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Hiraedd

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  1. Hi all! Things have been really busy here, so I'll avoid the day-by-day breakdown and just go for a summary with some highlights. 1. Morning Personal Wellness Ranging from -1 to 4 2. One or two pages of Self Esteem work each day that I am able done 4 days 3. Abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation as needed I think I prefer this as a daily habit, so I'm switching it up. At least once every day and as needed. 4. Evening Personal Wellness Ranging from -1 to 3 As you can see I had a couple of really difficult days. I met a friend in the city (3 hours away) for a visit. I needed 3 naps during the day to deal with all the social interaction and 2 breaks on the way home (it took me 5 hours instead of 3), but I did it, listening to my body and taking breaks when I needed to. I saw a dear friend whom I haven't seen since November and even though it took me two days to recover afterwards, I am glad I did it. The Self Esteem work is hard. I had to confront the fact that according to the book I am still mildly depressed and severely anxious even though I'm on medication. In reality this is not news but somehow seeing it in black and white was difficult. The book has been helpful already though. One incident in particular comes to mind: I was working on an outdoor project the day after I'd come back from visiting my friend in the city. My dog kept getting in the way and making a mess. I was angry at him, but then realized that it wasn't his behaviour that was making me angry: he always does that (he's partially blind and very clumsy but very loving, hence being in the middle of my project). It was me already feeling low that caused me to react that way when normally I would laugh it off and give him some love. This is something the self esteem work has been focusing on: recognizing where the feelings are coming from. Thank you so much, Fearkiller. The cuddlehugs and words are so soothing to my ragged heart today. You are so sweet. Right back at you. Hope you and snowdrop are well! I hope you are all well. I love you all, Hira
  2. Hey all. Late to the party, but I'm trying again. It's been hard ever since my breakdown in May and although I've made some progress with counseling and medication I'm still mildly depressed and seriously anxious. My counselor has given me a book called 10 days to self esteem, because she believes this is a major contributing factor in my struggles (or rather the lack of it). So here's what it looks like: 1. Morning Personal Wellness 2. One or two pages of Self Esteem work each day that I am able 3. Abdominal breathing, progressive muscle relaxation as needed 4. Evening Personal Wellness I will update with more tomorrow, as this is all I have energy for. Love, Hira
  3. Is it just me, or is this rebooting hard stuff? You did a brilliant job of it, though!! I'm trying again and will post a link when I get it sorted
  4. Sigh. This has been a difficult time, with spots of goodness. I continue to continue on. I'm late to the party again, but I think I will still put in a new challenge.
  5. I love you too!! Thanks for the encouragement, Cid! I appreciate being able to count on you. Thanks, Eirlys! I want to learn to see myself the way you see me. LOL. I wish it was that simple. However it is a good reminder. For me it's being angry at myself, so I'll paraphrase it with that "If you can solve your problem what is the need of being angry at yourself? And if you can't solve your problem what is the use of being angry at yourself?" Thanks, Fearkiller. *hug* Nice to meet you, Snarky. (Do you mind if I call you Snarky?) High fives and goat love appreciated, if unexpected. I love the idea that this is my phoenix moment. I'm going to need some more thinking on that. What day is it today? Friday? Wow. Where did the week go? Happy Canada Day, peoples Thursday - PWB 5. Painted deck spindles. Painted frame. Recoated pergola posts. Angry, want to destroy something and then cry by afternoon. Went to gym instead: Cardio ( 30 min @ 2.3 mph on the treadmill, 10 minutes of easy rowing), stretching. Abdominal breathing done during exercise, like walking yoga seemed to help. Progressive muscle relaxation to sleep. I noticed that the day I ended up hating on myself was a day I forgot to do the Personal Well Being (PWB) in the morning. I also noticed that I was angry at myself for spending too much money but that as soon as I got more money I wanted to spend it. I