We Are Jars Of Clay

WE ARE JARS OF CLAYWE ARE JARS OF CLAYWE ARE JARS OF CLAYA Guide Out Of Depression, Anxiety And Suicidal Thinking.By Higman Afraid and alone, a teenager had waited, not long by adult standards, but long enough to satisfy his own. In the middle of the night, he shuts the door on the detached garage, starts the family car and waits. In his mind, he believes the doing the “right thing” will cause more pain than the pain that will be caused by tonight’s actions, so he waits. The grades, the trouble he sees no way out of, and the arguing, wont rise with the sunrise, so he waits.Earlier today a man, with a wife and almost out of the house kids, has heard the last squabble over finances that he feels he can take. Not willing to forgive himself for the recent mishap that landed him into hot water with his job, his family, but most importantly himself and his pride, he begins the end. With determination, as almost planned, he wills himself to storm out of the house on his way to the local riverbank secluded park. Yet before he leaves, he grabs his wallet and the very instrument he bought to protect himself and family with, a revolver which he keeps in a box in the closet. His wife unaware of that the breaking point of her husbands reasoning has come and gone says nothing as he slams the front door, starts the car and rushes out of the carport. He is sorry! Yet he cannot say it now or anymore. His mind is wrapped around the inside wall of the pit his foolishness he thinks he got his family into. Once a liked businessman, he now sees a failure every time he looks in the mirror. As he pulls into the empty park, his despair even blinds his once sane & perspective thinking to the reaction beyond the phone ring that will occur at his house an hour later from the local police dept. “This will make things better for all.”, he murmurs.A single girl, once with aspirations despite her waitress job, is tired. She worked earlier that night and came home once again, alone, quiet and struggling to focus because she has’t been eating right lately. Not wanting to take the time to cook, she pours another mixed drink. It says right on the bottle of anti-depressants she got after her last breakup with her boyfriend, “Do Not Take With Alcohol”, but, she ignores it. She once was nice, pleasant to be around, not too ladylike but not a tomboy either. Just that average girl who was the independent girl in her circle of friends. Though she hates pain, the hurt she felt inside twisted right past the what damage, pain and suffering a razor blade would do to herself.All of these instances are real, very real. They do happen to us as humans in every country,all over the world, 24/7. They are as varied in their methods as they are random. They may vary with each accounts but all carry the same weight. It’s a tragic scenario that plagues us like a very real cancer. The subject isn’t easy for anyone to hear, let alone, for those involved. I find that those not willing to hear are probably the ones that need to be more aware than they know. I also as the writer want to commend the reader for allowing yourself to look down this road. If there is one thing I have learned in life it is that we all at some time deal with the fact that control, as it pertains to our own personal lives, is not always within our own grasp. But depending on how you are willing to see lifes pressure points, may help you to understand your role in handling their outcome. First of all Depression, like grief and saddness, is a normal response that our mind and body uses to express dismay, confusion and basically, sensory overload following a triggered pressure point. It’s a normal response! Everyone on the planet gets depressed sometimes. To get depressed means your normal and healthy, remember that! Because in a world that is constantly pushing to go faster and push harder, resting and breakdowns are often either overlooked or seen as major flaws. Depression, saddness, grieving are all normal behavior adn dare I say , healthy. What isnt healthy is if at a point we dont move through it or refuse to let it go. We all fall but some have a really hard time getting back up.  Depression stats are off the charts. You can look them up for yourself and find many different numbers so I wont begin to dignify the issue with them. I will say this, any you look up, you will find the amount to be most likely well researched, and higher than it should ever be. The point is, and I dare I say again, that every person in the world is or knows at least one or two that suffer from a long term depression in one form or another. The only number higher to those experiencing depression and/or suicide tendencies is that of the amount of dollars that circulate treating those with the problems. I’m surprised the industry hasn’t begun to collapse under the weight and pressure and begun taking it’s own medicine.The truth is, like a cry out “stop the madness”, we need to start saying the same thing or perhaps something like “stop the sadness”. It truly is sad that we are so vulnerable, so fragile in our own minds and soul. It is truly a tragic loss that we can fall prey to such a mindset that is hell bent on destroying not just our hope, or intelligence, but our body and lives too. For you evolutionists out there, we maybe the only being capable of the most complex thinking, but we are also one of the few living creatures on Earth willing to kill ourselves for the most materialistic of reasons. What is sad, is it really is senseless. This coming from the most adaptable, intelligent, emotion expressing creatures on the planet. Furthermore, when we learn of a depression going so far as to drive someone to taking thier own life, we place labels upon them. Let it be known, because I can speak on this as I have been to that edge, I’ve never bought into describing someone with suicidal tendencies as being selfish. You can’t load anymore onto a person that has loaded themselves mentally to the point of this sickness. You cannot ask for someone to share of themselves if they