Dear sisters (and brothers who lurk here
), just because I've never been scammed by an African, doesn't mean I don't have a good understanding for how you feel and why you are here. I used to wonder myself why I became so enrolled in this cause. My family thinks I must hate men. Some men think I have some sort of vendetta. I guess I can't say my ex husband didn't contribute because my ultimate scam was being married for 22 years to someone who wasn't really who he pretended to be - but I also can't say I am not appreciative to him for what he taught me. I learned how to be happy. Now what works for me, might not work for everybody, but I will share with you my knowledge and perhaps you can find something that will benefit you too.
First off, I know depression. It can be overcome. I sought medical AND spiritual help. My doctor never negated my bishop's counsel and vice versa. My doctor prescribed an anti depressant and we tried 3 differernt brands to find the one my body responded to. He also told me the importance of sleep. When you are depressed, it's your body's own natural defense mechanism to try and heal and balance brain chemistry. He gave me permission to sleep as much as I wanted while the meds kicked in - but at that point, I wasn't sleeping enough.
Then he told me about the quality of sleep. He said that the brain needs total darkness to produce serotonin and even bright numbers on an alarm clock can disrupt this important process. Caffeine is another inhibitor as well as other toxins we ingest thinking they can make us feel better. Alcohol and tobacco are two of many lies we tell ourselves we need to calm us. They don't. They make depression worse, I cut these things from my life and began to sleep a regular 8 hours a night.
My bishop taught me the power of prayer. I learned to get on my knees for at least 15 minutes each day and ask God for help. I also learned to be patient and wait for the answers. It was amazing to me to start to see a pattern. Aside from the peace and comfort I felt while praying, I noticed that people and things just suddenly started coming into my life at the right places and times when I needed them most. I learned to recognize those answers. This reminds me of something that happened to me many years ago right at this time of year, that I think was an answer to my prayers.
At a really low point in my life just after my divorce, someone who still remains anonymous to me, chose me to celebrate the 12 days before Christmas by leaving small tokens and gifts on my doorstep each night. They were nothing really elaborate or expensive but life saving to me to see how God uses others to answer our prayers. It was proof to me that someone cared and that God cared.
This brings me to the purpose and reason why I'm on this site. You know how some people exercise a lot for the endorphin rush? I'm a happiness junkie. I have discovered that doing things for and serving others is the best way to lose my own troubles and sorrows and convert them to happiness. Those of you who post here, know this is true. It helps us trememdously to know that we are helping others. I know it's a challenge to think of anyone else while you feel so rotten, but believe me, it works. That's a promise.
Last, is a silly thing. Smile. Stand in front of a mirror and practice if you have to, but I have discovered that when I force myself to smile, not only do I start to feel better but everyone around me resoponds to me in a more positive and uplifting manner. The operative word in that sentence is 'responds'. Most people will go out of their way to avoid someone who's not smiling. If you want people in your life, you have to reel them in. A smile is the best bait I know of.
We are survivors!