Thursday, April 4, 2013

A to Z Blog Challenge-Depression

This is not an easy topic for me to write about, nor is it going to be easy to click the “publish” button when I’m finished.  However, I’ve realized lately that I am keeping too many things to myself, and perhaps writing about them will help me work through them.

I was officially diagnosed with depression in 2004, but I’m sure it was present for many years before that.  For a long time, I ignored it, as I have always been someone who cries easily.  I attributed it to the change of seasons and the extra-long winters we tend to have in western New York.  I thought perhaps it was due to the fact that I wasn’t getting pregnant when all the people around me were having babies.  But after a while, I was unable to ignore it anymore.  I had no interest in activities that I had once loved, primarily scrapbooking and cross stitch.  I wasn’t sleeping.  I was eating all the time, comfort foods and sweets that weren’t at all good for me.  I finally got up the nerve to talk to my doctor about it, asking her about a medication that I had read about online.  She wasn’t a fan of the one I had asked about, but prescribed another one. 

I was a new person after a short period of time.  I was happier and I was finding myself once again loving my crafts.  I was trying to deal with the fact that I might never be a mom.  I was also gaining weight, a side effect of the drug I was taking.  I can’t remember how long I took it for, before I weaned myself off.  It was at least a year. 

Since then, I’ve tried a series of drugs.  I’ve participated in a research study for a new drug.  I’ve taken medication for a while, stopped taking it when I felt better, and started again when I was feeling bad.  I’ve learned strategies to deal with my emotions.  I’ve learned the triggers for my more serious bouts with depression, and while I can’t always avoid those triggers, I can at least cope with them.  Through it all, I’ve learned a great deal about myself, and I’ve become a stronger person. 

And I became a mom!  I had stopped thinking about, wondering about, and worrying about having a baby.  That was when I discovered, in September of 2009, that I was expecting.  While having my daughter hasn’t cured my depression, it has definitely helped.

Would I recommend doing things the way I did, taking myself on and off meds without asking my doctor?  Definitely not!  Would I recommend talking to your doctor if you think you have any form of depression?  Most definitely!  It was the best thing I ever did for myself!

There are numerous places online where you can check for signs and symptoms of depression, and quizzes you can take.  As someone who has dealt with it for many years, I would also be happy to talk to anyone! 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A to Z Blog Challenge-Country Girl

I am totally and completely a country girl at heart!  I may live in a neighborhood in the suburbs now, but I dream of living in an old farmhouse on several acres of land.  I grew up in the middle of nowhere, with grandparents who ran a dairy farm.  There were cows, horses, and, when I was younger, an old collie named Laddie.  I loved spending time there, climbing in the haylofts, riding on the tractors, feeding the cows and horses, and walking through the fields. 

Most of my family still lives in the small town I grew up in.  My grandmother has since sold the farm to my uncle, who ran it as a dairy farm for a number of years, before selling the cows several years ago, as being a dairy farmer in NY isn't profitable anymore.  Both my grandmother and my uncle still live on the property, so I still get to visit my old stomping grounds.  And no matter how long I live in the city, that tiny town will always be home!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A to Z Blog Challenge-Balancing Act

I'm sure that I am not the only one that feels like my entire life is a balancing act.  Work, home, family, my daughter, seems like the list is never-ending! 

I work from 7:30am to 3:30pm.  All day, I'm balancing multiple responsibilities, from providing direct services to the people I work with to completing paperwork and meeting deadlines to maintaining peace among staff.  There are days that I feel like I've been extremely productive, and days when I go home feeling like I got absolutely nothing accomplished.  Last week, I decided to close and lock my office door for an hour in order to attempt to catch up on paperwork.  In that hour, there were 12, yes 12!!! knocks on my door.  Each interruption was for a question that the staff person could have answered themselves.  Needless to say, I ended up frustrated and nothing got done!

After work, I pick up my daughter at school/daycare.  We either go straight home or stop at the grocery store for dinner supplies.  Once again, the balancing act begins.  She is, and always will be, my number one priority.  However, once we get home, I also have to fit in cooking, cleaning, laundry, and all the other household tasks that nobody else does.  I make every attempt to give her my full attention, and I feel bad when I'm unable to do that.  My only hope is that, once she's older, she won't look back on her childhood and feel like she was neglected in any way.

My question to everyone is do you go about balancing the multiple responsibilities in your life, and how do you fit in time for yourself? 

Monday, April 1, 2013

A to Z Blog Challenge: All About Me

So many possible topics came to mind for the letter A post today.  Apologies, addiction, autism, adultery, Argyle (tiny town where I grew up), adulthood...all things that I could write quite freely about, but none that seemed quite right for a first post for the A to Z Challange.  I'm guessing that most of the people who will be reading this blog for the next month, and hopefully longer, will be people that don't know anything about me.  That thought led me to the topic I chose for today...All About Me.  Here are some random things about me that will hopefully help you get to know me, at least a little bit!

  • I was born in northern New Jersey, grew up in the eastern part of New York, and now live in the western part of New York.
  • I have an undergraduate degree in Speech Language Pathology and a graduate degree in Special Education.
  • I have a 3 year old daughter named Brynn, who is the love of my life!
  • In my spare time, I enjoy doing counted cross stitch, scrapbooking, and photography.
  • I have worked with people of all ages, from 18 months to 84, with varying disabilities.  My favorite group to work with was children with autism.  I think I learned as much from them as they learned from me!
  • I have 3 tattoos, all of which can be covered in professional settings.
  • I am 38 years old, and starting to worry about turning 40 in 2014.

I guess that's enough for now, as I should get back to doing some work this morning!