Sunshine on your shoulders

Honestly does make you happy. It’ll make you happier if it’s on your bare skin. No, no sunscreen. Just ten to fifteen minutes of sunshine.

We’re going to talk about something rather personal for me, so sit back with that cup of coffee or tea because this might ramble long.

In case it’s not been apparent, I do have depression problems. They used to be incredibly severe depression problems. For whatever the year leading up to hitting puberty and then for most of my adult life up until about January 2012 was spent in a series of working my way upwards so to speak.  The last real dangerous bout of depression was in the last months of 2011. I honestly don’t remember most of the last two months of that year outside of a beautiful cat, and my big brother and sister (adopted).

I do not nor ever have used medication to treat it. Why not? Given I can’t have three major food groups, am allergic to only the Gods know what else (allergy tests are expensive but on the agenda) and Penicillin, codiene and sulfa drugs…. you seriously think that I was going to risk worsening my symptoms while they played let’s tweak this that and the other thing until they found the right mix? That I would then be quite possibly dependent on for the rest of my life?  Er… no thank you. That is not for me. I like being lucid and not doped up.

Going back to the stages when the depression hit… I don’t remember most of my childhood in passing let alone my teenage years.  I remember my Junior and Senior years a bit more than the rest but they are still blurry.

This ties back into the sunshine bit in a few, like I said, it’s going to take a bit today.

After having the fortune of getting to cabin sit (sound familiar?) things were looking odd for me. I spent 7 months in that cabin, and during that time went through the worst bout of depression I had ever been through because I was finally admitting to things having happened to me that I didn’t want to admit to even myself. January 2012 marked the turning point.

It’s amazing what happens when you finally admit to the shit that’s happened to you and admit you may or may not have been able to grasp it more quickly and avoid so many mistakes.

I was still climbing out of that hole when I ended up not having a phone for about 9 days. Everyone else was freaked out. Me? I was happy. No one could bother me, I couldn’t access any social media sites, the weather was gorgeous save for one day where I just sat with Mindy fire gazing and I was getting massive amounts of sunshine. It was warm enough to be splitting wood in just a tank top and I did.

That was another thing, I was forcing myself to exercise and let me tell you something, chopping wood is great exercise…after you get the technique down.

To use what’s probably a cliche “I woke up.” That’s the best way of describing it. To be honest, it’s left me with not a lot of sympathy for people who kill themselves just because they were depressed. Now, if you’ve actually a disease that you know is going to rob you of who you are (like something terminal like cancer) and you give the folks around a chance to good bye, I’m okay with that. “But you just said-“ I said, you’re damn a coward if you are just depressed. There have been more cowardly suicides than anything else.

That does not mean, that there aren’t other types of suicide. Take Robin Williams for instance. We are just now finding out about all the shit that was going wrong with his body and he knew about it. So while I can understand his reasons, he’s a coward. Because he didn’t give the people around him a chance to say good-bye and make amends where they  needed to be made.  Now do you get it?

Had I managed to commit suicide at any point, I would have been a coward. TURNING THE FOLKS AROUND YOU INTO VICTIMS OF SUICIDE BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T WANT TO GIVE THEM A CHANCE TO SAY GOOD-BYE MAKES YOU FUCKING COWARD. Suicide turns everyone whose ever known you into a victim of it in that instance.

I don’t have a problem with folks who are fully aware that they will shrivel up and mentally stop being who they are in a few years from a cancer or disease, living it up and when things take a turn for the worst, throw a party and let everyone hey, say good-bye. You can try arguing with me, but the longer I stay here and suffer the less I’m going to be the person you know and love. Then a few days later or weeks later, quietly and peacefully, and at that point almost honorably, ending it.

Like I’m saying, you have to let folks have a chance to say good bye and make amends. If you don’t, you’ve just insured they are going to be tormented now for the rest of their lives.

Now, just so folks know… a whole bottle of aspirin doesn’t work if you don’t have an aspirin allergy. It’s what I had on hand and that was when I was about 22. Holy shit and don’t look at very colorful stuff either. I think I managed to only get high off it, which I know doesn’t make much sense. The scars on my writs have faded. I’ve had people ask me why I don’t remove them.  I need the reminder of where I’ve been.

Back to the cabin time. Part of what helped about what happened during the week-off from everything and everyone (remember, no phone for nine days) was it stopped mattering that only a few folks were coming to visit me. Only maybe like four or five people came and visited. That was depressing in of itself. Also had a few interesting incidents with folks thinking it was a driveway to no where and being rather shocked to find out there’s a woman with a Glock 26 informing them they ain’t lighting up on her property (and it wasn’t weed I’ll tell you that much. For those of you just now hearing that story, I’ll be that gels a few things!)

After literally nine days of no contact, separating myself from folks that I needed full separation from and a rather nice tan, I was looking around my kitchen realizing that I was seeing it for the first time. I was loving on my cat for the first time. I was seeing the yarn in my hands and feeling it. Really actually feeling it.

The crocheting, the silence, the solitude, the cat, the sunshine, the time I got to spend working on my friends farm, the chopping wood, the stopping running from my past… those are just the pieces of the process that I can remember off the top of my head that got me here…to this point… talking to you via a blog.  It wasn’t until a few months later that I started putting two and two together about sunshine, vitamin D deficiency and the very serious role that vitamin D plays in depression.

I still deal with depression, the PTSD and some serious social anxieties. I still crochet, a lot as many of you know. Crocheting while sitting sunshine is… *happy smile and sigh*  Part of the problem I’m dealing with right now, is that I haven’t kept up a routine of going outside every day and getting sunshine for about 15-20 minutes (that seems to be my sweet spot, but everyone is going to be a bit different in what they need). Trust me, I can feel a huge difference when I remember to get my sunshine and when I don’t. It’s… disconcerting to say none the least. So I’m working on trying to make that a habit.

Also in March 2012, is when I started talking to DZ, the man who is now my fiance and that I am moving with.  That however my dears, is a story for another time.

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One thought on “Sunshine on your shoulders

  1. Totally get it, gf. I have anxiety disorder and SAD. I have found two things that can substitute for sunshine with the SAD. (Alabama tends to get cloudy and rainy in winter. For long periods of time. Like sometimes weeks.) One of them was discovered by accident; I was visiting a tanning bed in prep for a subtropical vacay. (Blonde/blue and burn easy, so a little prep tan, followed by slathering sunblock when I got there, meant no sunburns.) My counselor at the time confirmed that I was getting a positive effect on the SAD from the tanning bed. The other was prescribed to me by my doctor, and you already know about it: I have to take a minimum of 2000IU Vitamin D per day, per prescription. In winter particularly I actually feel better at about 5000IU/day.

    …and it’s winter and I haven’t bumped up my dose yet. *facepalm* DOH! No wonder.

    *heads to kitchen to get another Vit D capsule*

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