Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bad Dreams and Weigh In

I will start with the weigh in portion...I weighed in this morning at 108 lbs, only two pounds away from my goal of 110. I know that I haven't truly gained 15 lbs, but I've given up on the number of the old scale and am purely going by our new digital scale's report.

 My weight has been going up and down a lot the last couple of weeks, and I have really fallen off my routine. I need to be more diligent as I'm starting to see major regression in the way I've been feeling.

My breasts have really been aching the past while as well; I have a feeling that the weight that I put on is floating straight up to my top.

I had a huge bout of rushy anxiety on Friday morning as I ran around trying to get supplies for my son's birthday party and groceries for my family for the next two weeks. I was very happy to have my hubby to help me out since he didn't start his work shift until 3:00 pm that day. He was able to help me out in the morning, then catch a couple hours of sleep before starting work, while the kids and I cleaned the house.

The day was good anyway, and the party was wonderful. There were a few incidences of rough and wrestling boys and some tears, but since I have three boys of my own, it did not faze me in the least. Seven boys, one girl, one me...great evening!

I was writing about my dreams here for awhile and I don't remember if I typed it on here or said it in real life, but I was thankful that even though my dreams have been crazy, they have not been scary or sad. Until last night. Last night was bad dream after bad dream. In the first one, one of my sons died. I can't even describe the feeling. I felt like part of my body was missing. I hated going anywhere because my friends either were too weepy and huggy or ignored me completely. Taking my daughter to outings and preschool was horrible. This was the longest dream. I kept waiting for him to come back. Heartbreaking, wrenching, sobbing.

My second dream had a couple of friends and I striking up a deal with each other. One night per week, they'd come to my house and make dinner for my family. One night per week, I'd go to their house and make dinner for their family. Well, on my night, I got to their house late, I couldn't find the ingredients I needed. I ended up serving them bread and a tortilla because they had to rush out to an activity. They were SO MAD at me.

I can't remember my third dream clearly as a total story, but I and some or all of my family went to see a movie where you had to lay on the floor and watch it projected on the ceiling. But first you had to drink this strange drug-infused beverage. I refused, and that caused a bit of a stir. After the movie, my hubby and kids and I walked down the mall that we were in to a Tim Horton's type kiosk and asked for donuts. They didn't have the ones we wanted, so we walked a bit further down to the next Timmies kiosk and ordered six jelly donuts. At that point, in my dream, I remember being relieved that my son wasn't dead because we had ordered six donuts. I don't know that all six of us were there though...I don't even know that I was there.

It was hard to open my eyes this morning. I do have to say I had a small tingle of fear go through me when the son of my dream, who rises between 6:30 and 7:00 every morning, was still fast asleep when I woke up at 8:15.

I hope to re-find my routine this week. Please.

Oh, side note...I found a counselor and did the intake phone interview for our family. I am afraid of the cost and stressed about the idea of needing to drag a few family members who don't want to do it, with me. I feel like my family is not "bad" enough to need this but at the same time I know that so many of us could benefit from counseling. However, to spend the money when some aren't on board seems wasteful.

I wish that getting healthy didn't cost so much. Sometimes being a part of a family reminds me of doing group projects in school...I was always great at working with others, but sometimes I just really wanted to do it myself - easier.

Onward and upward we go.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Things I am learning on this journey

1.  I love to be busy.  I crave it.  It makes me happy and energizes me.
2.  Being busy causes me to miss things like meals, snacks, supplements, exercise, sleep and housework.
3.  Missing meals and snacktimes makes me weak, dizzy and nauseous.
4.  Missing supplements makes me gassy and low-energy.
5.  Missing exercise makes me achey.
6.  Missing sleep makes me impatient.
7.  Not doing housework makes me (and other members of my family) VERY grumpy.

So far I have had a pretty great week.  A busy week.  I've done projects for the kids' teachers and visited with friends and baked and played games with my daughter.  I've meal planned, answered emails, made hard phone calls, planned and started to prepare for a birthday party.  I've shopped, banked, dropped off and picked up and chatted.

