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  1. Welllllll I had a whole lovely update written up and was about to post it, and then I clicked the wrong button (I'd put in a hyperlink and accidentally clicked it), and the webpage reloaded and I lost my post. Short recap: I've successfully(ish) driven myself to and from work once; I got lost in the Big City during Friday rush hour and it was horrible and hilarious, and I'm inclined to dread my drive tomorrow, but I'm trying to think positively and gear myself up for another successful commute. I can do this, I'm never far from help, and I'm never alone. I do indeed have to have a colonoscopy, and THAT I am dreading. Two and a half days of colon cleanse and weird foods (then no food), anesthesia (hugely not a fan), and somebody sticking a tube up my butt (which my husband may or may not have to watch). I'm curious to see what they find and really not looking forward to the cleanse. Stress levels for various reasons are very high, and anxiety is ramped up accordingly, but thanks to therapy, Eamon, church, and life experience I am staying reasonably centered nonetheless. My family is having A Very Big Drama and it's very messy, and we're all trying to navigate our part in that, which has been stressful and a little scary. Also my hormones aren't quite right, I'm starting several large new work projects, and of course driving and whatnot. Hecking stress. But! I'm also reading a lovely book called Aggressively Happy and that's been not only a lot of fun, but also really helpful in reframing my negative self-talk to try to find fun / adventure / lightness / humor in situations that normally stress me out. It's technically a religious book but I highly recommend it whether you're religious or not, because it's very practical and grounded in lots of good therapy and counseling tips. Plus, the author's writing style is flowery and vivacious and lots of fun to read. I want to be friends with the author in real life. Very excited about our apartment's pool opening next weekend, because as Eamon starts working out by swimming, I'm going to find fun ways to work out outside too - doing yoga by the pool, working out in the gym before coming to dangle my feet in and cool off, etc. (And, you know, getting my heart rate up by watching my big strong husband doing physical activity he's really good at. Rawrr. ) Time to get ready for bed AND NOT HIT THE RELOAD BUTTON THIS TIME. Grrr. Send good thoughts that I don't get lost tomorrow, or if I do, that it'll be a funny adventure! Love you guys lots!
  2. Dang, I choked up at this. I wish I could go back to the Sky who joined the forums and let her know how much good stuff and growth was coming - and heck, you weren't married yet either, and didn't even know Little Bit would be born. God has been very good to us. Ohh that sounds AMAZING!! I am adding that to the list immediately!
  3. Hello hello hello!! I had no idea it had been almost a whole month since I checked in! Life is still cray-cray but most things are going pretty well! Today I finally faced my biggest driving fear and drove alone on the Big Highway for the first time - next week I have to start going back to the office, and Eamon encouraged me to try the route by myself at least once before my official start date; so today I asked a friend who lives near my office if I could come visit her new baby kittens. The drive itself was stressful, just because it's a Big Highway and the Big City was full of several parades and protests today; but it wasn't nearly as horrible as all my nightmares and panic attacks have made it seem over the last few weeks. I think I did really well and I'm much less afraid of my first day this week. Any of you all who are currently looking for spouses or partners, I highly recommend getting yourself one who is a good friend and will push and encourage you to try things and grow. I don't always get excited when Eamon pushes me to do hard things but I'm always, always better for it when I take his advice. Work has been insaaaaaane lately but I'm feeling much less overwhelmed after a couple of months on the job. Last week I got to emcee a presentation by a world-famous musician talking about communication and storytelling, and apparently I did a great job and they want me to do it again in the future. Most of my work, though, is designing creative content for social media, and while I felt very out of my depth with that initially, I'm doing better now and mostly enjoying it. Monday is my appointment with the gastroenterologist and I'm curious to see how that goes - I've never really been to a medical specialist before (not sure audiologists count), so I'm interested in what they'll do. Really hoping it's not a colonoscopy. But even if it is, I'm eager to get answers and learn more about my body. Speaking of which, I've been thinking really seriously about trying anti-anxiety meds or antidepressants, and last week I reached out to my family member who takes them to see what has worked for them. They told me about other family members and what they took as well, so I have some good data to take to my therapist when I see her next. I'm not really excited about the idea, but I also am not cool with my mental health taking such a toll on my physical health, either. I have a lot of good stuff going on in my life and I want to be healthy for it. (And speaking of that, workouts have basically not been happening, and that's not my favorite. I went to the gym earlier this week and have tried to take some walks, but really feeling weak and low in stamina, and not super happy about my soft, flabby shape, either. But - that's where I'm at right now, and if it's important to me to get more exercise, I need to make room for it in my schedule.) Still reading good books and enjoying that, and I've also been playing more video and computer games lately, which has been a lot of fun. I didn't play video games growing up, but it's one of Eamon's favorite hobbies, and it's been really cool to have him introduce me to his favorite games. We finished "Borderlands 2" and started "Borderlands 3," but haven't been enjoying that as much, so we've switched to "Halo," "Unraveled," and "A Way Out," and I'm watching Eamon play through "Subnautica" and "Subnautica Sub Zero." On Steam, I've started playing "Wingspan," which is a card game that was adapted for PC - and which allows me to have game nights with my best friend even though we live far apart. I can't believe what I've been missing out on all these years. Time to start winding down for bed - I'll likely tackle the Big Highway again tomorrow to take us to church. It'll never be my favorite, but now I know I can do it!
