Tag Archives: depression

What a Difference

medication (or the lack of it) can make! We’ve started tapering my already low dose prednisone and I’m feeling a lot less … boom. I’m not exactly sure how to explain it. It’s like I was feeling things too big if that makes sense. It couldn’t come at a better time as I always get weepy in December and this year, Thanksgiving is already going to be difficult. I’m a little more sore and achy than I was before but I’m definitely willing to push through that in exchange for not flipping out over everything or feeling like I want to cry all the time.

I’m definitely not going to win NaNoWriMo this year but I will have a draft for Leilani and Blake’s second book before the end of the year and I’m really happy with that. I have a lot of projects in my head, it’s just a matter of putting them on paper. It used to be I could work five projects at once but my brain is not working with that right now so, I’m going to have to focus on just one. If I can write a minimum of 500 words every day – which isn’t really that much when you break it down – I can get all of my projects finished. I’m really excited for some of them to get out of my head and into the hands of readers. I expect to have Hunter’s Hell finished by the end of the year and Eldercynne Knight by Valentine’s Day and Gods of the Fallen by my birthday. In that order. If I keep it in that order, maybe I’ll get done a little faster because I am super excited by Gods of the Fallen – some of the ideas are just so neat to me. I’d also like to get back to my poetry a little more but I have to figure out how that will fit into my writing schedule.

I think there’s more of my anxiety and depression rearing up than I usually like to admit to. I don’t think all of my sleepiness is just RA related and I know my inner critical voice is just going bananas over every misstep I’ve ever made in my life. It’s not like this part of things is new, I should be old hat at this by now and have it under control already. Except we all know that’s not how these things work in the real world.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’ve got plenty to be thankful for, even if this year has been just a gaping hole of I’d really rather not. The kids are awesome, the husband is awesome, they’re all healthy and that’s enough for me right now. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving and get to spend some time with family and eat some yummy stuff. Tomorrow, I make pumpkin pie and a veg and that’s all anyone is expecting of me and that is glorious.

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Filed under Health, Interesting, Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis, WIP, Writing

Better Enough

Things are getting back to normal-ish at my house. I can do dishes without dropping them, I’ve only needed my cane one morning this week, I can go up the stairs like a typical person (not down yet though, I’m still going sideways down the steps), and I can type. For five minutes at a stretch and half the speed I’m accustomed to. I’m hoping that, by NaNoWriMo (which I AM doing), the medicine I’m on will be working well enough to help me finally get the sequel to Hunter’s Crossing written and not languishing in a pile of notes, snippets, and scenes.

I ordered a thumb splint that I hope will be here in plenty of time to adjust to wearing it and typing with it. Most of my problem is in the left hand, thumb, wrist, and elbow. I’ve looked into thermoskin gloves, wrist warmers, and stabilizers. I’m pretty willing to try anything. I’ve looked into speech to text but I haven’t found one I like enough to use (plus I’m still trying to get over the whole talking to myself like an idiot thing – I write because I sound stupid when I speak dang it!).

I’m having some of those moments, I can feel the depression trying to say hello, trying to sneak in and take root. This isn’t an unusual thing. In fact, it happens pretty regularly but this year it’s compounded by the RA, the weight gain because I’m struggling to be active when moving hurts (and food is my blankie), and the general feeling of uselessness. Nothing has really worked to dig me out in the past so I’m trying something new. It seems silly but it’s not not working. I haven’t worn makeup for about two decades and, being a writer,  there’s not much call to get properly dressed every day, so I’m trying to do that too. I figure, if I’m going to be healthier than I’ve ever been (and I must be as I’ve seen ALL the doctors in the last few months lol), I might as well try and look it. I’m still not leaving the house too much so no one really gets to see it but, strangely, it’s making a difference anyway.

I got tagged in those pretty picture things on FB by a bunch of ladies. I won’t do them as I haven’t taken a picture I like in more than a decade but they partially inspired the whole trying to look like a functional person thing. For years, I’ve extolled the value of fake it till you make it but I don’t always follow my own advise. I’m trying to. I’ve joined a few groups – one focusing on getting healthy and an RA support group – and I like both of them a great deal. This year has been one of the worst I’ve had but that doesn’t mean I can’t make something good come from it before it’s done.

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Missing People

I am definitely more emotional than usual – whether it’s the year, the situation, or the prednisone, I have no idea. It’s also getting to be the time of year when I get the most sentimental and weepy anyway – creeping up on the anniversary of my mother’s death. I’m missing my dad something fierce as he was my go to when I have a crappy day or wanted to vent or just talk about nothing. I’m struggling with this year in general but this season especially. It’s weird because this is my favorite time of year complete with my favorite holidays and I haven’t even started decorating yet!

I know the meds are not doing enough yet – my hands and feet feel like fire, it’s hard to walk, and I am ending every day in tears without much that can be done. I have a call in to my doctor to see if there’s something we can add, change, whatever but, in the meantime, it is what it is. Honestly, it was worse earlier in the year but we’re creeping back up on that level.

I did buy a cheapo cane to use and decorated it with stickers – which my oldest thought was silly since the first stickers were cartoony girl heroes – Wonder Woman, BatGirl, Catwoman, and Harley Quinn (not really a hero so much but still) and my last Supernatural sticker. Husband put one on that says “Stupid Fast” to be funny. Which it is. Eventually, I want to get something interesting and pretty – or at least more stylish – but for the now, covered in stickers works for me. I’m on the hunt for a Hedwig sticker and a Death’s Head Moth sticker.

