Tag Archive | depression

I Worry…

And I wish I could categorize it as a super power. I have always been somewhat timid, it has just increased drastically since Ken openly acknowledged his severe depression had relapsed. 

I come from a family of people with anxiety… close family members who I won’t name since I did not ask their permission, some even officially diagnosed and medicated for it. I have had conversations about how it is “in the genes”… how we could be know for it, and how we manage to make it work for us. 

My worry solidifies in plans, in back up plans, in back ups to back up plans. I categorize and re categorize everything. This includes my own health. I am always trying to be proactive. Living in the US without Canada’s universal health care has had me in a position of careful self management for periods of time.

And I have succeeded in spades. Working out up to 6 times a week has me active, removing high fructose corn syrup has my stomach aches down to a minimum, I limit my contact use, attempt to get enough rest, walk all summer and spend my time productively. 

But I worry… I worry about the dental visit I will have to finally have after an undisclosed period of time and the fall out from that. I worry that if I drop the ball on any of the above things I will trickle down to a massive physical breakdown (even though I know one less work out a week or that extra can of pop isn’t a final nail in ANY coffin). 

But it goes beyond that… I worry about Ken. I mean… ALWAYS worry about Ken. Is he healthy, is he happy, does he feel in control of his mental health? Have I done enough to assist him in his work to remain healthy? Can I do more?

Of course I also have a healthy dose of “Mommy Guilt”…. that feeling like you will never do enough for your kids. I question my parenting skills, my homeschooling, my ability to provide and discipline and love all at the same time. Will they reflect back on their childhood and see that they were loved and I did my very best for them? 

Don’t get me started on my worries about where I live and the goings on on a grand scale. What a world we live in right know.

So, I worry. And I plan, maybe over plan a little… and I love and I live and I do my very best. 

My master plan is to find a way to make my worry work for me. If it is worthy of worry it is worthy of work. This month I added a 3rd workout class to my schedule (don’t worry I still don’t exceed 6 days a week, I rather changed an elliptical run with R.I.P.P.E.D which I love… I am not THAT crazy after all). I have to wait to face the music at the dentist so I upped my dental care regime to at least keep peace of mind that I am not creating a bigger mess. The kids – well I just do my best and change things up from time to time. December is a month to celebrate according to Zander… so we are! Who says education has to be boring and lack in colouring pages? Not me!!!

And now for the biggest worry of them all (and I admit it, my own worries take a back seat when it comes to Ken’s health, it can just become so all consuming that I am still learning to let him worry about him and me do me.)… KEN… My greatest love, my dearest companion AND my largest worry. 

What can I do? Well, nothing more than I already am, so how to cope? Conversation, crochet, chocolate (cuz what doesn’t get a wee bit better with some quality chocolate?) and awesome company every so often. Yup, online and in person, I am surrounded by some of the most amazing and supportive people who get my crazy. (Or at least pretend they do)

So yes, I am a worrier, I just have yet to let the worry consume me. So if you have a conversation with me that is very wordy and full of circular discussion (like a lot of these blog posts) just realize I am talking through my worry, my neurosis as Ken likes to say. I put my worries out there so they feel less huge, less soul crushing. If someone I trust can tell me it is a tiny worry, well, maybe I can believe it too?

Do you worry? I would love to hear how you cope. Or, if you need me to, listen to your worries so you can feel heard. We worriers need to stick together, if nothing else than so we can enjoy chocolate, crafting and conversation… some of the best “C” words out there! 20171204_170413

The Reality of Near Loss

Months, actually now over a year later I have come to reflect on the potential of loss. The fear that still remains that I could have lost the one person I share my entire life with. Depression is a scary scenario. One we will live with for the rest of Ken’s life. And 2 years or so ago I could have lost him.

There are so many people who are not as lucky as I. Ken is a strong personality, and as hard and deep as his depression went, his will to survive was that much stronger. He had plans, he had ideas, and he spoke out. This is not the first time. In our marriage alone, this was the second time we had to start over with building back up to a healthier life. I know of one other time during the years I have known Ken, back in college, that he hit this same point.

One of the reasons I look back is really to put into perspective how well we are now. Ken is propelled forward to new tasks, has the skills to work with his issues and embrace the fact that perfection is not a reasonable goal for everything we need done.

I face this reality of near loss head on to remind myself that I HAVEN’T lost him. Even though back at those other times I felt alone and isolated as he (and I) missed the signs of the severity of his condition.

I doubt that I will ever forget the feelings and fears wrapped up in these periods of my life. I am not honestly sure I WANT to. It is this awareness that helps me to be a support to him and others in the same situation. I know how quietly and stealthily this roller coaster can sneak up and overwhelm us.IMG_20170407_180036_180

Potential… Lost… Found and Tapped

***Woo busy few weeks… Grandma Visit, Easter… I promise to get back into the swing***

Potential. What does it mean to “have potential”? To “tap into potential”? To “waste potential”?

Through out my life I have often wondered what my own potential truly was. Have I actually found a path that uses my potential the best way? Is the potential gone after I chose my path?

Potential as a word has a few definitions:

  1. having or showing the capacity to become or develop into something in the future.
  2. latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.
  3. the quantity determining the energy of mass in a gravitational field or of charge in an electric field.

