Saying Yes To Anti-Depressants Can Change Your Life

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I recently had the opportunity to share my story on the Positive People Army blog. Here’s the story below. The Positive People Army is about people sharing their stories and possibly receive support from the army so that we can all overcome our issues and join together. Here’s my story from the Positive People Army blog. Make sure to check them out!

A year ago, I was prescribed anti-depressants to deal with my depression, I didn’t take them.

There is so much negativity around taking anti-depressant, especially in my Indian culture. Taking a pill to deal with yourself is a sign of weakness and you are labelled as crazy or mentally unstable.

Even my parents had this thinking.

Taking pills for mental health and/or speaking to a psychiatrist meant you were needy and unfit. It was a big taboo.

So, I never took anti-depressant, no matter what happened in my life and how badly it affected the person I was becoming.

Growing up, I was the tough-child. Nothing phased me. I could get through everything without shedding a tear, or so everyone believed. However I cried myself to sleep a million times. Never in front of anyone.

I kept a diary and put my heart and soul on paper. I refused to let my hard-exterior drop in front of others.

This went on for years and years until I finally started cutting myself. Did your jaw just drop at the news of that?

Cutting oneself is a different kind of high that many people don’t understand. When you are battling your worst demons and your heart hurts, it is nearly impossible to rid yourself of the pain you are experiencing.

This is where cutting came in for me. If I could inflict physical pain to myself, then maybe the internal pain would stop. And it did. For some time.

You don’t cut to kill yourself. Anyone that has ever gotten to the point of cutting themselves, knows this and knows how and where to cut. If they don’t, they’ll definitely look it up.

For me, it was this mindset that I needed to do anything in the world to get the pain out of my mind and soul and so I cut. At the time, this was my logic.

Fifteen – twenty years later and slightly wiser, I know cutting won’t rid me of my demons or pains. If anything, It will make me weaker knowing I gave into my misery.

Yet the depression still exists.

This past year year I have felt defeated. I have felt lost. I have felt hopeless, almost pathetic. I felt like running away.

I even lay in bed a few nights ago and thought how my husband and child’s lives would be should I pass-away suddenly. No, I didn’t plan my suicide or even consider doing it. It was just thoughts of whether I am helping their lives or putting them through more misery.  Am I making their lives any better or easier? Am I giving them happiness? Or are they secretly as depressed as I am because of my depression?

After fighting myself all year I finally decided to take an anti-depressant. After much thought, reading and research, it became clear to me, that this is the way to go. I don’t know what the outcome of this tiny pill will be; all I can hope for is that it helps me control these extreme highs and lows I have felt

I urgently made an appointment with my family doctor.

I met with him and gave him the details of this episode. He knows the history, he knows the triggers. He knows it must have been so bad this time around that I HAD to see him immediately. And after a long chat, he prescribed me with Wellbutrin. It’s going to help calm things down, I hope.

I take a pill every morning. Anti-depressants don’t take effect immediately. But this was the beginning to managing my mental-health and stability.

Sometimes a new beginning is all you need.

That beginning moved me towards a new me. A less emotionally charged and unlikely quickly agitated me.

The pills helped, there’s no question about it.

I used my energy to do more and become a domestic diva. I pushed myself to try new recipes and elaborate my skill of cooking. I invested my efforts and time in creating selling sunburst mirrors.

The mirrors reflect a piece of me bursting out like the rays of the sun, to shine and shimmer in my house and life. I look at my wall of mirrors and each one tells me a story of a day or week I felt weak but overcame my weakness.

They are my pride and my happiness hanging on the wall. I sell my mirrors because I want everyone I know and the ones I don’t know to have a burst of shine and happiness in their lives and with all the money I raise, a small portion of it goes towards a happy evening of food and family celebrating.  The other portion goes towards helping a charity I strongly believe in.

I know enjoy celebrating. This is now what my life is all about.

Anti-depressants helped me re-start my life.

Starting Another Journey To Get Fit

Being home with vertigo with extremely limited physical activity, I have managed to gain another 12 lbs. Randomly speaking to my neighbor yesterday, I asked her to allow me to use her scale to weigh myself, to confirm my suspicions, I have indeed gained weight, more than I expected. 

A couple of days ago, a friend looked at my Whatsapp profile photo and mentioned that I looked like I had gained weight to my face. I didn’t think much out of it at the time. But yesterday’s revelation left me feeling miserable and disgusted. It wasn’t a shock that I had gained weight because I could see and feel it with how my clothes had been fitting recently. But the amount of weight gain left me in disbelief. 

I haven’t been moving around much or goin for walks. Just the walk to the car and back up to my apartment and that too only once or twice a week, depending on how my dizziness was treating me. 