think it's a subtle form of self-harm, like wanting to eat things I know will make me ill. I am using the same words (I don't treat myself that way) to deal with it and it seems to be somewhat better. I think that seeking comfort in buying things or in food are symptoms of already being overwhelmed, and that I need to learn the signs that come before them if I really want to deal with those habits -- beating myself up over the symptoms isn't going to make me better. Today - PWB 4. Awake early and ready to go. Spent the day organizing and helping my father make a 65 year old tractor run. Too tired for gym, so lifting is moved to tomorrow. Abdominal breathing done. Writing today for the first time all week -- I have been too tender from my last counseling session to attempt it. Today's writing was about recognizing how I need external affirmation and accepting that it was a piece of the puzzle that is me. whether I like it or not. Love you all. Thank you for the cheering and encouragement. It brightens my soul. -H
  6. This is something I struggle with. I tend to let go of the good (or at least push it aside) and focus on the imperfections. Apparently recognizing that is an important step, but it feels like not enough. I will keep working on it. Thanks, Tank. I needed that. For some reason I tend to define myself by my mistakes and weaknesses rather than by my strengths. This is exactly how I want to be; not on watch but at rest. I am going to print out these words and read them as part of a new initiative I'm calling "treat myself lovingly".
  7. Painted part of the deck this AM, second coat. Painted first coat on outdoor rocking chair. Ate a real breakfast (omlette, hash browns). Had like 4 cups of caffeinated beverages to try to beat the heat...unsucessfully. Feeling really terrible about myself at the moment. Spent money I should have saved and am beating myself up being so impulsive. (Which, now that I look at my day, may have something to do with the caffeine...). Abdominal breathing done. Went to the gm today -- lifting. Struggling not to hate myself. Today it's a losing battle. -H
  8. It's funny how much of my self worth I have tied up in what I do, as though I'm a human doing and not a human being. If I'm not accomplishing something -- anything -- then I feel like I'm a waste of skin. I'm making a note of that to talk with the counselor about. Okay: the last few days. Thursday -- personal well-being 2 (on scale of 0-10, 0 being "completely fragile" and 10 being "take on the world"; my newest activity from the counselor). Moved lifting to Saturday. Vegged out. Personal well being at night 3. Friday -- personal well-being (PWB) 3. Cardio. Personal well-being at night 6. Saturday -- PWB 3. Lifting. PWB @ night 4. Sunday -- PWB 3. Went to church early to avoid crowd. Sat alone in private room. Still got overwhelmed. Left in middle of service. On the win side, told myself "you can do this. But it's also okay if you can't do this." I am slowly, very slowly, learning. Very very slowly. Played a game of DC Blue Box with my daughter. Daughter left for 2 weeks and I pushed all the feels away because I didn't want to be that sad. At least I recognized I was numbing myself, right? PWB at night, 0. Monday -- PWB 4. Drove to old property and cut the grass for mom and dad. (took 2 hours = cardio). Bought a push mower (no engine) for back yard. Cut back yard (10 min). Now it's time to eat more than a protein shake and do some writing. -H
  9. So...how's it going? You can do this -H
  10. Counselling today...it always leaves me a little raw. Followed it with a massage. Still feeling fragile so I'm skipping today's cardio and rescheduling it for Friday. Writing this morning was about how love takes away fear and my job was to write about what I wanted to stop being afraid of. The list was fairly substantial. SnowOwl, it's nice to meet you. Thanks for passing on that great quote. Heidi, Tank, Fearkiller *squishy hug* Cid! So glad that you're giving it another round with me. I really adore you all. -H
  11. Great challenge! Now if only I still had my guildmastery powers I could move the thread for you. Glad you're back in, Cid. Thanks for stumbling along with me. -H
  12. Thank you all for being a soft place to land. I am blessed by you. I have printed out your words to hang up or write on my mirror to keep reminding me of positive things. I went for a walk with a friend today, so cardio check one. And at this point for writing it's all about healing. Today's topic was about how love heals and love renews and my job was to write about what I wanted healed and renewed in my life. I hope someday to finally be able to end my story, Fearkiller, and then I promise you'll be on the list to read it, even if I never do anything more than enjoy writing it. -H
