Sunday, October 30, 2016

I Did Good And I'll Do Even Better

I'm trying to focus on the positive right now but fearful, tense feelings throughout my body and anxious thoughts flashing through my mind are making that a challenge. I know that I did a good job today but a large part of me still feels bad about feeling bad.

What did I do today? This morning I went to the gym with Baby Bananaface and gave the hubster some time home alone. Then this afternoon I helped the hubster with a paper he's working on for school. After BB didn't sleep too well for his nap I took him for a drive so he could nap some more and the hubster could get more time to work on his paper. I even went to Target with BB without the hubster-two solo childcare excursions in one day! This is big doin's for me. It's a show of progress. It's an accomplishment.

That said, I still feel down about myself. I feel bad that I am not even better. I feel bad that these things are still a challenge for me and that I had to navigate anxiety and near-panic attacks throughout. I wish that it were easier. I wish that I was even more help to the hubster. I feel like he's carrying the family all on his own too often and at the same time I don't feel quite up to being an equal partner again yet. It's so confusing and sad to have these conflicting emotions as well as the fear and anxiety.

I recognize that I've come a long way and even though it's difficult to recall exactly how things were I know that things have been far worse for me than they are now. I'm contributing a lot more to our family by managing the laundry and dishes and cooking some meals. I'm taking better care of myself and am able to cope through many of my symptoms without medication or emergency services. I've even managed to taper off of ECT and that's no small feat.

I've come a long way and I've done good. There's still progress to be made and I can do even better and that can come with time. Over and over I tell myself that I can do this and that I am strong and that it's okay to feel bad sometimes, that I'm good enough exactly how I am. I so want to believe this deep in my bones someday instead of the fragile, confusing feelings I experience reciting these words now. Time will tell.

As we prepare to embark on another new week I feel scared of what symptoms I will experience and I feel pressure to perform as someone that is "getting better" would. As much progress as I've made and even with my tiny nugget of pride I still feel fragile and fearful each day. Part of me hopes that this will change gradually over time and before I know it I will feel strong and confident instead but there is also the weary part of me that wants to cry and collapse and give up. So many feelings, so many directions.

I'm still confused. I'm still trying. I'm still giving myself a gold sticker for today even with my doubts and nasty feelings! Baby steps got me here and baby steps will take me even farther to where I want to be, I just have to keep working at it and keep going even when these fears shadow my path.

I hope everyone had a good weekend and made their own victories-big and small! Gold stickers all around, I say :o)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Don't Fear The Progress

I now have "Don't Fear The Reaper" stuck in my head. D'oh!

Anyways-the progress I'm referring to in the title is my TMS taper. Yesterday was my last appointment for an entire month (assuming things go well). I'm a little nervous about going without some sort of treatment (TMS or ECT) and having such an open schedule but I also recognize that I've made a lot of progress and that I'm probably stronger than I think. And even though I'm not doing TMS or ECT all the time anymore I'm still working with medications and DBT skills/therapy-so I'm not totally out in the cold by any means!

The taper from 5x/week to 3x/week to 2x/week to 1x/week went pretty well-better than I expected for sure. I definitely need to find things to pop into my schedule and keep myself busy but I have gym classes and I also know that I'll be signing up for an online course through the community college soon and I'm looking forward to that.

I'm nervous and a bit frightened but I can also see that I'm making progress and that taking yet another step in the right direction is a good thing. It's okay to be afraid sometimes and I'm still building up my confidence.

So that's the news. Still staying the course, still plugging along.

OH! I can't remember if I mentioned or not that I managed to bring up the issues I was having with my therapist and we were able to talk through some things. I now feel much more comfortable piping up about how I'm feeling and as of right now I think things are going to be all right. I still reserve the right to change therapists if I need to at some point in the future but as it is I think we were able to reach a better place. She was very helpful last week during our session when I was having a very down day and I was very grateful for that....

Anyways. I haven't been feeling 100% physically, little sore throat and coughing, so I'm going to brew some hot beverage and cuddle up for some TV time (another mini-challenge for myself trying to relax into watching some TV without my brain going haywire).

Happy Friday to everyone!


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Words for Wednesday

It's "Words for Wednesday" and I'm going to give another go :o) 

I got the prompts from Elephant's Child due to unfortunate circumstances as another blogger that was going to provide prompts had a stroke and can't participate. Please send healing thoughts to Jacqueline AKA The Cranky. Hopefully she will return some day.

