Thursday, September 11, 2014

Antidepressants and ADHD

You know what really makes me mad? Pointless fear. I'm actually one of those sticks in the mud who don't like practical jokes that scare people, because it's pointless fear. I don't understand extreme sports that mostly amount to recreational fear, especially since there is no accomplishment at the end of these activities to mitigate risk. You go cliff diving, which means you throw yourself from a height and the big accomplishment is that you managed to avoid rocks! Yay! You risked your life to see whether you could aim! At least these sports don't have a huge cost outside the grief you cause loved ones when something goes wrong.

Using recreational fear to sell a product is unethical. Taking advantage of the intrinsic instincts of human survival is unethical. Attacking mothers by placing blame on them for the failings of their child ought to be criminal, but Dr Mercola uses each of these tactics to sell a lifestyle of consuming his pills.

I've been receiving emails from this quack from a well meaning relative for years. I usually just read the headline, shake my head, and delete. Why is this? For the simple expedient that (and go ahead and read these italics as if I'm yelling) you never EVER trust the research of someone who is trying to sell you something. 

Furthermore, knowing that someone has something to gain through misrepresentation pales in comparison to the damage that he can cause to countless vulnerable people.

Let me illustrate this with a story, and then we'll get into the specifics of why I'm so mad right now:

When I gave birth to my first baby, I fell into a deep depression. I have a genetic predisposition to depression as it is, and there was a huge stack of risk factors besides that which most certainly contributed to my affliction. I went to a doctor and complained of my symptoms to be told that I was depressed. I was surprised/not-surprised, and enormously dismayed. I didn't want to be sick with the beast that consumed my father for most of my life and I felt that I had failed my efforts to distance myself from him and it. I was given a 30 day starter pack of Zoloft and asked to return shortly before I had finished consum it.

My well meaning relative heard about this, and warned me that if I did so that it would hurt my nursing baby, and nursing her was far more important than taking these pills anyway. I was young, depressed, and vulnerable, so I listened.

I regret that decision to this day, over 12 years later.

I never took one of those pills and felt good about protecting my baby. But that good feeling didn't allow me to get out of bed most days, and that good feeling didn't help me shower more than twice a week or feed myself. That good feeling didn't keep me from weeping daily or give me the ability to smile into the face of my beautiful child.

You see, the damage that was caused to myself and most of my relationships was far worse than any harm my baby would have experienced from any exposure to Zoloft, or harm she might have endured from (gasp!) baby formula. She ended up on formula anyway because, yes, thanks to the advice of this well meaning relative I also didn't use any birth control because God would just send me the babies I was meant to have. My second pregnancy began just six months after the first ended which dried up my milk almost immediately. My depression began to lift but I felt a blow to my womanhood, since so many mamas out there were able to nurse through pregnancy and then enjoy nursing both of their babies at once! All of the risk factors for depression from the previous pregnancy were still in place, and then we moved to another state.

My son was born 15 months after my first child. My daughter was still a baby. B had many health problems but none of them was significant enough to for the doctor to pay much attention. All those problems did was estrange me from that child in every way possible. He had staggering eczema across his scalp and joints; reflux which kept him from sleeping for longer than 30 minutes at a time; asthma which kept me from visiting most of my family nearby and removing a lot of that branch of my support network; a complete inability to self soothe or take a pacifier which meant he was either latched to me or screaming; and the worst issue for both him and me was that he was severely tongue-tied. I couldn't nurse him. I was depressed again, sleep deprived, and dripping blood after most feedings. Once again, I couldn't smile or even look at my own child. Once again, I felt good knowing that I could breastfeed my child and not expose him to harmful antidepressants.

Well, the tongue tie led to early weening when one night I was trying to nurse and all I could do was sob and pound the arms of the chair I was in. I realized that any time B was near me or hungry that I would become nauseated. I couldn't even hold him because of the pain I associated with that child. And thus I fell from womanhood by "voluntarily" formula feeding.

