Tag Archives: antidepressants

Depression and Parenting

“When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child.” –by Sophia Loren

Caitlyn Johnston, taking time to smell the roses.

Note: The following article was written by a wellness coach, writer, and friend of mine, Caitlyn Johnston, a single parent who has struggled with depression in the past. I asked her to write this article, since I do not have children but I know that being a parent while struggling with depression is one of the most difficult things a person can ever deal with. Caitlyn worked hard to do the things that would help her heal the depression, and is now doing quite well; she is both functional and happy. Her son is doing better all the time. For Caitlyn’s contact info, please see the end of the article.


While I was depressed, there were only two things I was truly motivated to do: Be as good a parent as possible to my son, and heal the depression permanently. With research, support from a wonderful holistic doctor, and taking daily baby steps, I was actually able to improve both simultaneously.

Being a single mom is deeply depressing, and all I felt was harried, overwhelmed, and anxious about everything. Doing the dishes and laundry, changing my little one’s diapers, and even grocery shopping seemed like major efforts. Trying to work full-time on top of it all was untenable, so I switched to part-time substitute teaching. Needless to say, we went on food stamps, which was even more depressing. In short, everything took me out of my comfort zone, and the sleep deprivation of my son’s early years drove me over the edge.

Depression rendered me barely capable of good parenting. It was a nightmare for me, and I can’t imagine how awful it must have been for him. One of my saddest memories is when he trotted in one day at the age of five and announced how he’d finally learned to ride his bike. He’d done it completely alone. What was even worse is that he’d asked me several times, and I kept telling him we’d do it later. The truth was it was yet another thing I just couldn’t deal with.

There were only three things that brought me comfort and nurturance: Holding him on my lap and reading to him, my spiritual practices of prayer and meditation, and eating as much and as often as I could. The more sugar I ate, the more numb I became to my distress. Close human contact and my active internal spiritual life anchored me, yet the desperation of depressive parenting drove me to find a way out. I ballooned to a huge 225 pounds. This was even more depressing, but at least it helped me cope.

However, being a parent while having depression was also, in its own way, a blessing. With a small child in tow, I had no choice but to get up and take care of him. I could do for him what I couldn’t do for myself. I found the minute physical activity helped me stay out of the negative mental chatter that erodes the mind.

To be honest, though, when I was taking care of him, I was only going through the motions. Emotionally, I was inundated with foggy fatigue. Physically, I got him bathed and dressed, fed and off to preschool, although he was constantly late. I often got a talking-to about how it was important to get him there on time, because he’d miss fun or interesting things. They had no idea he was lucky to be there at all. But of course I never told them that; isolation is a silent killer of this disease.

In the summer of 2001, I was finally diagnosed and put on SSRIs. I felt better, more alive, but they had an intolerable side effect: I felt spiritually disconnected. Prayer and meditation became numb and scary. I am vehemently against taking drugs of any kind, so I sought out a naturopathic physician who does real-time biofeedback brain training. It took six months to teach my brain how to have healthy brain waves, and I was able to ditch the SSRIs. I didn’t escape them unscathed, though; they caused endometriosis (an internal bleeding disorder), for which I had an ovary removed in 2007.

As you make healing choices, your life blooms like a beautiful rose.

While I was healing my brain, I was also determined to lose some weight. At one point, I had noticed a correlation between physical movement and feeling better. Sure enough, as I took up a little exercise—wooden though it felt—exercising for only 20 minutes a day really made a difference. I knew 20 minutes really wasn’t adequate, but the baby step that was manageable was either walking a mile, or doing a quick exercise video. I found my mood lifted. It also became clear that the toxins making my body fat and sluggish continued to make my mind fat and sluggish. More baby steps included banishing soda and wheat from my diet. As I ditched them, my mind cleared even more!

As I began to piece my physical and spiritual health back together, my mental health improved right along with them. So did my relationship with my son! Parenting—and life—began to take on an ease I’d never felt before. All my little baby steps seemed inadequate at the time, but they had powerful results. Currently, I’ve been depression-free and off SSRIs for ten years, I’ve lost 50 pounds, and my income has radically increased as I was able to get back to my career as a writer. When the tendency for depression does show up, it’s only for a few days at most.

