Friday, September 30, 2011

More weird dreams

Yesterday I had a disturbing dream about being in prison for a crime I didn't commit. In the dream I had been in prison for a couple weeks and was upon the day of my execution.

I was in an odd mood of denial and frustration, melancholy and hope. They took us out to be executed and it was a big track field with large towers around it. Everyone else placidly took their towers while I freaked out. This prison's mode of execution was for the "criminals" to jimmy themselves into their sleeping bags standing up, put their nooses on, and jump off their respective towers.

I collapsed at the base of my tower and a execution coordinator tried to reassure me that it wasn't that bad and that I could do it, no problem. I cried and cried and sad that I was innocent and I shouldn't have to die.

Eventually she took me away from the track and brought a group of other prison workers that worked as a board of appeals or quality check type of group-they were all aged 18-22. They had my file with them and listened to my story then reviewed the file. They found lots of typos and just plain stupid reckoning and eventually shook their heads and dismissed my charge and let me go.

The entire thing was troubling and emotional and strangely realistic. I was so happy to be released but was so crushed by the fact that I had been there and nearly "executed" and how nonchalant the prison was about the whole thing. I felt so empty even though my life had been spared.

The next dream involved Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Slightly different feel to it...

In this dream my best friend and I were going out to a shopping district. We stopped by her mom's house and for some reason I asked if her cabinets were safe because recently (in real life) my cabinet door popped off as I opened it and had nearly clobbered me.

She proceeded to take apart her cabinets while they were filled with items to show how poorly constructed they were. The doors didn't injure anyone but a rice cooker fell off the top shelf and hit her directly on the top of her head! She held it together pretty well but cried a little and my best friend and I took off.

We drove through part of the shopping district while listening to country radio and someone winning their hourly contest. As we cruised by a shop we saw the woman who was winning the contest on the radio as she whooped and hollered and jumped around.

She was a rolly polly woman with lacy lilac tights and a tight lavender tube top. As she leaped in excitement the tube top fwapped up and exposed her diapery-panties underneath her tights. It was a disturbing sight.

The BF and I shook our heads and exchanged comments about the crazy outfits some people wear. Turning around the corner we come across Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie sitting on a bench. They are clad in rather odd looking clothes as well-She has some arm-length elastic, shiny gray gloves and he is wearing skinny jeans and a loose pink tank top with a white feminine-looking sweater/jacket thing.

They go into a jeweler's and then later we all end up in the same ice cream parlor in a train and bus station. Brad Pitt disappears and Angelina Jolie sits at the bar. The BF and I are sitting at a table getting NO service and getting crankier and crankier.

Eventually I get up and go to the bar/serving counter to complain and the server looks at me like, "Are you kidding me? You think you matter?"

Another lady at the bar was complaining about her mis-prepared Italian soda and a lady from another table had joined us to complain. When the barman ignored us, the lady from another table started singing a version of "Where Did Our Love Go" by the Supremes and we all joined in-Angelina Jolie included!

Instead of singing "Baby-baby... Where did our love go?" We sang "Dairy-dairy...Where did my scoop go?"

It was awesome.

The server apologized profusely since we made such a scene and soon thereafter our tables were served just as the BF and I were talking about how the ice cream parlor was in a train/bus station and it must be "that shitty stand in the train station that everyone flocks to because it's the only option." Our waiter agreed with our conclusion ;o)

My third dream-share is a bit more violent.

I was working at a renovated house turned restaurant and my boss/the owner was a cad. No surprise-someone wanted him dead.

Two burly, scary guys burst in and started to attack him. My brother was with me and we ran upstairs and out the windows, scaling the building to try and escape. We grabbed pool cues on our way in case we had to defend ourselves but when we reached the yard someone came up and reassured us that everything was okay.

Yeah, the boss was dead-but they explained that the two scary guys had really wanted their turn at the foosball table and used to own the restaurant and everything seemed justified and okay. Seriously.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Have you ever...

Have you ever had such a realistic dream that you reacted to it consciously?

