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Part 3- Cured of Depression

So after a couple of weeks at the center I went off my meds for depression. Within a few days I started to decline in my mental state. First symptom was I felt tired all the time, no matter how much sleep I got. That is always my very first indication of a dive into the darkness. Then a very flippant I don’t give a crap attitude, swearing like a trucker (more then usual), feelings of  guilt, hopelessness and worthlessness set in. Lack of concentration and loss of interest in life. The black hole. Darkness

Every day my friend would ask me ” how are you doing?” and I would respond “here it comes.” I spoke of the depression that held unto me for 25 years like something out of a horror movie. This depression had become my worst enemy and I felt like I was trapped in it forever. Depression was forever ….wasn’t it?

In about 1 week I was hard pressed to get out of bed. This one particular day as we were starting bible study the leader asked me a question. To be honest I can not even remember the question but I do remember that it invoked such rage, defiance and rebellion in me. If looks could kill the poor guy would be dead and he knew it. I was ready to blow this popsicle stand and leave this God behind!

That’s it everyone, its time to pray, he said.  All 10 people stood up and gathered around me and raised there hands towards me. Some touched my shoulders or my head. Most of them spoke in their prayer language of Spanish. I couldn’t understand their prayers but God did.

I started to cry. I was told I needed to ask this Jesus person, someone I did not know, to heal me. I raised over my head lifted high and I started to pray. My prayers were like a child, not flowery with beautiful words or scripture just a “please I don’t want this to control my life any longer” more of a plea then a prayer.

I felt like my insides were being pulled. Like a tug of war with my guts, like something didn’t want to let go of me. A gust of air escapes my lungs like I had been punched in the stomach. The prayers and voices went silent. I felt exhausted and I didn’t feel like anything was different.  I felt the same depression only now I was really tired! Huh see nothing happened! This God doesn’t care about me. I went to bed. I slept hours and hours but before I went to sleep I felt hopeless again.

The next day I awoke with a song in my heart! I felt something I never before felt, maybe never felt in my life. I felt freedom! I felt like the world that I was carrying was lifted from my shoulders. I had a smile on my face which was not forced

Was I cured? I was cautiously optimistic. For the first few months I waited for that dark place with no color or light start to creep in, but it never did. It has been almost 3 years and I finally threw away all my medication after the second year. I continued to think it was a fluke, it was the Mx sunshine. It was anything but an actual super-natural miracle from God! Today I know I was relieved from this deadly, mind-altering disease by Jesus.

My life has changed because of His gift to me and I know now that He has given me many gifts that I never recognized that it was from Him!

Today I have hope. And in the last 3 years I have not had a hint of any kind of depression. I am truly free. Now I just need to have him help me kick the nicotine habit! And He will in his time.

Matthew 11 : 25-30

28 ” Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden light”.

 

 

bullshark

 

I love to SCUBA dive and ever since I can remember I have loved sharks. And the more I dive and see what is happening to our oceans, the more I love the sharks!

The picture was taken by CJ my friend at Cabo Pulmo BCS Mexico, a National Park that Jacque Cousteau once called “The Aquarium of the World”!
I have wanted to dive sharks for a long time but I have to tell you that when I saw them circling the boat before entering the water my heart rate jumped.
Now I am not a novice diver, I have been diving for years and years with a few certifications under my belt. My point I guess is: that as I was descending to 40Ft I forgot all the instructions that the boat captain gave us ……like get to the bottom quickly – don’t float around swimming above them. As I realized that everyone else was at the bottom and I was still “floating” around on my descent I quickly raced to the bottom!

Once I was settled at the bottom I looked to my left and a large bull shark was coming right for me! In the last second it turned away to a different direction.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat – I love these creatures and I think they are often misunderstood and mainstream media does them no justice and creates fear. They make them into monsters with headlines like ” Shark seen in the FL keys” well duh that is where they live, in the ocean.

Be kind to our oceans folks!
Blessings
Scubagirl65

Diving with the Bull sharks in Cabo Pulmo, Mx

Importation Tax! Drives me nuts!

I have been living in Mx for almost 3 years and the one thing that I really miss is getting the items I want to buy without paying importation tax! It drives me nuts!

Not everything I need/want to buy is local, and example of this would be Q-Tips. A simple thing but I can not find the brand name here anywhere. I have looked and on occasion I have found them once. The thing that I have learned over time is that if you find something you like, buy it up, buy lots of it cuz you will never know when you will find it again!
I love to shopping  on Amazon! I can find great deals but the problem is that when I receive the items here. Another 30% if not more depending on the item.