I have felt phenomenal.

Until this afternoon.

I am beat.  So ridiculously tired.  Irritable.  Annoyed.  And feeling like people are annoyed with me.

My house is a mess.  I have a party happening here in two days.  I need to clean, clean, clean, but I just can't bring myself to clean in the afternoons.  If I don't start in the morning, then it doesn't get done.  I've been out every morning this week and one would be able to tell that just by stepping into my porch.

Dishes overflowing from the sink, clean dishes waiting in the dishwasher.  I just washed the same load of laundry for the third time because I've failed to move it from the washer to the dryer.  My bathroom garbage can is overflowing and there is probably some sort of hair on every surface in there.  I have been sweeping my floor, but only small sections at a time, and the dining room floor never stays clean for longer than 5 minutes.  I don't even know when the last time I washed the floor is.  I cut a bunch of fabric for one of my kids' teachers this week and now my carpet is covered in little red threads and really needs to be vacuumed.

My son wants the basement filled with balloons for his party, but do you think he (or any of the others) will clean the toys up in the basement so I can vacuum and blow up balloons for down there?  Nope, nope nope.  They are all sitting here watching TV as I type.  And the reality is...I don't have the energy do force them to do anything.  I hate the yelling and tempers that fly with anyone other than me doing the cleaning.  So our house gets like this, tensions build, but no one does anything about it until I get some sort of motivation or energy burst to do it myself.  I really need to find that energy tonight.  Maybe it's in a can of Coke.

Where is my husband, you are asking?  Well, he is working out in the mornings.  And then working at job #2, then coming home to eat lunch and put in 8 hours at job #1.  He usually leaves the house at 6:00 am and does some sort of work until at least 10:00 pm.  Tax season is underway, and I am clearly still adjusting to the new normal again.

Onward and upward!

And some awesome words I heard in a song on the radio recently:

How many times have you heard me cry out
"God please take this"?
How many times have you given me strength to
Just keep breathing?
Oh I need you
God, I need you now.  

Oh, so many times, I'm sure. This song is beautiful, please take a listen.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Perks

Okay, aside from the obvious that a perk of taking Cipralex is to not have so much anxiety, I have found a new perk of being on the medication.

It helps me deal with my 10 year old.

I know that sounds awful, but he is going through this "I don't need to listen to you / waaaaah I'm hurt / I don't care about anything that you say / boohoo I need a hug / I am the boss of the house and I can punch who I want / Go ahead and make me" moody emotional stage that is a constant challenge to me.  Today he nearly knocked me down the stairs because I was trying to block him from leaving his bedroom.  For the most part, I am a patient person, but this kind of crap really pushes the limits of my sanity.  I HATE drama.  It drives me crazy when people don't just say what they want and what they mean.  And when my children outright defy me, it makes me ANGRY.

But, since taking Cipralex, I am finding that I can stay patient for much longer.  I am able to see clearly through the "battle" to make a decision on what to push on and what to let go of.  I can rationally offer my child choices ("I know you want to come out of your room to get your ______, but I told you that you are in here for the night.  So you can choose to get your _____ now, and lose one day of electronics, or you can stay in your room like you were told and not lose one day of electronics.").  I still get worked up inside, but not as quickly or intensely as I used to.  I am noticing that when my hubby is frustrated and annoyed with things, I want to tell him to just calm down, it's not a big deal (I try not to do this because I know that would not help matters...).

Anyway, taking Cipralex hasn't been helpful to my patience in all areas, but in parenting my children through difficult times, it has been amazing.  When my 6 year old with anger issues is about to lose it, I am able to offer him a choice to come and hug me or to go to his room to calm down.  He usually chooses the hug.  ;)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Doing it

Wow, over 4,000 page views since I started this blog two months ago.  I started it in the hopes that someone could relate and not feel so alone in their panic and anxiety, and also as a record for people who are looking for information about Cipralex/Lexapro side effects.  I searched like crazy for information on all of these things and found a lot of questions but not many answers.  Anyway, I hope that this blog has been a help or a blessing to someone out there, even one person will make every word of it worth it.  :)

