Category: Depression

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

My Mind Wanders…and wanders, still

Once again I’m plagued with my mind wandering, flitting from place to place with thoughts that jump like a small bird hopping from branch to branch. And yes, my mind wonders too however for whatever reason todays stroll though nothingness is prevalent.

It was the normal beginning to the day, slowly waking and not wanting to rise. At least I don’t wake angry as so often used to be the case BM (before meds). I do thank the antidepressant medication for that.

I wake but don’t want to be awake, I want to drift back into nothingness, to dreamland where life is simple with no expectations of me nor responsibilities to carry. At times it feels like the ‘awakeness’ is a cross I’d prefer not to bear. Life is so much simpler and enjoyable when I’m asleep.

Regardless of my desires I realize the need to get up so I slowly crawl out of bed, being careful not to disturb my wife who has likely just gotten under the covers a short time before. She has her own sleep issues, dissimilar to mine, perhaps more serious. I pull on some clothes and quietly leave the room, off to take care of whatever morning business requires taking care of.

A glass of water, my vitamins and pills, perhaps a banana, are next. I’ll sit and mindlessly attempt to watch the morning news, likely cruising around the ‘net on my iPad or phone at the same time. After a short while I’ll get off the couch and brew some coffee and prepare more food. This time a muffin, cereal, or toast. I’m too lazy and unmotivated to make a real, healthy breakfast. This is my life, at least the morning portion of it.

The last few days however I’ve shut off the tv earlier and moved outside. My front porch is the preferred location these days with the back porch being equally as nice but in closer proximity to the passing road. We are separated from the street by green and and a nice enough concrete fence but the noise from passing vehicles knows no boundaries and it pushes me away to a quieter locale. The front is cooler as well this time of morning, in fact today I wanted my hoodie.

I grabbed my 2nd cup of coffee and my colouring book and felts and proceeded outdoors. My wife got me an adult colouring book filled with mandelas and today that was my art project of choice. I have others but the last few days it’s been this. Any of the art related projects, photography included, were all supported by Elly. As a counselor Art Therapy was a big part of her toolkit and she introduced me to it. The colouring is therapeutic and also somewhat mindless however my thoughts continued to run rampant in my head. Perhaps writing will help, hence my visit here.

While the wondering continued I did wander about ADD or some other, similar, mental illness. Let’s throw that into the mix too while we’re at it. Perhaps it’s not (only) depression that is my illness, it may well be there are other factors at play. I’ve never been diagnosed with such, other than my own armchair diagnosis, but it does make me think (more).

We had a young friend come for a visit last night, the daughter of friends, and she has suffered with ADD or ADHD much of her life. She explained some of her symptoms and those of her friends who also suffer. Symptoms such as unfocussed thoughts, inability to selectively work on tasks, procrastination, etc.. These are of course not necessarily definitive symptoms, certainly not saying they have some mental illness, but they are most certainly some traits I feel I have. I’ve often wondering if ADD (or similar) is part of my repertoire.

Regardless I work with what I got, I ‘dance with the guy that brung me’. I have good days and days not as good. I try to find things that help my mind settle, to slow a mind that wanders, and wanders still.

Here we go again

Here we go again

Originally posted on

I think “Here We Go Again” is a title of an old song, can’t be sure though and it really doesn’t matter. In this sense it only means here I go, putting up another very late post.

I see it’s not been since January of this year that I visited here to write. I’m surprised! My my, where does the time go?

I’ve been active and there are many things that have happened around me. Perhaps no more than to the average bear but they were, of course, significant to me. Mostly it’s just life stuff.

One thing of note was that since my last post I’ve gone back on the ‘juice’. Now before you get all confused or concerned you must realize the ‘juice’ in this context is an anti-depression medication, in this case Citalopram. Last year I was on Mirtazapine but in my wisdom I chose to get off the meds and see how things turned out. Not too well evidently.

After stopping the Mirts I did not become suicidal or anything close to that self destructive, it was more a case of low moods and and a frequent sadness I couldn’t seem to avoid. In fact, as I told my doctor, I would often get very teary and emotional during commercials on tv. I short I was very often low. This didn’t happen immediately but became more pronounced over time. In a nutshell I was not better, more help was needed, but I persevered.

