Another Day, Another Monkey Wrench, Solutions Welcome! (gibberish and rambling are included!)

 

I am not sure why I can’t seem to remember that I am absolutely powerless to control pretty much anything, especially the whim and will of other people or the weird Kansas weather or (to a degree) how my body will react (generally dramatically, whichever the direction) to a big medication adjustment or how my frizzy-ish hair is going to handle the day’s vacillation in humidity.

Here we are, another week has gone by, there have been ups and downs, but I am surviving, and am in fact surviving in somewhat decent humor.  A bit over a week ago, things were getting a bit too roller-coasterish with my mood, and my Seroquel was increased (for the second time this month) and I really thought that was not going to affect things (overall), too much.  I was, of course, terribly wrong and while it has given me moments of extreme grogginess, the really irritating thing is that I am just extremely hungry at all times, no matter what I have just eaten or what else I have done that day.  In addition, the sugar/carb cravings are back and I really do put a lot of that on the Seroquel.

Some of it is me, though — me not handling anxiety well, me not handing “change” well, me just reverting to slacker (eating) ways.  The other problem the past week or so has been that I have not been able to do my normal exercise routine, partly because of bad knees, but mostly because of serious toe infection (both big toes) and extreme ingrown toenails.  My primary care, thankfully, decided that now was the time to pull both toenails.  They  have actually been giving me trouble for years, so in a sense, I am happy to start over with a fresh nail bed, but it was quite painful and remains a bit more than slightly painful, the dressings are not easy to change, and I have had to back off of my daily trips to the pool to do aqua aerobics.

I am on Day One of no exercise, and one would think I would be faring better, especially considering years and years of slackerdom and the past year in which I barely moved from the couch.  No lie, however, I am going quite stir crazy and have been bouncing from project to project to project.  Nothing is satisfying the itchiness inside my brain, and to keep that itchiness company, my stomach is constantly complaining that it be filled.  It is a miracle that I am not hugely over-eating my plan calories allotment, but the desire is definitely there.

I am going to have to figure out some more creative ways of telling my cycling brain to shush, of telling my growling tummy that it is not in fact starving, of settling the  feeling in my legs of wanting to bounce around, and so forth.  I am employing all of the usual remedies, like chair exercises, doing new crafts, working on special projects for others, reading, talking Kizzie and Lucy’s ears off, browsing the internet, trying to organize different spaces.  I think I need something totally different, and I have thought about it all day and decided that maybe YOU have the suggestion that I am needing.

So please, do tell, what amuses you when you feel similarly?  I am pretty open to suggestions, provided it includes nothing illegal, smoking cigarettes, or imbibing in any kind of mood-altering substance.  Let’s hear it!

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These Things Do Pass, Only With Time

It has been nearly a week before Thanksgiving that I last blogged, and I am working really hard on not being sorry about that.  So much has happened in that space of time, and so much has remained the same.  I have had some people suggest to me that I shut down this blog, just as people have in the past when I have gone walkabout for longer than a few weeks, and maybe, in all fairness to everyone else that might be the thing to do.  For me, however, I have decided time and time again that shutting this blog down is simply not an option.

Because this blog is for me.  It’s my place to vent and think things through and scratch that writing itch and have a record (for myself, for the future Rosa, something for me to ponder light years from now when I am old and grey, when I get this world figured out a little more).  I don’t think it hurts anyone for me to blog infrequently, although maybe it is an annoyance to others at times, but I can always be reached here.

So the blog will stay, and I might write often and I might not, and some weeks I might stay up on my reading and some weeks/months may go by before I show up around your blog.  Life is not so predictable, and I’m not sure anyone would really want it to be, even though I know sometimes we wish for things to be slightly more predictable.

The crippling depression that plagued most of 2016 has mostly lifted, mostly after I was chastised for not using my sun lamp by my medication provider and ended up with a new lamp because the older one was so outdated.  And, whew boy, did it ever provide some ramped up rays, because I was feeling amazing, in no time, and before you knew it I had tripped into a hypomanic state, well on my way to mania.