My story turns out to be not unique. Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. cites similar cases in his book Spontaneous Healing. As it turns out, the best kept secret in the mental health industry is that depression can be healed by taking baby steps using a holistic approach. And if I can do it, so can you! The best part is that your relationships with your children improve right along with it all.

(c) 2011 by Caitlyn V. Johnston, M.B.A.

To contact wellness coach Caitlyn, visit her web site at Expansive Prosperity and Health Holistic Coaching.


Leave a comment

Filed under Making Tracks, Parenting

Eating Wheat Can Cause Depression

As yummy as it looks, bread and other wheat-containing foods can be brain allergens for depressives.

“The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.” — Thomas Edison

For depression levels: All

A couple of weeks ago, I took myself out to dinner at a local home-cooking franchise. I was really hungry and looking forward to the pot roast they had on special.

I did not take into consideration all the flour they add to the pot roast to bind the broth and make the dish appear more appetizing. I also forgot about the gravy that comes automatically with the mashed potatoes. Being a pot roast lover and a mashed potato addict, I inhaled them both.

Within 15 minutes of having begun my meal, I was hit with a wave of brain fog so severe that I literally could not form sentences. Fatigue washed over me, and I could barely keep my eyes open. It was only about 6:00 in the evening; it had not been a particularly arduous day and there was no reason for me to feel so tired. The waitress came and asked me if I needed anything else. It took an immense effort to even look at her and say, “No, thanks.” I felt drugged, or drunk. I managed to pay for the meal and left.

It was no coincidence that over the next couple of weeks I experienced a severe depressive episode. The pot roast and gravy-laden mashed potatoes were not the only culprits; I had been indulging in sweets, Mexican food wrapped in flour tortillas, and even sandwiches. I had also dropped off on my exercise plan.

I’ve known for many years that wheat is contraindicated for people with clinical depression. The essential reference book Prescription for Nutritional Healing, the first book I consulted after my diagnosis in 2001, states, “Omit wheat products from the diet. Wheat gluten has been linked to depressive disorders” (p. 317 in 3rd ed.). Julia Ross, M.A., author of The Mood Cure, describes the link between wheat consumption and depression:

“Dozens of studies confirm that depression is a common symptom of gluten intolerance, one that usually disappears when wheat and the similar grains are withdrawn. People with gluten intolerance have low levels of the . . . brain chemical serotonin, and gluten has been implicated in mental illness since at least 1979, which is when I first noticed psychiatric journals reporting tremendous improvement in the symptoms of patients with depression and manic-depression . . . who had been experimentally taken off gluten-containing foods.” (p. 126)

And Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, in his ground-breaking book Cleanse Your Body, Clear Your Mind, shares with readers how he actually eliminated all symptoms of schizophrenia from one of his patients, a man who had received that horrendous mental illness as his official psychiatric diagnosis, by removing all gluten-containing products from his diet.

Knowing something and actually acting on it, however, are two different things, particularly when the substance at stake is both highly addictive and near and dear to our hearts. Wheat contains gluten, as do barley and rye; oats can also contain gluten because they are typically processed in manufacturing plants that process wheat. Gluten has been described as a “brain allergen” and an opiate (Ross, p. 126). Eating gluten actually causes us to feel comforted, at least temporarily: We feel a drug-like high whenever we eat bread, pasta, cakes, cookies, pizza, and other wheat-containing foods.

"Amber waves of grain" = wheat!

In addition to being a potent addictive substance, wheat is woven tightly into the fabric of American culture. Think about the patriotic song, “America the Beautiful”: The second line is, “For amber waves of grain.” I don’t think they’re talking about rice! According to the National Association of Wheat Growers, three-quarters of all U.S. grain products are made from wheat flour. And what can you count on being served at every special occasion, from birthdays to Thanksgiving, from baby showers to the Fourth of July picnic? Breads and baked goods. Can you imagine your birthday without a birthday cake or the holidays without pumpkin pie? And how about eliminating sandwiches from your lunch menu?

Most people can’t. That’s why it’s so hard to say “no” to eating wheat. Everyone else is eating it; why can’t we eat it, too? Eating the same things most people eat makes us feel like we’re part of the tribe, like we belong. When we have to stick to a “special” diet, it exacerbates that feeling of being somehow different and oddball that we already experience due to having depression.

