Oct 212017

It’s the middle of the night as I write this. Despite falling asleep around 10ish, which is our usual weekend bedtime, I jolted awake feeling overheated and paranoid about the mosquito loose somewhere in the room even though M “locked it” in the closet. If I know there is a mosquito, I will not sleep as I could swear that I also heard buzzing in my ear. With no way to turn on the light or possibly kill it, I gave up on sleeping for now….

My fingers are crossed that the buzzing in my head will stop by the end of the weekend or early next week. It is hard to explain what it feels like, but sometimes I wonder if this is how patients feel after an electrical shock treatment. It occasionally makes me dizzy and definitely challenges any desire to walk around or move my head at all. If I really thought about it long enough, I am sure there are some yoga poses I could do to help the situation, but it is hard enough for me to focus my mind on one thing long enough to remember what it is I am doing….

I have noticed a massive mood disruption. My people tolerance has gone down – I didn’t even know that was possible…! M and I have had small quibbles and one big one of late. Old response are hard to break…. Although I am aware of these things after some thought, in the moment I am suddenly unable to pause and control what comes out of my mouth. The fuse is shorter at the moment.

Hopefully, this is just part of the stabilizing process and reconnection with my own control over my responses to others. Clearly I need to do more serious meditation and exercise to counteract whatever is currently going on with my mental faculties.

Anyway, step 1 is knowing. Step 2 is accepting. Step 3 is action….

~T πŸ˜€

Oct 182017

Day 4 – chemical free with the help of a break from the grey and falling spit from the sky.

Yesterday was foggy both in my mind and in the weather. It continues to get colder day-by-day, but with the sun in the sky my heart warms today. It is not clear whether it is the lifting of the fog in my head or the fall climate that is affecting me, but really it does not matter – my own mind is returning.

I can definitely feel the difference. It actually makes me happy to know that my mood is no longer being controlled by chemical aid. While I sense the ups and downs happening much more acutely than before, I am actually reveling in the ‘crazy’. πŸ˜›

Actually, it gives me a chance to reflect on myself again and to get a new handle on how to control my impulses. The good news is that the fog is lifting inside even if it only worsens outside. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Sep 302017

These days we are so into being ‘busy’ and complain about how we must surely be more ‘tired’ and ‘stressed’ than everyone else. In competing for the worst life situation, we create personalities that never learn how to relax and rest.

As an introvert, this is nearly impossible to maintain.

Luckily, being regularly considered odd and somewhat ‘eccentric’ provides me the luxury of using it to my advantage. This means that I work a little bit hard most of the time, now and then I also work extremely hard at resting.

Yesterday was one of those days. Although I still did some housework, I basically rested in bed all day watching TV shows on my iPad. I slept as I felt necessary. I ate when I felt hungry. I drank what I wanted as the mood moved me. By the end of the day I was refreshed and ready to rejoin the world.

On the outside, the time looks completely unproductive and worthless. However, on the inside, it was an amazing time spent in my company according to my own desires.

One thought that did come to me are some decisions regarding my mental health, so starting next week, I will be putting myself onto a regular yoga and meditation schedule with the goal of starting to come off my meds. Although I thought that I would wait until the end of the year, there is a nagging voice in my head saying that if I have good mental health and practice, I do not need chemical help. So, I feel it is time to walk the talk. πŸ˜€

So, these days of rest are extremely vital and I shall regularly schedule them in from now on!

~T πŸ˜€

Jul 282017

Two days before the darkest days of my life started I began a new round of anti-depressants because as I had written, I was considering it based on my up and down moods.

Luckily, they kicked in on the day that I had to cope to distract me from the reality of our situation. It has now been just over a month and I definitely notice the change this time around.

While others around me are extremely emotional or responsive to things, I am not so affected.

In yoga philosophy, we often discuss a state of “detachment” which is described as not having emotion one way or the other as a reaction to life happening around us. Some who are not ready for such a thing imagine being a robot without emotion and despise the idea of it. Others, like me, crave it because I am a bit desensitized, which is good being a fairly sensitive person to my surroundings.

