overcoming winter blue

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hi guys! I don't really know how to start this without being too straight forward so I'm just gonna roll with it.

So I'm just going to say it; I have seasonal depression. It's the reason for my oversleeping and the reason that I have been eating carbs like a madwoman. It's the reason that I've been distant and extremely sensitive. It's the reason that I've been guzzling down caffeinated beverages like there's no tomorrow. It's the reason that I feel worthless and unwanted.

And I'm most certainly not saying all this because I want you to feel bad for me, because I don't want you to, this isn't about me. The thing is, I know I'm not the only one. I know how common seasonal affective disorder it. I know that it runs in families and that pretty much the entire midwest is known for having seasonal depression. I also know that there is a stigma with mental illness in the church and in the world. That all needs to change, there needs to be more awareness.

I'm saying all this because it's okay to not be okay. A lot of us are not okay, and we fail to admit it. We fail to seek help, whether it be from God or professionals. It doesn't feel good to admit that you're broken because, well, no one wants to be broken. Being broken isn't something we strive to be. We don't strive to have anxiety. We don't strive to have depression. We don't strive to have bipolar disorder. We don't strive to have obsessive compulsive disorder. We don't strive to be so torn apart that we don't see fixing in our future. But here is the thing, everyone can be fixed. We don't have to stay broken forever.

So basically for this post I am going to talk about some ways that I personally have tried to fix the brokenness. Here's my 10 ways that I have worked to overcome my pain and darkness.

1. God.
If you choose to disregard the majority of this post, please don't disregard this part. This is the one I am truly passionate about. I have been growing a lot closer to God lately because I know that even in the pain He is there. I know that even in the darkness, that as soon as the light peaks through I will be free. I have been praying a lot lately, asking God to guide me through this mess and to help heal my pain. I have been praying for God to put people in my life that I can truly open up to, people who want to listen to my problems and still love me. I have been listening a lot. I try to sit still at least once a week and just listen for God to speak to me. It's hard to let everything just go and listen, but it is so worth it. I have been doing a million devotionals. I recently got one for Christmas, that has really helped me remember that I am worthy and wanted by God. I have also been doing a lot of devotionals on the Youversion Bible app. (I actually made a list of some that have helped me.) Jesus heals. He healed us all from our sins, our pains, and our regrets when he died on the cross for you and for me. We have been healed. It's just a matter of time before were healed from this brokenness too.

2. Turmeric Lattes
Yum, yum, yum! I have found a love for "golden milk", it is delicious and it heals just about everything. I actually read somewhere that turmeric may be as effective as Prozac when treating depression. It not only tastes good, but it also makes you feel good too.

3. Writing and reading
For me, writing is a lot like therapy. A journal is a place where I can say everything that is on my mind without judgement. I don't do very well with talking, but I do pretty well with writing.

4. Music
"There's nothing that a good Spotify playlist can't fix." Well that's not really true; I mean they do help sometimes, but they don't fix the problem. I was thinking more of playing music. I have been trying to teach myself how to play the ukulele. I can play a few chords and I'm working on learning the Campfire Song Song from Spongebob. Every time I memorize a chord or a strumming pattern it brings a little bit of joy to my heart.

5. Grocery Shopping
When my friends call me "mom", they're not completely wrong. I love to grocery shop, because I'm weird like that. Grocery shopping actually helps me relieve a lot of stress, because all I have to do at that very moment is shop for food. I don't have to worry about anything else when I'm at Trader Joe's or Meijer (Okay unless I'm trying to park, then I'm worrying about the crazy maniacs who might hit my car).

6. Light therapy
Light therapy is usually done with special lights, but the cheaper option is to get outside and soak up the sun. I realize it's freezing, but just bundle up for at least 15 minutes a day and step outside.

7. Talking
Okay I said I suck at talking to people and I do. I suck at opening up. I can count the number of people that I have opened up to about my Nonni on one hand. That's 5 people, 5 people who know the whole story. That's not a lot of people and most of them are family. I believe that talking to people is hard for a reason, because it forces us to put trust in someone other than ourselves. I pray that we all find those people in our lives who we can open up to, we need them.

8. Hope
I have been looking into Anthem of Hope for a while now. I really enjoy what Juli and Jarrid Wilson are doing with their hope ministry and how it has helped so many. Anthem of Hope has equipped me with resources such as the Hopeline. I actually talked to someone on the Hopeline the other night when I just really needed to rant about something that was bothering me. Anthem of Hope gives me hope for the future. It gives me hope that I will get better, that you will get better. Hope is something we all need, and we can ultimately find it in God.

9. Prayer
This aligns a lot with what I said about God. I am a strong believer in the healing power of prayer. I believe that prayer can fix anything and everything. God can soften all of our hearts, he can show us light again. All we have to do is say "Hey God, I need some help here." No special words or phrases, just a conversation with Him.

10. Live
You have to make a promise to live your life. You can say "no" whenever someone asks you to hang out. You can say "I'm okay." whenever someone asks how you are. You can avoid all human contact forever and ever. But you shouldn't do these things. You have to keep living your life, you have to keep trying. You have to make an effort to get better, you have to try at least. I believe that we can all live, even if it is just one day at a time.

I really hope that we can all one day move past our brokenness and see our whole potential. I pray that one day we can heal, one day that we no longer grieve. I pray for strength and love. I pray for joy and for hope. I pray for each and everyone of you, that you know that God loves you and that I love you. I pray for happiness in all of your lives. I am overwhelmed with joy because of this blog and I pray that I can do things that help others through it. God bless you all. Let's break these chains of brokenness together.

xoxo, Aubs

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