**ILLNESSES* == BATTLING & Triumphant!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by S-Elaine, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    I have added my latest update to this post below.

    It is titled ...... "It Is Almost Indescribable The Transformation That Took Place".

    == Elaine


    TO ANYONE CURIOUS about how I can fall apart and then pull myself back up and BATTLE what or who I need to ~~~~ Most recently Major Depressive Disorder and PTSD. This is how ...

    The Major Depressive Disorder has been a RECENT MONSTER. Thankfully, it is being "managed"!

    Below, I am reposting information that I hope could be helpful. I will add the 2nd part of my background story with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, as well as dealing with Depression.

    This is my real life story about my Father who was MY TEACHER, and I became his STUDENT.

    He never told me at the time he “enrolled me in a course” and it was to teach me how to live with my medical conditions and to develop coping skills.

    I will always be grateful to him for the information he so generously shared with me.
    Take care,

    I got my strength (mentally and physically) from my Father. He had Parkinson's for 19 years & RA for 29 years.

    Strange thing is when I got really sick, was severely depressed and 100% bedridden-----my Dad was the ONLY person I responded to. (I stopped talking, stopped caring and gave up.)

    I felt “useless”, “worthless” and like an “extreme burden” upon anybody who had to take care of me. I could not even feed myself because lifting up my arms was not something I could do. I had to be fed the way you would a child.

    I had to be carried to the bathroom and I had to be given my medication. None of this was anything I could do on my own & I believe this greatly contributed to my Severe Depression at the time.

    My Father was persistent and was not about to let me continue like that. He would get in his wheelchair every day and come into my bedroom to talk to me. I did not answer him for weeks. I had nothing to say to anybody and I just wanted to be left alone.

    Again, my Dad refused to give up on me. I finally responded to him when he said...."We walk in similar shoes, so I understand how you feel." (He meant we both have illnesses. They have different names, but they affect us in similar ways.)

    That caught my attention, and I finally spoke to him. He phrased things for me in a way that made me think.


    == Do you want to spend the rest of your life being miserable ... OR do you want to learn how to accept it and deal with it? You can move forward and create a happy life for yourself.

    == The word "disabled" does NOT mean you can no longer do things. It just means you have to learn how to do things differently.

    == You can be as mad as you want for as long as you want. It's up to you, but that attitude will get you no where.

    == Are you planning on never even trying to walk again?

    == Be proud of who you are. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Hold your head up high.

    == Allow yourself to grieve periodically. It's natural and you will need to. The rule is to not let those negative feelings linger more than 1 day. When you go to bed...hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

    == Stop praying to God that you won’t wake up the next day. God will NOT answer that prayer for you. Try to ask him for other things & remember to be reasonable.

    == Do not let this illness become your whole entire life. Learn how to incorporate it INTO your life. You can have a life outside of this illness.

    I'll never forget the day he convinced me I could get out of bed. He told me to be very careful, sit on the side of the bed, and slowly lower myself to the floor. I did then I looked at him and said...."now what???"

    He said..."see if you can crawl to the doorway." I did and when I got their I smiled. My Dad then said..."the bathroom is on your right and if you go down the hallway, you will get to the kitchen."

    He was so nonchalant about it, making it sound like it was so easy to do.
    It gave me hope just to know, I could get out of bed and crawl to another room ALL by myself!!

    I crawled until my legs got strong enough to use a walker. With my walker, my Dad and I used to race in the back yard. He had to put his electric wheelchair on SLOW to make our races fair. Eventually, I no longer needed the walker.

    My inspiration is my Father. That's part of my background story.

    I will attach to this the 2nd part.

    Wishing ALL of you well. Take care.

    == Elaine[This Message was Edited on 01/11/2011]
  2. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    THIS IS MORE OF WHAT MY FATHER TAUGHT ME / PART 2 Regarding How to Live with Medical Conditions and to come out in the end ON TOP & HAPPY!

    MORE++ Inspirational Words of Encouragement / Part 2

    As I posted before, this advice and guidance my Father gave me helped in changing my life, my perspective & outlook. I put his words in quotes (“.....”), because these are HIS words, not mine. I’m just passing them along hoping they may help others.


    == “On the days when you are in pain, acknowledge it is going to be a tough day & take it easy. Still get some things done. Small things and rest in between. This will give you a sense of accomplishment that you can still be productive even on the days when you are not feeling well.”

