Monday, July 25, 2016

Getting back to the norm

Well, I was hoping that this week was going to be so much better as far as my depression goes--not really the case. Last week, I decided to give myself permission (for a week) to just ride it out and not force myself to pretend that I wasn't feeling bad (usually, I try to pretend everything is fine until it actually is--"fake it 'til you make it"). I wasn't sure how this different strategy would work, but I figured it was worth a try.

Jerry went up north with friends for the weekend, and I was really glad he was able to do that--he felt bad going, but I told him I'd stay busy working on the bathroom. Through my week "off", I had no motivation to run, so I didn't; I wish I could say that I ate well, but it wasn't great; and the only real project I did around the house was working on the bathroom, which is turning into a much bigger job than I anticipated (taping, mudding, and sanding the drywall).

However, because I gave myself permission to have a week-long escape from reality, I did promise myself that on Monday, no matter how I was feeling, I would have to get back to the norm. Even if I just have to "fake it 'til I make it". So, this morning, as much as I didn't want to, I got out of bed and went for a run first thing this morning. It was super humid outside (77 with a 74 degree dew point, ugh). My pace was really slow--either because I hadn't run in almost a week or because it was so humid--probably a combination of both--but I just kept my heart rate under 146 bpm, regardless of pace.

When I got home, I took a shower and got dressed, then ate a healthy breakfast of bran flakes with blueberries and milk. As difficult as it was to make myself run, I (not surprisingly) felt much better afterward! I only ran a little over three miles, but I felt good about doing it--especially because I didn't want to.  Over the past month or so, I've learned that the longer I go without running, the less I want to run; and the more frequently I run, the more I want to. You would think it would be the opposite, but that's not so for me. Lesson learned: Run! Even when I don't want to ;)

I have a pretty busy week ahead--tonight is the boys' end-of-season baseball party (well, Noah's, but Eli was invited). Tomorrow, I think my brother is going to come help me with the bathroom. Wednesday, I have to get my house ready for a guest. Thursday, my friend/Ragnar SoCal teammate, Caitlin, is coming to visit until Sunday! I think that will be a great way to help me feel better. I have a big list of things we can do, but I'll decide for sure once she gets here and I can see how busy she wants to stay during her visit ;) She was supposed to come visit last fall, but her dad got very sick and was hospitalized, so she (understandingly) canceled the trip. I'm glad she was able to reschedule! I'm excited for Jerry to meet her.

Eli and I went to PetSmart a few days ago, and he asked if we could buy this little hideout bed for Monica. It was more than half-off, so I said sure. On the way home, I asked him which cat he thought would like it the most, and he said, "Phoebe. No, Monica. No, Estelle!" Then he said, "I feel bad for Chandler, because he's too big to fit into anything that's for cats." Chandler thinks he's much smaller than he is, though, so I wouldn't put it past him to try and squeeze in.

Later that day, I walked into the living room to see this:


I called Eli in there to show him that Chandler is ambitious, if nothing else!

23 comments:

  1. I LOVE that Chandler squeezed in there! It's adorable!!! chubby kitties are the best, right?! (Even though I want them to be a healthy size!)

    I am curious as to how you felt during and after your week of just "sitting with" your feelings/your week off? Did it feel better? Worse? Same? Did it feel like a break? It sounds like it felt good to have the goal of re-starting running after the break was over and that felt good, so that's good!!! :)

    I still haven't made it back to the gym. I have "run" (ie, slow run/walk) with my running club once a week, but I haven't worked out or gone to my )very expensive) gym membership since my kitty Toulouse passed away June 4th. I know I HAVE to go back. I know I am gaining weight and it's good for me and I will feel better and I am basically wasting money and I know I am much more ready. Ugh. I just can't seem to get the motivation together.

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    1. Interestingly, I don't think it helped. I'm glad I tried it, because "faking it til I make it" is exhausting sometimes! I had thought it was a whole week, but after looking at my calendar, I realized it was only four days. Regardless, I think it's better to force myself to do the things I don't want to when I'm going through a tough time. I had a great day yesterday (the run helped tremendously!) and this morning, I went for a 6:30 AM run again. I felt a lot of energy, so I took my boys to the park. So far, the day has been much better :)

      Of course, everyone is different, but I encourage you to go back to the gym--I can almost guarantee you will feel much better when you do! I really didn't want to run yesterday, but that simple three-miler really helped my mindset these past couple of days.

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  2. awwwww - that is the same kitty bed we bought for the new addition to our house. He is a rescue kitty from the side of the road. We found him about to walk into the street and his eyes were sealed shut - at first I thought someone had glued his eyes shut, but it was a terrible sinus infection that had made his eyes leak and stick together. Vet guessed he was maybe 6 weeks old when we got him, he is now almost 13 weeks old and quite the entertainer. He absolutely tortures our almost 17 year old chihuahua but gets along famously with our 4 year old mutt - they have a ball together.

