Tag Archives: dealing with depression

Contrary to what you might have thought . . .

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Fedoralady is still alive and (reasonably) well and definitely still an admirer of Mr. Armitage. I enjoy those little snippets we get of him now and again. Thank you, Michelle Forbes, “Berlin Station” co-star and apparent new fan of our amazing guy, for your lovely tweets and twitpics. They do help fans hungry for any morsels of Armitage.

As for me, I’ve had a few issues with writer’s block, a dodgy left shoulder and the usual money worries. There have been frequent bouts of melancholy, what with one actor/musician after another from my youth shuffling off their collective mortal coils. As the late, great southern writer Lewis Grizzard once more or less said, “Elvis is dead and I’m not feeling so good myself.”

Amen, Lewis. Amen.

We haven’t been hit with blizzards as in other parts of the country, but we’ve had some violent thunderstorms that kept me awake all night.  And enough cold, wet days this winter to make my cats alternately stir crazy/ extra clingy and me simply not want to get out of bed. Some days I haven’t. My eyes are doing strange things–too much time online, perhaps?–or maybe my baby cataracts have finally ripened. I flinch at the idea of what surgery will cost me, even with insurance. Those damned co-pays.

A friend’s husband was killed in a traffic accident ten days or so ago. Their daughter is in high school, playing on the girls’ basketball team. She had to miss a game, but was able to play in the game that won her team the regional trophy. My friend was there, eyes still puffy but a smile on her face, posing for a photo holding the trophy, surrounded by the girls.

Life goes on. Celebration and mourning, elation and grief can come fast on one another’s heels.

Our furry babies are growing and in my eyes, absolutely gorgeous. I forget just how much they’ve grown until I look at their older pix and see the difference. I delight in working on photo edits of them.

A prodigal son, a former feral we adopted after his elderly owner had to give him up before moving to assisted living, has returned. Billie Jeff disappeared after literally breaking out of our house and running away months ago. He’s a huge, beautiful boy, his clipped ear giving him a distinctly rakish look. He’s cautious around the other felines but very open to petting and being picked up and cuddled by the humans.
I think he got lonely. And tired of trying to cope on his own.

Billie Jeff, the prodigal who has returned to the fold.

Billie Jeff, the prodigal who has returned to the fold.

I guess we all need a place to call home.

Benny emailed me today to say another cat has appeared at the house, one who quickly headed for the old farmhouse when he saw my husband. That means we now have ten cats in the vicinity, only two of whom have been “fixed.”

I actually dreamed recently that someone had dumped a box full of puppies in our yard. I was alternately elated and completely dismayed. I love puppies and can’t imagine life without my Crick Bank Kitties. But any more mouths to feed . . . no. Just no.  No more room at this inn.

Now I am working on a retrospective video that will be shown at the Ritz each night before the 10th anniversary of our arts council’s musical fundraisers this April. It’s good to get those creative juices flowing again; I hope it helps jumpstart some other projects for me.  Still working on promoting my Crick Bank Kitty Collection at Spreadshirt; got another order on Wednesday. Every little bit helps.

 

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Spring’s coming; according to the groundhog, it will arrive early.

I remain hopeful. Stressed and a bit “beat down,” maybe. But hopeful. And there are images like this to help tide me over.  Thanks again, Michelle.

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The Accountant, the Kitten and the Sassy Ladywriter: Spring is Coming!

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Scarlett Kitten was sitting in the open kitchen window at Ladywriter’s house, enjoying the balmy breeze periodically ruffling her silky fur. Something Mama called “Spring” was apparently in the air, and Scarlett had decided she liked it. The fresh air was wonderful after the long, cold, dreary winter.

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“Scarlett Kitten! How are you this mild February afternoon?” A cheery male voice exclaimed. With a chirrup of clear delight, Scarlett bounded over the sink and straight into Harry Kennedy’s jumper-clad arms,  where she quickly wrapped her little body around his sleeve to do a bit of grappling. Scarlett loved to sleeve-wrestle with her favorite menfolk, the taller and looser-limbed, the better.

In spite of the warmth of the day, Harry was not overheated in his cozy knitwear; such was one of the benefits of being a ChaRActer.  He looked as boyishly appealing and infinitely cuddly as ever, irresistible to cat or cat mother.

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“Harry! So good to see you again!” Ladywriter’s face was wreathed in a smile at the sight of the Handsome Not-Really-Stranger. “I see Scarlett has already made herself at home on your arm . . . ”

and she’s feeling quite frisky, it would seem.” Rubbing the purring kitten, he tilted his head, his brow furrowing just a little as he studied Ladywriter. She’d apparently been to Town. She was wearing her red lippie and her favorite teal blouse, the one that made her eyes look almost-green.

