Monday, October 20, 2014

Dear Anxiety

anxiety, stress, depression, courage, endurance, perseverence, therapy
I don’t know why, but it seems like the less depression I have, the more anxiety tries to creep in. It’s like they are trying to do a tag team against me. Depression has wrestled me down but couldn’t pin me into submission. Now that I have gotten the upper hand on him he has decided to tag his partner, anxiety, and let him have a go at it. 

Anxiety is like a pilot light in the furnace of my heart. Always there, deep down, staying lit, waiting for a chance to flame up. Heartburn of the soul. I decided to write anxiety a little letter to let it know that I am not happy about these visits and I plan to fight, not just lay down and surrender.

Dear Anxiety,
    Thank you for stopping by this morning. Although not totally unexpected, your presence was somewhat of a surprise. It’s strange because now that your cousin has been vacated, you think that you are encouraged to take his place. Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but you are not. Just as he has been defeated, you will be also. I am thankful for your annoying presence because you will make me stronger. You will provide ample opportunity to turn to God, to let Jesus be my strength and my hope. He is the light of the world and the light of my life. He is my life. Much to your dismay, I’m sure, your attempts to conquer me and tear me down will only result in a more fine-tuned, refined instrument in God’s hands. For that, I say bravo, little anxiety, bravo.
    Oh, I realize that there will be fights between us. You’ll sneak in a jab here & there. That’s right, I know what your plans are. I would rather not be bothered by your petty attempts but I will take the challenge with one little nugget of truth in mind - in the end, I win. God has already proclaimed it. Jesus has the victory in hand (both hands actually) and he has me in his hands. Your pathetic disruptions are nothing more than last-ditch efforts, flailing failures to be discarded at the edge of eternity. I hope you enjoy your brief moments of success. They will be your last. My gloves are laced up, my footwork is better than ever, my strength comes from HIM and his punches have power like dynamite. Step into the ring sucker. Let’s go - fight’s on!


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

5 Things to Ask Your Friend with Depression

depression, compassion, friends, suicide
How do you talk about depression and suicidal thoughts with your friend or loved one? It's a tender subject to discuss. You're afraid of their reaction. Maybe, you think, talking about suicide will put the idea into their mind. Maybe they will get upset or resent you asking questions. These are genuine concerns but a person's life and possible death are too important for us to avoid talking about this serious subject.
Below are 5 questions or conversation starters that can help open the door to your loved one's emotional state of thinking. Once you get the conversation started, keep asking questions. Don't offer advice or platitudes. Listen and commit to following up on a regular basis.

1. How's life treating you? Why?

2. I've heard that everyone with depression thinks about suicide sometimes. Do you think that's true? How about you?

3. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate your depression recently? Is it improving or getting worse?

4.What's the best thing going on in your life right now? What's the worst thing?

5. How do you see your life in one year? What will you be doing?

Remember, there are several reasons a person may not immediately tell you about their depression - embarrassment, lack of trust or fear. Be lovingly persistent. Consistency shows you care.
If, during your discussion, your friend or loved one relates to you a serious desire to end their life, please go with them to get immediate help. Pick up the phone and call their doctor or 9-1-1 if necessary. Walk with them through the process of getting help. It's a scary road to walk alone. Be the friend that will make a difference in their life. God bless.

What are some questions or conversation starters that have helped you?