My shrink tells me that I need to "accentuate the positive" and -- he was inspired by listening to Madeleine Peyroux in concert -- "smile though your heart is breaking." If this were so freakin' easy, then why would I need to see a shrink in the first place?
If you're depressed, do not read the story of Saul.
On a brighter note: Having lost much of my appetite, I find myself losing some weight. "Make depression work for you." But what happens when the positive reinforcement of seeing a buffer me in the mirror gets my tastebuds rebooted for Buffalo wings and Ben & Jerry's?
Believe it or not, one of the things that has shored up my lagging feelings of personal competency is...golf. This weekend, for the very first time, I picked up some golf clubs and batted some whiffle balls around. And -- I can scarcely believe this -- I was fairly good at it. I did what FT told me to do with the club and with my feet, and the ball went in the direction I wanted it to go. At home, I tried my hand at putting, and actually sent the ball into a styrofoam cup. Who knew that I might be good at a sport? (A caution to others who might be inspired by my story: It is not a good idea to learn golf in the presence of three dogs. Cody found knocking the whiffle balls off the tee with his nose to be great fun, while the two big dogs felt compelled to stand within inches of me and my swinging golf club: We love you. Whatever it is you're doing, we're with you 100 percent. Let's stand even closer to you. Because we love you. Keep whacking the metal thing; we'll just duck. Maybe.
Another way to bolster weak self-esteem: Go on a job interview. Just for kicks and giggles; even if you're not serious about it. I've been out of practice for about seven years; it felt good to get back in the saddle.
It's a blessing to have a loved one who understands depression and knows that my feeling down is not a reflection on her or on our relationship. Even when we go through our weekly Kelly Fryer devotional and my responses sound like something out of Hamlet.