Tag Archive | depression

If it’s not one thing, it’s ten thousand others.

I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of complaining lately.  It just seems that right now, whenever something goes right for me, two other things go wrong.

My computer broke again.  I think it’s just the power supply, but I want the B-I-L to look at /fix it before I spend any money needlessly.  The problem is the timing–the B-I-L’s family is going camping tomorrow, and it’s my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary this weekend, so he’ll have no free time, then next weekend is G’s 4th birthday…yeah.

At least he’s through with school.

Speaking of school, I’m trying desperately to get a hold of my councilor.  I’ve gotten very familiar with her voice on the answering machine.  My goal was to go in and see her today before coming up to see Sis…except she’s out of the office again today.  After taking a 4 day weekend.  And being unreachable yesterday.

I’m so frustrated.

So, I don’t know when I’ll be able to blog again–I’m on my sister’s computer now, and I’ll be able to use Dad’s over the weekend…and maybe I’ll get lucky and whatever is wrong with my computer can be easily fixed and I’ll have it back tonight.

In the mean time, I’ll be trying desperately not to burst into tears too often.

Sisters

Okay, first the random, administrative stuff.  I don’t get tons of comments, but it kind of freaks me out when I see my picture next to a comment my mom made.  So, until I can get back down to my parent’s house, and tell their computer to log me out of every web browser, I’m turning off the avatars in the comments.

I know, you’re all crushed.  But it shouldn’t be for more than a week.

I guess I didn’t know how stressed these last two weeks had made me until this afternoon (er, yesterday afternoon.  I missed the midnight cut off to have this post on the 25th).  The Roommate had invited a bunch of friends over for dinner.  She did invite me to join them, but I was feeling a bit shaky from…everything.

So, you know how I don’t handle crowds?  Well, I found out today that it’s even worse when they’re all speaking a language I don’t understand.   I slipped out under the guise of taking the dogs for a walk, and headed up to Sis’s house to pick up some things that I managed to leave their last night.  Notably, my camera and my sanity.

I don’t know what I’d do without her.  Things were hectic when I got there–they had some family friends over–again, lots of kids running around, but after the company left, and after her kids went to bed, she and I had a good long talk, and she managed to calm me down, and ease some of my anxiety.

I really hope that when school starts, and I get into a routine, that life will get easier.  I don’t handle change well, and right now, I’m such a stage of flux.  And the last two weeks have been…emotionally difficult.

As horrible as depression is all around, I think the worst thing it does is make me doubt myself.  Even things that I know I can do well, I doubt my ability in.  I see the mistakes I make, but not the triumphs.   Depression sucks every bit of self confidence I have out, until I’m so convinced I’m going to fail, that I don’t even try.  And I guess that’s why I have a hard time telling my family “no”, because when I get into those bad ruts, they, especially Sis, are the ones that pull me out.  Sometimes, kicking and screaming, but no matter how I fight, thus far, it’s always turned out for the better.

Next time, though, you never know…

Evey new beginning comes from some other beginning's end

The phrase “end of an era” reminds me of a line from the Semisonic song “Closing Song”, ‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

Now that we’re out of that forest of quotation marks…

I have a hard time with change. I’m one of those people who craves stability. It make sense, I suppose, stability isn’t something that I can find in my own head, and, at the time of this story, was in short supply in my personal life. (This was just a few years after the end of The Experiment that consumed most of my teenage years. People who know about it will know what I’m talking about, and those who don’t, well, the memories are too painful to share.)

It was the day I graduated from High School. I had already been accepted into college at Utah State University, and would be starting classes there in a few weeks. I had housing lined up, and was, in theory, ready to get out of my parent’s house.

This night, when I should have been out celebrating with friends, I was instead trapped in a deep depression. (It was one of the first times I could actually feel the depression coming on. I’ll never forget it–I was standing on stage, pausing for pictures, and feeling my mood drop. I had been ecstatic a few minutes before, and now, I was fighting back tears.)