I’ve been using my own body and brain as an experiential food lab for many years. Time and time again, eating wheat has produced adverse affects for me, emotionally and cognitively. It has taken me this long to convince myself that I need to stay away from the stuff–permanently. I finally get it that eating wheat means giving up functionality and quality of life. It’s simply not worth it.

If you’ve been suffering from depression for a long time and have had less-than-stellar results from taking antidepressants, try eliminating wheat from your diet, even if it’s just for a short time. You should feel better in as little as a week, which might be enough of an incentive to continue avoiding wheat and even to seek out gluten-free alternatives. Changing your diet so drastically takes courage and fortitude, and practice, practice, practice. However, it’s a major step toward getting your life back. You’ll be amazed at the results!

(c) 2011 by Patricia R. Henschen, M.A.

Did you find this article helpful? If so, please share it with your networks!


Filed under Nutrition, Provisions for the Journey

Derailed—And What to Do About It

“Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next.” – Gilda Radner

For Depression Level(s): Severe depression that has somewhat resolved.

There you are, chugging more-or-less merrily—or at least functionally—along, doing your job, shopping for groceries, spending time with your friends, when—WHAM! The train of your life jumps the tracks and you find yourself laid out on the couch, severely depressed and unable to function.

Forget work. Forget doing the dishes. Forget paying your bills on time. Forget being a support to your partner or friends. Forget feeling even halfway good.

Recurring depressive episodes can stop us in our tracks.

You’ve been derailed.

Depression is once again your constant companion, for days or even weeks. Who knows why it happened? Could be you ate one too many snack-sized Häagen-Dazs ice cream bars over the last couple of weeks. Could be you misplaced the yoga schedule. Could be you forgot to take your medication or supplements. Could be Mercury is in retrograde, a butterfly sneezed in Spain, or there was a hiccup in the time-space continuum.

Could be anything. Really, the reason why depression has revisited you, like an ex-lover you thought you’d dumped but who keeps turning up on your doorstep, is not that important.

The question is: What do you do about it?

I had to ask myself that question last week when I found myself smack dab in the middle of another depressive episode. I felt exhausted, achy, and lethargic. I couldn’t focus, couldn’t do chores, and certainly couldn’t write. All I wanted to do was sleep. You know the drill.

Getting yanked back into severe depression is kind of like having a bad cold. You used to get bad colds a lot, but not so much anymore. You’ve gotten to where you enjoy life without colds—the contrast with the way things used to be evokes deep appreciation. It makes you angry that yet again you have a bad cold, with all that goes along with it. “None of this should be happening,” you think. “I’ve worked so hard to get to the point where bad colds are not such an issue anymore.” Yet, here you are. You have one. All you can do is wait it out.

But wait—that’s not quite true. Even though a bad cold cannot be “cured,” there are things you can do to speed up the healing process. We all know what they are: Drink plenty of fluids, take Vitamin C, eat chicken noodle soup, rest.

It’s the same with a depressive episode. Although you and I have both worked hard to overcome severe depression through medication and/or supplements, lifestyle changes, therapy, and the complete restructuring of our lives, brain chemistry being what it is, it’s inevitable that we will from time to time find ourselves falling back down that dark well of despair.

There are things we can do, however, to ease the severity of the episode and shorten its duration. Since I used to work for NASA, I like acronyms. They serve as useful mnemonic devices. Here is a five-step process using the acronym TRACK. The steps can be taken in any order and are ongoing; in fact, the more you do them, the more they reinforce each other.

T = Take radical care of yourself. This means eating high-quality nutrition, exercising daily, taking the meds or supplements that are part of your regimen, and getting plenty of rest.

R = Refuse to eat sugar and wheat. Both of these substances have been shown to play havoc with brain chemistry. Do yourself a favor and leave them out of your diet.

Using the TRACK process can bring back contentment and functionality.

A = Accept the situation. Although it’s natural to be angry that you are once again at the mercy of severe depression, staying angry will ensure that you stay depressed. Accept what’s happening and let go of the anger. Here is where it can be helpful to ask the assistance of your Higher Power. Say a simple prayer such as, “God, here I am again, depressed. I don’t know how I got here, and I’m powerless over it. I’m so mad. Please help me to accept this situation and let go of my anger. With your help I know it’s possible. Thank you.”

