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About HangOnSloth

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    Junior Member
  • Birthday 10/26/1983

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    New England, USA
  • Interests
    dogs, reading, yoga, nature, art, crochet, dance, puzzles and games, languages (especially French, ASL, German)

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  1. Hi Kay, I can relate to your situation. I've been with my guy for over 10 years (married 3) and our sex life is not so good. It's been an issue for a while but we always see it as something to keep working on. I too am on lexapro and do have a much lower sex drive than my partner, so that is definitely a factor. But also people grow and change and sometimes the sexual chemistry changes too. I think an important thing to consider is how much you and your partner are willing to talk openly about the issue, work together over the long term to make things more satisfying, and also how much of a priority sexual intimacy is in your lives. Good luck! Ashley
  2. Hello all, I'm returning to the forums after a long hiatus. I'm happy to say that the reason I wasn't active on the forms any more was that my life really took a turn for the better and I had my depression well under control for the last year and a half. I even managed to get married and to take on a new job opportunity! However, just this week I'm starting to realize that all my early depression symptoms have been stealthily creeping back into my life. It feels like I suddenly looked around and noticed how many symptoms have piled up, which has me feeling discouraged, scared, and overwhelmed. Here are the things I've noticed: -increasing fatigue, physical aches and pains, migraines, sinus pain -more "passive" in response to schedule, ideas -more sedentary/decrease in exercise, which has caused some weight gain and feelings of guilt -moodiness and apathy Now I'm not yet at a full-blown depressive episode, but I've been missing some work here and there and this morning was especially hard. My job requires a lot of energy, concentration, and responsibility so I feel very drained when I put all I've got into keeping it together at work. I come home and just veg out. I know that's not helping me any but it's what I feel I need. Also, on Mar 1 of this year my husband and I had to euthanize one of our three dogs, which was a very upsetting and traumatic experience (to make that decision on her behalf, and then to be there in the room, being strong for her, while she actually died). I'm recovering but that experience triggered a lot of memories of my mom's death from cancer 5 1/2 years ago. My husband is very supportive and understanding and our relationship is good. He is grieving, too. Plus it's been a long, cold winter and I guess I just feel really run down. I'm still seeing my therapist regularly (I have a session scheduled for tonight). I know she will recommend upping my self-care habits to the level I had in previous episodes -- acupuncture, yoga, support group. All good ideas. Just hard to accept that things are slipping again after such a successful recovery. Thanks for listening. Ashley
  3. Welcome Jessica and mojosmama! I hope you will find these forums to be helpful. There are a lot of amazingly caring folks here who have truly "been there and back again." It always feels good to be able to offer something helpful to someone else, especially when we all know how hard it is to deal with depression and related issues. This is a great place to vent and also a great place to make connections with others. I wish you both the very best here, and with your own struggles. Warmly, Ashley
  4. Well, I went back to work this morning and it was not as bad as I feared. Still some depression thoughts and low energy, but I was able to get through. Actually a few of my married co-workers made comments along the lines of, "oh god, you must be so bummed to be back at work." Also one person said, unprovoked, that she had "gotten the blues" after her wedding and honeymoon were over. I guess you are all right -- it really is a common, *normal* feeling at this point in life. In unrelated but crummy news, my old '98 Altima broke down today and I think this repair is the last straw. $300 is a car payment, and I've been making repairs of that cost or higher on an almost monthly basis for a while now. As if I had the energy to deal with going to the mechanic, rescheduling my work, renting a car while I buy the new one...plus now I'm stressing about making car payments for the next 5 years. This was not the project I was hoping for!! Super stressful. Ugh. Thanks for listening, Ashley
  5. Hi AM, Thanks for posting. It's reassuring to hear that you experienced the same thing. It's also nice to hear this from a man's point of view. One of the things I hated about being a bride was all of the "women do this" or "women feel this way" messages I encountered from the wedding industry. I have a pretty postmodern relationship with the hubs and a lot of those messages rubbed us both the wrong way. It's nice for me to hear from another groom who was very involved in the planning and who also experienced the post-wedding blues. I hate to admit it but it helps take this feeling out of the category of "women problems" and put it back in the camp of transition/depression problems. I really appreciate your post and your advice. Congratulations on two decades of marriage! :bow: Best, Ashley P.S. I love your line about "just a piece of paper" -- I'm totally going to use that one!
