Let me preface this post by saying that I am not seeking pity, or affirmation, or words of encouragement, or disagreements. Nor am I suicidal or homicidal. This is me, off my meds.
As is my usual state, my brain is off and rambling at speeds faster than my fingers can type. I started off feeling a little blue, not sorry for myself, not exactly anyway. Then I wondered if I’ve ever been really happy. Sure, I’ve experience happy moments, the usual stuff; the birth of my son; meeting and eventually marrying DJ; enjoyment of a particularly well prepared, tasty meal; satisfaction at the completion of a seemingly difficult project. But these are merely happy moments, does one determine happiness by the quantity of such happy moments?
My happiness certainly isn’t tied to material things. Since being downsized out of employment almost eleven years ago, then getting divorced from Wendell’s father, and then moving to Pennsylvania, my discretionary income was substantially reduced. Fortunately the cost of living in Pennsylvania is a fraction of that in California. I have learned to live with less. Also I am not one to race out and obtain the latest technological gadgets, the latest fashions, nor do I dine out frequently, so I haven’t really sacrificed tremendously.
So, no longer gainfully employed, my brain, and therefore my thoughts, were no longer engaged on a daily basis with occupational drivel. I became a stay at home mom. My time and thoughts were immersed with taking Wendell to any number of doctor appointments, trying to toilet train him, or doing everything possible to improve his quality of life with Speech Therapy, OT and PT. With a mostly non-verbal child, and certainly one incapable of conversational dialogue, I’ve been left alone with my own thoughts. It’s amazing how many conversations you can have by yourself.
Somewhere along the way, I was diagnosed with Depression and began taking medication. I admit, it did work. Positive thinking can go a very long way, but sometimes, you just need a little balancing medication to even things out. A few times, I weaned myself off, but after several failed attempts to stay off, decided I was one of those people who couldn’t function properly without medication. Nothing to be ashamed of either.
But this time, I’m trying a different approach. I’ve been off medication now since September. I bought an Omega Sunlight blue light for light therapy. I’ve made some dietary changes, such as reducing my Coca-Cola consumption to less that 4 cans per week (really though, drinking one can a day can’t have that much of an impact); but my chocolate intake has not decreased, sorry, I can only go so far; and I’ve added a probiotic (results are still out on this one).
So far, so good. Like I wrote in the beginning, I have some blue moments, but keeping myself occupied helps. I am not lacking projects to fill the hours Wendell is in school, but even so, sometimes I just feel like being a couch potato with a book or the television. Nothing says every waking minute needs to be spent in pursuit of an activity. And sometimes, I just like to nap.
I figure, if I can make it through the winter, mostly inside, without wanting or needing to go back on medication, I’ll be good for a while. Once spring arrives and I spend more time outside in the garden planting and weeding, and time with Wendell and DJ outside walking in the woods and playing, I should be well established in my ability for fight off depression.