Saturday, June 20, 2015

Blue Skies

A couple of months ago, I started using weather pictures to describe the way I felt.  Check out this post, and this one, and this one, and this one, and this one.  So today... lately, that is... would be sunshiny blue skies... with flowers!

I haven't had a depressive episode since May 19th.  And I feel GREAT!  Even though we've had inches of rain lately, wind, lightning, flash flooding, and power outages due to nasty weather, my mental and emotional health has been full of sunshine.

I wish I could take credit for it, but I'm not completely convinced that I can.  In addition to taking my anti-depressants, I've been saying daily prayers that speak specifically to my depression and feelings of total darkness.  And I've gone back to taking my doTerra supplements.  I've recommitted to hitting 10,000 steps every day.  And I'm reading my bible most days; my plan is to read the New Testament this summer.  I'm also reading Jon Acuff's "Do Over", which is all about getting a do over in life, possibly changing careers and such.  It's very positive and offers hope.  Maybe those things are working.  Maybe I'm just lucky right now and my brain chemicals are behaving themselves.

I've also taken on an old hobby.  Writing.  And I think it's doing me good.

I used to write all the time.  I'd write journal entries or blog entries, or I'd start writing a novel... that I'd never finish.  I've started several novels that I never finished.  Mostly I did it because I enjoyed it, not necessarily to make money off of it.

But lately, I've been drawn to writing of a different sort... freelance writing.  I've found a couple of free online courses.  I've found a supportive Facebook group.  And I'm learning how to go about writing for money.  Not only is it keeping my mind sharp... and busy... and distracted.  But I figure I can knock out Dave Ramsey's Baby Steps 2 (paying off all debt except the mortgage) & 3 (saving 3-6 months of living expenses) with the money I make.

I don't know exactly what's keeping me on the sunny side of emotional health right now.  But I'm here to tell you, with a smile on my face, that you couldn't PAY ME to stop the prayers, the supplements, and the research and exercises in writing.  Pray with me that this season lasts for quite some time.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Find the Time

I don't even remember how I came across it now.  But I'm doing a Jon Acuff challenge called #DoSummer2015.  It's all about finding a task you want to focus on and improve on.  And stop telling yourself you don't have the time. He's only asking for 15 minutes a day.  That's it, just 15 minutes a day... for three months.  By the time you're done, you'll have 1500 minutes (or 25 hours) under your belt doing what you really wanted to do.

Jon Acuff writes about finding the time, if you'd like to hear it from a professional.

I think this might have started out as a way to better yourself as an employee or make yourself more marketable... by choosing a skill you wanted to enhance.  But I honestly wanted something NON-WORK related.  So I chose walking (which will be good for my mental and physical health) and bible reading (which will be good for my spiritual and emotional health).

We started June 8th and won't finish until we get to September 8th.

If you'd like to see more about #DoSummer2015, click here.  I love it when I have a chart I can update everyday with my progress.  Just like I like it when I have a list of things to do and can cross things off that list.  I don't know, maybe I'm strange that way.

At any rate, find the time to do something to get you closer to the person you want to be.  And enjoy it!


Thursday, June 11, 2015

Daily Supplements

In an effort to do what I can to stay healthy, even when I don't feel like it, I take a multitude of supplements.  I believe in doTerra's products and am currently taking their Lifelong Vitality Supplements (the first three items listed below).  In addition, I take the GX Assist and PB assist each for ten days each month to maintain colon health.  They also have a metabolic blend and a women's blend that I take daily.  Read on for more information...


Microplex VMz® 

dōTERRA®'s Microplex VMz® Food Nutrient Complex is an all-natural, whole-food formula of bioavailable vitamins and minerals that are deficient in our modern diets. The formula includes a balanced blend of essential antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, and an energy complex of B vitamins presented in a patented glycoprotein matrix. It also contains food-derived minerals of calcium, magnesium, and zinc and trace minerals for optimal bone and metabolic health. Microplex VMz contains dōTERRA's Tummy Tamer botanical blend of peppermint, ginger, and caraway to calm the the stomach for those who may have experienced stomach upset with other vitamin and mineral products. Microplex VMz is encapsulated using sodium lauryl sulfate-free vegetable capsules, does not contain wheat or dairy products, and does not include any animal products.


Alpha CRS®+ 

dōTERRA® Alpha CRS®+ Cellular Vitality Complex is a proprietary formula combining potent levels of natural botanical extracts that support healthy cell proliferation and lifespan with important metabolic factors of cellular energy to help you live younger, longer. Alpha CRS+ is formulated to be used daily with xEO Mega and Microplex VMz® as a comprehensive dietary supplement foundation for a lifetime of vitality and wellness.


xEO Mega 

dōTERRA® xEO Mega Essential Oil Omega Complex is a unique formula of CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils and proprietary blend of marine and land-sourced omega fatty acids. Omega fatty acids help support healthy joint, cardiovascular, and brain health, support healthy immune function, and have been shown to help mediate healthy inflammatory responses in cells. A single daily dose of xEO Mega provides 1000 milligrams of marine lipids with 340 mg of EPA and 240 mg of DHA and a blend of plant-sourced essential fatty acids. xEO Mega also includes 800 IU of natural vitamin D, 60 IU of natural vitamin E, and 1 mg of pure astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant carotenoid harvested from microalgae. The bioavailability of the xEO Mega formula is enhanced through a nanosomal lipid assimilation system.

