Journal Entry: Feb 13, 2016 (Skipping Dinner)

Journal Entry: Feb 13, 2016 (Skipping Dinner)

Journal Entry: Feb 13, 2016 (Skipping Dinner)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 44 min 2.27 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes
Mood: Good and then blah/dreadful

So today was a good day for healthy habits, I did all the stuff I planned to do. I got a good workout in, ate a healthy breakfast, had a lovely shower and avoided Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks yet again. I’ve been doing great in the morning – early afternoon but, then late afternoon – evening sucks. I’ve skipped dinner twice this week. Not because I’m developing an eating disorder or want to lose weight faster because I know about starvation mode and I think my body is more likely to hold onto fat when I skip meals based on previous slips of this nature. You’d think eating one meal a day would make you thin and maybe it would work for you but, not for me, I lose zero weight when I skip meals. I think my body is always in fight or flight mode as far as my diet is concerned because it is rarely a regular event. I eat sporadically and at different times of the day, though I’m getting better at it, or so I thought.

No I missed dinner twice this week once because I was busy and once because I slept through it. I went to take a nap at like 5pm yesterday and just stayed asleep all night until about midnight when my boyfriend came to bed. Then I decided I needed to get up for a bit. Eating at midnight did not seem like a great idea and I didn’t feel hungry so I ate a handful or dark chocolate covered almonds and played video games for a couple of hours. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up at 4am. I then went to my actual bed.

This is really problematic though. Skipping meals is very bad for you and I just need to get the second half of my day to start flowing like the first half which is going great. Maybe it is time to make an evening routine. I can set an alarm for eating dinner and stack habits onto that. I’ll think about it and report back. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Feb 12, 2016 (Fiscally Responsible)

Journal Entry: Feb 12, 2016 (Fiscally Responsible)

Journal Entry: Feb 12, 2016 (Fiscally Responsible)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes 44 min 2.24 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes though I was tempted
Mood: OK for most of the day then it got dark and I got blah

So it was another winning day for me and I got a mani/pedi to celebrate all of my accomplishments which I think is only right. I’ve been very good. I may not have beaten my depressed mood back yet but, I’ve conquered stopped falling victim to my worst symptoms. I’m taking care of myself while depressed. It’s a miracle. I also got to see my nephews today. I decided maybe to help me with my mood I should get out more so I went to my Sister’s house to play with my nephews and then watch Scandal once they fell asleep. The visit definitely made me happy but, it was short lived. I started feeling the dread as I was leaving her house partly due to anxiety over whether I’d be able to get my morning routine done because it was a little late when I left. I did my free writing homework but, this time the 5 minutes which felt like 5 seconds the first time, felt like 5o minutes. I think the key is to do it midday instead.

So onto the topic of this post, I was fiscally responsible this week after thinking irresponsibly. I bought my desk and chair for like $100 and it is definitely worth it I think but, after I got that set up I replaced our bedroom lamps (also a good move) but, then I decided I wanted space to do yoga and so I wanted a TV in my room. I told my boyfriend and he was all for it, let’s get a 50″ for the living room and move the 43″ to the bedroom. I started doing research and then when we were going to go to Best Buy I said, “this is crazy, I’m out of work, we should NOT be buying a TV.” He agreed and that was the end of that but, still I almost spent $500 on a luxury while only earning 75% pay on Long Term Disability. That was scary when I realized how foolish an idea that was. If I want to do yoga I can use my laptop to watch my favorite YouTube Yogi Adriene.

