Saturday, December 15, 2012

By The Way, I Have Depression. No Big Deal.

I had a meeting yesterday with my two partners and a couple of local law enforcement officers. It was just a regular day. Much better than the day before.

After the meeting, we were standing around talking about a recent law enforcement suicide. Although the suicide was not a result of depression, but of a triggering event (as is typical with law enforcement suicide) it brought up the topic of depression and mental illness.

In a nonchalant, matter of fact way, I said, "I deal with depression, blah, blah, blah." It was no big deal. I said it just like it was nothing to be ashamed a couple of cops!

I can't tell you how good it felt to just say it. I'm not trying to hide it, I'm not trying to make an issue out of it, it's just a fact of my everyday life. Some people have migraines, some have depression. I fall into the depression category.

I feel like it was a huge step for me. I've come to accept depression as a part of my life. I'm fighting it out in the open now.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dona Nobis Pacem

As much as I wish for peace for our planet and our country, I know I cannot contribute to this until I find peace within myself.

Grant Us Peace.

Grant Me Peace.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Keeping Up With Life

Is is really November already? Wow. It feels like it was just yesterday I was trying to squeeze in pool time or deck time and now the holidays are upon us.

I'm not sure how the holidays will be for me this year. Since losing my boy Sebastian, everything feels odd. I love our new kitty, Harvey, but my bond with Seb was special. I can't believe he isn't with me anymore.

My grief over losing Sebastian has created some confusion with me in regards to my depression. It was hard for me to tell the difference between the two. After a little time had passed after Seb went over the Rainbow Bridge, I realized that I was feeling "normal" again. It came as quite a surprise to me. I had forgotten what it felt like to not feel depressed. However, times would come along when I would feel sadness over Sebastian and it would scare me. I felt like I was slipping into the darkness again. Instead of lasting for days at a time, though, it would slow me down for a day, then things would feel normal again.

Work has been easier and I'm feeling better about my performance there. I've been able to do more around the house as well. It's hard to believe how happy I am to make dinner AND clean up the kitchen! So yes, I would say that I'm keeping up with life. I hope it continues and I hope I can enjoy the holidays as much as I normally do.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Healing Can Surprise You

The most devastating thing about the fire was that I lost my precious pets' ashes. When I lost them it was like I lost my pets all over again. I often think that if I could go back and do one thing different, I would grab their urns instead of my gun and badge.

One person was able to ease the pain a bit. My friend Dorian reminded me that they were always in my heart and they would always be where all the love was.

Today, I think I found my way to healing my broken heart. Sadly, it came from someone else's loss, but life is funny that way. A kitty named Parker went Over the Rainbow Bridge after a battle with cancer. Her owner posted an essay on her blog that was a twist on Ben Hur Lampman's "Where To Bury a Dog." I cried all the way through, but they were tears of healing.

I may not have the ashes and collars of my OTRB pets anymore, but I still hold them in my heart. They are with me forever that way.

Thank you Parker. May you run free OTRB without pain.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Progress Despite Devastation

Many of you already know about the apartment fire that we experienced back in February. The entire building was completely destroyed and we lost everything. I was able to get our pets out safely so we still have our little family. That is truly all that matters.

Surprisingly, the tragedy didn't cause any setbacks in my emotional issues. I guess I must handle a crisis well, because I expected my mood to become very dark, but it never did. In fact, since the fire, I have only experienced two depressed days and two days with unexplained anxiety.

The fire has certainly given me a new perspective. Things may not always be there-it's the memories that you need to hold onto tightly. I know that good will come out of the devastation. In fact, it already has. I've seen so much kindness and caring, not just from friends, but from complete strangers, too. It has warmed my heart and I promise to pay it forward.

I've never been one to step outside of my comfort zone. I'm trying to do a bit more of that. I'm hoping that it will help me in my journey out of darkness as well as live a fuller life.

I can't thank everyone enough for all that they have done for us. Thank you notes are (slowly) getting sent out, but the words seem to fall short. I hope that by living a life of gratitude, happiness and helping others, that will in some way show my thanks.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Two Weeks In-Am I Getting Better Yet?

I've been on the prescribed antidepressant for a full two weeks now. I've noticed a slight improvement, but have had several rough days. My hubby said I have to be patient, that it's too soon to expect much. I know he's right, but geez, I'm so anxious to finally feel better.

