November was a bit of a rough month for me. I participated in Ashley Mitchell‘s Adoption Awareness Month Photo-a-Day Challenge. I somehow managed to get all of my posts up on the days they were supposed to go up, even if it wound up being at night. Granted, I did snag the sneak peek preview of Ashley’s prompts when she put them on her Insta-story in like September and started working on them then. So, I definitely had time to prep everything before they went up…
Nov 1 – Accountability
Nov 2 – Broken
Nov 3 – Community
Nov 4 – DNA
Nov 5 – Ethics
Nov 6 – Fake
Nov 7 – Growth
Nov 8 – Honor
Nov 9 – Ignorance
Nov 10 – Jealousy
Nov 11 – Kindness
Nov 12 – Language
Nov 13 – Motives
Nov 14 – Navigation
Nov 15 – Options
Nov 16 – Promises
Nov 17 – Questions
Nov 18 – Roles, Rights, Responsibilities
Nov 19 – Stereotypes
Nov 20 – Timing
Nov 21 – Unknown
Nov 22 – Vulnerable
Nov 23 – Worth
Nov 24 – eXcuses
Nov 25 – Yearning
Nov 26 – Zip It
I’ll come back later once I’ve pulled myself together and share some thoughts on the month.
1. Get a cup of tea and whine about how blogging is hard for as long as it takes to drink it. (You could even turn this whining into a blog post… *nudge*nudge*)
2. White down ideas you have. They don’t all have to be used. I’ve had ideas that I’ve looked back at later and wondered why I thought I could write about that.
3. Look at what kind of posts you enjoy reading – write down what you like about them and how you could do something similar.
4. Take a few simple ones and start making the lists or trying to bullet point a draft.
5. Look at pictures of nature and imagine what you would be doing if you were there. Write it out.
6. Make a list of your favorite authors, books, artists, songs, tv shows, movies, etc.
7. Review a product/service that you think other people are interested in or should know about.
8. Tell a story of something you’ve been through that could potentially help other people.
9. Make a playlist of songs for a certain activity or feeling. Either list the songs and artists or link your Spotify.
10. Forget you were making this list for over a month… Then come back to it, look it over, and decide if it needs more work (I think we’re good), and post.
After telling my therapist that my depression has gotten so much worse, and I’m afraid that I’ll fall back into self-harm habits again, she sent me these two lists:
If you self-harm to express pain and intense emotions
- Paint, draw, or scribble on a big piece of paper with red ink or paint
- Start a journal in which to express your feelings
- Compose a poem or song to say what you feel
- Write down any negative feelings and then rip the paper up
- Listen to music that expresses what you’re feeling
To calm and soothe yourself
- Take a bath or hot shower
- Pet or cuddle with a dog or cat
- Wrap yourself in a warm blanket
- Massage your neck, hands, and feet
- Listen to calming music
- Put a ziploc bag full of ice under your arm, by your armpit and hold it there for 1 min
Whether any of these things are going to truly work or not, I have yet to find out. But I do intend on really trying to keep myself from repeating history. That would be a setback that no one wants.
Even with these coping methods, the temptation is still there. It always is. They’re simply other ways of releasing the pent up emotions that could lead to self-harm.
The longer I sit and binge watch shows on Netflix, the more confused I get about how I feel. There can so often be such a lack of motivation to do anything when you feel this low. And that’s what I’m dealing with.
But as the nights get later, and everyone I talked to goes to sleep, the depression rises and the voices in my head start to come back and get louder. They’re difficult to ignore. They tell me things that I already think on my own. But somehow those things just seem more intense, and sometimes even more true, when it seems like those things are coming from a voice other than my own.
Yesterday I went to a new psychiatrist for the first time in like 11+ months.
There was a lot of anxiety leading up to the appointment. I knew it was what I needed and it was a good thing in the long run, I was still nervous and scared.
But the appointment went well. I was immediately more comfortable with the psych nurse I saw than I ever was with the psychiatrists I’ve seen in the past. I felt like she was much more thorough than the others had been.
There were lots of questions, which is typical with a new psychiatrist. I didn’t feel judged or like I said things she didn’t really care about or think relevant. We even got off topic a couple times, but we quickly re-focused.
She doesn’t agree that I have Bipolar Disorder II like I was told several years ago. She thinks it’s depression with manic elements. I’ve started taking Zoloft and Seroquel.
New medications side effects always suck. The Zoloft is what’s making me feel like crap right now though. I’m got an upset stomach, and I’m not sleepy but I’m tired and I’ve got a pretty low energy level.
If I look at the paper from the pharmacy when I picked it up, typical side effects can include:
- Feeling sleepy
- Feeling tired or weak
- Nervous or excitable
- Upset stomach
- Loose stools (diarrhea)
- Dry mouth
- Hard stools (constipation)
- Not able to sleep
However, the side effects that require immediately notifying your doctor include:
- Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Signs of low sodium levels like headache, trouble focusing, memory problems, feeling confused, weakness, seizures, or changes in balance
- Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blooding the urine; red, black, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason that get bigger, or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop
- Change in how you act
- A heartbeat that does not feel normal
- Chest pain or pressure
- Not able to control bladder
- Very bad headache
- A big weight gain or loss
- Lowered interest in sex
- Change in sex ability
Now, I read these things and highlight all the side effects, so that if something does happen I can see if it’s something minor that should go away or if it’s something serious.
Make a list of 30 things that make you smile
- good books
- new episodes of my favorite show(s) on Netflix
- shea/cocoa butter
- cozy blankets
- free stuff for hosting parties
- perfectly applying lipstick first try
- birth control I don’t have to worry about daily
- catching up with friends
- seeing former teachers I really liked
- snuggling little tiny babies
- Thanksgiving at my aunt’s house
- The Grand Tour on Amazon Prime
- jeans that fit perfectly
- perfectly painted nails
- putting feelings down on paper
- driving “back country” roads
- knee socks
- music that fits the mood prefectly
- crawling into bed after a long day
- sweater/hoodie weather
- YouTube stationary hauls & posts on IG
- sentimental gifts
- getting new pictures of my daughter
- when I get to see my daughter
Write a list of everything that inspires you – from books to websites to quotes to people to paintings to stores to the stars
Write the words you need to hear
happy birthday to me
Just because what you are feeling is different, does not mean you are broken.
Everyone deals with things differently.
You are loved – even if you don’t feel like it.
Just because you don’t match societal beauty standards doesn’t mean that you aren’t beautiful.
No matter how weak you think you are, you are one of the strongest people I know.
Pull inspiration for your makeup and clothes from the shows you love to watch and what you think your favorite book characters look like – experiment.
Using 10 words, describe yourself
What do you like to do on a dark and stormy day?
- stay in comfy clothes
- drink coffee/tea (hot or iced depending on the temp)
- curl up under blankets if it’s chilly
- read books
- watch Netflix