Archive | October 2014

Mourning My Gal Pal, Libida

There are many side effects of antidepressants, from excessive sweating, to dry mouth to libido death.
Everyone responds differently, to different doses of different medications.  There is no one size fits all, all the time.  But if your doctor has you on your prescription, then hopefully, it’s because they believe the cons of the side effects are a far lesser evil than the symptoms you are exhibiting.

Suzanne-Enoch-A-Lady-s-Guide-to-Improper-Behavior-historical-romance-16791947-598-500

Book Cover: A Lady’s Guide To Improper Behavior by Suzanne Enoch

Tell that to my dead libido!

I am a woman who has always had a healthy appetite for sex and more importantly, the elusive female orgasm (yes, please!).  Imagine my frustration, upon the realization one day that it just was not going to happen for me! It didn’t happen the next day either, or the next, or the next…

Orgasm was not going to come for me.

Everything physical was the same as it has always been. My man’s performance and stamina has never been in question, in fact he’s the Type A – overachiever sort, you know. 😉

After a few weeks of consistent lack of orgasmic results, I began to suspect that my gal pal “Libida” was dying. The “perp” that was killing my her had to be the meds I was taking.  Sadly, my doctor confirmed it.

What!?

This was the trade off?

I gave up the sensuous spasms of carnal delight for the ability to smile? What’s there to smile about without that! (Of course there are lots to be grateful for, this is merely an exaggeration to emphasize the grief of my loss.)

If I had never had an orgasm, I wouldn’t know what I was missing. But alas, the bliss of ignorance is not to be mine. I know exactly what I’m missing, and the multiple times that I’m missing it!

There was no way I was going to take this lying down! (Well, only if the situation was right. 😉 )

I deserve my God given entitlement of my share of erotic bliss!

So, being the adventurous sprite that I am, I packed my gear and went exploring to look for Libida in every sweet spot, using every method, and trying every trigger I could think of. Sometimes my man accompanied me.

Libida couldn’t be dead, I refuse to accept it.

Then…Success!

Ahhhh… I knew Libida wasn’t dead.  I felt it in my bones. Teeheehee.  🙂

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“You’d Also Be An Anchor To Her”

My Response to A Reader Comment

I would like to take this opportunity to respond to a reader, by the name of “James”, who made a comment on the previous blog article, A Mom Soldiers On,  October 19, 2014;

“You’d also be an anchor for her if you can’t provide for her.” ~James

I felt that this comment warranted a comprehensive response, and deserving of a dedicated post.

This comment would be true enough if you are referring to financial provisions.  I can say with confidence and gratitude that we are blessed to be financially stable.  She has everything she needs for food, education, shelter, and material goods.  Her physical and financial welfare will never be in jeopardy.

The point of A Mom Soldiers On is about the challenge of motherhood while living with the daily struggles of chronic depression.  It is about the psychological and emotional impact that this condition has on me and my children.

This blog Managing Depression is dedicated to the entire experience of chronic depression.  I express clearly, that this mental health condition is most definitely an anchor, in fact, it is a ginormous burden to my family, day in and day out.

Yes, I would be anchor for her, if all I did was wallow in self-pity. Yes, I would be an anchor to her if she had to take care of me, instead of me taking care of her.

Yes, I would be an anchor if I was never able to get out of my own head and be emotionally available and present when she comes home crying from teenage high school drama.

Yes, I would be an anchor if I did not get up or do anything that a mom does, like buy groceries, make nutritious meals, oversee homework, maintain the house, pay the bills, and the never-ever ending loads of laundry.

Yes I would be an anchor.

But that is what the article A Mom Soldiers on is about.

It is about NOT allowing the depression to be an anchor, despite having to drag along the enormous weight of chronic depression.

It’s about finding the strength and will to get up and do what a mother has to do, and be present as mother should be for her child.

My first reaction to James’ comment was hurt, and then I feared that it might be true, that I would be an anchor.  But after a few minutes of reflection, my valuable contributions as a mother came to mind, vivid and clear.

I have not allowed my chronic condition of Depression to anchor me.  Despite it, I have reared strong-willed, intelligent, conscientious, well adjusted, young ladies who are full of love and compassion for the world around them.  I am proud of the job I have done as a mother, and foresee myself continuing on the same road.

I have come a long way in recovery, in understanding the nuances of my emotional fluctuations, and the best methods of how to manage them.  Yes, my children have seen me down and they have seen me fall, but they have also seen me fight against it.  They have seen me get up, they have seen me show up, and they have seen me rise despite the darkness I tow.

