Tag Archives: depression

Learning pain.

I learned from my family to hurt myself with food. I watched binges and holiday gorge fests. When I participated, I unconsciously registered and catalogued what things felt like after the meal, never quite understanding fully, the meanings behind certain painful moments.

I never knew the pain in my stomach was my body screaming at me to stop, because no one else in my experience was showing pain or stopping. I thought it was supposed to be that way, that is, until it was already a very hard to break habit. Now I do my best to listen for sensations before my tummy hurts. Not always being successful. I also do my best to eat foods that give “full” sensations sooner, because then I know I don’t get too close to that mark. Salads are very filling because they trigger a feeling of full long before your tummy runs out of room (they condense a lot in the chewing process and they are dense nutritionally). It leaves room for a little treat and still no danger of overeating pain. These days I aim for a few coated nuts or a bit of fruit, but being holiday season my daughter kindly made pumpkin pie using ground nuts for the crust. Vegan, and made of healthy ingredients for a small treat. It enables me to feel human and enjoy a morsel safely- thank you Anya. Growing up, my family had a ready supply of tasty treats from Little Debbie, Hostess and my mom’s own baking. It left for multiple servings a day, nearly every day for the first 19 years of my life. Now, I have an apple or pear mid day and something like Anya’s pumpkin pie (or the coated nuts) 3 to 5 times a week most weeks, with some heavy weeks and some empty weeks. Money doesn’t always stretch enough for sweets in our budget, but then sometimes bad habits not fully broken, sneak in and disrupt the balance for a bit. It’s a difficult cycle to maintain balance when I learned from an extreme environment. So I keep working at it.

Additionally, I never knew the pain in my brain and head, and resulting dizziness and depression, was too many omega 6’s from grains, and allergic reactions causing systemic inflammation from my immune system attacking my entire body. I just knew I couldn’t complete sentences, couldn’t keep my balance to save my life (so I seemed clumsy), would hit angry rage easily and then fall into deep despair, and alternated between sleeping all day and suicidal pretending to be functional. It was a daily cycle pattern by highschool. My thyroid was storming and crashing repeatedly, and my organs and joints were being eaten by my own immune system. Yet all I knew was overwhelming pain, hurting everywhere inside and out, and dibilitating misfunctions in my whole body. All I felt was dark despair and deep desolation. All I knew was something was horribly wrong and mom’s doctors weren’t fixing it because I was “low side of normal”. Later in college it was the same story with my daily cycle and unhelpful professionals, basic tests and no further exploration. It took me learning overlapping parts, investigating complex systems, and having many helpful intuitive moments with others’ conversations to find my answers over years of time. It isn’t something I started yesterday and I get really frustrated when people act like that, it is not something a 15 min conversation will solve, because I have enough hours invested to have been a collegiate course. Sadly, if it weren’t for a resource that tells me otherwise, I would think I know more, and more current information on the subject, than anyone else in KC, and because of it have been told by doctors it’s too complicated and to difficult to solve fully. It isn’t true, there are those that know more and can. Problem is that the few here in KC that really know it well, are out of reach for me for several reasons, insurance, finances, and waiting lists being the most common reasons. The last time I tried it was a doc at St Luke’s and I was passed to a minion that knew less than me. It is crushing to save $280 for a doc and then be shuffled to his PA that says “how about we start with a TSH test” when I know how to read thyroid labs and know a TSH test is a far too limited view  when it is the only test run, that your TSH can look relatively normal and all kinds of wrong be happening.

I would love to say that because I chose to learn what to know about the process happening in my body, and thus have skills and knowledge others don’t, that I know how to solve it. I can’t because, that’s a trick question. It’s a trick because there are to many variables. Da da duuuunn!

