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Maggie-Miau

Miau Finishes Strong

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Heyoo! It's been several months since i last attempted a Challenge, so here's the Spiel:

 

I'm Maggie! 23 as of this past September. As far as physical fitness, i'm just looking to get stronger and more flexible, maybe get properly into running. Mental Fitness is something i've been struggling with my whole life, but only knowingly since around 2016. I've wanted many times to just not exist, and have self-harmed as recently as November. The exact particulars of this have been escalating, and i've not figured out exactly how to manage yet but also haven't given up. Around my birthday this year, i set myself a list of goals. 25 things i want to do before i turn 25. Sometimes i look at the list and feel stupid for thinking i could possibly get anything on it done, but really...it's very possible, and gives me my map of future Challenges.

 

The biggest item on the list is one i officially start working on in January, and it's to actually get my high school degree. That plan's made, but i can't start until January and, adding that up with the usual end-of-the-year feelings and the temptation is to just coast until then, but nope! There's stuff to do!

 

December is just going to be about continuing to do things even though to be very honest, lately i've just been wanting to sleep. I need to prep and set myself up for a good start to 2020 and get some things done to make my life easier when i'm doing my coursework. To that end, my Goals are:

 

Exercise: workout routine five times a week, walking seven days a week. with allowances on the former for obvious disruptions from the holiday.

Cleaning: the kitchen got a good clean for Thanksgiving, so i need to maintain that and also tidy the remaining rooms
Writing: don't go 'bah might as well try again in 2020', actually do some writing between now and Jan1

 

this might get edited between now and the official start of the Challenge, but that's what i can think of for right now.

 

some other bits that have happened recently are:

  • ( only negative thing, i promise ) have twice had panic attacks at church. which, not having had an Episode in public in quite some time, has been a bit alarming! i don't know for sure what sparked them, but do have some idea and have been putting together a plan to manage it.
  • on that note, there is an opportunity available for counseling at little to no cost, and as it's basically the only shot i'd have at that sort of thing until i finish my degree and try to hold down a job with health benefits, i've been thinking hard about investigating further! i've not been able to catch anyone on the phone yet.
  • am really well and truly considering telling some people irl about my going for the high school diploma. because there's not a soul knows outside of the internet and it might be good to have someone know? Only i do have reservations when it comes to trusting people, it'd be a huge leap.
  • i do have a job now! transcription through a website. had to take a test to get in and :3 i got in. it's nobody's real 'real' job or anything and is more of a side-hustle type of thing but for me, being able to pop on and do an assignment and get a few dollars on paypal ( i got $25 for my biggest assignment thus far! ) is a nice feeling.
  • started sewing again. a bit of hand-sewing to begin with but finally got the courage to toy with the sewing machine and sew a few quilt blocks! it stopped working at one point and that led to figuring out how to take it apart and clean it, it works again.
  • decided during a depressive episode that i would just aggressively paint rainbows until the Sadness admitted defeat and honestly? i did feel a little better :D
  • cut my hair myself, shorter than it's been in a long time, but it turned out pretty well.

 

edit: first post is now somewhat irrelevant to actual challenge stuff because we changed our mind like a champ :P

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22 minutes ago, Maggie-Miau said:

Mental Fitness is something i've been struggling with my whole life, but only knowingly since around 2016. I've wanted many times to just not exist, and have self-harmed as recently as November. The exact particulars of this have been escalating, and i've not figured out exactly how to manage yet but also haven't given up. 

 

December is just going to be about continuing to do things even though to be very honest, lately i've just been wanting to sleep. I need to prep and set myself up for a good start to 2020 and get some things done to make my life easier when i'm doing my coursework. To that end, my Goals are:


Hello Maggie! I am Harriet! Your struggles feel rather familiar. I only finished high school because they let me do it part time. I stopped self harming about ten years ago (I'm about ten years older than you, yo). I am still working at things but they are most definitely getting better (especially in the last couple of years). Not exactly in the timeframe or order I expected they would, but still. 

Do you have any strategies/tools for combatting the anxiety and depression? I'm happy to chat about what worked and didn't work for me, if you like.

