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My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:

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Depression, Drugs & a Different Diagnosis

If you hang around this blog for more than a minute, you’re bound to stumble on a post (or 70) about my ongoing struggle with depression. I have remained very transparent about my love-hate relationship with medications because I know that so many of my friends, family and readers have a similar story to tell. Our culture, our physicians, the entire field of psychology, and even the church (!!!) have fully embraced the idea that depression is something that we can—or should—medicate with psychotrophic (mind-altering) drugs.

  • When I was pregnant for the first time and burst into tears in his office, my OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I went to a secular psychologist who didn’t know what to do with my anger and resentment toward my husband, he diagnosed me with mild Bi-Polar Disorder and put me on LOTS of Zoloft.
  • When I got pregnant again and had no energy, a different OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I was grieving what I believed was the loss of my marriage, a third OB/GYN put me on Zoloft.
  • When I was in the depths of despair last January after losing a baby, my general practitioner put me on Zoloft.
  • And when I went last fall to try to understand why—despite a period of great fulfillment and joy in my life—I was so lethargic, my general practitioner again put me on Zoloft.

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photobomb

I got a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law last Tuesday that cut right to my heart. Now, a two-sentence e-mail from me would mean that 1) I am sad/disappointed/angry about something or 2) I am sending the message while simultaneously wiping urine off our bathroom wall and my face (true story). However, a two-sentence e-mail from my father-in-law means something else entirely. It means that he is reaching out without wanting to seem intrusive. It means that he took time out of his work-filled schedule to let me know that he’s thinking about me. It means that I had better get back to blogging.

So, when I read, “How are you? Haven’t talked to you lately,” I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

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Well, friends, I’m back and bedder than ever.

[Typos already. Well, that’s what happens when you take two weeks off without writing.]

No, that’s not a typo. It’s an explanation of where I’ve been these past two weeks. Allow me to elaborate…

Brian gave me a Fitbit for Christmas. It’s basically a device I wear on my wrist that tracks my movements (sleep and overall activity level).

Fitbit

First of all, men, I need to inform you that this is an incredibly risky gift for a man to give a woman for Christmas. Particularly if she has struggled with depression.

“Merry Christmas, honey! Here’s a nifty gift that will track how many hours you spend in bed and how stagnant you are even during your few waking moments.”

I just had a flashback to the Christmas where my dad gave my mom running shoes and fluorescent jogging suits. I’ll never forget the look on her face. It’s the look that says, “I know just the perfect place to put this bleepity-bleep-bleep shoe!”

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I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus

One of my very best friends (a fellow military spouse) and I had a conversation recently about Christmas and how we want our kids to experience this magical time of year. My friend is a fellow Christian who home schools her 4 kids—all of whom are young enough to believe in Santa Claus.

Before I go any further, I have to let you know that this post is a Santa spoiler alert. So, if you have a habit of curling up by the fire and reading my posts aloud to your children, now would be a good time to forgo that routine. Instead, you might want to read them something a bit less scarring.

Back to my story…

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Antidepressants and Art Therapy

I have had a love-hate relationship with my antidepressant medication for the past decade.

We’ve been together since college. I discovered my “need” for this particular SSRI when my general practitioner suggested that I give it a try. Like a blind date. Only, I had to pay for it. And it made me nauseous.

But I guess actual blind dates could have a similar outcome.

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Mandatory Family Fun

I’ve told y’all before that I’m not a huge fan of over-the-top, Pinterest-worthy birthday parties. For one, we don’t have the money to shell out on crafts supplies that I will purchase and then never complete. Second, our kids don’t eat sugar. At all. And I can’t think of a single kid (or parent for that matter) who would come to a birthday party without cake and ice cream. And, third, I can hardly get up the energy most days to “cook” for my own picky eaters. So, the idea of entertaining a bunch of other people’s picky eaters is pretty overwhelming.

Those of you who know my mom well probably just shook your heads and said, “The apple sure did fall far from the tree.” And you are absolutely right. Really, the apple fell off the tree, and while it was in mid-air, was swept up in a tornado, hit by a truck, and dumped in a field of buffalo manure in Kansas.

[Oh, no. Katy’s using metaphors again. Someone call a therapist.]

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season_05

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-8, ESV)

For everything, a season.

And it seems that our 3-year-old and our almost-2-year-old have joined together to drag us all—kicking and screaming—through the “break down,” “weep,” and “war” seasons of life. Every day feels like a cage match. Every. Single. Day.

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Blogging through Depression

I’m not sure if I’ve ever told you guys this, but I have struggled with mild, chronic depression for as long as I can remember.

[Well, crap. That came out of left field. Isn’t this supposed to be a humor blog?]

I’ve had lots of different diagnoses—from cyclothymia (mild bipolar disorder) to depression to “that time of the month” (That was once my dad’s formal diagnosis. Once. And then I threatened to kick him in the teeth.). I’ve had lots of suggestions for treatment—from medication to diet to “more exercise” (also from my dear dad).

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Happy Blogiversary!

On August 16, 2012, I sat down at the computer in our basement and began to type. I was in the throes of “single” parenthood while Brian was away on military business, and it seems I was starting to feel the pressure:

“I would venture to say that Martha Stewart’s sentence vacation in a federal prison was more like a Caribbean holiday compared to the trenches of motherhood.”

Alllllllllrighty then.

But then it got worse…

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