Sunday, October 19, 2014

Darkness to Light....

So I just realized that it has been a month since my last entry.  I guess I have been keeping myself busy enough just hanging around.  My hip is healing slowly. I am now allowed to put up to 25% of my weight on the bad leg, so that has made getting around a little easier.  I think I am finally learning some patience, although I have been quite thrilled to get some privileges back, like standing in the shower and being able to put my foot down!  I really am looking forward to going back upstairs to my bed instead of sleeping on the sofabed in the middle of Grand Central Station. This happens every morning...even on the weekends:

I have had lots of time for reflecting.  If you are reading this because you are on your own journey with depression, I share my experience to offer support to other Moms and also to give hope to those who are deep in the struggle.  This January I will be coming up on three years in my journey.  So I know that I am currently in a much different place than those who are just starting out.  Do I still struggle, of course?  About a year ago it was determined that my PPD is now just plain old Chronic Depression.  Apparently it ceases to be PPD after the two year mark.  When I am  not having a good day I try to reflect on how far I have come since the really, really bad days.  When I worry whether or not I have totally messed up my kids, I reflect on how sweet and loving and HAPPY they are, so I guess my husband and I have done alright despite everything.  They know that they are loved and that is the most important thing.  I am okay.  There is still some darkness that sneaks in from time to time, mostly based on my hormonal fluctuations.  At least I can see those coming, know what they are, and know that they will pass pretty quickly if I just ride it out.    The situation with my hip has resulted in a few day of feeling sorry for myself here and there, but for the most part, being pretty much off my feet with limited control over my own life for over two months now, has shown me just how much of a handle that I do have on my depression, and honestly that is a good thing.  I am on a good therapeutic dose of a medication that works, I have wonderful support in my life and I do feel pretty much normal.  So maybe I have finally found my end in sight, until the next challenge arises or until I decide that it is time to go off my medication.    My greatest enemy is, and will continue to be sleep deprivation, but unfortunately that is just the way I am and there really isn't much I can do to sleep better, so I have learned to live with it the way it is, and I catch a good nap whenever I can.

My dear friends, if you are at the beginning of your journey and the darkness is heavy right now, rest assured that there is hope.  It is a long journey, full of many difficult days and many challenges.  It is important that you remember that you are a good mother, and this is not your fault.  Seek support and don't believe the negative thoughts that the darkness puts in your head.  It may take therapy and medication to help you move forward.  If you choose to take medication it might take a while to find the right medication with the right dosage, I went through many trials before I found the right one.  Don't lose hope.  Ask for help.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel I promise.

It has been a while since I recommended one of my favorite resources for information and support about Postpartum Depression:  This website helped me tremendously with figuring things out in the beginning.  I am sure it can help you too!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"I just want things to go back to normal."

Just a quick background for this post if you haven't been keeping up.  Towards the end of July I injured my left hip, but I didn't really know what was wrong, and it wasn't too bad at first, so I continued to use it normally for the next 3 and a half weeks.  It got steadily worse until I could no longer put weight on my left leg.  I was diagnosed with a stress fracture just below the joint in my left hip.  I cannot put weight on my left leg at all while it heals, so I have been on crutches or in a wheelchair for the past six weeks.  I still have at least six weeks to go until I am crutch free, as my doctor told me I need to stay off the leg for six weeks AFTER I no longer feel any pain in that hip, and currently I do still have some pain.

Last evening while Daddy was heating up our dinner, this precious girl of mine, Anne (age 5) had a meltdown and climbed up onto my lap sobbing and saying that she "just wants things to go back to normal."  I was pretty sure that I knew what she meant, but I questioned her further just to be sure.  Through her tears she told me that she wanted things to go back to to normal when Mommy did all of the work and she had more time to play.  She didn't want to have to help me carry things all the time and always be the one to let the dog out.  Now granted this was a very tired little girl at the end of her second full week of Kindergarten, but she was breaking my heart!

