7 Ways To Show Love To Someone With Anxiety/Depression

7 Ways To Show Love To Someone With Anxiety/Depression

Some wise words, we should try to remember

Be Brave, and Talk

The hardest people to love are the ones who need it most.

In honour of Valentine’s Day, here are some ideas for showing love to friends and family members with anxiety/ depression:

1.) Give Compliments:

Chances are, someone who suffers from anxiety/depression also struggles with self esteem. Help her challenge her feelings of self loathing by giving her sincere, specific compliments. Being specific is really important, because it will make her more likely to remember what you said later. It will also make her more likely to believe you. For example, instead of saying, “You’re a good mom,” you could say something more meaningful: “You are so patient with your children. I love how you encourage them to keep trying. They are so lucky to have you.”
One thoughtful, genuine compliment has more power than 10 careless comments that feel like flattery. Put your heart into what you say.


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Dancing Angel

Four years ago today marks the anniversary of the death of a close friend. My friends and family still miss him dearly. Not a day goes by that one of us doesn’t make a comment about missing him or loving him. Today my FB timeline is full of comments about missing him and loving Scotty. And rightfully so, he was a talented, kind-hearted, strong man.

I (like so many others) have so many fond memories of Scotty. My favorite probably has to be that faithful summer day when Scotty, Jeni, Heather and I spent an afternoon laying on the floor talking and listening to music. It was a normal day for the four of us. We talked about boys, our goals, and our hopes for the future. We giggled, told dirty jokes and ranted about work as the breeze blew through the open windows and shadows from tree leaves danced on the wall.

Who knows how or why (probably something to do with our future aspirations), but we eventually got on the subject of kids. Soon we were discussing what kind of talents our children would have if use three girls reproduced with Scotty. Needless to say we came up with an interesting group of talented kids, who could have one day been famous (with the right training and encouragement). I know I am (and I’m sure my sisters are) sad that those summer afternoon, ice cream cake, and lack of sleep induced concoctions of humanity will never grace this earth.

Mostly I’m just sad that such a beautiful soul left the earth far too soon. I would have loved to have one more afternoon with him to giggle like a school girl and plan for an extravagant and spectacular future. Though I’m sure I’d catch all kinds of hell from him for not making any progress on those goals I set that afternoon. Sorry man, I will get back on track this year, promise.

Kid President gives an adorable TED, er KID, Talk

Kid President gives an adorable TED, er KID, Talk

What book do you think needs to be shared?

TED Blog

Kid President warms hearts anytime he speaks. So what happens when he gives a “KID Talk”? A great opening line, tiny top hats for dogs and, of course, a dance. This talk gets a standing ovation from us—and we have a feeling it will send you off to the weekend in the right spirit.

Watch Kid President’s breakthrough moment on TED.com »

And see what happens when the TED staff had to choose between a Webby for us, or one for Kid President’s Soul Pancake »

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O Me! O Life!
“Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring,
Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish,
Of myself forever reproaching myself, (for who more foolish than I, and who more faithless?)
Of eyes that vainly crave the light, of the objects mean, of the struggle ever renew’d,
Of the poor results of all, of the plodding and sordid crowds I see around me,
Of the empty and useless years of the rest, with the rest me intertwined,
The question, O me! so sad, recurring—What good amid these, O me, O life?

That you are here—that life exists and identity,
That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.”

On August 11, 2014 I bid my parents and my hometown goodbye (not for the first time in my life, and probably not for the last time in my life). I climbed into the back of my sisters very full Jetta and we headed south on US 131. The drive was fine, but it was a bit odd to be a passenger in a car for an extended period of time. (Most of the time I am driving by myself, especially if I am bound for Chicago). I looked at the scenery passing us by and adjusted bags next to me, and at my feet, so as to not crush anything. Eventually I got out my phone and started looking at FB (which ended up eating a shit ton of data). For a while I laughed at what friends posted, and made my own witty remarks about our trip thus far.

Eventually I came across some truly sad news, news that I had to research on the internet (more data used) to believe. Robin Willams, a man who always made me smile, and was truly talented was dead. I sat in silence, this couldn’t be happening… I was finally getting my life back on track, I was moving somewhere warm and had a new job. How, when everything was going so right, could something go so wrong. I sat there and watched the sad remarks about Mr. Williams passing grow on FB, the more remarks I saw, the more I tears welled up in my eyes.

Eventually I got up the nerve to tell my sister and her husband (god that’s still strange to say), they were both sad to hear the news. But they didn’t seem to be nearly as distraught as I was. I sat in the car as it rained and thought it was ironic that the sky was crying for another lost soul.

Over the next few days social media was flooded with mournful posts about Williams passing and inspiring quotes with his picture. His life, and what brought about his untimely death was all over the news. And I’m fairly sure his passing was the hot topic of conversation. For as much of a big deal as Williams passing was made out to be at the time, why is it still not a hot topic now? Because in this day and age we move on too quickly; there is always some new scandal or death or birth to talk about. We need to slow down and take time to remember things. I will always remember Robin Williams, and I will always remember what lead to his death.

