Depression

All posts tagged Depression

Today we’re going to talk about the…Oh look, Squirrel!

Published January 4, 2019 by ia84

My suspicions started a while ago. One of my friends is a special ed. teacher, and she regularly shares on Facebook different articles she’s found that relates to her work. One day she posted an article about an adult getting diagnosed with ADHD. I was intrigued, and hopped over to read it. As I finished the article, it struck me that it could easily have been written by me, but I didn’t have ADHD.

Did I?

Curious, I began to do a little research, and while I didn’t fit every single symptom of ADHD , I realized I had most of them. It took me a few months to work up the courage, but I finally got myself to the doctor and into therapy.

Last August, I was officially diagnosed with ADHD, and I started taking an antidepressant that is supposed to help with both my depression and my ADHD. I can track the ADHD symptoms and anxiety back to childhood, and the depression has been fairly constant companion since I was sixteen.

Do you have any idea how relieved and angry this diagnosis made me?

The relief comes from finally knowing that I’m not stupid, lazy, or just plain losing my marbles. It comes because I finally am getting a treatment that actually is doing something.

So, if I’m feeling all this relief, why am I feeling anger?

When I was growing up, I was taught that ADHD (and autism, and schizophrenia, and a whole raft of other mental issues) wasn’t real. I was told that ADHD-and pretty much any other mental condition-was one of two things. Either it was bad parenting, or it was demonic.

Now, I do believe in angels and demons, God and Satan, Heaven and Hell. However, I also believe in science and the fact that the brain sometimes doesn’t quite do its job right. To me, the brain not being able to produce enough neurochemicals is no different than the pancreas not producing enough insulin, or the heart having a valve that doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to.

What else was I raised to believe? Antidepressants are evil. They will turn the taker into a zombie. People don’t really need antidepressants, they just need to try harder.

I’ve spent years trying hard. And I’ve failed hard. Over and over and over again.

I’m angry because the symptoms were present for so long. I’m angry that those who saw the struggle never brought up the possibility that I might have ADHD. I’m angry because when I’d say, “I don’t get this.” for the twentieth time to my teachers I was told it really wasn’t that hard; I just needed to apply myself more and study harder. I’m angry because when I’d say I was having trouble focusing, or I couldn’t function because of my depression, I was advised to just power through it. I’m angry because when I’d say I was really having trouble with my memory I was advised to just spend less time on my phone (to be fair, I probably should spend less time on my phone, but the memory problems started years before I ever had a smart phone). I’m angry because this last August was the first time since I was a little kid that I genuinely didn’t feel exhausted the second I woke up. While I’m thrilled that I awoke feeling good, I’m angry because I should not have gone 26-ish years without a decent rest.

I could keep listing things, but I think you get the general idea.

This has been a huge adjustment period. I’m still wrapping my head around the diagnosis. Even though I had been suspecting it for months, it’s a whole different thing when it becomes your reality and not just a suspicion.

A few weeks into starting treatment, I told my husband that I had realized just how bad I truly had been doing. It scares me that I was in that terrible of shape for so long. I also told him he’s an amazing man for loving me and hanging in there with me.

Since I was a teenager, I’ve been living in a brain fog. Going through the motions of life. Making decisions, most of which I regret. The only thing I don’t regret? Marrying my husband.

I’ve spent so long wandering. Most of the time my goal has been to survive the day.

In the last few months the fog has started to lift. Really, truly, lift and clear. It’s like when I put my contacts in every morning. The fuzzy world around me is suddenly clear.

I feel like me, the real me, is crawling out into the sunlight. I’m meeting this girl that I haven’t seen since childhood. I’m trying to figure out how to balance the childhood me with the adult me.

I looked in the mirror a few months ago, and the woman staring back at me was different. There was happiness, joy, optimism radiating from me. My face didn’t just look like a fat blob with eyes, nose, and a mouth. I looked human. Genuinely human. I feel human. I feel present. I’m suddenly here, on planet Earth.  I’m not just sitting on the sidelines watching my body go through its day. I spent decades being detached, so it’s very strange to suddenly find myself connected to my body. I didn’t realize until the last few months just how long it’s been since I’ve been present and involved.

I’m learning to take ownership of my life.  I’m actually thinking for myself, not just relying on others to tell me how to think.  I’m realizing that it’s okay for me to admit that I love coffee, and make-up, and that I’m a dog person.  These may not seem like big things, but up until December, I never would’ve been able to say these things.  I’ve even started being able to make “simple” decisions (the first time I was able to decide within 15 minutes that I wanted Taco Bell for supper, I wanted to cry due to joy.)  I feel like I’m finding my personality.

This healing process is just that.  It’s a process.  Some weeks it’s really rough, some weeks I’m actually getting normal things done (like laundry and dishes), and it’s not feeling like quite as much of a herculean effort.

I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in decades.

