Here we go again

I think “Here We Go Again” is a title of an old song, can’t be sure though and it really doesn’t matter. In this sense it only means here I go, putting up another very late post.

I see it’s not been since January of this year that I visited here to write. I’m surprised! My my, where does the time go?

I’ve been active and there are many things that have happened around me. Perhaps no more than to the average bear but they were, of course, significant to me. Mostly it’s just life stuff.

One thing of note was that since my last post I’ve gone back on the ‘juice’. Now before you get all confused or concerned you must realize the ‘juice’ in this context is an anti-depression medication, in this case Citalopram. Last year I was on Mirtazapine but in my wisdom I chose to get off the meds and see how things turned out. Not too well evidently.

After stopping the Mirts I did not become suicidal or anything close to that self destructive, it was more a case of low moods and and a frequent sadness I couldn’t seem to avoid. In fact, as I told my doctor, I would often get very teary and emotional during commercials on tv. I short I was very often low. This didn’t happen immediately but became more pronounced over time. In a nutshell I was not better, more help was needed, but I persevered.

In January we went to Okotoks to our niece’s. That’s where we had gone to visit during our annual get-away and where I last posted  Typically we go somewhere away from our city to just be away, to regroup and recharge. January is the month our son died so since then, Jan. of 2000, we either take a week in our time-share or perhaps we go to visit kin. In this case the kin won. It was a nice visit, a good escape. I had no overt depression or anxiety but my sadness lingered.

During that same month my Mother moved out of our basement suite where she had lived for a 7 or so years. She and my step-Father had moved in when they found the challenges of living alone, away from town, a challenge. My step-Father Larry unfortunately passed away a few years ago just after his 80th birthday but my Mom stayed with us. Now, through a series of outside circumstance, she felt moving to Langley was the best choice for her and her siblings so she took on the challenge of moving and went to the big city. I supported her move and still do. It is her call and I think I can appreciate her reasons.

Since her move we have spent time refurbishing the suite in hopes of attracting another good tenant. I won’t belabour the point but all went quite well and in the end we gained my (ex) brother-in-law Jake as a new ‘person under the stairs’. I could likely write volumes about the dynamics of him and his wife (and her family) but I won’t. I would like cause you some disbelief and wonderment about how these kinds of relationships could even take place. Maybe not though, I guess they are on reality tv all the time.

But I digress. After our foray away and my Mom’s move I just reached the point where I knew a change was needed. Don’t misunderstand, my situation was neither caused nor exacerbated by either our trip, the timing, nor my Mom’s leaving. They were only pointers in time, the inevitable return to medication was evident by that point.

After our return home a visit to my doctor supported my diagnosis, he determined I was depressed and had a higher degree of anxiety than ‘normal’. A regime of anti-depressants were again prescribed. In consult with the doctor we decided to try the Citalopram as I felt the Mirtazapine did not hold up it’s end of the bargain and let me down after some time. This became more evident as I re-read my paper journal and saw a decline in my moods over time. Another reason I had chosen to stop the Mirts. The Citalopram would also apparently help with any anxiety.

At any rate here we are. After being on the Cital since Jan. 28th I feel better once again. Not so much something you may be able to see but more an even-ess and stability of mood. I have more motivation and am getting some things done. I do hope it continues. My sleep has improved and although I dream crazy dreams now it is more restful. A drawback to the Citalopram is a tiredness during mid morning but I may change when I take my dose to dinnertime and the drowsiness may abate.

So in that sense I hope the tagline “Here we go again” is a positive one and I don’t find myself regressing over time. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

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Dad says: “I’m a Little Short of Money”

I just got a call from Dad.  I was out (am out) for my walk so he left me a voicemail.

“I’m a little short of money”, he said.

Of course there was more but this is the jist of it.  Now I don’t know what that means, does he have no money in his wallet, or did he go to the bank and think there was no money there?  Shouldn’t be the latter because I just went online (from my phone, cuz I can) and checked his balance. Inquiring minds need to know.  I’m confused.  I’ll call him shortly to get the lowdown.

I still feel frustration when I talk to him. That alone pisses me off, that I get frustrated, never mind whatever he calls about.  And it’s not like he’s always calling, but typically when he does there’s some issue that needs resolving.  Often it isn’t even an issue but more like a situation where he has something confused.

Look at me, who’s the whiner in this story?  I should be grateful he’s still around. I AM grateful.  We never know what we’ve got until after its gone, that’s a for sure.  He ALWAYS tells me he appreciates me, and whatever small things I can do for him ARE small in the big picture.  Next time I whine slap me upside the head, k?

Tic Tac Toe
Tic Tac Toe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As I’m sitting here in the coffee shop, smelling the fresh brew and warm pastries, I love to watch the people.  I think I could study them all day, trying to figure out their stories. Right now there’s a man and small child across from me playing tic-tac-toe.

I think he must be the grandpa, the boy his grandson.  He’s appears to be about my age (old) but you never know these days, it could be a second relationship for him.  What you can tell is that he’s thoroughly enjoying the toddler, and trying to teach him the game.  They chatter back and forth and occasionally I hear a giggle from the boy, or a guffaw from the elder.  There’s pride in the grandpa’s eyes.

These scenes warm my heart.  I think of the future with my grandson, perhaps I’ll teach him tic-tac-toe as well.  Maybe we’ll go for coffee when he gets older.  I hope so.

