Did You Smile Today?

It is nearing bedtime in my house; time for relaxation, reflection on the day, and maybe a few thoughts on this modern phenomenon called “selfies.” I can hear many of you groaning already. I was recently told that because I am connected to many people via the internet and because I post pictures of myself that I am a vain person. You can form your own personal opinion from whatever information you may know about me but I will respond with the reason I take pictures of myself and post them for my friends to see.

I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder more than twenty years ago. I will require treatment for it for the rest of my life. I have been hospitalized for it in the past and there are no guarantees that I will not be hospitalized for it in the future.My depression has been classified as treatment resistant and if you are familiar with depression at all you know that “treatment resistant” doesn’t even scratch the surface of describing the challenges I face. I do not say any of this to elicit your sympathy in any way but as a means of explaining where I am coming from. My depression has been nearly fatal more than once in my life. I pray to God that it never brings me to that dark of a place again.

Having a mental illness requires living a very intentional life. Everything I do requires planning and preparation. I am determined to experience all that this life has to offer me and to do that I must be careful not to allow negativity into my days. For this reason I do not own a television, this requires me to seek out news of local, national, and world events to stay informed. I don’t know the names of many of the celebrities featured on the newsstand magazines and I am not familiar with the latest and greatest mousetrap being advertised on the screen. I read online newspapers, real magazines such as The Atlantic, The Economist, Readers Digest, and Health. I don’t think my way of living is better than anyone else’s but it is what works for me.

Why did I ask if you smiled today? The reason I asked you that is the reason I take selfies and post them on my facebook page; it is because there are many days when that smile I put on my face for the camera is the only time I smile that day. I am a widow who lives alone, there can be many days when I see no one but if my smile on Facebook means that someone else smiles back at me by clicking like on my picture then I smile in return. If you want to call this vanity I won’t attempt to change your opinion, but if my smile has ever made you smile then I have accomplished what I wished to.

Blessings and Goodnight

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Why Can't Life Be Done

Many people might not understand that grief can be this painful, this lonely, this dark. I wrote this poem a while ago. It is not how I feel every day. It is how I felt that day. I share it so that others who feel this way on their darkest day know that they are not alone and that their darkest day need not be their last day. Suicide is an everyday threat to those living with depression and complicated grief and without the help of wonderful professionals it is something that could have happened to me at many points in my life and especially over the last eight months. I urge anyone who resonates with the feelings in this piece to seek help, I have excellent counselors who help me work through these feelings and that is why I am able to post this today.

Why Can’t Life Be Done

Christine J Baxter

Why can’t it be Done

Why can’t life be over when living has ceased

Why can’t pain end when love is gone

Why can’t I cease to exist now that my reason for existence is gone

My responsibilities have been fulfilled

My work is complete

I have no more to give

I have no reason to live

I exist but have no purpose

I live but have no love

There is no one who needs me

There is no one to remind me that I am alive

I look in the mirror and see emptiness

I go through the motions of life but life has no motion for me

Death does not frighten me

The promise of no more pain entices me

How to say goodbye is the complicated part

How to say goodbye without hurting their hearts

They’re wonderful people my sons and my friends

I love them forever beyond the end

They can’t make my pain go away you see

Why can’t life be done when life is over for me

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One Day With Depression

This recording from July of 2011 is being posted today in gratitude to friends who have walked today to bring awareness to the problem of Suicide and Mental Illness. If you have ever thought about suicide then you understand how quickly a person can go from holding on to the brink. Please reach out and call someone or ten someones. This video is also posted in memory for friends and family members who have lost loved ones to Suicide. You are always in my prayers.

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