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HEY MIA :) so so so glad you have a challenge, of course im here to offer support and love ❤️ 

 

Apart from the self harm and panic attacks, things seem to be going well! THE JOB woooo and sewing and rainbows :D

 

Proud of you, always xx

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:


Hello Maggie! I am Harriet! Your struggles feel rather familiar. I only finished high school because they let me do it part time. I stopped self harming about ten years ago (I'm about ten years older than you, yo). I am still working at things but they are most definitely getting better (especially in the last couple of years). Not exactly in the timeframe or order I expected they would, but still. 

Do you have any strategies/tools for combatting the anxiety and depression? I'm happy to chat about what worked and didn't work for me, if you like.

 

Heyoo, Harriet, thanks for stopping by! Congratulations on stopping your self-harm, that's wonderful ❤️ and congratulations on your degree, too! If i've learned anything at all in recent years, it's that even when things don't happen in the expected 'schedule' that everybody else seems to follow, it doesn't mean those things are impossible...more difficult to accomplish, usually, but still attainable even in a different way. And you never know who else might be on a different schedule, as well :D

 

My main strategy is to try not to let things spiral too much. Once i go too far down there's not much aside from outside intervention or just waiting that's going to pull me back out of the fog, but if it's just a mild episode or i catch it in time, then doing things like going for a walk or making things tends to help. I've also been trying to look more closely and see if there's anything that tends to set off an episode so that can be taken into account. I'd love to hear any tips you have if you feel like sharing them! :3

 

2 hours ago, Salinger said:

HEY MIA :) so so so glad you have a challenge, of course im here to offer support and love ❤️ 

 

Apart from the self harm and panic attacks, things seem to be going well! THE JOB woooo and sewing and rainbows :D

 

Proud of you, always xx

 

Heyoo, Sal! Lovely to see you, as always!

 

Aye, it's been pretty nice! I didn't think i'd ever touch the sewing machine again, so it's been exciting to work with! I'm practicing with quilt blocks but i'd like to be making clothes eventually :)

 

Proud of you too mon ami!

 

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So today, i've already got the workout in. walking with broski in a minute. Still need to do some writing and cleaning around the house.

 

if anybody's interested, here's some of what i've been making recently:

 

Spoiler

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( work in progress, trying out a different method from my usual )

 

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my 'rainbow flower' :lol: kid!me used to draw these all the time...not exactly like this (they were usually in crayon and without the black bit) so the other day when i was in a funk, i decided that...pretty much out of spite tbh, i would draw rainbows until i felt better. and wound up doing rainbow flowers instead. in between bouts of cleaning the kitchen. actually got quite a bit done that day for having started out not wanting to do anything. i think broski and i actually got a walk in, too, that particular day. one walking day i know we made a silly game of jumping as dramatically as possible over any potholes we came across on the walk, which was also discovered to be helpful for picking up my mood. i guess doing things that kid!me would have enjoyed generally provides a little boost.

 

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these are the quilt blocks...can't see it very well but it's actually six sets of four little blocks sewn together. not all the corners match up perfectly in the center but i'm pretty pleased with it for a first attempt! those aren't the finished product, though, because then each of them got turned into

 

75294222_2960608307301475_84626881671520

these! i wound up with a stack of over 80 of them to trim and square up.  i have...not yet mastered the skill of measuring and cutting fabric, so they're all very crooked and lopsided but, again, i like them for a first attempt! these were all made from some 'charm packs' that i found among my late grandma's sewing stash, and there are enough of those to make two more blankets with. naturally ranger brain wants me to work on all three at once but i'm trying to stick to one at a time.

 

 

and and if anyone's interested, here are some Thanksgiving bits.

Spoiler

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it's hideous but it's called Kush and it's an 18th century recipe where you saute up some onions with some herbs and spice, then add in some day-old cornbread and a bit of broth and it tastes like Thanksgiving. I added in some beyondsausage from dunkin' donuts, who are nice enough to let me buy just the patties without getting the entire sandwich that i can't eat any other element of :lol: this stuff turned out like an allergy-and-preference-friendly version of my family's traditional stuffing recipe, which i've not had in years now!