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    1. That rescue story is so sad (and so happy at the same time)! I am so glad that you happened across him when you did. It was truly meant to be :)

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    1. He's determined to be just like the other cats--younger, thinner, and more agile--for sure ;)

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  4. I think I am the same with running....I moved last week and just couldn't fit it in. And then the excuses came after not running for awhile. It's too hot. There are too many hills in my new neighborhood. I need new shoes. Well, I went yesterday, and it made me feel better and want to run again. But, i really do need new shoes.....

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    1. I went again first thing this morning, and it really set my mood for the day--I felt great! I think you should get the new shoes you need ;)

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  5. Ugh, I love Chandler. Chubby kitties really are the best! Like my husband's cat (who we unfortunately have to keep at his parents, she's pretty old) but she's so chubby and just the best snuggler!

    Sounds like you have a fun week ahead!! Have a great time!

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    1. Chandler is seriously the most laid-back cat EVER. He loves attention! He's getting up there in age, now (he's 13)--but he just gets more and more cuddly.

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  6. Its nice to read that someone that I admire goes through the same mental challenges I do.

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    1. It's been helpful for me, too! Usually some readers can relate when I write about depression, and reading the supportive comments helps me to feel less alone. I'm sorry that you're going through it as well!

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  7. I also appreciate when you talk about your mental challenges. It makes me think about myself and how I'm handling my own. I think some of your best posts are about your tough times and what you were thinking and what you've tried to get through it. We all know that life isn't perfect, and I love the way you try to vocalize that.

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    1. Thank you, MaryAnn! It's so helpful to read the supportive comments as well. Depression is a very common illness, but since it's uncomfortable to talk about, we feel more alone than we should.

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  8. Have you considered when you feel this way maybe making more of an effort to do things with your sons? Take them on a hike, or to the city swimming pool or a local lake to fish or canoe, or to a local museum....it just seems like you stay home too much and wallow in your feelings, and I can't imagine it is good for your sons to see you like this all the time.

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    1. I'm not sure it's fair to assume anything about her life based on the small parts she allows us to see. This is not about wallowing in her own feelings....this is a clinical disease that she is handling the best she knows how. Different things work for different people and unless you're a doctor, there's no need for you to tell her how to get through this tough time. And there's absolutely no need to bring her children in to this. As a chronic migraine sufferer, I don't like that my children see me at my worst far more frequently than they deserve, but I know for a fact that it is making them much more empathetic to the struggles and pain of others than they would be otherwise.

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    2. Ironically, LoriU, at the time you posted this comment, I was at the state park with my boys so that Noah could catch Pokemon and Eli could try out a new fishing pole. But I guess that doesn't count unless I post about it on my blog.

      Thank you, Jennifer, for the support. I think it's hard for people who haven't experienced it themselves to understand how debilitating it can be. I'm sorry you suffer with chronic migraines. I've never had one, but from what friends have told me, it is one of the most miserable things a person can experience!

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    3. And neither of you have any idea of what I have experienced. As a matter of fact, I have experienced depression -- after our son passed away. So I am speaking as someone who made a HUGE effort to do things and move on with my life and got past the depression.

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  9. Thank you for sharing the ups and downs of your life. I too have been struggling and have noticed that since I had my daughter there have been more dips to depression than before. I have noticed a hormone connection and have made some changes to my BC and add a natural progesterone cream at certain times. you may want to consider getting your hormones checked, those levels can really make an impact on mood. Just a suggestion and thinking of you as you work through this stage, it will get better and if it doesn't keep reaching out for support, looks like you have a lot!

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    1. I just made an appointment yesterday for my annual physical, so I will ask about the hormones. Interestingly, I NEVER used to get PMS symptoms, and just over the past six months of so I've noticed that I've been having bad mood swings at particular times of the month. So, maybe my hormones are changing, and contributing to the depression. Thanks for mentioning that!

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    2. @The JEn...I rexently started taking an oral progesterone prescription because I also noticed my PMS symptoms had become severe. I was recently diagnosed with PMDD and that's when I started Progesterone. I take it on days 15-25 of my cycle. It helped so much. In my research, I've read that as we age, our hormones can change, particularly in the 35-40 age range there are some significant changes as we begin Perimenopause.

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  10. Thank you for being so open and honest about your struggles -- it has really been helping me, knowing that I'm not alone!!

    **Question: how do you recover from a vacation? I'm still getting my runs in, but I'm not in control of preparing my meals -- so I'm not eating as well as I should be eating (too many carbs, too few fruit/veg).

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  11. Thank for being so honest and for sharing. it is not always easy to discuss mental health issues, but I think we as a society can benefit by understanding that depression is something so many people experience, and through no fault of their own. Thank you!

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I'd love to hear from you! I read all of my comments, and if you have a question, I do my best to respond; sometimes, however, I get busy and forget to go back to reply, so if it's important, just email me! :)