Tuesday, January 24, 2006
In the grocery store: Cereal - what kind? low sugar? high fiber? Ok, one of each that are on sale. What's cheaper - small box? big box? Maybe we don't need cereal this week. Do we have any oatmeal? (forgetting to look at list)
Bread - wheat? white? the whole wheat that looks like white to fool the ones that don't like wheat? How about getting some English muffins or bagels? which one? can't decide - never mind. (wonder if the list would help)
At home: Laundry - whites first? towels? clorine bleach? hot? cold to save energy? more than one load - no, because when I run out of steam they'll sit in the washer until they sour.
Do you want to go to a movie? which one? don't even ask - it hurts my brain to even think of it; just please choose the one you want - I will enjoy it.
Getting dressed - 5-10 minutes staring at the underwear drawer deciding which bra, panties and pair of socks to wear; then another 5-10 sitting on the bed in front of the closet picking out a shirt and pants. Keeping in mind the socks should match.
This explains why when I do wear jewelry, it's one or two simple pieces once in a while. Talking to the hairdresser - just do what you think will look good. It's frustrating. My mind, faced with a choice when I'm depressed, cannot think, choose, concentrate. It's very hard for people to understand. They think I don't care, but that's not it - my brain just won't go there right now.
Sunday, January 22, 2006
Friday, January 20, 2006
We had a bit of a scare with my mother-in-law (heretofore referred to as MIL) this week. She was at her volunteer job at the hospital and had an irregular heartbeat. They kept her for the night; my husband drove up; by the morning she was ok. We're just at that age where you know that your parents are not going to be here forever. My dad is having a spot on his lung watched. I worry and worry about him. It feels the same way as when the kids are not feeling well - you just don't want them to have to be in any pain.
We are trying to get in shape - be a bit healthier. I've quit smoking (with a relapse or two) and we're trying to exercise more. When the kids were small and I was single, I knew I needed to be healthy so that I could take care of them. Now I need to be healthy to feel better - slow the aches and pains that creep up during middle age. When I'm elderly, I suppose I'll be trying to be healthy for the kids again so they won't have to take care of me.
Monday, January 16, 2006
1) Being gay is not natural. Real Americans always reject unnatural things like eyeglasses, polyester, liposuction and air conditioning.
2) Gay marriage will encourage people to be gay, in the same way that hanging around tall people will make you tall.
3) Legalizing gay marriage will open the door to all kinds of crazy behavior. People may even wish to marry their pets because a dog has legal standing and can sign a marriage contract.
4) Straight marriage has been around a long time and hasn't changed at all; women are still property, blacks still can't marry whites, and divorce is still illegal.
5) Straight marriage will be less meaningful if gay marriage were allowed; the sanctity of Britney Spears' 55-hour just-for-fun marriage would be destroyed.
6) Straight marriages are valid because they produce children. Gay couples, infertile couples, and old people shouldn't be allowed to marry because our orphanages aren't full yet, and the world needs more children.
7) Obviously gay parents will raise gay children, since straight parents only raise straight children.
8) Gay marriage is not supported by religion. In a theocracy like ours, the values of one religion are imposed on the entire country. That's why we have only one religion in America.
9) Children can never succeed without a male and a female role model at home. That's why we as a society expressly forbid single parents to raise children.
10) Gay marriage will change the foundation of society; we could never adapt to new social norms. Just like we haven't adapted to cars, the service-sector economy, or longer life spans...
--Re-post this if you believe in legalizing gay marriage
Saturday, January 14, 2006
My kids were in scouts, basketball, daughter in cheerleading, gymnastics, softball, son in baseball and football. She played violin in the orchestra and clarinet in the band. He played trombone in the band and plays electric and bass guitar for fun. When we could afford to, we went to movies, water parks and even saved to go to Disney. When we were broke, we went to the library, museum and roller skating. We were involved in church. I finished my bacherlor's degree and started a master's at night while working full time. All of the above while I was single and suffering from major depression. I feel like super-mom!
Now that they are teenagers, there's no extra-curricular activities. My son is failing some classes in high school. My daughter's health isn't too good and she has no insurance. It's time for their own struggles. Hopefully, they'll be able to look back and give themselves credit.
Friday, January 13, 2006
I'm what you'd call a Type B personality. Things that make it to my priority list absolutely, positively have to get done. Lately, the list has been pretty damn short. The dog and cat get fed because they can't make a sandwich. Ok, we had one slow cooker meal this week. Maybe we'll have another one today.
Back in the fall, I was feeling great and talked the psychiatrist into reducing one of my anti-depressants. That was the mistake: now I'm somewhat down even after increasing the dose back to what it was. Just waiting to feel better and realizing that I should just stay with what is working. In the meantime, I'm in slow motion, sluggish, got that sad in the chest and behind the eyes feeling and have been taking extra naps. I haven't exercised, but I did make an appointment with the psychologist. My daughter is coming over today - that will cheer me up. Maybe we'll go shopping - we've got gift cards from Christmas burning holes in our wallets!
