Hope for Depression

The Importance of Hope

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I try not to think about how much of my life has been focused on my brain trying to kill me.

It’s depressing to think about the waste of years.

It’s been decades of my brain urging me to do destructive things to myself and me trying to hang in there because hanging in there is what we’re supposed to do.

The problem with hanging in is that it becomes more and more exhausting as time goes on.  The strength you relied on in your early years just isn’t reliable decades later.

It gets harder to hang in and even harder to want to. (more…)

What took you so long?

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There’s a great scene in one of my favorite movies that’s been playing in my head.

The movie is Singles and it’s the part of the movie where Campbell Scott‘s character has been holed up in his bachelor apartment due to a broken heart (and some rejection of his big project at work).

Campbell Scott plays a traffic and transportation expert.  Kyra Sedgwick plays his love interest, an environmental something or other – maybe a marine biologist? (more…)

PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT LOVE.

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PLEASE STOP TALKING ABOUT LOVE.

Please focus on making DBT, DBS, TMS and Ketamine available to the 99%.

DBT, DBS, TMS and Ketamine save lives.

Love does not.

Hope for Depression Research Foundation NAMIWalks AARP Dr. Drew Audrey & Martin Gruss Foundation Johns Hopkins Medicine Dr. Kay Jamison Redfield

Thank you to for sharing the truth in her sister’s obituary in the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune.  I read about it in the Washington Post.

I told the truth in my sister’s obituary, so that others might choose to live.

 

I live with suicidal depression. It is recurrent. It is severe. It is awful.

I am sick of hearing ‘choose to live’ – because the choice isn’t mine anymore.  I have done everything I can to choose to live. Now it is up to the insurance companies.

Dear Insurance Companies:

Make DBS, DBT, TMS and Ketamine available to consumers who are not in the Top 1% for income.  DBS, DBT, TMS and Ketamine have little to no side effects.  DBS, DBT, TMS and Ketamine are all proven to save lives.  DBS, DBT, TMS and Ketamine are all shown to stop suicidal thoughts quickly and without side effects.

Please support organizations that working on research and funding and availability of currently available treatments.

And please read Eleni’s article. To me, someone living – and working full time – with suicidal depression, this is the most important sentence:

“Depression lied to my sister.”

Depression lied to my sister. Depression lied to my sister. Depression lied to my sister.

Depression lies to me every single day. It’s hard not to listen to it.  It sounds like the truth and it speaks louder than all of you put together.

Please focus on getting DBS, DBT, TMS and Ketamine approved for use and available for people like me who, when healthy, choose to live and do everything in their power to NOT listen to their brains.

I am going to work now.

Because it helps me a lot of the time to live my life instead of listening to my brain.

xoxo, d

 

 

 

This is My Brave

Meet DC-cast member Donna Lewis

Today we get to know Donna Lewis, DC-area attorney and cartoonist, and member of our This Is My Brave cast!

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Well, I live and work in Washington, DC.

During the day I work as a lawyer – doing work that’s fascinating to me and boring to everyone else. At night, I write and draw a comic strip and a cartoon, both of which are syndicated by the Washington Post News Service and Syndicate.

The rest of the time I spend running, hiking, biking, painting, drawing, writing and seeing the people I love.

And drinking coffee.

And thinking about drinking coffee.

How has mental illness affected your life?

Mental illness is my life.

I don’t mean that in the bad way it sounds.

I just mean that I’ve been so affected by mental illness and that my passion truly lies in finding new ways to make living with mental illness easier, making resources more accessible, and making treatment more effective.

I’ve seen the toll mental illness takes on a family, a workplace, a community – and on my own ability to live effectively.

And I just don’t think it should be this hard.

Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?

I want to be a part of This is my Brave. so that I can give back a gift I got years ago.

Twenty years ago, when I found myself at one of my lower points – without hope and desperate for a sign that life could be better – I found the books of Kay Redfield Jamison.

And Dr. Jamison reminded me of me.

Dr. Jamison was smart, disciplined and dedicated.

She had not only made a career for herself, but she had become successful in her field.  Dr. Jamison was widely reputed to be competent and capable – despite her having been open about her experiences with mental illness.

Reading her honest writing gave me that little bit of hope I needed to keep moving forward.

She was the one person whose story said to me “If she can do it, you can do it.”

And now I want to pass that hope along to somebody else who needs it.

Hopeful is not something I feel often because of my hardwired brain, but I can share hope by example.

What inspires you to get or stay mentally healthy?

I hate this question because my brain is really messed up and keeps telling me bad things.

I wish I could say I stay healthy for God, my family, my friends, my animals or for the possibility of a wonderful future, but that’s just not something my brain would ever agree with.

My brain is unreliable in terms of messaging so I’ve given up on needing inspiration.

