the old switch-er-rooo

as you might have witnessed on my vlog this past friday, things have been a little up and down for me emotionally since dropping my dose of viibryd from 30mg to 20mg. well - my emo-ness was assumed to be from the drop in dosage, but I suspect now that hormones may have been playing a bit of a role as well - since my womanly time started on sunday (I know, tmi...). anywho, today was switchy-switch day. I dropped the viibryd and am now taking 50mg of zoloft (the lowest dose).

the day started off ok. I was a little cranky when I woke up, but that was before I had eaten or taken anything at all. I ate my cereal and perused the little zolft pamphlet for possible side effects....possible weight loss, possible increase in appetite (?!), long-term erections...blahblahblah.  I had plans and goals for the day...long walk before it got too hot (I was still sweating!)...clean out my car...plant half-dead flowers (finally!)...pack for trip...clean house... nothing too stressful. so I got all of my dirty work done and got in the shower around 1pm. I had really been feeling ok, relatively normal and whatnot and then, all of a sudden... I'm doing my washing and finishing up my shower business when I felt this overwhelming need to sit down. in the shower. with the water running. so I kind of crouched down and rested my head against the tub and I kind of started crying. and I was thinking to myself, wtf?! like, seriously, what's going on? c'mon girl, stand up. you're starting to lose feeling in your ankles and feet (because I was crouching weird)! so after like two minutes I stood up and almost immediately was again overcome with a sense that I must sit down. not because I felt like I was going to pass out, but because I felt like that was what I needed to do right then and there. and then there I was, on the floor of the tub, in the middle of the shower, sitting - sobbing uncontrollably. and all I kept thinking was how I could not stand up. like I was thinking, stand up! and then I would think, (sobsob) I can't stand up!

I have to say, this did not completely feel like one of my normal panic attacks. I didn't have any weird feeling in my chest like I usually get. and it wasn't triggered by anything - which they usually are. I can't even really remember what I was thinking about right before it happened. it was just like a normal shower... shampoo, condition, shave legs, wash with soap, wash face, rinse, get out... except I didn't get out. I sat down. and cried. a lot.

I finally got myself to call out for my husband because I didn't know what else to do - oh, I forgot to mention too how I wasn't opening my eyes. don't ask me what that was about. but for a second I remember thinking how with my eyes closed I was in a different world - and once I opened them I would be back in the regular world (umm, what?!).

so my husband finally came in and asked me what was going on and he asked if I was having a panic attack, and at that point it hadn't even occurred to me that that was what was going on. gita was flipping out behind him so he couldn't really sit with me. all he said was, "come on, honey, get up. I'll take care of you." but he said it in such a soothing way that I thought all I had to do was just get up...

I took some serious deep breaths. and then more. and then I thought to myself that if I opened my eyes and didn't think about what was going on, I could just go on with my day. and then it just started to subside. I mean, don't get me wrong. I'm pretty sure I could have sat under that stream of water in the bottom of my tub all freaking day....

the rest of the day was a little shot though. I got up and out of the shower and got myself dressed and then realized that if I didn't talk about the panic attack out-loud then it would stay under the surface. and for about an hour afterwards I felt very much on the verge of crying. and then I was just tired. like turn out the lights, shut the curtains, don't bother me tired. I was all, oh, I'm just going to close my eyes for a minute... and then I was out for a good 45. I've kind of just been in a bit of a fog since then.

I'm not really sure what the point of me telling you this story would be... I guess because it was my weird moment of the day... or because I just need to get stuff like this out... I don't know. I don't know what the point of much is nowadays...

um, so, yea... I think I should go to sleep now....


push through

I heard this somewhere once and decided to make it into a little visual quote thing. these little visual quote things are pretty popular over the old internet, so I thought, heck, why can't I make one? so I took one of my old images and put my favorite font on it. ok, it's kind of poorly designed and ugly, but I like it all the same.
this little saying give me hope... just push through...


saturday in pictures [instagram]

I did a lot of nothing today. I woke up sad and tired. I couldn't get out of bed. I woke up, fell back asleep, woke up again, and so on. it took all of my willpower to get up. I took a few walks. I watched tv. I breathed. some days that's plenty.

curtains closed.

