All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

All or Nothing (the bane of my existence)

I have always had an all or nothing attitude which has held me back in so many ways. I am either kicking ass and taking names or I am slowly becoming a part of the couch. It is very rare that I allow myself to do part of something or to do a mediocre job because I am a perfectionist. If I can’t do it perfectly I won’t do it at all. This leads to me putting so much pressure and importance on a project that I either stress about it all day long (even when I’m not working on the project) or I crash and burn and leave the job half done. I also tend to get analysis paralysis (can’t take credit, my therapist calls it that); I plan things so intricately that I never get to them. I want to make sure I do the task as efficiently and expertly as possible so I think and plan and think and plan and never get around to the doing phase. I’m not sure which one of my many mental illnesses are responsible for this but, I’m leaning toward the ADD, bipolar II, and maybe even the anxiety. Read more

Journal Entry: Feb 21, 2016 (Weigh in Worries)

Journal Entry: Feb 21, 2016 (Weigh in Worries)

Journal Entry: Feb 21, 2016 (Weigh in Worries)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 52 min 2.64 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes
Mood: Stressed, happy for a bit, exhausted, anxious

I know I said in my recent journal entry, “Screw the Scale” but, I’m stressing tomorrow’s weigh in. I’m just working so hard and doing so many things right it’s just going to discourage me to see another gain tomorrow and I’m especially worried there will be one because it is that time of the month. I know it’s a marathon not a sprint and all and I really do know that it takes time and I just need to keep doing what I’m doing but, I’m just worried about the psychological hit of another week with a gain. I did an extra 15 minutes on the bike today and took a nice walk with my Sister and nephew this afternoon because it was beautiful out and I got ice cream for my whole family but, none for myself. All because of tomorrow’s weigh in. I’m just obsessing. I haven’t skipped any meals or anything dangerous it’s just taken over my mind.

But anywho, that sucks and who knows maybe tomorrow I’ll be able to post a loss. Or maybe I’ll be able to post a gain and not freak out about it. Onto cheerier subjects, today was pretty good other than being exhausted for most of it. I got some good nephew time in. Got to take a nice 20 minute or so walk outside in the fresh air. Got some new workout clothes and cleaning supplies so that I can start cleaning tomorrow. Of course now I’m stressing because I still haven’t finished going through my mail and I haven’t done my taxes…is this cleaning kick just a new project to procrastinate on those other adult matters I need to take care of? Oh and I haven’t done my free writing in days. Have to get back on that, tomorrow. For now I am exhausted and I’m going to get some sleep. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

 

Journal Entry: Feb 7, 2016 (Still Good)

Journal Entry: Feb 7, 2016 (Still Good)

Journal Entry: Feb 7, 2016 (Still Good)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 40 min 2.03 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Not really, went out for breakfast
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes
Mood: Excited and proud and then blah and dreadful

So I guess it’s only day two but, still I’ve not had anything from Dunks or Starbucks for two days. That is like a record for me. I did have coffee with cream and sugar for breakfast but, no other liquid calories throughout the day, just water, green tea, and coconut seltzer. I ate pretty well too other than breakfast where I got apple pie french toast. It was a good day. We had to go out to breakfast because well we just love breakfast and because we had to celebrate, my son got his license! I know this was spoiled in yesterday’s posts about Mothers, Daughters, and Mental Illness but, still it bears repeating.

I had my boyfriend take him to his road test because I was afraid my nervous energy might rub off on him. Plus I didn’t want to interrupt my routine. We needed to leave at the same time as the gym opened. I needed to get my workout in after brushing my teeth. I did get a good upper body workout in and I increased my walk to 40 minutes. I also bought some stuff including a book for my daughter and myself about overcoming anxiety. I hope she’ll read it. It was a rough morning because of that fight which is detailed in this post: Mothers, Daughters, and Mental Illness. I was so excited for my son and so worried about my daughter. She’s 20 and I want her to have a car and a job but, she is still adamant that she’ll always be anxious about driving. It’s like she doesn’t even want to try to not be anxious because if she can get over her anxiety she’ll prove me right. It’s so hard.

We had the talk with the kids about how we’d front them the money for their first cars once they got jobs (well and a license in my daughter’s case). They seemed on board. I think my son will have a job by next week. He’s very motivated and needs a car for college. My daughter is supposed to be driving herself to school from now on to get practice in, with me in the passenger seat of course, but she says I make her nervous so let’s see how well that works.

I got a lot of laundry done and then about 4pm I fell asleep. I hate being exhausted so early in the day. I wish I could stay up and be productive all day. I woke up from this nap at 10pm had a decent dinner and took my evening meds and then went back to bed. I have two reasons for the fatigue, I have clots in my lungs and legs and I am severely depressed. I should cut myself some slack because I am doing things I could never do when depressed in the past, showering, brushing my teeth, eating normally. I am so grateful that these symptoms are lessening so much because they are my most embarrassing and troublesome symptoms but, my mood and my energy level is still that of someone in severe depression. It’s difficult. Hopefully the med change I talked about Friday will help. I’m thinking I need a new med entirely rather than just an increased dosage though.

