Tag: depression

Hat in Hand

Hat in Hand

Once again I come with hat in hand, writing with no idea what words will pour forth, I have an idea of what I want to say but not how to say it. I come begging that the thoughts will somehow magically appear on the page.

The last little while I’ve felt decidedly cranky, my skin don’t fit as it were. I’m often ‘crusty’ and I don’t really know why.

I’m concerned it may be some type of relapse or just a general deterioration in the meds ability to adjust my moods. I’m more than a little uneasy that perhaps my depression is rearing it’s ugly head again.

Prior to this I have felt good for quite some time and the latest decline in my mood is troubling. It’s not that I have thoughts of suicide or anything quite so dramatic, I just have a general malaise, my mood is depressed and I feel a titch unhappy and even a little sad at times.

Case in point, about a week ago or so I had to strongly discipline our 3 year old granddaughter Ivy. She was in ‘a mood’, perhaps like me, and was having some challenges listening. She was overtly disobedient and challenging our authority, she was at times very disrespectful and spitting at me and saying unkind things toward me. In the end I carried her into the other room and had to restrain her, her kicking and hitting out of her control.

She reacted very guardedly toward me after that. For days she would not come near me and looked at me with fear and distrust on her face. It saddened me immensely. I felt as if I’d lost her.

Happy ending to the story however is that on our last visit she has come around. She comes easily to me and treats me loving once again. I feel somewhat whole.

My point, I think, is that under normal circumstances this wouldn’t have bothered me so. This reaction, my sadness and dismay at her apparent withdrawal of love, is more typical of BM (before meds). I was much more sensitive to any emotional triggers and less able to cope in what I thought was a normal fashion. Perhaps even my reaction to her disobedience was not in tune with ‘normal’.

Bottom line is I don’t feel as well as I’d like to. I’m considering self medicating and upping the dose of my medication. I’m on a very small amount as is, only 5 mg, and I could easily double that. Is that the issue though?

Perhaps exercise (or lack of) is the key. The weather may be a factor as well because here in the Okanagan we are seeing many days with significant smoke in the skies. There are fires all around the province and temperatures are at all time highs. Certainly environmental factors must be considered.

In the end I will hold the course I think, I will monitor my feelings and endeavour to continue with self awareness. It might be nothing…..it might be something, but it is a ‘thing’.

Blog Withdrawal

Blog Withdrawal

I’ve been going through withdrawal lately (always thought it was spelled “withdrawl” until spell check corrected me). I’m not talking the chemical kind of withdraw’a’l, I’m referring to the emotional and intellectual kind. The blog withdrawal kind. I need a fix.

I try to write but my words seem perfunctory. I blather on, spitting words on the screen like a wet-mouthed close-talker. See, here I go again. I feel like I’ve lost my edge. I want it back, if I ever really had it.

I began this blog to talk about my experiences with depression, hence the sub-title “Then, til Now”. While I suspect one never beats depression, nor is ‘cured’ of it, I do think we adapt and it becomes part of who we are. Anyway I digress.

I was out for a walk today and passed through a tunnel on the way. I took a photo and it’s posted as the feature image above. It made me think my life is sort of like that, in a dramatic sort of way. Part of my life was in a tunnel. Over time I came to the exit and saw a future ahead. The meds help that. They assisted in my exit from the tunnel and perhaps they help me still. I guess I won’t know until, or when, I stop taking them.

I will admit one of the reasons I began writing here was to help vent out some the the thoughts I had, to ‘spill my guts’ as it were. A journal was suggested by my then counselor Gloria but given my geekiness I thought an online blog may be appropriate too. I wrote a bit about that in a previous post Ennui, Now there’s a word.

One of my followers on this blog was a lady named Mary. She had created a number of blogs herself, and had lived an amazing life, one filled with blessing and much pain. I miss Mary. I never knew her in the sense one might be acquainted but we chatted via email a few times and she expressed some of the challenges she had experienced in her life. I won’t cover it here but needless to say she lost her husband, the love of her life, and 2 of her sons, both boys to suicide. I think of Mary and wonder what became of her. I’ve found a number of her blogs but few of them have anything current. She frequently used the name “oldsunbird’ in her blogs, My PoetryMy Journey Through Old AgeOldSunBird are a few I’ve found. I’d dearly like to know what’s become of Mary.

Well I think it’s time for me to go. I’ve rambled enough and responsibilities command. In reality it’s taken me 2 days to write this post and even now I’m not sure it’s completely satisfactory (to me). Mind you I don’t know that they ever have. That my be another symptom of my withdrawal.

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Back in the saddle, so to Speak..

Well, I am back in, got my 2 factor figured out. Actually the WordPress people were very accommodating so I can’t say anything against my experience there. I am of course referring to the site at skidaddy.wordpress.com.

For now though I am going to post here, more from a ‘shits’n giggles’ point of view than anything else. It was sorta what I’d envisioned all along anyway.

