Tag Archive | activities

Philadelphia <3

image

In my e-mail box everyday I receive a suggestion for some thing to do that day that can contribute to health or just be a fun little thing to do like certain exercises, looking up a certain health topic to learn about, making a gratitude list….. Many of these things are great to make a habit of in general. It’s a “challenge of the day” that I subscribed to a few years ago.
Here:

https://challenge.meyouhealth.com/signup

 Recently one of the challenges was to list three places to visit in the place where you live. I live in Philadelphia in Pennsylvania in the US which is the best city on Earth! Lol Almost every single day I’m walking around Philadelphia streets taking photos of everything. I often take pictures of the same things on different days at various angles or with different effects.  
I know when people see me they have to be thinking I’m just a visitor here because who else is in awe like this over the place they see and live everyday?! Lol

One of my favorite things to take pictures of is our SEPTA busses and trolleys and other busses. I have been asked on Facebook how many more busses am I going to post and told I must really like “that bus!” 

image

And it’s not even the same bus!
And yes I do love those septa busses and trolleys! 

image

And also the buildings in Center City which are breathtaking.

image

I have been to a few other cities including nyc and others in NY and ones in NJ and I love those too but nothing can be as beautiful as Philadelphia is to me!



I lived here forever and always will.


I would love to visit other cities especially in Texas and Colorado. I would love to see Aspen. 



But Philadelphia will always be mine. 






I decided to list quite a few places here in Philadelphia that are popular attractions or just amazing and are all places I have been to at one point.  

The Eastern State Penitentiary – this is the old abandoned prison which is in a state of semi ruin and on display for people to learn of its fascinating history. And they also have the Halloween exhibit every year which is still going until Nov. 8th! It’s said to be a real haunted prison! Lol :-O
http://www.easternstate.org/?device=desktop

image

Us Constitution Center – Here you can learn All about our wonderful constitution! It includes interactive exhibitions and conversations about the US Constitution. It’s not associated with any political affiliation. It’s fascinating. I haven’t been there in a while and want to go back soon!
http://constitutioncenter.org/

Ben Franklin museum

This is a very interesting place to learn about Benjamin Franklin and his life. They have interactive displays to teach and entertain people. 
http://www.phlvisitorcenter.com/attraction/benjamin-franklin-museum

Rittenhouse park – the most beautiful park in the whole world! 
http://www.pps.org/great_public_spaces/one?public_place_id=393

http://rittenhouserow.org/index.php/rittenhouse-row/history

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Check out all the amazingness!

http://www.philamuseum.org/

New harmony restaurant – This is a vegetarian Chinese restaurant! It has some of the best food I ever tasted!  MmmMmmM :-p

135 N 9th St, Philadelphia, PA 19107

JFK Plaza or Love Park as it’s also known as –

It’s in Center City!! 

16TH AND JFK BOULEVARD
PHILADELPHIA, PA 19102 

Garden of letters bookstore – I love it! It’s a bookstore and it like specializes in spiritual things. They have totem stones, tarot cards, notebooks, all kinds of lovely things!

527 South St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

Book trader – my favoritest bookstore in all the land! My love! It’s an old used bookstore and maybe kind of on the expensive side but I just love it! Books books everywhere! All different categories! My favorite is the philosophy and self-help sections. The people are very friendly too!

7 N 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Liberty Bell – it’s a large bell and it’s broken. 

6th St & Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Reading terminal market – this is where I go when I have jury service! 

They have lots and lots of food of various kinds and all kinds of other stuff including books! 
I love all the veggie food they have and the scents in the building are mouth-watering!
They also have meat products for all of you omnivores and carnivores(?)!

http://www.readingterminalmarket.org/

The Franklin institute – they have all kinds of entertaining exhibits, movies, shows, attractions….very fun!

https://www.fi.edu/

The rocky statue and the rocky steps – 

The steps to the art museum. Two of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia, the statue and steps.

http://www.visitphilly.com/museums-attractions/philadelphia/the-rocky-statue-and-the-rocky-steps/

The Betsy Ross House – I used to go here on school trips!

http://historicphiladelphia.org/betsy-ross-house/visitors/

The please touch museum – when I was little I used to go here too. It is intended for children seven years and younger. I remember playing with a toy chicken here many years ago! Lol and a little boy was playing with it with me! It was amazing being able to touch everything!