So that's how it goes with me - for every negative thought, I've learned to counter with a positive. When I'm critical of myself, I make a point of noticing any little thing that I accomplish. And my greatest skill is patience - the ability to wait however long it takes to feel better. I've felt so much worse for so much longer, so I'm confident I will be fine soon. I just hope I don't worry my husband too much.
Thursday, January 12, 2006
Then there's a freak in Germany, Armin Meiwes, who cannibilized a volunteer. Apparently there are hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand cannibals in Germany.
Tuesday, January 10, 2006
According to Jonathan Haidt, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and author of the new book The Happiness Hypothesis:
"Happiness has a very weak relation to the events in our lives," Haidt says. "Your happiness level is determined mostly by the structure in your brain not by whether good or bad things happen to you. Negative events hurt or feel bad, but they are not usually as bad as we think and don't last as long as we think."
Happiness is an individual thing, he says, like a thermostat in our brains with a baseline that's predetermined by genetics. "We all move around, up or down, around our set point" depending on life events, he says. "The key to the psychology of happiness is to move to the upper range of your potential." He advises a three-point check-up on the state of personal relationships, the work environment and control over daily life, because improving those areas will boost happiness.
After raising kids with asthma and chronic bronchitis, the trick is to tell the doctor they're up all night coughing. Then they'll get some cough medicine that works. Poor kids - having to take that nasty tasting whatever-tussin for nothing!
Monday, January 09, 2006
Out of the 29 news items listed, 12 include violence. Perhaps violent news 'affects behavior' when it comes to adults. Maybe violence is part of our genetic makeup. It seems to have been with mankind since the beginning. My 14 year old son plays some violent video games and is peaceful and kind. People's behavior is based more on their personality. I don't think restricting or eliminating violent games or violence on television will change society.
Sunday, January 08, 2006
Before the holidays a girl stepped out in front of a train. Two trains were passing in opposite directions. She crossed after the first went by right as the second started to pass. There were counseling sessions at the school and memorials left at the railroad crossing.
Being familiar with suicide attempts via my mom, depression via me and my kids, I would choose to open up. But I understand and respect those families who can't face that. People say that there is nothing worse than losing a kid. Losing a kid to suicide is worse - lots worse.
I wish I were professionally qualified to speak at schools about depression and suicide. Depression can be fatal, but it is treatable. If your kid needed medication to treat an illness that could kill, you would make sure those meds got taken. But stigma - the idea that mental illness is 'all in your head' - prevents people from getting treatment or helping the mentally ill. Your brain is a part of your body. If your body gets sick, you go to the doctor and get treatment. Mental illness is the brain getting sick.
It is also a mistake to always dismiss kids' moods as normal adolescence. The best thing to happen to my kid was a unit on depression in health class in 7th grade. He was able to come home and say 'I feel like that.' The biggest challenge was finding a child psychiatrist. So I would like to think that I would open up to help other families.
I'm not criticizing anyone. I can't presume to know the dynamics of other families. We all do the best we can. My thoughts and prayers are with those who are affected by mental illness.
Friday, January 06, 2006
Monday, January 02, 2006
So I’ve excercised 3 times in the last 5 days! Our community fitness center is new and has all kinds of equipment, weights, gyms, pools, classes, a indoor track, saunas & spa (my favorite feature) I’m up to 20 minutes of aerobic work on the elliptical trainer or bike, then a couple laps walking around the track before I hit the sauna and/or spa. I hope to check out a yoga class this week. My husband is making me dinner right now from a world cookbook he bought. Hopefully, we’ll get a little healthier every day!
Hopefully, this information will spread to those people who stopped or avoided treatment because of the reports that suicide attempts increased instead of decreased. This study was longer with a much much larger group than those that showed the opposite. More details are explained in this Rueters article.
The study also found that newer antidepressants were associated with a faster decline in rates of suicidal behaviour than older drugs. Among the 65,103 patients taking antidepressants, there were 31 completed suicides in the six months following the antidepressant prescription.That rate was not higher in the one month after the prescription than in subsequent months. In the case of adolescents, the researchers found that teenagers had tried to commit suicide more often than adults. They found that the rate for the first six months of antidepressant treatment was 314 attempts per 100,000 in teens while in adults it was 78 attempts per 100,000.As with adults, the rate was highest in the month before treatment and declined by about 60 percent after treatment began.
Sunday, January 01, 2006
Leap seconds are an outgrowth of the post-World War II development of increasingly accurate clocks based on the regular vibration, or "resonance," of atoms as they pass through a magnetic field. In 1958 an atomic second was defined as the time it takes for an atom of cesium 133 to tick through 9,192,631,770 cycles.
At that point atomic time and astronomical time are approximately the same, with the traditional astronomical second defined as 1/86,400th of a "mean solar day," the average time between two consecutive noons.
The trouble is that the heavens behave more capriciously than cesium. Also, the length of Earth's day is increasing by about two milliseconds per century because of the tides, whereas today's atomic clocks, unaffected by cosmic events, tick away with an accuracy within one second for every 20 million years.
Now who knew? And who cares? Apparently, there are those who say this difference affects things like computers and satellites. I'll bet not as much as the Y2K crisis.