Proof of Spring.
The traditional signs of Spring are milder weather, flowers popping up, birds, rain and seeing more people out and about. In Wyoming you can’t really count on all these things. About a week ago we got almost a foot of snow. And then some more later in the week. Yesterday it was in the 70′s. My flowers don’t know what to do really! I’m still mostly seeing the year-round birds – though I have seen a few robins, which is reassuring. My point is though, it’s hard to tell around here. Especially when we do finally get Spring it’s so very short.
But I have my own Spring detection tool. Her name is Chloe and she’s a green cheeked conure. For birds, spring is molting season – so when I start picking up fully formed feathers around the house (as pictured), I know what time of year it is. It’s one way to be sure that the season has changed – even if it’s still snowing outside. Those feathers are ones I just found this morning, and we’re just beginning!
Do you have a special way of knowing when Spring has arrived? Do you get all the traditional signs or is there something in particular that let’s you know the new season is here? Is it when you can do a certain activity or maybe stop doing one? I know that another sign for us is being able to take out the storm windows and replace them with the screens.
What are your Springtime plans? Have you got a Spring bucket list? Going camping? Gardening? Just enjoying the break from the dark and the cold? I’d love to hear from you!
Photo from ThinkGeek.com
I got an email from ThinkGeek.com yesterday and there was the most perfect feature! An R2D2 measuring cup set :D (The page is here.) I’m a huge R2D2 fan and love to bake so I’m super excited about having this little droid’s help in the kitchen. He breaks down into four different sized measuring cups, and four different measuring spoons. He’s not dishwasher safe, which is a bummer – but something I’m willing to overlook because I’m a little crazy about R2. I don’t own one yet, but when I get my hands on one I’ll be sure to do a proper review. I just wanted you guys to know that this was out there!
That’s me. And that’s Chloe. Chloe is the bird and is not typing.
I’ve been wanting to jump right back in here, and then think “Shouldn’t I offer some sort of explanation? It’s been seven months.” But then I think this is the internet and I’m not entirely sure anyone comes to this corner of it anymore anyway – so screw it. Jumping back in!
I suspect that Spring is coming. It snowed yesterday. It may snow Saturday. But I’m holding out hope that winter cannot last forever. Though it’s doing a damn good job so far. I bought these little garden pieces back in January or February, two birds to put out once Spring arrived. They remain in a bag hanging on the back of the door to the garage. I feel like I’m suffocating them. They’re birds, they can handle a little bit of snow.
I also bought some herbs and a strawberry seedling. (The herbs are peppermint, spearmint and catnip. All seedlings except the catnip.) My intention was always to have them indoors, but they could use some sun. Spring is so very short around here as it is, I feel we’re being robbed.
Something interesting. You’re probably looking for something interesting… I took a sewing class! Made a tote bag. It came out quite snazzy. Now I’m going to make toys for the animals at the local shelter. I don’t have the heart to volunteer there. Or maybe I have too much of a heart. I’ve volunteered at two shelters previously and brought home two cats and a dog total. Awesome pets, but not something I can really make a habit of. I’ve got thirteen pets and two fish tanks currently.
This will get better. Spring will come. I’ll get out. Bike riding. Geocaching. Running outdoors. And the depression I’ve had since December/January will lift and I’ll be an interesting person. Hang in there. I’ll come around.
Imagine you’ve been fighting something your whole life. It’s not tangible – it’s inside you. It controls how you feel. When you sleep. What you do with your time. The kind of relationships you have with other people. It controls whether you have energy or not. It decides your mood. It makes you feel like you hate the people you love and as if you love people you have no connection to. You’ve been trying for years – more than a decade – to get control of it. Of yourself. To be the person who decides what you do and when you do it. How. With whom. Along the way you’ve met people who genuinely seemed to want to help you. And others who had their own agenda and literally set you back years. Therapy. Drugs. Hospital stays.