Thank you James, for making this an opportunity for me to candidly remind us moms who cope daily with depression, that we are still able to make significant positive impacts, despite our demons.

We do what we do as mothers because we draw our strength from that special well deep inside us, fed by the eternal spring of divine love, a mother’s love.

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Image courtesy: youwall.com

A Mom Soldiers On

Image Courtesy: toysoldiers.com

Image Courtesy: toysoldiers.com

My kids are my everything.  They are my hopes, my fears, my joy, my tears.  Being a parent is the most challenging and probably the most difficult job I will ever have.  It’s even more so, when my depression decides that today is the day it’s going to manifest, and my teenager is doing her best to push my every button, and every boundary ever set in this household.

My kid is a great kid; intelligent, creative, fun loving, full of love and compassion.  But there are times, good lord, when it’s impossible to keep my head up, to hold on to my patience, and be a good mom.  When I am faced with raging pubescent hormones, with all the drama and passions that come with teen angst, and I am emotionally raw hyper-sensitive, and every word said to me are like hot iron arrows shot straight into my chest, burning up my little reservoir of love and light.

So I will walk away.  So I will lock myself in my room and cry my heart out at the words that break my heart into a thousand little pieces.  I will allow myself this time to wallow in self-pity, to curl into a ball and sob out every sliver of toxicity in my head. Just for a little while.

But I cannot stay in this space, this place of negativity and anguish.

I will get up.  I will ask the powers that be for the strength and will to move my body, stand on my feet and hold my head up. I will go out and soldier on.  Because whatever the difficulties, whatever the challenges, my kid still needs her mom, and will need her mom in the future to come.

I know the demons that plague me, I can keep them from consuming my future, keep them from affecting my kid’s future.  She will have me in her life.  I will be here for her.  I will continue to take my medication to keep my darkness at bay.  I will attend my counselling and continue my therapy.  I will express gratitude for my beautiful daughter, because I am grateful that I have her in my life.

This is just a bump in my road, the long road that is the reality of living with my chronic sadness.

I shall not let the darkness overcome.

One Lovely Blog Award

image lovely blog award

A big heartfelt thank you to Cay X from The Rabbit Hole for this lovely nomination.  

The “One Lovely Blog Award” are chosen by fellow bloggers, for the newer up coming bloggers.

The goal is to help give recognition and to also help newer bloggers reach a wider audience.

It also recognises blogs considered to be “Lovely” by fellow bloggers that choose them, and to celebrate bloggers who share their story/thoughts in a lovely manner, that connects with their readers.

In order to accept the award, first you must thank the person who nominated you

Add the “Lovely Blog logo to your post

Share 7 facts about yourself

Nominate the bloggers of your choice up to 15, but the number doesn’t matter.

Inform the nominees by commenting on their blog

Seven facts about myself:

  1. I am child #9 in my family, with 8 siblings who are all older than myself.
  2. I am a huge dog lover.
  3. I have a zillion allergies, including food, environmental and animals.
  4. I believe in Love.
  5. I can not watch scary movies.  The last one I saw was The Sixth Sense, and for months afterward I felt like there were ghosts following everywhere!
  6. Going to the dentist makes me cringe.
  7. I love to write!

I would like to nominate the following people for this lovely award:

Motivating Giraffe – Penny is a wonderful artist who created this site and the two main characters.  She always has something to inspire or motivate with her drawings.  I look forward to each and every post.

Real Christianity – Melissa writes beautifully about her relationship with Jesus and finding salvation.  Her poems resonate with me as a woman and working mom.  She eloquently expresses the feelings of the contemporary woman who does it all.

Send Sunshine – Is all about light and inspiration.  Truly lovely.

These are the top three blogs that I enjoy on a regular basis.  They are consistently wonderful, and brings light and inspiration into my day whenever I need it.

Gratitude

Numerous studies show that people who regularly express gratitude for the things and people in their lives are happier, less stressed, and have higher self-esteem. And in studies asking people to write and read a gratitude letter aloud to its recipient, participants reported immediate increases in happiness and decreases in depressive symptoms. ~ happify.com

Okay, so here goes.

Photo Credit:  Sandi Yee

Photo Credit: Sandi Yee

My Dear Daughter,

Thank you for bringing true joy into my life.

From the moment you were born, you have been the constant light that shines in our house.

I appreciate how much love, support and effort you always give to everyone in around you.

Your compassion when I am ill keeps me sane, and gives me comfort by showing me how much you care. The sweet sound of your voice melts my heart, I would do anything to hear you call me Mommy. Your little hands holding mine give me strength and determination to be the best that I can be, to give the best that I can give, and to do all that I can do to make this world a better place for you.

