Medication Evaluation

Yesterday was my long awaited med eval. My nifty new doctor had the same solution as my allergist, let’s double your meds! So, I guess I’m going to be happy if I like it or not. On the bright side, we ruled out me being bi-polar, but determined that my boyfriend is highly manipulative and toxic to my life. Overall, it was a productive hour and a half. We’re meeting again in a month to see how things are going.

My huge problem now… binge eating. I am stuffing my feelings down with everything in creation after my therapy sessions. I have gained a whopping 20 lbs in the last 2 months. I really wish I were over exaggerating. I’m at the point where my body is physically getting in my way and I’m at the highest weight I’ve ever been. It wasn’t really the new record that I was shooting for. It is hoped, with my new dosage, that I will be able to reign in my eating. In the mean time, I’m attempting to make healthy swaps. I’m not eating a bag of chips, I’m eating a pint of strawberries. I’m not eating fried foods, I’m eating unsalted nuts and banana chips. I’m not heading for the gallon of ice cream, I have a spoon (or several) of peanut butter. And root beer! Well, root beer beer. I found a spiced ale that tastes just like root beer and it is fabulous. I like to have a bottle while I make me do my homework. My homework is not going well. 1) I am typing on here instead of doing my paper. 2) My attention span is next to nothing right now. 3) I am so very sick of studying.

But still, I’m taking these very necessary steps to improve my mental health. I need it. I need it first. I am hoping that my physical health will be able to follow shortly.

Prolonged Exposure Therapy…

… is a beast! I have never felt so very run down. The aftermath feels like the flu, insomnia, and migraines all rolled into one. Don’t know what prolonged exposure therapy is? Let me tell you. It is a therapy method for PTSD where you will describe your trauma, from beginning to end, with as much detail as you can possibly remember, in first person, and it is recorded. Your homework in between sessions is to listen to yourself. REALLY listen to yourself. I had never had flashbacks before. I would get flashes or feelings from time to time and I would stuff those down as best I could. Now, it is like I’m convulsing. My body remembers what it was doing. I’m like a puppet and my memory has the strings. It is the weirdest thing I’ve experienced. Part two of my homework is to pretty much induce a panic attack, acknowledge it in all its glory, and calm myself while still in the midst of what I’m scared of. I have to do both of these things every day until my next session. Then we record again, pick a new task, wash, rinse, repeat.

My logical self knows that this is needed. I feel a change in me. Really really feel it. I’m not sure it is good or not yet, but something is stirring in the dark cave of my brain. I know that the only way out is through. I can do this. I will do this.

I have a non logical self as well. I see her as a 12 year old me. She’s hurt. She’s trying to hide. She just wants the pain to stop. Can’t we just be quiet again and let all this dust and debris settle?

No, little one. We can’t. But, I guarantee you are safe. You’ve already gone through the worst, and survived. We just need to remember, and create a whole memory that can be filed away. We need a beginning, middle, and end before we close the story.

I want to hug her. We’re going to be alright.

Healing… slowly

So here’s something new and exciting. I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD. My therapist had an educated hunch, and in a session, she was guiding my memories from here to there and Boom! I curled in a ball and began sobbing. It was like I was a puppet. I didn’t make me do that, it just kind of happened. After we calmed me down and got me back in the present, she said, “I’m confident in my diagnosis. We can start discussing treatment options next session”.

Now, this is some nutty stuff for me, like it’ll challenge a whole lot of things that I’ve held as true for decades. Apparently, PTSD also causes my disconnect that I have between what I know and what I feel. And add to the list my obsessing, feelings of self-loathing, anxiety, depression, weight… All of this lousy stuff I’ve been carrying around and labeling as part of my personality. I’m a whole better me, underneath. I just need her help to get me there now.

I am eager and terrified all at once. It is a peculiar feeling. I know treatment will help me and make things a whole lot better. Yay! I know it is going to be way harder than my last session and it felt miserable and near impossible. Boo! She says that I agree with her suggestions far faster than she thought I would. My answer is simply that I know that she’s right, and although I don’t want to go through more pain, I know it will truly be better on the other side. She likes my logical approach.

In other news, I have reinstated my weekly goals. They are tiny ones because I am so far off my healthy living wagon that I can’t even catch up with a scooter. If I go back to all my changes I made at once, then I’ll be overwhelmed and crash out. Three cheers for self awareness! This week (I’m on day 2) I will make my step goal of 10k steps every day. I’m also trying to log my food and water again, but I’m not forcing it or being strict with it just yet. I’m going baby steps so that I don’t freak me out and rebel… against myself. Weird crap right there. One of my future goals will be to battle my processed sugar intake. Gummies and Twizzlers shouldn’t be a main food group, but there they are. I bought a dehydrator yesterday. My banana chips are fantastic and I have strawberries going now. I know we still have sugar there, but it feels less evil and processy. Plus! I’ll be able to make my own trail mixes that I won’t be allergic to since I won’t be dousing them in preservatives.

