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#461: A Positive Attitude Fights a Veil of Darkness

Sunday, March 13, 2011

For days I have debated writing this story but after reading of others in a similar situation I decided exposing something I deal with may help someone else.

I suffer from depression. Some studies claim this is a brain disorder, others claim it is a reaction to stress and other factors beyond our control. It really is not important what causes it; what is important is dealing with it.

Last night is a good example. I had a pleasant day, was catching up on emails and various sites I participate in, public television was airing an oldies/doo-wop music special (yes, my era) and all felt okay. Then, a veil of darkness draped itself over me and my mood changed. I even posted a status update about it.

There have been numerous counseling sessions and medications but they are not a permanent barrier tough enough to always keep the brightness shining. One thing that has been shown to help is exercise so last night I began several vigorous exercises and followed with a long, hot shower. That helped, but after a short while I only wanted to go to bed, read a while and shut out the world.

Normally, as some of you know, I am an upbeat, positive person who tries very hard to lift up others and encourage them to do their best every day. Once in a while a SP friend will write and ask why I haven't answered their recent blogs. I reply and tell them that sometimes I just need time to myself. Later, though, that day or another, I will read and reply to 40 or more blogs.

Last night I tried to backtrack and determine what led to that veil dropping. Nothing is ever decided in a vacuum. One feeling or thought leads to another and another until a lever is pulled and moods change. Often, too, long-buried feelings surface and cause us to examine our lives and our decisions. It is a complicated situation.

What I ask of you is if you know someone who seems to be down, who seems to change moods for no apparent reason, talk to them, see if they need to see their doctor about their changing moods. It's likely they do not know themselves why they are happy one minute and not the next.

Mine largely began in 2006 when losing three relatives in three months a year and a half earlier hit me. That was followed by a diagnosis of diabetes soon after. One of the valuable aspects of SparkPeople is the information passed along on various illnesses and diseases via articles, message boards and other avenues. I have learned so much from this site and from the members who have also shared their situations. The support I have received here has been a true blessing.

I remain positive about life. As my weight has finally dropped, blood sugar readings have dropped also. Other medical indicators have posted terrific numbers. I am grateful to a health insurance nurse for referring me to SparkPeople. My time here has not been wasted. I have learned how to adapt to my problems and to those of others. I continue to enjoy the friends I have met here, from Finland to Canada to Australia, and from California to Virginia. What a group of motivating people you all are.

For more information about depression, please check the site for the National Institute of Mental Health at www.nimh.nih.gov/health/

Thank you for reading this far. I hope I have explained why it sometimes takes me a while to catch up with everyone or to blog.

Life can be good if we have faith and exude love, friendship and compassion, if we help others whenever we can and if we believe there is a greater purpose in store for each of us if we only open our minds and our hearts.

We can succeed if we believe in ourselves and never, ever, give up.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post

    Lou, thanks for being as real as you are!!

    love, Darlene
    3638 days ago
    I understand...my mother had a really bad case of depression. Sometimes my moods go up and down also. I just try to pray and hope the mood passes.

    3638 days ago
  • SPARKIE1964
    Depression is definitely hard to live with which I know all about. I have been fighting falling back into the depths of sorrow again as I do not want to go back to meds. I do find that exercise can be a great cure for the blues if we can just take the first step. Blogging is helpful as are people like you who reminds us that we're in this thing called LIFE together! Happy to hear that you're days are looking brighter Lou...
    3638 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6400103
    awwww thanks Lou!!

    God bless you!

    emoticon emoticon
    3639 days ago
    Lou, even THIS blog, ends with positivity. That is why you are so awesome! I could write a blog called: All the reasons we love Lou! It would be my most popular blog. Victoria
    3639 days ago
    I can so totally relate to this blog. Thanks for shining some light on an otherwise dark subject. Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon
    3639 days ago
    Sometimes friends encourage and sometimes they cry with us and sometimes they simply be near, a presence of compassion. I am so honored to be your friend, whether the road be filled with hardship or delight. *hugs*

    3639 days ago
    What an awesome blog. You may never know who you impact by sharing a bit of yourself and letting them know they are not alone. I suffered from very mild depression for years due to feelings of unworthiness and thinking I was somehow unlovable. I am glad to hear you are finding ways to combat it. You do have so much to offer and are missed when you need to go, but we do understand, especially when you let us know. God bless the nurse who led you here. We have so enjoyed you my friend :)
    3639 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Thanks for sharing this part of you Lou. You are here for so many of us and now we can reach back to you with our prayers and positive thoughts.