Fast forward another 8 years, through two more babies, many more moves, and many other risk factors for depression piling up one after the other. I got to the point where I could not get out of bed for days at a time despite all of the spiritual healing I sought or herbs I tried. By now I was used to the idea that taking antidepressants was somehow giving up, somehow a flagrant show of my lack of faith in God or natural healing.

I needed help, most desperately.

And that's when I went to my doctor again. This time, I found myself a nice, overtly practical nurse practitioner who felt very strongly about women's issues. She put me on Prozac immediately and, after the second visit and my continued failure to set up my own therapy, walked me to a nurse case manager who set up an appointment for me to see a professional as soon as possible.

The medicine was a revelation. Staggering bouts of extreme irritation, days of crying, and other painful and shame-inducing symptoms began to lift by degrees. I eventually found a therapist who is a good fit for me and I still see her a year later, and portions of my debilitating anxiety are slowly being identified and coached out of my psyche.

I spent 10 years in periods of intermittent emotional agony because someone told me that antidepressants would hurt my baby.

My children still bear some scars from this experience but they are slowly healing as well. It turns out there my first two children also have some developmental disorders. My oldest has a sensory processing disorder called Dyspraxia (with emphasis in Oromotor and Constructional Dyspraxia). This also contributed to bonding issues early on. My second child has severe ADHD an Aspergers. My second two children are both normal, and the difference in how easy it was to care for them at any stage was completely stunning. Neither had feeding issues, sleeping issues, potty training issues, or any major health concerns at all. And yet I took no chemical supplements for any of my four pregnancies or periods of nursing. I even had worse nutrition for the last two pregnancies since I had far worse morning sickness for both.

I'm finally stabilizing. I'm finally organizing my time and environment in ways that begin to approach my satisfaction. I have depressed feelings, possibly pathological depression, moderate to serious anxiety including social anxiety, and my own sensory processing issues arising from diagnosed PTSD.

I curse the day I listened to this well meaning relative. If I had had the strength to seek help and listen to a professional all those years ago, I would not be dealing with nearly the heap of fallout that plagues me.

Today, I learned that a different well meaning relative has posted a link to information from Dr Mercola that says there is a link between the use of antenatal antidepressants and ADHD in the children resulting from those pregnancies.

Here are two other links that talk about that same study, but are far more inclusive of relevant information from said study. I don't entirely trust the first source since I don't know what its motives are, but the second lays out information in a way that I find entirely reasonable (inclusive of all of the information from the study, instead of cherry picking) and relatively unbiased, and also has a history of the same. Also, medicine in the UK tends to stray as far as possible from chemical intervention if possible, but is also amenable to its use if less invasive methods prove unhelpful.

The Mercola article uses just a minute portion of the information available to prove its selfish point, a point that furthers its own agenda which doesn't appear to include the truth. Whatever. I can roll my eyes all I want but Mercola didn't deeply bother me until today, when I saw that he would dare post an article that would dissuade mothers from seeking or utilizing help that could very well save their lives. Not only that, but it was posted by someone in a position of religious influence over hundreds of people who would regard him as an inspired man, a trusted man.

And I suddenly wonder how many other women will labor with emotional illnesses that will cripple them for years to come because one man wanted to sell pills.

A bit of wry humor here, as I quote from the article under discussion:

Kirsch reasoned that when a person experienced a side effect, it tipped them off that they were taking an active antidepressant rather than a placebo, and this is what gave them the slight advantage.
To test this, Kirsch then investigated trials involving an "active" placebo, meaning one that causes a side effect, and low and behold there was absolutely no difference found between the antidepressant and the active placebo. Maria Angell, former editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine, noted:5"Everyone had side effects of one type or another, and everyone reported the same level of improvement. Kirsch reported a number of other odd findings in clinical trials of antidepressants, including the fact that there is no dose-response curve—that is, high doses worked no better than low ones—which is extremely unlikely for truly effective drugs.‘Putting all this together,’ writes Kirsch, leads to the conclusion that the relatively small difference between drugs and placebos might not be a real drug effect at all.Instead, it might be an enhanced placebo effect, produced by the fact that some patients have broken [the] blind and have come to realize whether they were given drug or placebo. If this is the case, then there is no real antidepressant drug effect at all."

