Friday, November 4, 2011

Coping with the Funk

Aviva at Sick Momma is hosting PFAM this round which will be live on Nov 9th.
So what do you do to get yourself out of the doldrums when you fall into a funk? 

*I dance. Dancing=joy for me. If my Migraine is too bad, I don't actually get up and boogie, but I remember dances that bring me joy. And when I'm able, I will stand up and dance around by myself. This morning, I was quite overwhelmed and depressed. I was seated in bed talking to George; he took my hands in a dance pose, started rocking back and forth and sang the song we had done a choreographed dance to at our wedding. He did this because he knows it will make me smile. I've even danced with the dogs (with their eyes bugging out).

*I watch movies depending on my mood. My grandfather worked in the film industry, so movies of every genre and decade were part of my education. I find black and white movies from the 1920's-40's the most comforting (i.e "My Man Godfrey," "The Thin Man" series or "I Remember Mama"). Sometimes my mood calls for an upbeat lift-your-spirits-in-song movie like "Enchanted" or "Mama Mia". Other times, the dork in me is my comfort when I watch "Star Trek: The Next Generation". But, my fail-safe is the television series, "The Golden Girls". You cannot go wrong with Betty White.
*As my three dogs, Knightley, Zoe and Giselle are my constant companions, I usually turn to them when I'm in a funk. There is nothing like having a ten pound furry creature nestle herself into your chest when you need a hug. 

*Daily, I read devotionals from different perspectives: a catholic pastor that suffered from depression, Bread for the Journey by Henri Nouwen; a diverse group of chronically ill Christians with different illnesses, Mosaic Moments: Devotionals for the Chronically Ill by Lisa Copen; and a woman who became a quadriplegic at the age of seventeen after a diving accident, More Precious Than Silver by Joni Eareckson Tada. I find if I go a day without connecting to God through reading these, I sink deeper into my funk.

*Ironically the November 4th devotional from More Precious than Silver is entitled "Had Enough?" She quotes a verse from the bible where Elijah says "I've had enough Lord...take my life." (1 Kings 19:4) Ms. Tada went on:
The record shows that the Angel of the Lord agreed that "the journey is too much for you" (1 Kings 19:7) Then God presented Elijah with a new work to do. Sometimes switching focus onto others is just what the doctor would order. 
What she described is exactly what helps me when I'm in a funk: focusing on others. I often find that going to forums such as MyMigraineConnection, ChronicBabe and Rest Ministries Sunroom help me to connect with those who are going through troubles that I understand and may even be able to offer some support and hope. It is very uplifting to know that I can help someone else and it reminds me that I do have worth.   
How do you keep on keeping on when your pain is high and your fatigue is even higher?
 *'One moment at a time' is a very frequently used term in our community, but it is very true. Sometimes, I have to pull on an invisible rope to get me to the next second. And then I do the same for the following second. Practically speaking, I keep on going by setting up and keeping to a routine as much as I can. Evenings are the hardest for me because by the end of the day, I have used up my ability to cope with the day. But, if I have a routine that I follow, evenings are easier to get through. 
What (or who) inspires you and gives you hope?
Paul, a man who wrote many books of the new testament in the Bible, inspires me. He inspires me because he went through so much pain and hardship yet he kept on going. He said " Asia. We had great burdens there that were beyond our own strength. We even gave up the hope of living." (2 Corinthians 1:8b) Wow. I certainly can identify with Paul here. Later he writes "So we do not give up. Our physical body is becoming older and weaker, but our spirit inside us is made new every day." (2 Corinthians 4:16)

Sometimes the funk seems so big that I can't see to the other side.
I am going to take a note from Paul here and not give up.  

-This post was written as a part of NHBPM- 30 health posts in 30 days


  1. What a beautiful wedding photo and an adorable doggy picture!

  2. Kelly - You are going to smile when you see the card I just sent you today - in light of today's post. By the way, Jeff laughed at me for watching Golden Girls (Oxygen had it on in the evenings for several months) but you are right - for me Sophia is the character I love. But St. Olaf stories are good too. Mary
    PS. Cat tummies are good for a funk, too.

  3. What a great post, Kelly! Thanks so much for participating in PFAM! (It should be posted within the hour, which is cutting it close but as much as I could manage today. Sorry it's so late!)