Well… we can ignore the last one (I am not a whiz with physics). For my use here I am focusing on the first two. In high school there is a lot of discussion about your potential – your capacity to become something in the future. What direction is your life going to take as you reach adulthood? Now, I was told I could become pretty much anything I wanted… which was sweet. Though, thankfully, my Dad did suggest not a doctor (I am queasy about blood), maybe not something that requires strong knowledge in the sciences (yah… not something I excelled at) and possibly NOT maths (yah I have a hate hate relationship with higher level math… if it doesn’t hurt me, I won’t curse it out… much).

So… I went from high school to college and a direction in the fine arts. I found I had a lot of “potential” with courses that required a bending of thought and discussion… philosophy and religion. I found a direction – I PLANNED to become a minister in the Lutheran church (specifically the ELCIC – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada). Potential tapped… right?

Ok, some come along with me here – I think EVERYONE reading this blog has realized something – Lisa is NOT a minister… or a philosopher… or a religious scholar… or (and this is grasping) a university professor in any of these disciplines. Nope, 100% wife and mother. So answer me this…

Did I waste my potential?

Who I was in high school with her interests and dreams and graduating marks, who I was in college with my wide eyed enthusiasm and excelling marks… did these “Lisas” get wasted? Or has it gone into hibernation waiting to be tapped?

Where 20 yr old Lisa was sure she would be a minister… 37 yr old Lisa is sure she is a good mother, a strong teacher, a rather fantastic crocheter (if I do say so myself). She has tapped into a NEW potential, something that was not held up as a solid opportunity way back in high school (because really, motherhood at 17/18 years old… nope not for me). I don’t believe I wasted it, I tapped into my potential for those 3+ years. I learned, I grew, I argued, I laughed and cried. BUT, in the end, I found NEW potential.

I found those latent (existing but not yet developed or manifest; hidden; concealed) qualities that were not tapped by my college education with our decision to start a family. Do I regret it? Nope! Amazingly enough, I filled my yearning for working in the church with committee work and promptly learned – I suck at politics. And, as much as I love the church, in any organization there are politics.

On top of that… and this should be no surprise for people who know me, I am shy!

No, I don’t think I wasted my potential. Would someone from the outside looking in come to a different conclusion… possibly. But here is a new question for you – does that matter? Often you will hear people talking about someone’s wasted potential. How they SHOULD have done this or that instead of the career they chose based on their own knowledge of that person at particular times of the person’s life.

She should have gone with that career in writing, after all in college she wrote such amazing papers. He should have gone into medicine, look at his amazing marks in science. They would have made an amazing singing group – after all they did all that singing in small bars during college.

The saying, “The grass is always greener on the other side”, comes to mind. Looking at his or her life as a youth, as a college student it may look as if they SHOULD have gone this way or that, but can we ever truly be in another person’s head? This is something that Ken has to deal with often. Depression, plus high intelligence and add in a strong personality and you have someone with lots of potential.

That potential is there with options. Some are absolutely obvious, some deep inside and kept secret. Using Ken as an example (cuz… Depression = Ken = my examples) he was an athlete up through to college and rather successful (this was known), he was and is very good with computers, but deep inside that muddled head of his is an artist, a bit of a scientist, maybe even a comedian.

So… let’s review what he did with his potential. Sports ended before we got married (choice and illness). Computers continued through to today. Art is something that he toys with and need to come back to again (again choice) and scientist has gone by the way-side.

So has he lost potential? Wasted it? Well, we came to realize now that sports/athletics were actually negatively impacting Ken’s mental health. Competition on that level and the stress to his body was not helping his inner dialogue. Of course, on the outside he broke records, played hard and won. BUT while everyone watched that potential being tapped a whole new potential was brewing underneath – the potential to lead to self harm, depression and possibly death.

Direction changed to computers, which has morphed now into the much healthier (due to having to be accountable daily to many and face to face communication) project manager. Project manager may not seem like the height of tapping potential but I am sitting here watching him grow and excel.

So, while some may say he had so much potential, I see it as he has so much adapting potential. KEN has adapted to a whole new lifestyle post depression, he has adapted to our family as it has grown, found a career that makes him the best he can be and stretches his limits. No, he is not an athlete, or a scientist or currently an artist BUT he is Ken. Amazing, ambitious, unique Ken.

So we have each tapped some potential and are always looking to find more. That is the other thing. So I am a mother, but I found a new potential in crochet, and I am not half bad at the recorder, maybe the piano will be some untapped potential I never even knew I had! That cannot be wasted if I never knew it existed, right?

Together Ken and I have the potential to be amazing, I kinda think we already are… just a bit! After all, humans are creatures of change even as we fight to stay the same. So, doesn’t it mean that our potential is ever changing, ever growing and morphing into something new? Now, I doubt I will ever have the potential to be a fighter pilot (ACK heights) or a sumo wrestler, but who knows, maybe… years down the line… you will come to read about Lisa the biblical scholar and Ken the divine artist?

After all, depression or no, personal limitations or not, our potential is there! And we ALL have the potential for greatness on some scale or another. So be that great person – after all… I already know you ARE!!!!IMG_20160624_221658