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

Mind the gap

I awake at 5am for my day job and I’m usually on the train to downtown Seattle by 6am. Or at least I aspire to. 🙂 actually fuck off depression, I do well at this. It’s so funny how depression will sneak up on you at a wolf space and steal your positive affirmation moment.

I win. You lose WOLF.

I remember one morning last week where I was on my way out the door and as I was putting on my backpack I saw a segment on Today talking about mindfulness. I’ve never heard about “mindfulness” before so I jotted it down and told myself I’d google it later. Yoga for the brain? What is this? Naturally it peaked my interests immediately because I heard the key words during the segment: relief from depression, remove anxiety, reduce inflammation, keep talking you have my full attention now.

Mindfulness so they say. I actually have headspace which if you watched the TED talk that person is the cofounder or Headspace which is a meditation app for iOS and android devices. I think I only know about headspace from a $75 impulsive year subscription that I couldn’t afford..yet somehow convinced myself I needed it and like other impulsive purchases I’ve hardly used it. If maybe once. What a shame.

Again with these stupid obtrusive thoughts. It’s not a shame Wolf! It’s me taking a moment to reflect and feel emotion. That article I received a few days ago from my good friend really resonated. I have an entire pack of wolves in my head that really want to take over but up until recently I’ve been rejecting them at every opportunity.

Today I saw the movie “Molly’s game”

and I’m a big Jessica Chastin fan so if you really want to watch a mindfuck of a great movie I highly recommend it. Her dad was a therapist too! The similarities of our childhoods was striking. The words that were used, the phrases used, the arrogant behaviors all existed and that really impacted me.

As I live through my blogging life there have been a swell of emotions that come back from the archives. Not only is it an enlightening experience to achieve it’s also a completely validating and positive affirmation that I do for myself. My therapist is beyond the moon estatic that I’m blogging, 8 months sober, and working on implementing CBT into my life and putting it into creative form on WordPress.

In all reality I haven’t felt this good in ages. The depression is low, my moods are stable and my impulsive thoughts and actions are at an all time low. I think I’m ready to tackle the gym next week. I don’t know what I’m so afraid of. I really know that running does amazing this for the soul.. I should know.. I’ve ran one full marathon which is 26.2 miles and I’ve competed in 14 half marathons which is 13.1 miles. I’m not really interested in running again..it really hurts! And at 6’4″ it’s really painful. Maybe I’ll stick to cardio.. I’m such a cardio queen. Ugh. No muscle in my body whatsoever. As a runner in my years past lifting was stupid because muscle would burn first during running… so I just focused on something I couldn’t fail at. I don’t know now. Maybe if lifted I would look better naked. Hmm..

I feel like I’m a muscle stud with a 6 pack in my head with racing thoughts and voices but on the outside I’m a sloth that spills popcorn all over him self at the movies.

I need to find my motivation.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Daily Prompt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Bipolar & Unstable. If you could hit rewind, would you?

I may be way too young for this post however I feel that it important for me to be able to differentiate the ideas I thought life would be like compared to what it actually was like for me.. You may disagree with some of my items but that’s totally fine! This is taken from the life experiences of a 32 year old bipolar manic depressive.

#10.) You seriously need to budget.

This is ridiculously true. Often times when I was younger my parents would always stress into my head the importance of budgeting and how to manage your funds appropriately… Well… Who the F was a going to listen with how to abide by your own means when you’re 18?? You just want out! You want to learn life experiences for yourself and not because someone told you to do it. Thats not life!

#9) Seriously, you’re not defined by what you own. This is a big one for me. As a depressed individual I would tell you that my happiness is purely based on items purchased.. Not items I own.. perhaps that’s because I’ve learned how unhappy I am with what I own. For the longest period in my life I felt like whatever I owned was never good enough because I could never be happy without this.

Thought: Unless you have the latest Mac you’re an absolute loser.

