Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fighting the fight

I don’t usually do this formally. I share it all the time, but I’ve never put it out there for the whole world to see. I’m hoping that sharing a piece of my story encourages someone.

I have depression. Long-lasting, sometimes intense, and pervasive depression. I go through long periods of being happy with just the faintest underlying depression, and I go through periods of subtle despair. Occasionally, I have stints of out-and-out misery. It’s a battle. I never quite know if I’m winning, but I make it through the day (or sometimes the minute) to face the next, so I don’t think I’m losing. It’s always there, like that annoying house guest that you don’t know how to get rid of.

It started, I’m sure, with my stroke in 1992 (but it might have been my diabetes diagnosis six months earlier. Or possibly a combination of the two). I did therapy while I was recovering from the stroke, plus a brief stint in high school, but I largely ignored it for the next 12 years. In 2004, I finally realized that I had a problem and needed help. I got in touch with a psychotherapist and have been seeing her ever since (that’s going on 6 years, in case you’re counting). 4 years ago, she convinced me to try anti-depressants. I had been resistant to the idea because I felt like it would be one more thing to have to deal with, but at the time I was fighting so hard that I was willing to give it a try. I went to a psychiatrist for the prescription, and have not regretted it. The medicine has made a huge difference. It makes my depression manageable. It never goes away entirely, and I still have bad periods, but they’re livable now. We’ve had to increase my dose a couple of times in the 4 years I’ve been taking it, but it’s worth feeling better. If I had to make the decision again, I would definitely opt to use meds again. I will, I suspect, be on anti-depressants for the rest of my life, and I’m completely okay with that.

Talk therapy and medication make it much better, but they don’t cure it. So how do I manage when I go through rough patches, like now? Well, basically I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I know that I will come out of it eventually, and life will look brighter. I just survive, and at some point I can get back to thriving. The effects of my depression seem cyclical; I’ll be great for a while, then life will be unhappy for a while. Knowing that a period of great is around the bend helps me get through when I feel awful. On the other hand, even when I feel wonderful, there’s a piece of me that knows that the cycle will take me back to unhappy sometime soon. I try to simply acknowledge it and keep going. I can enjoy the good times even when I know that less-good times are around the corner, because I know that they will give me hope when I get there. And hope is what makes life worth living.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Help Me Adopt Hide and Seek!

It's official--I'm adopting Hide and Seek! We're very excited. The kittens voiced their approval via extra purring this morning :)

Now I need to raise money to pay the SPCA back for Hide & Seek's vet care, flea & worm treatments, vaccines, etc. Will you help me out? Click on the button below to donate. ALL MONEY GOES TO THE SPCA. I'm not keeping any of it; even if we raise more than the adoption fee, it's still all going to the SPCA.

I need to raise at least $200! Please pass the word around; I can use all the help I can get. Donations are secure (via PayPal); you can use any major credit card. If you'd like to contribute via cash or check, contact me & I'll get you in touch with the SPCA rep.

 Hide, Seek, and I all appreciate your help.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

For Hide & Seek's fans

Here are a few videos of Hide and Seek being silly last night. I love the fact that in less than three months, these two have gone from timid, frightened kittens to bold and happy goofballs!

This one's just Seek. He was being very silly last night.

This is another one of just Seek. Right before I took this, he had jumped halfway up the lamp & grabbed the post, then slid down fireman-style!

This one is Hide and Seek playing. My favorite part is the mouse snatch!

When I was playing this back to make sure everything was okay with it, Hide heard me meowing (on the video) and came running.

As you can see (from all three videos), Seek REALLY likes that lamp. I'm glad that my fosters are so silly!