So yay me! I caught myself before making a silly purchase. I don’t know if it was hypomania per say because I haven’t really felt hypomanic. My hypomania is not just buy, buy, buy! There are a lot of symptoms that go with it. I think it was more just a somewhat normal “Fixing up a room? Go big or go home!” mentality. It’s easy to get carried away I think. Have you caught yourself before doing something impulsive and possibly reckless and did it make you feel proud that you caught yourself or worried that you almost did it? I’d love to hear from you. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Feb 9, 2016 (Tuesdays Suck)

Journal Entry: Feb 9, 2016 (Tuesdays Suck)

Journal Entry: Feb 9, 2016 (Tuesdays Suck)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 42 min 2.19 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes
Mood: Busy and Frustrated and Blah

Tuesdays are awful because my carefully stacked habits get thrown all about. You see I have PT (Physical Therapy) on Tuesdays and I’ve been told by my physical therapist not to work out before my appointment. I thought getting two workouts in would be great but, he was not on board. I usually wake up around 5am and get to the gym by 5:15am or 5:30am. I take my meds, brush my teeth, go to the gym, workout, eat my healthy breakfast, take my daughter to school, shower, and avoid buying Dunks or Starbucks for myself all day. On a PT day though, I still wake up around 5am, take my meds and brush my teeth but, then I have to wait until 9am or 9:30am to go to PT to get my workout in. It drives me cuckoo. I don’t want to stray from my routine very much because I want it to become second nature but, this throws a wrench in it. I think I have to make a Tuesday routine that is different on purpose. Maybe take meds, brush teeth, do chores, healthy breakfast, drive daughter to school, PT & workout, shower and avoid Dunks or Starbucks? I think that could work I’ll try it next week.

Today was the worst though. Busy and full of cancellations. My daughter’s classes were cancelled though only one was announced so she was driven to school even though she didn’t need to be and then needed to be driven back because she forgot her wallet, luckily she left it at the table with her friends. I did some chores. Our kitchen has been piling up with cans and bottles like crazy. We haven’t redeemed them in quite some time so I had a ton of redeeming to do at a machine. It took awhile but, it was really good to purge. I then recycled the plastic shopping bags at the grocery store. I hate that I don’t use reusable bags anymore but, at least I’m recycling the plastic bags, right? I did some shopping and then I napped for an hour. I just felt exhausted, lifting things is much more of a workout than it used to be so redeeming all of those bottles and cans knocked the wind out of me. I then went to get my blood drawn (INR check it’s a coumadin [blood thinner] thing) and found out that I didn’t need to go to my next destination which was my therapist’s office.

I was really bummed that she cancelled. I think part of the dread is all of my repressed emotion about my trauma and we were going to start EMDR which was designed to help people work through PTSD. She was able to get me in on Wednesday at noon so it wasn’t all that bad but still. It was just a weird day full of frustration and cancellations. I went to bed pretty early. I hope your day was better and as always I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Feb 8, 2016 (Slowly but Surely)

Journal Entry: Feb 8, 2016 (Slowly but Surely)

Journal Entry: Feb 8, 2016 (Slowly but Surely)

Weekly Weight: 203.3 lbs, that’s 1.6 lbs down from last week!
Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 40 min 1.92 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Shower: Yes
No Dunks or Starbucks: Yes
Mood: Productive, content and then the dread creeped back in

I am very happy to report a loss of 1.6 lbs. It’s not massive but, honestly you’re only supposed to lose 1-2 lbs per week for lasting success, so I’ll gladly take my weight loss slowly but surely. I had a great workout at the crack of dawn which is when I usually work out but, this time it was more imperative because a snow storm was coming. Both kids had no school. I got out before it even started snowing. I ate mt healthy breakfast and then after my shower I put on PJs because why waste an outfit on a snow day? I watched Game of Thrones and Hannibal Burress’ new special on Netflix. I drank hot cocoa with marshmallows and I ate sensibly all day, except for lunch which consisted of two bowl of lucky charms. I had a nice roaring fire and then I just felt the dread creeping back in. I wrote a post devoted to it: The Dread.