GX Assist® 

dōTERRA®'s GX Assist® is a proprietary combination of Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils and caprylic acid that help support a healthy digestive tract by creating an unfriendly environment for potentially harmful pathogens that can disrupt digestive immunities and cause digestive upset. GX Assist is formulated with therapeutic-grade oregano, melalueca, lemon, lemongrass, peppermint, and thyme essentials oils that have been demonstrated to have in-vitro antimicrobial properties. GX Assist also includes caprylic acid that has been traditionally used as for its specific health-supporting properties in the gut.


PB Assist®+ 

PB Assist®+ Probiotic Defense Formula is a proprietary blend of pre-biotic fiber and six strains of probiotic microorganisms in a unique double-layer vegetable capsule delivering 5 billion CFUs of active probiotic cultures and soluble pre-biotic FOS (fructo-oligosaccharides) that encourages culture adhesion and growth. The time-release double-capsule delivery system protects sensitive probiotic cultures from stomach acid. PB Assist+ supports healthy digestive functions and immunities and is safe for use by all members of your family.


Slim & Sassy Softgels 

Slim & Sassy Softgels contain dōTERRA’s proprietary Slim & Sassy essential oil blend in convenient softgels to promote weight loss in a healthy, natural way. The flavorful blend of Slim & Sassy contains essential oils known to help manage hunger throughout the day while boosting metabolism and promoting a positive mood.


Women's Phytoestrogen Complex 

dōTERRA® Women Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex is a blend of natural plant extracts that support hormone balance throughout the different phases of a woman’s life. Phytoestrogen Lifetime Complex includes a standardized soy extract with genistein, a powerful phytoestrogen that binds with estrogen receptors in cells, and the natural phytoestrogens in pomegranate. It also includes and concentrated extract of flaxseed lignans to help manage potentially harmful metabolites that are produced when estrogen is metabolized in the liver. Balancing hormones and managing harmful metabolites by eating a healthy diet rich in phytoestrogens and other essential nutrients, exercising, and managing weight can help reduce uncomfortable symptoms associated with PMS and the transition through menopause and supports healthy bones, heart, breast tissue, and other body structures and functions as a woman ages. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Daily Prayers


I have several prayers that I pray every day.  The intention was that when I was depressed and not feeling well... when I didn't actually FEEL the words... I would say them anyway.  But I try to pray them every morning.  I thought I'd share a few here.

Prayer in Time of Despair (St. Ignatius of Loyola)

O Christ Jesus,
when all is darkness
and we feel our weakness and helplessness,
give us the sense of Your presence,
Your love, and Your strength.
Help us to have perfect trust
in Your protecting love
and strengthening power,
so that nothing may frighten or worry us,
for, living close to You,
we shall see Your hand,
Your purpose, Your will through all things.

Anima Christi (14th Century Prayer)
Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds hide me.
Suffer me not to be separated from Thee.
From the malicious enemy, defend me.
In the hour of my death call me.
And bid me come unto Thee.
That I may praise Thee with Thy saints
and with Thy angels
forever and ever.
Amen.

Act of Abandonment to the Will of God
(St. Josemaria Escriva, The Way of the Cross)
My Lord and my God: 
into Your hands I abandon the past and the present  and the future, 
what is small and what is great, 
what amounts to a little and what amounts to a lot, 
things temporal and things eternal.  
Amen.

Act of Hope
O my God, 
relying on your almighty power 
and infinite mercy and promises, 
I hope to obtain pardon for my sins, 
the help of Your grace, 
and life everlasting, 
through the merits of Jesus Christ, 
my Lord and Redeemer.  
Amen.

Prayer Before a Day’s Work
Direct, we beg You, O Lord,
our actions by Your holy inspirations,
and grant that we may carry them out
with Your gracious assistance,
that every prayer and work of ours
may begin always with You,
and through You be happily ended.
Amen.

Prayer of St. Benedict Joseph Labre
Eternal Father,
Through the Precious Blood of Jesus,
have Mercy.
Console us in our moment of
need and tribulation,
As You once consoled Job, Hanna,
and Tobias, in their
afflictions.
And Mary,
Comforter of the Afflicted,
pray and placate God for us,
And obtain for us the grace
for which we humbly pray.
Amen.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Essential Oils

I've been reading up on Essential Oils a lot lately.  I just don't feel like my anti-depressants are always doing what I want them to.  (Though right now I feel GREAT and have since around the 22nd of May.)  I also have ALWAYS felt that my depression was hormonally charged.  The fact that my depression appears to be getting worse as I age, only confirms that for me.  So I was enticed by an article with the title "9 Essential Oils that Support Hormonal Balance".

