Archive for August, 2011

Work in Progress

Today I went on a home visit with one of the GP’s to see a very old man, in his nursing home. Before we got out of the car, the GP turned to me and said, the picture of nonchalence, ‘by the way – he might ask us to euthanise him – just so you know. He asks every time we visit him.

Sure enough, this man, who is over a hundred, with no living family, no friends to visit him, and incredibly frail health, started asking about what it means to die, and when it would come, and could we, please, please doctor, help him, now, right now? And of course, we sat and told him that we couldn’t do that, and that we didn’t know when death would come, but that when it did, we hoped it would be peaceful.  And he talked, for a long time, about what lay behind in his youth, and what lay ahead, in his dying, and the loneliness in the room was so heavy it felt like we were sitting in thick fog. Then, the time came for us to go and move on to another patient, and it made me wish, as I do so many days, that I was training to be a magician, rather than a doctor. There’s just aren’t enough magic wands in medicine. I wish there were more.

It’s things like this that remind me how good the church, or any similar group, for that matter, can be. Now that our communities lack the cohesiveness and closeness of the past, it falls to groups like the church to come in and reach out, and keep people connected. I’d like to think that if this man was a member of my church, that someone would be going to see him, taking him Communion, dedicating time to those questions that are still for him, so painfully unanswered. Patients in hospital have access to chaplains and ministers; it’s when they leave, that they so often are left lonelier than ever. I’ve been so proud to see the student charity I founded two years ago grow, to be able to provide regular visitors to elderly patients across three hospitals, if they don’t have family to come and see them – but there are so many older people alone in their homes, that we can’t reach. It’s painful. I want to do more. I want it to be better. There are so many gaps in society that I want to help fill. I know that I can’t fill them all. None of us, can fill them all.

 It’s things like today that make me want to go and shout from the rooftops that until we have a society that has a place for every person in it, we have no society at all. We talk about the community of church, so often, and yes, it’s fantastic, the things that happen when a group of people get under a steepled roof and lift up their hands and cast upwards their eyes, but does any of it matter, if we’re not taking it to those places that need it the most? Does any of it matter, if there’s still an old man, lonely, or a young mother, not managing, or dare I say, a student, dropping off the edge of depression? The people most on the outside are the ones most in need, and hardest to reach. There are so many places that just need someone alongside someone else. There are so many places that just need a hand ontop of a hand, a heart beating next to a heart.

We all know that according to Genesis, one day, God looked at this world and said that simply, it was ‘good’. For now, I’ll pass over God’s extensive use of the understatement.

Now – forgive me if, thanks to my hazy knowledge of the Bible, I’m off the mark here, but from what I know, God’s not said that, since. Our world is not being looked at and passed as ‘ok’. Can you imagine what the world would look like if God still thought it was ‘good’? I’m not sure I can. It’s so far away, from what I have seen. And I know, that Jesus changed everything and set the wheels in motion for it being ok, more than ok even – perfect – I know, that before Jesus we were living in a spiritual cemetery, and without Jesus, we’re still sitting amongst the gravestones – but our world is still not good. We, are still not good. No matter what you believe, we can do better. We need to do better. We need to sort this stuff out. We need to figure out how to stay connected. We need to figure out, how to get our hand on top of the hand that is shaking. We need to figure out, how to get our heart beating next to the heart that is failing.

Let’s all try and figure out, how we can do better. We’re all works in progress.

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This is just a bit about what’s been happening this week – nothing too interesting!

I went to see The National this week with a friend. It’s one of my favourite bands at the moment and I’d been looking forward to it for a while. It was a great concert, though we left early after I fainted in the crowds – which happens quite often if I’m somewhere very warm and busy, particularly when I’m under the weather as I am at the moment. It was quite dramatic as it was so packed that I couldn’t get to the floor in time  when my vision started clouding and ended up properly passing out and being half carried out by a very nice guy, which has got to be the closest I’ve come to a ‘knight in shining armor’ for some time – though sadly he went back in before I could say thank you properly. If this were a Jane Austen novel, we would totally be engaged by now – just saying. Next time I’ll make sure I’m wearing some sort of empire line dress and carrying some embroidery or a sketchbook or something.

