Headache from hell

When I write I have the chance to think about everything I want to say and how to say it. If I say it wrong, I can go back, delete it, and try again.

Hello dear reader.

Today is day 3 of a mind numbing headache. I got about two hours of sleep last night because of it, so along with this insane pain I’m exhausted. I’m going to try to write a post that makes sense, but I can’t promise anything.

I need to do something to distract my mind from how horrible I feel. That itself is a challenge. Reading hurts…too much light. Watching TV… same thing. Writing… hurts like hell but I’m doing it anyway. Pain meds? I can’t take them again for five more hours. Muscle relaxers… not helping at all.

So why am I writing when it hurts to do it? I’m writing out of desperation. I’m hoping one of the wonderful people who read my blog (I hit 150 followers yesterday 👏) has an idea for how can I distract my mind from the pain when I need to be laying down in a dark, quiet room?

I’m having trouble communicating because of the pain. But I can do a better job writing than speaking. When I write I have the chance to think about everything I want to say and how to say it. If I say it wrong, I can go back, delete it, and try again.

I know this isn’t a very cheerful post, but it’s my truth right now and you, dear reader, deserve nothing less than complete honesty.

I’m seriously open to any ideas. There’s a comment box at the end of this post. Please feel free to use it.

Until next time…

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Stigma

There should be no more stigma attached to mental illness than there is to physical illness. 

Hello dear reader

Note:  There were some issues with publishing this post. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused.

I try very hard to keep a positive outlook on my life, and most of the time I’m fairly successful. But I have to admit that I’ve been in a really bad place recently.  It’s hard to explain, but I just gave up. I didn’t follow up on getting my teeth fixed, or doing the mammogram or colonoscopy my doctor ordered a month ago. I stopped wearing any jewelry or make-up. I didn’t care what I wore, just pulled on clothes because it’s what I had to do. I didn’t keep up with housework or laundry, just did what absolutely had to be done. Nothing mattered. I didn’t want to do anything but sleep. I felt done.

The thing is that I didn’t realize what was going on, or didn’t care. I’m not certain which. Maybe both.  But I woke up this morning and felt different. I got up, took a bath, thought about what I was going to wear and got dressed, and started cleaning the house.  Yes, I know. It was classic depression.  But what I don’t know is where it came from and where it went. 

I’ve dealt with depression for the majority of my life and have been on some kind of antidepressant or another for years. I know the signs and symptoms. I know things that help and things that make it worse.  But I cannot see it when I’m in it.
About three weeks ago I woke up at 3:30 in the morning with a high fever and having convulsions.  My husband rushed me to the hospital, where they diagnosed me with pneumonia. They gave me a prescriptions for antibiotics and home oxygen and told me to follow up with my primary care doctor, which I did. I spent the next week and a half in a LOT of pain and completely exhausted. The one good thing that came out of it was that I quit smoking. I’ve tried so many times and ways. All of a sudden I simply had no more urge to smoke!  Almost worth the pneumonia… maybe.  The point to this long story (yes, there is a point) is that there’s a possibility all of that happening had something to do with the depression coming on.  I say possibility because I believe the depression started before the pneumonia and all that went with it.

So I still don’t know where (why?) it came from or where (why?) it went. I only know that I’m very glad it’s gone and that I have a TON of catching up to do.

I think the reason it’s important to me to put all of this out there is that there is still a stigma about mental illness, which depression is a form of.  But I don’t choose to be mentally ill any more than I choose to have Chiari Malformation or chose to have pneumonia.  There should be no more stigma attached to mental illness than there is to physical illness. 

There needs to be conversation about these things. Only by talking about them can people understand what mental illness is and is not.  Communication is what will bring us out of the dark ages and the fear that goes along with ignorance.

Until next time….

Morning coffee

Good morning dear reader.