I finally took some books out from the library on dealing with anxiety.  I had been putting this off because I figured reading about it would acknowledge its existence in my life and make things way worse.  In other words, as much as I've been trying to "fix" myself lately, I was totally avoiding a whole section of my problem.  The first book I started reading (and am reading still) is called The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook, by Edmund J. Bourne, Ph. D..  Turns out that I have more issues than I thought.  Well, I knew about them, but I've never connected them before.  They were kind of a joke to me.  LOL

This book is a great descriptor of the differences between mental disorders that are related but not the same.  I do not have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (which I know surprises some), but I meet the criteria for Panic Disorder, Agoraphobia, Specific Phobias and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (washing and checking).  It was interesting to see my husband's face as I read out loud some of the descriptions of these disorders.  They fit me.  Almost too well.

So.  Now I am working through the book and trying to modify my daily schedule to include suggestions on coping with and managing my body's reactions to life.  Some of the stuff I read is really scaring me - I read a part of the "reproducing a panic attack in a safe place" section to my hubby and he said that HE was feeling anxious just listening.  I am trying to decide if I am going to continue to make my way through all that or skip over it entirely.

I have had some weird short-term memory loss over the past week that is freaking me out a little.  I used to have it every now and then, but not more than once in a week.  Once this week I forgot that I had purchased all of my supplements and went home and put them away.  I still can't picture myself putting them away, but I know I did it because they are there, in the cupboards where they belong.  I was going shopping one morning this week and started to wonder if it is going to come to the point where I go out shopping and forget where I was going, forget to get my daughter from preschool in time, forget where I am.

Along with that, I have been feeling mild panic in the mornings - kind of like old times before I started the Cipralex - trouble taking a full breath, digestive disruptions, tense muscles, general spacey-ness.  I am trying to keep to a program of everything that has worked for me, but it is hard.  The supplements are expensive, it's hard to take an hour a day to exercise, preparing food is time consuming.  So, there have been stretches I've gone without supplements, exercise or eating enough.  I notice the difference.  I need to make the effort, but sometimes it just seems like too much work.

I found the secret to weight gain this week too - a new scale!  LOL  My hubby got a new digital scale for his birthday.  I stepped on and was miraculously 4 pounds heavier than I was on our old spring scale.  I like it - closer to my goal, and it makes me not feel guilty about doing cardio.  This morning I weighed in at 105.6 lbs.

And speaking of exercise, I've decided to just go with the P90X program.  I was doing the XStretch before, but now I'm going to expand into the other DVDs.  The plan is to do one per day.  Today I did Core Synergistics, and I was pleasantly surprised with how well I kept up.  I did start to feel sore very shortly after the workout was done; it felt like my lungs just didn't want to expand, and that was a bit stressful for me.  But it eventually went away and now I think I'll be normal after-workout sore in the morning.  If I'm too sore, I have a plan to do a Yoga routine that I set up on our Wii a year or so ago.  It leads me through a bunch of poses that are good for digestion.  So, P90X or Yoga, whatever it is, I plan to workout every single day.  I am learning from my book (and from doing it) that aerobic exercise is very important for people who suffer from Panic Disorders, so it becomes one more important step for me to take.  I am excited about feeling good, weighing enough, eating well, and being healthy.  It is happening.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Back to Life and Weigh In

Well, life has been picking up again.  On Saturday I went to Stamp Club.  On Sunday we skipped church and slept in, but then spent the afternoon at our local YMCA swimming, running, tumbling, and playing badminton.

Today my kids went back to school and it was a very busy day.  We started our day nice and early with a trip to the chiropractor for 7:00 am.  After we were all adjusted and got back home, the oldest three kids packed their bags and headed to school, I threw in a load of laundry and hubby started up the dishwasher.

I dropped my hubby off at the gym and dropped my youngest off at preschool and went grocery shopping.  I got the groceries home and half put away, then located my Froster cup and headed to Mac's for my sweet treat.  Picked up my youngest from preschool, picked up my hubby from the gym, drove home and found a phone message from a friend who was coming to visit this afternoon, which pushed me to clean my house super fast while my hubby made lunch and fed the kids and put away some more groceries.

