Tag: Meds

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’.

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.

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.

Oh, My lil’Buddy

Oh, My lil’Buddy

Oh my lil’Buddy, how my heart aches, for you! You are struggling and we are struggling with you.

Our pain is for my grandson, Madden. He was recently diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed medication for it. I know nothing about the various drug therapies but of course we all hoped this would be put him well on the way to having a somewhat ‘normal’ life, without the angst and stresses associated with the disease. He showed signs of calmness almost immediately and steadily improved to the point where he was ready for the next step, an increase in his meds. That’s where the train came off the tracks.

While he took his meds easily and without question when it was 1 pill it quickly became a problem when there was 2. The issue wasn’t the swallowing it seemed but more that he just decided he wasn’t going to do it anymore. So, it stopped.

Now most people ask “well, how does he get to decide?”, and they are correct, In a way. When you have a child with a strong will though, as he certainly does, you don’t just easily tell him what to do. If he decides he doesn’t want to take the pill(s) there is little you can do. You can’t really force it down his throat, you can’t hold him and put it in his mouth. You can try to mix with food or drink etc. but due to the slow release nature of this medication you can’t crush or otherwise change the form of the pill. In essence you are stuck. And striking or spanking is not a solution.

This has of course caused, or contributed to, a significant deterioration of his behaviour. Where he was much calmer before and relating to other kids he has now become somewhat aggressive and is frequently bouncing off the walls. His relationship to his parents, to me, and even to his Gram is strained, and his Gram has always been someone who has always been in his court unwaveringly. She now struggles against (what seems to her) to be the giving up of all those around Madden. While we haven’t given up we all have our limits, and mine in particular has been breached.

It has gotten to the point where even at daycare he is becoming unwelcome. Sally, the daycare provider, has also been one of his staunch supporters and even she is reaching her limits. The other day he was given a time-out due to his actions, so he sat there alone while other kids were being taken home. If I had to guess I’d say it was not only embarrassing but perhaps even humiliating, but then I know nothing of a 5 year old’s psyche.

Oh, my lil’buddy! My heart aches.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

I’ve Left But Not Moved

I’ve Left But Not Moved

Our move is underway, at least the portion of it involving packing. We have a tentative sale on our home and the only real impediment is waiting for the buyers to sell their house in Port Coquitlam. As I understand it that should not be a problem, many homes there are selling for over asking.

Perhaps I should clarify. After my last post my wife came home from work saying that one of her co-workers had expressed significant interest in our house. This girl’s boyfriend’s parents were in fact looking for a house like ours, a newer executive type home in the neighbourhood we are in. She and her future sister-in-law came to see the house that night. The girl called her folks and they were very intrigued. To make a long story short the parents flew in, yes flew, the next day and came to see the house. They really liked it, and emphasis on really. An offer was made and we accepted. Now the waiting, and packing, begins.

So far the stress has been well within limits and whether that is due to fact we haven’t gotten so far into the deal or that my time in Counselling and group sessions is paying off. Only time will show which is correct. I’m sure the meds have an additional benefit as well.

The whole process of moving from the initial decision to do so up to and including the actual move is interesting to me. The dynamics of the individuals involved and the whole process is becoming somewhat of a study for me, and perhaps that is partially why I’m not as stressed. Maybe it helps to take my mind off the fact that it actually us that are involved. Stay tuned.

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.

And We’re Off

And We’re Off

Posted on

And, here we go again, again an endless series of mundane thoughts and senseless drivel. It ain’t so bad though, it’s my thoughts and my drivel. You have the choice to take it or leave it.

Of course I’d always prefer you take it, that’s the point isn’t it?

Life has been, well, shall we say continuous. That too is a good thing. I’ve been in and out of town and actually accomplishing things on the home front. My new meds Citalopram seem to have taken hold and turned my ambition level around. That in itself is a good thing, a really good thing if it holds.

We just got back from visiting our daughter who just gave birth to a baby girl, Ivy, only 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I spent the week prior and the week after the birth at their place helping wherever possible. My wife, much to her dismay, had to come home to work. Sucks to be her. I do feel for her though, that was me prior to retirement.

She is cute too, Ivy I mean. Of course my wife also cute, that goes without saying. We miss her already and have only been away a day. I have pictures to remind me though, lots of pictures. And photos of Madden too. He’s also in my thoughts. I love them all, what can I say. I’m a sucker for grandkids.

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

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