Jul 10, 2017

ADDRESSING ELEPHANTS

I'm still keeping my promise and not doing a gosh darn thing, but I wanted to rip the Band-aid off and put to rest an issue that has been of concern on this here blog for a few weeks now.

But first a confession.

Despite this very public forum, and despite the fact that I am usually putting everything right out there for the world to see, I am actually a very introverted, shy, and pretty "guarded" individual.  I loathe talking about myself, or how I'm doing, or what I'm feeling, etc etc, even though this little blog of mine seems to be one continuous hurricane of every bit of crazy in this pointy little head of mine.  

(I also have a very bad habit of getting around Miss Charlene and my guild buddies and I suddenly want to tell them every single thought or feeling or experience I've had since the last moment I saw them and have a terrible propensity for blurting out the most non-relevant fact or comment right smack dab in the middle of a conversation.  It's like I'm a four year old that has been allowed at the big girl table and I have a lot to say while I drink my juice from my sippy cup and play with my toys.)

But that's another embarrasing problem for another embarrasing day.

I've always been of the opinion that a simple "Fine, thank you.  How are you?" is the appropriate response to anyone asking, but this here blog has put me in a much different head space.  (Seriously...you can ask my friends from childhood what they know about me, and they will tell you that emotional intimacy is not exactly my strong suit.  I always thought of myself as the quiet confidant...sitting in the corner nodding sympathetically while the world told me its problems.)

I suppose it's the age we're living in, but who knew I would be capable of spewing out every single thought I've ever had on a daily basis?  I'm still trying to wrap my head around this whole TMI culture of ours, yet here I am...TMI'ing my brains out day by day under the banner of stitchy blogging.

I also come from a long line of very strong, very stoic peoples who didn't talk about anything that was ailing them.  That's not to say that I was told to "Suck it up, Buttercup"... quite the opposite.  My mom and dad were very kind and loving parents who gently brushed the world away when I didn't feel good.  But we didn't use the "d" word.  Or the "c" word.  Or any "f" words much for that matter.

(The big three, kids...depression...cancer...feelings.  You know...anything remotely having to do with one's "insides".)

As with any family, I'm sure the history of mental health problems is long and varied.  And I know that my own mental health history is chock full of all of those very scary, very serious, very troublesome episodes of...taking a deep breath here...depression, anxiety, trauma, agoraphobia....all of the things that I have stuffed right down into the bag along with the physical stuff in the hopes that somebody somewhere figures out a way to fix me.

Many of you have been kind enough to write to me offering the loving suggestion that I seek help with this.  And while I've addressed it casually before...I figured I would just put it out there once and for all so that those of you who care will know that I am heeding your advice and am taking care of myself.

I see a therapist.

I take medication for depression.

Holey Schmoley.  In 51 years I never would have expected me to have the capacity to say those things out loud.  But enough is enough when it comes to me trying to pretend that all is well, tomorrow is another day, la dee da, la de dee da, ad nauseum.

The truth of the matter is that the last 15 years or so of my life have been bloody difficult.  Fortunately for me, my family doctor recognized this and sent me to a woman who specializes in treating people with serious medical challenges, and over the course of the last year she has given me some life saving tools to handle this mess of mine.

I have also been blessed with angels that watch over me and make sure I don't completely fall down the rabbit hole, and then there is this entire thing of ours that continues to awe, delight, and humble me on a daily basis.

So.  Dear friends.  Thank you thank you thank you for your loving concern about my health...physical, mental, emotional and otherwise.  I promise you that I have a wonderful team, a drawer full of meds, and the mindset that I can't do this alone.  I am being a good patient and love you very very dearly for your concern.

Now...having said all of this...we're going to resume our regularly scheduled programming of a portly spinster careening her way through this crazy world of ours, armed with nothing but her wits and needlework.  

Stay tuned...the hapless adventures of Yours Truly continue! 


