Sunday, January 04, 2009

Still Fighting the Good Fight....

MAJOR DOWNER! Do not read if you are looking for a light and lively post. Today is not one of my more cheerful or witty dissertations. Today, I am dwelling on the dark side...

Another year has come and gone. My posts have dwindled. I know what's wrong. So do many of you. But I'm fighting. I get mighty tired of fighting. But I'm still fighting. Sometimes I ask myself what's the point? You know it's just going to come back again.

I try to count my blessings. I have SO much to be grateful for. And I truly AM grateful! There are many out there with much worse troubles than I. People that I hurt for. Like Becca ~ who's life has turned upside down. (been there) Or Dear Eileen, who has recently learned that her body is wracked with cancer. I can't help but be struck by the irony that someone who so Wants to live could come down with this insidious disease and someone who's not all that sure that they really care to go on for decades remains unscathed. At least as far as I know. I think that if I were in Eileen's place, I would rejoice in knowing that the end was near. I would ask to be kept as comfortable as possible and try to find the most joy that I could in each day that I have. But, I most definitely, would. not. fight.


  1. Just a reminder that just as surely as the depression comes back, it also ebbs -- and it will once again, eventually. Keep counting your blessings and loving your animals and remembering (as we remind you) that you ARE loved and appreciated!

  2. Hang in there Nancy - I think of you often and look forward to your posts and will continue. You are missed!
    Sending good thoughts your way and a big cyber hug :)

  3. I am so familiar with your feelings that I sit here and nod, I hear you. I know too what it's like to feel this way (ashamed that I would wish my life away while someone else fought disease to try to preserve theirs). I thought divorce would be the hardest part and biggest disappointment in my life but that was just a beginning.... But I've learned to fight. I have a weapon and I'll tell you what it is: Doing Good. I discovered that when I reached out to help others it made me feel better. So when I get down (I remember I can be subject to hormone changes too) and then I ramp up the volunteering and helping others and I'm amazed at how the blues just seem to wash away. I encourage you to keep on fighting Nancy. This too shall pass.

  4. Nancy, I don't really know you, I only know what you show through your blog. I enjoy your blog very much though, and I enjoy what you write, and reading about what you do with your days. I also enjoy reading about how you overcame your divorce and kept your sheep. I loved choosing photos for your calendar, and I love all your comments from Dream. I was very envious of your scarves and wished I could learn to do that. I am always pleased to see when a new post pops up from you on my blogroll, and I dash over to read it. I'm sad to read what you wrote today, and can't fathom how someone who puts such moments of joy into my life would feel as you do, but I respect your feelings, and know that you must be hurting. Please know that even though I don't know you, I am thinking of you, I am wishing for better days ahead for you, and I am hoping you can overcome your personal demons, whatever they may be. I wish you a peaceful heart.

  5. Hmmm, something I know a bit about. As a hospice nurse I not only hear similar sentiments from my patients and their families, but I have to deal with my own similar questions. So here goes - and please understand, there is no judgment here. Neither for your individual comments or for depression or mental illness in general. I have no time for judgment and neither do my patients. Here is exactly what I would -and do- say to them:
    What is it that you would envy about the person with a good idea of when and how they will die? Is it the knowing? the deadline that forces you to get things done? Maybe the promise that there is an end to the suffering? Now...what on this Earth of ours makes you think that you DON'T have a shorter deadline than they have?! You don't know. I don't. None of us do. Assume that your own "deadline" is one day or one week or one month and behave accordingly. Do whatever it is you need to get done by that time. Don't just THINK that you are playing at this deadline, believe it. You see, in reality, none of us has any guarantee. This sounds fatalistic, no? Well, live this way for one month - planning your deadline and then waking up the next morning with the gift of more time to get done what you assuredly didn't get done and set that deadline again. Someday, you won't wake up, you won't get an extension, your deadline will have been real. You will be glad you got your list addressed and even happier for the life you managed to enjoy along the way.

  6. Hi Nancy- Since you've been through this before, you know what to do to get feeling better. Be patient, enjoy your conversations with family and friends, and take care of yourself. Sit in the sunshine, and make yourself smile when you first wake up in the morning . Thinking of you.

  7. I'm sorry things are so rough at the moment. Please keep holding on. Big hugs!

  8. Oh Nancy, it's so awful when you're in "that place" but believe us all when we say that you're not on your own. We might be virtual friends, many of us, but we are friends. When I've been there I've found it really useful to sit and make a list of things that I need to do to make life easier and pull things back, step by easy little step, day by day. Look at what you've achieved with your beautiful flock! If they and your beautiful daughter are not a good focus then I don't know what is. Feel better soon x

  9. Just hang on Nancy. Take care of yourself. Eat. Sleep. Get up. Feed sheep. And know that you will eventually feel better. You know you have survived these dark times before. You have to keep telling yourself that that you will not always feel the way you feel right now, even though right now, it feels like it will never end.

    Jan. 2nd was the 23rd birthday of the son I gave up for adoption. I felt rotten all day thinking about how I have now lost both of my sons, and that everyone who told me I would be a terrible mother was right. Fortunately, I did not continue into a downward spiral from there. I allowed myself a day to feel bad, then stayed busy and let it go.

    I hope you can find your way through this darkness you are feeling soon. I know you can do it.

  10. I hope the increasing daylight hours and more sunlight help a little.

    Sitting facing the sun, with my eyes closed, and just breathing helps me feel better.

    I wonder if those SAD lights really help. It seems like this time of year is always the hardest.

