Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Depression Group for Mormons, Day One

Yesterday I met at the church for Day One of a special 8-week depression group run by LDS Family Services for the women in our stake.  One of my heroes, Linda J., is leading the group (she works as a therapist for the church), and I am serving as the mentor for the group.  The mentor is someone who has been in group therapy before--a depressed person, not a therapist--that can make the experience a little easier for the other members of the group.  I was very tired in the morning, and had a hard time peeling myself out of bed to go to the church.  I was thinking that I haven't been feeling very depressed lately, and maybe attending this group for 8 weeks would not be the best use of my time.  But after 90 minutes with these women, who were so brave about sharing their private struggles with the rest of us, I felt my heart melted and full of love for each of them.  I also felt inspired to continue working on my own unhealthy thought patterns, and to better prepare myself for my next bout, which will no doubt come in due time.

One project I am really excited about is preparing a first aid kit to use when my mood is low.  It will be something tangible, maybe an actual box, or binder, with inspiring articles, quotes, pictures, et cetera, chosen by me to help me during dark times.  If you have anything like that, or any suggestions for things I might put in my first aid kit, please let me know.  I really appreciate LL's tip about the song she listens to every night before bed, "One Little Corner" by Jon Troast.  That is the kind of thing I'm looking for.


Suzanne said...

I have a small digital photo keychain loaded with about 25 favorite pictures. I keep it attached to my purse strap. They don't remind me of what I'm not doing well enough, but the shiny faces which most inspire me that even with my weaknesses, those sparkling eyes are doing okay. Some people might want different things -- nature, a hobby -- my kids and Matt's star-in-the-heaven's smile -- does it for me.

Karen Robertson said...

Dearest Sister, I love you. I read your blog and I have the start of a depression binder. I put a list of things that I love about my life in- my family, Koda and the Cats, favorite songs, a list of helps for breaking a bad thought pattern, a funny poem, etc. I also have a playlist on my iPod of "Feel Good" songs. The songs are mostly ones I know the words to and can't help singing along to- Beautiful Day by U2, Feelin' Good by Michael Buble, etc. I love you and good luck!

PG said...

Thanks, Suzanne & Karen, for these great ideas!!

LL said...

Oooh, I love the idea of a first aid kit! I need to make one. My virtual kit right now is One Little Corner and a box of Belgian dark chocolate covered almonds (reference my comment on the previous post...should not have bought those!!)

One thing I would/will put in mine: I'm working my way through the Book of Mormon with the Institute manual this time, and one suggestion it had a month or so ago was to make a list of inspiration I've had. (Well, I don't remember the exact assignment, but that is the best description I can come up with now. I can look it up for you if you want.) I made a list of times I've really felt the Spirit and the hand of the Lord in my life. Every time I go back and read that I feel so warm and loved inside. I forget those quiet moments, what with all the mayhem around here, you know?

Another thing I'd add is this Mormon Message from Elder Holland (sorry, I don't know how to make a link: That makes me bawl, in a good way, every time I see it. And his Good Things To Come one ( also gets me every time. Those both give me hope, though I'm not sure how I could fit them into a box.

Another thing someone at church suggested and I have started to do is to save notes people send me. When I get a thank you card or a note from someone, I put it in a box. Then, when I feel like I'm just screwin' things up, I pull out the notes and remember that there were/are times I do a good job of something and times I make someone's life a little better. That also gives me hope.

Also, I *heart* Linda. :-)

I love this idea - I'm gonna have to get a box and get all my stuffs together in one place. Great post - I can't wait to see what other people suggest and hear about what you come up with! (And sorry, another long winded comment. That's my MO...)

HW said...

Oh, I loved this post. I love Linda Johnson. I love you.

I would put this blog in my box:

And maybe mine. I heart my own blog. It reminds me of my blessings.

PG said...

LL & HW, thank you so much for your wonderful suggestion, too. And LL? NEVER, EVER apologize for a long comment. I just love, love, love them, and the longer the better in my opinion. And since this is MY blog, that is the opinion that matters around here :)

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