depression | It's Me Laura Lee

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It is easy during a crisis to spend all of your time bemoaning what you want to be different. For example, my mom has been diagnosed with  stage 4 lung cancer – her 5th time with a cancer diagnosis and she’s been on chemo treatment the entire time.  I didn’t know until just as Covid-19 was making it’s appearance and it was decided it was best I didn’t visit for fear that I might be a carrier of coronavirus or something else.   It would be easy at this point to spend my time regretting all the time I’ve missed together since I live 3000 miles away and to be quite honest, sometimes I do, but it does me no good.

It is easy during a crisis to spend all of your time bemoaning what you want to be different. For example, my mom has been diagnosed with  stage 4 lung cancer – her 5th time with a cancer diagnosis and she’s been on chemo treatment the entire time.  I didn’t know until just as Covid-19 was making it’s appearance and it was decided it was best I didn’t visit for fear that I might be a carrier of coronavirus or something else.   It would be easy at this point to spend my time regretting all the time I’ve missed together since I live 3000 miles away and to be quite honest, sometimes I do, but it does me no good.

Fear is an important warning mechanism our brains use to keep us safe. Some fear is important- even beneficial, while other fears are petty or exceedingly disruptive. Assessing which types of fear has value and banning fears that don’t will help you live a balanced life that isn’t distracted by an abundance of fear.

Ever since that day back in 2001 I’ve searched for ways to get healthy.  Stay  healthy.  Medication.  Exercise.  Breathing exercises.  Meditation.  Prayer.  Self-care activities….which led me to create Color Joy and the coloring book membership.  Sometimes we need more. Sometimes I need more.  And, that’s ok.  Because it’s led me to develop Wellness Through Expressive Arts – a new faith based membership that allows you to go on a personal journey of growth, well-being, and healing through active art making and prayer.  We’ll be using things like acrylic paints. chalk pastels, and modeling clay.

First let’s talk about the difference between a service dog and an emotional support animal (ESA).  ESAs are not permitted in public.  Many people get doctor’s notes from their mental health professional for an ESA when they rent and their landlord’s don’t permit animals.  ESAs are good for those that require emotional support and comfort.  They are granted access to fly in the cabin of an airplane per the Air Carrier Access Act.  Because of this, it’s important that an ESA is well behaved in public.  An ESA is not a pet.  Neither is a service dog.

When I came to it was because Autumn was licking my face.  Then, she put herself in the brace position so I could get myself up.  Although, I only got up to my knees because I had already fainted multiple times.  And, if I was only on my knees I didn’t have far to fall.  She was a good dog, but this is the first time we seemed to bond.  Over the bloody mess that was my face.

 I feel like I’ve spent seven months in the desert.  Away from the things that brought me structure, comfort, a sense of purpose.

I wanted to discuss suicide from the perspective of what YOU can do and how to recognize the difference between warning signs and risk factors and the six questions you can ask that could save someone’s life.

Do you have three children or four?  The answer is – I have four.  But it is a question that almost always needs an explanation.  I imagine that it must be similar to how a mother whose child has died must explain herself.  And, yet, my daughter hasn’t died.

I was in deep.  And, I was falling deeper.  I was Alice – falling down the rabbit hole and watching everything as it passed me by.  Except, my rabbit hole wasn’t fanciful, it was dark.  The dong of the clock bellowed and echoed between my ears.  The mirror reflected back to me an image I did not recognize, and yet it cried when I cried.  It was angry when I was angry.  Falling through the center of the earth was something I longed for.  It was a way out without having to be the one responsible for the path.

He opened the door to the office and in his hand was a plate of food.  My food.  I thanked him and put it down beside me – right of my laptop.  It looked so good and smelled even better.  I kept typing away, answering emails, rat-a-tat-tat on the keyboard and without missing a beat I typed with only my left hand and grabbed a fork full of tilapia with my right.  My glaze never leaving the computer screen.

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Laura Lee, 52, with invisible wounds and scars.  I've learned to embrace PTSD and depression because if I don't own them, they'll own me.  I don't want to simply survive, but to thrive.  I hope you'll join me on my journey.  It's sure to be a bumpy road.

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