I am extremely relieved to report that I am feeling a LOT better now. The withdrawal effects coming off the anti-depressents were truly dreadful- it felt like I was living in some kind of horrible, alternative reality- but they have subsided now.
So much has been happening, I thought it would be best to list things:
- We have new addition to the family- a ridgeback puppy. His name is Ernest and he is simultaneously the cutest creature on the planet and the most hectic. We got him because he is one of the best kinds of dogs to run with and will make running in the forest and greenbelts a lot safer for me. He will also add to our security because ridgebacks are fairly intimidating, large breeds. It is a long-term project, though, because Ernest will not be able to run with me until he is over a year old, without the risk of getting terrible arthritis later. This means that at the moment, I need to walk the puppy and Benji AND run on separate occasions, which makes for lots of time outside, which is not a bad thing!
- I am doing a lovely parenting course, called Roots and Wings. I love the other moms doing the course and feel excited that some significant shifts will be made in our family as a result of the course.
- I have done 2 Toastmasters speeches on Intermittent Fasting and want to post a detailed post on this practice, which really seems to be helping me.
- We had the most incredible holiday over the long weekend at the end of April. I can highly recommend a visit to Victoria Falls and this will definitely be a full blog post for another day.
- I joined a #100gratefuldays challenge, where I am posting a pic each day and writing about what happened on that day that sparked gratitude. It is a powerful practice that keeps one focused on finding those special moments throughout the day.
It feels like I am almost managing my depression and anxiety without medication, but I am not under any illusion that I am healed. For example, I am struggling with feelings of victimisation and I have to remind myself all the time that I am the master of my own destiny and not a victim of circumstances. That, for example, I chose to get a puppy and getting up in the night because of him is a consequence of my own decision. A decision I do not regret, especially when snuggling him and breathing in all his precious puppiness! Negative thoughts are present almost constantly, even as I search for my grateful moments and enjoy so much of my day! The word “battle”, when used referring to depression is a truly apt one. I battle ALL THE TIME. But I don’t think I am losing the battle. I am exhausted by it, but I feel I am making progress.
My hope is that my brain will adjust and strengthen in time and things that “push me over the edge” right now, will no longer do that and my capacity for stress, anxiety and anger triggers will improve. Please, please, please let it be so.