Depression parte 5… these days

It’s been over a year and half since my depression episode began, this time last year I was well into therapy and pretty damn miserable. I am seven months post therapy, I feel better. Still I miss work at times due to not being able to stop crying or not being able to get myself out of bed. And I am trying to accept that I will probably never feel whole. That this emptiness I feel almost every day will most likely always be there. That I am no longer the same person I was before this episode and I will have to learn what this person needs and wants. I am trying to let go of comparing my present self to my past self. It is so frustrating. Two weeks ago I finished my first book since this happened, it took about 4 months to read 245 pages. I am cooking on a regular basis, even thinking of baking again. My yoga practice is becoming more frequent and I am trying to be more open and honest about how I am feeling. Everyday there is some sort of struggle but today I am feeling more at ease.  –Bella

Fuck it. I’m going to Church.

cute-baby-praying

Well, I am going to try it.

I was baptized Catholic but never did my first communion. I went to Catholic Church on some Saturdays as a child but I was never into it. In fact, I dreaded it. I mostly remember my mom pinching me for giggling or for catching my sister and I playing thumb war. I went to a Catholic university but not because it was Catholic. I had my first positive Church experience there and I had professors who were priests and nuns and they were fantastic teachers who were able to have rational and warm conversations about God and spirituality. I really enjoyed it and it felt so different from the dark and gloomy Catholicism I experienced as a child. After college, I stopped going to mass.

This past year has been a tough year for me. It has also been a tough year for my relationship with my boyfriend. I did not think about going back to Church until one of my sisters recommended it to me as I told her about my S.O. problems. I have never thought of Church as a source of relief or help.

Now that I am slowly coming out of a dark period in my life, I am trying to look ahead and plan for a new year full of self care activities. This list may include therapy, regular exercise routine, more friend dates and Church. I do not what I am looking to get out of this or if it will bring me any happiness at all but I am going to get out of my comfort zone and visit different services at different churches until I find one that speaks to me. And it is okay if I do not find something. But for my own sake, I need something new and different.

Wish me luck.

-Leti

I Want To Leave My Husband…

Most of the time. I swear I married the rudest man ever. Was he always like this? Kind of. He’s always been shy but like they say it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for. 

We started dating in 2007, he was my first official boyfriend and the young man I lost my virginity to. Even then I never saw him in my life forever. When I lost my virginity to him I wanted to dump him the next day, just felt like the right thing to do and I was also a bit ashamed. Losing your virginity is nothing romantic, bunch of ‘ouch’ and ‘oh shit am I really doing this.’ He really did care for me so I decided not to leave him. We dated over a year and then I broke it off, the fool was controlling. He was what we call a machista and I couldn’t deal with it. We didn’t get back together until almost 2 years later , I believe, I could be wrong on exactly when but we eventually got back together. I had my fun while I was single but I still missed the fool. I also noticed some changes, he was kinder, more open and not controlling. 

 We married May 2013 thinking he was joining the air force so after training I could be close to him but then his boss gave him a raise and a higher position, he couldn’t resist. Everything was great we lived in a small apartment in a shitty town (like every great love story, hahaha) but we were honestly happy, yes he still had things that annoyed me but the good side totally outweighed the bad. It wasn’t until our daughter was born where the things that annoyed me a little started to annoy me A LOT! I truly didn’t want my daughter to see that side of her father, his rudeness, negativeness, laziness. All those things make me angry and cause the ugly side of me to come out, which I also don’t want my daughter to see.

 No matter how much I cry to my husband and tell him over and over that his ways have to change for our children’s sake and ours he doesn’t change. And honestly I don’t think he’ll ever change, he says he will, but easier said then done. Maybe it’s the lack of sleep and his demanding job, I don’t know, but something’s going to have to change, or I’m out son. Honestly I love him but my children are my everything, sounds cheesy but they are and I’ll do anything to provide them a happy home.                

This is some deep shit but its life and it’s what I’m dealing with at the moment. I know things will end up just fine, that way of thinking is what gets me through life and knowing I have such a fucken amazing family/support system helps even more. My husband has to find the silver lining to all this cause I can’t do it on my own. I still have hope for him but it’s wearing very very thin. Nene

What I Want for My 30s

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What I want for my 30s

I want to be content with where I am and who I am. I keep telling myself that once I have this or once I have that, then I will be happy. That is not the case. I told myself that once I moved closer to “home” and away from the big city, I would be happier. Six months later, it has not been that simple. I remember telling myself that once I had a boyfriend, I would be happier. Well as you all may know, relationships aren’t unicorns and cake. I do not want to undermine all the great benefits and happy times I have had since I met my boyfriend or since I moved closer to home, but no “Crazy Happy” switch went on when these things happened. Nor did I do a good job predicting the challenges that come with being in a relationship or the cons to moving back home.

