Thursday, April 9, 2015

Chance of Sunshine

So I've been struggling with my depression again, since the beginning of March actually.  It's all relative as to what 'struggling' means.  I've definitely been worse.  I've definitely been better.  Luckily, I can handle where I am today.

I have an appointment with my counselor today.  I'm pretty sure he was worried about me after seeing me last week.  It was the first time he'd seen me bad since at least November.  I've had bad days since then, but not while sitting in his office.  So I'm curious... no, anxious... to see what today's appointment holds.

The fact is, I feel much better than I did last week.  But I have no confidence that I'll always feel this much better.  In fact, I KNOW I'll be down again.  It's just a matter of time.  It's always happened before... I get down, I get back up, I get down again.  Sure, expecting it may just be a self-fulfilling prophecy.  But I rationalize that it'll be easier to deal with if I expect it in the first place.

In the past, I've described my mental health as being a circle.  Sometimes I'm feeling good at the top of the circle.  Sometimes I'm feeling horrible at the bottom of the circle.  And just as a circle goes, every time I'm at the bottom, I eventually climb back to the top.  But as my counselor has pointed out, it also means I'm already planning to get back to the bottom.

He'd prefer that I think of my walk through depression as being on a path.  He insists that the decisions that I make about sleep, diet, exercise, what I read, what I say to myself, etc., help establish the path that my emotions will take.  As long as I continue to make positive decisions, my mental health will take positive turns.  I don't know if I believe it.  I want to.  But I also want guarantees.  I want to know that if I get eight hours of sleep every night for a week, I'll be mentally healthy.  I want assurance that if I make the time to walk a mile every day and eat a healthy diet, that I can count on a healthy mental outlook.

But guess what, my friends... there are no guarantees in this game.  I can do it all right... I can walk every day... I can eat a perfect Mediterranean Diet... I can sleep eight hours every night... I can read the most inspirational self-help books along side my bible... I can generate the most positive self-talk and repeat affirmations to myself every day... and all the while be taking my meds... and then still crash emotionally for who knows how long... and for no apparent reason at all.  It's just so discouraging.

The day after my appointment with my counselor last week, I met with the psychiatrist.  She'd talked with my counselor the night before... and they decided my issues were likely chemical, rather than situational.  So, she upped my meds and put me back on a couple that I thought I'd graduated from.  Today, I'm taking 120mg of Fetzima, 20mg of Latuda, and .5mg of Xanax.  I've taken every dosage that Fetzima offers.  I've been on and off Latuda over the last nine months, but I'd been off of it for the last six weeks.  And I'd been off Xanax since September.

So right now, I'm feel like I'm taking a full range of meds (an anti-depressant, a mood stabilizer, and an anti-anxiety pill).  And today, I feel much better than I did a week ago.  But I've lost some of the hope that I used to have about maybe feeling completely better one day.

What I think I need to focus on is just dealing with the ups and downs better.  Instead of letting it bother me so much when I get down, I need to learn to cope, to survive, to keep moving forward anyway.  I'm not very good at that.  I wear my heart on my sleeve.  If I'm down, everyone knows it.  And it affects decisions that I make and how I react to things.  And geez, the self-loathing is almost unbearable.  I try telling myself that eventually I'll be positive again.  It's usually just a matter of time. Unfortunately, there's just no knowing how much time.  And that in itself is frustrating.  The whole not knowing part is just frustrating.

But today, even though my overall attitude is a bit flat, I'm more up than down.  I'm being productive and successful.  I can talk.  I can even sing.  Just don't ask me how I'm doing... or I might tell you.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Zero Visibility

I'm equating my state of mind with weather.  Today, zero visibility, walking in a fog, no point of reference to anything actual.  Not the kind of weather you'd want to fly a plane in.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It's been awhile.

This is my first post this year.  And for the last nine months of last year, I mostly just did reproductions of the Psalms.  So it's been since April 17th of last year since I took the time to write a blog entry.  More accurately, it's been nearly a year since I've blogged HERE.  I have a personal journal blog that I don't advertise that I've published to many times in the last year.

I started this blog in 2007.  My first blog post was September 14, 2007.  Since then I've posted regularly, but not always consistently.  In 2007, I had 26 posts... over 3 1/2 months.  In 2008, I had 137 posts.  In 2009, I had 209 posts.  That was my most productive public blogging year.  In 2010, I only had 29 posts.  Not sure what was going on that year.  In 2011, I had 155 posts.  In 2012, I had 161 posts.  In 2013, I had 142 posts.  And last year, I had 174 posts.  This year, 2015, this is my first post and we're nearly three full months into the year.

