I recently wrote a thank you note to my doctor. It’s the first time I’ve ever done that or rather the first time I ever felt the overwhelming “want” to. It’s not to say I haven’t had great doctors in my life but this one saved my life.
This doctor is my psychiatrist. I chose this doctor when I was in the middle of a horrible depression. Horrible. He listened to me, asked a ton of questions and was never surprised by my answers even though *I* was surprised by my answers. And to have those answers be true… No. I wasn’t supposed to be in there in that spot.
I adamantly refused medication with the exception of an anti anxiety med. A mild dose that worked wonders for the anxiety but did nothing for the depression. I carried on like that for a couple of months. After a while I couldn’t stand the way I was feeling anymore. We then discussed antidepressants. And I started my roller coaster of med trials and dealing with side effects, some more troublesome than others. This went on for 2 years. Some meds did work for a while then stop or peter off. Some I had to give a full trial time of about 6 weeks only to report back that there was no effect good or bad. It was a crap shoot I felt.
It wasn’t until March 2015 did he finally hit the right combo and added an antidepressant I hadn’t trialed before. My mood was great I hadn’t felt like myself in so long I welcomed myself back. I can’t tell you the awe I felt to actually be in a good mood again. To not be a anxiety riddled depressed shell of a person.
My husband noticed that I was “happy” and I was/am. I joke and laugh with my kids. I can laugh at myself and I no longer fill my head with horrible untrue statements.
I say that I chose this doctor but in truth he was chosen for me. Dr. L was originally treating my son and I adored him for Thomas. When the crap hit the fan for me and I really needed a doctor, I chose Dr. L. He was put in my life, in my path for a reason. Not soon after he was treating Thomas did Thomas go to residential school.
So today I wrote Dr. L. a thank you note. I thanked him for believing I would beat the depression when I didn’t believe it myself. I let him know I’m in such a better place right now and it is because of him.
I’m the heaviest right now than I’ve ever been in my life aside from being pregnant. I loathe it; seriously. I tried Weight Watchers and managed to lose 10 pounds but then fell off the wagon around Easter and I’ve had a very difficult time going back to counting points and wondering if I was over my point allowance, did I use up all my “extra” points for the week? I was inspired to try Weight Watchers from my cousin Toni who was and still is doing great on the program. I’m back to being inspired by her and back to following the program. Hopefully I’ll keep it up and lose more weight. I’ve always been on the thin side. I know smoking did help with keeping my weight in check. I’m not advocating smoking cigarettes as a weight loss aide but whether it be the nicotine or any of the other (God knows how many) chemicals in cigarettes there’s something there that keeps your appetite from being out of control.
My husband is wonderful and has never mentioned my weight gain, he tells me not to worry. I think he’s concerned that I may stop taking the anti depressant that caused the weight gain. I won’t do that, it took me long enough to find the right combo of meds to make me not be depressed. I would not want to start over again. If I have to choose being happy and overweight/thin and depressed I’ll chose happy and overweight. I can’t tell you what it took to admit that and even type it out. I really don’t enjoy shopping for clothes anymore. Don’t get me wrong I still do my thrift shopping gig but I get a bigger kick out of shoes and bags more than ever before. There’s no judgement or “fit” for shoes and bags. The right shoe or bag can elevate anything you’re wearing and just make you feel fabulous.
I’ve also ventured into the love of watches. Don’t ask I don’t know where that one came from. I’m thinking much like shoes and bags; with wearing a watch it really doesn’t matter what size you are. Finding watches while thrifting is not easy, there are people who thrift or yard sale shop specifically for watches. I’ve managed to find a couple of nice ones but nothing much to write home about.
So here’s to being back on Weight Watchers and keeping track of points and staying within the lines of their rules.
Yep, it’s that time again…bathing suit season ~~shudder~~. I decided to hit TJ Maxx for their selection and low prices. And believe it or not their dressing rooms were not set up for failure like most major department stores. Last year I went to Macy’s and the lighting in their dressing rooms seemed to emphasize every wrinkle, flaw, cellulite you name it. TJ Maxx on the other hand had bright enough lighting but not the glaring fluorescence that will highlight every flaw you already know you have and don’t need the extra reminder.
I ended up with your basic one piece suit, black and white. Its nice and fit well. Last year’s dilemma over wearing a bikini is no longer a dilemma due to the lovely weight gain I’ve experienced due to much needed medication. I’m not okay or happy with the weight gain but I’m not letting it rule my life as it had in the past. I’m not going to rock the boat and change medication that is already working well in the hopes that I will lose weight. I’d rather be this weight and mentally healthy than skinny and depressed.