Upon returning home, I went into my bedroom, turned on the radio so my family couldn’t hear me crying, and collapsed onto the bed. I was terrified of what happened next–the ceremony I had just participated in literally marked the end of my life as I had known it. All of a sudden, I was facing a big, scary unknown.

Then the song “Closing Time” came on the radio, and the line “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning end” struck me. I shouldn’t be thinking about the end of my High School life, but the beginning of my life as an adult.

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end” has become sort of a personal mantra for me in the eleven years since I graduated High School. When I’m faced with a change in my life, I remind myself that I’m facing a beginning, not an end.

I have confidence it’s confidence I lack

If the response to yesterday’s post is any indication, I’m not the only one who loves bread.   I’ve boughten more yeast, and feel like I should try again, but I don’t want to heat up the house with the oven.

Last night was rough.  I couldn’t sleep, despite being exhausted and having been awake for the previous 20 hours.  I was stressed about having lost my GPS (really?  How can I have lost the one tool I own who’s sole purpose is to help find things?) and school.  But I fixated on the GPS, even getting out of bed at 3:30 am to look for it.  I literally had a dream about looking for my GPS.

School is was really has me worried.  I was supposed to attend an orientation on Thursday, but it’s been pushed back to Monday.  I was looking into where I was supposed to go, and found a link with brief biographies of the orientation advisors.   There are eight of them.  One is my age, one is 25, and the rest are 19 or 20.

Crap.

I’m fully aware, if not really comfortable with the fact that a lot of the people I’ll be surrounded by when I go back to school will be ten years younger than me.  I’m not really happy with it, but I can live with it.  I wasn’t expecting the people helping me to get adjusted to going back to school to be ten years younger than me though.

It makes me feel old.

And I’m fully aware of all of you out there in Internetland laughing at the 29 year old woman for feeling old.

And I know that if I don’t go back to school and get my degree now, I’ll never do it–that the longer I wait, the harder it will be, and the bigger the age gap between me and the other students will be.

I guess I’m feeling like I’ve lost my twenties to depression.  I was never interested in doing all of the fun, crazy stuff that college aged kids are supposed to do.  It’s only begun to bother me recently, and I guess that’s why I get uncomfortable around young adults–I look at them, and I see all the opportunities that I missed because I couldn’t leave my room.

I know it doesn’t do anybody any good to dwell on what might have been.  Except, you know, speculative history writers.   The best I can do is to make sure I don’t lose the next ten years, or twenty, or the rest of my life to depression–I know I need to get out there and do the things that I need to do to be happy, to improve myself, and to be comfortable around other people.

I just hope I can get some sleep in the mean time.

A question arises

Is it better to express my feelings on the days when I’m depressed, or should I let sleeping dogs lie? metaphorically speaking, of course, it’s much more fun to tickle a sleeping shih tzu’s ear until he wakes up.

Don’t look at me like that.  I don’t do it often, and they sleep like 18 hours a day.

The point is, I’m having a down day.  Maybe it’s the weather.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t been sleeping because of the allergies.  Maybe I’m feeling the stress of just being me.

I know if I vent, I’ll feel better, but in venting, I would cause concern among my family and friends that may or may not be justified.

Still, something is wrong when watching a “House” marathon has me in tears.

I decided that I needed to get out of the house, and Lulu, distracted by the rain on the walk ten minutes earlier, had forgotten to pee.  As the little girl has had three “accidents” inside the house this week, I’ve decided that I really need to pay better attention when she’s acting like she needs to go out.  It’s difficult, though–Max will sit by the door and stare at me, Lulu acts the same way she does when she wants to play.  Or be cuddled.  Or be fed.  Really, she just has one way of letting me know she wants something.

I know I’ve been doing a lot of placeholder entries lately when I haven’t been skipping days entirely, and I feel bad about it.  I guess it says something about my mental state, when I can’t be witty or insightful.

You mean I actually have to do stuff?

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about depression, at least for those living with someone who suffers from it (i.e., my friends and family) is the complete and utter lack of motivation.

