Chemical Imbalances: Real or Imagined?

I agree with this article. Just because they don’t know exactly which chemicals are imbalanced or if they are, they presume it to be true and try different medications to help. It’s a very inexact science and can be extremely frustrating. But to say that chemical imbalances DO NOT EXIST is bullshit and insulting to those of us that suffer with it.  I should not be made to feel bad because I had a pretty idyllic childhood with parents that were loving, supportive and fun. It’s a genetic lottery and for some of us our number comes up. It’s pretty simple. If I don’t disagree with you for believing that you’re depressed because you had shitty parents or cause something bad happened to you, don’t tell me chemical imbalances don’t exist. Now if you don’t have this type of illness and you are like my Uncle who used to believe there was no such thing as depression? LOL That kind of ignorance ACROSS THE BOARD I can totally understand. But you don’t get to pick and choose that your type of depression exists while my type doesn’t.


 

CHEMICAL IMBALANCES: REAL OR IMAGINED?  

by Pete Earley

One of the first phrases parents hear when a loved one shows symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or persistent and major depression is “chemical imbalance.” I remember being shocked when I wrote this term in a Washington Post Op Ed piece and was confronted by someone who told me there is absolutely no scientific evidence that mental illnesses are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain.

So I was happy when I received an advance copy of the book: SHRINK RAP: Three Psychiatrist Explain Their Work   written by psychiatrists: Dinah Miller, Annette Hanson, and Steven Roy Daviss, who write a popular mental health blog. I found their comments about “chemical imbalances” helpful.

“Chemical imbalance is a term with imprecise meaning…Saying that a psychiatric disorder is caused by a chemical imbalance, although an imperfect explanation, sometimes makes psychiatric disorders more palatable to patients and less stigmatizing. The term gives some credence to the practice of treating these disorders with medication. But there is no psychiatric disorder for which we know for certain which chemicals are  “imbalanced” if any.

“We have reasons for believing that psychiatric disorders must certainly be mediated by biological factors. For one thing, psychiatric illnesses run in families, even when family members are separated at birth. Research has shown that genetic links, and even specific genes, may be associated with different disorders. Many studies have shown that the biological features of groups of people with illnesses are different from those same features in groups of people without those illnesses. What we don’t have, yet, is a specific reliable test for a certain genotype or enzyme level, or a brain scan finding that indicates that a specific person has a specific disease.”

The authors explain that if a person goes to the doctor because of increased thirst or urination and has a lab test done, and it shows markedly elevated blood sugar levels, then that patient most certainly has diabetes. But with a few rare exceptions, such as Huntington’s disease or Jacob-Creutzfelt dementia, there’s nothing like this in psychiatry — no blood test, no x-ray, no CT scan that yields a definitive diagnosis. In psychiatry, blood tests are ordered to rule out medical conditions that masquerade as psychiatric illnesses — especially thyroid conditions or high ammonia levels — or to monitor medication levels to make sure medications are not damaging a patient’s organs.

“We know that the medications used to treat mental illnesses alter the levels of certain neurotransmitters. The antidepressant Prozac increases levels of serotonin in the brain. We don’t know for sure that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin, or that raising these levels is the mechanism that helps to alleviate the symptoms, but many lines of evidence suggest such a connection. In simpler terms, we presume there is a ‘chemical imbalance,’ but it remains uncertain as to what that imbalance actually is. Serotonin may be just one step in the final common pathway, along with many other steps, that contribute to the syndrome of depression. Simply said, we don’t know the exact biological nature of what is wrong when someone has a mental illness; nor do we know for certain the exact mechanism by which medications or other treatments work.”

I agree with the Shrink Rap doctors. The term “chemical imbalance” is short-hand used by laypersons to describe what we can’t scientifically explain. We know something is awry in someone’s brain when he/she shows symptoms of bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or severe and persistent depression. We know chemicals often can help alleviate these symptoms. Ergo, we conclude the symptoms are the result of a “chemical imbalance” when the truth is that we don’t really know what is happening, only that something is.

I was fortunate enough to speak to Dr. Eric Kandel, the Nobel Prize winning doctor, who appeared on Minds on the Edge when it was produced by Fred Friendly Seminars. Dr. Kandel acknowledged that science simply hasn’t yet been able to discover the “biological underpinnings” of major mental disorders. But our lack of knowledge doesn’t mean a link doesn’t exist, he said. He asked why we continue to separate the brain from the rest of the body when we think of biological illnesses and genetic links. Why do we accept that they play a role in everything that happens beneath our chin but argue that they can’t be influencing our brains? The real tragedy, Dr. Kandel explained, is that medical research in nearly every other area of the body has moved forward significantly with the exception of our brains.

Read the whole article here: http://www.peteearley.com/2015/01/30/mental-illnesses-caused-chemical-imbalances/

My Illness Is Not a Theory!

