You’d think that having your own space to say whatever you want would be so motivating for someone like me who always has something to say.

So far, it hasn’t quite worked out that way.

But then, I’ve got procrastination problems (see the previous posts), so it really isn’t that big of a surprise.

I still haven’t quite figured out why I’m here or what this space is for. What I want it to be. So until I do, I think I’ll just show up when I’m in the mood and dump whatever is on my mind at the moment. Either the purpose will reveal itself or this blog will become like that junk drawer everyone has in their kitchen – a little of this, a little of that and nothing in quantity enough to deserve its own drawer or cubby. Sometimes that’s how my life feels, so woo hoo – making metaphors already!

Since I know some of you from Lawsbian Awesomeness and most of my friends are aware of my battles with depression (that evil demon), I thought I’d use this post to mention a fantastic book that has really helped me on my journey of self-discovery. Ashley Judd, who you likely know as an accomplished actress and rabid Kentucky Wildcats basketball fan, wrote a memoir titled “All That Is Bitter and Sweet”. It is a combination autobiography, chronicle of her charitable work around the world, and intimate portrait of her own battles with depression and dysfunction. This is an amazing book that I highly recommend. With so much content, there is something for everyone. But especially for those with depression, there is much food for thought within its pages.

I had one of those “a-ha”, light bulb moments when I read the following statement made to Ashley by one of the therapists she was working with:

“Depression is anger turned inward.”

Whoa!!! I about dropped the book. I had never heard it defined that way before. And maybe it’s not true for everyone, but for me, it made so much sense! Just five words, but five very powerful ones.

When you suffer from depression, you wonder why. Why me? And sadly, there does not have to be a why. It can and does just happen. For many, however, therapy and self-examination often  illuminates a why. Or many whys. Depression is much too complex a condition, an experience, an affliction, to be boiled down to just one “why”. But in asking, why me? Why do I feel this way? What is causing this? I realized with those five simple words where so many of my whys come from. And that was a very profound realization for me that I believe has already begun to help me deal with my emotions and feelings. Find new ways of coping, of understanding, of loving myself and others. And forgiveness, granting it to myself and others.

On a lighter note, I have always loved Ashley as an actress, as a beautiful, strong Southern woman and I was delighted to find out that we have things in common that are a little different and make me feel like we could be really good friends if I had the kind of life where I had celebrity friends. For example, she loves to go through people’s purses! I love to go through people’s purses! How odd and coincidental is that??? She describes feeling a lot of anxiety and depression during one of her trips to some devastatingly harsh, poverty-stricken, disease-ridden areas of Central America and how Salma Hayek, who was accompanying her, was so sweet and kind not to mind as Ashley went though her purse on the plane as a way to comfort and distract herself. Ashley also adores Graeter’s Black Raspberry Chip ice cream, as do I. We’re so close in age, and I was born in Cincinnati. Not so far from eastern Kentucky… could I be the lost twin Judd sister? Nah!

So, if it interests you, if you have issues to work through, if there is something you are seeking, something you can’t even name, I suggest picking up “All That Is Bitter and Sweet”. May you find a piece of your puzzle.

P.S. If you have a favorite book that helped on your journey, please mention it in a comment.

P.P.S. I didn’t even get into Ashley’s experiences with Shades of Hope in Buffalo Gap, Texas, so that will be my next topic. Wow, that was easy!

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