How to Cope with Depression

Why are so many throwing it all away? I hope my story helps those out there who have walked the same road. I have suffered from depression from 1998: The combination of a traumatic delivery, my parent’s divorce, the national scandal, and my eccentricities created a perfect storm that needed to be dealt with. Over the years, I developed a collection of tools to help me cope. If you suffer from depression, I hope you find a few useful tips:

1. Get some exercise: It doesn’t have to be daily, and it doesn’t have to be sweaty or excessive. Go for a 20 minute walk, choose 3-6 sets and lift light weights for 10-15 minutes, whatever helps you move around a bit. Trust me, it makes a huge difference!

2. Find someone to talk with: Whether you rely on friends or a professional counselor, find someone to share those many moments of self-doubt and grief.

3. Eat healthy meals: Do you include a fruit or vegetable with every meal? If not, start now! Are you limiting foods that make you feel low? Are you including foods that bring you up?

4. Limit alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant and will just expand those feelings of hopelessness and grief. I know the first drink or two has the opposite effect, but trust me, limiting alcohol is a positive!

5. Embrace your passions: Do you have an activity that brings joy? Then do it! I love my music! Singing at our local Commission on Aging and performing with my local Irish girls’ band helps me forget the darker times and focus on more positive things.

6. Surround yourself with friends and loved ones: Spend the majority of your time with those who want what’s best for you. Of course, we should make time for our family. However, occasionally we have to spend time with family or family friends who are not kind; you do NOT have to devote excessive time to those who enjoy your discomfort. You have the right to head home early or pass on a get together.

7. Read The Untethered Soul: Do you have a frequent negative monologue? Read this book and learn how to cope with your “Watcher at the Gate.”

8. Have you thought about ending it all? First, take a deep breath. You have options and you are not alone. I strongly encourage you to reach out to someone and just talk, talk about what ever is on your mind, the last day’s adventures, your favorite meal. If you are not ready for that step, have you tried the steps listed above? You owe it to yourself to try. You are worth it!

Be kind to each other!

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“In the arms of an angel…”

angel-child

The suicide of Robin Williams dredged up some old, painful memories for me. In high school, I worked at the local college Sport’s Complex. I had fun banter with a college art teacher for several years. His name was Burt Fink. He committed suicide when I was in high school. Later, at a friend’s youth group a few days after I heard the news, they were making prayer lists. I wanted to pray for Burt’s soul, so he could some day find peace. The Youth Director told me no, “He is beyond help.” I was so upset, when I got home, I told my parents. Mom and Dad were very helpful and clear on the matter. They told me to “…pray for who ever you want. We never know God’s whole plan. Let’s hope Burt finds peace someday.”

Many of you know my sister-in-law committed suicide several years ago. At the time, I was pregnant with my third child, and my second had just returned from major surgery in Missouri. Times were stressful. I had an uncomfortable confrontation with a few in-laws who told me Lissa would burn in Hell forever. She was beyond hope, not a fun family dinner. This resulted in many conversations with family and friends about Lissa’s soul. Most of us reached the same conclusion. It might take awhile, but she had a good heart. We will continue to hope and pray that she will grace Heaven’s walls someday.

I know some will disagree with me. However, I prefer to think that God and his angels take pity on these lost souls and welcome them in their healing wings.

Be at peace, friends.

How to Heal

 

I want to thank the many people who reached out to me both privately and publicly regarding my latest post about having to deal with the tragedy of suicide. While dealing with such tragedies is quite painful, I can assure you that I am in a positive place now. I posted “Far from Lothlorien” in an attempt to help others. I know there are many out there who feel the range of emotions that I survived: pain, sadness, rejection, anger, etc. I wanted those who deal with the horror of suicide to know that you are not alone. If you want to move on, know that life improves if you allow it! Find what brings you comfort. (I find peace in family craic, bunny ears, jokes, and carefully planned pranks) Is it taking the time to read, exercise, or even prepare a unique meal? I encourage you first to take care of yourself, then look for opportunities to help others. By helping others, we complete the circle.

Find Peace, Friends!

Far from Lothlorien: Surviving Suicide

I have never posted twice in one night, but if I don’t do this now, while I have the courage, this poem might remain in my desk drawer. Lissa (my brother’s first wife) became a part of my life when I was six months old. She was like a second mother to me. She was there for me through the troubling middle school and high school years as a big sister. She took her own life in 1999. I have mixed feelings about her passing, and in my despair, I wrote my only other poem. It’s deep and filled with many of the raw emotions that surface after a tragedy. This poem chastises members of the national media (as the events led to a national scandal) but also deals with the despair of loss. Despite how mad I am at her, I love and miss her!

(NOTE:  I wrote this poem over ten years ago and am in a much better place now.  I chose to share this because there are many people out there who are hurting from a family member or friend’s suicide.  It is my hope that readers will recognize the many emotions surfacing in this poem and know that life for those left behind improves with the passage of time.)

Far from Lothlorien
By Maggie Murphy

How do I sort through a lifetime of lies?
Everything told to me must be questioned.
Every memory must be reviewed.

My whole childhood is at stake here!

Why did you have to manipulate me?
I was the one on the right track.
I was the one that the community looked to for truth and respect.
Was that your motivation for this treason?

I hold all those things, and you can’t steal them away from me-even from the grave!

I have always shunned those who pass on information second hand. Now they are my only source. How dare you leave us and put this information in the twisted and mangled kaleidoscopes of Tom, Peter, and Dan to display to the world!

If the truth shall set you free, how can I find it? You left me with no guidance to find my way through this maze. All that remains are rumors, opinions, and the empty feeling that comes with suicide.

I love you-why did you leave?