C = Connect with family and friends. It is important not to isolate during the episode. Talk to at least one friend or family member per day, either by phone or in person.

K = Keep a low profile. Reduce your current commitment level and don’t accept any new ones. Now is not the time to launch a major project at work, give a speech at Toastmasters, or have friends over for dinner. Really, if none of these things takes place this week, what’s the worst that could happen? Learning to say “no” is one of the most important skills you can develop.

With the TRACK process and a little time, you will soon be chugging merrily along in your life.

(c) 2011 by Patricia R. Henschen, M.A.

Did you find the TRACK process useful? If so, please leave a comment below and share your experience with others.


Filed under Making Tracks

It’s In the Hands

“Sometimes, if you want to see a change for the better, you have to take things into your own hands.” – Clint Eastwood

If you have depression, you are probably intimately acquainted with anxiety as well. The comorbidity rate (the likelihood of two diseases coexisting in the same person at the same time) for depression and anxiety is quite high—58% of people diagnosed with major depressive disorder also experience some form of anxiety disorder.[i] And here you thought you were somehow abnormal!

Anxiety hits during times of stress

While depression feels like wearing cement blocks chained to your ankles, anxiety feels like cement blocks are piled on your chest. Breathing is constricted, and the heart rate speeds up. Other physical symptoms can include headaches, fatigue, sweating, nausea, tense muscles, super-sensitive skin, heightened startle reflex, and trembling. Along with the physical symptoms come mental and emotional ones: Worry, irritability, restlessness, difficulty concentrating, a distorted view of problems or events, and a desire to isolate.

Interestingly, many researchers in the depression and anxiety fields believe that “a brain serotonin abnormality has more to do with anxiety than with depression,”[ii] according to Dr. Charles L. Whitfield, but because pharmaceutical companies have told us for more than 20 years that depression is caused by the brain’s inability to utilize serotonin properly (all the better to sell antidepressant drugs), that’s what we believe. This actually makes sense to me. In my own experience, taking SSRIs didn’t do much for my depression but seemed to alleviate the anxiety somewhat, if only by making me feel numb.

Riding a wave of anxiety can feel very much like riding a surfboard: You’re not at all sure you’re going to be able to keep your balance and you’re very much afraid you’re going to end up floundering about in water over your head. The unconscious impulse is to freeze and grab on to anything that feels familiar, whether it be a place, a person, or a routine; and to avoid anything that feels threatening. This is the old freeze-or-flee paradigm. Functioning normally becomes difficult, if not impossible.

For this reason, it’s important to interrupt the fear messages your brain is sending to your body and mind. (Let’s face it: Your brain doesn’t always interpret things accurately; it just thinks it does.) There are a number of ways to do this:

  • Physical engagement—for example, aerobic exercise;
  • Mental engagement—for example, cognitive-behavioral therapy;
  • Spiritual engagement—for example, meditation.

Try this simple exercise I developed to relieve anxiety that incorporates both physical and spiritual engagement:

1)    Find a quiet place where you can be alone for about five minutes. If this is a restroom stall at your workplace, so be it.

2)    Take note of your anxiety level: On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being barely noticeable and 10 being off the charts.

3)    Take three deep breaths. By “deep” breath, I mean, inhale to the count of four; hold for two; exhale to the count of four. If you can go for counts of six, three, six, do so.

4)    Rub your hands together until they are warm. This may take from one to two minutes.

5)    Place your left palm over your heart and your right palm over your solar plexus, about 2-4” above your navel. (The solar plexus is the spot where we frequently feel we have a “knot in the stomach.”)

6)    Continue breathing deeply. On the inhale, say to yourself, “I am a beloved child of God.” On the exhale, say to yourself, “I let go of all that does not serve me. I am safe.” Do this for one minute, or until you are feeling calmer and better able to function.

7)    Smile. Bask in the feeling of being loved and safe.

8)    Take note of your anxiety level now. Has it gone down?

If you do not “arrive” at a place of feeling connected to your Higher Power, don’t worry about it. The point is to feel better, not to have a transformative spiritual experience. The more you practice this exercise, the more powerful and effective it becomes.

(c) 2011 by Patricia R. Henschen, M.A.

[ii] Charles L. Whitfield, M.D., The Truth About Depression: Choices for Healing (Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, 2003) 15.