So to the point. My life is proceeding along nicely. I feel no worse for wear, my depression is manageable and other than a recent cold/flu I feel physically well. I did however just have a colonoscopy and while the procedure went well they did find an unacceptable number of polyps. Some were removed at the time but one large one will require surgery to remove. All removed samples are being examined for signs of the big ‘C’.

Interestingly enough I feel rather disconnected from the experience, and the outcome. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism, maybe just another example of a disconnect from my feelings. I don’t know why that is, if I could talk to Elly, or someone, about it then some conclusion might be reached. I don’t recall ever going down that road with her. Elly was my most recent Counsellor (or Counselor, depending on country).

I very much miss my chats with her. She brought a certain amount of clarity to things in my life. I often suspected however that while I may have been an interesting diversion, or client for her, that my needs were not what she considered her most life altering. I’m perfectly ok with that, if it’s true. She was still important to me. I will contact her to update my life.

Otherwise my life here is pretty mundane. I’m not an excitement junky, hanging around the house doing genealogy, some photography, perhaps the odd ‘honey-do’ project, keeps me busy. I’m seldom bored. If I feel the need I take a walk, like today, and maybe frequent one of the local establishments. You never know I might even write.

 

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.

Time Flies, But to Where?

Time Flies, But to Where?

Boy does time fly. Is that a result of too many demands or not enough emphasis put to using the available time wisely? It appears I’ve not succeeded in determining that fundamental question.

While it may sound like another rant is imminent I plan for that to not be the case. Unfortunately frustration sometimes gets the better of me, and travelling, camping, keeping 2 blogs going, developing a website, and doing genealogical research during the summer vacation period, has shown to be a challenge. And this doesn’t include any yard or housework. Ok, so it is a bit of a rant…..

However things are winding down now and I’m optimistic we will again see some semblance of order and a return to some routines, of which posting will again become one.

The last month(s) or so I’ve also not been feeling as chipper as I was prior to that, my fear is a return to the dreaded ‘depression’. I’m giving it that name although I’m still not convinced that’s what it is. I’ve been off my depression meds now for a while so there may be a connection there.

It could just be that I’m an emotionally intense person, suffering from highs that are a bit higher and lows a bit lower than the average bear. If you want to read more on emotional intensity go here. Connected with that are other Borderline Personality Disorders (BPD), not sure I want to go there though.

And there’s the possibility it could also just be I’m a cranky SOB, or some other maladjusted personality quality. And before we go too far I do believe it’s a medical/psychological issue, not a spiritual one, so while I appreciate everyone’s concern let’s just leave it at that.

Whatever the cause it wreaks havoc on my moods and while (for the most part) I’m able to keep my bitchiness to myself it does leak out occasionally and generally toward someone close to me. Read that primarily as ‘wife’.

Bless her heart she says she doesn’t see it but I think she’s just being nice. It’s great to have loving family isn’t it?

On a positive note though I’m visiting my daughter and family, again….. . It almost seems like a second home sometimes.

20130912-093724.jpg

I’m not doing much daycare of my grandson this time but rather have come to Kelowna to see more distant family that I haven’t seen for a while, if ever. I may have been a baby or toddler on our last visit and I don’t remember. They may remember, and that’s one of the things I hope to find out.

I’ve become acquainted (or reacquainted) with a number of my kin, such as Great Aunts, 2nd or 3rd cousins twice removed (whatever that means) and others that while not directly related were at one time part of my families lives. The genealogy bug has bitten and that is also one of those time flyers that’s attached to the web page and other blogs. Genealogy research soaks up tons of time let me tell you, or it can if you let it. In my case it’s feast or famine it seems, hard at it or not at all.

So as I said, “Time Flies”. If you ever figure out where it goes please let me know.

Then…til Now

Then…til Now

“Then…til Now”, replaced “Depression – Where Am I From? …. Where Am I Going?” as the current tagline for the blog. In addition you may have noticed a change in theme from ‘Parament’ to ‘Misty Lake’.

I’m not clear at this point whether there’s any benefit to these blog changes or not but I felt that some change was in order, almost like a new beginning (to the blog). From a timing perspective it ties into me being ‘med free’, so from this point I won’t be on any medication for depression.

That in itself is a bit of a milestone for me and time will tell if it was the correct decision or not, however I do feel better and I want to move on, on to a more normal life (whatever normal is). My early retirement last year has freed me from the stress and the anxiousness of a job I neither enjoyed nor felt particularly attuned to. The industry, and my company, is going through a time of change and those changes were something I had little interest in accommodating, certainly not after already putting in 38 years and beating my head against the wall for the last 5.

As I’ve indicated in previous posts I believe my depression was more a reactive depression, or situational depression, than the psychological depression I first thought it was. Those circumstances are now behind me (at least for now) so I want to look ahead, not back. ‘Nuf said.

So my forthcoming posts here will hopefully be of a more positive note, and much like the photo below I will be displaying buds of new growth. I’d like you to stick around to see.

willow buds, new growth
Willow buds
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.