http://www.pleasetouchmuseum.org/?no_redirect=true

Amitayus Kadampa Buddhist Center

This is where I take Buddhist/meditation classes every week. The classes are different prices, some eight dollars, some ten, some thirty. They have various social events. You don’t have to be a Buddhist or a member of the center or plan on becoming one to attend. They welcome everyone.

http://www.meditationinphiladelphia.org/

So there are some of the main attractions or ones that I love! And there are many more! Come to Philadelphia if you aren’t here already and see for yourself. 

http://www.visitphilly.com/itineraries/philadelphia/top-10-most-visited-attractions-in-philadelphia/

image

To people who grew up in other places or have lived there for a while, in Philadelphia we are known as being loud, rude, and have insane traffic(but not as bad as in NYC and Boston, I hear). Lol  I did not always realize this since I always lived here and haven’t been to many other places. But when I’m talking to people who lived in other places, that’s what I hear. They are shocked, especially if they lived in Southern states because everyone is so friendly and kind in those states I’m told. I looovvveee that Southern accent and I’m envious because I don’t have it!
Yes the traffic is kind of messed up when I think about it. They scream at each other out the windows a lot. And I do see people pushing each other and jumping in front of each other on busses very often and that is uncalled for and rude. Lol I don’t do that though. They may not be rude though in general, it’s just a fast paced city where people are too busy and in a hurry.
I’m not loud at all, I am very quiet. But yes, people here are loud! It doesn’t faze me though, I’m used to it. 
And I hear that we pronounce “water” in a weird way. Like “wooder?”
Lol I don’t think I say it like that.
And we drop the “ing” off of words?! “I’m not doin’ nuttin’ today!”  ;-D
All of these things never even occurred to me until I met people who pointed it out! How fascinating!
And….we have WATER ICE!!! Also known as Italian Ice. Many people outside of Philadelphia don’t even know what it is! My favorite is cherry! But I love most flavors. I don’t even know how to say what water ice is. 
It’s all soft and smooth. Like ice cream but not milky. 
One day someone asked me. I was at a loss for words. 
I love when I see someone eating water ice who never experienced it before! I work at a water ice/ice cream store! And when we have visitors who don’t live here or ones who just moved here they look at it in wonder! 

image

:-p 

I encourage you to acknowledge the beauty in your own city even if it’s not where you want to be. There still has to be something that catches your eyes or your heart!  Pay close attention and be mindful of all the gifts that surround you, take pictures, breathe deeply, soak up everything you can around you. I think we can all tune into the blessings around us.

image

Here are some of my favorite quotes about beauty and gratitude/happiness/joy:

“Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.” ~ Anne Frank

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace & gratitude.” ~ Denis Waitley

“Three things you cannot recover in life: the WORD after it’s said, the MOMENT after it’s missed and the TIME after it’s gone. Be Careful!” ~Unknown
 

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” ~Carl Bard

“Just remember there is someone out there that is more than happy with less than what you have.” ~Unknown

Xoxo Kim 😀

My Inner Springtime

image

I have been working on this for days! And here it is!! 😀

http://www.positivelypresent.com/2014/03/inner-spring.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PositivelyPresent+(positively+present)

Positively Present(the link above), by Dani Dipirro, is a lovely little place on the net with an abundance of positivity and inspiration to bask in. I subscribed to her e-mail updates a while ago. She came up with a wonderful idea to create an inner Springtime.   You know how Spring is the rebirth of your world around you after what may seem like a long, cold, barren Winter? It can also be metaphorical for rebirth and inner growth, as you may already know.   I love Winter and every season. They all have their own unique beauty and blessings that the other three do not.   And I am blessed to live in a place with four beautiful seasons.  But the Winter cold can be painful and it’s hard to stay out long in that. To me, it often seems urgent like I have to hurry out of the cold after a while. It’s hard to walk and take photos in that weather while shaking in the frigid Winter air. I know many people just don’t like the gray.   And the Winter lack and the light can have a biochemical effect on the brain chemistry of people, contributing to depression or just a low mood.   I wouldn’t give up beautiful Winter for anything though! I like the cold, the gray, the bare branches on trees…

Every year I warmly welcome Winter

But

I also love when Winter melts into Spring and each year I am very ready for Spring as Winter is coming to a close. The sunlight, the warm lingering daylight, the blossoming green and scented flowers…. Dani Dipirro shares her list on her website for how to create our own little Spring no matter what it’s like out there. What a wonderful idea!