I know that diet is a major factor. I suspect some of those learned pain moments from childhood are the mental root of the physical patterns causing the physical pains. I know physical triggers are contributing to the immune response, and that when eliminated, my immune system calms down, but never seems to shut off completely. I know that my organs are damaged because of approximately 38 years of this process. I also know that with enough space, time and resources, literally anything can heal and many people have done it. Yet, my life seems hell bent on making it nearly impossible to eliminate all triggers and stress. I also know the CVid  set me back painfully far (just not as drastically noticable as Nathan), and seemingly made even more triggers arise. So at this point, I have new factors that didn’t exist 2 years ago. I have had to adjust everything multiple times up, and now I’m faced with having to adjust back down. I’m having difficulty finding middle ground with thyroid meds, supplements and food choices, each adjustment causing a ripple effect with the other elements. I’m having difficulty turning my immune system down enough for healing to continue. So, I know there are new factors, but at this point it’s easier to say what’s okay than what’s not okay. The okay list is so short already I just can’t figure out why my immune system is constantly on high alert. So the mechanics are there, and have been being used to the best of my ability and fairly detailed knowledge.  But where I used to keep symptoms away for weeks even a couple months at a time, now I’m having daily and weekly swings even when doing my absolute best with life circumstances. My lapses get fewer, smaller and father in between each week, yet my immune system never relents. I am managing massive inflammation daily to stay out of the crash loop, and eating cleaner than ever. I’ve had two known noticable lapses in 3 weeks, and one of those was completely out of my control, it was not even close to my fault. That leaves me to believe that either I have new allergens unresolved/identified, or that I am in the midst of a constant external pathogen attack. I simply am not certain which, and have no resources left to determine that with in depth lab testing. It could be covered in-part or all, if I could afford and actually schedule with one of the few very knowledgeable doctors. Some of them don’t take insurance, the others have wait lists and underlings.

Now, on being able to keep most of it at bay with diet. The failures are when I am unable to control the food in front of me. I have yet to figure out how not to eat when others are, and every dish has something to avoid; or when the only dish was prepared haphazardly; or gifted/shared by unaware individuals. Nearly all of my exposures lately have happened in situations beyond my control and which I felt I had very limited or no options. Fortunately, the office holiday celebration had the ability to do a salad with beans. But the other big gathering we attended, every single dish included something that wasn’t okay. It’s really hard not to eat when 75 others are, and your tummy says the food smells delicious, so I did my absolute best, which was still very far from my clean. Then I went a stretch where I just ate salads, one after another after another, and then my body signaled true starvation with tremors instead of using the fat on my belly and thighs. I had gone too far the other direction, but what to eat when you start to distrust anything working for your body?  I’m running out of creativity with other veggies, and I’m still not sure if one of my few is causing my inflammation immune attack. I should be able to eat more easily than this, and so, fasting is still a thing because it’s just easier and helps me clear out and detox some.

You might be getting the gist of all the layers and levels I’ve been trying to juggle. In the midst of Nathan’s dialysis, 7 months of increased duties at home, and resulting over-stored grief. Of all of that I was lone massage therapist for all but two months- helping many others solve their problems muscularly, and working diligently on 2 major art images. I don’t know I may have missed some things, cues that might have helped, or maybe it’s literally just the stress.

Stress is the ultimate trigger of all triggers.

So to that end, my new goal is to stay as clean as possible and still consume calories (you’d be surprised how opposing those 2 are right now), while making a concerted effort to reign in stress better. My goal is to use as much of my lunch break as possible to do yoga. Every day. That is 3 breaks a week. Eating a salad takes me 5 to 10 minutes based on size of the salad, and adjusting my office takes about another 5. My breaks are usually 90min. So most of those days I should be able to do a little over an hour of yoga. Fridays, being a shorter work day, I usually have at least one solid 30 min break, and even though I get to leave early, I rarely get to make use of that time for me. So the 30min break will have to do for yoga. Hopefully that addition to my week will be enough. My problem is for the last 2 weeks I’ve been doing other self care in my lunch. Some of that will have to continue elsewhere. Where?

