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.

 

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.

ADHD, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Nature, Technology, Weight Watchers

Foggy, wet conditions ahead

Wow… What did I wake up to today??? It was so dreary outside!  Winter must be here… Nope! Just Fall.  Right now more than ever I need to be sitting in front of my happy light.  This needs to be part of my routine STAT.  I can’t expect improvements until I finish what I started.  I did it last week which means I can still get it done this week.  🙂

“Alexa – Remind me tomorrow at 730AM to use my happy light for 20 minutes.”

I love you, Alexa! You continue to make my life easier to manage…

Fall Revised Routine:

5:45AM – Awake

6:00AM – No seriously, ass out of bed Mark.

6:10AM – 10 Minutes to get ready Shower/Get Ready/Go

6:20AM – Leave for work

7:00AM – 7:20AM (Alexa reminds Mark to use happy light for 20 minutes a day)

7:20AM – 4PM – Career

4:30 – 6:00PM – Gym

6:30PM – 8:30PM – WW Vlog, YouTube editing, Blog publishing

8:30PM – 10:30PM – It’s Hulu time!

10:30PM – Lights Out

 

Keep your eyes on the prize Mark.  You’ve got this!

 

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ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Debt, Depression, Finances, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Feeling Good! It’s October!

Good Goblin Evening to you!

What a reMarkable weekend it’s been for sure!  I think I’ve felt every emotion this weekend and I didn’t lose my crap either.. Well made Mark!  🙂

Let’s break it down:

Friday: Worked out extensively after work, felt depression lurking.  Not sure why.  Lack of clouds?  Not at all, it was a sunny day.   Depression can sometimes hit us for no reason.  Out of the blue sky.  Is something wrong with me?  No, not.

You’re just a different kind of brain. A unique brain that requires a particular type of care and can entirely lead a fulfilling life filled with dreams and desires just like an anyone else.

Saturday: hit the gym especially hard, and it was a terrific upper body workout if I do say so myself!  My shoulders are exploding!  Woot!  I then met up with my buddy for lunch post workout, and we chowed down on some delicious five guys grub.  Man protein is so critical When I left I felt like I ate a cow, which I did. However, I rest assured knowing that I earned that burger and it was every bit delicious as I thought it would be while ordering it!  But I compromised and got a small fry because I don’t need chips.. Just a taste Mark.  You don’t need the whole buffet Mark.  🙂

Sunday: Today I was supposed to hit the gym hard, but during my walk today in Volunteer Park I felt my lower back start to ache. I fired up the FitBod app that I use for bodybuilding and realized my back recovery percentage was at 43% and I knew today should be a rest day because I’ve been pushing myself extra hard lately.  Not because I’m manic, but because I have a goal in mind of who and what I want to be.   There is nothing irrational about that.

So what’s with the depression?  Why do I feel depressed?

Oh! Dave Ramsey arrived!  You received this gift from your parental units who felt that you could use this and learn from it.

Yes.  You’re right.  I became super defensive when I unboxed the material and saw the various elements.  It was new, it was overpowering, and it was causing me high anxiety.  Instead of racing for the vodka I went to the grocery instead and got some junk food to carb load on AKA binge.  That’s my heroine.  Food.

But hey it’s been over two years since my last drink!  That’s pretty groovy, and a HUGE achievement!

It may be October, and on November 4th we’re turning back our clocks back however my motivation and dedication to staying fit and healthy will only charge forward!

Last, the other day on CNN there was an article written about a recent study that well.. I don’t want to give it away.. All I can tell you is it’s eye-opening. 

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ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Finances, Technology, Weight Watchers

Change is in the air

I cannot express to you how different I feel this year compared to last.  As I look back in the past year, I see and find so many vast differences in my mood, my outlook, my body, and most importantly my dedication to lead a happy life.    Previously I held a blog stigmaunraveled.com, and while I loved it, I didn’t enjoy the content of it because I felt that it was very dark in nature.  I felt like I’ve really worked on becoming a new person since my relationship with my ex-ended so about a month ago I decided to let the URL run out and close it out.  I imported my content into this blog so it’s there if you so desire, but it’s in the archives.

