Monthly Archives: November 2008

The recovery from postpartum depression is an interesting thing.  There it is, it’s out there.  I am suffering from depression.  My depression originated as a standard bout of mild to moderate postpartum depression.  

Often when we think of women suffering from post partum depression we think of Andrea Yates drowning her poor children in the bathtub, but it’s not like the the vast majority of the time.  There is a spectrum and I am very grateful that mine is on the mild to moderate end and feel greatly for those, including those I know, who are suffering or have suffered from more severe encounters with this ugly thing.

Mild to moderate postpartum depression can be hard to identify.  You are already exhausted and overwhelmed by the state of your life and so in the beginning you think that the symptoms are normal and you ignore them and this is just what I did and then it morphed into something more debilitating and which eventually resulted in a mild breakdown.

I couldn’t really see the depression for what it was at the time.  I even remember saying that I just didn’t understand why I felt the way I did, I wasn’t a depressed person. But I was.  As I look down the list of symptoms, it seems so obvious now.  

I find it really intriguing that looking back at the past year, I can see it all so clearly and how relieved I feel to finally have a name to put on what’s been going on with me.  Yet, when you are in the middle of it all, you just feel horrible and don’t for the life of you know what is causing it.

To talk about how I could barely get through the day, feed the kids and manage the minute by minute is a difficult and somewhat embarrassing thing.  But it was what it was.  It took every ounce of energy I had to do the most basic things and everything beyond that just didn’t get done.  This is how it started and then it progressed into paranoia and self-loathing of the sort I have never really experienced.  I felt like I was terrible at everything, that nobody cared about me and that I wasn’t worthy of anything positive.

As things started to get worse and worse, I knew something was wrong, but I just couldn’t fight my way out of it.  I tried to commit to things that would help me heal, inspire me and help me to reengage with the world, but I just couldn’t do it and then I would feel guilty and helpless and like I was letting everyone down, including myself. 

As a strong, intelligent, independent woman who has overcome and crawled out of some pretty dark spots in her life, it was very difficult for me to ask for help and I think this is why it went as far as it did.  But, sometimes a little breakdown is the best thing that can happen to a person.

There were a few things that finally broke the cycle for me and got me moving in the right direction and asking for help.   I ended a destructive relationship, which empowered me to stand up for myself and understand and communicate my needs.  I sought out therepy and was very picky about who to see.  I waited for the right person, connecting and being on the same page is really important. This is the person you need to share your darkest moments with, you better trust them implicitly.  

I also made a personal choice not to medicate.  This is a very personal decision and for me it was about finally facing my demons head on.  There are many things that I have learned to deal with or pushed aside throughout my life, but never really faced and integrated and learned from.  I felt that now was the time to do that so that I could move forward in my life on a more meaningful path.  I felt that medication would only impair the process for me.

My therapist discuuses my journey as two parallel paths.  There is the current situation with the depression and this involves a lot of talking and learning of tools to deal with the day to day.   And then there is the deeper issues (the demons so to speak) that I am trying to face and deal with.  For the latter, we are using a technique called Lifespan Integration.  This is where the timeline of my life originated and I will talk more about this technique at a later time.  

My goal is that those two paths will meet down the road and that I will be able to use all of the tools and knowledge to find a way to live a more fulfilled and full life, to become the person I want to be and to establish more meaningful and healthy relationships.

I have days now when I think to myself ‘wow, could it really have been that simple, I feel great, I must be cured’.  And then I have a day that reminds me that this is a journey and a process and that although I am feeling much better, there is still a lot of work to do.

Today is a bad day.  I am tired and uninterested and easily irritated and counting every minute until I can have just a minute of quiet to close my eyes and reflect on what is happening.  The good news is that I haven’t had one of these days in several weeks and that I can see it clearly for what it is. That doesn’t mean that I am not fighting it and managing it every second, but I can own it and know that it will pass and that I will feel better when it does.

A few months ago this day would have been the beginning of a downward spiral that may have lasted days to weeks and ended in my sobbing in the shower and scaring the crap out of my poor husband as I am reduced to puddle of self pity.  I’d say we’re making progress.

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This week’s selections are rather eclectic.  My moods and influences have been varied and inconsistent this week and I think this is reflected here.  

The list starts with one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands.  If you haven’t seen Barenaked Ladies live and get the opportunity to, you must.  They are one of those rare bands that are better live than on their albums.  Karli and I were discussing that Jason Mraz is like this too.  Karli just saw Mraz last weekend and said it was amazing.  Artists that can really connect with the audience make for the best shows.

