Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Protect your Balloons

My mother has battled depression for many years.  For any one who faces this demon, my heart goes out to you for your bravery in battling each day.

I say it is a battle because I've watched her fighting.  It is tangible, physical.  Some days it is an uphill struggle.  Some days the attack defeats you.  Some days the enemy retreats and there are breaks of peace.

As of late, I have noticed a shift in mom's attitude though, and as a direct result, I think her depression is improving.  Things that would normally bother her, I see her shrugging off.  Where negative comments once would have entered, she spouts something positive.

She said something so wise to me a few weeks ago at lunch that I've wanted to share.

"When my balloons are up, I'm not risking being around someone who will pop them!"

I'm not sure she realizes how profound this is but I'm so very proud of her.

My mom has loved Eeyore for as long as I can remember.  Maybe it is because she could relate to his moods.  There are times we have to 'kick her in the pants' and remind her she is being like her purple friend.

But I can't remember the last time I've had to give her a pep talk.  Instead, I find her giving them to me!

You can't control when depression hits but you can control your attitude every day.  You can control your outlook on life and how you face each obstacle.  And that helps you battle this disease.

Choosing to protect your "balloons" keeps from letting others drag you down.  If you know you're prone to sadness, don't be around negative Nancies.  It just adds rain to the cloud.

Finding joy can be difficult when facing depression or great loss, but it is possible.  The first step is choice.  Choose to get up, put one foot in front of the other, and focus on the now.  Choose to see the beauty in the day, despite the sadness that may be present.  There is always something, even if a tiny sliver, that can bring you hope.  And if you'll do this day by day, the joy becomes easier to find.  Pretty soon, joy floods and cancels out darkness.

Imagine starting each morning with a balloon.  

That balloon represents the good - the JOY - that you have.  It could be watching a beautiful sunrise.  Hearing birds chirping outside your window.  Hugging a friend.  Having two legs to get out of bed.  A strong cup of coffee.  You choose...

But visibly put that joy inside your balloon and let it float.  Take it with you, wherever you go.
If you can find more than one joy, imagine more balloons.  

Now, protect them.  
If you see storm clouds brewing, stand strong.  
If someone threatens to pop them, walk away.  
Do whatever it takes to hold on to that balloon.

And then do it again tomorrow.


adrienne said...

I found your blog by reading Still Standing Magazine. I followed your link in the bio about you over here. I love the way your mom thinks of depression with balloons. I worked with patients, many of whom does suffer from depression and anxiety, and I would love to use this analogy in order to help them.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 photo design by_zpsv1mvteci.png