That’s all for now. Just a quick update. I hope everyone is doing well 🙂

My brain is too busy

I have so much that I want to do, so much that I should do, that I get nothing done. I get flustered and caught up in my planning process, that I just want to sleep. I want to hide and give up because everything is just too much. What on Earth do I do with that? I know that it is a problem. Is that step 1? Do I need steps? Why can’t I just get over things? Why can’t I just dive in and take care of what needs to be done? Why do I have so very many trains of thought going at one time? I should sit, focus, and handle my assignments for the week. Yet, I’m evaluating my life plan. Trying to figure out where I’ve gone wrong with my relationship. Who is he out with? Why doesn’t he message me back? What the hell did I do now? I have to see him on vacation in a couple of weeks. I really wanted to lose some weight before then. Not like it would matter, he doesn’t see me for me anyways. I have finals coming up, again. Only 4 more classes to go for my Masters Degree. What am I going to do with myself after that? I’ve been a student forever. Free time is kind of terrifying. What if I don’t use it well? I should have organized more when I had time off. The basement is flooding. If I had organized a bit better, then I could have moved his stuff so that it didn’t get wet. I’d move it now, but that is where the spiders are hiding. Not that he would appreciate it anyways. Why do I keep trying? Persistence is not always a good virtue. I could be cleaning the house or doing laundry. That was how I saw that the basement was flooding yesterday. He said he wished I didn’t have to deal with all the house stuff. Is that because he doesn’t want to be a nuisance or because he cares about me? Why can’t he just say that he cares? Because he doesn’t. I need to face it. It has been over a decade of me dedicating my life to him and it will never be good enough. I was a force of nature when he found me. I didn’t deal with any of his crap. I called him out on everything. He’s worn me down. I shouldn’t be surprised that he doesn’t want the pathetic shell that he’s created. I should hop on the treadmill and have a good cry. I always feel better after the endorphin rush. I don’t know why I avoid exercise so much when I feel so much better after. Losing weight shouldn’t be difficult, it really is just taking care of your body well. Why wouldn’t you want to? Why do I feed my feelings and then feel guilty after? I don’t know what to do with the guilt, it doesn’t like food. It likes sleep. Sleeping lets my head shut up. I dream some odd crap though. Last night I was in a weird tanning place. All of the beds were in 1 room. We didn’t have any privacy to strip down or anything. I was walking around with a sheet wrapped around me. The guy that ran the place was all oiled up and wearing a speedo. I think there was a kitten too.

And this is my head when I’m on my meds. A constant reel of everything but what I need to get done.

Restarting my Fitness Journey

I had let myself get really down and I’m finally snapping out of it. I’m on regular meds and sleeping again. I also seem to be drifting, gradually, away from my boyfriend. That’s a whole other entry though. Today I am diving back into a fitness routine. I have reassessed my goals and opened up my journal once more.

I may pause, but I’m not giving up on me.

Recognizing Abuse

I am getting help. I always knew what physical abuse looked like. I like to think that if I were ever affected by it, that I would have enough sense to get away. Mental abuse is different, but no less damaging. I see myself as intelligent, observant, and I have no idea how I have missed it. I have spent over a decade watching myself deteriorate, doubt, and slowly go mad. I have doubted my senses, my memory (and it is impeccable), and my feelings. I have felt frantic, desperate, and completely worthless while trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing wrong. It. Wasn’t. Me. It is called gaslighting. I am so damn relieved that it has a name. I am not alone. I am not crazy. My memory is freaking perfect. I can recite entire conversations verbatim, years after they occur. Part of my natural charm is that I go through what if scenarios, almost constantly. As a result, my memory has always been spectacular because I replay every freakin’ thing over and over studying it.

Check this out:

https://avictimsjournal.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/narcissism-and-gaslighting/

http://www.sarahtateauthor.com/how-psychos-mess-with-your-head.html

My sister sent that to me, along with a few other links, and the light turned on. Holy crap! That is my life. He omits. He distracts. He does this push/pull thing with my emotions. I’ve been so convinced that I am crazy. Not even trusting my eyes. He convinces me that I’m guilty when he’s done something wrong. It has been so absurd, but it sounds so reasonable when he speaks.

So this is where I am. I see that I’ve been in a fog. I’m now on a mission for mental and physical health. I’m on my 6th day straight of going to the gym and I’m going to keep going. It really helps me to think clearer and picks up my mood. Way better than brooding and not getting out of my pajamas for days. I need to connect with people. I need my friends. I isolated myself and it has made things so much worse for me. I will move in the right direction now. I will fortify myself and heal. Things will get better from here.

Let’s talk food

I recently signed up for Nerd Fitness Academy. They are wonderfully geeky and full of game and show references that I adore. I had been following their free site for a while and decided it was time to level up. I’m on day 2 and making small changes to my diet and surroundings to set me up for success. One thing they discourage is the all or nothing mentality. It is ok to make mistakes, you just need to pick yourself back up and keep on going.

