sharing my life experiences, reflections and insights as a mother, a writer, an Occupational Therapist and and a spiritual being having a human experience

Posts tagged ‘depression’

Depression: Trudging through the mud with chains on my back while trying to keep my head above water

Here comes the sun

It’s been a long, cold winter

When I look back to when I have been depressed, I see sadnesses but there is so much more to it then that.

Life becomes a chore, all of it. Getting through each and every day is exhausting

And I look forward most to going to bed at night and sleeping and being in the quiet

But when I wake, I don’t feel refreshed, I feel tired and want to keep sleeping

Getting up is challenging

Getting up and starting my day takes a lot of effort

Leaving me with a half empty tank for the rest of my day

And some days, getting up takes nearly all my tank and so I am left running on fumes all day

Until I can go to bed again.

I manage to do the essentials, feed my children, feed myself

When I am depressed, I eat, too much

Trying to find comfort in food, but the comfort never comes

Leaving me feeling heavy and disappointed further pushing me down

I manage to wash clothes, I like doing laundry, the only cleaning task I truly like

Something about the simplicity of laundry and the reward

Sort the colors, fill the washer, add the soap and turn the dials

I get myself and my kids to the things we must do, are committed to

I get myself to work and get through the day

I don’t enjoy work very much and it feels like WORK

There are moments of pleasure and times where I feel good at work, work gives me a. Feeling of accomplishment

When I am working, I feel competent, because I have been an Occupational Therapist for 25 years

And I know the routine

I complete an eval, setting goals and then reassess them 3-4 weeks later and see the progress, or lack of it

And when they have reached their maximum potential, I complete the discharge paperwork with reassessment again.

It is logical and familiar.

I am a good therapist and I know what I am doing.

Yet, i have many moment so “I don’t want to do this anymore” seeing all the flaws in the system

And the problems that need fixing and it frustrates me beyond belief

Yet while I am at work, I probably am functioning my best

Home

Thinking about it now, recalling how coming home is always challenging when I am depressed,

I think it is because I come home to “disappointment”

Disappointment in myself for all the things I have NOT been doing in my time away from work

You can look at the menu but you just can’t eat

You can feel the cushions but you can’t have a seat

You can dip your foot in the pool, but you can’t have a swim

You’re the fastest runner, but you’re not allowed to win

YOu can see the summit, but you can’t reach it

It’s the last piece of the puzzle but you just cant make it fit

The doctor says you’re cured but you still feel the pain

Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

There are moments of joy, playing with my youngest and engaging with all my kids

Yet there is this dark cloud over my head the whole time

Just when I think I am pulling myself up and out of the muck and mud,

Something happens creating more challenges in my life

Causing me to fall back into the mud

Don is my rock, steady and always by my side

Yet, when I am depressed all I see are his flaws

I expect him to disappoint me and that is what I experience

This is a new reflection, a new realizing that I am just now fully realizing

As I listen to Peter Cetera sing, The Glory of Love

DEPRESSION

Have you ever seen the rain coming down on a sunny day?

I always thought if you were clinically depressed, you wound have any moment of joy

I always told myself, i wasn’t really depressed or i won’t be able to go to work

I wouldn’t be able to function at all, that is real clinical depression

Those people have it bad

I am still functioning.

It wasn’t until I came out of it, that I could look back and see how depressed I was

It didn’t matter that I was still functioning, I was barely functioning

I was barely getting by and it was painful

Often physically painful with aches and pains, throwing my back out to the point of not being able to move

Many trips to the chiropractor and other doctors for a variety of illnesses

And then I would get sick, stay home from work sick and it would take a long time to get better or I would relapse

Looking back this happened in college, often, sinus infections that just wouldn’t go away

Mood swings

All my life I have experienced big mood swings

When I went to college and learned about bipolar disorder

I wondered, Is this me?