My dog would live solely on peanut butter if I’d let her.

Published January 25, 2018 by ia84

Okay, kids, it’s been a really rough week, and I can’t write without sounding like I’m in a super dark mental space. So, instead, I offer up snapchat videos of Gracie trying to clean out a peanut butter jar!

Also, I should point out that we’re in the middle of a flooring project. We don’t normally have just bare, plywood floors.

Hopefully, y’all are as amused as I am with Gracie’s antics.

I’m just going to put a heads-up here: The word penis is used more than once in this post. You’ve been warned.

Published January 6, 2018 by ia84

So, I just had a meltdown about brownies. I genuinely hope you had a better night than that.

And, it’s not even really about the brownies. It kind of is (I really love brownies, and the brownies that started my falling apart were filled with cream cheese and homemade), but it’s about so much more. It’s about my bruised fingertips, it’s about no longer being able to turn to food when I’m stressed, and it’s about having to stop avoiding my diabetes. I’ve gotten really good at avoiding it, but I feel like I’ve reached this point where if I don’t grow up and get my disease under control truly bad things are going to happen much sooner than I’d like.

Because I spent my evening in a funk, I didn’t even think to share my video. So, first, it needs so explaining.

Last week, I was wandering on the internet, and I stumbled across video for this product, the Rollie Eggmaster, that can make eggs pretty quick. I was immediately intrigued, because I really need to be eating some kind of healthy breakfast, and most mornings I just don’t have the time as I have to feed the animals, take the dog out, and get my butt to work. I found the product on Amazon, and it was cheap-ish,so I decided to try it.

It arrived on Thursday, and Friday morning I used it for the first time…and here’s how it turned out:

It’s okay, I know what you’re thinking,”Egg penis eggrection.” You’re also probably wondering what that bag-looking thing on top is. First, the bag looking thing is actually just egg white that didn’t make it all the way to the bottom of the cooking chamber. Second, yes, yes that is an egg penis.

I sent that video to a friend, and her response was, “That’s terrifying. I suddenly feel I need to file a sexual harassment charge against your breakfast…”

In case you were wondering, it doesn’t just make egg penises; it also makes pb & j sandwich penises, pizza penises, burger penises, the food penis options are almost endless

All joking aside, it really did work and did what I needed it to. Yes, it’s a bit weird, and yes, I’ll probably giggle like a teenager everytime I use the thing; but it’s nice to have an option for breakfast that’s quick and healthy.

Dear 2018, I refuse to make a pile of resolutions I’m just going to break in a day. So, let’s just promise to be kind to each other. Okay?

Published January 1, 2018 by ia84

I have been standing in my kitchen, washing dishes for the last 20 minutes, thinking about what I could say as we head into 2018.  Did I come up with anything wise?  Well, if you think that, “at least it’s easy to turn a 7 into an 8, so when I write 2017 on everything for the next two weeks and have to change it, it won’t be that difficult,” is wise, then sure, I’m super wise.

Actually, I’m feeling grateful.  Things were bad a year ago.  The boy was working a nightmare job.  His only income was commission based, and he worked 12-14 hours every day, 7 days a week.  To make matters worse, he rarely had sales, so more than once we went an entire month with him not having a paycheck.  Our bank account more frequently had a number that was red with a little minus in front of it, than it had a number in black.  It didn’t help that I had this constant mystery pain on the left side of my abdomen that no one could give me an answer about.  The worse things got, the more frozen in depression and anxiety I got.  I got to the point I was having trouble functioning as a human.    Things were bad, and dark, and I spent most of my time feeling completely and utterly hopeless.

Now, it’s January 1, 2018, and the boy no longer works the job from hell.  Our bank account, while not super healthy, hasn’t had bright red minus numbers in months.  I still have my mystery pain, but hey, two out of three bad things aren’t bad anymore.

So, here’s to 2018.  Here’s to starting a year with a bit of hope and a lot less fear.

New Year, Better Me

Published January 1, 2017 by ia84

The first Sunday, this past November, I received two blows of bad news before I’d headed to church that morning. I’d cried all through service.  Then my parents took me to lunch, and I continued to cry.  Somewhere in the middle of my blubbering, I choked out the words, “I have no hope left.”  

I was so scared.  The depression pit I had been fighting all year wasn’t a new abode for me.  Sure, it’d been a few years since I’d last gotten trapped there, but at least I knew I’d eventually escape.  However, the feeling that all hope, even the hope that I’d eventually feel hope again, had been used up.  Suddenly, the depression pit was a lot deeper, darker, and scarier than it’d ever been.  

As November progressed I cried, a lot.  Usually the tears were due to fear anout the future, but sometimes they were due to frustration or anger or exhaustion (or a combination of all of the above).  The days drug by, and I felt completely immobilized by my depression and anxiety.  Most days I’ve considered it a victory when I get out of bed.  

