Aha!

My younger brother is staying with us today. He started a new job recently, which required for him to travel from San Antonio to Round Rock. Since we are just a 25-minute drive from his work, I told him that he can stay with us everytime he is in town.

When Robert and I got married, we decided to move to Austin. Robert got a high school teaching gig and even though the job hunt was stressful, I got a job offer to work at UT. We got an apartment and decided that Austin would be where we will start our own family. I’ve never lived away from my family before marriage. I’ve lived with my parents, 2 brothers, my sister, sister-in-law and 2 nieces. This is just how the Filipino culture is. If you can live together, that’s ideal. It doesn’t matter if you’re married with kids.

So moving to Austin was a big change for me. New city, new work, new life. If not for our 2 dogs, it’ll just be me and Robert at home. I went from living with 9 other people, sharing bathrooms, bedrooms and a living room full of people to me and my husband with pets. After a year and a half, we bought a house and we are now outnumbered by our pets – 3 dogs, a rabbit, and 2 parakeets. It definitely kept our house loud and there’s always something going on.

I still talk to my sister via Facebook Messenger. I am actually still in contact with my siblings, via text or Facebook. We also Facetime each other once in awhile. We visit when there’s a special occasion, like birthdays or any time there’s a 3-day weekend/holiday. I have gotten closer to my siblings and I do miss interacting with them on a daily basis. The annoyance of not getting any sleep (I worked nights for years) because they want me to go with them to the mall instead of resting. The constant request to help them with their taxes. Being blamed because they can’t connect to the wifi. Being the ‘Ate’ who’s always ready to help, be it emotional, physical or financial.

Ate, can I borrow your laptop?

Even though I have to use my laptop because I have to pay my bills, I let my brother use it. I grabbed my laptop, gave it to him and that’s when I said ‘Aha!’

Is it possible that I miss that part of me who is always ready to help? The part of me who long to be needed? The simple phrase, just being called ‘Ate’, do I miss that?

I told Robert my realization, I tried to explain.

Is it possible that I have depression because I don’t feel that I am needed? That’s why I feel something is off. That’s why I want people at work to need/like me, but since they don’t, I feel sad? That I need affirmation, not just at work, but in every aspect of my life? Shit.

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I love to give, and I’m willing to, until I have nothing else left for myself. But maybe, I have to accept my current situation. I can still give, but it’s also OK to have time for myself. I am still ‘Ate Carme’ to my siblings and younger cousins, that’s not going to change, but I am now at that stage of my life where I am now a wife and a dog mom. I changed roles, so I have to change my attitude too.

Honour myself. Time for some self-love.

 

Day 148: Work in progress

I got overly confident thinking that I my plans will work. Just like what I said on my Day 147 post, I’m going to start taking my medicine every other day for 1-2 weeks and my depression will magically go away and I will go on with my life. No turning back, it’ll be perfect. But I had a harsh reality check last night.

I started crying again.

I have no clue why, and this is what scared me. I thought I was fine. I thought I won’t have episodes. But I was wrong. I was talking to Robert, feeling anxious and I started crying. I felt that I am losing control. I have so much work to do but I decided to have a mental struggle instead. I got frustrated doing my taxes, got mad at the dogs for being too loud and I started shutting down when Robert wants to talk. All my will-power, gone.

Robert started talking to me about it and he said it’s OK to take the medicine again. Maybe not the full dose, but continue doing what I’ve been doing. I think I am pressuring myself to stop and be done with the medicine. Nobody else is doing that. My doctor said do it gradually but I am determined to finish taking my medicine before this month ends. I didn’t realize that it would be an unrealistic goal to have.

After my episode last night, I realized how bad I felt. Robert said that I have to be strong and be determined to feel better. My prioritizes are overlapping each other that I want an easy way out from  my current situation so I can start working on my next move. This is clearly not helping.

I have to accept my situation. There’s no need to rush, because I am the only one who will suffer. I’d rather do this the right way. As for the future plans, I won’t worry too much about it.

Day 147: Headaches

It has been a full week since I started taking half a dose of Lexapro.  Aside from headaches throughout the day, my mood is/was steady. I feel motivated to get up in the morning and go to work. Not sure if taking a low dose of Lexapro caused my headache. It could also be attributed to the fact that I stare at a computer screen all day and use my phone non-stop. I’ll try to limit my phone usage, TRY.

