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

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), 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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Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Binge eating and how I’m beating the hell out of it.

Depression is rotten.  It is a rotten disorder that often haunts me with food indulgences and lack of responsibility in portion control and accurately tracking my points on Weight Watchers.  I wonder why I do things the way I do sometimes however for binge eating I am rather curious how my thoughts form that give myself permission to indulge in XYZ?

I work out a ton.  I am proud of that.  What kills me though is when I do binge I feel like I am ruining my efforts at the gym.  I feel like I’m purposely sabotaging myself by consuming candy at the movie theatre or eating a pint of Halo Top on my bed while watching Black Mirror on Netflix.  What is it that causes me to do this?

For me I believe it comes down to two things:

Am I eating any aspartame?

Where is my Weight Watchers app?  Have I checked into Connect today?

Since giving up Diet Coke four weeks ago I have witnessed sensational changes in my appearance and my outlook is better.  I definitely look less bloated in tight muscle shirts and I like that.  🙂 A lot.  My muscles are definitely growing during sleep.    I’m just learning to be patient and learning everything in time.  I often remind myself it’s not a race, or a marathon Mark so slow down!  I hope I have many many years left on Earth and I want to enjoy my bipolar life.  I want to continue to spread awareness on mental health to everyone I encounter.

“Hi! Is everything ok?”

Just ask.

 

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

CBT for the win! Omg!

Well I’ve been absent from my blog for a few days and I have a really good reason. I’ve been working on my self image, and working to improve my self love and workflow. Sounds amazing right?

Well it is, because for the first time in my life I am taking control of my life and the actions that take place in my life. I’ve spent my entire life making stupid decisions without thinking about long term consequences. I’ve often struggled with immediate gratification and I’ve come to understand the differences between a “Need” and a “Want.”

I need to get my shit together so I create a better life for my life. My life depends on it. Suicide is not an option for me. I believe that God created me to be an amazing human that is born to lead and to shine. I don’t believe God made me bipolar instead I firmly believe it was due to my childhood, and already knowing my brain was different from day 1 1985. Remember the XYY? One of the known genetic traits of XYY is behavior problems.. gee ya think?

Instead of being shameful of the choices that I’ve made in my past I am going to embrace the shame and reverse it into feeling love, and looking for divine power to rid my body of the evil within. Depression is a monster and I’m definitely hiring some exterminators to come remove the nasty beast because I refuse to let it claim habitat at my house!

Yesterday I went back to the gym. I took a really long time off from the gym and I regret it. I’ve become a house since I quit running and I’m not proud of it. However again, rather than shaming myself over my weight I will turn it into positivity and tell myself the following:

“Mark, you’re doing an amazing job with Weight Watchers and you’re seeing results! Hold steady and stay committed to this!”

I am doing an amazing job and I’m really proud of myself for how hard I’m working at getting my shit together. Thank you God for giving me the power to change my life!

❤️

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression, Suicide Prevention

ESPN: Hilinski had no signs of depression before death

“Washington State coach Mike Leach says there were no outward signs that would have alarmed coaches or teammates before Tyler Hilinski took his own life.

Leach spoke extensively about Hilinski’s death for the first time on Saturday. Hilinski died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.”


Unbelievable. This could have been prevented except for the stigma behind depression prevents the conversation from happening.

Period of moping around??? Seriously. Learn how to understand depression. Every depressed child will confide in at least one friend regarding his depression. If he was suicidal it’s his friends responsibility to report that immediately.

There is no time for error in judgement when dealing with suicidal thoughts

I wish you were still with us. The government failed you. Mental health is never talked about until after suicide or violence. Even then it is mentioned for five days before falling forgotten. Deaf on the ears of those who need their voice the most.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/22162989/washington-state-coach-mike-leach-says-tyler-hilinski-did-not-appear-depressed

Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Finances, Technology, YNAB

Need some advice

As we know when I’m manic and/or not being responsible I tend to purchase items in which I cannot afford.

As you know to support my healing I uninstalled all apps from my iPhone that allow me to be impulsive. Amazon being the #1 app. Well I need a new case for my iPad Pro because I’m fed up with the back cover I got not syncing with the smart connector right. Outside the case and it hits no prob. If I throw the protective case on it never works right! Rather than being a warranty I think it’s just pour design.

Manic check: No I am not feeling manic

Depression check: mild depression (feeling WORTHY)

Alcohol consumption: Zero

I have money for a new case and I want a new case but am I being impulsive for wanting something to fix an outstanding issue?

