« advent villanelle | Main | L'chaim: Review - Straight Up »

November 28, 2006



Sitting in the middle of it right now. It's part of why it's taking me forever to reply to your email. You asked if I'm doing ok, and well, yes, and no, and I can't answer that question in a nice, neat little answer.

I can completely relate to the "I'll take a double scoop of death, please." I don't feel all dramatic about, it just is what is. Can I go home now, Lord? Because I really don't like it here so much. And then I feel like a schmuck for feeling that way, because I have a "great" life.

I just bawled my way through Straight Up because I can completely relate to Georgia. I so badly want to be Fairly and I'm just not. I'm totally Georgia. I'd happily curl up in a ball and die in a drunken stupor. Except I'm married with four kids, so I trudge on, trying to figure out what it means to let Christ carry my load and not get bogged down in it all.

Thanks for you honesty Lisa and for being real and letting your readers do the same.



Ok, for some reason I didn't see your whole post the first time, so I only read the first paragraph. I just finished reading the whole thing and just wanted to add that cutting sugar for me makes a huge difference. Doesn't take it all away, but it help tremendously. The bummer is, it's not just sugar, but any thing that your body might turn in to sugar. So, no bread, pasta, wine, etc. Which helps explain the funk I'm in at the moment because I've been feasting on all that yummy stuff all weekend. I guess it's back to the protein shakes this week.

Praise God you've found something that's helping. And it's free, to boot!



Thank you for sharing this with us so openly, Lisa. I'm glad that you've found something that's helped. I echo Jennifer's comments about other foods. The stuff that I found myself eating as comfort food was actually causing me more problems. Sugar is definitely an issue for me. It took me awhile to figure out that I needed to get rid of the white bread and pastas and things like that too. I still eat pasta I just use whole wheat (same with bread). I splurge sometimes but I can see a huge difference in how I feel. Huge difference. I should probably cut out caffeine too but I don't have the strength to do that yet. :)

Hope Wilbanks

Lisa, your story is so similar to mine! I, too, look back and see that depression began during my teen years. I also had a miscarriage when my daughter was 2, and that's when the major depression began. It escalated after the birth of my son, when I had post-partum depression.

I didn't know about Splenda! I've been using it for almost 2 years now. Thanks for the head's up on that.

It's comforting to know that we're not alone. The fight is such a struggle, especially when you're not on meds (been there, done that quite a few times, too!). Even the best days aren't always wonderful.

I've been tracking my moods every day lately. I think it's going to help me see the patterns I go through so I will know what days I need extra tender-loving-care. ;)

I appreciate this post--thank you for sharing!


I rejoice with you, my friend. Wow. I'm so glad getting rid of extra stuff is helping your soul and body. May the healing continue...


Regarding the patterns, Hope, I know what you mean. (Wow, our journey's are similar!) I have two days a month where my hormones go NUTS and literally, I want to just crawl in a hole and die the blackness is so overwhelming. The first day is the worst because I don't remember it's my "hormonal time, then second is better because I almost always have that "aha!" moment around four o'clock the first day!

I'm still using honey in my tea (helps my allergies) but eat little refined sugars and flour. (Okay yesterday I had a real Coke, but I don't do that *too* often.)

Katy McKenna

It's an ongoing struggle to identify those things that upset our delicate constitutions, isn't it?

I haven't had any sugar for seven years, and no pasta, potato, corn, etc, either. Now I've even eliminated whole wheat, as I'm realizing I can't tolerate it. I am SO much healthier now, but still have to be vigilent about triggers.

Splenda's next, as I still have issues with anxiety and am willing to try anything to stay off meds. (Have been on them and don't want to continue.)

amy a.

Isn't amazing how our bodies are wired. Why do we poison them?

I am working on food addictions right now in my own life and even though I can't say I've had a true depression, I've definitely been hormonal and whacked out.

Even though the food issue is still in progress, I think I've finally got the exercise thing down and it has made a world of difference in my outlook and my attitude toward my loved ones. No more screaming banshee episodes lately!

Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you have found some relief.


"No more screaming banshee episodes lately!"

Oh, Amy, I know! I know! I just can't stand it when I get that way. It's like you know exactly what you're doing to your kids, but you feel powerless to stop it.


It's like I'm standing there watching this crazy lady, thinking, "Who are you? And why can't you just get a grip?!" And then sometimes I'm totally fine and can't imagine that I would flip out like that.


That is such good news! I've always been suspcious of Splenda...

Like Amy, exercise does wonders for me--when I do it. I do well for a while, and then my anti-sports gene takes over and says--enough sweating for a while. Or maybe it's the lazy gene...

I could get on a soapbox about insurance, but suffice it to say I've had trouble getting any reasonably priced insurance since I had the audacity to become clinically depressed about six years ago. If I'd known I'd be blacklisted, I would have skipped the whole ordeal, don't you know.

Katy, that's amazing! Sugar-free for seven years. You're my new hero...

Katy McKenna

Sherri--Yeah, but see. I can't get the exercise thing down at ALL. And I ate enough sugar in my first 46 years to kill several weaker women! But, hey, I don't think I've ever been anyone's new hero, so I'll take it.... ;)

Robin Lee Hatcher

Another reason to get off the diet sodas: Research has shown (according to my chiropractor) that artificial sweeteners cause benign lesions on the brain. If trauma (mild or harsh) occurs, these lesions can then lead to MS.

Robin, putting this in the layman's terms as I understood them


Good for you, Lisa! I know a lot of people think this guy is a quack, but he's usually right. A year ago he wrote extensively about Splenda's history and its unreported effects on many people--including weight GAIN, depression and skin eruptions. We don't touch the stuff; it's one of the easier health choices we can make. If you're interested, you can visit the good Dr's site and see what else he has to say.


Thank you for the encouragement!
--shanna, who had sugar and caffeine this morning against her better judgement and feels very icky now

Kim from papa fest

Oh my goodness,we could start a club.
I thought I was the queen of anxiety and hormonal breakdowns. I see I have friends.
I've been depressed/anxious most of my life I'd say.....just varying degrees. Super bad anxiety/panic attacks after the birth of my 14 yr. old. I was the prozac poster child for 11 years. Been off of meds for over a year and feel pretty good. There is always underlying anxiety. I'm used to it I guess.
I eat fairly well,mostly organic. But crave chocolate.ALOT.
I just today bought Omega-3 capsules and a women's multi-vitamin. I'm trying to stave off SAD. Winter can be the absolute pits for me.
Lisa,I knew I loved you when we met in TN. Something just seemed so real and true about you. I was right.


Ditto, ditto, ditto... exercise and fresh air do wonders for me, as do yoga/prayer/meditation, but it's amazing how easy it is to forget this, especially when I need it most.

I spent a week in bed once when I was in college, and when I went to the health center (thinking I must be sick, which I guess I was, but not in that way) the doctor told me I was just stressed about finals. Um, no, but thanks anyway. It took me years to figure out that hmm... yeah, I was seriously depressed (probably not the first time and certainly not the last). I sure hope college health care has changed since then.

We're paying for our own health care plan right now (sounds similar to yours, although it does cap how much we'll ever have to pay), and are paying my therapist out of our own wallet, and in a way I'm glad because at least it's not a black mark on my record. The fact that not only is most health care not affordable, but that if you do indeed ever get sick and use it you might never be insurable again... it's an awful mess to navigate if you're not working for a company whose plan must accept you. And with the service sector being one of the booming parts of our economy, and with those jobs being both low-paid and benefit-free, I think this issue is just going to keep getting bigger. I have no idea what the answer is, but the idea of people not being able to afford doctor visits or medicine makes my skin crawl.

Sorry for the semi-rant and best wishes for your continued health. The short days and grey skies take a serious toll on me too. But you've reminded me to watch my sugar and chocolate intake and hop on the bike more!