 

and i also made, mostly out of sheer curiosity,

78110881_3248686598539463_73412831024984

an even more hideous cabbage roast! which actually tasted really nice!

also had green beans, mashed potatoes, and probably the best allergy-friendly gravy i've ever made thanks to the pan bits from cooking the cabbage. i cooked almost all of it the day before and so it's the most 'normal' holiday meal i've had in three years.   

 

and lastly, if anyone's interested, some random Me:

 

Spoiler

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i'd been considering a haircut already but it was kind of a poor mental health day so this was kind of a "wellup i just cut off most of my hair without experiencing a single actual thought at any point during the process ahahaha" bit.

 

and idk if i should even post this but momsauce figured out how to use filters on her phone and i think it's a funny picture so:

 

78671521_2531330530485084_27512176745612

 

 

 

off to go walk now! :D

 

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Back from walking! It was colder out than expected, but we went anyway 😎

 

a couple of goals i forgot to mention are that i've been trying here lately to be more mindful of food waste and such so, things like  using up/cooking with leftovers and not buying unnecessary groceries is on my list of things to keep in mind. of course i'm 'allowed' to supplement with whatever fresh fruits and vegetables i want, but using up the stuff that's been languishing in the freezer and pantry is a goal.

 

the other thing is to try to find some holiday spirit. i personally don't observe any holidays except kind of New Year, but the fam does so there's really no 'just skip christmas' option (and there's no escaping it at church either) i'm not a joyless scrooge raining on their parades or anything but i thought it might be a decent quest to find some legitimate enjoyment instead of just kind of going along to be polite. not sure how to actually accomplish this because i do tend to Immediately Regret Everything on at least a backburner level whenever we go anywhere or do anything fun, even if it's just seeing a movie. but i'm going to Try. Maybe find some fun relatively pointless Christmas-y things to do and revel in the relative pointlessness of it. There's something to be said for relative pointlessness after all. :)

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3 hours ago, Maggie-Miau said:

 

Heyoo, Harriet, thanks for stopping by! Congratulations on stopping your self-harm, that's wonderful ❤️ and congratulations on your degree, too! If i've learned anything at all in recent years, it's that even when things don't happen in the expected 'schedule' that everybody else seems to follow, it doesn't mean those things are impossible...more difficult to accomplish, usually, but still attainable even in a different way. And you never know who else might be on a different schedule, as well :D

 

My main strategy is to try not to let things spiral too much. Once i go too far down there's not much aside from outside intervention or just waiting that's going to pull me back out of the fog, but if it's just a mild episode or i catch it in time, then doing things like going for a walk or making things tends to help. I've also been trying to look more closely and see if there's anything that tends to set off an episode so that can be taken into account. I'd love to hear any tips you have if you feel like sharing them! :3


So I'm not sure what level you're at, but for me, Cognitive behavioural therapy was the hammer for killing off repetitive, negative thoughts. It took a fair bit of consistent practice, though, and at first it seems like it's not going to work. I used Dr Burns "Feeling Good" and practiced the exercises daily. I think it reduced my depressive thoughts by about 70%.

 

For the anxiety, the biggest thing I did was reframe... so you know when you get the first bodily sensations of tension and cortisol and start interpreting them? Well, I decided to interpret them as "berserker potions" instead of fear. I decided my body was preparing me to perform well at something, and that it was an (admittedly uncomfortable) blessing. Whenever I felt the twisting in my stomach I literally thanked the fire spirits for their blessing (this may not work if you are not an animist, but feel free to adapt for you purposes). This has reduced my anxiety by about half, I guess. It, too, required practice and time. The other thing that was hard but super effective was practicing doing things that made me anxious. It takes ages, though, because you just don't want to do it all the time.
 

Walking doesn't cure me, but it helps with ongoing management of my mood. Powerlifting, too, has boosted my mood and energy and reduced my anxiety. Eating highly refined carbs and excess sugar really sabotages my mood and energy. Medication did not help. One therapist was useless, another was useful for helping realise that I don't need to manage other people's emotions and to deal with some specific events.

At the moment, because my energy and motivation come and go, I try to match my activities to my energy level without blaming myself. My nerds here have helped with that. That's it, really. 

