I recently wrote a thank you note to my doctor. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that or rather the first time I ever felt the overwhelming “want” to. It’s not to say I haven’t had great doctors in my life but this one saved my life.
This doctor is my psychiatrist. I chose this doctor when I was in the middle of a horrible depression. Horrible. He listened to me, asked a ton of questions and was never surprised by my answers even though *I* was surprised by my answers. And to have those answers be true… No. I wasn’t supposed to be in there in that spot.
I adamantly refused medication with the exception of an anti anxiety med. A mild dose that worked wonders for the anxiety but did nothing for the depression. I carried on like that for a couple of months. After a while I couldn’t stand the way I was feeling anymore. We then discussed antidepressants. And I started my roller coaster of med trials and dealing with side effects, some more troublesome than others. This went on for 2 years. Some meds did work for a while then stop or peter off. Some I had to give a full trial time of about 6 weeks only to report back that there was no effect good or bad. It was a crap shoot I felt.
It wasn’t until March 2015 did he finally hit the right combo and added an antidepressant I hadn’t trialed before. My mood was great I hadn’t felt like myself in so long I welcomed myself back. I can’t tell you the awe I felt to actually be in a good mood again. To not be a anxiety riddled depressed shell of a person.
My husband noticed that I was “happy” and I was/am. I joke and laugh with my kids. I can laugh at myself and I no longer fill my head with horrible untrue statements.
I say that I chose this doctor but in truth he was chosen for me. Dr. L was originally treating my son and I adored him for Thomas. When the crap hit the fan for me and I really needed a doctor, I chose Dr. L. He was put in my life, in my path for a reason. Not soon after he was treating Thomas did Thomas go to residential school.
So today I wrote Dr. L. a thank you note. I thanked him for believing I would beat the depression when I didn’t believe it myself. I let him know I’m in such a better place right now and it is because of him.
I’m the heaviest right now than I’ve ever been in my life aside from being pregnant. I loathe it; seriously. I tried Weight Watchers and managed to lose 10 pounds but then fell off the wagon around Easter and I’ve had a very difficult time going back to counting points and wondering if I was over my point allowance, did I use up all my “extra” points for the week? I was inspired to try Weight Watchers from my cousin Toni who was and still is doing great on the program. I’m back to being inspired by her and back to following the program. Hopefully I’ll keep it up and lose more weight. I’ve always been on the thin side. I know smoking did help with keeping my weight in check. I’m not advocating smoking cigarettes as a weight loss aide but whether it be the nicotine or any of the other (God knows how many) chemicals in cigarettes there’s something there that keeps your appetite from being out of control.
My husband is wonderful and has never mentioned my weight gain, he tells me not to worry. I think he’s concerned that I may stop taking the anti depressant that caused the weight gain. I won’t do that, it took me long enough to find the right combo of meds to make me not be depressed. I would not want to start over again. If I have to choose being happy and overweight/thin and depressed I’ll chose happy and overweight. I can’t tell you what it took to admit that and even type it out. I really don’t enjoy shopping for clothes anymore. Don’t get me wrong I still do my thrift shopping gig but I get a bigger kick out of shoes and bags more than ever before. There’s no judgement or “fit” for shoes and bags. The right shoe or bag can elevate anything you’re wearing and just make you feel fabulous.
I’ve also ventured into the love of watches. Don’t ask I don’t know where that one came from. I’m thinking much like shoes and bags; with wearing a watch it really doesn’t matter what size you are. Finding watches while thrifting is not easy, there are people who thrift or yard sale shop specifically for watches. I’ve managed to find a couple of nice ones but nothing much to write home about.
So here’s to being back on Weight Watchers and keeping track of points and staying within the lines of their rules.
Yep, it’s that time again…bathing suit season ~~shudder~~. I decided to hit TJ Maxx for their selection and low prices. And believe it or not their dressing rooms were not set up for failure like most major department stores. Last year I went to Macy’s and the lighting in their dressing rooms seemed to emphasize every wrinkle, flaw, cellulite you name it. TJ Maxx on the other hand had bright enough lighting but not the glaring fluorescence that will highlight every flaw you already know you have and don’t need the extra reminder.