  11. I have been sat reading and re-reading your post and the comments already made trying to find something comforting or inspiring to say. Trying to think of what words would help me when the dark clouds roll in. But I think it has all been said already - you may be under dark clouds now, but they will pass. Let your furry and woolly friends help heal you. Know that you are an inspiration and appreciated by many. You are most certainly not alone. Take care.

  12. One horrible thing about this whole process I'm going through is that one doesn't have time to sit and enjoy the sun, or even to think about whether one wants to fight or not - the decision and the time is largely taken out of your hands, and you are pushed from one thing to the next willy-nilly. I've observed that same process in the psych wards when my sister has been in the hands of medical professionals. They don't give you time to think (or sleep).

    And to some degree I understand it - being busy keeps us engaged with life, whether we actually enjoy it or not. Sometimes that is enough to get us Over The Hump and on to the next stage, which might very well be something that seems a bit more manageable.

    I've had major clinical depressions before, and for me just being busy doesn't do it - that just makes me feel more exhausted and 'pulled apart'. But navel-gazing doesn't help, either, as that tends to make the hard things bigger and more important (not at all helpful to one's state of mind).

    I find that for me it's important to feel that I'm doing something meaningful and positive in the world, that there is some reason to actually be here.

    If there is an issue or skill that you have expertise or experience in, it can be very helpful to find a way to use that proactively. It can be incredibly empowering, for instance, to assist in practical ways or to counsel women who are going through an experience that you have fought through yourself (divorce, abuse, sexual assault, career change, financial hardship, etc.)

    Sometimes it can be inspiring to teach others a skill that you have mastered (or at least, that you are competent at). Don't think just in terms of fiber or farming, although those are possiblities - there are lots of other things you know how to do. Reading and writing, for instance. Inspiring (and playing with) children, in particular, can be very rewarding and life-affirming. Schools are always looking for volunteers, so there is always something useful to do at a not-too-extreme distance from home...

    The thing is to give yourself a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and to do something that you know to be of value to someone else. It will probably feel like an extra burden at first to have to do this, but in the end the payoffs can be immense.

    I don't mean to be Pollyanna here. Depression sucks - it hurts, it drains your energy and your spirit, it makes everything seem impossibly difficult and pointless, and it is very hard to believe that there is an end to it.

    But you have been here before, and you know that everything changes - whether you want it to or not, whether you are ready or not, whether you believe in it or not. Everything changes - including the level of darkness and bleak obscurity in life. Spring happens, lambs happen, the plumbing leaks, flowers happen, fleece happens, the roof leaks, friends happen, kittens happen, the bank account leaks, fiber festivals happen, holidays happen, eyes leak... the only knowable thing about life is that it's not knowable. It's often just a matter of trudging on until you turn the next bend in the road.

    As my beloved and very wise grandmother always said, "This, too, shall pass." (And then she'd add, "So we might as well bake cookies until it does...")

  13. Talk doesn't always work and I hate drugs so I lean on vitamins when my moods are low. Large amounts of B12 and fish oil tablets are my main stay these days. Brain food.I can't live without B12. My sick lambs last spring gave me a better understanding of the value of B vitamins. Sun is great too. Even if you need a sun lamp to sit under give it a try. Wish I could help more!!

  14. I think that the fact that you posted this has helped so many-hopefully, you, too......

    I am sitting next to you.
    With you.
    Until we can get up again.

  15. Nancy,

    I love you, girlfriend! I wish I could help you as much as you helped me.
    The sun is behind that raincloud. Please hang in there, I think about you every day.

  16. Anonymous6:14 PM

    I was thinking the same thing as
    "I Need Orange" posted. I think it's very common for people to feel blue during the shorter daylight days. Sheesh, there is a higher incidence of alcoholism in countries closer to the Artic Circle because their daylight is sooo short. Vitamin D3 is worth trying during the winter months--our bodies make/have less of it during this time.
    As for people experiencing life threatening diseases, it's such a hard road and I know many people feeling terribly lonely in their weakened state. Life is indeed fragile and unpredictable and winter makes us all feel more vulnerable to things we can't control.
    Diane L./Bloomington,IN.

  17. Hey my friend,

    So far you have heard from your female friends. Now, a brief word from a male friend who loves you.

    Depression is NOT gender specific, although woman tend to be more comfortable with honesty about it. Trust me, I have my share of days when I sit and stare at a computer or a TV ... thinking that I should get up and do something ... but it is like I am paralyzed. Then ... a sheep baaas and calls me to be her care giver and I get up and go. Without family, friends, neighbours, job, and my sheep ... I'd likely have packed it in long ago.

    But each month it gets better and easier ... and the 'spells' of not being able to get up become less frequent.

    Hang in there my dear friend ... as I know that you will. And know that depression isn't just a woman thing ... it happens to men. OK, so maybe it just happens to gay men ... but the point is that yah just keep going!


  18. I am new to your blog, and have enjoyed reading through all your posts about the sheep your life. How odd that you too (as I do) fight depression. What a bad and horrible thing this illness is.

    I want to walk with you and hold your hand, this stuff is real and it hurts, but time does wear on and gradually the periods were the depression susides gets longer and longer.

    I fight winter daily, rage against the long nights, bought the new natural lightbulbs and filled everything in my house with them include the stove and oven. I try to walk even if is cold (try I don't always make it)

    The chores and animals help, sometimes family overwhelms, as does work, but every day is a new day.

    If it is any help, we care. All of us!



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