Flashback Fun Music Friday – Christmas Edition!

I think everybody has their favourite Christmas song. Well…y’know…if they actually enjoy Christmas. If you’re Jewish or Muslim, maybe those songs aren’t your bag.

But for those of us who do celebrate the holidays, I’d like to think that we’ve got our own favourite holiday song. For me, there are just so many to choose from I can’t pick just one song.

I do remember, though, buying A Very Special Christmas as a teenager. This album was fantastic! There were classic songs by Bruce Springsteen, the Pointer Sisters, Whitney Houston, Madonna, U2, and Bryan Adams that are still played on the radio in regular holiday rotation today.

For me, though, the most memorable song on that album was by Run-DMC. I mean, who had ever thought you could create a rap-music Christmas song?

I remember that MTV used to be big on Christmas music, too. In fact, I remember videos for two of my favourite all-time Christmas songs were based on MTV holiday specials:

As time has gone on, my tastes have changed and varied. I’m a fan of Christmas music, unlike others in my family (ahem…Sunshine…cough). I’m pretty sure I’ll be sitting back relaxing all next week and enjoying the holidays, so until the next time we talk…have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, a Happy Kwanza, and a happy anything else that you may celebrate at this time of the year.

Throwback Thursday

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how long Sunshine and I have been together. Not only that, but how long our kids have known each other. The great thing about this blended family is just how well the kids all get along. It’s absolutely a blessing.

A couple of Christmases ago, we were all gathered in my old house to celebrate the holidays. We all worked on some gingerbread houses and the kids were all quite proud of their decorating results…

Throwback Thursday

Of course, once the kids were out of the room, the two adults couldn’t wait to have a little bit of fun with the left-over icing…

Throwback Thursday

You gotta love the holidays.

Ch-ch-ch-changes…or a placebo?

I started doubling-up my medication on Saturday. I gotta say…at this point I don’t know if I’ve really seen a huge difference. I’m glad to know that my body isn’t rejecting the meds and that the side effects aren’t quite as daunting as I initially feared.

I’m still a bit dizzy from time to time. I still have extended periods where I’m yawning non-stop. I still feel “weird”…like antsy or anxious but not really (i.e. it’s difficult to describe). There are multiple times where I stare off and “space out”, which is annoying. And there’s another small side effect that I’m not going to disclose at this point in time…but let’s just say it’s something I’ll be talking with my doctor today about on my 2-week follow-up appointment today.

 Sunshine asked me yesterday how I was feeling. I said that I don’t remember the last time I got angry, so that’s a really good thing. I also don’t remember the last time I felt depressed or mopey, though it was probably only a week ago. I feel like I’m on my way back, though this whole thing could be a placebo effect and I wouldn’t know any better.

The one thing I plan on doing in 2015, though, is getting some psycho-therapy. Obviously, there are issues deep down that affect me in a negative way and I don’t want to simply stay medicated in order to feel better. I would like to overcome and conquer these issues after bringing them to the surface. To do that, I need to talk to somebody and try to fix what’s wrong with me. The medication is a band-aid. It’s only fixing things on the surface.

The next few weeks will be interesting.

A Better Day

After everything that I’ve been going through over the past couple of weeks, one of the things I’m relying on is my exercise. Exercise is a natural anti-depressant, so I’m trying to keep up a bit as the winter weeks roll on. 

I had a terrible run a couple of weeks ago. I needed to make sure that didn’t hold me back going forward.

From my running diary…

A Better Day


Throwback Thursday

As we enter the final days until Christmas, I found a photo from a few years ago that brought a big smile to my face.

Y’see, my mom always used to stuff our stockings with everything from candy to batteries to socks. To me, half the fun of Christmas morning was trying to figure out just what in the world I was going to find inside of my stocking.

In the Christmas a year before mom passed away, both Sunshine and I were there on Christmas morning to open some gifts. As we were going through our stockings, I found something that didn’t seem right.

It was a hard, plastic container…smooth to the touch. I pulled it out and stared at it. The puzzled look on my face was overly apparent…I just couldn’t figure out why I had gotten this particular item.

Sunshine looked at what was in my hands and laughed. Hard. My mom was confused…why was I shocked at this gift? Didn’t I need it?

It was a bottle of shampoo.