These situations makes me feel somewhat in limbo land.  I think of my Dad and his needs.  I think of his care, and what his future may hold.  I think of my connection with him, our past.

I also think of my kids, I ponder what could have been with my son Shawn had he not died.  What would we have done together?  How would we have bonded? This makes me sad.

And I think of my grandson, and what our future might look like.  How many things we can do together.  This makes me optimistic and happy.

So it’s about life isn’t it, the past, present, and future.  They are all so important.  How do I connect them?

Happy Birthday Son, I Miss you!

Shawn as youngster

It’s my son’s birthday today, but I can’t wish him happy birthday because he passed away suddenly 12 years ago, on Jan. 18, of a rare heart condition called Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (AVRD).  If he was with us today he would be turning 30 years old.

I miss him, sometimes painfully, and I think of him most days. The hollowness in my heart never goes away but it has lessened over time.  Knowing I will meet him again sometime eases my loss.

Another thing that helps to mitigate the hurt is partially filling the void with another love.  It can never replace my heart’s previous tenant but will moderate the loss. It will take the edge off, it’ll provide some relief from the angst that comes from losing someone.  I’ll never forget my son, but having a grandson to love now allows me to use that love instead of letting it wilt inside me.

You will never get over the loss of someone you love, particularly your child.  They are your hopes and dreams, they are the future.  When they is gone so go those thoughts.

I had so hoped to write something fitting and appropriate today, a means to capture his memory and pay proper tribute, but the words escape me.  It will have to be enough to say Happy Birthday, and I love you!

Grief is Not our Friend

We never really grieved with our daughters, it’s only been recently that I have understood that. When our son died in 2000 my wife and I were so wrapped up in ourselves and our grief that I’m afraid we neglected the rest of our immediate family, our two daughters. Oh sure, we spent our time with them, and they were fully part of our family planning through the grieving and memorial process but we did not grieve WITH them.

This fact was brought painfully to my attention after watching a movie at the local theatre, a movie called Courageous, a show about family and the important, no, fundamental, role of a father in the family. Interestingly the movie got poor reviews from critics but was well liked by the majority of watchers, that in itself tells me it struck a chord with viewers, and that gives me hope.

The enlightening came during one particular chapter in the show where a family lost their daughter in an accident, and they too grieved, but without their only son. The father finally came to see his failing and both he and his wife grieved again, this time with their son. A powerful, emotion ridden scene. It was an epiphany for me, my eyes were opened, they wept, and I saw what should have been.

Since then I’ve apologized to one of my daughters.  Unfortunately our relationship with the other daughter prevents me from resolving it with her but perhaps in time that will come too.

After all that I feel no better about the whole situation really but my apology was accepted and we must move on. It will be one of those times when what should have been, wasn’t.  Regrets.

Grief is not our friend.

Thoughts of Shawn… Only if.

The snow is falling, or what could be loosely described as snow. Maybe dust, white powder dust would be more appropriate, almost like large flakes of flour. The kind of dust that you barely glimpse, but can see when the sunshine catches them as it’s rays filters through the window. This same white powder fell on the day Shawn died, a day I’d not soon want to re-live.  An ethereal day.

I wrote this as I sat waiting for my appt with Gloria, my counselor, but she approached me soon after and said “Come on in Dwayne, how are you doing?”  It’s funny, the thought of Shawn, or his passing, wasn’t forefront on my mind as she asked me that question, but was only moments before.  My thoughts of him come and go, depending on circumstances and mood.

It’s coming up on 11 years since his untimely death, January 18th of 2000 to be exact.  The closer we get to that date, or his birthday in October, the more his life (and death) surface in our minds.  Often it brings back some guilt on my part, none that I’ve mentioned to Gloria though, and even though I can rationalize my way through it the nagging thoughts of “only if” are still there and still pull at my heart.  Only if, 2 isolated words that when put together have more power over us than so many others.  Only if.

Another Late post

It’s been a while since I last posted, almost a week.  Mostly we’ve just been on the road but there have been periods with no cell service as well. Poor excuses all really.  G says I shouldn’t worry about not journalling every day but if this blog does become read it’s important to be consistent, or followers may drop it.  I suppose that’s a minor concern and really the issue is my being consistent.

Aside – I’ve begun rereading the book “Emotional Alchemy” and it has refocussed my attention.  I have slipped in a number of my interactions and some of my responses to others are becoming inappropriate in that I’m snapping and being short.  I do this in reaction to comments being made by them, to or around me.  I can do better.  Typically my shortness is with my wife Mo, and where I find her comments lead me to react in a certain fashion she is not deserving of my shortness with her, nor any rudeness I may feel to obliged to treat her with.

The current chapter in the book is comparing the progress and setbacks one encounters as being analogous to one’s journey through drug or other chemical addictions, often making significant progress and then suffering setbacks.  It states, as far as brain function goes, there is a parallel between emotional habits and addictions.  It has to do with the dopamine balance in parts of the brain, and the quantity of receptors that are in use.

20110718-011733.jpg

Update on Dad, he’s been taken back to emergency complaining of hallucinations.  I feel very torn, on the one hand feeling very concerned for him and what to become of him, on the other tired of the frequent hospital visits. And that makes me feel bad, rather I feel badly of myself thinking that way.  I don’t feel like the shining example of a son that I’m seen to be by some others.  But hey this shouldn’t be about me, he is the one that is potentially on his last legs .  But hey again this is my blog and IS supposed to be about me and my feelings of the things that are happening to and around me.