Just Talkin’ Tuesday 03.30.10: Symbols of Recovery

“Cool ring,” she said, catching me completely off-guard.

I managed to mumble a thank you once I realized it wasn’t my plain gold band about which she was talking.

On my left hand, I wear a silver butterfly ring. It’s a symbol of how far I have come. I know in my heart I’m recovered. But it’s nice to have a symbol.

I also have an African Violet plant in my kitchen given to me by my brother and sister in law on the Mother’s Day shortly before my hospitalization. Back then I did not really want to take care of it, much like I did not want to take care of myself, my family, anything. But now? Now we are all thriving and it is too. I recently replanted it, actually. The thing is monstrous!

Much like holidays have their own symbolism, each one of us may have a symbol we have come to associate with recovery or our journey toward wellness.

What’s yours? What are you holding on to when nothing else seems to help? Is there a story behind it? Share it with us.


13 thoughts on “Just Talkin’ Tuesday 03.30.10: Symbols of Recovery

  1. My symbol isn’t physical. Ironically when I was in my darkest moment I always sang “you are my sunshine” to my daughter. Back then I as usually crying as I sang, but now I can make it through the whole song and smile. She truly is my sunshine.


    • That is so cool. I used to sing that song too. Haven’t sung it in awhile but I need to do so.

      Amy Grant just released a new album this past week. Her new single, “Better than a Hallelujah” starts out with the following lines:

      “God loves a lullaby
      In a mothers tears in the dead of night
      Better than a Hallelujah sometimes.”

      Those lines take me right back to my postpartum days. Your comment made me think of this song!

      So glad you are now able to sing it and smile!

      • Very touching lines. I look at my kids daily and know that every tear was worth it. They made me stronger and a much better mother.

  2. Such a wonderful post, Lauren. Thank you.

    I was blessed to spend a year in therapy with an amazing Christain therapist, John Dotson. He helped me to discover that I landed in the hospital with psychosis due to the use of an unregulated, unsafe herb- probably ephedra- that was in a bodybuilding supplement I took years ago. I was completely out of touch with reality at the time. Back then I didn’t realize that there was an epidemic of mental illness due to the product I used for post-pregnancy weight loss. Yuck.

    I did realize the horrific consequences. I lost custody of my precious daughter, Angelica. Her dad moved away to Chicago with her and there was nothing I could do to stop him.

    This Easter Sunday, she turns 18 years old. Shortly afterward she will graduate and be able to come live with me and start college. This reunion has been so long in coming. My heart has been broken for years.

    I have been working on a cross-stitch of her face for months. (A computer program transferred her image and chose the thread colors.)

    Once, I asked Dr. D how to suffer. How I could go about really suffering well. He prayed, then shared what God had told him.

    “Is there a project, something you are working on for her? Some sort of gift to give her?”, he asked.

    Stunned, I replied, “Yes. I know exactly what you mean.”

    Now, if I have tears, I sew them into the cross-stitch. I pray over each and every detail of her face. I pray for the future of what her eyes will see, the husband and babies her lips will kiss, the wind that will blow through her hair…

    God is with us, precious ladies. He cares more than we can ever know.

    • Cheryl –

      I am thrilled to hear of your reunion with your daughter. And the cross-stitch! Wow! Absolutely priceless.

      I agree that God is with us and cares more than we will ever know.

      Thanks for commenting.

      Have a wonderful day!


  3. My first mothers day was extremely rough for me. I didn’t feel that I deserved to be celebrated because at the time I felt like a horrible mom. I wanted to avoid the entire day but my husband insisted that we celebrate it. He bought me a very beautiful ring that had a heart in the center made from coral in Hawaii…he had contacted a jewler in Hawaii for the ring because of what it symbolized…our honeymoon.
    When I was in my deepest throws of PPD, I had mentioned running away. My husband had asked me where I would go and I would say Hawaii because I had felt so at peace there. So instead of going to Hawaii, he brought it to me. I wear it everyday as it reminds me of peace…that I will one day feel again.
    Thanks for this post Lauren!!

  4. Ya know I don’t have anything material really, but it’s a lovely idea I think maybe I’ll change that. I do however have Colin, everyday that I can sit and smile and be near him without anxiety and darkness taking over is a day I remember how far we have come together.

  5. Lauren, my goodness you draw me to your site!! I left a successful six figure career to build my new organization noblu.org. After countless hours of research, collaboration and design we created our organizations symbol, the noblu eclipse.

    The design is our interpretation of a solar eclipse created to inspire people to support others faced with the challenges of all form of depression and suicide prevention. If you think of the sun as the light within each one of us and the moon as the “visitor” that may block the light of inspiration you can see why we selected this glowing option.

    The eclipse is a reminder to look for help when we need it, to help others when they need it and inspire everyone to make a difference.

  6. I have a felt butterfly that was made by Andrea Yates that I won at a PSI Annual Conference auction. Andrea’s butterfly reminds me how many women and children we have lost to this terrible illness and why it is so important to keep up the education and research and awareness so we can avoid tragedies altogether in the future. I keep it on my dresser in my bedroom.

    • Katherine –

      What a powerful symbol to have indeed!

      Thank you so much for all the hard work you do to keep up education and awareness for so many.

      You rock!


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