Why "71º & Sunny?"

I consider 71º to be the perfect temperature. Not too cold and not too hot. I also love perfect sunny days. The vast majority of days are not 71º & Sunny and yet, all days were created by God's hand and they are still gifts, even if they don't fit my ridiculous definition of perfection. My struggle with OCD has at times imprisoned me in an impossible attempt to achieve perfection. I'm now learning to love all kinds of days that don't even come close to 71º & Sunny.

Please leave me a comment below. I really want to know what you are thinking!

Monday, June 3, 2013

A Great Treatment For Depression

Helping someone else. Oh, believe me, I know, when depressed it is so incredibly difficult to even get out of the house, never mind trying to do something for someone else. However, I have found volunteering, serving, whatever you want to call it, to be one of the best treatments for my depression.

There is just something about thinking about someone else for a while that makes my pain feel less. Many years ago, I had an unpleasant confrontation with someone. I walked away feeling extremely hurt and second guessing whether I had behaved in a truly loving and kind manner. I was so upset that I spent days in bed after that. I literally could not get out of bed because I was so overcome with pain, frustration, guilt . . . you name it. I could not function at all. I realize now that I was in a complete anxious and depressive meltdown. Was it an overreaction to the situation? Probably, but living with depression and an anxiety disorder will certainly contribute to overreactions.

Several days later (while I was still in bed) the phone rang. It was a friend of mine who was calling me because she was very upset about something. I can't even remember the reason for her call. I do remember that I spent the better part of an hour talking to her and trying to minister to her. By the end of the conversation, I think she felt better, and strangely enough, so did I. I was actually able to get out of bed that afternoon and work my way back to a normal schedule.

I learned a great lesson from that episode. Thinking about others is the best way to help me stop thinking about my own struggles. I have found tremendous fulfillment by volunteering on several teams at my church. Just yesterday, someone thanked me for serving at church. My answer? "Well, it really feels selfish because I get so much out of it." It doesn't feel like work to me. Obviously, my main reason for serving at church is to serve God, but there are also many personal benefits. It forces me to get out of the house. In addition, I get an incredible sense of accomplishment, I get to think about what others need, I get to feel like I'm contributing to society, and like I'm making an eternal difference in the lives of others. I also get to meet many new wonderful people and lastly, I get the chance to experience what it's like to be part of a team that is striving for something bigger beyond ourselves.

As a Christ follower, obviously, I think that churches are a great place to volunteer. But there are tons of places that need help. For example, nursing homes can always use someone to visit their patients, libraries often need people willing to read to kids, Habitat for Humanity can use people with building skills, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters always needs people with a heart for kids. For some people, organized volunteering is not their thing, but hanging out with elderly neighbors or mowing their lawn is.

I just wanted to pass on something that has made a tremendous difference in my life. Especially in my emotional life. Maybe it might help you too. Blessings!

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing this, Sunny. It's a wonderful reminder that helping others and getting our minds on something/someone outside of ourselves can help our own mindset. It's good to be reminded, too, that our work can serve a higher purpose than ourselves. I'm glad that you are finding fulfillment in your volunteer work. I know you are blessing many with your work!

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    1. You're welcome, Tina! I'm glad you enjoyed it. I feel so blessed that I even get the opportunity to do this stuff.

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  2. Hi Sunny!
    great post, and Amen!
    not selfish at all when we feel so good while to give to others/give of ourself .it's a double blessings to each.
    I like you like being on the giving side, because even though it does sound like it could be selfish -there's no better 'gift' than of 'giving'
    ....sometimes, I have to stop and make sure I let someone else who wants to give to me/help me do to 'give' and not rob them of the same 'gift' -the gift of giving.

    I'm always energized when I read your posts about serving in the church.
    God Bless!!!

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    1. Hey Deanna. Yes, you make an excellent point. There are times when I have to remember to step back and let someone else serve so that they can receive the same joy.

      God bless to you too!

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  3. Great post! It is so true...not easy, but when it is done it really does help! Depression is something I can relate to, as I struggle with it daily. My blog is an outlet for me in the sense that when people tell me that they enjoy my posts and that my posts make them smile, think, etc., it really encourages me to continue, as I feel I am helping others.

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    1. Oh absolutely, Linda, your blog is helping others! I smile every single time I visit you. It's always so encouraging and positive.

      And you are right - it's definitely not always easy to step out and do things. There are a LOT of mornings when I really have to force myself to get out of bed because I'm just so exhausted and feeling terrible. But then, later, when I'm in the middle of doing ministry, I'm always so glad that I did it.

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  4. Great post Sunny, and I totally agree with everything you said. By helping others I also often realize how small my problems are in comparison to many others..........

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    1. Thanks, Janet. Yes, I too realize what other people are going through more easily when I'm out and about trying to serve others.

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  5. Monique you know this is so very true. It is just getting the "enough" to go out and do for someone else. Once you are in the mode, you do feel the difference. Hugs to you my friend.

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    1. Oh, you are SO right, JBR. Getting out of the house is the toughest part of the whole entire thing. Some days, honestly, I just want to (and do) stay in bed all day. Which is really not good of course. That's why I like to set up recurring volunteer types of things. If I have set appointments ahead of time, it forces me to get up and go out. And there are so many days when I just want to roll over and pull the covers over my head, but if I've already made plans to do something, I just don't want to disappoint anyone, so it pushes me to do it anyway.

      Hugs to you too! : )

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  6. Great post...I need to do more volunteerism myself. This is a great reminder to me of another way to break that vicious cycle of depression. Thanks! :-)

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    1. Great to hear from you, Jean! Glad you enjoyed the post.

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