feel they are that alone in the world. This sickness, of holding onto the depressed state, robs it’s host of self worth first, they know not that they have anything of value so how can they be selfish if they feel they amount to nothing. If it sounds like I’m venting a bit, I maybe, but I mean to stir an understanding. Like the story of the man above, the breaking point happened without the wifes knowledge. Unless you watch for or jump into that persons life with love, understanding, and patience, it is thoughtless to speak ill of a person who has no sense of worth. BATTLEFRONT ROADLife is really like a path. Cliche’, yes possibly, but the term ‘as we walk down lifes path’ speaks like a parable to our ears. Who doesnt know the verse “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” Again a reference to ones journey, on a path, into an unknown life beyond the present. Allow me to use this analogy to make an example of what happens and our choices along the way. Lets just say that the times in our lives that pivital changes occured, new jobs, marriage, births, deaths, even moving or new large scale purchases could fall into this area. Lets vision these as bridges, spans between one chapter in our lives and the next. Like in driving or walking, anytime you are coming up on a bridge, what is the first thing that begins to run through your mind? Why is it there and how high up is it? Whats it’s purpose begins the reasoning process, is it neccesary what are my options to go over or around? The “How high up?” part triggers that sense of fear we all have to a degree of the unkown. Bridges are known to stop people in thier tracks. Our lives are a path filled with bridges, hills and valleys. But it is all in how you journey that is important. Whether we choose that job or not, whether we marry or not, where there is a death, a birth, look at all of these as bridges in time. There are going to be death bridges, Birth bridges, new purchase bridges. Furthermore, should you decide not to have that child then, or by that house at that time, you have in fact crossed over that bridge. Are we on the same page now? Meanwhile back to our journey, There are points or opportunities in people’s lives that are like paths that veer off the side of life’s road. Most of these are conveiniently before bridges. Yes, they will lead you further to …somewhwere, but chances are you looked for the sidepath to escape the road ahead. As you travel your road, imagine it getting real rocky & bumpy because of circumstances. Finances are said to be the number one cause of stress and depression, followed by loss in the family and social pressures. Each one of these gravel patches or bumps begin to cloud our judgment about the road we are on. We see a bridge ahead and it looks like it could be, maybe, somewhat really high up and too scary to cross, yet we know we should cross it. Way back in our thinking we know it’s right to cross but we are afraid of the what if’s. What if this and what if that. I can’t face that crossing it’s too hard and hurtful. We even psyche ourselves out long before we begin to reson how to deal with our emotional outbursts, Weird! Then we learn of the path on the side, not knowing the direction fully but as long as it isn’t across that bridge we entertain the thought. Sidenote story, have you ever put a child in a pool or shoreline, literally holding them while they kick and scream about going in the water. Yet once they put their little feet upon the bottom and realize that it’ only comes up to thier knees, most fear begins to pull away? Somehow our thought pattern can change from childhood to adulthood, or does it? The combination of the canyon deep and the increasingly narrow bridge ahead somehow become reasoned out as deadlier than the path to the unknown on the side. Ok so now think of this side path as the things we choose to console our situation with. This could be anything from Alcohol to ciggarettes, from drugs to sex, from exercise to sleep. Anything you use to cover, mask or help cope with the fear and pain you are experiencing about going over that next bridge. One thing to keep in mind that if we begin to go down a sidepath, we are still experiencing life, just not the one that eventually we will go back to. An also that the experience we take back will stay with us regardless. What Im trying to say is that we are all on a path that is before us, look at side paths as mere exploritory deviations that go nowhere. The worse side path there being is Suicidal Tendencies. It is sad to think that something in our minds would actually make us self destruct like that. We are not talking about an addiction or something that is just bad for your body, mind and soul. We are talking about something that actually turns a persons thinking to decieve them that they are so without worth that they are expendable. It evens blinds us to it’s own oxymoron by making us think “to take this way out because it is the only way out.” Many times the minds reasoning tricks us into believing it to be a nobler sacrifice rather than the act of self destruction it truly is. So the path is taken resulting in a certain, faster, fall into the canyon. No way out becomes the only way out.Why do we fall for such thinking? How is the mind wired to take the reasoning of intelligent people to the level of self destruction? I can only try to explain this painful process the best way I know, from my own experience and that of others I have known, some alive and some, I am sad to say, are not with us anymore. I will approach it from not only a down to Earth point of view but from a, on my knees with hands to heaven position, Why? Because when you get down to it, the whole depression/suicide issue parks itself like a car into a very spiritual garage every time you drive the topic. No matter what walk of faith you come from, or even if you don’t think much of there being a creator. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what class financially you are, suicidal tendencies and the depression that causes them is a sickness. It’s the mind waging war with the body. It’s one’s thoughts, freewill, and inner hope over their own flesh, and that ultimately comes down to a spiritual battle. Call it being blessed, or empowered, or call it having a strong will, learning to get through this phase in a lifetime can be done, but the strength it takes is spirit filled. Most I have ever known will tell you that that strength, that glimmer of hope or light, did not come from themselves. I do know this, that when one is at the bottom, a humility level becomes so strong we become very sensative to our surroundings, including a spiritual area.To be without hope is the goal of the sickness.Yet to find that hope, can be one of the most profound experiences a sufferer of depression will ever have. Furthermore, the result of this battle will equip you for the rest of your life by mentally empowering you to cope with the many bridges later to come. We know that chemicals within our own bodies play a big part in how we react and think during times of rest and unrest. Even with diseases, like a cancer or such, depending on your genes or health, you may stand a better chance of survival. We know surgery can work, but how do you dissect the thinking part of the brain and come out with posative results or better yet, still live? There are many drug solutions out there for what ever imbalance our bodies may develop, but after talking with many different sufferers, it’s the way of thinking that is doing most of the harm. I realize that our bodies can get out of balance, but with many, the social/economic virus, for the lack of a better term, weighed in with it’s own imbalance initiative. With some I found, it even caused the spiral downward. That is something that the science or medical field cannot control with drugs or surgery no matter how hard they try. It becomes an issue of the psychology and spiritual field, and yes they do go hand in hand. For years the practice of meditation and prayer have been known to help not only the mind but the body as well. I’m not here to battle the medical field. I’m not here with a degree in any profession. I’m am here as a person that has had his own story to tell, and to be the voice of those that think the same way but don’t have the discipline to put it all together in book form. I have had my days in the sun, very “good” days. I also have had very dark, ominous cloudy days. With clouds surrounding me to the point I lay in such fear of them raining down on me I tried to kill myself. Like a child, I sat in fear rather than allowing common sense or wisdom to take hold of me. I have learned one thing, common sense, even in productive members of society, is still not all common, or as common as it should be. We all have our own wants and needs and we sometimes overlook the fact that they may clash with those less fortunate, those in dispairity. If one is to understand another aflicted or even just being hit by hard times, take note, you may have to set aside your own set of survival skills to see what would best suit the afflicted one before you. My hope is that this will bring an understanding to a destructive force, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, that lives in all of us that are human. Depression along with Suicidal Tendencies are curable. It just takes the same mind that is ailing, to fight back. It is a spiritual battle, one that pits the unseen thought process, the world we live in and the unseen will of our soul. The battleground is the mind, the winner gets the body. It is possible to overcome but it takes a faith to do it. You place your faith in the doctor to set your bone after its broken, you place faith in the surgeon to operate with precision skill, this is the same. You should place faith in the the fact that you know your mind better than anyone else, but you need to be honest with your ownself and be willing to admit where the flaws and problems lay.You also need to recognize what is right and what is wrong. If you don’t, cross reference it with lifes virtues, your book of faith and those that are around you, but know this, and take it to heart, in the end you are capable of keeping your mind free of the destructive clutter that is determined to see your destruction. To The SuffererGetting overwhelmed can be the first blow that lands on you and you do seem to get hit before you see it coming. There are warning signs but we never seem to act upon things until the last minute. When dealing with depression, you may already be displaced but chances are its a very familiar feeling turf when someone asks “Are you overwhelmed?”. Recognize that you may already be in that position or just reaching out to understand what is already hindsight. Know also that you can only handle that which you are able to control and for the sake of your own sanity, you may only be able to handle a fraction of what your used to juggling. Many things can contribute towards our being so burdened that we lose track of our sense of purpose. Finances, job, family, even our culture has a hand in this process. Trying to say it’s one specific cause is unrealistic. It never is just one problem although knowing how to prioritize the list is important. Once we see what we are dealing with in our own lives we then have to step back and examine ourselves. Though we suffer greatly we do in fact have in us tools we can use to begin the rebuilding process. Everyone posesses capabilities or tools within there own minds.Yet it really can come down to a simple mental instrument like a measuring stick that will mean the most at this point.. How we measure up to not just our surroundings but to our ownselves is crucial. First thing is to kick off the expectations we may feel others have on us. You can never please everyone, all the time, so dont begin to try. Not that social goals arn’t important,they can be. However, our view of what success level others expect from us is not as important as finding our own baseline first. Remember those close to you do love you and would love to see you pull through. They may not totally understand what your capable of measuring up to. So knowing your own measuring stick is better than looking at thiers for you. Also know that they only mean well when they try to encourage you. They wish you well and want to see you succeed. So determine what it is that you are capable of handling, either on a hour to hour basis, or day to day. There is no further outlook goal that needs to be established unless it happens to be an appointment that you have already made. Even then, it is the future, focus on the immediate and the near future right now.