  6. Hello DF, It's been a while since my last post. Some quick background: last summer I had a significant depressive episode that resulted in me going to a partial hospitalization program and taking 7 weeks off work for treatment/recovery. That's when I found these forums (among other things). Things improved last fall, thankfully. I'm on meds and have been in therapy for over 8 years. I guess one would say I am relatively "stable." This past 6 months has been a real whirlwind for me. I finally married my longtime boyfriend in April 2013. We had been engaged for almost 3 years, but planned the whole wedding in 10 weeks when the opportunity window presented itself. After that, we took a three week honeymoon in Europe. Ever since we left for the trip, I've been struggling with a depression flare-up. At first I tried to write it off due to hormones, stress, etc. However, it's not really going away. We returned to the country on Saturday and my depression on the last day of our trip and the day of our flights home was spiking. Yesterday was a little better. But today I woke up feeling hopeless, scared, overwhelmed, anxious, a little out-of-body, tearful -- all my classic symptoms. I was slated to start work today. I had to cancel my first few clients and I may end up canceling the afternoon ones too. I guess maybe I'm afraid that our marriage isn't right, or won't last? Is this just the depression talking, trying to rob me of the newlywed joy? Big transitions usually set me off so I guess it's normal to expect a big life event like marriage to prompt some symptoms. Has anyone else experienced this? I was warned by a few friends and acquaintances that "the post-wedding blues" are normal. I thought that would apply more to people who were really invested in wedding planning and the event itself, which I wasn't. Is this how most people feel 5 weeks after marriage, or is this the start of another depressive black hole? Thanks for listening/reading, Ashley
  7. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the vastness and complexity of nature, but I love to contemplate the tiny wonders all around us. I especially feel close to animals (of all sorts). I like forests, lakes, ponds, rolling hills, and even backyards... they all contain treasures. I grew up close to the beach so I spent a lot of time there growing up. I prefer to go to the beach on off-seasons now because in summer it's too hot and too busy for my tastes. I like to collect river rocks, seashells, acorns. I love to watch my birdfeeder and I get super excited when we have a rabbit, chipmunk, or fox drop by for a visit. As a vegetarian I feel that all life is equally sacred and I respect the web of life that surrounds and includes us. Ashley
  8. Hi Michael, I'm sorry to hear that you're feeling so afraid, sad, and anxious right now. I can relate to these feelings -- they have all occurred for me recently because I went back to my job (on a part time basis) after a 7 week leave of absence for a depressive episode. I've been really scared of backsliding but also feeling trapped, like I'm not "allowed" to backslide now that I've made it back to the Holy Grail (in many people's opinion) of getting back to work. The one piece of advice I would give you, Michael, is that we can't plan how we're going to feel. It sucks, and I wish we could do that, but we can't. It can be very frustrating when we set aside time to feel relaxed, or feel restful, or whatever... and then find that our mind/body will not cooperate with the agenda! If you can, try giving yourself a little gentleness. I like how you said you would go for a run "and see what happens." I think that is a great attitude. I find when I can ease up on myself and just see what happens, I often find I feel better than I thought I did. And if I find I feel bad, then I can take some time to really FEEL bad, you know? Not just be pushing it away like I always do. You know yourself best, though, so take my opinions with a grain of salt. I do genuinely hope you feel some relief soon! Best, Ashley
  9. I understand your frustration but sometimes that feels nice, to have a couple of projects that you could pick up depending on what you feel like doing. I know a little bit of knitting and my feeling about it is that, compared to crochet, it's relatively restricted (not as many kinds of stitches, always moving the same stitches across the two needles, etc.) at least for the beginner projects. Maybe that's why I found it a little dull. In contrast, if you know even 2 or 3 crochet stitches, you can quickly be following patterns to make 3D things like hats, small stuffed animals (amigurumi), slippers... I find these projects more motivating than your typical starter knit scarf. Especially the animals! I crocheted up a dozen of them one winter when we had particularly disgusting weather. Also with crochet I like making granny squares. It's easy to make one in less than an hour, start-to-finish. Of course making 100 squares for a blanket/other is more time consuming, but by assembling stuff out of squares it gives that sense of "completion" even if you only have time or interest for one square. I believe one can knit granny squares too????? Again, all the patterns I know are for crochet. OK I guess I've babbled on enough about crochet/knitting! Sorry if this was a little rambling. You've motivated me to get back to my afghan! Ashley
  10. I agree, I found crochet to be very helpful especially on the worst days of depression. It is calming, it is somewhat "addictive" in the sense that it helps pass the hours even when they are uncomfortable, and you have something tangible to show for your time. I started a VERY large afghan and that project encouraged/forced me to get out of the house to resupply on yarn, and also made me feel more like... well, this is going to take a long time to finish, so I guess I'm going to be around for a while. In other words it made my depression feel less like a life-or-death crisis and more of an ongoing project. If you are looking for some motivation, I know on sites like Ravelry there are groups that check in with each other to see how projects are going, how many are being completed, etc. Don't know if that would be too intimidating but Ravelry itself is a great resource for patterns and ideas. Good luck with your projects! Ashley