I listened to one of the band’s tracks, ‘Runaway’, so much this year – it was a constant fixture on my ‘melancholy music’ playlist. It rang pretty true, for a long time. Hearing it live kind of made me realise that I’m so much better than I was – it doesn’t grab me the same way the lyrics once did. I don’t feel quite as dragged towards drowning, as I did.  I don’t listen to it as much now. It’s strange sometimes, the things we use to mark recovery. For me, so often it is realising that I no longer read several books a week just because I lay awake not sleeping, or that I’m listening to cheerier music, or that I’m eating three meals a day, which is something I pretty much didn’t have the appetite for, for most of last year. I still have my blips, and if anything, these last few weeks have been a challenge and I’ve questionned often,  but I no longer feel like I’m at rock bottom. It’s a good feeling.

This time of year always makes me a little sad as it’s when friends who have graduated head off for new starts somewhere else, and this year in particular is a bit of an exodus. One thing I’ll miss a lot is that for the last two years, a small  group of girls from my concert band and the sister brass band, have met regularly for movie nights after realising that we’re all a bit obsessed with period dramas (Mr Darcy, anyone?). We named ourselves the ‘rugged heros appreciation society’. At the start, we didn’t all know each other  – sort of a group of friends, and  friends-of-friends, but now, we all know each other so well and it’s been one of the few places this year that I’ve been ‘just Char’ – as I didn’t tell them about my depression.

It was a good escape; quiet nights where we watched films and talked about other things – my placements, their dissertations and jobs, boyfriend problems, band issues, family struggles and flatmate arguments. It was a good refuge when so often I felt like I was always Char-withdepression or Char-whoismessedup or Char-incounsellingbecauseshesnotcoping. Sometimes it’s nice to be just char, with no attachments or labels, just char, who plays tenor sax and sings second soprano, who likes Mr Thornton from North and South because he has a social conscience in addition to looking good in a waistcoat, and who starts to get a bit giggly over a glass of wine. Just Char, who is the one who goes to church but doesn’t push religion on people, who sometimes takes patients’ problems home with her and who likes babies and old people and children but doesn’t like bad attitudes or green peppers on pizza. Just Char, who is good at listening and organising and bad at saying no and singing above a high G, and neutral at most other things. I’m going to miss our rugged hero evenings, not just because nothing quite cheers you up like Mr Darcy coming out of that lake in a wet shirt.

So often in the last year, I thought that it had got to the stage that depression had completely taken me over – it was all I was, and would be, and if it ever went, it would leave nothing of me behind as it had destroyed and stolen everything else that I once was. It’s good to feel that I’m just-char, again, most of the time, nothing out of the ordinary, nothing special – but someone, something, other than depression. I sometimes still feel a bit overwhelmed with the ties that both depression, and recovery, hold on me- but it’s good to feel like I’m back again, the same as I was, that most of me survived. It’s good to finally realise that after this year, I am still who I was before. It’s good to realise, that even after a leave of absence, who I am, will always come back.

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Leadership lessons

On Monday, I met my friend E for a drink and a chat, but came away with a little more than I’d bargained for. E is a few years behind me in medical school and we first met through the university windband, when he joined as a first year three years ago, the year I was band’s president. After that, we crossed paths again when we both started at the same church at around the same time, and with a similar amount of uncertainty (ie a lot), and this was when we got to know each other more on a par, as with band, I’d always been ‘in charge’ and leading things, and he’d always been following. We’re very different in some ways, and after a hard year for both of us (he is resitting a year after failing a lot of exams before finally being diagnosed with dyslexia) I really value his friendship.

We were discussing what we’ve been doing in the last few months and I was talking about the mentoring scheme I’m heading up and what’s happening with the choir and hospital volunteer scheme I founded two years ago, and he asked me why I’ve not ended up ‘in charge’ of anything at church when I seem to fall into leadership in most other things I do. And I replied that I’ve never really thought that I’m able to lead, or gifted in leadership, or however you want to put it – in ‘church life’ – that I’m always a bit unsure of what part I’m supposed to play, what space I’m supposed to stand in.

This lead to what I’m going to call ‘affectionately being completely shot down.’

E basically asked me if I honestly thought that God’s gifts were different depending on whether I was standing in church or somewhere ‘secular’, and then (somewhat amusingly) went a bit Lord Kitchener on me (your church needs YOU! Your God needs YOU!) and told me to step up and stop drawing a line in the sand, so to speak, between the parts of my life that are lived in church, and the rest of my time, where my faith is perhaps not quite as much on show.

