Posted in depression, mental illness

I’m not fine

The truth is, you see, I’m not fine.  What the world sees is a lie.  A lie to help them cope.  A lie to help me cope.

My lies serve me well.  Sometimes.  They hide the demons that fly under the radar to steal my mind.

I keep a careful watch.  But, they come whether I want them to or not.  I must be ever vigilant, to recognize them before they pounce.  Their disguises vary with each encounter.

There is a sense, a feeling, that they are coming.  Sometimes.  Other times, they attack without warning.

I lose the will of pretending at times.  I give in to them.  They are stronger than I am.  My resolve to smile and continue the lies wane.  I will retreat to my little cave under the covers.  If I sleep, I then find respite, a reprieve from the continual onslaught.  The darkness of sleep is preferable to the darkness I am subjected to by the demons.

Then, miraculously, they’re gone.  They’ve retreated back to where they came from; to the dark, dank recesses of my mind.  Perhaps they are gathering forces to come again.  Perhaps they are gone forever.  I don’t know.  I won’t know until they return, if they return.

For now, my days are brighter.  I can look forward to tomorrow.

Copyright (C) 2022 Penny Wilson

*This is a work of fiction, my friends.  I am well and doing fine.  I haven’t written about Depression in a while and wanted to do so.

*If you or someone you know needs help, Please TALK to someone.  Please see more helpful resources on my Mental Health Help Page HERE.

Image by Constance Kowalik from Pixabay

Author:

Penny Wilson is a freelance writer who writes in several genres. She has written articles for WOW Women on Writing. Her poetry has been published in online journals, such as Ariel Chart, Spill Words Press and the Poppy Road Review. Penny is a member of the Austin Poetry Society. Her poetry has been featured in the publication America's Emerging Poets 2018 & 2019 by Z Publishing and Poets Quarterly and Dual Coast Magazine published by Prolific Press. Penny is an advocate for Mental Health Awareness and has the page "Mental Health Help" on her blog. She writes about the struggles of mental illnesses and Depression. She is passionate about spreading awareness for Suicide Prevention and Domestic Abuse. She expresses her passion through her writings of poetry and life experiences. You can find more of her writings on her blog at https://pennywilsonwrites.com/ and follow her on Twitter @pennywilson123.

8 thoughts on “I’m not fine

  1. I’m so glad you added at the end that this was a piece of fiction, Penny; a brilliant piece, too. When I was reading it, I thought it was about you and was worried for you. Your written words could have been coming out of my mouth, they were so near to how I feel about myself and my depression and other demons – that feeling that I never know when the ‘attack’ is going to suffocate me. No doubt, you have experienced these feelings at some time in your life, and that’s what’s made it just a marvellous piece of writing. Take care, Penny, and I wish you happy holidays. Xx 💓💕💓

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  2. Penny, even if this is a work of fiction, I know it is truth. Thank you for your honesty, for continuing to write about mental illness (depression specifically), for offering hope. You are strong, amazing and a light to this world. Thank you!

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  3. I believe we may be walking parallel paths at times. A friend sent me a breathing exercise…Merry Christmas! Breath as Prayer: Christmas! Today’s devotion is written by Jennifer Tucker, author of Breath as Prayer.They say it’s “the most wonderful time of the year,” but it sure can sometimes feel more like the most stressful time of the year. For all its wonder and joy, the holiday season can be the most anxiety-ridden season of the year. Unrealistic expectations, overwhelming demands, overflowing calendars, and increased social obligations can lead to all kinds of increased stress and anxiety.

    If you struggle with anxiety through the holidays, you’re not alone.

    The pressure to try to do everything, to plan the “perfect” Christmas and implement all the traditions, not to mention traveling to visit family, meeting year-end deadlines at work, the financial burdens of shopping for everyone on your list, along with all the cooking and cleaning and wrapping and decorating…. whew! Just typing out that list is raising my anxiety already!

    But what would happen if we let go of all the to-do’s and the lists and the expectations this Christmas?

    What if we chose to enter this season with only one goal: to rest in the presence of God and let His peace fill our hearts?

    After all, this is the season of Advent. It’s a time of anticipation, a season of expectant waiting for the coming of our Savior. Advent invites us to slow down and believe that there’s more to Christmas than the loud noise of the holidays, more than the hustle and bustle of the crowds, more than the pressure to produce and perform and perfect.