Depression causes

depression chemicals

When I was 20 my Uncle (who I love but who talks out of his ass quite frequently lol) told me depression doesn’t exist.  I remember laughing even back then and saying that I really wished he was right! LOL  Fortunately my meds were working at the time or I would have burst into tears. Not quiet tears either. The kind of crying where it sounds like the person is hyperventilating lol.  My parents had prepared me well for situations like this. And I guess I had enough self-confidence and belief in myself to realize that what he was saying was complete nonsense.

Many years later, he had open heart surgery and went through a depression for about a year afterward.  He has obviously changed his views on the topic, but it never really bothered me. I have never forgotten it, but I know he loves me and he’s just old school Italian/Irish from Brooklyn. One of his daughters has depression and 2 of his grandkids as well. This is my Dad’s family, so I guess it runs in both sides of my family.

A few days ago a fellow blogger said something that threw me for a loop. This blogger has strong opinions and I have always appreciated his comments and his posts. But we were talking about chemical imbalances and he said that he didn’t believe in them!!!  I thought he was kidding because I HAVE A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE and I know he himself suffers from depression. I am aware that for him it comes from a difficult childhood and problems with his Mother, etc. I was taken back when he said we had to agree to disagree on whether chemical imbalances was just a theory or not!!!!  Seriously!?!?!?!

Well, I was a little hurt and offended but I let it go because I know the truth and I am way past the age where I need to prove anything to anyone. You know the saying opinions are like aholes? Everybody has one lol.  The next day another blogger commented in reply, calling him on what he had said.  It definitely made me feel better that other people see how ridiculous the whole idea is. It’s like saying cancer or diabetes is a theory!!  It’s completely disrespectful and offensive to those of us that suffer from a chemical imbalance.

When I got sick, I was 18. I had no problems or issues. I had great friends, a loving boyfriend, an amazing family and  a 4.0 GPA. It didn’t make any sense that I just started crying 24/7 for no reason. Suddenly, I was so sad and in so much friggin pain. It felt like a big black hole was getting bigger and bigger.  I felt worthless, weak, ugly and pathetic.  As this is not my normal personality, then or now, I was diagnosed with a chemical imbalance which for me causes severe clinical treatment-resistant depression. This diagnosis has been backed up over the years by a physician, a psychiatrist, a psychopharmacologist, and a social worker. Believe me, for years I hated the fact that I was upset about nothing!!!  There was no reason for my depression and it felt so unfair. Because if there were reasons, there was something to solve or work through. This was just so arbitrary yet still completely debilitating.

Now things have happened over the last 20 years that have given me plenty of reasons to be depressed. But that’s life isn’t it? I lost my amazing Mom, my 2 cousins, my Uncle, etc. But this blogger started saying that because I post about narcissism that I obviously have psychological issues. Well, I have never been in an abusive relationship with anyone, much less a narcissist. He also went on to USE MY BLOG POSTS AS PROOF THAT I DIDN’T HAVE A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE!!! That I have trauma and problems blah blah blah.

Obviously he didn’t like being told by this other blogger (who was totally right and not unkind) that he was wrong. And as he does have anger management issues, he took it out on me. The simple fact is he needed to be right more than he needed to be kind.

I am a very forgiving person and try not to hold grudges so if he had just acknowledged that he was wrong to use my choice of blog posts to show why I’m depressed and try to tell me about MY ILLNESS? I would’ve accepted it and wiped the slate clean.  But he seems to think he has done nothing wrong and that’s just not acceptable to me.

I am a good and kind person but let me make one thing perfectly clear. NO ONE has the right to tell me my medically documented illness is a FUCKIN THEORY, especially on MY BLOG!!! Not now and not ever!! And then to take it further and basically tell me that he doesn’t believe all the medical professionals but yet he doesn’t want to be accused of attacking me, AS HE WAS ATTACKING ME?!?!? I might be kind and forgiving, but I’m strong and I was really pissed.

I have always been prepared to defend myself against ignorant people that know nothing about mental illness. I just never thought I would have to defend myself against people that HAVE mental illnesses!

 

Finding Happiness

sunshine soul

happiness not postponed

I’ve been thinking about Happiness. That’s how I know I’m feeling much better. When I can be my usually positive, happy-go-lucky self. It always surprises people when they find out I have clinical depression.  They say but you’re always laughing and smiling. And to that I say thank God for modern medicine and antidepressants!  I had always been pretty darn happy until I got sick. And I have learned to not focus on the fact that I have a chronic illness and just be so grateful that medicine exists to help.  Funny how it’s so much easier to focus on the positive when you’re NOT depressed or bawling your eyes out for absolutely no reason LOL.

I don’t think you can find happiness by chasing it. I think it comes naturally when you learn to enjoy your life and when you’re able to be grateful for all the little things that we usually take for granted. And laughing helps tremendously!  Try to surround yourself with people you enjoy and that make you laugh.