BTW — like the new banner. What is the photo?


thanks, lc, for your comments. It's amazing how many people are basically uninsured these days. My eyes are so much more opened to "plights" like this now.

The banner is a CU of this funky little silver Christmas tree we have with some white lights buried in, some silver ribbon and my Aunt Mag's, Godrestersoul, pink Christmas balls.

Katy McKenna

I didn't exactly mention this, but I am a survivor of years of BAD panic attacks, which started after one of my miscarriages. And, concurrently, agoraphobia. And later post-hysterectomy depression of the Thank-God-my-husband-won't-let-us-have-a-gun-in-the-house variety.

I also had a series of seizures in my late 20s, all wrapped up with the panic and agorophobia. Still don't know why. I do believe that my dietary habits could NOT have helped. Lots of caffeine in combo with glazed hunks of sweet yeast--donies. Now I find I can have caffeine--just avoid the yeasty sugar.

The older I get (soon 53), the healthier I seem to be. Even my mental health is improving. God has proven Himself faithful to me in all of this, which I find astonishing.


"Wow!" to all the stories about diet changes helping with depression - I've never heard that advice for depression. I've been trying to cut out the sugar, starchy veggies and most all the grains for weight loss - and my husband's on that diet right now to heal gut problems. All the more incentive, now.

Thanks, Lisa, for this post. Congratulations on giving up splenda, diet sodas, AND stopping smoking. That's a lot!

Just to add one other thing that has helped me a lot with SAD and also with my phase-shifted sleep drives - I try to use a light therapy box. I use a goLite (from Apollo Health products, their website is easy to find - only I was able to get it at Costco a year ago for less than half the cost listed at the website). If I get up a little earlier in the morning and use the light box, I can feel a small but significant difference in my mood after a few days. The amazing part is that I also feel a stronger desire to go to sleep at an appropriate time and it gets easier to get up in the morning. It seems to really work at helping to shift my sleep cycle, which I've never experienced before in my life. I've always been an extreme night owl.

Writing this has made me realize that I haven't been using the box recently and I need too. Unfortunately, I now need to get up many mornings at about 5:30 a.m., and it's awfully hard to convince myself that I need to get up another twenty minutes earlier to use the light box... Maybe I'll at least try on the mornings when I get to sleep in until 6:00 a.m.

david husfun

i find that the best place to look for a doctor is www.mdjunction.com, they have ratings and reviews on the doctors and some more nice features. sorta- healthcare community. check it out !

claudia mair

Me, too!

Girl, I've cut out ALL the meds, including my big, bad pain medications--some of which could make me stand three feet off the ground. Oh, I will miss them! Anyway, I'm doing homeopathy, probiotics and enzymes, and making dietary changes. I've also started MOVING! My body that is, but the geography may change, too.

My depression had resisted treatment so profoundly that I considered electroshock therapy. Really. When the Cymbalta gave me convulsions--this after the initial desire to kill myself in the first weeks--I realized I was killing myself with these drugs that weren't even helping me.

Do I still believe in meds? Yes, when they work, and all had stopped working for me. I do believe there is wisdom inherent in the body. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. I'm trying to listen to what all my pain is saying, and on days like this, when my body aches and groans for relief, it's hard. But God is with us. Pain is a masterful teacher if you'll listen to her lessons.

Oddly, for all my body pain, I have zero depression right now--a miracle in itself. Let's keep this conversation going. See what God is up to.


Heather Diane Tipton

Insurance... what's that?? LOL I've never had it. Never go to the doctor neither. LOL It's amazing what you can go without when you don't have the money.

I fight depression... have for the last few years. It's been interesting, that's for sure. Because there was no way I was going to a doctor... and I hid most of it from people around me... I'm a master at hiding that stuff... and why am I sitting here blabbing all this to you? LOL sorry about that

Cool on giving up the sodas and the smokes! Proud of you!

The comments to this entry are closed.