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.  : )

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Slacker

I've been slacking with my blog.  I've had plenty of time to type something up.  I just haven't made it happen.  So today's the day.

Nothing special going on in my world today.  Except that I got a picture of sweet little Xavier visiting with Santa.  That was the best part of my day.  So I'll share it.

In the first picture, he's checking Santa out.  Gotta know who's holding him.  In the second picture, he's probably clearing things with Mom to make sure all is well.

Personally, I think it's a very sweet first picture with Santa.  And I hope you get everything you asked for, little man.

I've been chatting it up with my big brother, Alan, about our plans to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra next week.  We're deciding where to do dinner and which route to take to avoid construction.  I'm starting to get excited.  It'll be me, Mom, and Alan.  Should be a good time.  And the start of another long weekend.  I like that too!

I've already started my fundraising for Relay for Life.  I've raised $385 of my $500 goal.  And last night, I finally mailed 20 donation request letters.  So I should get to $500 pretty quick now.  Then I won't have to worry about fundraising at all through the spring.  I'll be able to focus on the Survivor Dinners that I'm helping to coordinate.  One in Martin County on May 10th; one in Daviess County on June 10th.  Lord, bless those events.  Amen.

Hopefully I find the time, no, MAKE the time to blog a little more often.  And I won't have to call myself a slacker anymore.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sleep

Do you have an unexplained fear?  Something you worry about that doesn't need worried about?  I do.  I worry EVERY NIGHT that I won't get to sleep.  EVERY.NIGHT.


It could be because I've been an insomniac before, getting as little as two hours of sleep multiple nights in a row.  But that's been years ago.  I haven't fought that kind of insomnia in quite some time.


It could be because I get up at 5am to get to work by 6am.  I'm always afraid I won't get enough sleep in before my alarm goes off.  But that's usually my fault for staying up too late to watch something I think I need to watch.


It could be because I love my sleep so much... and I love my dreams so much... that I feel like I'm going to miss them if I don't get to sleep right away.  That would be sad.


But I think it all comes down to having anxiety about sleep a couple of years ago.  My depression was really bad and I was fighting bouts of anxiety every evening about getting to sleep.  It was horrible.  My whole body would shake and I'd be scared to death.  I could feel my heart rate racing in my chest.  I'd curl up into a ball and pray and cry.  Eventually it would all subside and I'd fall asleep.


I don't fight that depression and anxiety today.  Thank God!  And I even have a couple of medications that help me sleep.  One makes me tired over time, though not as much as it did when I first started taking it.  The other makes me want to fall asleep within about half an hour.  I use them both wisely.  But today, I get sleep.


So it begs the question, why do I still have this unexplainable fear about not getting to sleep EVERY NIGHT?  I can't explain it.  But as long as it doesn't dredge up the anxiety I remember from two years ago, I can handle it.


Sleep well, my friends.  I think we all deserve a good night's sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

Boo at the Zoo

So I went to the Zoo Friday night with my grandson and his Poppy and Memaw.  What a great time!  I love zoos, but I love Callan even more.  And he was such a sweet boy the entire evening.


First we drove from Dale to Evansville.  Callan and I talked in the back seat the whole way.  He told me about his cat LuLu.  We counted on our fingers.  And we sang a song about ducks.  Oh!  And we looked at pictures on my phone.  Callan was naming everyone he knew.


Then we went to dinner.  The food was good and so was the company.


Then we got his costume on.  Callan is a huge fan of Marshall from Paw Patrol.  So he dressed like a fireman and he was such a durn cutie.  We took all kinds of pictures and saw the animals.  When going up to the first table for candy, he walked right up there and said, "Do you have candy for me?"  Everyone laughed.  He was just so cute.  We then taught him that he was supposed to say, "Trick or Treat!"  He nailed it after that.


And he said, "Thank you" to everyone who gave him something.