I had a dream like that years ago about my parents' dog. In the dream the dog had been possessed by some evil coyote spirit and was trying to kill the family. I would look into the backyard and see her eyes glowing and then her dog form would flicker into the evil coyote form and back. When I came downstairs someone had let her in the house (abnormal) and I was trying to convince them to lock her outside. She gave me an evil coyote smirk and I was terrified!

When I awoke from the dream my heart was racing and I was wracked with anxiety about this evil coyote spirit taking over our family dog! I turned on the lights and scrunched myself into the corner of my bed against a wall and wrapped up in pillows and blankets. I hardly slept the rest of the night just trying to calm myself down and the next morning-even after I had reassured myself that it was all a dream-I jumped when I saw the family dog in the backyard. I was startled so much that the family noticed and I had to explain my nightmare!

Well this morning during a nap I had another dream that had me actin' funny in real life.

This dream involved the fiance and I going to the mall and shopping clearance racks. Not an entirely alien concept but the store we were in had a huge blue flame flickering in an odd fixture at the ceiling above a open space in the floor of the store.

There was a poster about "planet-something something" and it showed a huge jet-like engine and I realized that the blue flame was like this contraption idling. One of the store keepers and my fiance wandered off to go the bathroom as the female store keeper told me more about the device and how it would magnify our view into the cosmos so we could see distant planets.

The men returned from the bathroom and she prepared to fire this huge machine. I've been to a demonstration of a jet engine and remembered how loud it was so I clapped my hands over my hears---

Not only did I race to my hands over my ears in the dream, I fumbled my hands out of my blankets and pillows to cover my ears in real life!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Blood Work

Last week the fiance and I cruised down to Seattle for my check-up at Qliance with my delightful ARNP. In addition to a tetanus shot they took blood to be sent off for a cholesterol, blood sugar, organ function, and thyroid test.

Yesterday she called with my results and gave me the "I've got good news and bad news" intro. Turned out my cholesterol and blood sugar and organ functions were great. I was concerned about the blood sugar thing considering a high school friend of mine developed diabetes the year after we graduated and I just found out this past weekend-quite a shocker.

Anyways, the "bad" news was that my thyroid isn't functioning properly. Why is bad in quotations you wonder? Because hypothyroidism could explain a lot of symptoms that I've either linked to depression or my personality or simply the genetic lottery. It isn't really bad news to find out the thing ain't workin' right since it might mean solutions to some of my problems.

Hypothyroidism is linked to lots of symptoms which may or may not be directly linked to a dysfunctional thyroid: fatigue, weakness, weight gain, trouble losing weight, dry/brittle hair, dry/pale skin, hair loss, cold intolerance, muscle cramps/aches, constipation, depression, irritability, memory loss, decreased libido, and heavy menstrual periods.

Let's see, I'd say at least ten out of those fifteen symptoms apply to me and have applied to me for years.

The elephant in the room is, is the hypothyroidism the cause of my depression?

Personally, I'm not convinced medication for the thyroid could vanquish my depression problems since it runs in my family and I've responded to treatment before and it just seems plain too much to hope for.

But get this-I called my parents to tell them about the thyroid thing and they both said that their mother's took thyroid meds EVERYDAY. Wow, that would've been nice to know eight years ago! Even with this juicy tidbit of family history, I'm not convinced my new daily pill levothyroxine will alleviate all my symptoms, but it would sure be nice if it helped out a little :o)

In other news the fiance and I had a great camping trip with my folks this weekend and enjoyed Leavenworth and some summery weather on the first day of fall!

While Dad fly-fished, Mom, the fiance, and I hiked up a hill and some. It was a really cool trail not only for the views and environment, but the washed out creek we had to navigate through! It reminded us of Mt. St. Helen's aftermath. We didn't reach the top, but we saw a lizard and chipmunks and robins and had a good time.

One night I had a eerily emotional dream about the fiance and I having a baby. For some reason I recall having family nearby, like a party/get together and I was laboring. Then I was face-to-face with my baby. It wasn't a realistic fresh from the womb face-to-face, but it felt like it should be that first moment. It was a girl, with huge blue/green eyes and little tufts of blonde hair and she was so giddy and I was euphoric. She knew that I was mommy and I knew that she knew and was happy about it and we were both just blitzed out of our skulls.

