Finding My Voice

Originally, I started this blog by giving a voice to one of the many faces of depression. All the news stories about people on a gun shooting rage = mental illness, frustrated me. It’s possibly true of those people, but not all of us are like that. Many hide behind faces covering mental illness. Not all sit around, paralyzed by the woes of life.

Removing the stigma and receiving the proper professional help is important. Unfortunately, at least in the United States, funding is meager and the cost for treatment is very expensive. “No beds”, they say…and the mentally ill are released to deal with their own demons. Or, they are placed in the new asylums otherwise known as prisons. They are not only held by a prison in their minds, they are literally held in a prison hindering them from an opportunity to heal.

I realized if I were asked face to face if I were mentally ill, I would probably hesitate and lie. People with certain mental illnesses resort to oscar worthy performances to hide what’s swirling inside.

I have trouble reading positive quotes and the positive approaches to life articles. When I’m having an episode of depression I feel like I’m failing and there is no point of soldering on.

But I do soldier on. I search for my trigger and avoid it. Ha! Wrong thing to do in my opinion. I should search for my trigger and learn how to react to it in a healthy way.

I began to write about many years of trying to enlighten my husband what is going through my mind, and I have had some success. I have seen him try to use his form of psychotherapy, which makes me giggle. I think the statement that made me contain a laugh out loud moment, was when he told me I should start a new project. Anyone who suffers from any form of mental illness would be elated if things were so simple.

Anyway, I have been exploring my mind to find my voice. What do I really want to say? Do I constantly need to remind readers that I experienced too many major life changing experiences, in too short a time, and that my mind finally broke? No. I believe I’ve always struggled with depression. I don’t know what kind of diagnosis to give it, I just know that it has been life-long struggle.

Finding my voice in the blog world doesn’t have to continually include my inner fight. I don’t want to make others feel worse. I also don’t want to write about all my woes so that someone can identify and have an excuse to give up hope for a better life.

Giving up is not an option for me. Sure, there are days I have zero motivation and I tend to wallow in my frustration to move forward, but I’m learning to forgive myself and move along. I’m seeking the proper professional help—-the rest has been a willingness to fight for myself. There are three parts to recovery, in my unprofessional opinion….medication, professional therapy, and a strong personal desire to change. I’m not saying this is the path for all, it has been my experience.

Fighting for my own sense of normalcy or happiness is what I want to give a voice to.

It’s a hard fight battling feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness, but the monster can be defeated. Look deep inside, recognize you need professional help, and build a strong desire to change what is familiar. Step outside your zone and forgive yourself for the moments/days of darkness. I have finally learned that my days of darkness are temporary, I get mad when the temporary goes on for months, but it does pass.

So what shall I blog about? We shall see……

 

Posted in Anxeity and Depression | Tagged , | 11 Comments

Growth of Dreams

Oh! I had the most wonderful dream the other night. It kind of surprised me. I have been paying attention to how I feel during my dreams so that I can work out what my subconscious is pondering.

Anyway, I was encased in a bubble, floating through the air. I was flying higher and higher above earth, finally through the atmosphere into space. I felt blissful.

When I relived my dream in my head the next morning, I giggled about the flying part because in my waking life, I panic when I get in a tin tube to fly.

Bliss.

I found it in my dreams, I will find it when I’m simply being me…except in an airplane.

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Comes and Goes

It’s easy to forget what I’ve learned about depression once wading through the muck starts. I don’t know what I have as far as a set diagnosis, but then I have a Dr. Wacky Pants.

One thing I do know is that depression comes and it goes, it comes and it goes. Sometimes it hangs around for a while, sometimes like an unwelcome house guest that just won’t go away, no matter how they’re treated. Apparently, I can cycle through the—meh, I’m okay and through the oh crap, I’m depressed again–more rapidly than I thought I was. Each time I learn a little more.

When I’m going through a depressive phase my largest disappointment is letting my husband down. I don’t like the look of helplessness in his eyes. As badly as I want it to go away, so does he.

We have to learn to wait it out and hope the episode won’t last long. I’m not getting as low as I have in the past due to the medications I’m currently taking. Oh, by the way, the expensive folic acid concentrate–or whatever it was–hasn’t seemed to make much difference.

I feel like I have been one kick away from the nut house if something happened. Well, it did. We lost my dad’s sister. It was like losing my dad all over again. However, I understand grief much better than depression.