(Proofed)The Illusion: successWhy is it that I bring up the concept of success this early in the my rewiring process? To one suffering such depression or despair, success can be an almost foreign word. Our society drives it in us that we must be successful. Though we have this catalyst in our culture, this need to succeed, we overlook one key element, what really is success? Is it to be financially secure? Is it to have a morally righteous household? Is it based on material wealth or to simply have good health? Just because you own a nice car, does that mean that those that don’t are less fortunate. Some say to own a penthouse overlooking the city is grand but ask anyone who lives in the country or in the mountains and they would never trade their beautiful scenery for the grandest of penthouses. Whatever your idea is of success, you need to establish your definition to measure your daily life and to use that as a goal. Yet remember if it’s based off of materials wealth, you may never be satisfied and your missing the point of examining yourself. It’s your mental health we are working on and just like a drug, thoughts of acquiring material goods doesn’t heal your mental state it only sedates it temporarily. It actually could be a major source of torment especially if you are not in a position to financially obtain the objects you desire. There is something to be said about the commandment of not wanting what the neighbor has. It’s true in our society, as well as around the world. Coveting can feed a delusion. you must deal in the reality of what is in front of you or in your immediate futures needs, not what you would “like to have”. Keep in mind that as you slow down to examine yourself or determine your baseline, your starting point on getting mentally healthy, the world outside will seem to be passing you by and/ or stopping by to poke fun at you. When you see the next door family packing up the boat for a day on the lake and you can barely afford to buy fish sticks, the world jabs you. When you are working out on your car for the um-teenth time to make sure it gets you to work, and the guy next to you drives off every morning like clockwork in a newer, reliable, whatever LX, it jabs you again. If you turn the TV or radio on and you hear of an event that you would love to see, if only you had the money, you get hit again. I wish I, I should of, if only I could,… pretty soon you have beat yourself with other peoples measuring sticks. All these little things during the day that may not have phased you before, will hit the soft spot that will eventually take its toll on you. It always does. You are not as invincible as you think. It’s like being a kid that has been told over and over again something that drives the esteem of the child into the ground pretty soon they are lacking such confidence in even the simplest of tasks. Learn to be humble, learn to understand what you have and be certain you can handle that much first. The rest will come in time but for now, You are learning all over again and that starts with picking yourself off the ground and dusting your oneself off. No, none can really do that for you but yourself. When you are at a time of feeling overwhelmed, you really cant be in denial of it. Admit that you are having a hard time handling affairs. Getting overwhelmed doesn’t happen overnight but by the time it sinks in that you are hurt, your are already so beaten down by your own hand that your too confused to defend yourself. So you become too stressed and tired to care. Why because nothing you have done seems to work, you feel like you are in a losing battle. Once you have reached that point, you basically have handed yourself over to despair voluntarily. Yet take notice! Is the world stopping around you, NO! Do you seem to try solution after solution only to end up back at square one, Yes. Is nothing seeming to work and you are getting too tired to try anymore. Yes. A little fish in a big pond doesn’t even begin to describe how invisible you feel, right? It could be all because you are trying to measure yourself to a standard that you are currently incapable of reaching. People around you may not understand and furthermore you don’t understand how they cant see it. To you, they seem to think you are capable of a certain measurement when that measurement may not be on your stick, at least not yet. It may have been at one time but for now, you need to regroup for your own sake. So establish YOUR baseline. The baseline, the 0 mark, is the bottom. You do have the power to establish your baseline and begin to change your life for the better. Remember just like truth itself, your baseline or start is sovereign. It is the one pattern or standard which you are capable of handling. You may have been able to juggle and multitask before but for whatever reason, chemical imbalance internally, chemical dependency, circumstances beyond your control, or just life in general, you have lost that control. It’s ok. Know that, It is OK, and so are you. But the sovereign part of that baseline is that it stands alone. It is the reality of the situation that frankly your mind is going to have to come to grips with. It is there whether you like it or not. If I am prone to anxiety attacks and I am determined to overcome my problem, though I may confront what triggers my fear with confidence, my baseline was (hopefull past tense)that I used to be triggered by the situation, but I will try to be no more. If I am prone to being so