ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Weight Watchers

Writer’s block & the quest to stay substance free

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Well hey there!  Long time!

Actually, I apologize for the delay in writing.  I’ve been going through a lot of crap recently including a relapse in my sobriety that lasted for six weeks.   As I ponder “What Was It?” that caused me to relapse in my addictions I don’t exactly know.  I do know that everything happens for a reason and while I may not understand the reason today, eventually I’ll find out.  I trust that the Holy Spirit surrounds me 24/7 and my commitment to Jesus Christ is what is keeping me alive, and chasing my goals daily.

For the bipolar mind, it’s all about routine.  A routine is something you do consistently.  Unfortunately, we are not born into routines, we must create them and adjust them as time continues.  It’s easy to get started.

Here is my advice:

Getting to the gym multiple times a week.
This is important to me because I am an aspiring bodybuilder so getting to the gym is critical to my ambition and my success.  If I don’t train hard, then I don’t get the results I want.   I have found that by putting “gym” in my calendar at a specific time and I program it to ‘repeat weekly.’  I have an iPhone and an Apple Watch and when it’s in my calendar I am constantly reminded that I have the gym after I get done with my career.  It’s automatically there and holds me accountable to my goals.  In fact, when I am feeling depressed I ask myself “When was the last time you worked out?”  If I can’t remember, then I need to be at a gym.  Working out is one of the best things you can do for your mental health, and it’s FREE.  It doesn’t cost a thing to sweat your ass off and drive your results!

I’m feeling good.  It’s been 48 hours since I had my last and final drink and I’m back in the routine.

I am so thankful for my faith in Jesus Christ.  Without Jesus, I wouldn’t be here today.

 

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av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Recovery, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Setting goals and the realistic approach

I’ve done a lot of soul searching the past few weeks as I have been recovering from alcoholism and I’ve caught myself setting really strict goals on myself in regards to what I can/cannot do eat/cannot eat, having a diet soda / vs a sugared coke?

I was 380 at my highest weight and I remember that when I was first setting a weight loss goal for myself I entered “150 pounds,” I felt overwhelmed by the number and felt that eating comfort food would help me feel better about getting over my weight and the losses that I expect to see vs reality. I have an ADHD brain and I have a really hard time reading books because my mind doesn’t stop racing so instead I look to Audible books and I’m listening to Oprah’s latest book. Something about Oprah reading brings chills to my soul. I love what I’m hearing so far.

After 15 years of fighting myself with my diet and lifestyle I found my tribe on Weight Watchers and lost 145 pounds. I yo-you’d like no tomorrow. I had huge negative weeklies, and I felt less guilty at the end of the day when I know I had logged all my food like I was suppose to do. Except I came from using paper trackers and now we do it all on our phones. Huzzah! I learned that learning how to loose weight and developed ways to keep it off take time, and patience. My best realistic goal is to STOP putting dates on the weight loss agenda. Dates further complicate your goal. Enjoy the ride, that’s why they call it a lifestyle.

Im 6’4″ and I weigh 235 and according to WW I should get to 205 – 210 for my frame. I accept that. So I’m in the final 20-25 pound range and it’s taking it’s sweet time coming off. I won’t deny that my sweet tooth hasn’t played a role in the lack of fat loss recently however I know what I need to do, and therefore I shall because that’s just what I do.

Making small changes LEAD to BIG results.

One Day At A Time.

Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Recovery, Suicide Prevention

Learning how to love me sober

Choosing to live a life of 100% sobriety is not easy.  In fact, it’s the hardest challenge I have faced in recent years.  I thought losing weight was the hardest thing ever!

Alcohol is available everywhere, just like cigarettes.  You walk to a grocery store and you see stockpiles of liqueur in the middle of the store, and you find cigarettes behind the cashier ready for sale.   The addiction is legit, and if we’re not careful then we can end up in a rut of personal hell where every goal we set for ourselves is plagued with regret and despair because all we wanted to do was drink ourselves to oblivion, or.. death.  Lord knows I did.

The silver lining in this whole sobriety thing is that I no longer want to kill myself sober.  I’ve realized that all of my suicidal ideas that came to me were because of my substance abuse and the number of drugs that were riddled in my blood.    My sponsor and I are working on the 12 steps, and I recently completed working through Step 1 “We admitted we were powerless of alcohol – that our lives had become unmanageable.”