So yeah, no easy fix, and why in the hell anyone would think I’m undereducated or a slacker is beyond me. You’d think they all know that by now.

So yes, this week I have struggled with my baseline, and when a full blown allergic reaction to an unknown cause caught me off guard, I fully crashed to suicidal level. Nathan and Anya took the brunt of my verbal onslaught, because the reaction set in fully after littles were sent to their rooms for a bit. I tried to lock myself in the running van in our garage. Nathan and Anya solved that and waited for enough sanity to return for me to be coaxed to bed. I’m not proud, I’m not happy over it, it sucked. All I kept thinking is I could finally be free of this constant struggle to maintain balance, that I would finally be free of all the stress and responsibilities, that I would finally know what my inner being fully feels like (Abraham swears is better than the most exhilarating ride of your life.) I just wanted to not hurt anymore and not have to think about anything: meds, money, food, allergies, eating, living, stressors, you name it, I’d be free. It was just so overwhelmingly desired in that moment. If not for Nathan and Anya I would be dead.

Like Great Mother, this momma’s had enough. Enough is enough, and I’ve done a hell of a damn good job all on my own all things considered. I deserve out, and if God wants me to live so damn bad, then he better damn well fix it. There isn’t much rope left and I’ve gotta save enough to solve the last problem I’ll ever face, and I have no idea if my proverbial rope can be replenished. If it doesn’t stop in a permanent sort of way, I will likely still wind up back at this place. It is a flaw of human nature and the complexities of life on Earth.

For now, I’m alive. I didn’t solve anything today, but I have an hour left until bedtime and nothing got worse.

I still hurt all over, but less painfully. I’m still depressed, but more towards mild melancholy. I have a headache, but it no longer feels like my eyes will explode. The dizziness has subsided, and I have been able to communicate more than last night.

I’ll take it.

Those are all signs of improvement for this day.

May you be kind to yourself when your best doesn’t cut it. May you know you did your best with every step even when people don’t see it or doubt it. May you always have the resources and connections to do whatever is needed, especially when that involves investigating complex problems. May you find a way to eliminate as much stress as possible so your body can heal. May life cooperate with you in regards to all of it. May you find a way to make maintaining balance easy, and be able to easily fit that into your schedule. May you always have reliable current information available to you when it is needed most. May you find the solutions you seek for lasting permanent change and easy balance. Above all may you know that the divine loves and supports you in all that you do.

Om Shanti

Catching Up: 2

Anything can be comical.

It’s all in how you see it.

I felt I need to use my bought of suicidal depression this week as fodder to find humor and also some self-appreciation. It was an inspired ‘for instance’ moment:

You can view my suicidal depression from the standpoint of that really sucks. That I’ve lived with cronic severe depression since I was 12, and didn’t fully grasp how to climb out quickly for years. It ravaged my life on so many levels it’s hard to even put words to. I lost days, weeks and entire swaths of years to crippling depression; and knowing now that it had a medical cause based on layers of organ malfunction and chronic viral disease, it can be maddening to think about how my life might have gone if it had been properly diagnosed and fully treated starting when I was 12. It still is maddening, knowing that so much damage was done, that it takes extra special levels of self-care and uncovered alternative treatments to attempt to solve it now. Something that I struggle to accomplish being a responsible member of society.

BUT

Then I think about how many times I’ve seriously weighed pros and cons of tool options for suicidal execution, and thus how likely I might be successful…. Is there a Guinness record for that? I think I’ve won it! Perhaps if there’s not, I should petition them to make it a category. Except who actually keeps track of that shit?! Don’t you have to prove quantities? Well I guess that’s out of the question. … However, I’ve also oogled pretty flowers and funny cat videos probably just as many times. Somehow that scale keeps balancing! I wonder what the actual ratio of depression-thoughts to YouTube-distraction and nature is? Hmmm…. Visualizing scales of justice… Dark cloud on one side and fluffy things on the other. That’s a lot of fluff!