So, for the last few weeks, almost a month, I have been trying to quiet down my brain while stimulating it constantly, because that was the only thing that was comforting.  The hypomanic episode slid into me deciding to:

  1. Give up caffeine completely, cold-turkey
  2. Give up Xanax, cold-turkey
  3. Quit smoking, aided by nicotine patch
  4. Reorganize and de-clutter several areas of my house
  5. Drastically change my eating habits in an attempt to lose weight
  6. Move more, in general, than I have in the past year combined

So far, I have stuck with all six of these things.  I went through most of the last month feeling like I had a severe case of the flu or maybe lithium poisoning, but it turns out that it was just withdrawal.  It’s over for the most part now, but my body is still adjusting and every day is a new challenge.

In addition to this, I have decided to actually start working on real issues in therapy, instead of the same crap every week.  I told my therapist last week that I thought maybe I was finally ready to do something about my PTSD, because it is giving me such trouble, increasingly so within the last few months.

I was referred almost a month ago into a medically supervised weight loss program, and yesterday had my initial meeting with the supervising doctor.  Just on my own, I have lost 18 pounds from December 15th of last year to now, and am excited (and slightly overwhelmed) about the plans for weight loss we made yesterday and will continue to work on.  I really like the doctor — she was very understanding and seemed quite empathetic.  She also at some point wants me to work on my emotional/mental issues with food and body image and exercise, and, as she says, I am not currently being treated by the mental health center for my eating disorder and I need to talk to someone about it if I am ever going to have sustained weight loss and a more healthy relationship with food.

I’ve honestly been doing quite a bit of ignoring everyone in my life except a few people, and that is  how I have been coping with all of the depression of last year and the mania recently, and because it is honestly just easier that way sometimes, but I have a feeling that once some of the PTSD issues are alleviated somewhat, that maybe I will be better about reconnecting with people, even though it has never been a strength of mine.

Change and more changes.  With the six things I mention earlier having been accomplished and/or continuing to work on, I finally feel like I have a chance at a much higher quality of life, and I haven’t felt that way for an extended period since long ago.

Crackling Like a Live Wire

You may or may not have noticed, but I dropped out of Reverb.  The prompts were good, the prompts were fine, but there is just so much daily bull shit going on right now that I feel I can barely keep my head above water.

The divorce seems to get more painful and exhausting for my mom as time wears on.  I am doing my best not to get in the middle and they are doing a. good job of not putting me there, but its hard to see her so defeated.  She won’t let me around her, in fact, when she is upset, so I spend a lot of time getting avoided.  I get it, really do.  That doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.

My anxiety has been sky high the last several weeks.  It decreased for awhile, but is now back in full force.  I am still not smoking or using lozenges or the patch, and have decided to try and address my problems with binge eating.  I had thought of doing weight loss surgery, but with the habits I have, it would just be dangerous.  My thought is, work on the problem behavior with the thought that maybe someday I can do the surgery.  What I really want, though, is to lose weight in any way possible so that I can stop being that fat girl and move on with my life.

I have a friend I am trying to get back in touch with.  I have been thinking about it a lot lately and went ahead and tried to make contact today.  It was a bit of an awkward situation on my end when we stopped (inadvertently almost) atlking to each other last, and I am hoping that he can look past that and we can be friends again.

Promises that this blog will move onto bigger and better things in the near future — it only seems like there is a lot of bellyaching going on about petty little stuff.  Yep, I know…. I’m sick of it, too.

Scream Along With Me if You Want

Yesterday,  hoped that today would be much much better.  Unfortunately, I was up all night and then sick all day, barely able to get out of bed.  So much for my thoughts on getting some massive cleaning done.  Very most basic things taken care of — shower, feed Kizzie, drink something.  Other than that, nada.  So I thought I would post because, even though here at 6:34P, I feel better, I don’t feel better to the point where I can start sweeping and vacuuming and throwing laundry around.

As I sit here blogging, I find myself browsing YouTube.  It’s something my mom really likes to do and she always finds the most interesting, upbeat songs.  All I find are 80’s songs.  Because that’s what YouTube recommends for me.  Sad and peppy and good memory and bad memory 80’s songs.  Mr. Big anyone?