I’m feeling better now. Each evening before I go to sleep and each morning as I’m waking up, I’ve been repeating the phrase–“my heart is love, light, I am strong, I am kind to myself, life is good”. Over and over I say it before drifting off to sleep. The phrase is also helping me to get my rear end out of bed a little quicker in the morning.

As I will ride out the waves of grief, so shall I learn to ride out the waves of depression. Remembering that depression is temporary, there are times I’m just a little too impatient and I make myself worse with a butt load of negative self-talk.

I send out love, I receive love. I’m beginning to love the depressed part of me as well. It makes me who I am.

Posted in Anxeity and Depression, Depression | Tagged , | 15 Comments

Sunday With April

Would you eat a grub if you knew it would cure something…..like depression? You know, one of these…

Oh! I certainly would. I’d add a little Sriacha sauce, wash it down with one of my favorite beers, and I’d be good to go. I’d do it so fast most heads would spin.

Instead, I’m given pricey may-or-may-not-work vitamins, pills that reek of chemicals, or options for treatments that scare me more than depression.

…..and yet, I’ve procrastinated about getting my physical body in shape. Perhaps I know that exercise isn’t the answer to end my depression/bipolar disorder but I know it will help. So why do I resist something that will build confidence to continue fighting, but swallow any new and improved antidepressant “cure”?

Exercise is going to have to be my grub.

A big, fat, juicy grub.

What did I find this week to make me smile?

  • conversations with our youngest son’s girlfriend
  • beginning to read again (I’ve pretty much neglected any sort of reading)
  • minion themed socks
  • the brief moment we thought we were going to become empty nesters again

It was pretty much a ho-hum kind of week. I need to get out more because we have bits of Spring in the air.

I hope you find something to make you smile today!

Posted in Depression, Grattitude | Tagged , , | 16 Comments

Er, Can I Speak Now?

First and foremost, I know that there are people in the United States who are just as disappointed with the past election as I am. I know I’m not alone but someone out there may feel that they are alone.

Not everyone is a Stands With Fist type of person. Those lost in the rubble of navigating feelings and what can do?

I will have to admit that since the election I have been in and out of states of depression. The hardest part for me is that I couldn’t figure out why…..pile on a top of that, a bunch of pretending I’m not depressed creates obsession…abnormal amounts of obsession.

I’m old enough to have paid attention to the actions of different political parties ruling our country. I don’t identify with the Republican party. I just don’t, and that should be okay. It doesn’t make me stupid, blah, blah, blah. I am who I am through my interpretations of my life experiences.

I have had trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I knew people I seriously didn’t know after all. Some rude about their beliefs, and some simply fighting for what they believe. At first, I was sad to lose some friends, but have since realized that self care is more important to me than a toxic relationship with someone I outgrew decades ago. You know, it’s hard to stand among a group of friends and state that you have a mental illness, it shouldn’t be so hard to state which political party you identify with and not receive an onslaught of vulgarities and name calling.

I’m on a self-imposed exile from news. I have been paying attention to what is being signed and passed by our government while the circus is playing to the public. What’s happening behind the chaos isn’t pretty and I will find my way to fight against what I feel is destroying our environment, the status of our health care, and the education of our children. I will continue to fight the stigma of mental illness and strive to do my part for individuals to have access to affordable care/medications, and not be ashamed to ask.

You know what…..I have allowed myself to believe that there must be something really wrong with me. How can so many people overlook the crass nature of this person we call President? Am I so out of touch with reality that I’m going down the wrong path to recovery? The answer to that would be no, even though I question my sanity each and every day.

Where is my hypomania? I could use some right about now because I have a Stands With Fist inside me that’s simply too depressed to care.

I don’t want to question my ups and down of the illness I suffer from. I accept that I have ups and downs and I’m learning to live in spite of them. I can’t allow someone else control how much mindspace they suck from me. I need all I can contain to keep on fighting.

 

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Sunday With April

who is that person–the one staring back at me

certainly not the same person of yesterday

locked in a mind of darkness

there was light yesterday

with that person

the one behind the mirror

 

I can still perform as if I were a typical person. Or….did I really unlock my mind and become who I am? It’s so comfortable living in the fear and darkness. It takes courage to climb out of what is stuck inside the mind….what I allow to stay in my mind.

