Putting on My Happy Face

I’m not going to lie. Past 24-48 hrs didn’t feel great. Tomorrow until about mid October, I have 2 conferences to present short papers in, a week long seminar/workshop and preaching once.  Well, maybe that isn’t so bad.  But yesterday morning until now, it felt like an insurmountable amount of overwhelming tasks before me. But a practical stranger, someone I have not really met, but has seen a picture in which I have a radiant smile on my face, reminded me to keep smiling today because my smile shows God’s love in me.  I’m like, wa, wa, wa, what?

So I decided to put on my happy face today and be happy today.  I don’t know how to do this. I am going to start by smiling and to keep smiling as much as I can throughout the day today.  And I am going to start by being thankful for things that are going well and things that I appreciate in my life. And I am going to also think positive and good thoughts today.  So yes, today is and will be a happy day, because I put on my happy face!

Monday Mornings

Monday mornings are the hardest! Trying to get a sense of what I need to do this week and trying to be productive, as in get something done. After getting a sense of what I need to do, I feel overwhelmed. Of course, now I can’t concentrate and it’s become hard to get anything accomplished! Anyone else have similar struggles with Monday mornings, especially for people who are working at home? Maybe a solution is getting out of the house, one might say. But been trying to do that but hard to do that this morning! Monday mornings are the hardest!

Running my first 5K for Suicide Prevention – Sat 9/28/2019 – In Memory of Esther Lee

In Memory of my friend Esther Lee, and in order to raise awareness and financial support for suicide prevention, I plan to run my first 5K this Saturday 9/28 at 9 am in NYC.

The official event, Samaritans 21st Annual 5K Run/Walk for Suicide Prevention is taking place in Boston, MA at the same time.

If you or someone you know needs to talk, call or text 877-870-HOPE (4673).

Putting this event and intention out there for awareness of preventable aspect of suicides, and if you are having suicidal feelings/thoughts, you are not alone.

I have preached past 2 Sundays on the importance of talking about depression, hopelessness, and suicides at churches and also that it takes a “village” to support those who are in need of support and compassion. Planning to preach this sermon as many times as I can, at different churches I get invited to preach at until we don’t need to hear it anymore at churches from the pulpit, from pastors, during Sunday worship.

Would you like to help me raise awareness and funds for preventing suicide?  I am a virtual participant (running by myself in NYC rather than the official event in Boston, MA). So I didn’t have to pay registration fees and I’m not obligated to raise money. I’m raising money anyway in the spirit of raising awareness. Raise Awareness and Funds for Suicide Prevention 

What if we could offer companionship and comfort to those in need?

“Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure suicidal thoughts.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure depression.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure PTSD.

Loving Jesus doesn’t always cure anxiety.

But that doesn’t mean Jesus doesn’t offer us companionship and comfort.

He ALWAYS does that.”

5:01 PM · Sep 9, 2019· – @Jarrid Wilson

I don’t know that depression, suicidal thoughts, PTSD, trauma can be cured, there is healing, but not sure there is a cure. But for sure the excruciating and mind numbing pain and suffering they can be managed. It requires vigilant up keeping of all that it takes: therapy, medicine, skills to manage anxiety and cognitive and behavior therapy to modify distorted thought and behavior, and it really takes a community and network of support to maintain one’s mental health.

I just want to say, if you are feeling hopeless, depressed, suicidal, or suffering from any pain, that I have been there and am here now and am more than happy to be here for you. Reach out, because invisibility of depression means we don’t always see it even when it’s really painful.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Call 1-800-273-8255
P.S. Prayer request – I feel I have to speak on this issue.  So I’m going to preach on depression, mental illness, and suicides this coming Sunday. Please pray for me to speak clearly in a way that is helpful and to have boldness and courage to speak out about how God has worked in my life as well.

Hydrochlorothiazide and dehydration

I have been feeling dehydrated too often in the past few weeks.  Sometimes dehydration and low temperature (like 100.9 at highest) and headache, or also accompanied by low motivation and low energy.  Friend advised me to take Nuun, which is a tablet of electrolytes, and one I happened to buy also had caffeine in it.  So I was regularly supplementing my water intake with some kind of sport drink.

Then it occurred to me yesterday, as I was going to order more sports drink, something clicked in my head as I was reading about dehydration that blood pressure medicine, ones that are diuretic works by eliminating salts (electrolytes) in your body.  So my medicine, hydrochlorothiazide is working to eliminate fluids and electrolytes from my body and I was drinking additional water and electrolytes to not feel so tired and/or to relieve headache and other symptoms!

So I wrote an e-mail to my doctor explaining my dilemma and situation that needed immediate attention.  No reply by end of the day.  So I called and got an appointment with doctor who had earliest opening.

On my own accord, I took half the hydrochloriothiazide pill this morning.  I can always take the other half later today after I talk to new doctor.  My regular PCP who was the best internist I’ve had in my LIFE, retired.  So I have to go see a new internist today, explain my dehydration situation that has been debilitating me and preventing me from working and exercising.  And I have to get her on board to cut down hydrochlorothiazide dose and get me on another blood pressure medicine if I need further medicine intervention for my blood pressure.

Anyone else experience dehydration from their hypertension medicine?

Anyone have any advice or insight about how exercising and losing weight does or does not improve your high blood pressure?  I have lost about 20 (more but then gained again) lbs in past 2 years and been exercising regularly.  So I was hoping my blood pressure medicine would need to be adjusted, to take less of it, but that has not happened yet.

Thanks for any insight, advice, personal story.  Getting older, wiser, more mature, I love.  Side effects of medicine I have to take, I do not love.

Long term use of antidepressants

This article about new concerns about long term use of antidepressants got me so excited!

New Concerns – article on WSJ 8/29/2019

I was going to go talk to my psychiatrist and lobby to get off my antidepressants since I’ve been doing so well, functional and all.  But then I read the following paragraph…

“The big danger of going off antidepressants is the risk of relapse. People who have had one episode of depression have a 50% chance of having a second. Those who have had two episodes have an 80% chance of having another. Staying on antidepressant medication can cut the risk of relapse in half, according to a review of 15 clinical trials published in 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.”

So chance of relapse for me is not worth Dr. taking me off medicine.  So for me it’s not likely to happen.  But for those that statistics stand on your side, see these guidelines, also in the article:

Managing Long-Term SSRI Use

Beth Salcedo, a psychiatrist and the president of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, has these tips for patients:

*Check in with your doctor regularly—at least twice a year—to assess whether the drug is still needed or working, or if the dose needs adjusting.

*If you decide to stop the medication, do it under a doctor’s guidance and taper it very slowly—over a few months or longer—to minimize withdrawal symptoms and make it easier to reverse course if anxiety or depression surges.

*Do a course of cognitive behavioral therapy before or while going off medication. This can give you skills to manage anxiety and depression and can help prevent a relapse.

*Identify early warning signs that a relapse may be on the horizon, like difficulty sleeping or avoiding social engagements, so you can quickly adjust or restart treatment.

 

Peace!

Meditation to Clear Clutter in your mind

I’m not an expert meditation and I’m not a regular practitioner of meditation.  But this meditation works for me because it is only 7 minutes long, it uses imagery of organizing a desk to declutter your mind (which works for me because I’m usually sitting AT MY DESK!), and guides you to organize or cut out clutter that you don’t need on your desk, I mean, your life!