I decided to write my own list, trying not to steal any of her exact ideas! Lol   She has amazing ideas on her list! Be sure to check them out! Some of her ideas are: create a gratitude list, re-read a book, watch a Spring themed movie, play with a dog, cat, or child….

She inspires me so much, so frequently! 

Again, here’s her post with her list!

http://www.positivelypresent.com/2014/03/inner-spring.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PositivelyPresent+(positively+present

So here’s mine!

1.) Try to think back to a song you once loved and listened to often then forgot all about it. 
Download the song and listen. Feel the emotions and memories come flooding back. If you need help remembering your song, think of different ages or stages, years, seasons that have come and gone. Think of old music bands you haven’t heard any songs by in a long while.  Can you remember any long lost songs? 
One of my favorite feelings in the world is rediscovering a beautiful song I haven’t heard in years!

Check this out:
http://www.bobborst.com/popculture/top-100-songs-of-the-year/?year=1964

It has a tab with a long list of years and you can choose a year and then read a list of top songs for that year!

image

2.) Try to find a quote you haven’t heard of before. A quote about a topic close to your heart. Maybe a quote about hope and healing, love, gratitude, being and staying motivated? You can search for a quote book or just look online for lists of inspirational quotes.

Here, you will find a wellspring of quotes and inspiration: 
http:www.joyprogram.com

image

3.) Maybe a little redecorating! Or Spring cleaning!   This will be a good one for me since I tend to get my room cluttered with books and clothes.   Set out things that make you happy, maybe Spring themed things like flowers, pastel colors, bunnies….

4.) Light a beautiful candle with a light fragrance if you aren’t allergic or have breathing difficulties.   Lavender, citrus, cotton or linen, cherry….MmmmMmm!!
Different fragrances are believed to be great for different things.   Lavender is good for depression and sleep disorders, anxiety and fear. Vanilla is good for stress, Lemon is good for sadness and grief, Clary Sage is good for fatigue……certain scents are just uplifting and can inspire a good mood!  
 Open your window, let your curtains blow in the gentle breeze and invite the promise of Spring into your heart. 
And check this out for aromatherapy mood blends:
http://www.aromatherapy.com/mood_blends.html

image

5.) Do some random act of kindness for someone anonymously.   Maybe you know someone in need of some cheering up. Send an anonymous card or flowers, help pay for something…

6.) Pay someone a genuine and sweet compliment either in person or online.

7.) do an arts and craft project. My favorite is to write a quote or song lyrics and decorate it!

8.) Buy or download a book you are interested in and never read yet.

9.) Girls and men and anyone else who love/s to wear makeup and/or new hairstyles, try a new hairstyle/color or makeup look that you have been afraid to try, if that’s the kind of thing you’re interested in. I love makeup and hair and for makeup, I like trying different eyeshadow colors and stuff but my hair is always the same.   Either put up in hair ties or long and flowing around my waist. I never care to change the color or length/general style.  Some people do want to but need a little push. It can be scary thinking about changing a part of ourselves, even something like just a hair style/color which can be reversed and isn’t really a serious life decision.   Anyone contemplating any change, big or small, permanent or not can use some encouragement/support. But it’s ultimately up to you.

10.) Search for a new park or cafe or bookstore. It doesn’t actually have to be new. Maybe new to you or one you haven’t been to in a while.

11.) Step outside your comfort zone. Maybe read a kind of book you don’t usually read. Do an activity you probably won’t be good at. Try a new style of clothing, try food you never tried, try to learn a few phrases in a language you don’t know to speak good in, do something you feel way too shy to do, push yourself, I find that this opens me and I become less shy and more open to even more ideas….

12.) Live in the present moment. Here and now. For an entire day or part of a day, forget about later. Forget about tomorrow and what you “have” to do. Be grateful for THIS moment. Bask in the beauty of your life. Maybe you can mindfully watch a movie, eat something while savoring every taste, texture, sensation…, doing a mindfulness, walking meditation 

image

13.) Reminisce about things long gone. Remember beautiful things, places, people, pets….you once knew.   Feel the beauty of love they fill/ed in you, feel the sting of loss, the sweet sadness of nostalgia….it’s bittersweet.

