Wednesday, August 26, 2015

a depression post

depression.

ah, something that has been a part of my life for almost 5 years.

before my mission trip to AZ i did not suffer from depression. i did suffer greatly from anxiety, but depression was not something i would have identified myself as having at that time.

returning home early from my mission, having non-epileptic seizures on and off for 5 years, working full time for 14 months in difficult homes, having recurring thoughts of committing suicide, going inpatient twice - all of this has contributed to my depression. during all of this there were times when my depression was better and times when it was way worse. 

from january to june of this year i had MANY tests done to rule out everything from a sleep disorder to periodic paralysis as it related to my non-epileptic seizure events. the results came back PNES and they sent me to a group for others who have this, which starts next week.

this was more help with this problem than i had gotten from any other doctor. the problem was, i was still having odd symptoms that no one could explain the hardest for me being restless nights, exhaustion during the day even though i was sleeping 14 hours, and no energy. as my mom put it, "the events are a big deal but the lack of energy is what's crippling."

enter dr huse. he has been a life line as i have seen him and found answers/healing from him.

the most kind and reassuring thing he told me was that my brain is confused and sending signals to my body that my body is not interpreting correctly which is why it has been extremely difficult for me to function "normally" these past 5 years.

i believe when the depression hit me hard after coming home early from my mission that my brain began to get confused. i have always been a sleeper - able to take a long nap in the afternoon and then sleep at night for 10 hours - but with the depression i only slept. when i had the sleep study done this year the results came back "interrupted sleep." no shit. i could've told you that and saved us lots of money. my question was WHY was my sleep so interrupted?

as dr huse has worked with me he found that my parasympathetic and sympathetic systems are reversed. the parasympathetic system kicks in when the body is at rest - for normal people that's at night. the sympathetic system kicks in when the body is in fight or flight response - for normal people that's during the day. 

for me, my parasympathetic system kicks in during the day (creating exhaustion) and my sympathetic system kicks in at night (creating energy).

this knowledge has been a breakthrough for me. there are finally reasons i feel the way i do! it's not because i like sleeping all day or am lazy - like i've told myself a million times - and i'm not really a night owl. my brain got super confused when the depression hit and i've been seeing the effects of that for years.

i believe - and am hopeful - that the day will come when i'm off of all prescription medications. i think i will always need to be on supplements but maybe/hopefully not the strong doses of meds i'm on now. and this belief/hope comes because of the work dr huse has been doing with me. i can't sing his praises enough. he is the first doctor who i felt like has really cared about me as a whole. at our last appointment he said, "i look forward to the day when you are off of all medications and can come in here and be completely you." tears filled my eyes.

i'm so thankful for him. thankful that i have answers and reasons as to why my body is reacting the way it is.

 i know i'll get better in time.

and that time is coming.

 

Friday, August 14, 2015

hello, is it me you're looking for?

wow - have i said it enough - time is FLYING!

so much - too much maybe?? - has happened in my life.

writing is such a positive outlet for me, but to find the time to get 'in the zone' and just let the world pass by has been difficult lately.

big news - i got a job! it is exactly what i wanted and really just fell into my lap. i know that when i don't have to force/orchestrate things in my life, it's god's hand. i am a night receptionist three nights a week for 15 hours. it's good for me to be doing something that pushes my limits and tests me a little more.

learning the job has been over overwhelming. i have been an 'inactive' person for almost 2 1/2 years. during that time i worked as a nanny but i knew/know the families and the stress level was not what i am feeling now. training week was like being run over by a semi. i slept HARD most nights and took naps when i could. my first 3 nights of on the job training are a blur.

i have been experiencing high anxiety from this job which leaves me exhausted. one night in particular i felt like i was going to have an event. texted s last night that more and more frequently i find myself reaching for my prn anxiety med. i had gotten to a place in my life where i thought "huh, maybe i don't have anxiety anymore." um, i SO do. physically i get sick and emotionally i feel frazzled. every neuron in my brain is firing at the same time and it leaves me exhausted. many nights i have wanted to over dose on anxiety meds just to stop my heart from pounding on my chest and to slow my racing thoughts - but i have been strong and able to not do that. i know my psychiatrist and therapist trust me, and i don't want to break that trust.

two appts ago with Dr Huse - who continues to be a god-send - i voiced to him my personal space awareness ie: i do not want to be touched without the person first asking if it's ok, by certain people. he said it was good of me to be aware of this need for space and to understand it instead of pushing it away or lashing out. then he said, "you feel raw." that struck a cord with me - yes, i do feel raw/exposed. i want to be alone and untouched for the greater part of each 24 hours. there are particular people who 'rub my energy wrong' and i do not like when they approach me. some are in my immediate family which makes me feel guilty that i don't want any physical/verbal contact with them. but i think it is ok to have my limits - even with family. 

most of the time they carry the brunt of my anger. i heard somewhere that whichever parent a child feels safest with gets the worst attitude because he/she knows the parent will still be there and not abandon them. i'm not talking about this in extremes (like abuse) but just everyday ornery-ness. i feel the safest with one of my parents and he/she gets the brunt of my anger. the other one i don't see as often and want more of a relationship with so he/she does not get my irritation/anger. i can be sassy and mean because confronting/facing anger head on is not how i express myself. when i express my anger, it's not subtle - more passive. it is something i need to work on - and something i think will fade out as i distance myself physically (ie: grow more independent and get my own place).

i love Dr Huse and wouldn't trade our sessions for anything - but i do frequently leave his office feeling raw/exposed. as he continues to help me heal i know these feelings will rise and fall. he said in our last appt that he doesn't believe anything happens by accident (and neither do i) and commented that the 'fit' of my job is interesting for testing the work we are doing in my appointments. i completely agree with him. during this time of change i am transitioning from prescription meds to more natural forms of medication. i hope to heal my body and give it the nutrients it needs instead of creating a pharmaceutical/chemical dependence. i am not opposed to prescription meds and if i need them i'm ok with that - but if i don't need them and can get what i need from other sources, that's my first choice.

my final thought today is my acceptance/relief/enjoyment of being an introvert. :) i LOVE my alone time. i do get energized by being alone. i don't like crowds or lots of people - even if it's all people i care about. i need a few hours at night to calm down/re-charge before falling asleep and time during the day to just be. people. wear. me. out. for many years i thought this was a fatal flaw of my personality, but as i've grown to be more accepting of me, i realize it's actually an incredible strength/gift. i am happy with who i am. happy to be alone. content. and being content is such a comfortable feeling. my friend, c, shared this about introverts and i think it's awesome: 10 comics that perfectly sum up what it's like to be an introvert

happy friday. 

xo