I was able to use all but one of the prompt words in my writing this week. It's a personal, non-fiction blurb. I suppose a "musing" is a good way to put it? Not sure what to call it, but I wrote something and that's all that matters!


This week's prompts are:

noble
shine
expressive
charm
odd
biggest

And/or

passion
actuality
top
jar
elevator
angel

---
I ended up with a BA in English Literature after embracing the concept of living a life of passion. I was in college, working part-time at a bank, doing a lot of yoga, and my biggest problem was a sideways romance. With the help of armloads of self-help books and an overly optimistic therapist I found myself enveloped by a sense of faith in the world that may have been a little less than functional. 

In actuality, I wouldn't be a top-selling author by the time I was 25 and my life would include a helluva lot of stairs as opposed to a smooth elevator ride to health and happiness. I hope in time that distance will bring a charming perspective to these challenging times and I can look back at my life like a noble Johnny Cash classic instead of CNN coverage of a humanitarian disaster.

It's a bit odd being on the edge of in the thick of it. No longer a crisis but definitely not recovered. There are days when just making it through takes everything in me and then there are days when I feel my shine returning. Those days I can sense the hope and faith that used to carry me through my days before it was nearly battered to extinction by this postpartum depression.

I've been working at getting better for over a year. Like putting pennies in a jar, my baby steps seem to be adding up to something. People that haven't seen me for a while remark at how good I'm looking and I'm thinking ahead and making plans instead of barely being able to make it through each minute. The progress has been slow and hard to notice, like watching grass grow, yet I'm at a point now where I've clearly made some positive change.  

I've made positive change. It's a fact yet I struggle to believe this, embrace it, and lean on it. After so long going from one crisis to another I've arrived at a place where I can't trust the peace. It's no longer simply peace, it's the calm before a storm and I find myself paralyzed with the fear of my own mind. 

As demoralizing as this is, there is a small part of me that recognizes this as a trace of trauma, a temporary state of mind that I can overcome with more baby steps. When I can stay on top of the fear that perspective helps, when I can't I find myself floundering in that terrifying familiar darkness that has dominated so much of my past year.

While I'm still the creative, expressive wannabe-writer that I was years ago, I am more skeptical and less self-assured. Maybe that will change with time again as it has so far? Right now, instead of dreaming about book tours I dream of days where I feel at ease and am able to relax and enjoy my family. I dream of days where I can make it through without a panic attack or anxiety making me sick to my stomach. I dream of nights where I can cuddle with my husband without anxious thoughts hijacking my brain. 

It doesn't seem like much to ask for but at the same time seems like a lofty, magnificent goal. I know it's the negative, dysfunctional part of my brain when I wish for health and have visions of Indiana Jones snatching the golden idol and being chased by giant boulders enter my mind. My shaken confidence makes it seem that even when I think I'm home free I will be attacked somehow.  

But that is temporary. Like so many other awful symptoms that I've dealt with. I might not have the faith I did when I was younger, but I have enough to hold tight to my belief in baby steps!
---

As for a personal update, my Monday was pretty damn rough. The dark, suicidal thoughts were really sticky and things got pretty distressful rather quickly. Tuesday went a lot better for me although I felt some wobble and fears related to the day before that definitely raised my stress level. 

It's so disorienting having my life shift so abruptly and then feeling somewhat stable so soon afterward-I'm never quite sure how to relax and trust my mood because it's so unstable lately. Hopefully that changes and I get a more calm, stable status quo that I can trust. Baby steps.

Happy Wednesday to all, hope you are well :o)


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Anniversary / Here come the holidays!

The hubster and I celebrated 4 years of marriage this week. I managed to surprise him by hiding a small bouquet of flowers from him overnight (under the bathroom sink, clever, I know) and awaking early to set them out by his lappy with a card. He was quite surprised and pleased although a little chagrined that he didn't have my card ready for me to reciprocate at that moment. He made up for it quite handily with an amazing card and note as well as flowers.

For special plans we decided a family dinner out was the pace for this year and ended up going to a fancy-ish Chinese place at the mall. I'm blanking on the name but we definitely enjoyed ourselves and because it's a big chain they were totally down with having a toddler flinging low mein around and there were highchairs to spare!



Our anniversary brought up feelings, not just of love and gratitude but sadness and awe at what our last year has involved. It's been a tough haul. This time last year I was between hospitalizations and while I definitely don't feel 100% now I can say that I'm feeling a bit more functional than I did then.

