Kamis, 08 Agustus 2019

Off the Wagon

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Go ahead- ask me how I'm doing.

Okay, actually, right NOW I can tell you I'm doing okay...but the last couple of weeks, and, in particular, last week, were horrible. Really horrible. As you may or may not have been able to predict from my last post, Thanksgiving took me down. Hard. I ended up staying at my parent's house with the girls, while my son stayed with his dad for the entire week. We shared the "holiday" with my parents, their best friends ( a couple in their 60's who are neither awful nor inspirational- just pretty much as middle of the road not very interesting retirees...she loves her flowers and he loves his golf), my brother and his wife (who are usually okay and pretty awesome people, but they've been trying to get pregnant now for almost a year and in that time their fun level has decreased significantly. They walk into a room and you can FEEL their unhappiness. I'm sure they love to hang out with overly fertile me.) My mother "scheduled" dinner for 6:30 (WTF??? Who eats THANKSGIVING then??? On any given normal day my kids eat at 5...sigh....) My husband was not there, thanks to work (he'd better get that damn bonus...) and overall I was not happy.

I could go on, as I always could, but basically I was bored and started drinking, by myself, at noon and then went to bed as soon as I could after the guests left.

I've talked about triggers in past posts, well, this particular visit hit on almost all of them- and some additional ones to boot. Walk into a room with ALL of your demons and have to stay there for a week, hell, anyone could get depressed.

In addition to all of the triggers going off and bringing me down, I had nothing to combat them because I  kind of let up on the meditation. Why? Sheer laziness. I've said before that depression has a lot to do with re-training your brain. Well, I don't do anything half-ass...so when I told myself that I was going to start this training, I didn't start by doing a mile every other day, as I would if I were a runner. No. I went for the whole marathon...and after the initial high wore off, I found myself very, very tired of having to TRY each day.

The thing that makes me want to kick myself is that IT WAS ALL WORKING: the meditating, the positive thinking, the projecting/imagining positive outcomes (a la Silva Method), the canceling of negative thoughts- it really worked! I had jobs pouring in, the kids were being good, my husband and I were connecting on new levels, money stuff was working out- all of it- and then BOOM! I had to burn myself out and just stop.

And that's where I downspiraled. I won't go into it (no. no suicidal thoughts, but I was pretty evil to everyone) but it definitely happened. My husband sat me down and gave it to me straight: he said- "FIGURE THIS OUT. The difference in you is night and day. You haven't been meditating and you're miserable. You need to either set time away, every day, to meditate, or you need to go back on antidepressants, or you need to leave."

Well, I'd been waiting for that "go back on antidepressants" line for some time...but really, now that I think about it, I think I taunted him into saying that. I think that I have been so terrified since day one that he, of all people, would say that to me, that I kept picking at it until it happened. And really, it wasn't that bad. He told me that he would take care of the kids in the morning, do their lunches, get them dressed- everything- as long as I took a half an hour to meditate, and that we would start with that.

So that's what I've been doing.

A couple of other things worth mention: I went back home after his "talking to" and ordered my old Thorne Research MTHF...thinking that maybe, just maybe, the Metabolic Maintenance brand wasn't working as effectively. Also, I ordered this stuff called SAM-e...and I'm taking 400mg a day. Anyone heard of it? A new client of mine is, incidentally, a therapist for depression and anxiety (I am doing her social media...keeping up her FB page, her linked in site, publishing her bio, etc. Specifically, I'm doing her new book called The Infertility Workbook, where she uses a holistic approach to fertility.) Anyway, we got to talking about what we "take" (because she's a depressive too- most therapists are, it seems) and she recommended the SAM-e. When I have time I'll research and post- I promise!

**** side note- she's my client so I, of course, can't use her, but to those of you who might need a therapist, go to www.barbarablitzer.com (her website). She does sessions via telephone and skype in addition to her offices around here, and she says she works on a sliding scale, payment wise. I have no idea how she is as a therapist and I get zero money from recommending her, but I thought I'd put that out there*****

Last, it seems I am not the only one who was "off the wagon"...I've mentioned that my son's dad isn't the most dependable of people. Well, it turns out that even though I give him the folic acid to give to my son when he's there, he doesn't. So, I had my lil' guy returned to me after a week and all I can say is that he was just as bad off as I was...but in his particular old way: angry, crying, out of control at times. So moody. I'm furious at his dad, but I can't really dwell on that. All I can do is get him back on the folic acid, which is what I've done, and he's much, much better.

Okay, did I cover everything??

No, of course not. But I refer you to the latest quote on the left column about how it is easier to be at war than it is to be at peace. Of course, I am relating this to our internal struggles with depression. The thing about this disease is that we CAN'T succumb to it: it's a lose/lose situation. Being at constant war with ourselves is easy (because that's what we've grown used to doing) but exhausting. Allowing that depression IN is easy, but it, too, is exhausting. Being depressed is no way to be. It's just going to take much more training on my part to remember that. Old habits die hard. I've just got to break free instead of jumping off.