Yet, i don’t experience mania

Not full on mania

It was years before I learned about hypomania

I think I learned about it from my brother and his bipolar diagnosis

From that time, i began to wonder about myself

I went to a psychiatrist after I had been on an antidepressant for a long time, 8 months ore so, prescribed by my primary

Because i finally took myself to the doctor and tole them I needed treatment for depression

So by the time I went to the first psychiatrist, i was having nearly all the side effects from the antidepressant and i was in a state of hypomania but beginning to look more like mania

The doctor diagnosed me with depression, removed me from the medicine showing me how I was having all the side effects fro it

And then

She declared me cured

I knew I was not cured but hopefully that I didn’t need the antidepressant anymore

And so worried that I would fall back into the depression again

I was good for a while, for another few months

Until i slowly began sinking again

So slowly, rreeping up on me

Realizing it but naively thinking along the way that

THIS was the low point and surely I would pull back up

Sinking further and further

Finding a doctor again and trying a different antidepressant and going to a new psychiatrist

Because I wanted to make sure the medicine didn’t cause mania because

That can help end with bipolar disorder

I had been reading and researching becoming more and more convinced that this was my proper diagnosis

And going to the psychiatrist, to the expert, to determine if that was the case

Yet, she diagnosed me with depression

And I got tiered of paying twenty dollars cash each visit and not happy with her

Challenged by th noisy fan because the building’s air conditioner was broken and she had a soft voice and an accent

And my hearing is not what it used to be and it was a challenge to hear her words

And a challenge to be there with her asking dumb basic questions

When I had dug so much deeper with all my purists in EFT and alternative modalities and inner work

Luckily, my primary has continued to prescribe my medication and i don’t seam to baving side effects

I wonder about mania vs hypomania

I realize that it would have been good to continue to go to the same psychiatrist so manybe she could have seen the difference in me,

Why?

To diagnosis me properly

Whatever

I have done that for myself

I am more qualified to do it

Which is sad, really sad that the mental health system has failed me

I intended to work in mental health when I was in college studying Occupational therapy

We had an entire semester plus dedicated to mental health and level I and level II fieldwork in a mental health setting

Only finding traumatic brain injury and a acute rehab pulled me way from my interest in pursing a career in mental health

Here I am

All these years later

Discovering that the doctors don’t always do the best job at diagnosis in

The psychologists and psychiatrist with their MDs and PhDs, all those years of school

Didn’t help me

My own personal education, experience, research and inner work and trial and erro with a variety of approaches

Has led me to diagnosis myself

I would have been the last person to say this is valid,

I am biased, this is why i went to the professions in the first place

They were supposed to be the experts

They first failed me with my children, especially my youngest son

In getting him help for his anxiety and challenges that affected his every day life

Yet, I find myself needing to say, I mean no disrespect for these professionals and they are essential in the system

And I KNOW they help many, many children and adults get the help they need.

And yet, there are those who are misdiagnosed and those who fall through the cracks of the system

Those who don’t get the help they need because of costs and insurance, bad insurance or no insurance

Or no qualified providers in their insurance plan

WE MUST ALL TAKE CHARGE OF OUR OWN HEALTH AND BE INVOLVED IN THE PROCESS

As an Occupational Therapist, my role is to facilitate my patient’s return to a higher level of independent functioning.

I facilitate, but I can not do the work for them and if they are not motivated and don’t make the effort, there is nothing I can do to make them better.

“Man, through the use of his hands, can influence the state of his own health”

The quote is from one of the founders of occupational therapy and something I learned in freshman year in a Theory of Occupational Therapy class. I learned about many different theorists yet that one quote is what has stuck with me.

That quote is what motivated me to help my daughter learn to knit and crochet when her OCD was so severe that it crippled here in her daily life. And what drove me to engage her in Sudoku puzzles and other tasks to help calm the anxiety that was rampant in her Brian causing havoc in her life and in ours.