Basically, I just rely on having a really good schedule. And a great routine. And lots of deadlines.

I have projects and passions and people I love.

And I make sure to keep promising things to them because I tend to get along better when I have promises to keep.

 

 

Every day, I do the things that keep me healthy.

I eat healthy. I get good sleep. I get outside.

I get my heart rate up. I move around. I bend a lot.

I sit. I breathe.

I keep my machine well-oiled.

I also do things for other people.

And I avoid stressors as much as I can given the fact that you can’t avoid stress completely.

I do everything possible to make sure I can work and create as long as possible – because I love working and creating beautiful things.

And, despite a brain that just keeps producing really awful thoughts, I think I can help to make this world a little bit better.

What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

Learn how to listen effectively.

Learn how to help someone effectively.

We cannot avoid many of the conditions we live with, but nobody should live in greater pain than is absolutely necessary. 

Help others lessen the pain.

Not Quite So Brave

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Thank you to the folks at This is my Brave for casting me in their 2016 DC show!

I am honored. And a little bit nervous because I don’t really like performing.

Maybe next year I can convince these folks to do stand up. Now THAT would be fun.

At least for me.

So, I’m supposed to answer a few questions for This is my Brave.

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. 

Well, I live and work in Washington, DC. During the day I work as a lawyer – doing work that’s fascinating to me and boring to everyone else.
At night, I write and draw a comic strip and a cartoon, both of which are syndicated by the Washington Post News Service and Syndicate.

The rest of the time I spend running, hiking, biking, painting, drawing, writing and seeing the people I love.

And drinking coffee.

And thinking about drinking coffee.

2. How has mental illness affected your life?

Mental illness is my life.

I don’t mean that in the bad way it sounds.

I just mean that I’ve been so affected by mental illness, personally and professional. And that my passion truly lies in finding new ways to make living with mental illness easier, making resources more accessible, and making treatment more effective.

I’ve seen the toll mental illness takes on a family, a workplace, a community – and on my own ability to live effectively.

And I just don’t think it should be this hard.

3. Why did you want to be a part of This Is My Brave?

I want to be a part of This is my Brave. so that I can give back a gift I got years ago.

Twenty years ago, when I found myself at one of my lower points – without hope and desperate for a sign that life could be better – I found the books of Kay Redfield Jamison.

And Dr. Jamison reminded me of me.

Dr. Jamison was smart, disciplined and dedicated.  She had not only made a career for herself, but she had become successful in her field.  Dr. Jamison was widely reputed to be competent and capable – despite her having been open about her experiences with mental illness.

Reading her honest writing gave me that little bit of hope I needed to keep moving forward. She was the one person whose story said to me “If she can do it, you can do it.”

And now I want to pass that hope along to somebody else who needs it.

Hopeful is not something I feel often because of my hardwired brain, but I can share hope by example.

4. What inspires you to get or stay mentally healthy?

I hate this question because my brain is really messed up and keeps telling me bad things.

I wish I could say I stay healthy for God, my family, my friends, my animals or for the possibility of a wonderful future, but that’s just not something my brain would ever agree with.

My brain is unreliable in terms of messaging so I’ve given up on needing inspiration.

Basically, I just rely on having a really good schedule. And a great routine. And lots of deadlines.

I have projects and passions and people I love.  And I make sure to keep promising things to them because I tend to get along better when I have promises to keep.

Every day, I do the things that keep me healthy.

I eat healthy. I get good sleep. I get outside. I get my heart rate up. I move around. I bend a lot. I sit.  I breathe.

I keep my machine well-oiled.

I also do things for other people.

And I avoid stressors as much as I can given the fact that you can’t avoid stress completely.

I do everything possible to make sure I can work and create as long as possible – because I love working and creating beautiful things.

And, despite a brain that just keeps producing really awful thoughts, I think I can help to make this world a little bit better.

4. What do you hope the audience takes away from the show?

Learn how to listen effectively.

Learn how to help someone effectively.

We cannot avoid many of the conditions we live with, but nobody should have to live in greater pain than is absolutely necessary.  Now when we have so many resources and so much awareness and so many ways to help.

Learn how to help others lessen the pain.

xoxoxo, d

Don’t wish they had called you.

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The suicidal brain is not focused on reaching out for help.

If you know someone who has suicidal thoughts, check in with them often. Make them talk to you. Be more persistent than their brain.

Don’t guess about whether they are having suicidal thoughts.

Don’t play the odds that their suicidal thoughts will go away.

Don’t think that saying something will push them to suicide.

And don’t think that suicidal urges get easier to manage. They don’t. They get harder to manage.

RIP Dave Mirra.

And God bless your children, who will never understand how strong the suicidal urge is…unless they too have those urges.

I hope they don’t.

xoxo, d

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