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“I do believe you are sporting a new hairstyle, LW. A change for Spring?”

Yep.” She gave a sassy toss to her head. “A little shorter, a different shade for the new season. Spring is coming–can’t you feel it?–and I am feeling, I don’t know—hopeful again.”

LW shrugged her shoulders and gave Harry a wry smile. “It’s weird. I’m still poor, I still hurt, I still have a heck of a time getting up and down stairs. But that awful sense of complete despair has left me, for now, at least. I am reading more, writing more, taking more photos and doing edits . . . having fun being creative. Getting to know some of the folks commenting on my FB page for the CReAtor. Getting outside and playing with the dogs and getting some fresh air.”

She paused and gave him a flirtatious sidelong glance.

“Laughing a lot with my sweet, loveable Harry-like Benny.”

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Harry, cheeks flushing at the compliment, gave LW one of those dazzling grins that simply melted a girl of any age’s heart.

“That’s wonderful. Sounds like you have a bit of Spring Fever, Ladywriter.”

She nodded. “I think you’re right.  Let’s hope it lasts for a while, darling Harry. Like my addiction to your CReAtor and his ChaRActers, this ‘illness’ seems to do me good.”  LW sighed. “If only dear Richard knew just how much he has positively impacted me . . .”

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And here’s to the imminent arrival of a new season . . .

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All photos taken and edited by yours truly. Vicar of Dibley screencap from Richard Armitage Net; my edit.

I’d like to give the world a hug . . . but the ChaRActers will do it instead.

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I look around me right now and I see a lot of people hurting. Some are my fellow bloggers and RA fans; others are friends and acquaintances from my own community.  Sometimes it’s physical, sometimes it’s emotional, spiritual, mental or some combination thereof. Whatever the case may be, the pain is genuine. I am thinking of you all early this Monday morning.

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My husband is battling a bad cold; he hardly rests well when he isn’t ill, but it’s even worse now when he needs a good night’s sleep the most. Knowing he has to drag himself into work and to a job he pretty much hates anyway doesn’t help. I want to take the cold away (without catching it), but all I can really do is try to do what I can to make him feel better without fussing too much. The man has a real stoic streak.

My younger friend, who was actually a student of mine before she transferred to another school, is battling major anxieties. She’s had quite a struggle in recent years, losing both her parents, then having her brother wrestle away the family business and proceed to run it into the ground before walking away. Now it’s shuttered and she is left to try to pick up the pieces.

Friend was so hungry one day she was rummaging through restaurant garbage cans to find something to eat. It took every dollar I had at the time to buy us a meal out together at a local bakery/deli, but it was worth it because (A) I knew she had a good hot meal and (B) she knew I really did care and she had someone to talk to who’d really listen, even if I certainly didn’t have all the answers.

Sometimes I feel wretchedly inadequate in helping my community. I was all too painfully aware of it over the holidays, that season of giving. I don’t have much money to spare to donate to worthy causes; I am not able-bodied enough to invest much sweat equity in projects. But I can listen. And isn’t that what people quite often want, someone who will simply be there for them?

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Friend finally got a job after a lot of fruitless searching, but she was put on third shift and the idea of running a gas station alone in the dark of night this week terrifies her. She suffers from periodic panic attacks and can’t take her prescribed drugs and work without fear of drowsiness.

So we talked again tonight via FB private message. I still haven’t solved all her problems, but she thanked me for listening. I also promised to pray for her and try to check in on her at work if I was awake myself.

I don’t attend church regularly anymore, but I do still pray for the needs of others and for guidance for myself. I do believe it helps. I have felt people praying for me in recent weeks and it has benefited me.

Some of the gray weight of depression has shifted, with light beginning to shine through the cracks.  That is a true blessing.

I was asked to write a new column for the paper this week. A sliver of light. Several friends from miles away reached out to help me in a tangible way last week, and the light certainly grew brighter. Thank you all so very, very much.

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I am looking into some online opportunities to write for pay. A little brighter still. I am about to undertake a self-paced photography course which should benefit me personally as well as professionally. The desire to write is again stirring within me. I want to be creative.  want to explore. I want to give back.

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I have ordered a copy of my favorite children’s book to donate to my alma mater’s school library as part of the SpReAd the Love February Challenge (more on that later). I’ve encouraged all my book-loving friends on Facebook to do the same.  I encourage you to consider doing it, too!  We all know books are the gift that keeps on giving.

In my own small, flawed and very human way, I truly do want to make the world a better place. I wish I could give all of you a great big hug right now. I can’t, but I can share some images of Mr. A’s chaRActers doing just that. Be well, and for those of you facing more nasty winter weather as we are, stay warm and safe.

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