Now I feel my child's pain.  I have really been struggling the last few weeks, trying so hard to be patient, trying so hard not to let my depression creep in and take over, and wishing so hard that I could just get up and do all the things I am supposed to be able to do.  I want to sleep upstairs in my own bed!  I want to walk my children in and out of school every day instead of having someone else do it for me.  I want to clean my own house.  I want to take a real shower.  I want to take my dog for long walks in the woods on these beautiful fall days.  I want to make dinner for my family.  I want to be able to pick my kids up off the floor when they fall, and walk my rascally son back into time out over and over and over again.  It has been six weeks, well longer than that if you count the three weeks of pain before that.  I am really trying to learn this lesson in patience that God is trying to teach me.  God is always trying to teach me patience.  I must be pretty bad at it!  He is also trying to teach me to let go of control, to let other people help, to let HIM take over.  I must be pretty bad at that too!  BUT, I am trying.

I really have struggled with the extra pressure that this has put on my children, especially Anne.  She is more sensitive and because she is older, more has been expected of her.  And while she says that she doesn't want to do everything to help, she worries about who is helping Mommy when she is not there.  And she wants normal again.  I don't think that she understands that our normal has changed.  The old normal wasn't so great.  There were wonderful things about it, and many things that I took for granted, but I can sit here now and say that there were many things in my life that were normal for me, but that need to change.  It takes time for "normal" to change.  I need to change for a healthier me.  I need more time with God, I need more exercise, I need to eat better, I need more quality time with my husband, my friends and my kids.  However, I spend most of my life sitting in safe and comfortable ruts, doing things the easy way.

I feel like this experience is giving me the opportunity to change my old normal for a better normal, and honestly, I am so afraid I am going to screw it up.  I am afraid I am going to forget when I am free to move again.  I am trying to use this time to better my mind and prepare myself to have a whole new normal.  I feel like that is the reason that all this is happening, because I needed a drastic intervention to change and wiggle out of my comfortable old normal.

So my poor precious girl, this has put too much stress on a five year old.  She worries that I am going to get hurt worse if I fall, and about who is going to take care of me when she is not around, and then she is five, and just wants to play sometimes, so when we ask her to help she feels like she has to do everything.  So we had a long cuddle and a long talk, about being patient, and about what it means to do things out of love, even when you don't feel like it.   Even though it feels like it is taking forever for this hip to heal, it will.  In the meantime, I have been listening to Andy Stanley's series, "In the Meantime (  It is all about what to do when you can't do anything.  It is very inspiring.  So I am trying to be inspired and to plan out my new normal, while I patiently wait to heal.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

There was a little girl....

I wrote this post a few months ago, but didn't feel ready to post it at that time.  After reading it again tonight, I decided it was time.  It has been a challenging month and a half for me as I recover from a stress fracture in my hip and I haven't been feeling my best emotionally.  Life has been challenging for my husband and my kids as well.  But through all of this my family has been loved and supported by our family and friends and OUR AMAZING CHURCH FAMILY.  So, I couldn't think of a better time to share the story of how we came to join our wonderful church and found such a loving home there.  Here it is:

This post is one that has been on my heart to write for the longest time, and recent circumstances in my extended family have brought it back up again in my mind and in my heart, so I figured it was time.  I just never knew exactly what I should say or how I should say it.  What do you say when a stranger's tragedy literally alters the course of your life? Would you want to know?  Would you want to know if a loss that you suffered ended up saving someone's soul, and maybe even their family?

What is the measure of a life?  I suffered a loss, a miscarriage with my first child.  The child of my heart, the one I will always miss.  I only knew that she existed for six short days.  Then she was gone.  I grieved for her with all my heart and all my soul.  And I wondered, what was the point?  How could her life have any purpose at all.  Now I know that it did.  Loving and losing her has helped to shape the person that I am today.  I know that talking about her and what I went through has helped others, and in that, my child's life did have a purpose.  My arms still ache to hold her, but I know that I will someday, and that knowledge does give me peace.

But there was another little girl, one that I never met, that had a greater impact on my life than I could have ever even possibly imagined.