Fifteen years later you’re on less medication – but you’re feeling worse. The last thing you want is more. More of anything. So you take a chance. You’ve been told for years that drugs and therapy are what you need and what you’ll always need. But it’s just become a boring, repetitive and losing game to you and you’re tired of playing.
I’d been told over the years to stay away from anything containing high doses of B vitamins. Supplements, energy drinks, etc. I was told it would put me off balance. Way off balance. And getting back would be a nightmare.
But earlier this month my doctor put me on a new antidepressant. I took it for a week and a half and it made me feel terrible. What was worse was I felt okay until I took it. It was like intentionally swallowing depression and apathy in a capsule. And I had to do it everyday. I called my doctor and she told me to stay on it. She said sometimes things get worse before they get better. It could take up to six weeks. I only made it one more week. At the end of that week I was worn out. I was tired. I went to the convenience store and got two energy drinks – in my experience they were safe in moderation. The first one I drank for energy. But the next day I had a bored/depressed feeling going on and took the chance of trying the drink then. It worked. I got through the rest of my day being productive, but not amped up.
So I bought some B 12 vitamins to take in the mornings. The lowest dose I could find – 500mg. The fact that I have more energy is wonderful – but it takes second place to my mood. My head is clear and I can think, make decisions. I don’t spend my days sitting on the couch waiting for it to be time to go back to bed. I’m active. I’m getting things done – both things that need to be done and things I want to do. I’m active outside as well – on Monday I went out for a bike ride with my husband and we went 4 miles total, which is a pretty big deal for me.
And I’m not feeling unbalanced. I’m not feeling manic. I’m aware of the signs and they aren’t there. But it’s only been a week or so. I’m still wary. I’m still watching. I want it to be this simple. Especially after everything else I’ve put into my body over the years in the name of being better.
I’d love to know your experiences with what’s helped you. Or what hasn’t.
(As a note, this is in no way me advocating that you switch from meds to vitamins or go against your doctors wishes. It’s just my personal experience.)
photo credit: Alexander Rentsch via photopin cc
Have you heard of it? It’s a wonderful organization that exists to help military members abroad be able to write home to their families. The idea is for volunteers (like you and I) to create cards of all occasions (Hello, Miss You, Love You, Thank You, etc – and of course the holidays!) and send them in to the OWH head quarters. There they get a good once over to make sure they’ll survive the trip and packed up to be shipped around the world. The cards are extremely popular with military members and their families.
What I’ve got here is a very brief description – it’s an amazing project! If you’d like to know more please click on either button to go to the official site :D
Two days ago, Dylan’s back legs gave out on her twice. She was diagnosed with moderate-to-severe degenerative arthritis earlier this year and since then she’s been taking two different oral pain meds as well as an injectable. The next step the Vet talked about was an injection that would make her feel great, but also speed up the degeneration in her joints.
I’m not sure exactly why I’m putting this up here. Maybe just to put it somewhere other than my head.
The IWSG is run by Alex Cavanaugh and invites writer’s to post on the first Wednesday of each month. The idea is for the post to be about something in your writing that makes you feel (even a little bit) insecure about what you’re doing and where you’re going. I think it’s a fantastic idea! So here goes…
This months topic: What is wrong with me? (Or “How Stress isn’t letting me do anything fun.”)
I have ideas. I have two Evernote notebooks full of them. One full of specific thoughts, characters and plots. Another a lot more general with settings, themes, scenes… And if you’ll allow me to extend a bit out from writing – I make cards, crochet, and make wreaths. I mean, I did. My creative energy has been sapped by the stress monster. What’s worse is that I know that writing (and any creative pursuit) will help. And I simply cannot. I clean. That’s what my mind forces me to do (or not. Whatever.) It hurts me physically, I’m exhausted by mid day, and I always feel like I’ve accomplished nothing.
Writing doesn’t leave me feeling like that. And I don’t even need to start something new. I have two stories in progress, another in mid-research, and am working on a non-fiction. I’m still on break from the web. But stress has gotten so high that all the creative goodness that came from that has deflated.
