Straight Up with Sherri

Saturday, January 08, 2005

An Answer to a GREAT QUESTION, and more.......

For Yesterday's post, I recieved this comment by jlfintx:

"do you ever come back on and respond to comments on your blog sherri?"

To this- I write:


I am so glad you asked!!! I try to NEVER come onto the comment area and leave comments. Let me explain why, and then I will certainly do some "responding!" Thank you so much for asking me if I do. You have actually opened the door something I have been feeling, and wasn't sure how to express it. THANKS!

I don't usually comment out of "courtesy." I feel I have had my rant, now it is your turn. I LOVE a healthy debate, but I don't ever want anyone to feel that differing ideas are unwelcome- in fact; I honestly believe them to be vital. I have learned a lot from those who disagree with me. Some have helped me to look deeper, or change my view on certain points, etc.. I never want to DOMINATE over my readers, especially if they disagree. Sometimes, I even have good responses to those who may disagree, but try and leave it up to others who may want to defend an idea to do so. I have seen it happen and it delights me. However, I have felt a closeness with many of my readers and commenters and still yearn to correspond, but show GREAT restraint and try not to comment, just to keep the floor open for differing opinions.

With that being said. Let me share my heart on a few things. First- I am so grateful to all the love, prayers, and thoughtfulness I have received. Let me also thank you all for sharing so much of yourselves. It means the world to me that people are willing to share themselves and any advice, or experiences in order to bless me. I HAVE BEEN VERY BLESSED by ALL of YOU! Second- I am thrilled that so many of you "GET IT!" I love when RWNJ can disagree with me, make points, state his case, and do it in such a GREAT WAY! I am NEVER left feeling like I have been "confronted" or "berated." I feel like he has shared himself with me, and in a respectful, even loving way. I TREASURE THIS WITH THE FIBER OF MY BEING! Third- I think for now on, I will do more responding, and will include my email address for anyone who wants to email me, and we can communicate this way too! I am still learning the
technical side of this blogging thing, so please be patient with me as I get that set up.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I will be VERY honest. I have had bouts with depression myself. It is literally debilitating. It is hard to do ANYTHING. Hard to shower. Hard to answer the phone. It is painful just to go to the grocery. When suffering from depression, it is eating at your very legitimacy for living. As you walk through the dairy aisle, you think, "they are looking at me, and they know!" Sounds crazy, huh? You literally feel like you are swallowed up into this black hole, and everyone sees it. Everyone knows. Somehow there is this feeling of shame and aloneness that accompanies feeling "depressed." IT IS REAL- IT IS TRAUMATIC! It is the ultimate "victim, yet at blame" conspiracy theory that is literally "all in your head." I don't know what brings it on. I don't know how to control it, and I don't know how long it will last. But when it hits, even though you know it is not "REAL." IT IS VERY REAL!

I find people don't like to talk about it. People, who have never experienced it, seem to think it is a "mindset" that WE CONTROL. NOT TRUE. They also seem to scramble for a "way out" of the conversation. They get very uncomfortable with the discussion. Some are just frustrated and think you are about to unravel a litany of sob stories. Some feel like they just don't understand it, and it is too "depressing" to talk about. Some just don't want to be bothered. Others may even feel like they just can't deal with it, because they burn inside to help and fix it, but realize they cannot.

I would love to see us start talking about it. Maybe if we did, people like my friend would not have been "ashamed" to talk about it and reach out. You don't choose depression any more than you CHOOSE breast cancer or prostate cancer. IT CHOOSES YOU! It is not a mere matter of "attitude adjustment."

I also realize that as much as I feel close to you all, we don't really KNOW each other as well as we may think others know us. For instance, I was being open and honest when I said that, yes, I was mad at my friend. People in my life, watching me deal with this, know there is no "destructive ANGER" on my part. But I would be lying if I said it didn't disappoint me, and hurt me to see how his decisions in dealing with this, or how he ultimately dealt with it, effected people I love and adore. I am not shouting at him, or feel any sense of rage, just a sad sense of, "DANG- you put a LOT of guilt and pain on people that LOVE you, no matter WHAT you are going through." Yet, I also feel a sense of true understanding- in fact- I think it is that feeling that explains why I am not enraged at all. It never crossed my mind to be enraged. It is more sadness than anger, I guess. There is a bit of pity, but not in a condescending sense. It is in a compassionate sense. I know those dark moments. I know those days when it all seems hopeless and insurmountable. I can still feel the blackness in my heart. It is as if you are viewing the entire world covered in grey ash, the ashes are the only thing left of your soul that has been cremated and now the ash, the dark reminder, the residue just covers EVERYTHING. You struggle to figure out a way to find Sherri again, a way to release her, and let her out again. The one who is worthy of love. Because everything you do feels like a charade to hide the fact that you have slipped into this black hole. Your heart is filled with darkness and doom, and you are afraid that ALL will see it, and judge you for it. Yet we never seem to truly believe that this isn't true. You are trapped between knowing what you feel is VERY REAL, yet knowing that the feelings are based on illness, not factual things or events. It is hard to explain. IT FEELS SO REAL.