My most current misconceptions are that once I am married and a mother, I will be happier. That is a real dangerous one. I do not want to bring a child to this universe just to make me happier. I also keep telling myself that once I find a meaningful job, I will feel complete. I want to feel complete now and I understand that is all mindset. And I do not want to get married and have children until I feel content and at peace with my life and myself no matter the job or relationship status.

I want to accept myself and love myself unconditionally while embracing my life as it is. At all times.

I am on a fucking journey. It will be called My 30s.

Happy Birthday to me!

Depression….Parte 4

slider_1_-_have_you_thought_twice_about_tissues_During the summer of 2015 I began to feel a little off. I couldn’t tell what is was right away, there were just little signs here and there. The fatigue came first, soon after I had difficulty concentrating, remembering details and the insomnia crept in. I began to retrieve from activities I enjoyed. I think deep down I knew what it was right away, I just kept hoping it would all pass. It didn’t and I really should not have been so naïve. I had stopped taking care of myself. I was barely doing yoga, meditating, cooking well for myself and taking on too much work. I was pulling myself apart and because of that I began to crack, horribly. I could no longer read, I had no energy and the feelings of hopelessness and helplessness kept me crying in bed. I could not escape this feeling that at the time I would describe as a dark hole. For the life of me, I could not describe it. And so before things got really bad, I decided to get help. It wasn’t enough to just try to get back on my routine. I contacted my health insurance provider and set an appointment with mental health department.

Let me tell you, the psychologist that did my intake was fucken horrible. I almost did not continue the process because of that individual. The way he made me feel and the phrases and words he used made me feel even more ridiculous then I already did.  But, I wanted to feel better, I needed help so I continued with the process. Luckily, the therapist I was assigned to was not a judgmental asshole and I began psychotherapy once a week for a couple of months.

The first time I tried therapy it was far more cognitive behavioral therapy, really developing coping skills. This time around we focused more on psychoanalytic and humanistic approaches to try to discover the root causes of my depression/anxiety. Though it was far less enjoyable than my past therapy I learned so much more about myself. It was grueling and there was hard work that really had to be put in outside of the sessions. I had to have some really emotionally intense conversations with family and friends, but I could say it was all for the better. Of course, I was not “cured” overnight and my depression did not miraculously disappear but I am doing much better, most days.  Most importantly I had to come to terms with a couple of things I am sure I was unconsciously avoiding or not willing to admit to myself that I am still struggling with today.     -Bella

Not Feeling Sexy

So I’m 27 weeks unnamedpregnant and totally feeling it. By feeling it I mean there’s a huge estomago in front of me, I got no one to blame but myself because I didn’t lose my previous baby weight, so I’m just packing them pounds on like its nobodies business. 

 At this point I totally miss feeling sexy, and believe me my husband still wants to do the sexy stuff, lord bless him, but it takes me forever to get in the mood. I know this feeling will go away in a year or less but damn feeling sexy makes me feel so good especially when my husband sees it. I need help like seriously I need a nutritionist, chef, and a trainer. I wish they came in a package once you get pregnant so they can keep you healthy and fit as possible, how could I make this happen??? Or just win the lottery and have all three living with me at all times, first I gotta start playing the damn lotto.

 I am blessed to have another great pregnancy so far, don’t want to jinx anything. But as a woman I feel we are more conscious of our bodies, the way it looks and all, and being pregnant only makes us way more self conscious due to the weight gain, bless those woman who don’t give a fuck, please hand some of that over! I know the ball is in my court and I gotta do something about it but my motivation is at zero right now, all I want to do is eat and sleep. Things gotta change now or it’s only going to get harder once baby is here. This might sound weird but maybe I can just fake being sexy for now until I make it, that motto has actually worked for me in the past, it just might do. 

 Project sexy will soon be up and running, just gotta move in to my new place, which is going down this weekend. Lord help me! But I swear once I’m in my new place things will change…. I hope, I mean it will! Give me strength y’all. Stay Sexy My Friends. –  Nene


Depression…Parte Tres

change-aheadEvery time I entered both of my shrinks’ offices’, I wanted to immediately turn around and run. No one I had known at the time had receive this type of treatment, they’d usually just take the prescription from their physician and carry on. I felt absurd. I kept my family in the dark, I honestly did not know how to start this conversation with them especially through the phone. I was three weeks into my treatment when I finally went home to tell my family, as strongly suggested by my therapist. It was the worst plane ride ever. My depression was still very present and anxiety attacks would still visit me daily and as I started boarding the plane for a six hour flight I tried so fucken hard to keep my shit together. As soon as I got to my seat I put my hood on, closed my eyes and focused on my breathing. At the time my therapist was teaching me mindfulness coping strategies and my psychiatrist had started me on a really low dose of fluoxetine. I only moved to drink water and to exit the plane. My visit was nothing short of emotional. So many damn tears, not only from me but from all my siblings and mother.