    Advent is a season of hope, peace, love, and joy.

    The truth is, there’s nothing you have to buy, nothing you have to do to make this a good Christmas. Christmas is already good because our good God has already given us the greatest gift the world has ever known: Jesus.

    So how can we intentionally seek peace this Christmas? How can we ease the anxiety and the stress and the pressure that so often fills these days and instead learn to simply rest and wait in Christ, and breathe in His love and goodness through the season?

    Plan ahead for peace. Pull out a calendar and be proactive. List all the things you know you will have to do: events to attend, shopping, baking, travel, etc. Identify what brings you joy and what brings you stress. If possible, eliminate things that bring you unnecessary anxiety. At the same time, be intentional about planning things you know will bring you peace and joy. Be sure to leave plenty of white space in your days. Plan for rest, for time outside, for prayer and quiet time with God.

    Set good boundaries with realistic expectations. Know your limitations. You don’t have to do all the things. Let yourself off the hook and learn to say no. If you can’t say no, plan time around the stressful things for some self-compassion and down time. Simplify.

    Don’t spend money you don’t have. You can’t buy peace with a carload of gifts and a wallet full of debt. Slow down the pace. Take a deep breath. This season is not an emergency. There is no race to Christmas day.

    Anxiety doesn’t have to be your enemy this Christmas.

    Give yourself grace. Anxiety and depression can be especially hard at the holidays. Be gentle with yourself. It’s ok if you’re not feeling in the “holiday spirit.” There can be pressure at the holidays to be happy and social, but it’s really ok if you’re not. You may be walking through deep hurt or loss this season. Be kind to yourself and gentle with the feelings you are processing.

    Remember: Jesus entered this world in the middle of the mess and muck of a lowly stable to meet you right where you are, in the middle of whatever hard things you’re going through. He came to be your Savior, and He invites you to give Him your burdens and let Him give you rest.

    Take time to breathe and pray. Want a practical and powerful tool to help ease your anxiety while drawing your heart closer to Christ? I invite you to try the centuries-old Christian practice called breath prayer: a simple but deeply meaningful spiritual practice that combines deep breathing with prayers of meditation on God’s Word.

    Made of just two lines from a verse of Scripture, breath prayers are prayed to the rhythm of your breath. You inhale slowly and deeply as you pray the first line of the prayer, then exhale slowly and fully as you pray the second line, repeating the prayer as many times as you’d like.

    The slow, deep breathing is scientifically shown to help calm the physical symptoms of anxiety, while prayer turns your mind toward Christ and the truth in His Word.

    I’ve personally found breath prayer to be an amazing tool to not only help manage my anxiety but also to strengthen my faith. It has helped me change the way I respond to feelings of anxiety. Instead of spiraling into overwhelm and panic, when I begin to feel anxious, I simply slow down for a few minutes and take time to breathe and pray a short breath prayer. As I do this, I can feel my anxiety begin to ease and my soul finds renewed strength as I focus on a truth that is greater than the overwhelming feelings of my anxiety.

    You can give it a try with this simple prayer from 1 Peter 5:7:

    Inhale: I give You my worries and cares, Exhale: for You care about me.

    Repeat this prayer a few times, breathing slowly to the rhythm of God’s Word.

    Anxiety doesn’t have to be your enemy this Christmas.

    There may be hard and stressful days, but you don’t have to spiral out of control when anxiety builds. You can change the way you respond to your anxiety and use it as an opportunity to slow down and turn your heart toward Christ. When you do this regularly, you may just find that you are able to experience a deep and abiding peace as your soul draws closer to the One who split the veil between heaven and earth to be wrapped in infant skin so He could be near you and rescue you and give you real hope and true peace.

    So, when you begin to feel overwhelmed or stressed this Christmas, simply slow down, breathe deep, and try praying a breath prayer. Better yet, try beginning every day with a few quiet minutes of breath prayer. Before the stress piles on, invite Christ to meet you right where you are as you turn your mind toward the truth in His Word and give your worries to Him.

    He is Immanuel.God is WITH us.

    You can breathe deep this Christmas season and know: You are safe and held and loved. You don’t have to worry. You don’t have to stress. Jesus is here. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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