Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Why Girl Scout Cookies?

A box of cookies from a Girl Scout is so much more than delicious goodness. It is a box of wonder and possibilities that gives girls the opportunity to see their potential and chase after their dreams.

Because of cookie sales, my daughters have been able to go to summer camps where they learned to ride horses, face their fear of heights, learn new songs, make friends, and live in a tent for a week.

Camp Trefoil 2013

Camp Trefoil High Ropes course 2013

Because of cookie sales, my girls have learned to shoot bows & arrows. They've attended the UofU Architecture and Engineering days and learned to extract DNA, design cabins, and learn about ergonomic and efficient designs (among lots of other things). They've had a sleepover with the Lady Ute basketball team.

Because of cookie sales, my girls have had their horizons widened. They've been to Yellowstone, Moab, rafted the Colorado river, and explored caves. They've learned to budget for trips, how to plan trips, and how to get along with other girls in a car for long periods of drive time.

Minnetonka Cave 2012

Because of cookie sales, they've explored bookmaking, ad design, air quality, animal care, public speaking, astronomy, weather, and countless other subjects.

Bookmaking Badge 2011, U of U BookArts program

Because of cookie sales, my girls have learned to serve their community by growing a garden and donating the food to a local shelter, doing food drives, coat drives, book drives, and are now spearheading a project to decorate rooms and collect needed items for Safe Harbor.

And so yes, every year starting in January we start our cookie pre-sales. And then in March we start delivery and booth sales, hawking cookies for all we are worth. It is overwhelmingly busy, but we do it with enthusiasm every year, in the cold, wind, snow and rain.

Black Island Farms Scarecrow design contest 2013.
The girls designed our girl scout as being terrified of the crow :)
Cookies are worth it. You can't put a price on the experiences and opportunities that Girl Scouts has given my daughters that they would not have been able to afford or been able to participate in otherwise.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Ahhh, Therapy

Today was my first day of therapy. According to my doctor, the best way to treat depression is with the Holy Trifecta of DOOM. Er. Ok, maybe not Doom, since this is supposed to be a positive thing. Something uber powerful that consists of me, my doctor, and my therapist that is an awesome word that I can't think of at the moment. Insert that there. *cough* anyway...

Since I didn't know I needed a therapist, I now have one. Let the Holy Trifecta-ing begin!

Since it was mostly a get-to-know-you session, I am not going to pretend great strides were made on my psyche or anything. She noted what drugs I'm on, what the dosage is, and how I'm currently feeling. Then she told me her style of therapy, what to expect from her, and how we're going to proceed.

Ok, that's all good, right?

For the record, I started on Zoloft in November. Felt like my skin didn't fit and I looked like a junky in need of a hit. Not a drug that works well for me. Nope. Didn't like Zoloft AT ALL. Doc put me on Lexipro in December and I am starting to feel human-ish. Some pretty big life whammies have hit that have made me crash the last week, but I'm hanging on and I'm fairly sure that the meds have a big part to play in that.

I still miss my motivation, but it's better some days than others. Still a rollercoaster, but the ups and downs don't seem quite so extreme anymore.

* Anger/Irritation is the body's way of self medicating. Feeling anger or irritation gives you energy, which helps the body combat the apathy. While unhealthy for relationships around you, it's a step up from not caring at all.

* Craving sugar is also the bodies way of self-medicating. The craving of quick-burn sugars is a way of getting the needed/wanted energy. The downfall is that with the quick rush is the dive into the lows. So, if craving carbs, eat them with a protein so there's a longer burn. In other words: Think When You Eat. So if I'm going to eat chocolate, eat it with peanut butter. Or maybe choose cheese and honey-roasted ham.

* Highly intellectual and creative people are pre-disposed to mental illness. The fact that many of the women in my family also struggle with depression, AND I'm an artist, AND I'm smart, pretty much stacked the deck, and the fact that it started at 35 is textbook. So, no feeling guilty that I've been hit by the black cloud, now to learn how to deal with and control it.

* There is hope. I'm not alone. I have lots of people who love me and who help support me through the bad days.

Would be cool if my therapist had a working magic wand and could just fling it at my brain and fix it. Which she described as being turned to pudding. (And which, amazingly enough, is exactly how it feels: Like I'm swimming through pudding when trying to think or cope or feel.)

My tool for this week: the food thing. Think about what I'm eating and go for the long burn instead of the short one. Hey, the fact that I had the energy AND the words to write a blog post is amazingly amazing, right? Huge big deal. I can totally do this. One day at a time, one breath at a time. Just gotta keep breathing in and out, in and out.

k, and when I'm done with that, I'll go wrangle that washing machine that decided to die. again. Wish me luck.