  4. Just popping in to follow your adventures and send gentle hugs and lots of traveling blessings for you and healing blessings for Ao!!!! You are amazing, and even though we can't stop life from sucker punching you, we can sit with you when you're down and hold your hand whenever you feel like getting back up. Have a simply wonderful time in NYC and please do lots of things that make your heart happy!!
  5. Oh! And one other Really Good Thing: I have been READING!! As in BOOKS!! When I was having an especially bad week of panic attacks and anxiety last month, I realized that picking up some quiet fiction distracted my brain enough to let it calm down and let the attacks pass; and since then I've been picking back up some Jane Austen, Zane Grey (whom I found out after two books is quite sexist and racist and I don't think I'll read more of his books, but I do love Westerns and will be getting some Louis L'Amour books for my next Western read), sappy Christian romance novels, and other light fluff like that. It's not really brain food, but GOSH does it feel amazing to be reading fiction again. Got any recommendations for light, fluffy fiction that I should check out?
  6. Well, here is a very, shockingly happy update: I GOT MY DRIVER'S LICENSE!!!!!! I legitimately DID. NOT. THINK. I would ever be able to say that and I'm frankly shocked and in disbelief that it's true!! I took my test this morning and it was so much easier than I was prepared for - Eamon and I spent hours practicing parking in between traffic cones in parking lots (a skill that I never mastered, I might add, and was still failing at last night), but in the end they just had me drive a slow loop around some back roads near the DMV, change lanes a couple of times, pull into a super convenient parking space, and that was it! I've felt a little weird about telling people the good news, because I don't feel much different about driving than I did before - I still don't want to do it any more than I have to, and I'm still hecking nervous about driving alone on highways, whenever that comes up. But I did feel amazing driving with a stranger for the first time and doing so confidently and calmly. I've never driven anyone outside my family before. And it still represents something I've never dared to do before, which is absolutely massive. I honestly never would have, if I hadn't married Eamon. I may have put in the hard work of learning and overcoming my fear, but he put in plenty of hard work of his own, coaching me, holding his tongue when I made mistakes, and standing out in the cold wind for hours while I knocked over traffic cones. I am blessed. A little bit of progress on the health front - firstly, I finally went to the doctor for tests, and in keeping with my suspicion of IBS, everything they tested for (celiac, anemia, hypothyroidism) came back normal. They referred me to a gastroenterologist, whom I'll schedule with next week. On the mental health side, my therapist suggested that I might have a serotonin deficiency that causes both anxiety and depression, and recommended I consider medication again. I'm still not sure I'm ready, but it's on the table, for sure. I've felt pretty awful for the last few weeks and that's no fun. I've also noticed my mood tanking in response to my blood sugar tanking, so this week I'm trying to eat more frequently during the day to stop that from happening. That's a little challenging with my other effort to eat a little less and lose some weight, but I'll figure it out. I celebrated my win today by making my favorite taco mac and cheese (I splurged on some expensive Annie's mac and cheese that's made from quinoa and cauliflower, for Helth), so it's time to go clean up after myself and get some chores done. I was going to take a walk, but it's about to rain again, so either that will wait till tomorrow, or I'll grab a raincoat and splash in some puddles!