I have learned that I must go to the doctor and get their advice AND do my own research, go to the alternative practitioners and gather all the resources and information and advice

AND then I must decide what to take in and what to discard in order to maximize my level of independent functioning.

BUT WHEN I AM DEPRESSED, IT IS REALLY HARD TO DO THIS!

I KNOW What I need to do much of the time, but making the decisions to do it and taking the action is challenging.

It can be paralyzing to know what I need to do and not be able to make the decisions to do it.

To an outsider it looks so simple, just do it,, just call the doctor and make the appointment, just get up 30 minutes early and walk every morning, just go. Outside once each day and do grounding exercises, just write in your journal daily.

Sure I KNOW I need to do these things and at times, I can do them, once or twice,

Trudging through the mud with chains on my back, while trying to keep my head above water

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Depression and Bipolar 2: January 22, 2018

Coming out of depression

I have diagnosed my self with Bipolar 2. I swing from depression to jypomania.

I have seen this tendency throughout my adult life and it became exaggerated after Don’s heart attack.

When I came out of the depression back in 2014, I think that was the year, is when I saw how depressed I had been and for how long. I couldn’t fully see the extend of the depression until I was out of it.

It was quite a realization to look back on years of my life and see how I had been barely functioning slowly sinking further into depression.

So many life challenges had entered my life that had drained my energy and suppressed my true self.

What is depression?

Not being who you truly are

I always think of mud, being stuck in the mud, moving through mud

Slow and difficult, extra work to do everything, to get through each day

Drowning in water, but not quite, trying to keep your head above the water

A continuous doggie paddle

Slipping into the water, unable to breath and then coming up for gasps of air

Just enough air to keep going

Through off your mental chains. (Thank you Howard Jones)

Jacob Marley’s chains

Dragging you down

Then I slipped back into depression, I could see it slowly creeping up on me

I could feel it taking a hold and yet I couldn’t stop it

I couldn’t see how much lower I would sink, Thinking at each stage that “this” is the lowest point

Only to find myself further down the spiral, lost and wondering,

“How the hell did I get here again?”

PRESSURE

Pushing down on me, pushing down on you

These are the days that it never rains, but pours

It is the terror of knowing what this world is about,

Watching good friends scream, let me out

Turned away from it all like a blind man

Insanity laughs

This is our last dance, this is our last dance

This is ourselves, under pressure

Music moves me through the memories of depression and what it feels like

And music helps me move forward and out of the depression

I am way too young and I won’t stop running!

I believe the tables will turn

I won’t stop dreaming

This isn’t over, it’s never over

Facing forward, lights out, I wont stop running

Falling backwards, I won’t stop running

I will take another sunrise….

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

I am living it all

Tearing off the labels….

This isn’t over

This isn’t over

I am way too young and I won’t stop running

Thank You to Queen and lyrics of Under Pressure

Thank You to A Great Big World and lyrics of Won’t Stop Running

My 500 Words: In the Silence

Silence

Sitting in my living room with a hot cup of tea

No music

Just me and the keyboard

Words

Coming to me slowly

As i take time for reflection

Before looking at social media and before

Diving in to the tasks of the day

In the silence

House noises, creaks and the fan on the wii, I’m guessing

The cat moves about in these early morning hours

It’s 6:17am

WEnt to bed early last night, exhausted

Busy weekend

Working and preparing for his 9th birthday party

Making a multilayered cake with strawberries and blueberries

Gingerbread men and icing to decorate along with organic, all natural candies

An afternoon of fun

Kids running a bout the house

Joined in by Rosa, via skype, his online friend from Ohio

And then Abby joined us via FaceTime as well

Opening presents with 2 iPads to bring them here virtually

Pictures of Jason over these pat 9 years on the walls of our kitchen

Smiling, laughing, joyous Jason

I stop to wonder how many words I have written

My WordPress app does not keep count

Making writing playlists

Music speaks to me

Inspires me

Motivates me

Brings me to life

Writing in the silence is a challenge

Going within

Quieting the anxious mind

God time….God time

Meditations at Unity with Randolph Wilkinson

Connecting to my inner soul

The silence allows me to dig deep, to reflect and be alone in my thoughts

Peaceful and yet, unsettling in a way

In the moment

Now

Taking in my surroundings

Noticing

The silk plant Don bought me for an anniversary

The balloons hanging up from Jason’s birthday party

The way the light from the floor lamp hits the ceiling

Looking for ladybugs

Because they flock to the light in the spring an the fall and when it warms up in winter