All I could really say was ‘oh’. The phrase ‘you got told’ comes to mind.

He’s right in a lot of ways. I do have a tendancy to separate things out and think that I’m not really that useful to any church and that I don’t have any gifts, that in the world of 1 Corinthians, I’m one of the less vital, more silent, body parts, whereas it’s fairly true that outwith that, I feel confident in leadership roles (I even got an award from the university for it once) and like filling gaps I see and changing things I think need changing. I’m a project person – I’ve always got some scheme on the way, whether it’s getting the patient library together, or currently, this mentoring thing. It just doesn’t always carry over to who I am ‘at church’. Sometimes I fall back into thinking that I’m just kind of gatecrashing the party – that everyone else has an invite and a reason to be there, whereas I’ve just snuck in through the back door, and am listening in the dark at the back, and God can’t be bothered to chuck me out.

Part of this is probably down to the last year, when standing at the back of a service was as much as (and sometimes more than) I could handle, and I’ve been conscious as I recover that I shouldn’t overfill my time or take on too much (not that I’m managing this well at all). Another obstacle is that until this year, I just wasn’t stable enough in my faith to feel as though I could really be that involved, or active in things – as Ulysses Grant once said, you can’t blow an uncertain trumpet. I didn’t really comfortable spreading a gospel I wasn’t that sure of. I didn’t really want to infect anyone else with my perpetual, and often consuming, doubt. I didn’t feel ‘qualified’ or ‘capable’ or ‘allowed’ to be an active Christian – I had too many hours still to spend working things out. I thought I was better suited to sitting quietly at the back and trying not to lose my place in the hymnbook. My trumpet was certainly uncertain for quite a while.

Now however, talking with E made me remember that everything I am comes from God, and that I need to step up more and contribute my share to the kingdom we’re all trying to build. I’ve been thinking a lot recently about where I fit and what I feel called to change, so this conversation was certainly timely. I’ve got a feeling that the Bible study some friends and I are starting might be the start of a more well defined path for me, but only time will tell, at the end of the day.

And in other news, the GP let me stitch someone’s head cut today. Sorry if you’re squeamish, but it was AWESOME. The things that make me happy…..

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For a while, I’ve been thinking about how I would explain to someone what it’s like being a Christian with, or recovering from, clinical depression. Sometimes, I think that although ‘depression’ is a word that we often toss around with little thought, a lot of people don’t really understand it. So, here is, as my gran would have said, my ‘twopennoth’.

When I think of my relationship with God, I think of it being like two phonelines, one going direct from me to Him, and another in the other direction. In order for any phone system to work, you need a few things:

1) Both parties have to be willing to pick up the phone when the other person calls

2) Both parties have to be willing to talk to the other person

3) The lines need to carry the message from one receiver to the other

4) The receiver needs to relay what is said, to the right person, without distortion.

Depression can knock all of these, in some way. Probably the easiest one to understand, is that when things get tough, you just stop wanting to either hear from God, or talk to him, at all. Your prayer life falls by the wayside. You don’t want to be in church. You don’t want to be around God, or anyone. And when you know so clearly that God is speaking, you block it out. You ignore Him; it’s all too painful. Depression stops you picking up the phone, at all. It rings and rings, but you just can’t find the courage to pick it up. You leave it be. You run until you find some place where you can’t hear it ringing. These places, are often not good places.

Sometimes, however, the problem isn’t that you don’t want anything to do with God – sometimes, it’s as though you’re shouting and shouting down your phone,  pleading for help and guidance, but for some reason, it’s as though no message gets through, and God just leaves you be. People tell you to ‘pray your way out’ – but you’re already praying, you’re already on your knees, and still, the blanket of depression closes in and shuts you out. You’re shouting as loud as you can; the line just seems broken. Depression breaks the line between you, and God; at least, that’s how it feels, even though it’s not true. Eventually, you might give up. Shouting wears you out, after a while. The silence you’re hearing is overwhelming and cuts you to the core. The threat of abandonment feels like the deepest of wounds. You think God is ignoring you.

