A Day in the Life

Homeschooling and Medieval Living

But I got Better

So many things happened to me because I got the flu. This illness kept me in bed for days. While lying there, with nothing much to do, I had time to reflect on things. Not only was I trying to cough up a lung, but I was also depressed. I have written about my depression before. I had gone to my doctor for a checkup. At that time, I thought I was really doing OK. Then, I lost my insurance. I am currently looking for new insurance. But in the meantime, I am looking for a way to combat all this without meds. I think I have found a solution called SuperBetter. This may seem a little silly. It did to me, at first.

This journey began a few months ago when I saw a TEDTalks video on Netflix. The series was called Life Hack. It was so amazing, I watched the entire series in one day. The one that really stood out was “Jane McGonigal: The Game That Can Give You 10 Extra Years of Life”. This woman is amazing. I was really moved by her at the time and I shared her video with friends and family. Then, I moved on. I didn’t need her game. I was doing great! I got out of bed, I wasn’t crying non-stop, yadda-yadda-yadda. I didn’t think I was depressed. Then, the flu hit with a tsunami of headaches, fever, and sore throat. I went through tissues, paper towels, and (finally) toilet tissue. I went through the NyQuil and DayQuil. I still felt like utter crap.  What was I going to do? I forced myself out of bed. A couple of days ago, I wrote about how that went. I tried again yesterday. Instead of writing, I went back to Jane McGonigal and her SuperBetter game. This game can help you battle depression, kick an addiction, recover from an illness, lose weight, or just about anything. It is completely free and it is truly a blessing. Thank you Jane!

This is what I found – inspiration and the strength to beat up bad guys. The bad guys here are things like Sticky Chair. To beat Sticky Chair, I must get up and walk away from my seat. I just have to take two steps. I can also use Power Ups. I set my own Power Up as Cleaning for Five Minutes. I took the challenge and I got out of my chair. Then, I took it one more step. I unloaded and then loaded my dishwasher. It may not seem like much to the average person, but it was monumental to me. Then, just before going to bed, I brushed my teeth and cleaned my face.

Today, I have accomplished many things. Usually, the first thing I do in the morning is check my phone (emails and such). Today, I left it plugged in – forgotten. Instead, I got up and got dressed. First Power Up used! Now I am writing in my blog. Second Power Up used. Baby steps. Next, I will actually make breakfast for my family. I am still sick with the flu, but I am not down and out. I am on the mend both physically and emotionally. I think I can really beat Sticky Chair today. I am definitely on my way to getting SuperBetter!

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The Abyss

“And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you.”

 – Friedrich Nietzsche

There is an abyss before me. It is full of darkness and all manner of scary things. I stand upon its precipice. I teeter and I am very afraid but there is nothing I can do. I am so full of sadness and despair.

This is a glimpse into the mind of depression. It is something that I live with. I try to ward it off with determination and good ol’ positive thinking. Most of the time it works. Sometimes it does not.  My husband’s grandmother passed away last Friday. The viewing is tonight and the funeral is tomorrow. My husband and I have been holding up rather well. Then something awful happened. He got his grant money from school. We had a good amount left after school was paid. Now this should have been a good – even a great  – thing, but it wasn’t. You see, I hate money. When we don’t have it, we desperately need it (for bills and food and such). When we get a small amount (like the grant money) we have to pay all our bills and it is gone in a heartbeat. “Where did it all go?” I wonder. Well, we spent it on bills that we haven’t been able to pay in months. We got caught up and that takes a lot of money. But we have internet now. We have a phone. We have food in our tummies and we have gas in the car. That is where it went. My husband thinks I am so silly for stressing over such things. He retreats into video games. I lose him for hours in the computer. I usually just go to bed. I sleep about 10 hours a day. I have all of the symptoms below. So many people want to sweep this under the rug. Some of my family members don’t even think I have a problem. They don’t see me on a daily basis. They certainly don’t see me at home with stress up to my eyeballs and tears all over my pillow. This is not a once-in-a-while thing. This is a daily occurrence. It has been going on for some time. So far, I have been able to function at work. But, lately, I have been arriving later and later. The bad thing is, I just don’t care. Nothing interests me. I just don’t want to do anything. It was even hard for me to write this blog and I normally LOVE writing.

Here are some facts about Depression, according to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI):

– Women experience twice the rate of depression as men, regardless of race or ethnic background.

– Nearly 18 million Americans—one in ten adults—experience depression each year, and about two-thirds don’t get the help they need.

– An estimated one in eight women will suffer from major depression in their lifetimes.

To meet the criteria for major depression, most of the following symptoms must be present for at least two weeks, or interfere with work or family life:
• Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood.
• Loss of interest or pleasure in regular activities.
• Restlessness, irritability, or excessive crying.
• Feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, low self-esteem,
or guilt.
• Inability to concentrate, remember things, and make decisions.
• Changes in sleep and appetite (too much or too little).
• Loss of energy and feeling “slowed down.”

More on this issue can be found in the brochure at the NAMI website.

Do you know someone who has the above symptoms? Do they interfere with work or family life? Have they been present for two or more weeks? If so, there is hope. NAMI offers many resources on this problem. Once the person has been diagnosed, a treatment plan will be discussed. Need medication but cannot afford it? No problem. Pharmaceutical companies offer financial assistance programs. Pfizer even offers a Connection to Care Program (among many other resources).

About me? I have an appointment with my doctor. Through her, I will get the prescription I need and I can get the medicine through Pfizer for $4 a month. See, there is a happy ending.:)

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