You inspire me to be a better person, because you are pure and uncorrupt.

I see the best of humanity in you.

I see the best of me in you.

You are a wonderful reminder everyday that I have done something truly remarkable, by giving the world the delight that is you.

Thank you for loving me.

Thank you for being in my life.

And lastly, thank you for being the best reason to live for, your love.

I love you.

Depression In The Workplace

DSC_1065The most difficult thing with having depression as an adult is that you are still expected to behave as an adult, with all the duties, responsibilities and obligations of being an adult.

There are people depending on you, your boss, your kids, your spouse, and your pets. Even in your darkness, with uncontrollable tears ready to spill over at the smallest bump in the road, work still needs to be completed, deadlines still have to be met, bills still need to be paid, and the bacon still needs to be brought home.

No matter how much you just want to hide away in some dark corner, curl up within yourself and bawl your heart out, you still have a job to do.

Your attendance and productivity are non-negotiable expectations of you at work.

You need the money? You need your job?

Hell, yeah!

Rare it is for those of us who don’t need these essentials of modern living.

Your boss has their responsibilities too. The company does not owe you anything more than your paycheck, and you do not owe them more than what they pay you for. Your job is a financial transaction, between you and the company.

You, the employee, are paid monies in exchange for your time, and what you produce for your employer.

Keep this in mind and do not make the mistake of thinking that they care about your mental health, because they really do not care other than how it would affect their bottom line.

Even the best managers, or even if your manager is your best friend, they still have a business to run, clients to service, revenue to generate, deadlines to meet, and a boss that they themselves must report to as well.

Everyone has a boss that they have to ultimately report to.

At the end of the day, your boss gets to go home, to their families and their own life. They may be as empathetic as can be, but they must do what is best for their own livelihood, for their own job security, and that is to look out for the company’s interest. This may seem cold and cynical, but it is the truth. There is no room in an organization for an employee who does not produce, does not fit in, or is a drain on company resources.

A wonderful colleague at work once told me, referring to our manager;

“Betty does what’s best for Betty, you, Sandy have to do what is best for Sandy”.

You must do what is in the best interest of you, because you are your best and biggest advocate.

Stay professional. Maintain your professional reputation, and take the time you need to regroup. The last thing you need at this point is to have a meltdown at work. Your mental health is paramount to everything else.

You work to live, not the other way around.

If you do not resolve your situation first, then the situation may be resolved for you (by you being relieved of your position), and that will bring you down even further.

Here are some tips that may help you to regroup.

1. Get help

If you are feeling so overwhelmed that you cannot cope by yourself, it’s time to ask for help from a professional source. Speak with your doctor or medical professional for a diagnosis, and explore your treatment options. There could be answers to address your physical symptoms as well as your emotional and psychological well-being. You may need therapy, counselling, prescriptions or a combination of approaches to help you heal.

There may also be help and resources readily available through your human resources department. The main thing is to ask for help. If you don’t get help the first time, keep asking.  Help is available.

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2. Take care of yourself. 

Taking care of yourself is more than indulging in a soothing bath or spoiling yourself with a mani-pedi (I am not saying those aren’t awesome, love them myself). Taking care of yourself is giving yourself everything that your mind, body and spirit needs and deserves in order to be well and to thrive.

If you need to see the doctor (or medical professional), then take the time to see your doctor, therapist or counsellor.

If you need to take a period of time away from work, then ask for that time.  Recent studies published by the University of Melbourne found that employees who continued to work even as they experienced depression symptoms, realized positive health benefits towards their recovery.  That being said, your doctor can help you determine if you need time away from work.

Your well-being is paramount to all else in your life. Your work will always be there. That urgent matter on your desk is not a life or death situation (unless it literally is because you are a life-saving surgeon or some such, even then, there is an on-call to take it on). Money can always be made, another job can always be found, but your health is your life. Your mental-health is the internal world in which you exist. It must stand head and shoulders above all else. Otherwise you could begin to feel that your world is not worth the effort, and that feeling can lead to the ultimate darkness, suicide.

3. Act

Once you have established a plan of action with your medical professional, stay the course. It may be difficult to remember or keep your medical appointments, therapy sessions, take your medications and adhere to your treatment plan, but you must. Treatment will get you better.