    == “Do not be angry because you have to use a walker at such a young age. Look at it as a means of transportation. The walker will help you get to where you need to go when ever you want. And, maybe some day you will no longer need the walker. I did not care so much for my own wheel chair at first. When I realized where it could take me, then I liked it.”

    == “You have tried to take your life 2 times, and you managed to survive. Do you now realize it is not your time to go yet? You have a future ahead of you and most importantly, you have a life to live. Please do not forget about that.”

    == “Always remember where you once were, so you can be proud of where you are at now. Never forget about the bad condition you were in before. That will always help remind you of how hard you worked.”

    == “Do not be ashamed of your illness. In what others see as our greatest weaknesses, God perceives as our greatest strengths. We are still useful. We can still do things and contribute. Perhaps we might have to learn how to contribute in a different way though.”

    == “When a doctor tells you that you can no longer do things, take what they say into serious consideration. Test yourself to see if the doctor is right or wrong. Make sure you are very careful when you do this. Sometimes the doctors will be right & sometimes they might be wrong. Remember your doctors were wrong about you never walking again because look at you now.”

    = “Try not to get overly frustrated if you are unable to do something on a particular day. Just because you are not able to do it today, does not mean that you will not be able to do it tomorrow, or the next day. Eventually, you will be able to do it.”

    == “I am teaching you about all of these tools that you will need to use for the rest of your life. That is what happens when you have a medical condition. Look at these TOOLS as GIFTS. They were given to me, and now I am giving them to you. When you learn how to successfully use them and no longer need them, give them away to others. Keeping them and not sharing would be selfish. Some people may want them, and some may not. Always be respectful of their decision.”

    My father was my teacher. He took it upon himself to personally show me with an illness you can still have a happy, full, and rewarding life. He was a very happy man, and he had Parkinson’s for 19 years along with Rheumatoid Arthritis for 29 years. (Believe it or not, he considered himself a lucky person!!) That always amazed me!!!

    My hope is that others can possibly benefit in some way from these words.

    Wishing all of you the very best. Take care.

    == Elaine
    [This Message was Edited on 07/15/2010]
  3. TigerLilea

    TigerLilea Active Member

    Your dad was a very wise man. He taught you some very valuable life lessons that we all need to remind ourselves of ocassionally. I wish that more people with CFS and FM could understand that we are NOT our illness and it does not define who we are.

    Thank you so much for sharing with us.
  4. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    I just keep saying wow with each post.

    Let's keep this bumped.

    When I was in the hospital, one of the discussions was repeated visits to the ward. They put a positive spin on this. First, it can be the nature of the beast if you have stubborn depression and like a car, we may need a tune up once in a while whether we need to get an adjustment of meds. or in the hospital to monitor your progress.

    My father like a lot of men in his generation does not talk about his feelings much but we did have an interesting discussion about the adjustments he has had to make as he has aged and how it pertains to my DD.

    His mind is still sharp, sometimes sharper than mine and he is involved in several different activities, edits several newsletters as well as videos. Now whether his activity level has to do with these activities or is a reflection of how he feels, I am not sure.

    The doctor said that his living this long and in the condition he is in a lot has to do with his genes. His cousin who turned 105 last month, died last month. She was driving up until two years ago but when she reached 100, her license restricted to day time driving.

    But I digress.

    Elaine, have you thought about writing a book or blogging about the experiences you and your father shared and your journey with cancer and depression?

    My dad also taught.

    Again thanks.
  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    A good point. Our illness should not define us. It is part of who we are but there are also other aspects of our life that define us as well.


  6. shirley1259

    shirley1259 New Member

    Thank you so much for letting us share in your dads words of wisdom. He is the kind of dad every father should be. It is just amazing how he wouldn't let you give up. And most of us dont learn a 1/4 of the wisdom he shared with you in our lifetimes. I hope you will think about gaps advice about writing a book about you and your dad. It would be an inspiration to so many.
  7. hermitlady

    hermitlady Member

    You have been extremely fortunate to have had such a caring, wise man for your father. I wish I had had someone like that during my darkest times.

    My father and I did not see eye to eye very often, and now he is gone. He never really knew how bad my depr episodes would get, I didn't want him to know. He would have just lectured me and told me to snap out of it! Not one person that I know has ever really been able to relate to me regarding my illnesses of FM, CFS and Depr.

    You are an inspiration. May I ask, how long did it take you to feel "better" after your MDD episode? How long do you think you were in this major depression? I go back and forth myself, and I never know when a bad spell is waiting to attack. Once I'm stuck in a MD, I forget everything I've learned as far as coping and recovery goes...once back in the pit, I seem to lose my grasp on reality.