So think about this. Mercola has kindly laid out the very psychology he uses to sell his own compounds! I don't personally believe that my antidepressants are a glorified placebo, but the fundamental philosophy Mercola points out damns his own product in a gallows irony I find absolutely appropriate.

The point of this wall of text is this: Never dissuade someone from seeking or utilizing help based on the self-serving information of an evil quack.

Friday, September 06, 2013

School started on September 15th. Kindergarteners went through a two day testing period where they were vetted according to data points to see how they would shake out into equally matched classes. In other words, kids who need help are evenly mixed with kids with an easier understanding of the material. It's all very scientific and regulated and important. We live in a school district, one of the only ones in the city, which offers all day kindergarten. This gives the kids an academic boost, theoretically, and by the time they are done with this school year they will be writing five sentence paragraphs.

Yesterday, we had a parents meeting toward the end of school where we met a newly hired fourth kindergarten teacher. She was brought in because the class size was borderline and her presence makes each class in the neighborhood of  24 kids per room.

And I could not believe how chippy some of those parents were about the whole thing.

One adult present was the grandparent of a girl in the class, and his chip was that he mother attended that school some years ago and she was being taught by the same kindergarten teacher as her mother. And because the granddaughter was being moved, he was upset.

Another lady was worried about difficulties of transition for the kids who had already spent 3 weeks with one teacher. Her biggest concern is that her child would be two weeks behind all of the other kindergarten classes.

This same lady grilled the new teacher about her education, how many years she spent teaching special ed, about curriculum, about whether she had a choice in teachers for her children and did the whole thing with an attitude of barely restrained contempt and rage. And all of it was articulated in a way that had me convinced that she didn't even have enough of an education to understand the answers given to her about training or years of specialty. "Please don't take this offensively...."

I asked the teacher about new pickup locations, whether we could expect homework in the near future, and how we could best support the kids and teacher during this time of transition. And of course the chippy people now see me as some sort of suck up.

Do I care? Of course not. Why? Because I'm not the worried about whether my kid is two weeks behind in kindergarten. 

I thought I left this attitude behind me on the East Coast. I'm so glad I'm not a teacher because that crap is crap. It's kindergarten! My generation grew up with playdough and singing time. And now we want 5 year old kids to begin critical writing?

Claire thought I was too annoyed with the chippy people. I hope she stays that chill. Because now I'm all chippy over chippy people and she can see it and laugh. At least I can laugh with her.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Of mice and women

Me: Wow, that's a big spider.  [giving Man a meaningful look]

Man: Yeah, not bad. [indulging me by coming over to validate my observation]

Me: [realizing that despite that validation, Man doesn't always understand/acknowledge Hintese, the Language of Hints)

I guess I should break here to explain that Man has a longstanding regard for spiders in their practical capacity as the slayers of lesser insects (and small birds!!!!) and discourages people he lives with from squishing them.

Me: Ok, do you want to put it outside or are you going to let me squish it? Those are your choices.

Man: Fine, I'll take it outside.

He picked up the pair of pants with manly care (dare I say gingerly?) where the spider had struck the pose that got my attention.

Man just got done reading the first part of this post and now he's laughing at me, so we had to have this exchange:

Me: It was huge!

Man: Birds?

Me: Yes! Some spiders can catch birds! And some small ones can kill a grown man in 30 seconds!

Man: But not that one!