14.) Create a long list of all the reasons your life is amazing right now.   No matter what you want and don’t yet or will never have. Focus on the current goodness.

15.) Share a quote you love with someone. Anyone.

16.) Write a positive, uplifting, or thought-provoking message that can apply to people in general. You can sign your first name, nick name or not sign it and have more mystery.  Fold up the paper and leave it somewhere for a random person to find. On a seat in a restaurant or bus or train.   On a park bench, on a random house step(hopefully you don’t get flagged for littering! Lol you can tell them it’s my fault, I will take the responsibility lmao), on a shelf in a store, in the pages of a book in a used book store. It may seem kind of creepy but it may be just what someone needs to read. It can brighten someone’s day! It can be a quote or any short but sweet, positive, little message!

17.) Do something by yourself that you don’t usually do alone. A movie theatre, restaurant, buy yourself flowers…Love your own company! 
I often had trouble with this because I suffer with depression and there were some years where I had no true friends and was frequently, physically alone like in college some years , during the breaks in the middle of the day. While I love my own company and have fun alone and with people, even when I had true friends, being alone outside would make me depressed and sad sometimes and excruciatingly lonely.   But it’s amazing to learn to love and cherish your moments you have alone. You don’t always need people around to have fun and not be lonely. 

18.) Make a long list of things you like about you, physically or not. You may not consciously know you have things you like about yourself but look at you. Look within and look at your body. Maybe you’ll discover new things you like that you never realized. Think of your opinions, your compassion, your kindness, your eyes, your heart, your uniqueness,  Try not to think in terms of better or worse and just focus on what is.   Like how someone else has it better or that yours can be worse. Look at you currently and love you!  Also try not to think of it as being conceited. Self love is great! It may seem unnatural first but you’ll get the hang of it! 😀

19.) think of a habit you would like to develop and begin it now or tonight. Maybe you want to start going to sleep earlier, putting healthier food into your body instead of junk, take one hour or more a day just for you, learn about a new topic, exercise regularly…

20.) adopt a dog, cat, bunny, or whatever fur/feather/reptile… baby you want!

21.) Step outside and wonder at the incredible beauty and greatness that Nature is. And look at the incredible, beautiful structure of buildings.   Look at the veins in the leaves. Go weak at the knees at the astounding gift of life. Look at the sky and marvel at the colors, designs, textures, everything….tap into full awareness of your senses. Don’t just look and know. Feel. Feel at a deeper level. Fall into the depths of mindfulness and beauty. Come alive.

22.) do some stretches that are safe for you. You can find many tips and steps on YouTube. 

23.) Remember not to be jealous of or depressed over anyone else’s beauty or success.  You, too, have gifts and accomplishments.    There will always be those with more and those with less. And that’s ok.  Celebrate their fortunes as well as your own.

24.) try a guided imagery meditation.   I took a counseling class in college for meditation and used to do stuff like this in therapy some years ago.
Here’s one for pain byMagical Meditations:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rPtsVkfTEWY

This is the mobile link. It’s complicated to get the desktop link on my phone and it messes things up. I hope you can find it on your computer if you’re interested! 
I love this. It’s for physical and emotional pain. You can find ones on YouTube for pain, sleep, relaxation, gratitude, and more!

I love when the person guiding the meditation has a different accent than me. Lol

25.) search for an old/classic novel or play if you’re into reading and download it for free! They’re no longer copyrighted so you can find them free and legally online. Usually in text or pdf version!
Over 40,000 free ebooks here!!

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/32707?msg=welcome_stranger

26.) find an obscure poem, drawing, painting, or something of that sort and try different ways of interpreting it! Or think of an opinion you have on something and try to imagine having a different or opposing view on it.   What must that be like? You don’t have to change your views but it’s fun imagining and also can teach us to develop deeper compassion and empathy.

