Category Archives: Life and Love
I’ve been on Zoloft since I was 28 weeks pregnant in my first pregnancy, when I was 27 years old. I remember being depressed for the first time in sixth grade. I’ve been really struggling with Zoloft lately, primarily because I’ve been unable to lose weight effectively, and it’s really frustrating. Unless I’m counting all of my calories 100% of the time and I am working out HARD 5-6 days a week (at least 3-4 of those workouts being something like CrossFit, which we just simply can’t afford right now), I don’t even maintain my very overweight weight, let alone lose it. I have to work REALLY hard. I’ve never had an easy time losing weight, but it hasn’t ever been this hard. I asked Twitter if my SSRI could be contributing and the overwhelming response was affirmative.
I found this article, which was highly enlightening, like explaining why I felt AWFUL when I was on a Paleo diet long-term, or why my heartburn never went away when I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
I decided to taper my medication a bit. When I started I was on a certain dose, and after our first loss I was bumped up to a higher dose, which I’ve been on ever since. At one point, before my last pregnancy and my miscarriage, my OB/GYN had told me that I could cut my pills in half if I felt good about trying that, and I didn’t ever, since I had post-partum issues, and outside stresses, and then a miscarriage. But now I’m ready. So I’ve been cutting my pills in half. For 13 days. Tomorrow will be two weeks, and I finally feel like I’m regulating a little bit.
I have been so thankful that I’m not having the same issues my friends are. But I’m not saying it’s been a picnic. I’ve had anger issues. I’ve had a LOT of heartburn. I’ve had crying fits. I’ve felt like I was drowning. I’ve been blowing up at Jim and Eriana and the dogs. I’ve been both restless and lazy. Today was the first time I felt like I had some of my emotions in check, like I was able to focus. When Eriana did something that needed reprimanding today I understood that she is two and a child and needs me to guide her instead of yelling at her. I got some stuff done around the house (only 8 out of the 22 things on my list for the week, but it’s a start!). I didn’t sit around and watch tv and bite my nails all day.
I read that Zoloft has a 24-hour half-life, so you shouldn’t expect results from a taper in less than a week. I felt like two weeks was a good experiment. If things continue to go well for the next 5.5 months, I will taper again, this time with doctor supervision, of course, not just because I’ll need a new prescription. If things do not continue to go well I will see a doctor to determine if there’s something that I can take that won’t make me crazier than ever if I go off of it.
Here’s the thing: I’m not anti- anti-depressants. I’ve depended on mine to help me get through each day without crying for the last almost four years. But I’m in a REALLY good place in my life right now. My marriage is stable. My child is awesome. My education is promising. Our financial situation is working out. I have a good life. I had a good life when I was put on Zoloft, too, but I was also pregnant, living 8000+ miles away from everything I’d ever known, in a newly-stable marriage after YEARS of finding our way, and having a really hard time with life in general. And I feel like my OB that prescribed it had a lot of foresight.
Of course she couldn’t have known we would lose our child; that would have been impossible to predict unless she was omnipotent in some way. But she knew I needed something, and based on my history of unmedicated depression she thought I might be at higher risk for post-partum depression. Oh, Lordy, am I glad I was on Zoloft when our Angel died. Honestly: if I hadn’t had the regulation it provided me, I’m not sure Jim and I would still be together, or that I would even be here right now. Certainly Eriana wouldn’t be.
My point is, though, that I don’t want to be dependent upon it forever if I don’t have to be. And I don’t feel like I have to be. And if I do need additional chemical regulation, I’d rather it be something I can take as needed, not every day, and something that won’t make my already difficult weight problems more so. I don’t feel good at this size. I don’t feel happy with myself. I feel like I’m fighting a losing battle, but I’m still refusing to buy clothes in the sizes I probably need because the numbers on the tags make me want to collapse and weep. I haven’t weighed myself in probably three months, but considering that I’ve been working out a few times a week and my pants are still getting tighter, the number on the scale would probably not be a good thing to behold anyway. I don’t know what I need, y’all, but I just don’t feel like it’s Zoloft anymore.
Of course, it all remains to be seen.
At least these two can always make me smile:
Running down a tow truck bed at Touch-A-Truck last weekend.