As for "judging" the father, or Andrea. I do not pretend to be the judgers of their souls; I am not. I don’t pretend to know their relationship. I do however expect a father to have a relationship with his children based on the idea of PROTECTING them- even it that means protecting them from someone who loves them, but is unable to care for them the way that they SHOULD, such as their mother. Even some compassion for how difficult it is to care for these children on perfectly HEALTHY terms, let alone while dealing with her own demons. The point is that this could have been avoided. We call it “postpartum” and suddenly it is associated as a “woman” issue, and political correctness tells us it is a hands off issue to hold HER accountable. MALARKY! I do feel the need to judge their actions, without ANY judgment of people's actions, especially when those actions lead to the KILLING of FIVE innocent children- society as a whole will fail at protecting innocents from actions of the evil or afflicted. Noah, John, Paul, Luke, and Mary deserve for us to stand up and say- HEY- YOU COULD HAVE MADE BETTER CHOICES THAN ALLOWING THEIR BRUTAL DEATHS. YOU SHOULD HAVE MADE BETTER DECISIONS. My favorite quote of all time is by Edmund Burke- "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for a good man to do nothing." My words and actions may seem harsh, but they will never be squashed so that evil may triumph. Evil will continue in this world, but I will sure do my best to not be one who sat quietly by, allowing evil to trudge through my life and/or world UNCHALLENGED!

I adore levi from queens for sharing HIS story. This was not only a HUGE story that is vital to share, but it was also very BRAVE of him to share it! Thank YOU jlfintx, for sharing so much of YOURself! You are treasured.

I am very glad that we have used these tragedies in a positive way and shared so much with each other about it. People CAN make a difference. I hope many people share the thoughts and feeling shared by ALL of you, and can gain SOMETHING from it. Weather it be compassion, understanding, or especially the decision to seek help in their lives with their burdens before allowing any such tragedies to occur in their own lives. If we are not loving each other, we are FAILING each other. If we are not sharing our experiences to help others, we are dead set on track to see the painful consequences of our silence destitute see painful things repeated in others. I hope more people will find the courage to come step forward and share, especially if it is to seek help, rather than to give help!


  • Sherri:

    I know it is going to take time for you to go through what you are facing and I am ready willing and able at anytime day or night to hear from you. If you want the information just ask. The one other thing about depression that I experienced I would like to share since I believe there may be multiple processes going on within the mind (mine anyway.) If not for my kids I would have ended it (and a healthy fear of God). The only way I could hold on was to try and think if I had a terrible debiliating physical disease and would need to hold on for their sake. It was not about being ashamed of my illness or things like that. It was more about being in such mental agony that it can not be described. I would liken it to being in a state of drug overdose and feeling like you are just dying, but the feeling never goes away and you can not take it any longer. Since I have started with a much improved medication, I have realized that there are simply chemical processes that are so difficult to understand that people just don't get it. I used to have cycles of depression and wanted to hang on and remember that last time I felt like this I actually got better and felt good for awhile-probably bi-polar. But, the pain is so intense and frightening that it is a life and death struggle in every sense of the term. The very bottom of the depression cycle is fear-an intense fear that is without a reasonable way to explain. Although I have never lost my faith, I have at times just not known whether I could make it to the next day. For about 18 months I cried all the way to work and all the way home at a new job, new city, and under unimaginable stress. No one knew my pain except me and God and a little bit of understanding from my boss.

    Let me make this last point in defense of those crushed over losing a loved one this way through the disease of depression. When the man climbed the UT tower back several decades ago and picked people off with a high-powered rifle, they later found out that he had a brain tumor on the place in his brain that dictates our moods. He could no more help himself than the worst case of mental illness. Also, my brother is five years older and has mental illness, has never been married and lives with my dying parents. It will fall on me to take care of him and God willing, we will cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Hang in there and cling to the Lord with everything you have. Remember, if David had had prozac, we wouldn't have the Pslams either!

    By Blogger jlfintx, at 5:48 PM  

  • - Sherri ....On the one hand I'm certainly sorry to know you've had so many trials and tribulations to face this last few months. On the other, in keeping with my annoying habit of always looking for the bright side of things, the fact that you're back and communicating is realy more important....

