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chastised for not using my sun lamp by my medication provider and ended up with a new lamp because the older one was so outdated.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.

Advertisements

I Want, I Can, I Will

dodinsky

It’s probably not the most difficult chapter of my life, but maybe just one of the MORE difficult ones that I seem to have repeated six or seven or maybe eleven times within the course of my short 34 years on this planet.  It’s the sense of extreme deja vu, the certainty that the piano in the corner has played this music before, although perhaps in a different key, a slightly different tempo.

Yes, it’s time to work on the recovery stage of a big, huge, fat, ugly depression, and to be starting to see the crest at the top of the hill.  It is within the next fifty yards or so, that I have started “doing things” again.  When I say, “doing things,” I mean everything from showering daily to leaving my house regularly to baking apple pies from scratch to exercising.  There are THINGS and they are getting DONE.  By ME.

A few days ago, I fell coming up the steps of my house and turned my ankle.  I was pretty sure something was broken, and I was somewhat positive that I had re-broken the metatarsal in my foot that I had also broken the last two Decembers.  My mood turned foul as I hobbled and waited to go see the doctor and have an x-ray.

As it turns out, nothing is broken.  While I was at the doctor’s office, I also managed to ask for a dietician referral and a prescription for compression stockings.  You see, I have let myself get a big fat.  A lot fat.  Ridiculously-bigger-than-ever fat.  Fat enough, that it is affecting my health.  My doctor almost put me on diabetes treatment medication, but I wouldn’t let her and asked her to re-do my labs — which came back within normal limits.

So, for the sixth, seventh, eleventh time in my life, I have had my “oh holy crap, I’m too fat to keep going in this way” freak-out.  I am going to, first thing tomorrow, go see about some compression stockings because my lower legs, feet, and ankles are swollen so terribly uncomfortably.  I’m going to research a dietician, who maybe can help me with some meal-planning.  I’m also going to get back to my aqua exercise at the YMCA, because that was really helping last week.

Life is too good, too sweet, too soon gone to spend my time being:

  1. So overweight that almost any movement is prohibitively uncomfortable
  2. So self-conscious about my high weight that I avoid eating or grocery shopping in front of other people
  3. So heavy that all I can think about is how heavy, slow, syrupy my body feels
  4. Ashamed (yet baffled) that I have let myself get so big
  5. So unhealthy that I need medication to treat any weight-related disease

SO friends, I might do something nutty, something drastic — I might swear off sugar or swear off carbohydrates or start making my goal of exercising every day.  Whatever it takes, I’m gonna do it.  Because, friends, I have TOO FREAKING AWESOME of a life to be without one, all over some fat cells and high blood sugars.

86bdd4fe95a0fe576372c65acf5acbcc

 

Making My Resolutions, Mid-Year

Great Expectations is what the Daily Prompt would like us to talk about today.  They also put out another post, which I cannot find, that tells us bloggers that we shouldn’t announce it “like that” when we are getting ready to do a Daily Prompt.  I really don’t see why not, so I’m rolling with it.

So, something I promised myself I’d do by the end of the year, and what progress has been made?  I’m not sure, because this year, I purposely didn’t make any resolutions.  Part of it was feeling so uncertain about what the next year would bring, part of it was laziness, and part of it was because, whenever I make “New Year’s Resolutions,” they always end up going out the window within a week.  Maybe I just set the bar too high.  Don’t know, but at any rate, I don’t have any “pending” resolutions.

But I’m gonna make a couple, and only a couple.

First and foremost, I AM going to get my eating under control.  I may or may not have to stop olanzapine in order to do this, or I may just have to guts it through anyway, but I cannot, simply CANNOT continue on the trend I am on.

I don’t know exactly yet how I am going to do this.  I have thoughts of restricting carbs and cutting out sugar, but I just don’t think I can hack that.  Of course, there’s always portion control, which I am terrible at.  This will be discussed with Goddess of Mindfulness tomorrow.  Part of the big issue right now, is that I am eating foods I love, foods that I haven’t (or didn’t) eaten in a long time, and I’m like a pig as the hog trough’s filled.

My second major (and really, only other) resolution is, by end-of-year, I will have quit smoking again.  Now, I’m not ready to try it right at the moment, but I’ll be getting there.  I’m already tired of all the coughing and not being able to breathe.  I’m getting to that quitting point, slowly, but surely.

