Journal Entry: Jan 31, 2016 (Dread Defeated)

Journal Entry: Jan 31, 2016 (Dread Defeated)

Journal Entry: Jan 31, 2016 (Dread Defeated)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1.36 miles in 32 min
Healthy Breakfast: Not really, went out for breakfast
Mood: Good, then filled with dread, and then good again

Today started great. I got up did my healthy habits. My morning was good, my early afternoon was good and then early evening came the dread. I’ve felt this a lot lately. It’s hard to explain though I’ve tried to articulate it often. I suddenly feel like I don’t know what to do and I do not feel like doing anything, for pleasure I mean. I mean it’s 4pm or so and I wish I could go to sleep because I don’t want to do anything fun or otherwise. I can’t think of anything I like when the dread fills me. It’s like I hate everything. I just want to sleep to escape not because I’m tired in any way. It’s a much scarier feeling than I’ve ever felt and I don’t know why it is happening so often now. Maybe because I’m out of work, maybe it is similar to my fear of meditation, that an unoccupied mind might stray to the darker recesses where I hide my trauma.

I really hate feeling like this and today I defeated it for the first time. Rather than stress about it, rather than go to bed while the sun was still shining, I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to do so instead I thought of something that I needed to do. Being depressed I’ve let the clean laundry pile up on top of my dresser and I can’t find anything as a result. I organized my dresser and it helped push out the dread. I think because I was preoccupied. Plus I now know for sure that I have clothes to go to the gym tomorrow. I’m going to talk to my therapist and psychiatrist about this pervasive feeling that’s been haunting me of late. Now I know I can beat it back but, I’d rather just not feel it at all if I can help it. Maybe a med change is in order, I don’t know, I just want it to stop.

Can you relate to this feeling? This mood that I’ve dubbed “the dread” which sounds like something out of Harry Potter? I hope you can’t because it’s awful but, if you have please let me know here or on Twitter (@RealismBites). I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 30, 2016 (I Hope This Lasts)

Journal Entry: Jan 30, 2016 (I Hope This Lasts)

Journal Entry: Jan 30, 2016 (I Hope This Lasts)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1.34 miles in 30 min
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: Semi-positive actually

Today was a better day as far as mood goes. I babysat my nephews for a large part of it and they are adorable so maybe that attributed in part to my good mood. I started the morning with the gym but, today I took it a step further. I know that walking is not enough and I need strength training to lose weight so this morning I did a warm up on the elliptical, did some upper body strength training (push ups, planks, and dumbbell stuff), and then walked for 30 minutes.

I plan to make strength training a part of my every day exercise plan. I know I have to work on diet as well and I am with my healthy breakfast but, I do need to work on the rest of the day. I just don’t want to bite off more than I can chew, which I do all too often and then end up depressed because I couldn’t keep up with myself. I have always been an all or nothing gal but, I’m trying to change that and I think I’m having some success. My baby steps approach to habit forming are evidence of that. Adding one at a time I mean. In the past I would have done everything at once and I always failed so hurrah for learning my lesson.

The worst part of mental illness and/or obesity is what GI Joe said at the end of every episode, “knowing is half the battle.” I know so much. I know exactly how to lose weight, I’ve done it before. I know being obese is not healthy and is causing me joint pain and other issues already never mind the more deadly consequences that could come. I know that when I’m depressed sometimes going to work is easier on me than skipping it (I stress too much about missing work and then I miss more work). I know all of these things and many more and yet I still can’t seem to do anything about them. I mean I am doing something about my weight now, finally, but I’m worried it won’t last.