I’m trying not to get too down and not writing down the poetry in my head – no one wants to read that mess! It’s hard though. Even knowing that I always dip a little into depression this time of year, I can’t seem to stop myself from doing it and all the losses, all the pain, and all the shit of this year, really really isn’t helping. I’m definitely more touchy than usual and it’s hard because it’s confusing to the youngest boy who really just wants me to be able to do stuff properly again (me too, kid!). And that’s about all the typing I have in my fingers today.

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Filed under Life, Rheumatoid Arthritis

Why So Negative?

I can’t help it, I prefer being positive to being negative. Yes, I’m often prepared for the worst, but that doesn’t mean I’m accepting or expecting the worst. Being prepared is just smart but I don’t see a purpose in expecting horrible things to happen. I’m not actually an optimist, I know the world isn’t sunshine and roses most of the time, but I don’t see the point in constant negativity. After a point it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, doesn’t it?

I suppose for me it’s probably more about my own lengthy relationship with depression than it is anything else. I’ve spent enough of my life clouded and shrouded that I just don’t see the point of doom and gloom and no-good-very-bad-everything all the time. I’ve made it my life’s mission to fake it until I make it and wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone else could too? Even at the bottom of a depressive arc, I can find joy – I’ve got two kids, a husband, dogs, a cat, lizards, and coffee – nothing can be all bad with all that around me day to day.

Sometimes, the negative gets to me and I just want to shake people and ask them what good it does to be so down in the mouth. I don’t mind attending the occasional pity party but when you’re throwing them every day, it’s a bit much and maybe the problem isn’t just the situation.

Everyone has their little black rain cloud days (10 points to your House if you’re now singing Winnie The Pooh). Everyone is a little bit Eeyore. But sometimes, a little Tigger is called for – do what makes you happy and BE HAPPY. For one moment out of every day, take a breath and look for the silver in that cloud. I’m not saying that everything has a silver lining – I’m not a fool – but don’t defeat yourself before you get started.

I was on the verge of having a little black rain cloud day today because it’s IEP season and I’m all tied up in knots but I sat down and went over the worst case scenario and remembered that even that isn’t all that bad. No one is going to yell at me or argue with me (pretty sure the one single cantankerous woman I’ve come across during my youngest boy’s educational team meetings is no longer in a position where I ever have to deal with her again). Everyone in that room wants the best for my kid. Said rain cloud got bounced and now I can get to work (more or less).

Right now, I’m coming out of what might be my longest dark stretch since maybe ever. The fact that I can stop and see it clearly tells me I’m coming out. I’m finding the world little brighter and I’m faking it a little less on the daily. That’s not to say I don’t have bad, jabberwocky sort of days but those are temporary (even if it’s hard to remember that when I’m staring into the maw). All the good things in my life, those are permanent.

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That Constant Companion

There are a lot of people writing about depression today and with good reason. It is unfortunate that the subject only gets discussed in the wake of tragedy.

Depression is something I don’t talk about much myself. I’ve been dancing with it for a long time and I don’t like discussing it anymore. I have analyzed it. I have shone the light on it. I know where it comes from and even why.  I avoid it in my writing for the most part (entirely if we discount all the scores of terrible high school poems I wrote).

I’m not silent because I am ashamed of it. I don’t keep it to myself because I’m embarrassed by it. I will talk about it if the discussion comes up. I just don’t often feel that my enemy deserves to be noticed. My archenemy, my nemesis. My Jabberwocky. It’s big, fierce, and scary. It’s always just around the corner, lurking in the shadows, waiting to snatch me up in its biting jaws.

Unfortunately, I can’t bring my Jabberwocky down just by not believing in it. It will be there whether or not I believe. But I am armed with something better than disbelief – knowledge and understanding. Knowing where it comes from, understanding what it is that feeds that monster. Knowing that if the monster gets to big, there are people out there who are just a phone call or car ride away that can help.

(that movie version of the Jabberwocky seemed much scarier to me in 1985 and the remembered version is the one I’ve always pictured in my head when I’m having a rough day)

There are resources available but most of the people I know who battle depression don’t use them. I’m sure they all have their very valid, to them, reasons for that. I do too. But, I hope that if I were ever to be at a point where the Jabberwocky nipped a little too close, I’d be able to pick up the phone and make that call, talk to someone, commit myself, do whatever it took not to let the Jabberwocky win.

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Vincent and The Doctor

My children will tell you that it doesn’t take much to make get all weepy. As far as television and movies go – they aren’t wrong. I do get weepy when favorite characters are killed off or something incredible happens. I can’t help it – its easier to be outwardly emotional for fictional people. To my point!

We are watching Doctor Who today and it happens that Vincent and the Doctor is on. Of all the episodes I’ve ever seen, Vincent and the Doctor probably strikes the closest chord with me. It’s not like losing Baker’s Doctor or Eccleston’s Doctor – which broke my heart a little. It’s bigger than that for me.

I’ve been dealing with anxiety and depression for so long I don’t remember being without either in some form or another. I’ve been writing stories even longer. The gift the Doctor gives to Vincent is what makes me get weepy. I could watch the episode a hundred times and I will still get weepy because it matters.

To be able to show someone who (at least in this fictional incarnation) struggles with the enormity of being human, the legacy he leaves behind. How incredible is that? How marvelous that he could see it for himself, even if it changed nothing in the long run?

 

For me, that moment when Vincent is hearing the curator describe his own body of work in such glowing terms fills me with something I can’t even properly define. To know that you, when you felt so alone, so unwanted, actually made a difference to the world in some way, isn’t that what we all want? The legacy we leave behind that means something. That in some way, we will matter beyond the borders of our families.

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