    I will continue to follow your posts, they have been better for me than any of the books that I have read on depression. Thank you so much for offering to share such personal moments w your dad. You keep up the good work and keep enjoying your life!!! I am so happy for you.

    Much love and admiration...........

  8. gb66

    gb66 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for this. I am going to keep this in my favorites. You had an amazing dad. GB66
  9. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    HERMITLADY ======= The MDD was going on for at least 1 full year before I make “wrong choices”. Through Counseling and seeing a Psychiatrist for 6 months, finally I feel LIKE MYSELF AGAIN. Yet better off now in the end. My Psychiatrist tried probably about 6 medications before ….. LUVOX is what works for me.

    I am glad you have enjoyed my posts and they are helpful to you.

    Always feel free to ask me any questions. I am very upfront and honest about my trials and tribulations. “Learning Lessons of Life” is what I call them.’


    GAPSYCH =========== Glad you enjoyed this one. I wrote it a long time ago & decided to re-post it. Hoping it can help anyone in anyway.

    Regarding your Father ~~~~ the analogy between adjustments & maintenance on a car & how that applies to those with Medical Conditions is a GREAT one.

    Most who do not have illnesses cannot understand us, how our life is affected and what we have to endure. Even things we have to give up because you have to make trade offs here and there.

    My Family Members still do NOT understand my ------ Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and cannot relate to the Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) either. It baffles them.

    On the other hand, if my Dad was still here instead of passing away 7 &1/2 years ago ~~~~ he would understand me.

    He would not approve of my poor choices and decisions, yet he would not hold it against me either. He would gently let me know …… “it is not your time yet!” My Dad was able to understand me because he revealed to me he went through all of the emotions I was going through when I was diagnosed with my Medical Conditions. I would never have known that because he never came across that way.

    Regarding posts I write ======= I have that area covered & save the majority of what I type up when it comes to messages where I write about my past experiences. I have all of that information saved on BACK UP CD’s too, just in case one day I can organize it properly and come up with an appropriate NAME.

    Time will tell if I am ever up to that challenge and the name would have to be associated with my Father as well.

    Take care,
    == Elaine
  10. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Glad to know reposting this message was helpful in some way.

    I’ll go through my saved posts and put some of them up again because maybe others did not see them the first time I wrote them.

    Take care ALL,
    == Elaine
  11. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Thanks for pointing that out regarding changing the titles of the messages.

    What do you think about the changes???

    Let me know because I really appreciate your input!

    == Elaine
  12. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Hi all,

    I had no idea with all of my Counseling sessions and having the right Psychiatrist in place & finding the proper medication for me would get me to a place of SHEER JOY!

    This past year has felt like a “Roller Coaster” and I never knew if or when it might stop.

    Thankfully, Luvox works in so many areas for me where improvement from 1 pill is not the norm.

    I am glad I put all of my time and energy into my “Recovery” because I am so happy and keep looking forward to what the day may bring me!!

    Take care,
    == Elaine
  13. u&iraok

    u&iraok New Member

    what a great father you were fortunate to have. You'll always have his wonderful words of encouragement.

    It seems we need someone in our lives who has health problems in order to understand and encourage us. I guess the reason for this board.

    My husband has health problems and we are so thankful that we have each other to understand and encourage. (Even though sometimes when I feel good he doesn't and when he feels good, I don't. Then we're like two ships that pass in the night...)
  14. Debra49659

    Debra49659 New Member

    You have always been an inspiration to me, I admire your courage and faith and your ability to keep growing as a person.

    You dad was a gift from God, and I'm quite sure you couldn't have picked a better one if tried.

    He reminds me so much of my own father, who is dealing with dementia and dealing with his own struggles. Thanks you for sharing your fathers wisdom, life truly does come full circle.

    I am feeling quite alone lately and your fathers teachings have given to me a sense of piece:)

  15. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Hi all,

    Below is a post I wrote a few months ago. Just wanted to add more to this message.

    FINALLY ~~~~~ I broke through and have found myself coming through all of this, feeling HAPPY, AMAZING, WONDERFUL, THANKFUL FOR THE EXTRA KNOWLEDGE, THRILLED & LOVING LIFE ....... again like I use to.


    Let me share some of my recent story with you and please know there is HELP out there. Finding it is tough and waiting it out is ----- Hellish. Yet, it is worth it & YOU MATTER !!

    I’ll cut and paste some information about me from previous posts. You can find more of my FULL Story of MASSIVE Depressive Disorder on the “Depression” Board and on the “Chit Chat” Board.

