Thursday, May 24, 2012

Feeling blue...

Was getting a bit bored the other day...what could I do to bring some excitement into my otherwise mundane & humdrum life? Like all brilliant solutions, the one that struck me, too, seemed glaringly obvious in retrospect. Color my hair turquoise? Why, what an absolutely marvelous idea!!

So, without further delay, presenting.....ME!


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Cultivating happiness

Great article...Most psychiatric therapy today is based around Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is pretty much training the mind to replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts, thereby cultivating a happy state of mind. 

A lot of Buddhist philosophy also deals with this - 'Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom' by Rick Hanson is a great resource, as is 'The art of Happiness' by the Dalai Lama & Howard C. Cutler (a leading psychiatrist).

I am currently off all anti-depressants and am getting better only with CBT therapy with Dr. Matt May. I will be writing more about this later.

If you or anyone you know suffer from depression, please do take a look at this article.

Monday, April 9, 2012

My name is Sahiba, and I suffer from depression

My name is Sahiba, and I suffer from severe suicidal depression and anxiety.

It’s taken me 15 years to say those words out loud, in front of everyone. 

I know that depression is an illness, no more my fault than if I have the flu. And yet, during an intense episode, the agonizing guilt and shame associated with the disease is crippling. 

Maybe it is this shame that makes it so difficult to reach out for help. Or accept help even when freely offered by those who love me. 

Now that I’ve finally started talking about it, I find that the floodgates are opening. I have so much to say about depression - how it played with my fibromyalgia & pain, how it eroded my confidence & self-esteem, and how it is finally leading to self-acceptance and self-discovery. I think I’m going to need a few posts to deal with it all.

The worst thing about depression is how it fools you into believing that you are the illness. It’s like someone has taken over your mind, your body, your very thoughts, and you have no control left over any of these. You are a prisoner within yourself.

Over the years, despite the CFS & fibromyalgia, I have prided myself on staying positive and fighting for the best possible life I could have. But when the depression attacks, it strikes at my very motivation for wanting to recover. “Why do I deserve to draw another breath?” How do you answer that question?

While I have had suicidal episodes over the years, the one that I’m now getting over was possibly one of the worst. Anyone who knows clinical depression will understand that it can take many forms. For me, it’s always been predominantly guilt. But for the first time in my life, anger took over. Suddenly all the internal self-blame became externalized and I couldn’t understand why I abruptly stopped connecting with people. 

I had always been such a patient, caring person. Hadn’t I? Or had I always been this selfish, anxious, bitter person I now felt like? Some days the anxiety was so much that I would spend hours lying trembling and crying on the floor with a knife in my hand, trying desperately to find a reason not to cut my wrist.

The only thing that got me through this time was my husband. In retrospect, this was not fair to him. If I had had the courage to share my illness with more people, the burden on him would have been reduced. I think we both hit rock bottom those days, but we made it through somehow...knock on wood :)

I also wanted to say that though my friends may not have been aware of what was happening with me, it soon became very clear to me who my real friends were. There were some who didn’t have any trouble forgetting about the years of interaction they had had with me. But there were others who may not have understood what was happening with me, but were willing to give me the benefit of the doubt and their support.  And that was all I really needed. Thank you.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

M.O.B - 27th June

“Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

~ Upanishads

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The death of 'I'

I have been trying so hard - and for so long - to stay strong. But I can't do it any more.

3 days ago I finally gave up my fight against allopathic medication and started Medrol, a Group A corticosteroid for the inflammation of the muscles and nerves. I no longer know why I put myself through the agony of the Lyrica & Cymbalta withdrawal symptoms, if I simply had to start on such strong medication again.

I feel defeated.

In fact, it's like there is no longer an 'I' left to either be strong or feel defeated. There is just pain and fatigue.

And I'll do just about anything to stop it.

At the very least I tried to stick to the hope that with the steroids, the pain would finally get a little bit better; that after 9 long years, my body would get a break from the agonizing misery....but it hasn't. And that may be the most disappointing thing of all.

The constant dizziness - I don't know whether it's the CFS/FM or the medication that's responsible - has been getting worse to the point where even lying in bed I feel the need to constantly hold onto something so I don't fall.

 I've never wanted to be that person who's always miserable and complaining. I always told myself that even if I can't help being miserable, I can at least not complain.

But since that 'I' no longer exists, I guess I can finally be weak and break down and cry...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Happy to be me

I'm finally off Cymbalta & Wellbutrin!

Can't believe I actually did it. The past couple of months have been amongst the worst ever. There were days - weeks even - when I felt like instead of bones and muscles and skin, all I was was a mass of unbelievable pain and a deep, never-ending, all-pervading fatigue. I didn't think I could go through the withdrawal.

But I did!

And I'm so proud of myself! :)

Now just 120mg Lyrica to go....

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Newsletter by Jenni (Chronic Babes)

Dear fellow ChronicBabes,
(view in your web browser)

Today I want to share with you a short, simple message: Be brave in the face of chronic illness. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by fear or sadness. It’s easy to get confused, or to feel swamped with questions about the unknown—or to be angry about having to live with something you didn’t plan for, or don’t want to face. These feelings can weigh you down, and can fester and turn into fear.
Fear can hold you back. Fear can stop you in your tracks. Fear can keep you from being the truly awesome Babe you are meant to be.
I know this because I’ve let fear stop me before. I can tell you this because I’ve been there myself—I’ve experienced times in my life when fear overwhelmed me and stopped me cold.
But every day, I recommit myself to stand up against my fears and to live an incredible life in spite of chronic illness. And today is really one of those days—a day when I am truly standing tall and meeting my fear face-to-face, looking it square in the eye, saying hello to it, and then walking right on by. Fear is not going to stop me from being an awesome ChronicBabe, no matter how sick I am. I am going to rock this life!
Maybe this fear-fighting idea is old news to you; in that case, let this simply be a gentle reminder from a good friend. On the other hand, maybe this is a fresh idea for you; in that case, I hope you’ll consider printing this email and carrying it in your pocket for a few days, re-reading it each time you feel fear tug at your sleeve. (This is a favorite trick of mine.)
Feel fear? Face it down. Don’t let it stop you. I believe in you! And if you want to talk about your favorite fear-busting techniques, come on over to the Forum and we can have a chat about it.  I’ve already started a list there of some of my favorite fear-fighting techniques and I think our Forum members will be posting lots more.
Thanks for sharing this moment with me, friends. Be AWAP… (As. Well. As. Possible.)

Editrix Jenni