I love the song Grade 9 because these guys are similar in age to me and it reminds me so much of what that time in my life was like.  You can’t help but laugh out loud some of the references.  I think everyone of our generation fondly remembers that conclusion of every school dance and the haunting sounds of Stairway to Heaven. Oh heck, I’ve added Stairway to Heaven just for good measure.

Back when I worked for RealNetworks, they purchased the company that originated the Rhapsody service.  As a result we all received free memberships and I loved it so much I started paying for it when I left.  I even upgraded to the “to go” service so I can endlessly load up my MP3 player.  The point of that little ramble is to say that I have a custom radio station that I listen to all the time and in addition to bringing up some of my favorite songs from times past, it also helps me to discover new music as well.  Can you tell I love this service, it is the best, really.

Anyway,  this week I discovered an artist that I hadn’t listened to before that I find rather intriguing and will definitely get a good listening to from this song writer aficionado.  I have included Tony Lucca’s song Darlin’ I as this is the song that I first heard on my radio station and what inspired me to listen to more.   I am looking forward to hearing more of what he has to offer.

Another song to note on this list is Trick Daddy’s Sugar.  Although I don’t immediately turn to rap for my musical fix, my friend Matt put this on Saturday night and I have to say that this is a kick ass song.  Definitely on my list of favorite Rap songs, although as you can imagine this list isn’t incredibly lengthy.

The rest fall into old favorites that came across the wireless network to my TV and out through my stereo speakers.  Did I mention you can get Rhapsody through your Tivo service (I know, I will stop with the sales pitch, old habits die hard and good products deserve promotion).  

Enjoy this weeks selections and the fond memories of younger days.

Well, the living room is almost complete. All the furniture has arrived and we have moved most things in. We still need to accessorize, but wanted to live in the space for a while before we did too much. I need a couple of house plants, some throws and pillows and a new rug, but that will probably have to wait for a while.

I absolutely love the couches and having enough seating has made all the difference in the world to us. Having guests is now enjoyable, with seating for 6 or 7 comfortably.

We mounted the TV above the fireplace and I was a little concerned that it would be too high, but I really like it and we got one of those full motion mounts and I love it. It’s really stable and moves to be viewable from all over the room. The only downfall has been having to change the side of the table we eat at. Like the side of the bed you sleep on, you get attached.

Below are some photos of the process. We didn’t really catch the disaster that was our living room in its full glory, but it’ll do.  

Click on a photo to see slideshow.

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I just built a new page with some really cool logic puzzle widgets. You can play these puzzles (several sudoku and picture puzzle variants) right from this site and they are updated daily or weekly, depending on the puzzle. Full instructions and rules are included with each puzzle.

Why would I do this you ask? Basically so that I can play a quick puzzle when I need to clear my head a little and since I am usually working on this site or another in some way, it seemed like an easy way to go about it.

I also hope that you may have some fun with them as well.

Check it out Now!

Last night the most horrific thing happened.  I still can’t believe it was real, that he is really gone, that it all happened the way that it did.  I don’t really know if I am even ready to tell the story.  I have been spending most of my time trying to pretend it didn’t happen or not to think about it too much as too avoid the return of the shock and horror.

Ok, I am going to give it a go…

Last night, Matt and Teresa came over for dinner as they do almost every weekend and for the duration of the evening, we ate and talked and laughed and carried on as we usually do.  Around 11:30 they left and Karli and I prepared to go to bed.  Karli went to call in the cats as he usually does before bed and he called me to the door. 

There was a coyote standing in the middle of the road under the street lamp.  Wow, I don’t know if I can do this…

We watched the coyote in awe, we couldn’t figure out what he was doing.  He would come to the shadows of our yard and then run across the street again.  Then one time he left our yard he carried the limp body of our dear Henry across the street and up the culdesac across from us.  

We just stood there, what the hell just happened.  Did we really just see that?  Was it really Henry?  And then it gets worse.  We can see the coyote in the road across the street and he is eating my cat.

We were torn and paralyzed.  Do we chase him off?   Do we really want to see our little Henry that way?  Eventually, Karli took a shovel and went out to take a closer look and yes it was Henry, but he was completely gutted and Karli couldn’t bring himself to get any closer.  

I can’t really describe to you how we felt at this moment.  We were frozen.  Then I was terrified for Oscar.  He still hadn’t come home.  I didn’t feel like I could just leave him out there.  We came inside to think for a minute and after a few minutes, we looked outside and coyote had come and taken Henry out of the street and off into the woods.  Maybe better that way?

