Tuesday, September 30, 2014

A Lot of Anxiety with a side of Paranoia

That Zoloft I was on, was so not for me. 

I have not been posting because between some way way heavy anxiety and paranoia after they raised my dose of Zoloft and now coming off it and not taking anything in replacement, I have been depressed. I need to let the med doc know it has been a week and see about starting something now.

The moral of the story is that I have been coming home, curling up and that is it. My anxiety has me worrying about something on the Internet, so to save what is left of my sanity, I have been avoiding the computer. 

Since I have been off of it for a week, I am feeling somewhat better anxiety wise and somewhat worse depression wise. Hopefully, I will find something that is working.

The good news is I have been reading. What else is there to do besides sleep? 

Some books I read during my hiding:



I loved it! I have been on a Gothic kick lately and this certainly. grabbed my attention. I hope to read the second book soon. 


Another series I have been sucked into. I have the second book ready to read.



Speaking of Gothics, I have been reading Victoria Holt's Gothic books. It started my latest obsession. 


Another series that I blew through was The Edge series by Ilona Andrews. I now want to read the entire back list.

Hopefully, this new medicine won't make me so anxious and paranoid. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Change to Zoloft

 

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So today was the appointment I have been waiting for and I did get a change.

I am stopping my generic Prozac and beginning Zoloft, tomorrow when I can pick up my prescription.  I will still be on Wellbutrin. Here’s to maybe better times ahead.

My only experience with Zoloft was watching my Mom take it. When she was first diagnosed with what we found out would be front temporal dementia, she had no emotions. She did not laugh, cry, tantrum, giggle, nothing. She was just sitting there staring into no where. Zoloft gave her emotions. She could laugh and cry, tantrum and giggle like before. She was on it and she kept having those emotions even though she had extreme aphasia.

Other then that, not much is going on. Go to work, come home, walk the dog, read, sleep…. How are you doing?

Picture from Imagebase

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mental Health and The Spotlight

Why does it take a celebrity suicide to bring attention to mental health and suicide? Why does it take this to have people turn their attention to mental health? 

I distresses me a little when this happens. It is sad. It makes me think of my struggles. There are people who are trying to erase stigma and show people how you can lead a life with mental illness. They write as they can or they talk to people, that will listen, about their struggles. They may be accused of posting frivolous and negative things on Facebook. These are the unsung advocates, who like me, aren't noticed. 

I strive to break stigma a little with each post. I try to get mental health struggles talked about in general conversation. I try to get people to see and open up about their hidden struggles. 

I just wish it did not take a celebrity death to get us to talk about these things. 

When I wanted to die, I could not see anything but a bleak future. I thought that no one would really notice that I was gone. My life had basically no worth and why would I stick around if I have no worth?

I do not think about my death very much. My therapist asked if I am suicidal at my last therapy appointment and I could honestly say that no I am not. 

 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Dear Schweppes…

I first spied Schweppes Agrum in a small French market. It was a warm day and I was thirsty. Did I want my old stand by Coke Zero? No. I saw this in the store and said, “I will try that.”

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That is when my two week obsession began. I had it whenever I could. I got it in restaurants and in stores. We bought some to keep in the car and in the hotel room as we went from place to place.

In the airport, I bought 4 to bring home. Had I known, I would have filled my suitcase with it, if I could get away with it. Never mind the wine, I should have packed Agrum.

After two weeks in France, we get home and start to Google. Can you get Agrum in the United States?

The answer to that is a big N-O!

I can not seem to find it online to buy or in any of the European type stores in Boston. It was a big let down. We were considering having my guy’s French cousin send us some. Yes, mailed Schweppes Agrum.

Please  Schweppes, there are a growing amount of Americans, who after visiting France, would love to drink Agrum when we got home. Please Schweppes, make it available online, if not in stores. You would have a very happy customer. I look at the shelves of Schweppes ginger ales and think, “Agrum should be here!”

I will have to go back to France next year just to drink Schweppes Agrum.