    The meds I tried that were unsuccessful were: Lexapro, Cymbalta, Pristiq, Zoloft, Effexor, Xanex & Buspar.

    I am finding success with an older med ------ LUVOX

    I already take at night for Depression & Sleep ----- Remeron & Pamelor

    Here is some background information on me below I previously posted …..

    It has been 5 to 5 & ½ months ago when I was given the label of ….. “Major Depressive Disorder”. I do not recall the last time I battled Depression it being as difficult and challenging as this has been for me.

    There are moments when I wonder and question ….. “Do I exist?? If I do, then why have I not been returned to my full self yet? Where is the rest of me hiding?”

    Within my immediate Family, I know only 2 of them do care about me and they only want the best for me.

    I also never imagined I would once again find myself in the following places:

    == ER Room
    == Intensive Care Unit
    == 2 In-Patient Mental Health Wards.

    (This all started at the end of December and went up until the middle of June.)

    I approach every day with a positive attitude. I keep trying to make my days as normal as they can be and I try to fall back towards the routine / or schedule I had before.

    Of course, there are major UPS and DOWNS. I love the ups. They are so wonderful and while you are “in the moment” you are re-connected to your old self and who you really are deep down inside. You feel so alive and your ZEST for life comes back full force. During these times, I then often then find myself singing or dancing. Doing something more on the “silly” side that makes me laugh!

    When I laugh, it reminds me of laughter from the past. I know I use to laugh a lot before all of this took place with me. The laughter makes me know the real me is still there. You see bits and pieces of yourself shining through during your ups.

    During the “DOWN” moments or days, I do find myself questioning ---- “Is this really happening? Do I matter? Do I even matter to anyone at all? Why does all of this hurt so much? When will things finally change? Will they really even change at all? How much longer can I go like this? Can I continue like this until I make a full Recovery? I know I have made improvement in many areas, will it all kick in or fall into place once I am 1 full year out from all of this?”

    The “down” days are the worst and most difficult to get through. As negative thoughts enter my mind, I try as hard as I can to think of something POSITIVE or I try and do something that will overall be HEALTHY for me. That is one of my coping mechanisms to battle the negative thoughts.

    You have to fight very hard on those days and I find it has become best for me to solely rely only on myself for comfort. At least I know …… I won’t let myself down! With no expectations, there is no disappointment that follows.

    It seems many people often say to me ….. “I have a lot going on in my life too and I am very, very busy. Everyone has things going in their lives”

    My weekly Counseling Sessions are very “therapeutic” to me. I enjoy and even look forward to talking to my Counselor. At times, there can be so many “distractions” or “stressors” that are tossed into my court. It has become the “norm” and my Counselor and I even LAUGH about it. We laugh about ….. “How much more bizarre can this be? What will my TOXIC Family Members be doing next??”

    As we laugh, we do of course realize it is true and these are issues I address and come up with a solution for. OR, preventative measures!!

    I have been hanging in with my Psychiatrist waiting for the proper Anti-Depressant hoping he can find it and I am not dragged back to the Hospital.

    Getting a proper Anti-Depressant in place will be helpful. My Psychiatrist will make his next move tomorrow. Maybe the 4th, 5th or 6th time will be a CHARM!! Regardless, I’m not counting on it. I can wait it out if need be. I am standing on Firm ground and I know it will not be pulled out from underneath me.

    After Care and learning how to “Work The Program” is key as you are in Recovery Mode. These things are up to YOU and only you have the power to change things. Each day requires work. Change in a positive way is what I keep striving for. With each improvement I make, it inspires me to go further. It inspires me to continue on my pathway.

    I look forward to reaching the next DOOR. My frame of mind is …. Anything is possible, so why not do what is required to reach that next DOOR? Imagine what can be behind it?

    These are my thoughts and all of this has been part of my Journey in Recovering from Major Depressive Disorder.

    Take care,
    == Elaine
  16. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Hi all,

    I want to add to my original message about how important it is to continue to fight the “beast” of Major Depressive Disorder.

    It has tried to take me down several times. 3 to be exact. Yes, 3 times within a 10 year time span.

    Perhaps because I have been through this 3 times, maybe it has made me stronger in the sense of knowing ----- “I can get back to MYSELF and I remember I use to be a very happy person. That has to still be inside of me. It just has to be. It is the true me. This Depression has masked all of that, yet it still has to be within me.”

    …….“Fight, continue to fight the battle and you will get there.”

    The above is what I have been continuing to tell myself throughout the last 13 months.