He got scared a couple of times; Callan does NOT like spiders.  But all in all, it was a wonderful trip to the zoo.  I assure you, we all had a good time.  Thanks to Dave and Chris for inviting me.


We were hardly out of Evansville and Callan was already asleep in his car seat.  Boo at the Zoo can be exhausting, you know.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Lessons Learned


I’ve struggled the last couple of days with my emotions.  I have to say, that’s the first time since early in December.  I stop short of calling it depression.  I know how my depression makes me feel so low that I have no hope.  I had hope yesterday and the day before.  I honestly think I was just stressing about circumstances.

Stress can really take it out of a person.  I got myself so worked up over a meeting that I cried…that I couldn’t stop crying.  And as you might have guessed, the meeting went off without a hitch.  I spoke my piece; I listened to all responses.  And I ultimately felt better for having done so.  So why did I let myself get all worked up to the point where I cried and felt scared?

The short answer is, “I don’t know.  I honestly have no idea.”  You’d think I’d know better by now, how to incorporate the tips and tricks Robin has taught me and use them in my everyday life.  Take a step back.  Take a deep breath or two.  Look at the big picture.  Go to my happy place if I need to.  See, feel, hear those familiar and comfortable sounds.  Center myself strong.  And pray.

But we’re talking about my job here.  It’s important to me.  Not only do I want to stay employed, I want to stay employed in the job I’m currently holding.  And I want to do it well.  I enjoy it.  But sometimes I don’t feel smart enough to do it.  I wanted everyone to know that I’m doing my best and I want to continue doing my best, knowing that my best will only get better as time goes on.  I was only concerned that maybe they weren’t willing to wait for me to get better, that maybe my best wasn’t good enough at this point in time.

But that’s not the case.  They’re happy with me.  They said as much.  So I need to NOT let my emotions get the best of me.  I need to continue to focus on what I’m doing, doing the best I can for them.  And I need to continue to take care of myself by eating right, getting enough sleep, taking my meds, and praying.

I can do my part.  I WILL do my part.  No more forgetting my morning meds over the weekends.  No more skipping lunch.  No more staying up late to watch a football game and still expecting myself to get up at 5am for work.  And it’s time to get more physical and watch what I eat.  I can effect change in my mental health.  I’m worth it.  It’s time to prove that.

Seven Word Status

Today I choose to praise the Lord.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

I feel so much better.

I prefer to go to mass on Saturday night.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  One, I get to sleep in on Sunday.  Two, I get to go to mass and dinner with my mom.  This has become a routine for us.  Unless I'm singing at mass Sunday morning, I'm usually at mass Saturday night.

This week, and not for the first time, we had dinner with my aunt and uncle.  It was wonderful catching up and getting their opinions on things going on in the world.  And things going on in my head.  I have to say, I am so thankful for close family.

I've been challenged lately by a particular circumstance in my life.  My dinner guests last night made me feel so much more confident about things.  They gave me words to speak and remember to maintain my equilibrium.

I've been somewhat overwhelmed during the last couple of weeks.  And I don't like that feeling at all. But I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm not ready to throw in the towel.  Not just yet. Everything depends on a constructive conversation on Wednesday.  I'll know more about how I want to move forward after that.

Once that meeting happens on Wednesday, I'll make a decision.  Between now and then, I'll pray and keep an open mind.  I want to do what's best for my future.  But I want to maintain my mental health as well.  I've been depression-free for more than nine months now and I'll do anything to maintain that streak.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Holy Door of Mercy

I copied this from the St. Meinrad website.  I plan to visit St. Meinrad tomorrow with family.  Should be an interesting experience.

Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy

December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016
Pope Francis has declared a Jubilee Year of Mercy, offering an opportunity for Catholics to receive a plenary indulgence during this special time.


This is a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father's mercy," the pope declared.


Plenary Indulgence for Jubilee Year of Mercy
Indianapolis Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin, CSsR, designated Saint Meinrad's Archabbey Church as one of two churches in the archdiocese that Catholics may visit to receive a plenary indulgence established by the Holy See for the jubilee year.