In January we went to Okotoks to our niece’s. That’s where we had gone to visit during our annual get-away and where I last posted  Typically we go somewhere away from our city to just be away, to regroup and recharge. January is the month our son died so since then, Jan. of 2000, we either take a week in our time-share or perhaps we go to visit kin. In this case the kin won. It was a nice visit, a good escape. I had no overt depression or anxiety but my sadness lingered.

During that same month my Mother moved out of our basement suite where she had lived for a 7 or so years. She and my step-Father had moved in when they found the challenges of living alone, away from town, a challenge. My step-Father Larry unfortunately passed away a few years ago just after his 80th birthday but my Mom stayed with us. Now, through a series of outside circumstance, she felt moving to Langley was the best choice for her and her siblings so she took on the challenge of moving and went to the big city. I supported her move and still do. It is her call and I think I can appreciate her reasons.

Since her move we have spent time refurbishing the suite in hopes of attracting another good tenant. I won’t belabour the point but all went quite well and in the end we gained my (ex) brother-in-law Jake as a new ‘person under the stairs’. I could likely write volumes about the dynamics of him and his wife (and her family) but I won’t. I would like cause you some disbelief and wonderment about how these kinds of relationships could even take place. Maybe not though, I guess they are on reality tv all the time.

But I digress. After our foray away and my Mom’s move I just reached the point where I knew a change was needed. Don’t misunderstand, my situation was neither caused nor exacerbated by either our trip, the timing, nor my Mom’s leaving. They were only pointers in time, the inevitable return to medication was evident by that point.

After our return home a visit to my doctor supported my diagnosis, he determined I was depressed and had a higher degree of anxiety than ‘normal’. A regime of anti-depressants were again prescribed. In consult with the doctor we decided to try the Citalopram as I felt the Mirtazapine did not hold up it’s end of the bargain and let me down after some time. This became more evident as I re-read my paper journal and saw a decline in my moods over time. Another reason I had chosen to stop the Mirts. The Citalopram would also apparently help with any anxiety.

At any rate here we are. After being on the Cital since Jan. 28th I feel better once again. Not so much something you may be able to see but more an even-ess and stability of mood. I have more motivation and am getting some things done. I do hope it continues. My sleep has improved and although I dream crazy dreams now it is more restful. A drawback to the Citalopram is a tiredness during mid morning but I may change when I take my dose to dinnertime and the drowsiness may abate.

So in that sense I hope the tagline “Here we go again” is a positive one and I don’t find myself regressing over time. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

p

Recalibation Required

Recalibation Required

I’m in a quandary, but then you that know me will say “so what else is new?” I believe a re-calibration is required, ‘How’ is the question, the  ‘why’ not so much.

I won’t belabor the point so I’ll cut to the chase.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about this blog lately, in fact I talked about it a little in a previous post called Moving Forward, and a number of others. I guess the bottom line, where the rubber hits the road, is that I no longer believe I am suffering from depression. Whether I’m kidding myself who’s to say. This is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Perhaps I am deluding myself, maybe this is somewhat symptomatic of the illness where one feels healed  and so takes on their previous life without medication only to find they are not as ‘well’ as they thought. I suspect a relapse may be a result, quick or otherwise.

Or, maybe, people such as myself think they are fine but their partner or those close to them indicate that the diagnosis is still valid, they are still exhibiting outward signs of the mental illness. I asked, this doesn’t seem to be the case with me.

In fact I asked me wife that very question this morning.

“Have you seen any changes in me lately, some indications that my moods or personality has changed?’

She pondered the question for a moment and then replied,

“No, I don’t thinks so. If I’ve seen any changes is you it’s been only since you’ve retired.”

Well, that supports my perception of the situation as well.

