Timeline of Discovery and Recovery--Through Hell and Back (more than once)

I'd recommend making a timeline to anyone who is or ever has struggled with mental, emotional, or physical health problems.  It has been incredibly enlightening.  The pattern of emotions are amazing.  I could easily chart a graph of the ups and downs (whether I was "diving, surviving, or thriving").

I pulled together dates, memories, posts from my other blog (Testosterone Overload -est. Oct 2007), and journal entries from a private journal (aka A blue,70 sheet, 1 subject, wide rule notebook-est. March 2009) to build this timeline.

The "private journal entries" were originally written for my eyes only.  A way to express myself openly and truthfully without feeling judged.  The emotions are raw, the writing, blunt and unedited, the feelings are sometimes very hard to revisit, but so very very real. 

When I decided to publish this timeline, I also decided to publish these, my most private thoughts, with it (talk about vulnerability at it's best).

It's time...I'm ready...and if it helps someone else...it will all be worth it. 

Through Hell and Back (more than once)---Timeline of Recovery and Discovery

1992-1996:  The first signs:  The Story of an Unbalanced Girl-Child Part one, two, and three

1998-1999:  Spent most of my senior year of high school severely depressed (came home from school, listened to depressing music, cried myself to sleep, contemplated suicide once...for just a split second and then cried over that too).

2005:  Sought counseling for anxiety:  Read about it a bit on page Why I started this blog.

Dec 2006-Aug 2007:  Unexpected pregnancy...another boy (making 3)...what?  we're moving 750 miles away from my family and everything I have ever known?...house up for sale...moved 36 weeks pregnant...Rob started  new job...got sick (hospitalized)...came home from hospital and got sick again...38.5 week induction for liver enzyme complications...(TOTALLY NOT READY)...Issac born...Rob started Master's program...I was at home with 3 boys (4, 1.5, infant).......enough said.

Oct 2007-July 2008:  Depressed, lonely, without purpose, always MAD, constant fits of anger, even RAGE.

Aug 2008-Jan 2009:  Rob lost his job and I found new purpose.  I began teaching aerobics and enjoying a bit of respite from being down.  I was still completely "off my rocker" and experienced fits of rage, severe OCD and was debilitatingly anxious...but at least I was enjoying something again.  If only that had lasted....

Thankful to be Thankful - November 26, 2008  --not all bad, if only I had known what was coming
Potty Talk...little boys disgust me! - Jan 19, 2009

Feb 2009-May 2009:  We moved in with Rob parents.  This is when I hit rock bottom.  I was so consumed and wrapped up in my own grief and feeling of hopelessness that I didn't have one care for anyone else.  My family really suffered.  I also stopped enjoying doing things that I loved (going out with friends, teaching aerobics, etc).  It was a friend, a good friend, who finally convinced me that something was really wrong with me and that it was not going to get better on it's own.  I am so indebted to her.

Private Journal Entry: March 19, 2009
Fizzgig and Katie Kaboom - April 26, 2009

May 2009:  We moved to the Tr-Cities.  Rob was done with school, had a job, we had a place to live.  I should have felt better.  But I didn't.  I FINALLY reached out and got help.

Private Journal Entry: June 11, 2009
Private Journal Entry: July 7, 2009
Private Journal Entry:  July 8, 2009

July 2009:  Started Counseling with Rick

Private Journal Entry:  August 14, 2009

October 2009: Started taking 5-MTHF for a common  genetic variant (as in 70% of the population have some form of it...you could too) known as MTHFR (more info here and even more to come...I'm so excited!)

Private Journal Entry:  October 27, 2009

Nov-Dec 2009:  By now the benefits of the MTHF had kicked in.  I was feeling really good, had learned a lot of coping and retraining through counseling and my family was finally starting to pull back together.  Life was good.  By December, I felt so good, I said goodbye to Rick and ventured out into the world without my bi-weekly visits.

May 2010:  By now Kian was a month old and I finished off my last bottle of 5-MTHF.  For some reason (still unknown to me) I decided to stop taking it.  It's almost as if I thought I didn't need it anymore because I wasn't pregnant...and had nothing to do with the fact that I have a genetic"variant."