It's hard to think of what we've been through. It brings up such intense feelings. Sadness. Guilt. Anger. I suppose a better way would be to think of it as all that we've overcome and how well we're doing compared to then and how much things can keep improving instead of dwelling on the negative, but that's just how I'm wired for now. I'm trying, it's just a hard mental habit to break!


Anyways.


Our anniversary is always at the beginning of the giant wave of holiday festiveness. While we're not Halloween people, it is the gateway of sorts to the holiday season and it marks the beginning of the "holiday season" when we see the candy and decorations at the local stores. We are definitely looking forward to Thanksgiving and the Christmas festivities even though we're not spooky types ;o)

Costco already has the coupons out for holiday cards and it got me thinking about how much I enjoy sending mail out even though we don't get much personal mail back (ads and coupons and stuff, yeah, personal letters or cards not so much).

If there is anyone out there in the blogosphere that also appreciates good ole snail mail and is interested in receiving one of our holiday cards please send me a message so I can add you to the mailing list! I hear from some of y'all more frequently than I do my own family so I wouldn't mind sending out some more cards if there are those who would appreciate it :o) If ya wanna just keep things on the blogging level I can appreciate that too, no worries.


As for the overall, we are plugging along. Dips and wavers and little victories included. I've been able to actually relax and watch some TV this week which may sound trivial but feels like a big accomplishment since I have such a difficult time relaxing and focusing lately-but I can do it!

Baby steps forward and baby steps back but baby steps adding up to onward and upward and that's what counts.


Happy weekends to all <3


Thursday, October 20, 2016

Write... Edit... Publish: October Challenge

I'm stepping out of my comfort zone a little and participating in a "Write... Edit... Publish" challenge this month!

The themes are "Constellations" and/or "Halloween." I'm not into the scary stuff or Halloween in general, but I was pretty quickly inspired by "Constellations" to write the following scene.

While it's fictional, I draw heavily from my personal life and as I'm still recovering and building up confidence I'm not quite up to intensive review just yet. Thoughts and comments are welcome, but please nothing severe or too intensive (enter anxiety disorder here).

I hope y'all enjoy :o)


-------------

The firewood snapped loudly and sent incandescent sparks toward the stars. A faint glow of solar powered light at the trench toilet near the entrance of the campground was the only other light and the bright glow of stars in the dark desert sky was a strange sight for the two campers from the city. Reclining on a ratty picnic blanket beside the fire, they snuggled close and took in the sky.


“Remember how afraid you were the last time we camped here?” Brad reflected, sighing with pleasure at the very obvious difference in his wife’s state of mind for this stay.


“You mean when I stayed up all night having to pee but being too afraid to sleep or leave the tent? Pretty different from lying here, relaxing under the stars with you!” Sarah responded with a touch of fire as old memories churned. “So different… I still have a hard time believing we’ve come that far.”


“It’s been a long way but you’re in a much better place now. I know, I can vouch for nearly every step of it!” He groaned in emphasis and wrapped his arm tighter around Sarah.


The past two years had been a lifestorm neither saw coming. Some of the best moments of their lives and definitely some of the worst. The birth of a son and then a suicide attempt surrounded by the confusion of recovery and treatments alongside milestones and growth spurts. The exhaustion of new parenthood couldn’t compare to the exhaustion of new parenthood combined with a horribly depressed new mother and overexerted husband scrambling to keep the family together. Who had known heaven and hell resided so close to one another?


It hadn’t quite been a desperate scramble the entire time, but for several months barely surviving had been a monumental task. Only recently life had become more pleasure than pain; more stable, balanced, and positive in a way that felt something like what the mythical ‘normal’ could be.


“It’s still hard sometimes to believe I’m okay. Sometimes I’m afraid the darkness will come back and that it’ll convince me life isn’t worth living again. Definitely less often than before, it used to be everyday, but now it’s only every once in a while I feel those doubts. Still scares me though.” Sarah edged closer to Brad and turned her newly teary face into his shoulder.


“It’s okay to be scared and that’s definitely something worth being afraid of.” Brad whispered the soothing words into her hair. “You’ve been through hell and I walked through some of it with you. I know how you feel being afraid of going through that again. Sometimes when you take longer than usual to text me back I start getting nervous that you’re not okay again!”