I don’t remember the day I began to feel a bit more normal, in the sense that I wasn’t breathing erratically or almost crying all day or having major panic attacks. The medication began to work and I was beginning to become attune to my emotions. I was (still kind of am) someone who adheres more to logic than my emotions. Though a very sympathetic/empathetic person I struggle(d) to allow myself to feel what I am feeling most of the time. Therapy really helped with that, allowing me accept what I feel.  I am quick to push my emotions to the side in order to get shit done; if it doesn’t help or will get in my way of doing or finishing something or make me feel weak, I don’t want to feel it. I have realized how detrimental it is to one’s emotional/mental health and still struggle to accept and embrace certain emotions. When I cry, I no longer feel ashamed or weak. When I feel sad or hollow I allow myself sit in those feelings. I don’t wallow in self-pity, instead I embrace my feelings and ask myself why I feel this way.

Slowly, I began to venture out into the world again. Going out again, hiking and feeling confident with both school and work. I felt emotionally and mentally better. But I did not feel like the same person from before the episode and it was frustrating. And I constantly compared myself to old me, pre-2012 clinical depression episode me. I couldn’t concentrate as well, I was far more emotional, too much exposure to sun would make me dizzy and I struggled with both vertigo and hypochondria. I was mad at myself for always automatically feeling/being cautious of everything I was doing. Constantly second guessing myself in things I never had before. It was learning my new limits and I hated it.

I continued weekly therapy for 5 months and then did biweekly sessions for about 4 months and decided to stop taking fluoxetine 6 months into treatment. I decided to use the medication as a crutch until I felt confident enough that I could handle both minor depression episodes and anxiety attacks with the mindfulness strategies my therapist had taught me. My psychiatrist didn’t necessarily agree with my decision, but it was something I wanted to at least try. I continued with practicing mindfulness, yoga and better communicating and accepting my emotions. For about two years I did not have a major depression episode, only those little bouts that lasted 2-3 days but nothing I felt I could not handle on my own. And then it felt like my world came crashing down slowly and I was drowning while burning at the same time. – Bella

To my dear Pan…

Pan,
I cannot quit you. No matpannnter how hard I try I sprint back to you. You’ve been my comfort for as long as I can remember, in my good and bad times, especially my bad, no no I mean my good times, heck you’ve always been there. From pan dulce to croissants you just can’t disappoint! Who ever first created you is a true God. Even though you’re causing me major weight gain right now I still love you:) I’m going to have to limit you right now just for my health, I hope you understand, it truly isn’t you its me. Stay tasty my friend. – Nene

 

Self-Preservation

notebook-picDark memories and worries about the future woke me up this morning. Not cool. I know this happens to everybody and it sucks. It’s been happening to me more often the last few weeks. This is often a sign that I am not taking care of myself as best as I should. I am not taking care of my emotional health. I have a million excuses not to take care of my emotional health. Work has been busy and we’re still organizing our new place and trying to prepare for upcoming family events. Yes, I have tons of stuff going and I’m sure you do too. But taking care of ourselves is most important. Self preservation is so important. When the dark memories and worries start to come after me, it’s because I am not dealing with something or I am not expressing something that is bothering me. Just voicing my concerns about the future of things that may never happen can make me feel a lot better. My acts of self-preservation lies mostly in writing and affirmations. Getting up early and writing about what is on my mind and what I am feeling has served as a great release for me. The problem is that I do not do it every day and sometimes only once or twice a week. I need to take a step back and make my writing a priority in my day-to-day. My writing is not a luxury but a necessity to my peace and happiness.

Writing is my act of self-preservation.

-Leticia

 

 

Dear Eleanor…

Happy Birthday Eleanor! It’s been exactly two weeks since you’ve turned ONE and I’ve been meaning to write you this letter.

lenny
Eleanor  Rose, Birthday Breakfast 

 

Dear Eleanor,

It’s been a year sweetheart and honestly I’m so proud of us both. We survived it, hahaha. I’ve grown to love and appreciate you more and more everyday. Watching you discover everything for the first time has been the funniest, from trying your first foods to learning to wave hi and bye. Your crankiness not so much but everything else about you makes up for that. You’ve made me realize a lot about myself. I was a selfish person before I had you, oh and also my patience isn’t as great as I thought it was but it is getting better. Well it was then I got knocked up with your baby brother, your poor father. I’m also very protective of you which I know you won’t be happy about later but honestly it’s a mothers instinct. You’ll understand it when you have children.

I see you everyday and I still can’t believe you’ve gotten so big, honestly I don’t know how you went from 7.8lbs to 20lbs, it’s just so crazy. I am excited to watch you grow but honestly take your time Lenny, I want to cherish every minute I have with you because I know it’s all going to fly by. You still haven’t started walking, no rush cause once you start you won’t be seen as a baby anymore. Though, in my eyes you will always be my baby.

I love you Eleanor and thank you for making me a mother, your mother. Happy Birthday.

Love,

Mama