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

Stigma: The silent killer.

It is now almost the end of the first month of 2018 and I’ve made more strides this month for my personal journey than I did in twelve months of last year.  I’ve continued my journey to sobriety and I’m now moving into my 10th month of no absolutely NO booze.  No slip ups, NOTHING, and I couldn’t be more proud of my effort!  My sobriety is shining through my skin and I am at the point in my life where I can openly discuss my journey with sobriety and how blogging has led to redemption in my life.

This last week was very difficult for me as I had two swift episodes of depression kick me in the ass and I was vulnerable for the attack because my partner was away on business and it gave me so much uncertainty about the future that I had a fully enraged manic episode on Wednesday night where I consumed anything in sight.  I must have eaten two pints of ice cream, bags of chips. Any junk food I could get and shove down my throat in an effort to feel better about who I was was taking place.  I am so much of an emotional eater that it stresses me out to just even think about whats for dinner?!

Part of my recovery program is getting in control of my weight gain and work on the parts of my life that trigger me to consume foods that work against me like sugar and aspartame products.. btw 10 days Diet Coke free!  I’m celebrating the small things in life..  The diet coke may only be 10 days but that’s also 150 cans of Diet Soda that I haven’t consumed.    It’s odd since getting off of the Diet Coke my consumption of food has gone way down (Except for the binge eating) I was doing really good.

Then Wednesday happened..  Thursday I felt like absolute shit when I woke up and I’ve recently met a new friend Erin who invited me to sit next to hear in my local Weight Watchers group.  We added each other on Facebook and we’ve chatted occasionally about how our week is going (Tracking our points) and it was quite nice to have that accountability partner.  I told Erin about how much I was struggling with my depression and I told her about the binge episode and she encouraged me to become more aware of my habits and to go back in and track it ALL.  So I did.  As much as I could remember because I wanted to prove something to myself.  I wanted to prove that I could do something and stick with it. Add some cute words and share it on Social Media.  I’d be stupid not to jump for a chance of Universe affirmations.  You know.. Law of Attraction.

 

I posted it on Connect (their subscriber social media tool, really neat btw) and it soared.  I felt so good after Erin encouraged me to go back in and re-evaluate my goals and I got the motivation I needed to get back to where I wanted to be.  I knew that the chances of me losing weight this week were very low because -253 is quite a bit!  It then turned into an opportunity to not obsess about it and instead focus on eating core plan foods (new freestyle plan) and I focused on that for two days until I have my Weigh In Day at Weight Watchers in Redmond, WA.  I have the best tribe there, and the best leader Pat.

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I accomplished a LOT last week and the entire time I thought I was a complete failure.

Folks, the mind will play games on you like you wouldn’t believe.

My depression has lifted and my partner and I are doing better.  No couple is perfect.

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My depression has robbed me of enjoying my life successes and I will conquer this demon and bury it alive because I will not back down from who I am and who I am meant to be.   I’ve lost two amazing people to suicide in the last month.  Tyler Hilinski and a good friend from back home that I knew since kindergarten.  I’m sorry I couldn’t save you, buddy.   It won’t end until the stigma is broken.

We need to surround ourselves with positive sources of information so that we can break down the stigma of hate and unveil the real reason people kill themselves.

People that inspire me.

Erin Callinan is an amazing friend of mine from my childhood who also struggles with bipolar disorder and has written a masterpiece that I absolutely adore. Thank you, Erin for sharing your light with the world.  Erin recently gave a speech that I’ve included below as well that she gave regarding stigma and suicide.  I found it to be very impactful because I know very well of what she speaks about because I have experienced all of it, first hand.

 

Stigma must be eliminated.  If my blog can reach you and you are feeling suicidal please reach out to your best friend, or someone you TRUST.  If you feel like you are alone and feel dark please reach out and talk to someone.  Talk to me.  Write a comment.   Share with me what you experience and let me be your voice.

Don’t suffer alone.  We can suffer together and make this world a better place.

Remember please use the following resources if you are suicidal, having suicidal thoughts or tendencies, OR know someone who is experiencing these symptoms PLEASE save their life and call 911DO NOT IGNORE IT AND HOPE THEY GET BETTER.  