To receive an indulgence during the Jubilee Year of Mercy:
  • Pass through the doors of mercy of the pilgrimage church.
  • Make a profession of faith in the church (either the Apostles' or Nicene Creed).
  • Pray for the pope's intentions and the pope himself.
  • Meditate on mercy while receiving Communion during a period 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.
  • Participate in the sacrament of penance during a period 20 days before or after visiting the pilgrimage church.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I saved a life today.

So it's just a Tuesday.  A regular old Tuesday.  You know, it's a little better than Monday, but not nearly as good as Wednesday.  Except for NCIS being on, there's really no significance to a Tuesday.

I was born on a Tuesday.  That same Tuesday that people vote.  But still, just a Tuesday.

I did some training at work.  I attended a meeting too.  I also had lunch with co-workers.  Pretty much the same thing I'd do on any given Tuesday.

But once I got home, back in town, that is, I became a super hero.  A child on a bike pulled out into the street without looking for traffic.  I went from going 35 mph to 0 in time to keep from running over that boy and his bike. Saved his life.

I'm taking the rest of the day off.  I think I'll watch NCIS.


Monday, September 12, 2016

What I Did This Weekend

I had a relatively busy weekend.  I guess those are the best kinds, feeling productive on my days off.


It started with the CWV Spaghetti Supper on Friday night.  I was in charge of selling raffle tickets.  Many had already purchased raffle tickets during one of our stints after the masses three weeks in a row in August.  But still, I sold $200 worth.  I was pretty happy with that.  And ultimately we made $1300 last I heard.  So it was a very good night for the future scholarships.  Not to mention, good food and good company.


Saturday, I didn't do much but read and sleep.  I love a day when I get to sleep in.  Any day without an alarm clock is a good day in my book.  Speaking of book, I also read some of Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough".  And I always say, any day where I get to read fiction is a good day.  So I didn't get much done on Saturday, but I got to accomplish two of my favorite things, sleeping in and reading a good book.  It was lovely!


Sunday, I cantored at the 10am mass.  That went pretty well.  Then I went with relatives to Ireland's church picnic.  What an event that was.  So big, so organized, GREAT food.  I don't think we won anything, but we had a really good time.  Then we stopped by my cousin Gary's to see his place.  After that, Mom and I stopped by the funeral home to see Helen.  She seemed to be doing really well considering she just lost her mom.  I can't imagine losing my mom, so I really feel for her.  After that, Mom and I did a bit of grocery shopping.


You see, I think I might be fighting my first flare up of gout.  My big toe on my left foot is all swollen, red, and VERY painful when I try to bed it.  I need to get in to see the doctor.  But everyone I've talked to in the interim swears by cherries.  So Mom an I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few things that had cherries in them.  And I have to admit, I'm feeling better today than I did yesterday.  At least I have a shoe on today.  Yesterday I walked around with one shoe off.


I finished the day watching an exciting Colts game that didn't quite finish the way we wanted it to.  My MVP goes to Jack Doyle because he made two touchdowns and because he's also a Doyle.  What's not to like?!  Maybe we'll figure out how to play football in the first half and come out with a better ending next week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Seven Word Status

I close my eyes to the world.

National Suicide Prevention Week

In honor of National Suicide Prevention Week, September 5th - 11th, I'm dedicating a blog entry to it.  According to an article on The Mighty, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in America.  We can do something about that.


I'm a firm believer that NO ONE commits suicide for selfish reasons.  In all instances, they do it because they think the world would be better off without them.  I honestly think that most suicides come from a place of depression, a chemical imbalance.