    - Like everyone I've had my share of hell and dissapoinments in life but two things always occur to me along the way....

    - I've often sat and pondered, looking back, that whatever bad events occured in time they simply became one more chapter in life. Things do change so dramatically sometimes you catch yourself wondering why you were so terminal about your thoughts "back" when this or that happened. Life can completely remake itself in a very short time. We seldom can act in that way though, because as human beings thats not what we "feel" at the time. But whether our glands let us react properly or not, it is a truth that "this too shall pass"....

    - When life is throwing you lemons a little "good" can go a long way to help you bring your feelings back up to a normal level. There are a lot of things we can do to counter all the bad energy that may pile up in our little corner from time to time. Even things that we only have a limited control over, hard things that you can't theorize away like earning a living and the health of ourselves and our loved ones. Still for all of that, some positive energy will help smooth the bumps....

    - To that end I always try as best I can to push positive energy and thoughts back against whatever negative I run up against. It doesn't always work but it does usually help. At least inside I feel just a tiny bit better and a tiny bit oftens times is the difference between torn and tornado....

    - Glad you're back....

    - Hunter

    By Blogger - Hunter, at 8:04 PM  

  • Thank you for sharing your thoughts today. It is the pain and suffering we endure that builds our character. Nobody ever derives strength of character from the good times in their lives. All art (painting, writing, music, sculpture, etc.) is born of pain and misery. Being happy is nice, but it does little to make you a better person. God has allowed suffering to test the human soul and He descends as the Holy Spirit to fortify us. Sherri, you have showed us many images of pain, but few of joy. Amazingly, those few represent the overcoming of obstacles by those you love. Doesn't this speak volumes about your interpretation of the meaning of life? Just as we learn from the history of others, we may learn from their suffering and their triumph over adversity.
    I am flattered that you understand that to disagree with me is not to dislike me. I learn a lot from you, from Hunter, and from jlfintx (here and at LGF). All of your thoughts are precious to me. And I do pray a lot, because I know that we can use all the help we can get. You understand that friendship wears many disguises; it is often difficult to recognize it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:13 AM  

  • WOW! We all have so much to share and give. I am thrilled that I have so many great friends and a "Safe" place for us to share about ourselves. I hope i didn't sound as if I have been dealing with depression lately. I use to go through it about once ever 2 months. It would last anywhere from 3 days to 2 weeks. But in the past year I have been doing great. NO medication, just doing much better. In fact, things for this next year are looking GREAT! The Lord has given me several visions for goals and projects for this next year in several areas of my life, and it is amazing how people, out of the blue, are approaching me to help make them happen, without me ever saying a word about my visions. Maybe I will share more about this in a different post.

    jlftx- I so understand that it is your children that make you hang on. I also know EXACTLY what you mean by reminding yourself that you have been here before, and it does get better. It is wierd how it goes in phases. Thank you for your offer to be available. THAT is a REAL blessing! God bless you!

    Hunter- Dang I love you! You have the same sick and twisted sense of humor I do! In fact, when things get too down and deep, I always revert to humor, usually quite twisted humor! By the way- I was listening to Glenn Beck and I think he mentioned your blog!!! WOOOHOOO! YOU ARE DA MAN!!!!

    RWNJ- You are CHERISHED! I find that the one thing that excites me and fills my heart with joy is to debate with someone who disagrees with me, and still be friends, respect, and love each other. I think it comes from the fact that with my family- there is no "healthy" disagreeing for the most part. (When I use the word family, I am really only speaking of one particular individual, and another one on the way to being just like the him/her) I think you and I agree more than disagree on most things, and if not, don't burst my bubble! I like my world! It is the challenges in life that make us who we are to the core. America is built on the foundation that we all have the right to succeed, or fail. SOme choose to fail. The measure of success is never where you are, but where you came from. If Donald Trump's son turned out to be the owner of a large car audio store in South Jersey- who cares! But if the child of a migrant worker ends up owning his own auto detailing shop- YIPPEE!- THAT'S AMERICA! This is the whole point of the Victim or Victory series that I have not gotten back to yet. You will enjoy the next part- great story. This is where it really picks up. The first parts have just been laying a foundation for people to SEE that it is the choices they make and what they are based on that MAKE your life what it is.I really feel wierd commenting on my own blog. VERY WIERD! Well folks. It is late- I am turning into a pumpkin. Thank you again for all your support through the last month! It is GREAT to be loved! God Bless, Sherri