I really hope that my habit forming approach will make it a lifestyle change rather than a fleeting diet and exercise program. I want to do the things I am doing today for the rest of my life but, what happens when I get a job and go back to school? What happens when I get deeply depressed or even sick with a cold or flu? What happens if I skip a couple of days with “good reason”? What happens if I don’t start losing weight? Will I give up on everything? I’ve done it before, I can only hope that I don’t do it again but, there’s no guarantee. I hope that writing these journal entries will help me to stay accountable. I think I’ll start posting my weight weekly starting on Monday Feb 1st. There’s nothing like accountability. Wish me luck on my weight loss journey. Perhaps it will help me with my self esteem, being a healthy weight again. At least I’ll have one less thing to pick on myself for. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 29, 2016 (Still Blah)

Journal Entry: Jan 29, 2016 (Still Blah)

Journal Entry: Jan 29, 2016 (Still Blah)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1.02 mile in 25 min
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: OK and blah

I had my first PT (physical therapy) visit in quite some time this morning. It was short but, hard. I am not very good at squats and he had me do sit ups, not crunches, sit ups. I haven’t done full sit ups in ages. I got through just fine. He did say that he wants me to focus on time more than speed so rather than going 1 mile as quickly and painfully as possible, I’ll be looking to spend more time on the treadmill instead of trying to get a mile done faster each day.

I spent my day doing very little. I mean other than PT and getting my daughter to and from school. I watched a lot of Game of Thrones and spent too much time playing the dumb iPhone game Sims Free Play. I just felt like a lazy lump today. Tomorrow I’ll feel much more productive and probably in a better mood because I’m babysitting my nephews to give my Sister and her wife a break.

Well I’ve got nothing more to say about today because nothing happened so I’ll just end this here. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 28, 2016 (Down Again)

Journal Entry: Jan 28, 2016 (Down Again)

Journal Entry: Jan 28, 2016 (Down Again)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 20m 45s mile
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: Content in the morning but, then in the afternoon I got very blah

I asked someone from San Antonio recently if blah is a Massachusetts thing or if it’s nationwide, he said he knew about it so I’m counting it as a valid mood. A crappy mood but, valid. I started my day normally. Everything was going fine. I filled out paperwork for my Long Term Disability insurance. This included an employment overview. I had to list the last 4 jobs I’ve held, one of which I wrote this poem about; The Night Before She Quit. The bad news is it was hard to fill out, the good news is they will get me a career coach to help me get back into the workplace.

I think that’s what started the downturn in my mood though. Thinking about finding a job. I started stressing about interviewing; clothing, weight related stress mostly. “I don’t have a suit that fits. I have to buy a suit. I can’t apply for this job there’s no way I can get a suit tailored in time. Can I wear a dress? I have cankles, do I want to wear a dress?” I think that was what hit me. The stress of shopping when you’re obese is pretty high. I am a pear shape, I have big hips and huge legs. Pants are just not made for my body type. Sure they have curvy options but, I don’t find that they fit much better. I’m really stressed about the interview process especially since I am anxious and depressed currently. When am I going to be well enough for an interview and how will I know? When am I going to be well enough to go to a brand new job every day and kick ass at it and how will I know? I mean this whole week was great, until Thursday afternoon. I would have thought I should start looking now based on Mon-Wed but, then Thursday came and was so bad. I just wanted to sleep because I couldn’t stand being awake anymore. I don’t like that feeling. I’ve had it a few times recently and I’ve decided I hate it.

Well here’s hoping tomorrow is better. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 27, 2016 (Productive Day)

Journal Entry: Jan 27, 2016 (Productive Day)

Journal Entry: Jan 27, 2016 (Productive Day)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 20 min mile
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: Mostly content, somewhat anxious

I walked slowly today because it hurts my calves to walk and I thought maybe I just need to slow it down and build up to the speed I’d like to be at. It still hurt a little but, not as much. I start PT Friday morning which I can’t wait for, I think strengthening is so important and that will be the focus.

I got a lot done, that’s been a recurring theme this week thankfully. I sorted through all my mail up to the letter M and paid some outstanding medical bills I found. I recycled about 30 lbs of mail and sorted the important stuff that needs to be filed. I promise someday soon I’ll stop talking about mail.

