The Perspicacity of Giving

Hello my readers,

It’s been a long while since I posted on my blog. I apologize for that, but I have a good reason for being inactive. Back in October, October 2015, my antidepressant medication had stopped working. From what I have gathered, it is common for this to happen. Thus, I have lost interest in many things. I have lost interest in video games, reading theology as a hobby, crafting, and other things. At times, I can’t even seem to enjoy the idea of going out with friends to a fair. My doctor and I are currently working on trying to find new medication that will help me function again as I should. It takes more than six weeks to know if a medication is working for me or not. It is a tedious process of trial and error and me feeling like a dart board. The different medications are the darts in this case.

One thing I noticed today and is compounded by something I read is, giving is very hard when I am struggling with depression. The last few weeks I have been so wrapped up in my own pain and anguish that I find it hard to give back to others. On my good days, when I have clarity of thought, I can look outside myself and give to others. I love those days. And I love giving to others, so I am very much struck by my observation that it is hard for me to give when I am suffering a lot. Recently, I wrote my Godparents a letter and mailed it to their house. It took me a few days to write it after I had the idea of writing them a nice letter. Rationally, I waited for a day when my mood was not bad as I noticed that my mood tends to bleed through in my writing. (Thank you, texting! things you realize from being a person who loves texting!) Thus, in a certain way, I already understood that in order to give someone has to be in the right state to be able to give. Though, I had not made the connection itself with giving.

The nature of giving is one that is made out of surplus. If there is no surplus than the giving could be seen as sacrificing. They are two different things. I understand, though I don’t like it, I am not in a very good position to give to others. A person who has no money cannot give money to someone else. Thus, when I have no comfort within myself I can’t really give to others. Thankfully, unlike money, what I give can be considered something that is renewable since on the good days I can give to others. Whereas, with the example of someone having no money they have to save up when they get money so they can give to others. However, as I write this, I realize that it is only recently that I have felt like it has been hard to give to others. There are days that are so bad for me that there is no possible way that I can look beyond my own suffering and help someone else. On the bright side, there are days where I am not doing so well, but I can give to others and do something to show them how much I care.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” I see now that there is a time for me to give to others, and a time when I cannot give to others. Thus, I am coming to understand that at times in my depression there are days when it is not the time to give. There are people out there that consider people with depression to be just self-absorbed and self-centered. In a certain way, they are correct, but they use the wrong words. They use words that say that a depressive has a surplus; when a depressive probably doesn’t even have scraps. Granted, these individuals tend to be people who fall away from the mainstream idea that depression is a biological illness, so they don’t see it as a depressive having nothing. They see it as being greedy. This is wrong. However, my focus is on the idea that there is this aspect of perspicacity to the action of giving. Perspicacity, when you type it into google, means “the quality of having a ready insight into things; shrewdness.” I realize that there is a sense of perspicacity in giving. There are times when it is not the time to give, and there are times when it is the time to give.

The perspicacity of giving, also, deals with the understanding of when a person can help someone and when they will only make things worse. Have you ever been in a situation where someone wants to help you, but they only make it worse? I’m sure all of us have some sort of experience with that. I definitely have experiences like that. Ha ha ha, now, since usually it has to do with my depression, I educate people before if they want to help me. I give them articles on what is helpful to say and what makes things worse. (That’s supposed to be funny.) Anyway, there is a certain aspect to the act of giving, when one has to see if they are really suited to helping this person. I can’t tell you how many times good people with good intentions have given me bad advice about my health. There is a time when one needs to discern when they should give and support another person because it suits their abilities and when they should not. Or perhaps, people need to educate themselves before they try to give support to another person. Perhaps, it’s the time to educate yourself and then it’s the time for giving. These things all fall under the perspicacity of giving because one has to know when it is the time for giving.

Anyway, this is something that my trial has recently taught me and I thought I would share this insight that I am gaining with you. This is in no way a complete analyzation in the perspicacity of giving. This is only the beginning of the flourishing of what God is teaching me as reflect upon myself and the events in my life. I hope you, at least, found this to be a little bit insightful about the act of giving.