This is a great post by rosieeek over at http://hookupcultures.com/author/rosieeek/

Finding Happiness After Losing It

Sometimes, we just get lost. One incident can send you into a downward spiral, a hole you just can’t climb out of.

It can be caused by the death of someone close. Or the death of a stranger. It can be caused by a change of pace, something differing in your life. Bad grades. Bad friends. A broken heart.

And you never really anticipated just how much it would hurt and just how much it would impact your life. You thought you were strong and even if you didn’t, you thought you could at least get through some things on your own. 

To read the rest of the article go to Finding Happiness After Losing It

A Little Weepy

Life has been going really well the last few weeks,  except for a bad sinus infection which made me tired.  Things with my H have been pretty darn great.  He’s definitely been putting in a big effort to connect and be the sweet, loving man I fell in love with. Which of course makes me happier and then I put in more of an effort as well. It’s a slow process and I’m trying to be patient, which is not one of my many virtues lol. This weekend it snowed so we watched movies and ordered pizza. It was a lot of fun.

The last few days I have been a little weepy. I think it’s hormonal and maybe a little bit of my depression. Crying comes and goes, but nothing like it is when the depression gets bad.  I just sometimes get a tiny bit scared thinking, “Is this the day my meds stop working and I turn back into a human vegetable?”  I know it’s not and that I am fine. Luckily as much as I struggle with depression, I have never had a problem with anxiety. Except a few days before my Mom died and I developed this weird eye twitch (very attractive lol). That was NOT a good time, so I think the anxiety can be excused.

I think when I pretend it’s not happening, it just tends to make it worse. I just hate feeling that I have no control over whether I’m happy or sad. But I am calling myself out and being honest about this little ripple. Tonight I am having dinner with my family and that always helps.  I know for me, it really is just a blip and I will be fine in a day or two. And I have absolutely nothing to feel bad, guilty or sorry for. I just have to remind my brain of that!!

invisible illnesses

depression cage

Eeyore

depression flaw chemistry

 

For a Friend

Lovely red rose and pen on a classic note book

Lovely red rose and pen on a classic note book

When you suffer from severe clinical depression, self-care such as this is an extremely necessary survival skill. It took me so many years to let go of all the guilt I felt when I couldn’t attend every party/function or be whatever everyone else in my life needed me to be. When I had to reschedule plans or take the day off? I would completely beat myself up over it, which obviously only made me feel worse. Eventually I was able to realize how silly it is to feel guilty for having an illness.  I am not weak, lazy or crazy. I certainly didn’t ask to have a chemical imbalance and if there was a way to will it away? Well let’s just say I’m pretty strong-willed to say the least lol.  

We don’t look down on those who suffer from diabetes, cancer, or any other illness that is usually physically noticeable.  So why the hell do so many still look down on mental illness as a character flaw or weakness?  Honestly it really pisses me off. In my opinion? It’s no better than kicking kittens.  

Think about it. When I had cancer, I was just a kid (12 yrs old). Even having cancer and being a kid, I was able to advocate for myself to a large extent. When I had pain, I let them know. When the chemo made me nauseous, I let them known. But when you have depression or other mental illnesses? It’s a whole different ballgame where the decks are stacked against you before you even step on the field.

When I am in a depression, the very nature of my illness makes me feel less than and worthless. Your brain actually tricks you into believing that you don’t deserve to live and that the people you love would be better of without you.  During those moments, the pain is so intense you think it will just swallow you up whole. So how the hell are you supposed to advocate for yourself when you feel like you don’t deserve any better? Like you have in some way caused this pain and nothing will ever get any better.

Thankfully for me, those days are very far and few in between these days.  I’d be lying if I said they don’t still happen.  But now I have an arsenal of tips and tricks that help me and I am able to even tell myself that this feeling is temporary and I will feel better. I know what to expect and I am ready for it.  And the rest of the time? I laugh a lot and I enjoy my life!  I think that makes me pretty darn lucky.

Date Night Nixed

My Mother-in-law is a pretty great person.  She was a stay at home Mom until going back to school to get her Bachelor’s Degree.  She then continued on to get her Masters, eventually becoming a Dean at a major university.  She’s strong, independent and has always been really good to me.

A month ago she had hip replacement surgery after walking around on a broken hip for two weeks because she thought she had pulled a groin muscle.  She was doing really well until a few days ago when she became extremely weak and tired.  We spent all weekend with her, making sure she ate and stayed hydrated.  My sister-in-law is a nurse and seemed to think she was depressed and that’s why she wouldn’t get out of bed.  I said she might know medicine, but I am the expert on depression lol. And depression doesn’t slow speech and motor functions as dramatically as she was experiencing.  She wouldn’t let her daughter take her to the hospital on Sunday, so we stayed all day into the night and I spoke to her a few times about how something was medically wrong and she needed to go to the hospital.  I said she’s only depressed cause she feels so sick and tired.