I often participate in Twitter chats, today’s was #MHchat. They were discussing anxiety which I have a lot of experience with. You meet wonderful people in these chats. @SynableBish and @SuperADDMom were particularly kind to me when I talked about not being able to meditate. It seems a lot of people have that problem because that tweet of mine was RTd and liked a lot. @SynableBish even posted a breathing exercise for me called Brahma Breathing and let me know that my WP theme Sugar & Spice was full of worms. I really liked that theme. That is the reason for the recent change. I hope you like the new theme. @SuperADDMom suggested creative meditation like coloring which I started to do last year but, stopped for some reason. I plan to do some tomorrow, maybe I’ll even post it if it comes out pretty.

Well, here’s hoping tomorrow is just as productive. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 26, 2016 (My Happy Place)

Journal Entry: Jan 26, 2016 (My Happy Place)

Journal Entry Jan 26, 2016

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 18m 45s mile
Mood: Almost happy but, still have lingering doubts and self esteem issues nagging at me

Great productive day, got my kids signed up for their road tests, got myself signed up for PT, went to therapy and babysat my adorable nephew and now I am finally home and I’m eating Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food for dinner :/ What’s the point of starting my day with a healthy breakfast if I eat like crap the rest of the day? I suppose at least one healthy meal is better than no healthy meals. I’m starting small and that is OK. I’m saying that to myself more than you. Really though what’s the use in being grown up if you can’t eat ice cream for dinner once in awhile?

I did a bit of meditation in therapy today and I got a little tense but, I didn’t have a panic attack. I didn’t have any sort of calming feeling either though. My therapist said there’s nothing wrong with that just not doing anything for a bit would be good for me and I think she’s right. I’m never doing nothing. I am always doing one – three things. I am on my phone constantly, I am watching TV, playing a video game…mostly those three things really. I just can’t sit still. I can’t let my brain rest. I’m always thinking. We (my therapist and I) think that it’s a defense mechanism, if my mind is busy and cluttered I can’t think about all of the trauma I’ve been through. She asked me a long time ago to think of a happy place and I had so much trouble with it, I’ve said before I often feel like I barely know myself. Well today I came up with one I think will work for me. I’ve always been interested in archaeology and ruins and there are I believe Aztec ruins in Mexico that I want to see one day, I’m going to look up some pics now that will help me visualize it. Who knows maybe it’ll work and it’s a positive thing, it’s a goal, something to work toward. Using that for meditation may help to make it a reality someday if my bipolar depressive episodes ever allow me to keep enough vacation time to use for a vacation.

Oh well I’m off to look longingly at pictures of Mexico. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

It’s Not You or Me (A Poem About Bipolar & Relationships)

It’s Not You or Me (A Poem About Bipolar & Relationships)

It's Not You Or Me: A poem about bipolar & relationships

You must doubt it sometimes but I do love you,
I am in love with you and want to grow old with you.

I must feel like I’m miles away sometimes,
Blank faced and dull and not the girl you fell in love with.

All the passion has been hidden away in my head,
I wish I could share it with you but, I can’t find it myself.

My mood swings must scare and confuse you,
I’m either mute or talking a mile a minute.

Sometimes I don’t want you around and I feel guilty,
But then I don’t want to be around anyone.

I promise It’s not you and it’s not me either,
It’s a mental disorder which I am fighting, fighting for us.

I’m sorry that you have to share the pain of bipolar with me.

Journal Entry: Jan 25, 2016 (Walking Shouldn’t Hurt)

Journal Entry: Jan 25, 2016 (Walking Shouldn’t Hurt)

Journal Entry: Jan 25, 2016 (Walking Shouldn't Hurt)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 18m 55s mile
Mood: Productive, mostly positive

I started this morning at the gym and I have to say, this pain from walking slowly thing? It really sucks. You don’t understand, I used to walk fast. A 19 min mile would be agony to the old me. The me that I was before the medical trauma of 2015. I hated walking slowly and I hated getting stuck behind slow walkers. I was just a zippy little (well, big) thing. Now a 19 min mile is giving me shin splints and hurting my calves far too much. I don’t remember ever feeling pain in my calves from walking. To me walking was a cardio exercise. It worked my heart and lungs not my legs. I mean I know it actually worked both but, I never felt pain in my legs. It’s just really hard to be so much slower, to be so much weaker. I’m not some great physical specimen but, I’ve always been speedy and pretty flexible for my size. OK enough whining about it, it sucks, I know it will get better eventually, I’m just being impatient.