Have you ever been half depressed like I am now? That’s what it feels like. I’m half depressed. I can do all the things I want/need to do which is completely atypical of depressed me but, I’m still feeling exhausted and the dread is creeping in all the time. I’d love to hear from you! I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Mothers, Daughters, and Mental Illness

Mothers, Daughters, and Mental Illness

Mothers, Daughters, and Mental Illness

My daughter (20 years old) and I had a bit of a screaming match this morning, well she screamed at me anyways. My son (18 years old) had just gotten his license and I told her that she really needed her license too so she would be driving herself to school every day. She growled a little about how anxious driving makes her. I then brought up the fact that she is willing to take medicine for ADD (which changed her life) but, is unwilling to take something for anxiety (which is a far more pressing issue for her). Her response was that she was scared of taking too many medications. I explained that I was referring to something like Paxil which will help with her depression but, also has an anti-anxiety component, rather than something like Xanax which is more of a heat of the moment sort of drug. She has an appointment this Friday with her psychiatrist and I recommended she talk to her about it. She got very angry and said, “no, I’ll deal with it on my own.” I asked how. She didn’t respond. I offered to buy her a book on how to overcome anxiety. I started searching Amazon and reading out titles to her and she got even more angry.

I know I was sort of nagging but, I was completely calm the whole time. I’m just really worried about her. I said, “How are you going to deal with it if you won’t do therapy or take medication? I am trying to help you deal with it on your own if that’s what you really want by buying you a book.” She then went off about therapists and how they are all condescending. I asked her why she walked out of her last appointment 10 minutes in and she said that Doreen (who is my therapist too) made her angry because she was being condescending. Now Doreen is about the sweetest, best, therapist out there. She does dish out straightforward talk and maybe she was saying something Taylor didn’t want to hear but, I don’t think she intended to be condescending. Basically anything I said made her more angry to the point of screaming and crying and we get along great, we just cannot talk about mental illness which is the thing we most have in common.

Unfortunately thanks to genealogy she inherited the same issues I inherited from my Dad; ADD and Bipolar (not diagnosed yet because she won’t see her therapist but, we discussed it once and agreed that she seems to have it). She also has crushing anxiety and paranoia. We are so very alike but, she can’t see that yet. Every time I try to help her with her mental illnesses it turns into a screaming match. She thinks I have no idea what I’m talking about. I just don’t know how to talk to her about it. I don’t think I can. I think anything I say is going to be taken as an insult or a slight of some sort even though that is in no way my intent. I’m not trying to force her to face her trauma yet since she is clearly not ready. I’m not trying to force her to take meds if she doesn’t want to. I’m not even going to force her to see a therapist, even though I think it is incredibly helpful. I just want to know what her plan is and I want to help in any way that I can but, she just can’t see that. How do I talk to her? How do I help her? Those aren’t rhetorical questions, I’ll take any suggestions. Have you had similar issues with your children? Did you find a way to talk to them about it without it turning into a fight? I think I might ask my Sister to talk to her because I think she gets upset with me just because I’m Mom. I would love to hear from anyone who has experience with a young adult or teenager who is refusing therapy or medication for an overwhelming condition. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Mental Illness and Obesity

Mental Illness and Obesity

Mental Illness and Obesity

I am obese. I have been for a long time now. I think I may be genetically predisposed, none of my relatives are stick figures, but I know my habits are to blame in large part. Being obese makes me hate my body and leads to more negative self talk, depression, and anxiety but, I think being mentally ill is what makes me obese. You see bad habits are harder to break and good habits are harder to form, though I am trying, when you’ve got bipolar (mostly depression), ADD, anxiety, and PTSD. They feed into each other. I’m obese because I’m mentally ill and I’m having trouble overcoming my mental illnesses because I’m obese. It’s a problem I am sure many people have. I thought about doing some research on this matter but, I think it is very easy to come by, the link between weight and mental illness whether you are obese or underweight is quite obvious. I think instead I’ll just talk about my weight and my history.

I was always short, thin, and awkward growing up. When I became a teenager curves started developing, my legs started getting “thick” as one guy put it but, I was still in a size 3 and had flat abs. The guys loved it and that was very important to me at the time. I wasn’t crazy about my legs, I did Legs of Steel workouts to try and slim them down but, not really in earnest. Then I had kids. Now you might think I’m going to say they made me fat but, you’d be wrong, I was right back in my size 3 jeans after my children. I had my children very young, I was 16 and 19 when I gave birth. So whenever I say “I’m fat” to someone and they say, “well you have two kids” I have to tell them they are not to blame at all. I was able to eat whatever I wanted and not worry about my weight. Though I did do some working out to get rid of the baby weight I didn’t work out regularly and I didn’t keep up with it. Read more

The Jitters

The Jitters

The Jitters a poem about anxiety

Jittering, jingling, jangling legs.
Always all a fluster.
Can’t calm, can’t relax.
Anxiety is always with me even when I think I’m calm.