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MIAU

 

giphy.gif

 

You're thinking about so many amazing things in this challenge and I am SO proud of you!! Here to follow and hold up the mirror so you can see your beautiful rainbow-colored pom-poms and cheerful heart anytime you need it!  ❤️ 

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I! Love! Your! HAIR!!

 

❤️❤️ 

 

Also your PEOPLE DRAWING is so so good, I always struggle with faces but your style is just so rad!!!

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On 12/2/2019 at 4:53 PM, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I haven't followed you in a while. I will now. I love aggressive rainbows.

 

Heyoo Sir Tank! And thank you :D rainbows make everything a little bit better :3

 

On 12/2/2019 at 5:09 PM, Harriet said:

So I'm not sure what level you're at, but for me, Cognitive behavioural therapy was the hammer for killing off repetitive, negative thoughts. It took a fair bit of consistent practice, though, and at first it seems like it's not going to work. I used Dr Burns "Feeling Good" and practiced the exercises daily. I think it reduced my depressive thoughts by about 70%.

 

For the anxiety, the biggest thing I did was reframe... so you know when you get the first bodily sensations of tension and cortisol and start interpreting them? Well, I decided to interpret them as "berserker potions" instead of fear. I decided my body was preparing me to perform well at something, and that it was an (admittedly uncomfortable) blessing. Whenever I felt the twisting in my stomach I literally thanked the fire spirits for their blessing (this may not work if you are not an animist, but feel free to adapt for you purposes). This has reduced my anxiety by about half, I guess. It, too, required practice and time. The other thing that was hard but super effective was practicing doing things that made me anxious. It takes ages, though, because you just don't want to do it all the time.
 

Walking doesn't cure me, but it helps with ongoing management of my mood. Powerlifting, too, has boosted my mood and energy and reduced my anxiety. Eating highly refined carbs and excess sugar really sabotages my mood and energy. Medication did not help. One therapist was useless, another was useful for helping realise that I don't need to manage other people's emotions and to deal with some specific events.

At the moment, because my energy and motivation come and go, I try to match my activities to my energy level without blaming myself. My nerds here have helped with that. That's it, really. 

 

Taking notes on all of this, thank you for all of it! It varies depending on which turn of the proverbial carousel i'm at on any given day, but most of the time i've reached a kind of acceptance while also always looking for ways to manage better. CBT is something i've definitely not tried yet, and the anxiety reframing is intriguing. I need to learn to read mine better when it crops up, and changing perspective on the symptoms might prove useful ❤️

 

On 12/2/2019 at 6:22 PM, SkyGirl said:

MIAU

 

giphy.gif

 

You're thinking about so many amazing things in this challenge and I am SO proud of you!! Here to follow and hold up the mirror so you can see your beautiful rainbow-colored pom-poms and cheerful heart anytime you need it!  ❤️ 

 

HEY SKY THANK YOU HELLO ILY ❤️

 

19 hours ago, NeverThatBored said:

A side hustle and working on your degree and other great projects?? There's so much good stuff going on here, Miau! 

 

Hi NTB! It's great to see you :D

 

4 hours ago, Arkania said:

Following!

Cool photos and nice stuff you do!

 

Thank thank thank!

 

2 hours ago, shaar said:

I! Love! Your! HAIR!!

 

❤️❤️ 

 

Also your PEOPLE DRAWING is so so good, I always struggle with faces but your style is just so rad!!!

 

THANK! YOU! MUCH! ❤️ i actually just cut it even shorter :lol:

me trying to draw: what if....i only use...straight(ish) lines...*trombone edition of a whole new world begins to play*

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TODAY:
noped out of walking. it's not genuinely too cold yet, it's just reached hat and scarf time. had an earache by the halfway point yesterday, so the background excuse was "oof we don't want to flare that up, best wait and see what that's  going to do" but it was honestly a Just Don't Wanna day in general. Told myself i had to do at least one set of my workout routine, and did do that, and only that. But i did do that much, with the understanding that tomorrow must not be a Just Don't Wanna day.

 

incidentally, today's food has been: one bowl of mashed potatoes with gravy, and one mocha frappucino. the "ewwwww, eating, but must i?" switch flipped yesterday.