I’m not kidding either.. Growing up I wasn’t poor by any means but I didn’t realize until later in my years how much my parents tried their best to provide for my family. I had plenty of food on the table growing up and shiny Christmas presents but inside my head I was uncontrollable and so jealous of what every other kid got for Christmas for owned. I believed that if you had the newer car, or the bigger house you naturally were richer.. What a load of shit. Thats the farthest thing from the truth!

#8) If you struggle with depression DO NOT DRINK ALCOHOL.

I couldn’t wait to turn 21 so I could gamble (legal age in Arizona) and drink alcohol like the rest of my friends! If I didn’t drink I was the loser.. That was my thought pattern because at the end of the day all I wanted was to be liked… Liked for all the wrong reasons. Liked for all the corrupt reasons that existed in my head. I didn’t realize until I quit drinking eight months ago just how bad alcohol was for me. If you are depressed please avoid drinking.. Alcohol is a depressant.. if you struggle with depression your life will be a lot more stable when you’re not drinking. I know this for a fact. I’m living the sober journey and it sucks that I can’t do the social things that I use to do.. Like grab a beer with friends.. Or have drinking games.. The social aspect of drinking I definitely miss, but I don’t miss the hangover, or the addiction, or the mania associated with alcoholism.

#7) It’s okay to have a couple of friends.. You don’t need 100.

As an ENFJ (Myers Briggs) it was natural for me to want to be the social one and want to have a million friends.. let’s be honest.. Do you really care about all those “friends?” No. Do they care about me really?? Probably not… People come and go from our lives all the time and there is nothing wrong with that. To a depressive kid however it can feel like the worst if you don’t have more than two friends because you don’t want to be associated with the loser status quo. As I went through my twenties and now into my thirties I have three best friends and I’m totally content with that. I can remember their birthdays no problem. I also feel like they understand me better than a hundred friends at the same time would.

#6) Finding middle ground.. Avoid the all or nothing mentality completely.

As a BPD individual the term ‘middle ground’ does not exist in my vocabulary because my mind is incapable of finding the half way point. For my entire life I have held onto one part of mania that is in my everyday life.. It’s either ALL or NOTHING.

Thought: I’m tired of being fat and being unattractive. I’m going to go to the gym five days a week! No exceptions and I’m going to lose all this weight.

Realistic? Not a chance. Does this sound familiar? It should because even if you’re not BP chances are you will experience this emotion at some point in your life and it can become very frustrating to deal with if you don’t know any different. I didn’t! Instead I have thousands of dollars of debt from impulsive purchases that I made in my previous life before I found this blog and my new blogging family. I get to live through this everyday until that debt is paid off. The All or Nothing mentality can absolutely kill you (figuratively speaking) and most likely also physically because if you don’t know your limit it could kill you easily. Apply the all or nothing thinking to an Opiod addict.. All of a sudden it’s serious huh? Why do you think people OD on heroin? Because it’s fun? No. Addiction sees no ending point. Addicts will continue to consume to get to that feeling of high. Alcoholics do this too.. Every drug will do this. It’s just how it works.

#5) Creating an Amazon account

You would think this would be easy but as a manic depressive who used to thrive on self worth Amazon was my worst enemy because it never said No and it took all my money.

I use to pride myself on how much I used Amazon because I loved getting the free shipping but I didn’t realize until much later how much free shipping I was getting and not realizing that Amazon is setting me back from my ultimate goal of being out of debt and with Amazon every was just so tap tap done. I look back at my heart history and I have a ton of pages. Dozens of products in order history and I can honestly tell you that I’ve probably sold that item on eBay and used it only once! This is how unfortuate my self esteem was. It wasn’t the product. It was the thought behind the product. Why did I choose to buy that item? Well it’s not because I needed it, it was because I was feeling like shit and needed a pick me up. An expensive pick me up no less. Skip Amazon and shop at target. If you have to haul it home and you don’t have a car and you have to bus or train..it’s most likely going to limit you on how much money you’re going to spend.