This may come as a surprise to you, but I've been suicidal before.  I can think of two occasions.  One was two years ago, the summer of 2014, when I was being weaned off one set of medications and increased on another set of medications.  That really messed with my brain chemistry and I was all over the place emotionally.  My anxiety was at its worst.  The second instance was May 29th, 2015.  I wasn't ready to take the action that day, but I had seriously started making a list of all the things that I needed to accomplish before I could take my own life.  During both of those times, my depression was speaking for me.


But I'm still here.  Due to medication, a great counselor, and a tight knit support group of friends and family.  Even though I didn't quite believe it, I listened to people tell me that I make a difference, that God wanted me here, that they wouldn't allow me to end this precious thing called life.


I had multiple people tell me that they wanted that phone call.  THAT phone call.  The one that says I can't do it anymore.  They wanted to be the ones to talk me down, to convince me that I mattered.  I have people in my life who wanted to do that.  That alone spoke volumes to me.  It made me think a different thought.  And even though I didn't hold a lot of hope at those times, I held on to what people were telling me... that this time was fleeting, that it was temporary.  To hold on until it passed.


And it did.  It passed.  Both times.  In fact, I tell myself that through every depression.  That it's only temporary.  There's no knowing how long it will last, but it's been temporary EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.  That's something I was able to hold on to.


And I'm still here.  And right now, I'm depression-free.  Sure, I'm medicated and I wouldn't even think about going off my meds.  And I talk to my counselor regularly.  And I know that my depression can come back at any time.  But I'm enjoying my life right now because I HAVE a life right now.  Because someone was there for me when I was at my lowest.  And I'm very thankful for that.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

What I Did During My Labor Day Weekend

I slept in three days in a row!  Now if that's not the way to spend a three-day weekend, I don't know what is.


I got to see my grandsons.  Both of them.  At the same time!  They live in two different cities.  So seeing them in the same place at the same time is a joy you can't imagine.


I got to have a meal with my mom four days in a row.  Ribs at the Lodge on Friday.  Pizza at Bobe's on Saturday.  BBQ on the grill Sunday.  And the buffet at Lakeview on Monday.  We eat well in my family.


I read.  I'm reading Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough" and I'm really enjoying it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, I really like that Joe Morelli!


And the weather was gorgeous the whole weekend long.  I had a lovely Labor Day weekend.  I say we do it again NEXT weekend!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

The Perfect Saturday

I started off the day by sleeping in.  The best way to start a weekend.

I did the laundry.  Two loads.

I ate a chopped salad.  Yummy!

I read more of Janet Evanovich's "Two for the Dough".

I got a haircut.

I bought a couple of blouses for work.

I went to mass.

I went to dinner with Mom.  We ate pizza.

I bought the winning lottery ticket.

Now I'm watching television and am ready for bed.

The perfect Saturday.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Ahhh, September!

I love September.

It's my second favorite month of the year.

The temperatures start dropping.  Football starts.  (Real football, not that preseason crap.)  The days get shorter and it's dark by the time I get ready for bed. The kids go back to school.  The fields are harvested.  The leaves start to change, making for a beautiful picture.

It's just an absolutely lovely time of year.

This month also has a holiday.  Any month with a holiday is a-okay with me.  I mean seriously, what's not to like?

Right now things are going really well for me too.  Work is going great as I'm loving my new job.  I'm enjoying my new car.  I've been chatting with Jeff regularly, which is a very good thing.  I get to see my grandsons this weekend.  I'm reading a good book.  I had an appointment with my counselor and even he thinks things are going well in my head.  I haven't had a depressive day in nearly nine months.

So join me in celebrating the month that is September.

One more holiday and it could be like November, my very favorite month of the year!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Feedback

I gave blood on August 4th.  It was the first time I'd given blood since I tried a year ago and my heart rate was too high.  This time, there were no pitfalls.  I was able to give blood successfully with no issues.


And then this week I get an email that says that my blood has been delivered.  It went to University Hospital in Louisville, KY, to a patient in need.