Alyssa came home with her yearbook from high school. It was nice to go through it with her and see all the pictures of her and her friends. It brought the reality of her graduating all the more to the fore front. Today she showed me all the nice and wonderful things her friends wrote. It was sweet to read. Especially when the writer was someone she’d known since grammar school. I wrote to her as well. It was easy to write to her, the words just flowed from my heart to the page. Then…I got choked up. Especially when I wrote how God has blessed me with her and now I must let her go to have even more experiences. I’m so proud of Alyssa. She made me grow as a mother while I watched her grow into this amazing young woman. And I have the privilege of watching my younger 2 daughters grow in the same manner.
I’m still amazed at how fast the past almost 18 years have flown by. It does seem like yesterday that I was this young overwhelmed mother of (then) 2 children. I used to put Thomas and Alyssa in the double bus like stroller and walk the neighborhood with them. We were regulars at the Italian deli a few blocks over. Things were much simpler then but to be honest I wouldn’t go back even if I could. Once around that merry go round was enough. I enjoy my Alyssa these days, don’t get me wrong she can exasperate me like no other and she still leaves her stuff all around the house and she doesn’t empty the dishwasher… but I do enjoy her company. She is thoughtful and sweet and most important she talks to me. I pray for her future and that she will enjoy the brightness of it.
I have this song running through my head this morning, Blessings by Laura Story. Yesterday my husband and I were talking to a neighbor who also has a special needs daughter. Many of you know about our Thomas who is also special needs. We’ve been through many, many trials with Thomas. And everytime I hear this song I think of him. What if our greatest trial is God’s blessing in disguise?
Anyway, when we were speaking with our neighbor she mentioned that she often wonders what her daughter would have been like had things been different. My husband replied that he often thinks the same thing about Thomas. I do think that also about Thomas. The big “what if?” What if he’d been born “normal”?. What if? It almost makes you loathe the word, “if”. That word can hold so much. Thomas is one of the greatest achings of my life. It still pains me that he cannot live at home. I know my husband feels the same. I love Thomas for who he is now, not what he could have been. Thomas being the way he is changed me as a mother. And if I were to be able to change him to a “normal” person, would I then have to change myself to how I was before he was in my life?
I honestly don’t dwell on the what ifs because it is pointless. I tend to focus on the present and future which can hold enough worry all by themselves. But this song speaks so perfectly to my heart. Especially when she sings, “This is not our home…” No, this is not our home. I often wonder if when I do meet our Lord will I ask Him questions about my earthly life. Thomas being in the forefront of those queries. Why were we chosen to be his parents? Why did God make things so challenging? Why the heartache? Or will I even care at that point? What I do believe is that when Thomas meets the Lord and joins us, I believe he will tell us himself. It will be glorious to hear my son talk clearly and coherently. I was given a glimpse of this in a dream I had a couple of years ago. Thomas was just a typical teen and him, Alyssa and I were just sitting in our front sun porch talking to one another. I have no idea what we were talking about I just remember Thomas being “normal”. I know when we’re all in heaven together we’ll all talk again. God gave me a preview.
I’ve been thinking lately how I haven’t been giving God the credit/glory for my life. For my husband, my family, my depression being lifted. Here I am feeling healthy for the first time in a long time and I have the nerve to not give God the glory. I credited my doctor for finding the right medication to prescribe but truth is if it weren’t for God who placed this doctor in my life to begin with I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I had been frustrated that it took as long as it did to find the right medication. There is a reason it took as long as it did. What that reason is? I have no idea but I know it is part of His master plan. God always has a plan. We’re just not always privy to what that plan is.
I think of my testimony of the first time I met the Lord. Thomas was in and out of the psychiatric hospital. And I was angry, so very angry. Angry at God for not letting me “in” to know his plan. I’d never been angry like this before, my husband was even concerned. My friend Toni suggested I listen to the song by Casting Crowns, “Praise you in this storm”. I’d heard the song many times before, I even sang along to it if it played on the radion. I put the CD in while driving home after dropping Samantha off at pre-K one morning. As the song played I began crying, and crying. While stopped at a red light (at an intersection I’ll never forget) I had the distinct vision of Jesus standing behind me. While I was crying I envisioned Him cupping his hand and collecting my tears. It was beautiful. I drove home in peace and had peace from then on. I was no longer angry at God. I realized He did have a plan and I only needed to trust in Him.
I think now of the trust I had then. I need to always have that trust and know that He is God and nothing is by accident or coincidence. There was no mistake in the medications I tried and they didn’t work. There are reasons only known by Him why I had to go through that storm. And it is by His grace that I came through the storm and I can talk about it.