I told Mom about the next day and she said, "Well your first better be a girl. I'm cross stitching a stocking with kittens on it!" Ha! I had no idea that my mom was gearing up for grandmotherhood, but I guess she would be, wouldn't she? I wonder how Dad feels about his little girl having a little girl, I'm not sure he's ready to be "stitching" anything just yet!

Between blood work, babies, camping, hiking, and family time I've had a good few days. And this weekend we're going to visit his folks, so more good times ahead! The cats were happy to have us home, we'll see how they cope with the second weekend alone in a row. They may break open the refrigerator...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall is Falling!

Fall is falling upon us and luckily it seems to have it's reservations like I do. Usually I'm head-over-heels about the fall seasonal shift, but this year I'm a little out of sorts. The chill in the night air seemed to descend rapidly, but the weather's temperature has been fluctuating back to upper seventies this week and has helped ease me into the idea of autumn.

I think my love of autumn is closely linked to the fact that I loved school. I loved organizing my school supplies and doing my first batches of homework and collecting syllabi. Over the years there was cold fall weather and warm fall weather, but in general school coincided with a shift in weather and I loved the dramatic inauguration of the fall season.

More and more fall seems to mean something other than first day jitters and brisk wind. The past few years I've felt my normal excitement tinged with dread for the dark winter season. My elation at the autumn shift usually carries through Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's but after the holidays the gloomy winter drags on and I become especially vulnerable to depressive relapses.

This year I feel more prepared for the dark months. My parents bought me a "happy light" and I have my membership at the Women's Wellness Center with access to massage and yoga to help carry me through. The fiance and I are even looking into my starting school again this winter quarter (more on that later).

Even with these positive changes I'm scared. It's one thing to be afraid of the dark or a certain part of town, but feeling a fear of yourself is so invasive and permeates every sense of reassurance-you don't know if you can rely on your self or your sanity. I find myself in some twisted game trying not to think about my worries too much and trying to be mindful enough to prevent a system failure!

Possibly the worst part of depression for me is trying to cope and accept myself wholly, including my depression.  Accepting the fact that I have tendencies and vulnerabilities toward a despicable and ugly disease, that I have some control but in many ways, no control over my depression.

For many years I denied my depression. Refused to accept a lifelong diagnosis and preferred to believe that something was "wrong" with me temporarily and that one day I would be "cured." In reality, I will always be a depressed person. Maybe not actively in relapse, but always carrying at the least my dormant depression.

It's a terrible thing. I feel like I've had to accept life with a hideous, inoperable tumor bulging on my back. But, for me at least, saying that "Yes I do have a giant, hideous tumor called depression and it's with me for life," helps me own my disease, helps me take responsibility, and helps me work with and past it as best I can.

We've all heard that depression is a manageable disease as long as it is addressed. I have no doubt that if I didn't address my depression I would die. No doubt. While it forces me to look into the darkest parts of myself and gives me a quivering fear of my body's downside, I'd rather look at my depression than try to ignore it and let it sneak up and choke me out.

Life is scary. And nothing is more scary than scary somethings in your very own backyard, home, or head.

So this fall is a mix-up of joy and fear, but I'll try to walk the balance beam of awareness and take one day at a time! It's also a big milestone for the fiance and me as we're nearing the 365-days til WEDDING mark and planning will kick into gear soon.

I'm excited to plan but also a little anxious for similar reasons to my fall anxiety! I've been on a prescribed wedding planning hiatus since it contributed to my most recent relapse and caused me so much stress (mostly at the thought of budgets).

Slowly but surely will be my mantra this winter ;o)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Morning of Many Feelings

What a morning!

For the first time in a long time the fiance and I woke at the same time. We took a walk around the lake and I saw a bunch of birds-even spotted a belted kingfisher! It was a great walk. A little brisk but beautiful!