P.S. I know you probably have thoughts about what a terrible idea it is to cut my medication in half without explicit instructions from a mental health professional, but I’d really rather you just give me support. I have the whole dose pills, I have access to the professionals necessary, and I don’t want to be scolded about something that is a difficult situation anyway.
I realized last week after I hit publish that it could have come across as insensitive to write a nonsense frustration post during a week when so many people were going through hell. The events of last week in Boston and West, and the anniversaries of horrible events in Oklahoma City and Littleton were not something I took lightly. In any way. I was so saddened by the events in Boston, and terrified for my friends who had loved ones running. I was terrified and saddened thinking of that sacred thing, the joy of running/finishing/seeing someone you know finishing a marathon being ruined by some jerks, and the pain and suffering so many were put through as a result of the selfishness and cruelty of a few people. I was saddened for the people in West, who did nothing wrong, and trusted that things were being run properly in a place their town depended upon, and were let down and injured and saw their town torn apart, figuratively and literally. I was saddened by the memories of the Oklahoma City Bombing, a tragedy that hit so close to home, and remembering that day. I remember, and always will, very vividly the office at my middle school getting the message wrong and telling me that my mom and baby sister had been downtown but were okay, but not telling me anything about my dad, who WORKED downtown.* I was saddened and brought back to the day my junior year of high school when I watched the coverage of Columbine and feared for kids who were just like me, being taken down by kids they knew. I remember going to school the next day and being even more terrified as the number of police cars at the school had increased by at least 10, and there were bicycle cops patrolling the hallways during classes. I remember thinking that it could happen anywhere, and trying to be really nice to kids that were labeled as outcasts, hoping I would be spared if they tried something similar.
My point is that I didn’t mean to come across as insensitive or jerky by posting something insignificant last week. I just… I just posted it. I apologize if it rubbed you the wrong way. I truly meant no offense by it. I was not taking last week lightly. I was just trying to keep my life going as normal. Stupid excuse, maybe. But I totally meant no offense and hope for your forgiveness if I did hurt you.
On to new things. I think I should share some smiles I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this week. I hope these things will make you smile (or cry laugh) as they did me.
Shared by the lovely Sarah, this video had me in stitches. Alligator is my favorite.
Retweeted by Kim, Eriana and I watched this about 10 times in a row. And both of us cracked up every time.
Eriana has been so funny lately, and I am loving her humor and how she gets so excited about stuff. This is her giggling like a loon as she watches part of a Fresh Beat Band episode she’s seen many times.
The other day she requested that I tie her shirt up with a rubber band (that she got herself for me out of her bathroom drawer), which I have only ever done with shirts that are WAY too big. Then she pulled some boxes down that were leaning against the wall, and danced like a crazy person for most of the afternoon.
She is beyond cheesy, and smiles like this often.
This photo (you’ll have to click through; I didn’t ask permission to post the picture, so I’m just linking it here) had me giggling this morning. Posted on Instagram by Christina. I want to do this to someone now! (And it vaguely reminds me of when some friends and I put for sale signs in a guy’s yard in high school. Only less frustrating/potentially illegal.)
This video was tweeted by Susie, and I sat there watching it thinking, “SERIOUSLY????” So it’s worth a watch.
I know this went viral, but the Tumblr for “Reasons My Son Is Crying” is awesome. Oh, toddlerhood.
And this, sent by the lovely Kammah, is on my phone bookmarks and is one of my favorite things ever. So I can smile anytime I need it.
I don’t know where it came from. So I can’t give credit where it’s due. But how awesome is it?
*The real message was FROM my mom that my dad was okay. His office is a mere eight blocks from the site of the Murrah Building and sustained a great deal of damage, but he was fine. As a seventh grader who didn’t spend a lot of time in downtown OKC I had no idea the geography of the area and was terrified that he was in harm’s way. It wasn’t until several hours later, when a friend whose dad worked with mine had gotten word that her dad was okay gave me that information that I was appeased, but I wasn’t able to breathe until I got home that afternoon.
I’m a little grumpy today, even though it’s raining. Here’s a lovely shot of a rainy day on the road to my neighborhood.
I KNOW my family is going to hate this post, but I have to say that I am OVER living in Oklahoma. OVER IT.
(It’s possible that we will be here forever, but probably not. Moving here under the circumstances we did put a dark cloud over everything here anyway. And it was always meant to be temporary. YOU KNEW THAT.)