I thought that was pretty cool.  I liked the feedback.  I mean, I always assumed my blood was being used by someone somewhere.  But it's nice to know approximately when and exactly where.  Just goes to show you (and me), I matter.  I mattered to that person anyway.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mostly-Good Weekend


I had a relatively busy weekend.  I started it all off Friday night by having dinner with one of my besties.  Even though we didn’t have the whole crowd there, I still wanted Mexican and Terri didn’t argue.  So I had my regular… #56, no beans.  It was lovely.  And the conversation was even better.

I sang at mass Saturday night, so I needed to practice for that.  And it went off without a hitch.  LIE!  I made a few errors.  But nothing they’ll fire me over.  After that, I went out to dinner with my mom, Aunt Joanie and Uncle Leo, and Uncle Ed.  We went to Montana Mike’s for steak.  But only three of us ordered a steak.  It was good but I could only eat half of it at that meal.

Sunday I volunteered to work at the St. Martin’s Hog Roast.  They do this every year, the weekend before Labor Day Weekend.  This year, they offered to let the Catholic War Veterans help.  That’s why I was there.  I’m a Catholic War Veteran member.  I spent the day mostly dipping baked beans and potato salad.  I made sure to look everyone in the eye and tell them to enjoy their lunch.  It was a good time.

Sunday night, I developed a headache.  It kind of felt like a migraine, but I wasn’t throwing up.  Anyway, it kept me from sleeping well Sunday night.  So I called in sick Monday morning and went back to bed.  I slept until after 10am.  It was so nice to be able to finally get some quality sleep.  By mid-afternoon, my headache was gone.  Praise the Lord!  I finished the day reading Janet Evanovich’s “Two for the Dough”.

All in all, it was a good weekend, even with the headache.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Ten Years

Although I've been inconsistent sometimes... Although I've simply copied and pasted sometimes... Although some of my blog posts are only seven words long... I've been blogging to Scripted Notions for ten years.  Actually, it'll be ten years next month.  But I thought that was something to be celebrated.  So celebrate with me as we take a look back at what the heck I've been talking about!


In 2008, I was complaining about an all-day headache.  I was also practicing inconsistent parenting.  I was very frustrated that day.  You can read all about it here.


In 2009, I didn't actually post on the 26th, but around that time I was complaining about being tired, sleeping my weekend away, and being a lazy bum.  You can read about that here.


In 2010, I didn't post on the 26th.  In fact, I only had one post during the entire month of August and it was my Mary Kay I-Story.  We all came up with a story that expressed why we chose to do Mary Kay.  I published mine on my blog.  I no longer do Mary Kay, but you can read about it here.


In 2011, I didn't post on the 26th, but that month, I thought I was in love.  Let me tell you this about that... I totally made up that relationship in my head.  I wanted to be in love, but I was the only one.  You can see that post here.


In 2012, it was a Sunday and I was posting about one of the readings I'd heard at mass that weekend.  So in this post, you'll read Joshua 24, Decide today whom you will serve.


In 2013, I didn't post on the 26th.  But around that time is when I decided to go gray.  I haven't colored my hair since then... and probably never will again.  See that post here.


In 2014, I didn't post on the 26th, but I was all about posting psalms at that time.  So you can read that here.


In 2015, I didn't post on the 26th, but I was rejoicing about being depression free for three months in a row.  You can read about that here.


This year, I've been depression free for over eight months.  I have a new job that I've been doing for about three months now and I'm really enjoying it.  It's very challenging, but good.  Really good, in fact.  Callan is three, sweet and smart and such a joy to be around.  Xavier is five months, growing like a week, and learning to say mama.  I just bought a new car and I'm rereading all of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum novels.  Life is good.  Life is very good in my world right now.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Imagine a Cheesy Grin





I have been depression free for more than eight months now.  I mentioned that to my counselor when I saw him Saturday afternoon.  A little later in the conversation, I referred to myself as a depressive.  He suggested that maybe that description didn’t pertain to me anymore… since I’d gone so long without a depressive episode.

