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coping

"coping" is my middle name. But I do get tired of it. It seems like my life is a series of efforts to cope. I take deep breaths, I work my way through an exercise video, I talk talk talk to myself, talk myself out of extending my bad feelings into other areas.

I guess it's easy to see why some would opt for meds instead. This is damned hard work. It gets easier, thank heaven, and I think I spend longer periods feeling good before I get into one where I'm feeling bad. There is usually a trigger, too, something I notice, something that gets the wheels rolling. Maybe I don't always guess at what it is specifically. Maybe bad feelings really come from something I ate. But that's irrelevant. I know how to work my way out, I know it takes the time it takes, and I do get tired of it when I'm doing it. Like now.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
tenderflower
Jun. 6th, 2002 03:12 am (UTC)
Mother's Day and other stuff
on meds- I can't speak for others but I know that anti-depressants for me are absolutely critical. I suspect that my chemistry either genetically or medically is missing some vital component that makes it impossible to control my down times without it. Unfortunately, however, having medication does in no way take away the effort required to get through emotionally challenging times. I still need to work extremely hard also in those cases to put myself in the right frame of mind to get through. Time is the best healer, however, with or without meds- so remember that one the next time you are toughing it out! love....ader
judith
Jun. 6th, 2002 06:41 am (UTC)
Re: Mother's Day and other stuff
Yes, of course I do know about time. That was part of what I was saying there. I know what I have to do, I just have to get through it. In the case of the Dwain pain, there is absolutely no substitute for time.

I know that medications are sometimes warranted and yours may indeed be one of these cases. I am the type person who can get back on track without. I don't think anyone really knows why this is, why some people's chemistry can be altered from the outside in (one of the ways is through exercise; I don't always like it but I always know it is absolutely critical just to keep my mood at some coping level). I have long wondered about the chicken or egg thing with body chemistry.
prom
Jun. 6th, 2002 07:18 am (UTC)
Re: Mother's Day and other stuff
My very best friend is much like you, Judith. No meds, takes care of herself, her body, to me she is 'pure' & I'm 'impure' though she doesn't see me that way at all. We struggle with similar life challenges, yet she makes it through life without meds of any kind. I admire that in her (and in you) & sometimes wonder why she even would associate with someone like moi. That age-old question, nature vs. nurture, I wonder about it, too. By the time it's figured out I'll be long gone from the planet I imagine -
judith
Jun. 6th, 2002 08:40 am (UTC)
pure and impure
Sometimes, because I have suffered from depression all my life, have had suicidal episodes, have fallen in holes so deep I thought I'd never get out, I have wanted to take all the credit for being where I am now. I have found a way that works, not perfectly, without medication, that does not affect my ability to function. Sometimes I want to shout to the world, "You CAN do it!" Underlying this feeling is the sense that most of us do not believe in our own ability to change.

Maybe I've got something there. Maybe a lot of people can do a lot more to help themselves, if they will take full charge of themselves and not let others do that for them. But even if I do have a clue, I remember having this clue long ago and not being able to act on it.

I think this is the part that has no real answer. What did I do, or what happened to me, or what has changed, so that now I am more persistent, more committed, more able to do the things I knew needed to be done back when I was 20 or 30? I have suffered always. So the incentive has always been there. Now I rarely have the setbacks I did years ago, as often or as long. I attribute this to my persistence, my understanding that what I have to do is to start over again and again and again.

But the point I am not making too well here is that I don't know how I developed that level of confidence and that ability to start over. I don't know if I can take credit for it at all.

I think, in addition to starting over, we have to forgive ourselves constantly. We have to recognize that we are doing the best we can with what we have. If that means we are using meds for a time, so be it. If those meds give us a crutch that allows us to get to the next level, then good. If that's what it takes, then that's what it takes. Do it and move on.

I know I have railed in here and elsewhere about the indiscriminate use of antidepressants. I do believe that most doctors do not understand these drugs adequately and that their patients are lab animals. I believe most doctors don't even know the correct way to monitor their use (not by asking questions, but through blood tests). I worry that too many of us believe in our doctors' ability to our own detriment.

My knee problems come from severe arthritis. I went in to my medical clinic for years with various complaints about my knees. I was sent to physical therapy when I did short-term damage to them. For years I have tried to find the right combination of activities and exercises that will strengthen them and bring them closer to normal. In all those years the problem was never actually diagnosed. There was a general diagnosis that "something is damaged" and the result was that I should strengthen certain muscles to compensate for that damage. There were no X-rays, no follow-through. I thought I was doing all that I could. It was only in this last month that I learned the problem is arthritis. I do think that if I had known that when I was in my 30s I might have been able to do more to stave off the serious damage I now have. I trusted the doctors too much. I wish I had done more research on my own or had insisted on more of a diagnosis. That's all water under the bridge and I am not crying over that spilled milk. But my many experiences now tell me that it never hurts to question or to insist on more information. This is the real message I'd like to get out. Not that anyone is "weak" or "bad" or "impure" because they use drugs. Just that medical professionals, even those who are doing the best they know, don't always know.

I think I have confused the issue more.
prom
Jun. 6th, 2002 07:07 am (UTC)
Re: Mother's Day and other stuff
I second this response (not that I was asked to of course..) - I *know* my hard-wiring has a few kinks in it & have much shame over depression (not that I was better when I was in denial & white-knuckling my way through everything with a party-face on); as much as I resent taking ad's, over the years they've given me my life back (when I get off my prideful high horse & just admit I'm whipped & in the depressive rabbit-hole) & leveled the playing field to where I *could* see more clearly some important issues that depression clouded my judgement and perception on. Meds don't change life's problems; they do quiet down the depression-clutter to where I can hear myself think more clearly. Yes I have very mixed feelings on the whole med/mental illness thing. Not sure if this is making sense, shutting up now
fynne
Jun. 6th, 2002 05:18 am (UTC)
Food and Mood, for me is an ever present issue. The older I get the more I must pay attention to all the internal/external. I have been on Ambien for years for sleep, causing daytime depression. Getting off them will be a very big life challenge. Opt out the med option I would say.
judith
Jun. 6th, 2002 06:43 am (UTC)
I do believe that those of us who can work our way through without meds really should do so, for our long-term health. I wasn't even considering using them.
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