If I can do those two things, I’m golden.  I’m not as interested in losing weight, as I am about being healthy.  I’m sure some pounds will be shed, but that’s not what I’m in it for.  I’m in it for increased mobility, increased energy, and for the sake of my health.  I think the smoking part will be a no-brainer at some point in time this year.  I know for sure, it will be a lot easier to quit, without living with someone who smokes.

And as always, here’s Mr. Bob Marley, singing my theme song of the moment:

 

 

 

Grocery Shopping Issues Come Full Circle

For as long as I have been adult, living out on my own, my biggest fear and most dreaded chore has always been going to the grocery store.  At certain points in my life, I have been almost phobic.  During those times, QoB would take my list and do the shopping for me.  Those were the times when the phobia was at it’s worst.  Other times, and oftentimes, she would simply go with me and help me find what I needed in the most efficient manner.

For the past long while, I’ve been able to do my own grocery shopping.  Or rather, I’ve been able to do all the grocery shopping for DSB and myself.  I relied heavily on Dollar General and a tiny IGA in a bad part of town, because they’re small, not crowded, and not very big.  There’s also almost no selection of fresh fruit and vegetables, and the prices of everything except meat are almost robbery.

When DSB and I were together, I cooked rich, fatty meals that were often cheap and, more importantly, things  he liked.  There were rarely vegetables, mostly because DSB would eat only green beans, corn, and broccoli, and I was an idiot who didn’t just wise up and buy  herself some vegetables, even if he wouldn’t eat them.

There was also the issue of the ginormous amounts of food that DSB would eat.  It would be nothing to buy two pounds of lunch meat, cheese, and a loaf of bread, and for it to be gone in 24 hours.  Without me having eaten a sandwich.  It is almost incomprehensible, looking back.

So, I stopped buying a lot of things because it was too expensive, at the rate that DSB ate things.  We relied heavily on meat and starch.  And gravy.  Good Lord, there was always gravy.  And there were a ton of things that I liked to eat that DSB didn’t.  We didn’t have enough money to cook two different meals each night, so I just went ahead with whatever he wanted.  Total idiocy.

Ok, this was supposed to be a positive post, and here I’ve been ranting for 400 words.  My ap0logies, but I’m not deleting it, because I mean every word of it, and I think you  have to read that part to understand the true beauty of what is to follow.

As a side-note, my emergency visit to the pdoc is tomorrow @ 2:30pm, for those of you who read yesterday’s post.  Hopefully all will be well soon.

Now, here at Day 8 with no DSB, it’s come time to grocery shop.  For the first time since March of 2012, I am shopping just for myself.  I’ve been pumping myself up about it for the past few days, thinking of things I’ll be able to buy, meals I’ll be able to cook, money I’ll be able to save.  It’s actually been on my mind quite a bit.

I’ve been talking things over at work today with Catfish, about grocery shopping, and commented how much I hate the monstrosity of a grocery store that serves the North side of town.  I mentioned that I missed the smaller Dillons’ that was out southwest.  He pointed out that it’s only a five mile difference, and maybe I should just go to that Dillons’.  Catfish can be mighty smart, sometimes.

So, I heeded his advice.  I parked in the smaller parking lot (ya know, one smaller than the size of a football field, like up North) and readied my list.  It wasn’t too busy and I hit the produce aisle first.

I shopped like a woman who has been without fresh fruit and vegetables for two years (close to the truth).  I have apples (Honeycrisp!!) and celery and carrots and bananas and strawberries.

I bought a little tray of sushi for a dinner treat and almost jumped up and down when I realized that YES, I can afford this!  I bought salmon and edamame and the fixins’ for salad and sandwich stuff.  I bought a box of granola bars and it was like I’d been set free.

I bought all those condiments that DSB would  use up in a week, like mayonaisse and BBQ sauce and Ranch dressing and red wine vinegar and soy sauce.

I bought a box of frozen taquitos, because they were on sale and I haven’t had them in a million years.  It was almost more exciting than finding cash in your pocket.

I bought several other things, but those were the highlights.  The bottom line is that I will be eating MUCH healthier, and I will be eating things that I want to eat, and the food will be there when I’m ready to eat it (unlike before when shit disappeared like a Grizzly bear had stalked the fridge).

