Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 - I live

My New Year post last year confessed that I had depression. This year I confess that I still have depression. I had been hopeful that by this time this year I wouldn't but I do. And I expect to still have depression this time next year. Fortunately, I can say I no longer suffer from depression but I still live with it, every single day. And I have not done it alone, not by any means. I've also had do a lot of stuff to keep the darkness at bay. I'm going to share some of the things I have done this year, in the hopes to give someone else hope. Hope that it is possible to live with depression and have a full life.



I've checked in with my DR often. She is keeping a close eye on me as we adjust medications and just to generally see how I am doing. This has been an important piece in my care.


I have talked with various counsellors, both on the phone and in person. It's nice to be validated.


At the beginning of the year I started a new job. This has made a huge difference. I actually want to go to work now. Some days when snuggling with crying children I can't believe this is actually my job, that I actually get paid to do it. No more night shifts have helped a lot and not as many 12 hour shifts have helped me feel like I have a life. I may have to be there a little more often, but I'm a lot more productive on my days off because I don't feel like a zombie (and ya'll know how much I hate zombies) all the time. This job came with perfect timing.


I went to Brave Girls Camp in March. We laughed and laughed. We sang. Nancy cooked amazing food for us. We created. I didn't even freak out when my luggage was lost on both the way there and the way home. Two days on the way home spent with two other Brave sisters was just what I needed.


I went to Sister Camp in Arkansas in April. Run by a fellow Brave Girl (D'Wana), it was crucial in my self care. Art, lecture and nature. Lots of together time and lots of alone time if you wanted. Tons of yummy food. And Noah Luke. Noah Luke is D'Wana's little boy. We had an instant connection. He touched my face and told me he had missed me (even though we had just meet). He picked flowers for me. I was fully present with him. Children have a way of doing that to me.


Which brings me to my next point. I chose to be present with my niece and nephews. Spending a day at Storybook park with my Lexi turned into "The best day ever" (her words) and a really fun day for me too. Lexi is really curious and asks tons of questions, she has taught me to explain my health teaching to my patients more simply and to compare it to something they already know if I can.  Snuggling a sleeping Thomas is extremely relaxing. When Lochlan studies my face, I study his too. Lochlan instinctively knows that I am someone he can count on. He probably sees me better than anyone else and he is only 6 months old. 


I took the year off from dating. Seriously, I didn't have a single date and I'm completely okay with that. I really had to spend this year focusing on me and not putting all my hopes and dreams and desires and happiness in one basket..err boy. That said. I'm really excited to get back at it this year. So if you know anyone??

I served meals at our local soup kitchen. Helping others has helped me too.
Brave Girl University. Wow, that's all I can say. So may courses by so many beautiful souls. All of which have aided my self care.


I entered the 21st century and finally bought a cell phone and a smart phone at that. My cell phone has made me more connected with my siblings. Patti sends me photos of Loch often and if I'm feeling down I can just send a text to Katie telling her I love her and she always sends me one back. It has helped me feel less isolated from them. And it's the best way to get in contact with Dan and Tim.


Purging things out of my house has also made a difference. I love to keep everything but this year I started to look at the items in my home and in my closest and asked myself if they are useful or bring me joy. I've been carrying around lots of stuff that I have no use for anymore. It is perfectly okay to let go of things that no longer serve you, even if they use to mean a lot to you once. There are a few things I know I need to let go (like the CD player I practically wore out as a teenager or the giant bear I won at Canada's Wonderland when I was 8) that I'm not really ready to let go of yet. Part of my self care is recognizing that and being gentle with myself and knowing that when the time is right I will be able to let them go.


Letting go of things have also allowed me to curate my home. It meant going to second hand shops, flee markets and antique stores and picking items with purpose and joy. I'm getting to the point where everything in my house is here because I want it to be and not because I needed an item and someone gave it to me. I feel like I have created a home and I'm really proud of how it is coming together.


I spent a weekend in two small cottages only 20mis away from home writing my book, fleshing out Beth and Nate and Jake. Sharing my work with other writers. I need to write, even if no one ever sees it.


I went to an art dance retreat with a co-worker and I took back my dance. Dancing had never been the same after breaking up with my first boyfriend in my early 20s (we went dancing together often) and during this retreat, I just let go and dance felt authentic again. That has lead to Zumba class, Nia class and Backstreet Boy dance parties in my living room.


I am taking back my body. Depression has messed with it a little. I am seeing a dietician to help me put good things in my body. I am exercising more consistently. I am drinking lots of water. I have more energy and am not as tired anymore.


I stopped reading books I didn't want to read. That has meant I don't finish every book I pick up anymore. It has meant putting some books immediately in the give away pile after I've finished them.


I paid someone to cut the grass a couple times. I will be paying all summer this year. My grass is a constant stress for me - it just wont stop growing! No stress if I don't have to cut it.


I created a Saturday morning ritual. Yoga class, Farmers Market, Chai Tea latte and a wander downtown. It's a nice way to start the weekend.


I focused on my faith. I became part of a bible study of women whom I am so blessed to know. I pray every night. First thanking GOD for the day, asking for support for someone else and always ending asking GOD to prepare me for HIS plan. I'm starting to recognize when the enemy is speaking to me and I tell him to get lost.



It has been a full year, I've done a lot of work. I'm really excited to see what all that work will bring me for this year. I hope it will help me stop wasting time on Facebook, strengthen my boundaries, find the perfect art supply storage solution and plan more trips.


Welcome 2016, it's nice to meet you!