Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain.


Monday, September 1, 2014

Memoir Monday - Depression

So, it is Monday again and I am hosting a link up about your memoirs.  Today, I made it simple.  I would love to have you contribute and post your own Monday Memoir.  You can make it as long or as short as you want to.  Today the prompt is:




Describe one of your greatest life challenges

I have had many challenges in my life.  Some, I overcome with grace and perseverance, some, well, not so much.  I think the one that has been the hardest one for me is depression.  It is so much like the cloudy night sky in the picture that I took above.  The light is far away and hard to reach.  It is hard to see in the darkness too.  I focus so much on what is right in front of me, that I can't possibly see the bigger picture that I know is there.  
I have fought the battle with depression most of my life.  It started in my childhood and just kept getting worse.  I did not seek treatment until I was about 25 years old.  Mostly, I did not know what was the matter with me.  I was always sad, but never knew why.  I grew up being down and not smiling.  My parents always called me "Sad Sack".  It was not meant as a compliment.  
In our life, emotional difficulties were not allowed.  It was just a part of growing up and you needed to deal with it.  I don't want to talk about the possible reasons for my depression, or about the times that I really wanted to hurt myself.  Though they were always there.  
I do want to say that I am now in my 50's and I still fight with it.  I have been on medication off and on since my 20's.  Usually for about five years and then off for about three years and then back on again when I start recognizing the symptoms.  
I would always prefer to be off meds, but as I get older, that becomes harder and harder to manage.  My darkest depressions are always preceded by something that happens to myself or my family.  They are not something that comes out of the blue.  I can usually identify the incidents that started the cycle.  
Depression is not something you can tell yourself not to feel.  It is not something that goes away because you wish it would.  It is not something that has been healed by prayer in my own live, although not because I don't try.  Depression is like a dark hole that you cannot avoid, no matter how hard you try.   
Right now, I am struggling again.  I am on meds.  I take them without fail and they do help.  But when things happen, I dwell on the misery and can't seem to let it go.  I can't seem to put even the little things aside.  I am surrounded by the things I don't want to remember.  
Yet, even this challenge has taught me a lot.  I have family members who suffer from other forms of mental illness.  I have friends who also suffer.  I have a great compassion for those who suffer in these times.  It is not an easy illness.  
I heard a speaker once talk about how, in America, it is perfectly acceptable to be sick from the neck down.  But our bodies are made with organs.  The heart, the liver, the pancreas are all organs.  When your heart is sick, you develop symptoms of heart disease.  When your liver is sick, you develop liver disease.  When your pancreas is sick, you develop diabetes.  Your brain is also an organ.  It gets disease too and that disease gives you symptoms of mental illness.  Because there are so many different areas of the brain, there are also many different types of mental illness.  
I like that definition.  It reminds me that depression is not a choice.  It is not something that I picked for myself.  Being sad, is not something that I wake up and decide every day.  There is so much more to it than that.  
Depression is an illness that I am working on overcoming.  I might not make it in this life, but I know that I will be healed in the next.  And for now, that is enough.  I can live this, one breath at a time, one moment at a time, on step at a time, until the day when my challenge is over.  Until then, I will keep on enduring and keep on trying and keep on hoping for a change.  

Friday, August 29, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Reach

Yeah!  It is Friday again, and you know what that means.  It is time for our crazy group of five minute writers who just write without caring about whether it is just right or not.  You can find out all the details over at Kate's place.  Then, write your own five minutes of history and don't forget to go back over to Kate's and link up with the rest of us.  I can't wait to see what you do with yourself!  Today's prompt is simply:

REACH

START


REACHING
By Patricia A Pitterle

Arms stretched up
High toward the heavens
Up on tiptoes, dancing,
She wants to hold
Me
Arms stretched out
Sideways 
Along with her small body
Now she wants to hold 
You.
Arms stretched down
Open and out 
Pleading, begging 
To be let down and run
Free.