#4) Spending time with yourself

I wish it knew this when I was younger!! I love love love doing stuff by myself because it gives me an opportunity to recharge my body and mind and it also allows me to focus without any distractions. I really love going to the movies alone! It’s not because I’m lonely. It’s because I like the movies a lot (I’m a huge cinema buff) but more because I was able to have fun by myself and entertain without having to put up with my friend complaining about their job, or their relationships. Just me. My time. I really like that and I wish that when I was younger I would have done that too. I wonder if my self worth would be worth anything more if I choose happiness over tangible goods.

#3) Staying in shape and not letting myself go

As my weight is directly tied to my self worth it is no wonder I would want to share with a younger self that had I stayed in shape perhaps my mental clarity would have been better and my self image wouldn’t have been so damaged. When I was younger I was definitely overweight and I was a smoker for many years so I was definitely a walking a thin line of health at such a long age. When I quit smoking I decided to take up running which was a really good fit for me. Over the course of five years from 2010 – 2015 I was very active. I was actively participating in fitness challenges. I was also at my lowest weight of 220 during that period and I started to compete in marathons and half marathons to get exercise and to improve my stability of my mood… this was way before finding out about my conditions because I didn’t find out I had BPD until 2015 when at that time I began taking antidepressants and antipsychotics to treats my highs and lows. I’m not sure what shifted but I put running on the sidelines and just stopped enjoying life. I don’t know how it happened or what exactly happened but in the now 3 years I’ve given up running I’ve gained 50 lbs back and my self worth is shit.

I have ambitions of returning to the gym but my depression constantly makes me fear it. Why? I want sexy mark to come back. I don’t like fat mark. I’m not happy like this. I’m miserable when I’m not attractive in the mirror.

I told my therapist that I would read some more of (feeling good) and I think that would be healthy for me. I need to study that book religiously!

#2)

Don’t settle for less than what you deserve in life.

This goes for anyone. Period. DO NOT Settle! If you are unhappy at your job or miserable in your relationship then find the strength to confront it and face your thoughts head on. It was so easy to accept things for the way they happened.. I always played the victim because everything happened because of me. I was the cause. I was the problem so prior to meeting my current boyfriend I dated a lot of guys that weren’t worth shit and I ended up hurting myself in the end.

I remember two previous relationships that made an impact on me. Besides that I was kind of slut. I had zero self respect for myself and I wanted to feel good all at the same time so I put myself out there the only way I knew how. It wasn’t healthy at all and I evoked an unstable mind in the process. Although I had some fun times I wouldn’t say you need to experience this just to find out who you are..

#1)

Love yourself from day 1

So you’re not perfect. That’s OK. You made it through my list! Good job! The most important lesson that I wish I practiced when I was 21 was to have greater self respect for who I was, and I would have treated my body, and my friends differently. I know for a fact that it took a very long time to learn how to love myself. For a very long time I felt flawed because of my illness and that people would reject me for that so I hid in self shame and misery. I wore a lot of good masks as a kid too.

I’m 32 and I hope I have many years ahead of me.

What about you? What would you tell your self when you were just beginning your adult years. Would you do it any differently?

I am free because I blog. No longer to I dwell in an emotional prison. I am worthy of love and compassion. I am a better person daily because of this blog and who I’m working on becoming.

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

Volume 2: Episode 1 – Overcoming distructive thoughts

It’s a new year and fresh on our minds are what we want to achieve this year and what we want to do better at. For me, I have two simple goals this year that can drastically change my life for the better and at the same time provide confidence for a future. Sounds promising right? It was! It was great until my automatic thoughts attempted to kill the excitement of a new year beginning and an opportunity to shine through.
As I mentioned in previous posts my two main goals:
1) Financial freedom
2) Lose Weight

These two goals are monumental for me to achieve because finances and my weight are directly tied to my depression and my mania. Please note: By financial freedom does not mean being debt free, it means that I want to learn how to follow a budget and stick to it. I do not want to go into any more debt in 2018 so in order to do that, I must stick to a budget. My friends over at YNAB (youneedabudget) have an excellent program that I’ve dabbled with before. Jesse Mechem is the inventor of ynab, and just released his book on budgeting and I downloaded it on Audible. If only Jesse could be the voice of reason in my head, I’d be so much of a different state of mind if I had a rational voice in my head. Instead of having 500 all shouting different thoughts at any given time.
Budgeting has always been a struggle for me because often times I hated that word! Uh, the B-word!! Can’t be budget!! But as much of a bitch as a budget is, its the only way that I can remain confident that I am on a path to financial freedom.