I want a better life, I really do, but I’m having a hard time convincing myself that doing the work required to change for the better is worth it.

This, of course, leads to a dangerous downwards spiral.  I used the metaphor on my mission of walking on a conveyor belt.  If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.  There’s no such thing as standing still.  I was talking about spiritual development, but it works just as well for personal growth as well.

Mom’s on my case to find out about school.  As well she should be.  I’d be frustrated with me if I was in her position, too.

But still, I’m old enough to have kids of my own, and still, one of my main motivations in life is not to have my mom yell at me.

I wish there was a guide, some sort of path–“if you do this, you won’t be depressed any more,” type of thing.  Unfortunately, life just doesn’t work that way.

And I’m not sure I’d have the motivation to do it, anyway.

So…what can I say about yesterday?

It’s been a rough few days.

It might be easier to start with the good news.  Soon after I came home on Monday, the girl who was interested in renting my spare room heard Max and Lulu barking at the world, and called to see if she could come and see it.  Basically, she wanted to make sure my house didn’t smell like dogs. It doesn’t.  And so, I have a new roommate, or will, at the end of the month when her current contract expires.

In lesser good news, I found a green flippy thing that originally came with a one gallon pitcher that is now dedicated to watering houseplants.  It survived a trip through the dishwasher, and my water pitcher is looking a lot less pathetic now.

So on to yesterday’s post.

I’ve been feeling unusually anxious the past couple of days.  I’m worried about money, mostly.

The strange thing is, usually, when I pinpoint the cause of my anxiety, it goes away.  Not this time.  It kept me awake for two nights, turned my stomach into knots (the parts of it that weren’t already in knots from my recent bout of what was probably food poisoning) and making it hard to concentrate.

I decided that the best thing to do was to get everything I was feeling out.  That’s the purpose of the blog, right?

Originally, I put that post on password protect so y’all could see that I wrote, without disclosing what I wrote.

That felt like cheating, though.  A big part of this blog is to explore my mental health problems, and if I can’t be open and honest with them here, where can I be?  There is solace in bearing the soul.

I didn’t want to deal with all the “you’re so wonderful, it’s going to be okay” crap, because, it really does feel like crap when you’re so down, so I turned off the comments.

After writing, I had a good cry, and decided money problems be damned, I needed ice cream or chocolate.  Preferably both.

A good cry, finally being able to sleep, and a fully stocked chocolate stash (not to mention the fact that my grocery shopping cost $5 less than I was expecting it too) means that things aren’t looking so dismal.  I’m still not happy, but I’m not thinking about hurting myself anymore, either.

Ugh.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about depression is what I call the emotional hangover–the time after I’ve been in a good mood, when things get extra hard.

It was describing these emotional hangovers to my family doctor that led him to believe that I had manic depression.  When describing these symptoms to a psychiatrist, she disagreed.  She thought that because I was happy so infrequently I didn’t know how to deal with it.  While the Lexapro has helped deal with these hangovers…

Today, besides recovering from G, I’ve been extra aware of the physical manifestation of depression.  I’ve been stuck in that annoying place between sickness and health.

Last week, I happened upon a local PBS station airing the first part of “This Emotional Life”.  I watched, fascinated, and noted when the next part would be shown, and made sure to be home so I could see it.  The first part talked about relationships, which made me cry.  The second part talks about negative emotions, which made me cry.  The third part is about positive emotions, and hopefully, it won’t make me cry.

I’m extremely interested in all things mental health, especially depression.  I was especially interested in the new therapies and research talked about throughout the program.

What really impressed me was research showing that chronic depression physically changes the brain; people with chronic depression have smaller hippocampuses (hippocamipi?) than non-depressed people.  The flip side of this is people who have received treatment for depression, whether through anti-depressants or electroconvulsive therapy have normal sized hippocampi.  Experiments with rats have shown that anti-depressants and ECT actually cause the hippocampus to regrow new cells.