Throwback Thursday

My mom explained that she thought that I still needed something to clean my head with, even if I was sporting the bald look. I tried telling her that I just used soap on my skin, similar to using soap on the rest of my skin. She was genuinely surprised that I didn’t need shampoo.

She had such a kind heart. This memory is one of the last Christmas memories I have of her…and I’m so very thankful that it brings a smile to my face.

7 Days In…

I’m now a week into my medication and so far, so good.

I’ll be honest, though…I wasn’t feeling great over the first couple of days last week. My doctor said that I would feel “weird” and sure enough, that’s how I felt.

The first day saw my stomach doing butterflies. I then started yawning uncontrollably, yet I wasn’t really tired. My lips tingled a bit and my mouth got pretty dry. It was all a strange sensation.

The second day saw my stomach react negatively. I was driving to work with Sunshine when I told her that I wouldn’t be able to go into the office.  I dropped her off and went back home to lay on the couch for most of the day. As the afternoon went on, though, I felt a lot better. I then figured if I could handle the morning, I would be fine to handle the afternoon.

In the next few days, the only real side effect was a bit of dizziness and dry mouth. It was a very weird feeling, but nothing I couldn’t handle.

So today is Day 8. On Saturday I’m supposed to double-up my dosage. Thankfully, I’m going to be with my son and not at the office so I’m hoping to not see much in terms of changes. We’ll hang out during the morning so I can let my body react accordingly, then we’ll do some shopping after lunch.

I’m a little bit nervous, though…just because my pharmacist warned me that this was a pretty large dose of meds. Having read a couple of comments on the blog, though, have me confident that I’ll get through this without much of a problem. I might get thrown off a bit at first, but I should hopefully feel better as the day goes on.

And after a couple of weeks, I should be feeling great. Fingers crossed…

So What Now?

I’m now considered to have Major Depressive Disorder. My doctor has me taking anti-depressants. Is that the end of the line? Do I do anything else?

Well, thankfully I didn’t try to tough out depression on my own. I know that it took some courage to seek help with this, and it’s taken me a week or so to really understand that’s I took a good step and that I have a mental illness that can be treated.

I guess the next step for me is psycho-therapy. I mean, it’s easy to sit back and say that talking with a stranger about my mental problems is a little “unmanly”, but I think it can be extremely good for me. I have a feeling that I know where everything originates and if I can overcome and legitimately work through the things that cause my depression, then I should be able to handle this long-term.

I’ve read that lifestyle changes can affect male depression, as well. This is one of the reasons I decided to seriously tackle doing a half-marathon in 2015. Regular exercise is a powerful way to fight depression. It’s a natural booster of serotonin and endorphins. It also boosts self-esteem and can help improve sleeping patterns, which is something I’ve been having issues with. So count me in doing exercise throughout the winter.

I need to begin eating better. I’m not eating horribly, but my meals haven’t been as balanced as they could be. And I need to ensure I’m having smaller portions, too. From what I understand, a lessened appetite is a possible side effect of the anti-depressant that I’m on. My hope is that I can still balance out not wanting to eat with actually eating healthy.

My biggest eating problem is being drawn towards sugary foods. Why? Usually, it’s for the quick boost of energy it temporarily provides (not to mention the awesome taste of it). I need to turn to complex carbohydrates like breads and pastas made with whole grains, brown rice, corn, carrots, peas, broccoli, green beans, apples, and numerous other choices. To some it sounds like a diet, to me, though, it sounds like a necessary lifestyle change. I should also increase my Vitamin B by eating more leafy greens, chicken, and eggs.

If I’m exercising regularly and taking this medication, I should be able to sleep better. Lately, I’ve been up between 4am and 5am and unable to go back to sleep, regardless of what time I went to bed the night before. I need to aim for between 7 and 9 hours every night, as sleep exacerbates anger, irritability, and moodiness…which are things I’ve been battling in abundance now for months.

One of the final suggestions for men suffering from depression is to reach out to others…maybe through joining a support group or volunteering. Some may follow that path, but I prefer to blog. I think sharing my story with others might help me build a solid social support network.

I also need to be kinder to myself. I can’t expect my mood to change instantly. Feeling better will take time. I’m hoping to feel better a little each day, though it will probably get worse over the next couple of weeks before it begins to get better.

It all seems quite daunting, but I’m motivated to fight through this and be the man I was meant to be.


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