I truly sense my detachment toward results, other people’s behavior, etc. It does not mean that I am emotion-less, but just that I am not taken into extreme moods so easily. I also recognize when I need to keep my mouth shut because the emotional response I might get is not really worth it.

When I took these anti-depressants before, I did not know what to expect or what to look out for. However, this time I am definitely more aware of the effects on me.

Some side effects, though, are that I am much more tired than usual. So, now like an old lady I need an afternoon nap and I sleep a great deal more at night than usual. Of course, this might be stress as well since it is not yet over. However, I can also feel my head zapping now and then…. Thankfully, my headaches are no more.

So…although I do not plan to stay on them for too long, I am glad I decided to go back on them again especially during our crisis. No doubt I might have gone to some other extreme had I not started them. πŸ˜€

~T πŸ˜€

Jun 192017

When my husband makes a point of telling me that I am constantly seeming grumpy or on edge and then have these bouts of “weirdness” where I am overly silly and happy, then I take a step back to consider the validity of his comments.

Although never formally diagnosed as depressed or bipolar according to labels, my therapist some years back allowed us to call myΒ moments as ups and downs. While I appreciate the lack of labels and freedom from a box, it does also make it difficult to explain to others what happens to me in these up and down cycles.

I came across this website yesterday when I was contemplating whether or not to go back onto medication temporarily given that I have no control over our current situation and that maybe it would help to take the meds just until life is a bit more settled…. What I found was this list ofΒ red flags for the author and thought to myself…hm…this just might be me!! πŸ˜›

In fact, I think it has been me for some time and perhaps I should have seen it coming a while ago…?

Even though my husband does not quite appreciate the label and tries to minimize what I am experiencing by saying “I think we are all a bit bipolar” or “I get this way too”, I try to take it as his way of empathizing with the fact that this may be a reality.

Looking at our current or recent circumstances, it is no wonder that I have not really gone to the extremes since everything suggested on this website is how I try to live life in the best of circumstances. Factor in the chaos that has surrounded us and now I can stop wondering why I prefer to binge watchΒ The Keepers (just one episode left!) all day yesterday rather than try to go out or see anyone….

So, I have not yet made a decision about the meds. I do have them already and know what to do – just not sure I am ready to go that route again…though it wasn’t a bad thing before and sometimes just having a little extra help can make a big difference…. We shall see…I should probably seek counseling, but that would require funds that we do not have and thus continues the spiral that spins me around up and down and around and around….

~T πŸ˜€

May 292017

We often focus on being happy all the time. It is now considered a sort of tragedy if a bad day happens or you somehow are ‘letting it happen’ to you.

The truth is that bad days happen! It is a part of life. There is no good or bad about it, they just pass through.

Yesterday was one of those days.

There are a number of reasons why it was not the best of days. There are a number of source points from previous days, months and years that contributed to the day of more arguments than discussion.

However, knowing that it shall pass makes it bearable. Sometimes bad days happen in succession, but they too pass – just as the good days do.

Often in yoga philosophy we discuss that fact that we should strive to be neither happy nor sad. So many people respond with “What? So, are we just supposed to be robots? I’d rather not be a yogi then….” How sad this response makes me. Why are emotions so celebrated? Why do we have to aspire to being happy all the time?

If we look at social media, everyone takes a snap of themselves happy. No one ever takes a photo of themselves crying or in a rage. Therefore, we perpetuate this image of life being always happy. Why?

As someone with strong bipolar tendencies, I aim for the neutral point. I want to be neither happy nor sad. I do not feel like a robot when I get there, but instead I feel content. When I spend a dayΒ that has no drama whether positive or negative, I feel it is a great day. This is contentment.

So, sure good days are nice and bad days do happen, but I’m hoping today is neither one – just a day.

~T πŸ˜€

May 242017

This morning I had a quick chat with a friend. When I said that I am feeling tired and pretty much just want to sleep most of the time lately, she asked if I am ok because it sounded like depression.