49 comments:

  1. I've been lurking while you've been open about your thoughts/feelings/successes/issues, and have read all the comments about "get some help". I kept thinking that even with all the stresses you're dealing with you appear to be a person who is very much in-touch with themselves and their life. And now I know why! Because you have been "getting help". Good for you! Life is a day-to-day adventure and I'm hoping your adventure gets a little bit easier each day.

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  2. I know many more people on anti's than not. I was at one time after many attempts to find the right one. After a few years off, went back to the same meds, and this time they turned me upside down. I guess my hormones changed in that time and I was very surprised at the drastic reaction. You are obviously in the hands of an excellent professional, because you have proven your strength and resilience time and time again. I believe our brain tells us when a meltdown is needed, for healing, for acceptance, whatever. Pills never stopped mine! Many of us (with help or not) would not withstand the barrage of emotions and changes that you have. Enjoy your week of rest.

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  3. So glad to hear that you have support in place. Pills and talking worked for me.....

    Alison
    Godalming UK

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  4. Thank you. You had no obligation to put my mind at ease about such things, but bless you for doing so. The thought of any suffering not being addressed is difficult to handle. Yes, I swat flies and kill mosquitoes, but one of my dearest girlfriends catches insect critters and puts them back outside, bless her heart. And my girlfriends want to be reincarnated as one of my cats, so I can be their servant, slave and purrsonal chef. Just an old, impossible softie, me. So, back to our regularly scheduled programming? That closet catastrophe of Saturday night? Closet finished yesterday. But the to do list is two pages long. And for you - reading poolside (sounds heavenly to me). I would need books with waterproof pages as I would be in that darn pool, sunglasses with bifocals in them, reading a book. Prayers continue......

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  5. Good for you Coni! Not everyone recognizes when they need assistance in dealing with the things that life throws at them. It sounds like you made a wise choice to listen to your doctor and expand your support system. Hugs to you!

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  6. Hey, I have a drawer full of meds too!! There is a stigma attached to using medications to assist with depression, social anxiety and the likes but I am looking out for me and the meds have strengthened me!

    I have been on meds for about 15 years for having a tough childhood (flashbacks), a pretty tough marriage, seeing my children in pain and finally a divorce. I had to be strong, mentally, to face the challenges that come with this thing called life.

    I do have wonderful friends and family who are a great support group, and with them, I am truly blessed.

    I am very proud of you. You are doing the right thing and continue to do so. Many people are using meds because it helps overcome hardships.

    Cheers to you and continue your path to a healthy life!

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  7. I am so happy to hear this news. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. I have been on anti depressants for about 10 years now. At first I kept it quiet but now if I see someone who is suffering, I quietly tell them of my experiences and how beneficial it has been. Good for you to have the sense to ask for help when you need it!

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  8. Sometimes when you say things out loud, they don't have the same horrible grip on you as they once did. Sharing troubles and burdens does make it easier for one to bear...sometimes. I hope you feel just a little lighter today Coni ;-)

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  9. There is no shame in saying that you have depression or anxiety or any other mental health issue. The pain and suffering that come with these conditions are as real and as difficult to overcome as are any observable, physical health problems. Speak your truth and others will feel free to speak theirs!

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  10. Glad you are getting the help you need. Now... given all the weight you've lost, I think the next step is to drop the "portly" from your description. You may not be "model thin", but I'll let you come up with another term.

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  11. You owe us no explanations Coni! That said, congratulations on your bravery in sharing with us. You're a strong woman, I'm sure many of us wouldn't still be upright if dealing with what you have. Take care of yourself. Xo

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  12. Well geez, considering all you're facing, depression and anxiety seem to be very appropirate responses. The fact that you cry over losing your beloved home, your dear pet, your health, and your relationship with your sister also seems totally reasonable to me. I'm glad you're seeing a therapist and taking meds (and I hope they help) but gosh darn it, your reactions are NORMAL and you're not "unstable." Connie, you're doing just fine. Continue to speak your truth and seek support from everywhere you can find it, but don't let anyone suggest you're not normal for struggling through such a horrendous life upheaval. Anyone would be a mess if they faced your same situation.