This morning she willingly let my sister-in-law take her to the hospital, saying I had talked to her and make her realize she needed to go.  She said I’m really good at caretaking and she appreciated all my help.  Turns out she only had 1/2 the amount of blood we’re supposed to have.  She was on blood thinners and they had given her a drug celebrex as an anti-inflammatory.  They think between the two, it caused a bleed in stomach. So they gave her a transfusion and tomorrow morning they will do an endoscopy to find the bleed and cauterize it.  She didn’t get into a room until about 9:30pm and my sister-in-law has to work in the am, so I went up to the emergency room to wait with her while they got a room for her.  After all the times with my Mom, if waiting around in emergency rooms was an olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist lol.

Well as of this morning her blood count didn’t increase at all, even with the transfusion. They put the endoscopy on hold and tomorrow will do both an endoscopy and colonoscopy at the same time. This way she only has to be sedated once. But now she has to prep for that oh so much fun colonoscopy, complete with laxative drinks and enemas. Fun times so I’m letting her 4 children, my hubby, his sister and 2 brothers take the lead today lol.

At least they gave her some zanax to calm her as she is very agitated which is not like her at all. Last night she was picking at the dozens of wires coming thru her hospital gown from all the cardiac monitors. Frankly I think almost everyone laying uncomfortable in a hospital bed should be given something to relax them. Why the hell not right?

Oh yes I almost forgot, so unfortunately the Saturday night date of dinner and a movie my H had planned had to be put on hold. Actually we were so tired and worried when we got home that night, we didn’t even remember til we got into bed. He was worried about his Mom and I was too. I also had the added bonus of remembering all the days n nights I had done almost the same exact things for my Mom. And of course it made me miss her beautiful smiling face. I’m a good caretaker, not because I’m Mother Theresa, but because unfortunately I have had quite a bit of practice. Thankfully I had off from work for the Jewish holiday 🙂

If You Don’t Think Narcissistic Abuse Is So Bad, Then Read This

Please read this important eye-opener by Cynthia. While she is writing about a narcissistic parent, it doesn’t have to be a narcissistic parent. It can be a spouse, partner, family member, friend, even a boss.

If You Don’t Think Narcissistic Abuse Is So Bad, Then Read This.

http://cynthiabaileyrug.wordpress.com/

There are so many people who think growing up abused by a narcissistic parent isn’t a big deal, we need to get over it, stop wallowing in the past & feeling sorry for ourselves.  Today’s post is for them.

And, Dear Reader, if this post doesn’t describe you, feel free to show this to those in your life it describes if you think it will help them to understand just how destructive & evil it is.

Below are some of the problems that narcissistic abuse can cause.  If you have not been the victim of narcissistic abuse, I hope you thank God at the end of this list that you don’t have to live with these problems.  I live with every single one, & it is extremely hard.

— Constant self doubt.  Narcissists are experts at gaslighting (distorting reality) which leads victims to doubt themselves constantly.  Narcissists state what they say as if it was the gospel truth, & when a person hears something, especially something said so confidently, over & over, they tend to believe it.  Even if it is something they can see clearly & plenty of evidence points to what they see is right, they learn to doubt their perception of reality & believe the narcissist.  Even once away from the narcissist, they tend to believe other people over themselves due to not trusting their own perceptions & feelings.

— Low self-esteem.  Since insecurity is at the root of narcissism, narcissists love to make others feel as badly about themselves as they do.  No matter how beautiful, talented, compassionate or intelligent you are, by the time a narcissist is done with you, you’ll be convinced you are the ugliest, most selfish, useless & stupid person ever to live.  Any shred of self-esteem is destroyed, & done so in such as way as not to be obvious.  Narcissists rarely tell you outright you’re stupid, for example.  Instead they prefer to imply it. (“A smart person would’ve known that!”)  That way, if you confront them, they can reply with something like, “I never said you were stupid! I don’t know where you get these ideas of yours. You’re reading into things!” or something similar.  Gaslighting at its finest…

— Dissociation.  Dissociation is a survival skill that many people use to get through traumatic events.  Women who were raped often describe it as feeling as if they left their body while the attack was happening.  When you are abused, you often dissociate.  I thought I was just day dreaming all my life, but I later learned I’ve been dissociating all this time. Sometimes I just get lost in my own mind & emotionally pull away from those around me.  It often happens during traumatic situations, but sometimes it does not.  It just happens out of the blue.

— Depression.  Depression is very common as well.  It’s hard to be happy when you feel like an utter failure, when you are certain everything you do/feel/think is wrong & when all you hear about is your faults.  Sometimes, the depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or attempts.  Yes, it really can be that bad.  I spent much of my life suicidal as a result of narcissistic abuse.

