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Hi everyone. I'll do a short intro of myself. My name is Elaine and I live in Alaska with my husband. Our grown son is on the Autism spec and has related issues. We've lived here almost two decades and like it for the most part. Our daughter now lives in S. Texas with her significant other.. They do a lot of traveling all over the world and we don't get to see her much. 

Anyway I'd like to make friends here on depressionforums, so please reply:)

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Hi Elaine,

     I want to welcome you to the Forums.  I hope you will find them as helpful as I have.  

     It must be interesting living in Alaska.  I was concerned about the people of Alaska when you experienced that big earthquake.  I was also surprised to read in the newspaper that Alaska has more earthquakes per year than all the other states put together.  I was in an earthquake once and it wasn't fun.  I hope you and your family were okay.

     I am looking forward to reading your future posts here on the Forums.  Please make yourself at home here.  I hope you will feel you are amongst friends!-

    epictetus

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1 hour ago, elaineofalaska said:

Hi everyone. I'll do a short intro of myself. My name is Elaine and I live in Alaska with my husband. Our grown son is on the Autism spec and has related issues. We've lived here almost two decades and like it for the most part. Our daughter now lives in S. Texas with her significant other.. They do a lot of traveling all over the world and we don't get to see her much. 

Anyway I'd like to make friends here on depressionforums, so please reply:)

Welcome, Elain and feel free to enter act with us here at the DF and we are looking forward to you sharing with us here 

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Welcome Alaska friend to our forum family.

Our goal here is to not leave anyone behind in their depression cave.

Keep posting and check out many other posts for great insights.

Oscar

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Hello @elaineofalaska! Welcome to DF...

I have an 11 yo son on the spectrum as well...It is challenging (as I'm sure you know), but it has also made me a better person, if that makes sense.

Alaska is amazing...I had the opportunity to spend a summer working at Denali NP, back in '89 during college (right after the Exxon Valdez spill), and it was a life-changing experience. 

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Thanks to everyone's replies! Very kind. I much appreciate your welcome here. As to Epic...can't recall the rest...sorry...Yes, Alaska is interesting.  The aftershocks have continued. A couple days ago, we had a 5 which sent us to stand pausing at  the front door for a moment. Then we kinda shrugged, noticed our grandfather's clock was still ticking, and went back to the couch. It gets so you can pretty much guess how "big" of a shaker it is...You say things like, "Probably around a 3.5..." Kind of a fun way to put a positive spin on a crazy happening where the earth is suddenly shaking beneath your feet and your whole world seems momentarily "up for grabs." 

Anyway, another long dark night lying gaping open before me. Think it will be another couch night. Sometimes just the light of the tv and seeing a few stars out the window helps.

 

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Hi and welcome! Thank you for introducing yourself, we hope you'll find some useful information here and some new friends.

It's a supportive, friendly community. We're open and candid about our mental health issues and struggles, we unreservedly celebrate each other's successes and offer comfort when someone's having a tough time.

I got to tour some of Alaska last September, an amazing, uplifting experience for me. I was overwhelmed by it's beauty and impressed by the dedication of it's residents who proudly preserve it. I was fortunate to see Mt Denali on a clear day, watch playful Orcas and gawk at the massive glaciers. I would love to return some day to see the northern lights and maybe try the Iditarod. 

 

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8 hours ago, elaineofalaska said:

Oh, Oscar, love the "depression cave" wording. Yes, quite the immense, dark cave, isn't it? Goes on for miles leading to the worst type of monsters.

The cave metaphor has been quite helpful to me for many years.

In nature a cave is formed by erosion, stress and upheaval. (sound familiar ?)

My depression cave is always there but I need not take up long-term residence.

I can safely take temporary shelter in my secret hideaway.

I try not to go too deep because I know I won't like what I will find.

It's best for me to keep my back metaphorically turned away from the deep, dark abyss.

Metaphors don't actually exist but they can be super helpful if we can just be ever so clever.

Anyway I'm always willing to talk about metaphors or as I like to call them: MEDaphors.

Oscar

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Oscar K - Hey, thanks so much for your reply about MEDaphors...Yeah, I don't know. I guess there have been a lot of stessors, erosion and the like over the years, starting actually from childhood when there were significant losses and neglect. Then on from there - an abusive marriage, an autistic-born son (moderate with severe, global dyspraxia), then more marital difficulties with verbal abuse and a lot of anger and violence (not directed at me but at physical objects in the house, etc.) Then my daughter moved far away, citing her brother (who aways got the lion's share of attention) as one of the main causes. It wasn't like I had much choice because of his volatile nature. But stil. Sigh.

Somewhere along the line, I think how I view and deal with life changed without my awareness until it became my new normal, a bad reset...I took Prozac for almost a decade which helped for most of that time. Then a new doc suggested I go off. I weaned and am now on St. John's Wort which is helpful...a little...Still...the cave. For me, more of a heavy, lead blanket that  just keeps descending on me and holding me in place. There are times - when circumstances are optimal (it doesn't take much for it to be optimal....maybe a little more a daylight without clouds...or my son having a good day) that I can almost feel happy. A hot bath of scented oil when some other things are going well can almost make me feel giddy. Weird, I know, right?  I'm a mess. Not nearly stable enough. That suffocating blanket which engulfs me without warning and with way too much regularity. I guess I could metaphorically take a mental drill and bore some light holes throught it, then rip out the holes with my fingers to see some light. I don't know. Sometimes I just think the bad reset is my forever life now. Maybe that's a good thing because does come to an end and we better be ready for the inevitable. Maybe I was too happy before and now this is reality and I just have to be mature enough to accept it...?

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You definitely have the right idea about boring metaphorical holes in that suffocating lead blanket.