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    1. AND all those health problems as well. You are probably more "same" than many of us! After all, if you were diabetic you would consider insulin as the lifesaving medication that it is. So you should also consider your depression meds, which are really just supporting your own brain chemistry right now. Hang in there! You are using your best wisdom and doing remarkably well, I think!

      Debbie in Kansas

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  13. Thank you, Coni! You're proof that mental health issues are treatable and can be spoken of. As you can see, your friends are applauding your speaking freely. Let's tear down the wall of stigma so more people will seek help when needed. You're the best!

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  14. Coni, Thanks for your courage & strength....and many blessings each day! Hugs πŸ€—

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  15. After reading this post I am pretty sure you are a long lost twin to me.

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  16. Coni, you make me feel brave every single day. So thank you for sharing.

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  17. Wow -- your honesty and vulnerability leave me speechless.

    Susan (aka Anonymous)

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  18. Coni, thanks so much for sharing. It's long past time for the stigma of mental health challenges. I have worked with a therapist in the past, and found it sooooo helpful. And I make a point of sharing with others when I think it will help. The very best we can do for our fellow human beings is to let them know that they aren't alone - and that help is possible !!!

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  19. NeedlesandBlackCatJuly 10, 2017 at 5:44 PM

    God bless you sweetness. You are not alone. EVER.

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  20. And yet another reason I was drawn to your blog. Kindred spirits, I am sure! Thank you for your honesty. I know that takes more courage than some would want to think. Even in my own family, there were only two people who didn't tell me to pull myself up by the bootstraps and get on with it. (The one who spoke those words the loudest, is the one who lives in a gorgeous house in a gated community on a golf course. She doesn't understand the lows of low income single motherhood!)
    Sorry, I did not come here to tell you my tales of woe...just to say, you are not alone, but I think you knew that long, long ago!

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  21. She laughs at scars who never felt a wound....Who has not
    had to deal with some life issue and become flattened by
    it? That you have been so challenged and managed to prevail is amazing. That you are a beacon of light and hope to so many of us, puts you in line for a golden badge of courage. Your humor alone puts you right up there with the best of the best.... Thank you for your candor and gutsy response to whatever life dishes you.
    You make us all so proud and grateful....

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  22. I've said it before: You're my hero!
    Luv
    MaryO1230
    πŸΆπŸ€—

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  23. You are a smart and capable lady. Know that there are so many who care about you. Whatever you go through, if you need help or want uplifting words or just someone to listen and know, so many are here for you. We are rooting for you, so in your own time Coni....

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  24. You are stronger and braver than you know ♥️

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  25. I knew you were seeing a therapist. You mentioned her several times. You didn't say she was your therapist but you wrote about talking. I was surprised when people said for you to get a therapist because you had one. When I was ill 6 years ago my doctor sent me to a woman who specialized in people with chronic medical conditions. She left her practice and I think I was the reason. She mailed me a prescription for anti-anxiety medication and gave me the names of other therapists. I suppose I was Bob in What About Bob.

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    1. Edna, that movie still makes me laugh!

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    2. We watch it about once a year. It is still funny.

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  26. Oh dear girl, I just love you. I really do. You are funny and strong and sweet and absolutely dear to all of us. Mindy

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  27. Dear Coni: First of all - You are loved - by our community of stitchers. It takes a lot of strength and bravery to write what you just posted. My dear mother suffered throughout her adult life with debilitating depression. It affects a persons life 24/7 and it also affects her loved ones. I know first hand how awful depression is and how society can view a depressed person as just "pick yourself up and get on with it". Oh I wish it was that easy. My mom, (rest her soul) did get the help she needed and the slow progress to healing and obtaining the right course for her was not an overnight fix. Coni I am so proud of you. I know you don't know me nor I you, but through your stitching blog I have come to care for a fellow person. You have had heart aches, and you are dealing with them. I think you are stronger than you give yourself credit for. Keep taking care of yourself. Some days will be easier than others, but it is one day at a time. I pray for you each day and hope that each day is closer for you to physically feel better. Thank you for sharing yourself with us today. You are loved! Cindy in northern Illinois

