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Monday, October 26, 2009

Dealing With Blues in My Own Way...

I've found myself lately feeling very depressed. Taking extra naps--one day I took two naps! I knew it was getting out of hand--I knew that this isn't good for me. I also know that given what happened with my Mom there is just no way I will take medication for depression.

That is what began the downward spiral in my Mom's life that finally resulted in her sudden early death. She began taking xanax and prozac some years ago and she seemed to always believe there was some pill for everything, a magic RX that would fix just about anything.

We, her family became concerned when we realized she wasn't functioning at all the way she should and she was taking some pretty powerful pain pills, some narcotic, as well as prescriptions for asthma, for sleeping, for anxiety, for depression and for blood pressure. We tried to intervene in the past year in different ways but were not able to due to Mom refusing to cooperate and her doctors not being helpful either nor the social services in her city. There was a huge amount of frustration over it all, as we all began to warn her that if she didn't stop this she would die. She maintained that we were all wrong and her doctors knew best. About two months ago, my Mom, just shy of her 70th birthday passed away of a heart attack that we, her kids are sure was a result-in some way--of her prescription drug use.

Like my Mom, I also have arthritis just about every place, a touch of asthma, and high blood pressure and I also can find myself at times struggling with depression and anxiety--I got all the good stuff in the gene pool, Thanks Mom for those floppy upper arms too, and the thinning hair. ~smile~

I can't handle things the way Mom did though. I can't just trust doctors to give me a pill for things. I never could. I did try some anti-depressant pills and also xanax-- years ago--for a very short time. I concluded that although they might help a little--they were not the solution for me. I didn't want to become dependent on pills in order to be happy. I learned to cope in my own way. I feel that I must deal with my own troubles in a way that is healthy for me.

Like my friend who goes out and digs in her garden when she is sad--I too have pulled weeds when my nerves were on edge or done artwork to distract an over busy mind. Writing is also a big outlet for me, I have journaled and prayed away the blues many times over the years. Prayer-- you betcha! I believe in that more than ANYTHING.

A person who is given to the blues or worrying needs to find find ways to overcome and I am not convinced by what we've seen done medically over the past 20+ years. I have watched many people go the route of anti-anxiety or anti-depression medications and the results don't look that good to me. I think many people seem to get worse and to become more dependent on pills. Pills don't really fix everything, they may work for a short time--but they aren't cures for the troubles of life.

I have a hard time seeing a difference between popping a zanax and having a glass of wine. I think the xanax may actually be worse. I guess that's my own personal opinion--and I have my reasons for thinking that. Everyone should do what they feel is best for themselves. I'm not an expert, but I feel strongly that we rely too much on unproven science. How many times have we heard them say that they 'think' antidepressants act in certain way in the brain--they say this because they really don't KNOW how it works and I would contend they may not know the harm it could be doing either. One common denominator in most school shootings for instance has been a shooter who has taken anti-depressants or A.D.D. prescriptions. All is not happy in pill land.

I have learned that one thing I must do is be who I am and be happy with who I am.

Some things aren't for me. When I am struggling with things emotionally or mentally I often need to 'dejunk' a bit in my life--Figure out what might make a difference and make some fixes, as well as do the various coping things I do--pray, garden, write, create, talk to others.. etc..

My new job is something I am going to dejunk. It is not a good fit for me. I have tried looking on the bright side of it and thinking of it differently, using it to spur some creative writing on another blog. No matter what though, it just isn't right for me. I don't want to do it and thankfully, at this time in my life, I don't have to. I can give it up and it won't be a huge blow to my family. I plan to tell my boss today that this just isn't the right job for me.

I don't think the new job is the only reason I've been feeling down lately, but I do think its a sort of 'camel's back breaking straw' in my life right now. It adds just enough 'more stress' that it makes other things harder to deal with.

Some things can be unloaded in life, some things can't. I'm going to unload this pressure and expect it will free up some of 'me' to deal better with other things.


I don't know what I'll do in the future. Right now I think I need a vacation from working outside the home--at least for a while. I do still have some job applications out there, and there is one job I might consider taking right now, but for the most part I think there's little chance of that one coming along, and I will be happy to just stay home awhile and rest myself in a way.

I will definitely focus more on working on the new house and the new yard/garden. I will also focus more energy on helping my adult kids get their lives going better. We expect one to move out in January and I want to help the other two here accomplish their goals too.