What brought that question up was a deep conversation I had with a friend a few nights ago. He, Dan, has been diagnosed with depression for more than 4 years, and has been on at least 2 different medications. After taking pills for the first year or so he determined he felt better, and as such he wanted to distance himself from the meds. To stop taking them seemed to be the logical solution. Whether he tapered off or went cold turkey I’m not sure, fact is he quit. (Interesting topic for a conversation isn’t it, not sports, not women, but depression meds. Such is my life)

Shortly after that his wife asked him specifically if he was still taking his meds. He was surprised, and answered No, he had stopped some time before. She replied that she thought so, there were changes in him that led her to think that.

Hmm, I thought, I wonder if similar changes have been seen in me? Thus the question to my wife, and in this case No, she hasn’t seen a noticeable change or regression in me.

Back to the topic at hand, is a re-calibration required? I was going to say ‘should I rethink my blog’ but that horse is already out of the barn. So what kind of changes, if any, should I undertake, or do I leave things well enough alone?

Should I even continue to blog, period? Should I continue to write but choose another topic(s), and alter the Theme, Name and/or tagline? How about starting a new blog, with a different frame of reference or mindset behind it?

Maybe a photography blog, perhaps just a blog where I can write and continue with thoughts that hold little interest to the general populace. You know, kinda like it is now LOL.

But enough of the self-important, self-indulgent prattle, I think a change is in order and it’s only a matter of  How, or what.

These are the questions I am struggling with. Is a re-calibration required, and assuming Yes, then in what direction?

I’d be pleased to hear any input from followers.

Be In the Moment

Be In the Moment

Be IN the moment, LIVE in the moment…

“Life is a journey, not a destination.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I don’t really know why this came to me, this idea or concept around how we should ‘live’ our lives. I have read a couple books on the topic and I think I’ve even wrote about it here, in Today, Live.

It is interesting (to me at least) that I wrote “Today, Live” almost 1 year ago to the day. Hmmmm, things that make you go Hmmmm.

smell the flowers, be in the moment, live in the moment
Stop and smell the flowers

Basically it means stopping and smelling the flowers. Taking note of everything that is happening to and around you, what you are doing at any given moment. Noticing and relishing in it.

If you are having coffee then smell the coffee. When you are eating your Eggs Benny then taste your breakfast. Don’t wolf it all down while you read the paper or watch the news. Live the moment, experience the occasion. If your are with someone then BE with them, not daydreaming about what you will do or say next.

Important stuff. Easy to say and hard to do, trust me. Too often during my journey through life, and my passage through depression, I have forgotten this basic credo. I strive not to forget again.

I won’t go into it much more than that, you are all pretty smart and can read between the lines. And again I don’t really know why I thought of it now.

Perhaps it’s because the sun is shining and it looks like it will be a glorious day today. Maybe it’s because I feel good and I want to remember the feeling, I want it to continue and be this way, until I don’t feel anymore.

I think that what I want right now is to be outside in the sun and fresh air, perhaps sitting on the deck or out in the front yard. It’s a tad cold for that at present but in a month or so it won’t be.

I also think about my parents and other loved ones like children and grandchildren, how time with them is SO important. I think of Aunts and Uncles, neices and nephews. Too easily we can get drawn away, into our own stuff, and we forget those special people to us. At some point those friends and loved ones won’t be there, the time to relish them is now.

In general I just want to appreciate my life, to know that I’ve had as much enjoyment as I could. I don’t want to end this life thinking “I should’ve”. I’m here now, I want to Be Here Now.

Enjoy your day!

Aside:Today is the Day, Was the Day, I’m Upside Down

Aside:Today is the Day, Was the Day, I’m Upside Down

I feel upside down sometimes, need change
I feel upside down sometimes, need change

Something weird happened to my post yesterday. Somehow another blogpost, a reblog from another blogger got attached to this post and it all got mucked up. Things got all upside down.

Here’s the original post….

Today, the other day really, is/was the day to re-connect with Gloria after an absence of, what, a year?

Gloria, is/was, my counselor. She helped me with a number of things, not the least of which was my depressive moods. That is perhaps a polite way of saying I was going through a depression.

I say ‘was’ because I think or hope, and pray, I am through it, at least the worst part of it. That being said my previous post would lead me to question that.

Bottom line is I was a little disappointed by the reunion. If you ever read this Gloria I’ll apologize in advance, it’s likely more my issue than yours and first off I probably shouldn’t be apologizing for my feelings anyway. Just seemed to be the polite thing to do.