And then sometimes, depression distorts the messages you hear from God.  Either you hear what is said, you hear about the love and the grace and the faithfulness of God, but just can’t believe it was meant for you – you think it’s gone to the wrong number, so to speak- or, more dangerously, the message gets completely distorted and the meaning gets lost, and before you know it, you’re believing something that’s not true at all. I believed, at the height of my depression, that God had marked me for suicide, as some sort of modern-day martyr to mental health. I had started my preparation and was literally just waiting for a signal to ‘go’. Was it true? No. Was it dangerous? Yes, undoubtably. I thought I was hearing God’s voice clearly. I was wrong. I had the wrong message. I was listening in the wrong language. Depression changes your ability to hear God, just as it alters your ability to speak with him.

However, what I’ve learned is that no matter how many times you shut God out, stop talking, stop listening, or get it wrong, he never stops speaking down his receiver to us. His line never fails. He never hangs up, and then, when depression lifts, it’s like you get a load of messages on that answer machine you’ve not been checking, that remind you of how faithful he has been, that remind you that no matter how alone you felt, you weren’t alone at all. We’re told so often that prayer is a ‘two-way thing’ – and I believe this. For the last year, my line with God was disrupted in so many ways, so many times. When I think of it this way, I find so much comfort in remembering that God didn’t, and doesn’t, let me go.

Depression isn’t the only thing, that stops us talking and listening to God. We all think that we’re standing outside of grace at times. We all think we’re standing outside of forgiveness, at times. We all get the messages mixed up, at times. We’re all learning. I guess the most important thing is that, no matter how long a gap we leave, the phone’s always there, when we’re ready to pick it up again. It never disconnects. God’s always on the other end. He doesn’t hang up.

All I can say, is thank goodness that God doesn’t have to pay phone bills.

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On gentleness

My church’s latest sermon series has been on the fruits of the Spirit, as listed in Galatians 5. Whenever I think of the ‘fruits’, it’s always the ‘gentleness’ that makes me think the most- it’s not something we think and talk of often. I’ve prayed for help to be more loving, more faithful, more controlled, as many of you will have done. Had I ever prayed directly for more gentleness? No – not until I realised I hadn’t, anyway.

As I thought more about it, the lack of emphasis given to being gentle, in many circles, including churches, struck me as stranger and stranger. God has many characteristics and many facets, but when I was wobbling between uncertainty, and fully opening myself to belief, it wasn’t his omnipresence, or omniscience, or omnipotence, that lead me to faith. It wasn’t images of the ostentacious miracles of the Old or New Testaments that called me to Jesus. It wasn’t the loud, blunted shouts of the major prophets, it wasn’t the jubilant songs of David, calling me to rejoice, calling me to joy, it wasn’t the modernity of the worship band or the radicality of the lyrics. If anything, these things kept me away. They freaked me out.

What caught me was this quiet promise that God was gentle enough that coming closer wouldn’t hurt me more. It was the promise in James 4, that if I drew near to God, he would draw near to me, without lashing out, without the need to fear rejection. You can’t draw near to an angry being. You can’t come close, to someone who wishes you away. It was the whispered, dark-of-the-night voice that came alongside me and told me that if I was brave enough to trust, brave enough to follow, then all of those things in my life that seemed so wrong and messy, would find something new to focus on. It was the feeling of a hand on my lonesome shoulder as I sat in a lonesome prayer room in the small hours of dark mornings, telling me that yes, I was flawed and imperfect, broke-down and weary, but that there, in the shadows, was someone who could bind my wounds and heal my bruises. It was knowing that when I opened my soul and let down my walls, Jesus would protect my heart, as one of his own. I’m not saying that it wasn’t a gamble, or that it was easy; it wasn’t, it wasn’t at all, but in the end, that gentleness wore me down. I couldn’t hold off, anymore. Something had to give.

I have been a Christian for almost two years now, and although God’s goodness amazes me, his power bemuses me, and his control at times escapes me, it’s his gentleness that brings me back at every turn. When I am feeling far away and disconnected, it’s those smallest, most heartfelt prayers that seem to bring me home when I am at my most vulnerable. It’s that brushing against my heart that tells me, reminds me, that I’m held in the same hand that holds the Earth, which secures me. It’s the still, small voice that speaks as I shake and cry, that shows me the way I need to go. God has been gentle, with me.