    Yes, I have been in Counseling and extensive Treatment for 13 months from when the “monster” of Depression took me down again.

    I never really understood exactly what the label of ------- “Major Depressive Disorder” meant. (Meanwhile I also have Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome as well.)

    What I do know now is MDD is a very serious “State of Being”. It is so dark, scary at times and very lonely. Extremely lonely. It feels like you are stuck in such a deep hole where, sad to say, you even get use to it. It becomes your new “normal” because it has been going on for such a long time and it is hard to know at that point what life was like before. You forget about laughter, you forget what it was that brought you joy. In essence you forget WHO you even use to be. You no longer can even see glimmers of light.

    I would also express it as feeling like “you have been replaced”. You look the same. People still know you. You wake up every day and attempt to go about your normal routine.

    I’d even periodically stop, stand in front of a mirror and stare at myself. The person in the mirror was somebody I no longer knew. Somebody who appeared to resemble the person I was, but was not ME in any way. I would continue to stare at myself wondering where I was. Wondering if it was even possible the me I use to know even existed. Where was she?? What happened? Do I ever get better? How did this occur and is this what I am left with?

    As I would stare in the mirror asking all of those questions, I wondered if this was what I am suppose to “get use to”?

    …… my reply in my head was ------ “YES!”.

    I am pleased to say and share with all of you, how wrong I was.

    If any of what I have written are things you have thought yourself, things you can relate to in some way, feelings you have, then please use me and my story as an example of my trials and tribulations. My UPS and my DOWNS. The twists and turns. The roller coaster ride you are on and you wish more than anything you can get off.

    Keep in mind, when you are in the mist of MDD, regardless of how badly you want it to end, somehow, it does not. It doesn’t end because many things need to change. I have tried to be as forthcoming as I possibly can with being truthful about my experience with Depression and my history with it. More than anything, if you have these thoughts or feelings, please use me as an example of what can happen if you do not get the help you need and the appropriate Treatment for this very serious Illness. I have come to understand it and incorporate into my life the best way I can.

    What I want to place emphasis is on, YOU are not choosing to feel down or depressed. It is an Illness that has, chosen you.

    The continual challenge is how you battle it day after day. How do you learn about it? How do you deal with it? What type of treatment works for you? Does medication help it? Is Counseling something that suits you?

    For me, personally, my long term Counseling is where I have learned the most. Where I have found to be key in my “Recovery” and where I have learned about myself. My cycles. My patterns. The dynamics of contributing factors that makes my situation worse. The back and forth talking with my Counselor 2 times a week for the past 13 months. Also, re-discussing the same topic, yet just looking at it from a different perspective. Rehashing the details, talking about my feelings regarding what was taking place in my life at that particular time and readdressing the same thing again & again.

    In the beginning I did not understand WHY the re-discussing was important. ( …… personally, I thought to myself ------ “Boy, my Counselor seems to have an extremely short term memory and it is not following along with my story very well! ------)

    No, again I was wrong.

    What my Counselor was trying to teach me was to associate my true feelings about different things that happened to me and that process helped me “link the pieces together”. Then from there I was able to discover my patterns. How Depression affects me. What were my early “warning signs”. What prior coping skills I had. What type of better coping skills can I form to keep this Illness “managed”.

    13 months later, I stand here and can smile as I say, it was all worth it. Everything I endured this past year was worth the knowledge I know have about myself. I am at a place where I never even knew was possible!! I have gone further than I ever imagined. The progress I have made feels like my world has transformed into one I never thought existed. It is the most amazing “transformation” I have experienced and it is worth FIGHTING for!

    You are worth it and getting to the “other side” is worth the Journey you go on.

    I do not regret for one moment all of the time, energy, medication changes, and everything I invested in battling what I call the “Demon” of Major Depressive Disorder.

    Joy, bliss, happiness, and beauty is what you will re-discover is out there for you once again. You just have to GRASP on to it. Once you have the strength and ability to grasp on to it, hold on tightly. Do your best to stay positive and know the work you devote to the process will be fantastically rewarding in the end.

    13 months is how long it took me. Your time frame can be shorter or even longer. What I want to place emphasis on is ----- you will get there. If some how I managed to do it, then I am positive you can as well.

    Hoping my message helps others.

    == Elaine[This Message was Edited on 01/27/2011]
  17. S-Elaine

    S-Elaine Member

    Thank you to everyone who has replied with such wonderful compliments.

    I am glad to share my experiences.

    Take care,
    == Elaine