Thursday, March 2, 2017

An Eventful February

So I haven't been blogging nearly as often.  I just haven't had much to say.  Or so I thought.  February has been a particularly eventful month though.

It started on the 8th.  I overslept and got to work late.  So I had to work later.  The Burns City gate was closed for some reason, so I had to go out the Crane gate.  Normally I would not have even been in this place at this time, but that day I was.  In pulling from 558 to 231, I pulled out in front of someone.  I just didn't see her in her little red Mazda M3.  She hit me broadside.  I missed a day of work to heal and get things ironed out... including getting a rental car.  It took awhile to know, but my Impala was ultimately totaled.  I was only stiff and sore.

Six days later, on the 14th, I was driving to work on time.  I was heading for the Burns City gate when all of a sudden the big red truck in front of me slammed on his breaks to avoid deer.  I slammed on my breaks and pulled to the left, but I still hit him.  I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure that little Chevy Cruze was totaled too.  I had another day off work to heal and get things ironed out... including getting another rental car.  Again, I was only stiff and sore, but more so.

Three days later, on the 17th, I sold my house.  The house I've owned and paid for but haven't lived in for YEARS.  I wanted to get it cleaned out and emptied before I sold it, but it appears there's mold in the house.  So I sold it 'as is'.  I consider that a huge burden off my shoulders.  I've been looking forward to not owning that house for so long.

A week later, on the 24th, I bought a new car.  I now own a pearly white Chevy Malibu.  My payment is lower than it was with my Impala.  And the car has upgrades.  I now have heated seats, remote keyless entry, and a reverse cam.  I really like it.  Let's hope I can keep it on the road for awhile.

Another great thing?  I've been depression free for about 15 months now.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Only This I Want

Only this I want: but to know the Lord,
And to bear His cross, so to wear the crown He wore.

All but this is loss, worthless refuse to me,
For to gain the Lord, is to gain all I need.

I will run the race; I will fight the good fight,
So to win the prize of the kingdom of my Lord.

Let your heart be glad, always glad in the Lord,
So to shine like stars in the darkness of the night.

If you want to hear the melody, come join me in the choir loft at St John's on Saturday at 5pm.  It's a beautiful hymn.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

What I Learned in My Year Without Depression

I went one whole year without depression.  That's the first time I can say that in a dozen or so years.

I've been treated for mental illness since 1999, though I remember bouts of depression going back to 1995.  I've never tracked my depressive episodes, so I can't tell you exactly how long I've gone without depression before.  But let me tell you, a year feels like forever!  And I'm thankful for the respite.

I learned a lot while being depression free.  I wanted to share a few of those with you.

  1. I'm pretty sure I'm feeling well because I'm taking my medication, not because I don't need it anymore.  There is no cure for bipolar.  I was diagnosed bipolar 2 1/2 years ago.  I know I could fight this the rest of my life.  But I also know there is medication and therapy to help in that fight.  I'll continue to do all I can to fight... including taking my meds and talking with my counselor.
  2. Resources like a psychiatrist and a counselor can aid in my well-being, but I'm the one who has to focus on getting well.  If my heart isn't in it, if my head isn't in it, I won't stay well, not for long.  I must keep using the resources in front of me, but I also need to take care of myself if I want to see long-term health.
  3. Wellness means including self-care in my life.  This is everything from brushing my teeth and eating every day to paying my bills and making important doctor's appointments.  Things that go by the wayside when I'm depressed, still need to be done whether I like them or not.  Taking care of myself has to remain a priority.
  4. Good things can happen too.  When you're a depressive, you often sit back and wait for the next episode to hit.  But we have to recognize and enjoy the good things too.  That's where we find hope.
  5. I am loved.  Depressed or not, I have people in my world that love me and support me.  They may not fully understand my bipolar tendencies, but they don't have to in order to be there for me.
I'm hoping I can remain depression-free for another year.  But there's no guarantee of that.  One thing's for sure, I'll enjoy my depression-free time as long as I can.  And I'll do everything I can to make my next episode as short as I can.  With help from my psychiatrist, my counselor, and my team of support.

Monday, January 2, 2017

A beautiful spring day... in January

It's a holiday today. That happens when the actual holiday falls on a weekend day.  Anyway, I got the day off work today.  And I chose to sleep in.  That's what I do with most of my days off.

The mayor mentioned on Facebook that it felt like spring out there. I had to take the challenge and find out for myself.  I couldn't wait to get outside.

My plan was to drive a bit and ultimately end up in the park with the ducks.  I rolled down my windows and read.  It was absolutely lovely.

I love a day when I can read fiction.  And when I can read it in the park with my windows down, that's perfect.  So I truly enjoyed this day off.

When I first started seeing my counselor, he suggested that I use the park as a refuge to calm my nerves and center my mind.  Here, two and a half years later, I still enjoy that little exercise.

I hope we have another spring day in January.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

I normally don't make plans for New Year's Eve.  I usually have dinner by myself, watch a movie or two, and go to bed long before the ball drops.  But my mom invited me to go to the casino with her and her siblings.  So I went.

First we went to mass.  Then we headed to French Lick.

Dinner at Lengendz was really good.  I had the taco salad and it was delightful.  Afterwards, we went to the casino.  I found a couple of machines that liked me and only lost $3 on the night.  I consider that a victory.  I've never come home a winner, but I've never only lost $3 either.  Definitely a victory.

One of my uncles ended up $100 to the good, so he offered to buy us sundaes at Dairy Queen.  It was nice ending the year with family and ice cream.

I was home by 10pm.  Happy New Year!

Monday, December 19, 2016

One Whole Year

A lot of things can happen in a year.
  • 365 days
  • an average of 250 days of work (not counting vacations)
  • 52 weekends
  • 26 paychecks
  • Easter, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all those other holidays
  • spring, summer, winter, and fall
  • baseball, football, basketball, and all those other sports seasons
But I'm celebrating being depression-free for one whole year.  It's been so long, I don't even wake up thinking about whether I'm depressed or not.  I just assume I'm going to wake up fine.  And I have... for a whole year.

I know it has a lot to do with the meds.  I had a med change last December and I've been stable ever since.  The coincidence can't be ignored.  And I spent a lot of money on those meds.  And sometimes that was hard on my budget.  But it was still worth it to have no depression.

I'm not saying I'll never be depressed again.  And I'd like to think that if I do have a depressive episode, that I'll deal with it better than I have in the past.  But there's no guarantee of that either.  But I do know one thing... I've survived EVERY depressive episode I've had thus far.  So why would I expect that to change.  I'm a survivor!

Here's to another year depression-free... and full of Latuda and Lexapro.  : )