And oh it gets better:


Just think how many times I’ve actually gotten really close to said execution. On one hand, holy shit! It seriously takes a while to count/remember them all! On the other hand, I’ve now proven you can go back and forth across that line many times and still be standing. I have danced with death and walked away from it. I bent, kissed his hand and said adiu, maybe another day, there are other dances I still want to experience. I’ve proven it can be done, not just once, but several times. This last one was more like and old man’s shaky punch to the face, but I got my point across! Hoorah! KMA!

Or then consider: I’ve danced with death so much that I can just see the darkness coming a mile away now. I can half predict the collective’s trajectoiry because of it. It makes for really interesting rants in my effort to wake people up in time. I know I’m not catching very many in the grand scheme, but perhaps my drop will matter, will become the ripple. Especially with Med/Vax fails probably being signs of the industries’ impending doom. Wonder what all those doctors will do when no one trusts their profession anymore, least not enough to pay a living wage. That’s Dr. Fry Boy to you. One Covid-gone-worse is all it’ll take for western medicine to crumble completely, especially if it happens anytime soon while this burn is still stinging. I’m not putting my eggs in that basket any more than absolutely necessary, they hold keys to my tools, and if I can eliminate the need for those keys, I’d be doing even better. It’s like a string of lemmings heading for the cliff, you know what’s coming and don’t know whether to laugh hysterically or cry over the fail. (To clarify I’m specifically referencing the big institutions and 3 big pharma that have screwed the pooch repeatedly during Covid. Though all those small docs that just row the line when it doesn’t make sense might as well be included, especially when they fall to do their own jobs properly.) BTW, if you haven’t watched “Grizzly & the Lemmings” available on netflix, or played the CD-Rom “Lemmings” game from the 90’s, then you should you get this humor better.

My point is, I have done what many have failed, not just once, but many times. I have courted death and walked away capable of being a responsible citizen. When I was 12 I never found the positives, I just managed to not die. Now that I’m an adult, it’s almost like world’s craziest roller-coaster… “Hi death, you wanna ride with me? No, okay, see you in a bit. … AHHHHHHHHH! πŸ™ƒ Weeeee! πŸ˜† Yea! πŸ€ͺ Awe, the ride is over πŸ˜•…. wait a minute, if I go again I can avoid Death longer. Ride-tender, can I just stay on indefinitely?! No okay, at least one more and I can dodge him later. πŸ₯΄”

I’m actually getting quite good at it. I’m not out of the hole completely, but considering that Sunday evening I was contemplating taking Nathan’s heart meds to not wake up in the morning, I’m doing quite spectacular in comparison. The only thing slowing me down at this point is that my biological processes need recuperation time. I’m definitely up enough to consider it another win, and finding the humor side of all of it does help significantly.

May you find the humor as relief for the worst moments of life. May you see the benefit of all of it. May you know you are capable and strong. May you find ways to laugh at your failures, and acknowledge your strength is in getting back up and trying again. May you understand that those moments are the evidence that you are doing it. There is no try, only do. May you see that everything teaches us valuable lessons to share with others so that they might escape the extreme difficulties. May you know you are loved and supported in all that you do.

Om Shanti

All the things.

This week I have done all the things to fix the depression I’ve been fighting.