Sarah smiled at the confession as confused tears dribbled down her cheeks. She was so grateful to be lying here with her husband after so many months of fighting the depression and anxiety and finding her way back to life, but also so sad thinking of the hardship and terror they had endured together.


“It’s good to know that I’m not alone but it’s sad to hear that you feel those fears too. I wish we didn’t have any of this tainting our lives.” A smattering of guilt flushed her cheeks as she replied, but she caught the feeling as it sprouted and told herself that she had nothing to feel guilty for-it was a terrible disease that tore their lives apart, it wasn’t anything she had intentionally done.


“Life isn’t about fairness, it’s about perseverance.” Brad shrugged and without missing a beat, tuned into her grief, “I know you never would’ve wanted that for our family but it happened. We made it through and we can accept that and move on. That’s life and that’s okay. There’s lots of good parts that make up for it, right?’


“I don’t know how you always manage to maintain that ‘go get ‘em’ attitude. It’s like you’re a Willie Nelson song personified!” Sarah rolled over and up onto her elbow, leaning over Brad as he laid on the blanket, “But no matter how you manage, I love you and I’m glad I made it through too.”


She bent forward and they shared a tearstained kiss under the starry sky before Brad mumbled, “Ya know, some Willie Nelson sounds good about now.”


Sarah giggled and gave him an awkward sideways hug before they snuggled together again on the blanket and resumed their stargazing.


“I don’t know how I managed to find someone like you that would be able to go through all that with me and still be eager to see what’s next!” She shook her head, “You’re amazing, honey.”


“I guess you could say the stars aligned-”


“Stars aligned! That’s only for good, lucky things! We had a frickin’ tornado chasing us and tearing up our lives for two years!” Sarah cut him off, sitting up and staring down at him with blatant skepticism.


“Having the stars align isn’t always a wonderful thing, it can be bad too!” Brad argued. “In our case the stars aligned for a horrible postpartum reaction but they also aligned in ways to help us work it out: the great psychiatrist, the support from online friends, the therapy you got, and the great staff at the hospitals and treatment centers. It hasn’t all been pretty, but it’s all been pretty remarkable how we found the help you needed and you worked so hard to get through this. That’s what I mean by ‘the stars aligned.’”


“Hmm.” Sarah remained suspicious but an inkling of pride and a big dose of gratitude helped her accept his perspective. She kissed him again and said, “Well I’m glad they aligned in that way, but boy howdy, they better not align in that other way again!”


“If they do, we’ll know what to do.” Brad smiled and hugged her close.



WC: 991

---------------

We're still pluggin' away at getting to that sense of 'normal' and 'okay.' Somehow writing this scene out helped me feed my sprouting hope. Maybe someday we will return to that campground and I will feel at ease instead of afraid? Huh, maybe I did deal with some "Halloween" theme after all talking about fears! Haha, not really "Halloween" in my book, just life!

The journey continues. :o)

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Words for Wednesday

It's "Words for Wednesday" again and although I'm not thrilled with what I was able to come up with it was something of an outlet to help me process some misplaced feelings of guilt and shame about my disease and the inconvenience and pain it can cause for those close to me... namely the hubby. I think regular readers of my blog will be able to follow along quite easily but I know that my poetry ain't always sensical so please read with a grain of salt.



This weeks prompts are:

prank
arms
regret
light
hostility
crime


and/or

astronaut
wolf
prophesy
guillotine
bootlegger
adorable

-----


If only this were all a prank
Cruel but with a tidy beginning and defined end
Then I could retreat into your arms and recover 
Confident that I was safe
Safe in the light of sanity
Away from the hostility of my mind 
But my illness only recedes to return again
Like a tide without rhythm
Teasing and taunting
I corral what waves I can and ride out the rest
Trying to contain the misery
When I can't it feels like a crime
I regret the pain I've shared 
I know that it wasn't my intent
It wasn't my fault
It was the disease that I host
The disease that I fight
That ugly part in me which is so near yet so far from who I am
But who I am continues to fight
Who I am continues to love
Who I am endures


-----


Ugh! Poetry is not my thing. I'm not sure why I went this route but it was the only bit of inspiration that I had to work with relating to those words, so here we are.  Tried to come up with a title but it wasn't happening.

I wrote something and that's good enough! I'm letting it go!


