Self help

self-help.jpg

I spent the day with Clay alone. This might actually be the first full day I have spent with him in which no one came by to help or hang out. I appreciate all the help. It makes it easier for me to get through the day.I was pretty tired by 4pm. But it was also kind of nice to have a really quiet and private day with Clay. To do it by myself. Since he has a head cold he was a bit less exhausting than usual. I was thankful for the laid back demeanor but not the snot that needed to be continually wiped from his upper lip. Today I entertained him with Tupperware. He scattered it around the house. He also learned to climb out of his crib. I watched him throw his “blankie” out of the crib first then his bottle then he flipped his left leg over the rail, then the right, and he slid down the rails to freedom. He picked up his stuff and looked very proud of himself. He took the time to gather his things before embarking on his little journey. I am impressed.I am also horrified. Now there is no place to contain my active toddler if only for a minute. He screamed every time I had to go to the bathroom. It broke my heart. I just couldn’t figure out where to put him so he would be safe. Can you really ever baby proof a room?

A month after my surgery Dan Gottlieb the therapist and radio show host asked me to do an on camera interview for an upcoming television program he was putting together. I said yes of course. Tonight I got to see the premiere of his PBS program entitled “Learning from the Heart”. It will air nationally on PBS stations during the month of March. In this area it will air Monday March 3rd at 9pm, Friday March 7th at 11pm, and Saturday March 15th at 5:30pm. There was no mention of my little blog. So I am thinking that there will be no crazy increase in readers. Which is fine with me. The show…Honestly, I was pretty impressed with the entire show. I have grown very fond of Dan and his insights and wisdom. He has an anti self help attitude. Instead his focus is on accepting life for what it is. Knowing that it rarely is perfect or neat. Dan asks people to consider what is going on in their minds and hearts but not strive for perfection. He believes we need to see the awe in every day. And not be consumed by self involvement but rather to focus our energy outward and help others. We ( Kristine and I) had a lovely time. We ate raw vegetables and also met an organic farmer. Which made the whole event worthwhile for Kristine because she apparently eats a case of organic cucumbers a week. ( No she’s not crazy..she is an organic raw vegan!) I complained about not being able to eat the delicious cookies. She looked at me like, ” girl I can’t even eat the bread. That’s life. We always think we have it tough until we see what other people have going on.

My friend told me that a recent study indicated that anti-depressants only work for about 10% of the population. Most of the effect is a placebo. This is not a huge surprise to me. And it does verify that we are an over medicated bunch of people here in the U.S. We are also highly depressed. It seems very much in line with what Dan was talking about tonight. We as humans are so in need of order and predictability that we are thrown off course by anything outside of our control. It needs to be said more often that life is chaotic and unpredictable. Our plans are seldom those of God’s and our lives are rarely neat and tidy. Sometimes bad things happen. Ultimately, we need to view these “bad” things as challenges. As testimonies to our inner fortitude and strength. There are those of course to whom depression is beyond a good pep talk. I am certain of its ability to make some powerless. But for the vast majority an emotional set back should be just that a set back. A time out for reflection. A breather in the game of life. I think that is why the troubled childhood I had or the difficult years with my ex or even my cancer do not depress me. Do I cry? Of course. But I do not dwell on any of it. It makes me who I am. It makes me value the good things I have. It makes me an empathetic being. And it makes me enjoy living for today. But it does not depress me or define myself as a victim. I am anything but.

God bless you all.

8 Responses to “Self help”

  1. kristine says:

    Andrea,
    Thanks for inviting me along tonight. I had fun just hanging out with you and for once not listening to us both go on about our cancers. blah!blah!blah! Tonight we got to just be friends. Until I see you next I will be listening to your music. Sending you big love,
    Kristine

  2. debi says:

    Um, gee thank you, I needed that. Your point of view, your wisdom whatever it is, it helps me. You help lots of us. Bless you

  3. Toni G says:

    Andrea,

    This journal entry ‘nails it’. Life is Life. Life is what it is— with all its brilliance and its shadows. It’s how we respond to life that is the telling element of who we are, who we have become, who we should be, who we could be. Each day is a testament to not only our endurance of others but of ourselves. In most scenarios, we all have the ability to choose……some of us wisely, some of us foolishly but the choice is ours. As the catch phrase suggests, “DEAL WITH IT” and you are doing splendidly. We’re right there beside you—only wish we could absorb more of your pain. Keep strong.

  4. Jill Bacon says:

    You truly are such an inspiration! You have such a way with words, and I have to agree with Debi, your blogs do help myself, her and I’m sure many others! Especailly “Self Help” for me, you hit the nail right on the head! I am always worring about reaching a level in my life where I will just be “happy”. I am looking forward to watching that special on PBS and starting right now I am going to live in the moment, faults and all! As long as I keep the good Lord in the forefront, I’m sure just being will work out fine. God Bless you Andrea! You are awesome… I will continue to pray for you and your family.

    Love,
    Jill

  5. joshua says:

    i love your worldview. no where to stash the manchild for a couple minutes! at least there is no shortage of tupperware to play with.

  6. Julie says:

    Do what I do – stick him in the bathtub w/toys. That way you have an eye on him and he can continue to play.

    I love you girl!

  7. Chaz says:

    This is a link to the study on anti-depressants…just thought you might like to take a look at it for yourself: http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045&ct=1

  8. megan says:

    next time i come to your door, i’m not leaving til i talk to you.
    i’m glad you enjoyed yesterday, and you know you can do it if necessary. i’m glad so often it is not necessary. days alone are hard, especially when clay is so stinking tall.

    been reading about solitude over lent…thinking about the dark night of the soul, that strangeness of simultaneously desiring God and feeling alone, desiring wholeness and knowing only our own empty fearful selves. i am glad you do not reside there.

    i love you, megan