When my son was six months old, my postpartum depression was just starting to get out of control. I was very lost at this point, and over the next two months it was only going to get worse.  But it was when he was six months old a tragedy happened in our town and a family that I had never met, lost their five year old daughter to an illness.  The loss happened pretty quickly after diagnosis.  Somehow this little girl's story spread all over the local area.  I remember holding my babies and sobbing, hurting so much for her parents.  We wanted to do something to help.  I talked with my husband about it and he reached out to help at a local fundraiser that was going to help the family with the medical expenses.  But just like that she was gone.  The event still happened and the money went to help the family and to also start a foundation in the child's name.  A foundation that continues to do amazing things for families in our local area.  I am forever amazed by these parents who took their grief, and used it spread love in their daughters name.  My husband continues to help out with events for this charity whenever he can.

Aside from the impact of being sad for this family, this little girl affected our lives in an overwhelming way.  But how do you say that to somebody?  How do you tell someone that them losing their child changed the course of my family's lives forever.  Sometimes I feel guilty when I think about the impact that this child has had on our lives.  I know that I would give it up in a heartbeat if this family could have their baby back.  But life doesn't work that way.  God has this incredibly intricate plan for the world that we cannot fathom or understand.  Lives intersect for a reason, many reasons, and only he knows why.  I know this, but would still give her back to her family if I could.

The initial fundraiser that happened to raise money for the family happened at a local church.  One we had never been to before.  My husband performed for the children at the fundraiser and I, and some friends took our kids there to support it.  We had never been to this church before.  And we didn't go back, not for 7 months.

This is what happened.  My husband and I had been sporadically attending the Roman Catholic Church that we were married in.  We were both raised Roman Catholic, and that was all we knew.  But we both knew that it just wasn't working for us.  I still had a relatively strong faith, but my husband had been doubting and struggling for years.  We asked to meet with the priest once because we needed some help and guidance, and he didn't have time for us.  We didn't really know what to do.  We never felt like we were part of a community there. We never really wanted to go to church.  The times we went we just felt like we were spending an hour trying to keep the kids quiet, so what was the point? It was so frustrating, and we felt so empty.  And the more my depression took hold, the harder it was for me, and the emptier I felt.

Then one day, in November, out of the blue my husband suggested that we check out that know the one that we went to for the Fundraiser.  I was doing way better with my depression at this point, but was still a little wary...not as much for myself but for him.  What if he didn't like it?

So we went the Sunday after Thanksgiving for the first time.  I went in nervous, they had nursery for little ones, but I had a kid with a severe food allergy, could I leave her there?  Would she be safe?  I felt completely at home within 15 minutes of entering the building, we were welcomed, brought to the nursery, our fears were addressed, we left the kids, went to the auditorium.  Our family has been attending the church ever since.

Over the next few months I watched my husband's life change dramatically and mine did too.  He found support, people to talk to, people to ask all of his questions to, and then quietly, without fanfare (because that is the way that he is) he came to Christ.  The prayers I had prayed from my heart for six long years were finally answered.  My husband came to know peace, the peace that comes from having a meaningful relationship with God.

Since then my family has flourished.  Many things that were once struggles started to work themselves out.  Both my husband and I have continued to grow in our faith.  We have found a loving church family with an amazing support system.  I joined the moms group there and both my husband and I have found ways to volunteer at the church doing things that we love.  We became official members of the church and were baptized together six months after we started attending.  Our kids love the church, and are already learning to know God and develop a relationship with him.  I am constantly taken aback by the heartfelt, spot on prayers that come from my five year old.  I love watching her grow with God.

So many areas of our lives have changed for the better since that day in February 2012.  My heart aches for anyone whose child has left this world too soon.  I know that pain, and I share it.  I am so sorry for your Mama and Daddy, sweet girl, and for all those that love you.  Thank you precious girl, for being such a bright, shining light in our lives.   You have been the brightest beacon on my Journey to the Light and because of that I will ALWAYS carry your light in my heart.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Best Summer Ever!