I've never had the pleasure of seeing a kingfisher in the wild, so I was pretty stoked. Although I wasn't entirely sure of my siting until I came home to Google it up.

The fiance and I got pretty worked up on the walk about flu shots and vaccinations, which put our morning through a little rough patch. It's not very often we get into a heated argument and get really frustrated with each other, but apparently medical "care" is one of our sore subjects! We quickly worked past it when I discovered some sad news on Facebook.

Faith Fulmer passed away last week. I followed Faith's story on Facebook for a few months and even sent her a special postcard. She was afflicted with osteasarcoma and her ninth birthday would have been in October.

She was a joyous girl with a loving family and a large ring of supporters. Such a sad loss, but a memorable gain for all of us who were touched by her story.

You can learn more about Faith's story on the Facebook site. Despite the tragic circumstances, her mother and their family provide a lot of inspiration and I am so proud of them.

To complete my emotional roller coaster this morning I also found out that my high school beau proposed to his girlfriend and they are now engaged! I am happy for him and was surprised at the mix of emotions I felt at the news. Funny how your first love sticks with you! He has really gone on to live his dreams and is doing EXACTLY what he said he would do in life. If only we all had such drive and direction!

In other news I had a delightful massage yesterday and the fiance found out he's deformed! While I was at the  masseuse, the fiance went the other route and visited a chiropractor. They discovered he has a rare malformation at the base of his skull that has fused his first vertebrae to the skull! I always knew he was special ;o)

Our plans for this week had involved hosting the fiance's big brother, but things fell through. We are going to Seattle tomorrow for my annual physical (well-first annual in a LONG time) and this weekend get to go camping with my folks near the cheery town of Leavenworth! Woot woot!

For all the fellow PNW'ers-SAVOR THE SUN WHILE YOU CAN! :o)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Flick-Four Lions

First off, let me warn you that this movie may not be for everybody. Yes it is a comedy and there is a wonderfully skilled cast and great filming BUT the film's focus is a group of jihadists preparing a terrorist attack. For myself and the fiance, a terrorism comedy was unexpected, thoughtful, and hilarious but for others the topic may be too sensitive to enjoy in jest.

If you are interested, you may be pleasantly surprised!

When the fiance and I first started watching "Four Lions" we were a bit uncomfortable. We didn't know what to think as we watched British jihadists haphazardly filming themselves condemning the consumerist Western lifestyle and bickering about each other's martyrdom status.

The details of their pursuits rang true with our images of jihadi "warriors" but their logic and disjointed attempts were utterly hilarious! After settling into the film we began to enjoy it immensely. I appreciated the realistic portrayal of their cell and their preparations and concerns and the comedy was woven naturally throughout the entire film. 

There is top-notch comedic acting and a wonderfully produced film waiting for you to enjoy, but it may involve "letting yourself go" a bit to fully embrace the film. Yes there is a tragic twinge to the film and it gets you thinking but I think this only improves the value.

And really, how can you pass up a comedy with exploding attack crows, good plain idiocy, and a devious plot that involves these disguises?

Take a chance, open your mind, and enjoy "Four Lions" with some good friends!

Well Shucks

Shucks. I wish I could say that I've been really busy, but I haven't really. I've been doing a lot of sleeping and a little bit of cleaning and some yoga and reading and that's about it. I suppose that doesn't really make me a slug-but sometimes I feel like it.

I remember going through a similar period after my last major relapse where I spent a lot of time taking things easy and simply doing what felt right and not what I thought I should be doing. I think part of the issue right now is I'm just doing nothing instead of mindfully doing what I want!

I have a check-up next week with my ARNP but I think I already know what I need to do. I need structure, I need better nutrition and exercise, and I need to get a counselor that I can afford.

Sure, the meds have stopped me from wanting to jump off our balcony, but they can only do so much. I've found in the past that talking to a therapist gives me the kick in the pants to go the extra mile and really take charge of my life.

I think it's important that people remember that antidepressants and other medications-while they can save your life-don't take away your responsibility for your own health.

