Blueberrie Blues

Blueberrie Blues is an anonymous blog, a safe place, for me to share a part of my life without holding anything back. With my story, I plan to discuss a quiet topic in our world, mental health. No judgments here, just love, hope and God.

The Royal Family & Mental Health

How are you doing today? I mean, how are you truly doing? That’s the question Prince Harry and Bryony Gordon are asking on the first episode of the new podcast, Mad World. Each week, Bryony Gordon of the Telegraph will host to different guests about their experience with mental health and how it has been a part of their lives.

Today, The Duke of Cambridge, William, continued to push the subject into the spotlight with his conversation with Lady Gaga. Listen here.

Read more about their initiative on mental health in an exclusive interview on CalmZone, here.

Learn about the Royal Foundation’s charity of choice for this year’s London Marathon, Heads Together.

The truth is, you are not alone. Have the conversation with someone. Tell me, what’s bothering you? What’s on your mind? How are you feeling today? It’s okay to be you.

Let’s talk.

Love,
BB.

Pregnancy with Anxiety & Depression

Here I am, checking in to share the journey of being pregnant with anxiety & depression. The struggle is real. And, I haven’t really found any honest reading about the subject so I thought I’d share my journey here. 

Stress at the pregnant woman

I’m currently 5 months pregnant and still very much terrified. Here is my journey thus far:

Month 1 (December 2016):
Exhaustion.
I spent most of the month binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix. There were a few days were I experienced nausea and vertigo and the idea of pregnancy popped in my mind briefly but quickly went away. Around Christmas time, I knew something was wrong. Skipped period and extreme nausea. Sure enough the tests came back positive. I was ecstatic one minute and terrified the next.

Months 2-3 (January – February 2017):
Denial.
The beginning of the year lacked doctor appointments (ultrasounds, blood work, etc.) left me in complete denial. The unfortunate event of a miscarriage lingered in the back of my mind not allowing me to accept this was real. My mornings were spent over the toilet and my evenings and weekends were spent sleeping out of exhaustion. Also, note, I stopped taking 30 mg of Prozac and started taking 5mg of Buspar twice a day.

Month 4 (March 2017):
Anger.
The prozac has left my system. My emotions have taken over and I’m angry. I’m not happy about being pregnant. It’s not easy even though the world makes it seem like you float on through. I don’t feel like my usual caring, compassionate and loving self. Mid-month, my boss approaches me to tell me she is concerned and doesn’t know who I am anymore. For a few days, I was better and happier. Then, I bounced back to anger with sadness.

Month 5 (April 2017):
Sadness.
This is where I am today. I wake up and struggle daily to keep my anxiety and depression at bay. I want to run but can’t because I haven’t been running the entire pregnancy. Rules. Also, one of the annoying things about pregnancy.

I’ll check back soon to share my updates.

Love,
BB

I’m Late.

I’m a week late. I’ve taken multiple tests that have only come back with two pink lines. This can only mean one thing – I’m pregnant. When I called the doctor to schedule an appointment the nurse on the other end of the phone ended the call with, “congratulations!! But, why? Why are people congratulating me when I feel nothing but pure terror?

My husband and I have batted around with the idea of having children for years. Our thoughts have always changed daily. And, since I’m now 32, almost 33, we decided a few years ago to stop preventing. To let life happen. This past fall I had exploratory surgery and they found and removed a ton of endometriosis. I’ve been on the mends since and just started accepting the idea of life without kids. We all know that life love to throw you curve balls. And, well, it happened, I’m pregnant. And now, I’m terrified.

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches.

– Matthew 13:31-32

The anxiety has always been a concern for me. Especially when it comes to the future, the unknown, anything that is out of my control. Can I do it? Will I be strong enough? How will we find a daycare? How will we pay for daycare? Will I still be able to travel the world and go to concerts? Will we be able to move into a new house? How will we ever pay for college? Will I be a good mom? There it is. Anxiety. The flow of constant what ifs.