Tyler Hilinski was an all-star football player and he ended his life two weeks ago and nobody knew he was depressed.

STIGMA.

 

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ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Daily Prompt, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Redemption is here

44!

Remember the number 44 I’ll come back to it soon.  As many of you know I’ve been practicing the methods of CBT in David Burns ‘Feeling Good’ handbook.  I am also in therapy weekly with Chris and tonight was easily the best session to date because I was entirely focused on self, and setting up processes and routines are the key to keeping me on success.

About the 44:

Last week at my session I had to do the same survey (we do it weekly to track progress) and last week I scored a 20/25 score.Which put me at ‘Severely Depressed’ and indeed I was.  Over the course of November and December was a very dark period in my life.  I became self-obsessed with the tiniest thing in life that would just set me off and before I knew it I would focus so much negative energy in my heart into my head and it would cause me to either have a mental breakdown or a manic episode within no time.

Today before my apt I did the test again and I didn’t think about the questions I just checked it off as I went down and I scored an 8.  “Normal, but mildly depressed.”  LOL.

Well shit!  I’m not normal.

I am so excited for my blog.  I’ve been working on my YouTube channel and I need to learn how to edit videos!  I want to become good at this and learn a new skill.  I follow some really cool people on YouTube like Brian McDuff who owns a YouTube channel specializing in awesome tech and he’s a fantastic photographer and he makes really good videos.  This is the type of work I want to get involved with next.  I am fortunate to have access to Lynda.com through my local public library,.. <–AMAZING PERK!!  I was shocked when I found out that I could get that for free…. wait .. yeah free!

I’m going to go to the Library this weekend and sit down in a corner and sift out my ideas and start learning a new talent.  I absolutely admire librarians.  They’re the best teachers ever.

Thank you all for the kindness that you have shown me.  I am beyond blessed to the moon & back for all the love and courage that you’ve shown me.  You’ve allowed me to be my most vulnerable and being able to share my life with you and the struggles I face is a very rewarding experience.

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

Accepting what you cannot change.

I saw this tonight and just started laughing.  I love you, Mom.  Whenever you find this post know that I love you to the moon and back.  Nothing will ever change that.

 

I own my disorders.  I own my mental illness.

I own my actions.  I own all my flaws.  I own my history.

I owe it to the world to blog and share my spark with the Universe.  If I have 500 million voices in my head then I can give 500 million future depressed souls my energy and ignite a storm of discussion and positive affirmations in a safe environment.

 

May Monday be forever in your favor.

 

Accepting Yourself! Anxiety, depression, and any other “gifts” you may have. (Don’t blame your mother. It’s not her fault or yours either!)

via Anxiety, Depression, And other “Gifts” You May Have — Psychology Today – Depression

 

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, Daily Prompt, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology, Weight Watchers, YNAB

Reward: Calling lost souls

Wherever you are. Whatever country you live in. Whatever religious belief you have. Please know why this blog was created.

For Me. I need to figure out who i am and learn how to achieve happiness inside my skin. This is a first for me.

For You. When I first started this blog I had one vision in mind about what I wanted to achieve. I wanted to share my experiences with the Universe and support my community that struggles with mental illness and addictions.

For my dog: I’m sure he’s tired of me talking to him. I love you buddy. You are always a great backdrop and you’re also my best friend. I’m better everyday because of you.

For my boyfriend: I’m a complex person. You love this about me but in reality I’ve really hated myself for who I was inside and what I was trying through be. I really am working on separating myself from who I was and who I want to be in life and that takes a lot of time. I am thankful that you are by my side and supportive. I hope that I inspire you and I’m thankful for your love. I’m really working on myself and this is how I’m doing it.

Most importantly, for Me. I have to learn how to live with my mania and depression. I don’t want to be miserable the rest of my life. I want to grow. I want to inspire and to bring change and awareness to mental illness and the stigma of hate that is associated.

I’m tired of being paralyzed by my own fear of rejection and to the thousands of voices in my head. Fuck off. This isint about you anymore. It’s about my quality of my life and how I want to spend my life.

I’ve been living in a hole my entire life. It’s time I carved myself out and learned how to channel my negative energy into something life changing and positive.