I’m not sure if this is on topic. But if you stopped by and have experienced this, or experienced a fix for it – I would love if you commented. (Or just comment about anything else as well :)
I took a break from the internet – all social and not necessary functions. And it worked out pretty well for me. I managed to finish a book (and start another), start and finish a crochet project, start and finish a puzzle, and start a new/old-school craft project.
The puzzles, the craft project (making wreathes) and very old school projects for me. My mother taught me how to make wreathes when I was about 12. I’d made a couple for gifts between now and then – but it’s been years. Even so, I’m really enjoying it. And puzzles! How cool are puzzles? I’d moved away from them because I never finished them, and then the cats were always sleeping on them and losing pieces :p Rorschach doesn’t bother them too much though :)
I’ve felt like making friendship bracelets, sand art and maybe even painting a small wooden birdhouse ;)
I felt a lot more creative while I was offline. I got story ideas at a much faster pace – three in five days – when I’m usually lucky to get a few a month. I used to spend a long time reading about others’ ideas, or suggestions to get ideas. How to plot and structure, how to build a world or develop a character. I found that I spend so much time reading about it that I never took the time to apply anything! My own ideas or others. I was missing the main part of writing – writing!
I’m not going to go back to cutting myself off from the internet. But I am going to try to shorten the time I spend online. My intention is to still update this blog regularly, keep in touch with friends while still hanging on to everything I gained <3
(photo credit: h.koppdelaney via photopin cc)
I know what the standard advice is. “Do not stop or change your medication with out talking to your doctor first.” And I think that it’s good advice! If you’re new to medications, or a certain medication and are particularly vulnerable then definitely I think this is the way to go. What about if you’ve been on medications for years? Decades? What if you’ve done your research and you know, absolutely that something needs to be changed. I would say still call your doctor to make an appointment to talk – even if you’re planning on making some adjustments on your own. That way you both can confirm what’s going on and what to expect. Also, always bring the dose up or down gradually. If you do it all at once there could be a whole other pile of problems.
If you’ve got a medication happy doctor, who can’t be trusted to know what’s right for you – do everything you can to get away from him or her. My mood and general well being suffered for about six years because my psych just kept adding things and increasing things. I’ve had damage to my memory as well as other cognitive effects.
For managing your own medications – I think it really depends. Like I said earlier if you are incredibly depressed, manic or in a lot of emotional or physical pain you may not be the right person to be making that decision. Of course doctors can take weeks to get an appointment with but usually you can talk to their nurse who will pass the message and get back to you much more quickly. At the very least talk to someone else in the household, or a friend.
I do think there are times when it’s okay to adjust your own meds. Rarely though should you stop them outright, unless you’re having a bad reaction. I very occasionally adjust mine. If I notice one is giving me Migraines. If it’s making me manic, or depressed. Or physically ill. But I also always let my doctor know the next time I see them. Because if they don’t know what’s going on, they can’t really help.
I recently gradually brought my Prozac down from 80mg to 40mg – on my own. I had felt flat for weeks. I could get nothing accomplished and it felt like my creativity was being squashed. It was not being a very happy pill. It took me about a week to notice any difference, but there is a difference. My mood, my ability to do things – even my sleep is better. I had read in many places that Prozac can cause a flattening in the mood and that’s why I started there. I’m on several medications, though only a couple of mental health ones. Obviously if you’re also on several medications be sure that what you’re adjusting is the root of the problem. It’s so easy to get lost when you’re dealing with multiple medications.
I’m not advocating being your own doctor. I think that even if you decide to make your own adjustments you should always let him or her know at your next appointment. Or through the nurse if it’s going to be a while. We certainly know more about how we feel, but they know more about the scientific aspects of taking too much or not enough or instantly stopping.
What about you? Are you on medication and do you feel comfortable making your own adjustments? Have you had any particular good or bad experiences with doing so? I’d love you hear from you :D