27.) create a life philosophy if you don’t already have one! I can’t stress enough how much this has helped me heal and to be a better being than I have ever been. I haven’t written my entire life philosophy out yet, just parts of it. But I will write more. A life philosophy will help guide you on your life journey.   It can grow, expand, and change as you do, please don’t let it restrain you. It doesn’t have to be written in stone but write it in your heart. Make it strong and firm enough to hold you, guide you, and ground you when you falter and fall. Don’t let it imprison you but let it guide you. If you ever find that you outgrow your life philosophy, let your life philosophy grow right along with you.  
My basic life philosophy is to make certain thoughts, feelings, and concepts my general way of life as opposed to just feeling them occasionally or only when I feel like it or when it’s most easy and convenient for me.   It is designed by me to help me be the best me I can be for myself and everyone I impact in any way, not to be a perfectionist but to be better in ways that matter most.
Not to tell people what is best for them ever but to be sure my words and actions are always for the better and never to intentionally or thoughtlessly hurt, destroy, or drag people down.
  I choose to make kindness, love, gratitude, hope, and compassion my way of life. Even when it hurts. Even when people do me wrong. Even  when people are not kind and compassionate for me and others, even when they don’t appreciate my gratitude for them and return it. I choose to remind myself over and over how beautiful life itself is even when it hurts. I choose to never give up.   Not give up on life or myself.   All of these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs often come to us and are easy now and then but it’s so easy to crumble and give up on them sometimes. A life philosophy, to be effective to the fullest must be practiced and maintained every single day.   Like I said before sometimes I am so tempted to give up on it and it goes out the Window when I’m in serious pain but it’s ingrained in me enough so I always find my way back to it soon enough. Find quotes, songs, writings, blogs, books, people, memories….to confirm and help you nurture your life philosophy.  Meditate upon it. Write about it in blogs or journals. Apply it to your real life experiences.  
My physical pain disorder and my depressive disorder helped me strengthen and deepen my own life philosophy by testing me.
Just like a muscle when it’s exercised, it gets stronger. My life philosophy deepens with experience, both pleasant and unpleasant. 
This can help you so so much to be happier, stronger, comforted, and have your life more organized. 
Write down the basic tenets of your life philosophy today.
 I came across this idea because I attended college for Philosophy and graduated with the B.A. In it.   So many people say Philosophy is useless and no point in taking it in college. But I took it just for fun and it is not useless or just for academic purposes.    It can help us think more clearly and develop better reasoning abilities.   There are even self-help/personal development Philosophy books designed to help us apply philosophical concepts to our own lives.  Anyway you don’t have to know anything at all about the academic field of Philosophy or go to college to develop your life philosophy or even necessarily read a self-help book.   They can all be supplements.  And you can learn so much about philosophers and their philosophies online. Much of it is old and not copyrighted. 
We even have our own ten commandments! The Ten Commandments of Philosophy!
Check it out:

https://sites.google.com/site/degatzia/thetencommandmentsofphilosophy

But really, all you have to do is think of qualities you would love to have or strengthen in yourself.   Think of qualities you adore in other people, think of thoughts that help you. What are your values? Virtues? Principles? Strong beliefs? Think them through and put them together to develop the basic foundation of your own life philosophy.   As I have said though, it’s ok to change it when/if your core beliefs and values change but it’s good not to let depression, fear, pain, negativity change it in a negative way like make you decide to kick it to the curb for good or for too long. After it becomes your Way and is deeply ingrained in you, it will be much easier to live by.

I hope you will begin to develop your basic life philosophy today. You can add to it everyday.   It may always be a work in progress, not a complete destination.  Just like you yourself.   And that’s for the best. We’re always learning, evolving, becoming and it’s interesting that way!

Here’s an idea for a life handbook:

http://personalexcellence.co/blog/create-your-life-handbook/

Also, here’s a list of Philosophy texts online :
http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/subjectstart?B

And for your amusement :

Unsolvable problems in philosophy/unanswerable questions 

http://io9.com/5945801/8-philosophical-questions-that-well-never-solve

http://a-misconception.blogspot.com/2010/09/list-of-unsolved-philosophy-problems.html?m=1

http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ETERQUES.html

And here you have free access to an online textbook “Introduction to Philosophy.”