I tried sleeping it off but, I couldn’t sleep for very long. I know I complain about it constantly but, I am just not used to feeling so dark. I couldn’t sleep for long so I blogged about it and then I went down to watch a little TV with my daughter and eat dinner. She’s rewatching One Tree Hill and I thought it was very funny when I heard a character say, “come to my place I’ve got DSL.” It was the new big thing at the time. It cheered me up a bit to hang out with my daughter. I finally went to bed. I think I need to start giving myself to do lists, keeping myself busy all day. I just worry that I’ll get overwhelmed but, I think it may be the only way to stop the dread from coming. Keeping my mind occupied. I don’t want to over schedule my day though because that never ends well. Maybe just a loosey goosey list of things to be done. I hope it will help I’ll try starting Tuesday. Wish me luck! I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

The Dread

The Dread

The Dread

I’ve been depressed since 1998 in varying degrees of severity and yet I’ve never felt anything so severe as what I’ve been calling “the dread”. It is this overwhelming, pervasive, darkness that washes over me all of a sudden. I don’t know what to do and I don’t want to do anything at all. Nothing is appealing to me. It is just unbearable. It makes my skin crawl. I feel like I need to go to sleep immediately to escape it. I can imagine this is what people who are suicidal might feel like. I am luckily not suicidal, I don’t know why but, I just never have been but, if this feeling keeps coming maybe it will wear me down.

Like I said I have been depressed for nearly two decades but, my symptoms have always been mostly physical; can’t shower, can’t eat, can’t get out of bed, that sort of thing. I mean of course I also beat myself up constantly and had plenty of panic attacks about how much I suck at life but, I’ve never felt like this. I’ve been sad. This isn’t sadness. I’ve been frustrated and angry and hopeless and this is not any of those things either. This didn’t start until about 3 weeks ago but, it has been haunting me ever since.

Could it be medicine related? I started a new medicine a month or so ago, Latuda. Can Latuda make depression worse? My psychiatrist said no and thinks it’s just a coincidence. She said that I have a lot to be depressed about;  losing my job and all of my medical maladies that are still slowing me down and making me more easily fatigued for instance. Maybe that is all it is. Maybe 2015 sucked so badly that it scarred me in some way (to learn how badly 2015 sucked click here). Maybe I have cabin fever. Maybe not having a job for so long is taking its toll. I wish I could just go back to work but, my therapist doesn’t think I’m ready for that and neither do I. I’m too depressed to be selling myself cheerfully in interviews. If it was just a matter of going back to my old job that would be so easy. I could go back part time at first, or work from home for a bit. Losing my job is what sent me over the edge for sure.

Even then though, the dread didn’t start until months after I was let go so I don’t think it is the sole reason or key to unlocking what is really causing it. Maybe it is all of my unprocessed trauma sitting on my chest like an invisible but, still just as heavy elephant. Maybe the dread keeps coming because my mind/body can no longer handle repressing it all. I guess I don’t know why it’s here or when it will stop but, I know I can’t live like this forever. I have to defeat it once and for all somehow. I know my story doesn’t end with me being perpetually unemployed and uneducated. I know that there is a happy ending for me. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. I just wish I could get the express train out of this damn depressing tunnel is all.

Can you relate to what I’m feeling? Has a medicine meant to cure your depression made it worse for you? I’d love to hear from you. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Feb 2, 2016 (Parenting)

Journal Entry: Feb 2, 2016 (Parenting)

Journal Entry: Feb 2, 2016 (Parenting)

Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 34 min 1.51 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: Mixed; panicky, filled with dread in the am, content in the afternoon, sad in the evening

If you follow me on Twitter (@RealismBites) you know already that yesterday was a really rough gym day. I was OK warming up and doing my strength training exercises but, when it came time to do my 34 min walk on the treadmill, I just couldn’t stand it. I was bored out of my brain. My music was boring me, MacGyver was boring me, I was just in a bad mood partially I suppose but, I just found it incredibly difficult to finish my walk. I wanted to stop so many times and then stretching afterwards was equally difficult. I can’t explain it, it was advanced boredom. I was itching to stop, like being on that treadmill was making my skin crawl. It was awful and all I kept thinking was if it continues to be this hard how can I stick with this? Can I put myself through this everyday? I had a panic attack worrying about that when I got home and so I took a Clonopin and decided to nap off the dread. Twitter folks were very supportive and I came to the conclusion that I should try listening to podcasts rather than music to keep me entertained throughout my walk.

