Macro Photography

Well, it’s been a few days since my last confession, er, I mean POST.  I took a few days off after the Blogging from A to Z Challenge in April.  The weather here in Ontario Canada has been fantastic with highs in the mid twenties and sun, sun, sun.  I have been spending it outdoors with my partner doing the usual Springtime yard work and planting.  My mood has been good overall with little anxiety.  My depressive mood has lifted (for how long is anyone’s guess).  I have noticed that I have a hair trigger response to things lately.  I am blaming it on the Prozac I just started for now.  Will also blame the cravings for crap food ALL THE TIME, on the meds as well.

With the nice weather, I’ve been taking more photos.  Picked up some extension tubes for my camera.  I can’t afford a macro lens so the tubes are great for the price. Here are the ones I picked up.  Best photography purchase since my Canon 70D.

I really enjoy macro photography, getting up close to flowers, bugs and even everyday objects.  Here are a few shots of zippers, fruit, bugs, glass, camera equipment, pills, keyboards and wood.

Keyboard Canon lens Camera lens efs 15-85mm Fluoxetine Lemon Lime IMG_9888 Glass IMG_9898 wholly bear caterpillar Zipper Wood Knot

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Hamilton Depression Scale

Sunday and time for a break from the Blogging from A to Z Challenge this month.  I was Googling depression stuff and came across this Hamilton Depression Scale.  I have heard about some of the other scales but not this one so I of course took the test online.  I scored a 28 which is way high!  Not entirely surprised by this but it was a shock to see that the scale goes only to 30 or something.  Not sure if I should bring this up with the “Quack” at my next appointment.

This week has been rough.  I am in a depressive mood and can’t stop eating!  I think it is emotional eating or it could be the Prozac I just started.  Either way, my weight is climbing and my energy is too low to go for a run.  I did manage to do a short run this morning with my partner and our dog, but it was brutally hard and only lasted 20 minutes (walking and running on and off).  At least I felt well enough today to run so I have to remember that.

The weather has stalled in this rain, cloud, cold mix for over a week now with no end in sight.  This is not helping my mood.  I’m stuck inside all day, moping and eating, writing, and more eating.  I have gained 25 pounds in 3 months and it is adding fuel to my depression.  I am trying to look ahead to warmer weeks and gardening which is something I really enjoy.  Once it warms up a bit I’m sure it will boost my mood.

Friendship

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Today is brought to you by the letter “F” and I choose for it to stand for “FRIENDSHIP” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I don’t have a lot of friendships and that makes me sad sometimes.  I have acquaintances but not very many true friends.  I suppose this is because I have some character defect that prevents me from ever attracting people.  Sometimes I say inappropriate things during conversations.  I think it is because I never know what to talk about and my mouth opens before my brain edits.

I do have one really close friend who is a new friend but we have quickly bonded over our weirdness it seems.  It is an unlikely match on paper but I suppose that is true of most great friendships.

  • I am a dog person, she is a cat person                      a403e144fb572e1a9219966180402efa
  • I am gay, she is straight
  • Her tastes in decor and clothing are totally opposite mine
  • She’s a vegan, I love meat
  • She is 12 years older than I am

The list goes on and on but we do have things in common and have just bonded.  I guess I shouldn’t over analyze the situation or I might drive her away, like so many before her.  I had tried nurturing friendships in the past but they seem to crash and burn during the honeymoon phase.  I often wonder if me being gay, it might seem like I am coming on too strong for their liking.

As I am writing this post, my friend that I am writing about, Facebook messaged me.  I made cookies last night and will be bringing them over for tea to her place this afternoon.  Nice.  Let’s hope I don’t screw it up somehow.

Empty

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Today is brought to you by the letter “E” and I choose for it to stand for “EMPTY” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

For the better part of a year or two, I have been feeling very lost and empty inside.  Not sure where I’m going and why I’m going there.  If we could, my partner and I would sell everything and go retire in Central America somewhere like Panama or Belize.  We aren’t old enough for retirement and then if we did that, what would happen then?  What would I do?  Would my depression and anxiety suddenly be cured?  Would my emptiness be filled?  I’m not sure it would be that easy. 40-something

I wonder if I am going through a mid life crisis?  I know I am already peri-menopausal.  My doctor even put me on birth control pills to try and level my moods out in case my anxiety was being caused by fluctuating hormone levels.  I wrote about this strange experience in a recent blog post entitled, “What’s a Lesbian To Do With Birth Control Pills?