http://www.qcc.cuny.edu/SocialSciences/pPecorino/INTRO_TEXT/default.htm

28.) Do you want to be wildly entertained and put your intellectual skills to use?!  And also be pulling out your hair?! You’re in luck!   Check out these fascinating legal puzzlers!! They will blow your mind. And seriously, they have no definite conclusions! You may think you have it all figured out but there’s always more thoughts and conclusions out there, it is tantalizing! And I wouldn’t have it any other way! ;-D In college, Temple University,  in my philosophy of law class, we were introduced to some of these!

http://people.brandeis.edu/~teuber/puzz1.html

image

30 Days of Lists – Day #2 Personal Medicines

image

Again, I wrote a whole blog post and lost it, last night/Friday. It’s now early Saturday afternoon. 
I have off work today which is unusual for a Saturday and I’m going out with my good friend, Mike, tonight!
 My phone has been acting up and every app/icon I use randomly and automatically just clicks off without warning. So here I am writing it over! And like always when I lose my writings, it will be better than the original! That’s my policy. When I tragically lose something long that I write, I rewrite it better!

Yup! Let the pain make you BETTER, not bitter!

;-D

Last night/Thursday night I was having difficulty sleeping because of my chronic facial pain disorder.   My face wasn’t throbbing too badly but it was exhausted and tired. Lol It sounds funny that just my face can be exhausted! But it’s a very unpleasant feeling!   My disorder has more symptoms than just pain. And facial exhaustion and tiredness is one of them. And it doesn’t always let me sleep.

And one occasion when I woke up during the night, I thought of the 30 day list challenge and realized it really is quite a challenge!   I can come up with so many lists but I want interesting ones!   

I was trying to think of a list and couldn’t think of a really good one other than a list of books. But I want to list my favorite books on a “Page” at the top, not as a blog post.

Then Friday at my psychiatric appointment I was asked to compose a list! A list of “Personal Medicines.”  In this context, “medicines” is not drugs or anything we put into our bodies but, coping mechanisms and things that help us heal our mental illnesses and maintain a good mood and wellbeing.

image

The mental health professionals at this clinic believe strongly that our healing, recovery, and maintaining general wellbeing is much more than just talk & drug therapy.   It’s about attitude, lifestyle, and healthy activities along with professional treatment like drug/talk therapy.

So every visit to this clinic now we are asked to list our “Personal Medicines.” It’s the new policy.  Some patients view this as a hassle but I like it a lot!   I agree that maintaining good mental health when we struggle with a disorder really is more than just professional treatment.

Personal Development/Self Help techniques are important as well.

Here’s my list.

1.) quotes – reading, writing, sharing positive or thought provoking quotes 

2.) reading – self-help, novels, and philosophy books/writings 

3.) walking 

4.) photography – taking pics and being creative

5.) meditation

6.) talking to people/petting animals

7.) helping people

8.) writing 

9.) gratitude practices – lists, meditations, photos…

image

http://365grateful.com/

Check out Amy Gill’s story on this website. The video is on the front page. It’s heartwrenching and beautiful and deeply inspiring.

10.) Art journaling

11.) sharing quotes and my own stories

12.) working on a life handbook – a book of goals, uplifting ideas, values, dreams, quotes, whatever ways you want to live your life.

http://personalexcellence.co/blog/create-your-life-handbook/

image

13.) posting here on the blog

I wouldn’t expect a seriously depressed person to do one or all of these things and always automatically be uplifted or cured. Depression is not just a low mood; it’s a serious illness, a terrible sickness and nothing can just pull someone out of it usually. But with practice we can learn to cope with and sometimes prevent severe flare ups and with practice we can sometimes be somewhat uplifted even when we’re truly depressed. These things help me immensely because I practice them every day and take them seriously, every day, not just lightly every now and then. And not only when I’m depressed.

Since May 2010 I have been working on maintaining a positive life philosophy and practicing personal development/self-help techniques to help me cope with pain, both physical and emotional. And just to have happiness & joy in general.   It has to be learned, practiced, and applied.   Depression has biochemical underpinnings but it’s also psychological and self help techniques can help to a certain extent.   But throwing an uplifting quote at a very depressed person, expecting it to lift the person out of the illness,  can likely just make it worse for the person, seeming like no one understands. But when a person with depression seeks professional help and works on the inner self, reads positive quotes/ideas often, meditates upon them, develops and seriously maintains a life philosophy and positive attitude, making serious attempts to get better and view life in a positive way, it is very helpful and an incredible experience. 