Once that was done with I got down to business clearing up some of my old mail which was quite a task. It’s quite overwhelming trying to clear up 6 years worth of mail. I got a couple of folders done today and tomorrow I’ll get the next couple done. Eventually I will have an organized filing system containing only what I need and I will know for sure that I don’t have any mystery debts out there. I got to watch some Game of Thrones with the boyfriend and played Skyrim for awhile. Now I’m watching the Bruins game with my son. Overall it was a pretty good day. I hope things continue to go well and I hope you’re well.

Journal Entry: Jan 24, 2016

Journal Entry: Jan 24, 2016

Journal Entry Jan 24, 2016

Brushed teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 19m 30s mile
Mood: Better

I think the PMDD is passing because I definitely felt better on the 24th, mentally anyways, physically I was all crampy and blah and walking was extra difficult but, I got a lot done. I finally finished sorting my mail which I started like two weeks ago. I usually don’t write these so late the following day but, I’ve been taking action on the newly sorted mail. I know I’ve talked about mail so much you’re probably sick of hearing about it but, I just went through the first two folders which were packed and I had bills dating back to 2010 that I’d not acted on. They are all medical bills. One of them from 2013 was for $15. It isn’t that I couldn’t afford to pay $15 until now, it’s just that the fear of opening the mail was too great. Probably because I’ve had quite a few trips in ambulances in my time and those bills are always crazy high. Even after insurance pays. I was told by my insurance company today that they never pay the full bill. That’s crazy to me considering I have no copay for an ambulance ride. They expect the ambulance companies to write it off and if they bill the member, if the member calls they will put it in for full payment but, what if the member doesn’t understand their coverage and doles out $1,500 that they really are not responsible for? It’s a messed up practice if you ask me.

Well OK now all I’m talking about is Jan 25th. Sorry this entry is about yesterday. Let me tell you about my yesterday. As I already said walking was harder for some reason, well due to crampiness and such I suppose. I had a healthy breakfast and I was not down in the dumps. I sorted the mail, I played some Skyrim, I watched the Patriots lose and then I watched Game of Thrones with my bf. We are watching it as a couple. If you’ve ever done this you know it can be hard to do especially when you’re the half of the couple that has way more time on their hands. You want to watch without them but, you can’t it’s like sacrilege. The TV show Up All Night, which was short lived but a ton of fun, handled this topic quite well. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Jan 23, 2016 (PMDD Sucks)

Journal Entry: Jan 23, 2016 (PMDD Sucks)

Journal Entry Jan 23, 2016

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 1 18m 3s mile
Mood: Very down

Well I think I figured out why I have be so depressed which is great because knowledge is power and maybe I really was recovering. The short story is I have PMDD which I completely forgot about with all of the chaos of 2015. You can find the log story here: For the Ladies and Sympathetic Men. I found it harder to get to the gym but, I did it. I even ate a healthy breakfast and then I went to bed, for the day. I just couldn’t stand being awake. I felt so incredibly depressed. My boyfriend wanted to go to lunch, I said no, He wanted to watch Game of Thrones, I said no. I just laid in bed thinking and sleeping and feeling miserable.

I did then start to feel better around dinner time. My boyfriend and I got to watch Game of Thrones after all and stayed up too late doing so, that show is hard to stop watching but, he was going snowboarding in the morning so we had to stop but, I was almost chipper as we headed to bed. So I think things are turning around. The PMDD must be passing. Thank goodness. Hopefully tomorrow’s journal post is much more optimistic.