Swirling Anxiety

Swirling Anxiety

Swirling Anxiety

My kids still don’t have their licenses, it’s all my fault.

Without licenses they can’t get jobs, without jobs they’ll have a harder time getting jobs after college.

Without jobs they’ll be living with me forever which isn’t too bad, for me, but, it’s awful for them.

What if they wind up getting college degrees and working at a movie theater?

What if they end up never leaving home and never finding love and never having children?

What if I am never a Grandma? And it’s all my fault. If only I had pushed them.

If only I had the strength to keep my head above water and push them.

It’s all my fault because I’m broken they don’t feel like they can bother me.

It’s all my fault because I let them see my damage.

I did what my Mother did to me, I made them feel like burdens.

When did I turn into my Mother?

Can I reverse this or are they just stuck on a path of mediocrity of my own making forever?

 

Naming your Disorders

Naming your Disorders

naming your disorders

I got this idea from @Davesoapbox; name your disorders so they really feel like something other than yourself which is what they are. They may color your personality but, they are not you. So this is going to be a short piece where I just name all of my disorders. It could have been a tweet but, it would have been too long.

So, here are all my disorders and their names:

Bipolar II – This is a tough one I’m trying to think of a name of someone who is turbulent…oooh Ursula. Yup Ursula the sea witch from The Little Mermaid. I’ll try to make the rest less Disney.

Depression – I think I’m going to name this Debbie after Debbie Downer, the SNL skit and my Mother.

Adult ADD – Addie sounds like someone whose hyper and flighty.

PTSD – Patsy, the name of the tortured, abused child actress from Jessica Jones who goes by Trish now.

Anxiety – Hmm, almost forgot about this one. Nelly? You know the phrase nervous Nelly.

So I am going to try to call my disorders Ursula, Debbie, Addie, Patsy, and Nelly. To prove to myself that they are separate from my true self. Thank you for the inspiration @Davesoapbox!

Journal Entry: Jan 9, 2016 (Anxiety Fueled Writer’s Block)

Journal Entry: Jan 9, 2016 (Anxiety Fueled Writer’s Block)

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Well, I did brush my teeth this morning but, that’s the only positive I can think of. This journal entry is going great so far, eh? I just had a very down day. Well a down yet jittery day if that makes any sense. I got some good feedback on the first part of my series on PTSD and I was so grateful I decided I had to write the second part but, I just couldn’t. I actually broke into a cold sweat when I sat down to write it and that was just after contemplating what images to use. I guess that I’m not as over that as I thought I was. I really thought I was down to 1 or 2 very distinct triggers at this point but, I guess writing down the details and what causes me to really freak out really freaked me out. I will try again tomorrow. I do think it’s important.

I had a not so great self care day. I barely ate anything I didn’t eat until noon after being up for 6 hours. I haven’t gotten out of my PJs. I did post some helpful things on Pinterest and Twitter so that was a positive. Well this is going to be the shortest journal entry ever but, I really don’t have much more to say, I played Skyrim, watched Doctor Who and took a nap midday. I do have to say I think that one of the reasons I am so tired apart from being hypomanic and anxious may be that I switched to decaf. Or I just tired myself out with so much stress. It’s one of those.

Oh yes I almost forgot, there was something interesting I found today it was a list of ways to cope with anxiety after I tried writing and had a panic attack I tried one of them that I hadn’t heard of before (see image below), grab a book and read the first chapter you find aloud. I read more than a chapter but, still it seemed to have helped. I recommend it. It seems silly reading out loud to yourself and clearly this isn’t a trick you could use on the subway or at work but, for a home based solution it has potential. I hope you’re well or working toward wellness. Good night!

AnxietyTechniques

Anxious Meditation

Anxious Meditation

Anxious Meditation

Inhale                                 Exhale

Focus only on your breath.

Inhale                                Exhale

Clear your mind.

Inhale                                Exhale

But, if my mind is empty what will drown out those thoughts?

Inhale                       Exhale

The thoughts that bring me right back to the worst moments of my life.

Inhale              Exhale

The many men I’ve known, not all by choice,

Inhale       Exhale

And how I asked for help that night.

Inhale   Exhale

Words uttered in a police station by someone I love,

Inhale
Exhale

It hurts to remember.

Inhale
Exhale

So much for relaxation.

Inhale
Exhale

Now to learn to breathe again.