This is what I want to do with my life.

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

20 minutes of 2017 left!

Well 2017 – it’s been a fun time but you can go piss off.  Never will I ever choose to be a victim of depression.  Never will I fear myself again.  I will devote the next year of my life to studying my depression, my thought patterns, and work on improving my own thoughts through CBT.  I am committing myself to weekly therapy for the next year as well as joining a gym near my work to focus on my inner fitness goals.  I cannot live like this for the rest of my life and pretend like everything will be pink unicorns and shit.

This is not the life I want!  I want to have an amazing life with my partner, and my dog.  I don’t want to die young.  I don’t want to have suicidal thoughts, and I don’t want to binge eat my feelings ever again.

MOST OF ALL.. I am SO FUCKING PROUD OF MYSELF FOR GIVING UP BOOZE IN 2017!!!!!!!  HOLY SHIT!  THATS AN ACCOMPLISHMENT!!

15 minutes to go!

Let’s recap Goals for 2018: (Notice no resolutions.. Resolutions are so 1999.)

# 1 Goal: Self-worth dedication – invest in holistic approach to self healing depression and anxiety by leaning away from pharmaceutical drugs and looking for natural approaches.

# 2 Goal: Weekly therapy sessions for all of 2018.

# 3 Goal: Join a gym and go at least three times a week

#4 Goal: Follow Weight Watchers and continue to publish content on Connect which is their social media platform.

#5 Goal: Publish Stigma Unraveled YouTube channel and write weekly video content for subscribers.   This also wraps in with sharing more content on WordPress, Instagram, and Twitter.  I want to commit to daily posts but I don’t want to extend myself so far that I can’t achieve what I want.

Notice my goals: They all focus on ME.  2018 is ALL ABOUT FIXING ME.  I’m done with being the victim.  It’s time to save my life!

Happy 2018 everyone!  Let’s make this our year of amazing!

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Depression

Raindrops & Rapid Cycling

48 hours of rain in Seattle and no end in sight.  I’ve lived here for five years and every winter seems to get darker and darker.  Tonight at 2AM we turn our clocks back as well fall asleep only to have an extra hour of nocturnal bliss before the sun awakens us.

Growing up in Arizona we never had to do the daylight savings bit.  Yeah, strange.. Only Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that do not participate in the program.  I’ve read numerous arguments on why DST should be terminated but that conversation always comes up every year.  It’s like clockwork.  Like clockwork is this depression episode that I can’t seem to shake.

Rapid Cycling is defined as: “Rapid cycling is a pattern of frequent, distinct episodes in bipolar disorder. In rapid cycling, a person with the disorder experiences four or more episodes of mania or depression in one year. It can occur at any point in the course of bipolar disorder, and can come and go over many years depending on how well the illness is treated; it is not necessarily a “permanent” or indefinite pattern of episodes.” -WebMD.  Except for me.. it feels indefinite almost always.

I’ve lived in this reality my entire life where you must fight to survive.  The amount of racing thoughts have returned.  I realized late this afternoon that I didn’t take my Adderall today and boy could I tell a HUGE difference in how I felt, ate, and just felt about my confidence.  I’ve made positive strides lately with making sure that I’m taking my medication everyday and I am doing a lot better at it.  I’m especially sleeping better at night now..  I wonder what’s causing that because my mind just resumes 1,000,000 thoughts a second when I don’t take my medication.  My doctor told me I can take the Zoloft at bedtime and the other meds in the AM.  So far I haven’t been a walking zombie like I was when I was taking Zoloft in the mornings.

I really hate this.  I hate that I’m depressed and that I continue to be depressed no matter what I try.  I constantly go up/down/up/down and somedays there is no end in sight.

Is this depression talking?  Absolutely.  Will I overcome it?  Yes.  How soon?  ….. <insert eternity here>

O’ father who art in heaven…  I ask for your guidance as I battle this mental illness.  Please lord bless me to make good choices.  Lord bless me to lead a good life.  Lord bless me to continue to be strong in my sobriety.

I am thankful to share my journey with all of you.  I love how you inspire me to do my best everyday.

P.S.  Meet Denali.  He’s my 14 month old husky who is my pride and joy.  He loves a good selfie.