When I thought about it, I realized she is probably right. I am likely in a depressive state, but being so familiar with these cycles and having a husband who sleep minimally, I am staying above the dark line.

Part of it can be attributed to pre-Aunt Flo visit as I always get extremely tired. Plus, I have been apparently irritable or ‘strange’ according to the man. I suppose my insistence on having some Oreo’s the other night is also a telling sign! πŸ˜‰

Another part can be given to stress. Obviously there is going to be stress at the thought of having six weeks to get ourselves packed up and ready to move, but with no idea as to where.

Still, the job hunting has been keeping me active. Each day I submit a new CV or receive emails on other possibilities. I had another Skype interview last night and have put forth some more applications this morning. So, we shall see what comes to fruition first. Plus, M is still on the push for making France happen. πŸ˜›

I also have a new writing gig that pays peanuts, but is steady and so far seems manageable. Therefore, that keeps me going.

So, there’s really nothing to be overly depressed about, but yes the whirlwind of life can be deceiving as I stay busy with tutoring and yoga amidst the rest. Still, I am keeping an eye on myself and tomorrow shall plop myself down at the pool for a day of reading and sleeping whilst soaking up some needed Vitamin D. Stay tuned for that! πŸ˜‰

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 222016

Getting myself out of the house and remembering where I live is my first step to getting myself away from the threat of the dark state that wants to settle back in to my psyche disturbing my way of life. 

Yesterday morning or maybe during the day I read this article on Facebook about the 6 Secret Signs of Hidden Depression. As I read it I said to myself, this is me every day and describes me on a regular basis even on my good days! 😳😬 I think that it kind of worried M a bit when I shared this reality because it is true that I have been a bit on the downward spiral with some days better than others, but in general lately I have felt especially tired and less motivated each morning to get up. πŸ˜”

Even this morning, I wondered to myself, what will motivate me to get out of the bed let alone out of the house? πŸ€”

First, the promise of getting to the pool for a swim (if the water was warm enough) was one step as our short trip the other day reminded both of us of the benefits of getting out in the sun and enjoy what this region has to offer with the wonderful weather this time of year. β˜€οΈ

Second, the cleaner was there and we both hate to be in the house when she is there. So, after getting her started, it was a good reason for me to not be in the house. 

Ultimately, I also knew that I needed to make use of my time since M is away until afternoon for work and I have not been keeping up with my writing and planning time to get things done online. I do have quite a few things to do on the computer with some project ideas for ways to boost income online. This requires wifi, which is why I can sometimes justify staying inside all day; however, I am writing this now offline and know that I can later go in to paste into a post. Usually, I do save my online work for when M is not at home so that I can spend my time with him, but the truth is that I need to alter this thinking a bit since our time ‘together’ tends to revolve around watching TV, which is not really the best use of my time nor really quality time for us. Therefore, I am going to be re-working this since he is going to be around more the next week or so due to the holidays and people being away keeping his schedule light.

In any case, I am being a bit slow and lazy in adjusting my way of thinking about life these days. It is probably due to depression which has also affected my diet which I do know affects every other aspect of my life. Therefore, I am taking the first step needed to take action against letting it win over my life as it has done in the past. It is good to know that I am learning from the past even if I am not yet good at preventing it from happening. 

One massive realization this week is that I need to constantly stay on top of this depression issue. There is absolutely no room for complacency. Any letting of the guard down in keeping up routines, working out, etc allows room for me to stumble into the dark state. Before I had work as a way of distraction or more constant contact with friends which kept me busy, which helps to fend off the penetration of the darkness; however, I no longer have external or passive ways of distraction. Therefore, I need to actively structure my life around a healthy way no matter what our circumstances are to ensure that I keep on going towards the light!

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 122016

Just over a year of serious yoga study from practice to philosophy has come to an end. It is only the first chapter of my yoga story, but very significant.