Mom was kind enough to bring me some ginger ale and I am smart enough to not drink the entire 2-L in one setting.  Because I am tempted, but I am done with getting sick.  I’d really like to sleep all night through, but I don’t know how likely that is, considering I was laying in bed all day.  I plan on just doing some reading later, so hopefully my brain won’t be hopped up on whatever it is that comes out of electronics that is so bad for  you.

Not smoking today was a small miracle.  I was idle, sick, and nothing sounded better than a cigarette, although on the other hand, when I really did think about it, my stomach lurched around inside my body.  How can I want something so badly and be so repulsed by it at the same time?  It makes no sense to me.

Over this latest funk, I have not been commenting and liking and reading as much, but trust that I still pop over and see what you’re up to.  Sometimes I just don’t have it in me to leave a decent comment, so there’s only a like.  One of these days, I’ll get back to my normal self and things will go on as usual.  I can’t help wondering waiting wishing dreaming and screaming about when that might be.  Scream along with me if you want.

Can’t Find the Beat

The blog experts say you’re not supposed to apologize or try to explain away absences.  I feel that I want to talk about it, because it seems to be a recurring problem that I don’t want to have.  And since my blog is where I talk about such things, the blog experts will just have to go criticize elsewhere.

I must say, I had felt pretty committed to blogging every day after my therapist had recommended it and QoB and a few friends seconded it.  I did ok for a couple days, and now have had this big dry spell again.  On the days I don’t blog, I do try to blog.  I sit in my chair and I type and I type and I absolutely hate everything I write.  Hate it to the point that not even I want to read it.

I do better when I blog every day, and I don’t exactly have a lack of things going on, but I feel like I am lacking in brain-power, if that makes sense.  There is a fog that has been cast over me, and things don’t add up, not inside my brain, not between my brain and my heart.  And I can’t find the right words.  And I find myself not being able to string any sort of sentences together.  It is very frustrating, and I am not going to post the three or four sentences that I do manage to get out, because, well, they don’t make sense!  At least not to me.

I think another major thing holding me back is this sadness that is currently cast over life right now.  It’s not something I will blog about because of privacy c0ncerns, but it is hitting me hard and is pervading all areas of my life.

I am not depressed and don’t feel like I am headed that direction.  I am having a lot of anxiety, and I am sad.  Both tend to immobilize me, but on many days I am still getting out and doing social things, going to work, taking care of Kizzie, and taking care of my health.  It is nearly a pattern that, on my days off, you would think I would work at being productive and spend time going to appointments and seeing people, but its the opposite.  On those days off, I have jampacked my days on so full, that I am wiped out.

It’s like I literally need my days off to recuperate from every event, party, dinner invitation, and lost night’s sleep.  I am over-doing.  Over-doing is increasing my sad and anxious feelings.  It is immobilizing my writing.  It is taking over my happiness and my good feelings.

To end on a high note:

Two weeks, three days, 6 hours, 49 minutes and 42 seconds not smoking. 1037 cigarettes not smoked, saving $140.00. Life saved: 3 days, 14 hours, 25 minutes.

Hooray for that…that, I am still doing well on.

Does Better Mental Health Equal an Easier Quit?

You know, when you get ready to quit smoking, you can find some of the most unbelievable “facts” and opinions on the Internet.  Everything from “the only way to quit and stay quit is xyz” to “blood pressure returns to normal within 24 hours” to “the first few weeks are the hardest.”

Well, it might end up, further into my journey, that I call the first few weeks the hardest, but that just isn’t how its going for me right now.  I am on Day 12 and counting, and I am finding it to be so much easier than any of the other times I tried to quit, and much more similar to the last time I quit for an extended period of time (1.5 years).  It just feels easy, it just feels right.

Maybe it is because my mental health is in such a place, that I’m learning once again to focus on the moment, to not dwell on negativity, and to do the things that I know keep me well.  Although over the past month, things have been hit or miss with my mood, I have had several straight solid days, where I felt great, happy even.  Not manic, mind you, just centered and at peace with things, in general, in my life.

