Something Good- Day 322-324

This has been a difficult week. We have had our bank lobby closed all week because we have so many people out sick right now. I went to donate plasma on Tuesday and was told that my iron was barely too low, so I had to go back the next day. Wednesday is a very busy day at the plasma center, so I had to wait longer than normal and almost double what I had planned. I also tried adjusting my medication schedule to the morning because I felt it might be more effective. However, I always forget to take medicine in the morning, so I ended up missing a couple doses, which made me more depressed than normal. But… This is about something good that happened every day. So… Here goes…

Tuesday was calmer at work than Monday. We had three tellers, instead of two, which helped a lot. Wednesday was a slower day at work, which made my long donation process a minor inconvenience for my coworkers rather than a hectic extra hour. I was also able to help my sister finish all her homework Wednesday night before her deadlines. Today was a pretty good day at work. I dropped by a couple houses after work to pick up items. My sister sold a few things online, so we were able to get a new tank for some fishes we adopted. I told my sister we would only get another fish if it was free, but this free fish happened to be a little big for our tank. She earned a new tank though, and we will be transferring them to it tomorrow.

Something Good- Day 272

Today was an emotional day. There was a lot to handle, and I did not handle all of it well. But… I had to think of something good for the day. As I curled up in bed, I told myself that I did not want to think of something good. I committed to this, though, and I know that the challenging days are the most important to see the good. I actually had a decent day at work, made some needed household purchases, and had a good dinner. My day was emotionally draining but otherwise, a good day.

Something Good- Day 219-223

Thursday we had an Airbnb group leave and another come on the same day. I had a friend come and do the prep work and cleaning for me since I would be at work during that time. However, I was grateful that I arrived in time to look over everything and add a few things before the next group came.

Friday was a pretty good day at work. We had extra workers because I had expected to be in training all day. I had my final test run for my training and felt like it went well.

Saturday was a lazy day. I did mow the lawn, but the rest of the day was spent watching shows and playing games.

Sunday we had home church and cleaned the house a bit. Then we spent some time at a park.

Today was a rougher day. I had a breakdown because I felt like I couldn’t do anything right and always messed things up. It was my nieces birthday though, so I came inside to celebrate with her after getting my frustration out by pulling weeds. We decorated cookies and sang happy birthday.

Something Good- Day 193-194

I realized I missed Thursday in my last post. (So this is technically days 191 and 194, but it is easier to keep track this way.) Anyway, it was a rough night, so it was hard to think of something good. I went to bed early and just laid there feeling depressed. My sister did come to check on me though and spent time with me just so I would not be alone.

Today we were able to see a friend that moved away last year. We hung out outside and kept our distance, but it was good to catch up for a while. We also noticed that our raspberries are starting to ripen. I was able to pick a small handful to share with our friend.

Something Good- Day 141-142

I did not feel like posting last night. I felt hurt and depressed and just could not think of something good. I have learned, though, that most things get better in the morning. I know that if I can just fall asleep, tomorrow is a new day. Luckily, I fell asleep relatively quickly last night and woke up in better spirits.

We packed our bags and gifts tonight to take to my brother’s house this weekend. I am looking forward to spending time with my nieces and nephews again.

Something Good- Day 87-89

Social distancing and Idaho’s stay-at-home order means that I need to stay busy to avoid getting depressed. I am very grateful that I do not live alone because that would make this nearly impossible for me. Over the last three days, we have been playing games, cooking and baking, and watching movies and shows.

I have a lot of games that I have never played. This extra time at home has given us the opportunity to try these new games.

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We have also used some kitchen gadgets for the first time. My sister used our mixer to make gluten free bread, which I later turned into bread pudding. Then we used our potato crisper to make homemade potato chips. We are planning to try making apple chips with it as well.

Overall, we are doing well with our social distancing efforts. I called my siblings to check in with them today and texted a couple friends. We avoided the crowded grocery store yesterday and just got a few essential things at a smaller store. My bank has implemented a 10% cash back reward for restaurants, so we have used the drive through for a couple fast food restaurants to help support them at this time. I am staying active by using the elliptical machine we bought a couple months ago. So far depression has only consumed me over a couple minutes in the last week. I think that as long as I keep active and take care of myself, things will all be okay through this.

A New Year

I did not have a good year in 2019. I was angry and upset and disappointed and frustrated with life and people and God. I still don’t understand, and I still have a lot of grief and anger and conflict to resolve. But I decided to stay up last night to welcome in the new year because I want it to be better. I want to make some changes, and I want to be happier.

