An Answer Here, An Answer There

So far…..3×5 cards of questions still in the planning stage. 😀

Morning routine is a hit and miss.

I know that typical sadness or anger can trigger a depressive episode for me. I was so excited for the Seattle Seahawks to play this year but they were a disappointment to me. All season they played like what was going through my mind. A flash of brilliance and a lack of follow-through.

Guess what? They aren’t going to the Super Bowl and I let their loss go instead of stewing over it until I had worked myself into a setback. There is always next year and they will keep practicing….just as I will. I have thrown around statements such as, “I’m never going to watch football again”. Eyerolls and pshts have been casted my direction because we all know that is a false statement.

I have been letting thoughts flow in and out of my mind. Doing as my therapist suggested for anxiety, I observe them. Yes, I fell back into some old patterns of wishing I would disappear, hating my life, thinking I’m stupid, and how can I possibly live out the rest of my life knowing what I know. For my mind, depression is a keeper. sigh

I will learn to work around it, just as I always have. The difference is that now I have some answers and I’m willing to give myself a break. I know I don’t have to take my state of mind out on others around me…you know, like snapping at everything they say or do. I know that the rotten person I used to be was a person with untreated depression.

Hmmmm…now to figure out how to act like I’m not depressed, which is exhausting, and quit blaming it on a physical illness so that others leave me alone with my misery. It’s one huge disappointment to have to tell my husband that I’m depressed, yet again, while I keep my fingers crossed that it won’t last too long. The pills I take and expected a miracle, are only assisting me to keep moving forward.

No magic here.

We make our own magic. In my case it’s with a little assistance and a butt-load of determination and persistence.

 

Posted in Anxeity and Depression | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Soon You’ll be Walking ‘Cross the Floor

There are times I would like to sit in front of my laptop and type exactly what is on my mind. All the deep, dark thoughts that I stand and fight against on a daily basis. I end up down-playing my anxiety or depression because if I am truly honest and let it all spill out, I don’t think I will recover and keep myself in that pit of despair.

Over the many decades of striving to manage my life, the one positive thing I have accomplished is that I finally accept myself….for the most part. I have lingering social anxiety and a poor body image. However, every day I put forth some effort to accept the way I look because I know I have the power to change that through diet and exercise. Social anxiety is a little harder to conquer since I have been lounging around in isolation.

Life is fluid, but it takes so long for my mind to catch up with the changes. I refuse to give up trying but there are days that are so difficult. Days that turn into weeks…to months. I search for new therapies and drugs and I know that these therapies are to get me to a place I can focus on building a healthy mind.

I, alone, am the only person that can learn to live with myself. My therapist triggers my thoughts, the drugs keep me on an even keel, more or less. I have to stand up for myself and put in the personal work it takes to manage life while living with emotions/thoughts I can’t always control.

Learning to let go of past experiences in order to have a rational response to life events is difficult. As much as I like to believe that I have been able to let go of the past, my mind reverts to old responses to particular situations. Excitement is contained because it evokes a physical feeling in me that feels the same as a high level of anxiety, which can lead to an anxiety attack. Recognizing that there is a difference between excitement and anxiety is an ongoing lesson I have been trying to learn.

Oh how I would just like to curl up in bed and let someone else live for me.

I won’t, though.

Because I’m worth the effort.

Posted in Anxeity and Depression | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Red is a nice color

Where did our decency go? Before Facebook, Twitter……were all of us fake?

There isn’t one color in the box that I find ugly. Each color has its various shades and brilliance. The only color that bothers me is beige.

Blah.

Each and everyone of us is a color of various shades. Our thoughts are a mix of our colorful experiences. We all add to the box to make a glorious combination. One isn’t better than the other, simply different.

Combined with other colors we can become a new shade. Not good or bad…a color of acceptance and understanding.

Wouldn’t it be sad if we were all beige?

We may not agree with each other when it comes to politics but that doesn’t make one political party smarter than the other. While I question the thoughts and direction of some, I understand that they own their thoughts and actions. I may not agree, but I accept their stance…..just don’t force that stance upon me.

I have a choice and I prefer to make my decisions based upon my own thoughts…..not the forced opinions of others. That doesn’t make me ignorant, misinformed, insane, a part of a flock of sheep, a drinker of the special Kool-aid, or so open minded my brain fell out.

I have stepped back and marvelled at all the colors.

I also have crafted a tinfoil hat and I know how to use it.