  13. Thank you!! Heidi, Eirlys, I missed you! I felt really guilty for disappearing on you two years ago, though, and it definitely kept me from coming back. Your sweet responses have soothed a sore spot on my soul. It's like a warm hug to show up here and be welcomed back so wonderfully. It was just what I needed. Thank you. Nice to meet you Jedediah. Glad you're along for the ride. As for looking after me, today I did PMR once and am off to do lifting in about an hour. My daughter (no longer so little at 14!) is coming with me. I am looking for some great affirmation phrases to put up around my house because I'm stuck in some negative patterns. If any of you have suggestions I'd love to hear them (things that work for you, etc). Love, H
  14. Thanks, guys. And Fearkiller, I'm sorry that you know how it feels but at the same time I'm relieved that I don't have to make you understand it. I had no intentions of acting on them which is why I went to the hospital but they were still hands down some of the scariest things that have happened in my life...and that's saying something. I am continuing to work at it and have respawned. You can find me in the druids, although I'll still be updating here too. There are not enough words for my thankfulness for your care and support through this.
  15. Hi. *waves* Hope you guys don't mind me parking here for the challenge I'll be pretty quiet -- I'm still getting used to social interaction again. Some background: I recently had a major breakdown after a rough few years struggle with depression. I am under the care of a whole host of medical professionals, and am trying to find my new normal. In that process I have to learn to look after myself. Things I'm trying to do: (Isn't that funny? I can't seem to call them goals right now. Oh well.) 1) Progressive Muscle Relaxation 2) Abdominal Breathing 3) Lifting weights two days a week (following New Rules of Lifting for Women) 4) Cardio two days a week 5) writing daily That's about it. Scant details, I know, but I am trying not to overthink things and then not post this. So I think I'll just post it and tweak afterwards. -H
  16. I love how happy you look! It's so great to see you doing so well!!
  17. Wow. Thank you so much for the love. It is so appreciated! So...I didn't make the 9 weeks until summer that I talked about in April. On May 20th I had my father take me to the emergency room for suicidal thoughts that wouldn't stop. I was seen by a psychiatrist that night who tripled my medication and released me with the additional diagnosis (on top of major depressive/generalized anxiety disorder from March) of emotional exhaustion. I now have a team of 6 professionals (family doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist, dietitian, exercise specialist, massage therapist) working with me to try to help me find a new normal, and I only have to pay for 2 of them (psychologist, massage therapist). God Bless Canada's healthcare system. I am on paid medical stress leave from work. I am doing lots of projects around home and am working through books that the psychologist has recommended. I can't do groups or crowds but am still getting together with friends in small doses and my psychiatrist is confident that by August I'll be able to do public places again. Yeah. So...it is what it is, I guess. I'm glad to be alive. I'm sleeping about 6 nights out of 7 and I actually have energy during the day. I am no longer a sloth, or even a turtle (which was my default speed). And hopefully by September I'll be healthy enough to return to work.
  18. Thanks for all the thread bumps I'm alive. I'm seeing my doctor regularly. I'm taking my meds and some of them even seem to help a little. The sleep meds make me sleep, but they also make everything taste like tinfoil, even water. So I choose on a semi-daily basis whether I'd rather eat or sleep. I am on the waiting list for a counselor and a nutritionist. My basic test results all came back stellar (aka "disgustingly healthy" as per my doctor), so other than the depression there are no health concerns. And so I am alive, holding on one day at a time, even when my brain lies (which it does quite regularly now). About 9 weeks of work until the summer. Here's hoping and praying I can hang on until then. Love to you all.