Last week I met with the person who mentored me at church before moving back to her home country a year ago, when she came for a flying visit. She is who I think of when I hear the word ‘gentle’. Being with her for a few hours, after going a long time from being truly honest with a Christian after a pretty horrific encounter at the height of my depression, reminded me of how important gentleness is. She was nothing but gentle with me, both when I was having a hefty tug-0f-war with respect to my faith last year, and since then, when I’ve faced obstacles of a different sort. And in the gentle way she walks through life, I see more strength and power to touch the people around her, than I see in the louder, more exuberant Christians who so often end up at the frontline of churches and communities. I’m not doubting, in any way, their love of God, or their calling – but sometimes, I think it’s gentleness, that will open the most doors, heal the most wounds, and glean the most followers. I think it’s gentleness, that brings us most closely into step with Jesus. I think it’s gentleness, that will change things.

She also reminded me that they’re called ‘fruits of the Spirit’ for a reason – they don’t spring up overnight. As someone who measured a Christmas tree seedling every single day for two years as a child, I know full well that growing takes time. I get frustrated sometimes, that God’s timeline is different to my own, that it took months for depression to lift even a little, and it’s taking months more, to gain back all the ground I’ve been steadily losing for so long. I get cross with myself that I don’t have more faith, or more self-control, and sometimes seem to lack the passport needed to get within a hundred miles of real peace – but I know that these things will take time, and that with time, they will come. I will learn. If you take Genesis at face value, it was an apple that lost us the Kingdom; funny that it’s ‘fruits’ that will bring it back. In the meantime, I’m praying for more gentleness.

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I was back in counselling on Monday and was talking about the other week with its slight meltdown. From here, L was asking me about how I manage/express/deal with etc – anger. I hate anger, or more specifically, being confronted by angry people. I am afraid, of angry people. Angry people say what they don’t mean, and mean what they don’t say, and aren’t very good at being objective, and to be honest, scare me. I hate being angry – I hate that feeling of a red mist coming down over your eyes and distorting the world around you. I hate the way my inner voice starts shouting about the situation, or person, in ugly terms I would never say aloud (or if I did, be ashamed, afterwards). I hate the way anger crowds out my reason and banishes my sense of balance. I’m afraid of lashing out and hurting someone with my wrath, of throwing out words I can’t take back. I grew up in an angry house. This stuff probably isn’t that surprising. Apparently, a lot of kids with drinking parents, feel that way.

I know, that I’m not all that great at ‘confronting emotions’. I prefer to head off alone for a few hours to cleanse them away, and come back, calmer, rather than giving in to them. I prefer to stuff them away and slide that placid mask, back in place. Out of sight, out of mind. I know this. And sometimes, it makes me feel a little broken, a little messy – surely, I should be able to manage things coming from within, from my own mind? Sometimes, it makes me feel so past repair, as though, if I can’t even deal with softshoed feelings, what can I deal with? L was going on (in predictable counsellor fashion) the need to FEEL your emotions and LET THEM BE HEARD and GIVE THEM the TIME and  SPACE they DESERVE. And me, well, I was sitting there crying, trying to explain that I try, that if I could, I wouldn’t be so crap at it all, that most of the time, I’d quite like to not be attached to tags like ‘dysfunctional’ and ‘aberrent coping mechanisms’ and all the rest. And L, she really went all stereotypical therapist-y and started talking about tackling the ‘darkest, deepest issues’ and ‘healing the untouched wounds’ and all this sort of thing, saying that it was going to be Painful with a capital P, and difficult with a capital D.

And part of me wanted to say – what do you think this has been so far, a walk in the park? Did you think that the last few weeks, have been painful-with-a-small-p and difficult-with-a-small-d? Did you think that this whole counselling thing has not had me hurting, crying, bleeding, tearing in two? Do you not hear when I say that I struggle to come each week, that every week, part of me is too afraid to get through the door? You say the next bit is hard – then, bring it. If this doesn’t finish me off, something else will. If this doesn’t finish me off, nothing else, will. Part of me wants to say fine, do your worst, consume me, break me, burn me, brand me. You can’t do any worse than depression did. You cannot push me closer to the edge, than I’ve already been. Throw at me what you will. Scald me, where you must. Let’s get this over with, finally. Let me get over this, finally.

However, being part human, part hedgehog, sometimes I’m not quite brave enough to say these things. I’m not quite big enough, grounded enough, fearless enough. It wears me down. And so I say, yes, let’s do it, let’s open the curtains and open the wounds. And what I want so much to add is, when you do it, please don’t hurt me more than neccessary. Please don’t let me down. Please don’t wound me more as others have done. Please, be there. Be there.