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It’s a Forkin’ Utensil

We all have our odd quirks. Some may suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder–and that isn’t funny, or odd–it must be frustrating. In fact, I have been told I have obsessive tendencies. Well duh. Negative thoughts or berating oneself, in my non-professional opinion, are obsessive. I would say it is obsessive compulsive but I have only been diagnosed with obsessive tendencies.

Anyway, when I was a youngster with my own job, each payday I would buy something for my, when-I-reach-18-and-move-out, place. I would squirrel the items away until that day came. I had a lovely collection of late 1970s artifacts, one of which included a set of dinnerware (knives, forks, spoons….)

Much of my 1970s stuff has gone by the wayside. I’m not sure where it went but I have bits and pieces of my original purchases.

Of my dinnerware, I have two forks left. They are my forks. They do not go into the dishwasher because, well…..I only have two and I have to hand wash for the next use. I can’t wait until the dishwasher is full enough for a cycle, I would have to wait through too many meals for a clean fork.

Weird quirk, right?

My kids and husband know not to use my forks. My two perfect forks that can stab a pea or a piece of lettuce. Pasta doesn’t have a chance against my forks.

Then someone shares dinner with us and I have to hide my forks so that they don’t use them. Or, friends of the vampire in the basement come over and they pack their fuel to the basement on my dishes and don’t return them until lovely science experiments have covered the beauty of my chipped dishes. The worst personal horror is when they pilfer my forks and they are stuck inside the science experiments.

Well now, I have no wrap-it-up ending except to say that I embrace my quirks. It’s what makes me, me. If the horror of someone else using my forks is another diagnosed mental disorder, then so be it.

They’re mine! All mine!

 

 

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When I Become Spam

Catching up with other bloggers turns me into a spammer. I have “caught up” before and commented on various posts. Guess where my comments go after one too many? Yup, their spam folder.

Since our youngest graduated from high school, I lost myself. I lost a lot more than that, but the lack of the routine of making sure the kids get off to school on time, seemed to create a huge void. One of which I have not filled and have been adrift in my boat of procrastination.

I have now come to excusing myself for not changing from my pajamas to my “lounging clothes” (my husband can’t see the difference).

….and my day goes on…..

I have had the same goal that my therapist tried to help me with, and that would be a morning routine. A routine that I could commit to exercise because my ultimate goal is good physical health.

New day. Same goal.

Here it goes…..and it will include routine time in the blog world.

 

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Reflections on Sunday With April

I don’t have a list….well, not a long one. I have no resolutions, simply goals. I’m not sad to say goodbye to 2016 because I gained a lot of knowledge. (And our daughter got engaged!)

There have been up moments and some extremely rough, down moments but I kept moving. Some days it may have only consisted of breathing to make it through the day, but I was successful.

I reached my 5-year cancer free mark.

I’m alive!

Yes, I’m alive and that is something to make me smile.

I hope you find something to be grateful for today!

Posted in Sunday's Smiles | Tagged | 32 Comments

My Sanity on 3 x 5 Cards

This could be repetitive….just letting you know

As I’ve stated before, anxiety seems more logical—personally. I ask myself a set of questions and concentrate on the answers. It helps tame most of my anxiety but it really is a daily ordeal to keep myself in check. I have been identifying each trigger and using my lessons from cognitive behavior therapy to make some sense of why I’m causing myself pain.

Depression isn’t logical to me. It’s like a huge bully that infiltrates my mind sending me into an abyss. It was easy to hide my depression pre-marriage and pre-kids. I used to keep to myself as I went about my day. I was nasty to people who dared to talk to me on a personal level, therefore pushing all potential relationships away, including close relationships with my family. I mechanically did what I had to while looking forward to returning to bed at night. Way back in the recesses of my mind I knew that rent had to be paid and I needed food to survive.

Sharing my personal universe in a very close manner makes it rather difficult to hide depression. When someone invades my universe, it makes me mad….which turns to self directed anger. How I helped raise three wonderful adults is a mystery to me. I’m even a bit baffled how someone found a way to look behind my mask and love me anyway.

Since I learned to separate grief over the losses and major life-altering changes I’ve experienced, from true depression, I feel I’m on the right path. There is a root to grief but I haven’t been able to find the root of depression.

So, I’ve been paying more attention….but apparently, not enough.

Depression creeps up on me when I have my back turned and I don’t know where it comes from. However, with the handful of pills and therapy I’m getting better at identifying what I need to let go. One being self-hate. However, I’m human and I get a little lax and I slip into bad habits.

I have decided to get a stack of 3 x 5 cards and write a series of questions. Oh, I’ve memorized many questions I ask myself when I feel anxiety torturing me but I haven’t been able to translate any of those questions, which are very much the same, while trying to find a trigger for depression.

