Guest-on

Hey everyone, Ruth here. I’m writing in italics because today my Husband will be posting. So since I can’t help but make comments the ought I thought I’d differentiate our writing but putting mine in italics and his in print.

This is Sebastian

This is Ruth

Sebastian. Not Ruth.

Ruth. Not Sebastian. 

Got it? Good. So Sebastian wrote a post and it ended up being very long so we split it in two. The first being his background on all of this. And the second post will be his advice and thoughts on how to help a loved on who suffers with depression and anxiety. I apologize for any crudeness he might throw in. By the way he chose the title because he thought it was funny and clever how it sounded like Gaston from Beauty and the Beast

Depression sucks. In all the relationships I’ve had, depression is the worst ailment of those I’ve cared about. Yeah and how many relationships have you had there, bro?

It’s probably the hardest to deal with because I can’t comprehend the feelings of hopelessness and utter dispare (once milked a cow named Utter Dispare… Which is the answer to a card in Trivial Pursuit). Your own personal trivial pursuit that no one probably wants to play

I’ve been around quite a few mental ailments too. Not going into too much detail: I’ve been around people with borderline and narcissistic personalities; ADHD and ADD;  are ADHD and ADD considered mental ailments? depression and anxiety; eating disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; empaths and apaths. I’ve even been suspected of several of these… But I’m Irish, and if Freud was right about anything, it’s that you can’t psychoanalyze those brilliantly clever and atrociously loyal cousins of mine on the Emerald Ilse.

So even with an upbringing in the chaotic beauty of a traditional Irish family (complete with a father of weak constitution and weekly bouts of fisticuffs with Donovan), I still had no idea of what to do with depression. I’m still trying to figure it out, just as scientists are trying to figure out why I call them all nerds.

This terror of the mind has struck blows against all aspects of my life…

Few are aware that the deaths of our servicemen in Iraq and the Afghan are supremely overshadowed by the death of those who return with a war ravaged mind. The rate of veteran suicide is about 22 a day. You can read about it here.

I remember so clearly when Ruth had her biggest breakdown. I was out in the oilfields of the Dakotas working construction jobs when I received a call from her dad. I let it go to voicemail. When I checked it and heard what happened, I got back to town ASAP. I’m pretty sure the closest I could come to understanding depression was when my fiancée couldn’t hug me…. Couldn’t let me near her… Couldn’t even stand… Haha. I wish you were exaggerating. Fun fact, according to my therapist he couldn’t touch me because My brain started triggering as if I had PTSD. I have no idea why either. 

And I was useless. With all my fortitude and manly virtue -is this where the narcism comes into play?,there was no way I could fight against her demons. Useless. Helpless. Left there to watch in bitter angst as her own brain attacked her soul.

Depression is a cancer. An inoperable cancer. It took me 23 years, 8months and 19 days he just made that number up. He literally just pulled that number outta his hiney. to realize this: it’s not about fixing her… It’s all about being there to help her through it.

So this concludes my Marine’s background knowledge portion. In a few days he/we will be posting the second, and in my opinion more informative, portion of this topic. 

(A photo from our wedding during our vows. Couldn’t help it! Shout out to my wonderful photographer 🙂 she’s pretty amazing! Also I can guarantee I’ll post more wedding photos on the next blog post because I’m obsessed with them)

Also neither of us are doctors and specialists or anything so don’t take our word as gospel truth! We would highly suggest you or your loved one seeking help from a professional! 

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My 5 Quick Fixes: Things I do to Lift My Mood

Everyone has their own little things that they know lift their mood. So in honor of the bad mood I’m in right now, I’m gonna post my 5 quick fixes that help lift my mood. They may or may not work for you, but maybe it’ll help you think of the things that lift your mood!

