Sunday, October 26, 2008

the freedom of a diagnosis...

Did it happen to you? did you sighed in relief when there was finally a name for what was happening to you? did you weep tears of joy when you realized there were others struggling like you and that there was treatment, hope?

For five years I walked in darkness. Not knowing what was wrong but knowing that something was terribly wrong. I prayed to my beloved Christ for freedom. I begged him. And He let it come when my therapist said " you have OCD. "

I invite you to see your diagnosis as something liberating. You now know who is your enemy. You know what it is, and what it is not. You know the strategies to defeat it. You are no longer in the darkness of the unknown.

For me this means that when a disturbing OCD though comes now I can look at it, chuckle and say "its just OCD." Knowing it does not define me and that it will not and cannot destroy me. Praise God!

Monday, October 20, 2008

overeating, fasting, health, self esteem and vanity

That's a long title isn't it? But it pretty much sums up all the issues that I am struggling with regarding certain silly medicine that is making me gain weight. I am overeating which in my OCD/scrupulous mind means that I do not have self control/practice mortification as I should plus when I look at myself in the mirror and ( probably exaggerating ) feel bad for being "fat" I feel that I am being vane, and when I am walking around the mall I feel jealous of all the thin, blond, blue eyed girls which makes me feel stupid for being so insecure, and all this combined makes me come to the edge of depression.. which makes me feel weak.

so by the end of the day I end up thinking "I am such a stupidly insecure vane fat weak sinner !"

wow, talk about low self esteem!

But voicing it in this little blog is actually helpful. When I voice it I laugh a little because it is so exaggerated and over the top. And then I can claim reality.

I am the Beloved of God and my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I will take care of my body the temple of the Holy Spirit by exercise and eating healthy. I will do this not to be "attractive" or to seek attention, but to let the beauty of my soul reflect in my body. I will not let my body become an idol. The Lord is the only God I will worship.

Claiming being the Beloved of God clears out the insecurity.
When I use words as "I will " I become empowered to change myself and no longer feel weak.
And all this help my self esteem, and because it is the Truth it brings me closer to Him.

This sounds very "Dr. Phil-ish" but it is working for me. Thought I would share. :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008


  • I will recall that I am a child of God. I am one who is created out of Love. I am chosen, good, holy and have purpose...a task to perform here on Earth before I return to the Father. I deserve to be treated as a person who has value and dignity.

  • I will embrace my illness or my family members illness as a friend this day looking for what it is teaching me about the mystery of God and Life.

  • I will not allow the stigma of mental illness to defeat me this day. I will choose to have power over stigma by detaching myself from the stigma.

  • I will talk to someone today who will encourage me to see my goodness and holiness as a child of God. Maybe we will share a prayer together for one another.

  • I will look for humor and reasons to laugh and be happy. Quiet joy will be my goal.

  • I will read a passage from Scripture or something from a book of devotion, inspiration or spiritual reading that will encourage me to trust and hope in the power and love of God.

  • I will seek twenty minutes of solitude, silence, prayer this day. If my mind won’t quiet down, if my thoughts keep racing, I will offer that as my prayer to God. If necessary and helpful, I will listen to soothing instrumental music or inspirational/religious music to quiet me and remind me that God is present.

  • I will walk outdoors marveling at a sunrise, a sunset, the song of a bird, the soothing colors of nature...the serenity of green grass, a blue sky, the softness of the pastel colored blossoms of Springtime and the peaceful waters of a river, lake or stream that ripple and flow. I will remind myself that everything in nature is a reflection of the Creator and pleases the Creator just as it is and so do I just as I am.

  • I will delight in the knowledge that we are each created different because it is in our differences we make a more powerful and beautiful whole. We each reflect a different aspect of the mystery of Life and God. Individually and together we are a Masterpiece!

  • In God is my hope and my joy. I will give honor, glory and praise to God knowing and trusting what God has in store for me. We do not seek or like suffering but our suffering can make us strong in many ways and more compassionate and loving to others...our brothers and sisters in the Lord.

    Prayer-Inspiration from Ministries for the Mentally Ill of the diocese of Chicago.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Winter Blues

The Fall is here! and with it preparations for Thanksgiving and then Christmas and all the fun associated with it! yet, for some of us Fall and Winter are dreaded times.

As if having depression is not enough the whether decides to mirror our low moods. The skies get gray, the trees loose their leaves, etc, etc. Sometimes for a depressed person getting out of bed is hard enough with take the sunrise out of the equation and it just gets harder!

what is a person with depression to do? the following things have helped me:

1) get a light for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you can find some in amazon. They can be expensive but they are worth it.

2) excercise!! you know the deal, endomorphines, body image... it is always a good thing to do!

2) make a list of things that you love about the season and remember them often. Maybe seeing your children at the pumpkin patch, the changing liturgy at Church, etc...

3) practice comtemplative prayer. The world is slowing down. Beauty is hidden under layers of cold and grey, but very much present in the cold and crisp snow, in the winter birds, in the silence of nature. Contemplate and find God in them. Approach the warmth of His heart, hidden under the layers of cold winter.

Happy Fall & Winter to all! :)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Religious Vocations and Mental Ilness

"good physical and mental health"

That is one of the basic requirements of most religious orders. Yet, what does "good mental health" mean? If a person has a history of depression but has been stable for years... do they have "good mental health "? or should the person aspiring for religious life always be one of those fortunate souls that have never experienced an emotional breakdown?

I don't know the answer to this. I guess it depends on each religious order and on the individual... yet I know that wether the person can or cannot fulfill a vocation, Our Good Lord has a plan of glory for each one of us! Each person, whether sick or healthy, has a mission, a divine task to accomplish!

"He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His Love than in your weakness." Mother Teresa

Saturday, October 4, 2008

its been a while!

wow! Its been a while since I've written! Some stuff was going on, familiy wise, which kept me really busy, but I am back! Thank you for reading and commenting. God bless you!