I owe a lot of that to be open, willing, mindful, and completing meditation practice every day.  It is amazing how much all of that opens you up to a more beautiful world than you see when feeling poorly.  It feels like the sun is shining down into my brain, my heart, and like any problem I am having right now, is a problem that can be put away, worked through, or I can be made to realize it isn’t as important as I thought it was.

I know I have quit smoking, temporarily before, and I realize I am at 12 days only, and while I will obviously be much more comfortable when I am months or even years from my quit date, I can’t help but feel super confident that this will last.  I have had so many new “revelations” since I quit, so much has already changed, and I just keep waiting for the next surprise to come up.

Before quitting, I was always (no exaggeration) very out of breath.  Even just sitting, I had a wheezy pant going.  Walking across a parking lot was difficult, and walking around a grocery store or any store for that matter, was next to impossible.  I barely moved at home, sitting for long periods of time and neglecting daily chores.  Of course, it didn’t help that I have been sick for the longest time, but I’m talking the most extreme inactivity.

I had forgotten how bad certain things smelled, and now my sense of smell is coming back.  Burnt popcorn smell all throughout the house, stinky fish smell coming from garbage, the smell of smoke steeped into the whole house from years of smoking inside.  It’s all really terrible and, while I am grateful that I can smell these things now so that I can address them before they become a real problem, it’s really kind of gross right now and has been making me quite nauseous  here in the last couple of days.

When I find myself wanting a cigarette, usually after a meal or when driving, I tell myself to wait five minutes, and if after those five minutes are up, I still want a cigarette, I can go buy a pack and have one.  And quite honestly, usually by 2 or 3 minutes, I can’t believe that I was actually entertaining the idea of having one.  Mindfulness really helps with cravings as well, along with deep breathing or rhythmic breathing.

Feeling all that clean air push through my lungs, the irritating cough I have right now while getting all that stuff out my chest, and the ability to smell both good smells and bad smells — well, all in all, I’m loving it.  It is that immediate positive reinforcement for breaking bad behavior that works so well, and I know I would be able to do any of this if my mental health were in poor shape, and for that I thank DBT, mindfulness, and Loving-Kindness.

 

Building Rome, Revisited

It has been since my birthday on August 11th since I have participated in Building Rome (which is brought to us by Green Embers, and you can get started here).  Building Rome focuses on small goals that lead to big goals, and I must admit, I have been lacking in the goal department here lately.  Sure, there are things to do, but they all seem so big and insurmountable.  I thought it might do me some good to spell things out every week again, in a relaxed and simple manner.

I won’t be reporting on the last week’s goals, because I am looking for a clean start.  They were too complex, too big, too whatever.  Instead, I’m going to review my top “Do or Die” goals and then end with new goals.

Rosa’s Do or Die Goals:

1) Take care of all  Kizzie’s needs, including play with Kizzie every day for at least 30 minutes.   I am failing horribly at this one, especially at the playing with Kizzie card.  That, and she went one 12-hour period without food, because I just didn’t notice.  Story of my life at this point.

2) Hygiene/Self-Care.  I am struggling with this.  Instead of showering every day, I am showering when I know I really need to.  I am, however, keeping my hair clean on a daily basis.  I have some very rough patches on my feet that really should be taken care of, and I am not using lotion like I should, and that really drags me down.  I do need to take better care of my body — its almost like I feel I don’t deserve it.

3) Take all medications as prescribed.  To a “T.”

 4) Eat healthfully.  Some days are better than others, but mostly, I just suck.

Rosa’s Goals Week of 9/1/2014

1) Keep taking Wellbutrin in attempt to quit smoking September 13th.  Continue cutting back and doing what I can to minimize the fallout when I actually do quit.

2) Get back to reading again.  Even if it is just 15/min per day, that would be better than nothing.

3) Do one nice self-care thing for myself every day, no matter how much I think I don’t deserve it.

4) Blog more regularly.  I have been blogging about once a week and really do miss it.  I need to stop flailing and start doing.