  19. Thanks again for the bumps and the love. Fearkiller, *hug*. I appreciate you. As for the story, I'm currently working on the 2nd draft of my book but when I need proofreaders I'll definitely let you know. Don't expect anything extraordinary: you'll probably be sorry you asked I have no intentions of publishing it. It really is just for me to enjoy working on. Tank, thank you. There were a number of times I showed up here and couldn't make myself write, but saw your bumps and encouragement and smiled. You've all been with me long enough to know that I kind of go in waves, and this one is darker than the last. Sorry for the length. Don't feel like you have to read it all. So here's where I am. I am less broken than I was six years ago when I started this journey, but I can’t keep pretending that I can do this anymore. Yes, I move more, I eat better, I breathe more often, I have a better job, I have a better support system, and I can stand up for myself a little bit better but despite every attempt to “get healthy†and “eat right†and “change my life†and “build good habits†and “take time for myself†I am still broken. Every time I build up a good habit to the point where it begins to even out my life it begins to feel like a trap, a restriction; a strait jacket of behaviour that only allows me to be a certain way. Every time I arrange circumstances in my life to the point where they begin to even out my life life throws me a curveball and I am forced to pull back, to hide; to live a smaller life that I want since I can’t manage the larger one. I am tired; tired of continuing to live a lesser life, of constantly feeling like I’m failing at my own existence, of feeling like I am stretched thin just to survive, of feeling that I am too tired to actually enjoy life. My spirit is worn through, like a favourite shirt that’s been washed so many times there’s nothing but tatters left so there’s no use patching it but you keep pulling it out of the rag bin because you love it too much to let it go. This is my life, and I can’t fix it alone anymore. It came to a head this week with some life circumstances. I am, for lack of a better word, “adulting†alone this week. My family is away, and I am bearing the full workload of a home and pets and work and volunteering. In addition my work schedule was changed two weeks ago and I was placed back with the student whose needs wore me down to my breaking point two and a half years ago. I have been in tears six times this week (seven if you count now) just trying to survive the week. Just trying to make it through. Just trying to not shake the 10 year old toddler who has been entrusted to my professional care. My positive eating habits disappeared since I couldn’t maintain them and survive at the same time. I am subsisting primarily on caffeine and sugar, which has affected my sleep. My sleep habits have been interrupted and so most nights I’ve had less than an hour of sleep, which has affected my activity. My healthy-mind walking habits are gone because I don’t have the energy to move any more than I have to. And on Wednesday night I stood in front of the pantry and seriously considered making myself a box of Kraft Dinner: I had reached a point in my own head where I was considering making myself violently ill on purpose so that I could justify to myself calling in sick the next day. I didn’t make the macaroni and cheese. Over the next days I realized that something was seriously wrong: on Thursday I was so exhausted that I slept 6 hours in five fitful naps, and on Friday I was both desperate and coherent enough to make an appointment with my doctor to talk about the possibility of sleeping pills so that I could get some rest. He can see me on March 11. Today I remembered that I had forgotten a promise to do some deliveries for my volunteering and looked after it, but I only drove on back roads through quiet neighbourhoods, and when I was done I couldn’t even make myself go into a restaurant for food because I couldn’t see any more people. I knew I needed to make an appointment for a haircut, but I didn’t want to because my hairdresser was out on mat leave, but I couldn’t make myself call them because I didn’t want to have to make conversation with someone new. And that’s when I knew I couldn’t live like this anymore. Sitting in my car, unable to do anything but drive myself home, I had this crystal moment of clarity: no matter how well I do at “stress managementâ€, “devotionsâ€, “mindfulnessâ€, “activityâ€, or any other good habits, I can’t cope with life on my own. I have no buffer, and none of my good habits have given me one; they have simply slowed the devouring effects of life: they haven’t reversed them. The truth is I need medication...and not just sleeping pills. I don’t know why I’ve fought this idea for so long. I’ve always hated things that changed how I feel. I’ve always been cautious of sugar and caffeine, and completely wary of alcohol or recreational drugs. I didn’t want some chemical to change who I was, but without medication life is changing who I am, and I don’t want to be the small, broken person that