MON. | Dec. 23 – #AMonthofFaves Blog Posts This Year – Tell us how you blogged – most popular (and/or favorite) blog posts for the year, or each month, did you try anything new on your blog this year, did you make blogging goals – how did you do? What are the essential programs, apps, plugins, websites you use? What’s your blogging routine, any blogs on blogging that you follow, blog tips you learned and used this year.
Here’s a fun thing I discovered while going through my blog stats for the year:
FRI. Dec. 20 – #AMonthofFaves This is How We Holiday – Rep your home’s holiday look, share pictures of your holiday decorations. Christmas tree, your favorite holiday traditions, holiday festivities, favorite ornaments, places to go, holiday drinks, holiday eats, holiday themed reads.
I’m visiting my friend for Christmas this year, which means I’m doing things a little bit differently.
For one, she has decided that we’re going to participate in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (or Christmas Book Flood). She has a voucher from a local used bookshop, so everyone (me, her, her husband, and the four kids–“kids” even though three of them are grown) are all going to put our names in a hat, draw a name, and then go to the bookstore and pick a book for that person. Then, we’re going to make hot cocoa and sit around and read on actual Christmas Eve.
I was still in the throes of wrapping up my semester Monday and then I spent all day today traveling, so I’m coming to this one a little late. It’s a combo Month of Faves / It’s Monday (Tuesday)! What Are You Reading? post.
Mon. | Dec 16 – #AMonthofFaves Winter Reading – Your fave reads from last Winter, or seasonal reads you love, or books on this year’s winter reading list.
I’m going to focus on the books I plan to read over winter break (the next two weeks!). There are three of them, though I may, of course, finish more.
My friend asked me what I wanted for Christmas the other day, and I was too overwhelmed with grading to answer properly. I am slightly less overwhelmed with grading today, so this prompt is right on time.
1. I am torn between the Dewey Decimal and books cardigans. So both would be nice, I think. I wear an XL.
I also like the proofreading marks one, but the color looks terrible on me. It’s cute, though.
I have talked up her Colors of Madeleine trilogy (read it!) and Feeling Sorry for Celia (read it!), but she published two (two!) books in the past year (okay, fine, one was last October, but I read it in December, so close enough), and they are both woefully underrated.
As previously mentioned, I went to see a headache specialist who prescribed Topomax for my headaches.
The Topomax turned out to be no good for me. At all.
In fact, the Topomax caused symptoms of depression. What that means is I have been depressed for the past few weeks. I don’t have to tell anyone who suffers from depression that it has been awful, but, still, it has been awful.
I realized I was depressed because my do not want and lack of engagement with almost everything has been so high. Like, I literally did not want to do anything. I was late to my office hours the past week because the thought of sitting in my office for no reason felt so pointless. And we have meetings, which I largely feel are inane but that I usually am fine with going to because I get to catch up with people, and I just could not force myself to go to them. Everything has felt stupid and dumb, and I come home and sit on my couch and the thought of doing anything else fills me with dread.
This weekend, I was invited to a Halloween party, and I stood in the door to my closet trying to figure out which of my costumes I was going to recycle and the thought just exhausted me and I knew if I stood there any longer I wouldn’t go to the party, so I just made myself leave the house and go because I knew once I got to the party I would be fine, but the idea of the costume was exhausting. The thought of even going to the party was exhausting, and I could and would have used the costume as an excuse not to go. AND I LOVE PARTIES. This behavior is so uncharacteristic of me that I knew something had to be wrong.
Last week, I had to text several people to see if anyone was available to get together to grade/work because I knew that if I did not have anyone to hold me accountable, I would just sit in my house and not do anything. And, y’all, I know I complain about grading and there are a million things I would rather do, but when it’s time to get it done, I will power through, but I was like, “If I don’t get help with this, I’m just going to be staring at my students like ‘Sorry, I don’t know what you want from me because I’m barely showing up for this’.”
So yeah, I knew something wasn’t right. I mean, teaching was basically the only thing keeping me going because I know from just when I’m in a generally pissy mood that engaging with my students makes me feel better, so showing up for work helped. Showing up for other commitments and being around people helped. And then just as I was thinking I should probably get to the doctor, I reread the insert on the medicine and saw the bit about contacting the doctor immediately if I started experiencing symptoms of depression.
When I told my therapist I would rather go back to having headaches than dealing with this, she was all, “Are you sure?” and I was like, “Yeah, the headaches sucked but I was able to show up for my life and my students and my friends and now I’m barely going through the motions. So, yeah, headaches >>>> Topomax-induced depression, for sure.”
I also have actually hated coming home because when I’m with people, the depression is there, but it’s at bay. I’m able to laugh and cut up and have fun. But on the drive home, the emptiness that’s awaiting me has been daunting. I actually just left a friend’s before coming home to write this (it’s Sunday), and I was for a moment gripped by terror that I would cross my threshold and the desire would completely leave me as soon as I sat on the couch–that all my plans for myself would collapse in that black hole of nothingness that’s been swallowing me up lately. And this is different from procrastinating and goofing off because even those things have held no appeal. It’s just been nothing, and that’s been terrifying.
But there is good news. I have started decreasing my dosage and feel better already. In two weeks, I’ll no longer be taking the medicine and in three, it will be completely out of my system. (I wish I could just quit but apparently that leads to seizures and possibly death, and I’ll be damned if I let that happen after all of this. So. Slow as it goes.) I’m writing this blog post. I have been honest with my friends about what’s going on with me. I’ve reached out for company when I’ve needed it. I went back to the gym Friday, and I went to church Sunday. I’m actively thinking of the things I know that I enjoy or that make me feel better and doing them so I can not feel terrible all the time. And it’s working. And for that, I am grateful.
Whew, I am all caught up on S3 of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power and it got a little dark there, but OMG, I am in love with the fact that Bow’s dad’s name is LANCE, and it is the greatest gift TV has bestowed on me these past few weeks.
Well that and the twins from Sunnyside. They are amazing. Watch Sunnyside on Hulu, y’all! It’s a trip. Because the twiiiiiiiins.