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By Lauri Mackey — 4 years agoA Story of My Best Friend’s DepressionThe Back Story
Have you ever had one of those days? Or maybe one of those weeks, or months, or a year? How about multiple years? Well, this is a story of my most precious friend in the entire world who was in his second year of things not going well at all and me being in such a dilemma watching him suffer that I just had to figure out some way to help. My best friend is my husband and he was drowning.The back story all started when his mom passed away in March of 2014. No, I think it actually began around December of 2013 so let’s begin there. Our family-owned business was doing great! While we are a very small company, we had always seen an increase every year or at least stayed level, even during the recession. We had been in business for ten years and decided it was time to expand our space. We spent quite a bit of money with upgrades and of course the new rent amount, double the utility bills…you get the picture. Not two months later everything stopped. Quite literally stopped. I swear that our clients were abducted by aliens and left the planet for at least six months. Business was that bad. That’s enough to cause anyone stress, right?Enter mom falling again and going into the hospital. She was in ICU for awhile, began to get better, was moved to the rehab facility that we didn’t like much and during this whole transition, my hubby contracted bronchitis. Not only is bronchitis a knock-down, drag-out illness, but it rendered him unable to visit his mom for fear of getting her sick in her current condition. While he was on the mend with crazy antibiotics and rest, mom took a turn for the worst while still in rehab by catching a deadly form of pneumonia that put her back in ICU to what would become a fight for her life that she was unable to win.Not only was business bad and he was sick, but his mom had passed away which is always a heart-wrenching thing. He was close to his mom, taking her out to dinner on Wednesday nights and us having family dinner with her and the rest of the family every Sunday. While after 5 weeks of her being in the hospital it wasn’t completely unexpected, it changed everything.A couple months of sadness pass and we enter the summer months. Business still isn’t going as well as we would like and while his mom and dad had a trust (WHICH I HIGHLY RECOMMEND) so that things run more smoothly, you still have to take care of things…lots of things. Bank accounts, the house, furniture, knick-knacks, jewelry, the dog, and enough Christmas decorations to light up the White House…you get the idea. That’s when the shingles hit. More antibiotics, more rest.Then come your first set of holidays without your mom with whom you’ve spent every Christmas with the exception of maybe one or two from the time you were born. No one feels like celebrating, much less decorating, even if you have White House worthy decorations. That can just be tough. Really tough…more depression.
January rolls around and he feels a little ambitious. The business picks up just a tad and he starts riding his bike again, but this time he isn’t recovering very well. Gym workouts? Same thing. Sore for too many days than you should be sore. He hates going to the doctor so he toughs it out for a few months to around the one-year anniversary of his mom passing and takes a little fall on his bike. Nothing major, just a little “owie” on his elbow that starts to get better until about two weeks after when the scab gets bumped off and it gets infected. So infected that his one arm looks like Popeye (no joke!) and of course we were out of town so you end up at an unfamiliar urgent care. Dual shots of antibiotics in both butt cheeks (writhing on the bed kind of pain for those shots!) and oral antibiotics just for kicks….let’s just knock this out along with any good flora you might have had left in your intestines up until now.That was the last straw. He felt so miserable, so depressed, couldn’t work out, didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything. I imagine that this is the definition of a permanent funk that just won’t go away. It was awful to watch. It didn’t matter what I did or how much I tried to “pump him up” as Arnold Schwarzenegger would say…it just wasn’t enough. I felt completely helpless as to how to help.