My experience in our last session is likely clouded by my interpretation of interpersonal relations, those being of a somewhat coloured point of view which may or not be accurate. I need to temper my perceptions with the realities of life. Not everyone is intrigued with what I have to say, or have said, I had just hoped what I had said and done in past sessions would have been recalled with a little less effort and prompting on my part. Again, maybe I should apologize, this isn’t really the venue for critiquing after the fact, I was a full participant and could have spoken up to lay out my concerns at any time. I didn’t, my bad, ‘nuf said.

At any rate…….

My car is in the Honda hospital this afternoon and I thought I’d take the opportunity and alone time to have a beer while I waited (not at the garage) and do some blogging. Being that I go most places with some type of electronic device capable of posting that would be pretty easy, you’d think.

I arrived without incident at the pub, a short walk from the shop, and sat down to do my business. It just didn’t come, the words never arrived. And they never came with me, I was alone with my thoughts and without the ability to articulate them. No words, no post.

I did have my journal with me as well, and that’s something that doesn’t occur that frequently. This day it did. Perhaps paper writing would fit the bill.

A few words created with pen to paper must’ve started the creative juices flowing because I was able to put down some thoughts in my morning/afternoon pages but not the words I had trapped inside me. Many of those are still there, waiting to be broken free and see the light of day. But some did make it to paper and the inspiration to post as well came through.

So here I am, no epiphanies, but some thoughts nonetheless. As the previous post “What’s Wrong With Me?” impled, original post here, I am in a bit of a funk. Words are not free flowing, perhaps disjointed, but the words are here regardless.

Today was the day, it IS the day. I plan to enjoy it regardless.

Happy Valentine’s Day

Today is the Day, Was the Day, I’m Upside Down

Today is the Day, Was the Day, I’m Upside Down

I feel upside down sometimes, need change
I feel upside down sometimes, need change

Something weird happened to my post yesterday. Somehow another blogpost, a reblog from another blogger got attached to this post and it all got mucked up. Things got all upside down.

Here’s the original post….

Today, the other day really, is/was the day to re-connect with Gloria after an absence of, what, a year?

Gloria, is/was, my counselor. She helped me with a number of things, not the least of which was my depressive moods. That is perhaps a polite way of saying I was going through a depression.

I say ‘was’ because I think or hope, and pray, I am through it, at least the worst part of it. That being said my previous post would lead me to question that.

Bottom line is I was a little disappointed by the reunion. If you ever read this Gloria I’ll apologize in advance, it’s likely more my issue than yours and first off I probably shouldn’t be apologizing for my feelings anyway. Just seemed to be the polite thing to do.

My experience in our last session is likely clouded by my interpretation of interpersonal relations, those being of a somewhat coloured point of view which may or not be accurate. I need to temper my perceptions with the realities of life. Not everyone is intrigued with what I have to say, or have said, I had just hoped what I had said and done in past sessions would have been recalled with a little less effort and prompting on my part. Again, maybe I should apologize, this isn’t really the venue for critiquing after the fact, I was a full participant and could have spoken up to lay out my concerns at any time. I didn’t, my bad, ‘nuf said.

At any rate…….

My car is in the Honda hospital this afternoon and I thought I’d take the opportunity and alone time to have a beer while I waited (not at the garage) and do some blogging. Being that I go most places with some type of electronic device capable of posting that would be pretty easy, you’d think.

I arrived without incident at the pub, a short walk from the shop, and sat down to do my business. It just didn’t come, the words never arrived. And they never came with me, I was alone with my thoughts and without the ability to articulate them. No words, no post.

I did have my journal with me as well, and that’s something that doesn’t occur that frequently. This day it did. Perhaps paper writing would fit the bill.

A few words created with pen to paper must’ve started the creative juices flowing because I was able to put down some thoughts in my morning/afternoon pages but not the words I had trapped inside me. Many of those are still there, waiting to be broken free and see the light of day. But some did make it to paper and the inspiration to post as well came through.