 

so i'm going to go ahead and make my list of jobs for tomorrow so i do more stuff:

 

  • tackle the kitchen before it gets out of hand
  • clean up sewing room
  • find and follow threads on here owo
  • go for a walk
  • do all three sets of workout routine
  • finish writing one ficlet
  • start working on grocery list even though it'll be a mostly non-grocery list

this Friday will actually be an off-day as the fam and i are going to visit my great-grandaunt quite a ways out of town, and will be going to look at some Christmas lights at some sort of historical home/garden place we found. It's a walking tour, though, so that'll be some nice exercise for the day! Still trying to decide what to do about the travel portion, though. maybe figure out an audiobook to run through the radio or something!

 

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1 hour ago, Maggie-Miau said:

But i did do that much, with the understanding that tomorrow must not be a Just Don't Wanna day.

 

There you go, that's how it's done.  :)  I hope your ear feels better tomorrow!

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Day Whatever Yesterday Was:

 

kept my promise of not letting it be a second Don't Wanna day in a row. Did my whole workout, went for a walk. Did some sprucing up around the house. Writing wasn't quite On so that's today's main job. Foods were better yesterday, too.

 

late start today. had a bit of a rough night (between troubling dreams and waking up to a dog barking in the yard) so feeling blah. Have done one set of workout though, will do the walk. 3pm is becoming the cue to get that done, so, i've got about another hour and a half to herd braincats :P

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So, bit of a snafu has occurred. don't think i've previously discussed this on NF, and it's going to sound completely absurd, but my grandad, who lives with us, has a stalker who's been obsessed with him ever since his wife died, so she's been harassing him for about three now. Things have escalated and she showed up in our neighborhood today so now walking's been banned by momsauce and grandad because nobody knows what this woman will do or if she even will do anything so. i'm not interested in not going for walks over this but it's all just terribly frustrating and confusing.

 

anyway on the 6th we didn't wind up going to the Christmas Light tour or really doing anything except riding 3+ hours one way to visit an elderly relative (i thought she was 92 but she's actually...86, maybe?) getting dinner and coming back. Still a pretty nice time, though. And then yesterday the fam spontaneously decided to visit the city zoo to see their christmas lights. Needless to say all the animals were asleep and out of sight, but that was nice too.

 

*enters recallibration mode because the braincats have scattered to the wild corners*

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Holy shit stalker granny, that's a new one... I agree with Sal, can the police be notified?  That's a safety issue for sure!!

 

Hope it all gets cleared up and taken care of soon.. ❤️❤️ 

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2 hours ago, Salinger said:

Oh wow, hope your family stays safe. Can you tell the police?

 

Hope youre ok Mia xx

1 hour ago, Harriet said:

Well shit. I hope you figure out a way to deal with her because not being able to feel like you can go walking is... no good. 

1 hour ago, shaar said:

Holy shit stalker granny, that's a new one... I agree with Sal, can the police be notified?  That's a safety issue for sure!!

 

Hope it all gets cleared up and taken care of soon.. ❤️❤️ 

 

i don't know that the police can do anything since she hasn't outright threatened any actual violence..she has harassed him at work and otherwise refused to leave him alone, and has spread rumors, including telling people that they were getting married, and repeatedly threatened to smear his reputation by spreading lies about him having affairs and such. the latest to come up about this is that she's threatening to sue him for harassment. 😕

 

tbh i'm not really worrying about it all so much as, it's uncomfortable for everybody in the waiting to see what in the world is going to happen. in the meantime i suppose it's business as usual. i don't know what the 'rules' or protocols are for this kind of thing but i'll try to persuade the fam regarding going for walks. my brother always goes with me so unless the woman's straight up murderous for real i don't really think anything too awful would happen even if she did come back. be nice if we could all just pack up and move to another state :lol:

 

in other news when we went to the zoo last night i got to ride a thing called the 'skylift' and it was very dark and quite chilly and there were several points where we were directly above  watery, rivery based exhibits, bodies of water being one of my actual fears so that was a kind of "do it anyway" moment and an interesting experience!

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