Tag Archives: depression

SQUIRREL!

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Squirrel!

Squirrel!

Now that I have your attention…

Whoa. This has been a rough couple of months.

I’ve been dealing with some unexplained pain over the last few years, which now has been diagnosed as fibro-myalgia. Which I think must be Greek for “body hurts”. And I have to be honest. It sucks. On a side note, don’t look up ‘ouch’ in Google Images unless you have a very strong stomach.

I tried to not have it. Any time I would be extra sore, or extra tired, or extra what-the-poop-is-wrong-with-me, and start worrying, I would think, “Nope. Not gonna happen!’

Mom's artwork

Mom’s artwork

My mom has been dealing with fibro-myalgia for around 20 years. And she rocks it! She has owned and ran a tea house with a friend, she spends time with her grand babies, she is a very talented actress in local theater, and creates stunning works of art called ‘quilts’. And, during the week, she is the revered ‘keeper of the records’ at one of the best pediatric practices in all the land. (That’s for Dr. Gorilla)

doctor gorilla

For the most part, I dealt okay with things for a few years. Though I probably complained way too much. It’s one of my flaws. Being a whiny wimp.

But after going back to work last year, things started to go downhill. I was hoping a summer off would make it all better and I would start the school year off with all my life points. But, alas, I did not collect enough life packs. Can you tell I have kids who play video games?

health-pack

The school year begins and the pain starts getting worse and I am exhausted.

Then my beloved Papa passes away, back home, half a country away from me.

Then Mom and Dad visit, which is definitely a good thing, but I pass on wonderful germs and Dad gets really sick.

All of these stresses help produce a re-emergence of depression symptoms. So I go to my doctor and get to switch medications, which is a physical and emotional carnival ride of it’s own.

(Mental health soap box: There are often very strong views on both sides of the medication for mental illness argument. Some people use it, some people do not. Always communicate with your doctor on these issues. He or she will weigh the benefits and costs with you and help you make the best choice for you. And never stop taking medication without talking to your doctor first. Mental health issues, from mild to severe, can be very upsetting. After all, the mind is the control center of the body! But it is still part of the body and can sometimes be hurt of sick, just like any other part. 1 in 4 people will suffer from mental illness at some point in their lives. Take care of your whole body, mind too!)

Now, here I am today, the middle of October, unable to be in the classroom, and applying for temporary disability.

I feel like a rug has been pulled out from under me.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been down here, on the floor. I never really stay for long. There is so much to do! I can’t be down! There are classrooms to manage, boys to wrangle, a house to clean, and more volunteer opportunities than you can count! So up I go, sometimes slowly, with a little limp, and maybe a groan. But I have. to. keep. moving.

Not this time. I need to be down for a bit. And it’s possible my health has me in a sort of a headlock, pinning me down and shouting “It’s time for a time-out!”

flowers and grass

Whatever the reason, I am here and things look a little different from down here. And it’s not so bad. There are flowers here, close enough to smell. While I’m here I can look up and see the shapes in the clouds, I can feel the grass, I can hear so much. Actually, it’s so quiet, I might actually be able to hear my body, and I think it’s telling me to slow down. Hmm, I wonder how long it’s been saying that?  I want so much to live my life with intention and awareness. Is it possible I haven’t been aware of a darn thing?

One of the cool things about having ADD is how much you notice. Everything distracts me, so I often notice little things others may not; small flowers, a rabbit nibbling on the weeds, SQUIRREL!

Is it possible I’ve been so distracted by everything going on me, I have tuned out a very important person? I am always here, always with myself. So why haven’t I been listening TO myself? I’m sure I would take it as a great compliment, I love to talk.

I think I’ll listen right now, and have a power nap. Who’s with me?!

Oh, right. Me!

I’m Baaaack!

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I’ve been contemplating this post for some time. I wanted to return to you all, but just couldn’t figure out HOW to come back. Jumping right in, as if I had never been gone? No, it doesn’t seem right. Maybe the best way to return is to tell you where I have been.

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” Psalm 23:4a

 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…

The last few months have been a journey. A journey into the deepest darkest parts of my being and back out again.

Some of you know my family went through a big transition this last year. After living in the Northwest for my entire life, my husband’s job offered him a transfer to the Midwest. After much discussion and prayer, we moved across the country in July of 2013, far away from our families and all we have known for our entire lives.

And if you watch the news, you may also know about the severe winter the Midwest experienced. In Oregon we got “snow days”. In the Midwest we get “it’s-so-cold-you-cannot-be-outside-longer-than-5-minutes-without-frostbite days”. Ouch.

What you probably don’t know (unless you are my personal friend or family, which is probably 90% of my readers) is my lifelong struggle with anxiety and depression. Fear is my almost constant companion. I have learned over the years how to “be my own therapist”, talk myself down when I feel my fears trying to take over. After a dark, cold winter and spending the holidays away from extended family, I felt myself falling into that deep dark valley. By the end of March I had to make a choice, take medication, or go to the hospital. (I am aware using medications for mental illness, for that is what depression and anxiety are, can be a “hot” topic. For me, they work, combined with therapy, exercise and diet.)

In the state I was in, blogging was not my first priority. Taking care of my boys, my husband, my home, and most importantly, myself, was of the utmost importance. I also felt I could not encourage you as I want from this place.

I am quite happy to say I am in a much better place today. Along with pulling me out of the muck and mire, we are also working on my own ADD. (Being a mom with ADD, raising boys with ADD/ADHD…a little chaos is natural.) I am so thankful for the many friends and family who have prayed for me and came along side me during this experience.

“I can do all this through Him who gives me strength. Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles.” Philippians 4:13,14

I hope I may continue to encourage all of you as I share my experiences, my thoughts, my great adventure.

MamaFoster