Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Over and Out

In recent months/years blogging has become a chore and a to-do list item rather than something that I truly enjoyed doing. In the beginning it was a place to keep in touch with family and to keep a family journal. Over time I realized I wasn't blogging because there were things that I wanted recorded but not in a public space and I wasn't journaling because I felt like the time should be focused on the blog. I have debated about what to do because I still want to keep a family journal and to keep in touch with my family.  After using my blog as one more thing to beat myself up about I have decided to let it go. I won't be deleting anything that I have previously posted but for the foreseeable future I won't be posting anything new. I am on Facebook and Instagram and I am planning on posting in both places more often in 2015. Thank you for your comments and support in the past of this blog.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Kittens are good my well being

Yesterday was a rough day for me. It wasn't a really bad day and one that didn't last too long. The kittens snuggled with me the whole day. Normally they snuggle for a bit and then they play and leave me alone. Not yesterday. They literally snuggled on my lap or next to me in bed for the entire day. It helped me feel better to feel so loved. I had heard that getting pets helped with depression and yesterday I learned that for myself.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Bouncing and Bending

Last week on Wednesday I came home to a flooded home. I give a more detailed play-by-play on my other blog. Then, on Saturday we were at a movie and had to evacuate the theater because of a bomb scare.  Needless to say it has been a crazy few days. What has amazed me is how well I have handled it over all. There have been tears and a few rantings about property management but that has been the exception not the rule. I have had moments of high stress and and standing in my apartment turning in circle because I didn't know what to do but I have also laughed and been grateful.

I kept reminding myself that things could be so much worse and that I am lucky to have Eric who has handled the situation and my emotions very well. I tried to be kind to the maintenance workers, property managers and contractors who have all been walking through my home. I have tried to remember that in a few years this will be a fun story to tell at dinner parties and a memory that helps me recall the wonderful people I know who were willing to help move my stuff, lend me fans and bring me food.

There are moments when the choice to be strong or weak is laid before you and you have to choose. On Wednesday when I walked in my apartment I could choose to be strong and do what I could to save my possessions or I could have sat down and done nothing. In that moment I choose to be strong and push through the panic and the overwhelming feelings.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pleasure vs Gratifications

Part of my Happiness Project (more on that later) was to read a self help book each month. For April I read "Authentic Happiness" by Dr. Martin Seligman. One of the main parts that stuck with me was the difference between pleasures and gratifications and how they affect our long term mood.

Pleasures are things that are felt through the senses that bring enjoyment but don't really alter your more permanent state of being. For example; hot showers, eating good food, smelling chocolate, getting a massage, watching t.v., laying in the sun. These things feel good in the moment but when they are done the emotional high is done as well.

Gratifications are things that don't always feel good in the moment but they give more long lasting emotional highs that affect mood after that activity is done. For example; reading a book, parenting, marriage, exercise, volunteer work, being with friends, cooking a meal, cleaning your house.

This idea really stuck with me because I have found that when I am feeling low it is easier to do the pleasure things but when they are over I go back to feeling down. The trick is to balance both items so there is happiness in the present and more long term.

This web page is a synopsis of the book and gives you the main idea of what the book teaches.

Also this month in the Ensign is an article about happiness that quotes Dr. Seligman.

Monday, March 24, 2014


There are some people who do fine without sleep. I am not one of them. Last week I had three nights in a row where I only got about four hours of sleep each night and it wasn't consecutive hours. By Saturday night I was on the verge of a breakdown both physically and mentally. Saturday night and Sunday night I finally slept and it felt soooo good. Lack of sleep is one of the quickest ways to trigger a depressive episode for me.

That being said sleep deprivation is one of the parts of being a parent that scares me. The idea that night after night being woken up every couple of hours is almost enough to make me give up on kids. I know that sounds selfish but it is very true. I just don't know if I could be sleep deprived for years on end and not need to be admitted. I admire parents who manage and conquer this aspect of parenting.

Monday, March 17, 2014

One Year Later

I started this blog with a lot of big intentions when I was feeling really good. Then my mental health took a nose dive for the better part of 2013. It is hard to believe it has been a year since I sat up that night reading and writing and feeling like I was looking at the world with fresh eyes.  Within one month of starting the blog I crashed and crashed hard. The depression was such that my very faith was shaken and it has taken me a while to even want to work my way back.

This past year was not what I wanted or hoped it would be but there have been some surprises that I didn't see coming:
          *Eric was able to sign a contract in WI for after residency in August. This kept us from wondering the whole year where he would work and if he would have a job when the student loans came due. Wisconsin had never been on our list of places to live but it fit everything we wanted except the winters are mild in Wisconsin.
          * My job at the library has challenged me and forced me to interact with people on an almost daily basis. When the depression is bad I don't want to get out and do anything. My job forced me out of the house and into a place where I had great co-workers and had a good laugh at least once a shift.
           * I was able to serve in Primary for 2013 and work with the children at church. Every Sunday I was able to focus on the children and what they needed rather than my fragile faith. It was a calling where I needed to be at church but I didn't have to focus on me. Just being there was enough of a challenge most weeks and Primary was the perfect place for me.

I am hoping to be a bit more balanced in in 2014 but with a major move coming in the summer there are no guarantees.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Where Did 2013 Go?

2013 was a year that was eaten by depression. I had a good friend who had a baby and didn't even know she was pregnant. Church was doable because I worked with the children and that was more crowd control than worship. Any family or friends I stayed connected with was because they reached out first. I gained ten pounds.

Back in March/April when the depression hit really hard Eric got up early one morning and decorated out apartment. He found motivational quotes about overcoming depression and the importance of positive thoughts and exercise. After reading these quotes everyday for months the message started to sink in.

In May my work started a wellness program using People who earn enough points earn cash prizes so I started logging on and reading articles and other things about healthy lifestyles.

After Thanksgiving Eric and I both started working out more diligently and trying to be better what we ate. At the same time I read "The Total Money Makeover" by Dave Ramesy. All of these things lined up and I was ready to make a change.

Through December I was really good about working out almost everyday but nothing else really changed. Then I read "The Happiness Project".

I am a person who likes a plan. A few years ago when I was ready to get off of antidepressants I read "Spontaneous Happiness" by Andrew Weil. His book had a eight week plan to work towards being off meds. Once I decided I wanted to break out of my funk I needed a plan.

I received a copy of "The Happiness Project" for Christmas along with the Five Year Journal. The book was not quite what I was expecting but I enjoyed it immensely. I was thinking it would be more about how to make my plan and less about her story but I still read it in three days.

At the very end of December I finished the book and decided that I needed a change for 2014. My own happiness project was born.