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!

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

WOW.. 2018

Well hey, stranger!

You found me!  I’ve only been planning this secret project for the last year, and I’m finally ready to merge the two together!  For my previous bloggers who followed me here, thank you for finding me here.  I’ve missed blogging a lot. I needed a break from life, and I started to do videos instead, and I love it.   Now at 23 months sober, I can say I’m doing daily Vlogs on WW Connect, @Remarkablevlog on Instagram, and I’ll be on YouTube soon!

Since October 2017 when I joined Weight Watchers (for the 25th time) is right when Freestyle was introduced, and it immediately appealed to me because the focus was on protein and keeping fruits and vegetables to be mostly zero allowed better freedom for me to work on my ultimate goal.  I want to be a bodybuilder.  I am 6’5,” and I have the body for it.  I have the stamina, and I have the commitment to myself and my savior Christ to be the strongest warrior that I can be for the world we live in.    What a beautiful name it is,  Jesus.  Thank you for giving me this life.

My depression has been at its lowest since I started therapy again in 2013.  I couldn’t be happier about that.  Winters still suck in Seattle, but that’s why gyms exist and Weight Watchers Connect to inspire on.  I love to share my journey and to reach out to the ends of the world and show love to everyone.    I have worked so hard on my life in the last 12 months and often times my depression wants to rob me of the joy of celebration. But you know what?  Depression is only as strong as you make it, and YOU CAN REDUCE IT!  YES, you can!  I am bipolar and manic-depressive, so while I’ll never be able to stop taking my antidepressant medications, I know that I am working against the odds in which my SSRI tells me that I may be affected by.

Gained Weight? Nope!  I mean, food tastes scrumptious delicious, but nope I fought back constantly!  Depressed Libido?  Wouldn’t know. Celibate.  Sleepiness: You betcha.  I love to snooze.

The point is that if you take a medication that is known to cause side effects which including gaining weight or lack of sex drive, you can indeed fight back.

Join Weight Watchers.  Join a Gym.  Follow me on Connect @ AV8R007 and give your life to Jesus and you’ll be so happy you did!

Thank you to all who have supported me through my roughest moments yet.  I am stronger today then I’ve been in my entire life, and I’m not speaking physically.  I’m talking mentally.  In the last five years I’ve spent in therapy I have absorbed so much CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) knowledge, and I’m putting it into play every day and into every thought and it’s reversing everything negative!

Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns is terrific.

I’ll be on meds for the rest of my life, and that’s OK.  I’m turning out to be just fine physically.  I just had to work for it.

Yours truly,

Mark

 

P.S.  I’m going to be posting my Connect videos here as well in a couple weeks.  If you miss it on Connect you’ll be able to find them here, as well as YouTube when that channel launches later this year.

PPS… Seriously, thank you for being my friend.  143

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

6-months of awesomeness!

I remember October 24 of last year so much. I felt trapped, I felt alone, and all I wanted to do was cry and eat whatever I could because I felt like I wasn’t worth shit and felt like my life was completely falling apart.

Since 10/24/17 I have worked fearlessly on myself and I couldn’t be happier.

I’m single!

I’m sober! #16months without ONE sip of alcohol!

And I’m down 35 lbs!

This is the life I’ve always wanted and I finally am getting what I deserve!

HAPPINESS!

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

Me First.

It has been roughly two months since the breakup and despite the occasional tirade of delusional thoughts, I have developed a great sense of knowing when my depression thought strike and I have adapted ways on dismissing them.

A routine:

While in the shower I will start a conversation out loud with myself and focus on self love and self acceptance.

“Hey Mark, Good Morning!  You look great today, and confident.  Don’t forget to smile bright today. Work hard today because you can.”

“Keep your why handy and pull it out when you feel weak or that you’re losing a grip on life.  Remember, just because a food is there doesn’t mean that you have to eat it.”

