Tag: Depressed

Some thoughts…

Some thoughts…

As if it hasn’t been said enough “Time flies while you’re having fun”, or something like that. And time has flown.

I believe it’s a function of aging, that time flies. I read somewhere that the perception of time passing faster as we age is due to the lack of originality in our lives. And by originality I mean that there are seldom any new experiences in our lives as time goes on. As a rule we continue to do the same things month over month and year after year and so our perception of time flattens, it compresses and it becomes more difficult to differentiate one year over another. Time becomes all the same and in doing so it ‘flies’.

So, this theory being correct it would only stand to reason that one way to slow time down would be to do different things, to have new experiences, to make each week, month, and year different. Not a new theory but important nonetheless.

Now I don’t profess to have all the answers but it’s clear I have opinions, lots of them. Perhaps too many.

Life has been generally good to me over the last number of months. Being that it’s so long since I’ve updated this site I may repeat myself in what I say here so I will apologize in advance.

My health, both emotional and physical, has been good. Aside from the usual colds and one episode with the flu I am doing well. I have gone back on the meds with my Doctor’s blessing and only at a half dose (10 mg Citalopram). I feel much better. Prior to that (about Dec.) I was once again back-sliding and feeling depressed. I had little motivation, was easily angered and frustrated, my emotions were all over the place and I just plain felt emotionally shitty.

I’ve tried to explain it away saying it was the weather or some other such excuse but the facts and history just don’t support that. I just have to accept it and resolve myself to the possibility that I may have to use meds to support my habit, that of feeling well.

The positive in the whole thing is that after my Doctor’s visit he suggested I start off with a lower dosage than before. This was a newer Doctor mind you, an international Doctor in training in my clinic, but he was/is very interested in my health and his suggestion had merit. As such I gave it a shot and haven’t really looked back.

This was done in concert with a new counselor as well. I began seeing her just before my first appointment with the Doctor and as time has gone on I’ve appreciated her more and more.

Her name is Elly. I decided to try her instead of going back for a 3rd time with Gloria. Elly is going for her Masters in Counselling and is doing her practicum in that clinic. So far I like her a lot, she is open and approachable, has fresh ideas and a perception that is refreshing.

She is a proponent of Art Therapy and has offered me the option of trying it. Art therapy sounded/sounds strange and while I am generally resistant to change I thought I owed it to myself to try something different. It was different for sure and some aspects of it were not comfortable for me. As an example she asked me to draw something, anything, on a paper covered table. All manner of pencils, felt pens, crayons, and paint were available to me, in all colours, so the options of media were essentially unlimited. It was all up to me as to what I chose to draw, and how to draw it. Once complete she asked how I ‘felt’ about the drawing, both in topic and substance.

The next session she again asked me if I wished to draw and this time she suggested I draw a Mandala. She gave me a 10″ circle of paper to draw on and again I could choose any media. In this context I must clarify that what she was asking me to draw was not a Mandala by it’s true definition. There was no religious significance to the drawing, more what she was asking was for me to draw a free form design on the circle of paper. Again, once the drawing was complete we chatted about the how and why of the sketch, and how I felt.

Part II

Because I seem to be long winded, and due to the fact my welcome wore out at Bagel’s and Brew (not really) I’ve had to complete this post the next day. I started writing Monday morning and here we are Tuesday, same coffee shop but different table, completing the saga.

At any rate my drawing experience was/is very interesting with it reinforcing some things I probably already knew about myself. In my first sketches, particularly the Mandala format I strived to be organized, symmetrical, accurate and somewhat precise. When I created a new drawing being more carefree, unorganized, non-symmetrical, in a word MESSY, I felt more free, more relaxed. In short it felt good.

That feeling was one that I was, and am, trying to replicate. I asked Elly if perhaps that was a state that I could develop through writing or photography. If I could bring my artistic and feeling side (less structured and rigid) more to the forefront by focussing on my artistic side, more right brained activities. She wasn’t sure but suggested I try by using my photography in an ‘out of the box’ fashion, taking photos in ways and of things that I normally might not. In fact she suggested this just before we went to Hawaii. I’ve tried and would have to say it’s not as easy to accomplish as I thought it might.

Some of the appropriate photos, and any drawings I completed while there were brought to my next session where we discussed my goal and any progress I made. Again, this was more difficult than I first thought.