    By Blogger Straight Up with Sherri, at 3:09 AM  

  • Sherri,
    First let me say I'm glad you're back. I have thought about you often and said prayers for you.
    I know a little about trials and depression, too. I don't even know where to begin or how far to go without boring you but, sometimes it seems like things just pile on so much that you aren't sure you can handle it. That's really when we have to turn to our faith and rely on god. I am an ex-Marine and have always been something of a health/exercise nut. But, last year I had two heart attacks (I was only 45 years old). My entire life has changed. My heart was damaged and now my health suffers continually. I have been in the hospital 7 time since. While dealing with that my son joined the Navy and I miss him so much, my grandmother nearly died, my mother has been in ICU for 5 weeks (however she is getting better), and on and on. Of course there are many, many things I have not listed but you get the picture. I frequently fall back on a favorite scripture of mine:
    1 Sam 30:6
    6 And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God.
    Sometimes, someone will come by and say or do something that will help lift us up but, sometimes we just have to "encourage ourselves in the Lord." God is good and He loves you, Sherri.
    Your friend, theparson

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:45 AM  

  • Nice post from theparson :| I knew some of these things, but had no idea how complex your situation was.

    Sherri, there is one lesson that I teach very strongly in my course on Industrial Decision Models that I hope you consider in your next essays (to which I truly look forward):
    People, I get really annoyed at this truism! It is not an option, it is an OUTCOME. You cannot choose failure any more than you can choose success. The outcomes are always beyond our control. However, we make decisions based upon a desire to enhance the propensity for certain outcomes. Some people choose a course of action that logically leads to certain consequences. Keep in mind that I am a Cause-Effect believer (unlike the majority of analysts who tend to be Correlation subscribers).
    But Sherri and her readers are also Cause-Effect people. What binds us are the values that we share. Using these same common values, we mold different lives according to our genetics, our environment, and our choices. The values are the basis of the love we share. There is one last opinion I wish to share. We are all human, and none of us does anything to deserve love. You cannot earn it. Love is freely given by others. That is, for instance Sherri, you love Hunter because "you are you", not because "Hunter is Hunter". It is the underlying values that drive Hunter that attract you and compel you to bond. God loves us because He is God, not because we have done anything to deserve it. Jesus spoke often of this need to love. Also, you all know that it is more fulfilling to love than to be loved (although the latter is more satisfying). Prayers for every one of my friends (and also some for those who aren't).

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:03 PM  

  • Sherri:

    I have felt a sense of urgency that has grown in intensity lately about the times we are in. I just wrote to Theparson about this as I was going to post it on LGF but it appears their server is down again, probably another attack by those who hate it. My thought is to post some scriptural response as we see many references to the Muslim's Koran and we hardly ever see anything that both us and our Jewish friends agree as God-breathed. We can agree on Daniel 12, Ezekial 38, Joel 2-3, and Isaiah 65 for starters. We do not have to say anything but that if people want a foretaste of what is coming with 100% certainty, than go to these books and read. Some of us will not be here by the time 2006 rolls around. I am not making any self-destructive claims or anything like that, but we never know what a day brings. I hope and pray for the final trumpet, but I also have health issues, just as David does and I am sure many of your other readers do. I do not fear death and look forward to no more tears, heartache, and pain, but I am going to live and try to be salt and light while I am here. I think we give up so much ground not trying to offend, but there also has to be boldness and a sense of urgency. We have to balance our respect for our fellow man with the commission and command of God. It is just hard to find that proper balance, but ultimately, I would rather be hated or despised for what I believe than to question if I am doing what my heart tells me.

    God bless and have a great week.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:55 PM  

  • jlfintx - I read the verses you cite. I guess I do become easily confused. While I am fascinated by these prophesies, I do not find them particulatly frightening. I would if I were on a path of systematic animosity toward God and His religions of Israel. But in life, I accept so many things and I try not to worry excessively about the unknown. I actually read a lot of comfort in your selections. I agree that we have given up too much ground trying not to offend, and this certainly touches a very sensitive spot in Sherri's philosophy.
    But in the sanctuary of our catacombs we are reassured by our friends and our God. Let us do what we can and place our trust in His infinite wisdom and power. Pray for those who despise you, and pass the ammunition. Sleep well and have a great week.

    By Blogger Right Wing Nut Job, at 11:32 PM  

  • RWNJ:

    I agree that those of us that are believers should fear scripture and I too get comfort from all of it; my point is many others will be frightened and maybe that is what is needed. I do not want to preach that the end is near, but when do we step out of our comfort and let the command to carry the word that we were commissioned to do. I wish grace was easy to explain, but it isn't and the opposite of grace is judgement. Maybe I am just uptight. jlfintx

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 AM  

  • I meant to say believers should NOT fear scripture. jlfintx

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:30 AM  

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