Filed under Anxiety Antidote, Finding Your Way Home

The Comfort of Denial

There's nothing more real than the Grand Canyon!

“There is no safety in trying to prevent loss.” – Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Did you hear the story about the newlyweds who went to the Grand Canyon for their honeymoon only to have it ruined when the husband, walking backward, fell over the edge of the South Rim to his death? His young bride was trying to take a picture of him, and she kept saying, “Just a little further, honey. I want to get that pretty rock in the background.” He obliged her by dropping out of the viewfinder altogether. They must have both thought that they weren’t dealing with a real geologic formation, but a painted canvas backdrop; that the distance to the bottom wasn’t really almost a mile down. That death couldn’t possibly interrupt their plans, their shiny, newly married futures. At least the guy died smiling for the camera.

Getting a diagnosis of major depression is akin to stepping off a mile-high precipice and being asked to safely find your way to the bottom without a parachute. One minute, you’re looking around at the scenery of your life, enjoying the view. The next, you’re simultaneously wondering why your life is flashing before your eyes and trying to remember if you unplugged the iron this morning. (There might have been a few months or years in between those two minutes.)

“This can’t be happening,” you think. “Depression is something that happens to other people! It’s not even in my family history. Isn’t it genetic? And don’t you have to be a real morose, Eeyore-type of person to have depression? I’m not like that. I’ve always been an optimist! I love bright colors! And I eat my vegetables! Oh, wait, yeah, there was Great-Aunt Gertrude who, some of the aunts and uncles said, was a bit, you know, moody, but she committed suicide, so that took her out of the picture. So, really, there’s nobody in the family. Looking back, my life has been great. Simply great. There’s no reason for this to be happening to me. Besides, I don’t have time for this!”

Similar rebuttals ricocheted through my mind in the months following my diagnosis. It wasn’t that I didn’t know I had depression; I was under a doctor’s care and was taking medication. But I still couldn’t come to terms with the idea that I actually had a mental illness—or, to use the term that is gaining popularity now, and which is less disempowering, a brain disorder. That wasn’t who I was! I was an intelligent, educated, creative woman who had big dreams for my life. I couldn’t possibly be sidelined by debilitating “down” moods, brain fog, lethargy, and crippling self-doubt. I had too much to do, to achieve, to experience. At some level, I thought that if I simply waited it out, the depression would go away without my having to do much of anything about it, other than take medication. As if!

Denial is seductive. It whispers to us that there is nothing we need to do differently, that we’ll be able to continue in our same jobs or line of work, stay in the same relationships, eat the same foods, think the same thoughts, and follow the same routine. It asserts that if we just do what the doctor tells us and take the meds for which she writes scrips, then everything will be all right. This is kind of like wearing four-inch stiletto heels and pretending that they’re not going to ruin your feet, if you’re a woman; or eating hamburgers every day and pretending you’re not headed straight for a heart attack, if you’re a man.

Unlike the denial of the existence of dangerous geological formations, the denial of an illness as serious as major depression is a natural, logical response to a game-changing play. As humans, we’re pretty attached to the status quo, whether it’s a life we love or one we wish were different but are pretty comfortable with (better the devil you know…). It’s as though the coach pulled the star quarterback from the homecoming game and put the school’s chess champion in his place. We know we can’t win the game we’re accustomed to playing while struggling with depression, so we pretend nothing has changed. Denial is a protective mechanism; it allows us to get our bearings while we recalibrate ourselves and how we are now to be in the world.

Denying depression has many faces. It may look like refusing to talk about your diagnosis with anyone, even your spouse or significant other. It may mean putting on a “happy face” in front of your children, rather than giving them a tempered but realistic view of what’s going on. It may result in refusing to learn anything about the illness and the many non-medical ways you can help yourself by making healthy lifestyle choices. You may insist you’re not nearly as sick as your doctor has stated you are. It can look like changing the channel when a commercial or other mention of depression comes on TV, or even getting up and leaving the room. It can result in futile attempts to work harder, do better, be more. Or it can look like withdrawing from everything. It might trigger addictive acting-out behaviors. It can even mean refusing to get therapy, which, as many studies have shown, speeds recovery from depressive episodes and staves off future ones.