Winter

Big snowfall, snow days, making a snowman, snow person

Eager to put my earbuds in to listen to my new playlist I created

While sitting in the bathroom

Plants growing

We have had them for a long time, gifts from when Jason was born or when Don had his heart attack

I often forget to water them but they are still alive,

I think it is time to add new soil to help them grow and flourish

New soil

Fresh starts

The house is so clean

Awesome husband who took care of things while I worked

Cleaned the house, made the cake and cut out the gingerbread men

Enjoying my work more now, enjoying talking to people

People

How many people have I interacted with in my 25 years as an Occupational Therapist

So many different kind so people

Interesting lives and personalities and beliefs

It amazes me how different going to work can be

When I am depressed compared to now, hypomanic

Fully alive and engaged, manic?

Doesn’t matter how I label myself

As long as I take time for reflection

Go within

To connect with my soul and my true self

To be the greatest version of the grandest vision every I held about who I am

Gratitude January 19, 2018

I am grateful for…

Ed Sheehan

Music

Earbuds

iPads and bluetooth keyboards

Waking up early before the sunrise while everyone else sleeps

Sitting in my living room with hot tea, music,

Writing

I am grateful for Jan Luther, EFT, Reiki and all the amazing people I have met in my life

All the wonderful friends who have helped me grow and

Become who I am

Playing in the snow

Teaching Jason how to roll a snowball to make a snowman, snow girl, named her Mary Poppins

Sledding down our driveway and our yard

Laughing

Remembering times with my older children in the snow

Walking up our street, to the stop sign with Jason

And it was like yesterday that I did that with Harrison, when he was maybe 4

Watching my children grow

Being a part of their lives, learning and growing alongside them

Enjoying the journey, our homeschool journey, our unschool journey

Our learning through living journey

I am grateful for reflection

Pictures, videos, memories, reminiscing, celebrating, birthdays

And holidays with family, Thankmas, the years spend on the lake at my parent’s house on Lake Murray

Time with my niece and nephew, my children growing up with their cousins

Family reunions at Red Top Mountain, Georgia with the Elefante’s

Sending prayers for my aunt, her husband and son and my mom

The other side of depression…

Hypomania, creativity, bursts of energy, enthusiasm, ideas….

So many ideas, dreams, aspirations, goals, desires

The anticipation of something great

Living life right

Now

The present, being present, the gift of life

All those who have touched my life

My college friends

All the places I have lived, Flanders, NJ; Canton, Ohio; Bethel Park, PA; Whitehall, PA

Elizabethtown College

Charlotte, NC

the ad in my OT magazine, “Shouldn’t you be in Charlotte?”

Facebook and reconnecting with high school friends, lost friends from all the places I have lived

Cousins

My South African pen pal, Zurina

Meeting her after loosing touch for like 20 years

It was like we had always been friends, so much in common

Despite living so far away from each other when we met as pen pals in the 80s

Connection

I am grateful for my life

Changes

I sit here listening to my inspiration play list.

The goal is to inspire myself to write. 

Because the reality is I have not been writing and I realized today that the life I choose to live is one in which I write.

The life I choose is one in which I choose to write about what matters to me.

Right now what matters to me is my mental health and if writing is my way back to myself….

then I must write, no matter what

Two weeks ago i came to my cozy spot, sat in my comfy chair and I only felt ready to write when the place was closing.

Tonight, i realized, I needed to facilitate my spark to write much sooner. 

