The Work to Defeat the Hurt

I don't understand why so many people suffer from depression. Statistics say 1 in 10 adults report depression. A person can wrestle with depression for many reasons. Childhood trauma, situational reasons (divorce, death of a family member, etc) and heredity are a few causes of depression. I guess it doesn't matter so much why the statistics are so high, we need to focus on getting our loved ones the help they need. 

The hard part is there is only so much we can do. There is medication and psychotherapy available. In my experience I have benefitted from both. We can offer support to the depressed. These things are important. These are the keys necessary for the depressed to think clear enough and loved enough to be strong enough to do the hard part. 

It's the hard part we cannot do for anyone. Each sufferer has their own journey and I'm going to speak on behalf of everyone and say "it sucks!"  And as much as it hurts to watch, they have to do the work. They have to work through all the negative. They have to fight to get out of bed or even face another day. It has to be their choice. It has to be their choice. No one can make these decisions for them. In fact, the I only things we can do are band aids. 

My point is not to have you give up supporting, loving and encouraging those who suffer from depression. My point is that while medicine, therapy and support are necessary. Ultimately the sufferer must decide to fight back against the darkness. We can be cheerleaders and support this rough journey. But remember who really needs to be ready to face the demons and fight back. 


Trials of Working in a Grocery Store

As I've said over and over, I love my job. But it does come with its struggles. Especially now that I am aiming to lose those extra pounds. 

A major drawback to working in a bank located in the front of a grocery store is seeing what yummy foods people buy. The hardest to ignore are...

1. Donuts 
2. Ice Cream

You wouldn't believe how many people buy donuts or ice cream!  What a tease!!!  I'm not judging, just straight up jealous. 

I asked my co worker why I always want to snack on junk food all day. He responded, "look around you, it's all people buy".  Good point. 

What do you think would be your temptation if you worked in a grocery store?

New Goals

It's time to get it together and do what I know to do to lose some extra weight I've picked up over this past year. I know why I've gained weight...depression, lack of exercise plus a love of food. 

I also know what I need to do to make this goal happen. I need to exercise more. I have found a gym where I can box twice a week. I need to chose better foods to eat.  I will pack my lunch for work rather than eat out every day. And I will drink lots of water. 

Today is Monday, first day of the week. And first day of my new commitment to myself. I may need a little shove from time to time so feel free to check in on me. But it's time. Life is back on track. Life is good. No more excuses. 


I Can't Help Myself

Do you have a "thing" you buy even though you don't need?  I do. For me it's lipstick. I have so much lipstick. Different brands. Different shades. Just lots and lots of lipstick. 

Not sure why I'm drawn to lipstick so much. It's something so small. But I will randomly buy lipstick at any given time. My purses all have many different lipsticks floating around. 

Please tell me I'm not alone in these purchases. If you can identify, please share your item of choice below. 


You Got Your Haircut!

I've gotten a lot of hairs cut!  And I love it. It was a drastic change. It was not an impulsive decision. I have wanted short hair for years. 

I went in to my stylist and told her, "I want it short, spikey and sassy"'. Before long my hair was on the floor and I had a new look. My new hair style completely changed my looks. I didn't recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror. It was even more scary now...I wasn't sure if I liked it, what if no one else likes it?

What prompted this change?  Like I said, I've wanted to cut my hair for years. But for many reasons have not. But last week, I was talking to someone who shared an interesting perspective. Of course I know it's only hair and it will grow back. But this person said" you should do it. Then you will never again be able to say...I've always wanted to...".  

That was all it took. I didn't want to be able to say "I've always wanted to" for one more day. So I got my hair cut. And I DO love it. Not everyone does but I've learned not to care. You don't have to like my hair. In fact it's ok if you don't but I ask that you refrain from telling me so. 

Cutting my hair seems to have been another milestone in moving forward for me. It may not make much since but I swear since I've let go of the length, I am much more confident. I feel stronger, more able, I believe in myself. Crazy huh?  It doesn't have to make sense to be true.  