So to be blunt one of the purposes of going to counselling was to get the stick out of my ass. This wasn’t necessarily the original reason, nor the only reason, but in talking with here I’ve come to realize that it was one of my personality traits that I desired to change. In effect I want to loosen up and have more fun, be more relaxed about things on a day to day basis.

This has been a long and likely boring post however it has also been done as an effort to begin writing again. I have been journalling fairly consistently but that method has become repetitive it was time to mix it up. Elly has suggested if I do journal that rather than the wordiness of it that I should use only descriptor words about how I feel at the time, no structured sentences. I would still like to sketch and may incorporate that as well.

So, ‘nuf said, Too much perhaps. See you on the flip side.

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

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.

On the Road Again…., Again

On the Road Again…., Again

I’m leaving on the next train…. Wait, that’s a song title, not my next step. Of course “On the Road Again” is also a song but that more closely reflects what’s about to happen today. It’s also the title of a previous post but that has no real bearing here. That was camping, this is a road trip, by car.

I’ve been away from home for a week now. Really 8 days but who’s counting?  This whole adventure is partly a life experiment and partly an opportunity to reconnect with friends and family I haven’t seen for a while. In my Aunts and Uncles case it could be 20+ years.  I don’t really recall the last time I saw some of them.

The life experiment part is a little harder to explain.  Sometimes it can be a challenge for me to pass information on concisely so I question whether I should try to do so here, but what the heck nothing ventured nothing gained.

It all started back in the summer of ’72…… Well, that may be a bit too far back but it was when I met my wife and she has a bearing on this story.  Fast forward to a more reasonable time period, say earlier this spring (2012) to my retirement and just subsequent to it.

I adapted to the idea of being at home (I think) but there was, and still is, some adjustment required when it comes to my wife and I occupying the same space in the early morning, before she leaves for work.  This hasn’t presented any arguments or ill will but it has stimulated discussion, and that’s a good thing.  Better to talk than yell I think.  Everything they say is true, when one spouse retires it certainly provides challenges for the other, actually both if you think about it.

So to make a long story less long we discussed the option of me taking a bit of a road trip at this time, a time when she is just beginning her school year as a Child car worker and things are already stressful.  There are little side stories to her responsibilities which complicate things further and add to this stressful time but needless to say after talking it out we both liked the idea of me heading out for a while and her having some “alone time” so she can re-adjust to the idea of being back at work.  It was also a good fit for me, because while we were able to travel a lot this past summer there were still places I wanted to go and people I wanted to meet.  The idea of a road trip was a win-win.

To begin this adventure. we both went to Kelowna a week ago last Friday to see our daughter and family.  It was a nice treat because they were going to a wedding out of town and we would be taking over sole responsibility of Madden’s care (new grandson) while they were away.  Our first over-nighter, there first night away from the baby.  We handled the challenge admirably and while my wife wanted to stay a bit longer after the babysitting tour she had to get back home.  I took her to the bus on Sunday afternoon.  She was back to the grind Monday.

I stayed in Kelowna until Tuesday when I left to go to my brothers in the Vancouver area.  We had a really nice visit and I left there Thursday, hopped on the ferry and stopped at our friends house in Saanich to commiserate with them.

20120922-121048.jpgThe rest is history as they say.  I left there this morning and now here I sit, having some lunch and a beer, taking care of some business and leaving shortly to visit a friend for a day or so.  From there I’ll try to connect with my Aunts and Uncles and then perhaps go to the Sunshine Coast for a brief alone time before heading out again.

I’ll endeavour to provide an update, goodness knows my record isn’t the best for posting lately but I’ll see if I can pick up my socks.  Bear with me please.

On a more personal note perhaps I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, emotionally.  I don’t feel depressed, or at least most of the times I don’t.  I still struggle with understanding if the issue is really depression or just pronounced mood swings.  Maybe I’ll get smarter as I age.  Time will tell.

Perhaps this road trip will also be an opportunity for me to learn more about myself.  I often hear people say “I know so much more about myself now”, or “I want to learn who I am”.  Although I aspire to acquire this knowledge to date it’s escaped me.  I really don’t know what more I can learn.  I think I’m an open book but perhaps I’ve not read every chapter.  I hope the road can tell me.