—Guilt.  Even knowing a lot about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, there are still times that I feel guilty for disappointing my narcissistic mother.  She is obviously disappointed I’m an author, she hates my house, car & that I haven’t “given her grandchildren”, & is even embarrassed by the fact I don’t speak to my in-laws (narcissistic mother in-law- I can’t deal with her verbal abuse).  In spite of the fact I know these things are all right for me, occasionally, I feel guilty for disappointing my mother.  This is typical.  Children raised by narcissists feel responsible for everything, & that includes the happiness of their narcissistic mother.  If they disappoint her, not only do they face her rage, but also the guilt for “failing”.  Unfortunately this means they carry the guilt into their adult lives, so even when they know better, sometimes they still can feel guilty when they shouldn’t.

— Aches, pains & illnesses.  Have you ever noticed that most narcissists are quite healthy, yet their victims are often sick?  I believe this is because of stress.  Narcissists rarely feel stressed, as they put everything unpleasant on others.  Their victims, however, are under constant stress because they must appease the narcissist & anticipate her needs 24/7 at any personal cost or else face her volatile  rage.  Ongoing extreme stress causes a multitude of health problems such as high blood pressure, heart or kidney disease or even diabetes.  And, depression can cause aches & pains with no physical cause.

— C-PTSD.  Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very common among victims of narcissistic abuse.  The ongoing, constant trauma of gaslighting, verbal abuse & the rest of the evil that is narcissistic abuse can cause physical changes in the brain which results in C-PTSD.  Basically, this means your body is in a constant state of fear.  Pete Walker, author of “Complex PTSD: From Surviving To Thriving” states that we have a fear reflex of fight, flight, freeze or faun.  Living in a constant state of fear means you will have one of those responses, like it or not, when fear is triggered.  For example, when my mother tries to control me as she did when I was a child, my natural reaction is faun- I do as she says & ignore my own anger at this unfair treatment.  It takes conscious effort on my part not to behave this way.  Plus, C-PTSD includes extreme anxiety, depression, flashbacks, damaged short term memory, sleep problems, nightmares & hyper-vigilance (an extreme awareness of your surroundings & potential danger).  I have had C-PTSD since 2012, & frankly, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  Living with the symptoms every day is sheer torture.

I would hope after reading this that your eyes are now opened to the truth about narcissistic abuse.  It *is* a big deal.  It *does* change your life.  It has nothing to do with not getting over things or self-pity.   The symptoms are a normal result to very abnormal circumstances.

For Those Suffering

sun thru cracks

 

And so this post is for you. For those whose suffering feels unnoticed. For those people who feel quietly stuck inside their mind. For those that feel hopeless. For those whose cries for help are mislabelled or misunderstood as cries for attention or flaws in their being. For the people who feel too tired to continue on. For people who struggle with depression and for people who don’t. For people who are having a bad day, a bad season, or a rough stretch of life. And for those people who don’t understand the illness but are willing to try. It’s okay – whatever you need, wherever you are, however long it takes – it’s okay. There is still time. To ask for help. To grow. To heal. To recover. There is still time for the sunshine to begin to seep through the cracks. For a flower to grow straight from your heart. ~Jessica Jensen

If They Love You

 

Man walking at sunset

 

Love is more black and white than we like to tell ourselves. Don’t allow anyone to keep you trapped in the “promise” of the gray area. The bottom line is: If they love you, TRULY love you, they’ll do whatever it takes to be with you. There won’t be excuses or doubts or fears or hesitation. Love is ACTION. Everything else is just words.
~Mandy Hale – The Single Woman

This is what I have to keep reminding myself.  No, we cannot choose who we fall in love with.  But we can choose to keep going back to those that break us down with empty words and unfulfilled promises OR we can love ourselves enough to realize we don’t need anyone to be happy.  We think we cannot live without them, but we can.  We just have to accept what we can’t change.

P keeps calling me, at home and at work and on my cell.  I have blocked him as much as I can, but at work I just don’t answer private calls.  He says he’s getting separated.  I will believe that when I see it lol.  But even so, it still has nothing to do with me.

As for me, I am going to continue to go where the love is.

Can’t Explain It

Did you ever have one of those weeks where nothing really bad happened but you just felt sad, exhausted and just yucky?  I haven’t been sleeping a lot which is probably the main reason. 

I just feel kind of defeated and wondering why? I really hope it’s temporary but I definitely need a vacation just to relax and recharge.

This little community of bloggers have made me feel safe, understood and given me a lot of inspiration.  But like anywhere else, there’s always people that feed off drama and conflict.

I should be grateful actually. As a result, I now know better who matters and who doesn’t. But it always hurts to realize you only matter to someone if you agree with their choices. I honestly hope people that care about me would stop me before I dive off a cliff. I identified with this woman very much and seeing her take 10 steps back scares me. Will that happen to me? Will I just allow someone to hurt n betray me over n over again and keep going back for more? I really truly hope not. But how do I know? I never thought she would but she has.