It’s been awhile since posting what I have found beautiful. While I’ve probably had many moments, I have isolated myself, waiting for beauty to come to me. Sometimes we have to seek it.

Some highlights:

  • Spring blossoms
  • Hanging out with my daughter and her friends
  • Snow
  • A new grand puppy
  • Puppy breath
  • The heat of the sun
  • Meeting new people
  • Laughter
  • A life beginning

Wishing you find something to make you smile.

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Depression/Anxiety Medications and Time Travel

So……lately, I’ve been trying to assess my life. What direction do I want to go? Actually, do I want to take this blog in a different direction?

Everything has been agitating me………everything.

I have probably been depressed and have been living in a state of pissed off denial. I told Dr. Wacky Pants that I have resigned myself to being a person living between depression and deep depression. So he gave me Deplin. Basically, a very expensive B vitamin. I’m not quite sure if it works or not. I always try new medications with a conservative view. If I feel better, great. If it does nothing, not-so-great.

I wasn’t taking Deplin very long when I travelled to a different time zone. I have been comfortable with adjusting to a one hour time difference with my medication routine, but two or more hours kind of takes its toll on me. It takes days of recovery when I return home.

Do I feel any better with this expensive trial of my new “medical food”? Umm…..the jury is still out.

I’m still assessing, but I have to get off my ass and do some neglected housework and our taxes.

ugh

Posted in Anxeity and Depression, Depression | Tagged , , | 19 Comments

Sunday With April

thoughts locked inside

it’s what I do

the person misrepresented

is known by few

can you hear the screams?

Silence

nothing is as it seems

look into my eyes

do you see the war inside?

look beyond the glaze

right there

the thoughts I hide

Okay, enough of my amateurish poetry. I have a lot going on in my mind–as I said yesterday.

As a person who doubts everyone and everything, our new president has had me on my toes. I see what he’s doing….he’s distracting us with outlandish comments and contradictions while wheeling and dealing behind the scenes. Watch him, and read what he’s using his pen for. He’s sticking thorns on the rose, pick your thorn and fight for what is right for your world. Oh, and call your representatives! If you’re happy with what you see….embrace the thorns if that’s what floats your boat.

This past week has been a week of mental flogging but I’m learning from it. The most important lesson is that I’m in control of those thoughts. However, I have to release them somewhere. Hahaha! It’s like a repeal of thoughts but I have positive replacements.

The following made me smile this week:

  • Dog shenanigans
  • Dairy Queen Blizzards
  • Wearing socks to sleep in during the brief winter
  • A rare, long conversation with our youngest
  • Looking at the sky, watching the clouds, thinking about how long that sky has been here and how many before me have lied on their backs and stared at the same scene. I imagine the dinosaurs didn’t pay much attention but I’ll bet our ancestors did.
  • Planning a trip to help our daughter choose a wedding dress. I think I’m going to need a few winter clothes for the trip
  • Making four trips from the basement to the top floor of our house. It was a struggle due to my physical shape but I had a huge smile for that final step
  • I exercised three days this week

I hope you find something to make you smile!

Posted in Grattitude, Sunday's Smiles | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Jumbled Thinking

A jumble of thoughts passing through my mind. Mostly good and are helping me to continue to move in a positive direction, but some self-defeating.

Back pain. Lying flat on the floor looking through a window at the cloudless sky.

Clouds roll in….

shapes appear.

Breathe in.

We breathe until we die.

As hard as I try to awaken to a positive thought, my very first thought is “crap…another day”. Yes, I turn it around and say to myself “a new day, full of new opportunities”. I repeat and repeat the statement before my feet hit the floor.

The next morning I can’t intercept the crappy thought before the new and optimistic thought. My brain awakens to the same thought each morning. Each night I go to sleep thankful for another day of life. I count my blessings as I fall off to sleep. Why doesn’t it last through the night?

Disappointing myself.

Disappointing others.

No interest in doing anything……anything. Is it a deliberate choice? To do nothing? Do I really care?

Just do it! Something!

Is this depression? No….don’t think so.

Just exhausted.

There are so many Denzel Washington movies I hadn’t seen….same with Meryl Streep. I’m caught up now?

We breathe until we die.

 

 

 

Posted in Depression, Uncategorized | Tagged | 15 Comments

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 , | 13 Comments