Escape

While “Escape” is the photo challenge of the week I don’t feel prepared to post the appropriate photos at this time, I may later. I do however feel a desire to escape.

The photo challenge description states:

“Depending on your current mood and headspace, or time in your life, this word can evoke different emotions and conjure a variety of images.”

This is so true, your emotions and moods do change, and at this time my mood is one of lethargy, and low motivation, and to grab my camera, escape, and seek out that perfect shot just isn’t a high priority. My heart just isn’t in it.

Perhaps that is the best time to escape though, an opportunity to get out and clear my head, to think of something else and have a change of focus. And why, you might wonder? Well, I am spending the bulk of my day in the hospital with my seriously ill sister and supporting my mother during this trying time.

I’m a bit surprised as to the effect this exercise is having really. Of course I knew it would be tiring but the rapidity with which the debilitating emotions took hold surprised me. It’s a more draining than I first envisioned and that caught me unawares.

We will soldier on though, we will do what must be done. Sis is moving forward, and even though they are baby steps she is taking they are steps in the right direction. She has many praying for her and the results of prayer and the Doctors efforts are bearing fruit.

Stay strong Brenda, feel the love. Escape your bonds and come back to us.

Moving Forward

Forward, what does it mean? Moving forward? Paying it forward? Likely there are many more forward ‘adverbs’. ( I think it’s an adverb. While english is my mother tongue ‘English’ is not always my strong suit). In fact ‘Forward’ is this weeks Weekly Photo Challenge topic.

I’ve been thinking alot lately about what Forward means for me, and to me.

I’ve felt somewhat stuck in a slump the last few days and whether it’s the weather or just my cyclical moods I cannot say. I do know I’ve been reducing my meds and of course that’s the first thing I think of when my mood changes.  As well I sometimes think the doldrums are contributed to by feeling housebound, but after all whose fault is that? It’s not like I’m tied to my chair, get off yur arse and git outside, like my Dad used to say (not really, but sounded cute).

I’ve found it more challenging to write lately too, whether it’s in my journal or on one of my blogs, and that’s not good. I kick started things off today though by reading some blogs written by others and that gave me enough inspiration to do some journaling. That in turn led to finishing off the Weekly Photo Challenge post, and that led me here…..

Part of the moving forward concept was where to go with this blog. The original purpose of this blog was to write about how I felt while I was dealing with this illness called Depression, and generally speaking I feel much better now. In fact there’s some question in my mind whether the diagnosis was completely correct. Should I continue to write? I do have other blogs, perhaps I should just let this one die a natural death and move to one of the others? So many questions.

Those that follow this blog will have seen that the theme of this blog has changed, that’s one way to move forward. In fact this change was more an ‘oops’ that a conscious move to mix things up. I’m not sure whether I’ll put it back or pick another theme. But I digress.

Perhaps the best way to begin moving forward is to get off my butt and get some fresh air. Somehow the great outdoors always invigorates me. So here’s me…..moving forward….moving…..forward.

Til next time..

I Think I’m Feelin’ Better

I think I’m over the mood hump, I hope so, pretty sure I’m feeling better.

The days have cooled down a touch to the mid 30’s, that Celsius folks, and while it is still pretty hot outside we have gained control over the temperature inside the house.  At least somewhat anyway.  Most of this is accomplished by the judicious use of window blinds (outside of the windows preferably), and the opening and closing of doors and windows at the optimum times (temperature and direction dependent).  Doing that we can keep the inside of the house at the mid to high 20’s.  Still not “cool” but certainly cooler than outside.

We’ve never had an air conditioner and I’m beginning to think one would be a good investment.  It would be one of those things you wouldn’t use often but when you want it you REALLY want it.  Still something we are pondering.

Whether the weather (cool play on words huh) was the key to my slump or just one of many factors I don’t know but realizing my past experiences (read that as moody bastard) I would suspect it wasn’t the only one.  Why I seem to experience this swing of moods might be something a team of doctors could look into but my team isn’t available right now and they aren’t returning calls.

I shouldn’t have to look far for the answer to this quandary as the more I think about it, the more I go back in time to the earlier stages of my diagnosis, the more clear the answer to the question becomes.  Could it really be…….just the depression?

