Yes, I had to correct the word “morning” in my title because I see that it is now 12:13 p.m. I normally don’t drink coffee after noon, but I spent a glorious morning mostly sleeping. Insomniacs will understand. I got up at 9 to feed the cats before they started nibbling on me, went back to sleep until 11! Oh, how BLISSFUL to feel totally rested. I have absolutely no obligations or plans for two one and a half days.

I’ve spent the last few months really struggling with depression, anxiety, insomnia, and hot flashes. Last summer I doubled my anti-depressant dose on the advice of my GP and my gynecologist, who said that it might help with my hot flashes as well. It did get me out of the hole, but it did a number on my already estrogen-withdrawal stressed brain. After talking to a therapist in the fall when my anxiety got high (this medication doesn’t really help with anxiety) I gradually lowered my dose back to the original. And several months ago I went back in the hole. Hot flashes intensified. One of the aggravating things about menopause for me is that I’ve been going through it for YEARS. Peri-menopause started for me in my late 30s! So every time my troubles die down, I get my hopes up that it is done. I hate depending on pills. But I hate the hole worse, so here I am, back on the higher dose and my brain is functioning at a much lower level again.

So I’m trying to adjust to this. I’m making a few lifestyle changes and working on my overall health. I’m being kind to my Self and letting her take breaks and sleep late on days off. She doesn’t have to cook if she doesn’t want to, but she does need to eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and get some exercise. And I let her quit Elements Gallery. I told her that she has a paying full-time job so she doesn’t have to get anxious about not turning out artwork for sale or display. She can do it for fun and not worry about what other people think. Learning to nurture my Self is what started my Slow Turn toward the light years ago.

I had bloodwork done last week and my cholesterol has gone down about 30 points. It still needs to go down about 20 more. There were lots more positive results – my blood sugar and liver, kidney, and thyroid functions are fine. The big surprise was that I am vitamin D deficient. I take a good multi-vitamin every day and try to eat D-rich foods, but I don’t get much sun because I am prone to sun poisoning. So I’m adding another pill to the handful that I take, which includes a multivitamin for menopause, fish oil, red yeast rice, citalopram, loratidine, and naproxen. Hopefully this and some more diet and exercise tweaking will get me back up to speed and help with my depression and energy problems.

(And, although I welcome comments, if you want to tell me that I do not NEED anti-depressants, just save your energy. I came to this place after years of rejecting them, and the fact is, I need them to live my life fully. If YOU don’t need them or have been able to find alternatives, I am quite happy for you. I am thankful every day that they work for me.)

Last weekend was spent in a major effort to clean house. We could have made a third cat out of all the cat hair we cleaned up. I love living in an older house (built in 1922) because of the little things that give it character, but I do not enjoy how much dust it generates. Granted, we ignored cleaning the floors and ceiling fans for much longer than we should have, MUCH longer. There is still much to be done, but it is much more liveable here now.

My garden has been ravaged by rabbits. They have eaten my fennel, my peas, and my little squashes. I am now in “what the hell” mode and I’m going to buy my veggies from the farmers’ market and Deep Roots and plant flowers, herbs, and dye and paper plants instead. Hopefully we will still get peppers and tomatoes and green beans, and the figs are about to get ripe, so it is not all bad.

On Monday, I plan to go to Raleigh to the Moral Monday protest at the State Capitol with a friend. My task this weekend is to come up with a sign. The Tea Party decimation of our once centrist state is overwhelming, so picking one issue will be difficult. I’ll probably choose public education since my job is at a public university, and it is vital to train our citizens how to communicate and think about all sides of a problem or issue if we are to save this country.

Maybe the next post will be art related. I’m going to mordant some fibers this afternoon, and boil some seaweed in soda ash to break it down for papermaking.