So, I’ll just say that I’m a little bitter about my food life for the past two years.  I gained a significant amount of weight, living the lifestyle we did, and really did feel stuck in it due to constraints like trying to feed two people on only my weekly money (because DSB rarely bought groceries, and then, only on the 1st) and also just not wanting to argue.

But it’s OVER!  And I am CELEBRATING!

And eating sushi and edamame for dinner.  Because I can.

I feel like this was a big victory, and maybe it seems small to others, but this really is a big huge deal for me.  Go Team Rose!

 

The Last Glass of Milk

I was very fortunate to grow up in a home filled with plenty of food.  We never went without, and, to the best of my recollection, we always had a nice sit-down dinner every night (with everyone attending) often had hot breakfasts on the weekends.  We wanted for nothing.  It’s possible that my parents struggled to pull this off, but that’s how it felt.

There was always salsa and chips or carrots and ranch for snacks.  Often there was fresh fruit and vegetables that could be munched on.  Mom pulled that off with (seeming) ease.

It’s funny how one’s upbringing around food can change their attitude about it.  While there was always plenty of fo0d at home, I’d get in trouble constantly for “sneaking” food.  I don’t know why I did it.  If I had asked, it would likely have been given to me.  But there was a lot of sneaking around.

The Big Dawg had perhaps the worst habits when it came to food.  You didn’t eat anything out of the fridge or pantry that you thought he might possibly want.  He grew up hungry, and lived hungry for years, fighting with his brothers over food.  He seemed to have this almost paranoid idea that you were stealing food from him when something would go missing.  To this day, I still think he gets a little bent out of shape when Mom offers me leftovers.

I don’t fault him for this.  It’s how I grew up.  I grew up learning that everything in the kitchen was not to just be had.  We had to ask.  Maybe lots of kids grew up that way.  Maybe it kept me from blowing up into a little porker, I don’t know.  Even now, my mom (and occasionally the Big Dawg) will criticize the amount of food I put on my plate when I come over.  I know it’s “about health,” but it’s a bad, bad feeling to have your parent police your food intake like that when you are a grown-ass woman.

Sometimes it’s easier just to have Mom dish it up, put it on a plate, and put it in front of me.  The way I grew up with food has significantly affected DSB and mine’s relationship.  Where he grew up, there was also nothing lacking, but there was a more open relationship with food.  If you were hungry, take it, even if it’s the last one.

This has led to issues sometimes with us when say, for example, there’s not much milk left but I really want a glass.  In my mind, that’s DSB’s milk, because he’s the one that drinks the most of it and it’s “his thing.”  DSB wants me to just drink the friggin’ milk if I want a glass.  Drink the milk, eat the last piece of cake, just go for it.

I spend so much time trying to make sure everything is “fair” between us, that sometimes I go a little crazy.  I worry when I’m putting our plates together that I got a slightly bigger piece of chicken, so I will give him slightly more mac and cheese and so on and so forth.  DSB could really care less, as long as  he has a plate of food in front of him at suppertime.

The way I grew up with food influences my shopping habits today.  At home, there was (and still is!) a full stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.  When we’re running low on supplies, I start freaking out.  DSB has to walk me through the fact that there are at least eight meals left in the house that could be had.  I just don’t see it like that.  If there’s not gobs of stuff to cook, I think we have nothing.  You would have thought I grew up in the Depression.

I’m not saying all this to make anyone feel bad, and certainly no one should.  But more to highlight how growing up around food affects how we view food as adults.  To me, food is comfort and  home and something to be cherished.  To DSB, it’s fuel.  And that’s it.  Maybe that’s why I’m so big, I don’t know.  There are a lot of answers to that question, I think, and it can’t all fall back on my childhood, other than some wicked stepmothers who warped my mind against my body and my appetite long, long ago.

To sum up, childhood experience plays a huge role in how you view food, grocery shopping, the division of food between family members, and so on.  I wish I could get it a little more scientific, but I know that my mom and stepdad didn’t create my eating disorders.  I KNOW where that came from — evil stepmothers.  And hey, my own doing, too.  I can own up to that.  I hope at some point I can be at a healthier weight, but it has to be on my own time, at my own choosing.

