I really have been horrible about keeping up my blog as of late. I do apologize. There don't seem to be enough hours in the day to complete all that needs to be done. I hope you are all doing well. Things for me have been stable of late, which I guess in the realm of anxiety, is a good thing.

I did get really sick last week though (no, I didn't have the swine flu)...it was a bronchial infection. Started out like a cold and then really irritated my chest and lungs so I went to the doctor and he prescribed me antibiotics and an inhaler/puffer. It really helped and I'm almost feeling completely normal, except I'm still coughing a lot, but I guess that's usually the last thing to leave when you have a cold.

Other than that illness, I saw my psychiatrist a couple weeks ago and we decided to stay on the same dose of medication as I'm currently on...at least until I've felt stable for a longer period of time so there's less of a chance of relapsing. I'm cool with that. To be honest, I didn't really feel comfortable with further tapering my medication at this time. I like where things are at right now, and I think I'm doing really well. My job has helped me immensely, as has my support system. I'm not 100% cured by any means, but I'm feeling so much better that I did last year at this time.

Lastly, we have these little tiny flies swarming our apartment balcony and sticking to the walls and ceiling of it. My husband did some research and thinks they're called midges. Has anyone else ever dealt with these stupid insects. Apparently they don't like Lavender or Basil plants so we're going to try putting those outside and see what happens. So annoying!


Busy, busy like a bee

Work has been going really well. As soon as March hit we really started picking up our appointment bookings and things really got busy. So busy in fact that both me and my colleague ended up being a tad bit burned out. We're still not busy enough where we need to hire someone else to help, but sometimes it can be a lot of hours of having to be at the office for just two people. We were able to recuperate though and feeling more like ourselves. Fingers crossed that things just keep getting better! We're still within our first year of operation though and so far I think we're doing amazingly well. So forgive me if I'm not blogging too regularly. I promise I will when I can, but right now there's a lot going on and I may not always be able to find the time.

I hope you are all well! Enjoy this beautiful Saturday. :)



Feeling pretty good these days

I know I've been sporadically blogging, mostly because I've been concentrating all my efforts in getting our work blog off the ground, but I'm still here and will be posting as often as I have time to.

So I've been feeling pretty good the last while and saw my psychiatrist again yesterday. We talked about the fact that I have this phobia of throwing up (emetophobia), especially in front of people, and especially in public. I had been thinking about it and wondered if that was causing my anxiety rather than my anxiety causing me to feel nauseated which in turn causes this phobia. Does that make sense?

Anyways, he told me that it's possible, but he also feels that certain things I've told him, whether related to emetophobia or not, are still attributes of someone who is socially anxious. Either way I don't want to be medicated forever and he told me that he doesn't think I will be, so I asked what he thought of lowering my dosage of Gabapentin, at least for the meantime to see how I would be with less. We started at 900mg/day so I've never been at a lower dose. I wanted to see how I'm able to cope without thinking my medication is a crutch, so to speak.

He had no problem with that, so as of yesterday I have been taking 600mg. I've been feeling quite a bit better on a daily basis so I figured maybe now was the time to start getting off my meds and learning to cope on my own. As my psychiatrist said, the meds have given me a jumping board and now hopefully I will be able to take a little control on my own. I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes. Please keep me in your prayers. xo


What actually happened on V-Day

Thank you for your comments on my last post. I wanted to do a quick post to let you know what actually ended up being our Valentine's Day low-key celebration. We had decided that what we wanted to do was order sushi in and stay home, watch TV and just relax. Instead, the sushi place we usually order from informs us that it'll be an hour and a half wait to get our food so we decide to forgo ordering with them. I guess because of Valentine's Day they were too busy! Anyways, it would have been fine had we known of any other places that we could order from, but pickings were slim. We were also worried that if we decided to go out to eat everywhere would be packed with premade reservations.

Anyhow, I called this local all-you-can-eat sushi place to let them know that we could be there in 10 minutes if they had a table available. At this point we were both starving and it was our last resort. They said there would be a table available for us (so I assumed they mustn't be that busy). When we got there it was packed and we didn't see any open tables. Just as I started to panic that we'd go hungry on Valentine's Day a couple of ladies finished paying their bill and left. So we got a table! The food was pretty good and for $14.99 each I think we managed to get our money's worth.

It was also the thing I dread most in this world - eating out - which ended up not being such an ordeal because when it was our only option I had no choice but to suck it up and face my fear!

Hope you all had a good one. :)


Happy Valentine's Day!

I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Valentine's Day!

I don't think my husband and I will be doing anything exciting today...probably just ordering food and maybe renting a movie. Our Valentine's Days have been pretty low-key for the past seven years or so. We don't see the point in making a big deal on February 14. We show each other how much we love each other 365 days of the year!

Have a good day with your loved one! xo


Depression may be linked to migraines

I saw this interesting article on a Global TV website today about the connection between migraines and mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. Check out the article. It's really interesting. Upon reflection, before I was diagnosed with social anxiety in 2004 I had a migraine (my first ever) that lasted for two weeks straight. I'm amazed that this revelation has only come to light now.

35% of people who suffered migraines also suffered from a mental disorder,
ranging from depression and anxiety to phobias and substance abuse



I wanted to do a quick blog post so you know I'm still alive. I've been very tired and possibly fighting off a virus, but I'm doing okay. I've been working a lot and it's been really exhausting to me. I guess going from no work to part-time to full-time in such a short period of time has taken a toll on me.

