Advice from "JMS"

"JMS" is a friend who wrote this for someone else who is struggling with depression and psychic symptoms. Although JMS describes her own symptoms as "panic attacks," I thought it was a beautiful parallel summary of much of the psychic self-help advice I've written over the years. JMS is also not afraid to ask friends for prayer on really tough days.

I have been doing a number of things to help bring healing to myself during this chaotic time in my life.

At first I use to fear it, fight it, curse it and hate it.

Then slowly I started to fight back with love. I began to see that the cluster of things that has built up during the past months has left my spirit jumpy, abused, weary and unsure; I needed to bring calm again. Whatever I did, needed to be done in a loving manner.

I made a list of projects around the home.

I made a list of trusted people I can reach out to during this time, only if needed. The list also included people I can just sit with and give back to, like seniors. It was important to ensure that I was giving back to someone to help spark my own love well to connect again.

I made a list of spiritual DVDs that I can listen to that will bring healing to my spirit.

I made a list of uplifting CDs to listen to.

I made a point to exercise and eat healtier. I signed up to complete a 7km walk last week and did it.

I grew a garden.

I began to see this time as a way that I needed to nurture myself.

So the journey began.

Some days when the fear came, I reach out and spoke to someone for a bit, read a verse in the Bible.

I highlighted verses in the Bible to uplift myself. I reminded myself that it was okay to listen.

It is scary what fear can do with me. There were days where I saw things moving around me and I wanted to scream "stop". Instead, I learned to replace it with thoughts of God's guardians surrounding me, coming to my aid to comfort me.

At night when I could not sleep, I limited myself to watch two movies a night and then if I could not sleep and panic set in, I did something. I got up and cleaned. I chose one room in the house and I began to bring order in the room.

As I cleaned the room, I began to feel my emotions and I listened to the thoughts floating through my heard. While I cleaned, I also put on a CD or DVD and listened while I cleaned. The quiet at night was hard so having the CD or DVD helped.

Each day I did this. Some nights when sleep came easily I went to bed and put just on my sound monitor. It played sounds of my home country. I was able to select birds, ocean waves, etc and this allowed me to sleep to this peaceful sounds.

Looking back over these past two months, I discovered that it takes a village of therapeutic techniques to bring harmony into my spirit. Each day brought its own challenge and each day brought its own lessons.