I ended up with your basic one piece suit, black and white. Its nice and fit well. Last year’s dilemma over wearing a bikini is no longer a dilemma due to the lovely weight gain I’ve experienced due to much needed medication. I’m not okay or happy with the weight gain but I’m not letting it rule my life as it had in the past. I’m not going to rock the boat and change medication that is already working well in the hopes that I will lose weight. I’d rather be this weight and mentally healthy than skinny and depressed.
Alyssa came home with her yearbook from high school. It was nice to go through it with her and see all the pictures of her and her friends. It brought the reality of her graduating all the more to the fore front. Today she showed me all the nice and wonderful things her friends wrote. It was sweet to read. Especially when the writer was someone she’d known since grammar school. I wrote to her as well. It was easy to write to her, the words just flowed from my heart to the page. Then…I got choked up. Especially when I wrote how God has blessed me with her and now I must let her go to have even more experiences. I’m so proud of Alyssa. She made me grow as a mother while I watched her grow into this amazing young woman. And I have the privilege of watching my younger 2 daughters grow in the same manner.
I’m still amazed at how fast the past almost 18 years have flown by. It does seem like yesterday that I was this young overwhelmed mother of (then) 2 children. I used to put Thomas and Alyssa in the double bus like stroller and walk the neighborhood with them. We were regulars at the Italian deli a few blocks over. Things were much simpler then but to be honest I wouldn’t go back even if I could. Once around that merry go round was enough. I enjoy my Alyssa these days, don’t get me wrong she can exasperate me like no other and she still leaves her stuff all around the house and she doesn’t empty the dishwasher… but I do enjoy her company. She is thoughtful and sweet and most important she talks to me. I pray for her future and that she will enjoy the brightness of it.
I’m wondering when you classify yourself as “cured” from depression? Are you ever really cured or do you learn to manage this very real chemical imbalance in ones brain? I feel good most days. I catch myself in a good mood here and there and I no longer feel the irritability, angst, and anxiety associated with depression. I’m looking forward to the future and toy with the idea of stopping my therapist appointments. I see her every 2 weeks now and when I do see her the 45 minutes are filled with various ways I handle situations in my life. And we also talk about all the good in my life.
The more I think about it, I don’t think I’m ready to stop seeing her. There isn’t a pressing “need” as was in the past, it’s more of a want to see her. To discuss my life; not dissect it. I think that’s the biggest difference in our talks. To not have my life under a microscope as was when the depression was taking over my life. To say that the depression was bigger than me that it was taking over my life is accurate. Today I am bigger than the illness. And I’m proud of myself. Proud that I did not give up because giving up cannot be an option.
Im looking forward to events that in the past probably would have been fraught with worry and I wouldn’t have had any joy in them. I recently caught up with a friend who was visiting NY, she lives in California. When I was fighting the depression I wouldn’t have been able to sit and talk with her in the easy manner that we got along. Conversation flowed naturally and I had such joy in our time together. When events like that occur I know. I’m “okay”.
Joy. It can be so elusive. And when you’re depressed even the word can seem like it’s mocking you and seem so close yet so far away.
The other day (my birthday) my husband and I were talking about when we were younger and dating. We began dating around age 17 but met when we were 15 years old. He asked me when did I know that I wanted to marry him. I told him I remember it vividly. We were driving on the highway towards my house (my Mom and Dad’s house). We were talking about how we were back together after a breakup fueled by teen angst. I remember feeling that this was permanent. I was going to marry this boy. We were about 18 years old at the time. This isn’t to say we dated happily ever after. There were a few more teen angst break ups along the road to engagement time. But I am glad we stayed together and eventually married. He really is my best friend.
I also asked my husband if he ever wanted to “go back” like to when we were younger say in our early 20’s. Tommy answered that only if he could know what he knows now. Smart man. I find it amusing that I can remember so well something that happened over 20 years ago yet my kids ask me if I remember something from a couple of years ago and I’m completely clueless. A couple of years ago was during my depression and I didn’t ever feel “in the moment” like I do now. Today I feel so in the present and I’m glad to be here. I’m glad I have the state of mind that I do. I didn’t realize how detached I was back then until I’m asked to remember something.
I don’t like staying in a remembrance of the past. It was really nice a couple of weeks ago when we got together with old friends from years ago/high school. It was nice to reminisce but it was equally as nice to talk about our lives now, our kids now, us as a whole now; to be in the present with people from the past.