Wind, Bikes, and Netflix

Today was the first Sunday I’ve had off in a long time, so I was torn between doing nothing and going off on an adventure. For some unknown reason I woke up early. I lay in bed, cursing the gods for a while and then decided maybe some TV would put me back to sleep. It did not, so I decided instead of spending the day watching TV I should go to the beach. Maybe I would luck out and see a turtle.

I rode my bike down to all but empty beach. The wind was strong and the  waves were rather impressive, so I decided against swimming. Instead I went for a walk up and down the beach. Ocean spray and sand were everywhere (I guess windy days will do that). The walk was peaceful, though I felt a bit like a tourist carrying my towel around in my arms. After a while I decided maybe this blustery day was best suited to activates, something that didn’t involve sand. I went home, refilled my water, brushed off some sand and changed. Then I was off on my bike again, this time I headed south. As I rode I took in the scenery, it’s very different from what I’m used to. Palm trees are everywhere, and flowers are still in bloom (its November and there are flowers?!), and the houses… I’m not sure how to describe them, but they are different. As I continued my journey I kept finding I had to remind myself I was still in the United States. I guess I still think I’ve been plopped into some tropical foreign country. Eventually I reached a gated community and was forced to turn around. No, no one told me to turn around, I just saw the gates and decided maybe I should head home.

Once home the TV (as always) got turned on. I went through my normal line up, watched something on Hulu, watched something on CW, and last but not least Netflix. I honestly think some days I would be lost without Netflix, no I am not proud to say that, but its true. It may take me a while, but I always find something on there to watch. Today it took me a little longer than normal. I was sick of the shows I was watching and I wanted to find something new, preferably a move, so I wouldn’t get sucked into another TV show. (I think there about a dozen shows that I am currently watching, and the idea of adding another was daunting.) I flipped through action, adventure, thriller, anime, drama, and decided to stick with comedy. I scrolled through the options several times before I decided on a film I had never heard of.

I am currently about 40 minutes into Liberal Arts, and I am in love. Okay, maybe love isn’t the right word, happily surprised would be a better way to put it. So far the film hits home, in many ways. It takes place in Ohio and New York. The main character is in his 30’s. And he nostalgic about his time in college. Classical music makes him look at life differently. All of these are things that I, as someone in my 30’s can and do relate to. I can’t wait to see what happens in the rest of the film! I’m sure you will hear my thoughts about the film as a whole in the next few days.

Inner Demons (I know it’s so unoriginal)

What will follow is more personal than I probably should be. But what the hell, it’s on my mind and I haven’t written in ages. Okay, maybe not ages, but seeing as my writing is how I want to make a living it’s been far to long.

For a year now my depression has been getting the better of me. It’s hampered my education, my finances, my social life… and well just about everything. This spring, after a few really frustrating and hurtful events I came to the conclusion that I was losing my battle to depression, and that I needed to do something about it. I started looking online at treatments for depression, and of course all suggestions pointed to meds and therapy. As I rule I hate taking meds (yes I know they can be beneficial). I look at all the side effects and wonder how much good they will actually do. Case in point, with my ADHD meds I could concentrate but I wasn’t hungry, so I didn’t eat. I lost a lot of weight and everyone I knew worried and had to remind me to/make me eat. I didn’t want to take meds for depression (maybe I was in denial of how bad it was, or I didn’t want to face the negative stigma associated with depression) and I sure as hell didn’t have money for therapy. So I tried looking into free counseling, with no luck. So for a few more months I spiraled further down the rabbit hole. Things got so bad that I considered checking myself into a facility.

Eventually my parents came back and their concern for my well-being was at the forefront of our conversations. I told them how I was considering inpatient programs, and they were all for it, but thought meds and therapy would do the trick. I mentioned my financial concerns (aka my lack of income) and they offered to help. I got in to see my old therapist and she, as always worked wonders. Getting meds on the other hand was a nightmare. I was going to have wait over a month to see someone who could prescribe me medication. Lucky for me (or rather not) I was in such bad shape that my family doctor took pity, on me and gave me a refill of the antidepressant prescription I had in high school. So by the middle of June I started therapy and was on meds two weeks later.

In therapy we talked a lot about how I hold very high and unrealistic expectations for myself, and my need for approval. In a few short weeks I made tons of progress. I started to feel more like myself again, and with help was finding the desire to move forward with my life. I started to work on my thesis again, in tiny bits and pieces (though it is still far from complete). And I began to look into moving and finding a new job.