    Take care my friend!
    emoticon emoticon
    3640 days ago

    I will keep you in my prayers. I have experienced severe depression in my life and I can understand the struggle it is just to lift up your head in the morning, let alone get out of bed.

    3640 days ago
  • CHARMIN944
    Lou, I never would have guessed you suffered with depression. I'm so glad you posted this for people like us who live with depression. Maybe people can now understand that we can't just snap out of it. Maybe they can understand that it's not a weakness. Thank you for this blog.
    3640 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6035648
    Depression has a tendency to run in families.. Unfortunately, it runs rampant in mine.. I've noticed in my family, it tends to hit those who have very sensitive hearts..I've seen it rear it's ugly head in my oldest son, who unfortunately turned to alcohol to deal with it. (He's off the booze now thank God) I used to have days when it hit me, and all I wanted to do was hide from the world.. The one thing I've learnd for myself was to quit dwelling on those thoughts/memories/old feelings.. When they come on me, I shout out a loud "NO!".. and force myself to think about something else. I can't change the past, I can only learn from it. I have had to LEARN to forgive. That's where Jesus comes in. Hanging on the cross, after being beaten and tormented, what did he do? He forgave.. God showed me that's what I needed to do.. I can honestly say my bouts with depression have seriously decreased.. but when those feelings come, I pray and ask God to show me how to forgive and forget.. It isn't always easy, but that's what I have to do.. My prayers are with you..
    3640 days ago

    Our Lenten mission started at church tonight. The topic tonight was compassion. The speaker, who is a religious Brother and a psychologist, said this - "Mystics and madmen swim in the same water. One drowns. The other is reborn. It all depends on how they react to adverse life situations. How we deal with adversity makes us more compassionate."

    You are an incredibly compassionate man. Now I understand where you compassion comes from. Thank you for your honesty and for speaking from your heart.
    3640 days ago

    Lou, I admire your openess. I know there are many people who would benefit by being more open, myself included.
    I sometimes wonder what I'd do or say if I too was completely open.

    Keep on taking good care of yourself. Thanks again!!
    3640 days ago
    Wow, Lou! what a remarkable blog! How you seem to put into words the impossible, is incredible! I, too, suffer from depression, and often find myself at odds with my moods for no reason. It's a lot better since I went to the dr. and have the right anti-depressant. Your open and honest blog really will help a lot of people, and it has helped me, too.
    3640 days ago
    Lou, thank you for posting this. There is so excellent information/suggestions/advice in here. I know I will remember the things you have shared.

    Prayers and hugs, my friend.
    3640 days ago
    I like you have suffered most of my life with depression. For many years, I just lived depressed, until I finally found some help. It does not fix easily BTW. But at least I was on a road. I believe that my depression was inherited from a mother who was bipolar, undiagonsed because she did not trust the physch community. My mom was a nurse, so she self medicated with pills at first adn then with alcohol which eventually took her life.

    It took me years to get where I am now and SparkPeople helped me with great articles and even greater people who would see my mood turn dark and call me on it. I have learned to allow myself a day to be sad, mad, grumpy or want to be alone. But that is all I get. I have learned that I do not need to blog my feelings all the time, but I do journal the really poopy ones so that I can deal with them.

    I try to be positive and if I am not then I usually lurk, except with a few trusted friends, that know me very well now. I really believe that SP has brought me to a much better place with all the tools they have here.

    And lastly, the people on SP are accepting of who we are, where we are and want to help us succeed, (most of them that is) a few get into our place and like to spread negativity. Oh run from those and be yourself. We like you, well I like you just as you are and you have helped me to grow.

    3640 days ago
  • TEDYBEAR2838
    LIfe in and of itself is surely a challenge, but you have risen above your circumstances. I am so PROUD OF YOU!


    I'm so glad you are my FRIEND!
    3640 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    Thank you for sharing this with us, Lou. I will keep your advice in mind and appreciate you letting us know! Actually, I just appreciate you period. emoticon emoticon
    3640 days ago
    SO TRUE!!!
    3640 days ago
    Great blog
    3640 days ago
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