  7. Aww, I just logged on and found this happy little half-done post from Sunday: It really was a lovely day. This week I have been aggressively assaulted by The Sads ... not true depression, I don't think, just a few days of really heavy / fearful thoughts, discouragement, lots of self-disgust, fatigue, and burnout. Shark week definitely did not help, and the mental symptoms are just the extremely stressed version of anxiety. My new job is stressing me out and exhausting me, plus my brother's wedding is coming up quickly and there's tension between the families about that, my drivers license test is in TWO WEEKS, we're getting closer to the time when I'll have to drive the Big Scary Highway alone to work, and I want to be doing creative projects but I just don't have time or energy. I'm trying to just keep carrying on despite the unhappy feelings, and I've tried to keep talking to Eamon about it instead of keeping it completely inside, because I'd really mostly like to just hide away from everyone in the world for a while; but I know that's not the impulse that's going to help me feel better. I just feel like my brain is Not Working and that is exhausting. My ADHD-like symptoms are much more pronounced because of stress too, and I'm making stupid mistakes (forgetting tasks, leaving piles of stuff around the house, etc.) that are making Eamon's life harder, which is even worse. That said, I've gotten to the gym a couple of times this week (I lifted waaaay too heavy today and I definitely pulled some muscles, but ... yolo, I guess) and took a walk with Eamon yesterday that really boosted my spirits. My boss said today that she's satisfied with my performance in my first couple months on the job, so that helped a little too. I've started tracking my food this week and have been consistent with it so far, even though I'm eating WAY too much and don't really like seeing that. And I'm continuing my log of IBS symptoms to remind myself to schedule some doctor's appointments one of these days. I'm going to get my thyroid checked, too, since I suspect I may have some hypothyroidism or be trending in that direction. Always cold, low energy, slow metabolism, etc. I really hope I'll have happier things to say one of these days - until then, I just try to keep showing up!
  8. I'm late to the party but popping in to say I'm proud of you, as always, and so glad you're all feeling a little better. Early childhood is rough for the whole family as the kidlets develop their immunity - the germs find holes in our immune systems too.
  9. Henlo frens! It is a breezy, stormy spring afternoon here, and I've got the windows open to let the wind rush through while I boil some water to make that culinary standby, that bedrock of all tired meals, macaroni and cheese. Except I'm adding taco meat and Rotel tomatoes to make it spicy and interesting. I have been ... Not Feeling Very Well. Like, nothing is very wrong, I'm not sick or anything. A lot of it is pre-shark week feels too. But my mental health has not been good and I'm very unhappy with my body too. We've been eating very poorly (soooo much takeout and lots of emotional snacking) and I haven't been keeping up on exercise, so my weight is still rising quickly and steadily and I'm feeling awkward in my clothes and gross in the mirror. A lot of the Overwhelm and self-blame from my last update is persisting too. A couple of weeks ago I had a massive anxiety-GI spiral that left me extremely sick for five days, making it clear that a) I actually really do need to schedule those doctor's appointments to look into my GI issues, because I'm pretty sure it's classic IBS and I need to start managing it for real; and b) it was finally time to talk to my therapist about my phobia of throwing up. Believe it or not, I've never told a therapist about that before, and I'm not sure I would have this time if Eamon hadn't gently pushed me to do so. But that phobia is essentially the catalyst that turns a bad GI day into an anxiety spiral, or a bad anxiety day into a weekend of nausea and panic; and Eamon is right that addressing the other things without addressing the phobia will still only be tackling part of the problem. My therapist recommended a therapeutic technique called brainspotting that's supposed to help me get to the root of my trauma around GI illness, and after dismantling that, it'll supposedly be easier to get over the phobia. I'm not entirely convinced just because the body of research on this technique is so small, but I'm curious and might give it a try. Not everything is sad and discouraging, though. With the warmer weather I've been doing a little yoga on occasion, which has felt REALLY nice. It's not going to do anything to help my weight, but it helps stretch out my poor stiff ligaments and feels good. I got to see my family a couple of weeks ago and that was absolutely wonderful. And one funny upside of finally deciding to deal with my vomit-phobia is that driving suddenly feels much more manageable and less scary. I drove a total of 81 miles this weekend, and while I still get a pounding heart and hyperventilate when I'm in busy areas I don't know well, I know I can do it and I don't feel nearly so out of control. Basically my terrified inner child is saying "Look Mom, I'm driving like a big kid, I'm doing things that scare me and I'm doing well at them, so maybe I don't have to face the Big Scary Thing, huh? Maybe if I drive well enough you won't make me face my phobia? What do you say, huh? Please?" My new job is slowly getting a little less overwhelming, though I definitely don't have nearly as much time or energy to keep up with friends or social media during or after work. My team seems happy with me so far, which is good. And I actually do like the work even though it takes a lot out of me. If I can find the time for the creative ideas and projects I have, it's going to be a lot of fun. Time to go put away the rest of the mac and cheese before I eat it all. Love you guys!! I'm still around even though it's not as much!