That made me smile.  I smiled big.  This is the first time in YEARS that I’ve gone this long without a depressive day.  And to think that it’s been long enough that it’s not even accurate to refer to myself as a depressive?  Just, wow!


I feel so blessed.  Thank You, Lord, for answered prayers!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

I love the Olympics!

I can't believe it's been so long since I posted a blog entry.  Especially with the Olympics going on.  I could have found a picture and done a seven-word status every day.  But I didn't.  Obviously I didn't.


I love the Olympics.  I'm not sure when that started.  I don't necessarily remember watching the Olympics as I was growing up.  Maybe I did, but not to the level that I do now.  I watch them every day that they're on now.  I can't help myself.


I hate it that they are on when I'm at work.  There are Americans winning medals and I don't even get to see it happen!


And then they're on until midnight.  And I just can't seem to stay up that late.  I did the first couple of nights, but not since then.  So again, there are Americans winning medals and I'm totally missing out!


I have a few favorite sports (gymnastics, swimming, volleyball, soccer, and basketball).  And there are a few sports I'd prefer not to watch (archery, shooting, anything on a horse).  And this year, there have been sports that I've learned more about (field hockey, rugby 7's, and water polo).


And we haven't even gotten to track and field week!  We're only on Day 6 and there are like 17 days of Olympic sports!  It's all just so exciting to me!


This picture is from this morning.  We could have more at this moment.  But I only see a graphic first thing in the morning.  So this is it for today.  Go, USA!







Wednesday, July 27, 2016

From Science Experiment to Stability


Two years ago, my primary care provider came to the conclusion that he could no longer treat my depression.  He had changed my meds a couple of times over the years, but the cloud just wouldn’t lift and the tears were always at the ready.  So he referred me to a psychiatrist.

After talking for 30 minutes, I felt a real connection with the psychiatrist.  I felt she was really listening to me and could almost finish my sentences.  She determined that I should be treated for Bipolar II instead of Depression.  I was unfamiliar with Bipolar II (not-so-high highs/low lows), but trusted her judgment.  I just wanted to feel better.  I needed to find stable again.  So, she changed my meds.

I hate med changes.  You never know what you’re going to get.  I was being weaned off my old meds and geared up on my new meds at the same time.  I didn’t know what to expect.  And let me tell you, it was by far the worst I’d ever felt.  In addition to being depressed and crying due to a relatively long depressive episode, I was fighting some pretty severe anxiety.  It was a long three months.

Mere weeks into that transition, it earned me a month off work.  I’d never been put off work before due to mental health and it scared me.  It wasn’t my idea to take time off; it was my employer’s.  I worried about whether I’d be able to go back.  First, I didn’t know if I’d even be able to.  Second, I didn’t know if they’d let me.  So on top of the depression and anxiety, I was scared.  As a single woman in her 40’s, I was the only one paying my bills and saving for my retirement.  I had to work.

It was during that month off work that I really got to know my new counselor.  He taught me several techniques for centering my mind and calming my nerves.  He was so patient with me.  Not only was he a great listener, he was completely non-judgmental.  These are things I learned to value in a counselor.  He also taught me how to talk about my emotional situation without getting upset.  This was something that I’d always struggled with.  My close friends and family could now be part of the healing process, where I’d never really been comfortable with that before.  And they were invaluable.

Over the next few months, we figured out what doses of medications I needed to be on.  I was feeling really good again, back at work, and relying on the techniques that my counselor had taught me.  I was living and surviving with my mental illness.  Things weren’t perfect and my depression would come back, but for shorter durations.  I could live with that.

Then one day I couldn’t give blood because my heart rate was too high.  I started monitoring it and realized that my heart rate was over 100 beats per minute most of the time.  It was time to go back to my primary care provider.  After discussing it with my psychiatrist, they decided it was my anti-depressant that was raising my heart rate.