I then had a fabulous afternoon visit with my friend while our girls played and my hubby ran errands.  When our friends went home, I baked cupcakes with my youngest two and made meatballs for dinner, then made the rest of our dinner components while my oldest switched the laundry around and folded a load for everyone to put away.

Dinner was well received by all, then I cleaned up the dishes and kitchen while the rest of the family watched TV and played on the computer.  Three of the kids then helped me ice a few cupcakes, everyone had one, and then it was time for baths, showers and bedtimes!

This is a regular day for us.  Almost.  For much of the year the kids have evening activities and my hubby has a second job, so it is a little more crazy.  But today was wonderful, amazing, energizing and I loved it.  I had a small amount of anxiety at one point while waiting for my friend to arrive that felt more like an IBS issue than anxiety, and I was okay.

Today I felt hope that I can have a normal life again someday.  A normal life like I see everyone else living.

Needless to say I am exhausted now, but still forced myself to stay up until my regular bedtime to try to keep things regular.  Tomorrow I have some errands to run, including registering my youngest for kindergarten!!

I did my weigh-in on Sunday and came in at 101.5 pounds - for a total 8.5 pound gain.  Yay me!  :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Triumphs and Backsteps

This has been a pretty up and down week for me.  Many times I have wanted to come here and write but I never got here, and that made me wonder if what I wanted to write was even worth writing.

Up - I went to the zoo this week.  With the kids.  For three and a half hours.  My mother-in-law sent me an email asking if I wanted to bring the kids and meet her there.  I wanted to say no, but I knew that the kids needed it.  I was anxious and nervous and tense and breathless about it.  But I went.  We went.  And the six of us had a lovely "picnic" lunch and I didn't lose it or break down when my third-born started trying to start fights with his siblings.  And I didn't stress that my four year old whined and complained and kept laying down on the ground all the way back to our van.  It took 30 minutes for us to get to the van from the place that we left my mother-in-law so she could walk home in an opposite direction.  Then third-born threw a huge temper tantrum in the van and tried to pick fights with his siblings half of the way home.  Very stressful, yes, but I did not get a single chest pain from this whole scenario, which is a win.

Down - I haven't been keeping up with eating enough.  Or exercising enough.  I really really need a stretch but I just haven't made time this week.  And last night I had two slices of pizza for dinner when I know my limit is one.  Last night I didn't sleep as a result and today I am exhausted and fighting IBS issues.

Up - I had some good conversations with friends this week.  There are people who I call friends that I don't usually reach out to and this week I did and I was rewarded with good conversation and support.  I love my friends.

Down - I am so tired of dealing with fighting family members.  It is time for the children to return to school.  Two more sleeps until the lovely day arrives.  My house is going to be so clean!

Down/Up - I had some intense anxiety about going to stamp club this afternoon.  But it was important to me and I practiced some of the relaxation and coping techniques I've been learning and I went.  Unfortunately I didn't eat a complete lunch before I left, so I was a little woozy by the end of stamp club.  I'm glad I thought to grab a banana and some almonds that I ate on the way there - those got me through for awhile.

I think I realized my anxiety trigger this week.  It is RUSHRUSHRUSHRUSHRUSH.  The less I'm rushing about, the better I feel.  I don't know how I am going to fix the rushing thing.  I have four children with minds of their own, and one of them is a pre-teen whose current most used phrases are "I'm not going!" and "You can't make me!"

I guess it is time that I add some organization and pre-planning to my life to make things easier.  I wonder if I can be more of a planner than I already am.  Definitely worth a try!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Joy Ramblings

I've seen a lot of "Choose Joy" messages around facebook and the internet and other places.  It's something that I have pondered over the last little while.

In the beginning of my ponderings, I was firmly of the opinion that you can't CHOOSE joy in one situation and then choose "not joy" in the next.  You either have joy, for good, or you don't.  Then I realized that maybe lots of people don't just HAVE joy.  Maybe they just didn't choose joy yet, so the option is still there for them to choose it.  I don't know what the other choice is, though.  What exactly is the opposite of joy?  I don't think that joy and happiness are equal.  I think that one can have joy and still be unhappy with a situation.