  10. Wheeee went to the gym today and did: Lat pulldowns 6 @ 30 lbs 12 @ 50 lbs 3 @ 60 lbs Leg presses 16 @ 70 lbs 24 @ 60 lbs Dumbbell flys 39 @ 5 lbs Seated triceps press 26 @ 8 lbs 13 @ 5 lbs Seated leg curls 24 @ 30 lbs Bodyweight superset 42 crunches 4 x 30 seconds Superman hold Is it the toughest and most impressive workout I've ever done? No, absolutely not. Is it still a pretty hecking respectable workout? Yes it is! And is it a heck of a lot better than sitting on the couch all afternoon like I wanted to? HECK YEAH. I'm super weak, I definitely felt embarrassed in front of the lithe 17-year-old who was running uphill on the treadmill and pumping 30- and 40-pound weights - but ya know, whatever, she can do her awesome thing and I'm doing my awesome thing, and she'll be a stressed-out 33-year-old one of these days too. Not a whole lot new - Eamon and I spent some time searching for a new apartment/house last night, but the results weren't great yet; I'm noticing that my anxiety / phobias around sickness are a lot higher than it has been in quite a few years, which is interesting; my anxiety in general was pretty bad this week, but I think that was because I also drank more caffeine, so I'm going to go back to straight decaf and see if that helps; and this weekend I did take care of a few of the small tasks that had been making me feel really behind and overwhelmed, so that's good. Time to go shower and rest!!
  11. Whew, I didn't realize it had been so long since I posted!! I knew starting a new job was going to take a lot out of me, but I didn't realize how much - I have been physically, emotionally, and especially mentally wiped out, between the new job, our usual evening commitments, trying to make space for one-on-one time with Eamon, and trying to be present for my friends who all seem to be going through crappy times too. I'm feeling a little low at the moment, most likely from stress/anxiety (and desperately wanting spring). This morning I logged the highest number I've ever logged on my weight tracking app. The work week has been especially stressful (my bosses keep reassuring me that it's not usually like this, but it's really been quite a week) and I'm not feeling 100% certain that I made a good choice in taking this job. I'm falling behind on prepping for my brother's wedding. And Eamon and I found out at the end of last week that both of us are going to be mandated to go back to the office once a week starting next month, immediately after I take my drivers license exam - which means I'll either have to face the terrifying big-city highway by myself once a week, or else we'll have to frantically find and move to an apartment closer to my office within the next six weeks. It's really hard not to feel like a lot of this is my fault - if I were more disciplined, the job wouldn't be so hard; if I hadn't been a scaredy-cat and had learned to drive when I was a teenager, the back-to-work situation wouldn't be such a big deal; if I weren't so glued to my phone and had better time management skills, I wouldn't be so behind on my to-do list; if I weren't so self-indulgent, I wouldn't have gained so much weight; and so on. Now, is any of this reasonable or helpful? No, and it's mostly not even truthful. I do feel really overwhelmed by the number of things I want to be doing, and having done the hard work to get in shape and overhaul my life systems before, I know how much hard work it's going to take, and I really don't feel like I have that in me right now. But I can change things a little at a time. Even though I don't have time for a full workout tonight, I can go take a walk. Even though I can't make the back-to-work situation go away, I can keep researching apartments and practicing the driving route (even on Google Maps!) to be ready for however that turns out. I can stay patient with my new job and remember that it takes time to get into a routine (and, I can also set good boundaries early to deal with some of the unhealthy stuff in the office culture). There are small things I can do even if I can't fix everything. Before I do go take that walk, last week I talked with my therapist about a friendship that has historically been really unhealthy and a tough place to set boundaries; and after talking through a recent situation that I wasn't sure I handled well, she praised how I handled it and said she thought I was doing great. This particular relationship has been a codependent mess at various times and it meant a LOT to hear that I'm getting better at relating in a healthy way. Small steps!!
