My Dearest Tyler

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I cannot be your Mommy.  I’m sorry I disrupted your life for a few months and gave you false hope of being part of our family.  Please know it is nothing you did.

You were my little boy, the second child I always wanted.  You were as much mine in my heart as Sophia was.  My heart filled with joy hearing you laugh and play with Sophia.  I loved when you knew every morning that it was “Coffee Time”.

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry that my body broke down.  I’m sorry that all the responsibilities that came with you caused my brain to be crippled with anxiety.  I’m sorry I couldn’t overcome it for you.  I didn’t know how I would react.  I didn’t know I would lose 12lbs due to constant nausea because if the anxiety.  I didn’t know that I would start to become delusional.  I didn’t know that you, my little boy, would become my biggest trigger.

I’m sorry.  I’m sorry you had to leave us.  I’m sorry I wasn’t there to say goodbye.  I realize that I am not the best mother for you… That my body is only able to parent 1 child physically, emotionally and mentally.  I’m sorry that you were my body’s test. 

Just know my little boy, I still love you.  I still think of you daily.  I still consider you my little boy. 

Love Always,
Your Foster Mom of a Few Months

I Am A True Believer…

… in exercise as medicine for both Anxiety and Depression.  I have many friends who agree and many who disagree.  I think for those that disagree it is a matter of finding that 1 particular form of exercise that you absolutely LOVE.

It wasn’t easy for me to find it.  Let’s go back in time… back to my bout of Depression in 2008.  My daughter had just turned 2.  I was having a stressful time at work and once again I recognized my Depression symptoms just a tad too late.  My psychiatrist put me on Lexapro, the occasional Xanax and Trazodone for sleep.  The medication helped a great deal but I still had this constant sad or mopey feeling.
Enter my therapist (who I still see now).  He would constantly tell me to exercise.  Exercise releases endorphins or feel good chemicals.  I heard him loud and clear and even attempted some Nintendo Wii fitness.  I just didn’t love it.  I would schlep down to the basement to do 15 minutes 3 times a week to feel mildly better.  My therapist suggested hiking.   Hmmm…. hiking… I did live right up the street from a city owned park with many hiking trails.  Could I really do this?  One day in late fall, probably Thanksgiving weekend, I put on my sneakers and took a twirl around the white trail at the park.  The white trail circles Parks Pond and is about 1 mile in length.  At the end of the trail I felt… refreshed!  I felt rejuvenated!  This was just what I needed!  I finally found a form of exercise I enjoyed.
Then problem #1 hit… hello… it’s winter in Connecticut now.  How does one hike in the snow?!  Don’t worry, my therapist had a solution for that too… Snowshoeing.  Snowshoeing?!  Was he out of his mind.  I would fall over.  I’d look like and idiot.  Isn’t snowshoeing for older people?!  He said to try it.  The cost is minimal (just the price of snowshoes and poles) and the learning curve is very quick.  I was doubtful, but I did want to enjoy a sport in the winter that had me outside.  Being outside made me happy in itself.  So I had my husband buy me snowshoes for Christmas that year.  He spent all of $75 for the shoes, poles and carrying bag.  Like my therapist suggested, not a high cost sport.  I opened the snowshoes on Christmas.  I even tried them on…
…but it was a year before I actually took them outside.  The fear of me looking like an idiot plagued my brain.  So winter of 2009 came around.  We finally had a decent snowfall and after another year of talking with my therapist I finally had enough confidence to strap the snowshoes on and go out.  You know what… it was fantastic!!!  I actually enjoyed Snowshoeing more than Hiking!!!
There is this peacefulness when snowshoeing that isn’t quite there when hiking.  The peacefulness lies in the fact that most people do not venture outside when it snows.  Under that sun that first time producing a fresh trail with my snowshoes it was a rebirth.  I made these footprints.  I exist.  That year I went out snowshoeing probably about 10 times which was fantastic because the next 2 years did not produce enough snow.
Last year, my last snowshoe of the season was perfect and fell on my birthday.  It was a great end to that day.  Don’t get me wrong.  I still yearned to strap on the snowshoes but it was a nice way to say goodbye to the snowshoe season and hello to the spring hiking season.
With my Depression back this year, I had a very hard time pushing myself to exercise.  First off, I wasn’t eating enough for me to burn calories.  I was barely eating 1000 calories a day.  In addition, I mean after 6 bouts with this disease I fell victim once again to not enjoying what I used to.  Once released from the hospital and on my antidepressant for a week and a half I felt more and more like myself and because of that exercise was on my brain.  So when 6″ of snow was forecasted last Friday night into Saturday morning I told myself I was going to snowshoe!  Sunday, I strapped them on and took myself into the city park and walked my usual snowshoe path of the 3 hayfields and you know what… It was euphoric!!!
True happiness… not hiding under this smile (Snowshoeing 1-25-15)
If suffering, and you’ve tried many forms of exercise that you just seem to trudge through, try something new.  In addition to hiking and snowshoeing, I love Zumba Fitness… so much so I became an instructor last summer although I’m not teaching anywhere right now.  I admit as a gym goer I hate doing cardio there.  I trudge through it.  I’d rather hike… but I go because I love to strength train with weights there.  Maybe you’ve tried hiking and it wasn’t your cup of tea.  Maybe for you it will be Yoga, or Crossfit, or Running.  Try something new, you may be surprised at the affects it has on your mood.
Here are a few more pics from my snowshoe adventure on January 25th, 2015:
A view of the silo from the 1st hayfield