  1. Bath Time : This will forever be my go- to fix when I’m down. Bubbles and salts included. Candles and music optional. It gives me a chance to relax and be by myself. Trust me, I love my husband and baby… But when you’re a stay at home mom you sometimes need a 30 minute break from having a baby claw at your face and reaching for your *ahem* chest to nurse… You catch my drift.  (lately I’ve been really enjoying making different bath salts with some essential oils… They smell divine and help my mood. However, always make sure you’re using your oils safely!)
  2. Exercise : “come on Ruth, could you have thought of a less cliche ‘mood lifter’?” No. I really couldn’t. But that’s because it works! You know…endorphins and stuff. But this is always super hard for me to get started and do. And I get sooooo peeved at my husband when he pushes me to go for a run. So peeved. I may have once or twice pulled the dreaded “are you calling me fat” card when he’s told me to go running. But by the end of the run, I tend to have a clearer perspective. Can’t argue with that.
  3. Create : Baking, cooking a new meal, coloring, or painting. Those are my favs. The point is when I do one of these it occupies my thoughts completely, and before I know it I’m feeling more positive because I just made something
  4. Clean : I think this might make me a little weird but I’m sure there are those freaks out their who like to clean too. But, one of the tell tale signs that I’m doing badly is if my room (or now I guess home because I’m a “grown up”) is a disaster. You should have seen my room in college when I would be going through bad times. Scratch that, you shouldn’t because I’d be humiliated. Anyway, but now I’m kind of the opposite. I need my house to be spotless because if it isn’t I will collapse. I’ve been known to go on a cleaning frenzy and my husband takes our baby and slips out the door and my dog hides in his bed lest he accidentally be vacuumed up. But a clean home makes me feel soooo much better and soooo productive.
  5. Go Outisde: The sun can do an amazing thing on your mood. And sometimes you just need to get out of the house. During the Jon-winter months it’s amazing to just grab the baby and head out on a walk. However, now that I’m enduring enjoying these Midwest winter months, even just taking my little one to walk through a store can help not feel stuck.

I’m not going to include this in my list, but I’ve found that writing a blog post actually helps to. I don’t know why, probably because I want everyone else to join me in my misery. Muahaha.

Now, there are two things that I KNOW do not help my mood, but they are my weakness. Food and sleep.

  • Food, because I can so very easily begin to eat my feelings.
  • Sleep, because for many years I used sleep to self medicate. Now taking a nap can definitely help mood, especially for sleep deprived mommys, but I know that I shouldn’t use a nap as a means of escape.

I hope this helps people think about some small things that might help them!

I am not a doctor or physician, but I consulted both before starting my journey. If you need help consult the professionals immediately! I have no training. The professionals do and they are there to help!

Don’t Let it Define You. Or Do?

Before I get down to business I’d like to first say, Merry Christmas! It’s such a wonderful time when you can stand in awe at the birth of Christ!
Alright, now that that is squared away I’d also like to say I tried gluten free pretzels and followed up by eating my weight in gf pretzels with cream cheese. Does anyone else’s family eat pretzels with cream cheese? If so, I applaud you! If not, I judge you. Haha just kidddddding. But seriously it’s amazing.

Now. On to the topic at hand. I spent several days pondering this subject and chatted with my mom about it. She’s a wise woman, my Mommy, and I will probably end up quoting her a ton. It’s just that I wanted to make sure what I said, I said it clearly and concisely. (What do you mean concisely… Ya just spent six sentences talking about pretzels ya freak on a leash) as concisely as possible starting….. Now.

Have you ever heard of the day old saying “don’t let [fill in the blank] define you”? It’s one of those anecdotes that people say to build one another up and remind people who they truly are. Well I’m gonna flip the table a bit. My depression is who I am. But I am not my depression. Granted my depression is not completely who I am. But it is a part of me. (HAHAHA how’s that for existential?) God used it to shape me, my personality, my perspective. I can honestly say, without a doubt, if I did not have depression and anxiety as my cross to bear I would be different. My core would be the same, but the Ruth that people know and see would be different.

There were several years of my life though, that I think I let my depression define me completely. I let it be who I am. And it’s sad. I lost so much during that time because I was not “mentally there.” If you let your battles, whatever they may be, consume you, then you are doing yourself a disservice. You lost the fight. But, if you pretend that your battles don’t help shape and define you, you are living in ignorance and missing out in the joy of embracing your own weaknesses and battles. Because of my depression and anxiety I understand the power of empathy and thought in a way I never would have if I was free from this burden. I would never have had the joy of conquering what I have conquered. If my husband had never had the past he had, he would never have appreciated his family the way he does now and wouldn’t have the drive he has to protect the ones he loves. (I can guarantee you he will argue this with me “I’m a sheepdog, it’s in me to protect the sheep from the wolves”) my point is….. Let your battles define you. But don’t let them consume you. But always remember that when you define yourself, when you look at your self worth you look to the cross. I am FIRST AND FOREMOST a child of God. I have FIRST AND FOREMOST been redeemed by Jesus. I am defined FIRST AND FOREMOST by the empty tomb and the full manger.


(Here’s a picture of Melvin because why not)

I am not a doctor or physician, but I consulted both before starting my journey. If you need help consult the professionals immediately! I have no training. The professionals do and they are there to help!

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