Sheila Walsh an accomplished singer when she became co-host of The 700 Club. She seemed to be at the peak of her career publicly but privately she was careening downward. One evening she left the studio on the verge of suicide and checked into a mental hospital .
In another post I told you about depression from the viewpoint of blogger Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com. He shared how he dealt with depression, steps that I endorse and recommend to my patients. In this post I talk about another public person who has depression and uses her insights to help others.
Sheila was an accomplished singer when she became co-host of The 700 Club. She seemed to be at the peak of her career publicly but privately she was careening downward. One evening she left the studio on the verge of suicide and checked into a mental hospital .
Since then she has lived with depression but not under the weight of depressive feelings.
” After entering the hospital, Sheila went through therapy and evaluation. Along the way, she discovered things about herself that were harmful. For example, when she was unable or unwilling to deal with what was true about her life, she buried it.
“You can try for years to deny the things that are tearing at your soul, but they will not go away. They thrive in the shadowlands, and if you don’t deal with them, they will one day deal with you.”
Her doctor determined that she was severely clinically depressed. She had all the classic signs:
loss of memory,
loss of appetite,
overwhelming feelings of hopelessness,
loss of emotional control, and
an unbearable sadness.
Sheila’s doctor helped her understand that mental illness is a reality, a treatable reality, and there is no shame there. Through prayer, reading the Bible, therapy, and medication Sheila began to manage her depression. At the end of thirty days, Sheila left the hospital and returned to CBN to say goodbye. ”
staying in touch with trusted friends who “know all about me”
“a kind supportive boss”
In this interview with her former boss, Pat Robertson, Sheila explains how his kind and caring support, medication, and her faith helped her overcome depression .
These are all similar to things Darren mentioned in his article- exercise (walking), getting a dog, telling friends and family, medication, and prayer/meditation.
How Sheila was “Loved Back to Life”
In this book, Sheila tells her story of her recovery from depression.
Sheila’s “Unexpected Grace”
I enjoyed Sheila’s story about supporting her mother-in-law through a cancer diagnosis.
“Unexpected Grace is a tender account of the relationship between a mother and daughter-in-law and how they discovered extravagant grace in the midst of what could have been the most tragic experience of their lives. Their story will encourage you and help you see how God can bring good out of even the bleakest circumstances. “
Not everyone needs antidepressant medication, but when they do, it can make a dramatic difference. Medication needs adequate time and dosage to be effective, and once that is reached should be continued long enough for the depression to stay in remission.
If you are depressed and thinking about or planning suicide, please stop and call this number now-988
exploring the HEART of freedom from depression
Use these links to share the heart of health wherever you connect.
the new owners “set out to modernize the cottage while making every attempt to take it back visually to the early 20th century, when Grace Hemingway summered here—and her son Ernest would row over from Windemere, the family cottage across Walloon Lake to work on the farm.
This past summer my husband and I visited Michigan for the first time and stayed in a charming little town, Boyne City.
Old City Park
hardware, art, and dancing
“where life meets lake”
Raymond and I at the marina
While visiting friends there, we learned that Ernest Hemingway’s family owned a cottage on near-by Walloon Lake. Unlike his home in Key West Florida, the Michigan property is a private home and in recent years was purchased and renovated into a beautiful modern structure which still preserves the spirit of the original home, where Ernest’s mother Grace lived. Here is a link to an article about the new house with photos that show how beautifully the new owner has honored the Hemingway family.
Working with local builders, the new owners “set out to modernize the cottage while making every attempt to take it back visually to the early 20th century, when Grace Hemingway summered here—and her son Ernest would row over from Windemere, the family cottage across Walloon Lake to work on the farm.
For recreation, he’d hike down Sumner Road to the tiny hamlet of Horton Bay where he became friends with the Dilworth family. Hemingway readers will remember the Dilworths from the Nick Adams stories that Hemingway penned in Paris where he and his new wife, Hadley, moved after their wedding in Horton Bay. And after they’d spent their first night as newlyweds in Grace Cottage. ” (from the article by Lissa Edwards)
The discovery was interesting none the less, and we understand why his family enjoyed living in the area. The towns are old and historic, the architecture quaint , the landscaping beautifully tended, and the lakes and boats beckon even land lubbers like us. Here are a few photos from this recent trip, followed by a past post where I explain what I learned from visiting Hemingway’s Key West home.
The house, on the National Register of Historic Places, has been preserved as it was when he and his wife Pauline lived there and is open to visitors, like myself, when I visited there a couple of years ago.
This entire house, and especially the narrative of his life (as related to us by our verbose tour guide) is itself a study of a man whose life and career was largely shaped by mental illness.
Ernest Hemingway displayed mood swings and abused drugs and alcohol. Despite numerous psychiatric hospital stays where he was treated with ECT, electroconvulsive therapy, he struggled with chronic depression.
He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head in 1961.
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The challenge of mental illness
Mental illness often runs in families. Ernest’s father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, a gynecologist, suffered from manic-depression and died by suicide. Ernest and his siblings likely inherited it from their father.
Sadly, it did not end with him. His granddaughter, Margaux Hemingway, a fashion model and actress, dealt with depression, alcoholism, and bulimia.
She died from an apparent intentional drug overdose at age 42.
Her sister Mariel reflected on her family’s troubled history in
Ernest Hemingway could not attend the ceremony to receive his Nobel Prize. He wrote a short speech which was read by John C. Cabot, the Ambassador to Sweden. In that speech he wrote,
“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.”
At least 40 to 50 cats live on the grounds of the Hemingway House; many of them are descendants of Ernest Hemingway’s cats. They live peaceful, serene lives, far different from the people who lived there long ago.
This house was built for the cats who live at Hemingway’s home in Key West
This is is named Humphrey Bogart, after an actor who played in one of Hemingway’s movies
“Major mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder rarely appear “out of the blue.” Most often family, friends, teachers or individuals themselves begin to recognize small changes or a feeling that “something is not quite right” about their thinking, feelings or behavior before one of these illnesses appears in its full-blown form.”
“Excitement about the huge range of opportunities has led to a burst of app development. There are thousands of mental health apps available in iTunes and Android app stores, and the number is growing every year. However, this new technology frontier includes a lot of uncertainty. There is very little industry regulation and very little information on app effectiveness, which can lead consumers to wonder which apps they should trust.” (affiliate link used)
“The most important thing to remember about suicidal thoughts is that they are symptoms of a treatable illness associated with fluctuations in the body’s and brain’s chemistry. They are not character flaws or signs of personal weakness, nor are they conditions that will just go away on their own. “
always exploring the HEART of health
Thanks for joining me to tour the unique home of Ernest Hemingway, I hope you enjoyed the photos I snapped during my visit.
Use these links to share the heart of health wherever you connect.
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