I Feel like an Eggshell

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Have you ever had a good day until things get too loud and too crazy?  You know the feeling when you just feel like you could just explode?  Yeah, me too.  I love my family very much, but there are times when just coexisting with them in the same house can be overwhelming.  I’m sure that’s just a part of  my anxiety and depression and just who I am these days.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my family more than life itself and I wouldn’t do anything to hurt my relationship with them.  It’s just that sometimes I want to crawl back into a quiet corner and just be peaceful.  That would be so nice sometimes, but it doesn’t happen when there is always something that has to be done, or someone needs this from you or that from you.  Mom, I need lunch money.  Mom, I can’t find my shoes.  You have to know where everything is and what’s going on in everyone’s world.  AGGHHHHH…

Living with depression just zaps the life right out of you.  You don’t have the energy to do everything or know where everything is.  Heck, you sometimes don’t think getting out of bed will happen, but when you have kids that rely on you? Well, you don’t have a choice. There are times I think that if just one more person asks one more thing of me, I’ll crack, like an eggshell.  I feel fragile and insecure.  The feelings pass, but what if they didn’t? I’m lucky to have a wonderful husband and great kids, but when I’m working, I just feel like I need some quiet me time.

I get very stressed out with my job anymore.  It’s not because I don’t like what I do, it’s because of the changes in how things are at work.  Changes are happening everywhere in my field and I know I’m not the first one to say, it just isn’t good. I’m a nurse and we are always having to do more work with less. It’s the times we live in and all the healthcare reform.  It’s also a statement about society as a whole.  I’m not saying all the changes have been terrible, but the working more with less concept certainly is.  They call it “working smarter”.  Rubbish! I do everything I’m asked and I still feel that it’s never going to be enough.  Then I come home and still feel like I’m not enough.

Is there an answer?  I know there is.  The problem is that no one really wants to hear the answers because it will cost them more money to fix the problems in productive society. My answer in my tiny world is to work outside my home less.  I know what I can and can’t handle.  It doesn’t make me a less than stellar human being.  I pitch in and I’m a team player who tries to help my coworker as much as I can.  The bottom line though, I have to make sure to take care of me. I can’t take care of anyone else if I don’t take care of me first. I am enough.  I am far more than enough.  I am fabulous and I have people who love me.  Most of all, I also have learned to love myself.

 

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Thanks Depression, Again

anxiety pictureLiving with depression is painful.  There just simply is no other way to say it.  The pain is emotional for sure, but can definitely exhibit itself physically as well.  It just sucks the life right out of you.  For those that don’t have depression, lucky you!  I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.  We’ve all heard the Cymbalta commercial, “Depression hurts.  Cymbalta can help”.  Honestly, there is nothing wrong with taking an antidepressant.  Look around you and ask yourself this.  Do all the people in my life truly have their life together that much?  Are they all perfect?

 You know those people that have the homes that look like they belong in Better Homes and Gardens? Me too.  That’s what I’m always striving for.  I don’t think I’ll ever get there, but one can wish! Do you really think that in all the people you know, not one of them is taking “a little something” for there depression?  They hide the fact that they have depression. In this day and age that we live in, it’s nearly impossible to fathom that anyone is able to get through this thing called life without help.  Some seek counseling, some need mood stabilizers or antidepressants, some take something for their anxiety.  The fact is, we live in a world that is so stressful anymore that many can’t manage their daily life without the help of medication.

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Is this a sign of the times or is it a sign of advancement in medicine?  Who knows!  The statistics from the NIMH, National Institute of Mental Health, reveal some interesting statistics.  Among adults, 1 in 5 will experience a mental illness, 1 in 25 will live with a serious mental illness.  6.9% of adults in the United States suffer with major depression.  That’s 16 million people.  Anxiety is even greater at 18.1%, 42 million people living with anxiety disorders.  According to the NIMH, “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the medical burden of diseases.

Did you know that 50% of the mental illness will exhibit themselves in adolescence?  By the age of 24, 75% of mental illness will have exhibited their nasty head.  When people think of mental illness, there is a stigma still present today.  It is unfair to say the least.  People who suffer are considered weak and “not good enough”.  Would you not seek treatment if you had high blood pressure?  Diabetes? A heart attack? Yet with the stigma associated with depression and anxiety, people still don’t want to seek help.

90% of suicide victims suffered with depression.  If only they had good help, maybe they would not have chosen that means because they would have seen that their life was worth living.  The problem is that they don’t see that.  They believe that the people around them that they love will be far better off without them cluttering up life.  They believe there is no other way out.  That’s how bad depression can be and is for so many.

flowerWith this information in mind, it’s important to start viewing depression as just another thing you go to your doctor for.  Seek the treatment.  Go talk to a therapist.  I know that depression hurts.  I have depression but I still function as a completely normal member of society.  My secret weapon is medication and a counselor to help me talk through the really tough stuff.  Depression is not a weakness.  If nothing else, I see it as a strength.  Those suffering from depression who have sought the help and live life to the fullest everyday must make an extra effort in life just to live it.  Sometimes it’s hard to get out of bed and face the day.  Other times, you are raring to go!  There isn’t anything wrong with us.  We just have depression like you have hypertension and high cholesterol.  We are sick of being labeled as not good enough or not strong enough.  We are and we fight every day just to make it a good day.