Me: It was big enough that I could see its... [gesturing with fists in an inane attempt to demonstrate the big fisty bits that protruded from its spider face]

Man: [gesturing back, imitating the "finger teeth" used in Holy Grail when describing the man eating rabbits] Look at the bones! [imitating the squawky voices from Holy Grail]

Me: You know what I mean!!

Image from the Orkin website. See?? Fisty bits!
Anyway, he picked up the pants, took them outside, and I followed to make sure things were taken care of.
I watched him shake the pants and then made him turn them inside out.

And now everything itches. If I had squashed that thing flat, its legs would have been the width of my palm.

Excuse me while I go shower and then blow up my house.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fighting off that napping feeling

The kids are at school all day now. Freya's first day was Monday. I lined up with her to see where she would get dropped and then picked up (which makes her sound like a football, or any great tv series on Fox) and the next day she didn't even wait for a kiss before running to the playground, skinny legs and arms propelling her toward fun with furor.  

Attempting to curl hair with "self-stay" curlers turned out badly, but the pics of her with a head twice its normal size turned out pretty well.

I'm trying not to worry too much about this "last baby has gone to school and won't kiss her mother!" thing (all said with my sorry imitation of a Jewish "muh-thah" because I'm profoundly tasteless when I'm using humor to cover pain I'm embarrassed to have) but I can't help but notice that my bookend babies were both tallest in their class. Freya stands a few inches above everyone else but that doesn't seem to bother her in the least. She's growing up, spouting stunningly complex information about the game Minecraft with artifacts of toddler lisp evident when she's excited, stubbornly making all of her own food but then cuddling until my magic mommy aura cures all her pain, and picking out her own outfits and hairdos while making sure she knows that various comfort items are safely stashed on her bed.

Enjoy this random picture of a baby rabbit. My friend is a breeder and I take her sales photos. 

Claire is hate-joying middle school.

(Have you noticed this annoying trend of mashing words together to express dichotomy? If not, you're about to because I very nearly have a teenager and the only other trend I've noticed more in its annoying extremity is hashtagging everything, even verbally!! #sometimeshashtagsarehardtoreadbcofnospacesandwebabbreviations, darn you to heck, Twitter!)

Anyway, she has two classes next to each other in time but geographically polarized, so Miss Bunion has to limp all of her band stuff to her engineering class (she typed with swelling pride) so she can make it sort of on time. Schlepping gear across that middle school is no joke, between crowded hallways and a layout that looks more artistic than rational. On the other hand, she feels more grown up and has a whole lot more say in what classes she takes than ever before. All of her core classes are pre-AP (advanced placement), then there's band (clarinet), ITE (the engineering class), and debating government. She's learning a lot already, and now it's just a matter of time before I can't even understand her English homework (since not understanding her math homework happened in days long past).

Another random rabbit. He has the suggestion of eyes, but we have yet to find definitive proof that they exist. 

Bren is having a good time. He loves his teacher, who is fresh out of college and seems confidently awesome. He's having trouble transitioning from the freedoms of summer to the structure of the school year, but hey, that's life, dude.

Yesterday I rebooted the chore system and went through each child's list with them, having them do everything under direct management with a timer, to show them that each list could be done in under 10 minutes. Each kid has responsibility for a major common area of the house and one bathroom, except for the kid who does the dining room/kitchen since that's a pretty big job. They averaged about 7 mins for that one room and bathroom, and Saturday chores shouldn't take them much longer as long as they do their dailies consistently. Do they have a chance of doing anything consistently with me as their mother? Only time will tell, poor dears.

Now, the rabbit pictures are to say I'm sorry that I don't have pics of the older kids from the past couple of weeks. I'll have to correct that. In the mean time, one last rabbit picture:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I'm sitting down here in my studio....

Wait, yes, that's right. As in, "my craftiness and I are so important that we now have a studio," or "I was tired of calling it a craft room so I thought I'd call it something more swank like a studio," or "howsabout I just claim one room in this house where I can't be bothered for at least 5 minutes together because this is my place of employment so, since office sounds pretentious I may as well crank it up a notch and call it a studio."