depressed that I sleep all the time, my base line is a time measurement of how long I used (once again being hopeful) to sleep for but now I know better that I don’t need all that time.The sovereign part is that your body and mind may want to fight the authority of that line but that still doesn’t change the fact that it is and you can recognize it as the reality of your soon to be old-self. It’s like the saying “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.” As silly as it sounds, it is a recognition of the reality before each of us, despite all the memories of the past wanting to fight for the rightful place of importance in our lives. This is the beginning, and where there is a beginning there is an end. Your life is a road and it is not meant to end by your own hand just because you decided to take off on a side path. The obstacles on your road are there to build your character and wisdom. There is always a test before a reward, there is always dark AM before the actual dawn of the day. These challenges are always uncertain and set off emotional stirrings, but for reasons that become understandable and controllable in time. We know many things trigger the flood of emotions that overwhelms us, death or loss of a loved one, job, family, even setbacks in something that you desire to accomplish, can be the catalyst for the first round of the battle. My personal choice would not be to turn to anti-depressants but talk with others that have experienced similar bouts. Simply after my own experience with drugs, I say this because my confused life still continued on but now I had a chemical trying to help me cope. In the back of my psyche that scared me because I knew eventually I would need to deal with letting that go as well. For some it is a chemical imbalance, but for many, they simply need the support, love and skills to combat this affliction. The best advice I was given, outside prayer and scripture, came from a couple people I knew but it really didn’t sink in until months into my recovery. They simply said that Life can really suck sometimes. Cold but to the point. Insensitive? possibly but does the truth hurt sometimes? Well duh, Yes. It seemed so simple, too simple, but it was true. You also can’t control every facet of your life and because sometimes things can really be a mess, why would you want to try to control it. We do have responsibilities to our own selves and we must learn what our own needs are before we can truly appreciate how to care for ourselves. The core of it all is that nothing can overwhelm you unless you give it the chance. Just like nothing can satisfy you unless you want it to. Nothing can make you react physically unless you choose to. Happiness, satisfaction, successes are just as much a state of mind as sadness, despair, or feeling overwhelmed. Seeking professional help is good but try to be aware of your what your capable of handling first, even if that is very limited. Knowing that will also be helpful to a professional seeing you. Learning to scale back your pattern of life is going to be crucial in your rehabilitation.  So what must you do to get things back on an even keel? Knowing now your baseline and your your own measuring stick, apply it to the aspects in your life that are most important to living. I do mean living like existing, surviving, if that is all that you can truly handle. Start at the essentials. Welcome to the most humbling time of your life. If you are at a point in your life where you have confessed that you are depressed or even that your coping capability seems non-existent, those ones around you will know that you are too. Though they may not fully comprehend your own mindset, let them know that you are starting back at square one and going to take baby steps for awhile. The space you should get is a door that only you can control and you have been given a unique opportunity to use it. So try it. You are at a point that you can set your own pace based on only what resources and stamina are available to you. This time is so precious if you are willing to fully embrace it. It may seem odd and at times you may not like it simply because it will appear off pace from the rest of the world. It is a very different routine than what you are used to. It can be challenging and also a very lonely time. Don’t fear it. Once again, you are being given a very small space in which to learn to build you life again. It’s much like a puzzle, you have been lost in the random scattered pieces for so long that you forgot to look at the the straight edge pieces you already have laid down as the frame and the few groups that are already pieced together. Go with what you know already and manage that for the time being. What you do know more than anyone else, is you. Getting to know yourself, what makes you tick, and tock, will start to flow easier when you begin to confront the basic tasks that make your everyday possible. Once you do this, and it may take some time, but from this new perspective all things do begin appear new. This is like a vacation that only your mind is allowed to experience. If certain aspects in your life are running smooth and seem to be under control then they are not what you need to focus on. You can pat yourself on the back because while you thought you had dropped all the balls in lifes juggling act, you now realize that some are circulating fine without your supervision. Or as with the puzzle example, you will see that you had your border pieces in place all the time. So now’s the time to begin separating and grouping the other pieces of your life.So what are the things in your life that you are being weighed down by. Remember we are still in examination mode here. You have already re-established your measuring stick and you need to remind yourself of that. It’s there not as a hinderence or something that is holding you back from life, it’s there to remind you of your priorities. What you are fully capable of handling. Don’t allow what got you into the depression state to take advantage again. It is easy to feel