A Hopeful Fan in Quincy,MA

Friday, August 1, 2014

Yes, I Am Majorly Depressed

I had a really intense therapy appointment today and I will see her next Friday as well.

This appointment showed me how much I have fallen into depression, yet again.  I don’t want to do anything. My self care has gone down the shower. I can’t really concentrate on reading. I have a constant headache. I want to sleep ALL THE TIME.  My appetite is all over the place, mostly gone. I am crying.  Thoughts of total unworthiness has taken over!

I did ask about this new therapy called Low Field Magnetic Stimulation and she had heard of it but told me to talk to the med NP about it so I will. It is based here in Boston and I am intrigued.

So when I see the med NP in two weeks, I am going to request all new medicine. It is time to give something a try. My current regime of Prozac and Wellbutrin is just not cutting it anymore.

So the shadow is stalking me again and it is all over the place.  That is what is going on with me.

I think I need to reinstate my Happy Things post and inject some of my Jennifer appeal into this blog. Small changes will hopefully be coming soon. With depression, things take time, unfortunately.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

A Blogher 2014 Re-Cap

I had the opportunity to attended Blogher 2014 in San Jose, California this weekend.  The last time I attended Blogher was in 2012 and had some good, the bad and the downright ugly and it sort of turned me off from Blogher. Fast forward to 2014 and I decided to sign up.

The conference this was different then the other 3 I have attended. In some ways, it was much better and in some, it was totally underwhelming.

The Underwhelming

The Expo Center was totally underwhelming. I avoided half of the Expo because I neither have a baby or children and I do not monetize my blog.  Where was the Sun from previous years?  I just wish there were more brands that I could connect with.

I blog to break stigma. I blog to see that average every day people have mental illness. I blog to show that I am just an average person. It is therapy for me and whether or not people read me, I will continue to blog about the crazy thoughts that populate my head.I was hoping to be reinvigorated but I get home feeling like the fun has gone out of blogging.  Perhaps that is the depression talking. I was feeling pretty down about myself. I felt like I did not fit in and  that was the depression talking. I spent a lot of time wandering around. I tried to be friendly and out going but sometimes I felt that it just wasn’t enough.

I spent a lot of time wandering. I had looked at the session guides and none of the descriptions jumped out at me. I wanted to attend sessions.  I found out after speaking to a speaker that said the session description did not match the session that they were going to teach. Why were the descriptions wrong?

The Awesomeness

Some of the booths in the Expo Hall were awesome. The Pets Add Life booth was great. I got to have my picture taken with their dog and it was one of the highlights of my conference.

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I got to hang out with old and new friends. Evidently, my outgoing ways rubbed off on some people because I did meet a lot of cool people and I was allowed to say that I am a Mental Health blogger and people did not look at me with eyes that say I have ten heads.

The Mrs Band is really cool. I cried during the video because I totally struggle in this regard. I look at the mirror and see ugliness and a person who is unworthy. Years of therapy has not changed this at all. I was in tears watching this video.

 

And of course the song is just awesome.

Will the message finally sink in? I hope so.

I will have more tomorrow when I can think clearly. I have a head ache from crying during the song. Yes, I know. Plus, I have to charge the Samsung camera to get the pictures off of it.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Change Change Change

I had my medication appointment this week. It went OK. I was hoping for more a change like changing my two medications but she just added 10 milligrams on to my Prozac prescription. We shall see how it works. 
I see her in a month regardless to see how things are going since the change and I am keeping my fingers crossed.

I have been all over the board these last few days emotions-wise. The other night I was crying and honestly, I did not know why. 

The medication doctor had told me that my life has totally changed and maybe that change is starting to catch up to me. In the last year:

  • I got laid off after being at a company for 10 years, out of the blue.
  • After posting a whole post about how I was meant to be alone, I met the guy and we have been together for a year and living together for 10 months. He has not killed me yet.
  • Guy's teenage son comes about every other weekend.
  • We got a dog.