  • I exercised as much as I could humanly fit in (4 times). It helped.
  • I meditated every day and focused on mantras while doing my sessions with clients. It helped.
  • I colored a picture between clients for decompression and a sigh of relief. I finally finished one I had started in June. It helped.
  • I watched all the P’s and Q’s of my dietary needs. It helped.
  • I finally got my sleep window back. The person that was staying with us left for a few days to try another possible solution for her. Her stuff and dog are still with us for the moment, but her sleep cycle was so off it had been affecting mine, and she was not able to correct that on her own. I hope her most recent choices are helping with that. I know having solid sleep again helped me a lot.
  • I did the infrared treatments with workouts. It helped.
  • I cuddled with kitties and played with my kids.
  • I took cannabis gummies CBD+THC as needed.
  • I took all my supplements and even resumed using progesterone cream. I started the cream back up after a bout of dizziness. After 2 adjustments, doc told me to do epley’s maneuver to try and fix it. After a few tries that solved much of the dizziness, but not all. So my next guess was low progesterone again. After a good heaping dose of cream the dizziness subsided. So now I’m doing my best to remember to use it every day again. I had to use it during pregnancy and between having my two children, but since Katherine was born I have not been good at using it consistently. Apparently I need to. It has helped.
  • I scheduled an appointment with a doc to get my thyroid meds renewed. I’ve been stretching doses and compensating with iodine and seaweed. It is not a perfect fix, so the script being renewed will help some. Even with the script my needs fluctuate. There is no perfect fix in western medicine, but the script does make it somewhat easier. It will help.
  • I will have some proper socializing this afternoon. The second instance in 9 months (outside of my mom’s visit and talking to my husband daily).
  • Finally, I righted my sunshine deprivation. I had gone too many days where all daylight hours were spent inside working. I sat with my eyes to the sun yesterday morning before my first client. It was about 40 min of glorious sunshine. It helped, but I took it a step further since we are in gloomy winter and sun is unreliable. So, after my workout last night, I made friends with a tanning bed for the first time in my life. My gym membership includes access to one, so I tried 5 min. I’m glad I started there as my sun starved skin turned a tinge pink. Between the two sources of light yesterday I do feel significantly better, and I told my husband it helped enough I will do it again.

With all 12 elements, I feel safely out of the hole, but there is still a lingering nagging blanket of negativity that I am aware of. The blanket is no longer threatening to silence me, but it hasn’t been destroyed. I still don’t know the source, only that it is taking literally every ounce of everything I’ve got to keep it at bay.

I now know for certain that I am capable of saving my own life, and I can and do frequently fight off depression on my own. This time I needed one person to take a relatively small action for me and it was a huge relief. I am glad that I reached out and asked for that help.

Most of the time I know that when depression wins, it’s because of a major failure on my part- usually with the diet exercise combo. This time I had had no such huge failures, even Thanksgiving was extremely close to my dietary needs. So, it still leaves me feeling like the negativity is external. Maybe it’s a sense of the collective still being in fear, maybe it’s a sense of those around me that are struggling, maybe it’s collecting too much from clients, and maybe it’s really some of all of it.

All I know is that I am having to do everything perfectly to even keep it at a safe distance.

Abraham tells us that with practice it’s supposed to get easier. For me it hasn’t. It’s easier for me to figure out how to fit everything in now, but the practice is as complex as ever, and having to be perfect is not evidence of becoming easier.

Where’s my ‘it gets easier’ Abraham?

Just curious.

Anyway, may you have easier, simpler puzzles to maintain your mental-health. May you have a generally easy go of life in general. May you be happy and healthy mostly. May you love and enjoy your life.

Om Shanti

Loud.

So, I like loud music. Period. Not all the time, but enough of the time I probably annoy others.

Partly because I actually love feeling the music in my body, the percussion and resonance soothe me. It’s a side effect of having been a serious band geek as a kid.

Also partly because the music seeps in more quickly when it’s loud, so I use it to drown out the rest of the world and it’s intrusive energies. Plus there is a little hearing loss from having two screaming babies on top of decades of loud music, though all things considered- really not much hearing loss.

Anyway, today I invoked loud for another workout. I again was able to leave work early, and I’m pushing myself at every opportunity because I really do want to feel better. I’m still on the fence emotionally, so every effort is counting big time. I am doing my best to maximize my climb back up at every possible opportunity. It still seems to be excruciatingly slow progress.

The two tracks that seemed to help the most are linked below.

