Tuesday, December 30, 2008

There is a two-CD set available of highlights of speeches by Barrack Obama. How do I know this? Because my father owns it, and I found him sitting at his computer yesterday playing solitaire and listening to the speeches.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My parents eat a lot of carbs.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After visiting for just enough time, my sister and her husband are returning to Chicago today. I've always known something about my brother-in-law, but it was never more apparent than it was during this visit. He drinks a lot of vodka. I mean, a lot. More than I did in my heavy drinking days, which was a pretty fair amount. I wonder if he only drinks that much when he's on vacation, or whether it's a regular thing. If it's a regular thing, then he definitely has a drinking problem. That would be great news for my pregnant sister. He was smoking little cigars while he was here, too. Just wonderful.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's interesting. Since I have been in Florida, I have been feeling pretty great. I mean, not great, I suppose, but great as compared to the last seven months. I have been getting up early, not that I really have a choice with all of the noise my parents make when they get up and start milling about the house. I have been eating three meals a day, playing with Sidney, doing some light reading, taking walks, and generally just trying to relax. I'm definitely not ready for the life of retired folks like my parents. It can get a little boring at times. But I am trying to fill what have been long days for me with activities. Sometimes that means just sitting on the back patio and watching the antics of the mallard ducks in the pond. But the point is that I feel good. Maybe better than I have in years. That's a hard statement for me to even believe, given the depths of suffering that I have experienced this year. But I feel depression free. Now, I know that it's not gone, and that it could be just waiting around the corner, if I'm not careful and take the appropriate steps to maintain my mood. And that's a little scary, to be honest with you. But at least for now, it looks like I'm going to have a depression-free Christmas. And just a few weeks ago, that didn't even seem possible.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The weather in Florida is fantastic. What's the weather like back home in Pittsburgh?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

This is the view from my parents' back patio in Florida. My mother and I flew down here yesterday. I have been reunited with Sidney (and my father), and he looks great. My father looks all right, too.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's been a week since my last post, and I have been doing very well. After that little episode last Thursday, it took me a couple of days to get back on track, but once I did, I was golden. It's so weird, truly it is, this depression thing, but for the last few days, I've been feeling like "normal Dave." I've been going to bed at a reasonable hour, getting normal amounts of sleep, and getting up in the morning at times earlier than I have gotten up since the depression began way back in the spring. I have been feeling good, I've had my sense of humor, and I've been getting things done. I attended group all three times that it met this week for the first time in months, and I really like this group much more than the last one I attended. Now that I have seen how different this group is, I really think that the leader of the last one is not good at his job. But that's another story. There is no question that part of why I have been feeling better is that I have had things to do. In treatment, we always talk about how having structured activities to distract you can be very helpful in alleviating the unpleasant symptoms of depression. Of course, it's not always easy to get yourself out of bed so that you can attend to planned activities, but that has not been a problem for me this week. Since I am not able to start the ECT treatments until some tests are completed in about a month, my mother and I are flying to Florida this coming Tuesday. I don't know how long I am going to be there, but I am very much looking forward to getting away from what has been miserable Pittsburgh winter weather and, of course, being reunited with Sidney. My pregnant sister and her husband will be joining my mother, my father, and myself for Christmas, and hopefully, my extended stay there will not be spoiled by any sudden flare-ups of the depression, but we will just have to wait and see how that goes. I will have to make a conscious effort while I am there to eat well, take walks, and keep myself busy as much as I can to help keep the depression at bay. No matter what, after months of being miserable and at times, debilitated, I'm looking forward to having a very enjoyable holiday with family and Sidney in warm weather and sunshine. You can't beat that, in my book.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Since my mother arrived, I had been feeling pretty good, as I've said in a previous post. But then something just . . . changed. For some reason, I woke up on Thursday, and before my feet hit the floor, I was feeling horrible. And it just went downhill from there. I ended up going back to bed after breakfast, and I spent the afternoon in bed feeling badly. I was feeling so poorly that I was unable (or unwilling) to go to my new group, which meets from four to seven three times a week. Although I've only been to the new group once, I already like it better than my previous group. It has women in it. My mother was very disappointed in me that I was not able to make it to group, and she said some unpleasant things to me, which did not help my mood. But we had a good conversation after dinner and worked things out. Today, I am feeling a little better than yesterday, but still not nearly as good as I had been. In group they talk about emotions and how they affect your depression. I guess something happened that affected my mood. It was made so much more upsetting to me because I had been doing so well. It just goes to show you that no matter how well you're feeling, you're still vulnerable to the depression at any time.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I received this e-card today from my old friend Amy the Christian. She knows me so well.