The improvement has come in a surprising place-food. I haven't been satisfied by anything that I have eaten in a while. Food doesn't taste good and my appetite has been out of whack. I will eat a meal, usually not finishing it, and go looking for something else shortly afterward. I end up eating crackers or chips because that's the only thing that sounds decent. Not to mention the effort of cooking and cleaning up is just not something I feel like I can tackle most days. About a week into taking the meds I cooked a meal for myself...and it was good! I really enjoyed it. Then it just kept happening, the food I was eating tasted good on a consistent basis.

I'm hoping this will help me drop some weight, too. Maybe now I will eat regular meals and stop looking for something to eat throughout the day.

I can't wait for the day to come where I'm feeling good all day long. I know it's a process and I'm just glad that I've seen a glimmer of what's to come.

Monday, February 6, 2012

My Diamonds, For the World to See

I'm not sure where to start, mostly because I'm not sure when it started.

All I know is, I haven't felt consistently happy in a long time. Now, I'm not sad all the time and I certainly have some very good days, but things have been a struggle for months at the very least; more likely years.

I have no motivation. I cry for no reason other than I feel sad. I feel like people don't like me-that I'm insignificant. I can't sleep at night and I don't want to get out of bed in the morning.

"Oh, what the hell," she says, "I just can't win for losin'," and she lays back down.

I feel like I'm not good at anything: blogging, my job, being a wife, you name it.

"Man, there's so many times I don't know what I'm doin', like I don't know now."

Then there's the worry. Worry that has turned into anxiety. I've always had a fear of dying, but it's gotten worse. What if I walk out the door and never come back? Will my husband know how I pay the bills? Will he know how to order the cat food? What about my cat-I would have abandoned him. Who would take care of my parents? Would my online friends ever know what happened to me? Would they notice? I worry about all the things I haven't gotten done when I haven't had the motivation to do them.

I don't just worry about myself. I worry about my parents, my husband, my dad's dog, and my cat. I'm afraid to leave the windows open on a nice day because I think my cat will fall asleep on the sill, lean against the screen, the screen will give way and he will fall out of the window, two stories up. This isn't a fleeting thought-the worry is persistant and I can't make it stop.

Last week I had a meltdown over a couple of small pieces of furniture my husband moved. It wasn't the fact that he moved things around, but the pieces being in different places made me feel...I don't know. Bad? Nervous? Anxious? None of those feelings make sense, but there was a negative feeling. I knew that day I couldn't keep going on like this.

And she says, "Ohhh, I can't take no more." Her tears like diamonds on the floor.

I made an appointment with my doctor. I was nervous about telling someone other than my husband what I had been dealing with. I was embarrassed and I felt weak. I certainly didn't want to be put on medication. I felt like if I was on medication, I wouldn't be myself, but then, the person I have been lately is not good, so why would I want to be me anymore? Medication became more of an option. What really convinced me though, was my husband's thoughts on medication. He told me to think of it like when a person needs an antibiotic. You're sick, you take medicine for a while, you get better, then you stop taking the med. Made sense to me!

My doctor was wonderful, as she has always been. I told her all the gory details, crying the whole time. She talked to me about normalcy of my emotions and assured me that I would get better. She put me on two meds: one to ease my depressed feelings and anxiety, plus a second to help me sleep and get back on a regular sleep schedule. She told me I would start feeling better in a week or two.

If she can find daylight, then she'll be all right, she'll be all right, just not tonight.

I hope that by opening up about this I can accomplish two things. First, I hope that it helps speed the healing process. I'm sure holding it in, trying to hide it and cover it up can't be good for me. Second, I hope I can help give someone else the courage needed to open up and get help if they are feeling scared, embarrassed, and weak like I was. The only way to erase the stigma associated with depression and anxiety is to come forward and be honest about it.

I would like to share something a twitter friend told me a few months ago that I hold onto: "Depression lies to you." Thank you Jenny "The Bloggess" Lawson. That is now my battle cry.

Not only do I have a battle cry, but I have a theme song for this battle. "Her Diamonds" by Rob Thomas gives me hope. Just like the lyric above from the song says, I know I'll be all right. Just not tonight.