Or maybe i did not realize that consciously but after watching a touching episode of an old TV show,

I took stock in myself and my current situation.

David Bowie played, “Changes”, a fitting title

I have always loved this song and it felt like my song for tonight

Then I looked up the lyrics….

They surprised me

Even though I knew some of the lyrics,

I had not really heard the song as a whole before

Of course, it seams so fitting for me and my struggles

I still don’t know what I was waiting for

And my time was running wild

A million dead-end streets

And every time I thought I’d got it made

It seemed the taste was not so sweet

So I turned myself to face me

But I’ve never caught a glimpse

Of how the others must see the faker

I’m much too fast to take that test

Not sure if I really know what all of it means

I don’t think it matters what David intended in the meaning

I believe all that matters is what it means to me

Sure, I would like to know what the words meant to him

Yet, on a spiritual level, I know I need to just allow it to bring out my own meaning

As a means to help me on my path 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Face the unknown

Ch-ch-changes

Don’t want to be a richer man

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Face my fears

Ch-ch-changes

Just gonna have to be a different man

Everything in my life. Changes who I am

In each new moment, I am created a new

I can’t go back and be who I was before all my challenges 

I can only be who I am now….

And accept myself in who I am now

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time
I watch the ripples change their size

But never leave the stream

Of warm impermanence and

So the days float through my eyes

But still the days seem the same

Theses lyrics are poetry, as is the entire song

All I gather from it is that I watch life move on and yet feel so stuck in the same low place
The next lines have always been my favorite ranking alongside, “Another brick in the wall”

The message within these next four lines are what compels me to write

The message in these lines is what compels  me to be the parent I choose to be

And to always strive to be a better parent

It is my passion for living my life


And these children that you spit on

As they try to change their worlds

Are immune to your consultations

They’re quite aware of what they’re going through

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Don’t tell them to grow up and out of it

I almost overlooked this lesser known line

Let children be children

Let them be who they are now

They have value at any age

They will become adults in time

We don’t need to “train them to be adults”

We need to respect  them where they are now and allow them to be children

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Where’s your shame

You’ve left us up to our necks in it

Time may change me

But you can’t trace time
Strange fascination, fascinating me

Changes are taking the pace

I’m going through
Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Oh, look out you rock ‘n rollers

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

(Turn and face the strange)

Ch-ch-changes

Pretty soon now you’re gonna get older

Time may change me

But I can’t trace time

I said that time may change me

But I can’t trace time

I like how these lyrics leave me thoughtful and looking for deeper meaning.

Looking for meaning beyond what I see as the obvious meaning in the words

Searching

Is a good place to be in 

And most certainly so much better and more full of life than in a slump of depression

Avoiding and zoning out and “medicating” with distraction

Thank you
AtoZLyrics

And an enormous burst of gratitude to David Bowie for writing and for singing

Wildflowers 

You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea

Sail away, kill off the hours

You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, find you a lover

Go away somewhere all bright and new

I have seen no other

Who compares with you
You belong among the wildflowers

You belong in a boat out at sea

You belong with your love on your arm

You belong somewhere you feel free
Run away, go find a lover

Run away, let your heart be your guide

You deserve the deepest of cover

You belong in that home by and by
You belong among the wildflowers

You belong somewhere close to me

Far away from your trouble and worry

You belong somewhere you feel free

You belong somewhere you feel free

Thank you Tom Petty, your words speak to my spirit. I am forever grateful for the work you put into the world.  

And A-Z Lyrics, I can always find the song I am looking for. Boy,you would have been helpful when I was in middle school taping songs off the radio onto my tape player and then playing them back slowly stopping and rewinding to write down the words to the song.  Even many of the cassettes I bought in the early 80s didn’t have lyrics to the songs included.   And then there were those lyrics that you just couldn’t figure out because you didn’t know what they were saying.  I only found out this year that the ABBA song Dancing  Queen lyrics include ” you’re in the mood to dance” and not what I thought sounded like “you’re at the Hoover damm”.