  • I got a new job at a company with a very different dynamic.
  • Guy's teenage son is going to be moving in with us next month. My apartment is going to rearranged
  • Blogher is next week and well, that brings my anxiety and not good enough thoughts to my head.   

It has just been a whirlwind year. I can see where she has a point. What is next?        




Thursday, July 10, 2014

How to Deal With Depression and Anxiety During Blogher 2014


I am going to my 4th Blogger in two weeks. Even after 4 years, it is overwhelming. In situations where I know no one, I tend to revert to my introverted side and being around hundreds of women and some men that I have never met or read is wicked scary to me. 

I try to be "up" in new situations but being "up" is physically and mentally exhausting.  It takes a lot of internal guts for me to go up to someone that I do not know and say "Hello". All of the "Will they like me?" or "What if they hate my blog?" or "How the hell am I going to describe my blog" gets shoved down and the welcoming smiling friendly gregarious (I was called that recently) comes out.

Here is how I deal with it.

1. Coping mechanisms will be kept handy. I will have a book (maybe two or three) with me. If it gets to be too much, I will find a quiet corner and read for a bit. I used to retreat to the Serenity Suite but that is not an option.

2. Recite the mantra in my head.  "I am good enough" over and over until I start to believe it.

3.Don't be afraid to show your true feelings. I lost my phone at the San Diego Blogher. I was dealing with family issues and I totally broke down. I was crying. People stopped to help me. They even got AT&T to donate a phone until I could replace mine. They were awesome and they helped me. I eventually found my phone through Twitter. People will be there for you. 

As someone who has been really struggling lately. I am totally looking forward to the medication appointment I have next week. I am going to be true to myself. I am not perfect and I know I can handle it if I get anxious and depressed. 

I will be around just look for the tall freckled red head with a bit of a Boston accent. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

A Day At The Market–France Part 2

There is one thing I wish Boston had. I wish we had a really good public market like other cities do. There is an outdoor market but the vegetables there leave a lot to be desired and you have to watch to see if they put rotten vegetables in the bag.

In France, I had the opportunity to hit the weekly market in Bourgueil and it was one of my favorite things about France. Here it is, in pictures.

 

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The vegetables!

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The cheese!

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This man wanted to trade his apron for a trip to America.

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The bread!

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Plants and animals. I wanted the chicken.

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Buying langoustines to have with dinner that night. I loved them!

I already want to go back to a market like this. The guy has said we may go back to France next year so I am hoping!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

I Went to France! Part 1

I can not believe that it is already July! I have been a big time blogging procrastinator but I am going to Blogher at the end of the month and I am hoping that it injects some blogging mojo into me.

Last week, I got back from France. It was an amazing time and an amazing opportunity for me. I am very thankful that I was invited along. I am in the process of gathering photos from various cameras.

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A wine lover stuck in wine country. I will take it!

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From this spot, we could go on various day trips. There were wine caves to go to and chateaus to visit and visit we did.

 

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We visited the city of Tours and I liked visiting Tours more then I did Paris.

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I struggled emotionally in France. I did not have my regular coping mechanism of escape. I was staying with nine people and it was hard to find time alone. I also had a hard time staying “up”. Some days I felt better then others. I am going to my doctor to change my medicine because it is time but maybe I should have done it before France. Oh well, it is done.

Tomorrow more about my market trip and chateau visits…..

Thursday, May 22, 2014

A Weight Off My Chest



Where to begin.

Even with this blog, I still hold things back.

I had a little breakdown with the guy the other day. It started when I talked about how dopey I have been feeling since the Topamax, that I have been taking for migraines, was doubled.

I have been flaky when I can honestly say. I am not really a flaky person. When I say I will do something, I will generally do it. I have just been forgetting everything. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the decreased amount will stop it. 

As I went from this topic to how I have been feeling about myself and how I really need to change my depression medication because I have been feeling down more often and feeling lower each time. Even the guy has noticed. When I started on that track, it got to how unhappy I am about myself.