I don't have/use all of the oils mentioned.  But I do have a few of them.  So I added a few things to my daily routine.  It's only been a few days, so I don't have any updates as to their effectiveness.  I'll know more once I get through 'that time of month', which won't be for another ten days.  But a couple of things I'm adding are:

  • Basil: 1-2 drops applied to the cartilage above the earlobes daily for adrenal gland balance
  • Lemongrass & Myrrh:  2-4 drops applied to the thyroid area daily, alternating weekly with Balance & Geranium for thyroid balance (The article actually suggests Myrtle, which I don't have.  But another source suggested Myrrh, which I have.)
  • Clary Sage:  a few drops added to a carrier oil and rubbed into the ankles daily for ovary balance

I was also intrigued by an article with the title "Essential Oils for Emotional Well Being".  They cover several negative emotions, but I've included the information for a few below.  They reference a book, "Releasing Emotional Patterns w/Essential Oils" by Carolyn Mein which I've now purchased, that lists negative emotions, their positive counterparts, the oil that should be applied, where to apply it, and what you should say as you're applying it.

Feeling Worthless

  • OIL:  Frankincense
  • APPLY:  to cheeks
  • MANTRA:  "I am valuable."
Feeling Lazy
  • OIL:  Spearmint
  • APPLY:  to pancreatic duct, just below sternum
  • MANTRA:  "I am motivated."
Failure
  • OIL:  Peppermint
  • APPLY:  to thymus area at left collarbone
  • MANTRA:  "I accept growth."
Anger
  • OIL:  Purification (Purify)
  • APPLY:  to the liver point, top of foot between big toe and second toe
  • MANTRA:  "My direction is clear."

**I found both of these articles because I follow Essential Oils Queen on Facebook.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fight Song



I love this song.  And even though it doesn't speak to me all that much when I'm depressed, I try to listen to it first thing every morning.

"Fight Song" by Rachel Platten

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
but I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn't say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I'm chasing sleep
Everybody's worried about me
In too deep
Say I'm in too deep
And it's been two years
I miss my home
But there's a fire burning in my bones
And I still believe
Yeah I still believe

And all those things I didn't say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

A lot of fight left in me

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
but I can make an explosion

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I'm alright song
My power's turned on
Starting right now I'll be strong
I'll play my fight song
And I don't really care if nobody else believes
Cause I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Now I've still got a lot of fight left in me

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Praying Through Depression

I've had this idea rolling around in my head for the last few weeks, that perhaps I could pray my way through depression.  But I have to tell you, it's hard.  No, it's not just hard, it seems impossible.

When I'm depressed -- and I don't mean just a bit down, blue, having a bad day -- but really depressed, I don't think I have faith.  That's a HUGE statement for me, as I normally consider myself a faith-filled person.  But the fact is, when I'm depressed, the Word of the Lord just seems like lowercase-w words... not promises, not hope, not God-breathed... just words.

So even though I pray often, I don't actually believe my prayers when I'm depressed.  And in fact, I usually say them through clenched teeth.

So it crossed my mind that when I'm good (aka, NOT depressed), I should write or find prayers that speak what I want to say when I AM depressed.  Moreover, I should find scriptures that get to the heart of what I want to pray when I'm depressed.  Then even if I don't believe them, because of the curtain of depression, at least I'm SAYING what I really want to convey to God when I pray, depressed or not.

Well... it crossed my mind over the weekend that perhaps a website or even a book already exists that meets that need.  So I Googled "praying through depression".  I found a website that really spoke to me, "The Mechanics of Faith, Hope - Faith - Prayer, Seek - Hear - Obey".  The page that come up was titled, "Scriptures Against Depression".  Before I even got to the bottom of the page, I clicked on a link about Abraham Lincoln and his bouts of depression.  (Let me tell you, the person who wrote that article for The Atlantic, hit on a lot of things that I think and feel.)  I also clicked on a link about how Depression Is a Spirit - It Must Be Fought with the Word of God.  That's exactly what I want to do!

So I'm doing just what I wanted to do, finding scripture and prayers that I can pray even when I'm depressed that will help me pray through depression.

One thing I read today that really hit a chord was that Lincoln's story was not one of transformation but of integration.  He had to integrate his depressive episodes into his life, dealing with them, working WITH them.  I have to say, this scares the will right out of me.  I don't know if I can do that. Sounds like the beginning of one of those prayers I need to write.

By the way, for those of you keeping score, I haven't had a depressive day since last Tuesday.  Praise be!