As in studio.

This is where my clutter lives. This is where papers that need to be filed go to die. This is where I can blog but not much else because the internet is terrible down here.

Also, I'm posting things to an Etsy shop now. I've been crocheting potholders and sewing dolls and monsters for a while as a means of gifting to my girls for not as expensive as buying "real" toys, as well as a means of managing anxiety. I already take the pills so it was time to up the management to hobbies.

I was sitting there, relaxing with some crochet and enjoying some BBC crime drama when my mind started wandering and I thought "the only things that would make this better is if I could watch Bollywood while doing this (subtitles + working with hands = massive headache and bad product) AND if someone would pay me to do this...."

And then I laughed, because no one pays someone to watch TV and play with yarn.

Then a friend told me to sell my stuff. And another, and another.

I finally ran out of excuses (can't find camera! don't have enough product to open an online shop! and anything else I could think of as a mask to my real fear: no one will want it.) and today I took pictures, labeled all of the inventory bags, and I'm taking the plunge.

Please, please wish me enough luck to at least cover the capital I've put into this.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The Little London Rabbitry

I have been loving rabbits lately.

Those of you who know that I'm not a pet person will be surprised. But take a look at this:

They huddle in a pile. A pile of tiny ears and twitchy noses.

I got to take pictures and handle some of the most amazing little kits (rabbit babies) and they have stolen a bit of my heart that's been locked away ever since I had to give up my beloved Persian cat back in high school.

That redhead is my favorite
My friend, Louise, breeds these rabbits. I was a little leery at first but petting just one had me won over on tactile indulgence. But what about feeding the creature? What about the shedding? And, most significantly... what about the poop? I swore up and down that after four children I was done with poop.

According to Louise, whose Little London Rabbitry is fairly teeming with these wee kits, the mini Rex only needs about 1/2 cup of food every day, shedding is minimal when the creature isn't molting, and the poop, known as "bunny berries" (which never fails to entertain my inner 6th grader) is surprisingly easy to manage. It's also good for the garden.

Besides, how can you not at least twitch a smile for something so fierce as this:

He looks like he's stalking, but he's really just
a bit unsteady on his feet.
You can see his eye barely starting to open for the first time.
She's added some serious puffballs to her menagerie as well. This one is a Jersey Wooly:

This grey female is young enough that she's just a haystack:

I hear they have eyes, but all I could see was a twinkle.
Also, where are her feet?
And this one looks like a proper gentleman, monocle, mustache, and all:
Like a sir. I just want to put him in a little top hat.

Handling, grooming, and photographing them has been so fun. The Rex's, with the short hair, are bright, curious little guys who were far more interested in exploring the garage than in their photo ops. The babies are little jumping beans that simply won't hold still for anything. But there's something oddly soothing about holding a baby in the palm of your hand, no matter how wiggly:

And their fur makes me melt.  Fleece pajama pants have nothing on how velvety soft these guys are.

Also, she has guinea pigs. I still don't care for those ones much. But I make sure to bring a withered carrot with me to toss in their cage when I visit.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The thing I hate most about depression

There are a lot of things I hate about depression. Some of them sound more or less profound based on individual ideology. Here's a short list:

1. Lack of hope in the future. What's the point of exercise if it just doesn't seem to "work"?
2. Lack of appetite. I need to cook but nothing sounds good, even the stuff I normally go crazy over. You know something's wrong when even the thought of a Chipotle burrito with guac doesn't do anything for you.
3. Fatigue. I get my 8 hours and I still feel wiped out even with corrected apnea.
4. Everything takes tons of effort. Getting out of that seat happens but it's so HARD.

And I could go on. But here's the one I hate the most:

Stifled creativity. I love to make stories and sew little dolls and do a huge bunch of other things but when I'm depressed that creative energy seems to be forever out of my reach.