So here I am, no epiphanies, but some thoughts nonetheless. As the previous post “What’s Wrong With Me?” impled, original post here, I am in a bit of a funk. Words are not free flowing, perhaps disjointed, but the words are here regardless.

Today was the day, it IS the day. I plan to enjoy it regardless.

Happy Valentine’s Day

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I Bumped Into Gloria, I Came Away Healed

I bumped into Gloria today. Well, I didn’t really ‘bump’ into her, but you know what I mean. I saw her, in Safeway.

At first sighting I didn’t recognize her. I was approaching the Starbucks counter to order my grande Americano, and chatting with my daughters friend, when I glanced toward the door and saw this lady that seemed somehow familiar. Now in hindsight I’m almost embarrassed to admit that but it has been about a year, or close to it, and in my defense I think she changed her hair colour, so that may have thrown me off. Funny I didn’t know her right off the bat because my previous relationship with her was a significant chapter in my life.

I started ‘seeing’ her maybe 2 or more years ago now. I am married but we met with my wife’s consent, she’s understanding that way.

Now, before you get the wrong idea I had best explain.

A few years ago I had finally reached the end of my long emotional rope, particularly at work. I felt depressed, unappreciated, and generally unhappy, so I went to my doctor to seek advice. Well, he interviewed me, gave me a questionnaire to fill out at home, then sent me packing to the hospital for a number of tests. Once I had completed the questionaire and the test results had come back to his office we had a second visit. There was nothing conclusive he said, nothing really abnormal or standing out that could cause me to feel that way. He had thought thyroid perhaps, or some vitamin deficiency, but I was normal, or healthy even. He recommended exercise, and perhaps avail myself of the ability to seek counselling, perhaps through my works EFAP (employee and family assistance) program. I did, and it was through that system I met Gloria. She became my counselor/therapist.

Healing
Healing

So to make a long story short we met for some time, and for the life of me I can’t remember exactly how long, but she has helped me in a number of ways. In almost every session I came away with something to think about, and some of them I’m still thinking about. I miss our sessions.

Bumping into her in Safeway I will take as a sign, as a signal that I need to re-connect.

I’m a big believer in fate, in the thought that things happen for a reason, that there are circumstances that are presented to us and if we see them, if we recognize them for what they are, they can lead us down the right road. They can guide us toward making the ‘right’ decisions, perhaps to choosing one avenue over another, and that one/correct way will lead us to the light (and no, I’ve not been smoking crack).

My sign today was seeing Gloria. She makes me remember from whence I came, my path, and the healing I’ve done. I’m close to the end of my journey and I feel so much better. I still have a ways to go but the healing has begun.

The Circle of Life

The Circle of Life

English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d...
English: Albert Einstein Français : Portrait d’Albert Einstein (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Life is a circle, I’ve been thinking, and if you always turn right eventually you’ll end up where you began. Another way to look at it is through the definition of insanity:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
– Albert Einstein

I’m hardly saying anything new here, perhaps just another perspective. In fact I think my perspective would be a good quote in itself.

Life is a circle, if you keep turning right eventually you will end up where you began.
– Dwayne

Perhaps I should publish some of these quotes, I might be onto something. But I digress …..

My point is I’ve been pondering those things in life that’ve become more obvious to me now, more timely or ……. something I’m more conscious or cognizant of, the passage of time and my relation to it. What I do or don’t do with it.

I’m recently retired, more time to think I suppose, and that means more time to myself and more naval gazing. Whether that’s good or not who’s to say. And it’s not like I never thought before. I would consider myself a frequent ‘thinker’, I often just can’t remember what I’ve thought about so I often re-think it. Lets hope I come up with the same conclusion.

I’ve been pondering whether I’m stuck in a rut again. My days don’t often change from one day to the next, and I’m not complaining. In fact I’m not minding it at all, that’s the point. I just wonder, is it ‘good for me’?

They say seniors (which I’m not sure applies to me) are in a higher incident rate of depression and lower life expectency if they are not social, and I am not social. I call myself ‘non-social’ as opposed to ‘anti-social’, where ‘non’ implies not being social and ‘anti’ leads me to think you are against being social. I am certainly not against a social life, I just don’t feel like taking part in one. That’s not to say I don’t think it’s important, but it’s like Brussels sprouts, you know they’re good but you may not want to eat them.

