Monday, October 31, 2011

Balance

Saturday one of my oldest friends ran her first 5k.  Rachel also happens to be my favorite blogger and an amazing writer.  Yesterday she blogged about the experience and I really want to share what she wrote.  Please go over to her blog and read Sweet Spontaneous: Run For Your Life.


These are truly beautiful legs. (Rachel's, not mine!)


I really believe that life is about balance.  Male & Female, Good & Bad, Happy & Sad, Summer & Winter.  You can't appreciate the good things fully if you never experience the bad.  Sometimes we are extremely fortunate and we can learn from other people's experiences.  I can see the family who lost their mother and mourn for them while holding my own kids a little tighter.  In comparison my own struggles are easy to bear.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick

I've been a little busy watching T.V. the last few nights.  Last night was a disappointing finale of Project Runway and tonight I've got a few season premieres to watch.

That means I'm not doing anything really interesting but I have gotten quite a few afghan stars made!

Today's Sky:  Overcast with really high thin white clouds.  I could almost see blue through them.  It was a really interesting sky today.

Stars Made Today: 6
Just a note for future reference:  I've decided instead of counting stars every day I'm just going to count how many I've made since my last post.  That way I don't have to post those silly, short updates!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

I wasn't sure what to blog about today.  I didn't do any crafts, no new recipes, just a regular day.  I thought about introducing you guys to some of my favorite websites, but hadn't narrowed it down to one.

I randomly checked my Facebook, and saw that Allie Brosh had finally posted a new Hyperbole and a Half.  Yay!  I love her!  She's so funny and her drawings are adorable. I just love the way she thinks.

Super excited, I hit the link and read the post.  Adventures in Depression.  Not so funny.  Well, okay, it had funny moments.  Mostly though, it was sad.  She tells her readers about her past few months and her depression.  Just reading it made me feel like putting an arm around her and giving her a big hug.  Letting her know that I understand.

I understand what it's like to have that voice in your head that is constantly telling you what a waste you are.  I know what it's like to feel like you only have friends because of what you give them.  "She only likes you because you make her laugh."  "He only likes you because he's friends with your husband."  "You really bug them but they're too polite to tell you to get lost."

I know what it's like to have a huge pile of laundry or dishes that is so big and has been there for so long that I hardly see it any more.  I stop seeing the mess as a self-preservation tool.  If I really saw the mess then I'd have one more voice telling me what a horrible housekeeper I am.

I know what it's like not to care about what I look like because caring would mean that I was worth the time it would take to fix myself up.

I still suffer from depression.  I always will.  I'm lucky, I was blessed with an amazing husband who saw the signs in me and demanded I get treatment.  It's still an uphill battle.  Even when I get my medicine right my body can become tolerant of it and I have to adjust my dosage.  I still have good days and bad days.  Even with the medicines every day is a struggle.

Even little things that other people take for granted like getting dressed or making myself something to eat are a struggle.  When I say struggle that's exactly what I mean.  It's a fight.  I'm fighting against those nasty voices in my head that are telling me I'm not worth it, I don't deserve it, why waste it on me.  I'm fighting against the apathy and the physical pains.  Simple things like this can be completely exhausting.

Just getting my kids ready for school can wipe me out for the rest of the day.  Grocery shopping isn't something I've been able to do on my own for months.  The last time I tried it took me 4 hours and I was exhausted for three days afterward.

I'm not typing all this out because I want you to feel sorry for me.  When I read Allie's story I wanted to give her a hug and get her some help.  While I welcome hugs, I am already getting the help I need.  I'm actually doing pretty well right now.

I'm typing all this out for two reasons.

First, for anyone else who might be feeling this way.  It's not normal.  There are ways to feel better.  Talk to somebody.  Anybody.  Try medication if you haven't, try therapy, if those things haven't worked for you feel free to talk to me.  I'll try to help you find some solutions.  Just keep trying.

Second,  for those of you who don't know how this feels.  Try to be a little more understanding.  You can't tell somebody with depression to "Just cheer up!" any more than you can tell somebody in a wheelchair to "Just get up and walk!"  Yet mental illness is looked down on as some kind of moral failing.  I'm a talented, smart, loving person who also happens to deal with mental illness.  Just like a diabetic has to manage their illness, so do I.

This is a great article for helping people understand "hidden" diseases.  The lady who wrote that is talking about Lupus, but she might as well be describing my depression and anxiety.  It's a really great analogy.