Very unhappy. I admitted that I am totally afraid to lose weight. The weight is still my armor and that I still want to be invisible.  Yet, I want to be healthy. I want to lose weight. At least part of me does. I know this sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo but seriously, it is what is going on in my head. My guy listened to me and said that he understands that I have been holding that in. That he will help me do whatever I decide. 

For once in a relationship, I do not have to hold that side of me a "dark secret". I can finally be honest.  I can finally say, "Yes, I suffer from major depressive disorder. I have anxiety. Not it is not a part of me but yes, it does totally effect me."

My anxiety has also been sky high. Coincidence? I think not.  


Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Keeping Kleenex in Business

Winter seems to want to stick around here in the Northeastern US and while I am trying to be optimistic, my immune system has been screaming “Uncle!” I have had this plague sort of thing that has been going around. The sinus infection, the endless lingering cough for weeks, sore throat, antibiotics and all of their wonderful side effects, keeping Kleenex in business and generally in a funk.

I went to see my therapist this week after totally forgetting last week when I was out with the plague. We talked about changing my medication when I see the medication doctor in a few weeks. I said that yes, it is probably time. I have been feeling down a lot lately. I have been taking generic Wellbutrin and generic Prozac for a while. Maybe it is time to change things up. Even the guy has been dealing with my little nightly breakdowns lately. I don’t like to show them but he handles them great!

Because cats make everything better, I leave you with Eli, my neck rub loving, purring big boy, who we discovered this week loves to chew cords!

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Clearing My Mind


The first thing I did when I got home from work yesterday was put on the exercise clothes and put Bailey in his harness and get out there. I put the music on high and walked. 


There is a huge field near my house that has a main entrance way but I noticed that there was a train next to it and I followed it. 


Walking gives me time clear my mind and walking with music shuts up my loud brain.  I do not know why I took that letter I got yesterday so badly.  

When my guy got off work later that night, I talked to him about it and he re-framed it for me. He told me that it was not a bad thing. As a singer songwriter, if he had submitted music to a death metal label and got a letter that it was not a good fit, it would be exactly that, not some critique on my music.

He talked me down from the ledge and this morning, I woke up feeling a lot better. I teeter so much on that line of rational/irrational (at times) that one little thing triggers a cross. 

This blog is going no where in the meantime.  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Just Not Good Enough

Today is one of those days. 

I got a nice "you do not fit in" letter from my blog and rejection from other sources in my life. That "good enough" line was crossed. I always teeter on the high and low self esteem line but lately, I spend more time on the low end of the spectrum. Honestly, I would hide in my corner and cry but that is not productive at all. 

I am 40, single, never married, no kids and don't own a house. Sometimes in the blogging world, I just feel like one of those freaks that does not fit in. I am not a Mom. I write about deep down stuff. Stuff that would stay in my mind and in therapy sessions, if I did not write about it. I am afraid I make people sad when they read my blog and that will never really grow my blog. 

I have been blogging a while and I am not sure where to go with this blog. I am honest, perhaps too honest. I thought if I wrote about my battle with depression and anxiety, I would actually help people but it is big wide world but sometimes I just feel like I am floundering out there with no real purpose. 

I am not stopping my blog but at a crossroads. I signed up to go to Blogher this year hoping it might help. I am not sure where I should go at this fork in the road.






Friday, March 28, 2014

Color on a Cold Night

This week I went to a blogger spring preview at Athleta on Newbury Street. I love their colorful clothes. It makes me smile.  I generally work out in ill fitting t-shirts and yoga pants that sometimes stay up and sometimes and sometimes, they fall down (just like my jeans even though they are not really loose) and require readjustment.

So, on a cold windy night, I looked at pretty clothes and really wished I could try something (anything) but I did take pictures of clothing I liked.

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I love their clothes. They sell plus sizes on line but not in their stores. It is like they want my money but just do not come into our stores. It is a definite trend in retail with stores like Old Navy doing it.