  12. Hi all! Quick bulleted update for tonight because it's late: I drove on the Real Big Highway for the first time last week!!! And I did pretty well!!! I did miss one stop light and almost merged into somebody, but I didn't, and I got us there safely! And felt amazing about myself!! Tomorrow's my first day at my new job!! Much excite! Many nerves! Wow!! I'm having ongoing digestive issues and think I may have to buckle down and a) quit eating crap and b) go to a doctor to figure out if I have an actual issue. Chronic GI issues run in my family, and the particular issue I suspect runs in my immediate family, so it's not a huge surprise, just a disappointment. No workouts this week besides one slow walk. It's such a fun part of being human to know that something is good for you, will make you feel better if you do it, and is something you actually enjoy, and yet to ... not do it. Still digging into boundaries again, and unsurprisingly, several relationships with long-standing boundary issues popped back into my life this week and prompted a lot of stress and introspection. Eamon, as it turns out, is Very Wise and had lots of amazing insight and advice, and Nedra Glover Tawwab's book is juicy and amazing too. Not much actionable stuff yet but lots of thoughts and self-reflection. Time for bed! And job! Whee!!
  13. GIRRRRRL DRIVING AFTER A PANIC ATTACK IS NO JOKE AND I AM SO PROUD OF YOUUUUU I've been driving for four months now, and for the first couple of months I was absolutely in the panic zone and Lost It (crying, gasping, etc.) in the car the second I got into the parking space. Driving is SO HARD because there is so much stuff to keep track of all the time, and when you're new, you can't zone out and monitor some stuff in the background the way more experienced drivers can. I still get super super tense and anxious when I drive, but it really IS getting better little by little. I know it will for you too - it'll take a lot of time for both of us, but we won't give up!! Love you and proud of you, mellon nin! (Also I'm so glad your folks were okay!! I *hate* it when my mom doesn't answer her phone!!)
  14. They sold shirts like this at the farm store when I was a kid and I always desperately wanted one. (I loved watching rodeos and old black-and-white westerns on TV and wanted to pretend I actually got to be around horses.) The problem, of course, was that I grew up in northern Indiana, where folks dressed like this: https://www.fivemarysfarms.com/blog/2020/9/25/carhartt-fall-2020-favorites (Note that I know nothing about this site, only that these outfits are a pretty representative way for rural folks in northern Indiana to dress. )
  15. Heyyoooooo it's been a minute!!! Life has been pretty hecking decent the last few weeks and I'm feeling surprisingly good. We had a couple of days that were almost 70 degrees F / 21 degrees C and that made me feel more human than I've felt in many months; I went to the gym and lifted weights for the first time in about 2 years and that made me feel incredibly weak and humbled but determined not to give up; my hair is growing a lot faster now that I'm eating more protein, and I'm enjoying trying new products to help it grow faster and thicker; and I've been drinking more water and eating more vegetables, which hasn't had any noticeable effects on my weight yet, but I know it will help me feel good if I stay consistent. I can also finally announce my good news: I'm starting a new job! For the last three years I've worked as a science writer for a large research organization, and last month I applied for a better-paying position on the social media team. I was shocked when I got the job (I beat out almost 100 other applicants!!) and initially strongly doubted my qualifications for the role, but now I'm very excited and looking forward to starting in a week. I will be learning a lot and expanding my skills in things like photography, video scripting and production, and webpage design and coding. It will stretch me and that's very good! My anxiety has been a lot lower for the last few weeks, which has also been wonderful. Physically I haven't always felt well, but mentally and emotionally I've felt great (likely connected to more sunlight and warmer temperatures). This has meant that therapy sessions can be used for things like reviewing good boundary-setting, and working through my feelings about my body and my weight - higher-order things than just "how do I keep from having three days of panic attacks when I get triggered by a TV show". That's been really nice. We're working through a newer boundaries book by a therapist whom I know from Instagram, and the first few pages have hit me like "oof". I've been doing great at speaking up for my needs with Eamon, but not so great with other family and friends. Another thing my therapist reminded me this week was that, while it's great to be starting a new exercise regimen and adding in vegetables and whatnot, starting my new job next week will almost certainly throw off my routine and make it challenging to keep up momentum in those areas. And, she added, "please don't beat up on yourself and remember that you are a participant in our common humanity, okay?" Much as I hate to be reminded of that, she's right, and I appreciate it. So I'll try to give myself grace and not freak out if my good intentions stumble a little bit. I ... started to say "I'll try to post more often this week!", but realized I can't actually guarantee that, and it's better not to feel guilty and to just accept that I'll post when I can. Life is really good and busy and it's okay that I don't have as much time to post as I'd like - and, I can also *make* more time if I want to. I have the power!! Love you guys!!