I believe that mental illness is a war.  Every day is a constant battle.  Medication and therapy are just a few of my weapons against depression.  I also believe that this is probably a battle I will fight for the rest of my life.  I could let that last part overwhelm me, but I won't for one good reason:  I believe that as long as I keep fighting and doing the best I can do then I'm winning.  As soon as I give up I lose.  I'm too stubborn to stop fighting.  The things I would lose if I let my illness take over my life are too precious to me.  I won't lose my kids or my husband to something like this.  I will fight every moment of every day because even if those voices tell me I'm not worth it, I know in my heart that my family is worth it.

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 1

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leftovers

Today was another busy day.  I had three sick kiddos, plus I was feeling pretty under the weather myself.  There was a lot of sleeping and television watching at my house today.  Luckily the kids all seem to be doing much better, and I think the older two will be up for school in the morning.

We had leftovers for dinner, and I have to say that the Cupboard Soup is in fact one of those dishes that tastes even better when it sits for awhile.  It thickens up considerably, I could almost eat it with a fork.

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 2

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Checkin' In

I'm just checking in to update my sky and stars, today was a busy day!

Today's Sky: Partly Cloudy
Stars Made Today: 2

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Star Afghan

When I'm sitting I need to have something else to do. I can't just sit and watch a movie. I have to be doing something with my hands. 95% of the time I'm surfing the web on my laptop, but sometimes Eric wants me to be more present and actually spend time with him. That's when I pull out my knitting or sewing or crochet or whatever other project I'm working on.

Like I said before, I'm horrible at projects. If it's something too big I'll lose interest or find something more fun to do.

I was recently introduced to Pinterest. If you don't know what that is then I pity you. It's awesome. I might need to do a post just extolling the virtues of that amazing site.

Anyway, on Pinterest I saw this adorable afghan:

There isn't a link to a pattern, it's just a picture so I filed it to the back of my mind.

Then I saw this:

It's an actual pattern! Whoo hoo!

Then the idea popped into my head, "Why don't I make a fun afghan out of stars and join it together randomly like the baby blanket I saw?"

So that's what I'm going to do. I decided to buy a skein of yarn and just start making stars. I keep it in a basket in the living room with whatever other random project I'm working on. (My Sky Scarf gets its own basket to cut down on tangles!) Since the stars work up really quick I can do as few or as many as I want as I'm unwinding for the day or when I take a minute to rest. When I run out of this color yarn I'll get another skein in a different color, and so on.


The great thing about this is that it's impossible for me to get overwhelmed because I have no set finished number. I could do the math and figure out how many stars it would take to make a good sized afghan, but I prefer to do it this way. Then I'll be surprised with the size when I'm done. No pressure, no anxiety. And if I decide to give up on it for a month (or a year) it's no big deal. Even if I quit right now I could just join the stars to make a wild little scarf.

I've also decided to start something I call Purse Projects. I rolled a small ball of yarn and put it in a sandwich bag and stuck it in my purse. That along with a crochet hook, a small pair of scissors, and a copy of the pattern allow me to crochet a star or five while I'm out and about and find myself waiting for whatever reason.

Admittedly I haven't actually made any purse stars yet, but that's because I also have a Kindle and I've been playing the new free games they just released. (Hmmm. I might have to do a Kindle post too...)


Today's Sky: Clear Blue
Stars Made Today: 4

Updates. So many updates...

I have neglected my blog. Bad Heather. I've decided to try to keep it up better for my own sanity.

I do have a few readers, so for anybody still paying any attention to me I thought I would post some updates for my older posts.

Celiac Disease:

After my little experiment two years ago I found out that I do indeed have Celiac Disease. No doubt. Since that point I have not intentionally eaten anything containing gluten. I still get accidentally "glutened", especially when I eat out, but overall things are much better. The Gluten Free Diet has become rather trendy, so there are new companies coming out with gluten free options all the time. Unfortunately there are no current regulations on GF labeling, so I still have to be cautious when trying new foods.

I also started my own blog about gluten free living, Everyday Celiac. Feel free to visit and send friends. I haven't updated it in awhile, but I have a few posts planned for the near future.

Overall Health:

I am no longer underweight. I am on the low side of normal with a BMI of 19. Over the summer my boys got the flu and for the first time ever I didn't get sick! This past week Eric caught a cold and again for the first time I didn't catch it! Huzzah!

I've finally gotten my appetite back and actually get hungry at meal times. I have to eat small frequent meals or I get really uncomfortable, but at least I'm eating again.

I'm still struggling with fatigue and some other issues, I'm working with my doctor. Hopefully someday we can figure those out too.

Depression:

I'm still struggling. I'm back on meds, currently taking Celebrex and really liking it. I have an appointment to see a Psychiatrist soon, so things might change. If it doesn't get too personal I'll update you.


I think that's about it. If I've forgotten something let me know.