4. Make a list checklist  checklist

Focus and concentration will be a challenge. This is a common symptom of depression. Making lists of your to do’s are essential in keeping you on the move. Having a check mark to show for completed tasks, no matter how small the task, will help you to keep move forward. Making lists also helps to break down all your tasks, and show you what you need to do. It can help you to feel less overwhelmed by all that you need to do. It gives you a place to start and prevent you from feeling paralyzed. Even if everything on the list doesn’t get done, you will have still made progress.

5. Take breaks

Take your breaks, to stretch your legs and increase your circulation, to nourish your body and eat your lunch, to walk away from your work station and just allow yourself to rest. This will help in preventing your mind from fatigue at this point in your healing. Give your brain a quick break. Studies have shown that taking breaks can decrease stress hormones, and raise dopamine levels. This will help you to be more productive and manage your stress.

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6. Find support

Find support, if you are not comfortable speaking with a colleague about your situation, make sure you have support in friends or family. The feelings that you are experiencing have to go somewhere, it is best that they have a safe place to be released. If you are unable to find a safe place to release your pain, there are crisis hotlines set up exactly for this purpose. Find out the nearest hotline available in your location, and keep it readily accessible. You never know when you will need it. Suffering in silence will not help you get better.

There are no quick fixes for depression. Medications take at least two weeks to take effect. Counselling and therapies may take months or years for you to feel the effects of healing.

Be patient. Be kind to yourself and never give up. You are worthy.

May the light always shine for you.

Namaste.

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Photo credits: Sandi Yee

Are You Worth It?

you-are-worthy-self-worth-quotesSince I started this new career in the blogosphere, as a professional blogger, my husband has reminded me many times that there is no one else that I am doing this for. There is no manager to watch the clock, no clock to punch, no deadline to meet, no one to answer to. There is only me. Writing is for me, for my creative juices to flow free, and give voice all that churns in my head.

“Just think,” he said with an ear to ear grin, “you are not getting up every morning for anyone else, not your boss, not the kids, not even me. You are now getting up for you. Are you worth it?”

Wow!  What a novel idea!  What insight!  I’m getting up for me, no one else.  There is no one else that I am getting up for. There is only me.  I’m doing this for me!  For once, it’s all about me!

Then reality set in.

There is only me.

It is all about me.

Am I worth it?  Am I worth anything?  What am I worth anyway?

And there it was again.

The beginnings of negative self-talk. The harsh inner critic, that ugly voice in my head, present in everything I do, everywhere I go, telling me I’m not good enough, I’m not worthy. I don’t want to hear it, but it’s loud and clear.

I struggle with this question every day, the question of worthiness.  This time it’s about my writing.

Am I worth it?

Am I worth this time to focus on myself, to focus on my writing, to feed my spirit and fill the emptiness that gnaws at me when I have no creative outlet?

Am I worth it?  HPIM0214

Am I worth it?

Am I worth it?

Am I good enough?

What does it matter?

Who’s going to read it?

Who’s going to care?

No one cares.

Ughk! It’s a nasty cycle!

Good grief!  If I thought I was worthy, if I thought I was good enough, I wouldn’t be in this cyclical mess of depression, misery, self-destruction and self-hate.

It was more than about writing, about blogging. It all came down to how I felt about myself.

I do well enough on my own, putting oprah quote2this obstacle of worth in front of myself.  Thank you very much, but I really don’t need someone else reminding me to question if I am worth it.

His actions were from good intentions, because my husband never questions his worth.  He has a healthy dose of macho ego, such that if someone asked him if he was worth it, he would respond with a resounding shout of YES!  It would motivate him to jump out of bed, and sprint after whatever he wanted, because his worth is never in question, because he believes he deserves.  He thought it would work that way with me.  He thought what works with him would work with me.

It doesn’t.

Every morning my goal is to keep from drowning.  Everyday all my energies go into building a solid platform from which to stand in the light, to stand in my power.  I am building my skill.  I am building my confidence.  I am building a new era for a future where for the first time ever I am able to see beyond today.

For anyone to ask me if I think I am worth it, only makes me question, and answer myself that I’m not.  Asking me if I am worth it, implies that my worth is in question, that it is not an innate right as a human being to pursue my happiness.

I am worthy.  I have to believe that I am.

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Photo Courtesy: Sandi Yee

After weeks of this, I finally asked him to stop asking me this question;

“Instead of trying to get me up and out of bed by asking me if I’m worth it, why not ask me to begin the day together.  Please, ask me to begin the day together instead.  Say to me; shall we begin the day together?”

I appealed to his empathy, his love for me and his desire to live our lives together.

It worked. Every morning since, he greets me with a smile, extends his left hand, and invites me to begin the day with him.

How can I resist?

I don’t. 😉