So here are my reminders, my positives, my go-to’s to combat the anxiety…

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Just Breathe: Yoga. Breathe in, breathe out. You love it, it helps keep your body & mind at ease. Let’s get back to it.

Run, run, run: Remember the days where you used to run no matter what the circumstances? How it makes you feel alive and empowered? Do that. Do what makes you feel like you can conquer the world.

Create: Yeah, you’re creating a life right now but what about creating for yourself? Art is a therapy. Take a few moments to sketch, to paint, to create – to see something come to life without waiting 9 months.

Eat: Don’t just eat but eat healthy. The phrase has always been, “you are what you eat”, so get back to real and raw. You’ll feel better both physically and mentally. And, bonus! It’ll help your baby grow.

Be still: Enjoy the moment, breathe in the life around you. Meditate. Clear your mind and just be.

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.

– Exodus 14:14

I know I’m at the beginning here and I’m totally jumping the gun at 5 weeks. We shall see if it (baby) sticks. Do you have any tips on how to get through this? How to pick yourself up when you’re in a fight or flight moment of anxiety? Tips are always appreciated.

Love,
BB.

 

Life is Waiting.

Sadness has creeped in like a deep dark secret. Over the last 8 months my heart has been tragically sad for no apparent reason aside from the day-to-day life. How does one remind themselves to take care of themselves on the daily? Meditation, exercise, diet, breathing, living – it all gets lost in the shuffle and then, eventually, you’re lost – stuck in a place that you don’t know how to get out of.

That’s me in this moment. Stuck and lost with no way to get back. How can I get back to a healthy mind without overwhelming myself and without getting stuck in a monotonous routine? The truth is, life is waiting and right now it’s just passing me by.

 

 

What Dreams May Come.

Depression. I’m going to go deep on this one. When I’m in the lowest of the low and still see the light, I say to myself that depression will one day take my life. I fear that one of these times, I won’t be strong enough to get back up and to keep fighting.

I’ve been hit hard by the recent passing of Robin Williams because it hits too close to home. In a discussion with my friend, I mentioned that he must have suffered greatly during those final hours. As a person that suffers from anxiety and depression, I know how it feels when you’re at that low. I also know that it can get to a point where you’ll do anything to turn your mind off, to end the nonsense. Robin Williams was a brave man and I have no doubt that he fought hard. He made it this far.

The great thing that comes from his death isn’t the reliving of our fondest memories of him but rather, that the topic of depression, anxiety and suicide has come out into the forefront. The subject has been so quiet over the years. It’s almost something that people feel ashamed of. And really, does a person that suffers from such a disease need to feel more of this? We are smart, we just have minds that over think, that are chemically imbalanced. I read an article today that states, “Suicide is the 10th-leading cause of death in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.” My jaw dropped. Wow. It’s up there on the list and here we are, not bringing awareness to the disease. One can only hope that through this tragedy, more research is conducted, the topic continues to be discussed and that we are all supportive of those around us.

Our actions can make a bad day worse or a good day better. As humans, we are responsible for looking out for one another. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you see someone that’s down or if you’re the one suffering. There is always hope and there is always a new day. Stay strong. The light is just ahead.

Sidenote: One of the Robin Williams films that impacted me the most is What Dreams May Come. It’s close to this very topic and is absolutely beautiful.

Love,

BB.

Puppy Grief.

My puppy companion of 7 years passed away a couple of months ago, hence the silence. I’m still trying to sort out my thoughts and find myself again. Our dog suffered from multiple health issues and in the end, it was a string of seizures due to his epilepsy that ended his life. Medication through an IV wasn’t keeping them at bay and he gave me that look. You know the look. He lifted his head and told me that it was time and that’s when I had to make the decision to say good bye.

These past few months have been trying. Not only on me but my relationship with my husband, family and friends. I’ve been a recluse and when I’m in social situations, I don’t know what to say. I miss him. We did everything together. And most of all, I miss me. I miss how easy things were with him around. Change is as difficult as moving on. I’ve been eating my way through the grieving process with not much physical activity. Life is a daze.