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  28. Bravo Miss Coni. You are so brave and... so CARING! To let us know that you are taking the right steps to get through this. You could have said no to this help originally, but you are smart! I know you are. You've been taking all the right steps all along. Bravo! And thank you so much for relieving the minds of those who care so much about what happens to you that you are taking all the right steps. We still care and still walk with you on this journey. I am so privileged to have found 'this here blog'. So glad to be able to help, in my own little way' someone as special and loving as you are. Thank YOU Miss Coni. Thank YOU. Love hugs & prayers, Cathryn ♥

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  29. You are an amazing person. I am praying for you.

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  30. Coni, you've got this. You are inspiring.

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  31. Bully for you! I will sleep better at night knowing you have everything under control and that you are taking good care of yourself! Keep up the good work!

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  32. Coni,
    Thank you for being so open with us and letting us have glimpses into your world. I also struggle with depression and saw someone for quite awhile when I was down in a very dark, black hole without the means of finding my way out. It took me a long time to admit I needed more help than just a pat on the head, a martini or even a hug to bring me out of it. The evening I left the vehicle running in the garage and just sat there thinking how much better I'd feel if the world just stopped, I realized and asked for help that night. No shame and I'm very open about it now because I realized trying to cope on my own wasn't working and there are lots of people in this world that need to know they are not alone in daily life struggles. I take my meds daily but at times the dark cloud does reappear and I have learned that it's ok to have those times but now I know that just shouldn't last for months.
    Sorry didn't mean to ramble but hey chickie girl we're all here for you....the good, the bad, the messy, the hurting or anything in between is never something you can't share with us.

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  33. You're amazing and strong. I love all that you share with us.

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  34. Frankly, it's not working.
    Here's some advice: go back through your blog, say, six months, and go entry by entry, and every time there's an entry that relates being heartbroken, sobbing, melt-downs, ugly crying, panicking, stressed, upset, etc., print it out. Take the printouts to your medical professional and have them review your state of mind/emotions for that time period.
    Because to be blunt, whatever you're doing/they're doing for you ISN'T WORKING.

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    1. Go away - you have a horrible attitude and hiding behind "Anonymous" makes you the worst kind of human being there is. If there was EVER a woman who has a right to have these moments (and by the way - BOUNCE BACK FABULOUSLY from them), it is Coni.

      Go back to whatever flippin' bridge your little troll house under and live there.

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    2. The only person here I see with issues is you. Ask yourself why you are hiding behind anonymous and why you are being nasty. If you think you are being helpful, use tact instead of a blunt instrument. There is anger in your words. perhaps you should seek a therapist.

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  35. Anonymous, you seem to have zero concept of what it's like to live with a chronic, life-threatening illness, and you certainly have no concept of how psych meds work. Go troll elsewhere.

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  36. I wish more people felt comfortable to talk about their mental health. Hugs to you!

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  37. Anonymous, at least have the guts to sign your real name when trolling. Oh, I forgot....trollers are cowards.
    Sorry, Coni. Don't mean to start anything, but REALLY? This reminds me of my favorite Minion meme. I'll send it to you and you can post it if you like.

    All I can say to Anonymous is they better never meet anyone from your blog family in a dark alley.....we have lots and lots of needles!

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    1. I responded - and probably shouldn't have - but I did.

      Apologies to Coni if I overstepped. But man oh man......

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  38. Good to hear all this especially about you spewing things out in the middle of a conversation! I do that too!

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  39. Very happy to know you have a medical support team all your needs. You are loved more than you know by a group of other crazy women.

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  40. Hugs for you, you are wonderful, brave and inspirational xx

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  41. You are fabulous Coni! I too am socially inept at times, or I think I am. We all have awkward moments...you will come out of this on your feet and needle in hand. xoxo Mj

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