I am doing daily vlogs on WW, and I absolutely love what I do because I know it works and I know that I am inspiring millions to chase their goals and become their best version of themselves. Just like I have done.  Everything I do I do for Jesus.  I won’t lie.  It’s easy to forget who I do this for.  I remind myself constantly that I do this for Jesus because I know that he is proud of me for the work I do in the mental health community in person and within my online communities.  I included a video I did last night for you below.  If you have WW, you can find me on Connect @av8r007.

I have been working very hard on myself lately, mostly what I think of myself in the mirror and also working on my confidence when interacting with others, especially handsome men that I might be interested in getting to know. :).   I still have a hard time bringing up that I don’t drink anymore.  It’s odd.  My friends are out drinking on the weekends, and I couldn’t be happier at home either working on my YouTube channel (upcoming) or working on this blog. Writing/Recording/Vlogging brings me great joy in life.  Drinking alcohol brings me nothing but pain and suicidal thoughts and tendencies.

It wasn’t that I had a problem with alcohol, well maybe heavy pours. It was the fact that after a night of drinking I’d want to buy a gun the next day and blow my head off.  Why? Alcohol is a depressant.  I am bipolar.  I cannot drink. My life is highly valuable compared to the cost of what alcohol would cost me.  I sometimes get worried about when I go on holiday about drinking.  Oh well, my why matters more.  I’ll just take it as it comes to me.

I’ve been hard at work in the gym, and I couldn’t be happier with the results that I’m driving.  My training schedule is pretty routine which I love because routine should have been my name!  I train as follows../Tuesday/Wednesday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday.  My growth days are now Thursdays and Mondays.  Thursdays because I have weekly therapy now with my therapist Chris.  It’s hard to believe I’ve been seeing my therapist Chris for six years now.  It was just yesterday I was being diagnosed.  My how my life has changed since my diagnosis.  No regrets

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ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Routine is key​

In February, shortly after Valentines Day’s this year, my life changed.  The breakup I knew was coming.  It was still winter in Seattle and I really just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep into eternity because my depression was so thick I couldn’t see more than 2 inches in front of me.  It was a horrible time in my life, and it wasn’t until the following week I had moved out and into my own apt.  My personal sanctuary where I can find my own peace and meditate without fear or distraction.    I just had to remember that after Valentines Day when it was over (after 5 years) that when I quit drinking two years ago, I remember being told to take it one day at a time.

As a bipolar individual, it is incredibly difficult to take life one day at a time when you have a manic episode.  In fact, the world is rushing by you at 12,000 MPH and find it impossible to stop.  You feel invincible, like nothing, and nobody can stop you from anything.  The question that I begged to answer was, how do I prevent this from happening again??? What can I do RIGHT NOW to avoid another repeat hell winter??

Establish your routine:

My mother always told me it takes 21 days to build a habit.  Perfect.  21 days.

So I committed myself to walk to work for 21 days when during the summer months when the weather was clear.  It was so lovely and refreshing, extra steps!   I would bus to my job and then hit up the gym right after and walk home from the gym.  During the summer months, I was averaging close to 20K steps a day.  How cool right?

Until FALL hits like a rainstorm and you just don’t want to walk 2 miles uphill soaked.  So I compensated after the gym and took the bus home, so therefore I didn’t get as many steps.  Rather than feeling lazy about not getting enough steps, I increased my loads at the gym and found new exercises to continue to challenge and push me.  When I did this it told me two things 1.) You can still get just as much benefit as you were if you commit to just a bit longer at the gym.  Do 15 minutes more and then bus home.  Remember, PUSH yourself.  If you want to quit, think about your why.  Think about why you signed up for this.

Now it’s fall, and I’ve gone from 17K steps daily July 2018 to 13K steps Sept 2018.

Is my bipolar mind obsessing over it?  Not today. :). Instead, I’m looking at it this way.  I work my butt off at the gym, and I am driving home results.  I’m proud of my efforts, and I’m making sure that I treat my body right nutritionally to make sure that I’m getting the optimum nutrition I need for a healthy life.  I remember about what I learned after I quit drinking.  One Day at a time.

21 days to start a habit.  Unfortunately, it’s a habit.  Good/Bad depends on you and the choices that you make.

Btw today was my weigh in day on WW, and I lost another five lbs.

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12 months now.. down 85 and counting!  If you are on WW, find my Connect home @av8r007

Live your best life!

Mark

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Finances, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Depression can piss off!