So even though I was doing well emotionally, I had to go through another med change.  Again, I was scared.  I was scared that I’d have the same fits of depression and anxiety that I’d had before.  I was afraid that we wouldn’t be able to find another combination of medications that effectively treated my depression without adversely affecting my heart.  And that fear brought out the worst in my depression.

It took time and I felt like a science experiment again.  But we found it.  We found the combination of meds that kept my depression at bay.  And now, just two years after my worst bout of depression and anxiety, I’ve been seven months without a depressive episode.  This is the first time I’ve been able to say that in years.  I honestly don’t remember the last time I went seven months in a row without a depression.  And I feel blessed.  I feel healthy.  I feel good!  I know I’m not healed.  I know another bout of depression and anxiety can come about.  I know it might show itself as a manic episode or a depressive episode.  I know.  But right now, I’m enjoying the stability.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

My Nails

I haven't had my nails polished since February 29th.  This is how much they've grown since that day.  That was the day of my dad's viewing, the day before his funeral.  I don't know why I haven't polished them... or at least UN-polished them.  But it's been a nice reminder to think about my dad.


I don't know that I need the reminder.  I think about him all the time.  Mom and I go walking a couple of times a week.  That walk usually takes us through the cemetery where we stop by his grave.  Or I think about him when I'm having problems with my car... the old one, not the new one.  But I thought of him when I went to buy the new car too.  He most definitely would have had some insight that would have been helpful.  Or I think about him when I hear something he would have said.  That happens more than I thought it would.


I'm sure I don't think about him as often as my mom does.  But it's amazing to me how often I think of the dead.  We had another death in the local area this week, a really good guy, younger than me.  I've thought about him often in the last few days.


My mom told me once that she read that the dead hear us say their names.  So I find myself just saying Jesse or Dad every once in awhile, just to say hi, just to let them know I'm still thinking about them.  I hope they know we still think about them.


I figure the next time I cut my nails, all of the black polish will be gone.  But I'll still have plenty of reminders of my dad.

Friday, July 1, 2016

It's all about the meds...

Okay, it may NOT be all about the meds.  But I know that my meds have a lot to do with it.


I HATE having to change meds.  You just never know what's going to happen when you have to go through a med change.  But I've been taking my current meds since early December and the timing of that (and my depression-free status) doesn't elude me.


I take Latuda 60mg.  And if you follow me on Facebook, you know I spend nearly $1,000 for this every month until I hit my deductible.  (I just changed companies so I have to start over with my deductible, but at least it's only $4,000 now, instead of $6,000.)


From WebMD
This medication is used to treat certain mental/mood disorders (such as schizophrenia, depression associated with bipolar disorder). Lurasidone helps you to think more clearly, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life. It may also help to decrease hallucinations (hearing/seeing things that are not there). In addition, this medication may improve your mood, sleep, appetite, and energy level. Lurasidone is a psychiatric medication that belongs to the class of drugs called atypical antipsychotics. It works by helping to restore the balance of certain natural substances in the brain.



I don't have hallucinations, but this drug definitely helps me to think more clearly, feel less nervous, and take part in everyday life.  It also improves my mood, sleep, and energy level.  It's expensive, but it's working.


I also take Escitalopram 10mg.  It's a generic version of Lexapro.  This one is rather inexpensive.  I like that in a medication that works.


From WebMD
Escitalopram is used to treat depression and anxiety. It works by helping to restore the balance of a certain natural substance (serotonin) in the brain. Escitalopram belongs to a class of drugs known as selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI). It may improve your energy level and feelings of well-being and decrease nervousness.



When I was taking the Latuda by itself, I was still weepy and moody.  When I was taking my anti-depressant by itself, I was still outright depressed sometimes.  But the two of them together, that's keeping me even keeled and positive, hopeful.