it’s leaving me. I guess maybe I have a hero complex or something. I wanted to save myself. I wanted to fix myself. I wanted so desperately for good habits and a healthy lifestyle to be the answer. And I think maybe they are, but they’re only part of the answer. I need to be on medication not so that it can change who I am but so that it can help build back up the buffer between me and the world. I want to be on medication so that I can be me again. So March on 11 I’ll be talking to my doctor about what I’m going through, about referring me to a counselor that can help me keep figuring out the good things and getting rid of the bad things, and about medication. Until then I’ll be booking a few days of time off and relying heavily on whatever gets me through. I already feel a bit better: the idea that there might be help on the horizon has made today feel a little less dark already. I’m not imagining that medication is going to be an easy road, especially with the complications of side effects, and if I’m completely honest I’m hoping to only be on them short term, but it’s a step. Three, actually, since I’ll be trying to access the help of two medical professionals along with it, and we’ll see where it takes me. So here’s to three more steps in the direction of being less broken. That’s what’s going on in my world. How about in yours? Love, Hira
  20. Hi all! Thank you so much for the love, the bumps, and the wondering. My life, as always, continues to be a bit of a roller coaster. Nanowrimo was wonderful, and reminded me how much I love writing. I wrote over 53,000 words in November and have continued on a lesser scale (and much slower pace) to about 61,000 now. My first, very terrible (and that's okay) novel is almost finished. I have about one chapter to go. Of course, I already know a huge number of things I want to change, but I want to finish it first. November, with the time change, was a great month for habits for me. I continued to get up at regular time (which was now an hour early) to walk or read my bible, or both, and worked up to 7 days a week of reading and 4 days a week of walking before the end of November. December, however, hit with a vengeance. On December 1st I came down with a "serious" case of tonsilitis which required intensive antibiotics, only cold food, and no hard foods (all pureed or mashed). No exercise was allowed. I only missed 2 days of work, and spent most of the rest without a voice. After 12 days I was almost better, but the antibiotic was done. It came back. I am now on my second course of antibiotics. I also developed a secondary cold and a tertiary earache. Five days into the second antibiotic I'm not exactly optimistic that this time is going to do it, however now that work is off for two weeks I'm hoping that I'll be able to catch up on enough rest to recover. I've slept 18 hours today so I think I'm on the right track. My daughter's passport came back to the lawyer and is now safely ensconced in its safety deposit box, for a few hundred dollars less than I expected, so that is happy. My ex lost his job and had the child support reevaluated and now I owe him child support ($40 a month) which is going to be tricky financially but less expensive than going to court to get it changed based on my income-to-debt ratio, so I'll live with it until the next evaluation in July. When I see the way he acts and the way he treats his responsibilities I am constantly surprised that I ever thought there was any future for us. Regardless, it is what it is. The other major thing in our lives is that a friend of my daughter's tried to commit suicide last weekend. Please send good thoughts/prayers/wisdom as I help my daughter navigate this situation, as I work on fostering a relationship with this girl to help her have more lines of communication to hold onto, and as I contemplate how and when to share my story with both my daughter and her friend so that they understand why I understand. I talked to the girl briefly about her coping strategies and she admitted she didn't have any, so I took her a colouring book and pencil crayons and told her I had lots of good habits that she could try on and see if they fit. Who knows? Maybe it will help a little just knowing that I care. So December has been tough. I have pulled back on my walking goal until I'm healed but I have every intention of picking it up again. I truly love how it makes me feel. It creates room for me to breathe. While I can't walk I've been spending extra time resting and reading and avoiding sugar and caffeine to alleviate some of the symptoms. I talked to our school counselor last week about the girl's suicide attempt and what I could do another time a situation like that presented itself, and to a trusted friend about how hard it was for me, and so I'm doing okay. I love Christmas and all it's traditions and have been enjoying fake fires (complete with campfire scented candle), good books, warm blankets, and instrumental Christmas music. I'll be celebrating on the 28th (when my daughter gets back from 2 weeks at her dad's) and can barely wait for people to open the presents I got them. I'm learning right now that the circumstances of life don't have to be good for me to be good. Life is hard, but I'm not: I'm soft and squishy and doing just fine. Love you all. Hira