Tonight, I tapped into some of that creativity when it came to making dinner. I have been less than inspired for the past several months and haven't come up with anything new in a long time. However, it's about time to go grocery shopping so I decided to make pasta and throw whatever was in the fridge into the pot and hope for the best. Even Bren said he didn't hate it. Score.

Pasta... stuff

Cooked spaghetti (make sure to salt the water)
Chopped artichoke hearts (just had a handful left in a Sam's sized jar)
Chopped fresh spinach (big double handful -- a lot goes a little way)
Pesto (to taste)
Left over cooked chicken, chopped
Cherry tomatoes, sliced
black pepper, ground
salt to taste

If it's dry, add a splash of milk or chicken broth and mix. It shouldn't be runny at all but the moisture helps if you end up salting it much. I topped mine with a bit of parm and chopped black olives, but I wish I had green olives or capers on hand. That would have been a nice pop of flavor.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Forgiveness sometimes doesn't feel right

I've been both fascinated and horrified by the events of WWII, but I still haven't brought myself to read a comprehensive history of it. My first exposure to those events (not counting Raiders of the Lost Ark) was through a book called The Winged Watchman, a story of a young boy in Holland during WWII. He and his family were not placed in concentration camps nor subjected to brutal torture but the book successfully conveyed anxiety and need, and a loss of innocence that have impressed me for at least two decades. In fact, my daughter Freya gets her name from part of that story.

My oldest daughter has been reading a book called Hana's Suitcase, a story of a girl and her brother who were taken to Auschwitz. Claire, my daughter, is 10, and around the age I was when I read The Winged Watchman. Hana's Suitcase is more horrifying than The Winged Watchman by a few degrees and Claire wept at its conclusion. She asked about the war, what caused it and why, oh why would people do such things to human beings? We talked for a while and I strongly emphasized that one of the reasons people need to read these stories is so that we never forget and never repeat that unspeakably evil portion of our history.

Today I'm home with a stomach bug, so I'm sewing and watching a documentary called Forgiving Dr. Mengele. Mengele was a Nazi doctor who performed experiments on identical twins at Auschwitz. The documentary follows a woman named Eva Mozes Kor, the surviving half of a set of twins who were subject to some of Megele's insanity. It's estimated that 1,400 sets of twins were thus used.

Eva is remarkable for surviving Auschwitz, founding CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center, and writing and signing a letter forgiving Dr Hans Munch for whatever role he had in the war. Later in her story, she describes the thought process of also forgiving Mengele. One woman asked her if some sort of prerequisite should be met before forgiving a person, such as remorse or a promise never to do it again.

Now this is where my mind begins to be blown. Eva responded that no prerequisites must be met in order for someone to forgive. Victims will never cease to be victims until they claim the power of forgiveness as their own. If the abuser continues to dictate whether or not they should be forgiven, then a victim will never cease to be a victim.

If an abuser never apologizes or repents, then many would feel totally justified in carrying anger and even hate until they felt that the abuser was worthy of forgiveness. But forgiveness isn't for the abuser, it's a healing for the victim. I've long contemplated what forgiveness means. It certainly doesn't mean that the pain is gone. It certainly doesn't mean that you've changed the person whom you are forgiving. And it absolutely does not give the abuser power over the victim. What it is, to me, is permission for the healing of the self. It means that I can move on from the power of an abuser because I'm claiming that power as my own. My abuser need not linger in my soul because I cleanse every part of me of the pain, humiliation, self doubt, feelings of absolute unworthiness, and the terror of feeling that I have no power over the bad things that happen to me.

Eva has been speaking out about forgiveness for many years now. She is 78 and now ranks as one of my personal heroes. Sometimes forgiveness doesn't feel right because people somehow feel that the personal decision of forgiveness equates to an excuse for hurtful behavior. It does not. Forgiveness does not excuse nor justify nor does it necessarily extend mercy. Forgiveness is for my salvation, not my abuser's.

