Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Meds For The Body And The Mind

I take two types of medication for my depression every evening. I know they do different things for me but I can never remember which does which. Well, after missing a dose of Effexor Thursday evening and having an embarrassing meltdown at work on Friday (starting crying for no real reason, went for a walk, couldn't stop, had to go home early) I now have a good handle on the different functions of the medications as they work with my body and brain.

Effexor - 3 pink pills - My Body
When don't take these drugs my body becomes depressed and tend to cry. Even while I am crying my mind is thinking, "But, I am happy. This is great. What the F is going on?" It is a very surreal experience to have your body react emotionally without feeling the corresponding emotions.

These drugs are a bit tricky because they are a heavy sedative. If I take them in the morning or during the day I pass out within about 15 minutes - they knock me out cold. I take them at night and when I forget to I have a tendency to just miss the dose. However, they have a half-life and deplete out of my system fairly quickly.

However when these drugs aren't in my system the effect is weird and embarrassing, not particularly dangerous since I still feel fine, my body is just behaving like I don't. I can usually take a does and that improves in a few hours.

Wellbutrin - 1 white pill - My Thoughts
My other medication stops what I consider to be the 'true depression' that I suffer from. When I miss it I start thinking horrible thoughts. I start thinking a lot of about suicide, not making plans, just obsessing about the concept. I think I am worthless and that everyone hates me.

I am scared to miss taking these pills. When I forget at night I take one the next morning and it doesn't matter. However I am very careful to avoid missing a dose. It takes a while for the drug to stop working and the thoughts to return. (And I don't really notice that it is happening, because it just feels natural to have these types of thoughts.) I think missing two doses is probably when it starts to really happen. But I feel like that is dangerous and I work hard not to let it happen.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Quote Of The Day

"There may be said to be two classes of people in the world; those who constantly divide the people of the world into two classes, and those who do not." 
-- Robert Benchley

I am the former, for sure! For an interesting history of the saying above, check out the Quote Investigator.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Where I Get It From - Fitness Edition

Sunday Mornin' Coming Down - A post about my Dad each Sunday, named after a song that he loved.

My dad was quite athletic and liked to be active. He played squash at a local racquet club multiple times a week until his hip issues required him to stop. I am less active but here is where I get some of my fitness inclinations.

Running: Mom - She started in the early 2000s when helping me train for my misguided desire to apply for RMC, then she stuck with it for a while. Running was too boring for my Dad and it hurt his joints, if he joined us on a jog he would try to run beside us in the grass because it was softer. (And also did funny 'extras' like running backwards, or arm workouts, or cheering us on.)
Biking: Both - My mom and dad did a few bike trips together, (and we did biking day trips a lot as a family). They liked rail trails because of the gradual hills. I am now using my his bike since mine was stolen this summer.
Swimming: Mom - My mom used to swim at the YMCA when she worked in downtown Brantford. She has always liked swimming and been very good at it.
Yoga: Mom - She now does it each morning when she wakes up. Though similar to the running, it may have been me that got her into it initially.
Fitness Classes: Neither - My mom goes to them more than my dad ever did but in general it is more my thing. I love spinning classes.
Competitive Sports: Dad -  My dad liked the challenge of competition. When he sailed he preferred to race. His squash playing was competitive and he was parts of multiple leagues for it. My mom plays volleyball in the winter but says that they don't really keep score.
Team Sports: Neither - I played a few years of baseball growing up and a lot of soccer. However, my parents weren't really into team sports themselves. My mom prefers solitary fitness activities and my dad was social with his squash but it is still an individual sport. Keelboat sailing is as closest thing to team sports that they ever seriously participated in. As I have gotten older I have also moved away from this type of fitness activity.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Business Cat

Great comic! The Adventures of Business Cat by Tom Fonder:

Go HERE to see a cute list of situations that are all too familiar to cat owners.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Me In Peanuts

I guess the Peanuts movie is coming out next month and as part of the promotion you can make yourself into a character. This is me:

Make your own HERE.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Ritual And Happiness

According to my Book List 2012, I was reading Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project in February of 2012 and I was quoting it that same month. I really liked the book and have since passed it on to friends to read. Teri liked it. K had a very adverse reaction to it and in fact couldn't finish reading it. I do agree with many of K's points but I still found the suggestions insightful.

I just started another 'self-help' style book by Rubin, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives. I love rituals and routines (I don't like to think of them as habits, though they are) so it has been an enjoyable read so far.

My love of rituals drew me to the title of a recent Time magazine article: 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy, According to Neuroscience. As detailed in the article, these rituals are:
- Feeling gratitude
- Labeling negative emotions
- Making decisions 
- Touching 

I am pretty good at the middle two on that list. I am very decisive, which eliminates a lot of the worry, anxiety, and stress that I see in less decisive people. Years of therapy, with various practitioners, has helped me identity things I am feeling and I try to acknowledge them aloud. I don't really like 'touching' and am not a fan of hugging. Luckily, I think Jason fills enough of that component to keep my happy.

The thing that I really really need to work on is the first point of the article - gratitude. It shows up everywhere as an important factor in happiness!! Scientist prove it all the time that it helps with depression and anxiety. It isn't that I take things for granted (though I do) it is just that the idea of gratitude doesn't have a permanent place in my life. Actually, with less and less people practicing religion, rarely does anyone take time to be grateful for the things in their lives. "Things I am grateful for" seems like a boring journal or blog to keep but is scientifically proven as beneficial to do. I need to work on it somehow.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Happy Belated Birthday to Teri!

Teri's birthday was yesterday, though we celebrated on Sunday with another Escape Room. We were supposed to all go out for dinner but I went home to bed because I was too hungover. The Escape Room was a bit different than other ones I have done, there were about 20 teams (of 6 people) all doing it at the same time. Only 3 of us escaped and I believe we were the first ones. Maybe I am better at this type of stuff when I am hung over? Actually I think it is just a very smart, and fairly balanced group. Having K's math skills helped a lot too.

The Dream Team Of Escaping!
Matt, Greg, Teri, Jason, Me, and K in the front

I am pretty bad at remembering birthdays. As friends for well over 20 years now, Teri is one of the few birthdays I actually know, though when the time comes I am not that on top of it. Found this quote on Twitter and I feel like it applies, "Your secrets are safe with me because I literally won't remember them. This also applies to your birthday. Your birthdays are safe with me."

Sunday, 13 September 2015

This Is My Fight Song

Weekend trip to Niagara Falls and I returned with the following:

- Shin pain from dancing
- Promises of Journey Behind The Falls and Wizard Golf next year
- A bottle of wine with my art on the label
- Chocolate covered beer nuts
- A losing mini putt score but joy about a hole-in-one
- Rachel Platten in my head, still with incorrect lyrics
- New definition for Liquid Gold (breast milk)
- A killer hangover that lasted for 3 days

Hornblower Again - I take a good selfie
Me, Tessa, Kiyomi, Taylor, and Kristen in front

We are making it an annual thing, this is the second year in a row.