If I look back in my handwritten journal, even perhaps some of my earlier posts, I would clearly see one of the benefits I noticed after beginning the meds was the “even-ness” of my moods, a more level experience of life without the ups and downs of good days and bad.  In short I felt better.  It’s just that I don’t want to be on ANY meds, the taking of drugs itself or the having to take drugs is what I think I rally against.  Dumb perhaps, but it’s how I feel.  I think nothing of medicating myself with a drink or two, that is somehow ok, but having to be on medication to be normal?  That hurts me.  What fickle beings we are.

As I sit here in the shade on my deck, the cool breeze wafting through and tickling the wind chimes, I become sad.  This is one of my happy places and yet I feel low, depressed in mood and energy, lacking the full enjoyment of my place or lot in life.  An unfortunate state of affairs.

But I can do something about it, and I will.  If nothing else I will get up and go for a walk.  Exercise is something that’s been lacking in my routine lately.  I’ll do it, here I go, I’m feelin’ better already.

Meds, Can’t live With ’em, Can’t Live without them.

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20120730-173347.jpgDamn those meds, those little yellow tabs of……what, of what?  Life? Normalcy? Equilibrium? …..What are they doing to, or for, me?  Do they have me under their spell, are they my control or my Savior?

Can I live without them?  Will I still be depressed?

Continue reading Meds, Can’t live With ’em, Can’t Live without them.

July 14 Camping at Herald

Oh what a relief it is. The temperature has dropped but it feels to me like some emotions may have heated up.

It could just be me however, I have been known (or so I thought) to be a poor judge of so many things emotional and people. Funny thing is I used to consider myself quite adept at reading situations, and people’s moods in them. Are they mad or stressed? Now I just wonder, are they or aren’t they? Only their hairdresser knows for sure.

Apart from any possible sub-currents of tension I am having a pretty good time. I’m not too stressed at this point, and I don’t really see that changing soon. I certainly hope not anyway. I like it when we get time with my daughter, her husband, and our grandson Madden. I just love that little guy to death, but I think I’ve said that before.

Other family is here as well and although I also love them, and enjoy spending time with them (most of the time anyway), there are moments where I miss my quiet times. I would love nothing more than just being alone for a while, in my castle. That would be my yard, or on my deck surrounded by my roses. There is no one but myself that I can charge with the responsibility of my happiness though. It’s up to me to make my bed isn’t it, it’s not up to anyone else to make me happy.

20120715-113658.jpgWe went on a bit of a family walk this morning up to Margaret Falls. It’s a local touristy thing, a walk through the forest along a meandering stream. That doesn’t truly paint the picture though, the forest is lush in sections with dappled sunlight, and the stream is fast and turbulent. A beautiful walk nonetheless, a calm in a sea of chaos.

I am getting some quiet time now though. It’s what’s allowing me to write this and I fear at any moment it will be cut short as family arrives back from the beach.

My wife and I offered to babysit as the “kids” went back to the beach to swim and paddle board. They don’t often have the opportunity to escape together so this was good for them, they can spend some alone time and we can contribute by caring for Madden. I had just taken him for a long walk while others napped so they actually had a good couple hours of aloneness already. It’s good for them. It’s good for me.

Supper will be ready shortly so this little hiatus of mine will end. I’ll be lucky to have anything meaningful posted by then, or so I suspect, but with some luck I can come back to it if it’s not completed. Here’s hoping.

I’m Grateful, that I’m Grateful

morning pages, journal, journaling, writing

Although the title suggests a certain redundant thinking it actually captures exactly what I am thinking, I am Grateful….that I can be grateful.

Writing my morning pages this morning I finished by jotting down the things in my life I am grateful for.  I do this frequently and where the items on the list are often the same  it doesn’t minimize their value or importance to me.  Things like “I’m grateful for my family, who love and support me”, or “I’m grateful for the affluence of my life, we have so much when others have so little”.  Acknowledging this gratitude is integral to appreciating it, we take so much for granted in our lives that to think of the good things we have and to be aware of and appreciate them is to ensure they will remain.  Perhaps Karma has a factor, perhaps it’s God or whatever spiritual power you believe in, perhaps it’s only a mind game, but whatever the reason gratitude is a force that has affects our lives.

