Archives for December, 2010

Of Faith and Foxholes: The Gifts of Depression

I don't think God minds foxhole prayers. When I was in my deepest, darkest foxhole, God didn't hang up on me when I dialed the most holy 911 in the sky. God took my call. Gave me what I needed. Not what I wanted. What I needed. I have been thinking about this because I went to church yesterday - Christmas morning. I hadn't been to church in a couple of months but it didn't seem to matter. Everyone seemed happy to see me and I was glad to see them. I used to belong to a church where you had to go to church every Sunday. It was a sin to skip church - even on vacation or in a blizzard. On Christmas and Easter you could always count on the priest to make a few sarcastic wisecracks about the parishioners who only went to church on Christmas and Easter. I don't belong to that church anymore. I joined a different church - and I really like it. Which brings me back to foxhole prayers...
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Coping with Depression

All I (Don’t) Want for Christmas: Shopping Tips For People with Depression

Seems a lot of folks have a lot of gift ideas for the people on your shopping list who have depression, bipolar and alcoholism. Since I have bipolar disorder and alcoholism - and I love to shop -  I thought you might be interested in my thoughts. First, remember that we probably did not get you a gift. Your beautifully wrapped gifts remind us that we didn't get anything for you or anyone else that we had on our list Let's start with what NOT to give someone with depression, bipolar or alcoholism. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES give someone who is currently in a major depression a self-help book or - even worse - the biography or autobiography of some tragic artist or celeb who suffered from depression and killed herself. Not only is the topic inappropriate, we cannot read when we are at the bottom of our black holes. Our brains can barely focus long enough to read the label on a prescription bottle. Books only remind us of what we cannot do because we are sick. Besides, Depak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey sound kind of silly when suicide seems like a reasonable solution. 
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