They helped me in many ways. I was able to focus on speed on the treadmill, and both tracks have messages that help me focus mentally. The Prodigy track utilizes a mantra I have benefited from, and had a good message about making a new better world. And keep hope alive- that’s pretty self explanatory. They are both in my personal music collection, and they were not the only tracks I listened to, but just the ones that seemed to help the most today.

So other than some Jello legs from two intense workouts in a row, I’m starting to feel better. It’s still going more slowly than I’d like, but I’ll keep pushing until I get back to normal.

If I could eliminate certain feelings it’d be easy. But I still have certain things eating at me and I’m not sure if they’re old ingrained patterns resurfacing (despite previous efforts to kill them), or if I’m picking up on other’s similar patterns. Either way I can’t seem to kick them out permanently yet. I’ll keep trying like I always do.

May you have good exercise, stable mental health and feel generally good. May you have several someones you can rely on when things get difficult for you. May you always have tools readily available to help solve whatever problem you are facing.

Om Shanti

Improvement?

I was able to leave work a couple of hours early today. I knew I must take the opportunity to slide in an extra workout. I texted my husband and he decided to go with me.

I changed into my old workout outfit. It’s probably almost a decade old, and the shirt has had paint on it for longer than my 6 year old has been alive. The pants gained a bleached area after moving into our previous home about 2 years ago.

Nathan picked the treadmill, and I chose to do a combo of elliptical and rowing machine. We both did a full 45 min workout, and I did my best to maximize mine (HR, speed, resistance, etc.).

I started with the elliptical set on a big incline to maximize focus on quads and glutes. My quads have been weak and my glutes have been chronically tight; sometimes that’s a sign of weakness, but it’s also potentially just because of the nature of how I stand while working.

Either way, I wanted this workout to help in as many ways as possible. So, I picked my machines based on muscles I wanted to work, and the duration for helping my brain function.

10 min into the elliptical my clothes were bothersome. They are now so baggy that they catch on things. While still in motion I tied a knot in my shirt hem, and pulled my pants up higher and cinched in the drawstring more. I then had to pull my sleeves up as high as possible to get them to stay put.

When I got home I realized they were 18/20W or a 2XL. When I originally bought them I was not quite at my largest and they were comfortably loose. I do remember when I hit my largest they were no longer quite so comfortable and that was one of many signals to acknowledge I needed to fix things. That was over 7 years ago.

Now, I know I wore a fitted size Large scrub top last week that wasn’t quite so tight anymore. I wouldn’t call it spacious or comfy, but it’s not restrictive like it was when I bought it in the frame of mind of being hopeful.

So I’m down from an 18/20W plus size to a solid 14/16 regular, and still shrinking, not quite to a size 12 yet.

This is quite possibly the slowest process I’ve ever noticed, but it is progress. The bathroom scale is still useless registering 217-220 depending on the day, but I’m definitely slowly inching smaller.

I still get frustrated over my tummy because it shows bloating so readily, but I’m definitely smaller. When I stand with proper posture and I’m not bloated, my tummy is smaller than my breasts, the last times that happened was directly after giving birth to my children. It makes me feel good.

This all helps me feel better. The exercise itself, the results, being smaller, feeling better physically, it all helps my mood. This on top of all of my regimen is a big helper, but I’m still inching up.

It’s not taking me weeks or months anymore, but it’s still taking me multiple days to climb out of mental health pits. It is improvement, but I look forward to hours instead. Nay, I look forward to never falling to begin with.

I’m not sure I’m ready to contemplate what that puzzle looks like yet. I’ll get this one down better first.

Anyway, I wanted to share my efforts and the noticable measures of improvement. I will keep plugging away and eventually I will be back up again.

May you have moments of appreciation and validation of your efforts at improvement. May your brain always cooperate with you. May you have stable mental health and a healthy body inside and out. May you know you are doing better and find ways to love yourself for it. May you know you’re loved and supported.

Om Shanti