Inspiring Me Now

  • "The Purpose of Life is to Be Happy" Dalai Lama

September 16, 2014

Haaaaave you met Ira?

Well, I finally did it. After much contemplation I decided to adopt another dog. I had to put my sweet Luxie Lou to sleep in May and it's been pretty empty around here without her. She left big doggy paw prints on my heart though, so it took awhile to warm up to the idea of a new furry friend in my life.

I visited the Humane Society a few times looking for a good match. I looked at several doggies, all of whom were wonderful, but I just didn't feel the connection I was looking for, the one I had when I locked eyes with Miss Luxie 9 years ago.

Then I met Ira, AKA Pickles... he was shivering in his kennel. I called him over and he reluctantly came to the door. A volunteer took us into a room where I could play with "Pickles" and see if we were a good match. As soon as I started to pet him, he leaned his head against me and it was done. I couldn't fathom putting him back in that kennel. So I adopted him.

"Pickles" still at the Humane Society 
Adoptions are exhausting!
I named him "Ira" after Mr. Ira Glass from This American Life.

Channeling his predecessor

I think Luxie Lou would approve

He's been home for 3 days now and has been coming out of his shell little by little. He's a pretty shy guy. He was scared of the ceiling fan, the stairs, the elevator, the door... Now he confidently strides into the elevator and even sits on command, sometimes.

He loves watching TV
Hanging out in the sunshine and fresh air

Checking out the view
We have a lot of work to do, but we're doing it together and it feels pretty good to have a furry friend to get out of bed for again in the morning :)

Such a handsome boy!

September 11, 2014

Ferris Wheel

Depression is a disease of contradictions. I feel alone in a full room. I feel overwhelmed in an empty apartment. I long for companionship, but dread being in the company of others. I crave change but fear the adjustment to it. I want someone to cuddle me but I don’t want to be touched.

It’s as though there is a constant tug of war going on in my head. “Go out, stay in. Be social, do something alone. Stay up late, go to bed early”… it’s exhausting, so exhausting; physically exhausting. I feel guilty for the lack of energy I have. I assume people are judging me, hell *I* am judging me. I’m on a break from work. I literally have no responsibilities right now except to get up in the morning, take my medicines and make it to doctor appointments. When my bosses so generously gave me this time off to take care of myself I was so relieved. I thought “Ok! I’m going to get my shit together again! I’m going to rearrange and de-clutter my apartment, make it feel fresh and relaxing again. Exercise is something that every mental health professional suggests makes a huge difference in how you feel, so I’m going to start doing yoga every morning and try to meditate.” I started this great mental checklist that I was sure would help put me back on the right track.

Do you know what I've done so far in the almost 3 weeks I've been off? I moved my furniture around, leaving a mass of freshly unorganized items in its wake and gone to the pound twice to look at dogs. I haven’t gone grocery shopping, I haven’t done yoga, I haven’t even cooked myself a real meal. I sure as hell haven’t exercised. I just can’t. I don’t have the mental will-power. I start the day with good intentions, but they fade so fast sometimes I’m not sure I even had them at all. The only thing I know I can do is sleep. Some days I could sleep all day. And some days I have.

My lack of ambition worries me, though my therapist assures me that it shouldn't. During my last visit she wrote on a paper for me to take home “rest is doing something” But I don’t feel like my “resting” is beneficial. It stresses me out. Not having a plan to follow and just waking up each day with no agenda is making my anxiety worse, on the contrary, the thought of making an agenda and trying to stick to it terrifies me!

I’m stuck in this depression/anxiety Ferris wheel. I guess that’s a fairly accurate description because I can’t just jump off, I have to wait until this stops so I can make it off safely.  Not having the controls though is frustrating. I guess it’s just more patience, more faith that I’ll get in to see a psychiatrist that will put me on the right kind of meds, more waiting and more blogging.

September 9, 2014


I feel like I have a million things to write about, but nothing at all. I guess that’s a perfect analogy of my life right now. I’m deep into a soul sucking, energy zapping, mental marathon of a depression.

Depression is an extremely personal disease. Though I’m usually comfortable writing about most of my afflictions and issues, depression is one I've kept closely guarded the past 10 years or so. That is until the most recent bout, when I finally asked for help and the results that came about.