Here is a short list of things that bug me about living in Oklahoma:
1. The weather. It was so humid today that my car windows fogged up when I opened the garage. And now I’m hunkered in my house refreshing the weather pages of two
networks because we are expecting tornadoes and other ridiculous severe weather. I adore the rain, but HATE thunder (it terrifies me), and even though I grew up here and have never prepared for severe weather before, having a child has made me hyper-alert. I actually bought water, snacks, and flashlights today. And the sudden hail a few weeks ago put dimples in one of our cars, because of COURSE the first major hail storm we’ve seen would happen within the first week that we couldn’t put both cars in the garage for the first time in the three years we’ve lived here.
2. The drivers. Oh, Oklahoma drivers. You suck. I have a whole draft post about drivers, but let me break it down for you: tailgating, road rage, driving in blind spots, STOPPING TO GET ON THE HIGHWAY, not using blinkers (including GIANT semis driving through narrow-laned construction zones), not using cruise control EVER and then flipping off other drivers (me) when I don’t go the speed they want me to when they’re speeding up and slowing down. I could go on and on. It’s ridiculous.
3. The false niceness. I get really frustrated by this. I could go into specifics, but it would be a longer post than you could ever want to read. Suffice it to say that if you disagree with people here you often are ostracized from a group.
4. My family. No, not you. Not you either. Look, I LOVE my family. I do. I love them. But after living the first almost 10 years of my adult life away from them, it was difficult to come back here and live in the same town. I moved back here a completely different person than I was the last time I lived here. I changed, as people are apt to do from ages 18-27. And Jim and I spent the first almost seven years of our marriage without family nearby. We ARE each other’s family. And we like it that way. Which might
be selfish, but it’s our marriage. And it’s a good one. We worked through major issues, and our world fell apart, and we still made it. And even though we like my extended family, it’s weird to be here. It’s weird to live where I grew up, to see family often, or at least for every holiday, to get together for birthdays and everything. We’re just kind of over all of the togetherness. Again, maybe selfish. But it is what it is. Jim and I are not really super social people. We’d rather spend birthdays at home. We’d rather spend holidays at home. We want to be able to choose who we see for those things, not be expected to do things and wind up spending time with some people we like and some we don’t.
5. Religion in everything. I am a Christian. I have been since I was seven years old. I love my church, and I am involved in it. But I’m not a religious person. I’m just not. There’s no religion in my politics. I don’t think religion belongs in education. I just get so frustrated.
Whatever. Like I said, I know a lot of my family members aren’t going to like this post. But here it is. I’m over it. It may be forever, but there’s a good chance it won’t be. And where from here remains to be seen.
(To balance my above list, and in the interest of full disclosure, here are some things I like about living here: my family (shut up; I’m a study in contrasts); the university (being on campus is like a whole new world to me, and I love being able to go there anytime I want); cheap housing (seriously if you live on a coast or in a big city don’t ask me about the cost of living here); my church (it’s awesome); my friends (I have some really good friends).)
Truth be told I’ll go or stay anywhere as long as I have these two.
My life has been not boring, but not super bloggable lately. Not that I’m hiding anything, per se, just that there hasn’t been a lot going on that you probably care about.
I turned 31 last week, which was… well, a birthday. I’m not super fond of my birthdays, as a rule. And this year was no different. But Jim and Eriana baked me a cake (Jim put “29″ on it because he’s funny), and I spent the evening with my two loves, which makes me happier than anything.
I’m finishing up the semester, and hoping I pass both classes. One I’m really enjoying, but the other is super frustrating. We’ve finally moved into the portion of it that I understand and like. So hopefully I can redeem myself the last few weeks of the semester and everything will be okay. I just have to get a C. It seems ridiculous to me that I’m hoping to pull that off. But here I am. (I got one C in my last graduate program, so perhaps I can be the One C Wonder? Whatever.) I’ll take my comps this fall, and as long as I pass I’ll be able to graduate in December. I’m hoping to continue taking some grad-level classes online, probably in education, to continue to defer my student loans until I can start my PhD, hopefully in the Fall 2014 semester. Someday, y’all. Someday I’ll be Dr. D’Angelo and be done going to school.
Do you want an update on Eriana? She’s awesome. She’s very, very two, but awesome. Someone told me once that if your two year old is crazy and difficult, sometimes three isn’t crazy and difficult. I’m hoping this means that three will be easy peasy.