confident and over simplify the nature of responsibilities. Humbling oneself teaches a wealth that’s not tangible and cannot be bought with money. It’s a mindset that equips you to be able to handle, or not, what the world dishes out every second of the day. It also will teach you to focus in a better light than you have had before. Like a person that has been gone for awhile having to learn appreciation for what was in front of them thier whole past, everyday experiences may feel new. Knowing your beginning again, limiting choices is actually a good thing. Eventually you can pick just a couple of the major problem areas and useing the same measuring stick, you will begin to add higher lines on it. But rememeber to only accept and manage what you are capable of handling. Advise the ones you are working with that your only able to have as much responsibility as you can handle. This means not only on your job but at home and socially too. Humility carries one task, admitting that your currently in a fragile state but that you are still capable and willing to do what ever it takes to get back into life and to serve. In this case, the one you are serving is yourself and your own mental health. Apply this attitude to the most important areas in your life that are neccessary for your own living. Eventually you will learn to balance your life one measuring line at a time. What are some of the areas we face difficulty or are most burdened by. For some, it’s a financial burden, then trying to make more money is good, only if it’s possible. Most times I’ve seen couples coming away from 2nd or 3rd jobs more distant then before. Singles can become spread so thin much that they end up with no social life outside their own work circle. Dont count the money, count the blessings of what you have. Learn to do with what you do have and unload those things that cost you or weigh you down. When one has the feeling of being overwhelmed, the best thing they can do is simplify, dont take on the responsiblity of trying to manage more, that is what got you in over your head to begin with. Learn to say ‘No’ to those people wanting to pile on more, or those needing your long term help. I would be the first one to say that keeping yourself busy is good. However, when one is feeling a burden so heavy that they are falling into depression, the last thing you want to do is change up your life by keeping the same pace or adding on more responsibility. Scaling back on activities and responsibilities, if possible, may give you the time you need to begin to think straight. The term babysteps really does do wonders. The world isnt going to run away from you and dispite what your minds eye might be seeing. You won’t miss anything. Loved ones would rather have you for years to come rather than at one last gathering. Open up! You need to begin to talk about things. You can’t afford not to go see a therapist, your Pastor or a Psychologist. There are plenty of free services out there, especially if you are involved in a church or know of a group that meets.You need to face the reality that life is not a bowl of cherries for you, it’s closer to a bowl of pits. Be very open yet careful in what your needs are. I personally am not one for drugs as a solution outside of Ibufrofin. Diagnossis of your mental state is good but realize that your toleration ceiling, or what you are capable of handling in life’s ins & outs is low so even little things will make you smack your head or go off. Talk with someone you trust. By joining a support group or a church of your choosing, just the interaction amongst others will do you good. You may feel like others are judging you but try your best to getting used to sociallizing and being honest about how your thinking, not what everyone else might be thinking. As a side note, when your out and about, realize how long you actually dwell on someone you see. We are all very much alike in this sense. You’ll soon discover that when we notice others, beyond that moment, we don’t spend but probably much of the immediate time after thinking further about them. However when we think about others that might be looking at us, we tend to think that we are getting at least 90% of their attention and judgment. I would like to remind you that they are just like us and probably don’t have the all consuming concern about us we would like to think. Chances are we will not leave the impression our minds tricked us into believing. Exposure to the others will begin to erode that wall that we built up through fear and anxiety.At some point your going to need to take control of your own life and it is only going to start by casting out the clutter and fear in our lives. Like we discussed before with being overwhelmed, fear is what drive things like depression and anxiety attacks in people. You get so overloaded you fear you cant keep up, so you slow down and drop. Fear that others are watching you, fear of failing, fear of being embarassed. Simplifiying your life automatically begins to contain that fear. Once you can harness that destructive kind of thinking that downs your thinking, the sooner you’ll be able to get back on track. Truthfully, there is no one cure for depression other than hope. I know it’s a bold statement but even if you are in a rehab, the thought of getting better is in fact, what, Hope! Learning to set that baseline and eliminating the stress factors in your life will naturely manifest that hope that depression clouded out. It was there all along, but the overwhelmed mind, the depression, the fear, obscured your focus on it and with it,your lifes worth. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~proofed to this point~~~~~~~~~~~ You must be also aware of your bodies needs, not just your mind, but your body. You may not need sleep as much like others or perhaps maybe your lacking a balance in the calories and vitamins. So many things can begin to deprive your mind of the fundamentals it needs to properly think.Diet is on top of the list. Same with being outside. Fresh air, natural lighting is aslo crucial to our mental state.What more basic can one need other than food, water, clothing and fresh air & sunlight. Three out of the five are free.