I've been medically treated for depression for about 10 years. I started seeing a therapist, as it was strongly suggested when I was diagnosed with MS. Though I've had my ups and downs, for the most part I've been able to lead a well-rounded emotional life. The last few months though, it’s like all the issues I've been trying to maintain came boiling to the surface and erupted.

I didn't wake up in this hole of a depression. It was a culmination of sad events that ignited it. I had to put my dog to sleep; my boyfriend – suffering from his own depression – broke up with me and moved out. It was then, slowly, oh so slowly depression entwined himself into my everyday life, making even the simplest tasks exhausting.

After a couple months, I was no longer sleeping through the night. The stress and lack of sleep caused my eczema to flare even more than normal. At my worst I was covered on over 75% of my body. I couldn't stop itching. My skin was so red it looked like I had sunburn. I was constantly cold from radiating so much heat; I was embarrassed about how it looked. I had been living from steroid treatment to steroid treatment for my skin and I guess my mind and body finally had enough.

My lowest of low days was a Saturday. I got up at 10am, drank a cup of tea, and had an uncontrollable crying spell that put me back into bed until 5pm. I got up and ate some toast, remembered why I had been crying before and went back to bed until 9 the next morning. I wandered around the rest of the weekend like a zombie. My thoughts were either racing too much to think straight, or I couldn’t form a coherent thought. I dreaded getting up to go to work. I was exhausted from lack of sleep, ashamed of my skin and stressed out that I was not pulling my share of the load in the office.

I resented everyone I talked to who was in a good mood, I withdrew from social engagements, I stopped posting on social media. I felt like I was covered in tar, moving slowly, constantly wiping it out of my face, trying to see what was coming.  I couldn't keep up anymore.

I went into work on a Monday and told my bosses what was going on. I have only been at this job for 6 months; I was terrified of the reaction I would get. I shouldn't have been surprised at the fact that they were wonderful. They offered to give me time off so I could sort out everything without the added stress of work. They gave me the flexibility to work from home and come into the office when I felt like it. It was the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me – telling me to put my health first.

So I went home that day, cried more and tried to put together a plan of what to do.  I saw my therapist who told me that this was the worst depression she has seen me in and suggested an intensive day therapy program. I went to my general practitioner who told me she was no longer comfortable managing my depression and anxiety meds and told me I needed to see a psychiatrist. I went to my dermatologist about my skin that referred me to a specialist at the U. They gave me new meds to try (again) and referred me to an allergist. My skin started to clear up and I started the search for a psychiatrist. I called several places who either aren't accepting new patients, don’t take my insurance, or have a month long wait list. I’m banging my head against a wall! I finally decide to put my health first, to do something to manage this state I’m in and I cannot get help!

I’m trying to be patient, but I feel awful. I’m antisocial; I don’t want to be in public. I have an impossible time trying to find the positive in things. It’s like a big dark cloud is covering this deep pit where I’m stuck sitting. It’s terribly lonely because no one knows what to say to someone who is depressed and anxious. It’s not like a cold – you don’t just “get better”. You don’t wake up one day saying “man! I’m so glad this depression is over!”

It’s a waiting game, it’s a dangerous one. I get why people end their lives due to depression. The feeling of hopelessness is a horrible one. Feeling like no one understands what you’re going through; feeling like no one cares, feeling like a fool for not being able to “snap” out of it… I suffer from severe asthma, severe eczema, allergies, multiple sclerosis, anxiety and depression and I can tell you that out of all of these things, depression is the worst. It’s not visible to the naked eye, it’s hard to explain, and there are no “chicken soup” remedies to help you feel better.

It’s just keeping putting one foot in front of the other. It’s getting out of bed each day even if it is 2pm. It’s giving yourself a break if that’s the only thing you accomplished that day. It’s holding onto the hope that a doctor appointment is coming soon. It’s remembering that this is a chemical imbalance in my brain – not something I caused and that with the right medications I’ll feel able to feel happy again.

At the end that’s all I really want. I don’t want to be a millionaire or have hundreds of friends. I don’t want to be a size 4 or conquer the world, I just want to wake up and feel joy again. I want to go to bed excited to start the next day. I want to feel utter contentment for the life I have built for myself. Maybe, just maybe – tomorrow will be the start of that day.