It makes me sad. They offer plus sizes in 1x and 2x. I am sure they could fit them on the shelves. I will definitely order something online but I definitely prefer to try things on, feel them and seeing how they look on me.

I may be overweight but I do not sit around all day. I work out. I wear clothing while working out and would love to be stylish. I wish stores would listen.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Lost or Not

As I sit here, next to Bailey, writing this, I am watching the very first episode of LOST.

 

I heard it has been 10 years since it premiered and I spent 10 years of obsessing over every little detail of this show. I would dissect it endlessly and reserve the hour it was on every week only to be crushed and hugely disappointed by the ending. I am not sure why I am watching it but I am.

Today, it was somewhat springish here in New England and I decided to take Bailey for a little walk after work because my guy is working late tonight . There is a possibility of snow next week so I will take this now.

I have been on a downward ride lately.  Just the combination of the migraine, pain, weight, self esteem, long winter, and just my battle with depression has me losing it lately. I want to curl up and well, not do anything. 

They doubled my Topamax prescription so I am hoping that will help with the migraines.  That is a plus. I will take it!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Health Quandary

Things have been a little crazy here over the last two weeks.

I have not been feeling very well for a while now. I have had some digestive issues and pain in my lower left abdominal area and my migraines have been brutal. They happen almost every night and involve ear aches and sore throats.

Since this started when I was unemployed, I had to wait until I had health insurance and since I now do, I went to the doctors. The doctor sent me for a colonoscopy and they found that everything was hunky dory in that department so they sent me to get a pelvic ultrasound.

The pelvic ultrasound showed that I have fibroids, which I have had removed in the past. The gynecologist today said that fibroids are not causing my digestive issues and pain and he said I should have a cat scan.

It is just frustrating. It makes me think it is all in my head.

On top of this, Pumpkin went to the vet last week and because she is so young and has an advanced case of gingivitis. The vet thought to test for Bartonella , which can manifest in cats with gingivitis. It came back positive. So Eli and Bailey have to be treated with antibiotics. Me and the guy are probably going to be tested as well.

Perhaps, my crazy headaches have something to do with the Bartonella. It can’t hurt to be tested.

My Google investigation of the “stealth pathogen” does not instill good vibes in me. Just so you know Bartonella can cause a few things including cat scratch disease. God knows I have been scratched and bitten enough by my precious cats. We shall see.

Meanwhile, the gynecologist made a comment about me “losing a 100 pounds” to feel better. I know I have to lose weight. I know I need to be healthy. I just know the pain is more than weight.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

3 Things I am Loving Lately

Rather then moan about the endless winter or go on about how unhappy I am with myself. I am going to focus on stuff I love lately.

1. Not being alone during snow storms.

This is really huge. When I spend three days cooped up alone, it gets to me. Now, I have my guy, the two cats and the dog. I am not alone.

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2. Raw broccoli

I do not know why. I just love it. I do not want it cooked. Just raw and maybe with a little dressing. 

3. Soup

I could eat it everyday. I especially love this White Bean, Kale and Sausage soup. Yum!

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What do you love lately?

Just to reiterate the dog and winter:

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Stop The Slide Goals


I have been a little adrift on life lately. Things have begun falling apart and just getting up for work has been a challenge. Part of this is this horrible winter. I am not a winter fan at all but usually it is wicked cold or snowy. This year it is frigging freezing and snowy. We have our third snow event this week today, but I digress.

Then it has been almost 2 years since Mom died. 

I need some goals. Of the healthy, fun, motivating, get me to clean up kind.

First the stop the backward slide goals:

1. Eat 3 meals a day.
I find myself skipping breakfast or going to hours in between eating or being so hungry I overeat. I must eat breakfast, lunch and dinner. If it is just a mini meal, that is okay but I must eat something.

2. De-clutter.
If it has not moved in 5 years and is going away. Period. Recycle mail I do not need. Recycle, recycle, recycle.

