Monday, March 1, 2010


On Friday my therapist suggested a few things for me to do. With the anxiety/depression diagnosis (let's see a show of hands from everyone who saw that coming), he highly recommended the following:

1) Get on some anti-anxiety/depression meds via my primary health care physician

2) Do something nice for myself this week

I had a difficult time with both suggestions. The first one means going to a doctor (which costs money) and get at least one, if not two, prescriptions, which costs even more money.

We have really bad insurance.


I'm just sayin'.

My solution to number ones suggestion is to try and do this organically.

So, my mission for this week, should I choose to accept it, (channeling Ethan Hunt -- okay, I'll take Tom Cruise if only to smack him around for a few minutes) is to do my research. Find out what's out there over the counter herb wise.

I'm all for the use of that ever popular and controversial herb, 'Mary Jane'; yes, I'm that liberal and think it should be legal -- we can get into a tit for tat on that another time, though. However, it just doesn't agree with me. I'm one of those who gets paranoid and can't relax on it so I don't enjoy it's use. It's one of the big misconceptions floating around out there about me: "Well, you're a vegan and a hippie at heart (I mean, look at the way you dress), we just assumed...."

Sorry to burst your hallucinogenic bubble.

With the use of ganja out of the question in my case, going homeopathic seems the logical solution for me, money and health wise (non addictive, not bad for my organs, etc.). Suggestions, as always, welcome from my smart and capable fellow bloggers.

The second suggestion of doing something nice for myself was a little tougher because it entailed just wayyy too much thinking.

So, on Sunday -- two days after my appointment -- I came to a solution of "feeding two birds with one seed" (as I mentioned above, I'm a vegan so obviously 'killing two birds with one stone' doesn't work for me).

I sat down and figured out how to get what I really want: boundaries. Again, the boundaries I set up in December after Ed got sick just kind of fell to the wayside and I've been feeling a bit smothered and resentful.

Last year, B's best female friend, 'A', and her boyfriend just for the heck of it, bought me a chalkboard that had shamrocks on it and says; "Welcome. Relax and Enjoy". I've had more fun with this chalkboard and several times a week I write a saying or a famous quote on it. Ed, B and 'our other kids' always seem to get a kick out of what will be on there next.

The most popular one came from the poem, 'Desiderata' (Latin for 'desired things') by Max Ehrmann: "You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should."

So, yesterday, this is what I wrote on it in the form of doing something nice for myself:

"New house rules, for your sanity and mine:

~ No one here Sun.-Wed. @ dinnertime except me, Ed and B

~ Weekdays: no one here until 11:30 or noon

~ Thurs.-Sat. dinner is fine

~ Anytime on weeknights @ 8:00 is fine

~ Saturdays are free game

~ Sundays are fine until afternoon and dinner. 7:30 or 8:00 p.m. is fine.

I love you all -- thank you. 'Mom'"

Colloquial, to the point.

I explained to them verbally before they read the 'new rules' that I needed to do something nice for myself this week, via an order, and that the best thing I could do was to set up boundaries and that it's nothing personal, I just need to manage my time better and get organized in thought, home and family -- I simply need to prioritize. I explained that I still want to make Sunday breakfast for everyone and that dinner on the weekends I don't have a problem with.

So, to lighten things up, B read it out loud to the two 'main offenders' (well, one more than the other), for lack of a better term, and injected his own humor into it which really helped take the pressure off of me feeling bad and not wanting to hurt any one's feelings.

He kept noting my use of the word 'fine' and jokingly referred to it's meaning as 'fine dining' suggesting they all go out and buy tuxedos: "This is going to be expensive guys". My 'oldest son' says: "Yep. I see a trip to the 'Men's Warehouse' in our near future -- can I just wear a tuxedo T-shirt????."

Buttholes. The whole lot of 'em.

I'll tell you, though, that chalkboard was one of the best things I think any one's ever gotten me.

Chalk one up for peace.


Anonymous said...

great for you, Jo
you're on your way.

"[Looking forward to reading the rest, Gregory. An interesting start to your long marriage to be sure -- a good omen in disguise.
Nothing can ever be simple, eh?]"

and it continues in that vain as well.