  11. Hello to all the caring, inspirational, heroic fellow sufferers on this forum... I've come to really appreciate feedback from other people who have "been there" and come out the other side. Whether in person at a support group, or here on the forum, I really believe we all have so much to offer one another. Right now, my issue is: MORNINGS I went back to work this week after a 7-week leave of absence to deal with my depressive episode and its aftershocks. My company has graciously allowed me to come back at a reduced schedule/caseload and build back up slowly. I know the first week of any new venture is always the hardest, but I've been really struggling in the mornings in particular. Here are the main problems: 1. My sleep quality has plummeted. I have frequent nightmares and sad dreams (seeing my dead mother, being put in a labor camp, etc). I start waking around dawn and wake up every hour or so until it's time to get up... at which point I'm so anxious I don't want to get up but can't really sleep anyway. 2. I experience a lot of indecisiveness in the mornings. Part of this is due to meds that make me a little spacy and I have the tendency now to walk away from a project mid-stride (finding a lot of half-filled cups and random Q-tips around the house these days). This makes choosing clothing, breakfast, shoes, etc. more time-consuming. 3. I feel *strange* in the mornings. It's hard to describe exactly but it's something like the sensation one has upon waking from a dream and momentarily being unsure what was dream and what was real life. I feel kind of caught up in my own head and it's hard for me to transition from the world of thinking into the world of action. 4. Finally, I'm having GI issues in the morning related to stress. This tends to throw off any attempt at a "schedule" for getting ready. I'm sure others on these boards have confronted these and similar problems. Did you have any good solutions? Any thoughts, procedures, organizing tools, or anything else that you found helpful?? I'm not a natural morning person, but it's new for me to have my depression/anxiety spike first thing in the morning and then decrease thereafter. I should also report that once I'm at work, and actively doing a task, I feel MUCH better (which came as a pleasant surprise). Thanks to anyone who has feedback, even if it's only to commiserate!! Ashley
  12. I'm glad to hear it, Matt! May you have many more, and may they go from relatively good to just plain ol' GOOD!
  13. I've recently realized that practicing foreign languages really seems to change something in my brain that helps with my depression, so I have renewed zest for improving my French. Lately I've been doing that by reading familiar YA novels in French. Right now I'm working my way through the Harry Potter series... Harry Potter à l'école sorciere. I also found a website to download common domain French novels as audiobooks, and I listen to them when I'm relaxing or getting acupuncture treatments. If I'm fed up with the French, I switch back to The Number One Ladies' Detective Agency, a simple but colorful series set in Botswana. Plus "The Mindful Way Through Depression" if I feel like working on some internal stuff instead of practicing escapism. :) Books are amazing, aren't they? I feel lucky to be a person who loves to read.
  14. Hi everyone, I just wanted to make a quick post to say that I've been doing really well for the last 24 hours and feeling so even-keeled. I'm smiling even though our air-conditioner broke down and I have to go to the dentist tomorrow. Life isn't perfect but for once I'm not feeling terrified of its imperfections and panicked by the perceived need to fix or escape them all! Maybe this post will give some other folks a bit of hope?? I am only recently coming out of a severe depression. It feels so good to be getting better, and it really does feel qualitatively different. Much love and support to the whole DF community! Ashley
  15. Being with my partner DEFINITELY helped me get my anxiety and panic under control. He was a huge influence during those years. I had already begun the work with my therapist when we met, but having such a great support at home really allowed me to open up in therapy and do the hard work I needed to do to overcome chronic panic attacks. Now that I'm dealing more with depression, I find that to be harder on the relationship. Depression is kind of a black hole that sucks everything down. Like the Dementors from Harry Potter, right?! Sucking the joy out of things. However, I think that my approach to depression is what has drawn me closer to my partner. I realized that I couldn't look to him to be my everything: my lover, partner, best friend, social planner, parent, confessor, etc. It was way too much for one person and I needed to take a little more responsibility for getting more support outside the relationship. This was hard for me for many years because I don't really have any family. However, this recent bout of deep depression made me see the vital importance of connecting with others who share my experiences with mental health issues. Joining support groups, this forum, and reconnecting with friends 1-on-1 (rather than as a couple) has helped me deal with my issues without dragging my partner down with me. As a result we're better able to support each other. I helped him overcome his OCD issues and right now I'm helping him through some major family upheaval, despite my own depression. It all comes down to respect, I think. Respect for your partner and respect for yourself, and respecting what your relationship needs in order to thrive. Interesting topic!
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