If your love or even your communication has to be hidden from others, it’s probably NOT a true and lasting love. And the person you will end up hurting most is yourself.  Yes you can’t choose who you fall in love with. But you can choose to either stand up and declare your love, live in the open or pretend it’s true love in secret and watch it wither and die. 

Life is too short for all these secret affairs that do nothing but waste years of your life. Please take it from someone who was in one and never ever expected to be.

Someone I thought was a friend turned out not to be because I told her what everyone else is thinking. Her ex-AP now has a blog (no biggie freedom of speech right?) But now this twit is everywhere I go and making the most hypocritical comments imaginable!! He actually had the audacity to lecture another blogger about how not sharing all the info is lying. This from a man who is currently talking to his ex-mistress and his poor wife has absolutely no idea!

So if she hadn’t crawled back n begged him to talk to her, then told him about her blog, the rest of us wouldn’t have to be affected by her dirty laundry. I guess that also upset me more than I realized.

Between that n my sicko stalker still harassing me, I just haven’t been my happy go lucky, smartass self lol.

But getting it all out always makes me feel so much better. I’m feeling better and stronger already.

Thank you to my fellow bloggers who always show love and support. Please feel free to kick my ass if I go cliffdiving k? 🙂

To Cry or Not to Cry

I have hardly cried at all this week.  Now to most people, this seems like it should be the status quo.  But for me this is a HUGE win lol.  It seems like all I have done since December is cry.  Between the depression and getting over P, I feel like I have cried enough tears for a lifetime.  Yes I know it is cleansing, healthy and good for the soul. It also is exhausting, ruins my contacts and just makes me feel like a big cry baby lol.

So Monday started blah but the rest of the week flew by, especially at work.  Today was absolute chaos and I am only just now coming up for air.   Which is a good thing because it keeps my mind busy and away from destructive things.  Sometimes I realize just how far I have come on this journey and how much happier I am becoming.  It feels good and healthy.

I will say that just a little while ago, I got this intense urge to message P.  It snuck up on me and it was just so strong!  My addicted brain tried to trick me saying, “what’s the harm in just saying hi, have a nice weekend”.  Yeah right!?!?!  Instead I teared up (but no tears were actually shed) and talked myself through it.  How crappy I would feel no matter what he said and how hard it would be to not keep talking.  Then I texted my addiction “sponsor” (another blogger who is also dealing with love addiction) and a friend letting them know.   And after that?  I called my HUSBAND, who of course picked up the phone and was really happy to hear from me.   I was so glad I hadn’t done anything to hurt him further or hinder all the progress we’ve been making together.

As much as I LOVE romantic letters, cards, etc., I have come to realize that love is in actions.  It’s what you do that matters even more than what you say.  And I realized that in the 14 years since I first met my husband, he has never once in all those years broken up with me or left me.  Never once.  So all I can do is take it one day at a time and keep choosing the people that have chosen me and love those that love me.  

Go where the love is my friends. 

Monday Blahs

I had a great weekend.  Saturday we had to wake up early (7 am) to go out on Long Island for niece and nephew’s Holy Communion. The church was beautiful, the kids looked adorable and the party was really nice.  Then Sunday we went to my sister-in-law’s for a small family BBQ.  It was nice, relaxed and my bro-in=law is an amazing cook.  We had fun laughing and telling stories.  I have to say I do have a wonderful mother-in-law.  She’s not pushy, she’s kind and she’s very laid back, kind of like my husband in a lot of ways.

So why am I so friggin sad and blah today?  I took my medicine, got enough sleep and nothing is bothering me.  I just felt like I was going to cry all morning at work and then I did cry during my lunch hour.

I know contact last week set me back, but I really enjoyed my weekend with hubby.  I missed my Mom on Mother’s Day of course but that’s normal.  Today no matter what I try, I just keep tearing up.

I really hope it’s hormonal LOL.  I know sometimes we just have a bad day and that’s okay.  But it doesn’t feel like that for some reason.   I’ll have to think about it a little more and figure it out.

Does It Really Matter?

A friend of mine was upset because she thinks her ex doesn’t care about her anymore. She also thinks she’s stupid for missing him.  I tried to explain to her that feelings are neither right nor wrong, they just are.  Trying to stop feeling something is like trying to stop the rain, virtually impossible. But it started me thinking and here’s my question to all those getting over a broken heart.

Does it really matter what he or she thinks of you now? I know in the beginning, when the heartache is fresh, it absolutely does.  But as you start to heal your heart and get stronger, who cares what the idiot that wasn’t smart enough to hold onto you thinks?