I found my bliss for awhile just after the 4th of July.  We escaped on a spontaneous trip to our favorite place in the world....Maine.  Four whole days at the ocean.  Four whole days, just the four of us.  I returned peaceful and refreshed and determined to make this summer different, better than the last several summers have been.

Two summers of magic shops, 1 summer with a brand newborn, 1 summer pregnant, 1 summer struggling with PPD, 1 summer full of surgeries.....summers around here haven't been exactly what summers should be....especially for kids.  I was determined to make this summer different.  And I did!

I have four siblings.  My kid have nine cousins.  With the exception of holiday gatherings we don't see each other all that much.  Two of my siblings live in Kansas...we live in NY.  A trip to Kansas was not happening this summer.  I wanted to have some good family time and to let my kids have some cousin time.  They adore their cousins and their cousins adore them.  Luckily for Matthew and Anne, eight out of their nine cousins live within two and a half hours of us.  So we got back from vacation and I set out to plan the rest of the summer full of visits with family and friends, playdates and sleepovers for Anne.

Daddy stayed home to work and the kids and the dog and I headed out to my sister's for a few days.  We had a blast.  My only disappointment was that when we went to the zoo the Penguin Exhibit was closed.  The next week I packed everyone up and we went to my brother's.  We had a fabulous time.

Then we came home and got everything together for the Penguin Party!  Yes!  My Matthew turned three!  Crafty me had so much fun getting ready for his party and throwing it.  We had such a great day.

But trouble was brewing for this Mama long before the birthday bash.  I think it started before we left for our visit with my sister, when I was pulling weeds in the backyard.  For a week or so I was waking up in the morning feeling like I had a pulled muscle in my groin, but that feeling went away after a half hour or so each day.  Then while we were visiting my sister my nephew and I were walking the dogs and I slipped, just a tiny bit on a wet wooden foot bridge.  I felt an intense pain in my hip that I struggled to walk off.   That was followed by a series of little incidents that left me with the same kind of pain.  Then it became harder and harder to walk. I had a hard time during my visit with my brother so I went to the doctor as soon as we got back.  My doctor determined that my injury seemed to be a weight bearing issue with my left hip joint.  She sent me for an X-ray and referred me to an orthopedist.  The X-ray showed nothing. I had to wait 2 weeks for my appointment with the orthopedist and the pain continued to get worse to the point where my leg would give out when I tried to put weight on it.  My husband bought me a cane which helped a little bit, until I tripped on it the first evening I had it.  That was the end of the line for me.  The pain and frustration over the whole situation brought me to tears, and I don't come to tears easily.  That fall wrenched my hip so badly that I could no longer put any weight on that leg.  My husband called the orthopedist the next morning and got me an emergency appointment.  An MRI was ordered which I had the next evening.  As it turns out I have a stress fracture in my left hip joint.  I am now alternating between using crutches and a wheelchair.  I cannot put any weight on my leg for six whole weeks.  Surgery is a possibility if I do not seem to be healing or if I fall and injure the hip further causing the stress fracture to become a complete fracture.

So my summer turned out interesting for sure.  I am so grateful that I got in those family visits when I did, and that I was able to give Matthew his Penguin birthday bash before it all became too much.

Now I am in an interesting predicament.  I have a five year old starting kindergarten in two weeks and a three year old starting pre-school in three weeks.  I won't be able to put weight on my leg for at least six weeks.  It is a frustrating and discouraging position to be in.  I am not sick, and if I don't move around too much I don't feel any pain in my hip.  So I feel fine.  Yet I am confined.  Cooped up with two little kids.  I have to be really careful because the slightest wrong move could cause a complete fracture.  I can't really do much to care for my family and my home.  I am actually relying on the kids to help care for me during the day when my husband is working.  They are being really great, but they are still very little.  I can see in their behavior that this situation is stressful for both of them, especially my daughter. I am so thankful that I am not in this alone.  I have my church family, my friends, my in-laws and my parents.  People are bringing us meals, cleaning my house, helping me care for the kids.....I have done things like this for others before, and now I am truly seeing first hand how important it is.  What a difference a meal can make, a clean bathroom can make.  For the first time I realize the importance of being a part of a community, something bigger than your own family unit.  This is a frustrating time for me yes, but I know that I am going to have help and support and LOVE to get me through it.  That makes all the difference in the world.