I believe that I have joy because I chose it once a long time ago, and that joy has been - and is - a part of me ever since.  Even on the days that I am not really happy about how things are going, I am still joyful.  The joy does not leave me.  Joy makes me thankful for my kids even when they are fighting way too much.  Joy reminds me that I am blessed to have things to help me out around the house - washing machine, dishwasher, stove - even if they aren't functioning at their top potential.  Joy keeps me exercising, taking supplements, eating...even when I don't want to.  Joy pushes me to forgive, to hope, to look for answers, to remember that I am worth-ful and that I have value and that I need to take care of myself.

I'm pretty sure my joy is the thing that allows me to be open about my life and challenges.  Joy is the thing that prompts me to keep this blog.  Though some of the stuff I write here is very raw and even though it might seem like I am hanging on by a thread...I still know that with everything else stripped away, joy remains.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Abs, Cardio, Friends and Counseling

Today we took our kids to the bank to set up bank accounts.  While I was standing in the office waiting for all the paperwork to be done, I looked down and saw my belly bulging.  It was accentuated by  the top corner of my jeans waistband sticking out.  My jeans used to have two buttons, but the top button broke off so they don't close properly at the top anymore.

Anyway, I was disgusted.  More disgusted than I thought I would be.  I want my flat tummy back.  I want to be skinny and not sick.  I have to say I felt very self conscious and embarrassed today.

So.  I am going to keep eating lots, and I am adding an ab workout to my day.  To get toned.

Also, I need to add cardio.  This morning we walked to pick my daughter up from preschool.  When we got home, my body was tired.  Aching.  Sore.  It didn't want to do anything else.  It still had to make lunch and go to a couple appointments.  I almost said I couldn't do it.  But I fought for those appointments and I wasn't going to miss out.  Just from walking.  Ugh.

I've been reading a book that is giving me a push to revamp my family's diet.  I am finding that we are already doing really well with the meal planning that I'm doing, but of course there is always room for improvement.  :)

Hubby and the kids signed up for memberships at our local YMCA and I am excited for them all to have a place to exercise and swim whenever they can.  I also love that I can go with one of the kids as their guest and get in for a lower price than a regular non-member drop in price.  I think this is going to be really good for us.

Today a friend that I've been meaning to call but haven't quite had the gumption to make it happen, called me to ask some questions about kindergarten.  And we set up a playdate for our girls for next week.  I am so so glad that she called, and I am looking forward to renewing many friendships that I've not been nurturing, starting with her.

In counseling news, I thought that I had found the perfect person for our family, but it looks like our benefits won't cover her fees, so back to the search for me.  Also, I had found an amazing program that offers parenting support type classes, and at the same time offers programs for kids to develop social skills.  I was so excited to find this, especially since it is free, but alas, it is not close to our home.  Nothing is ever located in our quadrant of the city and it is frustrating that as I seek help so earnestly (seems I do this every January and then lose hope and quit only to have another year of unresolved issues that escalate horribly), it is always always too far away from our home to be practical.  We've tried the "drive across the city" thing.  Three times.  It always makes things worse.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

2 months on Cipralex and Weigh In

It's been two months since I started taking 5 mg of Cipralex daily and I am thinking that things are stable, for the most part.  I still don't feel like my old self, but how can I when that was then and this is now?  Things have changed and then is not now, and after going though all this, how could I be the same person I was?

I still have bad days where one stressful thing gives me concerning chest pain or sets me short of breath.  This morning was a rough morning driving to church - the kids were violently fighting, hubby tried to make them stop and in the process, hurt himself, and I found my chest to be aching so much after that.  I knew that my breathing was off because I couldn't stop yawning.