Let’s see. At 27 months Eriana:
-counts to 12 and identifies about half of those numbers on sight.
-doesn’t really count things, though, just counts. Much of the time she’ll say, “One, two (objects)”, no matter how many there are.
-identifies more than half of her letters out of order and can mostly say her ABCs in order
-knows most shapes and all basic colors
-loves to sing (I need to get a video of her awesome rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider!)
-talks a LOT and changes topics so fast your head will spin (i.e. “Ooh, pretty dress! Ana like this shirt! Mama has boobies. Daddy no has boobies. Zaya go? Raisele out there…”)
-Sleeps about 11-12 hours a night, unfortunately, and about an hour during the day. Unfortunately because three months ago she used to sleep 13 at night. Now she wakes up grumpy.
-Can open doors and turn off/on lights (and loves to turn on her light, open her door, and turn on every light she can see on the way to our room and wake us up at 6 a.m. or earlier).
-Is girly girly with clothes and accessories, and tells me all the time that she’s pretty or cute.
-Also loves trucks, construction equipment, “helping” cook/bake, playing with baby dolls, and “cleaning” (usually wiping something down with a used baby wipe or using the Swiffer, which is a new-found obsession).
-Says, “Oh! Yeah!” if you remind her of something or ask her to do something.
-Says “yes” and “nope” to answer questions.
-Loves babies with a reckless abandon and wants to kiss and hug and touch them (three of her friends from church have gotten new siblings since the beginning of the year).
I’m sure there’s more going on with her, but overall just know she’s still awesome.
And she and Jim made the front page of the major Oklahoma newspaper from the library’s Bug Fest a few weeks ago. Apparently the stick bug wasn’t a favorite?
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday pictures of my kid because I suck at updating since (the day before) February ended.
Thoughts. I have many. There’s a lot going on in my head. But I haven’t really had the energy to put it into a post. My last post was a CHEESY one. But I meant every word. (Unless there were grammatical or spelling errors. Then you’ll have to cut me some slack and figure out what I meant.)
-School started and I’m excited about this semester. I am nervous, as both classes (Cataloging & Classification, and Information Literacy & Instruction) are sort of new territory for me.
-Food Lush is ending and I’m so sad. I’ve really enjoyed being a part of that blog and I understand why Jennie has to let it go, but I’m sad I can’t do something to help. I guess I’ll make a food page on this blog and share recipes, dishes, and restaurants worth noting.
-I’ve been researching daycare programs and day schools and preschools for Eriana for this time next year, assuming I get into the PhD program I want.
-I’ve been weeding through forms and web sites regarding doctoral programs and am NERVOUS about even meeting with an advisor. I know that I can do it, but I am terrified that I’ll fail.
-Jim and I did some talking about babies, and are confident that we’re done with conceiving biological children. I know we’ve been down this road before, but committing to being done at the age of 27 with a single tragedy behind us, and being done at the age of 30 with two tragedies behind us and a healthy child in our arms is different. We are open to adopting, and I have started researching domestic adoption. I am meeting with a friend next week to discuss her family’s domestic adoption and to have some questions answered, and though domestic matters are truly foreign to me (ha, see what I did there?), I am confident that we will figure out what we need to do for our family. (As an aside: I have been researching international adoption for YEARS, and have several friends and acquaintances who have gone down that road. Researching domestic opens a whole new set of fears and questions. We shall see.)
-I want to start planning our trip to Seattle for this summer, but I’m having a lot of difficulty with starting that endeavor. But, PNW Friends, we’re still planning on July.
-I wish someone would just hand me, like, $100K. Wouldn’t that be great? I could pay off all of our debts but the house, and have money leftover for adoption costs and to top off our emergency fund.
Sorry I’m so scattered, Friends. Thanks for bearing with me!
There’s just no way I can properly express how much I love this kid and her (lack of) style.
“You must remember, family is often born of blood, but it doesn’t depend on blood. Nor is it exclusive of friendship. Family members can be your best friends, you know. And best friends, whether or not they are related to you, can be your family.” Nicholas Benedict, The Mysterious Benedict Society, pg. 257
I love my family. There are lots of family members nearby, since I grew up in the town in which we currently live. When I talk about my family to others, I’m talking about Jim and Eriana. When I talk about family to Jim, I’m talking about my side of our extended family.