My question for you is have you ever done something for yourself that changed how you felt about yourself?  Please share...

The Art of Ink

As I people watch from my teller window I notice tattoos. Lots and lots of tattoos. The people in this town like to live with color. I like tattoos, not all of them but I do find them interesting. They can be beautiful works of art or a tribute to a loved one or even a pet!  I am definitely a fan of the tribal style tattoo. That is the style of my tattoo. 

Tattoos are funny though. Many people will judge a person for having tattoos. I'm not crazy about a body covered in permanent ink but its not my place to judge. 

Now I work in a conservative environment. I'm not allowed to have any tattoos showing. On one hand I understand this rule. I am the face of the bank. On the other hand, it bothers me that someone else has a say in where I put a tattoo on my body. I guess that's just part of choosing to have a tattoo. 


Simple Musings

The bank I work at is located in a food store. There are many good things about working in a bank branch inside a food store. I thought I'd share a few lighthearted observations with my readers. 

1.  The front of the food store is a great place to people watch. 
2.  I rarely so a "real" food shopping trip anymore. I just grab what I need before or after work. 
3.  People expect you to have a photo copier available to the public. 
4.  The number of carts I see each day filled with nothing but junk is a little upsetting. (I love my junk food but a whole cart?  Where's the fresh fruit and vegetables?) 
5.  Finally, a shocking number of people stop at the food store two or three times a day. 

These observations among others make for a very busy and entertaining job. I love what I do, the bank I work for as well as where we are located.  Lucky me :)


Where In The World?

I met a woman last night and it was an interesting evening. She came into the restaurant and sat beside me talking on the phone. I couldn't help but overhear her side of the conversation. She had been in Bogota, Columbia that morning for work and sitting beside in Camp Hill, Pa by night!  She has travelled all over the world. Turkey, Greece and Columbia were just some of the places she went into detail about. 

I'm listening to her stories and thinking how I've lived such a sheltered life. I haven't even been out West in the United States. When I was in 7th grade I had to do a report on a country and I chose Greece. After last night, I have a renewed desire to get to Greece. Someday...ill put that on my list. 

One thing my new friend reminded me of is that right now, my life is like a blank canvas. That is exciting. And as I discover more about myself and where I wan to go, I get to share these experiences with my kids. I am feeling very blessed. 

I'm Just Going To Do It

I'm going to do something very dramatic tonight after work.  I'm going to get my hair cut very short. Short, spikey and sassy.  I've wanted to do this for years and have had a few reasons why I've never taken this step. But the reasons are gone. All that's left is a little worry I won't like it. But it's just hair and it will grow back.  I've decided to do this because I've wanted to for so long.  I've decided to do this now, in spite of a small amount of nervousness at the thought of such drastic change because I no longer want to say "I want to cut my hair short and sassy". I may hate it. I may love it. I'll know by 8:30 tonight.  But I will no longer be able to say, "I've always wanted to..."  I'm doing this for me. Love it or hate it, I will finally know.  Although I am a little nervous, I'm mostly excited to have a new style :)


What To Do?

So I had an experience at work that I wasn't sure how to handle.  It was nothing I did. It was more that I didn't know what to do.  Without going into any details of the situation, I hope you can follow along. The situation itself wasn't my issue. It was my reaction to the situation that I want to talk about.  

So there was a situation at work and I was cleared (huge sigh of relief). But then the pressure was on my co-worker who I really really really like (just saying). Anyway, she was stressed and frustrated and who knows what else was running through her mind.  She was trying to resolve the issue and the longer it took, the more stressful things became.  

What I noticed about myself was that I didn't know what to do with myself.  It was a very common feeling for me. One I haven't felt for a while but I'm very familiar non the less.  I just wanted to disappear.  I couldn't help, so I didn't know what to do.  I didn't know where I should stand or if I should sit.  I didn't want to do anything that would make her more frustrated by standing and making her feel like I was standing over her.  I didn't want to sit and have her annoyed because I wasn't helping. But truthfully there wasn't anything I could have done at that point.  Just so you know, the situation was resolved completely before we left for the day.  