Love the sunspot!

My fresh snowshoe tracks!

Rustic shed with snow… so peaceful
Did you notice… not one other person was out there with me?  It was perfect!

Almost A Week Ago…

…I went 8 years back in time.  I admitted myself to short term psych at the hospital.  This was not an easy decision and now being out with a clear head I know it was the best for me.

This bout of Depression and Anxiety has crippled me.  The amount of weight loss, the constant body ache from shaking, the irrational thoughts.  Honestly, it may be tied for #1 with my PPD.

Last Wednesday, I had a manic Depressive episode in front of many people that I wish would never see me this way.  I’m just happy that these people are my good friends and were there to help.  Jimmy drove me to the hospital where I was admitted overnight in the Behavioral Crisis Center.  What a scary place (but that will be another entry).

In the morning, I had a psych consult with the same doctor who saw me 8 years ago for my consult for PPD.  This time, she saw no need to admit me.  I was taken home.

At home my anxiety rose.  As I said before my house scared me.  My bed scared me.  Sleeping scared me because I thought I either wouldn’t sleep or wouldn’t wake up.  I was delusional.  As Jimmy brought our daughter to dance that evening, my parents brought me to my psychiatrist appointment.  I told her I was afraid to be alone, afraid of what I might do to myself.  She did not like the things I was saying and back to the hospital I went.  This time I stayed.  5 days in short term psych.  The best decision I made.  I was discharged yesterday.

I will go further in depth at another time but for now I would like to thank the staff of 6/7 West, especially my nurses.  I miss them a lot. 

Living in Hell

Places that felt safe to me before don’t.  I don’t feel safe at home.  I hate that my husband has to see me like this again and that Sophia is old enough to know Mommy is not well and is blaming herself.  Sleep used to be an escape until the anxiety kicked in.  I’m having a really hard time trying to keep up with my daily routine when I feel I’d be better off if I were hospitalized.  Does mental illness count as a short term disability?  I really don’t know how much longer I can live like this without more attention.  It’s so hard to play with medicinal doses when you have to go to work.  I’m so confused.

The Phoenix Rises Once Again!

I am a Phoenix.  I rise from the ashes of Depression and become a beautiful creature.  It isn’t an easy process.  There are many feelings I experience before the Phoenix is reborn.

Over the last week I let my brain control me.  This control has brought so much mental anguish and painful physical manifestations.  Although I would take a Xanax at night, almost every morning I awoke with an anxiety attack… some on borderline panic attack.  I still don’t understand why.  These attacks brought so much nausea that I was dry heaving into the toilet and the bathroom garbage.  These attacks made my mind run crazy with one main question… “Why?”.  I am still trying to answer this.

These attacks were not the only issue my brain created.  The crying fits were next.  Over the last few days I’ve cried at least 6 times a day for numerous reasons… How much I loved my daughter but felt as if I were failing her… How much I was driving my family crazy again… How hopeless and helpless I felt… How I never thought I would get better… Due to this crying and the dry heaving from the anxiety, the left side of my back has been in pain for almost a week.  My “love handle” area hurts.  My quads hurt.

Whoever thought Depression and Anxiety aren’t physically painful has obviously never experienced it.