The thing is, no matter how difficult (with or without a capital letter) the next few weeks will be, just knowing that I’m going for it shows that over the last few months, I have moved forwards. When I first became a Christian, before any of this depression malarkey took hold, the thought of healing was just too much for me. I didn’t want to go there. I didn’t want anyone, to go there. It was less painful, less frightening, to carry on as I was, walking wounded, than let someone in and lead me towards being healed and whole. If I’ve learned anything about God’s plan for us, it’s that it’s tailor-made and only includes good things. I wasn’t ready, then. I have to trust that if I’m ready now, it’s because God knows I am ready, and knows what He’s doing. I have to trust He knows what’s best for me.

I’m choosing to trust.

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I’ve got a (fairly miserable) post about counselling that I’ll put up soon, but thought I’d break what seems to have been a fairly negative run of posts recently, with some of the good things that have been going on recently. In no particular order….

1) The mentoring scheme between juniors who are struggling academically, and senior student tutors, which I’m setting up in my medical school, is starting to come together. I called a meeting at the weekend with some of the other students who are keen to be involved and it went very well. I”m really excited about this – at the moment, the med school’s support system isn’t that great, and although I’ve never struggled academically (aside from the deadline trauma of last year), from what I’ve seen, for those that do, having some peer support could be so beneficial. I love organising and leading new projects, and this is right up my street. Very excited!

2) My additional research project in foetomaternal medicine is also going to be lifting off next week. I’m looking forward to sinking my teeth into something and perking up my CV after last year – even though in a lot of ways, it’s not really that neccessary, doing something positive to counteract last year feels good – and if I find something out that will help save some babies in the meantime, even better!

3) In November, I’m actually having a proper holiday where I go away somewhere, with people I love, and get out of my city – which, much as I love it, has been a bit stifling of late. What’s even better is that a dear friend I worked with in America is coming to visit, so together, with one of my best UK friends, we’re going up North for some rest, relaxation, and lots of nature. I’m anticipating a lot of wine, chocolate and good conversation. I can’t wait. It’s going to awesome!

4) I’ve started confirming details for my medical elective – all students have an 8 week block to go and do medicine in another country, and after lots of um-ing and ah-ing, I am off to Pokkhara in Nepal, from mid January till mid March 2012! Elective was really what I stood to lose last year, as if you fail something, you have to stay behind and resit, and I honestly didn’t really think I’d make it out there. I’m still waiting on what I’ll be doing but am hoping for some time in a leprosy clinic, then a few weeks of obstetrics and paeds. The leprosy clinic is church-ran, so I’m also really excited to see medicine done from a Christian perspective – which is just not what happens here. Everyone say Namaste!

5) After some discussion, a few friends and I have decided to start up a girls’ Bible study. I’m really excited about this – I’ve felt a bit adrift in my church at times, and this will be a little less intimidating than sitting with lots of older people, with very different circumstances to me and my perennial studentdom. We’re also finding out from the staff if there’s anyone they know of who might benefit from some community – which again, is something I know I’d have appreciated when I started at church.  It also feels as though finally, I’ve found my place in the community, after so long of being at the sidelines. I want to be part of making things better for new people. I don’t want it to take someone else, as long as it took me.  At times, the thought of leading something like this kind of scares me – but I know it’s going to be good for me, and if I’m going to be serious about my faith, I’m going to have to learn how to share and discuss stuff eventually. The three aims are Accountability, Bible, and……Cake. Because, you know, man can’t live on bread alone etc. Holiness and hyperglycaemia, here we come…..

6) The most positive thing of all, is that I actually feel excited at all – and although there are certainly bad days, black days, head-under-the-blanket-days, as the balance slowly shifts, as the new mornings come and the weeks slide by, the good things, the God things, do shine through. I’ve always been a self-starter and a go-getter – and it was those traits that I most missed when depression struck – I lost that sense of who I am. I thought I’d never get those things back. I thought a part of me had died. So now, with these new things on the go, I know that those changes weren’t permanent. I didn’t lose myself to depression. I may not always like the way it did change me, but at least those parts that make me who I am, are still here. I’m still here. I’m still going. God is Good.

What positives have you had, recently?


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