Better yet you can toss that blanket into your depression cave.

I recognize my depression cave as a natural formation/resource.

I try to remind myself that climbing out of my depression pit is easier when I let go of excess emotional baggage.

Anyway, with our inexhaustible supply of metaphorical tools, Old Man Depression doesn't stand a chance.

This forum has really helped me and no doubt will help you.

Oscar

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Or, are you saying I should think of Depression as it's own entity and so somehow train myself to separate from it? Or, embrace it?  No, perhaps neither extreme which reminds me of what borderlines and bipolars do...Maybe our Depression is a way of telling us we are trying to split  off our natural feelings/responses to life's inevitable disasters...? So, instead of compartmentalizing and splitting off, it's better to recognize and accept that bad things happen. More importantly, they happen and have happened to me and I've reacted to them in various ways, some more unhealthy than others. Baggage:  "Being unwilling to accept yourself worts and all."  Treatment: Well, that's the hard part, isn't it? But I do want to take responsibility for ALL of me. I guess this is where it's useful to think of Freud's Ego - the adult in the room. How do I find him again, for I think I must have known "him" once. 

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Depression for me is a natural condition/formation/resource.

The problem is natural is not a synonym for healthy.

I believe we all have a natural vast metaphorical emptiness.

It's just part of our atomic makeup.

Not everyone falls into the abyss but when for whatever reason or no reason we find ourselves lost and trapped within ourselves then we must find the way out.

I try ever so hard to put my depression cave to use because it ain't going away any time soon.

Sometimes it's easy and sometimes not so easy but I won't go back into that deep, dark, dangerous metaphorical cave.

I'm not sure if this answers your questions or not but I will try to help you find the way out.

Metaphors are tricks we play to insist one thing is something else when obviously it isn't.

My depression obviously isn't a cave but METAPHORICALLY it sure is.

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Ok, so I think I get what you're saying. I'll have to muse on it. In the meantime,, are you on any meds, Oscar? If this is too personal a question, just say. Because I believe the current way of dealing with Depression is a combo of chemical plus cogtiive therapy. 'Coure when you're on a good chemical, you kinda let the other go by the way side,  metaphorically speaking. Like, around the big cave in the landscape room.

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No, I have never used antidepressants unless you count the one I developed: PLACEBOWELL.

I'm trying to be healthy with good food and exercise and a positive attitude.

I do have plenty of regrets and sorrows.

In 2015 my youngest son (39) took his own life because of depression.

If I didn't have my MEDaphors to help me I would be in big trouble.

Life is way too short to be in a dark place.

I find trying to help others actually is cathartic for me.

Old Man Depression plays the most awful tricks on our psyches so my feeling is we should play a few clever tricks right back. 

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PLACEBOWELL is just my imaginary, pretend, make believe drug I take when I'm sinking into you know where.

The only side effect is an urge to light a (metaphorical) candle and refrain from cursing the (metaphorical) darkness.

We must "clever" (yes clever is henceforth a verb) our way out of the depression abyss.

Life is so darn difficult but we are up for the challenge.

What choice do we have?

Always here Oscar.

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@elaineofalaskaWow, I didn't see this post until just now. Welcome!

I am the biggest fan of Alaska in the entire universe. We visited back in 2005 and I didn't want to come back. We visited as much of the state as we could within 2 weeks. We drove most of it, except the journey to Barrow of course. 🙂 I have a special fascination with Barrow. Cold doesn't bother me in the slightest. It's 12F here this morning and I've been walking around outside with only a hoodie...not even wearing gloves. One of my ancestors must have been a polar bear.

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Hi! I just signed up and this was the first post I saw. I grew up in Alaska and miss it so much. Its been years since I've been home. Its kind of sad that somedays I miss the scenery and wildlife more than my family up there lol. 

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3 minutes ago, ICanDoThis said:

Hi! I just signed up and this was the first post I saw. I grew up in Alaska and miss it so much. Its been years since I've been home. Its kind of sad that somedays I miss the scenery and wildlife more than my family up there lol. 

Welcome to the forum my friend and I’m looking forward to seeing you around the DF.  Please don’t hesitate to share in the posts and feel free to post anything that troubles you about your issues with your mental illness or anything else that might be on your mind.

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Hi, ICanDOThis! So glad you are a part of this forum of which I am very new as well. Where did you grow up in Alaska?

Yes, I'm sure you must miss it. I live in Palmer - Southcentral - and really love it, especially living on the Knik River which is pretty much frozen right now. It was supposed to get down to nearly 30 below last night but fortunately it was much warmer, -2 by morning. Thanks heavens! I've lived here almost a decade and while the cold was a "cool" novelty in the first +decade, after that I began to just prefer the teens and twenties with snow. The winds are pretty bad, too, in Palmer. Then there's The Darkness. We live in the shadow of Pioneer Peak so we have NO direct sunlight from Thanksgiving to mid-Feb. A real bummer, especially this winter which is the first winter I'm not taking the  Prozac I was on for several years. 

So how are you doing, depression-wise? What are your best coping skills? I' up for suggestions!

Elaine:)

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I grew up in Anchorage and was there til I got married. He's military so we moved out of state then ended up back in Fairbanks/North Pole area for a few years before moving here. SAD lights are good thing to have up there. I don't remember if it helped much with my moods but it gives Vit D that you miss from the lack of sun. 

I don't miss the cold or the snow after being in Fairbanks. It was too cold for me up there. I could probably handle Anchorage or the valley since it seems like y'all barely get snow now. 

 

Today is an OK day I guess. Its rainy so I'm trying not to let that get to me. I let my kid stay home even though I knew he was faking it. My kids keep me distracted and lately that's my way of coping. 

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