At one point I recognized this awful feeling and I was so glad I don't live with this feeling constantly anymore.   I know this sounds silly, but I truly didn't know what to do with myself during is time.  I don't experience this feeling often anymore which I'm so thankful for.  But do you have any suggestions for me that I can use the next time I feel like I want to disappear?  I look forward to hearing your ideas as well as if you've felt the same. 

What Burdens Your Heart?

As I have been working through my most recent bout of depression, writing my thoughts on Java Talk has been a real gift.  I have felt an outpouring of support and encouragement. And I truly do hope that the thoughts I share are in some way healing words to someone who reads Java Talk. 

I was talking with someone who is not a reader of Java Talk (I like her anyway) and she encouraged me to take my story and help others. I was a bit overwhelmed with the barrage of ideas she spouted off.  She had plans for me to start a Non Profit Organization where I can raise awareness and support for my cause.  She was talking about writing a book and speaking engagements.  While she was busy planning, I was stuck on, "what cause would I want to support"?  

Then it hit me.  Something very dear to my heart. I'm not sure if there are already organizations out there with an emphasis in this area.  Depression...but more specifically, depression in young adults.  It has come to my attention recently that 3 young women in my life, that I've known since they were very young children, have attempted suicide and face deep depression.  It breaks my heart to know that these young woman are suffering their own version of what I fight every day.  

We too often hear about teen suicide. That doesn't just happen.  There is a dark road that leads to that end.  Young people need to know they are loved and they are not alone. And they need to know this so deeply that depression has no ground to stand on.  

I'm going to research what is out there.  I want to give back and if my experiences can help someone, I want to keep sharing.  My question to you is what burdens lay heavy on your heart?  If you could do for others, what group/organization would you invest your time or money into?


The Next Chapter

I have entered the world of the Working Mom. This is my first time with a "big girl" job. Forty hours a week. Benefits. Paid time off.  A real job. I am a bank teller. And I am loving it. The hours are long some days, but even that doesn't seem to matter.

There is something so powerful about having a destination when I wake up in the morning.  And since my branch doesn't open until 10am, I get to sleep in on the weeks without my kiddos ;). I look forward to dressing nicely. My drive to work is a short one.  The people I work with are great. Really, I already feel like one of the team.  There are regular customers who come in several times a week.  I love that I'm already establishing a personal relationship with some of those already.  It's great to see the same faces and keep up with their lives.  

I could go on and on about the things I like about working, but most of it is confidential and I don't want to lose my job because I shared, haha.  Work has definitely been helpful in m y recovery from my depression.  

The hard part is the guilt I feel that my kiddos are with the sitter while I work on e weeks that they are with me. And like I said, many of my days are very long.  This guilt is nothing new to working moms.  I've often heard of it. Now I am experiencing it.  My saving grace is that the sitter is amazing with my children and they really like her.  Another benefit I've noticed is that I really look forward to coming home and being with the Mini's.  Our time together is much better quality time. A lot less stressful. I'm more relaxed and just enjoy being with my Loves.  This is important to me.  And because I don't feel overwhelmed I feel I'm a much better mommy to my special little people (who are growing up way too fast).  I didn't see this benefit coming when I started working but I feel so blessed that this is so.  

I realize I am pretty new to the working mom world, what are some of the struggles or unexpected surprises you have experienced from balancing both work and home life?  


Surviving the Darkness

I'm happy to report that I am on the mend...Currently, I am able to see in color again. The black cloud has moved on. Maybe for good. Maybe just for now.  But I will be thankful for every day that I want to face. 

I have not gotten through this on my own, even though at times it definitely felt that way. I admit to seeing a therapist regularly.  I've seen doctors.  My medications have been tweaked.  I had a friend stay with me on the night I was most afraid I would not see morning.  My parents had some idea of what I was going through so they tried their best to keep me company and to keep me busy.  It is always a little easier on the weeks I have my kiddos.  And most importantly, somewhere inside of me, I chose to live...every time those thoughts of dying krept in. And today, that choice is a pleasant one.