Let’s think about that for a second.. “that our lives had become unmanageable.”  What does this really mean?  Is this me?  Is my life manageable while I am using drugs and alcohol?  Absolutely NOT!  Addiction was plaguing and ruining every self-positive thing I was trying to do.  I couldn’t do anything right in my life because I wouldn’t quit spending money on things I didn’t need, and my depression and anxiety were all over the map because my medications couldn’t do their job.  I would drink as soon as I walked in the door from work, and I would smoke as soon as I sat down ready to unwind.  I did this 7 days a week 365 days a year.  Yep… Unmanagable for sure.

My sponsor and I met last week to dissect Step 1 and I ended up writing out 8 pages of raw emotions on my spiral bound notebook.  It was a highly emotional experience.

I love who I am becoming.  Stronger EVERY DAY!

One Day At A Time! ❤

34 days clean

Automatic Thoughts, Depression, Recovery, Suicide Prevention

22 days and NEVER shutting the door

Today is 22 days since the last joint I smoked.  I’m beyond thankful for the journey that I have begun.  The peace in my heart is surreal.   The joy on my face is pure.

I white-knuckled being alcohol-free for 2 years, but during those two years, I was abusing marijuana daily.  I thought I was using it for medicinal for my depression, but I fucking kid you not, it was a brutal full-blown addiction that I was spending $500 a month on.   I traded addictions and found zero peace.  I wanted to die when I was using.

Not anymore!  22 days and never shutting the door on the journey.  I’m keeping it open because I want to be reminded of the dark days that I made out alive.

Sobriety is changing me inside and out and I couldn’t be more thankful.

Thank you, God, my higher power for giving me the serenity I need to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention

Chasing my happiness

Magnificent

Aspiring

Remarkable

Kind

Tenacious

Amicable

Yearn

Luminous

Optimist

Retrospective

My name is Mark-Taylor and I am a recovering addict.

I am facing my biggest demons in life head on. Addiction is fierce, but my zest for life will never falter.

Ps while I was away I got a tattoo

Semi colon represents that my story isn’t over while the holy cross shows my commitment to staying alive though Christ, my savior.

I have a purpose to fulfill! I’ve never felt stronger or more clear in my life!

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression

The struggle is real and I’ll never give up fighting.

As I continue my journey towards sobriety I have to constantly remind myself that it’s “one day at a time.” There are times that because I am bipolar that I take on too many things at once and think that I can handle it all. The truth is that type of thinking is “all or nothing” and it’s a dangerous place to be in because of you try to carry all of it at once or you risk falling down and everything is ruined.

Except not anymore! One day at a time means, sobriety comes first! Everything else in time.

Just remember Mark.. was your only goal for today is to remain sober. Everything else can wait.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression

6 days sober& never giving up

Wow! 6 days of being without substance and I couldn’t be happier about that! Granted there are periods of my life during the day where I think “oh man, I could really have a drink right now!” Then I remember my why and glance at my wrist and say the Lords Prayer and I instantly feel the thought be dismissed.

Practicing mindfulness is a daily ritual for me and I’m constantly learning new methods so that my bipolar mind can learn how to shut down and reboot.

Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist and he was proud of me for how far I’ve come. I continue to lose weight, buff up, and my smile gets bigger and brighter every time he sees me.

We’re dropping my Zoloft down to 100mg daily from 150mg. My Seroquel went up to 200mg from 100mg and I remain on Adderall XR for my ADHD. I’ve been on meds since I was 27 and now that I’m 33 I realize just how important meds are for my overall stability. I’m very thankful for that. Thank you Jesus for always watching over me and giving me this beautiful life.

Depression

My story will never end. ;

Dear Tribe,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for all the support that you have shown me since I came clean about my addictions. Truly, thank you for standing beside me and giving me the confidence I need to be able to finally say I AM WORTH it!

When I was a child growing up I didn’t have self esteem what so ever. I was an obese child and learned at a very young age that food was directly connected to my emotions and that when I felt bad, I would just eat and eat and eat because food was my escape. Especially good tasting food like Moms Lasagna.. I just couldn’t stop because I felt so miserable in life.

