Posts Categorized: depression

Holiday Depression Survival Kit

No one plans on unwrapping depression during the holidays.

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV)

Depression is a gift not easily returned to a store. I say gift because, as I work through despair I also discover my capacity to fight it.

Twenty-two years ago depression became a training ground for my faith. I hoped for what I could not yet see. I stretched weak, underdeveloped spiritual muscles. And survived attacks from the enemy. Beauty emerged from the ashes of my life.


We don’t have to have it all together to survive Christmas. But, we do have to have certain habits in place that are not optional.  I am conditioning to be fearless and embrace discipline, compassion, and determination. Like a drill sergeant encouraging failure, depression stirs instead, my will to live.

Despair

Grief doesn’t take a hiatus, and physical pain may have no relief. The strain is constant, but we also experience joy.  We can hope, remain open to new possibilities, step outside of our own thoughts, and engage the world. Not based upon feeling, but upon the basic way, humans were created. We were built for relationship. Based on that understanding, isolation is not an option.

Below is a Depression Survival Kit that I use on a regular basis. These habits help me to get through and even gain new ground through holidays.

Feel free to comment on anything that helps you to get through the holidays.

  • 1-2 scriptures to read on a regular basis, call to mind when thoughts spiral
  • List of safe people (of the same sex) that I can call in case of an emergency
  • 1-2 old traditions I will do (not based on feeling)
  • 1-2 new traditions I will create with family, friends, strangers
  • Emergency exit
    • Go to Christmas events
    • Shorten stay
    • Signal designated departure friend to aid in a smoother exit
    • I don’t have to do all events
  • Stay engaged with the community (not an option)
    • Volunteer to help others
    • Encourage someone else who is struggling
    • Allow 1 or 2 people to take you out of your comfort zone
    • Laughter is good medicine (welcome humor)
  • Be intentional 
    • Set goals and take steps to be as healthy as you can
    • Extend grace to yourself and others

My prayers are with you as you find joy this Christmas.

Ugly Duckling Interupted: Acrostic

You Were Always a Swan

You Were Always a Swan

Such an ugly duckling.” the others cackled, slapping the water in agreement.
(Your head ducked),
Under the burden of shameful stares.
(You swam away),
 Inclined to believe what others say.
(You)
 Couldn’t see the swan swimming smooth as silk on the other side of the reeds.
(Searching)
 Inside yourself for true identity.
(Your answers)
Decidedly never came.
(You)
Ended the story before your clouded reflection cleared.

The Feet of Good News

“And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15)

 

Dear Page Turner,

My feet have good news. Faithfully, not perfectly, I have tried to grieve with hope and walk in obedience to God’s direction. After four years of grieving with hope, I am almost done with my second book, a devotional to help anyone who has just experienced a loss to suicide. 

I have also joined The Dented Fender writing team, and am developing my speaking chops so that I can share hope more effectively. I want to be fully equipped, not lacking anything. God’s love is shining into the darkness of despair, and I love getting to be a part. So many amazing things are happening, way beyond what I thought myself capable of, but with God nothing is impossible.

Four and 1/2 years ago it was painful to turn 1 page on Jonathan’s death. I have now turned over the 2007 pages. Each page has been important, even the ones I could barely turn. My initial hope, that others would be encouraged to choose life is coming to fruition. I refuse to bow to the spirit of despair. Each page, some intensely painful, have produced new joys, new discoveries, and encouragement. I look forward to sharing with you what God is accomplishing, even when we don’t understand the fullness of his purpose.

As the work on my second book is nearing the finish line you inspire me to finish strong. Writing this book has made me look back over all that God has accomplished in four years of Turning the Page on Suicide,  I am so thankful. 

I learn from each of you. Thank you for wrestling with despair and not letting the darkness have the final say! Thank you for choosing writing as your outlet to share hope. Thank you for encouraging others with poetry, stories, photography and scripture. Thank you for commenting and blessing one another with courage for each individual journey.

 

The mental health community is made up of spectacular and uniquely gifted individuals. Don’t ever underestimate the value of your words, your courage to breathe life into others, in spite of your own physical and emotional pain. If you are just getting started on turning your page on suicide, may 1 page become 2 until you look back and find a lifetime of spreading the good news, death does not have the final say. Life is worth living.

 

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Karisa Moore

Poetry Collection: Broken Butterflies

 

Spirit of Despair (Response Prompt)

I am elevated emptiness

puffed up with my will.

I cradle and nurse fear like a

mother with starved child

I breathe deeply, as I pinch your oxygen

I am the shiver that shadows your spine,

always creeping in the open doors of

crowded confidence.

 

You can’t escape me,

human gods. You elevate to

pedestals and put crowns on achievement.

I find the cracks in

your stoic status and crumble

saints and sinners with the

tap, tap,

of my chisel of

doubt.

 

Poetry is posted every Thursday at 7pm (Garment of Joy Next Week)

One of my favorite ways to write poems is to respond to other poets. Are you up for the challenge? How would you respond to someone battling the Spirit of Despair? How would you offer hope? What weapons would you use? Link back to this post and place your link in the comments.

the cross is necessary

God Leans on Sinners

The snap of surprise,

as the ragged watch you

boldly clear a temple bustling

with the commerce of greedy self-worship.

Freeing frightened birds flapping wildly in cages of false belief.

Awakening truth in the hearts of prostitutes, liars,

and outcast.