P doesn’t believe I’m better and happy. WTF?!? He actually thinks because we were so much in love that I’m just saying that! Which tells me two things:

  1. He never knew me as well as I thought he did because I really don’t lie about how I feel, good or bad. In fact the other day, a few things he said made me sad and I cried. But that was for just a few minutes.  Like my Mom, I feel things deeper than most.  This can be a blessing and a curse 🙂
  2. He wants to believe I am still pining for him because then we are in the same boat. In his very warped mind, there is still hope for us if he ever leaves. I did everything possible to explain to him that while the love we shared was something rare and special and I was absolutely ready to share a life with him, it no longer exists. And guess what?  I just don’t care if he doesn’t get it.

I’m sorry that doesn’t jive with where he is, but who the fuck cares? Where was he in December, January and February when I was on the edge of the fucking cliff? That’s right, he was kissing her frigid ass and being stalked by his really crazy Mom.

So let him KEEP kissing her ass and stay the fuck away from mine!

I’m good and strong and hopeful. Not every single day but most lately.

And for someone with Depression, that is all you can ask for. I am really happy about that.

Ok, I wrote this a few days ago and unfortunately I have taken a few steps backwards. But I am back to no contact and am going to beat my addiction by taking it one day at a time.  Thank you for not throwing tomatoes, eggs or anything.  Is is greatly appreciated 🙂

Crazy Bitter People

Okay so I’ve only been blogging for about 5 months and am still figuring this whole thing out.

I have met so many supportive, kind and truly loving people. You have helped me through an extremely painful time in my life. You have allowed me to see life in a new way and made me laugh through my tears. Words cannot express the gratitude I feel to so many fellow bloggers.

And I guess I should’ve been better prepared for the bitter haters given some of the subject matter of my blog.

But what kind of person follows blogs with the sole purpose of making nasty, hateful comments while keeping theirs private? A bitter, angry, pathetic coward.

You do not know me, my story or my heart. I am NOT to blame for your pain or lot in life. So don’t you dare try to shame me or characterize me. You are weak and sad and I hope you find peace. But this is not the way. Shame on you!

Grow up, be a real woman and stop blaming others for your anger and unhappiness. Make yourself better instead of trying to make others feel worse.

I have been through more in my life than you could possibly imagine and I have NEVER resorted to hurting others to make myself feel somehow less crappy.

Go shovel your crazy somewhere else lady, we’re all full up here thanks 🙂

Sooo In The Doghouse

My husband totally pissed me off today.  He was so angry and rude that I wasn’t ready to clean and run errands right when he wanted. I don’t mind him being annoyed. Everyone has a right to their feelings and to express those feelings.  

But it was the way he showed his anger, stomping around and mumbling like a jackass. It felt like I was watching a child have a temper tantrum lol. The man is 47 years old!

I tried to talk to him rationally and maturely but it did not go smoothly.  I did nothing to deserve the way he treated me and I told him so. His behavior really hurt and upset me.

I think it has more to do with the fact that we still are not having sex and I am just about fed up. I have tried everything and am just tired of feeling constantly rejected.

He cleaned the tub / shower, which was great but I do it all the time! I don’t expect a parade for it, geesh. I honestly think sometimes he expects me to cook and clean like a 50s housewife while also working a full-time job lol.  

Both of our Moms were stay at home housewives but our Dads were able to support the family. And when we were in high school both women went back to school and work, eventually becoming successful in their own right. Can’t have it both ways dude, especially with a chronic illness.

He apologized but it was really half-assed and only because he knows he’s in the doghouse.  He should really think of building on a new wing if he continues to act this way lol.   

A Fair

I woke up feeling a little tired and lazy (thank you antidepressant side effect lol).  With depression you never really know how you will feel from day to day. But I have many more good days than bad so I am definitely not complaining.

So my husband wanted to go to a local fair. I thought I would be up for it but then I really wasn’t. I could see he was upset so I pushed myself. As those with depression know, this isn’t always possible. Thankfully today it was.

We got there and I started looking at the jewelry,  handbags, scarves, etc. Basically all things I love to buy, wear and browse through lol.  And because I hadn’t wanted to come, hubby was extremely sweet about me buying a few things. I know most men, including him, could care less about those things so I appreciated his patience.

We stopped at a jewelry cleaner table and it was really cool! It worked magic on my platinum diamond wedding rings, my silver hoops and even my grandmother’s antique sapphire and diamond ring from the 1920’s. I couldn’t believe it when my H asked the man if he could clean his platinum band. I think he’s let me clean it twice in ten years lol. I happily bought a huge bottle of the non-toxic cleaner.

Then we met a friend of his, stopped and ate together.  He’s quite a colorful character,  always with a hilarious story to make me laugh.

I am really glad I was able to go and we had such a great time just walking around and laughing.  I enjoy simple pleasures in life, especially since losing my Mom. I just don’t think I realized that we really need to have fun together.