This is the best summer ever!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

And Then Come the Weeds....

If life did not have struggles, then what reason would we have to love, to find what is good in our lives and hold on to it?  I will take the struggles that life offers for they give me the reason, and the strength to love with all I have.

For years we have battled with improvements that have needed to be done in our house and in our yard.  Little by little things have been getting done.  Our yard is overcome with weeds, and last summer and early this spring I have basically defeated the weeds in one part of the yard.  This spring the kids and I decided to weed along the back fence and make a Fairy Garden.  We have had a lot of fun painting wooden birdhouses and making a lake and a road for the fairies.  This picture above is part of the finished project.  Then THIS happened.

YUP!  The weeds came back and totally overcame then entire beautification project I had invested so much into, and that the kids were so excited about.

I have decided that the Fairy Garden is a metaphor for my life.  Just when things get going....the weeds come.  I am forever weeding the garden of my life.  BUT aren't we all?  I have come to a point in my life where I am able to see just how important life's struggles are in shaping the people that we become.  I won't reiterate all of the major struggles with my life, just that I don't regret them.  A life without challenges would be just that.  We wouldn't have the chance to change, to grow, to seek, to hope, we would just be.

I haven't been writing as much as I would like to....I keep falling into these ruts, keep wanting to change, keep wanting to move forward, keep struggling.  But I am growing.

Speaking of GROWING, since I last wrote I know have a KINDERGARTENER:

My precious girl finished her two years at her absolutely wonderful pre-school.  BUT I do still have a little guy will start at this pre-school in the fall.  Some days I am ready for this, some days I wish I could snatch him up in my arms and snuggle my baby forever.....

I also now have a FIVE YEAR OLD!  That's half a decade people....big stuff:

And while I have been helping my daughter move forward, I have also been trying to move forward myself and survive summer.  Summer is a season that most look forward to, but I have to say, over the years has become quite a challenge for my little family.  My husband works a lot to begin with, but during the summer his work is at his peak.  He works pretty much all the time and is exhausted when he is home.  I worry about him, and the kids and I miss him.  He is very present when he is home, but it is hard for all of us.  And for me, it can be isolating and frustrating and exhausting.  When these darlings are in challenge mode it can make days very hard.   I try to plan play dates and activities.  When I am out of the house I do well.  When I am home I am more prone to frustration and that trapped feeling, and that makes me not want to go out and do anything at all.  It is just an endless the weeds growing in and taking over.

Then there is the medication thing.  I am pleased to say that I had another Doctor's appointment in early June and I am FINALLY back on the Cymbalta, which is the medication that has worked well for me in the past but I had to give up for a variety of reasons.  Circumstances have finally made it possible for me to take it again.  The past couple of weeks have been somewhat challenging with the weather, and the husband's work schedule, and the weaning off of the old meds and building up the new med.  That can really mess with a person, especially if you throw a period in the mix. 

Things are finally looking up.  I am finally starting to feel a bit better.  And it looks like I have a wonderful opportunity coming up to recharge and find my bliss.  And I weeded out that Fairy Garden..
I picked up every weed, every house that we painted, every rock that I painstakingly laid out to make my roads, every blue pebble that made up my lake....All of it.  Now my Fairy Garden is a blank slate.
I started mulching it the other day.
Then it got really ridiculously hot for a couple of days followed by some serious rainstorms, so I had to put the mulching on hold for a bit.  BUT, the point is, I started over, pretty much from scratch.  I bought a ton of new birdhouses to paint with the kids.  The Fairy Garden will come back more beautiful and more interesting than we ever could have imagined in the beginning, because it is through our struggles that beauty grows.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Moment of Clarity

The last few days have been rough.  If you read yesterday's post you understand this.  Last night when my  husband got home, I left him to feed the kids dinner and went upstairs and exhaustion took over and I fell asleep for about an hour and a half.  Then I got up and ate and had some quiet time because the kiddos were asleep by the time I came downstairs.  I slept pretty decently last night too.