Pills and therapy were not the answers to end all answers for me. I have had to put more personal work into healing my mind than anything I have ever done in my life. I’m aware that I will more than likely never be cured, but I can manage to have a better life.

Again, if you made it to the end of this long post…..Yay! I’ll let you know if my 3 x 5 theory works. 😀

 

Posted in Anxeity and Depression, Depression | Tagged , | 20 Comments

When Depression Is No Longer an Option

The following is my personal observation of my actions….my disease. I’m not speaking for all people who suffer from depression.

Here’s the thing with those of us who strive to manage life with depression. It’s tough. If we go to an off site job….meaning not at home…we will most likely brush our teeth. Some of us may take a shower, put on makeup, comb our hair. Definitely we will probably put on some street clothes or appropriate attire for our jobs.

We plaster on a semblance of a smile and do the best we can.

To. Make. It. Through. The. Day.

Is our depression buddy just around the corner? Is it just a normal “bad” day?

The more we compensate for our perceived flaws the less we feel like doing…

….anything.

We slack off here, we slack of there. We stop fixing our hair and it becomes a quick brush through. Aw hell, we run our fingers through it and call it good. The makeup? It stays in the drawer. The pulled together look is replaced with whatever happens to be clean and not lying on the floor. Or maybe it is lying on the floor but it’s less wrinkled than the other clothes.

We stop.

I stopped.

Until it affects those I love.

 

Posted in Depression | Tagged | 21 Comments

I’m a Stinking Squirrel

As I was preparing my daily lifeblood, otherwise known as coffee, I watched a little squirrel carry dead leaves up a tree and traverse back down for more. I heard the awful noise of crows having a fit. Remembering a story I read about that stinking bird, I learned that they liked to intimidate hawks to scare them away.

Sure enough, there was a big hawk watching that little squirrel. I opened the door and stepped onto our railless second story balcony and scared off the crows. That hawk mocked me. I danced around and waved my arms, and nothing. I watched that little squirrel hesitantly return to its nest making.

Then I coughed. The hawk, in all its magnificence, soared away.

I didn’t want to be witness to a murder this morning and one little cough ended the hawk’s devious scheme.

With new coffee mug in hand, I turned to look at my zone on the couch. The place that is usually surrounded with what I am working on…knitting, cross stitch, coloring, blogging, reading, digging through the mail…….and in the last several days, the wonderfully thoughtful presents I opened on Christmas Day.

And there it was. Another one of those aha moments.

I’m a stinking squirrel!

Not only do I squirrel things around me to make a security nest, I squirrel away my thoughts.

My mind becomes that hawk that keeps my thoughts swirling around my head. Around and around until the thoughts are mixed with a little self-hate and insecurity.

So……….I’m silent. Others will think I’m mad. I am mad. I’m mad at myself. Well, usually there is something added in the mix that triggered the mad to begin with, but my hawk-mind fuels it with voracious mutating growth.

Why can’t a little cough clear my thoughts?

Where are those stinking crows when I need them?

Word of the day: stinking. 😀

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…..and…..poof….it’s gone

The day after Christmas is always a letdown. It always has been and, more than likely, always will be. I should prepare for it. I thought I had.

Eons ago I learned not to expect anything, just let the days around the holiday happen.

Enjoy each moment. But……

I still have expectations.

I still miss the moments.

I force the days around the holiday.

The meals, the birthday, the cleaning, the various schedules of the family, the wrapping, the pleasing…the pleasing…the pleasing.

Is everybody enjoying themselves?

I actually have a logical part of my brain that continues to function. I’ll bet you didn’t know that. That part of my mind doesn’t understand this side of my personality.

Inside my mind I repeat…let it go, let it happen, embrace it. I say it over and over until it drowns out all the noise around me. I try to take mini breaks….you know, like in the bathroom…but not so long that someone thinks something is wrong with me.

But they know anyway.

They know there is something wrong with me.

It’s the day after.

Next December 26th will be another day after…..and I will try again to break the cycle.

The following made me smile:

  • Our daughter was home
  • Looking at wedding dresses online with our daughter
  • The Christmas Eve festivities consisted of an NFL football game, I cooked, and instead of a board game our daughter picked out a puzzle–one of our other traditional holiday activities. She picked out one of the hardest puzzles.
  • I surprised my husband with birthday and Christmas gifts that he didn’t expect, and I know he will actually use them.
  • Our family was all together.

I just wish I were present for the last week.

Hope you are having a good day after and can find something to make you smile.

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