I am off from work on medical leave and sometimes wonder if I will ever return.  I feel there is something else out there, the universe has plans, I just can’t see them yet.  I can’t imagine being back at work without me crying in the bathroom again, or having a panic attack as I sit in my car.  Am I supposed to go back to this and just “deal”?  I don’t see that happening anytime soon and that leaves me with this huge void inside.  I feel empty and lost like some stray buoy, bobbing aimlessly in the sea.

Depression

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Today is brought to you by the letter “D” and I choose for it to stand for “DEPRESSION” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

Wow, this is a big one.  THE one actually, at least for me.  When I am in one of my lows, I don’t get dressed, I don’t eat (or I overeat), I cry most the day and I can’t stop thinking about dying.  I was like this only 2 weeks ago but I “seem” to be in good spirits this week.  Although I will take every good day, I do so tentatively, like I’m walking on eggshells.  Afraid I will go back to that dark space again.

I have a weird confession to make.  When I hear about people who have committed suicide, I think “wow, lucky-they got out.”  Then I get more depressed because I can’t summon up that final bit of courage to kill myself.  Which in turn makes me feel horrible about myself, it’s a vicious cycle.  It’s not that I want to kill myself, it’s just that I’m tired, frustrated and feel hopeless.  All I really want is to be dead, to not exist anymore.  This seems to be the only way for it to stop.  Last time I was on a plane, I thought to myself, “I would be O.K. with this plane going down.”  Of course I wouldn’t really want that because of all the other people who are on this plane too.  If it was as easy as flipping a switch of some sort, I would be gone long, long ago.

overcoming-depression-quotes-and-sayings-6In the throes of another depression about twenty years ago- which was being fueled by alcohol (I was younger and dumber), I almost killed myself but THAT is another story.  People don’t know this side of me because I don’t share it with anyone except my partner and 1 other person and that person knows a “sanitized” version only.  I am always afraid that if people found out, they would shun me or think less of me.  This worries me so much, that they will “see through the facade” and find I’m really a fraud.

Because depression is such a big part of my life, and I haven’t (or won’t) share it with anyone, I don’t have a lot of close friends as a result.  This does bother me although I have turned from a social butterfly to a shy, introverted type who rarely goes out and mingles.  I would like to change that.  While I am feeling good, I need to try and “get out there”.  It is Spring now, the snow is slowly melting away.  The crocuses and daffodils should be up soon.  Going to go to the Sugar Bush tomorrow for Easter so hopefully I will get some good photos to share.  For you non Canadians and Northern U.S. folks, the Sugar Bush is where you go to see the maple sap being collected from the trees and processed into maple syrup.

Cymbalta

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Today is brought to you by the letter “C” and I choose for it to stand for “CYMBALTA” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I recently went through a horrible Cymbalta withdrawal.  You can read about it HERE. 

I had tapered off the Cymbalta while adding Zoloft and when I finally ran out of the Cymbalta, all hell broke loose.  If you are on Cymbalta and are thinking about switching medication, just be forewarned and you might want to read my aforementioned blog post on that matter.  medication

The reason I switched my depression medication is because it stopped working.  While being treated for my new found anxiety, my depression came back full force recently.  Cymbalta was working for a few years, kept the depression at bay for the most part but I guess your body gets used to the medication and a change is needed.

Cymbalta (duloxetine) is a selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor antidepressant (SSNRI). Duloxetine affects chemicals in the brain that may become unbalanced and cause depression.

Cymbalta is used to treat major depressive order and general anxiety order in adults.  Cymbalta is also used in adults to treat fibromyalgia (a chronic pain disorder), or chronic muscle or joint pain (such as low back pain and osteoarthritis pain).  I noticed it’s mild pain fighting skills only when I stopped taking it.  It was an effective medication for awhile and it might work well for you but be careful when you stop taking Cymbalta, especially without tapering off gradually.