Working through my moods, my ups and downs, is a frequent challenge.  When I’m “up” life is good, nothing is bad and my glasses are rose colored.  If I’m “down” then all I can see around me are the things in life that could be better.  I’m seldom in such a poor state where everything is bad or I think my life sucks the big one but my energy is depleted and the things around me I should be enjoying are somehow greyed out, out of focus and difficult to see.

Call it depression, tag it with whatever label works best, but this cycle of moods can be debilitating and my heart goes out to those who suffer strongly from it.  I am not so adversely affected but suffer at times I do, and my thinking about the good things in my life brings hope and light to my being.  Being grateful recharges me, being grateful that I have the ability to be grateful inspires me.  There is hope.

I dunno, Beer might help

Here I sit again, biding my time in the bar. I’m starting to feel like a regular in these parts. I often wonder if I have I have a problem but I suspect if I have enough inquisitiveness about it then likely I don’t. And that being said I’m really not that worried.

My days have been going pretty well lately with my moods improving and that general sense of malaise diminishing. I really did think there at one one point, and still question, whether there is such an occurrence as getting a bad batch of meds. Somehow I doubt it, and I understand that an occasional regression is normal, but I felt truly shitty there for a while. Not physically but emotionally, and the depressed feeling was, well, depressing. A disturbing state of affairs.

I feel better now, and some days are better than others.  Retirement is around the corner and depending on circumstances I could leave by the end of April.  Boy, that’s coming fast.  With that move come a whole host of other emotions, many I’ve yet to catalogue and most I’d prefer not to have.  I’m scared, terrified in some respects, and I’ve gotten this (sometimes) overwhelming sense of dread, like I’m about to die.  Scares the shit outta me at times and fills me with trepidation.  On the other hand I have a sense of relief, a feeling of freedom about to be borne, a new chapter in my life.  I’m anxious for it to begin, nervous for it to start.  Plain and simple I’m all mixed up.  I just don’t know.

Moods, Good bad or Indifferent

I’ve been pulled back in, or at least the attempt is being made, and it’s the tug of the blog and not clutching of a tired swimmer struggling to survive. The last week or so has been hard, and not sense that my days have been full of onerous tasks. There has been some of that but moreso I had lost my drive to journal, to write my thoughts and to verbalized my fears. In short my mood toward writing, and other things, sucked.

Today had to be the day, I told myself, the point where “damn the torpedoes” I have to pen something.  It helps that another book I’ve taken up reading, called ” the Right to Write”, is describing that very situation. I’ve mentioned this book before, it happens to be the one that “jumped off the shelf” at me, figuratively not literally.  That really would have been cool, wouldn’t it.  The current paragraph describes how we just have to begin, we need only to promise ourselves that we will write for 5 minutes, only 1 paragraph, and the act of starting to write will unleash the torrents of words that are held within us.  Seems to have worked so far.  That part of my mood has lifted somewhat, like the curtains parting on a new play.

I don’t know what my problem has been, although my mind is full of speculation. The ideas of why, the reasons and/or excuses are in plentiful supply. to separate the wheat from the chaff is the challenge.

Certainly the issues with my Dad are ongoing.  The current situation is generally revolving around his scooter, and the lack of battery life.  He cannot go far without the scooter power dropping significantly and he is concerned (rightly so I must admit) of becoming stranded somewhere.  You think that’d be an easy one to fix, and it should be, but in a town with only one scooter supply store and a technician that “seems” to be run off his feet it has become a bit of a cluster f***.  Still no repair done, and the weather is great now where a spin outside would still be ok.  Soon, very soon, that will not be the case and he will be house bound, like a trapped animal, looking out from their cage wanting to be free.

Could also be my retirement plans, or strong desire for them to come to fruition.  I yearn to retire, I also feel like the trapped animal.  I’m fortunate that I can exit my cage but I am still held on a too-short leash. It’s only fear and common sense that are holding me back, fear of taking that step and common sense telling me I can’t afford it.

The passing of Andy Rooney, of the television show “60 Minutes” fame, has made me think as well.  Here’s a man who has made his passion his life , the art of crafting words.  He was described as a curmudgeon among other things, due in part to his talent for saying it like it was.  He pulled no punches and said what he thought.  His knack was also saying what many of us felt inside but were either afraid to say or unable to articulate.

So perhaps Mood can be a good thing after all, something that can drive us to say what needs to be said, if only for ourselves.  I do feel better.