Our consumerist culture supports the reasoning that a citizen's responsibility is to purchase help. The emphasis is on gathering funds or holding insurance policies that will grant patients access to their care and cures.

Communicating with health care professionals and working towards better health is often pushed aside and replaced with medication commercials and fix-all pills. Why bother exercising for cardiovascular health if you can just pop a pill when your blood stops flowing properly?

Yes, I'm glad for all the medical advances and technology we have here today. Advances in medical care save many people who wouldn't have any other chance at life. But these advances can be a double-edged sword.

People are forgetting how to take care of themselves.

Think about it. Our culture doesn't create a healthy environment or support healthy lifestyles very well. (Hell, I'm not sure there is a culture out there doing this exceedingly well right now) The emphasis is on making money and spending money. People aren't allowed time to simply BE, instead we're constantly bombarded by messages to hit the malls or stores or visit this laser-surgery center. The bottom line: we should all be doing "something" and spending money all the time.

Taking time for reflection or pure relaxation is classified as a luxury. The pressure to perform is immense and sadly, some people never realize that this is external stimuli and can be rejected. The constant stress of our lives causes so many health problems and struggle and the solution isn't a medication it is a different way of living that complements our body's natural function.

We're just not built for around-the-clock work schedules, sedentary lifestyles, and buy-this-feel-better living. We're more complex than that and people are forgetting how to listen to their bodies and their souls to care for and protect themselves.

Today many people live in a way that benefit bigwigs running multi-million dollar companies instead of living to benefit themselves and their loved ones. And often times, they can't tell the difference and have no one to tell them there is a different way.

Whew. Start me talking about being a lazy bum and look what happens! Happy Friday ;o)

Friday, September 9, 2011

Scrubbin' Out Some Mold

I tend to be a self-critical person and I'm very well aware that I am NOT the only one with this problem.

Along with that self-criticism comes disgust and the tendency to minimize my problems (like my suicidal episodes over the last few months that I accepted as really bad days and tried to play down). Over the past few years I've been cultivating my self-acceptance and compassion but I still find myself harboring a minimized problem.

No, I'm not talking about my depression-although I do tend to try and sweep that under the rug too. I'm talking about a past relationship.

As I've sat on this wonderfully sunny Friday with the smell of moldy lasagna pan wafting from the kitchen I've come to the resolution that it's time to air this dirty laundry, scrub these moldy memories, stop minimizing and let this hurt out.

I met Ex through another boy I dated in college. There was instant chemistry but it took a few life turns and many months before Ex and I came together as an item.

Ex was certainly different from any of the boys I'd dated before-I'd never been with someone so athletic or masculine or smart or poor or scarred. By scarred I mean that Ex had been abused as a child-physically and emotionally.

Emotionally, things moved slow for us. I struggled with the feeling that Ex was always withholding something from me and pieces of the puzzle did start to come together over the months. Little anecdotes or stories about his childhood-having pans or shovels thrown at him by his father or working while going school to buy his family a new refrigerator or his father wrecking the car he had saved up for so he could get to work- all the little horrors and heartbreaks that lined his soul.

All this took a toll on me. It was all so sad and I couldn't bear the pain very well. I started to crumble personally while I tried to help him grow and move past his history. I was continually trying to get him to open up and trust me and lean on me, but he never could.

Ex's life had been an uphill battle from the beginning and it was the only way he knew how to live.

His mother told him that they had tried to abort him before he was born, but it didn't take. He came into the world unwanted and unloved.

Despite the abuse and rejection, Ex thrived academically and overcame his childhood obesity to become an active adult. When we met he had been working as an instructor at the college lake house and loved to play pickup basketball.

Even though he had many successes, Ex's life was riddled with struggle and disappointment. In my eyes, his constant apprehension of failure or life's next sucker punch brought more bad luck and ill chance into his life. He also resented his body regardless of his physical strengths or progress and believed his tall, muscular stature made him intimidating and people rejected him for it.

Life was perpetual struggle with dalmatian spots of happiness.