So usually my cart at any online shopping store stays full and I continue to look and debate is that 30% extra worth it – how bad to I need or want this item.

Happy Shopping
Scubagirl65

So much garbage!

My dive shop went out on a dive in our local area of Cabo San Lucas, Mx specifically to pickup garbage. So much garbage in the sea!
Now on most of my dives I come up with a pocket full of garbage from tons of fishing line and lures to bottles and cans.
Considering that this local dive spot is a no fish zone we came up with so much fishing line. I have seen the damage first hand on how hazardous this can be for marine life. Moray eels get tangled and then strangle themselves with it or get a hook in their mouth and they will surely die because they can not eat!
The strangest thing I have found in the ocean is a dirty diaper! WTH!! Or women products?? I just don’t understand humans – I would rather hang out with the fish!

Blessings
scubagirl65

Part 2 – The turning point

 

When I was planning to move to Mexico my biggest concern was if I was going to be able to get my drugs that I came to rely on for the past 20 years. I soon found out that I could but they were expensive. I made a plan to get a 3-month supply and I would wean myself off 1 of the 3 drugs. Sounded like a plan, this would be one of my constant mistakes through out life – formulating a plan! I knew by this time in my life that left to my own devices and own thoughts I will suffer.  My best thinking got me to this point!

When I landed in Mx, I stayed at a Christian rehab center. A place that believed through prayer, I would be healed from depression.  When I heard about this place I certainly did not get a lot of hope. I heard of prayer curing people but in my heart, I thought God only helped some people but he certainly would not help me.

I grew up with a family that went to church every Sunday. I had serious Christian grandparents who were very strict and made me memorize scripture when I was 5 yrs. old.  However, the story changes from here. I put my hand up at the thought of God or even the possibility of God at one point. Looking back now, I could easily believe in demons and monsters. Why then, was it such a stretch to believe in the light and goodness of God? I was blinded but soon I would see.

One of my biggest fears about going to this Christian rehab was that I swore like a trucker. Every second or third word would be the F bomb. I joked that I would probably walk through the gate and spontaneously burst into flames. I did not.

What I found in this rehab was freedom; from depression, bitterness; and a world that had a lot of gray in it. This no way infers that the grey was from living in British Columbia Canada where we had 300 days of grey skies.

For the first 2 weeks, I was getting myself acclimatized to the new world I was living in. Mexico was at its hottest time of year, September.

I was dealing with new food, new people and no real permanent home or job. All my worldly possessions packed in my little Ford Fit. What had I done driving 4000Km, to this?

Structured like no other rehab I had gone too and believe me I have seen a few, six to be exact. Morning time we were suppose to get up early and seek God by reading the bible and praying on God’s word. I never really did that when I was there.  I would wake up just before it was devotional time. Enough time to get up and make a coffee. One thing with depression I always felt tired even on my meds; I loved my sleep and every one of my friends and family will attest to that.

I was meeting other residents that were all there for some kind of cure whether it is from alcohol, drugs or the dis-ease of life! All of us searching, for something, too alleviate the pain of living in this world.

After 3 weeks of learning the power of Jesus and HIS word, I decided that I was willing to try the power of prayer. Over the years I have always looked for a cure in some sort of pill, potion or notion why not try prayer! I was ready, willing, and open to believe that any thing was possible. I must admit that I still had doubt in my heart but so did doubting Thomas in the bible and Jesus was his teacher in the flesh until Jesus proved to Thomas that HE was indeed real and alive after HIS resurrection. This is what really happened to me. After Jesus had cured me of the depression, I finally believed HE was REAL.

I went off my meds.

Stay tuned for Part 3 – Cured!

Part 1 – Diagnosed with Depression

How I recovered from depression a debilitating, life destroying, life controlling issue.

I was “diagnosed” by a medi-center doctor (walk in clinic) who had no history on me for depression or anything else for that matter back in 1994. As I look back, I know now that depression is widely misdiagnosed. Life got you down? Oh you must be depressed, lets load you up on mood altering drugs. Instead of finding the cause of the unhappiness, sadness, hopeless, despair of life; lets give you medication. I had a severe drug problem for 28 years! Of course I am going to be unhappy, sad, and have Dis-Ease of life! OH now I have a crutch, thank you very much. I was good at the blame game and now here is one more thing I can add to my back pocket of shame.  I am such a loser drug addict; crappy mom, bad sister and daughter, unemployable adnauseam and now I have a mental illness! Great! When I was getting dealt the hand of life, I defiantly got the losing hand, or so I thought!