  21. Thanks for stopping in you two! I appreciate the hugs and flowers and thoughts. I did have some pretty dark days in the last month...especially since I tried to go for a meeting about my Last Will and Testament. Yikes. I did not expect the three days of darkness or the week long sob fest, but I slowly made my way through it. I think I will wait a while for my next round of meeting, though. I'm just not ready to discuss all those things about what will happen here after I'm dead: I'm just not in a healthy enough mindset yet. My daughter's passport is finally going to be issued. I had to send in a fax to cancel the application because her father refused to agree, send her father a letter stating what I had done which resulted in a horrible phone call with my ex over the fact that I asked them to cancel it. Even once he agreed to send it to a lawyer I still had to convince him to choose a lawyer to send it to since he "doesn't trust [my] lawyer". Luckily my loan application went through and I was able to borrow the money needed to pay for the lawyer. (Yes, that should have been a shared expense, but sometimes the fight just isn't worth it. Her safety is worth more to me than the money.) After that I paid $200 for a letter from his lawyer confirming the arrangements that were made, and sent a fax to the passport office with a copy of said letter to say that as long as it was sent to the lawyer I was okay with them issuing the passport. This week they contacted me and asked me to send 1 more fax to confirm everything. So the passport should be issued shortly. I think the biggest part of it was that he lied about it and changed it behind my back to something we didn't agree to, but coupled with that is the fact that he threatened when we were together to take our daughter away to his home country and never return, and since then has had restricted access to her passport (one day before and one day after agreed upon and signed travel arrangements), so it was a threatening move on his part. Anyway, that should be dealt with. I'm relieved, and will be even more relieved when we finally get it back into the safety deposit box where it belongs. Work is heavy this year, with lots of extra hours of planning to put in to make it a success. I have two very supportive co-workers who are sharing the burden and one very uncooperative one who basically told me she wants me to do her part. I was able to meet with our boss this week and confirm that we were allowed to withhold our planned materials from her if she didn't want to be part of the planning, so at least that's one more load taken care of. Yay for me actually dealing with the conflict! Somewhere in the last month I stopped walking. I don't know when, but somehow things got busy and then...nothing. From 5 days a week to nothing. So my current focus is building that back up, but the darkness in the morning is really getting to me. I think I may have to get a full spectrum bulb for over the treadmill so that I can get a dose of sunshine as well. Maybe two bulbs and put one over my bed on a timer so I wake up to sunshine....that will probably be my weekend project. Then I will be spending the next six weeks building back up to 15 minutes a day of walking. Our public library had it's biannual book sale, and I bought about 50 books for $10. I also found a candle that smells like a campfire. Between the new books, the candle, and the electric fireplace in my library I am ready for some cuddle-up-and-read time. That's what's on the schedule for tonight: Reading and a cup of tea. Oh, and maybe a walk... And I'm doing Nanowrimo this year. Yep, that's me, back in the writing groove a little bit. It feels good to write again. Love to you all.
  22. Tough day today. Today is the deadline for his response about the passport. I'm at the crunch; had a hard morning. Got a hug from a friend, and some distraction via work. My stomach hurts. But I'm listening to a speaker about constructive failure, and when that's done I'm going for a walk and then I'm going to sit and read for a while. I hope he makes a good choice and capitulates does what we agreed to before. If he doesn't...then I still have options. I can't control what he does, and I don't want to. I have a voice and I can stop the passport for the time being until we can agree, even if that's going to make him mad. It's okay. I don't have to fear his anger anymore, even if it still makes me uncomfortable. I am not looking for trouble, just bringing reality into the situation when he refuses to follow what we agreed to. Most of that is self talk, trying to remind myself that standing up for myself does not mean that I'm causing the problem. Also, I'm pretty sure I'm going to change my "do" list to a Dodo list now. (Sorry, Tank, not a doo-doo list) You guys are great. Thanks for your encouragement on this roller coaster of my life. I appreciate every bit of both of you.