  16. I believe I am kindred spirits with your daughter. I'm late but following, and as always, taking parenting notes for future childlings.
  17. A rare midweek Sky sighting!! Our weekend was just lovely - on Saturday, we went for a baby hike (90 minutes, gentle slope, gorgeous views of big rocks and water), then instead of going straight home, we went to one of the fancy malls in the area and window shopped for a couple of hours. I noticed last week that I haven't been getting out of the house very much lately, so Eamon has been making a point to help me do social things and get out for things that aren't chores or grocery shopping. It felt SO good to wander around the mall and look at fun things like clothes and home goods and tech, and to be around other people for a while. It made the pandemic feel farther away than it often does. Sunday was a quiet day at home (except for running to the store) and it was really nice to just rest and play together. My anxiety has been lower for the past week or so and I'm enjoying finding happiness in the downswing. I have been embarrassingly sore from our very easy walk and that's motivating me to try to get more movement in (right before shark week again, of course). I have specific muscle groups I really want to target (knee stabilizers, to help with my crunchy sore knees; abs and back; and biceps and triceps for vanity), so I really need to get off my butt and get my gym access figured out so I can go a couple times a week. Eamon has some weekly health routines for himself and I can use that time to work out, if I make that intentional. I know I'll feel much better overall when I do it - I just need to do it. Eating has been inconsistent but I'm also trying to focus on enjoying it - eating veggie wraps because I enjoy them, getting spinach into my diet because I enjoy it, etc., rather than focusing on shame and guilt. No consistent results yet. I'm frankly not doing anything especially disciplined or regimented in health and fitness right now and I know that. Still eagerly waiting to share my good news when it's public / I have permission, but I can't yet. Soon, I hope!!
  18. Agreeing with everyone, I am so crazy proud of you for crushing Dry January when you weren't sure you could!! (I always knew you could do it, fwiw!!) You are a freaking badass no matter what life throws your way!