In other news, I'm doing all right today. Had a good, challenging gym class this morning and despite having my routine be off with the TMS taper in gear I think I'm doing a good job of surfing the anxiety waves and ookey feelings and trying to keep a good attitude about it all. *knock on wood*

The hubster is back at work and helping out with Baby Bananaface again although he's not quite 100% yet. I woke up with a little scratchy throat and am nervous that I'm next, but we shall see! I usually avoid coming down with these things and it's only the boys so hopefully I get another pass.


Still nervous and wary about feeling better. Afraid of relapses or anxiety spikes or panic attacks, but trying to reassure myself that I can handle it and continue to press forward. I even attended an information session about phlebotomy training at the community college (had some tears and fears and anxiety but I survived) and am planning on taking some courses and steps along that path... Little overwhelming now, but I think I can build up to it and get through the scared feelings to a better place in time.

Baby steps are still steps! *fist pump*


Monday, October 17, 2016

Monday Update

I've been away from the blogosphere for a bit (feels like a long time) and though I am a bit harried I wanted to drop a quick update and let everyone know that I'm hanging in there.

This weekend we spent Saturday night down at my folks' and while there were many positive aspects to the visit it was stressful and out of routine so I had some extra anxiety to cope with and I did not like that one bit. I have been feeling sort of willful and cranky about putting up with all this anxiety and even now dealing with my afternoon spurt I'm feeling a bit whiny!

I'm hoping that I can get my anxiety more under control soon but it seems like a slow moving thing. I've made a lot of progress with my depression and I've been getting good reviews-people telling me that I'm looking better and sound like I'm doing better-so I'm hoping I can do the same sort of improving with my anxiety and see some results sometime soon (AKA within weeks not months).

In other news, my TMS taper continues and this week is only two treatments. I think this is stressing me extra although not having the driving to Seattle everyday should be less stress in the long run, just gotta make it through the transition period.

*sigh*

*ugh*

I just want to feel better! I'm sick of feeling sick!

Just feeling the urge to whine a bit, so bear with me please :o)



Guess I'll get back to sticking with it and doing my best. Tonight is a bit wonky since the hubster isn't feel so hot. Some extra stress on me having to take care of BB more but I think I can handle it, just gotta get outta my own way.

Happy Monday to everyone!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Update/Words for Wednesday

Yesterday was rough but with lots of tears and lots of hugs, I made it through. Thank the universe for the hubster. He is something else, I tell ya. He always seems to have faith to spare when my brain gets hijacked and my faith and hope start to fail. Love him. Love him so much. A four-letter word for it seems too small. Love, love, love this man.

Today is the first day of my taper for TMS. This week the goal is treatment Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I see the doc Thursday to gauge how things are going, if the taper schedule is okay, and if we need to change up my protocol again. Yesterday I wasn't sure if I could manage the taper as-is, but today I'm feeling more confident. Those damn blips in my mood are so discouraging and so abrupt, but hopefully this sudden upward trend marks the end.

Anyways. Trying to keep busy today and cope with the upset in my routine (not driving to Seattle five times a week is going to feel weird for a bit). Luckily, it's "Words for Wednesday" and while my brain feels a bit foggy and anxious, I'm going to try and whip something up :o)

This weeks prompts are:

cheerful 
caravan 
some 
gossip
crossfire 
group

And/or

freaky
error 
afterlife
decade 
end
cruise


Sighing with frustration I popped the earbuds out of my ears and gave up listening to my podcast as an overly cheerful caravan of gossiping teens plowed into the small coffee shop. 

"Warm up the blender," I thought, imagining the abundance of whipped cream-topped, caramel-drizzled, sugary espresso beverages the group would order. 

A slight shake of my head and I returned my attention to a steaming Americano and pile of textbooks. The notes I was taking would be transformed into an essay later but at the moment my mind was more willing to consider the annoying aspects of the gaggle of girls at the counter rather than patient care.

I pretended to read while actually tuning into the stream of dramatic conversation and complex coffee orders behind me. It seemed that one of the young women had been caught in the crossfire of an argument between her boyfriend and his ex-girlfriend. Her pals were gasping and criticizing the ex-girlfriend while the girl relayed the epic battle with a hearty helping of exaggeration. 

I sighed again and noticed the furrow in my brow and my suddenly slumped, grumpy posture. "Wait a second, why are these girls getting under my skin so easily?" I wondered, observing my frown and negative feelings.

A little bit of mental prodding and I discovered an uncomfortable puddle of envy in my gut. It had been a really long time since I'd been a part of a giggly gaggle of friends and I couldn't remember when I had last met a friend for a coffee or lunch. Sure, I had a wonderful husband but that companionship wasn't quite the same as "girl time."