the wake-up crew

didn't roll out of bed until almost 11. and if you ever wondered what I look like first thing in the morning... eek!

first walk of the day was right before the first storm. light rain, wind, continuous rolling thunder. kind of relaxing.

tea, tv, and new polka-dot shorts

stuffed kitty-cat score

last walk of the day, puddle self-portrait

everything lush and green

close the night with the blog.


friday vlog

sometimes I go into making a vlog with a plan in mind and sometimes I don't. I had an idea what I wanted to talk about tonight... and I kind of did... but the unexpected emotion that came up kind of threw me off track. so I realize that this is mostly me rambling. and saying "strange" and "weird" a lot.


putting it to bed

I couldn't think of a good picture to use for this post... so a sleeping baby gita works,  right?

a few days ago I had the brilliant idea of writing a post about the idea of "blooping" from being a hare krishna devotee and talking about what that means in relative terms. since then I have learned that the word "bloop" is outdated and offensive and silly. well, I always knew it was offensive and silly... anyway, I have also come to the point where I kind of don't care anymore. let me say again that I truly appreciate all of the fb comments and private messages and emails that I have received from some of you. it feels good to know so many people care and that other people appreciate my need for (relatively) full disclosure. let me clarify a few things...

* my original post about the four regulative principles and chanting was not meant to criticize the process. I believe, to some extent, in the vaisnava (more or less hare krishna) philosophy at its core and understand why srila prabhupada, the founder of the ISKCON movement, put those rules in place back in the 1960s. I also understand that some people may still believe in the process that srila prabhupada put into place and practice it because it works for them. my point was that it doesn't (or hasn't up until this point) worked for me. and it was deeply depressing and frustrating to me to continue working that process and feeling like I was constantly beating a dead horse. not one process will work for every person. I need to find the process that's right for me - but more importantly I must be ready for that. in my heart of hearts I am praying that this process - or something very similar to this process - will work for me one day...whether that means in 6 months or 10 years or on my death bed, I don't know. but I want very badly to love krishna in a sincere way.

* I don't need to be preached to. listen, with all due respect, I've heard 99% of it before. and the only reason I say 99% is because I'm sure there's something I haven't heard before, but I doubt it will make a difference at this point. I'm ok with where I'm at in some sense. part of me isn't, but I think that part of me is still deeply searching for my *self* and to know what all of this insanity means. and by insanity I mean like everything in my life.

* I still think of myself, to an extent, as a devotee of krishna. I left ISKCON a long time ago when my guru did. I was happy to. the GBC never made sense to me and I didn't like these men (whose qualifications to rule my decisions in life were...?) telling me what I could and couldn't do (no chocolate, um, puh-lease!). but people who think I'm not a devotee because I don't chant or because I drink on occasion need to seriously 1. look in the mirror and 2. question what it means to actually BE a devotee. do I have a definitive answer for what is means to be a devotee? no, but I know that indulging in certain things doesn't disqualify a person. so if you see me at a class or a festival please don't think it's weird. and yes, I'll probably even wear a sari. and a bindi. yep.

* I'm an adult and I make my own decisions. there's this thing that my students say... "I do what I want when I want. don't tell me what to do." yes, that's very immature, but let's face it, some (most?) people are oppositional by nature. if you tell me what to do I am most likely going to get the urge to do the exact opposite. I like to learn things my way, which is often the hard way. I've been like that my whole life and I've come to accept it. I think it's ok to learn our own lessons.

at this point I'm kind of sick of the whole topic. I don't need anyone to feel sorry for me or try to convince me that drinking is evil and wrong or whatever. I'm a big girl. really. so for now I'd like to put this topic to rest and go back to talking about my mundane nonsense. goodnight.


can't stop, won't stop.

no, you're not seeing things... 

I knew things were getting really bad when I bought the lava lamp. sigh. my crazy shopping itch has returned with a vengeance - much like a rash... or herpes outbreak or something. I just can.not.stop.buying.crap!!! and when I say crap, I don't really mean crap. I mean like really pretty dresses and cute clothes and shoes and hangers and earrings and bracelets and...yea, ok a lava lamp.