Six months in a row now.  Nearly seven.  I think they're working.  I'll continue to take them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Six Months



I have been depression-free for more than six months.  I had to go back and read a handful of journal entries to know when I fully came out of my last funk.  The best I could tell, that was the first week of December.  That means, more than six months has gone by without me having to endure depression.

 

That's HUGE for me!

 

And it's not like the six months have been easy.

  1. I made it through winter, which is particularly dreary and hard for many to deal with, let alone someone with depressive tendencies.
  2. I was working on a contract with a drop-dead date.  We were losing employees regularly to lay-offs or because they simply found other employment.  The pallor at the office was sometimes depressing... and I don't use that word lightly.
  3. I left that job and took another job, filled out paperwork for a security clearance (which I hate doing), and struggled getting my medical insurance turned on again.  New employer, new environment, new tasks, new boss.  New everything!
  4. And probably the worst of all, I lost my dad.

 

I've had a few weepy days in there, but for the most part, I've been tear-free.

 

Today, I feel great!  I can't imagine feeling any better emotionally.  Who knew these days could last for six months?  I'm feeling so blessed.

 

In reading my journal entries from before this happy six months, I came across the following:

 


Robin, my counselor would keep reminding me that this is just temporary.  This is just temporary.  I've been here before and have gotten out of this before.  This is just temporary.  I can survive this.  Just a little bit longer.  I need something else to focus my mind on.  Then before I know it, this will be past.  This will all be in the past.  And I can live in that happy place again.  Even if for just a little while.  A little while of good is still worth it.  This is just temporary and God still loves me and apparently needs me to get through this.  I can do this.  Just for a little while.  This is just temporary.


 

I remember typing that.  I remember forcing myself to regurgitate each and every word.  This is just temporary and I can do this.  I remember repeating Robin's words in my head.  And he was right.  It was just temporary.  And now I'm in a happier place.  And that place has lasted more than six months.  I have been blessed with six months of no depression.  What did I do to deserve this?

 

The fact is, I probably DON'T deserve to be this healthy.  But I'm going to try my best to be grateful for it every day.  Thank You, Jesus!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Just Catching Up

Fitbit:  I've decided to stop wearing my Fitbit.  Actually, I decided that a couple of weeks ago.  And I'm happy to say, I'm glad I did.  I was getting so hung up on how many steps I hit in a day.  It was a little unnerving.  I'm glad to not be tied down to that little contraption any more.  If anyone wants a Fitbit, let me know.  You're welcome to mine.

VBS:  I'm teaching music at VBS at St. John's this week.  The theme is a campout.  The theme song is Kum Ba Ya.  So I've gotten to sing that song SEVERAL times this week.  The preschoolers and kindergarteners have another song... the first and second graders have another song... and the third and fourth graders have another song.  So I really only had to learn four songs.  Dealing with so many kids in such a short period of time wears on me.  I'm just not a kid lover. Looking forward to the week being over.  Only one more night to go.

Work:  My new job is going pretty well.  I'm working on the IT budget.  Not by myself, thank God.  It's enough to keep me busy though.  I'm really happy to be back on the IT contract.  I'm also spending some time studying for my Security + certification.  It's a bit overwhelming, but it gets a little more manageable with every day that goes by.

Health Insurance/401(k) - I've been trying for a couple of weeks now to enroll in both of these with my new company.  I finally got my health insurance lined out yesterday.  I've already racked up $1,200 against my new $4,000 deductible.  I'd like to see it counted.  So I need to figure that out yet.  And I need to call about managing my 401(k).  But I'm working on it.

Mental Health -  I haven't had a depressive day since early in December.  That's six months depression free.  Six months!  My meds are definitely working.  Robin has taught me several things to keep my mind focused on being more positive and dealing with stressors better.  That's definitely working too.  Here's hoping I can go another six months!

Cats -  Mom was on vacation this week so I watched her cats this week.  So I got some feline therapy each morning and afternoon.  Yea, me!  Time spent with Barnaby and Elliott is good for me.