Friday, August 29, 2008

I guess I stand corrected on my previous post.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

I'm getting kind of sick of the Clintons, too. If former Hillary supporters refuse to vote for Obama, and they would rather vote for McCain, I say good riddance. Vote for the party that would never support a woman or a black man. But they'll take your votes, that much is for certain.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

When television advertisements for John McCain come on, my father swears at them as though they are interactive. He really hates John McCain. And at this point, depression or not, I pretty much hate him, too.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I was just talking to FF on the phone. I was telling her about how difficult it is for me to get up earlier than the afternoon, especially if I don't have an activity scheduled. And with the group therapy program beginning for me on Monday, I'm a little bit anxious about having to get up in the morning. Getting up is doubly challenging because not only am I severely depressed, and therefore, very susceptible to long stretches of sleep, but I'm also taking a dosage of one medication that is intended to slow down my mind, and one side effect is that it makes me tired. I fall asleep at night very quickly, and I usually don't wake up during the night. This is unusual behavior because I am a notoriously light sleeper. So, this medication also makes getting up in the morning more difficult. Something that most people take for granted is something that is causing me both anxiety and challenges. Have I mentioned lately how awful depression is?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

So, I start a group therapy program for depression on Monday. I know it will be good for me, but I still have anxiety about it. It meets on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from one to four. That doesn't seem so bad, on the surface. But I have not been getting out of bed until the afternoon for several weeks (which is horrible for me, I know), so getting out of bed in the morning will pose a new challenge for me. It's really very frightening when you are at a place where getting up before noon is actually a challenge. That's how awful depression is. And the funny thing is that I do feel better when I get up earlier and do more things during the day. The problem is that I don't have the self-discipline right now to force myself to do things. I have to have something to do, just as I know that I have dinner at my parents' house in the evening. It's so bloody frustrating to be in this condition. I often find myself thinking longingly of my life before the depression hit. My life was hardly perfect, and there was plenty of room for personal growth and improvement. But I've drifted so far away from that, and I have no sense of when I will get back there.

All of that having been said, today is the fourth day in a row in which I have felt a little better. It's not dramatic, so I don't make too big of a deal about it. Of course, my Mom continues to make far more of it than she should, and I do my best to try and temper her reaction. But she wants me to be better yesterday, and I'm pretty sure that I'm further away than she thinks that I am.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I absolutely love the fact that the ads that appear on top of my blog are now for depression treatments. I guess I should have expected that, but it's still kind of disconcerting when I open up my blog and see them there. I should probably look into getting rid of those ads altogether. I haven't made any money from them, so really, what's the point. I guess I just thought that I'd try having them on the blog, just in case my blog blew up and became a huge international hit and readers would be clicking on the ads all of the time, resulting in a new revenue source for me. Ha!

Anyway, to the dear readers that I do have and who don't make me any money, as you've surely noticed, I have been blogging recently. I don't know if this is a sign that I am starting to feel better, but I do think that my head has been a little more clear lately, and not as cluttered with the racing thoughts that I was fighting previously. Having at least some sense of normalcy has allowed me to sit and write more than I was able to just a couple of weeks ago. I guess I shouldn't think about it too much, but rather just take advantage of the opportunity to write again.

