“I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better I cannot tell; I awfully forebode I shall not. To remain as I am is impossible; I must die or be better, it appears to me.
-Said by President Abraham Lincoln while suffering depression
I have often wondered how this great man could have got this country through a civil war, and reconstruction, the awful years of war and healing he lead this nation through… and to do it while suffering from a mental illness. And depression at that. A disease that takes away all will, indeed any inertia what so ever.
I know this feeling he describes. For me, when it is at it’s worst, it is not the miserable moments of hopelessness, or even the days of crying jags that rack my body with sobs. The worst of it is when I feel nothing. Anything that I have found enjoyment in before, does nothing to move me. If I can muster a small spark of energy to go through the motions of something that I absolutely must follow though on, if it is done, at its best, it is with a zombie like presence. And quite often very quick to snap.
These are the days I remove myself from people. Alone upstairs, if my husband is at home. He especially I don’t want to cause any hurt. He is not the most compassionate person, and that is difficult, even painful to experience, I admit. Yet, if he did process emotion to that depth, I don’t believe we would still be together after all these years. I don’t want this to be misunderstood. Mark is a wonderful man, he has been a good husband to me. He isn’t cruel, or uncaring. He is just not one to express emotion for the most part. He is a ‘shake it off,’ ‘suck it up,’ type of man. His father was raised Amish until adulthood, and his mother raised in foster care. From there I will leave the reader to draw their conclusions.
How this has played out in my own life has been to my benefit. It forced me to take responsibility for my own emotions, and the consequences of acting on those emotions. For my own emotional well-being. I had to learn to fight through the foggy haze of depression, and find words to tell Mark what I needed. He would never be able to empathize with me to such a degree, that he would be able to articulate from my disoriented state how to respond to me, or even what to do, sometimes. Because of this, I began to remove myself from people when extremely irritable, or easily wounded mental states had me in their grip. Both of these states can easily be escalated into far more dangerous situations. Learning to do this, allowed me to eventually understand the difference between ‘reacting,’ and ‘responding’ to a situation. Those who have Bipolar disorder typically react to emotionally stimulating events, and if any higher cognitive processing happens of the event, it is an after thought.
Those two changes in how I handle my life now, have changed my life for the better. Removing myself when highly vulnerable to being hurt, or doing the hurting, and not reacting, but pausing, thinking, and then responding. Seems so simple just to read it here. It wasn’t. It isn’t. Some-days, it isn’t even possible. There also was a book I read years ago that was a big help in doing both of these, and more. Don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements.” I won’t spoil it, and summarize other than to say- it’s a very small book that packs a punch. It really is about just four agreements, decisions you make about how your going to live from then on. It is a life changer. I reread it yearly.
The biggest life saving tool in my arsenal however, is writing. Journaling, and when I can reach through the fog well enough, writing poetry. For me, poetry brings something beautiful back from the depths of a dark and debilitating depression. My father use to say, “but its so sad…” Well, I was depressed, that was kind of the point??? He still doesn’t totally get it; someone who hasn’t experienced depression to that degree, won’t. He does somewhat understand what it means to me now, to have something to show for it all. After coming back from that place.. And I have come back, time, and time, and time again. I hope that I always will.. And in those moments when sadly, I am hoping the opposite- I have been blessed that lost deep with in those dark, empty and lonely times, earthly, and heavenly angels have been there to pull me through.
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“LIVE LONG AND PROSPER”
The Vulcan greeting and the finger-separating hand gesture that accompanies it first appeared in the second season of Star Trek: The Original Series, during an episode titled “Amok Time.” Spock himself (actor Leonard Nimoy) has made no secret of the fact that the gesture and phrase were his idea, and that he based them on Orthodox Jewish blessings he remembered from his childhood. In the Jewish blessing, the position of the fingers forms the Hebrew letter “Shin,” which represents the name “Shaddai” (Almighty God). Nimoy put his own spin on the traditional gesture by holding up just one hand (instead of both) and changing
4 large day-old croissants
3/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
Sweetened Whipped Cream (optional)
Slice croissants in half lengthwise.
Whisk together milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour into a shallow dish. Dip croissant halves into egg mixture, coating well.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add four croissant halves, and cook about 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Repeat procedure with remaining butter and croissant halves. Sprinkle with powdered sugar; top with Sweetened Whipped Cream, if desired, and Fresh Strawberry Syrup.
Credit: My Recipes
In a rare interview from 2000, Lauryn Hill shares her thoughts on the music industry, love, and creativity. At just 25, Lauryn gave great life advice with high students.
Heart Health – Pistachios have been shown to reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase the good HDL cholesterol after only a short period of regular consumption. High in antioxidants such as vitamins A and E, they fight inflammation, protecting blood vessels and reducing risk of heart disease. Even a moderate intake of pistachios has been shown to increase levels of lutein, an antioxidant well known for protecting against oxidized LDL, reducing heart disease.
Diabetes Help – Eating pistachios may help to prevent Type 2 diabetes. 60 percent of the recommended daily value of the mineral phosphorous is contained in just one cup of pistachios. As well as breaking down proteins into amino acids, phosphorous aids glucose tolerance.
Healthy Blood – Pistachios are an incredibly rich source of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 is essential to make hemoglobin, the protein responsible for carrying oxygen through the blood stream to cells, and is also shown to increase the amount of oxygen carried.
Nervous System – The vitamin B6 so abundant in pistachios has wide-ranging effects on the nervous system. Messaging molecules called amines require amino acids to develop, which in turn rely on vitamin B6 for their creation. Furthermore, B6 plays a crucial role in the formation of myelin, the insulating sheath around nerve ﬁbers that allows optimal messaging between nerves. Furthermore, vitamin B6 contributes to the synthesis of serotonin, melatonin, epinephrine and gamma-aminobutyric acid, or GABA, an amino acid that calms the transmission of nerve impulses throughout the nervous system.
Eye Health – Pistachios contain two carotenoids not found in most nuts. These carotenoids, called lutein and zeaxanthin, function as protective antioxidants, defending tissues from damage from free radicals. They have been linked with a decrease in the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of visual impairments and acquired blindness in the United States.
Immune System – A healthy immune system requires adequate intake of vitamin B6, which pistachios abound in. A surfeit of vitamin B6 can retard brain activity as well as decrease the effectiveness of the immune system for fighting infections. Vitamin B6 found in pistachios also helps the body make healthy red blood cells, and helps maintain the health of lymphoid glands, such as the thymus, spleen and lymph nodes, ensuring the production of white blood cells that defend the body from infections.
Skin Health – Pistachios are a great source of vitamin E, a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, essential for maintaining the integrity of cell membranes and often recommended for healthy and beautiful skin. Vitamin E does an excellent job protecting the skin from UV damage, providing daily defense against premature aging and skin cancer.