Monday, August 29, 2011

Life is beautiful

I am still here.
And life is beautiful.
Life is suffering
but with suffering there is growth.

I am still healing
still searching for a meaning
threading my steps carefully
gently caressing my heart;

I know I am delicate
and I need to be patient
with my emotional mind.

I know there is life
after darkness
and depression
and crisis
and loss.

There is life to be lived
and lived to the fullest
one day at a time.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I talk to much. I reveal more than necessary. I feel this need to explain myself or even others' reasons not to do this or drink that. Then, when someone points it out to me, (because I do not realize what I'm doing) I feel really bad.

When people ask me when we're having a baby, I can't just answer 'oh, we're trying', and drop the topic. I keep on enumerating the many trials I've gone through and how it's been 5 months already. Maybe I am simply eager for conversation. Maybe it is because I am lonely and far away from my best friends and family. Maybe I've always been that way and it is really hard to change.

It doesn't really matter why; What I have right now is this guilt and the wish I had been quieter.

Guilt feeds depression, so this isn't good.

Concerning my week, I did okay. I saw doctor on Friday and as much as he is happy I'm coping without medication, he knows depression is there, lingering underneath. He's not sure it is worth suffering so that I can have an antidepressant free pregnancy. I am not sure either.

There is the concern of 'getting used to being depressed'. It isn't what I want, I know, but I may be doing exactly that: getting used to feeling down, unmotivated, low, as long as I'm not anxious and sick of my stomach.

I enrolled in two courses of the Stanford Continuing Studies program and I am excited. Not extremely excited, but excited. Classes start on September 26. I'll be reading the Aeneid for one class, and studying French in the other class. I've always wanted to learn French (after I mastered English, that is), so I hope I can learn a little bit. I know intellectual stimulation makes me happy. I need things that make me happy. Happy things, happy places, happy me :-) Hopefully.

Monday, August 15, 2011

What just happened?

Last Monday, exactly a week ago, I didn't sleep at night. I saw every hour go by while I tried in vain to keep my eyes shut to fall asleep. I had read a thriller book for nearly 6 hours, and the dialogues from the story kept repeating themselves in my mind. I couldn't stop it. Can a book do that? At 6am on Tuesday I felt like throwing up. All the usual stomach sickness took over and I could barely drink my fruit smoothie. The day went by and the restlessness and anxiety I was feeling didn't give me a single break. My doctor was away on vacation, to top things off. I had a brief phone conversation with him, in which he suggested that I take Xanax in case I couldn't fall asleep again. Tuesday evening came and I kept shaking and fidgeting, unable to relax. I needed 0.5mg of Xanax to finally succumb to slumber. Wednesday morning brought the same anxiety back. I was sick of my stomach and extremely restless for most of Wednesday and Thursday. The only good news is that I was able to fall asleep without Xanax.

We went on our camping trip on Thursday evening, and on Friday morning I was able to eat normally. The crisis was over! In my mind, I was decided to go back on medication today. I had made a deal with everybody saying that, if I had another crisis, I would go back on medication. My husband thinks I could stay a little longer without taking anything. I know these attacks don't last longer than 4 days, I know they're not life threatening, and I am learning how to cope with them. It sucks, though. It really sucks being sick like that. The shaking, the fidgeting, the racing thoughts, it is awful.

Why did I read a thriller book? I know this was my fault. My husband was reading this zombie series in his Kindle and I started reading it over his shoulder. Then I decided to read it too, so I transferred it to my e-reader and surprise, surprise! I read it from 6:30pm to 1:30am. No wonder I couldn't sleep afterwards. A zombie book. What is wrong with me? It wasn't even a good book. Catchy page-turner, but not good. I had never imagined I would get into this hyper-manic state and not be able to shut down my mind. I couldn't sleep the whole night, and it is no surprise I was so restless, anxious and sick of my stomach the following 3 days.

Also, Wednesday morning my period came. I was actually relieved I wasn't pregnant. I took Xanax the night before, and Xanax and pregnancy do not go together. I am going to see my doctor on Friday, and my therapist on Thursday, so maybe I can try to figure out what my next steps are going to be.

I am honestly thinking I am going to stop trying to get pregnant. Just stop. If it happens, it happens. It would be nice if it happened fast because I could use some pregnancy hormones to regulate my mood (according to doctor).

So last week was a blur. I kept asking myself what just happened. Did I really cause myself to have an anxiety attack by reading a zombie book? It seems so. No coffee and no zombie books for me. And no obsessively trying to get pregnant either.

Monday, August 8, 2011

One week at a time

Another week went by and Monday is here again. I'm still off medication, which is reason enough to celebrate. It was an okay week. Today it seems I've been dragging myself though. I didn't take Kavinace last night and I woke up with anxiety, as usual, but no nausea. This is going to be a short week because we're going camping on Thursday in South Lake Tahoe. My period is also supposed to come this Thursday, so there is always a bit of anxiety build-up because I tend to have a lil' bit of hope I may be pregnant. It is impossible not to have some expectation that this is 'the month', that it worked out this time. I know, however, how disappointed I get, so I am trying really hard not to have any hopes.

All I know is that if I'm not pregnant by September, we can go see a doctor and have tests done. I know that even if there isn't anything wrong with us, it may take other 6 months to conceive. I know lots of people who tried for a whole year before they finally conceived. I wish it were a bit faster. Who knows. I'm hanging in there. One week at a time.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Renewed hopes

I made a deal with my psychiatrist and with my husband; I am not going to take antidepressants for the time being, but if I have another anxiety attack like I did last Tuesday, I will start Cymbalta right away. I feel good about this resolution. I think I can give myself a chance to try a little harder. I felt relieved to find out, as well, that Cymbalta is not like Prozac, but more like Effexor, which is what I used to take.

Also, I didn't like what I read about pregnancy and antidepressants on the internet last week. There are some scary reports linking antidepressants during pregnancy with autism and heart problems.I know several women have no choice but to take the drugs, but one cannot deny that there are risks. So if I can make it without taking anything, I'll definitely stick to the supplements that I've been taking already, which include Rhodiola Rosea and Kavinace.

I'm still not eating much in the morning, just the regular yogurt smoothie or some of the super food Odwalla smoothies. I tried having scrambled eggs yesterday morning, but I wasn't successful. As the day goes by, I am able to eat more solid foods. I hope at some point I'll be able to get up and feel like having a bagel with a cup of coffee!

Talking about coffee, I didn't have any for a week, until today when I gave in and had some decaf. Caffeine and anxiety don't go together, so I'll continue trying to have none or very little coffee/coke/chocolate/tea.

I'm also taking it easy, not getting caught up with a load of things to do. I intend to go back to school in September and take 2 evening courses to finally complete the credits I need for the Continuing Studies Certificate. It is not a big deal at all, it is just a certificate of completion, but it is from Stanford University, so it will definitely help me when we move to Brazil, in a couple years.

I don't know if I mentioned it before, but I used to be a teacher back in my home country. I taught English as a foreign language to children and teenagers. I taught in schools, so I had over-crowded classes and a multitude of levels within the same class. I loved teaching, but it was a very stressful and demanding job. When we move back to my home country, I plan on teaching private students who really want to learn the language.

So here I lay some of my renewed hopes; hope of being off medication for longer than 3 months; hope of getting pregnant while I'm off medication; hope of taking 2 courses this Fall that will give me the 3 credits I need to complete 18 credits of Stanford continuing studies courses! Hope of soon be going back to my country of origin and closer to my family. It feels good to have hopes, especially after I spent days feeling despair and anxiety.