anxiety, depression, Motivation

Breathe

Sometimes my body forgets how to breathe. I don’t know why, but it does. It’s random. I will be going about my business and suddenly I can’t breathe. I don’t mean an asthma attack situation, I just can’t expand my lungs to take in a breath. My chest gets tighter as the seconds go by and a panic will start in the corner of my brain. Luckily, like a swimmer breaching the surface of a cool ocean, my lungs expand and I intake a huge breath.

I assume this has something to do with my depression or anxiety. I mean, it has to, right? I take my pills throughout the day to avoid the majority of my issues. My life is better than it has been thanks to those pills. I just… feel like something has to give.

There are side effects that I have from the medications, but they are far less damaging than the underlying issue. I wonder, though, if I can do more. There is an old phrase that says something like “Go big or go home”. I could go big and try the TMS option, but do I need to? Are the risks worth the potential reward?

I hope that my breathing keeps on going for a long time. I sometimes worry that worrying over the little things will lead me to do something crazy. Other times I worry that I am too scared to do what needs to be done. And yet, another part just likes to float along on the mimosa train, bouncing between television that I listen to, but don’t really watch, and the games on my phone.

Pieces and parts. Muscles and breathing. Mind and…

depression

Weight

After 3 years, I am finally at a place where my mental health seems steady. My emotions are mostly under control. This has been the best I have been mentally in over 20 years. I’m (how do you say this?) happy. In fact, I’m very happy. I left a job that was draining me and found a job where people appreciate my talents and input.

The downside? I have gained a lot of weight. I can see a significant difference in my appearance. I spent the first 30 years of my life on the edge of being under-weight. After I (briefly) quit drinking at 30, I gained over 10 pounds. When I quite smoking, I gained more. But with those, the weight gains weren’t overly visible. The weight I have gained since the new meds is very visible.

I don’t want this to come across as a judgement on weight. This is more about my self-esteem and the fact that I can’t climb a flight of stairs without being out of breath. Once I fixed my teeth, I was a hot commodity. It went to my head. Once I started on the meds, my self-esteem went up and I was a hotter commodity. Now, I’m happier than I have ever been, but my self-esteem is close to my lowest.

For now, I’m not going to change anything. My overall happiness and mental stability is far more important. But I wonder if my weight will become an issue later on and lead to me changing meds once again.

depression, emotions

Judgment

I’m a very judgmental person. I think it comes from being judged growing up. Back then, depression was sadness. It was a phase I was going to grow out of. It was a “minor inconvenience”. Alas, it was not so easy. So many horror stories and memories can be tied back to that.

They say that doctors and parents just pump kids full of too much medicine these days, but so much could have been different if I had only been diagnosed earlier. So many embarrassing memories. So much bullying. So much judgment. I think this is where my judgmental views come in to play. Or maybe it’s my christian background. Who knows. I surely don’t.

When I judge you, and be sure that I will, take it with a grain of salt. It has more to do with me than it does with you. I grew up being told that who I am is bad. Being the top of my class wasn’t enough. Being beautiful wasn’t enough. Being me wasn’t enough. I was judged and I carry that torch still.

Moving to California was the best thing that ever happened to me. Well, other than meeting my husband. I was thrown into cultures I didn’t understand. I was tossed into situations with people I didn’t understand. I had to grow. I had to ask questions. I had to become a better, more informed person. I am still growing, but I’ve come a long way. I have met amazing people throughout my life that have helped me to grow.

With that said, I’m still judging not only you, but myself as well. I’m judging the moon, the stars, and even the sun. It’s part of my DNA at this point. The good thing is that I can learn and change. I’ve shown that over the last few years. I may judge you, but I still love you.

depression, emotions, Motivation

Week

I have one more week with my career at FedEx Office. This has been a long road. When I was young (was I ever 19?) I lost my way. Well, I never really knew my way, so I guess I couldn’t lose it. I came out and then buried myself in debt. I made mistakes, friends, enemies, and lost everything shortly thereafter.

I needed help. I was in over my head with debt, depression, and so much more. I got help, though. I was a lucky one. I was bailed out by amazing people that tried to set me on a good path. I wish that would have stuck, but that’s where this story starts.

I was in a new city starting a new life. I needed a job. I was working at Safeway as a cashier, but that wasn’t enough. A relative was working at Kinko’s so he got me an interview and I was hired shortly after. The year as 1995. I had just turned 21 fifteen days before that.

My job at Kinko’s was just temporary. I needed money and I needed to get my finances under control. I was going to get a real job. At 21 I had already failed at my military career. I had failed at many things. I guess this job was something that I just couldn’t fail at. It’s been almost 25 years now and the only consistent thing in my life has been my career with Kinko’s (FedEx Kinko’s, FedEx Office). It’s almost like a child that needs freedom. I know it’s time for me to let go, but it’s so hard.

January 17th will be my last day with the company. It’s been a great journey and an amazing career. I have very few regrets, but I also need to move on and think about my life in later years. I can’t make the same mistakes I made when I was so, so, very young. I learned. I grew. And now I am moving on.

anxiety, depression, emotions

Functional

I am functional in many ways. I have been most of my life. I’m a functional alcoholic. For most of my life I had functional depression. I was great in school and at the top of my class. I was going to be a nuclear engineer. When that didn’t work out, I went into retail. I worked my way up the ladder over the years and was very successful in my stores.

Nobody really knew what was happening in my head. I was moody or sad. I was emotional or distant. I was shy or unfriendly. But in reality, I was suffering from depression. People couldn’t tell because I was so good at masking it and I was successful.

That all changed a few years ago. My walls starting crumbling faster than I could rebuild them. My success was starting to falter. My skills were becoming dull. My bed and my bottle were becoming my sanctuaries. All of the tricks that I learned in my life to mask and deal with my depression were failing me. I was failing. My career was failing. This was a new dimension that I had never dealt with.

I now know that my depression worsened. I was no longer suffering from functional depression. I was becoming less functional in everything. I was suffering from MDD (major depressive disorder). I was trapped in the walls of my mind that my depression built. Instead of my containing it, it was now the key master. I was the one being contained. My cage was a fiery pit while my body continued on throughout the day. People noticed that something was different, but my depression was able to fool even the best ones.

I ended up in therapy because the idea of being on medication for my whole life was too much to fathom. I was young. I didn’t want to be involved with anything until death. Well, except my husband of course. So I did therapy. It helped. I became functioning again, but not for long. After a couple of years, my walls keeping me prisoner were thicker, taller, and stronger than ever. I needed help and I couldn’t talk my way out of it this time. I couldn’t snark or schmooze my way past this gatekeeper.

Drugs have helped, of course, but I don’t know if I will ever get back to being fully functional again. I think the MDD is here to stay this time. I think I have a new companion for life, but at least I have my husband as well. I guess you could say that we are in a thruple, for better or worse.

Hopefully for better.