I'm writing the next post now.
Do you want a sneak peak.

Sorry, just kidding.

VKT said...


If you need some medication, there should be a way for you to get it without having more stress dumped on you by worrying how to pay for it.

Bravo for the chalkboard. You deserve to be good to yourself sweet lady! You get an award from me for being so resourceful. muwahhhhhhhh

Meeko Fabulous said...

Valerian root is a great way to relax! :) All you do is brew it in a tea. :) That or Passion Flower tea too! :)

Jo said...

Thank you, once again, for your support, all.

VKT -- I couldn't agree with you more; while it was nice to have a name and validation to everything I was feeling, the stress of needed medication added, I'm afraid, a whole new level of anxiety for me to deal with.

So, it seems I need meds to deal with my anxiety over anxiety.

A conundrum.

Meeko, loving your suggestions of the tea. Ed was also told recently by a doctor to drink Chamomile before bed time to help him get a better nights rest.

I need to do some educated researching on teas it would seem.

Thanks, all! <3

nikki said...

Well I am very proud to say I am the mother of "A" who bought you that board. Ha ha I think that was a great idea, one of your best, to put the rules on it. That way it was nice and clear to all. Of course "J" taking it lightly was icing on the cake. I wish you all the luck in finding something natural to take for your situation. I have been there with "A' being on prescribed anti depressants and it scared me to death. It was one of my better decisions to get her off of them immediately. Jo, you are doing just fine. You really are a unique individual and stronger than you realize. I am on your side cheering you on. A hug from you tomorrow and me to you will be exchanged on our mountain. : )

Anonymous said...

Jo, I am with ya on this one...I always do the herb route whenever possible, the side effects from meds scare me...

the rules are fab, just keep reminding yourself that you are worth it and deserve it.

I love ya and am pulling for ya, but then you already knew that;)

Elle said...

Found you through SITS,and am going to become a follower.

As a fellow anxiety/depression sufferer, I can vouch for the anxiety/stress reducing properties of various teas; especially Chamomile.

St. John's Wart is supposed to be good for depression, and Vitamin D is a proven mood booster.

Jo said...

Thanks, Nikki. You're a great hugger (and listener, and walker....) and I look forward to that hug.

Steven, thank you for your ongoing support and words of encouragement. It means more than I can properly convey. I am definitely going to be looking into the tea thing.

Thank you, Elle, for not only becoming a new follower (happy to have you on board!) but for your suggestions, as well. It's nice to know someone else who can vouch for my wanting to go the natural route and for whom it is working.

Have Myelin? said...

Good for you. VERY GOOD. =)

Elle said...

Hi, I just wanted to say that just about all major pharma companies will help you with your medication cost if you need it. Check with your Dr.
Also, many anxiety medications have now passed over to generic status and they are much more affordable.
I know this because I suffer from Bipolar and am on several different medications. I also worked in Public Health and directed people to these companies.
Just wanted to pass that information on to you.

Scraps said...

Second on the St John's Wort suggestion (my boyfriend starting using it when his health ins ended and his scrip ran out from his old doctor, 4 states away)--just be sure to check with your neurologist as many herbal remedies can impact pharmaceuticals in less-than-desirable ways.

Also, you might want to look into Rx plans offered by the pharmacy--Walgreens is pretty reasonable and if whatever you're prescribed can be obtained in a generic form you'll save a boatload. Some med companies also have patient assistance programs that you might qualify for, if you do go with the Rx route later on. Warehouse clubs like Sam's and Costco also tend to have better deals on prescriptions.

Good luck and good health!

Jo said...

Thank you so much Elle and Scraps -- both very thoughtful suggestions on routes I hadn't considered.

Your own personal stories of truth will inspire many -- me included.

I so appreciate you both taking the time to share that with me -- I have much to look into and will not give up until a viable solution is found for me. Information like yours will help to make my journey easier.

I'm actually off to see my therapist now.

Much love, appreciation and thanks,

Elle said...

Thank you and I wish you the best!