As I have begun my blogging journey and started to implement CBT techniques into my life, I have realized that the majority of my impulsive purchases would be the effect of drinking, depression, or a manic episode. Often times when I was not impulsive when I was feeling good..it was only when I was down in the dumps with life and depression. This is a good thing actually because it shows me that I have self-control when I’m not using substances.

Regarding my 2nd goal of losing weight. Right here folks are the meat of my depression.. my weight is directly connected to my self-worth and if I don’t feel attractive then I will feel depressed about how much I weigh and I will do two things. One I will eat more to fill the void of sadness and two I would become impulsive to purchase items that were not budgeted for. This would set me up for a financial disaster as well as it would cause my weight to spike because of zero self-control.

I’d like to show you an example of how my brain handles an automatic thought:

Background: I’ve spent the last few weeks learning about budgeting and following the yNAB principals about giving every dollar a job. At the end of it, I feel proud of my efforts and I’m feeling good! I did my budget!

Thought pattern: Fast forward a week and I wake up to realize that I have forgotten to budget for an automatic reoccurring car insurance payment and I’ve overdrawn my account by $100.  An automatic thought comes down from space like a comet out of space! “You stupid fuck! If you were good at budgeting you wouldn’t have overdrawn. You suck at this. Just give up already because you know that you suck at this.” This is my reality. This is what I live with when automatic thoughts kick in to sabotage a situation.
Immediately I would listen and trust my automatic thought and fall into a spell where I felt like a failure, and I was pissed at myself for not realizing this, and the fear of having to tell my partner that I screwed up again…

Apply CBT to the thought pattern:

Thought: I failed at budgeting. I can’t believe I did this again. FUCK! I can’t afford an overdraft fee!

Type of thinking: All or Nothing

Rational thought: Mark, you are not a failure at budgeting. If you look at your history you will see although you weren’t actively budgeting you always maintained a positive balance. You should feel proud of yourself for what you have accomplished thus far and realized that setbacks like this can occasionally happen. Keep up the great work!
Thought overcame! Successful CBT right there folks. I’m not perfect at this but you know that I will try and conquer! My life depends on it!

Now if only I can apply CBT to FOOD!
It’s a total domino effect. Everything I do is connected to each other. Food is my biggest lack of strength in society and as a depressed individual, I take comfort in sweets and junk food to fill the emptiness in my heart. I did this for all of 2017 and by the end of December, I couldn’t even stomach any more junk food. I ate it all. I ate it all so much that I gained all my weight AND I became impulsive to offset my depression. Double Edge Sword!

No matter how I approach it, this year is different. I will not be the victim of my self-hate! I will shine! I will eat healthier, blog more, and be the best I can be. There is NO perfection! Let’s clear that up right away Mark. You are not expected to be perfect. Nothing is perfect! Learn this! Study this! Embrace this!

Regarding my other goals, all in time Mark. Remember your motto “Slow & Steady” Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither was your depression. It’s gonna take time to repair the damage but fuck it, you’re amazing and you’re totally worth it! At the end of the day in 2018, I am optimistic, feeling confident, and knowing that this year I’m moving forward and not allowing myself to let history repeat itself.
Tomorrow I will talk about my biggest triggers for depression. I’ve discovered that these simple things create much bigger problems for me. What am I doing that is causing so much panic in my life?! Find out tomorrow!

Xx

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression, Nourishing the soul

Life in pieces.

Hello my friends,

Please forgive my absence from writing..I’ve been in a bad funk that I just can’t shake..