I’ve decided to try my meal replacement shakes again and use an appetite suppressant to help control the hunger fangs. I’ve spoken to my doctor about the weight gain and he too was very concerned with how much weight I’ve gained since having my daughter and why I wasn’t taking better care of myself. I told him I needed help to get me started and suggested the appetite suppressants and shakes and although he was hesitant to let me go on a diet, he agreed to let me begin with this and move myself towards better and wiser eating habits. He’s also encouraged me to go for small walks numerous times a day. He said to walk in the apartment or hallway and go slowly but to definitely walk. I remember back in 2010, when I lost 30 lbs in three months, I was walking nearly  two hours everyday after I got home from work. I would put on my headphones, play some music and walk as far as I could around 4-5 blocks and back. It was exhausting but so rewarding at the end. The walking combined with the meal replacement shakes, I was losing inche from every part of my body, my face looked toned and I felt good about myself.

I want to feel good about myself again. I’ve picked up my shakes and purchased the appetite suppressants to jump start my weight loss journey. I will be taking two appetite suppressants in the morning and two in the evening per the instructions on the label. For breakfast, I will be drinking a meal replacement shake followed by a large cup of black coffee. For lunch, I will eliminate grains and any product that is white in colour and only have vegetables, meat and some fruits. For dinner, another meal replacement shake. I will also be taking my daily multivitamin to ensure that I’m not missing any essential vitamins while on my journey.

If you recall, my diet from hell post a while back, I was having the shakes in the morning and for lunch. That was fine while I was working because dinner used to be early enough  that I could burn off what I was eating. But being home right now and feeling how I do, I think a light dinner will benefit me more. Plus, if I get hunger fangs, I can drink my hearts content of water and maybe even have a small fruit. 

I know this meal plan seems extreme. But it has worked for me in the past and with trial and error my body adjusted and I didn’t have any major or minor issues come up. I strongly believe that weight loss is healthy eating and being active but I also believe that every person and their body is different and we all react to different methods differently. So this plan might work for me but might not work for you. I’m not a nutritionalist, nor am I a weight loss guru. I’ve just found what works with my body. If you’re going to try this weight loss method, please consult with your doctor before you begin. Make sure you’re taking the right vitamins and eating the right foods to boost your weight loss. 

Good luck on your journey and wish me luck and strength too. I will keep you posted on how I’m doing. But if you’ve got any suggestions or ideas, please do share them with me!

Still Not Feeling Like Myself

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything relatively useful. I haven’t felt like myself in a long while now. What was assumed was vertigo resulted in not being vertigo. My test results came back normal. The MRI, the blood work, everything was normal. So, why do I still feel dizzy every single day? Why am I getting the worst headaches of my life still and why do I wake up feeling as if someone has knocked the wind right out of me? 

My doctor thinks the symptoms I described are related to migraine. He’s put me on migraine relief pills for a month and hopes they’ll help resolve whatever issues I’m having. I’ve been taking the pills now for two weeks and don’t see much difference in my symptoms. But after speaking to him earlier this week, he’s asked me to continue taking them and see how I feel in another week or so. 

I haven’t been to work in nearly three months and now I’m not sure I want to return after being off so long. I feel like it would be so awkward going back and dealing with all the questions from colleagues on what happened to me and where I’ve been. But on the flip side, I’m so bored out of my head being at home and am eagerly waiting to get better, so that I can’t get back to my work life. 

I enjoy working. I enjoy the crazy deadlines and hectic schedules. I enjoy out and about and focused. These days, my mind is so blurred. I’m miserable being home all day without being able to go out and about without someone being with me. I was never the dependent type. I’ve always enjoyed my independence and free-will to do what I wanted, when I wanted. But with this illness, all of that has changed. If I need to go somewhere, I either have to beg my neighbor to come with me or wait for my husband to get home from work. I don’t enjoy being a burden on people, even if they’re loved ones. 

Some rare days like Monday, I wake up feeling normal and the world doesn’t spin around me. So, I try to take advantage of the sensation of normalcy and get as much done as I can, like cooking or house work. But then other days, like yesterday, I waste the whole day in bed sleeping or tossing and turning because the night before I was so dizzy that I couldn’t keep my eyes closed for more than a few seconds at a time without being feeling like I was going to throw up. 

And if all of this wasn’t enough, the guilt of being on employment insurance and barely making ends meet causes me more anxiety. D is going to India later this month for his cousins wedding and I’m so sick thinking about how I’m going to provide for Ni while he’s away for three weeks. My mother has offered to come stay with us and help out but the financial part of it makes me sick to my stomach. 

I’m hoping these symptoms go away soon. I want my life back. I want to be independent again and provide for my family as I was before all this started. Everyday I rise hoping that I’m not feeling the way I was the day before and can finally ask my doctor to release me and let me go back to work. I just want my life to return to normal. 

Restaurant Diaries: Nova Ristorante 

 

Nova Ristorante – 2272 Lawrence Ave. East, Scarborough, ON | 416.751.1200

A couple of weeks ago was mine and Dev’s 4 year wedding anniversary and he convinced me to go out for dinner to celebrate the occasion. Still battling vertigo, I was reluctant but he insisted and convinced me that we’ll finally get to try out the recently opened Nova Ristorante, I’ve been dying to try. Thankfully I agreed because it was such a delightful experience.  
Sweet Potato Fries and Spicy Mayonnaise
 

We began our evening with sweet potato fries served with a mildly spicy mayonnaise, Shrimp Fra Diavolo and a side of Italian bread. The fries were absolutely delicious and perfectly crispy, as fries should be. Shrimp Fra Diavolo was savoury and complimented the bread. Had it been slightly spicy, it would’ve been extraordinaire. But nonetheless, it was delicious!  