I know it’s sad that the only thing I have to report on for my Friday is a TV show, I promise to do better tomorrow.  I’ve set a goal–to go to the temple grounds, at least, if not inside, and to go somewhere–the mall or Wal-Mart or somewhere like that.  Not to do any shopping, mind, but to be surrounded by people.

We’ll see how that goes.  I’m hyperventilating a little just thinking about it.

A funny thing about anti-depressants…

Crazy thing…medication works better when you actually take it!

Despite being on the Lexepro for about five months now, I’m still not used to taking a pill in the morning, and lately, I haven’t realized I forgot my medicine until well after noon–at which point taking it would severely disrupt my sleep and digestive system, so I won’t take it for that day–and when that happens for several days in a row, especally when I’m feeling an inordinate amount of external stress, well…

So, I’ve remembered my medicine enough days in a row to have gotten it built back up in my system, and while the stress is still there, it doesn’t feel overwhelming to the point where I can’t do anything.  I’m actually in a good mood today.

Sis came down to retrieve a toy that G had left at my house.  I’m afraid that kid is going to think that I’m stealing his toys–I talked to him about it, but because I used words like “besmirched” and “misaligned” I don’t know if he understood–I just remember when I was his age liking it when grown-ups talked to me like a grown up.  Sis assured me that they had had a conversation about being responsible for toys on the way down, using vocabulary more appropriate for a three year old.

One of the things that G loves to do at my house is to go with me when I take Max and Lulu for a walk.  The enjoyment of this is fully limited to those of us who only need two feet to walk.  Still, G showed Max a fire hydrant he needed to pee on (without demonstrating, thankfully) and we went to the jungle and heard a rooster.  Really–just ask G.

I was able to do some shopping with my sister–amazingly, I was able to just stick with the groceries I needed.  While wandering through the produce section, I told Sis about one of my favorite dishes–potatoes and onions sliced then boiled together, then you eat them with ketchup.

Sis laughed, and said it sounded like I was Canadian. I countered that it sounded like I was poor.  G heard this exchange and said “Mommy, be nice to your sister.”

So, for those of you following along at home, it’s not nice to call someone “Canadian”.

I’ve actually managed to get some writing done today–I think I’ve figured out how I want my main characters to meet.  Again, I’ve reached the “wait and see” stage.  I don’t know if it’s any good.

So, yeah–overall, It’s been a good day, minus the mystery smell that I can’t locate the source of.

For once, I don’t think it’s the dogs.

Knowing what I should do doesn’t make doing it any easier.

I am a spoiled and selfish girl.

What right do I have to complain?  I have a supportive family, a nice house, two dogs that love me, I’m moving forward with my life, finally.

So I’m sad a lot.  So I have to take medicine to keep me from killing myself.  What do I have to be depressed over, really?

I mean besides the fact that my brain doesn’t process chemicals correctly.

I woke up to a bit of a surprise–today, before I’d even gotten out of bed, I’d received more visits than I had for the past week.  Okay, I wasn’t expecting that one to be a big post…

I think my problem is that I am impatient.  I guess we all are.  After I wrote that post, and while in the process of crying myself to sleep last night, I remembered a scripture from the Book of Mormon that I should have been thinking about all along, specifically Ether 12:27

And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

My new friend, William Wallace (FREEEEEEEDDDDDDDDDDDOOOOOOOOOMMMMMM!  sorry, just had to get that out my system.) reminded me in the comments yesterday that I need to turn to God.  I know this.  I’ve always known this.  I know that my trials in life are those that He knows I can handle.

This is hard to remember, though when you’re feeling to agoraphobic to go to church, and to distracted and scatter-brained to study scripture.

School should help.  It’ll get me used to being around people (I’m surrounded by dogs, so I just used the word “socialized” in my head) so I’ll feel more comfortable at church.  The first little bit, anyway, should help with the self-esteem crap too.

I don’t know, I feel like I’ve been such a downer lately, but then I’ve been pretty down.  I want to have something happy to write about, but I really don’t.

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