 

God leans on sinners.

 

Asks the wicked to pray for him.

Chooses friends among enemies, and

intimately sweats the blood of flesh, to meet

his own righteous expectations.

 

 

Today I Walk Out of the Darkness

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:3).

Survivors of Suicide must do what our loved one could not–walk out of the darkness.

We cannot help what was, but we can be a part of changing what is. How?

  • Humble ourselves (1 Peter 5:6)
  • Be thankful (1 Peter 5:3)
  • Be present in the lives around you and offer (Matthew 9:35-37)
    • love
    • faith
    • hope
  • Pray for and defend the oppressed (Psalm 10:17-18)
  • Pray for and challenge the oppressors (Matthew 5:44, Isaiah 1:17)
  • Live your God-given life to the fullest (John 10:10)
  • Take courage as you face your own weaknesses and temptations (Luke 8:4-15)
  • Grieve with hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13)
  • Walk together, supporting each other (1 Peter 5:2-4)

This is the foundation God is laying in my grief.  that help me to continue through the valley of the shadow of death rather than becoming mired in the pit of despair.

 

If you would like to make a donation here is my link:

Out of the Darkness Walk Donor Drive

Grief’s Quickening

When the dust settles over

grave and grass grows

thick over death, your life

still quickens in the womb of

a mother’s grief.

When Your Thoughts Are a Horror Film

My heart staggers; fear makes me tremble. The twilight of my desire has turned to horror.

Isaiah 21:4 NIV

Turning My Page

Awoke this morning to images of my dead son. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does sometimes I can move my brain to dwell on God’s goodness. Other times I cannot.

God planted some new book ideas last night. A great blessing. But, this new, potential series takes me back to those first days, and once those cataloged images are opened some unwanted ones come with it. So what do I do when my thoughts are uncontrollable?

  • Take my thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ.
    • Meditate on scriptures
    • Speak truth over my thoughts
      • I was up late discussing my son
      • Made connections with other men and women who have similar stories
      • Was encouraged by their stories
      • Walked away with ideas for new books
  • Share my struggle with my support team
  • Pray
  • Pour out my complaint before God.
    • Lord, I am struggling with my thoughts this morning. I acknowledge that I want Jonathan alive and here. He is not. What do you want me to learn from my son’s death? Is there anything I need to see differently in light of your love? Father, the enemy seeks to destroy my rest and trust in you. Guide my heart and mind to your truth that I may share your trustworthiness in a deeper way.  Amen.
  • Repeat
    • Sometimes a spirit of fear does not leave easily or quickly. Does a lion just quit when she doesn’t get her prey on the first try? We have an enemy seeking to devour us, and our thoughts are a place he will pursue relentlessly because they are the stronghold of God.
  • Fortify my weakened soul.
  • Rest
  • Be careful what I watch
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Spend time with family and friends

Turning Your Page

You cannot always help where thoughts may go in grief. But, you do not have to stay there.

  • What are your current thoughts revealing?
  • How can you develop the mind of Christ in your difficult circumstances?
  • Who is your support team? Reach out, make them aware of your struggle.

Father, take my thoughts and align them with your truth. Calm my mind and let me rest in the truth that I am yours. Amen

When Words Don’t Come

Scripture:

Exodus 4:15 5“You are to speak to him and put the words in his mouth; and I, even I, will be with your mouth and his mouth, and I will teach you what you are to do...

Devotional:

Y’all might have noticed that I’ve been rather erratic in my posting. Moses, whom God is addressing in this scripture,  waited 40 years to set the Hebrews free. He is in the palace, a perfect position! But when he thinks his opportunity has finally arrived he gets the calling very wrong. He sets only one person free through murder . . . nope, not God’s plan. So Moses flees and then waits another 40 years to be ready to return to Egypt to set God’s people free. While I don’t think God is going to make me wait as long to continue writing he definitely has me in a holding pattern.

A twofold dynamic is at play. One, I have few words currently surfacing, and two, my family needs my full attention. Several health issues have arisen and are needing quite a lot of appointments. Every time I sit down to write the words don’t come. And that is okay.

We need to relax in silent periods. Writing is my God-given gift of expression, I am secure in his purpose. If he is not putting the words into my mouth, I am quite sure he has a good reason. I trust him with this new leg of the journey, and besides, there have been joyous developments that I will get to share with you very soon.

When we are operating in the will of God, mighty things happen, even if we can’t do the very thing he calls us to do. The reason? God is good and faithfully maturing us to accomplish His will. It can become easy for me to lean hard into my own understanding of his purpose, but when I wait patiently on God, amazing things happen!

Trust that he loves to give you good things. Are you feeling flustered because a clear calling seems to be thwarted at every turn?   Look back at the pattern he has established in your life. Is he growing you? Does he have a different road for you to take? Is he addressing a stumbling block?

Burning bushes often lead to our greatest conflicts, but when we wait patiently, we also witness spectacular displays of God’s sovereignty, provision, and salvation for many. I will joyously wait to lead His freedom march across the Red Sea.

 

Prayer:

Lord, you are preparing me for good things. I trust your direction. Address the stumbling blocks in my way. I see you tackling my fears, teaching me to trust you completely. Thank you for reminding me that your plan is good, even when detoured in a different direction.  Amen

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Suicide Hotline

National Suicide Hotline

If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call the National Suicide Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or go to the website at  SuicidePreventionLifeline.org.