Sue Spencer

@mimi45
Community Voices

Too much grief

One of my cats died in late January. Two days later another cat was diagnosed with diabetes and glaucoma. And the cat who slept in the bed beside me got unexpectedly sick and died 5 wks later. We gave him all kinds of medicine trying to save him. It was not a peaceful death.

Now I feel my depression taking hold of my body and hurting beyond belief. I am 73 so I don’t have to go to work. I want to sleep much of the time and am sliding into a hole I can’t get out of. I wish I could disappear and get away from my thoughts. My cat’s blood is all over the charts and his back legs have no strength. There are insulins available but the fb support group says they know more than the vet. I can’t do anything and I can’t face anything. There are no counselors available anymore. I used to know how to get out of depression but I can’t get out of the hole. My cats were my world. I am too old to adopt any more as I would pass away first and what would become of them. So there is no comfort for the loss and sorrow I am in. The grief won’t let go of me.

7 people are talking about this
Community Voices

Too much grief

One of my cats died in late January. Two days later another cat was diagnosed with diabetes and glaucoma. And the cat who slept in the bed beside me got unexpectedly sick and died 5 wks later. We gave him all kinds of medicine trying to save him. It was not a peaceful death.

Now I feel my depression taking hold of my body and hurting beyond belief. I am 73 so I don’t have to go to work. I want to sleep much of the time and am sliding into a hole I can’t get out of. I wish I could disappear and get away from my thoughts. My cat’s blood is all over the charts and his back legs have no strength. There are insulins available but the fb support group says they know more than the vet. I can’t do anything and I can’t face anything. There are no counselors available anymore. I used to know how to get out of depression but I can’t get out of the hole. My cats were my world. I am too old to adopt any more as I would pass away first and what would become of them. So there is no comfort for the loss and sorrow I am in. The grief won’t let go of me.

7 people are talking about this
Community Voices

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Becca R.
Becca R. @beccar
contributor

A Letter to What I Can't Do Because of My Disabilities

Dear What I Can’t Do, I’m at a loss for what to do again. Once again, I find myself in eating disorder treatment feeling like staff don’t know how to treat the root cause of my problem – my relationship with my disabled body. Time after time, I hear “don’t focus on what your body looks like, but what it can do for you.” But what happens next when I don’t like how my body functions either? Society tells me to focus on what I can do vs. what I can’t do. But, this is invalidating because everything I can’t do is just as much a part of me as my arms and my legs. It’s hard to pretend those don’t exist when it’s very clear that those limbs do exist. What I can’t do often feels like this big black cloud in me, always ready to rain on my parade. While there are so many things I can’t do due to fatigue and pain from my cerebral palsy and mental health, I’ve gained perspective others don’t have. What I can’t do makes me, me. And that’s where the words acceptance and forgiveness come in. If I could do everything I wanted to, I’d be a practicing physical therapist and possibly have a family by now. Instead, I’m in and out of mental health treatment year after year. I spend my time focusing on my physical and mental health as my full-time job. I volunteer one morning a week at a hospital. That’s what I can do, but that’s only happening because of what I can’t do. Because of what I can’t do – be a physical therapist, I have a completely different life ahead of me than the one I had planned for years. Because of what I can’t do, I’ve spent the last five years living with my parents. I don’t feel like I’m “adulting” like other 28-year-olds. Because of what I can’t do, I’ve become an advocate after experiencing injustices faced by poor and disabled people every day. I make sure buildings are accessible and speak up when they aren’t. I have written about the lack of adequate low-income housing and how receiving SSI payments forces an individual to live in poverty and be unable to marry in order to keep financial assistance and proper health insurance. Because I can’t be a physical therapist – due to both physical and mental health reasons – my income is limited to SSI and I will basically be moving out of my parents’ house and into poverty in the coming months. My physical and mental health make many things difficult or impossible such as running, keeping up with friends and family, and having the energy to explore my community and the world around me. I have to accept that this is all part of my life. I can’t ignore it, and I don’t want others to ignore that either. I am who I am because of – not in spite of – what I can’t do. Acceptance is hard, and I know I must work through that before I can work through forgiveness. Forgiveness is difficult because it forces me to let go of some dreams forever. And that’s really uncomfortable. In the end, I need acceptance and forgiveness to heal. “Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward.” –Ray Bennett