I see this as a productivity issue. Half my posts are written on my iPad so I am thinking this is a rational thought.

Curious for your thoughts. I won’t do anything until you convince me otherwise!

PS.. I’m not spending more than $20. I refuse to spend anything over $20 on an accessory to something I’m going to use and abuse daily. Apple products like cases and alike are pretty but not durable by any stretch.

PPS: If you support me doing this I refuse to download the app! I will go onto their website and buy it. No apps!

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers

Stigma Unraveled: Defining our successes within depression

Today is day 2 of No aspartame drinks and so far I’m feeling good. After much thought in my head.. OK 5,000 to be exact trying to second guess my best interest! My own health… Who would have thought that a schizophrenic brain would cause us to think that we’re gonna fail at trying to improve our health??

Thanks Brain for trying to be against me! Is this my depression trying to sabotage a positive thought? Or is just the Universe telling me to back off of myself and to let God lead the way to my happiness?

So yesterday I wrote about how I was going to stop drinking diet soda AND fake sugar products all together and that was that, and there was NO room for in between.. Remember for bi-polar folks..we have no middle ground.. It’s either ALL of it, or NONE of it. This is often the hardest part to accept when we think that it’s either I’m fully committed to this, or if I slip up just once I’m going to be a total failure..<—What thought process does that sound like??

ALL OR NOTHING.. I swear I should rename my blog ALL OR NOTHING because as of late that seems to be my entire thinking patterns. However distorted they appear they can look so real. Almost like I’m hallucinating that stuff is happening or that stuff is there that really doesn’t exist. I’m still coming to terms with all these diagnosis and as much overwhelming as it may be I know two things. 1.) God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle 2.) Rome wasn’t built in a day.

For being 2018 all of us have New Years resolutions that we want to achieve. In reality though how often to we actually succeed in the resolution to lose weight?? Is that not at the top of everyone’s? This is why gyms are so busy in January but come Feb 1st, gyms are empty… Why? Is it because it’s so easy to give up on ourselves? Well for me, absolutely. For the kid with zero self confidence I would say Yes. I gave up on myself long ago and this could explain why I’m addicted to drinking and smoking. What is it that is causing me so much pain and grief?

It’s my wild mind at the end of the day. Despite having so many medications in my system.. Zoloft, Adderall XR, and Ambien I find myself at the pharmaceutical drug lords hoping to stabilize my mind. One of my fellow bloggers (Joseph Emerson – What’s inside a Madman’s hat) wrote a marvelous poem that shows the struggles of medicating in the mental health system and blogs about how when we approach our doctors regarding our continued depression, we are often thrown more of the medication in hopes of stabilizing our minds. His post really resonated with me how often our doctors are prescribing these drugs like they’re handing out candy and then I started to think… John Oliver of ‘ Last Week Tonight’ Have you seen it? Amazing show.. Oliver did a spot about pharmaceutical anti depressant drugs and how overused and abused they are by doctors and staff. The monetary benefit alone that doctors receive are absurd just for recommending the drug! I’ve included the video below. It’s definitely worth a view.

If you don’t mind John Oliver slightly offensive monologue then I want you to watch this and understand me when I’m saying the entire situation in America is fucked up with pharmaceutical drug companies. I couldn’t stand to be on Seraquel.. I had the WORST nightmares on that and I had horrible side effects including night sweats.. Side effects are never fun. Yet Seraquel is one of the primary antipsychotics on the market. Ugh no!

It is my ultimate desire one day to not have to take these drugs to survive mentally but until then I had no choice and I will not voluntarily stop taking these drugs either just because I’m “feeling better.” Remember folks, in order for any drug to be effective and to work for you you have to take your meds everyday, SSRI’s especially. SSRI’s have to build up in the body before they take effect. If you only take it once in a while it will be of zero help to you. It took a good 8-10 weeks before Zoloft (what I currently take) took effect and there was no lightbulb that went off either than said “It’s working now!” It was trial and error for me and honestly learning how to slow down my emotions and thoughts really took some time to learn. CBT is the savior for this.

There are so many videos out there on YouTube regarding depression and every video I’ve ever watched about depression always show’s one primary reason why the fight is worth it… STIGMA.

My entire soul purpose of this blog is to help break down walls and eliminate the stigma surrounding mental health. There are so many people in today’s society that are completely inept and bigoted to the mental health community and god forbid I’m not like him… You know what dude? Fuck you and your ignorance. I am perfect just the way I am.. If you don’t like it.. Here you go. I made this just for you.

Everyday we are better. Every post we make.. Better.

-Mark Taylor