Sam has made these before.  Divine.  No butter or syrup needed!

banana-pancakes3

Banana Pancakes — great recipe!

A Fat Moment

I have actually had a somewhat okay day today.  I got some housework done, spent some time with DSB, a pretty good dinner is in the oven, and I watched an episode of “Downton Abbey.”  Evening is starting to set in, however, and my good humor is vanishing.  I was reminded of what happened to me a few days ago, that I didn’t ever mention because I was so ashamed.

I was at my mom’s house, and she has a full-length mirror in her entryway.  My sister and I used to stand in front of it and preen for mirrors.  My mom and Big Dawg would joke that we were “wearing the mirror out.”  I have spent the past two years (since right before I quit Weight Watchers the last time) avoiding that mirror.  Not even glancing in it, as I go up their stairs.  Getting the vacuum out of the closet, not a second look.  Nothing.

I don’t know what possessed me to look that day, but I did, and I was confused, at first.  I simply did not recognize the stranger in the mirror.  How I think of myself in my head and I how I looked in the mirror are totally different.  I thought, in my head, that, although I have gained some weight, I have retained some of my cuteness.  Dead wrong.  There is nothing even remotely attractive about me.  Except maybe my hair, which has grown out, but even that left me confused because it was much darker than what I envision it.

Since then, I’ve glanced in mirrors.  Horrified, every time, to see what I have turned into.  And I’m not exaggerating.  I would qualify as super-morbidly obese.  I am disgusting, without a doubt.  I feel this sense of urgency to do something about it, something drastic.  When I took DSB to his appointment on Thursday, there was a flyer for weight loss surgery.  I’ve thought about it a lot in the past but have never gone through with it.  Could I now?

I’ve thought about it a l0t, and the answer is, no, I don’t think I could.  I truly do believe I can lose weight if I apply myself.  It doesn’t help that I’ve gained 10 pounds or so since I quit smoking, but that’s not what has broken the camel’s back.  It is that image of myself in the mirror, the one that I don’t recognize.

I am terrified of the health ramifications of being this overweight.  So far, the only health conditions I have are sleep apnea and hypertension.  At my weight, I should have elevated cholesterol and diabetes, to boot.  How that has not happened by now, I don’t know.  What I do know is that I am going to have to really apply myself and lose some weight.  And stay quit with smoking.

All of this seems like Mission Impossible, given my mood.  But, I’m not ready to die anytime soon, and I’d like to look at least a bit attractive.  DSB still tells me I look good, but now I know better.  Maybe in his eyes I do and I am fortunate to have a significant other that is not close-minded and can still see beauty beneath the surface.  Ok, I am beyond fortunate.  And he d0es love me and thinks I am pretty.  Ok, ok, ok.

Still, something has to change.  The depression has to go, the weight has to go, and the anxiety has to go.  All of it.  I lit a candle for myself tonight, which I don’t usually do (I usually reserve it for someone else), but I am going to need all the good juju I can get.  Something’s gotta give.

Day Fourteen Reverb13

Day Fourteen of Reverb13’s prompt is as follows:

What was the best decision you made in 2013? What were the results? How will you continue the good work in 2014?

The best decision I made in 2013 was to start working toward becoming a physically healthier person.  Reaching the ripe old age of 32 this year, I realized that, given my weight and the fact of smoking and fatty foods, it was just a short matter of time before my situation would become dire.  Diabetes runs in my family, and I did not want to go down that road.  At this point, I already have high blood pressure and sleep apnea.  I did not want to develop any more weight-related conditions.

The first step I took was to quit smoking.  It made sense to me, because I want to be able to exercise (even just walking would be great) and am unable to do so due to being so out-of-breath after just the slightest bit of activity.  I also have asthma which is poorly controlled, mostly due to smoking and a bit also due to infrequent use of my daily scheduled inhalers.

So far, quitting smoking has been less difficult than I expected.  I do have a bit of a harder time because DSB and my mom smoke, but it seems they are happy to at least open a window when I am in their vicinity.  While not a perfect situation, it does help.

I plan to carry this foward in to 2014 by just sticking to the regemine of nicotine patches and lozenges, and reaffirming my willpower minute by minute.  I know I really don’t want to smoke anymore, know that in my head finally, so hopefully that will make it easier.