I Don't Want to Live in a World...

...where I have to take antidepressants to "cope". Do you?

It just doesn't make sense. These days, as the number of people who seem to take antidepressants become the majority, it seems that it goes so much farther than addressing a "chemical imbalance". In fact, it seems to be the quick fix remedy for a world that has just gotten too be too much.
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This idea alone is depressing enough for me.

My husband and I have been talking about my going back on the meds, which I am pretty adamant about NOT doing. He's still being really supportive and doesn't pressure me about it, but he has gently brought it up a couple of times. As I said in my last post, I've been having a tough time.

What I'd like to know is what happened??? How was I doing SO well, and then not well at all?

For one thing, I have decided to dig deep and really, I attribute it a lot to the Holidays. Based on that alone, I've decided to wait this out until after the Holidays and see where I stand. Yes, it's been that bad.

I also know that it has to do with something therapists have been telling me for years- stay away from coffee and alcohol.


I started with the coffee again about a month ago- I love coffee, both the taste and the ritual of it. I dearly missed it. But looking back, once I started on it again (even in the smallest amounts), BOOM! The anxiety was back. I also noticed that "energy boosting green tea" gave the the debilitating anxiety as well. Black tea seems okay, at least. But I'm not British and the same kind of love is just not there.

And the alcohol. I drink it and wake up the next day with-yet again-the anxiety...and even worse depression to boot. This makes me so sad, because booze and I have a dear love affair. I miss it.

Which brings me to #3...I'm very, very bored now that I don't have my vices. It's just a lot of me, and even more children...and not a lot of additional adults to break it up. I don't socialize much (reference said kids) and I do little else besides deal with my "responsibilities": the kids and my job. I need something to break it up. I am suffocating without an outlet. So much so that some days, when I get that additional email about something that has to do with work that needs to be addressed immediately, or if a child starts yelling about yet another thing, I totally lose it. I no longer have my 5 o'clock wine to cushion that irritation. And I don't have the coffee to get me pumped in the morning.

I fear that I'm going to have to turn to exercise. This terrifies me because that means that I'll have to wake up a little earlier in the morning (which SUCKS because sleep is now my last and final remaining vice) to do so while my husband is around.


Going back on antidepressants would definitely be a lot easier than all of this, wouldn't it?

But that's not my style, and life ain't easy.

Selasa, 13 Desember 2016

For Peace, Harmony, Laughter and Love

It's New Year's Eve, and what kind of blogger would I be if I didn't write something?

Well, I'm not going to talk about Christmas (or the Holidays) and catch you up, because it wasn't that great. I seriously do think that, if I don't go back on antidepressants before then, I really will go on them just for the Holiday season. I am not saying this to be funny: I think that I have issues that are so deeply ingrained (thanks to the most part to my mother. I really don't want to hate on her, but it's the truth and I have to face it in order to deal with it and someday heal) and associated with Christmas that I am going to have to use antidepressants until I somehow figure out how to overcome them.
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But right after Christmas? Hallelujah! I feel so much better. Like ME again, not depressive me, but me sans antidepressants, and feeling really great.

So- onward!

Also, I am not going to write about resolutions. Of course, pretty much everyone goes into the New Year with high expectations of basically being a better person, which is great. But realistically, everything does not magically change because the clock hits midnight. So I refuse to dwell and actually have resolutions.

What I AM going to do tonight is finish this up and wrap up the night with my littlest (the other two are with Grandparent's), and enjoy every moment as it is with her.

Then once she's asleep, I am going to begin meditation. Hopefully, by the time midnight rolls around I'll still be meditating (the idea scares me- meditating that long- I never have, but I'm going to do it!) and I am going to host in the New Year with peace.

I often talk about meditation and how I'm using it to deal with my depression (and it works! It really does!) SO for all of you novices (and other's too) here is the best article I have found (by far) to get you started. It sums up everything I've been doing with the Silva meditation, but this is a different guy- Deepak Chopra- who was on Dr. Oz, so he must be fabulous, right??? (ha ha)

Do yourself a favor and give it a go. And the most important part- don't get frustrated if you can't just sit for 30 minutes, 15 minutes, 5 minutes, or even 1 minute without your mind wandering. Meditation, like anything else, takes practice. Just be okay with it and continue. One minute of trying is better than none at all.


Oh! And I just want to mention quickly that I've been seeing messages from a lot of you on some of my posts and I love it. I love that I'm not alone. I love that you're reading and sharing. I love that yes! You, too, don't want to live in a world where you need to take antidepressants, or you, too, can't get motivated and get annoyed at yourself because of it. Depressives often feel alone, but let me tell you- WE ARE NOT ALONE. I have "met" some awesome people in the 5 months since I started this blog. I hope to meet more in 2012.