But when it comes to my private journal blog that I post to pretty much every working day of the year and sometimes multiple times during the day...  This year, I've done 70 posts... in just under three months.  In 2014, I did 133 posts.  In 2013, I did 104 posts.  In 2012, I did only 18 posts.  Talk about wimpy.  In 2011, I did 86 posts.  In 2010, I did 120 posts.  In 2009, I did 162 posts.  Much like my public blog, that was my most productive private blogging year.  In 2008, when I started my private journal blog, I did 17 posts.

So I write (or rant) quite a bit.  I just don't always make them public.  Actually, that's not true.  Even my journal blog is public.  I just use a different name and don't advertise it.  But you could find it on the world wide web if you searched long enough.  And if you know enough about me, you might even recognize it as me.  But I've changed the names of the innocent (and not so innocent).  So searching on my name or the people closest to me won't do you any good.  So good luck with that Easter egg hunt.

Maybe I'll write more tomorrow.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Psalm 150

1 Alleluia! Praise God in his holy place, praise him in the heavenly vault of his power,
2 praise him for his mighty deeds, praise him for all his greatness.
3 Praise him with fanfare of trumpet, praise him with harp and lyre,
4 praise him with tambourines and dancing, praise him with strings and pipes,
5 praise him with the clamor of cymbals, praise him with triumphant cymbals,
6 Let everything that breathes praise Yahweh. Alleluia!

Friday, December 26, 2014

Psalm 149

1 Alleluia! Sing a new song to Yahweh: his praise in the assembly of the faithful!
2 Israel shall rejoice in its Maker, the children of Zion delight in their king;
3 they shall dance in praise of his name, play to him on tambourines and harp!
4 For Yahweh loves his people, he will crown the humble with salvation.
5 The faithful exult in glory, shout for joy as they worship him,
6 praising God to the heights with their voices, a two-edged sword in their hands,
7 to wreak vengeance on the nations, punishment on the peoples,
8 to load their kings with chains and their nobles with iron fetters,
9 to execute on them the judgement passed -- to the honor of all his faithful.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Psalm 148

1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh from the heavens, praise him in the heights.
2 Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his host!
3 Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all shining stars,
4 praise him, highest heavens, praise him, waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of Yahweh at whose command they were made;
6 he established them for ever and ever by an unchanging decree.
7 Praise Yahweh from the earth, sea-monsters and all the depths,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist, storm-winds that obey his word,
9 mountains and every hill, orchards and every cedar,
10 wild animals and all cattle, reptiles and winged birds,
11 kings of the earth and all nations, princes and all judges on earth,
12 young men and girls, old people and children together.
13 Let them praise the name of Yahweh, for his name alone is sublime, his splendor transcends earth and heaven.
14 For he heightens the strength of his people, to the praise of all his faithful, the children of Israel, the people close to him.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Psalm 147

1 Alleluia! Praise Yahweh -- it is good to sing psalms to our God -- how pleasant to praise him.
2 Yahweh, Builder of Jerusalem! He gathers together the exiles of Israel,
3 healing the broken-hearted and binding up their wounds;
4 he counts out the number of the stars, and gives each one of them a name.
5 Our Lord is great, all-powerful, his wisdom beyond all telling.
6 Yahweh sustains the poor, and humbles the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to Yahweh in thanksgiving, play the harp for our God.
8 He veils the sky with clouds, and provides the earth with rain, makes grass grow on the hills and plants for people to use,
9 gives fodder to cattle and to young ravens when they cry.
10 He takes no delight in the power of horses, no pleasure in human sturdiness;
11 his pleasure is in those who fear him, in those who hope in his faithful love.
12 Praise Yahweh, Jerusalem, Zion, praise your God.
13 For he gives strength to the bars of your gates, he blesses your children within you,
14 he maintains the peace of your frontiers, gives you your fill of finest wheat.
15 He sends his word to the earth, his command runs quickly,
16 he spreads the snow like flax, strews hoarfrost like ashes,
17 he sends ice-crystals like breadcrumbs, and who can withstand that cold?
18 When he sends his word it thaws them, when he makes his wind blow, the waters are unstopped.
19 He reveals his word to Jacob, his statutes and judgments to Israel.
20 For no other nation has he done this, no other has known his judgments.