What Helps

Reading these troubling statistics that my age group and gender is experiencing a dramatic surge in suicides in the US gave me pause.

American Suicide Rate Highest in 30 Years

Why are many middle-aged women feeling hopeless and powerless?  I can wonder all day long about a list of social factors that may contribute (poverty, dashed expectations growing out of a time when women’s roles went through dramatic changes, changed rates of isolation and growing up not asking for help, fallout from destruction of our own life support system ecology on spaceship Earth), but I’m not sure that helps arrive at any clarity.  Men’s rates are still much higher than women’s, but this leap in numbers of women is a societal change.

I’ve struggled with depression over much of my life, with distinct times worse than others where suicidal thoughts were common.  Through this training ground called LIFE, I have learned what helps and what does not for me personally to keep afloat, keep finding joy, and keep feeling okay being alive.  In fact, this blog is one space I play in to remind myself.

My heart goes out to anyone who is there.

If you are on the cliff, the linked article above mentions some great resources for help.

There are many successful, brilliant, and high-functioning people you may never guess have or do struggle with serious depression.  So it’s high time we throw our judging stigma about mental health out the window.

Figuring out what works for each of us to stay and play, be able to receive life’s gifts and recognize whatever is of value in ourselves is important work of a lifetime.  What helps for me:

  • Nutritional support (vitamin B’s, vitamin D3, calcium, magnesium, zinc – a few of the nutrients found to be lower in people with depression), flax seed oil, holy basil tea each evening
  • Mindful practice
  • Meditate
  • Knit
  • Nature connection/immersion/hiking/walking putting me in connection with something larger than my human problems, reminding me I am supported and not alone in the scheme of LIFE
  • Create anything
  • When frustrated, disappointed, depressed, asking myself how can I be kinder?  (to self)
  • Stay aware and check in with self.  If depression lingers too long and I don’t think I can help myself, I seek help from others.  I know my own warning signs.  Aside from national hotlines, there are often local programs for those who have little funds, so I’ve learned not to let a lack of resources stop me from getting help.

And now for some flowers on the street, a tip of the hat to the artist who loved purple, and a celebration of Earth’s bounty this Earth Day.

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About Erin W

A sensitive plant, bamboo strong.
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2 Responses to What Helps

  1. Being in my mid to late 50s I have stumbled several times into deep depression over the last couple years. And thankfully my attempts. Of suicide failed as the Angels must have been watching over me and keeping safe from all harm.
    My Bible verse which contains my first name in it when lines are stacked above each other is Psalm 91:11.
    “For He shall Give
    His Angels charge
    over You, to keep
    You in alL
    your wAys.”
    Even though I was a trained NAMI volunteer speaker’s bureau volunteer several years and a trained peer support group facilitator I still fell victim of feeling over whelmingly hopeless when under too much stress under a demanding job and not seeing any way to ever make ends meet or to ever break even.
    Yes, we must learn and enable ourselves to Be Kind to Ourselves. Only then can we see and accept ourselves as human beings and not human doings. Loving ourselves and then being able to love others as we love ourselves…as God intended His best for us Even before we were formed and born into this sinful world.
    Thanks for all your wonderful insights and nature links which have sometimes been he only peaceful get aways I encountered over the last year or so.

    • Erin W says:

      Beautiful sharing, Gayla. It fills my heart to know some of the images or spaces I’ve put on the web feel like peaceful getaways for you. I wish for you ease and abundance.

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