I've cried.  I've been numb. I've wanted to forever stop feeling these horrible feelings that seem to come with such dark thoughts. And for right now, this day, I am in a much better place. In fact this week has felt different. In a positive way. I've felt more confident. More able. I truly enjoy my new job. The people I work with are great and they keep me laughing. I am productive and I am getting good at doing my job and that feels very good.  I feel I am once again able to think of other people first. I feel I'm able to think clearly again. 

To anyone who has been through this dark road, you understand the relief of making it to the other side. It was bad this time. Really bad. The worst bout I've ever faced. But I'm still here and looking forward to seeing my kiddos in a few days. I'm looking forward to going to work I the morning. And I'm looking forward to reconnecting with some friends as well as making new ones as I embark on this new chapter of my life. 

Thank you for reading my thoughts on my personal experience with depression.  If there is anything you would like to share, please leave a comment. Everyone's experience is different. What helped you get through the worst days?


A Friend In The Darkness

Being friends with someone going through depression must be horrible. I mean that. A depressed person is very self-centered. They have no joy and who wants to be around that all the time. A friend who hasn't experienced depression may reach a place where they withdraw because said friend is no fun or maybe because you don't know how to help them. I encourage you to tough it out and don't give up in your sick friend. 

Depression makes you feel isolated, unworthy and unwanted. Having friends back away only adds to these feelings. As hard as it may be on you, I urge you to hang in there. Call, listen, stop by, make plans (over and over if you must), send a card...anything to let you're friend know you care and they are not alone. It may make the difference between life and death and you may not even know it. 

Smothering Darkness

Depression...we've all been there or known someone who has suffered from depression. Not "I'm sad because..." or not your average bad day, but true, can't get out of bed, dot want to live...depression. 

If you've never experienced such hopelessness, count your blessings. This post is for you. 

I have suffered greatly with this chronic condition and to say it sucks only scratches the surface. It sucks the life, joy, hope, desires and ambitions from you. 

You may have heard this before but please keep reading. Everyone feels depression in an individual  way. But there are some things I believe to be true for everyone. This post is the first in a short series I am going to write on the topic. 

First, depression is not a choice. True depression is more than having a bad day. We all have bad days and have the power to change our outlook to a more positive one if we choose to do so. When depression sets in, it is such a heavy, hopelessness that will not be shaken. 

Next, depression can be irrational. I cannot count the number of times I reviewed all that was good in my life and yet, I still wanted to stop living. Truly. I wanted to die. 

The first reaction I usually get when I share this is "what about your children?"  This response actually angers me. People don't understand that in those darkest moments, I AM thinking about my children and I honestly believe they are better off without me. Most days I can see this as being irrational but the fact is in those moments, it makes sense. 

Finally, the darkness of depression is an consuming cycle. It robs the individual of the ability to relate to others leading to the feeling of isolation.  Feeling isolated leads to feelings of being unworthy and unloved.  When you feel alone in the world, you feel no hope which allows the depression to dig deeper.  Depression is very real and very painful on so many levels. And it affects the individual as well as the lives of those around the person who is suffering from this illness. 

Check back tomorrow as I share more of what I've learned through this journey through the darkness of depression.  

Java Talk is Back!

I'm back!  My life has taken so many twists and turns over the past year. It was a long, dark year and Java Talk was just not something I could handle for some time. But I'm feeling the urge to write again so Java Talk is back...

I believe this will be a creative outlet as well as an avenue of healing and I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my readers. At times I may write very personal things. I apologize now if what I share makes you uncomfortable. Life is a journey and the road can be very hard. I know I'm not alone with this view. So check back to see what I've learned. I hope to share insight and encourage others. And finally, feel free to leave comments. You never know whose heart you'll touch. 

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