Current Mental Health – December 2019

Acceptance
Photo credit; Feggy Art on Visual hunt /CC BY-NC-ND

Volunteering at an animal rescue: I started volunteering with animals again, after years of merely contemplating it. I could never quite make that leap. I beat my anxiety about it, but I still doubt myself.

At first, I worked with the dogs (giving them outside time, cleaning their kennels, and so on), but since then I’ve been writing thank-you cards to donors pretty much each week. Because I don’t work directly with the dogs, I feel that I’m not as essential to the rescue and that somehow I am less than other volunteers. To be perfectly honest, I prefer thank-you writing because I’ve developed a slight fear of dogs, ever since the time a dog got really mouthy with me — she had my fingers in her mouth and brought her mouth too close to my face for comfort. I didn’t know what to do, and I never mentioned it to anyone. Other people didn’t have problems with her (as noted in the Facebook volunteer group) and she has long since been adopted. But my anxiety remains.

Depression: My depression has mostly remained in remission, although I hit a rough patch earlier this month. I began using my light box again, which nipped that in the bud. Showering is still sometimes a challenge, especially because it’s so cold in the bathroom! But I manage.

Hobbies: I took up knitting again! I don’t think I hold my hands properly, but the proper way is uncomfortable for me. I haven’t made anything yet because I need tons of practice. All of my practice swatches have holes in them, and I keep adding stitches lol! I’m trying to be patient. In case you’re wondering, I still crochet.

Holidays: My husband and I spent Christmas just the two of us and our dog and cat. (Our cat, Angelo, turned 19 in December!) We exchanged gifts and had a very nice meal that my husband cooked: corn and scallion salad, mashed potatoes with a bechamel cheese sauce, and roasted mushrooms with garlic (we’re vegetarians). And apple pie (not homemade) for dessert. Later in the evening we saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (link contains SPOILERS) for the second time in 5 days lol!

Happy New Year! I am looking forward to continued good mental health in the coming year; and now that I’m in my 50s, I’m looking forward to the new decade!


What are you looking forward to?

Current Mental Health – November 2019

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Photo by Matt Flores on Unsplash

My mental wellness seems to have ended, when we entered Daylight Savings Time and the dark. I’m still on the same medications so the lethargy; the moodiness; and the general, all-around feeling of heaviness must be caused by the weather. I’ve started using my light box. Only 30 minutes each morning for now; I want to avoid a repeat of my past hypomanic episode. I’m not sure if it’s helping. Yet. But I do feel a little better than I did earlier this month.

Another thing that was/is going on is my lack of attention to personal hygiene. It’s become difficult to shower and get dressed, once again. Sometimes I wear makeup (mascara and lipstick) to ensure that I wash my face that night. It works, mostly. Anyway, getting off my routine isn’t helping with my mood, which is, admittedly, better now.

As for my shoulder, I’m getting an MRI on Tuesday. Hopefully that will give the doctor, my husband, and me some answers. The pain has grown worse, to the point where it’s painful almost all of the time, not just when it’s in motion. The pain wakes me up at night, and I can’t take anything but Tylenol because I’m on lithium. My husband thinks I’ll get a shot (of cortisone or something like it) in my shoulder and not surgery. I don’t want to have surgery, either, but I need this pain to go away. It’s making me miserable.

Now, instead of waking up at 3 or 4am for the day, I wake up at like, 9:30 or 10am. Then I get into the mindset of being “behind,” so why bother taking a shower? It doesn’t make sense, but that’s what goes through my head.

I’m managing to keep up my activities like a crochet class, a knitting class, and volunteering. I’m continuing going to therapy regularly. I’m keeping my plans. So, really things aren’t that bad. Let’s just see what next month brings.


How did your month go? Did you celebrate Thanksgiving?

Current Mental Health – July 2019

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Photo on Visual Hunt

Hi, all! Here’s the past month’s rundown on my mental health/life.

Mood has improved over the past month, and is certainly much better than it was in June. My husband asked me if I’m at 100%, but I’m not sure. I don’t, however, feel that I’m falling into a depression, so that’s good.