She grows, little by little
Inch by inch
Smile by smile
And becomes her own
Self.
Reaching up
Reaching sideways
Reaching down
Always reaching for 
More.
Never quite sure
What it is
She is looking for.
But when she finds it, she will
Know.

At last, she turns
Her aching soul
To the only one who hears
The agony of her 
Silence.
And He comes.
He sees her in sorrow.
He understands her heartbreak,
Heals her wounds and makes her
Whole.
His tender mercy
answers her seeking.
Reaches her reaching, 
With His loving,
Grace.

STOP

Now it is your turn.  What can you write in just five minutes?  Don't forget to meet the rest of us over at Kate's Place to share.  


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Your Story


I love this quote.  My story has been a hard one for me.  But I am learning, that no matter what you endure in your life, it will be hard for you.  Somehow, there is not such things as small or large trials. They are all trials for a reason.  It is only as we live through them that we can quantify them ourselves.  No one else has the right to do that.  
Learning to talk about them, well that is a whole different matter.  There are things in my life that I never imagined talking about.  I kept them inside for years.  I did not share.  I did not express.  I did not even knowingly get angry about them.  I have learned that part of letting go and moving on is learning to talk about my own story.  I can choose to leave parts out, but talking about it to others gives them a different experience.  Especially when they can see that those things did not cause me to make bad choices.  
I believe that there comes a time in all of our lives when we have to quit blaming the past for all the wrongs in the present.  There comes a time when we have to accept responsibility for the right to choose our own way.  That is hard to do.  It is so much easier to blame someone else for our own failings.  
I agree, bad things happen to us sometimes.  Terrible things happen to us sometimes.  But it is a choice to let it go.  It is my choice to move on.  I have seen the terrible damage that hate can do to a family, a life, a friend.  I have seen what anger destroys.  I have lived in my past before and I choose to not do it again.  I want the ending of my own story to be so much better than the beginning of it.  
The past, mine or yours, never needs to become your future.  We just need to talk about it, pull it out of the darkness and into the healing of the light, and let it go.  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday - Boys Will Be Boys.


A single photo 
– no words –
capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Memoir Monday - 20 Years



Today is Memoir Monday (OK, it is Tuesday, but I have an excuse).  This is where I give you a chance to write and link up and answer the question about your past.  Yesterday was my 20th anniversary, and my husband and I actually went on a date!  It was amazing.  So the prompt today is to: 
Write about a really good day!

Twenty years ago, I was married in a very small ceremony.  The church had almost no one in it.  My soon to be husband and I, met with the Bishop before the ceremony; John told me “You look like you thought I wasn’t going to come”.  What could I say?  I did think that.  
To that point in time, every man in my life had hurt me.  I was nervous and very afraid.  I was not sure that it would work out (And neither were our children).  I had six, he had two and we blended a very complicated family.  
On the very few pictures that I have somewhere of our wedding, there are seven of the kids with absolutely no smiles and one very young boy with the biggest grin you ever saw!  Blending a family is hard work, but it has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever experienced.  
We have had a good life and raised all eight of those children, plus added three more girls to the mix.  It has been filled with good times and sometimes hard times, and there is still a part of me that will never understand what good thing I have ever done to deserve someone who treats me so amazingly.  
I am spoiled.
I am cherished.
I am loved.
And I do know that.  My really good day is the day I married my sweetheart and my friend.  It is the day that we both never forget.  John always tells me that it feels like yesterday (even though his Santa beard would show that to be a lie).  I always tell him that it feels like forever (that is the type of marriage I have always wanted).  The best part is that neither of us is wrong.  
We are good together.  We have worked together and raised good children together.  They are all loved and wanted, no matter what we have been through together.  We love each other through the years, no matter how difficult they can be.  We don’t argue often or have too many problems.  Mostly we agree on what we are doing and how we are doing it.  It took me a while to learn that not arguing could be normal.  That it could feel right and good.  