A tiny smirk crept onto my face as I felt a wave of warm, self-empathy wash through my thoughts. Not too long ago I would shamed and criticized myself for "whining" or "being too needy," but today my first impulse was kindness and understanding. It was a far cry from the punitive mental patterns I had worked hard at realigning for so many months and I was grateful for the change. 

Instead of remaining agitated and annoyed by the crowd of noisy girls I found myself pulling out my cellphone and texting a friend an invitation out to coffee. Instead of slipping into a rut or feeling sad and angry I felt at ease and even smiled as the girls laughed raucously together and left the shop.

Catching my negative thoughts and navigating my way around them toward some positive, life-affirming alternatives felt like a wonderful achievement. As I sipped my coffee, I mentally toasted myself as well as the crowd of girls for their contribution to my moment of cognitive moment of glory, thinking to myself, "Any mood hurdles successfully tackled during my day definitely warrants acknowledgement."

---

Some wishful thinking today about using my therapy skills in day-to-day life to achieve more happiness. I have used them successfully many times but I'm thinking ahead to a day when those mental patterns become more natural and easy instead of feeling like I'm struggling against the current so much. 

I think I'm wanting to visit a coffee shop so that probably contributed to the scene as well-haha! 

I struggled a bit with my tenses and such today, so I'm sorry if I distress any grammarians! 

:o)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Despite the Pain

Yesterday was quite a day. My parents came up and watched BB so the hubbo and I could hike Mt. Pilchuck.

The hike was a challenging one but the weather made it way more intense; especially this part at the end where we had to scramble across some boulders and up a slick ladder, but we were pretty motivated. I had never made it to the top of the trail before and the hubster hadn't in many years AND there was a placard at the top that happens to have our son's name and helped sway the hubby toward naming him that... so I really wanted to see that :o)

Hopefully this video works, sort of the brink of my technological savvy trying to put it in here!

video

Way more intense at the
top than we expected!
Yes, my glasses were
totally fogged up.

I could imagine the lookout having spectacular views during the right season. As it was, we were totally shrouded by fog and clouds with driving rain and very intense wind that buffeted the tower and made some loud banging noises on top of the loud wind rushes. It made the scramble down from the tower quite scary and cold to the point where I couldn't feel my fingers and the hubster said he saw freezing rain!

Hubster smile...
Hubster smirk...



How we do our trails in the fall/winter in the
good ole Pacific Northwest! 


But we made it. There and back. Despite the scary parts on the trail and the scary parts in my mind when my brain started to wander in bad directions. It usually doesn't happen to me while on a hike but yesterday I had to use a lot of skills to cope with the distressing thoughts and well on into the night I was struggling against my anxiety and darkness.

After an hour of trying to fall asleep last night without success I turned to my prescribed medication for help and even got some iced sponges for my face to help calm me down. It took a while and some effort but I averted full-blown crisis and managed to nod off somehow!

Nights can be rough for me and I'm not quite sure why but maybe because I had so many dark, traumatic nights in the depths of my depression? Maybe because I've struggled with getting to sleep for so many years? I don't know and it doesn't quite matter but it came up last night, that's for sure. The anxiety and dark thoughts were out in force!

I'm really proud of myself for not only making it to the top of the hike but for coping with my symptoms and coping with my symptoms again and again. It's been difficult lately to simply accept the pain and just deal with it. I've been feeling sad and "pouty" about putting up with yet more anxiety and dark thoughts and I feel ashamed of this but it's worth acknowledging, since the anger and stubbornness makes things harder for me in the long run.

A little mantra I came up with on the hike helped soothe me a bit. It went like this, "Everyone has their own pain, everyone has their own gifts." Pain is a part of everyone's life as a human and I need to come to a place of acceptance around that to live a better life.

So. The journey continues. Hope you enjoy the pictures :o) Despite the pain, despite the wind, despite the rain we had a great time and will cherish those memories for a long time!

Keep on keepin' on <3

Friday, October 7, 2016

A Blip?

At the TMS office they talk about how recovery isn't always linear and that there can be "blips" along the way, not necessarily huge depressive episodes but a few days that send you for a spin.

Well, I think I'm blippin.

Again.