I have still not had a complete break from chest pain - it is always there, and has become something that I just live with now.  Generally it is dull and more of an ache, and I have trained myself to not be anxious over it.  I still have a lump in my throat feeling a lot of the time and still really bad every night.  I did some internet research yesterday and found a couple of videos on youtube about Globus Hystericus and throat massage.  It was helpful last night, so I hope that as I incorporate throat massage into my daily schedule, I will have less trouble with Globus Hystericus.

My weigh in this morning was somewhat disappointing.  Not because of the numbers, but because I couldn't get what I would call an accurate measurement.  I have again not been eating enough.  I have learned that when I don't eat enough, I don't have a regular bowel movement.  With all of the IBS stuff I've been through, and now with this weight gaining challenge, I have come to see a regular bowel movement as a prize for my hard work.  It seems silly, but it is physical evidence that I am doing something right.  So, this morning, no bowel movement.  It's like I've been chastised for not eating correctly.  No bowel movement means that when I weighed in, I was not at my lightest like I normally am when I weigh in.  You know, all those 'controls' of the experiment.  Anyway, I weighed in at 101 pounds.  It is likely that I am really at 100 or even 99, which means no gain or a slight loss over the past week.  Bummer.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Weirdness

Today I woke up feeling pretty good.  Slight headache, nothing major.  I stayed in bed until about 9:00 am, revisited a touchy subject with my husband, didn't have any morning anxiety, and enjoyed the beautiful sunshine coming in my window.

I skipped my fibre supplement due to the late waking and just went straight for breakfast and probiotics.

Skipped my morning vitamins (decided to just take them all at lunch), and over the next hour, started feeling really strange.  As I tried to get the kids ready to go out, I felt more and more like I probably shouldn't take them out, or be out driving at all.

I did it anyway.

Had a few questionable moments at Walmart while the kids were picking out what they wanted to spend their Christmas gift cards on, but we made it through Walmart, paid for our purchases and I bought a Coffee Crisp to consume back in the van.

The strange feeling subsided, eventually.  It was such a weird thing; feeling like something was wrong, but not being able to put any words to it.  I'm good with words.  LOL  This was a nothing that was something.  No tingling, no aches or pains; kind of a light-headed-ness that wasn't really there.  Yup, just strange.  Might take some iron today just in case; (TMI ahead) my period is way way way heavy this month.  I did make a note this morning that I really need to be paying attention to this so I can be on top of seeking medical attention if it comes to that point.

Anyways...two of last night's dreams...the first, my hubby and I were looking into buying a new apartment.  When we went to see it, it was not in the safest part of town (but not the worst), and there was a slide in place of the stairs to get up and down between the upper levels and the doors to the street.  I noticed that some of our acquaintances lived there when I saw the wife sliding down the slide and waving on the way by. LOL  When we got into the apartment to check it out, it had very high ceilings, like a loft could be built in, and we were handed a bunch of sticker-things so that we could customize the colours of the built in storage units, as in we stick the fronts on the drawers, etc.

The second dream had our family joining another family that we know but are not close friends with on vacation.  We drove to somewhere in BC with them, pulling a semi-trailer, which ended up being like an RV inside.  There was skating, tobagganing, biking, etc. for the kids to do and every time I dressed my daughter to go skating, by the time I sat down to put on my skates, she had taken off all her winter clothes and skates, so I had to redress her.  We never got out to skate.  Meanwhile, I discovered that the husband of the family we were staying with was actually a polygamist...having one full-time wife (and kids with her), and one that resided in the place where we were vacationing in BC.  The BC wife kind of traveled and did her own thing most of the time, but was still his second wife when she was around.

I should start turning my dreams into fiction novels...make some money off my crazy brain and use it to keep paying for my supplements and prescriptions.  LOL

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year, New Plans

Last year our big "health move" was to try chiropractic.  Despite our optimistic feelings about it (as it had been so wonderful for my hubby and I in the past), we don't feel that chiro has helped us at all.  I'm really sad about that because we put a lot of time and effort and money into it.  If not for chiro, our debt would have been paid off long ago, and we likely wouldn't dread getting in the van as a whole family of six so much - it has been so stressful dragging the kids out of bed at 6:00 am every Monday and herding them into the cold van by 6:30 to drive across the city, get adjusted and rush to be back home by 8:00.  They hate it and they fight, scream, kick, spit and tantrum as hubby maneuvers the van through rush hour traffic close to the city's core.  Stress.