Succumbing to depression, giving into negative thinking, unnecessary self criticism, viewing life and the whole world as vicious and cold and cruel, contemplating suicide are all very detrimental and it takes so much to avoid them. It takes energy, strength, courage that often seems impossible to muster, to avoid giving in, but it is possible and worth it. I know. I used to live in a cold, dark place. It felt so cruel. So hopeless and wrong. Life felt wrong and worthless and useless. But I found my way. I still slip back there once and a while but I found ways to cope until I am genuinely happy again.

Just because I’m depressed doesn’t mean I have to act depressed.

My life philosophy that I can handle anything and that I must stay alive, that life IS great even when it hurts, that just being alive is my purpose and just being alive is a grand thing has become so ingrained in me that even when I get just as severely depressed as I used to, I can cope much better, breeze right through it and no longer become dangerously suicidal. Often, positive quotes and songs do help me now because of the practice of self-help techniques and controlling my thinking.   They confirm and remind me of what I already know. It still hurts when I am hit hard with depression, I still have suicidal thoughts, I still feel hopeless sometimes and worthless for what, often, seems like no reason at all. But these feelings often, no longer overwhelm me or consume me like they used to.  

Something inside has shifted. It’s a strange feeling to become just as severely depressed as I have been for many years but now have hope and still a desire for life.

It feels strange to see a way to die and not want to take advantage of the opportunity like I always, ALWAYS wanted to do for many years.   It’s a strange thing to want to live. Strange, nearly fourteen years, nearly every day I wanted to die.  And the two years before that I did not care if I lived or died.   It feels weird not to have to struggle against overwhelming urges to take myself when I see a “perfect” way out.  It’s so bizarre that the thought of killing myself now seems so so wrong when for years and years and years and more years it felt so right. I still have these thoughts but usually now they are just out of habit and not driven by real suicidal feelings. But even when they are still driven by genuine suicidal feelings and true depression, I can endure it.

I now have a desire and a will to live.

I will never get used to this feeling. Not ever. And as I have previously said, I don’t want to.  One year and five months of actually wanting to live. Every single day.  Living voluntarily and not merely out of fear that it won’t work if I try to end my life.  

Sometimes I have to just stop. I’ll be doing some mundane thing. Brushing my teeth maybe, applying my makeup, walking to work, shopping, showering, falling asleep, waking up…and I just stop.   And feel the shock. The awe. The strangeness of not wanting to die. I bask in the beauty of wanting to live.

I’m reeling. 

It’s incomprehensible, hard to fathom and explain.  

I think of all I have learned, read, survived, believe in, and how I have come a long way. And hope fills me. Hope that the episode of depression, when it hits, will end. Love guides me. Inspires me. And so even though the depression does sometimes get as bad as it used to be, I can cope much better. 

People get angry when people share uplifting quotes or tips for coping with depression and anxiety.   They think it’s cruel and cold and not understanding, thoughtless.   And it can be, depending upon the attitudes and intentions of those posting /saying them. But they CAN also be very helpful when shared appropriately, compassionately.

Let’s not assume every depressed and anxious person can engage in some little self-help technique and be magically cured.   It’s not like that.   And what works for one may not work for another. Let us encourage people to seek help and healing, to seek what is right for them.

Let’s bring hope & warmth to those in the cold, darkness.

I encourage you to make your own list of things to help you with low moods whether they are just normal low moods we may all experience now and then or severe depressive episodes. Practice. Practice. Practice. Sometimes they’ll uplift you. And sometimes they’ll just help you cope. But they are very important to consciously, intentionally maintain.  

I believe that no matter how happy you are, taking part of your days to do fun, healing activities just for you will make you even happier and healthier.

Much love to you all.

Xoxo Kim

P.S.

Have you tried the Molten Hot Lava chocolate cake at Arby’s?!?! It’s Heaven on Earth!

I had it before now and loved it but each day I get it it seems to get better and better!   Yum! And the jalapeño poppers & onion rings! Goodness! Mmnnmm!

My family got food in the drive through Friday night and it cost over $30.00 and my dad said to the man “that’s expensive!!” and the man said “you’re hungry tonight.” Lol! Then as we were driving away the man said “If you can’t be good, be great.” I love it and will always remember that.

If you can’t be good, be great.