I don't know if it's because my anxiety is taking a different form, or I'm on a shopping-only-manic-upswing...or can I blame it on my meds?

eh, who cares - the clothes make it totally worth it.

oh, and I love the lava lamp. so there!!!

mr. salt and mrs. pepper are very excited to be living next to sexy buddha butter dish.


saturday in pictures [instagram]

I usually don't say anything about the pictures I post for the saturday in pictures series, but I decided that I wanted to. and since this is my little world I kind of figure I can do (as my students would say) what I want when I want. ha! so here it is...

morning kirtan (check out the air gita caught!)

getting ready to do some errands

oh j. crew, you are evil. (yes, I bought this dress... how could I not?!)

evening sky

did my first outdoor interval walk/run. it was hellish

flowers we bought today. trying to cheer the place up.

a little pm yoga. the lady's leotard is out of control in this video.

end of the day relaxation.


friday vlog

bringing back the old vlog. not so freaky, but still on a friday.


honesty and the four regulative principles

here goes nothing.

in case you don't know, when you become an initiated disciple of a guru in hare krishna world you make five promises. for the most part they seem reasonable and don't sound so difficult to follow - but in reality, in the material world, they can be quite a challenge.

in the interest of coming clean and being real, I've decided to discuss my position with the promises I made to my guru and krishna over a decade ago.

getting my beads and the initiation fire, where promises are made for life

chanting 16-rounds: when you get initiated your guru hands you a set of japa beads - which are essentially prayer beads - like a rosary. in the ISKCON tradition, you promise to chant 16-rounds of the hare krishna mantra every day. one round is saying the mantra 108 times. so basically you say the prayer 1,728 times. it takes roughly two hours. the purpose of saying this prayer is to become closer to krishna - to focus on his name and his form and to become more "krishna conscious".
personally, I stopped chanting my vowed number of rounds after my first daughter was born 10 years ago. I've chanted on and off since then, but for the most part it's been a lost cause. chanting for me (at least on beads, which for me feels different then singing in kirtan/bhajans) is not enjoyable. it feels like burden. I'm not focused on krishna and I spend most of the time thinking of a million other things. so what's the point? I've been told that if I just keep doing it, I'll eventually get a "taste" for it. I just don't have the patience for that. at least not now.

chanting japa

other than chanting, when you get initiated you promise to abstain from four other things... this is called following the four regulative principles.

no meat-eating: this means being vegetarian - no eating of meat, fish, or eggs. I've never waived from this purposefully. yes, I've had my fair share of accidental situations (like eating something and not knowing it had something nasty in it until later). but this is something that no matter what I think I will always follow. the only thing I can confess to here is that I hardly ever (almost never!) offer my food to krishna - which devotees are supposed to always do. and also I have no problem eating somewhere that serves meaty stuff. I've known people who are adamently against 1. eating out and/or 2. eating at places that serve meat. personally, my opinion is that if you eat anything that is factory processed, it has the same chance of being contaminated as if you eat somewhere that cooks meat. and I guess I just don't care that much. whatevers.

no gambling: for the most part I follow this. I don't buy lottery tickets and I don't go to casinos on the regular. though a few years ago my husband and I saw norah jones and fiona apple (separate occasions) at the borgata in atlantic city and we certainly did play the slots. we figured what was the difference if we spent $50 playing slots and lost the money, or just went out and wasted it at the movies? it's all still maya. again, I don't quite see the big deal about it.

no illicit sex: I've heard so many definitions of what this means. but the most extreme was that this means no sex unless it's for procreation purposes. yea, I pretty much never followed this. but the best part about this principle is that I know so many people who never followed it! and then there were a few people who said they did follow it and told me they thought everyone else was following it! honestly, I really feel like if you're married and you're having sex with your spouse it's not a big deal. you're married! sex is important for connecting to your spouse. honestly, my opinion on that will never change.