This year, while our health plans do not include a chiropractor at this point, we are still planning on trying something to better our family's health.  I have sent a few emails about family counseling, started to look into functional doctors and naturopaths for myself, and am considering a gym membership for my hubby and massage therapy for both of us.  I really really want to feel good again.  It has been way too long.

In the meantime, I am revisiting the issue of adrenal fatigue for myself and have made plans to help myself continue to heal.  One website I read on the subject notes that the treatment is pretty easy - eat a lot, sleep a lot, and don't work too hard in between.  Not as easy as it sounds, but I'm up for the challenge, and I hope it works.

Last night was a hard night for me; we were in bed by 10:00 pm, but I couldn't get comfortable to fall asleep. I had my regular nightly throat lump, but I also had this weird muscle tension feeling going on.  My heart pounded, my left side felt tingly, like only my left side was feeling the anxiety.  My mind was racing, I was having the flashies behind my eyelids.  My body didn't seem to be ready for sleep, but my eyes did not want to stay open.

Eventually I did fall asleep, only to have some of the strangest and most intense dreams that I have ever had. I woke up just after 4:00 am after my first nightmare and even though I wanted to stay awake and keep my ears open for any strange noises in the house, I was exhausted and fell back to sleep relatively quickly.  I was in and out of sleep until I got up at 9:00 am.

I have heard that intense dreaming is a side effect of Cipralex, but since I have always dreamed like this, I haven't really noticed that difference in my life.  What I have noticed is that where I would dream intensely and wake up tired in the mornings before, now I dream intensely and wake up exhausted, groggy and it is really hard to open my eyes and wake up.

Last night's first dream had me at my parents' old home in Calgary, but it wasn't their home.  It was our church.  My hubby and I had gone there to help a friend with something (packing something up, fixing a bike?) and hubby had left his keys and some change outside.  Three guys came along to take the bike or change or keys and we were yelling at them through the window to go, so they decided to whip out their gun and run through the house/church (later became my  kids' school) while we hid.  I told the police about this (and a few other people) and they eventually came back to the house with four guys, one who had apparently ratted out the other three, but I didn't know for sure that they were the three that had run through the house/church with the gun.  I recalled that there was a conspiracy theory that the police know that people can't remember the faces of criminals so they were just bringing along other police officers and acting like they were the criminals so that they could wrap up the case.  SO, the real gun guys were still out free and I had no idea what exactly was going on.

In my second dream, I was staying with some friends and family, who somehow lived in the same house even though they don't know each other in real life.  I have no idea where my hubby was, but I was in the process of changing my kids' school from one to another in Winnipeg (though the one that they were moving from was the one that was my church/parents house/kids' school in Calgary from the other dream, now located in Winnipeg).  Well, it got to the morning that my kids were to start their new school in Winnipeg that they were going to because we had moved in with these friends and family (none of which actually live in Winnipeg) and  I realized that I hadn't registered them, or even looked up what school was in the area that they should attend.  So, while one of my friends was preparing to go on a business trip (and trying not to vomit because she was sick), I tried to decide if I should just drive my kids to their old school for another day or if I should try to find the new school.  I pulled out a white pages phone book for Toronto, because that is where we were now, even though I thought we were in Winnipeg, and started looking up schools in the area.  Meanwhile, my second son comes up to me and says he thinks he has to vomit.

Those are two of the four or more I had last night.  There is always more to the dreams too.  Dogs, snow, things to overcome.  Every dream is vivid and real.  Every single night.

And now my neck or ear is sore; I'm not sure which one...could be my neck from sleeping so restlessly last night, or maybe I have an ear infection...my chest and throat are pretty mucousy this morning.  And I am exhausted, of course.  First day of 2013 doesn't have me filled with motivation and ambition so far.  I am cold and tired and sore and looking up and hoping for improvement from here.