Today has been a much better day.  It started off with me snuggling with this sweet face for about a half hour after he crawled into bed with me at 6 am.

After Matty got up and ventured off to wreak havoc on the household, I felt a migraine coming on.  So my hubby got up with Matt and I took my headache medicine and laid back down for awhile.  Luckily I was able to ward it off before it turned into a bad migraine.  Then this sweet girl climbed in bed with me for a snuggle.
I can't tell you how much better the day starts out when I am able to take the time to love on my kids.  Part of the frustration I was feeling yesterday was disconnection from my family, feeling like an outsider in my own life.  Cuddle time is very grounding.  It is good therapy.

When I was lying in bed this morning I realized that for the past several weeks I have been taking Claritin to deal with my allergies.  Hmmmm.....moment of clarity....My allergies are not usually super bad in the spring, but this year they have been.  Then I started to it possible that the allergy medication is having some kind of effect on the efficacy of my anti-depressant.  I looked it up on line...definitely a possibility.  Then I dropped Anne off at school and went to run errands with my Matty boy.  The first errand was a stop at the pharmacy to pick up my prescription.  Since I was there I asked the pharmacist if it was possible that the drugs were interacting.  He asked when I took them.  I told him that I have been taking them both at the same time in the evening.  He told me that I want to avoid having the medications reaching peak potency at the same time by taking them at the same time.  He told me that the allergy medication could very well be contributing to some of the issues I have been having over the last several days. 

So maybe all the possible decision outcomes aren't so bleak after all.  I know that hormones in a bad PMS cycle have also come into play lately, and even when I was taking Cymbalta, the medication that has worked the best so far, I did still have two or three bad days a month.  That is way better than every day being a bad day. 

So I made a decision about what to try next.  I am going to stop taking Claritin and keep taking my antidepressant.  I am going to give it a week to get the Claritin completely out of my system.  Then i am going to see if I start feeling any better.  My period will also be over by then which will make me a much better judge of how good or bad the situation really is. 

Right now I am feeling hopefully that maybe this whole situation that I made so complex in my mind yesterday, might have a simple answer and it is not such a big deal after all.  In the mean time I am gong to cuddle and love my kids and take it one day at a time.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Matty eating popcorn at Anne's soccer game. This is why he comes to the games.
I haven't written in awhile.  It isn't that I haven't thought about it.  I guess I am just feelings super frustrated and I have been busy too.  We have been going pretty much every day of the week lately between pre-school and soccer and church stuff.  I am not sure that soccer is the "thing" for my daughter.  She says she wants to go and complains when it is time to go and says she doesn't want to play because she never gets a turn to kick the ball.  I am thinking we will try something different next fall.  I think she would love dance but we will have to see if we can swing that on top of pre-school tuition for Matthew and kindergarten tuition for Anne. 

I have also survived my yearly week with Daddy away on his business trip.  My husband travels for a week once a year for his job and that is  probably the longest week each year for me.  The first year he went was when my PPD was at it's peak and I wasn't sure I was going to make it through.   I had some anxiety about him leaving before he left but we all survived the actual week just fine.  Now we are jumping head first into his busy season and I am trying to be relaxed about it.  I should be well used to him working all the time each summer, but that doesn't necessarily make it any easier to deal with.    I get tired and unmotivated just thinking about it.  I hate going out when it is hot and humid and being cooped up with two small children and a dog is not my idea of fun either.  I would rather just take a nap most days.