Overthinking Thanks to Anxiety

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Living with anxiety is a daily struggle.  Being an overthinker about every little aspect of life makes life that much more interesting.  That’s what happens when you have anxiety.  You worry about the most ridiculous things and know that you have no real reason to worry logically, but then that terror known as anxiety creeps in and Wham! Just like that, you can be paralyzed with fear.  Most people can hide the anxiety fairly well, but once you get to know them, you might figure it out.  Here’s what a typical day is like when you have anxiety.

You wake up and have plans for a cool breakfast with friends, but you try to figure out what to wear and well, what will my friends be wearing?  Will they wear jeans?  Will they wear something dressy?  Just that thought alone is enough to through you into a bit of a panic, but you overthink what you’re wearing so it’s not something too dressy or too casual just so you won’t be over or under dressed.  That would definitely send you over the edge and that’s just the start of your day.

Next, you head to the office.  You worry about if you will have to meet new people.  It’s not like you don’t like meeting new people, but will they like you?  Will they be nice?  Will you fit in?  That is a constant concern when you have anxiety.  Fitting in.  Not fitting in is such a stressor for anyone with anxiety.  We worry about people accepting us for who we are, but often we don’t even know who that is because we are different people in each group.

If we do meet new people and make it through that, we worry about other stuff.  We worry about if they liked us, if we talked too much or too little.  Did they judge us for our hair, our weight.  Did we say something really stupid?  Yes, that was seriously stupid.  I know that was stupid.  I should have said … or Why didn’t I say …  Did I have good table manners when I ate with them?  What if I lost the account because of something I said?  What if something I said offended them?  We overthink again and again and again.

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We get through the day and even when it’s time for bed, we can’t turn our minds off.  It can be mind numbingly tired and yet our brains can’t shut off.  We go over our day and think about it again.  We think about the things we didn’t do.  We think about the things we should have done differently.  We think about what will happen tomorrow.  Is everything ready for tomorrow?  Anxiety and Panic Disorder can go right along with Depression.  Now do you understand why?  If you think that much, it’s exhausting, yet sleep is so difficult that we are often so tired throughout our days.

If someone you know has anxiety, depression or panic attacks, get them help.  There is a lot of help out there.  Start with your primary care physician.  Not everyone needs medication but if these problems make living your life difficult, there are medications that are safe and very effective.  Counseling from a licensed therapist is another avenue to explore.  There are therapists that specialize in these areas and they can help you cope.  The first and most difficult step is just making that phone call.  If it’s too difficult, ask a loved one to make the call for you.  I know how hard it is to make phone calls, even to call for a pizza.  When you think about it logically, there really isn’t anything bad that’s going to happen when you call for your pizza, but the anxiety prone, overthinker will come up with something.  Calling for help is even more difficult.  If you are the loved one, support the person with love and lots of patience.  Make the stupid phone calls and be with them, just be by their side.  It really does help.

I have suffered from all three of these problems and I know many others who have too.  I’m doing much better than I used to but I still hate calling for pizza.  Thankfully, I have a husband that doesn’t mind.  I’m glad to help in my struggles and a support system to stick by my side.

Love you honey.

Deirdre

Just Another Blog?

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I admit, I’m new to this blogging thing, but I have a lot to say and a lot to teach people about health. I’m also on my own journey to a healthier me.  With that being said, I once weighed 50 pounds more than I do now. I also once was a skinny girl. So, you see, even though I have the tools in my toolbox, it is still a daily choice of whether or not I choose to use them. This blog is for those who want tips for health and well-being. I hope you will enjoy it and perhaps learn something new and inspiring. Just remember that this is the first moment in the beginning of the rest of your life. We aren’t promised another chance or another day. Let’s make today count!

Our Children Are Products of Their Environments

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Have you heard the expression, “you are what you eat”? Well, in a sense, our children are who we create them to become. Sure, they have outside influences and those play a big role as well, but the bottom line holds true, we are their first teachers. If we are sarcastic and snarky, we can not expect any less from them. If we show them love, tenderness and patience, they will learn those behaviors too.

If we have been injured while growing up, verbally abused or physically abused, we owe it to our children not to carry those behaviors on to our own children by modeling our parents’ behaviors. I believe that the greatest majority of parents do the best they can with the tool they have, but if you have access to more information, use it.

Children are impressionable and are like sponges. Do your best to model good behavior and remember they are not tiny adults capable of thinking like an adult. They are at a completely different stage of life and ability to reason than you.

Try to be patient. Yelling solves nothing. I’ve found this out the hard way. I have the tendency to yell when I get frustrated. I admit I’m still a work in progress. I do my best to not let the little things bother me.

Weigh the punishment and make sure it fits the crime. Make sure your kid’s understand there are consequences to poor behavior but without yelling can be difficult but life is much easier when you finally get it to work. My son has ADHD and when he’s exhausted he’s a bear to deal with. Trying to pre-empt that scenario can be difficult but can be managed most of the time. Consequences work. Make sure they are age appropriate and appropriate for the problem.

Remember that it’s important to show your kids love as much as it is to say it. Show them in the way you act, treat each other and be respectful. It doesn’t mean let your kids wall all over you and get whatever they want. That only breeds spoiled brats. Balance is the key.

These are all things that have taken a long time to understand in our house. Somehow, I am so blessed to have great kids. I’m still working on this mom thing though. Its the best 24/7 job I could ever ask for.

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