I can tell that my parents are growing frustrated with my progress. While they both struggle to understand exactly what I'm experiencing, I can see that they want more results from my treatment. They want the medications that I'm taking to work and for me to return to "normal" so that I can stop coming over to their house so much and start working again. In addition to their own personal limitations when it comes to understanding my condition, they are not particularly patient people by nature. So, as the depression has reached its third month, they are more than ready for some significant improvement. For instance, I had a good day yesterday, my first good day, I think, since Friday, August 1st, when I attended my first musical performance of the summer. My Mom noticed that I was a little livelier than usual last night, and she said, "Maybe you've turned the corner." I responded that it was way too early to know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Although I get to visit Sidney everyday at my parents' house, it has been difficult to see him adjust to his new home and to my Mom as his new caretaker. I hesitate to use the word "owner," as we still refer to me as that, but for all intents and purposes, he is now my Mom's dog. The good news is that it is clear to me that he is very happy living at their house. He has more room, he has stairs to go up and down, he has a nice backyard to investigate and make his own, and he gets treated very well. Perhaps too well. My Mom has an addiction to shopping. It's pretty nutso. She is constantly buying things. The house is full of things that have been bought, perhaps used once or twice, and then banished to the basement. And her shopping addiction has probably only gotten worse since my parents retired, giving her even more time to devote to her favorite pastime. Now, in addition to her regular shopping, she also shops for Sidney. In the short time that he has been living with her, she has bought so much stuff for that dog. She has bought several cookbooks for dogs, she has bought training tools, she has bought new collars and leashes. The worst of it, however, is definitely the toys. She has been making trips to Petco and Petland at least once a week, sometimes more, and every time, she comes home with several new toys for Sidney. I have joked that Sidney has more toys than I ever had as a child. And I'm not so sure that it's not the truth. The bottomline is that she treats him differently than I did, and although what she's doing is not "wrong," it's still hard to let go of him enough to accept the differences. I miss Sidney very much, even though I know that giving him to my Mom to care for him was the right thing to do. We formed a strong bond during the nine months that we were together after I adopted him. That bond is still strong, and we very much enjoy the time that we see each other now. But my parents will be taking him with them in October when they make their annual migration to Florida for six months. I will miss him terribly. And I'm worried that he will really be my Mom's dog then.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Apparently, it's not unusual for people with depression to hate their hair, among a multitude of other things. This odd symptom has not escaped me, and my last two haircuts have been shorter than ever before. And really, I think it was all leading up to today when I got my first "crew cut." At least, I think it's a crew cut. It's really, really short, that much I know for sure. Kelly, who cuts my hair, brought out the clippers and went to town on my hair, which wasn't that long to begin with. I feel better. Somehow. But it's still weird knowing that I almost certainly would never have gotten such a dramatic haircut were it not for the depression.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I took what some consider a "big step" toward recovery yesterday. I met with a couple of people about my condition in order to become involved in an outpatient treatment program. The appointment was at 11:30, which is pretty early by my recent standards. So, in order to facilitate my timely arrival, I slept at my parents' house (with Sidney cuddled up beside me) and got up early. My Mom made me coffee and eggs, and then she drove me to my appointment. I think that some of those close to me (like my parents) were hoping that more immediate treatment would come out of yesterday's appointment, but it was really just me telling two separate people about what I've been going through while they asked me questions and took notes. Since the course of treatment that my doctor and I have been trying does not appear to be producing positive results, it was her recommendation that I make the appointment so that I could get into the outpatient treatment program. The program consists of another doctor becoming in charge of my treatment, while I attend group therapy meetings three times a week. I'm told that the group dynamic is not a gathering of depressed folks sitting around in a circle sharing their stories. Rather, it's supposed to be educational in nature. I will just have to wait and see what it's really like. But those that I've talked to about yesterday's appointment think that I took an important first step in getting the help that I need. That may well be, but I woke up today feeling as lousy as I have been for the last couple of weeks. I suppose I should remain optimistic about what the program will be able to do for me. But when you're seemingly stuck in a horrible emotional state, it's hard to get optimistic about much of anything.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Depression is a terrible illness. Now that I've experienced it for the second time in less than three years, I really have a solid understanding of its devastating effects. And it is such a frustrating illness. I think that's a word that I use most often when I'm talking about it. Frustrating. Because unlike, say, a broken arm, which you can see as a tangible thing, depression is not really obvious. Granted, I often don't look "well," but most of the suffering is internal. There are physical symptoms. When it first started, I had body aches and fatigue which I compared to how you feel when you have the flu. I also got headaches occasionally. But depression mostly just eats away at you on the inside, turning your own mind and thoughts against you. It's also very exhausting. I am tired all of the time, and often prefer being in bed to anything else. Of course, this is a very common symptom of depression, with some people staying in bed for days at a time. I have been fortunate to avoid such a fate by structuring my days so that I have somewhere to be in the evenings, which serves to force me out of bed so that I can shower and leave the condo. But it's still a struggle. I often think that I would prefer to just stay in bed all day. It's horrible. Much of my frustration stems from the fact that I seem to be stuck at a certain place in my recovery. I bottomed out sometime in June, but I have leveled off to a place that is better than the abyss that I was in, but I don't seem to be improving from that point. I just go day to day without turning the corner toward wellness. The doctor who is treating me is frustrated, and I am frustrated. I don't know when this will start to improve so that I can get back to living a normal life. It's been so long that I almost forget what a normal life for me is.

Friday, August 1, 2008

I miss meatball burger and greens. One of my favorite meals. Meatball burger over crisp salad greens, topped with blue cheese and barbeque sauce. Very tasty.