I woke up a little late from my nap because I didn’t actually set my alarm but, I felt better and I made it to PT only a little late. I had another good workout with my physical therapist and then I went to get another workout in, babysitting my 2 3/4 year old and 8 month old nephew. We went for a walk in their twin stroller. I was pooped. The little guy passed out almost immediately but, the 2 year old and I kept on the look out for planes. We kept hearing them but, couldn’t find them in the sky. Luckily a car went by or the walk would have been deemed the dullest ever. I couldn’t walk too far so we went back to the house, I successfully transferred my sleeping nephew to the crib and then did a bunch of puzzles with the 2 year old. It was a good time. They really are the cutest things ever.

I hung out with my daughter for bit before therapy. My therapist is really very concerned about the dread. She asked if I felt suicidal and I told her honestly I don’t. I try to escape it with sleep or busywork but, no suicidal thoughts, thankfully. We discussed how unready I am to return to work. She told me about this book she has that is filled with Mothers complaining that they did a terrible job even though they have kids who are doing OK. She tries to tell me I’m a good mother because my kids are great but, I think I’m a terrible mother because I’ve let my disorders take over and I think my kids think they are bothering me whenever they ask for something. We did talk a lot about my mothering instincts which are good. We talked about early stuff I did with them, making them do chores even as toddlers, little chores like put away your toys before bed and make your bed when you wake up which just meant pull your comforter over the bed, not like hospital corners or anything. We talked about how I let me kids problem solve for themselves until they asked me for help whereas my Mother would go over and help them while they were trying to work something out. We talked about how they had a list of things to do when they were first home alone (call Mom, do homework, do chores). All of these positives, maybe they did help make them the good kids they are. They are 18 and 20 years old and they are both in college or bound for college. Neither has ever been arrested. Neither has gotten pregnant or gotten someone else pregnant in the case of my son. Neither has wound up in the hospital with alcohol poisoning. They really are good kids but, I don’t feel like I can take credit for it because I was depressed for so many of the important years. The difficult early teenage years. I was there but, I wasn’t, ya know? I beat myself up a lot about my parenting and my therapist is always trying to convince me that I did a good job. I wish I could believe it.

Well that’s enough of that. Do you worry that your mental illness(es) has hurt your ability to be a good Mother/Father? I’d love to hear from you. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

Journal Entry: Feb 1, 2016 (Slacking)

Journal Entry: Feb 1, 2016 (Slacking)

Journal Entry: Feb 1, 2016 (Slacking)

Weekly Weight: 204.9 lbs
Brushed Teeth: Yes
Walked: Yes, 34 min 1.6 miles
Healthy Breakfast: Yes
Mood: Content in the am and then filled with dread in the pm

I’m sorry I have been slacking. My daughter’s laptop is in the shop and she’s been using mine more frequently but really I could have written. I just got filled with the dread (I explain all about that here: Journal Entry: Jan 31, 2016 (Dread Defeated)). Monday I was OK for most of the day I went to the gym, got in my workout, ate a healthy breakfast but then I felt the dread creeping in around 4pm or 5pm and I just went to bed. Sleep is a good escape from the dread especially when you’ve got sore muscles from working out. See, I could have done something instead to occupy my mind but, I was sore and blah and just chose bed this time.

I did my morning weigh in too and yikes! That is heavier than I have ever been. I guess months of depression and bad eating habits and sitting on my ass all day has done its damage. I’m trying to rectify it now so I’m trying to not let that number get to me but, it is awful high. I’m only 5’3″ after all. Well I wrote a post about Mental Illness and Obesity after that weigh in. I hope it is helpful. I mean I just share my own experience but, I think it’s a very familiar story.

Well since I slept half the day away I suppose there’s not much more to say. I hope this post finds you well or on your way to wellness.

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.