Maybe I will finally get that backyard garden nursery going more, or go back to selling some of my artwork. Maybe I will take some classes or eventually find a more suitable job. I don't know right now. We shall see.

8 comments:

  1. I will say a prayer for you, Mary. I understand your reluctance to stay away from prescription cures because I share the same fear. Here's hoping that your coping mechanisms will kick in soon and that the colors of fall will brighten your life.

    Meredith

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  2. Thanks Meredith.

    I gave notice today at work--and since I just started there I am only going to work out the week--so Saturday's my last day. I felt less pressured immediately. I think I've just needed to not have that so bad! Anyhow it was a lovely fall day here today!

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  3. Mary,

    I am so very sorry for all the sadness you experienced and that it culminated in the loss of your dear Mom. And I wish you much comfort with your choice to leave the job that you are not feeling good about. It had to be a difficult decision for you.

    As for depression and medication, please know that for some people it can be a saving grace. I just returned from a vacation where I got to have time with my Mom and we both were able to enjoy the company of a sister of hers. This sister had been estranged from most family due to her unpredictable personality issues. Since she has been on medication for depression, she has become a fully functioning person for the first time in many years. Please know that for some people, medication can bring back a lost life.

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  4. Hi Mary!

    This was such an interesting post for me, because I am going through the same thing...and I actually gave my notice at work yesterday (Monday). They asked me to take a 1 month leave of abscence, to chill down a bit and see if I still want to come back. They will hold my job for me, which was so nice...and continue my benefits during this month...but as of today I am free of all the stress and strain for a whole month! I can't even believe it has happened so quickly (I had not thought I would be gone from there for another two weeks)!

    I am having troubles dealing with full time work when my kids and grandkids need me too! I have also been sick with a serious "cold" for the past two weeks. It just became too much to bear.

    I understand your reluctance about medications after your Moms experience. You are absolutely right that you must do what you must do. Thank God you are fully in charge of what you want to accept for your own body and any treatments you will allow.

    There are some great websites out there that offer so much help (non-pharmacologically) with ways to help yourself feel better! Check them out.

    I am praying for us both!
    Hugs...Julie

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  5. Hi Julie, 2Tramps..

    I know that medication can help some people--I knew when my Dad had his brain tumor that there definitely was a brain aspect to feelings and emotions--but I think medication is not the only way-and sometimes truly does make things worse. Its always been an issue for me because there are so many in my family who rely on doctors as if they were gods.

    Julie-- I think my family here is part of my stress level too. I just can't keep it together with a job I'm not that happy with and all these people in the house! I need more 'order' if you know what I mean. ;)

    I hope you feel better. 2 T. (V) I'm glad that helped your family member. To be honest for many years I thought it was helping my Mom--but the truth was her psychiatrist barely ever saw her, never did any sort of therapy where he actually spent time talking to her--or someone else did. He simply diagnosed her with depression and said she'd need pills the rest of her life and she believed it. Most of us in the family don't even think he had the right diagnosis to begin with, that he missed some serious issues and just medicated her at her request, upping doses and changing drugs in a way that we think made her lose her grip in life.

    I guess I'm doubly cautious cuz my Dad had a psychiatrist who upped his migraine meds and completely missed that he had a brain tumor. Everyone swore by the guy--who later was disgraced for a scandal. Doctors are all too human and I guess I always feel--go ahead and get the help if you feel it is right for you--but don't check your brain at the office door. Well.. so it goes. Its that kind of world I guess.

    Anyhow--I'm feeling so relieved--Julie I am sure you know what I mean. :)

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  6. Oh you know what else.. our oldest boy, Ruby's daddy, just lost his job too now! Good grief! They are living with her dad though, so not likely to come across country to stay with us--as the younger 3 have done. You feel so helpless when things seem to be working out and then that happens. I'd so love to see all my kids out on their own feet--and staying there.

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  7. I think this country is in so much trouble because of sending all the jobs away - out of the country. When I was young, a long time ago, we could get a job almost anywhere that paid enough to make a living.
    People need to feel productive and needed and tired when they come home from work. Why did we outsource all these jobs and let those companies get away with it? Maybe we should not buy their products.

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  8. There may well be something to what you are saying there. There certainly are not very many starter jobs that a person could even remotely plan to live on nowadays. Many of the younger folks are resorting to moving back in with the folks or they have lots of roommates. I think it should improve when the baby boomers start retiring more--but the way things are folks try to delay that due to how hard it is to make ends meet as a retiree. The times are sure challenging and no I don't think the government has been our best help in much of it either.

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