My Second Shadow: Life with a Chronic Illness

In case you are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with Major Depression a year ago. It has taught me some beautiful lessons and has also taught me lessons in harsh reality. Major depression comes in episodes and looking back I can say for sure my first episode happened when I was 15 years old. Little did I know at the time, that this thing had a name or that it was based on a chemical imbalance in my brain. That period in my life use to be my deepest darkest secret, until it happened again. My second episode happened when I was 20 years old. By that time, I was a little more educated on what to do because of the psychology classes I took in college. I got a therapist when it became apparent that it had gotten bad again and it was dangerous for me. In between then and the time it got bad again, I realize I doubted it ever went away. It was more like it was always there and that it would have times when it would be worse than others. I would describe the time between 16 to 19 years old to be just this sense that there was this darkness within me and just trying to ignore it.  It was like this weariness and grimness was there, but it wasn’t like it was back when I was 15. I didn’t have that panic or have intrusive thoughts of death.

The reason I am writing about this topic again, is because I am concerned. However, one thing I learned with going through depression at 20 years old is that people tend to minimize my concerns or brush them aside. Or they even say “everyone is like that.” They fail to acknowledge my concerns have weight and that I am different from people who don’t have depression. Therefore, I find it safe to express them on my blog and know that this way of expression does not encounter those problems.

The past few days I have been sleeping too much. WAY too much. Today, I slept for 16 hours and that concerns me. Before I was officially diagnosed and was waiting to be diagnosed, depression was just a guess by a one of my therapists, I use to sleep a lot because I didn’t want to face reality. To me, depression was the worst thing I could have been thought to have. It shook my faith and my sense of what life would be like for me. The reason it shook my faith though, is a story for another time. So because of that I would try to sleep whenever I was bored or didn’t want to deal with things. Sleep was my escape from a maybe diagnosis that scared me so much.

My main concern with my sleeping habits that have been happening this summer is because sleeping those many hours is a symptom of depression. I am afraid it may not be under my control as well as it was before. This morning I woke up and it felt like it took so much energy to just sit up. It felt exhausting to even think of getting up out of bed. It is something many people do not understand. It took so much of a fight for me to get out of bed to take care of the neighbors dogs. I’m also tired all the time again. The medication I am on keeps the horrid monster at bay. However, even with medication, I can still feel it there. It isn’t as all-consuming as it was a year ago, but I can still feel it there. The way I describe it now is that it is a shadow.

The concern I have is something I have to deal with along with my therapist. In my experience, talking to others about my illness isn’t always the best, unless they see me having a breakdown.

The thing with my depression is I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not have this darkness inside of me. If this darkness is what makes me feel so different and feel unsatisfied with others and their trivial pursuits. Or that be just part of my INFJ personality. However, I know foe a fact if I didn’t have a chronic illness I would be different. I would have more achievements and more hobbies. I would probably have more things that are completed and not so many things that are a work in progress. It’s hard knowing that without an illness you could do so much better, but in the end I have to accept my reality and work with it as best I can.

The Dark Stains on the Artist’s Hands

In case you are reading this and haven’t checked out my other posts, in February of 2014 I was officially diagnosed with Major depression. From what I understand, I have a chemical imbalance in my brain. Basically, my brain was not working the way it should be. I didn’t enjoy things I use to enjoy, I would get upset about little things, I had lies about myself going through my head, and a lot of other things happening because of this mental illness.

When it was really bad I would get into a state of wanting or getting an urge to hurt myself. This temptation was caused by the anger at myself and the worthlessness I felt. I would feel like I should punish myself for my mistakes and things I had done wrong. An example of this was one time I got an urge when I found out i failed a quiz and I became angry with myself. Another reason this was a temptation is because for me it would be a way to express how I felt when there were no words. I could put what I was feeling on the inside on the outside. It was a way to express how I felt.

if you have never experienced depression or self-harm urges, in those moments it’s hard to see anything good about yourself and you feel like you deserve to have scars and you deserve the wound you inflict on yourself.Your brain has turned on you and become self-destructive. One of my coping methods to was to write the horrible things I thought on myself instead of hurting myself. Another was to talk to my friends and therapist how I felt. These helped, but sometimes there were no words to really say how I felt and sometimes words were lacking and that was a problem. My therapist decided I should paint my feelings and what depression was like. She told me not to care how dark it was. I felt like they were an accurate representation of what depression was like and wanted to share with you a visual from my perspective about depression.

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