——————————————————————————(proofed)To the FriendI spoke alot of a baseline and to clarify the idea let me just say this. We must learn to stand up and walk before we can run. Before we can ride a bike, we must learn to balance on it and peddle. To talk we must learn to utter sounds. All of these are baselines. A person undergoing physical therapy establishes a baseline, that which the body is capable of performing. For a Stroke survivor the task maybe involve a simple motor skill our body has to relearn, something that most of us take for granted. But the baseline for a person with depression may not be as outwardly evident as lifting a leg or learning vowels sounds. It may be elusive because the wiring that the sufferer needs fixing really depends on themselves. Being aware of the trigger situations that cause an emotional response can be an hour by hour learning curve. Yet the sufferer needs one thing to survive the ordeal, someone who can be there to hold thier hand if needed. The fear that has griped them really has come from within so they may not know how to reach out. They simply do not have the will inside them to understand that social help sometimes. So that friend becomes the lifeline between them and the outside world, or what most of us know as the real world. A friend is the lifeline for anyone going through depression. They are the eyes and sometimes the voice of a sufferer as well as the interpreter of the world back to the sufferer. Without a friend, a sufferer truly lives in a world of his/her own. Beyond therapy or a group session, that friend maybe the only link to the normal everyday life beyond the walls depression has the person confined to. To listen and not judge is an obvious pair of qualities. To offer very firm sound advice, even if it’s not met with approval by the sufferer, is the kind of friend needed here. I was told during my battle things that I needed to hear but didnt like many times. My Brother was my helper. He let me skate for awhile then little by little, truths and structure began to become reintergrated into my life. It took babysteps but things like getting up and keeping on a schedule or just being occupied is what slowly put me back on track. Lethargic as I was, simple scheduled eating times, working outside on nice days, prooved to be a reality that my depression was toiling to rid me of. Simple things are the flavor of the month to anyone that is suffering. Once a task is started the sufferer may be at odds to complete. A person who is buy thier side may find out just how patient they really are as they care for thier friend. But if there is a tight enough of a relationship, the friend has to stay thier ground when introducing beneficial ideas. Straight up, you may be all they have, so patience & unconditional love is most important. Yet never lose hope! ~~~~~~proofed~~~~~To All , in the hope and prayer.I don’t claim to know all the answers. Furthermore, anyone who stands up and says they have the answer for what depresses us maybe is just another valuable resource in what is a long line of options. Ultimately it’s like quitting a pattern or addiction, it’s that choice to do something about it. Not that you won’t stumble but the fact that you have made your mind up to turn your life around. The same applies to listen or try a method to help your depression or destructive tendencies, you make a choice. You try what works until you free yourself from the mindset. If at first you don’t succeed, it doesn’t mean it was a bad decision, at least you have begun the process to add the stregnth to your own character that will better your chances at battling lifes hardships and re-teaching your mind to live a “normal” existance. I’m a firm believer that we have what it takes but it may take all we have to believe ourselves. At 45 as I write this I can reflect back on just the past ten years and it blows my mind what has all transpired. Circumstances bring forth good character building if we are willing to let them just as much as they can bring us to the point of being a bitter person. In just ten years I have let go of drugs, gone through a divorce, was in a major depression swing for the better part of 6 months to a year, attempted suicide 3 times, voluntarily admitted myself in a psychiatric ward2 times, went through bankruptzy, gained custody of my child following two days in trial, left one job, lost another, gained one, had a promotion, remarried, lost two children through a miscarriage, had a sister die of cancer, a brother die commit suicide, and another brother in law die from a heart attack. In the past year alone I have saddly known of 10 people that have passed on. Not to mention all this and survived 10 more winters in sub-zero Northern Minnesota winters. Bad luck, no such thing. Life, in living color. When you realize that life is going to throw curve balls occasionally you learn to broaden your peripheral vision. When you learn to cry, and feel angry, and smile, and laugh, and get confused, or to be still, that’s just the beginning. When you understand that it is ok to do that, whenever and wherever your body tells you need to, thats the end. The whole package of emotions comes with instructions that are simple. Use these as directed by your body. Do not keep in hidden places. Must not be taken with Pride or Shame for they will diminish the effectiveness.Your emotions are meant to be released. Obviously with some control but you need to act upon them for your mental and phsyical wellbeing. Learn how your body reacts and acts out your emotional levels. If your not in tune with your ownself enough to see then try to understand with what you already know of yourself. It will help you and others that you may know.Let me bring something that hits to the core of emotions. When a person dies, it is sorrowful to those around. It hurts in a way that no other sadness does. This separation anxiety