Shrimp Fra Diavolo – jumbo tiger shrimp in a tomato based chilli sauce
 

For the main course, I choose to try the Penne Areabiata. It was the perfect blend of ingredients, including penne tossed with a onion, tomato and red chillies sauce, sprinkled with Parmesan. It was one of the best pastas I’ve had in a really long time. The chicken was beautifully grilled and seasoned to perfection, while the tomato based sauces lingered on the tongue and really hit the spot. 

Penne Arrabiata – served with grilled chicken
 

Dev loves pesto and decided to order the Winter Pesto Ravioli. Sadly for him, the pesto was bland and watery. The ravioli was over-cooked and mushy. What a disappointment after all the great food we had just eaten. After adding tons of salt, pepper and Parmesan, it still failed to satisfy our tastebuds.  

Winter Pesto Ravioli – garlic and mashed potato ravioli in a parsely pesto sauce
 

Besides the Pesto Ravioli, our meal was delightful and the experience left me craving to come back again to try out the rest of the menu. Our waitress was helpful and informative and even offered to get Dev something else. But he insisted on trying to enjoy his ravioli. The restaurant’s casually, chic decor made for a perfect date-night and Dev and I have decided to come back and try it again. My overall rating for this new, little nook, 4/5!

Want to see more amazing pics of Nova Ristorante’s meals before visiting? Check out their Instagram page @novaristorante or visit their website at www.novaristorante.ca

For more pics of things I’m trying and what I’m up to, don’t forget to add us on Instagram (@ziddi) or follow me on Twitter (@zidditamana).

Waiting On Results

As you all know, I’ve been battling with vertigo over the past couple of months. I’ve done numerous medical tests and will finally get all the results on Monday. I’m a bit nervous as to what the results will be. One part of me hopes there’s nothing serious but the other part of me hopes that something was found in my tests and can be fixed. I just hate going through a bunch of tests just to find out that there was nothing in my blood/X-ray or whatever. 

The last time I got sick with fever and pain over two years ago, all the tests came back normal and my family doctor ended up telling me that my illness was a result of my depression. Basically, in not so many words, he said it was all in my head and physically there was nothing wrong with me. 

Could that possibly be true? I was severely depressed at the time. Could I have been so depressed that my mind made me sick? What if that were the same this time? But I’m not depressed these days. Of course I have an off day here and there, but I’m not (thank goodness) depressed like I was six months ago or a year ago. 

I hope it’s not all in my head. Because I don’t know how to stop or cure it. Vertigo is not a nice thing to have and if my own mind is playing games with me and causing this vertigo, then how will I stop it? I hope my test results come back with some indication of something being wrong so that the ENT Specialist can help me resolve whatever’s wrong with my body. 

Will check back in on Monday after my doctor’s appointment and let you guys know how it went. Until then, have a great weekend and stay healthy!

One Day At A Time

Yesterday was a good day. Matter of fact, it was a magnificent day; I felt like my normal self for the first time in nearly two months. So we had dinner at a friend’s place. She constantly offered me wine but I declined. Then she thought I was pregnant and not wanting to drink. After much convincing, she finally backed off. 

I haven’t told many people about my vertigo. It’s not something people commonly know about and quite frankly, with how I feel these days, I don’t have the energy to explain what’s going on with me. Most days I can’t express to myself what I’m feeling or going through; to explain it to other people would just be too exhausting.

Speaking of exhaustion, I am exhausted right now. But my feeling of normalcy didn’t last very long yesterday and I’ve had a terrible day of dizziness and nausea to pay for how great I felt yesterday. I’ve thrown up twice tonight because the room won’t stop spinning. I had my MRI this evening; which was so overwhelming and scary and possibly the result of me feeling extra yucky this evening. 

I’ve got my inner ear test tomorrow morning and then a follow up in March with my specialist to discuss all the results from the fours tests they’ve done. I’m really hoping they find something, so they can cure me and get me back to my normal self. I hope it doesn’t turn into a “we don’t know what’s causing your dizziness” type of situation because not knowing why you’re sick is one of the worst things to ever deal with. 

I’m going to try and get some shut eye for now. I wanted to write a quick post to let you know how I’m doing and right now I’m just taking it one day at a time. I hope you’re all well and healthy. I’ll have another update soon once I hear back from the doctor on my results. Xoxo

Happy Valentine’s Day

  Hope you’re celebrating the day of love with your one true love or all the loves that make up the warmth in your heart. 

I’m doing the same; at home with my hubby and baby girl. We decorated some cookies yesterday and she brought me a card she made at daycare. It was the sweetest thing! Besides that D’s making breakfast and I’m plopped on the sofa because I have a terrible headache and my room was spinning. 

Have yourself a love-filled Valentine’s Day. Xoxo

a stubborn desire…

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