Saturday, May 24, 2008

off to paradise

Well, I'm outta here for a week! I'm going on a cruise with friends to Key West, Cozumel, and Belize. I'll be back next Saturday. After a day vegging on the beach in Ft. Lauderdale, I'll be on the ship eating, drinking, and taking excursions to the various Mayan ruins. My camera will be with me at all times, so be prepared for big whompin' mess of photos!

Enjoy your week!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

mail from down under

my refrigerator!
My refrigerator.

My life has been on the chaotic side lately. My time has been committed to the theater since December, first assistant directing Murder in Green Meadows, then immediately after as part of the Run for Your Wife cast. And not that I'm complaining; it's been a blast. I just feel like I lost control of my "Lisa time" and now I'm running to get caught up.

I've also been dealing with that rotten, stupid, frustrating depression. I'm now seeing someone who can specifically treat it, instead of just receiving a crapshoot of drugs from a general practitioner. I've been diagnosed with "atypical depression" (which you can read all about at the end of this blog if you'd like).

This is nothing new, and nothing to be upset about. It simply gives a name to what I've been struggling with my whole life, so it's a relief to me. One of those "ah-ha!" moments where I read the description and wanted to shout "that's me!" I'm excited and moving forward.

I'm on all new meds and slowly feeling better. I've been feeling down for so long that I almost forgot it wasn't part of my personality. The base level Lisa is happy, optimistic, and energetic. I lost her along the way, left her somewhere in the muck of the bizarre past five years. It's not like me to want to lay on the couch, take multiple naps, eat and sleep too much, feel like life is hopeless, and hate myself. I've been ignoring these red flags for too long.

The support of all my friends has been wonderful - they've been there for me even though I've been horrible about returning phone calls and e-mails, and have turned down many invitations to hang out because I wanted to be home in my jammies.

And when someone you only know from the blogging world, from Sydney, Australia, sends you happy presents in the mail, you know you're going to be o.k. Genevieve sent me the above photos, along with an encouraging note. I immediately put them all over my refrigerator, anchored with my gargoyle magnets from Wales and my Winston Churchill magnets from England, and every time I see them I'm happy. The fact that someone I have never met took the time to send me some happiness in the mail and make me feel special is just awesome! So thank you, Gen! You'll never know how much that means to me.

Here's the info on atypical depression. I have three major risk factors: being chronically ill (with Lyme), having a family history of depression, and having some not-so-fun childhood experiences - so it totally makes sense. Luckily, with the right medication combination, it's completely treatable. I feel like I'm getting my life back.
Atypical Depression

Sufferers of depression with atypical features will respond to negative or positive external events. They'll feel deeply depressed or somewhat hopeful depending on the latest situation they are faced with. Their mood will brighten considerably when dining out with friends or enjoying a good movie. But when they are alone, their mood will slip back into the dark depths of depression.

Patients with atypical depression tend to have an earlier age of onset than those with other subtypes (it often first appears in the pre-teen or teenage years).

Atypical depression is a type of depression that overwhelms an individual almost to the point of emotional paralysis. Oftentimes, atypical depression is set off by perceived as well as real rejections so that even a constructive criticism is taken as a personal affront. If you are battling atypical depression, you probably feel extremely sensitive to criticism.

You may eat too much and turn to comfort foods when you experience atypical depression. Don’t be surprised if it’s hard to get out of bed or if you sleep more than 10 hours with atypical depression. People with atypical depression feel sluggish so that even daily ordinary tasks seem too complicated and cumbersome. A romantic break-up or death in the family may set off serious symptoms of atypical depression. Atypical depression often follows rejections by close friends, co-workers or family members.

Atypical depression is one of the most common kinds of depression. The name atypical depression comes from the fact many of its symptoms are opposite to those of some severe depressions. For example people with atypical depression tend to overeat and oversleep. In contrast, people with depression can’t eat or sleep, and feel anxious instead of numb.

According to the DSM-IV,1, the official guide to psychological disorders, atypical depression is characterized by mood reactivity and two or more of the following criteria: hypersomnia, increased appetite or weight gain, leaden paralysis, longstanding sensitivity to interpersonal rejection that results in significant social or occupational impairment.

