"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Friday, September 5, 2014


Remember when I used to have panic attacks for no good reason?  That sucked.  I'm quite happy to report that I haven't had a senseless anxiety attack in quite a long time.  For years my body functioned on such high levels of stress that the silliest things (or nothing at all) could send my body into full panic... quick breathing, pounding heart, freaking out.  Not fun and it used to happen too often... even in my sleep when I should have been the most relaxed.  These days I don't have full on panic attacks, I just have periodic moments of emotion for good reasons, which I think are quite healthy.  I mean, the unhealthy thing would be if I never felt any strong emotion, right?  
Earlier this summer I made the decision to come off of Paxil after several years of being on it.  It was hard for me to go to the doctor and start taking that medication, but it was necessary for my daily functioning and a fairly small dose helped me a lot.  Coming off of Paxil is evil.  Some call it the Paxil flu, I just call it feeling like crap.  Even coming off my dose very slowly, the first few weeks felt a bit like having the flu and a dizzy feeling like I had just been for a ride on a fast moving merry go round.  (The old fashioned ones at the playgrounds when I was a kid.  I don't think playgrounds even have them anymore because they are dangerous.  Seriously, how did we survive childhood when playgrounds were death traps and seatbelts in the car were optional?  But, I digress.)  I've been Paxil free for three months now and I do think my physical body is still adjusting a bit.  Here's the thing about medications like that... each person much weigh the pros and cons of taking them.  Cons for me: I gained 20 pounds when I started taking it and found it very difficult to manage that weight on my own, there was always the possibility of having to up the dose periodically in order for it to stay effective and  it was physically very difficult to come off of.   Still, all of those things were weighed against the fact that it really did help me during a time when I needed all the help I could get to keep my head on straight.  I only share this very personal information because I know that I'm not the only one who has been there.  Also, it seemed only appropriate to share the truth about anxiety & depression before I joke that I'm currently in a panic because I can't get into our Netflix account.  
Daytime television is fairly awful and when I'm home alone during the day I often turn on Netflix.  I went walking with Cheryl this morning and when I got home I could only handle morning talk shows for so long before I flipped to Netflix.  The problem is that it has kicked me out and wants me to sign in again.  That's cool, except that I don't know the password.  I do know that it's under Drew's email address, but I've tried every possible combination of passwords that I can think of and I can't get it.  I'm almost embarassed that I've bothered him at work for such a trivial thing, especially when he doesn't remember either.  I could do the "forgot password" thing, but they will send the email to him and I'm trying not to break in to every account he has.  He wouldn't care, but since I would have to go through a handful of possible passwords, I would likely lock him out of his email and that's not nice.  So... my super busy husband, who has more on his work plate than he could possibly handle, is aware that his dear wife is fretting over her lack of Netflix access and only he can fix it.  

Dear crazy Mandy,
This is absurd.  All over the world people are dealing with real problems.  This is not one of them.  Get a life.  You can fold the laundry without semi paying attention to whatever you find on Netflix.  You will survive.  For real.  
Sincerely, rational Mandy

Bounce with me... back to the whole Paxil thing.  I think that perhaps coming off the medication has helped me lose a few pounds.  It has changed my appetite, for one.  I quit the sweet tea (again), started paying attention to salt (I don't remember water weight being an issue when I was 20) and I drink lots of water, but I still eat pretty much whatever I want.  I just don't want as much of it.  I do yard work once a week and typically walk (3-4 miles) and do the stairs at JBU with Cheryl once a week, but I cancelled my gym membership because I wasn't using it.  My point is that I haven't been going above and beyond to lose the 15 pounds I gained after Alex died, I've just made a few little changes.  I do feel like my body is slowly getting back to the place where it is most comfortable and I'm so grateful for that.  10 pounds down, 5 more to go.  
Going off of that topic, I am still surprised that I fell out of love with the gym.  When Alex was alive I found the gym to be this magical place where I pounded out the stress of life.  I still totally believe in the  benefits (both physical & mental) of exercise, I'm just finding that exercise in other places than I did before.  I was recently thinking about my interest in becoming a health coach, or life coach, or whatever it is called.  If I am to be completely honest, I think that the concept is fabulous but the follow through and success of such a role is dependent on a LOT of things.  Even more honest, I have enough trouble trying to guide myself along, so I'm not sure I have any place in telling other people how to live their lives.  It is sort of like every other interest or passion in my life... the reason that I believe in it is because it's the right thing to do and I can choose to live those things in my every day life by how I treat myself and how I treat others.  I'll be your cheerleader for free.  My tip for the day... having a friend to exercise with is an excellent plan.  I know for a fact that I wouldn't go walk at 6:45 in the morning if I didn't have the incentive of visiting with Cheryl for an hour.  

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