Tuesday, February 16, 2010

check this out...



First, I must say that I do not know what normal mood changes are anymore.  I have been struggling with depression and anxiety for several years now.  I could go into a whole dissertation about when I was first diagnosed, why I think it started, how I think family history plays into it, etc.  But none of that really matters.  All that matters is that I struggle.  I do some of the right things:  medication monitored by a very good psychiatrist, therapy (now only as needed, but when it's needed I know where to go and I DO go), understanding friends and family.  But I still struggle.  It is hard to know what is a normal down day versus a sign that my depression has kicked in a little harder than usual.  People who do not understand depression think we can just make up our mind to be in a good mood.  Ahhhh...if it was only that simple.

I was off work for four days.  Most of the time I felt relaxed, happy, content and "me."  Then Sunday night came and the work week loomed in front of me.  As today progressed (a Tuesday which was really a Monday since it was the first day of the work week) my mood deteriorated.  I felt unmotivated, anxious, sad, tearful, nervous, irritable...NOT "me."  So, how do I know if this is normal back to work blues, versus depression?  Well, I don't.  But I know my depression causes my lows to be lower and it is harder to pull myself out of them.  But again, none of that really matters.  What matters is that I am feeling depressed and anxious.  What matters is that I am struggling.

Everyone has challenges in their lives.  I do not want to seem complain-y because mine are nothing compared to what some face.  But I still struggle.  But I think that is what life is about.  It is about how you handle the challenges that come your way.  So I keep trying new things and looking at the issue differently (like by blogging about it).  Luckily, I had a break in my day and was able to come to a local coffee shop, relax in a comfy chair in front of a fireplace, breathe....and blog.  So far it is helping.  And that is what really matters.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Project 365 - the relaxed version

I have belonged to Flickr, an online photo sharing community for a few years now.  I started a Project 365 for the first time in December 2007.  The idea?  Just take one photo a day for a year and post to the Flickr group.  In theory it was a way for me to start using my camera more, improve my skills, jump-start my creativity.  In practice it did ALL of these things - but it also started to stress me out.  This year I saw one of my dear Flickr friends had started a "relaxed" version of the project and I immediately signed on.  This is MY Project 365.  I am trying to take a photo a day, but I will miss some days.  I may miss several days in a row.  Or I may post an archived photo instead of a new one.  But I think I will enjoy it more....and that really is the point, isn't it?

Here's my picture from Valentine's Day:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

blog challenge

I cannot believe I am posting twice in one day.  However the first post was after midnight so it FEELS like yesterday to me.  Anyway, I spent some time today looking around the blogging world and found this and decided to do the blog challenge which involves pasting these bolded words and filling in the blanks.  So here goes:

If I could...I would find a way to have more time off work.
In my kitchen cupboard...are lots of foods that my seven year says he likes when I buy them and then decides he doesn't when it comes to meal time.
On my desk...a box of crayons (thanks sixty-four colors blog!), a scrapbook page in progress, my camera, a cool macro lens on loan from a friend....and a bunch of other stuff.
Image in my head...none, which I find odd, since I am a visual person by nature.  
In the middle of my to do list...is calling to schedule dentist and doctor appointments
I am dreading...going back to work on Tuesday...four days off in a row is bliss!
Right now I want to...get my son to bed so I can watch some TV.
I think...the only thing blocking me from losing weight is the fact that I use food for comfort.  The problem is that I use food for comfort, so if I stop doing that I will be uncomfortable and I don't like that prospect.  Obviously this is a thought in process.
Going to...see a movie tomorrow with my kiddo and friends.

Interesting exercise.  I see a couple of things here that could become blog posts themselves.  Maybe that was the point of the challenge?

the past

The past is in the past, right? Sure, except when it keeps creeping back. Sometimes it sneaks in stealthily and slowly. Other times it jumps out at you and shocks the bejeezus out of you!

Whenever someone is going through a difficult situation, there are likely to be many well-meaning people who say stupid things like: You'll get over it; Time heals all wounds; God doesn't give you anything you can't handle. Well, my own traumas have taught me many things...and none of those things are on my list.

My truth is that the past IS the past, but it can also be in the present and it will likely be in the future. You don't get OVER things - you get through them. And by getting "through" them I mean, you get through them OVER and OVER again. You reconcile the past into your present and your future. Life is not linear. It is a cycle. When we realize that, I think that we can better cope with life's ups and downs.

Today the past came back and smacked me in the face. I am fine...it's really not a big deal. But I really wanted to acknowledge that the past does NOT always stay there, no matter how much work you do. After an initial anxiety spasm, it helped to take a deep breath and remember how far I have come, how much I have handled and how much I have grown. And with that, the past shrinks back into a corner, because I am not scared of it. It will stay in it's place for a while, I hope.