“Remember Mark, you need to be strong today and be a warrior today. You are a smart and talented individual and people are drawn to you because you demonstrate love and acceptance daily.”

Now, I don’t have this verbatim.  But you get the idea.  Do it in the shower. Or stand in front of the mirror when you’re brushing your teeth and just talk to yourself.  Don’t be shy.  It’s perfectly OK to praise YOU.

It’s one change that I’ve implemented since I started to believe in my CBT and it really helps me throughout the day remember why I’m here.  Why I’m 16 months sober, and why I want to look good naked.

I’m fucking worth it dammit.  My life depends on it, and my job is to BE AMAZING at it!

Fuck PERFECTION.

P.S.  You’re down 30 pounds!  Way to Go Buddy!  #MEFIRST

 

 

 

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

What a fun day!

Depression? Who are you? You don’t live here anymore.

I cannot begin to share with you how better if I feel knowing that I am controlling my emotions now and I regulate what comes in and what goes out. Only positivity is allowed to pass through the gates into my life. Misery and self hate do not live here.

I’ve just had the best weekend with friends and family.

Happy Easter! I feel great!

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

Finding my true identity

It’s been a crazy busy week and I’ve been living an amazing life with absolutely zero depression! I’m back in total control and I’m hitting the gym 5 days a week, and I’m down 31 pounds since Halloween 2017!

I still have my ups/downs but far less. Why? Easy. I’m putting me first. Every day. Nothing will ever come between me and my ultimate goal. My depression has always and will forever be tied to my self image and instead of hating myself for being overweight I’m going to love myself instead for who I am and be the best version of myself.

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

An unexpected break from blogging

I really missed blogging but due to being hacked by Russian operatives (I’m not kidding either) I’m forced to try and figure out how to theme my page back to the original. Oh well, I’m not too distraught over it now that my account is secure again. I was pretty upset initially but it was shut down so nothing could go in/out. I was OK with this while WordPress figured out their shit. Plus I changed my number because I felt like I needed to let go some more and that just further complicated things because WordPress was like Who are you asshole?

Here I am. 33 years old. WOW – what else can I say?

Over the last thirty days, I have experienced the best of my days. As many of you are aware I ended my five-year relationship with my partner in early February 2018. My ex-owned the house and I was never on the actual title. Which turned out to be really good.. Everything worked out. I moved out of the house within two weeks of the official agreement to split and moved into the fastest thing I could find in the shortest amount of time possible. OMG, what was I thinking? I needed to move out. Despite sleeping in the other room, things were over and it was time for me to go. The hardest part was saying goodbye to that life because of the sweet pup that I had to leave behind as my new place couldn’t accept pets, and I refuse to believe a husky could ever live a happy life in an apartment. Just couldn’t.

So what happened? The dog is with the ex and I’m fine with that because we have an arrangement in place where I can visit the dog when I choose and I will take care of Denali while he is traveling for work or wants to get away for the weekend. This is a great plan because it allows me to maintain a friendship with my ex and that means a lot to me. I spent five years with him. I can’t accept it all slip away for anything. Relationships are tough fucking work. I really know this. I’ve learned so much about who I am over the last five years and for once I put myself first and said CUT THE SHIT OUT.

I now live back on Capitol Hill in Seattle which has always been referred to as the queer capital of Seattle. Well then, I’m right at home and you know what? That’s amazing because I never wanted to move away in the first place. I love it here. When my ex and I moved into the house it wasn’t because we were ready it was because our old roommate decided to move to the opposite side of the country and he owned the house. I didn’t want to own a home so fast either. I didn’t want that responsibility and it felt like things got rushed REALLY fast.

So here I am. 33 and I feel absolutely fantastic. I have been taking my medication daily for the past 3 months and I’m now taking PrEP as well. I haven’t been depressed in four weeks and I’ve lost 25 pounds in two months. Depression doesn’t live here anymore. I do. It’s 185 square feet and I pay $1200 a month for it. Fuck. Really? Rent control is horrible in Seattle. We have such a horrible homeless crisis here and I have to be very budget focused now. I’m very in control now.