Autonomy. Authenticity. Independence. Forgiveness. Love. Freedom. Each of these words contain a world of thought, struggle, study, yearning, and constant development in my life. Today, because of Eva, I feel that I've taken a big step in understanding forgiveness. Brava, brave woman.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Rabbit. Rabbit. Like when a frog croaks, right?

This past Sunday a friend's baby was fussing in church while she tried to get a bottle ready for him. I scooped him up and that sweet child quit fussing long enough for his lunch to be prepared. As I cuddled that tiny guy I realized why I'm thinking about getting a rabbit -- I'm baby hungry.

Just take a wee moment to imagine the look on Dave's face when I told him that. Yeah. My baby factory is closed for business but there's something about holding a tiny warm body that snuggles into you that touches a deep place in me. My youngest is so tall now that elbows and feet spill out of my lap no matter how we try to arrange things. My oldest now spends at least a half an hour in front of the mirror before going to school now.

But where does that leave the rabbit when my hormonal urges ebb?

Freya: [as we were in the car, running errands, and she's pretty good at keeping herself entertained]

Mom, how do you say Casa Bonita in Spanish? Casa, Casa, Casa Bonita! (breaking into a little chant)

Friday, November 02, 2012

Grudgingly liking the dogs

The dogs I'm looking after have been getting nicer. The little one that bit me looked ashamed of himself when I went in the next day. He wagged the tail that hung between his legs and let me pet him for several minutes. I started to look in their brown eyes and they licked my face which was a particularly slimy kind of love but it was love nonetheless. So now I'm starting to understand how people could get close with dogs but I definitely don't want to get one. Rabbit gets another couple of points toward becoming a possibility though, since a little chink in my heart has been made.

Science projects. Boy oh boy. This year Bren had a great project that came together really well and Claire's was disorganized and disoriented. I'll get pics when they bring them home today, but Claire was up until at least 11:30 getting her data printed out. She was stressing about details so it was a good opportunity to express that at 11 pm what we're going for is a passing grade as opposed to a blue ribbon. Telling that girl to dial back on the detail is like... well, telling anyone on my side of the family to dial back the detail -- it just doesn't compute with us.

The other day I sent Dave to the store for a couple of things and he brought back the couple of things and a 23 pound turkey. So it has been thawing for a bit, got brined for a bit, (if you use that recipe, use only 1 cup of sugar) and now it's driving everyone crazy as the aroma slowly builds in this house. I have a hard time criticizing impulse purchases like this, especially when smells of ginger, oranges, and garlic are all wafting about and I know that real cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes are also on the docket.

I stopped taking Prozac for a while over the summer, did well for several weeks, and ended up having a huge emotional crash shortly after the husband came home from the hospital. So I'm back on the pills (my nurse practitioner was very kind and didn't scold me too much for doing it without her advice) and getting back into therapy tomorrow. I'm having a very hard time getting back into the therapy since my emotional capacity for meaningful relationships is fairly limited, meaning I just get plain worn out from sustained, meaningful connection. I don't like that about myself, but this is what I get to work with. I can only take so many days of visiting even people I love best, and only so many social engagements in a month. Now therapy is using up a portion of my emotional endurance and I'm so reluctant to go back that it's taken me over a month to get that first appt scheduled.

My therapist is the honorable Dr Trent Claypool who has the credentials of someone with a long, white beard but has the countenance of a youth. The beard he experiments with doesn't  make him look any older. He's a couple of years younger than me but can reference experience and knowledge, and uses communication and reflective listening skills that often astound me. I've been to a few therapists in my time and this is the first guy who I feel is listening to me on a really deep level, and is communicating with me in such an authentic way that the emotional honesty is sometimes as uncomfortable as it is healing. The appointments are always helpful and I have an extremely hard time going to them. Therapy is work, and he's earning every single penny when my crazy walks in the room, I tell you.