Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Important Updates

It's time for an update on my monthly goals so far for 2015, to help keep myself accountable.

But first, a digression.

I love blogging. I blog for myself, mostly. I order a book version of my blog, one for each year, and my family and I love reading those books. Recently, thanks to my smart phone, I post more frequently on Intagram and Facebook. But those venues don't allow me to document my life in a way that is quite as meaningful as this blog. So I keep it going, even if the blogging-craze has mellowed a bit in the world.

When I look back over the years here on "Meg's Life," the number of times I posted during any given time period reflects what was going on in my life.

2008: 93 posts. 2009: 108 posts. Those were great years.

2010: 88 posts. Not so great. Our son Riley died that year, and I forced myself to do fun things with the family and then blog about it, knowing that I would regret empty holes in my memory books the way I regretted not being in more photos with the Riley during the 10 weeks he was with us. So that number could have been much, much worse.

2011: 102 posts. 2012: 96 posts. Great years. Lincoln was born in April of 2011, and heaven help me: I can't stop taking pictures of that boy. He is officially our final child, and we are relishing his smallness while it lasts.

2013: 59 posts. 2014: 52. Sigh. What happened? We moved in the spring of 2013. But it has been a GREAT move for us! And I have such an amazing life. Chad's job transfer has been awesome, the kids have wonderful schools, we love our house and our friends at church. But I had been struggling emotionally, feeling like I was slogging through mud each day, going through the motions. Not able to take pleasure in the things I love. Cranky and tired, yelling at the kids.

I finally faced what I had been trying to deny for two years. The symptoms were there. Sadness. Loss of interest in activities. Low energy. Problems sleeping. Anger and irritability. It wasn't surprising when my doctor visit in January resulted in a diagnosis of depressive disorder. I hadn't wanted to face the shame of resorting to medication to solve my emotional problems. I was a strong, capable, driven woman. But I was at an end. I started taking medication. Despite the doctor's caveat that I probably wouldn't experience a miraculous change, it has pretty much been just that. I am still getting used to feeling good. Menial tasks are suddenly surmountable. The dirty dishes and sticky floor no longer make me cry. Routine life setbacks don't crush me. Chad doesn't come home to find me in bed, watching 13 Going on 30, surrounded by candy wrappers and popcorn kernels. Mason's behavior at school has dramatically improved (his teacher said to me, "Whatever you're doing, keep it up!"). Our home life is so much more peaceful. Chad and I are closer than ever.

I wasn't sure if this would be something I'd mention on this blog. Wasn't this topic too personal, too sensitive? But then, I didn't have a problem sharing the news when I began allergy shots. Or started taking medication for migraines. No one balks when a diabetic mentions their need for insulin. So I'm sharing: I take medication for my own body's imbalance.

Not everyone understands. Only those closest to me have known how much I've privately struggled. And I don't know if a person can truly understand depression or anxiety unless they've lived it, or have seen a loved one go through it. There will still be people who will assert that when depression hits, a pep talk, good nutrition, and getting out of the house will solve the problem. There is still a stigma (a friend actually used that word right after I had confided in her that I had started taking medication... grrr). But it's getting better. And I'm hoping that some day it will become just as acceptable to talk about depression as high blood pressure.


Okay, so now for the updates on this year's goals!

Year-Long goals:
1: Read 15,600 pages (so far: 10 books and 3,646 pages)
2: Blog at least once a week (This hasn't happened. This is only my 5th post so far this year. I did, however, fill in some serious blanks from September to December of last year.)

January: "Be Healthy"
3: Find a dermatologist and schedule an appointment (Done. Clean bill of health.)
4: Exercise 5 times a week (Didn't happen in January, but I knocked it out of the park in February, thanks to free classes taught by local friends. Monday: Weights, Tuesday: Bootcamp, Wednesday: Dancercize, Thursday: Kickboxing, Friday: Zumba)
5: Lights out every day at 9pm (I did it, but it didn't help my sleep as much as I'd hoped. Since being on my new meds, and adding a melatonin pill at night, I've been sleeping much better since February)
6: Eat 3 servings of veggies a day (I think I did pretty well at this one. I've been using My Fitness Pal to keep track of diet and exercise.)

February: "Be Loving"
7: Complete the Dating Divas love calendar (I didn't quite complete every day, but came pretty close. Chad caught on after only a few days of cute notes and texts.)
8: Sight-see with Jaime (This one, sadly, didn't happen. But I won't give up hope!)
9: Speak quietly, with love (I did pretty well. February was freaking awesome.)

March: "Economize"
10: Stick to a budget (I need to buckle back down on this one. Our vacation last week threw me off a bit.)
11: Rotate and replenish food storage (I have orders in the works for Emergency Essentials, the church cannery, and one for buckets of white wheat from Utah (hopefully our Queen Creek group meets the quota!)

So, that is the official life update.

And, as someone wise once said, "Everything is awesome."


brittany said...

I'm sure more people will relate to this post than you ever realized. I have also dealt with depression. I've been on and off medication. The worst for me is dealing with PPD, it makes such a happy event a struggle.

I've been off of anti-depressants for about 6 months now. My doctor caught how low my Vitamin D levels had dropped and prescribed a supplement. Since adding a simple D3 pill from Wal-mart I've had a DRASTIC change in my mood as well. The mood swings are gone and I feel much more level headed. And because of the way society is it's a lot easier to tell people I'm on Vitamin D rather than Prozac. Maybe one day that will change because of brave people like you!

Heather said...

Megan, I just want to say that I continuously admire your strength, ambition, and creativity, to name a few of your awesome qualities. I look up to you for the big-sister stuff, the mommy stuff, the makeup stuff, the cooking stuff...I could go on. Thank you for setting such a great example for me! Keep calm and carry on!

Mom said...

I couldn't be more proud of you! You have always tried to overcome the troubles life throw at you with everything you've got. One more difficult hurdle and you're doing what ever you have to do to succeed. You are amazing and I love you so much!!!

Jaime Lynne said...

I love you. I support whatever you do to be and stay healthy.

And I support any extra effort you put toward blogging this year.

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