As a last ditch effort, we tried what I call a “voodoo doctor”. Tons of blood tests run, loads of supplements taken (and when I say loads…I mean LOADS), more blood tests in certain intervals. No dice. My man was shot so full of holes you could strain spaghetti through him. His body had been hurt multiple times, his heart hurt over the loss of his mother, he couldn’t work out because it was debilitating which left his self-esteem in the toilet, and work wasn’t altogether going well either. Sleep was the order of the day and the more of it the better. I had to do something!The Physical Plan
I am a Certified Holistic Health Coach, have taken classes through Dr. John McDougall and received a certificate in plant-based nutrition through eCornell University. I started researching everything I could about healing your immune system while my husband started reading books on the subject. While there is a ton of information out there and only varied opinions on the subject, we made a plan to repair his health.We started a 5-day juice fast following the incredible recipes out there by Joe Cross from Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. (He has the best ones out there, hands down…although anything that juices a turnip ends up like smelly gym socks or disgusting body odor, so I don’t recommend anything with turnips in it!). Admittedly, after day 2 we were so sluggish that we decided to add a light, healthy dinner as we just couldn’t function at work without more food in our guts, it was wonderful and it made me feel great! It was the perfect re-boot for our bodies.We then followed up with a 21-day elimination diet that took out known trigger foods. All that means is that while you may not have a specific allergy to a food, you could have some sort of reactions to particular foods. We eliminated gluten products, corn, and soy because while they recommend also nixing dairy, we are already vegan so no worries there!We then followed that up with a 2-week round of Arbonne’s pre-biotic/pro-biotic packets once per day. Needless to say…it worked! While it took several months to re-gain strength and endurance (imagine not working out for 18 months…you’re a bit out of shape), but he’s doing fantastically well physically. He’s not 100% yet as I can still beat him uphill on a mountain bike, but he’s sticking right with me now so I know it’s only a matter of time before he will be kicking my rear end again!The Emotional PlanWhat happened with the emotional part, though? I can hardly wait to tell you! This is by far the most interesting and fun endeavor I’ve undertaken…all in the name of love and hope! I call it Eddy’s 60 Days of Sunshine and it brought my hubby’s soul back from the dead…literally. (You can download it for FREE when you sign up for my weekly emails on my website HERE)I got to thinking that the only way to reverse engineer something is to do the opposite of what got you there in the first place. The negativity had built up over a period of time. It snuck in until it had taken over the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual body. While we had fixed the physical part which in turn helped the mental state, the emotional and spiritual still needed a tune-up.Enter a plan that included friends and family. I printed out 2 months worth of calendars for a total of 60 days and made a list of all friends and family members I could think of that cared about my best friend. The list totaled over 80 people. I then started making phone calls, texting, Facebook messaging all of them. I assigned one person each one day and the only guidance I gave them was to just check in, see how he was doing and let him know they cared and loved him and why.At first I decided not to tell him what was happening. Let’s just say that he was so far down what he would later call a “wormhole” that he didn’t even figure it out or get suspicious until day 16! Day 16!! I was at my mom’s and out of town for the weekend when he called me and I had to confess what I was doing. When I told him it was day 16 he was flabbergasted. I had to tell him who had been assigned which day just to convince him.He will admit that at first it seemed a bit saddening to learn it wasn’t the “universe” just reaching out to him in his time of need, but I figured we are instruments in the Lord’s hands and he has a lot to do so he uses us to answer others prayers for help. Even if they don’t realize they need the help.Some sent him texts or emails. Some took him to lunch or dinner. Some called and visited for an hour. It was an awesome experience to watch that much love being shown for one individual. And you know what? It worked! The 60 days ended with a trip up to San Francisco for him to play a golf tournament with his buddies and visit old friends. The perfect ending to a perfect 60 days.
My only dilemma as the days were coming to an end was how to keep the love going. I created a Facebook page dedicated to him and invited all of his friends to post about their experience they had on their assigned day. On day 60, I added my hubby to the group and he was able to read their messages. He will then be able to go back and read them when he’s feeling blue. He is also more connected to some long, lost friendships that had needed some attention.The best side effect getting out of this depression was the reaction from the friends and family I had asked to participate. I did not anticipate the good will felt, the love felt of service being rendered. The gratitude of those people that they were made a part of something bigger that quite literally saved a life.Today I am grateful again for my husband who supports me in all I do, even if it’s off-your-rocker kinda crazy (which lots of my ideas are). I am grateful to all who pitched in to make this project work. I am grateful to my daughter who would help me text and make some calls while we ran errands to set up the next week’s participants. It worked!You can listen to Eddy’s side of this story by going to Apple Podcasts, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, Episode #011.While I am not a clinical psychologist and you should seek professional help if you are depressed,this worked for us and I am so happy it did.
