that time when I had short hair

It’s weird the way the mind works.

Grandpa EdI was walking to work this morning and I thought about the last time I saw my Grandpa Ed. I remembered our conversation, how he told me he loved my short hair. He was laying in his bed, frail and wasting away, and I burst into tears. I realized at that moment that this would be the last time I saw him and I couldn’t hold them back. My heart just completely broke apart in that moment. I thought about the look of resignation and sadness on his face when he saw me cry. It was an awkward moment that was also filled with understanding and love. He said a few words, something like, “It’s okay, don’t cry Moni.” And I realized I needed to pull myself together because a person on their death bed should not be consoling a person who is visiting them, saying goodbye. But that is exactly what happened.

As I was walking along, thinking these thoughts this morning, I wondered why this moment popped into my head today. And then I realized it was because of the photo above, shared on Facebook by my mom yesterday in honor of National Sibling Day. The portrait of me and my siblings was taken the week I came home to say goodbye to my grandfather.

I loved seeing it yesterday, it was made for her as a gift for Mothers Day in 1995. But it’s weird how your brain unconsciously plays connect the dots and that somehow it reminded me of this moment with my grandfather.

Image

Reflection

Still working my way through those One Pinhole A Day photos. Here is December 14. I took this while eating lunch at my regular lunch hangout. I was probably eating my usual: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

Here are some random things going on in my head this week:

  • Somehow, over the weekend, I found myself deep in a pretty bad depression. I am finally coming out of it, but wow. It wasn’t fun. I think I am feeling very overwhelmed with the world lately and everything hit me the wrong way.
  • During this episode I was having insomnia and I took melatonin to help me sleep. This was a very bad idea. It made me super sleepy and drowsy, even after having 9 hours of sleep. And it kind of made the depression more difficult to work through (mostly because I was so tired).
  • I was curious about melatonin so I did some research and found some really interesting articles about it, especially this one in the NYT (thanks to Inge!).
  • In my research I found out how to use melatonin to combat jet lag.
  • I also found this quiz to help you figure out what kind of sleeper you are.  I “found out” that I am a “strong morning” person (I already knew this). But it was really cool to read about this and how my body naturally readies itself for bed at a particular time. I always thought this was something I trained myself to do but it looks like it’s more biological. Interesting stuff! The article also talks about using chronotherapy as a treatment for depression.
  • Totally unrelated to sleep, I read this blog post today about right action during troubled times and it made me feel a bit better.

About the photo:

It was made with a Holga WPC and Lomochrome Purple film.

Throwback Thursday – college graduations

In normal life mode you do your thing: go to work,  do your hobbies, maybe hang out with a friend your two, rinse and repeat. But sometimes you get to experience a truly epic weekend that defies all the logic of regular living.

I found myself reading some old blog posts and remembered May 2003. It was one of those epic weekends. Two pretty major events happened that weekend. I graduated with my MLIS, and my mom and stepdad drove down to Santa Cruz, CA to attend the ceremony. They stayed I think one night? We somehow managed to pack a million things into the visit (including a tour of Pebble Beach). The morning they left we boarded a plane to Las Vegas to attend my Brother In Law’s Wedding. I am not normally an on-the-go kind of person. I kind of need a lot of time to process stuff. I can’t believe I did all of this in a mere few hours!

Anyway, in the process of all of this reminiscing I spend some time looking at the photos from my graduation. And then yesterday my Mother in Law sent me a photo from my graduation from UCSC . And BOOM. A blog post was born.

The left is my graduation at UCSC (BA), the right is my graduation four years later from SJSU (MLIS). Should I tell you how old I was in these photos? Hmm. I think I’ll leave that a secret.

On a more personal note…

I’ve been pretty open about my struggles with depression and anxiety on this blog so I thought I would share something positive with you.

A month ago I wrote a blog post about being depressed and anxious about the election. My mom read the post and sent me a text suggesting I go get my thyroid tested because she was recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism. She said that as soon as she started taking medication for it her depression left her and she felt good. She also went on to tell me that this runs in my family, my grandmother also had it. And to further the case for my getting tested, I had to be monitored as a child for an enlarged thyroid.

Well this was all news to me. Getting my thyroid checked would never in a million years have occurred to me.

So I made an appointment the next day. I told my doctor I was battling depression and anxiety and told her I wanted to get my blood tested for hypothyroidism. She scheduled the test for that day, but she also made an appointment for me to see a therapist for the depression. She said that she would call me in a few days and that we would either talk about medication for hypothyroidism or depression, depending on the results of the test.

In the meantime I went to the appointment with the therapist. She is a behavioral therapist, which I really liked, because it game me practical ways of dealing with it. I’ve never been to a therapist before. I’ve always been afraid to see the doctor for my depression. But after the first visit I already felt better. I felt like I had some tools to help me deal with it. I felt much more in control. I’ve seen her a few more times and I have one more appointment tomorrow. Seeing a behavioral therapist was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself and I am really glad I’ve had this opportunity.

I realized that I kind of tricked myself into going to the doctor for depression. If my mom hadn’t suggested the hypothyroid test I would have never gone an I would never had gone to therapy. That is just sad, I realize.

In the meantime, the results came back from the blood test and it turns out that I have hypothyroidism. She prescribed the medication for it and I’ve been taking it for about two weeks now. I noticed results in two days. Oddly, that was the week of the election.

As you know, the election results hit me pretty hard and that first Wednesday I was pretty messed up, mental health wise. But I noticed that I bounced back from it very quickly. Which is odd for me. I tend to swim around in the depths of the darkness for a long time and it takes a LOT to pull myself out of it. In this case, it really didn’t take any effort to pull myself out of it at all. A very foreign feeling for me, but wow. really nice. Now I feel like I have the strength and energy to fight.

So that is what is going on with me. I feel like a completely new person. It’s sort of weird. I am not sure I know this person because for years and years I have been this other person who lived with the feeling of everything being such a big struggle. I have a feeling, though, I am gonna like this new me. She seems awesome. 🙂

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About the featured image:

This is a pinhole photo taken with my Zero Image 4×5 pinhole camera, a camera that uses large format film. The exposure was long enough for me to sit on one side of the table for half of the exposure time, and then move to sit on the other side of the table for the second half of the exposure time.

A life.

Self portrait

28.
I am visiting my family on Lake Pend o’Reille in Idaho. I am about to enter the Literature program at UCSC and am reading my first homework, “The Sorrows Of Young Werther.” Quite possibly the most depressing book I’ve ever read.
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Me when I was a baby
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In 5th grade I bring this photo to school for a project. My teacher gushes, “look at that chubby baby.” I am mortified.

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I put on my first pair of bifocals.

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A hat and scarf I knit for my Sister In law a long time ago.
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I am living in Santa Cruz, California and knitting wool hats and scarves.

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I am a nanny in Menlo Park, CA for a high-powered lawyer and I live in an incredible house. I am finishing up a roll of film and decide to take a self portrait with the last shot on the roll.

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I begin the last year of my thirties.

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Me at cannon beach
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I am on Cannon Beach digging clams.

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Me wearing my new scarf
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I am living in Spokane, Washington, standing in the yard of the house we just purchased.

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Holga Selfie
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I am in a Hotel room in Newport wasting time with a Holga by taking a selfie while waiting for my husband to finish his run.

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*prompt found on this week’s Daily Post.