  23. Here's a bit about my current world: I'm back at work with some (slightly) less stressful students than last year, although my first little man of the morning is taxing all my reserves already. I'm hoping to meet with my immediate supervisor within the week to talk about ways to reframe his behavior in relation to him (so that I don't automatically blame myself and/or feel angry or embarrassed about it). I am blessed to have a boss that is willing to field my questions. My daughter's dad went back on an agreement about her passport (he arranged for it to be delivered to his house instead of to the 3rd party we had agreed on) and so I'm in the middle of trying to deal with that. In the last week and a half I confronted him about it, talked to a lawyer, secured financing in case I need to go to court, and wrote him a letter with a choice of appropriate 3rd parties to arrange to have it sent to. I brushed up on my (very beginner to start with) Signed Exact English in June and took a second course two weeks ago (the instructors were so amazing and so encouraging). I am now using it daily with two students (who are brand new to sign, so that helps), although there is so many words for me to learn! I'm learning about 20 new words a day to try to express the things I need to with them. I realized that at some point I stopped writing, and when I did I stopped looking at the world the same way. When I was writing I was always breaking things down, looking at things with new eyes, savouring every bit, experiencing them to the full so that I could express them. Instead I've just been coasting. I want to add more mindfulness to my life. I want to be a pilgrim every day, and not just someone on a daily commute that wants the time to disappear. I am holding steady at 15 minutes 3 days a week of walking (for the last 3 weeks). Walking is good for my anxiety. And you know what else is? Multivitamins and no sugar. As I've been doing research about depression and anxiety I read that a ketogenic diet is often recommended for people with anxiety. I thought back to when I first tried it, and how wonderful I felt, and then how that clarity disappeared as I added in more carbs. I have backed off again to under 100g of carbs a day (shooting more for the 50g range) and have already noticed improvement in my mood, sleep, and ability to disengage from dark thought patterns. I have also noticed easing in my clothing, so I think it's safe to assume I have started to lose some weight, although I have yet to get on a scale either way. So with the sugar: lots of protien, little to no refined sugar, little to no added sugar, vegetables as long as they have fiber, and squash/potato/etc only once per day. Little to no fruit, since it just makes me want more sugar. No milk, because it makes me want sweet things. I'm missing being touched again, and will probably need to schedule a massage in the next week or so. I will call for an appointment once I'm done with this update. I'm also working on the list of things I don't do. I was having my mom read to me during one of my more intense anxiety attacks recently (just after I found out about the passport, actually) and the chapter she read talked about how in life you have to have two lists: one of what you do, and one of what you don't do in order to make space in your life for the things you DO do. My Don't Do list isn't nearly long enough yet, but here's a start: Things I don't do: 1. ironing -- seriously, I barely fold. 2. dusting -- who can even tell? I can't. 3. my hair and makeup -- I don't have time to do them right or practice, so good enough is close enough. (I have actually started leaving my hair curly and it has been a great time saver and relief) 4. match socks -- life is too short for that 5. paint my nails or toenails ...that's about it so far. I really need to find more things I don't do. I wish I had more money, and then I'd add "laundry" in it's entirety to that list, and "cleaning" in its entirety too. I feel like my head's above water right now, and that's encouraging. For however long it lasts I'm grateful. Love to you all
  24. as a cheering section, you guys really are the best. Thank you for your kind words, encouragement, and gifs. Just knowing that you care is a big help.