It's been a few weeks since I've felt this bad-and that's a big accomplishment going so long at "okay" levels-but it still feels horrible to be down again. It continues to amaze me how fast I can dive and how easily the darkness rips away my own mind and replaces rational thought with suicidal propaganda.

I was just beginning to feel like I was officially "feeling better" and gaining a sense of self as a healthier person and not just a sick-in-the-head patient, but in a flash that sense of self, that sprouting confidence, that hope has been ripped from me. I'm still hanging in there, but the dark thoughts are intruding and I'm so weary of the fight I just want it to be over. Win, lose, or draw doesn't matter to me in those moments, I just want out.

Such a storm of emotions when I'm caught up in these times. Anger and sadness seem to be big ones for me. I noticed today how sad and angry I was at having these thoughts and feelings seem to hijack my personality, my soul, my being. I didn't care about what happened to other people after I potentially killed myself, I just wanted the fight to be done with-and that's not the real me. The real me cares about my loved ones and believes that life is worth living and recognizes the blessings in my life, but that diseased mind dismisses it all so easily.

I've been trying to catch the dark thoughts and label them and dismiss them, usually saying something in my head like, "It's the disease... I can let that go." Or I imagine the dark thoughts like a tree releasing all it's leaves at once and I have to sweep them out of my mind. It seems to help a little, but there have been many moments where I'm simply so fed up and sad that I slump over and tear up wherever I might be. Not nice.

So today is another teary, rough day and I'm slugging along trying to stick to my schedule and keep brushing off the intrusive, bad thoughts. I wish I could read your blogs and comment and catch up but I just can't handle it right now. I think I'll go scrub some counters and clean some floors instead. Not that those are equivalent activities, but-ugh- I don't mean to be insulting. Ay, whatever! I will catch up on blogs some other time, so while I'm not there now just know that I think of you and wish I was.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Oh boy-it's official!

I've signed up for a "Write...Edit...Publish" challenge! I'm nervous, for sure, but excited as well. I think with the extra time I'm gonna have as I start my TMS taper I'm going to need stuff to do and writing is a good thing for me :o)

Whew. I'm steppin' out a bit, trying to expand my comfort zone, which triggers some ookey feelings and some good feelings! Just gotta ride the waves <3

Anyways-if anybody else is interested, check out the WEP site and join in!

Monday, October 3, 2016

An Update Before Bed...





It's late and I can't write out much but I wanted to do a little update before bed anyways :o)

The weekend went pretty well. Definitely felt the stress and definitely had to use more skills and more medication to ride the waves of my mood but I really enjoyed seeing my MIL. I was even pleasantly surprised by the interactions with the hubby's siblings and having "adult" time-I did fine!

The weekend involved some scheduled outings and time hanging out at my in-law's, even an evening out at a local bar with the hubby's sibs/in-laws.




I really enjoyed the carousel, even played with Baby Bananaface on the playground nearby for a good bit of time. Fun fact: that was the hubbo's first time on a carousel that he's aware of! Woo woo! The boat ride was fun and a nice break from routine where I acknowledged that I was feeling relaxed and enjoying myself-a rarity lately! I even got in some cuddles with BB <3

Overall, I feel like it was tough but not rough and a victory in my mind, which feels good :o)



On a more recent note, I had a busy day today with three appointments including one with my therapist and even though I waited until the last ten minutes I did indeed bring up my concerns! It was a big leap for me and there were some tears involved but I made my feelings known and I feel proud of myself.

Not sure how things will work out in the long run but we've made a commitment to working on things and we'll just take it from there. She actually mentioned that she had felt something was off but couldn't tell what it was and let me know that she was very glad that I said something, which felt good to hear.

I got so much encouragement from so many places (friends online, friends IRL, psychiatrist, another therapist, hubby, maybe even more) and I'm so glad that I finally brought this up! Thank you for the encouragement and support everybody :o) We'll see where things go from here, but for now-GO ME!!!


Another GO ME!!! moment involves coping with a big ole panic attack during the car ride home this afternoon. Thankfully it happened while I was stopped at a light but it was quite sudden and very intense. Despite the tingles and blurry vision and heat wave I was able to calm myself down rather quickly and coped pretty well. I think I'm making some progress with the panic but definitely a work in progress. That said-GO ME!!!


So there we are, my "short" update. HA! Good night and best wishes :o)

Saturday, October 1, 2016

On a boat!

Boat tour on the Columbia. Saw lots of birds and even deer on top of the historic sites and landscapes and,  of course, views of my boys <3