but I got back today after a trip an hour away to see a psychiatrist who was instrumental in my treatment for a week just lately. I was at the Carle Pavilion in Champaign, IL. They don't treat dangerously mentally ill where I was, but they do treat depressed, anxious, detoxifying persons, persons who have planned, or have tried, suicide. I fit in the first group of depressed and anxious patients, and I was desperate for help. No amount of stitching helps when you get as low as I was. There is a large number of mentally ill, none dangerous, people in my family. One managed to take his life and my brother nearly got the job done, but he's so very happy to be alive now that he has his first grandchild. That also helped me, but they grow up, and genetic, clinical depression returns.
There is no magic pill, though I'm taking the maximum dose of Cymbalta, and a new one for me is Abilify. They're really monitoring the Abilify with me because of its tendency to cause weight gain. I'm overweight anyway, after many years of prednisone for lupus, and am taking it again after 5 or 6 years of being away from it. I had gained 80 pounds during a 12-year period with prednisone, then gained 20 more when I quit smoking, which, if I wanted to breathe (lupus affected my lungs). I lost the 20 pounds slowly myself, but the bottom dropped out when I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica, thus putting me back on the dreaded prednisone again. I was not happy to hear that Abilify was yet another drug that had the same weight gain tendency.
My self-imposed tharapy was to plant flowers and trim our unbelievable amount of bushes. My mother brought me her little left-over flowers from her own house and sat them in spots on either side of the front of our garage. There was no artful way to plant them, so I just planted them hither and there, and the moment those pansies touched my soil, they went wild. I took a few pix of my two little spots of artless color, and though I'm not done with our bushes, I'm showing off my artful trimming of a mean bush. I still have some gorgeous perennials of ground cover and flowers to put around the bases of our mail boxes just off the street in front and our post lantern so there's no need to trim when mowing the lawn.
I truly wish I could stitch up a storm, but I get nowhere fast. I think it's going to take a bit of time to metabolize the meds and be able to concentrate on the counting and placement of stitches. I get a little confused at times. I started reading at the Pavilion, and I seem to absorb that a bit better for the moment. They kept us very busy with group sessions constantly, but during breaks, I read. The most important thing I learned was that there is no magic pill, and ultimately, my success and ability to cope is up to me. So, even now, when I feel the sadness wafting up, I have to reach deep down inside and pull up tools of coping I've learned to keep me from giving into the darkness. The light-hearted, cozy books I'm reading seem to be just the ticket.
I hope someone will enjoy the pictures. This is the first year I've done anything like this and been proud enough to call it therapy and look at it as an artform. I'm really enjolying it, and I lose myself in it. It used to be hot drudgery. God has answered my prayers. I want to live and enjoy life.