Depression really sucks. It really zaps all your energy and pretty much makes me feel pretty worthless. For my followers you have seen the issues that I struggle with. My impulsive behavior, my addictions, and my self hatred that comes with the illness. My father refuses to identify my bipolar as a mental illness and instead a mental disorder ….right. I don’t agree with that in the slightest. Am I mentally fit? Not right now. Is this a disorder? No, this is an illness that I cannot cure no matter how hard I try. My meds that I take can only do so much before I feel myself wanting to crawl out of my skin.

I haven’t slept in days.

I’ve slept surely, but ever since I impulsively bought my Apple Watch the 18 hour battery doesn’t last enough for me to measure my sleep data. My therapist and my psychiatrist always tell me how critical sleep is for preventing depression.. you don’t say..! My neck has also really been hurting and that has been preventing me from sleeping comfortably. Not to mention the meds I take at bed could tranquilize an elephant however for me it just causes more hysteria in my mind.

The voices won’t shut up!

Understanding constructive criticism is probably the most difficult task that I have been faced with. As an extremist I have been told by countless individuals that I try too hard, go to the “extreme” to get things done…well what do you expect? How do you not be “extreme” when you are pre-programmed with this illness? How do we slow ourselves down? We can’t.

Often times enough I feel completely helpless in my depression. Winter is here and boy do I feel the hell of it. I’m thankful for you Colby. You keep me above water and prevent me from drowning in my self hatred and sorrows.

I ask God so many times to lead my journey, to clear these thoughts of failure in my head but often times the prayers go unanswered like I’m just fucking cursed with this life.

Jesus, are you listening?  Lord – here my prayer!

Please hear my prayers. I need you. I need salvation to get through this life.

Always,

Taylor

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression, Technology

All I wanted was to be liked and I destroyed myself in the process.

As a manic depressive I’ve often spent my life in the darkness, sulking in my own misery as I wanted to desperately be liked by my peers.  All I wanted was a friend in life.  All I wanted was you to ask me for a sleep over!  It was only my biggest dream when I was younger.  I wanted to be liked SO bad that I would later find out how extreme I would go to be that guy.  The one who had everything he ever wanted.  At the expense of himself.

Growing up I was always accused by my peers as having ‘riches’ and because I lived on the “East” side of town I lived in the rich kids neighbors.  Evidently just because you have a golf club near your house you’re living in the riches… Boy could that not have been farther from the truth!  In the lives of my parents career’s they were so devoted.  All my parents wanted was for my brother and I to have a good childhood filled with safe memories.  My mother and father wanted nothing more than for the kids  to grow up in a safe neighborhood.  When I was three we moved away from Los Angeles for that very reason.. LA just wasn’t safe for kids to grow up according to my parents.

Having the stigma associated with my family having the riches of the ‘East’ neighborhood it was expected that I’d be driving the newest 2002 Honda Accord to school.  Oh god, you showed up in a 1989 Pathfinder?  WORTHLESS you think.  This is JUNK.  You’re expected to have fancy wheels.  You’re expected to sit with the cool kids.  You’re expected to do AMAZING in school because your brother did so well in academics.  There was this association with my name that was passed around my town that we were the TAYLOR’s and they had a HUGE house and a ton of money.

No, we didn’t.  Not in the slightest..  In fact I didn’t realize until I entered my late twenties that I really became thankful for how my parents raised my brother Landon and I.  We were taught to be honest, to love God, to not play football, or ride of the back of a motorcycle, or get a tattoo.. I was taught that life is not handed to you on a plate.  You earn your life.

My mother use to look me straight in the eye and ask me ‘What have you got to show for it?’ ..Annoyed by the comment that she would make I often dismissed it in my head, thought was complete non sense and just didn’t care.  The issue is that when you believe these falsehoods.. You learn to establish truth them and soon these distorted views of the world can really haunt you in life.  You learn to associate joy and happiness off of what you own.  You establish that your self worth is directly tied to what you own because at the end of the day all you desire is to be liked.

You just wanted to be liked.  You just wanted to be invited to the sleepover.