Sleep has improved, thanks to the higher dose of trazodone that my psychiatrist put me on. It’s only a 25mg increase, but it’s doing the trick. I still wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but I’m able to fall back asleep immediately instead of being wide awake. The only problem is that I’m still really tired when I wake up, and end up falling asleep for 2 more hours. Hopefully, as I get used to this increase, that tiredness will go away.

I got a new, smaller, more compact pill organizer. Each day’s organizer has 4 compartments, and so did my old one, but this one can be confusing. Instead of taking the Dinner medication at dinner, I took the Bedtime medication, which includes my trazodone! I didn’t even figure it out until bed time! No wonder I was having a hard time keeping my eyes open around dinner time lol!! 😂🤣😂

I turned 50! We spent a long weekend in Madison, Wisconsin for my birthday. I thought I would dread turning 50, but I actually looked forward to it. It’s like now, the second half of my life is beginning. I can, hopefully, forget/let go of the past.

Briefly tempted to jump off the balcony in Madison. Wasn’t at all having suicidal thoughts prior to stepping out on the balcony, nor when the thought of jumping struck me. Can anyone relate?

Showering is getting easier. I may actually start showering every other day, with the goal of showering every day. Hey, we all need goals, right?


How was your July? Please share!

Working on us, Week 7

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*** Trigger Warning ***

On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information, click here. This week, I am responding to Prompt 1.

Week #7 (Delicate Topic) – Suicide Ideation

Prompt #1 Questions

I am glad that Beckie chose “suicide” as this week’s topic. We need to talk about it instead of being silent.

  1. Have you ever experienced suicidal thoughts? Many, many times.
  2. Have you ever attempted suicide? A number of times.
  3. Were you ever hospitalized for a suicidal attempt and/or ideation? Several times.
  4. When you were hospitalized, what was your experience like? I’ve been hospitalized numerous times at different hospitals, so my experience is varied. I don’t think I’ve ever stayed at a truly frightening psych ward. All but one were bad, but at least they weren’t worse, which I’m certain some places are. And then there’s my psych unit “of choice,” in which you were allowed a number of personal freedoms. And you got your own room.
  5. Do you ever feel suicidal ideation since your release? Yes, I have, but I haven’t acted on it. Although medication is readily available to me, my husband has hidden all of  our knives and razors.

 

Working on Us, Week 6

Hands Over Face
Photo from Pixabay

On her blog, Beckie of Beckie’s Mental Mess has introduced a set of prompts that touches on mental illness. Each week she offers up 2 prompts for bloggers to use in a nonfiction, fiction, or poetry piece. You can respond to either prompt, or both. For more information, click here. The rules are below. This week, I am responding to Prompt 1.

 

Rules:

  • Write your own post and create a pingback to the original post here.
  • There are no right or wrong answers.  Write in any format you see fit.  (Answer’s, fiction, non-fiction, poetry, poem, short prose…anything).
  • You can do one or all prompts.
  • You have from July 10th. through to July 17th to submit your entries.
  • Please reblog the original post in order to spread more awareness.
  • If you the blogger have a suggestion/question you want to ask in the future weeks, please submit them in the comment section of this post.
  • Let’s see if we can get some men involved in this weeks prompts, your feelings a validated here too!
  • Plus, as an added bonus, whoever responds to the following prompts will automatically be reblogged to promote your blog site!

~ 💚 ~

Week #6 Prompts: 

Prompt #1 Questions:

1. There are so many varieties of depression out there, such as Bipolar Depression, and (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder.  What type of depression do you suffer from, or have? I’ve suffered from bipolar depression for half of my adult life, as well as from seasonal changes (SAD).

2. What do you do to fight your depression? (Meaning, therapy, medications, meditation, ECT). Medication and therapy, inpatient hospitalizations, partial hospitalizations, and finally ECT, which I no longer undergo. And to be honest, I don’t know if I would choose that treatment option in the future.

3. Does anything help you, and if so… What? ECT has helped in the past, but it isn’t a permanent solution. More recently, my psychiatrist switched my mood stabilizer from Tegretol to lithium, which has lessened my depressive symptoms. It’s working.