One change, of course, is to begin cutting out processed junk in my diet. I’m big on whole foods, but I still go for a cereal bar on the run. I prefer salads, but will polish off the instant mashed potatoes if given the chance. For dinner tonight I stuffed a couple of chicken breasts with broccoli and cheese. My daughter wanted au gratin potatoes and I obliged. While I was stirring and simmering I reflected on what I had been reading all day on their site. It inspired me. Just one little change can make this dinner a healthy one instead of one that will leave me on the couch ready for a nap. Those damn potatoes. I mashed up an avocado, tore up some kale (thanks mom), diced some tomatoes (thanks happy gardening neighbor), and poof! I now have a much happier side for my chicken.

The important part of the switch is how good I feel about it. It is motivating. Tomorrow, for breakfast, I’m going to swap out my toast for an apple. I can definitely put peanut butter on that. All of the time off I had really brought me back to square one. I went right back to convenience foods. Now I just need to figure out how to make the healthier ones more convenient.

A Smile to Start My Day

While in Oman this Summer, we went on an adventure (several). We were on a mission to find a water spout on the coast. We never found it, but we did find camels hanging out on a beach. I was grinning. He was grinning. It was a fabulous moment until he leaned over my daughter to sniff her head. Then there was screaming and our moment was over. Here’s my moment.

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As I Yo-Yo again… (Operation Motivation)

I’m back… again. I haven’t taken a full 5 months off, but I feel like I might have well have. My scale practically groans when I start to approach. Ok, that isn’t true, but I imagine it in my head in the morning. I’m back for inspiration and motivation. Oh, I need motivation. And, a therapist. Since I’m unwilling to find the last one right now, I’ll stick to helping my body to become healthier and hope my mind follows.

Since back to school shopping was done, I am fully stocked up on notebooks. I have no reason not to be journaling like a madwoman. I have also found a bike riding buddy. I purchased a bike several years ago. I even rode it a couple of times. I have gone for more bike rides in the past two weeks than I have the rest of the years I have owned the thing. I even rode around the block a couple of times today with my daughter. My only complaint is that my butt hurts after. I bought a cushioned seat cover, which helps a little, but my muscles on my bottom need to get used to holding me up on a tiny seat. I will get there before snow falls this Winter.

I am currently not working (I am a seasonal employee), so my days consist of cleaning, school work (Masters Degree), and exercise. Well, that is what it should consist of. Too often, my day is filled with Netflix, couch naps, and wishing I had done something with my day. I miss my weekly goals. I felt like I was getting something done.

I have a handful of sources of motivation right now, some healthy, some not so healthy.

1) My darling daughter. She is always a shining spot of love, motivation, dedication and all that is good. I want her to live in a happy healthy environment. I will be a positive role model in her life.

2) Diet Bet. I joined another Diet Bet and I read our activity board regularly (every time I feel like drowning out reality with donuts). Seeing other women working together, sharing ideas, acknowledging accomplishments, supporting each other in struggles gets my mind back to where I want it to be.

3) I compare myself to others. Here’s my unhealthy one that keeps me writing in my journal because I am driving myself insane. I was in Abu Dhabi for the Summer visiting my boyfriend. He is surrounded by gorgeous women that are scantly clad and just passing through. I’m not going into this further because it’ll set me off on a self loathing tangent and I’m looking for positive motivation right now and not one fueled by frantic desperation.

To wrap this up, here are my goals for the week.

  1. Meet my FitBit step goal each day this week.
  2. Try a new healthy recipe.
  3. Finish my homework by Thursday. (This will reduce so much stress in my weekend. No one deserves to have a stressed out weekend.)
  4. Time my mile on my walk/jog.
  5. Sign up for the NAMI RI 5k for this weekend.

I’m going to start with this and come up with my long term goals later. And I’m off! I’m planning on playing Just Dance before bed 🙂

And my weight this morning was 244 lbs…

Patting myself on the back

After yesterday, I came to the conclusion that I need to ease up on myself. I do accomplish a lot. It sure doesn’t help that I beat myself up all of the time.

So, here’s a little pat on the back. I didn’t sleep well last night. Once the sun started rising, instead of laying in bed brooding further, I got up and went for a walk. I looped all around town until it started raining on me. And just a few minutes ago, I was beginning to rummage the leftover Chinese food in the fridge. I know that I have way better choices around me. However, I stopped when I realized that I was just very thirsty. 20 oz of water or so later and I’m mildly content.

I was going to apologize to my boyfriend for being cranky at him, but changed my mind. I started crying again when I was typing it. Maybe I don’t need to apologize. I just wish he understood. I wish he could understand without me having to explain. I wish I didn’t respond so strongly to all these feelings. Its a never ending flood (much like the basement). I don’t think that he and I are going to make it through this together. I just need to accept that possibility and start to build my own life again. I don’t even remember him not being in my life. We’re on about 13 years. Even when we weren’t together, we’ve been together. He’s the only constant that I’ve had in my adult life.

Ok, I’m going to try and be done with my pity party. I’m hopping firmly onto Team Nicole tomorrow. I know that I can do great things with me, I just need to get out of my way.

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