  25. Thank you both. Your kindness and lurking around makes it so much easier to come back and post again. Let's talk a bit about my summer. It has been a total roller coaster: moments of anticipation, exhilaration, and sheer terror squished into a few short weeks. I'm not even sure where to start, but here is as good a place as any: the realization that I had a real problem. What I went through starting last July started a lot earlier than that. In fact, it started almost a year earlier than that, when my health started to improve. I had been overweight for a long time and then as I started to lose weight and build a healthier life I began to get ill. A round or two of strep, a few times of coughing up blood, and a lot of having to “restart†my fitness over again I was diagnosed with severe acid reflux in August of 2013. Although the medication they prescribed for me made me intensely ill, the lifestyle changes helped considerably and suddenly I was active and healthy and in control of my world. That's when I started to nosedive, and it came to a head the following July (2014) when I simply went numb. I've described it before, so I'll leave it at that, but the feeling was familiar. And once I'd gained back almost all the weight (I'm not really sure, since I haven't weighed myself in a long time) and I was able to carefully nurture myself back to coping with reality, I realized that I had a real problem. My symptoms were a sign – not something random or arbitrary, but my body screaming out that there is something wrong with me: I had an anxiety disorder that left unchecked had dropped me into depression. It was scary at first, admitting that it wasn't just that I was tired, overworked, or an introvert; admitting there was something actually wrong. But admitting that, realizing that, I was able to start facing it and dealing with it. I've given myself about 18 months to see if I can manage to get it under control without medication, and if I can't, to meet with a professional to talk about medications and what they can do for me. Fast on the heels of the first realization was my second: that this anxiety is nothing new. Not only was the numbness familiar from my abusive marriage, but also from a lot earlier, starting after we moved to a new town when I was in 7, and intensifying around 12. Following that was a series of revelations about my past. I realized that my eating, my anxiety, and my weight are very much intertwined. I realized that I ate to protect myself from poor treatment by others, and to soothe the pain of it. ...and another realization: that the poor treatment by others was not my fault. I may have chosen the clothes and become healthy, but that they were all at fault for their own inappropriate, not-okay-way-to-treat-anyone behaviour. ...and another realization: that I hated and mistrusted myself. I didn't realize it until I confronted those memories. Ever since then I have second guessed myself because I can't be trusted (since I had the poor judgment to place myself in those situations), because I can't control how others will react (but since I was 12 I assumed I was responsible for that), and because I can't afford to make another mistake (and since I'd made mistakes before I could assume I would make them again). Once I confronted that idea it was like a tidal wave. I cried for all the things I'd lost, and as I did so, I realized I wasn't that girl any more. I was new. I was no longer the person who had made all those mistakes, and I didn't have to carry them around forever. God and I spent a lot of time on that, and in some ways we're still working through it, but the seeds are there. The seeds of new growth are bursting through the desolation in my soul that was left by my painful past. God and I are also working together through my confusion and fears about attraction, being attractive, being desired, not being wanted, and relationships. Hopefully someday those areas of my life will heal as well. So basically it's no wonder I had a breakdown last July, and it's not surprising that gaining the weight back has eased it, but I'm no longer content to stay this way. The anxiety needs to be dealt with, and so does my health. I can't continue to stick my head in the sand until life seems okay again, especially since life never seems to get easier. I'm tired of having my ability to cope outstripped by the chaos in my world. I can now say that it was not getting healthy that brought my breakdown. It may have made my brain, which has held things in denial until I was ready, think that I could handle dealing with them, but it was not the culprit. To that end, I have allowed myself to start dreaming again. I dream of one day being healthy not just in body, but in soul, spirit, mind, habit, and finance. I'm working though what that looks like to me, and I have started some baby steps in that direction. I am really exhausted now, so I'm going to leave the story there for the moment. Despite the advances I've made things are often overwhelming, and I am in the middle of another time like that right now. I am going to go feed myself some lunch (better late than never), take a rest, and maybe a soak in the tub to help me cope. Later!
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