Overcoming deep depression....success stories??

by oompa 58 Replies latest jw friends

  • Hortensia

    life is tough for a lot of us - I am so impressed by how hard everyone seems to work to overcome depression and bad circumstances in life. I take celexa, just had my dose increased and for the first time have gone a few days without the anxiety med or the sleeping pill. So I think my dose is finally right.

  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead


    First of all I would like to say that you are a very likeable person... you have a great sense of humor that sends me and probably many other posters cracking up. I say this because this means that if you allow yourself, you can probably begin to form friendships very easily. But you have to start reaching out and making friendships. Call people, whether JWDers, or better yet, non-JWs so you can get a fresh perspective.

    John Doe made an interesting point:

    I would suggest telling your wife exactly what you're thinking about. If she doesn't or can't listen, then that should make your decision more clear. No matter what, right, wrong or indifferent, you need to be able to tell your wife exactly how you feel, and that's reciprocal. For a JW though, this can be extra difficult. JW's aren't supposed to be individuals or have worries or doubts. Repression kills.

    You need to level with your wife as to what you want and need from your marriage. I spoke to my wife a few days ago, and explained several things that would need to change immediately due to my leaving JWs, and she accepted the new terms! So you need to see if your wife will allow you to continue to enjoy life.

    Call me if you want to chat over a cup of tea... or a beer... whatever...

    Take care,

    [email protected]

  • dinah

    <------what Awakened said........

    You ARE likable and you are FUNNY. Have you ever heard the saying that comics turn their pain into laughter??

    Hell, I like ya. You've just hit a bump........about a HUGE bump. I have faith in ya though.

  • Awakened at Gilead
    Awakened at Gilead
    Hell, I like ya. You've just hit a bump........about a HUGE bump. I have faith in ya though.

    What oompa has ED?????

    J/K (I think that's something oompa would have said anyway, or maybe ninja)

  • Namaste

    Somedays I have little flashbacks and marvel at the state of my life today compared to my darkest hours. I was in such a deep dark hole and was without any hope, I really wanted it all to just go away. I used some meds to kick start me a little bit and then decided to become completely selfish.

    I stopped worrying about everyone else and decided if I was going to have a life, I had to make it happen on my own. I got incredibly busy, worked 2 jobs so that I didn't have down time and I stopped trying to rescue other people. I needed to be saved first.

    I'm almost 15 years past that terrible time in my life now. I still struggle with depression but have never gone back to the worst of it. It's something I constantly am aware of and I make an effort every day to not let it take over. For me, it is my promise to my son to give him a happy and a fulfilling life that keeps me going and keeps me in the fight to not let depression take over.

  • changeling

    Hi oompa: I'm very glad you're feeling better. Your saying that you no longer enjoy certain things might be a sign that your depression lingers. Stay in touch with your doctor and allow him to "tweak" your meds or change them as needed. For many, depression is a life long issue and as succh needs to be monitored. There is not "magic pill.

    That being said, one thing I've learned is to not seek "perfection". Perfect health (physical or mental), the perfect marriage, perfect friends... Or, to view things as "perfect" just as they are and see the "sunny side" of everything.

    `We've all suffered from having been witnesses and the longer we were in the deeper our scars. So lets learn from our kooky past and embrace the rest of our lives with open arms.


  • Honesty

    All of my depressive moods disappeared within a month of me telling the Watchtower Society to Bugger Off.

  • AudeSapere

    An apology in advance: This is much longer than I intended and it's a little disjointed. I'm writing at work in between phone calls but will send as it is. Please forgive if not too smooth in devlopment and presentation...

    You wrote: Waking up after 40 plus years in a cult and being shunned by just about everybody because I let them know what I think is not exactly partytime. I don't seem to be able to move beyond JWD even...my mind is so constantly focused on JW crap and how to get my family out....it is not healthy.

    Nearly everyone on this site can empathize with you.

    I really think you need to find a way to stop obsessing about JW crap. If your family chooses to remain in useless servitude, that is their life choice. Everyone has to make decisions for their own life and I personally don't think it's fair to expect others to bend their lives to suit our own growth and change. If you really think about it, I think you will find some truth in this. You and your wife have grown differently (notice I'm not saying good or bad - just different). The ideals of 'forever' are clearly branded on your heart. But what if 'forever' is really only 80 years. And what if you've grown different from each other. What if neither is happy now? Should the rest of both of your lives (and maybe those around you, too) be sad and antagonistic or just stiffled just because you each grew differently?

    Have you ever heard the saying: "What you resist, you create." I have found this to be true. Sometimes our actions to avoid a situation actually serves as the catalyst to create it.

    [I wonder if your flat refusal to even consider a rational discussion about divorce might in some way contribute to you ending up having to face a reality of it at some point in the future.?]