The desire to get out of my parents place, and move forward with my life lead me here to Hawaii. Which everyone, including my therapist, said would be a good change. And though there have been some tough times, where I wanted to toss in the towel and go home I have persevered (with help from a few kind souls and my trusty green capsule). I have a new job, and probably have few new other side jobs on the way as well. Life isn’t perfect and I still struggle on a daily basis with how I’m feeling and the unrealistic expectations I place on myself. But I’m learning to put myself first, spending lots of time outside, and going on new and exciting adventures. I love being so close to the ocean and the mountains, it makes me feel like I’m in a Miyazaki film (which makes me grin and puts me at peace).

Yes I know most of this was a downer, sorry! Grr… no, I have got to stop apologizing, I do that too much. I want to assure you readers, that though I still struggle, I am making lots of progress and things here are going pretty well and I know they are only going to get better.

All my love!

Trading Fresh Water for Salt Water

A month ago I was in the Chicago suburbs, checking to make sure I had everything packed in my two suitcases and a backpack. After surveying the house a few times my sister and I decided I had everything, and if not she would send it later. We grabbed my bags and headed to the car. It was a cool morning and I was glad I remembered my sweatshirt, or rather I was glad my sister was paying attention to the weather (thanks sis!).
The first stop was the bank, to get out money for traveling and deposit a check. After that we stopped at Norma’s, my sister got her coffee and banana bread, and I got my earl grey chai. Yes, I said earl grey chai, I know it may sound odd, but it is one of the best things on earth! And I’ve only ever seen it a Norma’s, the small local coffee shop down the street from my sister’s place.
As my sister drove towards the highway I texted friends on my phone. One of them asked me if this (my moving) felt real yet? I said no. He asked when I was leaving. I laughed and told him I was on my way to the airport. He was amused and couldn’t believe that it didn’t feel real yet. Honestly, I couldn’t either, I was on my way to the airport and I wasn’t nervous or anxious at all; I was calm, it was like any other day.
Even as I waited in the airport I was calm, cool, and collected. I guess I travel enough (though I’d love to travel more), and have moved enough, that for me, packing up and moving 1000 plus miles away in two weeks is no big deal. As I waited in the terminal I took the opportunity to wander around, and post a few updates on FB. I also did a fair amount of people watching. It’s fun to see how people interact, or don’t.
My flights were uneventful. On my last flight I had a whole row to myself! So I stretched out and took a much-needed nap. On the flight I also met a family, that had lived in various parts of the world that were moving to Hawaii. The children were well-behaved and super cute! The boy loved the dried cherries I shared with him, and the girl liked the fudge.
When I got off the plane I was glad I had packed the sweatshirt away. It was hot! Yes, I know, Hawaii’s a tropical island, it’s bound to be warm; but I spent the day on cold airplanes, and came from a mild Michigan summer. I rolled up my pant legs and made my way to bagged claim. I collected my bags and went outside to meet my ride. The sun was blindingly bright, so I rummaged through my bag and found my sun glasses. A minute or two later my boss showed up and I loaded my things into the van and climbed in.
The air-conditioned ride from the airport to my new home was nice. I looked out at the ocean, as we twisted and turned up and down cliffs, and was impressed by the amount of trees on the drive. It only took about 30 to 45 minutes to make it from the airport to Lahaina. When I got to my new house, my boss helped me take my things in, then bid me farewell until tomorrow. One of my house mates gave me a tour of the house, then let me unpack a few things. Before long she came back and asked me if I wanted to go down to the beach and watch the sunset, I of course said yes!
We wandered down the street to a small pathway that led to the ocean. The sound of the waves were reassuring and relaxing. Due to moving and unpacking things I was covered in sweat, so we waded into the water, it was cool and refreshing. We stood there, the waves lapping at our legs and talked. It was cloudy, so the sunset was masked, so after a few minutes we wandered back home, where I continued to settle in.
Since getting here I have found a more permanent place to live (yay!), gotten a bike, and gone swimming in the ocean several times. The waves in the ocean are so much bigger than I am used to, though there have been some impressive waves on Lake Michigan. And when you swallow the water from the ocean, it tastes kinda funny (though I suppose if you are used to the ocean you would say lake water tastes funny). I have yet to go snorkeling or surfing, but those will happen in time. I love not having a car! Yes, it makes shopping a little harder (that’s what baskets and backpacks are for), and I don’t always venture as far… But I can feel my leg muscles coming back, and I’m starting to feel more in shape.
I’m meeting lots of new people and enjoying the change. I pretty much live in sunscreen and shower a lot more than I did in Michigan, due to sweating lots because of the heat, but I don’t mind. I traded fresh water for salt water, and snow for sunshine. 🙂

On a completely unrelated note, I played League of Legends today for the first time in a little over a month. Some of the changes are really nice, and Gnar is a lot of fun! If you don’t know what LOL is, it’s a FREE Multiplayer Online Battle Arena. There are a variety of game modes and maps, and over 50 champions to play. Check it out at http://na.leagueoflegends.com/

To date I have 5 drafts, dating as far back as March, that I hope to finish soon. But no promises, my life is busy and I still have the thesis proposal to finish. 😉