When I last wrote, I had just started to take my new medication....after weaning off the stuff that clearly was  not working.  Rather than allowing me to go back on the old medication that worked just fine until I couldn't take it any more because of cost, the insurance company insisted that I "try" generic Effexor first and if that didn't work.....maybe I could go back on Cymbalta.  I was doing okay with the new stuff, but I was just not feeling myself, still really depressed so my doc increased my dose.  I figured that would happen because I started on such a low dose.  Now I have been on the higher dose for awhile and I am still having many depressed days and low motivation....with a little bit of that old time anger on the side.  And the side effects....guess what I discovered one of the "less severe" side effects of Effexor is....abnormal dreams.  I am right back to having significant nightmares and intense dreams again.  I am pretty much fed up with those, and sick and tired of being tired all the time.  I am also dealing with a couple of other annoying side effects. 

Now I am at an impasse.  I am tired of feeling depressed and I am tired of dealing with side effects.  Frankly, I feel that all the med changes have done more harm than good at this point.  I am considering going off medication all together.  Even when medication makes me feel better, there has to be some frustrating side effects to deal with along with the constant feeling of being tired.  I wonder if it is worth it, but I am also concerned about/afraid of going back to the state of virtual incapacitation that I used to be in.  I also wonder if I am able to go back on Cymbalta, which I did well with before with virtually no side effects, after being on all these different medications if it would still be as effective as it was before.  Then there is the hassle of changing medications.  It would have to go through the insurance company for approval, if it gets approved at all.  Then there is the nonsense of withdrawal from the current medication, and waiting for the new medication to take effect.

If I decide to go off medications all together, I will have to wait and go through withdrawal and see how I feel for a while after it is all out of my system.  I wonder if I am strong enough to try to go back to the old unmedicated me.  I wonder how much of what I have been feeling since last fall is related to all of the medication changes.  Maybe I really am okay underneath all of it, with the exception of my normal hormonal mood changes.

If I decide to stay on medications, I either have to deal with the current frustration and crap with the medication that I am on and continue to feel as sub par as I am feeling right now, or I have to deal with changing meds yet again and waiting to see what will happen, and it could take months until a med change can actually have me feeling better, if it does at all.  I know that there are lots of antidepressants out there, but I am running out of options in terms of what can work for me.  Many of the major "families" have not worked out at all.

So where does that leave me?  Either option does not make the next few months much to look forward to.  I have really been pondering the options.  I have been praying about it, and I am just not sure what I should do.  There is no clear answer.  I have not discussed this with my doctor yet.  I have an appointment in just under two weeks.  I may call before then, I might wait until the appointment.  I have not decided yet.

There is much to do and look forward to over the next few months.  My Anne turns five in less than two weeks and I have been working on planning her birthday bash.  She will also be finishing pre-school and going to kindergarten orientation.   Then she starts kindergarten in September, which will be here before we know it.  My Matty turns three in August, and starts pre-school in September.  We have lots of opportunities for playdates and day trips and time with extended family this summer.  We might also even get to take a short vacation.  I don't want to just try to get through all of these things....I don't want to spend the summer trying to force myself to do stuff.  I don't want to feel like I am missing out on my own life.  I am afraid that no matter what decision I make, I will leave myself in that state, when I feel like I am in the back seat of my own life.

I really make an effort to not write a blog entry when I am feeling really down, because I always want to leave my readers with hope that their situations will improve.  But I also try to be honest.  Sometimes it is just hard.  Sometimes you will feel awful.  Life can be frustrating.  It feels like I am constantly at war with myself, trying to find my old self somewhere in there.

I am trying to pull my focus on tasks and looking forward to things.  Right now I am working on my daughter's birthday party.  We are doing a Veggie Tales Pirates Who Don't Do Anything theme.  How is that for a mouthful?  I made invitations and am working on decorations and games.  I find it easier to cope when I have a task to focus on.  I am also looking forward to working on Anne's Birthday Scrapbook.  Every year I make my kids a scrapbook for their birthday that covers the whole previous year of their lives, with all important moments and memories captured for them to look back on.  Anne has grown and changed so much in this past year. Here are some of the decorations I have made for her party:
Pirate Larry the Cucumber

Pirate Pa Grape
Pirate Lunt
I think they turned out pretty well.  Here is hoping that the summer does too.