The Purpose of My Blog

I am not new to blogging but I still have a lot to learn about it. Please allow me to give you an idea of who I am and why I blog. I have forty years of experience of supporting people in their grief. This includes professionally and volunteering as well as in my education.

As a boy people fascinated me. For the most part my fascination continues today. Through the years the ways people process their grief is of particular interest. I maintain every person I come alongside who is grieving is my teacher. The same applies to those I have sat with as they near the end of life. Each person is unique and so is how one grieves.

I call my blog, Scarred Joy. Here is an idea of what Scarred Joy means. Scarred Joy is deep grief leading to hope. It is pure raw pain seeing the light of healing. Scarred Joy is weeping and not knowing if we will smile again. We never lose the scars of our grief. In the scars grief and hope are together. We walk through life being familiar with our scars yet moving forward. We move forward in hope.

My hope for Scarred Joy is that it will inspire people to move forward in their lives. We can cling to hope, whatever hope may be. My tagline for my grief work is, Touched by Grief, Held by Hope.

I do not allow other people to tell me how to grieve. I grieve in a way suited to me. I also never tell other people how to grieve. I do, however, encourage people to not be afraid of their grief. Rather, we can honour our grief. Through grieving we can teach ourselves lessons of who we are. If we listen to ourselves even in grief we may gift ourselves with compassion for other people.

Through compassion we learn to empathize with the pain of others. In the grief and death-denying context of North America compassion is vital. Compassion allows one to hug not only a loved one but also a stranger who is grieving. Compassion is recognizing our grief and that of other people can teach us we are not alone. We are in this grief together. This fact may elude some people but it is still real. I hope you will follow my Scarred Joy blog. Please comment about what your read. Even in this way we may learn from each other.

I Am One Of You!

Pain reminds me of my own humanity, vulnerability and that my emotions are part of me.

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It can grip you in a way that is difficult to explain unless one has experienced it. It is so painful that every part of you may agonize. The pain, oh my God, the pain

Scarred Joy posts do not shy away from painful experiences. This includes personal experiences. Pain reminds me of my own humanity, vulnerability and that my emotions are part of me.

I began this post referring to “it.” The “it” I want to present in this post is known as depression.

This post is not meant as a clinical explanation of causes or symptoms of depression etc. The post relates to how people, including myself, have experienced this illness. This post will note some things common in depression. The post will also present an idea of what experiencing depression is like. I will include a Scarred Joy point of hope. I am not offering an exhaustive explanation of depression.

I would like every person who will read this post and has lived depression to know one thing. I am one of you. We are bonded together. For that reason I will write this post in first person.

Depression is:

  • Like a tunnel
  • Dark even in the light
  • Messed up.
  • Day in and day out
  • For some it is fleeting and temporary, triggered by events in life
  • Avoiding conversations
  • If I can sleep I wake up tired
  • Depression makes my body, mind and soul feel tired.
  • Not wanting to end my life yet perceiving it as being without meaning.
  • Living in a tunnel and not seeing any light ahead
  • Wanting to go anywhere else but to work
  • Being with people yet lonely.
  • God is distant
  • God has left me
  • I let everyone down.
  • Acting as if life is great in order to hide from other people so they don’t know my truth.
  • Feeling dead inside
  • Being embarrassed or ashamed to let anyone know I am depressed
  • My smiles are a mask to hide my pain
  • Day to day living is tedious
  • Evenings are long and exhausting
  • Wanting to scream yet afraid other people will then know I am in pain.
  • Depression can be creative
  • It longs for companionship of loving people.
  • Depression mixes me up.

In depression I may watch the world go by. It may seem I am the only one trapped in this tunnel. I may add to my suffering by being petrified people will find out I’m in a depression.

I mean, it’s considered a mental illness, isn’t it? People will treat me different if they find out I have a mental illness. They may look at me and talk to me as if I am to be pitied. They may look beyond me, so to speak and focus on the illness. If people do that then I have no hope.

Even in my depression I have to somehow survive, right? I have to find the strength to move forward and not lie down and give up. That would be so easy to do. Allow the dark blanket of the tunnel to envelope me. To give up.

I want to survive the tunnel. To feel the warmth of the sun again. To embrace those who love and care for me. To reach out to those I think I can trust and let them know I need help. To know God remembers me. To recognize who I am.

I can’t survive depression by myself. I need those who care for me to come alongside me. Even if it seems I’m not paying attention to you, please don’t give up on me. Help me survive. I can’t do this on my own.

If any of you can feel my words as you read them, you understand. You know, I am one of you.

Please think the post through then comment.