I’m so thankful to be a part of the “now”.
I’ve been trying since this morning to write this post. I started a couple of times on my phone while on the ferry but for whatever reason my phone won’t “save” the post, so that was a waste of time. Then I tried again on the way home on the ferry, then on the bus. Again with my phone not saving anything. What the heck man!
So now I’m home with freshly dyed hair waiting for dinner to be ready. Here I am. I’ve been thinking about life these days and how I’m so glad to be a part of it. I have my relationship with the Lord, a great husband and a job I really like and lest I forget my 4 kids that always keep me on my toes. Especially Samantha these days. If it’s not one it’s another. But that’s okay.
I think back to this time last year. I wasn’t doing too well depression wise and it was at this time my doctor tried one other medication. He hit the nail on the head and I’ve been feeling well ever since. I don’t ever want to go back to where I was. Last week during bible study we were discussing times when we’ve felt abandoned by God. I know when I was in the depths of my depression I felt like God had just left me there to flounder. I know now this isn’t true, He’s never left me, He hadn’t moved, I had. The depression makes you feel isolated and worthless. I kept praying for God to guide my doctor, to guide his decisions that God being the Great Physician and Healer could certainly guide anyone here on earth. And He did. He’s been orchestrating my recovery all this time. I’ll never know why it took the time and med trials it did, or who knows someday I could know and everything will make perfect sense. Until then I’ll keep trusting the Lord and know that He never wastes a hurt.
The office where I work has moved. I’m no longer working on the relatively quiet street of East 30th Street, I’ll now be working right on 5th avenue close to the Empire State Building. I helped my boss and her family move into the new place Saturday evening after I was done for the day. I liked where the old office was, nice and quiet kind of tucked away…but now things have changed. My boss is no longer leasing office space from another physician; she has her own office and I’m happy for her. I’ll be happy in the new space once I get acclimated. One thing I’ll have to get used to is the busy-ness of 5th Ave. I felt overwhelmed by the whole New York-ness of the area. And to top it off I didn’t know where the subway station was so I looked like a tourist trying to find my way after we were finished setting up. I had to ask a street vendor for directions and walk 2 blocks to get the 1 train. Two long city blocks. The next time I’ll take a different train, one closer to the office. I’ve already mapped it out.
The new office has 3 rooms, one my boss will be renting out shortly and 2 for her own use. One is almost set up ready for me to begin, we’re just waiting for a sink to be installed which will be nice for me to be able to wash my hands without running down the hall every 15 minutes between clients. I’ll no longer be close to a thrift store I found that was close to the old office. I’ll just have to find another one…I know I will.
The other change is my small group/bible study begins in 2 days. I will admit I’m excited and nervous. I’ve never undertaken anything like this. Any other group I was involved in I was never a “leader” but one who attended. I’m praying this works out well. That I’ll be able to bring God glory through my experiences with Thomas and my family and the depression from the trauma of living with him the last 6 months or so that he was home. I’m praying the book I chose speaks to the other women the way it spoke to me. I’m just praying…
Our new Pastor began preaching today. He was awesome! He’s from the South and just spoke the message loud and clear with bits of humor scattered here and there. I truly enjoyed hearing him preach.
Pastor John spoke with such a passion for the Gospel it was wonderful. He also spoke of our finding happiness and joy in things or places outside of Jesus. That nothing but Jesus will bring us joy. Such powerful true words. Lately I feel such peace when I pray that it can only be described as joy. Knowing I can talk to my God, my Savior and knowing that He loves me…How do you describe that feeling other that it is joy? How do you tell other people that that is how close they are to finding joy? To shut out the noise and be still and know that He is God.
Our Pastor also spoke of wrong thoughts we have. Such as, ” Suffering is avoided by a lot of faith; God is mad at you; we deserve or earn suffering to gain favor from God; and that suffering is not part of the good plan of God.” Pastor John also said our suffering is not always oppositional to the work of God. This hit home to me personally in regard to my battle with depression and the trauma of living with my son when he was aggressive towards me. I was did think God was mad at me and for the life of me I could not figure out how this was part of God’s plan, that someone (meaning God) has made a big mistake.
In the middle of a storm it’s so very difficult to imagine anything good arising from what you’re going through. I know I have to always remember that even when things are tough, God is with me. He has not forsaken me and never will and that God will be glorified.
