a brave word on depression

I never really understood depression until recently. A person might feel down for a while but to use the word ‘depression’ in my culture seemed like an excuse not to pull your weight – to lie in all day. That’s probably why when I become depressed 5 years ago, I didn’t recognise it.

Even now, I sometimes wonder how I got away with being depressed while holding down a job, taking care of a 3-year old and a husband. I remember how much of a struggle it was to get up in the morning – and when I did finally get up, I’d feel an overwhelming urge to cry. I succumbed to this urge many times. I was always tired and I wanted to be alone most of the time. When my family asked me what was wrong, I couldn’t really explain. My life seemed perfect but I had a deep sadness that loomed over me all day.

My depression lasted about 18 months. I never confided in anyone about it and I didn’t seek help. I dragged myself out of bed every day, often disappointed that I’d woken up alive. When I think about those times I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel proud of myself of getting out of depression alive. Truthfully, something deep inside me – deeper than I’ll ever know – wanted to live. It pushed me out of the endless darkness. On the other hand, I lost a lot of time and opportunity. There’s so much I could have achieved in 18 months. I could have been enjoying time with my family and friends but I mostly ended up upstairs in my bed at every chance.

I have some idea why I was depressed. I was incredibly hard on myself and I guess my morale broke into pieces. I’m sharing this because I know millions of people suffer from depression. Everyone is susceptible to it –all you need is a trigger, a memory, the last straw. It matters to know that it affects others – even those who seem strong. Some famous personalities that have suffered from some form of depression are Stephen Fry, Brooke Shields and Victoria Beckham. I thought no one would understand. Looking back now, perhaps they would have. Telling someone would have eased some of the burden but I was worried about being mocked and judged.

There are days I feel down, especially when I’m tired or something hasn’t gone my way but I’ve promised myself I’ll never get that low again. I’m maintaining spiritual, emotional and physical health. I’m building greater capabilities so that I can understand my own limits and limit my battles. Past hurts may sting a little but my head is higher now…as I look forward to a promising future.

Thanks for reading.

Murder & 101 other ways to use a tea bag

Three different tea bags

Image via Wikipedia

I am in deep water over the next 1 year. I have entered NaNoWriMo for next month to write 50,000 words, and I have a 15,000-word thesis to turn in by next September. Anxiety overwhelms me as I write about them. So to exercise my imagination, creativity and resourcefulness, I decided to identify as many ways as possible to use a tea bag. I’m not sure if it worked to sharpen my creativity but I certainly felt more outrageous at the end of it. Well, here are the ways. Feel free to add to it:


1. Eye spa

2. To make tea

3. As a filter

4. In compost

5. Mouse girdle

6. Pendulum

7. Air freshener e.g. for carpets

8. Earrings

9. Take notes

10. Use the staple to hold papers together

11. Medicinal ingredient

12. To light a fire

13. To patch a hole in your shorts

14. Remove contents and keep office pins

15. Use as purse to keep coins

16. As weapon to injury an intruder in the eye

17. To rehydrate someone

18. Soil marker/plant label

19. To mark a tree when you go camping

20. Emergency treatment for a wound

21. To age pages

22. To highlight hair

23. To get rid of warts

24. To reduce pain for toothache

25. To reduce pain from burns

26. To remove feet odours

27. To clean a mirror

28. To alleviate acne

29. To relieve stings

30. To help repair broken finger nails

31. To relieve diarrhoea

32. To relieve nausea

33. To relieve sore nipples e.g. in breastfeeding mothers

34. To ease itching

35. To soothe bad moods

36. To poison the few folks allergic to tea

37. To dump over the garden wall to irritate your neighbour

38. To relieve bleeding gums

39. As a facial toner

40. To relieve colds and flu

41. To condition dry hair

42. Add to bath for a soothing experience

43. As a mouthwash

44. To ease menstrual cramps

45. Take before bedtime for a blissful rest

46. Inhale aroma to ease a migraine

47. Use as sunburn relief

48. Use to soothe aching feet

49. Use to keep eye shut when there are distractions

50. Use to mop a small pool of water

51. To teach kids what can turn water to brown liquid.

OK, there are not up to 101 but check the resources below for some more tips. Have I missed anything? Please keep it coming with outrageous or shocking ideas :-).

Related Articles and Resources

  1. http://www.diylife.com/2007/10/26/15-creative-uses-for-tea-bags/
  2. http://gomestic.com/homemaking/15-wonderful-uses-for-tea/
  3. http://www.essortment.com/alternative-uses-tea-tea-bags-40830.html
  4. http://webcroft.blogspot.com/2007/03/update-on-my-tea-allergy.html
  5. http://www.divinecaroline.com/33672/98780-kettle-on-sixteen-unique-uses
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