Symptoms of atypical depression:
  • Sleeping more than 10 hours
  • Cyclical depressive mood
  • Emotional sensitivity to criticism and rejection
  • Feelings of lethargy and emotional paralysis
  • Increased appetite and food/carbohydrate cravings
Risk factors:
  • Loneliness
  • Early childhood trauma or abuse
  • Health problems or chronic illness
  • Lack of social support
  • Family history of depression
  • Marital or relationship problems
If you have atypical depression, you are at higher risk for more serious and sudden major depression. You may not even know you have atypical depression because you feel depressed most of the time. You may try to hide your symptoms of atypical depression by working harder, going on diets, analyzing your failed relationships and staying on a rigid schedule; however, you have only covered up your atypical depression not cured it.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

let's all go visit laura!

No, you don't all need to pile into a car and go on a road trip to New Jersey. Though that would be FUN, and I would drive. Instead, put on your comfy jammies, pour yourself some coffee or a big glass of water, and click here to head on over to my friend Laura's site.

I've known Laura since college and she is one of my best friends and favorite people on the planet. Her passion is astrology - I have called her over the years with various boy troubles, and one of her first questions is usually "what sign is he?" She's truly gifted and intuitive, as well as being a fabulous and funny writer. Check out her Sun "Psycho"-ology column on her site. The Sagittarius klutzy article? Inspired by me. The swollen sprained ankle photo? Yes, that's me, too.

She just wrote hilarious articles about "drinking with the Zodiac" and "the Zodiac scorned". I must remember not to read these at work because I sometimes make strange hooting/snorting noises while holding my laughter in, which makes my boss suspicious. Laura's writing about all the signs, so hop on over and see what she has to say.

Like she's not talented enough, she's written a book, too - I was lucky enough to read it before it was published. Head on over to SynergEbooks and buy your own e-book copy now. What are you waiting for? You can download it immediately, and it's just $5.98. You won't be disappointed, I promise.

And now, the best part: Laura offers all sorts of great astrology services. If you give her your date, time, and place of birth, she can do one of these for you:

I have tried to learn how to read these. To me, it looks like a complicated geometry problem. Luckily, I don't need to - I have Laura. And now so do you. If you mention to her that you found her through my Lymelight blog, she'll give you 10% off your order. See, remember how you were never sure if it was worthwhile to read my blog? Now you must be hugging yourself with glee.

So there you go! Articles, books, services - what more could you want? Bookmark her and check back frequently. Leave her a comment, even if you've never met her, or even if you barely know (or like) me. Tell all your friends. Spread the word, people!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

scary moments

me, as "the reporter" in our play
Me, with big hair and garish makeup, as "the reporter" in RCP's Run for Your Wife.

Last night's performance was filled with all sorts of nervous excitement, dread, worry, and joy. On Thursday, one of the cast members, Joe, was hospitalized for a blood clot in his leg. The doctors told him he was lucky he came in when he did, because he may have died over the weekend, it was that serious. 39 years old - how scary is that? Also in our cast is his twin sister and his wife. Needless to say, they were pretty freaked out and worried.

Everyone rallied around them with support, grateful that Joe was going to be all right. With Joe in the hospital, and Friday night's performance looming, the only option was to have our assistant director, Hal, play the part of Sgt. Porterhouse. He had to read from the script, since he didn't have the lines memorized. He put his script was in a little vinyl cover to make it more discreet, and since he played a detective, he was supposed to hold a pen and paper anyway.

There were a few fumbling moments onstage, a few dropped lines, and a bit of confusion, noticed mainly by those backstage who know the show so well. Overall, it went GREAT, and Hal really stepped up to save us all and let the show go on. Whew! Joe was released from the hospital last night, and plans to be onstage tonight. What a trooper.

I had a great turnout of coworkers who came to see the show, and even my boss showed up - he's never seen an RCP show in his life. They all had a great time, and one of them won the 50/50 raffle - $87.00.

Today I'm cleaning my house, since my parents are visiting tomorrow to see the matinee. Then I have to make cupcakes to be sold at the theater concession stand. I think a nice light blue frosting is in order - I haven't done blue before. Then I'll take the dogs out in the yard, and then maybe take a relaxing jacuzzi bath, before heading back to the theater and do it all again!