Hey there Folks!

What a beautiful Saturday it is in Seattle!  I woke up this morning after feeling pretty sour going to bed last night due to a mixed bag of emotional distress.  Mostly about my ex, my past drinking addiction, and my commitment to maintaining my sobriety above all us.

Instead of waking up and turning on the TV as I typically do, I looked at my watch and said ‘I need to prioritize my day.’  If I sit here and do nothing except wallow in my self-misery then I’m going to start binging more than I already have on junk food, and worse I’ll just sneak farther away into depression and when depression gets really bad it can trigger a manic episode and that is the last thing I want to have to happen.  I will do whatever it takes to prevent a manic/mania incident from forming and lashing out.

I grabbed a protein shake and I headed to the gym.  For all the anger that I have in this world, nothing feels better than to bottle it up and let it explode on the barbell.  For every time I complete a rep of 10 bicep curls with every breath I can see the demon leaving me.  With every push up I can feel the demon trying to sit on my back and push me down, but I say Piss off Depression, you’re not welcome here.  You never were.

I am fearless.  Depression does not own me.  Depression does not control me.  The demon will never win.  Jesus Christ is on my side and that’s the way is gonna be!

 

 

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

Summer colds and rest days. Rest Mark!

Today is a rest day from the gym and quite honestly I hate rest days because I feel like I’m being lazy if I dare eat a donut in fear of gaining weight, or giving myself shame over enjoying perhaps the second donut… What gives?  I logged it right!?  Of course, you did, and that’s what you were supposed to do.  Even in the smallest moments of enjoying tasting good, the guilt sneaks in and wants to rob the taste right off your buds in fear that everything you worked for at the gym was for a waste.  Was it?  Of course not!  It tasted good damn, and I’m glad I ate it.

The end of the start of a depressive episode.

I have lived with depression my entire life and I know my way around my head pretty good in terms of what my surroundings are like when I fall into a trap and it typically revolves around food, and self-shame for enjoying junk food.. like ice cream, or candy.. you name it.  I am so good at self shame.  I constantly have to work on ways to keep my mind from entering shame mode.  It’s painful once you’re there and it takes a lot to climb out of it because when you are dealing with shame it brings your why into question and if you’re why is being questioned then your identity might as well be up for grabs as well.

I’ve started this new routine whenever I start to feel danger is near I’ll just call out to Jesus in my head and ask for guidance and it seems to work.  In fact, when I find myself in situations where I need an instant morale boost I can call on Christ my king to strengthen me from within.  My mind, loves to play games and in past times it would win and I would be depressed.  It was a common occurrence.

I’m battling off this summer cold that decided to make an ugly return into my life this past week.  I’ve picked up a gnarly nail biting habit and I seriously need to stop because it’s disgusting.  It’s especially gross knowing that gym equipment isn’t always the most sanitary…  Even since the armpit issue a few weeks ago I’ve been extra sanitary at the gym and taking care to make sure I clean up my sweat as well because it’s equally as gross if I do not up.

Weight Training is going terrific.  I absolutely love the path I am on for the gym and I can see big-time results. Which is weird because I’ve only been doing this for.. according to the app I’m using called Fitbod I’ve had 23 workouts of all time with the program and I love it!  Fitbod Weight Lifting Tracker is the iOS program I am using right now and I love it.  Fitbod shows me the reps I need to strive for, and suggests the weight to shoot for.  I hit it every time and I push my limits hard.  Fitbod will use AI (Artificial Intelligence) to predict your muscle rate of recovery and assign you to do exercises that target that specific area.  It’s an excellent app and I give it my stamp of approval!  It’s in the App Store and I think you get 30 days free of it, but $7.99 a month or $49.99 a year.  Honestly, though, personal trainers are so expensive.  $50.00 a year for equal results if not better, and in YOUR control is totally worth it.   Like I always say in my Connect videos on Weight Watchers. You have to invest in you.  You have to be smart about your fitness.

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Thank you, Jesus, for granting me this bipolar life so that I could learn how to inspire when the odds are against you from the start.  I am fighting against the statistics of bipolar depression related to suicide and I will fight until my last day on earth.

I’ve successfully had two days off of the gym which means tomorrow is Saturday and I can resume chasing my bodybuilder goals!

What doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us

Yours truly,

 

Mark