Private Journal Entry:  June 13, 2010

June-December 2010: By the end of June I started slipping again.  I had felt SO good for SO long I thought that maybe...just maybe I would get by this time (as in, the aftermath of pregnancy #4) without getting angry or sad again.  No such luck.  I started a slow decline but fought against feelings of "failure" (like I had failed to be able to keep my hormones level...logical, I know) and denial ("this can be happening again.  NO this cant be happening again").  It finally some gentle persuasion from a leader in my church (after I opened my big mouth) to get me to go back to my doctor and ask for more help (I resented it in the moment but was soon very grateful things had panned out the way they did).  I also started seeing Rick again (in October some time...I think).  After a lot of time, effort, switching of medications, juggling dosages, and a lot of frustration, I was finally stabilized again. But something was still missing.  I was stabilized, for sure, and for that I was grateful but I still hadn't reached the "high" I had felt while I was pregnant.  Not even once, at that time, did it occur to me that the decline could have had something to do with not taking 5-MTHF anymore...I know better now. 

Private Journal Entry:  September 17, 2010

Private Journal Entry: October 11, 2010

Dec 2010-Jan 2011:  I was doing well and enjoying learning new and great things from Rick again.  I was "surviving" just fine.  No matter that I couldn't think straight or remember anything, or muster up motivation to accomplish anything.  At least I wasn't angry.  I hadn't felt so good in YEARS and figured that this was "as good as it gets."  I had NO IDEA that just around the corner was a side of life I never thought I would see again. 

Private Journal Entry - January 9, 2011
A holey brain of cheese intruded by "squirrel" moments - January 19, 2011

February 2011:  Toward the end of 2010 we had started taking our oldest child, Gabe (age 7 at the time), back to counseling because he was starting to exhibit a lot of aggressive and depressive behavior again (gee...where do you think he could have gotten' that from?). 

We were there one day in February and Gabe's counselor asks me if I have ever heard of Dr. Rawling and MTHFR before.

**BING** (light bulb moment)...I remember butterflies and everything.

"Yeah (I proceeded with caution)...Dr Rawlings actually tested me for MTHFR when I was pregnant this last time"  "And," he says.  "And I am MTHFR heterozygous (meaning that I have one of the two most common genetic mutations of the MTHFR gene)."  "So are you on Deplin (perscription dosage of methylfolate) or taking over-the-counter MTHF? he says."  "No...not anymore."  (He looks at me like...DUH woman...why do you think you have such issue with depression and anxiety.)  He advised us to get Gabe tested.  I came home that night and ordered more 5-MTHF online.  It arrived a few days later...Gabe and I both started taking it.  Within two weeks my emotions were sky rocketing to levels I didn't even think were possible.  And the changes is Gabe...truly amazing.

Private Journal Entry:  February 4, 2011

March 2011:  I can think of a few phrases that really can only begin to describe how I felt.  "To infinity....and beyond"..."Up, Up, and away"  "To the moon "  I mean, really. 

Private Journal Entry:  March 27, 2011--coming soon
Private Journal Entry:  April 5, 2011 --coming soon

May 2011:  Started this blog (Methodical Musings of an Unbalanced Woman).Why I started this blog

June 2011:  For now I feel good.  I feel really good.  I can't remember the last time I walked around day after day with a great sense of well being and happiness.  True happiness.  It's amazes me.  I'm still in awe.

Private Journal Entry:  June 28, 2011

August 2011- November 2011:  Decided to was time to try to come OFF anti-depressants.  I was feeling REALLY good.  REALLY good.  Thought maybe I had this depression thing licked.  Boy was I wrong.  After just a few weeks off, things started declining again....DANG IT...and I eventually went back on.  Now...I'm just hanging on...waiting for things to pick up again. 

Seeking Independence from Anti-Depressants
Post Anti-Depressant Independence Update #1
Update on an Update
On again...off again...out again...through again...
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