Monday, May 5, 2008
Sacred Life Sunday: Balance
Today as I read Rick's post on balance, it really made me think about this topic. So I'm going to blog about the same topic for this (past) Sacred Sunday. I really like Rick's comparing finding our balance with aspects of riding a unicycle. It also made me think about the Libby Sauter video I posted on Friday. Balance. Making small and large adjustments as we go, always trying to "stay up" and "not fall". And then, when we do fall, getting up and starting all over again.
I have been trying to find my balance lately, and recently had a great fall this past Thursday, kind of like Libby (and of course, Humpty Dumpty). I'd thought I was doing all right, because I was moving forward, but in reality, I was wobbling a lot and didn't realize it until I fell. I always try to be positive and keep moving ahead, but in the end, I think this fall was good for me.
Nothing too awfully terrible happened, as it did to Humpty Dumpty. I put myself back together again pretty well. But I'd ended up having what was diagnosed as an episode of "intense depression and anxiety". Kind of like a ginormous panic attack coupled with a strong physiological depression---the kind where you can't stop crying or get out of bed. The person who did my assessment at the hospital said that I was only about ten weeks out from anti-depressant withdrawal and that my brain has still not yet recovered. So that when I do experience severe stress, my brain is not capable of responding normally...yet.
So she wanted me to return to the antidepressants. The ones that gave me my "40 pound in only 4 months" weight gain this past winter. The ones that took me through several clothing wardrobes from size 12 all the way up to 20W. The ones that changed my life marginally for the better, but ended up taking from me far more than they gave, apparently.
I never had anything like this happen before the antidepressants, not even close. And I never had a true depressive episode back then.
I spent most of Thursday in the local hospital's "elopement risk" ward, the first time I've ever gone through anything even remotely like this. I guess they thought I might run away or try to "escape". I had no idea what was happening to me and was eager for the help, so I wasn't interested in "eloping". I spent eight hours in a room with no door handles, no light switches, no furniture except a bed and a chair and very smooth (but not padded) walls---just being present, breathing, and being with what I was feeling. This was an excellent opportunity for this exercise. It was something that I could do. Patients came and went, most in restraints, caterwauling, cursing, singing, grunting, etc. I was pretty calm (all cried out) after the first four or five hours or so so I guess I was last priority. Which was fine.
I left without any medications or instructions except to take those damn antidepressants. So I did. I have. Until I see a psychiatrist this week and he can prescribe me one that doesn't cause weight gain. I hate taking them, and feel in some ways like I've failed. But in other ways I feel so blessed, because of all of the patients who passed by me in the psych ward. "There but for the grace of God go I. "---this was what I realized.
I am hoping this psychiatrist will be open to working with me with my alternative methods of mood elevation/stabilization/balance. I know that I will find a way through this.
This past weekend LoveHubbie and I blew everything off (the best thing we could have done) and just hung out in Seattle. Saturday we went shopping at Uwajimaya and bought lots of seaweed salad (reminding us of Hawaii) and kimchee and exotic mushrooms and broccolini. We walked around in the rain. Sunday we drove up again and went to the Washington Park Arboretum . We walked around in the sun. I think that this park is one of the most peaceful I've ever been in on the mainland. Last night we ate a calamari salad at Piatti near the University of Washington. We just had fun and forgot about everything for a while, which was really good for both of us.
I am truly grateful for my energy every day, and for my blessings.
So...I could have gotten by without telling you...and I considered not mentioning this because not everyone who reads this blog is someone I'm close to...but I wanted to tell you just the same. I admire each of you who have shown me your soul and your courage, and as a writer, I want to learn to be as authentic and transparent as you are.
I am learning to find my balance.