This last week, has been a bit less dark, and I’m slowly starting to feel like I might be able to pull it together.  But I’m scared.  I’m terrified that depression and hopelessness will suddenly rear up and drag me down into an even deeper and darker pit.  

So, I’ve set some goals for myself for this new year.  Goals that, I hope, will help keep me from completely disappearing into the pit.  I want to get healthy, mentally and physically for myself and for the boy.  The poor, long-suffering boy who loves me so fiercly, and has been there holding on to me through all of this.

1.  Make sure the dirty dish side of the sink is empty every night before I go to bed.

2. Up my water intake.  I really want to try the gallon of water a day challenge, but I’m not sure I’m ready, so I’m starting by just drinking more water period (fairly easy considerimg I rarely drink water).

3.  Rejoin the gym and go five days a week.

4.  Leave the tv off for the better part of the day.

5.  Practice flute, clarinet, and trombone thirty minutes a day five days a week.  Practice trumpet and piano one hour five days a week. 

6.  Write for at least an hour five days a week. 

7. Do one thing in the house that qualifies as cleaning or organizing everyday. 

8.  Limit consumption of soda/junk food/fast food.  

9.  When possible, eat one family meal a week at the dining room table with the tv off, instead of on the couch with the tv on.

I feel that these are all things I can actually stick to, and hopefully with this plan of action 2017 will be amazing!

Why so serious?

Published September 23, 2015 by ia84

A few months ago I found myself at dinner with a group of women.  Since they all have small children, most of the conversation focused on said small children.  I heard many gross stories (mostly involving throw-up.  I came home and kind of freaked out.  The poor boy was met with the line of questioning, “Did you know kids throw up?  Cause they do!  Like all the time!  Pretty much everywhere!  It’s all they do!  It’s their entire life’s purpose!  You can’t even change the sheets because they’re just gonna hurl all over them!”). 

There was one point in the evening when the topic of blogging came up.  I got asked if I’ve ever gotten any mean comments.  I replied that I don’t really get many comments, but the ones I have gotten have always been fine, kind even.  However, I don’t really write anything inflammatory.  I write fluff.

The truth is, I could easily write multiple posts about how mad and/or offended I am by whatever the trending thing that everyone is mad and offended by.  But, what would be the point of that?  Sure, I’d probably get more readers if I was loud and opinionated all the time.  I won’t lie, that would be kind of nice, a bit of an ego boost.  But, at the end of the day, what good would it do?  The internet is already full of loud, opinionated, angry people, how would I be making the world a better place by adding my voice to that seething cesspool of hate? 

Besides, if you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m kind of a wreck.  I’m not the most emotionally healthy person you’ll ever meet (more healthy than some, less healthy than most).  More than once it’s been mentioned to me that I’m a bit manic.  So, keeping that in mind, it would be unwise for me to constantly write about things that upset me, because it would just lower my mood and do a number on my general emotional state.   

Instead, I’m going to keep writing about fluff.  Talking about how much I love my Jams (www.mannaberry.jamberrynails.net)!  Sharing about my car drama.  Raising eyebrows about the weird world of medicine.  Mooning over the boy. 

And if you’re really desperate to get my opinion on something controversial, feel free to ask.

Overwhelmed

Published November 9, 2013 by ia84

(What follows is my own need to do some venting.  Read at your own risk.)

Lately, things have been feeling overwhelming.  I’m not really sure why, either.  I just know that in the last few months, even the small parts of life feel like they’re these giant mountains that I have no way of dealing with.  Most days, I just don’t even have the motivation or energy to care about trying to deal with them.

I’m pretty sure I’m dealing with depression.  This certainly isn’t the first time I’ve been down this road.  Depression is scary.  It’s so, overwhelmingly terrifying.  My brain is constantly yelling horrible things at me.  It’s a constant litany of all my faults, all the things I have failed at.  When I was in counseling last year, the counselor asked me to list out  things I liked about myself, and all I could come up with was that I’m not just punctual, I’m consistently early (true story, I’m a bit obsessive about being on time).  However, when she asked me to list out what I disliked about myself, it was like I developed diarrhea of the mouth.  The list was unending.  I’m hyper aware of my faults and screw-ups and complete failures.  A year later, my answers are still the same to both questions.

Some days, like today, just feel so dark.  All I want to do is curl up and be sad.

The worst part is, I have absolutely no reason to be feeling like this.  I have a good life.  I have fantastic friends, an amazing job, a loving family, a home, a roof over my head, a vehicle that works.  I’m able to pay my bills, buy my nerdy stuff, fill my Christmas child boxes.  This is just a small smattering of the good things God has blessed me with.

I haven’t experienced terrible things.  My life has been pretty good.  I have no excuse for this.  There’s no reason for it.  I don’t feel like life is pointless or that there’s no reason to go on.  I’m thankful for my life, I see there is purpose.  I just wish the sadness wasn’t so suffocating.