Another New Year and I have the same resolution I have had for over six years; to lose weight and gain a healthy pregnancy. I don’t know why I still do it. The likeliest conclusion would be that I still hold out hope. However, I have been learning as I trek on this journey to beat the biological clock.
In review, I have had one not so successful year in the weight loss category, but I learned that less sugar in my diet equals more menstrual cycles. This was proven once again as the holiday season crept along with the abundance of sweets sneaking into my diet and my cycle abandoning me to take a rest on a sleepy cloud at the start of 2012. But, alas the award for Most Depressed somehow landed on my desktop this past season.
It was easy to isolate myself from those I love, and it got easier as the purse strings started to tighten even more. I began to find excuses to not call my friends or my family to set up lunch dates. For instance, a close friend of mine was dating after his long stay in bachelorhood and I began to ease away from our friendship out of respect for his newfound relationship. I was afraid that simple jesting may be misconstrued which in turn might cause miscommunication and conflict in their relationship. I had no clue that the relationship had ended, and I felt extreme remorse for being the worst friend in the world. He made no gesture of being hurt, and continued to make plans with my husband and me for an upcoming trip.
This is why friendships exist. We accept each others flaws, throw the truth in our faces, get angry with each other, then we forgive, learn something new about each other, and forget the pain we once caused (or, at least we try). We continue this cycle because we share a common bond. We know we can trust each other to tell the truth (or lie to us when the occasion calls for it), and we respect each other for being honest or trying to shield us from further pain. I tend to forget this when I am in my self-loathing phase.
It was just a random set of circumstances that brought me together with another friend recently. We talked about our woes, complained about others who have tormented us (or continue to torment us), and enjoyed a few laughs. It felt nice, and I did not want to leave the conversation.
Depression stinks, and it hits all of us at least once in our lifetime. I am the unfortunate soul that suffers with it often. I choose not to take medication for it because the side effects wreck havoc on my body.
I tried Paxil, and for a while I enjoyed my sense of euphoria. However, I was extremely unmotivated to the point that my home was never clean. To top it off, it killed my sex drive. I was single for over a year before I realized that I had no motivation to even date. I had to have sex. It is like God’s gift to man-kind for having to suffer through the daily pains of life, and it is vitally important for my fertility goal. Without it, why bother?
I was so upset by those side effects that I quit cold turkey, and I strongly encourage everyone to NEVER quit cold turkey on psychotropic medications. I suffered with migraines for an entire month afterwards.
Next was Effexor XR. I might as well have just killed myself instead of taking that drug. They say that it takes 6 to 8 weeks before you feel the effects. It took me one hour and I was ready to take a nose dive off the Blue Water Bridges. That drug goes on my allergies list.
Celexa was a unique pill. My doctor informed me that it helped people to lose weight. What a great idea, I thought. People lost weight, all right. If I was just five minutes late taking that drug, I would be running into the bathroom an hour or two later to chuck up my last meal; another one for the allergy list.
That was when I decided to give up altogether on medications to treat my depression. I do not like to be a pill popper, and I was overly excited the day I gave up my birth control pills. I wanted my body to be free of toxins and harmful medications so that I could give the fetus a safe environment to rest and grow. It was then that I decided to continue to work with talk therapy and begin treatment with alternative medicine.
I discovered that taking three fish oil supplements a day will help to curb the depression. The fishy taste did not settle well with my fish aversion, and I settled on flaxseed oil which can achieve the same results; both were also good for the heart. Since my system seems to be hypersensitive to side effects of prescription medications, I decided to stick with one supplement of flaxseed oil a day. And would you know it? It really works for me; just as long as I remember to take it. When I am feeling really blue, I take the recommended dosage for the day it helps me to get out of that rut.
Anxiety is the cause for my depression, and I have varying other techniques to help curb it; such as meditation, breathing techniques, and Bach Flower Remedies (this has proven especially helpful with my husband’s ADHD). My husband is a massage therapist and I am often rewarded with a full body massage when those muscles get tense. Having a journal to write my worries down help to free my mind for more important works of fiction, and my cats find ways to motivate me each day to fill their water and food dishes.
Depression is not just something we can tuck under the rug and try to ignore. It’s prevalent, and has become an increasing concern in our society. My sister-in-law, Amanda Kniseley, hosts a walk each year for Out of the Darkness; a suicide prevention organization. It is the one thing that she could do to raise awareness and help prevent this terrible tragedy. Her genuine concern is evident in her desire to help others understand suicide and prevent it from happening to their family and friends. She has raised thousands of dollars for this organization and I imagine that she will continue to raise thousands more.
My contribution is in my writings. I write so that I can share the burden that many suffer in hopes that others will learn and help loved ones in need. The greatest gift I receive each day is when someone calls me just to say, “Hi” or they send me a quick e-mail. I know it doesn’t sound like much, but it means the world to me. It tells me each day that someone somewhere cares about me. My worst day is when the phone doesn’t ring, the e-mail box is empty, no one comments on my quirky status update or my blog, and no one gives me a hug and says I love you. Even if you don’t know what each person’s circumstances are, make someone’s day by dropping in just to say, “Hi.” It will mean so much more to them that you did so, and they will remember that you cared.
(Talk to your therapist or doctor before stopping any psychotropic medications. They are the professionals and they have the tools that you will need to switch to alternative healing. I had discussed dropping my medications with my therapists and she worked with me on the holistic approach to find the right combination that worked best for me.)