But when I think about who my family is, they aren’t necessarily the people related to me, by blood, adoption, or marriage. They are the people that hold me up when I’m falling, those who make me laugh till I cry. They are those who think I’m a good person, even when they’ve seen the sides of me that aren’t that great. They are people who disagree with me on political issues but still love me and call me “Friend.” They are those who give me advice, who send me gifts just because or to help me through a crappy day. They are those with whom I exchange Christmas cards, despite only having met them in person once or twice. They are those with whom I can text about hemorrhoids even though I’ve NEVER met them in person. They are those who hug me like a sister when I finally do get to see them in 3D. They are those with whom I can Skype without having ever heard their voices. The ones who I can give presents to without feeling weird or awkward. The ones who I can talk to, and talk to, and talk to, for hours.
My little family, Jim and Eriana and our pets, are the most important things in my life. They are my heart, my soul, my reason for getting up on dark days.
But my extended family consists of more than my parents or siblings, more than my grandparents or aunts and uncles. My extended family are my beloved friends. They are the group of people from elementary, middle, or high school that I spend time with and talk to regularly, one-on-one or in small groups, and who have known me forever and still like me. They are the group of people with whom I worked in Japan who put up with work Tara and still wanted to spend time with down time Tara. They are the people who befriended us at military bases that we still talk to or want to see. They are the new friends I’ve made over the years that keep me sane when my life begins to spiral, and the friends I’ve known for awhile with whom I’ve rekindled a friendship and cherish beyond measure. They are the group girls from my church that I go out with occasionally and who offer me love, support, laughter, sarcasm, and delicious drinks. They are the gathering of awesome ladies I met online with whom I communicate daily and see once or twice a year (if that) and who keep me afloat when things aren’t going well. They are the ones who open up their homes to me or visit mine, share hotel rooms with me without knowing that I snore before we make plans. There are so many ladies I’ve met that I consider my family. And I hope I am a sort of family to them as well.
Mom, seriously? You’re so cheesy.
So now that it’s 2013 but I don’t start school for two more weeks, I’m a little bored. So here are some Pinteresty things that I’d like to make.
Picture from Montessori by Hand.
Dancing Fairy Rings.
Picture from Etsy.
Remake my morse code bracelet (cause I broke it!); it had Eriana’s name on gray silk.
Image from Coatt Online. (I couldn’t find the picture I took of the one I made.)
The ever-inspiring Jennie has been tweeting a lot lately about her 2013 goals, and her enthusiasm gave me some aspirations.
-Read 50 books.
-Read my Bible more often (actually I have a daily one I’d like to read cover to cover).
-Apply/get in to a doctoral program.
-Run a half marathon.
-Pay off all of our credit card debt and Jim’s student loans.
-Go on family vacation for our 10th anniversary.
-Do something super fun for Jim’s 30th in December.
-Finish my current graduate degree.
-Explore local montessoris and charters for the fall after Eriana turns three.
-Do something fun with my family at least three weekends of every month (even if it’s just going to a park or walking around campus or whatever – fun doesn’t have to cost money).
-Potty train Eriana (if she’s ready, and OH LORD, I hope she’s ready).
-Go to The Blathering.
-Work out regularly (I’m going to give myself a dollar in a special account (or cash for Jim to hide; I don’t know) every time I work out and I will get to do whatever I want with it next January. A cute new purse or pair of boots is good incentive!)
-Spend as much time with these two as possible.
Today was a good day. I still had bouts of depression, but I was surprised at how well I did today. Not too many flashbacks, not too much sadness. I had fun with my girl, I kept my head, and I got a lot done.
We went to the post office to mail Christmas cards, went to Qdoba for lunch (where I got random and frequent hugs from my very happy girl – my child through and through), we braved Target, swung by the butcher shop (that was closed), and then came home. We watched “Elf”, snuggled, played, danced to Christmas music, and had a good day. There were some bipolar baby moments, of course, but all in all it was fine.
Thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers, and for your help through this week (and next). I’m glad it’s the weekend and I get to spend time with my loves.
She put this bag on her head, said, “Mama! Hat” and then giggled like a crazy person. Repeat.
After awhile she went into her room, closed the door, and looked at books for a long time. 45 minutes or so? Nerdy girl. I love her!