    Part of my own depression story:

    I was in pretty serious depression from 1993 to 1995 (or so...) All about the same time I stopped going to meetings. I was a walk-away believer and that felt the org was just going down a wrong path that my sensibilities would not allow me to follow at the time. I fully believed that the org would get back on track and when that happened, I would re-activate myself.

    Well, THAT sure never happened.

    While in my depressed state, I found a therapist that I could talk to. And we sure did talk about coping and living and all sorts of things. Somethings she encouraged me to do I disagreed with at the time. (I was still thinking like a cultist.) A good therapist will let you talk rationally through your concerns and will also test your boundaries. (Suggesting divorce doesn't necessarily mean you have to do it. A big part of the therapy process is helping you confront - in a clinical setting - life situations that trap us. The process helps you thoroughly explore the consequences of a life choice before you actually make it. It also helps you see where your 'programming' came from and allows you the opporunity to change the areas that you choose to change.)

    Eventually I agreed to antidepressants (Zoloft and then Prozac) I kept taking myself off the meds because they (esp Zoloft) prevented light and happy feelings. I yoyo'd back and forth and all over the place for a couple of years.

    Then I got cancer. (btw - Today is my 10-yr survival anniversary. Happy Cancersary to me~~!! )

    Surprisingly, I did great emotionally while in active treatment. It was after 2 years of treatments ended that I was again falling back into a severe depression. My cancer doctor helped me get my emotions back on track. One part was staying on meds long enough for my brain to calm down. We made a deal for me to stay on them faithfully for 6 months.

    In my more compliant and attentive periods, the biggest help for me was to pay attention to me.

    During my big depression (few years before cancer) a friend (who had extensive therapy) gave me what seemed like an easy assignment: Make a list of 'what thrills me'. I put pen to paper and broke down in tears. I had nothing to put on my list. I sat in the chair with pen and paper in hand and cried for a couple of hours. When I told her that I couldn't make the list, she told me to start small and that helped. I have that list somewhere but I quickly found about 15 things to put on my stupid list.

    To anyone else this would be a ridiculous list. Some of the items were: Mint chip ice cream, the sun on my face, eating anything with a small spoon. (I kid you not~~! That's how pitiful my list was.)

    The next assignment was to do something on that list everyday.

    And you know what? It helped. It helped alot. And it was easy and fun. Aside from my friend, I was the only one who knew that these little things that I started making a priority in my life were actions designed to help me take care of me.

    We've all heard the words: "Live in the now." I just could not get myself to do this. Until my cancer diagnosis. Then I understood completely. I was faced with a life-threatening illness, and was very obviously ill. I was terrified of what I saw my future could be (lying in bed while my bathrobe rotted on me) and pissed about a sad life history and angry to be stricken at a time when I was just finally getting my life where I wanted it.

    My cancer story is ironically such a life-affirming story for me that sometimes I get real annimated about and can go on-and-on. So I'm erasing parts to just get on with what I think may best apply to the topic at hand.

    So... Live in the now. What I found in trying to get a handle on how to deal and cope with cancer was that by just staying 'in the moment', my life was actually quite manageable. I only got really tripped up when I went too far into the past (how fucked-up and unfair life could be) or too far into the future (how horrible things might get). The fact was that the past is the past. We can't change it. We can only change now.

    Sometimes we spend so much time and energy dwelling on our history or plotting, planning and manipulating our future (or that of those close to us) that we completely miss all the life opportunities and happiness that exists and is our to take and enjoy right now. Sometimes we fight so hard to change something that the harder we force it, the harder it pushes back. But if we just let go, live our lives right now with a sense of happy purpose, the change we hope for can actually happen on its own. (In the course of depression and cancer therapies, I decided for myself that happiness is a decision.)

    Another saying that carried much meaning for me then was: Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. All we have is now - and that's why it's called a Present.

    So in making all my 'nows' pleasant, I stayed pretty level emotionally (and handled my treatment with grace, dignity, and a whole lot of fun~!!. I know. I'm weird.)

    This post is all over the place. I'm sorry if it got ramble-some. I'm tempted to just delete it but it's been good for me personally to remember some of these tools and principles so I will submit it. Please forgive me if I've taken the thread on a little detour. Hopefully there is something in this thread that is helpful to you, Oompa, or someone else.


  • dinah

    What oompa has ED?????

    J/K (I think that's something oompa would have said anyway, or maybe ninja)

    I don't think Oopma has ED. Maybe a little ADD and a little FBTWT. I don't think they make any medicine for that. Research may be in order??

    Y'all answer if ya get my acronym......

  • dinah

    What oompa has ED?????

    J/K (I think that's something oompa would have said anyway, or maybe ninja)

    I don't think Oopma has ED. Maybe a little ADD and a little FBTWT. I don't think they make any medicine for that. Research may be in order??

    Y'all answer if ya get my acronym......

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