So How Did You Spend World Mental Health Day?

So it has been three months since I last posted on the old BLOG.
It isn’t because I had nothing to write.
It wasn’t because I was too busy.
In fact, I’m not really sure why, but I have some thoughts, some suspicions.

In honor of World Mental Health Day I managed to remember my password and here I am to ponder my drawing back, going quiet, and other related things.

It has been 26 months now since I was first diagnosed with clinical depression and accompanying anxiety and 24 months since the auto-immune disease lupus was confirmed present in my body.
As I have said before, it is a sort of chicken and egg thing as to which came first since one can be present without the other (or not), but they have a somewhat intertwined relationship. My blood counts for lupus are all healthy (yeah team!). My psychiatrist is retiring and we have had our last visit (crap!) And I have about three months worth of medication to find out if my new one will work out (shudder!) Florida’s hotter and more humid summer is nearly over (THANK GOD!) I’ve lived here for 16 years and they are by my own quasi-scientific analysis getting worse and that is before Zika and other more unpronounceable diseases are figured in.

Confession: I’ve been anxious.
Not about contracting Zika (even though I love spending time doing photography in places that are the equivalent of a mosquito Disneyland), nor the blisters that have been randomly forming on my fingers for half a year which may or may not be caused by (1) stress (2) some chemical agent (3) my OTC allergy meds (4) some auto immune issue.

Those things I deal with.

As summer has moved into fall and the various gears and levers in my brain that need to be pushed and pulled in order to adjust to changes in workload and tempo and such awaited to be pushed and pulled, my can of whatever the emotional, physical, and spiritual equivalent of 10W-40 is just flat-out rattled empty.
Pfffffft! Nothing.

I dropped out of some Facebook Groups because I no longer had the amount of energy necessary to engage there. I stopped writing here. I withdrew from some commitments. Starting anything seemed like climbing a hill on a very hot day with no shade and an empty water bottle with all of the election year junk mail in a backpack on my shoulders. Everything required so much energy. My head got foggier and thinking muddier and decisions harder. My cats sensed it as they began to take to my lap every time I sat down. Apollo, lovingly called Sasquatch, had put on a few pounds since the last time. I let him stay on my lap which he quickly trades for my legs until I lose feeling in my feet. Luna would give my arm a bath with her sandpaper tongue until I swear she was removing layers of skin.

I got sick with fever, chills, aches and pains.
Was lupus kicking into gear or was it an upper respiratory infection (as the Urgent Care doctor suggested), who knows?
Still recovering, I headed off to one of my most favorite weeks of the year in which I trade swamps for mountains and beach sand for snow and shoot a thousand photos and see elk and deer and aspen’s turning their fall yellow. The air is cool and dry and fresh and friends old and new surround me with their prayers, joy, and creativity and renew my spirit. This year I had tacked on a quick meeting and four days with some relatives in majestic Oregon, including two that I had not seen since I was 12.

Thanks to the random movements and killer winds of Hurricane Matthew I was on a plane back home eight days early, hurricane shutters in hand within half an hour of dumping my luggage on the floor. I could not not be home with such a threat bearing down on my family and my parishioners. I am at peace with that. No regrets.

But God I am tired.
Sasquatch is right here with me as I type this, doing his cat thing.
I have to think if I took my evening meds (I did).
I have to think about tomorrow (two meetings and some administration in the office).
I think about a few projects to conquer around the house (the patio fountain/pond and patio drainage and that shower head and electrical outlet).
I’ll need to shave tomorrow.

To end my day I will bandage up my blisters after smearing them with the strongest steroid cream made and see what else Twitter thinks of the most recent presidential debate.

There is 35 minutes left to World Mental Health Day.
How did you spend yours?img_4225