Now it’s almost one in the morning.  What do we do?  I just laid there in bed and stared at the ceiling, my stomach churning.  Neither one of us has really knows how to feel and is somewhat alarmed and concerned about the lack of tears and deep sadness.

I almost wonder if it has something to do with the abrupt and shocking instant closure.  There was no wondering or worrying or trips to the vet.  It just was what it was.  Shocking, horrifying and so terribly awful that there is little left to feel.

We also struggle with what to tell Ada.  Henry stayed pretty clear of the kids, preferring our company to that of high energy and grabby though gentle kids.  I also didn’t really trust him with them as he has been known to get aggressive if he doesn’t like what you are doing so I didn’t encourage them with him the same way I did with Oscar and Pella.  So, she hasn’t asked about him or for him.  I don’t know how to handle this.  Do I say something now or wait for her to ask about him?  What story do I tell her?  Some toned down version of the truth I think is best, but is it better just to leave it be unless she asks?  I really just don’t know right now.

Our Henry was a wonderful cat.  He was our first pet together and was with us for over 12 years.  He loved to snuggle and was so happy for the love that he would forget to swallow and end up drooling all over you.  He slept right between us each night and couldn’t wait for someone to sit down so he could claim your lap as his own.   He had this way of smiling all the way to his eyes.  Henry and Karli had a great bond and he was really Karli’s cat in the way that pets usually choose one to attach to.  We miss him so much.

Click on the thumbnails below for full size images.

   Henry henryHenry with Nana and baby Ian

Goodbye my sweet boy.

This reading will address the role that money plays in my life.  It is a numerology reading using the Coins cards.

The Setup

For this reading I will be using the I-X of Coins.  These cards deal with all things related to money.

To select that card that represents my relationship with money we will add up the letters in the first and last name.  A = 1 Z = 26 and all in between as you might presume.

I am going to do both my married and maiden names to get a full picture.

Karin Reece
11+1+18+9+14 = 53 = 8
18+5+5+3+5 = 36 = 9
8+9 = 17 = 8

Karin Gallacher
11+1+18+9+14 = 53 = 8
7+1+12+12+1+3+8+5+18 = 67 = 13 = 4
8+4 = 12 = 3

The Answer

VIII Coins: Your money will come from the mastering of a profession, which will provide you a nice living. You spend your life perfecting your craft and will be rewarded for it. You do well with money and could make the making of money your craft.

III Coins: Your money will likely originate from others but you work very hard for it. You may be involved in a field where you require creative funding to finance your pursuits. This could include grants, stipends, freelancing or income from your family or patron of some sort. You contribute greatly to those who fund you and they are happy to do it.

The Cards

VIII of Coins

My Take: This card brings up imagery of a clock maker. A mad works on an intricate piece of machinery, carefully adding each piece in its place. There are shelves of books in the background indicating someone well studies. This card makes me think of mastery of a craft.

The Card: This card involves labor intensive projects requiring slow and steady work. This is not time for hasty decisions or quick movements. Buckle down and do the work. The plans on the table indicate that he is not yet an expert in his field. He should look to the books behind him and his tarot deck for guidance.

III of Coins

My Take: The man in this picture appears to be blowing glass. He is an artisan and a free spirit.

The Card: This man has mastered his craft. The creation of art from raw materials.

Reading Analysis

This reading makes some sense I guess. I am a kept woman after all (hee hee). No really, although I have had a traditional career (or at least the start of one), it was never where my heart lie. I have always known that I would spend my life learning and continuing to master some skill. At this point what that is just appears to be illusive. I have always wanted to get my PhD and become a professor. I also love Yoga and think often about teaching, talk about a lifetime of mastering. Now, i just need to learn to get over my self doubt long enough to pick something, maybe neither of these are it, but something, I just need to find it and then commit. Whoo, scary.

It’s so exciting!  Karli and I took Ian down to our local elementary school after dropping Ada at school this morning and proudly voted for Obama as well as many state and local issues. 

There weren’t any lines or crowds as we live in a small town (well actually a very small incorporated seattle suburb) with adequate polling locations and the majority of folks in our county vote absentee.  In fact, they are making us all vote absentee as soon as they can get the system in place.

I have probably said this before, but I think this is really unfortunate.  There is something empowering and inspiring about going to polls and making your voice heard along with others in your community.  It just seems more impactful in some way. 

But today is about anticipation and excitement and hopefully celebration.  This is going to be a day that will be remembered in our history and I plan on enjoying every minute of it.