When I was feeling miserable doing my job and wondering at the future of my career in TESOL, I received an email about becoming a yoga teacher focusing on therapeutic yoga. Making an impulsive decision to go for it and having no idea how I was going to make it work, here I am a year later no longer working full-time and having started my own business.

Although I had some ups and downs with the training itself in terms of time, effort and even my own motivation, I am so glad I did it. M asked me if I felt proud of myself and while I am not sure it is pride, I do feel a sense of accomplishment. It is the first major thing I have properly finished since completing my master’s in 2006. It only took me ten years to be able to finish something else. πŸ˜›

As I said yesterday, I had really mixed emotions on Saturday when it all came around. I was fairly depressed and down all day with the weight of worry on my shoulders. I tried to just stay focused on the exams and enjoying the day. However, while my yogini-mates were full of smiles and joyful tears, I was in a dark cloud. When it came time for me to share my next steps, I could not stay on the upbeat tune that everyone else was on. Luckily, I went first, so the grey cloud over me could be forgotten by the time we went around the circle.

I am blessed to have come across these ladies with whom I have spent the year sharing our life’s joys and challenges.Β 

We shall, no doubt, stay friends throughout as our paths have crossed and connections have been made during an important time in all of our lives.

So, my first formal document as a Footner is now framed in front of me and I am indeed excited about what the future holds. In January, I am starting the 200-hr course to work towards a 500-hr certification to eventually become a teacher trainer later. As I said, it is only the first chapter. For now, I celebrate 300-hours completed!!! πŸ™‚

~T πŸ˜€

Dec 082016

Seems like most days this is how we are hanging on.

Although a fog has lifted from my mind the past couple of days, I feel as if the strength I have in me is weak and fragile. Each day I wake up a little happier, but then something can be said or read or done and I struggle with the possible spiral that will shift my mood downwards. It is a constant struggle to stay on the positive side.

M and I were discussing suicidal thoughts and whether or not it is a normal thing amongst people. Is it common or is it strange to have them come up especially as an adult?

I have had them more recently, reminiscent of my darker unaware days. It is a sense of guilt towards those who would be left behind that keeps me present in this world – to be completely honest.

Yet, a voice inside says “Yes, but their lives would go on.”

While another voice says “True, but how would I affect the trajectory of their lives by not being here or taking it away on my own…can I live with the eternal or next life consequences? Or can I just push through to see this life byΒ giving it the best that I can?”

Perhaps this is simply my ego talking – after all who am I to think I would have any effect at all…?

Often I wonder at those who do take their lives. What was it that finally pushed them to take action in such a way? What was the justification that gave them the sense of okay?

M says my/our brains are just wired this way – to be strong, to find a way through. My question is then – to what end/purpose? Why am I not yet fulfilling my life purpose? What am I meant to be doing or sharing with the world still that my mind says “No, it is not yet your time.”?

He wants to believe that everyone thinks about taking their own lives at different moments in life. I tend to think this is not the case or that it is a matter of degree in which the thought is given brain time.

I believe some people never even have it cross their mind once in life. Those people I envy immensely. I imagine some people may have had thoughts as teens during a first heartache or drama and then never thought it again because life does go on. Then, there are those who perhaps at some point in teenage years or early adulthood who faced it head on. Perhaps, like me, the pills were piled up and ready to be taken. Or, it was just a flash of a moment when an action could have ended it then.

However, as adults, we never really talk about suicidal thoughts or tendencies. We are deemed crazy or in need of psychological treatment – which still may be true – if we do, but perhaps for some of us it is just one of our challenges to be dealt with periodically. If this is so, then the answer for M is that “no, it is not common.” Yet, as we continue living we do find a way and a reason to get through the days until we forget these thoughts for this cycle.

As I work through this phase of it and look for my greater purpose, I come closer to realizing I need to share my story – in other words, write more and publish it for others. It is time. I am old enough to be heard and brave enough to let it out. Perhaps then I will feel and know – to what end.

Until then, I hold on to the bare threads with all the strength I have got.

~T πŸ˜€