I’m already looking forward to next Sunday.
The end to another year. Another Christmas flown by. I rarely reflect at the end of the year. But this year I will.
I think I had a good year. For the first time in a long time I started getting back to “me” again. Feeling like myself, laughing with my kids. I started a new to me antidepressant back in March of this year and that was the final catalyst to enable me to feel better. I no longer feel like the depression is right around the corner waiting to get a jump on me. I can laugh and joke around without feeling false. It’s nice.
We also had an awesome time on vacation this past summer. We rented a large vacation house with two other families (the first time we had ever done that) at the Outer Banks, North Carolina and it worked out really great. We all got along and everyone just chilled. I was able to hang out at the pool for 2 solid days straight. I haven’t hung out at a pool being that carefree since I was a teenager. It was sweet.
This fall flew by I feel; literally. It seems as if school just started and here we are at the end of 2015, almost half way through the school year. Alyssa graduates high school this year and that blows my mind a bit. We discuss colleges and went to visit a few. She wants to stay in Manhattan and that’s cool. I can’t blame her, I love Manhattan. Daniella started high school this year and I’m happy for her. She had a less than great time at Junior high and really needed the change. She joined the swim team and really enjoyed it. She loved the camaraderie of the team and competing at the meets. Definitely a year of change for the better for her.
And finally Christmas of 2015. It was a nice enough Christmas. Thomas was home and was quite high maintenance. It was overwhelming to be honest. The girls and Tommy had a great Christmas, my parents came here for dinner with my niece and nephews. We had an unbelievable dinner of rib roast and lasagna. It was Tommy’s idea to have the rib roast and he totally hit the nail on the head.
The day after Christmas I took the tree down. It was drying out and needles were flying off everywhere. Besides as far as I was concerned Christmas was over. I still have the nativity out and that’s all that really matters anyway.
I’m looking forward to 2016 with hope. I’m due to be starting a bible study in January for Mom’s of special needs children and I’m really looking forward to it. I hope I’m a blessing to others and that the Lord uses me as he sees fit. More of Him and less of me.
So I wish everyone reading this a very, very Happy New Year!
I’ve been thinking today about how grateful I am. Life has been good even when things get a little hairy life is still good. This past week I was literally yelled at by a client. But you know what it was okay. I knew she wasn’t mad at me personally. She arrived at my office in a po’d mood and just continued being pissed off when I came around to her. Not too long ago I would have taken this woman personally and it would have ruined my day; literally. But now…meh…I know she was just an angry woman for whatever reason and I happened to be in her path.
It also helps that I have a supervisor who has my back. Angry woman called my supervisor. I wasn’t too surprised, honestly. I was however reminded that my boss cares about what I have to say and she contacted me twice to talk to me first before she returned angry woman’s phone call. Thank God for sensible bosses!
I’ve been selling my “stuff” on ebay and it’s been going really well. Much better than I had thought it would. People want what I have to sell. And it’s funny because I did a major clean out of my closets, shoes included. I’ve been selling clothes and bags that I don’t wear anymore for whatever reason but are too nice to donate. Go me! I’ve since turned that money back to ebay to purchase a pair of shoes and an awesomely cool pair of jeans. I can’t wait to get the jeans…
The rest of my sales will go towards Christmas shopping because Lord knows how fast that holiday comes around. You blink after Thanksgiving and bam! It’s Christmas!
So yes, I’ve been grateful. Grateful for a doctor who knows what he’s doing and prescribed meds that help me to be in this good place. When you’re clinically depressed the depression steals all the good things you feel and leaves you feeling empty, worthless and just all around “less than”.
I’m grateful for my kids who love me. No one leaves this house without someone telling them, “love you!” I don’t know when we started doing that but we do. I’m grateful for a husband who loves me more than I even feel I deserve to be loved. He works so hard to give us what we need and want. And he hasn’t said boo about how short I’ve been cutting my hair, bonus points!
I’m grateful for a God who loves us enough to give up his only son to save a bunch of sinners. He loved each and every one of us before we were even born. How amazing is that? And that Jesus willingly took on our sins to save us! Just as amazing and totally worth our gratitude and worship. There is none higher than Him. I’m grateful I live in a country where I’m able to worship the King of Kings without fear.
I’m in a good place.