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!

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.

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!

I miss you most

I miss you most in the mornings, E

morning after morning I picked you up and half awake, half asleep drove us to church

some people came to visit, they would come and go

but some of us were regulars because we needed God and we needed each other

Even when I could not even get out of bed rest of the day, I could wake up early for morning prayer meetings

on some days you and I would meet up again to study at a coffee shop, to eat together or run errands

you are so many years younger than me and I am so many older than you

but we connected and accepted each other

we understood that being lazy didn’t mean that we didn’t want to but that we couldn’t

so many times when I needed to be with somebody you were there for me

and I was there for you when you didn’t want to be alone but didn’t want to be with anyone

because with me who knew you already, you didn’t have to fake it

you could just be, without words, without pretending or covering up how you were feeling

i think you knew what you meant to me

i hope that you knew that just as you had a sister and friend in me who would not judge,

that I had a sister and friend who would always be there when you could

and now i miss you terribly

i thank God for you

and I thank God for taking care of you now in ways you need to be taken care of

your wounded spirit can rest in trusting care of God

I will try to find peace in that

I take comfort in knowing that God knows what it is like to lose a close friend to death

Jesus wept. the shortest verse in the Bible comforts me.

As Jesus wept for Lazarus, even though he would resurrect him,

and for his sisters Mary and Martha,

I weep for you now and for your sister and family.

your cousins, they are really all heart and soul.

eternal friendship, that’s what I hope for now

the woman she was

feature image from Mr Bum Bum’s Instagram

E was a great friend. she knew how to be there for a friend in need. I’ll never forget the time she came over to my apartment to “help” me with my laundry. I had loads and loads of laundry to do. I had no energy or motivation. she came over for moral support but it was me who offered her company as she did my laundry. this was during a time when I was having a difficult time getting anything done. she was there for me. I’ll never forget her presence that comforted me. E, I miss you and will remember you for the joy and laughter we shared. God give E rest that she deserves and let her know her friends remaining in this world love her so much.

you have become my salvation

“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation” (Psalm 118:21)

I thank you, God, for today.  I have the day off from work.  And I am able to relax, drink coffee, read the Bible and to pray.  I am so thankful this morning for my life.  Lately, I have been feeling sad and unmotivated on weekends, which at times cause me to think life is but a misery.  God, give me strength and hope that I can live through such moments/days of sadness and hopelessness.  Let me live in reality that you are my salvation!