So I do what I do, most days, and can I really expect anything to change in my future? Can I anticipate any break, a diversion from this path of routine? Not if something doesn’t change, not unless I turn left along the route and travel a road less travelled. Only the will the circle be broken.

More thoughts on:

Navel Gazing

Stuck in a Rut

“Always Thought I’d Be Rich”

“Always Thought I’d Be Rich”

When I thought up this title and posted it, as I often do first when struggling for a topic, it dawned on me this could end up being another ‘woe is me’ diatribe about those things that are less than optimal in my life. I quickly determined though that self recrimination was not what I wanted, I yearned for positivity.  I want to be done with negative, I think it’s evil.

Maybe this is how evil works, destroying everything in its path.
– Dexter (or his writers)

I seem to be on a Dexter theme here lately but I’m finding that some of his quotes and perceptions (the writer’s) are echoing my thoughts.  Again, the fact he’s as disturbed as he is, and does what he does, goes against my grain, but his comments (in my mind) seem to be perceptive in some areas.  And I’ll apologize now if the quotes were stolen from other authors, they should be the ones to get the appropriate credit.  ‘Nuf said about Dexter.

I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions.  For the most part I think they are a waste of time, at least for the bulk of the population.  If you are a strong person with conviction and drive they may work for you, but for the rest of us I think they can be more a negative than a positive, particularly if we fail in achieving those goals we set out.  That’s why my only real goal, and one I try to follow always, is to just be honest.  Honest, and real.

This honesty applies not only to my actions but my thoughts.  I strive to enjoy my life fully, and once again become a positive person.  I say ‘once again’ because I believe that I have declined in that regard over the last number of years.  Whether that was due to work, personal issues, emotional problems (depression), or whatever, the result was I slid into an angered and negative space.

I am striving to change that.  In that process I must maintain my honesty in what I am, in what I think, and only by doing that can I escape.  I have to accept before I can change.

False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.
– Socrates

Bottom line I have to accept myself.  I don’t wish I was rich, I am rich.  Rich in health and the love around me.  Rich in the things that matter.

Acting, Not Being

Acting, Not Being

In my last post “Well Lit, Dark Place” I talked about being in a dark place, about being emotionally alone or socially disconnected.  Perhaps my comments and the title were a bit misleading as the intent of the comment was much more figurative than actual.  I’m not really in such as dark place as was interpreted, more a place that is dark in the sense that I wish I were not there, alone and feeling I’m without connection to others.

I refered to Dexter, the main character of television series about a disturbed man, his emotional pain being the result of witnessing his mother butchered (literally).  A quote from Wikipedia describes it like this:

 “Dexter believes that he has no emotions, and he has to work non-stop to appear normal and blend in with the other people around him”.

I must make it clear though, it’s only some of these similarities with Dexter I can relate to, I (in no possible way) feel like I need to go out and murder or hurt someone, including myself.  I just feel disconnected

I can play the part though, I can act happy when not, or put on a friendly face when I don’t feel it, and that is what concerns me.  People have no more of an idea of who I really am than I do.  I often feel numb, unable to connect with those near me, scared to reveal who I really am or what I truly feel. I’m in disguise. It’s like I have a secret identity, like a super hero, except I’m not ‘super’.

I sometimes lack true emotion yet at other times I have more emotion, more happiness or sadness than I can bear. Am I blocking the real, continous feeling to prevent myself from being hurt? Where does this come from? Why?  Where am I going?

Some time back I wrote a post about adapting, this is something my counselor Gloria informed me of.  Essentially adapting is putting on a front, or becoming like a chameleon and changing your stripes to fit the environment.  Adapting to the circumstances and putting on a front whether you truly feel it or not.  The trouble is that Adapting can be exhausting.  Perhaps this is partially why I often prefer being alone, no adapting required.

I’m think I’m hiding, hiding in plain site, unable to reach out.  That’s why I feel like I’m in the dark, but recognizing and accepting it provides illumination.