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/tompettyandtheheartbreakers/wildflowers.html

Tonight I had an amazing meet up with a long time friend and a spiritual soul mate. She has guided me on the journey back to myself.  We were together about 4 hours and we did some deep spiritual work. And she headed home and I remain in this space to write and I pulled up my playlist that I put together a while back with just 4 songs.  The playlist is entitled “writing ideas” and the first song that played on shuffle was the above Tom Petty.  I never realized it before, but apparently Tom is one of my spiritual guides.  Just view my blogs with song lyrics.  And then the following song playethis song expanded on the message to my soul which was so powerful after the time spent with my dear friend, my spiritual guide and soul mate. 

Thank you A Great Big World! I discovered you this past summer just when I needed you and your songs in my life.  Your words have lifted me many times over the past 7 months at a time in my life when I was very low and needed your words to sustain me.  This song is called Rockstar”. 
There’s a girl in the backyard bangin’ on her drum

Sittin’ in a junk pile laughing at the sun

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”
There’s a boy in the backseat singin’ to the song

Playin’ on the radio, knowing he’s the one

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”
Singin’, “ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar!”
There’s a girl in the tree top looking at the stars

Waiting for a touchdown comin’ in from Mars

Thinkin’, “Is there anybody out there?”
There’s a boy thinking of her playin’ his guitar

Searching for the answer buried in his heart

Thinkin’, “Ah, ha ha, is there anybody out there?”
Singin’, “Ah, ha ha, is there anybody out there?”
If there’s a meaning can you show me a sign?

The more I look it just gets harder to find

The world is spinnin’ and I wanna know why
And we’re all getting older wishin’ we were young

Hangin’ on the memory of what we would become

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar.”
Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I just wanna be a rockstar.”

Singin’, “Ah ha ha, I was born to be a rockstar!”
If there’s a meaning can you show me a sign?

The more I look it just gets harder to find

The world is spinnin’ and I wanna know why
And maybe we will never figure it out

I got a feelin’ that’s what life’s all about

I’m learning anything is possible now
Take a ticket and get off the line [8x]

Singing, “Ah ha ha I just wanna be a rockstar.” [4x]

http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/greatbigworld/rockstar.html

And as I listen to the remainder of my playlist,  I discover another Tom Petty song.  Will save that for another post.

Time to explore the inner workings of my soul. 

I Will Be OK 

Songs can bring me out of my darkest times if only for a moment. Sometimes all I need is that moment to propel myself forward out of my stuck place.

You’ll be okayYou’ll be okay

The sun will rise

To better days
And change will come

It’s on it’s way

Just close your eyes

And let it rain
‘Cause you’re never alone

I will always be there

You just carry on

You will understand
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

Just look inside

You know the way
Let it go

Fly away

And say goodbye

To yesterday
‘Cause you’re never alone

And I will always be there

You just carry on

You will understand
And I will be strong

When love is gone

I’ll carry on…
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

The sun will rise

To better days
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

Just close your eyes

And let it rain
When you need it the most

And all you’ve got is a prayer

You must carry on

You will understand

You will understand

You will understand
You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay

You’ll be okay.
Thank you once again to: A Great Big World

I was so fortunate to hear you live when you opened for Phillip Phillips and Matt Nathanson.

Such a wonderful experience taking my daughter to her first concert. And one of my favorite opening bands of all time that I first discovered at the concert. You have such meaningful lyrics that are simple yet powerful as well as such an upbeat soul to your sound that brings me much joy. Your music has been what I have needed most in such a difficult time in my life. How ironic because I took my daughter to hear Phillip Phillips because of how powerful his music was for us in her most difficult time in her life. I know it helped me through the pain. And it formed a bond between my daughter and myself.

And thanks once again  to A to Z Lyrics for making it so easy to find the full lyrics.