3. Get some exercise.
I am not talking about 5 hours each day but just 45 minutes or so 3-4 times a week. 

Happiness goals:

1. Knit more! 
It goes with number 2 above, use my yarn stash! Anyone need a hat?

2. Learn more about what I want to do in France
I am going to France (!!!!!) in June. What should I visit? 

3. Read more of the books I own. 
Cut down on library books. Read my book stash.

4. Take Bailey, my dog, on longer walks
He needs it. I need it. 

That's it for now.

Have any goals yourself?




Monday, January 27, 2014

Ending the Roller Coaster

Have you ever done something that did not work over and over again? Yet you continue to do and expect different results. After seeing a friend post 20 years of Weight Watchers weigh in books, I began to think.  I have been paying Weight Watchers on and off for 30 years (even when I was 9 years old!), and I have lost 100 pounds, gained 100 pounds, lost 100 pounds, gained 100 pounds….

At some point the insanity has got to stop.

After years of putting my body through hell, I am going to stop.

I know how to eat healthy. I know what my body likes and what it does not. 

I want to focus on eating healthy and treating myself well including exercising, getting enough sleep, laughing and living healthy in mind.

With the help of my guy, I am going to forge ahead.

Have you ever done anything over and over and realized, it has got to stop?

Tonight I made Kale and Cannellini Bean soup with Italian Sausage. I love love love it. It was really simple to make and is a good way for me to get some veggies. Since it is going to be freezing again tomorrow, I will have some soup for lunch.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Self Worth and Weight

Numbers, with me, they have the power to bring me down. Way down.

About two weeks ago, I started Weight Watchers Online again. I had been to the doctor that day so I set my weight (279) based on that weigh in. I did not weigh in for two weeks. I kept track of my food, tried to get exercise when I could and thought that I actually felt good.

Since the scale I had at home was banged up and bruised, I ordered one from Amazon. It came and this morning, I peaked outside at the snow and hopped on the scale. It showed 295.

I stepped off in defeat and tried my best not to cry. While I did not cry, it did not go well in my head. All sorts "you suck", "that's what you get" and its brethren went through my head.

16 pounds. 

There is no way that I gained 16 lbs over two weeks.

That I used the doctor's scale was probably not the best idea but I did. 

I kept track of what I ate, tried to make healthy choices.  I thought well maybe I should have eaten blah, blah, blah to make that number I got this morning worth it. 

Why do I do this? How can this inanimate thing have so much control over me?

Why do I hate myself? 

I am trying to put off that number and just continue on but.......







Tuesday, January 21, 2014

To Hibernate

It is snowing here again.

I am trying not to hibernate.

It is so  cold though and the snow…..

I will hibernate just for tonight.

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Thursday, January 9, 2014

Ingress!

I have a new addiction.

It isn’t a bad one. Not really. It encourages me to get out, to walk around and perhaps even meet people.

It is all the man’s fault. Really. I found out about it because of him.

I play Ingress.

It is a virtual reality games based in reality.

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It takes the map around you and inserts portals in landmarks and sights. The two green spots near the top of the above picture, they are portal. This is a portal below. You can add things to portals, attack portals, and do all sorts of shenanigans from them.

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There are two teams. The Enlightened are green and the Resistance are blue. The Enlightened are fighting for control of the portals against the Resistance. It is all over XM, the little dots you see. The Enlightened are hoping to keep the XM and the Resistance wants to eliminate all XM.

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Whatever gets you moving, right?

And getting moving is what I need. It even got me out and about in the really cold weather recently.

Monday, January 6, 2014

I am here!

Hi there!

I have dropped off the face of the blog world and am struggling to get back to right.

I am working again and in the same line of work before, lease administration for a commercial, retail and industrial property owner.

Santana, my old dog, went back to his previous owner and I miss him a whole lot.

We were in Petco getting cat food one day when the man saw a sign for a pit-bull that needed a new home and well, here he is:

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Bailey has totally grown on me. The cats are unhappy but they will get over it.

I am not sure where I want this blog to go to in 2014. More books? More of my personality? Loves/dislikes?

I am going to be experimenting over the next few posts.