Becca R.
Becca R. @beccar
contributor

A Letter to What I Can't Do Because of My Disabilities

Dear What I Can’t Do, I’m at a loss for what to do again. Once again, I find myself in eating disorder treatment feeling like staff don’t know how to treat the root cause of my problem – my relationship with my disabled body. Time after time, I hear “don’t focus on what your body looks like, but what it can do for you.” But what happens next when I don’t like how my body functions either? Society tells me to focus on what I can do vs. what I can’t do. But, this is invalidating because everything I can’t do is just as much a part of me as my arms and my legs. It’s hard to pretend those don’t exist when it’s very clear that those limbs do exist. What I can’t do often feels like this big black cloud in me, always ready to rain on my parade. While there are so many things I can’t do due to fatigue and pain from my cerebral palsy and mental health, I’ve gained perspective others don’t have. What I can’t do makes me, me. And that’s where the words acceptance and forgiveness come in. If I could do everything I wanted to, I’d be a practicing physical therapist and possibly have a family by now. Instead, I’m in and out of mental health treatment year after year. I spend my time focusing on my physical and mental health as my full-time job. I volunteer one morning a week at a hospital. That’s what I can do, but that’s only happening because of what I can’t do. Because of what I can’t do – be a physical therapist, I have a completely different life ahead of me than the one I had planned for years. Because of what I can’t do, I’ve spent the last five years living with my parents. I don’t feel like I’m “adulting” like other 28-year-olds. Because of what I can’t do, I’ve become an advocate after experiencing injustices faced by poor and disabled people every day. I make sure buildings are accessible and speak up when they aren’t. I have written about the lack of adequate low-income housing and how receiving SSI payments forces an individual to live in poverty and be unable to marry in order to keep financial assistance and proper health insurance. Because I can’t be a physical therapist – due to both physical and mental health reasons – my income is limited to SSI and I will basically be moving out of my parents’ house and into poverty in the coming months. My physical and mental health make many things difficult or impossible such as running, keeping up with friends and family, and having the energy to explore my community and the world around me. I have to accept that this is all part of my life. I can’t ignore it, and I don’t want others to ignore that either. I am who I am because of – not in spite of – what I can’t do. Acceptance is hard, and I know I must work through that before I can work through forgiveness. Forgiveness is difficult because it forces me to let go of some dreams forever. And that’s really uncomfortable. In the end, I need acceptance and forgiveness to heal. “Accept yourself, love yourself, and keep moving forward.” –Ray Bennett

K. J.
K. J. @kj
contributor

How My Animals Help Me Face My Mental Illness

There are times when I am too tired to get dressed, too melancholy to bother to eat nutritional food, or to anxious to care about anything because I’m caring about everything. These times are exhausting, and life tends to slip through the cracks when I am experiencing these feelings. But there is something that is always guaranteed to drag me from the couch and into the great outdoors – my animals. Our dog, Darby, my dear sweet fur daughter, will make me feel guilty and frustrated with her boundless energy if I don’t at least take her out for a short walk. Her boundless energy can be infectious. She is my constant companion, and on the bad days, her intuitive ability is at its finest. She will be my shadow, sitting silently at my side or at my feet, lying on or under the bed if I haven’t managed to get up. Seeing her bright eyes looking up at me with concern helps me to push on when things seem to be too hard to handle. Then there are my dear cows, Daisy, Budda-Bing, Cow, and Mavis. They are my playful and affectionate visitors who often drop in unannounced. They come up from the paddock and proceed to sniff around the house and bellow until I come out to them with carrots or apples. They like to be fed by hand, be petted while they eat, and they are always appreciative. They don’t care if I am still in my pajamas, if my hair is unwashed and unbrushed, or if my breath stinks. If I don’t answer their call, Daisy will bring it upon herself to tap on the cement at the front door, like a knock. She is determined that she must be rewarded for her lengthy journey up the hill. Our chickens are tame too. While they don’t eat from my hand like the cows do, they will stand right at my feet and demand their food by pecking at my toes mercilessly. And when they bring their tiny, fluffy, cute little chickens home from their bush nests, it brings a warmth and joy to my heart. And last but not least is Brewe, our Merino sheep. He was left here a year or so ago when the rest of his flock was moved on and has made himself part of the family. He amuses me so with his standoffish nature, which obviously wars with his natural curiosity. When the MooKids come for their visits, he comes too. I bleat at him, and he comes closer, until he is close enough to see I am not a girl sheep — but simply a girl — at which time he huffs and walks away. There is much to be said for the humor he brings to my life, although he would be likely unaware of it! Some assume that animals are not intelligent creatures, but I would disagree. They have much more simple lives than us, but they are still complex in their ability to nurture our very own souls. They make me see joy, they make me laugh at their amusing antics, they warm my heart when it feels cold and numb. Their playfulness and the gentle understanding they seem to have makes me smile; they are so pure in their affection, wanting nothing more than a pat and a meal. People assume that these animals rely on me, that they need me for their care, but the truth is far from that. I need them. We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here . Images via contributor.

Community Voices

metaphors for depression

I”be worked so hard to keep up on the road of life. With the other cars . With the other trains and planes. I’ve been learning to honk when I need to stand up for my boundaries. But sometimes the car is skidding off the road and I can’t manipulate the wheel. Soemtimes I think about the bottom of that cliff that you’re supposed to avoid because the signs tell you to keep to the side. Sometimes I think about the abyss a lot. Soemtimes I get tired of driving . I just want to pull over pull myself out and jump over the side. I put gas in the car doesn’t help enough. I have a dent in the car I can’t brush my hair or teeth out of. I can’t shower off the sadness. This is true depression. But how I do get to where I mapped out going . Will I be happy driving or will I fall asleep at the wheel because I just want to sleep. Do I care what’s over that horizon. Because even when I shower .. these are my shower thoughts. I might drive too far one day. This is being lost in your mind . Seven dollar Gas. I can’t afford to run out anymore. Life is going too fast. # depression

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What’s a common misconception about depression?

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Depression after surgery

Since my oh so big back surgery in November I’m having a difficult recovery and find myself getting depressed like I haven’t been in years! I’m hoping it’s just delayed grieving for my husband who passed in January. I can’t even bring myself to decorate my tree! Just don’t want to do it!#holidaydepression

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