I sent a message to my doctor, telling her about my situation. She asked me to keep her updated on how I’m doing. She gave me a green light to start taking my medicine every other day for a week or 2. This made me happy. I long for the day that I will stop taking any medications, and that time is almost here. I take each day as a win and this is a major win for me. Thank you Papa God!

My head is starting to hurt again. I look at the clock and it’s 14:56 — almost time to go home. A warm bath sounds good right now. Maybe I’ll do that when I get home.

My Life in Pictures: Vol. 1

We had a good 4 day weekend. It was MLK Jr. Day, so Monday was off but then we had an increment weather warning with freezing rain and snow, and since we live in Texas, everything is pretty much shutdown Tuesday. We still got to enjoy the beginning of the weekend but once it got cold, we watched Netflix and played with our dogs. Here are some of the pictures I took during our break.

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Saturday: We drove to San Antonio to see my family. Had lunch there and then drove back before it got dark. We watched The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (A must watch if you have Amazon Prime). This is me being all mussy – I wanted to write a blog entry but failed.

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Sunday: Went to Halal Bros. for lunch. I had this back in 2011(?) in New York, so it was nice to have the same restaurant here in Austin. That white sauce and rice, I love it!

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It was still nice out so we decided to play with the dogs in our backyard. I forced Robert to take a picture with me and Carlie. This is my favorite, even though my eyes were closed.

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Monday: Even my fortune cookie says so.

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Tuesday: Schools were cancelled, so had another day to relax and stay home. Our dogs loved it.

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Made sugar cookies because I was craving for something sweet. Omnomnom.

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Allie doesn’t want to share her food with Carlie so she flipped her bowl to cover the food and laid down next to it. You can see her staring at Carlie — she is not happy.

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I was watching TV and then I saw June doing this. Not sure what she’s thinking but it’s just funny how she’s so random like this. Dogs do have personalities.

Now I’m back to work. I miss my afternoon naps – can we have another long weekend?

Day 134-136: Change is not always good

Happy New Year everybody!

Last January 10, I went to see my doctor for my follow up appointment. August 2017 seemed like a long time ago, but here I am now, almost 5 months into taking my medication. I’ve been taking an anti-depressant and anxiety medication this whole time and like I said in my posts, I found the right dose that makes me productive and live a normal life. This follow up appointment meant that my 6 months is almost up and we have to figure out a course of action moving forward. I don’t plan on taking medications my whole life, I am still hopeful that I am able to gradually stop taking my meds and eventually not relying on it.

My visit was good. My doctor has a plan for me – I’m currently taking Lexapro for my depression and Hydoxyzine for anxiety, she wants me to continue Lexapro but stop taking Hydroxyzine and take Buspar instead. She originally prescribed me with Buspar, took it for 2 days and I had to stop. I started shaking and having bad panic attacks. She eventually prescribed me with Hydroxyzine, which I had no problems with. She wanted me to switch to Buspar, for personal reasons, which I am hesitant at first, but I understood why. She knew my history with this medication, so she said to try it for 5 days, see how I feel. If I didn’t get any side effects, I’ll cut my Lexapro in half, try it for a week, eventually take it every other day until I can stop. Then I should take Buspar twice a day, until I feel that I don’t need to take any medication. Sounds like a good plan to me. I went home, made dinner then took my medication that night.

I woke up the next day, miserable. The shaking came back and I was not able to get out of bed because of all the thoughts running through my head. It was so noisy and the shaking won’t stop that I had to hug Robert tight just to calm me down. I skipped work that day – I don’t want to drive with this condition and I know I won’t be productive at work either. I knew it was the Buspar. Robert suggested that I don’t take it for another day,  since I have to go to work, and take it during the weekend. We have a 3-day weekend coming up, so it would be perfect. But I don’t want to take the medicine. I don’t want to feel anxious anymore, I felt horrible. Robert suggested that I let my doctor know, maybe she can recommend something else to take.

I have no idea why my body hates Buspar. It is January 12, I didn’t take the medicine last night and I got up with no problems this morning. I still feel a bit hazy but I went to work and carried on. I am still waiting for a reply from my doctor, I hope she can recommend something else. Or maybe I don’t have to take my anxiety medicine anymore? Maybe this is a chance to ease off of it?

Maybe.

Update: I received a green light from my doctor’s PA and agreed with my plan – stop taking my anxiety medicine and then ease off my anti-depressant. This is awesome. We’ll see how I do. Wish me luck .