no intoxication: this one includes smoking, drugs, alcohol, and caffeine. basically anything that will alter your natural state. can I give this one a big sigh? SIGH! ok, smoking and drugs, check - I agree, bad news. caffeine - ugh! can I just say that for years I took this to the extreme and didn't even eat chocolate (the love of my life!). but here it is: I know dozens - dozens of devotees who drink caffeine - coffee, soda, tea, whatever. and nowadays it's like no big deal. honestly, I don't think it's a big deal - but here it is - the next thing I'm about to say people would think is a big deal...
I started drinking alcohol about six months ago. I only drank a handful of times before I became a devotee, and then spent 15+ years clean and sober. and all of a sudden I just decided I wanted to experiment. and not that I'm drinking like every day or even weekly, but I feel like, ok, I'm 33 years old and wait, why can't I do this?! and shhh, here it is - there are other devotees out there that do it too! and while I respect people's privacy, I just feel like I don't want to pretend to be something that I'm not. or feel or think things that I don't. so why not just be honest?!

so here it is. this is where I'm at. I suppose that all of these things combied technically make me "blooped" - I freaking HATE that word, by the way. but here's the real deal: I love krishna. that will never ever ever change. I know that he is god. it's this process that I doubt - and mostly because I have seen so many people fanatically practice it and fall from it. and I have practiced it and not advanced - no matter how hard I try.

where does that leave me now? I don't feel blooped - I feel confused mostly. I had an intensely scary dream about my guru the other night and it made me want to worship and serve him so badly. but... but there's something in me that's not there right now. this is why I feel so confused and like I don't know who I am anymore. I spent 15 years of my life dedicated to wanting to be a true hare krishna devotee. I wanted to serve and love my guru, krishna, and the devotees. and all of a sudden I just lost it. ok, not all of a sudden - over time - but it feels very all of a sudden. sometimes I think I would give anything to roll the clock back two or three years and be the me of then. but I wonder who that girl was - is that who I really am? how do I figure this out? how do I reconcile my past with my present with my future and what is in my head and my heart? I don't know. really.

so yea, there it is. judge me if you want. hate me, disown me... whatever. but if nothing else, I am honest.

in vrindavan. this picture always makes me think of the cover of that 'vraja lila' book.


thank you.

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has contacted me both in fb comments and private messages with love and support after my post last night. it has meant so much to me to know that there are people who have been where I am and/or care and love me so much.

I also want to reiterate that I am ok. I am far from being in crisis - though I still have lots of work to do. so don't worry - everything will get better and stuff.

I'm also planning a real doozey of a post for tomorrow... so stay tuned.

as for me, I had a lovely evening eating and chatting and connecting with my bff. and now I'm exhausted... so off I go...goodnight!

totally stole this from her instagram feed!


where I've been...

the blog, and my writing in general, has been on a bit of a break over the past few months. I've been going through... things. I've been questioning and crying a lot, mostly. some people might call it a mid-life crisis, though I'd hate to imagine that I'm already in the middle of my life (because isn't just downhill from there?!).

a month or so ago everything, so to speak, came to a head... a breaking point of sorts. and while things are getting better, I'm mostly still left with a sense of doubt and lack of identity. what am I doing? how did I get here? and most importantly where the frig am I going?

I don't have the answers to those questions yet. part of me feels like I might never have the answers. and sometimes it's just hard for me to think about without feeling like my brain is going to fall out of my head.

I've been "depressed" for most of my life. I put that in quotes because apparently (after a technical discussion with my therapist) depression is a somewhat relative thing. to me, being depressed most of my life has meant feeling super sad, melancholy, and self-depricating. my therapist says that real depression is feeling sad to the point of it affecting everyday life - not being able to function, get out of bed, etc. she said that perhaps I've just had dysthymia - a less severe form of depression. but I did hit a low point a few months ago one weekend when I couldn't stop crying or get out of bed. part of it was circumstantial - circumstances that I'm not willing to talk about...but needless-to-say, I'm now taking an anti-depressant everyday. and when I need it, I take an anti-anxiety med (although my panic attacks have, for the most part, subsided).

I've been feeling better. my sadness, while it still lingers, lays just enough below the surface for me to not only function, but feel relatively normal 90% of the time...don't get me wrong, I still cry - I was crying today in fact - but overall, I'm better.

I don't like being on medication. my goal now is to find alternate methods of feeling better. so much is improving a situation that brought me here - but more than that is finding better coping mechanisms. I'm working on it. it will be, for sure, a work in progress.

I think writing is a huge part of me... in every way. writing right now has already made me feel better. so I'm looking forward to bringing it back. but no pressure. just taking it all one step of at a time.