Single Through Sorrow: Deena Powers
By Allison O'Connor
As we continue our series, Single Through Sorrow, single mom Deena Powers shares her story of survival after her husband’s death and how she pulled herself out of a debilitating depression. Thank you Deena for the courage it took to share your inspiring story of hope, love and faith with our readers.
SMW: You lost your husband as a result of illness. How did you cope with the shock of his death, and then the grief? Did you have support from family and friends?
My husband died of esophageal cancer on October 9, 2005, just 10 months after he was diagnosed. Even though our faith in the Lord had grown so strong during his illness and final moments of his life, for me, the struggle to cope had only begun.
Just weeks prior to Bret’s passing, I was prescribed medications to help with anxiety and depression. But I was prescribed contradictory medications, which contributed to a complete breakdown shortly after Bret died. Throughout the next several years, my parents helped me with my girls as I struggled to get my life back on track. During that time, I slept very little, and would spend my days playing mindless computer games.
My wake-up call came unexpectedly in August 2008. My youngest daughter, Natalie said to me, “Mama, is this all you do?” At the time, I was again in front of my computer, sipping coffee. Wow… out of the mouths of babes. I immediately prayed and asked for help and the strength I needed to improve my life. Within days, I plugged back into my church, started an exercise regimen, started eating healthy, and re-engaged with society.
In the end, it wasn’t a magic pill that created my emotional healing, it was an answered prayer and the determination to be the mom my girls deserved me to be.
I’m happy to report that I have not had a single bout of depression or other emotional problems since August of 2008. I am also seeing much success in my business, my confidence and self-esteem are at an all-time high, and my girls and I are enjoying vacationing all around the world during school holidays. What a difference a year can make.
SMW: What have you found most surprising about being a single mother?
I have found that being a single mother certainly presents its challenges, but those challenges can definitely be overcome. I think it’s funny now that the longer I’m single, the greater my desire is to succeed as a single mom and in my professional life. It will take a VERY special man to take my single status away.
SMW: Even though you became a single mother through sorrow, are there positive aspects of the single mother experience? And, if so, what are they?
I would have to say that the positive aspects of the single mother experience include developing a stronger faith, becoming a stronger person, and having children that will be able to tackle any cards that life will deal to them as they continue to grow and prosper in this journey called life.
SMW: What advice would you give other mothers who are newly single through sorrow?
When facing depression, focus on holistic and healthy ways of survival. The magic pills that are prescribed can and will cause a host of other problems. Instead, exercise regularly, eat healthy foods, plug into church, serve others, and do whatever it takes to surround yourself with positive people. Do not seclude yourself in your four walls. Hang out at a local coffee shop. Bookstore or just spend some time out in the fresh air and sunlight. Fill your mind and senses with the beauty that surrounds you.
Deena M. Powers, long-time resident of Southlake, TX, served as Director of Worship for two large area churches and spent over 22 years in the music ministry. With a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of North Texas and a Bachelor’s Degree from Southern Methodist University, Deena also taught in the public schools for nine years, and shared her musical talents with countless private piano and French horn students. Following her husband’s death, she put her passion for ministry on hold to focus on her emotional healing and two daughters. Now, Deena is a successful Representative with World Ventures.
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