can occur even by missing a loved one, alive or deceased. It not only brings that sense of feeling lonely and missing the loved one but that all comes piggy backed on the hidden part of our own awareness of mortality. This two tons of bricks fall when we are probably our most humanly vulnerable. Anyone who has had someone so dear to them die knows of the emotional rollercoaster that loss brings. So with that imagine being attacked mentally while this is occuring. That will give you a sense of what a person of Depression and suicidal tendncies is going thru. The compassion that needs to be ministered is not a choice, it’s demanded. We can’t sit by and say I have a schedule to keep or I’ll check in on the situation unless we know that the sufferer is somewhat secure. A person under such strain needs all the help they can get, even if it means professional. To walk from someone with the illness would be like believing that a person in need of af an apendectomy can operate on themselves. The sufferer is that vulnerable. Not only to getting sicker but even dying. If you were to be stuck in quiksand, would you want help? Here is a scenario of what a sufferer might be going thru. Pass no judgement like that kind of thinking is silly or why would someone think that because basically, it’s to late for those kind of comments. Remember some forms of logic were buried or crushed when depression marched in. Feeling withdrawn is often a symptom of a sufferer. From my own experience, I am normally a easy guy to carry a on conversation with. Being with others never bothered me except I became very aware of people and how as a whole, not everyone, but in general, we are very self centered and tend to dismiss people with depression as capable of getting help themselves. When in reality one who suffers may think like the following and have a hard time seeking that help routinly.I’m alone, withdrawn, and it’s not that I don’t respect, enjoy, or am interested in other people, I am, it’s that I don’t feel liked or loved. It’s not my quote and unqoute “self esteem”, it is that my awareness of my being that has brought me to this, well, awareness and concern that I feel alone. It’s not an expectation that I feel someone should step in, anyone. It’s that I feel, I don’t know, maybe that either I don’t know how others should think, be concerned or love on me. Or how I should act or react to others, even those close to me. That is where the alone sensation begins to take hold. It’s as if I have forgotten the reason for interacting, surely it must be more than for the occasional ” Hi, How are you.” I also am getting tired of the routine of the huried lifestyle we lead now. So tired it at times frustrates me or simply makes me want to breakdown and cry. So I find it easier to fade off by myself although being able to have peace in a quiet and peaceful setting becomes a struggle too, and it should not. I feel the urge to desire that need to be alone and have a peace while in that light yet I feel so distant from contact with others when doing so. I am so alone because I have tricked myself in thinking that I am. I know there are those that like and love me but I feel so lost just with myself. I just need to be alone. Finding that alone time is precious there is no doubt and if you can do that occasionally it’s really healthy. Living in it for the majority of the day is something else. Like a child growing up without that human bonding touch, we tend to retreat inwardly on ourselves. When you begin to think that you are really alone and feel the depression of it all that is when you should take heed the signs that your flesh is blinding you to your spirit. There can be no true peace for one who lives for their flesh because it is never satisfied. Ask anyone with any form of addiction, from shopping to sex, from dieting to drug abuse. All will tell you the struggle of mind over body. The only way to truly squelch that which torments us is to understand what is happening to our spiritual soul and call on the one who can set us free. Believer or not, scripture, as the Bible reads, is filled very helpful examples of people that struggled through great odds and learned to deal with the strife head on. Both Christians and Hebrews alike are docunmented in history for us to reflect upon. Keep in mind, scribes were the Phsychologists of the day. For a person to write down the day’s struggle, as he sees it, in a day an age when modern conveniences were not available, yet still have a stress level that we can relate to 2000+ years in a testament to the spiritual/fleshly battle. It’s a battle we all struggle with on certain levels during our lives.David in his Psalms reflects well what the soul yearns for during these times of confusion and fear. Paul knows it’s the flesh crying out over our spirit when you read Romans. The flesh yearns so loud it shouts over the mental capabilities of man, even to the point of drowning out our own inner voice of reason. That is why the spiritual nature is so important to our whole being. Being able to call upon the Holy Spirit is the only way to bring rest to both our body, mind, and soul. We can’t do it on our own. The more I ponder my aloneness, the more my flesh begins to blind me not only to what purpose God has for me in that moment of time but the question the very existance of Him. Think of the journey in the wilderness that Jesus. Temptation begins with the thought, the desire, the struggle between that which our flesh may want over that which we know God would have us do. Whether it has immediate grave consequences or not, isnt the reasoning behind the warfare. It’s a testing and training of our inner being to strengthen and to teach us to manage the one ability we have over all creatures in the universe, Freewill. 

Brian HigmanFar from finished, I did go back and do the spellchecking…if some of it does not make sense, please msg me…some may not as Im not sure if this was the copy I had done the editing on. I will go through it soon…I will go through it soon….lol…thanks and love you all.