This past weekend, we picked up a new puppy. She’s young and needs a lot of training and attention. She’s absolutely adorable but I feel completely guilty when I want to love on her. I don’t want my love and memory of our last dog to be forgotten. I didn’t grow up with much death and this, has been unbelievably hard. Does anyone have amazing advice for accepting and understanding the death of a loved one? How can I get back on track with managing my depression and anxiety, especially when all I want to do it curl up on the couch with comfort food?

Love,
BB.

String of Emotions

I don’t even know where to begin but I’ll start with what I’m feeling. 

Angry, upset, betrayed, anxious, sad, depressed, lonely, worthless, incompetent, fat, lazy, overwhelmed and I’m lacking major confidence. 

Why and how can one person feel so many terrible things at once? I feel like I’ve been “off” for the last two months and I can’t get back on track. I know the things I need to do to get there but I fall off so easily. Any tips about getting back on track and staying with the things that keeps you sane? 

It’s been 4 months since I’ve seen my psychiatrist and I got in to discuss life next week. With that being said, does it greatly decrease your chances of pregnancy when you’re an anxious mess? 

Love, 
BB.

 

 

The need to escape from within.

Lately, I’ve been stuck with the winter blues; the pattern of couch potato-ing, carb eating, tucking under the blankets kind of thing has consumed my every day. I haven’t worked out or taken the time for myself because there just isn’t enough motivation. What do people do during sunshine droughts like these to find their way out of the hole?

Suggestions welcome.

Love,
BB.

Embracing anxiety and depression.

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Lately, I have been stuck in my mind, stuck in the spiral of what goes on in the mind of a person that deals with anxiety and depression. It’s interesting how one moment, you can be on top of the world and then boom, depression slowly sneaks in and it’s great friend, anxiety steps in shortly after. It’s a constant battle, to have to deal with depression/anxiety. I fear it. I fear the feeling of anxiety and the possibility that it could lead to a panic attack. I can only hope that I’m currently strong enough to brush it off until the next time.

My last panic attack was just after the Thanksgiving holiday. One of my family members decided to ignore me completely, for reasons of her own. I handled the situation pretty well. I pulled my car over to a side street when I felt it coming on and took a few minutes to hyperventilate and ball my eyes out. This was mild in comparison to the ones I was having earlier last fall and I thank the medication for that. Recently, I found out there is a possibility of a big move/change just around the corner that I don’t feel prepared for. I feel like it’s out of my control. Will I be able to find a job that I enjoy in a new city? Will we be able to sell our house? Am I good enough? The usual spiral. I can tell, right now, that I’m on the verge of losing control of my thoughts and that is forever frightening. It’s nearly crippling when you’re suffering from a full blown panic attack.

Anyway, I just wanted to briefly share what has been going on in my life and my mind. This morning, while trying to avoid too much thought, I stumbled upon a TEDx talk by Andrew Solomon about the secret life of depression. It was oddly comforting, to know that people feel the same thing I feel. This is probably the best description I’ve heard on the subject. No need to watch, just click and listen. I also happened upon this wonderful app called Stop, Breathe & Think, that you can download for free. It’s a meditation app where you place your current emotions in the app and they suggest a few different meditation routines for you. A kind, pleasant voice walks you through a visualization and breathing practice that will pick you up when you’re down. I plan on implementing this 1-2 times a day. I also have been slacking on my diet and exercise routine. I plan to focus on those these next few weeks to hopefully avoid the dreadful spiral.

Much luck to you and yours.

Love, BB

The sound of silence.

I’ve been quiet, very quiet. The sadness still rests deep in my soul and I’ve been struggling to get it out. Really, I have no one but myself to blame here. I’ve stopped working out and haven’t made time for yoga. I’ve also pushed the past aside because it’s easier. Today though, I have this motivation to work efficiently, to get things done and to set goals. Right now, I have the alone time to face the past, so how do I force myself to face it? Do I schedule time to devote to this? Does anyone have advice to offer on how to fight and face the demons of your past? 

Love,
BB