Happy New Year.

And I really mean it.

True Confessions

Today I did something I'm not particularly proud of:

I went to the medicine cabinet, where I still have half a bottle of Cymbalta, I cracked open a pill, and took about 1/3 of it (which is about 6.8 mg-I know, nothing really). Why? Well, I think we all know why. That is, I am seriously leaning toward going back on spawn of satan anti-depressants. I hate having to be on them. I hate the notion of them. I hate dealing with doctors and insurance to get them. But I think, right now, I might just need them.
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My husband and I finally had THE TALK, after a wonderful week away with the kids, and then an overnight jaunt to a friend's wedding alone together. I think that it was the most serious talk that we've ever had. He was very kind, and didn't tell me to go back on my medicine. He just asked me if I really thought I would be able to stay off of it. He's a brutally realistic person and said it to me like this: I've been on medication for so long, and now I'm suddenly off of it, but I've decided to come off of it at a time where my children are still very young and demanding, where I have a business I run by myself, where I have an ex-husband whose antics I'm still dealing with, and where I have a husband who is around for two hours in the morning and that's it-in other words, not such a good time.

Now, my initial response when I think of this is the same eyeroll I produce when I hear couple's tell me that they're waiting for "the right time" to have a baby. I want to smack these people and tell them the perfect time to have a baby is when you're not planning on having a baby-that the "perfect" time will never really exist and you just deal with the situation when it's given to you. In other words, I know that there will probably never be a perfect time for me to go off of antidepressants. Life is always going to be life-you don't know what could happen next. I can't tell you how many friends I have who waited for the  "perfect" time to have a baby, and then their husbands suddenly lost their jobs when they were 8 months pregnant. It's like that.

However, I do think that life is going to get a little bit easier when the kids get older, my husband is home a bit more, and my ex husband is dead (oops. did I really say that?)

I've done a lot of soul searching during the past 5 months that I've been coming off of my meds, and one bottom line is my issues with my mother. Of course, I've always known about these issues but now I have really gone within myself. The bottom line is that her behavior when I was little (and still through today) really, really affected me and influenced so much of who I am today. I do not want that to happen to my children. I hold their childhood in my hands and at times I have been acting just like my mother. It's killing me. I HATE the notion that I have to take medication to be a good mom, and yes, that's how I feel. But I adore them and want them to have the world. If they're prone, genetically, toward depression, then having a depressive mother isn't going to help them.

As for my son, he has a depressive mom and a sociopath dad, so I really, really, really owe it to that kid to do my damn best to make sure he turns out okay, because genetically he's kind of f*cked.

And I'm doing this for my husband, who has been nothing but amazingly gentle, tolerant and supportive. He works a billion hours a week for us. He never asks for anything, never complains. He's not a saint but he's my favorite person-and I owe it to him to be his.

I should write that if I choose to go back on my antidepressants, that it would be for me too...but I really don't feel that way. If it were about me I would be able to take all of the time it takes to constantly be doing yoga, running, and meditating. It ceased to be about me when I had children.

Someday it WILL be about me, though. I have a plan:

I still love folic acid. I still feel that it has done wonders for me and I would never even have gotten this far without it. I know it helps my son, and I'll keep having him take it as well.

I am going to go on the least amount of medication possible-even less than the doctor thinks, because I really know myself and I think that we're so over-prescribed. I also think that I'd need so much less because I DO have the additional tools of folic acid, yoga, and meditation.

I am NOT going back on Cymbalta- I just took that today because it's what I had. I am going to research what my doctor recommends: it's side effects, what it's like to come off of them. From what I read about Cymbalta, it's like the heroin of the antidepressant world (that and Effexor) when it comes to withdrawals. I never want the brain shocks I had ever again.

I'm going to continue to lay off the booze and the coffee- both anxiety and depression kickers (as all of those therapists said...hate it when they're right). I'm not saying I'm abstaining but everything in moderation (or even less than that), right?
       *funny thing: my husband said that he is going to stop drinking for a bit as well. This is going to be so strange...I never in a million years thought he would ever say that. He is a die-hard micro-brew beer drinker and while he's no alcoholic, he definitely loves his drinks :)

I am going to continue the meditation and yoga (the book Yoga for Depression is in the mail to me as we speak). They have helped me tremendously.

I really know that all fo this stuff works- but you have to work at it and keep it up. My life just doesn't allow for all that it requires right now, and I don't have the flexibility to change my life to accomodate it. People say "you need to take time for yourself" also need to be slapped because if I COULD, I WOULD. I'm not a masochist, here.

So, I haven't called the doctor yet, but I'm sharing my thoughts, and it feels good to just do that. We're just a couple of weeks past the holidays, and in reality, for me, it's the first day since them (because of our vacation, and all) maybe I'm just fresh off of my discussion with my husband, or was paranoid about getting back to "reality" this morning. I don't know. But I'll keep you posted.