 

 

 

 

Broken

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Today is brought to you by the letter “B” and I choose for it to stand for “BROKEN” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

My theme for this Challenge is depression and anxiety and all that goes with it.

I often feel like my mind is broken.  Not being able to handle simple tasks at times.  My struggles with depression and anxiety make me feel like my brain is defective in some way and I guess that is the case in reality.  Something inside my head just can’t “shake” the depression away.  This makes me feel so inadequate, useless and well, broken.broken_mind_by_howcouldyoudothat-d6jvp0p

When I am feeling at my worse and I am in the grocery store or somewhere similar, I often wonder if people know I have a mental illness.  Do they know that sometimes I just melt into a puddle of tears and am unable to function?  Can they see through the facade?  Do they know I’m off work because of my mental health issues?

These are the automatic thoughts that happen most days and it isn’t “normal”.  Half the time I don’t realize the destructive conversation inside my head.  If I had a visible broken bone, I would get all sorts of help and sympathy I suppose.  Something is broken alright, you just can’t see it.

Anxiety

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Day one, April 1st.  Happy April Fools Day ya’ll.  Today there will be no joking, as today is brought to you by the letter “A” and I choose for it to stand for “Anxiety” as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge.

I have struggled with Anxiety for years, with it only becoming much worse over the past year or so.  I am unable to work and have been on short term (STD) disability for over 10 months now.  A few months back, I tried to return to work twice but didn’t make it back on either occasion.  The first time, I cried all the way driving into work and sat in the work parking lot having panic attack after panic attack for an hour before I gave up (on work and almost on my life that day).  That’s another blog post and letter of the alphabet though.  The second time, I made it out the shower and half dressed before the waves of panic started rushing over me.  That was as far as I got.  The panic is from me worrying about “keeping it together” at work which is impossible as my coping skills are currently shot. IMG_9404

So what does anxiety feel like?  If you are reading these words, you probably already know the answer to this question.  Or maybe you know someone who has anxiety and just want to learn a bit more about what they are going through.  I think it is different for everyone but for me, this is what it is like: imagesI first start feeling the anxiety flow in almost like a warm river, flowing to all parts of my body.  My arms feel heavy, my body starts perspiring, my legs feel like rubber, I feel like I am about to faint, I feel so nauseous I want to throw up, I start breathing heavier and heavier until I feel overwhelmed and I start to cry.  I’m not sure why I am crying and that’s the problem.  I can’t control it, it just floods in.

Imagine being at work when this happens?  I can’t even get out my damn car and walk into that building because I am so afraid I am going to start crying at work and losing my shit.  I once read that panic attacks only last 10 minutes, this is B.S.  Mine have lasted all day, ebbing and flowing.  I feel like a piece of seaweed being brought in and out by the tide with absolutely no control.  The worse part for me is I usually sweat right through my clothes when I get a full blown panic attack and that time I sat in my car for an hour, I was soaked right through my nice work clothes-I couldn’t go in.

I have Clonazapam and Seroquel I use when I get a crisis which is usually once a week right now.  It’s the uncertainty with the whole insurance/work situation that is preventing me from truly working on myself.

As an aside, found this cartoon on ANXIETY this morning that sums things up nicely and was quite timely.

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge Starts Tomorrow

A2Z-BADGE-0002015-LifeisGood-230_zps660c38a0Tomorrow I start my Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge.  If you are not familiar with this challenge, I urge you to check them out.

  Basically, you would start beginning April 1st with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April 2nd another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until you finish on April 30th with the theme based on the letter Z.  It doesn’t even have to be a word–it can be a proper noun, the letter used as a symbol, or the letter itself.  The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day and you skip Sundays.

My overall theme for the month is surprise: Depression and Anxiety.  Should be fun, I’ve been prepping some pictures for my posts and am feeling creative.


Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge

I will be participating in this year’s Blogging from A to Z April 2015 Challenge.  You must blog every day in April except Sundays.  Each new post every day will have a subject matter corresponding to the letter in the alphabet for the day.

My overall theme for the month will be on depression and anxiety, in keeping with my blog.  I think it will be a great way to connect with others taking the challenge and get me in a habit of writing every day.  Should be an adventure.