Throughout our relationship we had pushed and pulled to make things work. Lengthy, tear stained, back aching discussions into the wee hours of the morning struck at least monthly. As our lives became more intertwined I noticed Ex would often omit bad news, monetary strife, or academic struggles to avoid confrontation or "save me the stress" as he put it.

Yes there were good parts and good times, but there was more unease.

A huge problem for me was the fact that he never let his family find out that I existed. At one point we were living together-sharing a bed and a room!-and his family couldn't know that A)I lived there B) was his girlfriend. At the drop of a hat I would have to leave the house and Ex would cover up traces of my residence there.

At one point he moved a dresser in front of a closet to prevent his brother from seeing my clothes. Of course his brother inquired as to the odd positioning of furniture and they nearly came to blows before Ex shifted the focus to something else.

Ex's mother was constantly asking favors and she managed the house we lived in. Managed remotely I should say, Ex did the upkeep and improvements.

Random visits every few months, hair raising phone calls,  and demanding Ex's presence on holidays were all I knew of his mother. I only saw her once-months after we had broken up-when I drove by the old house on the way to campus one day. He did a good job of keeping me away from his family, I couldn't pick them out of a crowd to save my life.

All of the that was our general relationship and while it hurts and still presses on my heart to think of, the really hurtful part came in the last months of our relationship.

After I graduated with my BA I had a depressive relapse. I was working and living with Ex while he finished his schooling (I'm assuming he has graduated by now but I do not know). I found myself a counselor and she recommended trying antidepressants.

For the first time I was able to convince myself that antidepressants were OK and slowly I started chipping away at the depression.

Soon after treatment began I noticed that Ex was especially probing about my therapy and it came to the point where he would intersect me immediately following my appointments to hash over what had been discussed. The therapist expressed many concerns about my relationship with Ex and encouraged me to talk to him and try to cultivate a more nourishing relationship.

Eventually I wrote the therapist a note saying I wouldn't be able to come see her anymore and a couple weeks after that I stopped taking my antidepressants. The Ex bolstered my worries that it wasn't economical-that I couldn't take pills for the rest of my life, that I would have to fix my problems from the inside out on my own and I quit.

That fall a work friend of mine left the country to teach abroad for nine months. I rented her condo and moved some of my things there, hoping that Ex would move out of his mother's grasp and things would get better for us. But he refused, claiming it was too inconvenient and far from campus. He also mentioned his damned male pride preventing him from letting me pay the rent and be the provider.

Whatever the reason, we still spent most nights together but eventually I would shower and get ready at the condo every morning and when he moved in a friend of his that I didn't like, I started sleeping at the condo more and more often.

My second relapse a few months later was far worse. For the first time my work suffered because of my depression. I came late, broke down in the office, and eventually quit my job to facilitate my recovery.

It took me long time to hit bottom and encouragement from my family before I sought help. The therapist I began seeing this time changed my life and not only be assuring me that antidepressants were OK!

It wasn't until I met this therapist that I really appreciated how dysfunctional and dangerous my relationship with Ex had been-and that is what I have been minimizing for so long.


That's the truth, unminized. Being with Ex crushed me and broke me down and the depression it put me into would have claimed my life if I hadn't found help.

Yes, I am responsible for my actions and myself-I understand that. I put myself in that relationship, but it became an abusive relationship that I couldn't recognize as unhealthy and couldn't rescue myself from. He never hit me but the emotional control wreaked worse damage than some bruises would have.

During my second run at therapy and medication discussions with Ex became more charged and suddenly very terrifying. With my self-preservation and worth reanimated through therapy I was no longer passive and accepting toward Ex's interrogations and the "norm" of our relationship.

Ending the relationship became a possibility in my mind and Ex sensed it.

Whether intentional or not, Ex became very aggressive in our discussions.

As far as women go I'm above average height, 5'9", and as far as anyone goes, Ex was TALL, 6'6". During our talks he would become agitated. Standing, walking and gesticulating violently (grabbing his head, clenching his fists, throwing his arms down and up, and sometimes punching the wall or slamming a hand down on furniture) and it scared me.

