinking my feet deep into the soft sand. It felt so good, so calming. We walked together barefooted, and put our toes into the cold ocean water, then walked back. I loved the experience of feeling the sand getting softer and warmer as we walked with our backs to the sea. There was a healing benefit in being there, feeling the sand and hearing the ocean's roar.

When it was time to navigate the driftwood again, I felt as ill as before. This time, however, it came to me what the problem was: too many decisions. I began the walk to the beach having to decide which of a web of trails to take. (My husband was being polite and letting me choose.) That weakened me, and by the time we got to the driftwood, I could not think any more. Heading back, I had not replenished my emotional reserve--as nice as the beach experience was--when I had to face the driftwood pile the second time. It has been years since I have come so close to vomiting.

I'm kind of extra-wrecked now for a while. No sitting on the front porch in the lovely weather for me today. There are people walking by.

(Thank you to this photographer for the driftwood picture.)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


fairly isolated
Originally uploaded by lynn smith

I had a busy day yesterday, and spent hours outside the walls of my home. I made it through the day, only getting teary a few times. But by the time I got home I was depleted of energy and spent the evening collapsed on the couch. It is interesting how emotional fatigue takes a toll on the physical body as well.

Today I would like to go to bed and cry all day. Blogging is a good creative distraction. So here I am.

(Click on the picture for credits.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008


I was taught long ago that the meaning of the word succor is "to run to." Later on, I learned that the root from which our English succor comes means not only that, but "to go beneath, run to help." As I learned this more specific meaning of the term, I immediately appreciated the imagery of being held up from underneath and kept from falling.

I had a tangible experience with being succored in this way some years ago. As part of a group of adults on a wilderness trek, I participated in an activity which resulted in me finding myself in a precarious situation.

The trek in which I was involved was organized as a series of games and activities meant to engender cooperative fellowship and greater self-awareness. The assigned tasks which my group were asked to undertake were approached seriously and performed with exactness. The particular activity which I mentioned above involved transferring each member of the group across a low area of ground which was designated as a pit of fire. We were to imagine that the ground over which we were crossing was molten lava or some equivalent danger, so that we must absolutely not touch down under any circumstances.

At some point in this exercise, a cable was stretched across the dry riverbed which served as our fiery hollow, and I volunteered to made my way across on it and perform the task which was needed on the other side in order to enable my companions to also cross over. I began my mission with enthusiasm, my arms and legs wrapped around the wire, inching along bit by bit. Tiring quickly as I moved along, however, as I neared the midway point of my journey I realized that I was in serious trouble. It was clear to me that I did not have enough strength to move myself all the way across the abyss. Halfway across, suspended in the air, my arms had become so weakened by my previous efforts that it was all I could do to barely hold on. I was utterly incapable of moving forward or backward to save myself.

As the group called out expressions of encouragement to me from their place on the riverbank, I whimpered back, "I can't move anymore. I'm not strong enough. I can't go on." I wrapped my worn out arms and legs as tightly as I could and shut my eyes. My mind was devoid of any possible solution. I felt helpless and alone, with no hope for pulling myself out of the situation.

Suddenly, I felt large hands and strong arms lifting me down from the air. One of the group had plunged into the pit to rescue me. He was a tall man, the largest of the party, who had been so quiet that he was a stranger to me in spite of our many hours together. As he set me down on firm ground, he humbly turned to the cheering crowd on the banks and quietly stated, "Well, I couldn't just let her fall."

I learned that day what it truly means to be succored.

I learned again yesterday about the term. My visit to the psychiatrist two days ago left me discouraged and emotionally drained. His responses to my needs were to do more of the same things I have been doing and then some. I was to switch, once again, my antidepressant. I was to visit one doctor for one problem and another for another, and a third for something else again. I was to apply more time to the process and continue the plodding course I have been so long experiencing.

My depressed state plunged as low as it had ever been. By the time I got home I was overwhelmed and incapable of any further forward movement. Exhausted and spent, I was immobilized and barely holding on, just as when I was out on that cable. Again there seemed to be no way out for me, but this time it was no game. The fiery emotional pit looming under me was real. I longed for someone who could run to me and go beneath me and hold me up and help me out. I needed to be truly succored.