I saw my psychiatrist last week and we figured that taking an extra dose of medication per day wasn't helping at all, so I'm back to my regular three per day and don't feel any different. I'm staying positive and my friends are helping me to get back out there and back into the "normal" world by helping me and taking me out to eat, which is my biggest challenge with anxiety. I'm terrified of vomiting in public and I always get nauseous when I have anxiety so you can see how this can be a vicious circle. I'm always well equiped with my protective anti-nausea arsenal in my purse: a puke bag, ginger pills, mints, minty gum, pepto bismol, cocculine, and gravol (ginger-based non-drowsy one). Sometimes I even carry Tetley Ginger-Mint tea bags with me in case I get nauseous it usually helps me.

I know that there is a term for fear of throwing up called emetophobia, but I'm not sure if that's what I have nor do I want to put a label on it. I've put so many labels on myself throughout my life I really want to stop doing that. Nausea is my biggest symptom when I get anxious or nervous so I always make sure to have and do everything humanly possible to control those feelings. The funny thing is...I've never actually thrown up in all of these situations where I feel so incredibly nauseous (unless I've been sick due an actual virus). I know that a lot of it's in my head and now I'm trying to control my thoughts towards this as well as my anxiety in general.

The thought of ever being pregnant and dealing with morning sickness makes me queasy. I'm not sure how it'll be, especially because you can't take time off work for morning sickness. I'm not pregnant, but my husband and I do want kids in the next few years. I guess I'll just have to see how it goes. The important thing is that I'm working on it...and me...little by little.


The link between pesticides and anxiety/depression

I have been doing a lot of research over the past few days, trying to find out what other routes I could take to lessen my daily anxieties: seeing another psychotherapist, seeing a Naturopathic Doctor, hypnosis, acupuncture...a myriad of things. I wanted to check out everything and anything that could help me. Then I stumbled upon one therapist in Toronto that usually asks her anxiety/depression clients about their diet...to which she recommends they try a diet full of organic foods and in short periods of time they start to feel a lot better. So I continued on this path and found out that there have been links between pesticides (used in normal grocery store produce, for example) and anxiety/depression.

I've never been much of a sugar person, but sugar has also been linked to depression for years. I basically continues researching organic foods and anxiety and I'm wondering if that would help me. Although organic food here is very expensive, which is probably why I've never tried it. Have you ever eaten organic food and found that it helps you with your mood disorder? Basically, through my research I've been warned of pesticides used in produce, and to stay away from sugar, caffeine, products made of white flour, not to eat pork or margerine or drink cow's milk...it became such a long list of things I shouldn't consume that I got really frustrated. I'm not shy when it comes to trying new things (organic food, for example), I simply wanted to know if it would really be beneficial for me or just a waste of money?

I found this information to be very interesting, and I want to know if you have tried any of the things I mentioned looking up when I was conducting my research. Please leave me a comment about which one it was and how the experience is/was for you. I am seriously considering seeing a Naturopathic Doctor at least to see what they say (plus it's covered by my husband's insurance plan). I'd like to hear your story. :)


First post of 2009

I hope you had a great New Years eve and New Years day. My New Years celebrations were good. I had a lot of anxiety leading up to my New Years eve get-together with some friends. Of course the anticipation was far worse than the actual outcome, but that's what we anxiety sufferers have to realize, right? That the anticipation of situations is always worse in our minds. I still have a long way to go in terms of mentally realizing this, but knowing that this is how it is is part of the battle towards recovery, right?

For me, I turn to my faith in many difficult situations when I feel so alone and full of despair. If nothing else, I feel that it helps me to be able to pray that things will get better and knowing that God will listen to me without judgment. Not knowing many people personally who are going through the same thing as me is very difficult. I have a great support system in my family and friends, but many of them have no idea what I am truly dealing with on a daily basis so it's hard to have to explain what it's like.

It's nice to have people to talk to via blogs and support groups, but I would really like to be able to talk to people that I know in person. To be able to go through ups and downs and know that the other person supports and understands is huge. I know that everyone with anxiety disorders have different issues that affect them or have different symptoms of it, but we can still help each other cope.

I haven't seen a therapist in months...partly because of cost and partly because we can't find a mutually convenient time to connect. I thought I was doing better and didn't need it, but as I find myself having to cope on my own I feel like I need a bit more guidance. We'll see. I hope 2009 is a better year than last, and I wish all my readers a great year to come!


Happy New Year!

I want to take the time to wish all my readers a very Happy New Year! I hope 2009 is a better year for all of us, and that it brings nothing but good things. Having battled anxiety and depression for the better part of my life, I know it's not easy to overcome your fears and feelings, but I hope and pray that we get through this together. As my friend often says, "There's nowhere to go but up."

I also wanted to bring your attention to a nice article I read that inspires me to try harder to get better. Sometimes I fear that I will never overcome my anxiety and it scares me to death, but I have to stay positive. I have such a great support system and I know that things will get better. I want them to get better!

That said, have a safe and wonderful New Years eve and New Years day!

I'm spending New Years eve with a few friends in their home, and New Years day is always spent with my family. Hopefully all will all be good. I'm looking forward to spending a few days taking it easy and just being myself.