Every morning Tim & I sit in bed and drink coffee together.  We’ve done it ever since the first night we spent together.  Now that he leaves at 6:00 every morning, we get up at 4:00 so we have time to do it.  It’s a wonderful practice.  It gives us a chance to connect before the busyness of the day pulls us in different directions.  Even the dogs get in on it, climbing onto the bed with us. 

We’re doing pre-marital counseling (only 3 more weeks until the wedding!) and learning tools to have a stronger, happier marriage.  It’s actually a lot of fun.  What has struck me the most about it is how many of the things they recommend that we already do and have been doing.  While they  don’t specifically say, “morning coffee time” it is something that fits very well into the things they do encourage couples to do.

This morning I started thinking about how many simple things we do that make our relationship stronger and happier.  I don’t know if any of them will apply to any of you, but I’m going to tell you about them anyway.

Communication

I believe this is vital.  We eat dinner at the table (away from the TV) two or three times a week.  Other times we eat in the living room watching the news.  That keeps the table dinners from becoming a chore.  It’s always a little bit special when we do it.  When we reconnect at the end of the day, we take the time to talk about how our day has gone…both of us.  I listen (and sometimes comment) as he tells me about his day, and he does the same for me.  While we’re apart during the day we touch base once or twice.  It may just be a text that says “I love you” or “Hope your day is going well.”  It’s more about letting each other know we’re thinking about them than what we say. 

What we say and how we say it

Let me start this part by making it  clear that there are always times when things are misread or misunderstood.  Here’s a perfect example:  We had a meeting scheduled with Ali for the pre-marital counseling Friday morning.  I was on the phone with someone I hadn’t talked to in years.  Tim was in the yard with his best friend trying to get Duke and his dog to get along so we could dog-sit for him.  I looked at the clock after I hung up the phone and realized we were supposed to be there in 15 minutes and I was still in my bathrobe.  I hurried down the stairs and to the yard and said, “Do you realize we’re supposed to meet Ali  in 15 minutes?”  Tim’s response was, “And you’re in your bathrobe.”  Long story short, we ended up running about 10 minutes behind which worked out perfectly because so was she.  Yesterday we were sitting on the couch together and Tim said he wanted to talk to me about something.  He said that when I did that Friday morning he felt scolded and embarrassed because he was out there with his best friend and I had been so “harsh” about him forgetting.  I had not even thought about it that way.  I wasn’t upset with him for forgetting, I was upset with myself for forgetting.  I was also feeling very rushed and a little bit stressed because of it.  I’m one of those people who are anal about being on time.  I’m normally at an appointment 10 minutes before I’m supposed to be there.  So you see what happened there?  A total misunderstanding.   Things like that happen to everyone.  Nobody reads things correctly all the time, and nobody says things the right way all the time.

That being said, everyone has a need to be loved, appreciated, admired, etc.  So saying things like “I appreciate you” or “You look nice today”…things like that, can make a relationship much happier.  Think about it.   If you hear things like, “Why in the hell did you do that?” or “You really need to do something about your hair” or “This food sucks” etc., how much are you going to look forward to communicating with that person?  Hearing positive things from someone makes you draw closer to them and want to talk with them.  Of course, nobody does everything right or always looks wonderful.  It’s a matter of choosing to focus on the positive.  Sometimes you have to look hard to find it, but when you do it should be expressed.

An important aspect of how we talk is simple courtesy.  I’ve heard many couples talk to each other in ways they wouldn’t talk to anyone else.  I remember a friend of ours who was amazed that we said “please” and “thank you” to each other.  Think about it.  This is someone you love.  Don’t they deserve at least as much courtesy as you’d give a stranger who was asking for directions? 

Wow!  I really took off with this!  I’ve hardly scratched the surface, but I think it’s probably enough for now.  Seriously, think about these things.  The difference they can make is incredible.  Or…say to yourself that Lynnette is full of crap and forget about it.   Definitely your choice.  Just because these things work for me doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll work for you.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about it.  Simply hit the comment button below and let it rip.

Until next time…