I have been through a lot of changes in the last 10 years. I have gone from getting off antidepressants because I felt like they did nothing to taking an antidepressant that made me more depressed than I had ever been before to finding one that actually helps and prevents me from having constant suicidal thoughts. I have been through all the range of emotions from the happiest I have ever been to the saddest I have ever been. I have felt more loved than ever before and have been overcome by my emotions several times. I forgave people I never thought I could. I got to the point where I didn’t get angry or yell when my brother accidentally scraped the side of my new car. I made significant changes to my life and became the person I wanted to be.

Then, I spiraled down into grief and depression and physical pain like I had never known before. And it was hard, and I was hurt and angry. And it eventually got to the point where my reservoirs of faith and hope and joy were depleted, and I was not sure where to turn or if I believed in anything anymore. And I am still at that point in a lot of ways.

But… It is a new year. I watched a video this morning where Kristina Kuzmic challenged people to write down a specific good thing that happens every day. She said it changed her life and helped her find the positives even in days that were terrible. I need that in my life. I need more positives. So, for the next year this blog will be turning into a space for me to put down something positive from every day because I need it, and maybe it will help someone else along the way, too.

Suicide Prevention Day

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I wanted to say something about this because it’s important, and people need to know that there is no shame in having these thoughts or in seeking help. But on the other hand, it almost seems like a foreign topic to me. It feels like a forgotten language or past life with which I can no longer connect.

For the longest time, suicide was my biggest fear. I was afraid that one day I would not be strong enough to hold back the urges, and I would lose my fight with suicide and chronic depression. Suicide was the single most constant in my life. For as long as I can remember, I wanted to die. It is the subject of many of my earliest memories. And I don’t know why.

But now that I am on an antidepressant that inhibits depression and suicidal thoughts, they come much more rarely and even then, as fleeting moments that last no more than a breeze of wind passing by. Suicide is no longer a constant in my life. Part of that is due to therapy. Another part is due to friends and loved ones. The last part is due to antidepressants and personal choices to take care of myself.

Each part has taken years to build to get me to this point. And I guess the point of all this is that it is possible. It is possible to go from years, even decades, of suicidal thoughts to it being little more than a memory. I don’t know how it happens. For me, it was a million little things that led up to this point. It was friends and family and therapists and counselors and medications that drove me past of the point of insanity to medicine that changed my thoughts in ways I never knew were possible.

As someone that once contemplated suicide on a daily to hourly basis, I just want you to know there is hope. There is hope that it won’t always be this way. It may not feel like it now, but things really can get better. You just have to make it through this. And please know you don’t have to be alone. You don’t have to do this alone. It is never too late to reach out and get the help you need to feel better.

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Hangry

Last week was an especially difficult week emotionally. I had multiple breakdowns a day and just struggled to control my emotions several times throughout the week. By the end of the week, I realized that this was not simply the result of inconvenient timing of mood swings but was instead directly correlating to my eating habits. The longer it took for me to get food, the more aggressive and anxious I became.

I have always known that I struggle with handling needing food. I can tolerate hunger and can go without eating for a while without issues, but if I do not get food when I am expecting to eat, I lose self control. I lash out and have even injured myself at times. This probably sounds a bit extreme, but I looked up a couple articles about “hanger” and aggression around hunger. The ones I found most relevant explained that low blood sugar can decrease serotonin, which increases stress and affects the ability to regulate your mood.

As someone who already struggles with serotonin levels and mood regulation, this can easily send me over the edge. I remember as a kid, kicking myself off a bed because I was so hungry that I didn’t know what to do with myself. The biggest problem with all this is that it is difficult to provide food for yourself when you get to that point. Trying to cook something when your brain isn’t working leads to more anger and frustration because the process takes too long or is not going as planned.

At this point, I have realized as an adult that I have three options. I can withdraw myself from the situation until my body tires itself out and I no longer have the energy to be aggressive, or I can try to maintain self control just long enough to get something to eat, or I can allow things to get to the point when I explode and am at risk of hurting others or myself. I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced these problems as an adult, much less as a child. Granted, as a child, someone else was mostly responsible for providing food for me, but I had less control about how or when that food came.

I think it is interesting to note the differences between what we expect of children and adults. Often when we become most frustrated with how someone is acting, there is probably a physiological component to their behavior. Maybe they literally cannot just keep calm and carry on. Maybe they cannot communicate their needs. Maybe they cannot provide for themselves in the ways we expect. The difference between children and adults though is that we expect the child to learn to do these things and the adult to know how to do these things. But maybe instead we need to focus more on why things are happening to help prevent the physiological reaction because at that point, it is too late in many ways to avoid unwanted reactions.