The Sun🌞continues to Shine😁

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It was 1 year ago today, (with the thanks of the Bell Let’s Talk” initiative) that I openly talked about my struggles with depression. I have to say, I am SO happy I did! The people who reached out to me about their struggles and the compassion toward my struggles have indeed been incredible. I am touched that there are so many kind people in my world that have opened up and confided to me, and offered their shoulder and listening ear if I need it.

What have I learned in the past year?
If you talk about it you can get the help you need. By letting people know the signs to look out for when I am starting to “spiral downward” I get the support and help I need. It doesn’t have to be talking to another person in person though. Just getting your emotions out in any way that works for you is the goal; I often find that I on bad days I am on the verge of tears and absolutely do not want to talk to anyone. But, I will text. Texting with certain people in my life has worked wonders for me in working through my emotions and trying to keep my head above water. Thank you to those people for being there for you, you know who you are!


I have learned that I am not alone, actually FAR from it. It is a way more common health issue than, I am sure, most of you realize. So many people struggle with depression and don’t even know they have it. I know people that I wish would open up to me because I can see they are struggling but they just keep carrying on struggling every step of the way. This makes me so sad as I know that if they at least talked in confidence to their doctor or other confidant about it this would make a difference and get them moving in the right direction.
I have learned that for me medication DOES work, and I NEED it. I tried reducing my dosage when I felt I was in a really good place. I felt good for a couple of weeks, then after about 3 or 4 weeks noticed some things that I chose to ignore. I, once again as I did in the beginning, found excuses for feeling down; PMS, not enough sleep, stress. Well, after about 5 weeks I had gone into a deep, dark spiral and realized I needed to go back to where I was. What I realized was that the medication takes a while to get out of your system, and then to get back in it as well. Sure enough at week 3 my body was reacting to being on less of the serotonin it needs that my body doesn’t produce enough of. Then I just got worse and worse. When I finally accepted that I do need my original dosage and went back up, again it took my body time to adapt and get back on track. Lesson learned. Would I try this again? Maybe yes! I had let those who are close to me know what was going on, and they were helping me and keeping an eye on me, so it was tough, yet my support network was there. Too many people dismiss meds and insist on dealing with depression their own way, but I encourage people to at least try some to see if there is a change. There are so many different ones out there and if one doesn’t work, don’t assume all don’t; there are tons.


One other thing I learned is that I need to be around things and people that make me happy and

avoid those that don’t. I no longer waste my time being with those who bring me down, and am spending more and more time with the people that care about me and that I love to be around. I used to worry about pleasing everyone, but now I know my happiness is in my hands and I surround myself only with those who can provide this! I find, for the first time in my life, that I am putting myself and my well-being first. I have also realized that Finley, our dog, is an absolutely incredible therapy tool and I encourage anyone out there who doesn’t own a dog to consider it! He helps me in ways I can’t even describe! He is a constant, complete joy in my life and I love him as unconditionally as he loves me!

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I am ecstatic that many people have come forward and been able to open up to me, and said it was because of my blog. That truly touched me. My purpose of writing about my troubles with depression was to help people understand what it looks, sounds, and feels like. Many people weren’t able to put a label on theirs until I put it all out there in words and they realized that “Yes! That is exactly what I feel!” If I just affected one person it would have been worth it, but thankfully, I had a ton of responses and people coming to thank me for opening up.


All in all it was totally, completely worth it and I would continue to encourage others to seek the help or the listening ear they need to get through it.

Remember………Suzy Sunshine is ALWAYS here to listen and talk.

Your Suzy Sunshine “ray” of the day!🤣

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For the love of dog!

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2017-02-08-20-13-02.jpgOn my daily walks with our puppy I have been thinking a lot about how much he has improved not only the quality of my life, but of my family’s life as well.  The random smiles I get from watching him do, well, too many cute things to mention have made me realize how amazing a decision we made to add this wonderful addition into our family.

2017-02-08-19-52-52.jpgI have thought a lot about how when you have both a puppy and a baby there are many similarities to how you spend your days.  Before having children I never spent time at a park, I never took daily walks to get fresh, I wasn’t accustomed to daily chatting with strangers and so much more.  I realized that having a dog is similar to this. I treasure my morning walks with Finley and having to do this has made me a better person. It forces you to get out of the house (a positive thing), it encourages you to socialize with other dog walkers, and it takes you on paths you may not have traveled otherwise.  I love that each walk with Finley is different somehow; I take a different turn down a different street, I take that “off the paved path” through the stream area or whatever.  Whatever it is, it is always a daily adventure that I, and I truly believe that he too, looks forward to.

2017-02-08-19-43-51.jpgI never knew that I could be so attached to an animal before Finley.  He is the simplest joy around and is always there for me no matter what.  He will sit by me day in and day out, follow me faithfully around the house keeping an eye on me, and most importantly he will give me (and of course the other 3 members of my family!!!) unconditional love always.

Dogs don’t hold grudges.  They don’t judge you if you make a mistake.  Dogs are truly just there to love and be loved.2017-01-29-19-17-15.jpg

I love our Finley in a way I could never have imagined.  I always heard other people tell me about dog ownership and how great their dogs are.  Funny thing is, I always had a dog growing up and loved them (well, some more than others!!).  I obviously was not the one they were most bonded with, and now as an adult I realize my mom did ALL the work for our dogs.  I really had no idea what was involved, but also the fantastic and SO WORTH IT payback that a dog gives you if you treat it well.

We put off dog ownership in my family until we were truly ready and could both spend the time training our dog, and had the time to spend with the dog.  I am so happy that I spend the time with him that I do, I think that is why he is so loyal and well behaved and he’s only 7 months. I can’t imagine life without Finley, but I am sure glad that we waited until the time was right!

2017-02-14-15-14-53.jpgFinley rocks!  He is one amazing dog and we all love love love love him more than we ever thought possible.

If you’re ready for it and have the time, give dog ownership a second thought.  It is SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO worth it.

Your Simply Susan happy thought of the day!

 

 

Live, love, laugh😊❤😄

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img_20160409_141141.jpgWhat makes you happy? What do you do that puts, and keeps a smile on your face? What do you do that makes you and those around you laugh?

This should become your motivation of the day, your way of living, your reason to be! Shouldn’t we all strive to be happy every day?

Too many times we are surrounded by negativity. There have been way too many  days that my mood has been brought down just by listening to others complaining around me.  I hate this! It really leaves me feeling like a dark cloud is looming over me.

On the flip side, I myself love to smile and like to believe that I have affected others moods and rubbed some of my positivity off on them. Our happiness rubs off on other people!  Laughter IS contagious, and if that’s not something we are proud to pass on to others I don’t know what is?!?😆moldiv_1457993346693.jpg

A few years ago I made a conscious decision to avoid people who “brought me down“. The last thing I need is to be around people who can only complain about anything and everything.   I left them feeling bad, and found it hard to drag myself out and back up.  Life is too short to spend around those who don’t make you happy.  

I now choose to be around people who not only make me smile and laugh, but that smile and laugh both with and at me! There is nothing that makes me happier than hearing a good, hearty laugh.  I am proud to wear my “laugh lines”!!  

Laughter is  truly the best medicine, and not only that, a good, hearty laugh is a fantastic abdominal workout!

Live, love, laugh!

Your Simply Susan motivational tip of the day! 😆 😄