I truly remembered why we fell in love in the first place.  I didn’t think about P all day!

Today I have to say
Me: 1 and Depression: 0

Song of the day

Today was a great day then it got a little difficult probably because I went to bed too late and the dreaded PMS (yes all the guys have immediately left the room I’m sure lol).

While this is not one of our songs, it always reminds me of P. I just want to remember him one day without all the pain and heartache. Unfortunately that day isn’t today.

I’m leaning into the curve, secure in the knowledge that tomorrow will be better and happier.

Loving Myself

For so long I thought it was him I was meant to love.  But it was really me I was meant to find.

I love myself and it is amazing!  It feels so good and brings me so much peace and joy.  I don’t need any man to love me.  None of us NEED someone else to love.  It’s wonderful and beautiful, but not NECESSARY to be happy.

As long as I love myself, I can be whole and happy.  I have always had a good self-image because I had parents who told me I was beautiful, special and amazing.  Which anyone with depression knows, is exactly the opposite of how you feel when you are in a depression.  I felt weak, crazy, lazy and worthless.  Even though I know I’m none of those things, it’s what the disease makes you think.  My family, most of all my parents, kept me going when I didn’t think I would be able to.

I don’t think I have really loved myself for a long time.  Definitely not since my Mom died and the last year was torture.  I kept telling myself if P loved me, I would be happy and complete.

But even when he did, I wasn’t truly whole or happy for long.  That had nothing to do with him and everything to do with me.  No one is responsible for my happiness but me.

Such a simple concept but something I had lost sight of for a while.  I’m so glad I finally remembered 🙂

There is no fear in love

Image result for no fear in love

I have been thinking about this for a few days.  I cannot even imagine living my life afraid.  Afraid that I will make a mistake or do the wrong thing.  What kind of people spend their life making their children so afraid?  So afraid of making a mistake that they stay miserable and unhappy?

For me that would be like being trapped in a prison of my own creation.

Depression is no day at the beach, believe me LOL.  But I will take it any day of the week over fear and anxiety. Yes, Depression at its worst almost killed me.  Thankfully, the right combination of meds has allowed me to live my life.  It’s not always perfect or easy, but the dark times are a lot less frequent and not as dark.  Knowing that there’s an end to the pain and that I will be happy again has been a tremendous gift.

I think we both believed if our love was perfect, it would cure his fear.  I don’t think that was fair to either one of us.  His fear was created in his childhood and no amount of love, no matter how special, was going to cure that.

The further I get from the pain and sadness of the breakup, the more I see it had very little at all to do with me.

I really hope one day he finds peace and stops living with constant fear.  At least I have found peace and that’s enough for now.

My Life with Depression (Part 1)

Gosh this is hard to write.  Now I know why I have been avoiding it for so long.

I had always been a pretty normal, happy-go-lucky kid.  Then when I was 18, I had a root canal go terribly wrong.  The infection was so severe, my whole face blew up and was unrecognizable.  So 2 days before I was supposed to start college (a great school about 3 hours away where I was on academic scholarship) I ended up in the ER. Then it was back home for 2 weeks of heavy antibiotics, painkillers and rest.

A few months later, I noticed I was sleeping and crying a LOT.  I thought maybe it was a bad case of homesickness or PMS.  But I loved college and was having a ball.  My classes were great, I had a good  group of friends, and I was dating this really hot and sweet junior.

Things got serious very quickly.  I couldn’t get out of bed and I was just in so much pain deep inside.  It was like a black hole of despair was swallowing me up.  What made it worse was that there was absolutely no reason for the sadness and pain.  I had no idea what was happening to me and I was quickly losing all hope.  I was having horrific thoughts and nothing worked.  Everyone was really kind and tried to help, but there was nothing anyone could do.

I  had told my Mom but like me she figured it was just normal homesickness.  I finally decided I had to tell my parents when they came up for Parents Weekend. I will never forget sitting in this little cafe, just my Mom, my Dad and I.  Of course I started sobbing and shaking, cause that’s all I did during that time.  My Mom hugged me and my Dad said, “Are you expecting?”  I stopped crying and as one my Mom and I turned to him, utterly perplexed, and at the same time said, “Expecting what?”  He thought I was pregnant and wanted me to know that they would always support me, no matter what. But no, I wasn’t even having sex. LOL

I went home that weekend and my Mom took me to our family doctor.  After a bunch of tests and talking, I was eventually diagnosed with severe clinical depression caused by a chemical imbalance.  Say WHAT!?!?!?!   So does that mean I can’t drink at parties I asked.  I really had no idea how much my whole life had just changed.

Depression runs in my Mom’s family but I am the only lucky lottery winner in my immediate family.  Yay me LOL.  They think between the infection, all the antibiotics, and painkillers, it triggered a genetic predisposition.  Who knows?

All I know is I had to leave school and was basically a human vegetable for the next 6 months.