While denial may be protective initially—and certainly comfortable, the way snuggling under the cushy comforter on your bed is comfortable—it exacts a long-term cost by immobilizing us and thus preventing us from doing the work to get better, a lassitude that is exacerbated by the depression itself. The fact is, there is no easy cure for depression, no “silver bullet” or “magic pill.” While antidepressants do help some people, by no means do they help everyone for whom they’re prescribed. In some cases, they actually have an adverse effect. (I’ll go into the statistics and fallout of our antidepressant culture in another posting.) For us to live as free from depressive symptoms as possible, we must make changes, sometimes deep-seated ones.

The good news is that denial is a temporary phase. How long it lasts varies for those who experience it; not everyone does. (Experiencing every phase of the grief process is not inevitable, nor is it necessary to experience them in order, or only once.) You may not be aware that you are in denial; that’s the nature of the beast. You may think that it does not apply to you, but if you received your diagnosis from your doctor and nodded calmly as though you’d just opened an expected invitation to a tea party, and are continuing through the days and weeks in that vein, then you might want to rethink your position. Working with a good therapist, even if just for a few sessions if that’s all your insurance pays for, will help move you out of denial and into a more proactive stance.

This proactive stance is often fueled by anger. In the next article in this series, we’ll be looking at the fire anger generates when we begin to come face-to-face with the losses that depression engenders.

(c) 2010 by Patricia R. Henschen, M.A.

Note: This is Part 2 of a six-part series on depression and the stages of grief. Part 1, “Depression and Loss,” introduces the series.

Leave a comment

Filed under Getting Your Bearings

Hitting the Trail—Part 1

(c) 2010 by Patricia R. Henschen

Flowers require darkness as well as light to blossom.

“…without darkness
Nothing comes to birth,
As without light
Nothing flowers.”

–Excerpt, “The Invocation to Kali,” by May Sarton

Remember that classic Bill Cosby comedy routine where God calls upon Noah to build an ark? The conversation, paraphrased, goes something like this:

God:     Noah.

Noah:     Huh?

G:     Noah.

N:      Who is that?

G:     It’s the Lord.

N:     [Pause] Riiight!

G:     Noah.

N:     What you want?

G:     I want you to build an ark.

N:     Uh-huh. [Pause] What’s an ark?

And so forth. Noah, after way too many questions, doubts, gripes, and “Riiights!”, finally goes ahead and builds it.

I had a similar conversation with God in December of 1999. It went something like this:

God:     Patricia.

Me:     Huh?

G:     Patricia.

Me:     Uh, yeah? What do you want? (I already knew who it was, having gotten in the habit of conversing with God a few years prior—although talking way more than I listened.)

G:         I want you to write a book.

Me:      Oh, cool. You know I’ve always wanted to be a writer! What kind of book?

G:        I want you to write a book on depression.

Me:     Dep—what? But I don’t know anything about depression. Why depression?

G:        Because it’s needed.

Me:     Huh. Well, I suppose I could do some research. . ..

Back to Cosby’s skit. After one of Noah’s attempts at avoidance, God replies: “How long can you tread water? Hahahahahaha!” I never knew God could be so snarky.

Back to my, er, invitation from God:

G:        Patricia.

Me:     Huh?

G:        You won’t need to do any research. The writing will come naturally, based on your experience. Hahahahahaha!

At least, that’s how I think it went. Fortunately, I had already tuned out the conversation by this time and didn’t “hear” the last line. If I had, I would have said, “Riiight!” I conveniently filed the topic under “Possible But Improbable Things to Do in My Lifetime,” and went about my clueless way.

Fast forward nearly two years: I am newly diagnosed with recurrent major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder; and am taking antidepressants and already experiencing the inevitable weight gain. The 12 months ending in November, 2001 would have given Job a run for his shekels: The ending of a significant relationship, my father in the hospital, deaths of two loved ones, unbelievable financial stress in my business leading to bankruptcy, a stressful new job, a cracked molar leading to a root canal and a crown, a protracted, severe illness on the part of my dog that required medication costing $310/month, being assaulted in a park while walking said dog, a car accident that totaled my Nissan Pathfinder¼. There wasn’t much on the Top 10 Causes of Stress list (any such list—take your pick) that I didn’t experience that year.

Next time: “Hitting the Trail—Part 2.”

(c) 2010 by Patricia R. Henschen

Leave a comment

Filed under Introduction