Last night, after crying for maybe the 7th time I came to a realization.  I can’t do this anymore.  There is too much at stake.  I do not want to lose my new job that I love.  I need to eat again (down another pound this morning… now weigh 105.8lbs).  I need to get better for my husband, my daughter, my parents and most importantly, for myself.  The Phoenix has been reborn!

It scares me though.  In all honesty, I took 1 Zoloft and pinned anxiety from combining it with another med on my lack of sleep that night.  Maybe this realization came from the fact that I’ve been on Trazodone for almost 4 weeks and its antidepressant characteristics kicked in.  Who knows?!  I did do 1 major thing I needed to do… I found a Psychiatrist.  This is very important.  A doctor who can analyze me and pick what medications should work best for me.  I see her tomorrow.  I have done research on several different antidepressants and know which ones I will not try (mainly MAOIs).  I’m interested to see what she comes up with for me.

I am a Phoenix.  Although I have risen again for the 6th time, I am newly born and still in a fragile state… fragile, but for the 1st time in weeks, hopeful.

Another Addition to the Pharmacy

Today was is the first day for my healing medically.  I finally was able to see my PCP to get a prescription for an Antidepressant (my old Psychiatrist retired over 2 years ago).  I thought for sure she would put me on one of my prior ones but she didn’t.  Honestly, I think I’ve been put on almost every SSRI out there (my oldest dearest Pharmacist friend can tell me).  The best part is my doctor’s reasoning on why she picked this particular SSRI.

A little background before I reveal the newbie to the group.  In the last 2 weeks I’ve lost almost 10lbs due to Anxiety.  When I have Anxiety Attacks, I get extremely nauseous.  I dry heave.  Sometimes I puke.  This is before the Depression set in.  To inform my readers who do not know me physically, I am a short, very petite woman so 10lbs of weight loss is NOT good.  I haven’t been this weight since I was 13 in Junior High. I’ll be 35 next month.

My pharmaceutical list of Antidepressants starting at age 18 is as follows:

and the newbie to the list just prescribed today:


Why a different SSRI?  My PCP prescribed this one solely on the fact of one of its main side effects:  Weight gain!

Funny… Most people’s New Year’s Resolutions are to lose weight.  I swear, this is the first time ever in my almost 35 years of existence that mine is to GAIN weight!

My First Time Was When I Was 14…

I’m not talking about my first sexual experience.  This is the very first time I suffered and was medically labeled with Depression.  I had no idea what hit me and when it did happen, I had no idea what I was in for.

When I was 14, my family moved from the city of Brooklyn, New York to suburbia Connecticut.  This was right at the time I was to begin high school.  Not a fun age for any teen.  I understand my parents wanted the best for me.  They wanted to get away from all the stereotypes of the “inner city”.  I had a lot of blame back then for the move, after all they picked me up and moved me 1.5 hours away from the only home I have ever known and from all my friends.  I began to fight with them constantly.  I felt as if they did not care what I felt and that my opinions did not matter.  My father and I clashed horribly although that may be because we are very similar in personality.

I started high school and had the shock of my life.  Most of the kids were outright cruel.  They thought because I was from Brooklyn that I was in a gang and owned a gun.  They wanted to know if my “Homies” were going to come visit me at school.  They mocked my accent, the way I dressed.  Every stereotype of New York they heard of apparently applied to me.  Although I did meet a small group of people who became my friends in the beginning (about 6 people), most of the kids were just not interested in actually getting to know me.  A few faked being my friend and then later played practical jokes on me.

I tried to shrug it off.  I cried sometimes at night.  It just got worse…

…and worse…

…and the fighting with my parents got worse…

…and worse…

and then something in me changed.  I stopped fighting and just started crying in front of my parents one day.  This time they listened and realized I wasn’t just suffering from teenage angst, I was going through a lot more.

I entered a group therapy session for teens soon after and was labeled with “Depression“.

I do not intend to write my blog entries in order of my bouts with Depression and Anxiety and believe me, some of my experiences will take more than 1 blog post.  I am doing this to aid myself in finishing my book on my struggle and to mainly help those who have suffered or know people who have or are suffering.  Some posts will be about my experiences, some will be articles concerning Depression and Anxiety, some may just discuss the pharmacy that used to be my life, and some may just be a quote of how I feel that day or something more positive.

Since this is my 20+ year battle, I will fully admit that now, after being off meds for 4 years, I am once again struggling with Depression and Anxiety.  Yes, I am suffering, but you know what, like the many times before I WILL GET BETTER.