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.2

In my previous post I was giving a bit of an update on how I see things have gone for me lately, how I’m feeling better and generally less angry and frustrated.  I think I’m coming out of this tunnel called Depression. I believe I can see a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not an oncoming train (I hope).

I discussed some of my symptoms, the treatments and path I took to deal with it, the meds and my visits with a counselor.  I left off with the discussion about if the death of my sons had any role in my depression.

More to the saga – read here

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

Depression. Mine is……well, Depressed – pt.1

I’ve been feeling pretty good lately, not at all angry and as unhappy as I was before.  My depression, if that what it is, seems to have diminished or become depressed itself.  I was never 100% sure it was depression but as I understand there is a broad spectrum of symptoms and I had a number of them.  In some ways it’s hard to remember really what it was like during the bad times but I think some mental health issues are like that, in that when you start feeling good you forget a bit about what feeling bad was like.  I have a sense I didn’t like it much.  Being as I’m in a good space now I thought I could update things a bit.  Have a seat with me and let’s roll.

Intrigued? Read more

I dunno, Beer might help

I dunno, Beer might help

Here I sit again, biding my time in the bar. I’m starting to feel like a regular in these parts. I often wonder if I have I have a problem but I suspect if I have enough inquisitiveness about it then likely I don’t. And that being said I’m really not that worried.

My days have been going pretty well lately with my moods improving and that general sense of malaise diminishing. I really did think there at one one point, and still question, whether there is such an occurrence as getting a bad batch of meds. Somehow I doubt it, and I understand that an occasional regression is normal, but I felt truly shitty there for a while. Not physically but emotionally, and the depressed feeling was, well, depressing. A disturbing state of affairs.

I feel better now, and some days are better than others.  Retirement is around the corner and depending on circumstances I could leave by the end of April.  Boy, that’s coming fast.  With that move come a whole host of other emotions, many I’ve yet to catalogue and most I’d prefer not to have.  I’m scared, terrified in some respects, and I’ve gotten this (sometimes) overwhelming sense of dread, like I’m about to die.  Scares the shit outta me at times and fills me with trepidation.  On the other hand I have a sense of relief, a feeling of freedom about to be borne, a new chapter in my life.  I’m anxious for it to begin, nervous for it to start.  Plain and simple I’m all mixed up.  I just don’t know.

To Rant, or Not to Rant, That is the Question

To Rant, or Not to Rant, That is the Question

I’ve been feeling kinda emotionally crappy last couple days, makes me wonder if the change in meds is working for me.  At the same time I think it may be just me, who I am, and maybe I just sweat the small stuff too much and I just need to buck up and quit whining.  I can’t believe that this would be “normal” though as I was feeling pretty good before, all upbeat and stuff.  I do know I over-analyse things though, of that I’m sure, and there is an off chance that is the case here.

It started last night.  I went out for dinner with a group from work, one of them is leaving and this was a good-bye dinner, a last meal as it were.  I felt pretty good, had a couple drinks, and was enjoying a chat with one of the girls from HR about various philosophies in hiring practices.  After some time, and once dinner was over, she left to join another group.  No harm, no foul.  Being a work group of course the topic of work came up, and I was asked a question relating to a meeting we had earlier that day.  Being the diplomatic and ever accommodating soul that I am I responded.  But being the passionate person I am I’m afraid I put too much “heart” into the answer and started the emotional ball rolling.

Now for me work is something I am having challenges with at the best of times, not the work per se but the management leading such work and the way plans and objectives play out.  In short I’m horribly frustrated by my environment and I feel emotionally hurt, saddened and somewhat ostracized.  So of course my reactions always tend to have a negative spin, or at least they sound that way to me.  And if they sound that way to me I’m sure they do to others as well, and that likely influences their reaction to me and compounds whatever perceptions of me they may already have….

It isn’t really something I think I can to talk to anyone about either, certainly not from work, as I just begin to rant and that is counterproductive.  I have discussed it with my wife, and counselor, but at least part of my rant will have to be done here.

So the bottom line is that I think work is a negative for me, it’s apparent there is little positive that comes from it other than a cheque and some positive interpersonal relationships.  Both are very good, but the other negative components seem to outweigh that good.  Plain and simple it feels like it’s a counterproductive thing for me, but I’m scared of making a move.  Retirement is the likeliest choice, but what a big step.  Sounds like another fork in the road.