Over the years I continued to abuse drugs and alcohol with the doctors trying to find that magic combinations of pills that would help with stopping my suicide by installment plan. Funny how a doctor thinks “prescribed” drug will help with a street drug problem.  Nothing helped.  At the end of 2003 I entered my final treatment facility.  I had been off my medication for a few weeks because I could not afford to buy them.

The facility suggested that I wait and see if I really need them. My best friend turned on me, my lover of 28 years cheated on me, lied to me, shamed me and made me feel like I couldn’t live with or without Mr. Cocaine. I was coming off a collage of drugs and of course I would be depressed.

I lived in the treatment facility for women for 6 months and I stayed off of the medication. I think at that point in my life I was kept so busy with making changes and working on myself that I didn’t have time to think.

I had been clean for about a year and I started to feel sad, lonely, tired, bored…I thought ….maybe I was depressed. Back to the doctors I went seeking something to take me out of myself. I didn’t want to feel.  Over the next 5 years I stayed clean from street drugs but I ended up being on 3 different kinds of anti-depressants! Nothing was working! I still felt dis-eased in life.

What in the world did I have to be depressed about? After years of disappointing my family I had them back in my life, they finally trusted me again. I was a productive member of society working a full time job for the last 5 years, I was scuba diving, and I was no longer destroying my life and everyone that was close to me.  Why would I be depressed?

Oh here comes the lie…. wait for it, wait for it… the doctors told me that with the years of drug use to cocaine and my favorite drug “what do ya got?” and the amount that I had been doing, has forever altered my brain chemistry and I would always have to take medication. The brain does not reproduce, the serotonin and dopamine that my body over produced when I was using. cocaine works the neurotransmitters of the brain. It makes the brain release the euphoria chemicals in large quantities to give you that rush of pleasure.

Great I was screwed! I finally had my answer. The doctors told me, so it must be true. Society is plagued with mental illness and now I was just one of the statistics!

I became my own doctor, playing with the doses to try find just the right one. Really no different then being a drug addict; finding that perfect combination of drugs and alcohol. Enough of one or the other to get me to that sweet spot of obviation – a little more and I would get paranoid or a little less and I would chase the dragon even harder.  It was the same for the prescribed medication. Too much of one and I wouldn’t sleep, not enough of the other one and I would sleep too much. I constantly felt like I had a mouth full of cotton.

I would try time and time again to get off the prescription drugs all together and I would end up in bed not caring if the place burned to the ground. Eventually, I believed the lie.

This song on YouTube was my mantra – Please enjoy

 

 

UP NEXT….. HOW I WAS CURED!!……..that’s right……you read right……CURED

 

 

 

decision

 

The decision to move to Mexico was full of apprehension and excitement. All my life I felt like I didn’t belong in Canada, I always felt that I needed to be on an Island surrounded by water. Thinking that this was just a dream I had or maybe it was because my life was so full of craziness. Living in active addiction for 28 years, running around causing hurricanes in my own life and others maybe I just wanted to escape.

However after being clean for some years that feeling never left me. I got into the routine of being a productive member of society. Getting and maintaining a job for a good company but still felt under-valued and under paid. Trying to maintain a lifestyle I could not afford. Now I am not talking about living the high-life. I am talking about renting a basement suite with cable, Internet and a used car; that always broke down. Living check to check, racking up credit card debt on what the media told me I needed and wanted to fit in.

Propaganda! The TV telling me that I needed this new car to be happy or the latest fashion designs to be a part of mainstream society. I always felt like I never measured up! I was taught to get an education, a good job, a reliable car, mortgage, marriage, kids etc. The dream?  It was always about how much I made and what I could afford. I was sick of it! Success was measured by what I had in the bank or with the toys I owned.  He who dies with the most toys, Wins!  Well the fact is your still dead and then what?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RlFRMM87IU8&list=TLfIm4pRyr6eQ

I needed something more!

That something more is God.  That emptiness that I had, trying to fill up that hole, with things, that I couldn’t afford or really want in the hopes that I would feel complete.  Today that empty hole is gone because I allowed Jesus to be present in my life.  Today my God has a name and His name is Jesus. HE made some promises to me that I believe.  Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

Today I am restful, peaceful and full of gratitude that I listened to His voice inside me. I no longer need to buy stuff!  I gave all the stuff up and I am much happier for it. I do not watch TV here with all the “I must buy” crap. I don’t need the expensive toys that I once needed. Well, to be honest I still have a love of dive gear that enables me to pursue my passion of God’s underwater playground. Here, my backyard is mostly, free, I have access to the ocean on either side of me.