I acted out a lot as a child and I did some pretty crappy things to my parents because I didn’t know who I was when I was growing up. I knew something was wrong with me but I didn’t want to take the time to figure it out. Instead I just continued to eat junk and the weight just piled on. My actions that I committed when I was a child landed me in therapy at age 7 and it continued until I was 18 years old. I had a family therapist that I saw for many years.

In 2013 one year after moving to Seattle, I had a mental breakdown and made the decision to return to therapy because my will to live was slowly fading. I’ve since been in weekly therapy since 2013 -> 2019 and quite honestly if it wasn’t for my therapist Chris, I don’t know that I would be here today. We practice CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and it really works well for treating my bipolar disorder.

One of the trademark behaviors of bipolar disorder is distorted thinking. Think of it like you’re looking at the world through two toilet paper rolls. You don’t see the color in the world, you see black/white and everything is in the extreme level. This is called All or Nothing thinking. It’s a trap and I’m really working hard on that. It’s a constant struggle but I know that I am worth it!

Addiction has haunted me my entire life and becoming clean and sober has been a daunting task, however I’m worth it and worth the struggle! Food is still my number one go to when stress hits and right now that is hard to deal with and it fuels my depressive episodes.

When I feel depressed, and I binge eat I don’t log the food in the WW app because I just don’t feel like I’m worthy to do it. It’s a terrible feeling to not feel worthy and it’s something that I’m constantly working at in life by running the mantra “Choose Happiness” because I’ve realized that at the start of every day I have a choice to make. Choose Happy or Choose a Chaos. It’s all or nothing it seems and when i get so tied down with myself, I start to resent myself and my will to live, and I really struggle in this area when I am depressed.

Thankfully I love to write and blog, and record videos for my tribe and my therapist commends me on it because he says it’s very therapeutic for me in doing so and I agree.

I have high aspirations of expanding my vlog to YouTube but I just feel lazy lately in goal setting and that’s what this post is about.

I lead with a line often that “if it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you.” And that’s the absolute truth.

How can I get to my goals if I’m not holding myself accountable? How can I get rid of this fat on my body if I’m not logging my food in the WW app?

Ps.. I have insomnia right now.. nothing like writing a story at 4am..

The point is, I’m worth it, and so are you.

I’m worth logging my food on WW every day

I’m worth getting exercise and earning Fit Points

I’m worth loving my body

I’m worth being sober

I’m worth life.

I need to embrace that whole heartedly.

I know I can do this. I am a strong willed individual.

Thank you all for believing in me. I absolutely love my vlog on WW and I hope that my videos inspire you to seek happiness and lead a healthy life.

I’m not going anywhere either. I’m going to double down on my efforts and finally loose this fat. I will log my food daily and I will commit to fully being WW and building a sustainable life

I know I can do this. I’m worth it!

Depression

Despite the clouds I’m feeling pretty good.

It must be fall in Seattle if you can no longer see the Space Needle through the dense clouds.

Now more than ever it is time for my happy late to be built into my daily routine, which ✅ totally nailed today! Thanks to Alexa and her handy dandy technology that I use to automate my life. It is so much easier to be bipolar in 2018 then it was in 2003 when technology like this didn’t exist, and the label of bipolar didn’t really exist like it does today.

I had a good day today. I went to the gym after work and flirted with some really attractive guys. Wow.. But hey.. they can spot me anytime. Just sayin.

I’m love being single. Absolutely love it. I’m lean, I’m gaining control of my life, and I look good naked. FINALLY!

What did I do to cause this?

Well.

– I gave up drinking 2 years ago

– I joined a gym across the street from my career

-I logged into WW every day and logged my food

-I posted on WW Connect daily A) for attendance and B.) to let ppl know I’m still alive.. 2017 was a dark year for me. 2018 started out really dark, but in the end turned out to be the year of my lifetime.

I’m not perfect, and I’m not trying to be anymore. I tried chasing perfection and I ended up with nothing but debt and depression. Perfection is flawed. It’s fake.

Be well World. Chase your happiness. I’m chasing mine