We have both changed over the years; mostly in better ways.  I am more patient, and he is more outgoing than he used to be. I have learned to be calm, and he has learned to help others when they are in need.  We complement each other.  We care for each other, we love each other.  And that makes every single day, a really good day to be married to him.     


Friday, August 22, 2014

Five Minute Friday - Change

Today is my favorite day of the week.  It's Friday once again.  This is the day that a bunch of us gather together over at Kate's Place to write, without worrying about whether it is right or not.  The rules are simple, write for five minutes about the assigned prompt, link back over at Kate's Place and leave at least one comment for the person that linked before you did.  Enjoy yourself and experience writing the way it was really meant to be!


The prompt this week is: 

CHANGE

START


Change
By Patricia A Pitterle

A baby is born
Not able to do anything
And we love them
Anyway
she changes a little
And soon
She is scooting 
Cross the floor
Then crawling 
On all fours as 
She hustles into
A whole new world.
She changes again 
Into a toddler,
A child who stumbles 
Walks, and learns to run
One who asks questions
 And loudly yells, NO!
She changes again 
Into a child
Growing day by day
And starting school.
Learning to read 
And write
And understand 
Just a little bit more
This life that she is living.
Soon she becomes a teen
With all the doubts
And lack of self-esteem
Friendships that begin
And end
Like a summer rain.
Heart that gets broken
Over and over
Yet still she goes on.
She becomes a woman grown
And looks back at her past;
She sees the good times,
More often than
The bad ones.
Life, cannot pass
Without heartaches 
And pain.
And growth
And grace.

STOP

but I can't quit without finishing what I started, here is the rest.  I hope you like it.

Change is
The process of becoming 
Something totally different
Than the person
I used to be.
It is growing up
And learning those things
That help me to survive.
Change is not allowing
My environment, 
Or sin,
To dictate the person
That I will choose to become.
It is believing that the past
Can truly stay in the past,
And that the future
Is as big as my dreams.
It is knowing 
That we are each
Guilty of sin;
That we have hurt others,
As well as ourselves.
It is believing 
That His tender mercies
Will be enough
To wipe away 
The red stains
On my soul.
I have learned that
We all have hurts
We all have pain
We all suffer
We all sin
But as we move forward
In our journey,
We can choose to change
We can choose to become
Whoever 
We might want to be.
As we seek 
To walk with Him; 
We can find strength,
We can find love,
We can find peace,
We can find grace,
We can, at last, find Him.  


Now, what can you write in your own little world of Five Minutes?  Don't forget to link back over to Kate's place and let us read your work.  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

In a Dark Place


In A Dark Place
by Patricia A. Pitterle

Sometimes,
The road I walk
Seems dark and deep.
I find myself
Sinking into despair.
I am in an aching state,
I am in a lonely place.
My past catches me
Unaware
And all those things
That I thought taken care of
Come back for another round
Of pain.
It might not be so bad
If the past were 
Things that I had done
Myself,
But when it is full
Of evil done to me
There is no escape,
And when it intrudes 
Into the present
It is worse than
When it happened 
For the very the first time.
I am in a dark place,
A space where my heart
Falls into 
so many tiny pieces
And where, 
no matter how hard I try,
I cannot glue them 
together again.
I am in a space 
where it would be easy 
To wish myself no more
To walk away from pain
To put aside the sorrow
To be something 
I have never been,
Free.

And so,
I fall upon my knees
With tears upon my cheeks
And pray for relief 
From the darkness.
I pray for understanding
I pray for love
I pray for forgiveness 
And most of all
I pray for peace.  
I want to wish it all
So very far away.
I want to know 
That it will not 
Taint the very air I breath.
I want to be 
The person that 
I have always tried to be.
I want the darkness 
That seeks to destroy
Me from within
To go away,
To be destroyed,
To never return.
And so I fight
One breath,
One moment,
One fear, 
One hurt at a time.
I fight to believe 
In myself.
I fight to feel loved, 
And needed, 
And enough,
Just as I am .
I fight to remember 
Not only who I am, 
But whose I am,
And where 
I have always belonged;
With Him.