At other times he movements would back me into a corner. I found myself flinching and shirking away from him. He was mortified by my response but also maddened. I could see the sadness in his face when he saw me afraid but his anger overcame that remorse and he would shake his head or slam the wall, "I would NEVER hurt you! How can you flinch? How can you act like that?"

For the first time my constant current of unease had become a tremulous fear of this man.

Despite my fear it was difficult to extricate myself from the relationship. Our discussions continued, trying to repair the mess of emotions and lost trust.

He even met me late at night with flowers.

But my sense of trust and safety were gone and I couldn't ignore that fear inside me and the sense of relief I had when he would leave.

One night during a phone conversation he made jab at me that rankled me to the bone. He implied that my lack of energy and motivation from the depression was part of my personality, that he couldn't live with someone "like that." I told him I couldn't talk to him anymore and hung up.

I was furious. He had brought me to these depths of depression and then blamed me for the consequent symptoms as if I were inherently lazy and hopeless.

I called my mother and my sister and my sister came up and we moved all of my things from the house into the condo. It was a huge moment to withdraw from that lifestyle but I still wasn't out of the woods. It would be weeks before we were finally separated.

For nearly two years I've kept this mostly to myself. Thankfully the fiance is very understanding and comforting, but for both our sakes I wanted to express this and try to let it go. I'll never be without these memories but I hope that by writing this out I can come to a more full acceptance, gratitude for my life now, and resolution.

I never thought that I would be in an abusive relationship and I certainly never intended to be in an unhealthy relationship, but I see now that I was vulnerable and that it can happen to people that would never expect it.

I hope that anyone else in that situation will trust their gut, not be afraid to reach out for help, and care for themselves enough to fight for their livelihood. It doesn't matter how little their actions might seem-it matters how they affect YOU.

To some our relationship seemed fine, but under the surface I was dying a slow death. I don't know if Ex will go on to find a healthy, successful relationship with someone else or if his past will get the best of him and hurt someone else-but I hope he can stop the pattern and I hope no one else will have to be afraid like I was.

Please tell me your stories and feelings and don't be afraid to ask questions. I changed my life because I spoke up ;o)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Labor Day

It was a tough day and a good day today.

I had some backsliding as far as the depression goes, but the fiance and I had a great visit with his best friend-lasagna, The Godfather, and cookies!

In other news, yesterday the fiance and I hit up the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe as well as the rodeo. We ate some fair food favorites, surveyed lots of farm animals, canned goods, and crafts and had a blast watching the rodeo.

I think my favorite part of our fair experience was the date-y-ness of the afternoon. Driving home in the line of fair traffic I was deliriously happy and grateful to have met my fiance and even though I had to fight off the urge to hide my soft-softs, I grabbed his hand, kissed his knuckles and actually said aloud, "I'm really glad I met you."

It isn't too often that we say such things aloud-maybe a hand squeeze or a smile as a shallow substitute-but it felt really good to tell him that I was thankful for him and know that he really did get the message.

Anywho, more on my depressive struggles another day-it's about time for some relaxing and self-help at the end of this roller coaster day!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I'm Not Into Hockey, BUT...

This is sad and I needed to mention it. Check out this New York Times article about three hockey players that have been found dead in eerily timed and similar circumstances.

Not only does this pique my interest from a depression standpoint and the mention of suicide-I also found it interesting to consider the consequences of their roles as "fighters" in the league.

Derek Boogaard's family donated his brain to researchers at Boston University. They will determine if he suffered from chronic traumatic encephalopathy like more than twenty other former NHL players. CTE can result in impulse control problems, drug abuse, and memory loss and may have contributed to some of these players' deaths.

People tend to forget that professional athletes and actors and actresses and other famous people are human too. While they earn millions of dollars (gagbarfsnort-another topic all together) they also suffer like the rest of us, and this article makes me think-what "occupational hazards" these people might struggle with that we don't comprehend at first glance? and how much are they put at risk purely for "entertainment value" or money?

Read a little, think a little, and let me know if it strikes a cord with ya'll like it did in me ;o)