Overall life is a total TEN right now. Absolutely zero complaints. I am in charge of my life. I call ALL the shots. ME first.

Depression is that you?

Nope.

I am a warrior now. It’s showtime!

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

What a ride!

WOW, guys…

A few days ago I had the worst depression episode of my entire life when my partner and I decided to have a conversation regarding the potential of opening up our relationship a bit more because maybe.. things just weren’t happing at home?? These types of relationships are common in our world and I’ve just found that being in a committed relationship for the past five years has kinda worn thin on me and really made me question why I’m even with him if I’m so unhappy..?
Friday night was the end of the last five years of my life with my partner. I wish he understood me more. I feel like in order to fully be free inside a relationship your partner must understand you 150% and vice versa. It’s a two-way road and requires equal emotional input. I couldn’t give it to him, and he couldn’t give it to me either… Guess what? That’s totally OK.

No relationship is perfect and mine certainly wasn’t.
I am thankful for the last five years of our lives together. I have learned so much about my life and what I want to achieve in this life.

We’re working out the custody arrangements of my husky. It breaks my heart to even have to move out soon but none the less separate myself from the dog that kept me so happy despite a turbulent relationship. At the end of the day I am 32, soon to be 33 in two weeks and I’m single. I got together with my ex when I was 28 and it ended when I was almost 33. What a ride.
For something that I didn’t think would last more than six months, it proved to be an experience from around the world. Selfies in Mexico. Selfies in front of the Eiffel tower. OMG. Selfies with our beers in London. What fun we had! I have zero regrets over what happened in our relationship Colby. This was an amazing experience to be a part of and you have taught me so much. I am sober now and as I soon enter my eleventh month of sobriety I must be on my game and continue to achieve success.
My depression over the breakup comes and goes. I have random fits of sobbing, and asthma induced laughing of the memories we’ve shared. Thank you, Colby, for teaching me how to do manual labor. I can say that I’ve scrapped popcorn ceilings before! I can say that I’ve ripped the carpet up! Fuck, what fun we had. I’m going to miss enjoy our friendship. I’ve been told I’m better at friendships than relationships anyways. That’s not true. I just haven’t met you yet.
I’m going to be single for a really long time. I’m thinking two years at least. I have so much shit I need to work on. Pay of mounds of debt, student loans, everything. I need to fix me before I allow myself to open up again to someone else.
Life is good. I have no complaints. Depression doesn’t live here anymore.

PS.  I’ve been back at the gym working hard on my fitness and my Weight Watcher goals.  I’m down almost ten pounds and I’m definitely feeling a LOT better.  I certainly feel a lot sexier.    Amazing!  Single looks good on this mug.

IMG_0093

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

Alexa! Keep it up! I feel great!

Good Evening my WordPress followers and everyone that tonight reaches.
What a fantastic day today has been. Full of energy, life, love, and happiness. I happily enjoyed my career today, and I even made it to the gym today and powered thru an hour of HIIT. I feel like I’m finally in control of my life and learning how to love yourself is such an essential step in self-love.  I got to hug my dog tonight and I just realized how lucky I am to own such a beautiful dog and give him an amazing home.

fullsizeoutput_c10
Denali the Great!

As I live my life through blogging, I have realized that there are challenges in my life that I have ignored for a long time and now that I am in control of my life I am facing those issues head on and not backing down.

IMG_7296
Everyone loves a gym selfie!

My health is worth it! I am SO proud of myself for achieving my goals for today! I earned 45 Fit Points on Weight Watchers today. I’ll be SKINNY in no time!
I look at myself in the mirror, and I see this incredibly genuine person who is destined to inspire and lead change in this world.

PS.  I’m taking my meds every day and my depression score on Feelin Good is at an all-time LOW.  I can’t wait to tell Chris tomorrow!