I am forever grateful that I took a chance of the unknown and made the one of the best decisions in my life and moved to Mx.

Blessings

scubagirl

 

 

 

The Decision To Move To Another Country

Small Dogs & God

AngelServiceDogsDonation-1One day sitting around with a friend we were discussing who we can count on in life. This conversation ensued after one of us had expectations on someone who we thought we could trust.  She had a small pup on her lap, lavishing her with love and affection; she looked up at me and said “the only ones I can really count on are small dogs and God.” We had a good laugh at that and then I said “hey what an awesome title for a book.”  Well, this is not quite a book my friend but here it goes.

When I think of my very first dog; I remember how loyal and faithful he was even when I treated him mean. As a child growing up in a house where all the other siblings are grown and gone it’s like living as an only child. No one to blame, when, something bad happens, and ultimately I was always in trouble for something. Many times I had been disciplined unfairly because I was caught in the cross-fire from a fight between the adults that had nothing to do with anything I had done wrong. Of course this would make me very angry, which I would sometimes direct in poor dogs direction.

I would stomp outside and run out to the barn with my faithful friend Tuffy who was only moments behind me. Assuming I wanted to play, he was always full of enthusiasm;

I would yell at him “go away” I don’t want you to lick me, but no matter how much I pushed him away he would always sit loyally waiting for my anger to subside and I would break down and let him comfort me as only a puppy can love you, with licks and those deep soulful eyes looking at me letting me know that he knew exactly how I felt and he was on my side.

Now I don’t want to ruffle anyone’s feathers when I say that I think it isn’t a coincidence that dog spelled backwards is God. When, I think of my Father, in heaven, and some of His characteristics. Faithful, unwavering love no matter if we are angry at Him, His loyalty to his children; never leaving their side through the bad times. God will never leave us! It is usually us that walk away, thinking it is Gods fault for the bad things that happen in our lives. I personally have walked away from God too many times to count. Blaming God for the bad choices I made or for the life I had. Pushing Him away, instead of, letting Him comfort me. He wants to comfort his children if we allow Him.

Maybe God placed dogs on this earth to provide some of that comfort, to look after His children. To bring us peace, love, joy and smiles. Four legged angels perhaps? The ones that lick away our tears, lick our wounds, and give us comfort when we feel like there is no one else that can.

I encourage if you have not already done so to seek God’s characteristics out. And think about His love, patience and faithfulness.

Blessings

scubagirl

****Disclaimer****** In no way am I saying that dogs are God. I have to put this in because of my friend who sneers at the thought of any comparison of the two so I think if there one there are more.

A spiritual journey- Intro

It is almost August 2 years since I left home and today I long for fresh air, rain and decent sushi. I am in a constant state of sweat except when I’m in the office where they turn the air con on so cold I have to wear a sweater

When I made the decision to move to Cabo I thought it was to simplify my life. What I have received has been much more. I am changing in ways that I never thought was possible. The person that I thought I was no longer applies. I am changing in spite of myself from the inside out.

Jesus took me from a life that was full of pain and loneliness about 10 yrs. ago but I never fully surrendered to his mercy and grace until I moved here and started going to church. I am starting to understand his love for me and believe that He indeed has a plan for me  if I just get out of the way and let Him lead.

I always thought of myself as damaged goods and I was broken. God has picked me out of the ashes of a life that I burned to the ground and had been shuffling around in the ashes for decades. HE does not see me as I see myself. HE sees me as I see my child with unconditional love. Because I have allowed him in my heart HE has healed me, fixed me….mended me. I however have not caught up to this new life…..my old behaviors get in my way. My negative thinking, doubt and mistrust. Being a baby Christian I have much to learn. I try not to compare my knowledge or belief system to the others I surround myself with but the enemy (satan) the liar and thief wants to kill steal and destroy me. I was his soldier for many years, self-seeking only pleasure and running through people’s lives like a tornado. However, today I recognize his voice and I know it is not God’s, by knowing this one thing; I can stand strong in God’s word and fight!

I struggle sometimes with my faith! A struggle between the ” what’s right in this world” and ” what’s right in the spiritual world”, being promised things all my life and those promises being broken and I struggle with the promises of someone that I have never met face to face. To believe for the sake of believing and I have met many who possess that unwavering faith and belief. Baby steps, baby Christian I keep reminding myself. A friend said to me last night; “you believe in God, but do you believe Him?”

I love my life today.

If you are struggling or in pain, hold on. It gets better and “this too shall pass”

 

Blessings,

scubagirl