Yesterday, the help came. As I sensed the reality of friends on the banks cheering me on through their prayers in my behalf, I simultaneously experienced family members gathering to offer the succor I craved. Probing conversations ensued, ideas came forth, new hope was aroused. As the day ended, I felt impressed to employ an easily manageable change of focus as I fish for answers to my problems, much like simply moving my nets from one side of my boat to the other (see John 21:3-6).

I believe that the Priesthood Blessing I recently received is taking effect, that the prayers of kind and caring friends are being answered, that family love and inspiration are exerting their power. I feel that stronger arms are carrying me from a precarious place. I know that my Savior is near me and empathizes with my plight. I know that I am being succored.

I have hope again for brimming nets and celebratory times. Thank you to all of you who have contributed to this rescue. I believe that prayers have been heard and answered.

Thank you to this photographer for the picture of the support beam.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Cape Palliser Lighthouse
Originally uploaded by simonech

My husband kindly offered to take time off work to accompany me on my visit to my psychiatrist tomorrow. I also received a Priesthood Blessing under his hands last evening.
I felt the love and concern and awareness of the Lord as I was blessed. I trust that He will be with me on the visit, too.

I hope I may begin moving upward toward light and open skies, even if the climb proves to be a strenuous and long one.

(Click on the picture for credits.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"Question Mark Sign On Hobson's Old Building . . . "

Question Mark Sign On Hobson's Old Building, Corner Of Henry & Main (Honor, MI)
Originally uploaded by takomabibelot

This is how I feel today. I'm falling apart, with a big question mark on my forehead. Why am I still depressed? Why is it getting worse instead of better?

I am so thankful for supportive family, their love, and the gift of the Comforter. Like this building, I am still standing. I know that I will be remodeled and renewed in time. But for now, there are too many questions.

And my mind is in no condition to try to find the answers to them.

(Click on the picture for credits.)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Things Change

Things Change
Originally uploaded by James Jordan

Things change . . . and nighttime has it's beauty, too.

Sunday, June 8, 2008


hug a leper for Jesus
Originally uploaded by susanlee828

Feeling like a leper sometimes,
I imagine my Savior's embrace.
Knowing that he loves me makes all the difference.
Even when I feel otherwise

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Compassion of Strangers

Some months ago, in the midst of a deep depression, I watched the movie "The Slender Thread" (1965). It tells the true story of a Seattle woman who attempted suicide and was kept alive solely due to the compassion of strangers. As I watched, I wept to realize that, no matter who I am or what I have done, there will always be those who care what happens to me, who want me to live. In the movie, people all over the city were scrambling to save this woman's life. They knew nothing of her except that she was a fellow human being in despair, and that was enough for them to race to her rescue. I became acutely aware that my life is precious to many, simply because I am their fellow human being.

I was reminded of that lesson this morning as I read this very touching post by a blogger named Bryan. Prepare to be moved.

(Thank you to this photographer for the hands touching.)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Why I Take Medications

The video below illustrates what the right medication can do. When one is in darkness, a pill, like the moon, goes down. And then the sun comes out. The first of the light may be dim, but it is ever so much better than the darkness.

The effect of appropriate medication is not a high, nor is it an escape into another world. It is a return into this world with the illumination of sunshine once more. And, as always when the sun first begins to rise, it brings with it the hope of more light to come.

Moon-set Sunrise

Moon-set Sunrise
Originally uploaded by BY-YOUR-⌘

The sun will rise.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Practical Matters: Getting the Work(out) Done

You read, therefore you know that daily exercise is an essential activity for good health, including mental health. No question about it. So, being fully aware that my recent spell of inactivity was without a doubt detrimental to my well-being, I made a couple of purchases, and I am now finding it relatively easy to walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day.

The pedometer counts my steps and the hand-held mouse enables me to stand up and walk in place while I'm at my computer. Perfect.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Favorite Scripture: ". . . as willows by the water courses."

Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:

And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses.
--Isaiah 44:2-4

(Click on the picture for credits.)

Willow Creek Hot Spring
Originally uploaded by Infinite Wilderness

(Click on the picture for credits.)