Assuming the Mantle

Hannah pauses between flights

I was the designated taker-of-kids-to-the-sledding-hill parent this time, so I brought Atticus along just for good measure.

The kids had a BLAST on the hill back behind the Highland Park Rec Center, and I ended up by sledding down the hill myself.

Atticus had an amazing run in a desolate area of the field (acres of untramped snow for a dog to romp!) and we ended the day with lunch at Mickey’s Diner, then I drove down to Bella Lana to pick up two more skeins of yarn for gifts. Good times!

I’m going to call the doc today – it’s obvious that this cold/flu thing I have should be isolated in a petrie dish and used as a biological warfare deterrent.

– We dare not invade the US, they have the ACV* Strain!

Also, with Gerry so susceptible, it’s just not wise for me to walk around with this. So I’ve made an appt to see my doc tomorrow, after I see the dentist. A full and rich day for me. At this moment, though, moving off of this couch seems like a monumental task.

The sleeve hit a hitch when I found myself both running out of yarn, and unhappy with the heaviness of the fabric. So I ripped out and I’ll be reknitting with a larger needle, and may even throw in some eyelets between the ribs and cables to keep the sleeves from being too thick and unwieldy. I’m not fond of ripping out – well, not when I feel a little rushed – but I’d much rather rip out than turn in something I’m not proud of.

And speaking of sleeves, I just can’t seem to get the darned second sleeve finished on the Tilli Tomas Cardigan. I hate this betwixt & between period when I just have to get the darned thing FINISHED! The good news is that I worked a double knit edging along the front edges and neckline of the garment, so once the sleeve is done, it is DONE!

Cheer Up
The State Rankings on Depression Status have come out, and the last two states I’ve lived in rank among the top 6 in terms of dealing with depression. Yay! (Who knew?)

So in honor of this statistic I’ll do a little happy elf dance, courtesy of Cindy & Office Max

The top 5 are:

South Dakota
New Jersey

Utah and West Virginia bring up the rear – which is not to say that they have more depressed folks, but according to the study they may not be putting the same importance on mental health issues as the other states.

Four factors used to rank the states were: 1) Adults and 2) adolescents experiencing one depressive episode in the past year. 3) Percent of adults experiencing serious psychological distress. 4) Average days in last 30 in which the population reported that their mental health was not good.

I don’t talk about this much – mostly because it could open me up to a lot of negative comment and ‘helpful’ advice about dealing with depression holistically (not that this isn’t an option, and I do take advantage of foods and vitamin supplements that can help enhance mood naturally) – but I am a proud member of the Fluoxi-team.

My name is Annie, and I take Serafem (aka Prozac.)

I can’t say I ever felt guilty about taking it, but at the start I did feel odd. Rather like I should be able to deal with anything on my own, without the need for chemistry to enhance my mood.

I was also worried that my creativity would be affected. That turned out to be a non-worry; once I was able to prioritize my needs, wants and desires, I was able to be much more productive and creative.

More than a ‘happy pill,’ I feel that taking my pink and grey capsule helps me prioritize the important stuff, and allows me to let the other stuff take care of itself.

I feel that my dad was severely depressed – undiagnosed – and self medicated himself to deal with his chemical imbalance using alcohol and prescription pain killers. Not great for him, and worse for his family.

I have no idea what might have been, or could have been done differently for my dad, especially given the treatment resources at that time, but I have no doubts that my own life is enhanced by drug therapy. I know that my own kids have a happier and more balanced parent than I did. So at least in that respect we’re gaining ground.

Folks who are resistant to this – either for themselves or for others – can be very vocal in their disdain. It’s hard to admit to taking Serafem when I know that some folks may say, “Why can’t you just handle a bad mood?” or “I don’t think I’d ever rely on a drug to make me happy…”

But it’s not really that way.

If you think of depression as a disease – and it is – then you begin to realize that taking a drug to maintain a healthy chemical balance in the brain is not that different from taking a drug to maintain lung health, or keep insulin levels in order.

That’s quite a leap, though, for those who have been brought up to believe that drug therapy for depression is wrong.

A few years I ran into a good friend who was dealing with post partum depression. She’d had two babies in as many years, and was beside herself. She was also dealing with a husband and mother in law who were rather fundamentalist, and felt that the only ‘drug’ one needed to assuage feelings of depression or thoughts of suicide was Jesus.

Religion can be a help and a comfort, but in this case my friend was made to feel guilty for even considering that there might be something out there that could help her bridge the place she was at mentally and the place she’d like to be.

I told her about my own experience, and she was very grateful to know someone – anyone – who had been going through was she was going through, and had found some light at the end of the tunnel.

Nothing in life is perfect, and I know some folks with mental hea
lth issues have been misdiagnosed and badly treated using incorrect medications. But for me this route has been working very well for a few years – and I’m very glad that I’m on it.

And now to drag my warm and cozy behind off the sofa so I can take Atticus for a chilly walk – which he loves! He’s a snowdog!

*[Annie Crud Virus]

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