Friday, December 31, 2010

The end of 2010

Its the last day of the year. How did that happen? Before it's gone and another year begins, I want to capture some good thoughts from this year and some things I'd like to leave behind.

Good things

We got married! Probably the most exciting thing that happened this year. I will finish the story of the day soon, promise.

I got my reading back. That was pretty huge. It means I feel a little more like myself and I have some hope that my MA will get done.

I came off my anti-depressants. That was huge too!

I picked up my MA again, with the determination to finish it this time. I still have bumps and panics. The last few months haven't been as productive as I wanted them to be, due to colds knocking me back and shaking my confidence. I want to get back on it and finish it, properly and well.

Things I'd like to leave behind

I've been quite ill several times - pre-wedding concussion, a post-wedding crash (apparently un-blogged), the blood clot I had in August, the excruciating sciatic back pain I've had over Christmas, my ongoing CFS. I'd like to be healthier in 2011. I know I'm unlikely to return to my pre-post-viral fatigue state. CFS is for most people a lifelong condition, but I'm learning to live with it. I'd like the lows to be less low, even though that may mean the highs being less high. I'd like to learn to manage my health, rather than be subject to it.

I've put on a fair amount of weight since we got married, mostly as a consequence of the above. I've not been able to do much exercise and I've been stuck inside feeling sorry for myself a lot. This led to lots of comfort eating and the feeling that I didn't care about myself and didn't deserve to be healthy. I want to change that, take back control, get a healthier attitude to food and lose some weight. This should also help me to be healthier in other ways too.

Things I'd like to do

Learn more about loving my Rob. These first 9 months or so have been good ones and hard ones. I like being married. I love that Rob looks after me and I couldn't have got through some of the things that happened without him. I know there's so much more I can do to learn about him as a person and to love him more. I think that'll be a goal for the rest of my life.

Learn more about loving God. We couldn't have got this far without God and without the support of our church family. I'd like to know God better, to spend more time in prayer and reading the Bible and to let God change me more. Sometimes it's easy to look good and be able to give 'right answers' in difficult circumstances but underneath, I'm lost and drowning. I want to know God better and have a closer relationship with him.

Blog more. I now have three blogs - this one, Pigwotknits and a LiveJournal blog which so far is a copy of this one plus some silly memes. I'd like to blog more on all of them, and work out whether to use this and my LJ blog differently. I can make the LJ one more private, so I may end up using it for the things I don't want to broadcast to the world, but write only for myself, or myself and Rob. We'll see. Pigwotknits definitely needs some love. I still knit, but less stuff seems to make it to the blog. Possibly because I'm more likely to use Ravelry.

Return to paid work. I need to get the MA out of the way first. I may or may not be able to handle full time work, we'll see. But it would help our collective finances if I were earning too. I'm trying not to put myself under too much pressure, but I do need a little pressure to get on with and finish my dissertation and work out what the next thing to do is. (Not a PhD, that's for sure. Maybe children, but earning some money before that happens sounds like a good idea to me).

I think that's enough planning to be going on with. Enjoy the last day of 2010. May 2011 bring you wonderful things!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

It's early Christmas morning. Rob's not awake yet, but he will be soon, as we're off to spend the day with his family. Just time for me to wish you all a wonderful Christmas and to post the verse that keeps coming back to me this year.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:14 (ESV)

May you know Jesus, the Word become flesh, and see his glory this Christmas.

Monday, December 06, 2010

off my meds

I've been on anti-depressants (fluoxetine) since May 2008. They helped a lot. When I was initially ill with post-viral fatigue, they took the edge off. That summer when I was properly depressed, they helped me feel a bit more alive. I stayed on them because I needed them. Of course, not everything about being on fluoxetine is great. I wanted to come off it before I got married because my main side effect was super-vivid dreams and being very restless in my sleep. I wanted to avoid subjecting Rob to that, if possible. But about a year ago, it was clear I was depressed again, I think due to all the changes that were happening in my life, and rather than decreasing my dosage in the run-up to our wedding, I increased it.

In the months since we got married, I initially crashed in mood and energy levels, leading to a referral to an ME clinic and the realisation that I most probably do have ME/CFS. But in the last few months, I've been feeling much better, in mood if not always in energy, and so I decided it was time to come off fluoxetine for good.

On Sunday 28 November, I took my last dose. It's been over a week now and I'm ok. I'm not depressed or blank or weepy as I was this time last year. I'm still easily tired and a little frustrated with getting so tired, but I'm not depressed. As for the side effects, well, you'll have to ask Rob if I'm any less restless. I still dream, sometimes they're vivid, but I seem to be losing my least favourite dreams - the ones that come just before I wake up, where I'm endlessly trying to break out of dreams into reality.

Fluoxetine was a useful drug when I needed it. I don't think it in itself solved anything, but it lifted me enough to take the edge off depression, to make the lows less dark and help me cope. I hope I won't need it again in the future, but I won't be a failure if I need its help again.