  19. Heyyo! Just a quick note before Eamon and I head out for a brisk (24 F / -4 C with a wind chill of 11 F / -11 C!) hike, which I am VERY excited about because I can finally break out all the cold-weather stuff I bought for my mountain trip a couple of years ago. Not to mention, I'm thrilled that Eamon is well enough to attempt a hike, even though we're taking the baby trail because we're both out of shape / recovering. This week was good. I felt much more aware of the "broken alarm system" concept of anxiety and spent some time evaluating my anxious thought loops, asking if I was responding to a real threat or a hypothetical / imagined one. I've also been trying to practice compassion toward myself by saying, when I have a physical response to a trigger, "I am not weak or foolish. My body is responding to keep me safe from something that scares me. I know I am safe and the threat is not real. Thank you, body, for protecting me." It actually does help me calm down more quickly, and it sure feels a lot better than my usual "What the heck is wrong with you, idiot" routine. Eamon also encouraged me last week, after I had a panic attack the morning of therapy, to tell my therapist about my panic attacks and emetophobia (fear of vomiting), which I've never done before. That was ... difficult. Since it's a legit phobia (not just the normal aversion to its grossness), talking about it is extremely difficult and can be enough to trigger panic or intense anxiety on its own - plus, I'm very embarrassed by it, and hate the question that immediately follows, "I thought you said you wanted to have kids? Don't you know you'll probably puke all the time when you're pregnant? And that kids puke all the time? How are you going to handle that?" I don't know, Karen, okay? I've literally asked myself that question for the last seventeen years, I'd have come up with an answer by now if there was one. My therapist was very kind about it, and although she did ask that question, she also watched carefully and noticed when I was getting tense and fidgety, and stopped and changed the subject when she saw I was getting distressed. She also gave me some options for EMDR treatment, and while I don't know if that actually works, it was nice to hear there are treatment options besides straight-up exposure therapy. The whole reason I've never brought it up before is because I was afraid they would prescribe exposure therapy. Not much physical activity this week (I attempted a bodyweight workout with no warmup on Tuesday and only just feel normal again today - that was a little foolish), but eating was great. I tried to add more vegetables, and we got some awesome flatbreads that are great for veggie roll-ups. It felt good and I'm going to keep working on it this week. Time to get ready to hike, but I'll try to check in more this week! Always remember I'm proud of you!!
  20. Hey Sal ... just popping in to say that a) I'm really really proud of you, b) it's totally normal and understandable for the brain gremlins to be beating you up right now, and c) even if depression doesn't let you hear this right now, none of the tough things happening right now are your fault. You are doing everything right: You're hustling and putting in applications, you're assertively researching and applying for housing, you're trying to care for your body and your space even though things suck, and you're showing up for Rox and your sister and your mom even when you're exhausted yourself. None of the rejections or sicknesses or losses are your fault. Therefore, they are not indicators that YOU are a failure. Things will NOT always be like this. It won't always be dark and discouraging and sucky. Life changes its mind too often for things to say awful forever. Hanging on until they don't suck? Now, that's hard. And you aren't a failure for feeling that it's hard. You are a bonafide human being like the rest of us, as frustrating as I know that can be. All that to say - whether or not the brain gremlins let you hear this, you are not failing, you are not helpless, and you certainly are not alone. And I'm really freaking proud of you. As always!!
  21. I actually needed this reminder myself, thank you!
  22. Sal, rather than arguing with all of your heavy feelings and thoughts, I'm going to just say how proud I am of you for putting them on paper, for letting yourself feel them, and for vulnerably sharing them with us so we can support you in them. All of those feelings are totally natural, and honestly it doesn't matter whether they're "true" in that sense or not. It's true that you feel them and that's what matters. One thing I've been working on in therapy is taking a negative thought, like "I'll never weigh what I want to weigh," and repeatedly asking myself "so what would it mean if that happened?" until I hit the bottom of the feeling. For example, it might be something like "I'll never weigh what I want" --> "Then I'll be a failure" --> "then I'll disappoint my family" --> "then they won't love me anymore; i.e., I'll be unlovable". Your mileage may vary, but it's been eye-opening for me to see just what I believe about myself, my body, and the people who love me. At the bottom is this: If all the things you fear happen, you will still be so loved and so necessary. Most of us have never seen a full-body picture of you (I haven't). We have no idea what you look like. We just know that you're a creative, intelligent, caring, resourceful, hard-working, courageous woman who makes all of our lives better. And that has absolutely nothing to do with your weight and it never will. Plus: YOU ARE A FREAKING BADASS OF THE HIGHEST CALIBER. PERIOD.
  23. Hope you're feeling better and enjoying the snow, mellon nin! (Also you're definitely not just trying to get attention - but giving your brain some TLC is always a good call when your body isn't feeling well! )
  24. Dang, Miau, this is A Lot. I am so sorry. I don't have any good advice or help, just letting you know that I'm here and I love you and I'm really proud of you. And for what it's worth, if things get to the point that JobCorps is tanking your mental health and you feel like you need to leave - no one is going to think you're a failure, okay? There are so many ways to get started in the world, and this is just one. You can (and, I believe, will) achieve your goals in whatever way is healthiest for you. I'll pray for you today!!
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