By Lauri Mackey — 1 year ago
We Rise By Lifting Others
“1 A Week” is an honest to goodness force of nature out there challenging everyone to to reach out. Together, we can make a difference. We have to. And kindness is the answer…simple, yet profound.
“If someone had smiled and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I know I would have begged them to help me. I would have told them everything and asked for help. I would not have jumped. I just was unable to ask for help myself.” These are the words of suicide survivor, Kevin Hines.
Hines, like many people who attempt suicide, feel as though they are alone in this world. With no sense of purpose and a feeling of loneliness, it can be hard for anyone to believe that their life is important. When hitting this point, a simple smile or, “hello,” could be enough to make someone feel like life is worth living.
What if you were to do even more than smile? What if you could do something that not only helped someone else, but made you feel good about yourself too? Even get reciprocated for your good deeds?
“1 a Week,” is an organization that raises mental health awareness and spreads positivity, through random acts of kindness. Encouraging everyone to share their acts, with a participant receiving a gift for their gesture each week.
The name, “1 a Week,” came about with the thought that while one good deed a week is very manageable to complete, you can still have a positive impact on many lives. It all starts with just one! The ripple effect that can occur starting with just one person, one random act of kindness, is limitless. Say you complete your 52 acts throughout the year, for 52 different people. Of those people, twenty of them take on the challenge themselves and complete another 52 deeds. Each of those twenty people, get another twenty, and so on, and so on. Do you know how many people that is, spreading the love? A whole lot, thats how many!
“But I don’t have a lot of spare money to perform any acts of kindness! I don’t have much spare time either and to top it all off, I don’t have any good ideas of what to do.”
These are some of the most common reasons people have for not getting in on the fun of giving. Here is the thing, to be kind doesn’t have to take any money, much time, or a lot of creativity. You can leave encouraging notes around town, give up your seat on a bus, pick up litter, shovel your neighbors walkway. There are endless possibilities! You do what you are capable of and as Kevin Hines pointed out, the impact doesn’t necessarily correlate with how big you go.
So how about those gifts you can receive?
“1 a Week,” teamed up with a few sponsor companies that want to do their part in spreading positivity giving. A month of online personal training? Top quality t-shirt or hat? Positive social interaction card game? A watch?? All gifts that are being sent out to the participants of the challenge.
So let’s get to the details of how to participate. There are two ways to share your acts. You can share it to the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/1aweekchallenge, and if you wish to remain anonymous, just send a private message, and it will be shared for you. You can also post it to your Instagram, tag @_1aweek in the post, and/or use the hashtag #1aweek. A recipient for that weeks gift is selected every Sunday night, announced on Monday.
There are plenty of statistics you can find throughout the internet about the positive mental effect an act of kindness has on the person performing it, not just the one on the receiving end. So if for no other reason, do it for your own health!
THIS IS YOUR CALL TO ACTION! This is your call to help make a change in not only your life, but the life of many others. Check out the, “1 a Week,” pages, get inspired, and get going!
By Lauri Mackey — 3 years agoHeaven is…Do you have those fun little things that just make you smile? Of course you do! I found a list in my notebook today that must have been written a year ago about a few of my favorite things. It totally made me smile and so I figured I would share it with you today!Updated February 2019 and added my current list! Check it out below!After reading my list, please comment below on at least your top 5-10 favorite things.Can’t wait to hear from you!2015butterfly kissesbrace-face smilessomeone else folding laundry & doing dishesreaching a milestonea really good haircutmountain bike rideshugs (I’m a firm believer in hugs!)new workout clothesjust-washed towels and sheetsnew pillowsa long, unhurried visit with a friendbabies laughingmy favorite bookPride and Prejudice with Keira Knightleysinging along with my favorite songelectricity! (power was out last weekend)jeans that fit just righta clean, organized housewaffles on Sunday (A Mackey Tradition)empty laundry hampers2019BedheadGray HairMountain Bike RidesNew Clothes/ShoesAn Inspirational QuoteSynchronicitiesMy Sweetheart SmilingFriendsMaking Someone LaughHomemade FoodNOW YOUR TURN!Smiling is contagious…can’t wait to smile with you!