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

I really didn't expect it to be today.

Feb 5, 2018

I choose happiness over anything else.  No Exceptions.

LOVE ME unconditionally

I choose to be confident

I choose to remain sober

I choose peace.

 

 

 

 

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

A day of self-reflection & Universal guidance

This weekend was turbulent.  It was unexpected.  My partner and I have been fighting a lot more lately because we have some issues that we need to work on and unfortunately as humans, we can say really unfortunate things and often times many things said during arguments should be resolved within the same day preferably.  When you live together and you have an argument I recommend that you leave the situation and go for some air.

When we argue with others we contradict ourselves in our minds against the words that come out of our mouths and often times words will come out without merit and without a filter.. (Those who know me best can attest to this.). I do have a wild mouth at times.  Thanks Dad for the sarcasm talent.

Today was about patching holes and conversating further about what we want to accomplish together as a couple within the next 3-6 months. It is very important that we have these sometimes curt discussions about outstanding issues.  If we don’t talk about the issues we are struggling with then we will internalize it for weeks and if you do not find a way to release the pressure you will collapse and when that happens it’s not good.

Every day that I continue to blog I become stronger in managing my emotions and realizing and recognizing the thought of the argument wanting to make me sad but instead I converted the negative energy associated with that thought and turned it into an opportunity for us to communicate more openly and have conversations that we should be afraid of.  I have changed so much since October 2017 when I launched my blog and I am forever grateful for the shift in perception that I received.

To be honest I was soulless at the end of October.  I didn’t know who I was anymore and my self-worth was crud.  When the suicidal feelings started to pour into my brain I immediately told my therapist.  I immediately sought out help and my therapist was able to get me onto a path of continued progress and this is the project.

His suggestion was to write down your thoughts.

October 2017 – Stigma Unraveled was born and my life is forever different.

And I love it now.  My goal is to have YouTube up and running by Feb 1st.  Lofty goal but unmistakably possible.

 

I am free.

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Daily Prompt, Depression, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention, Uncategorized, Weight Watchers

Alone & Vulnerable. You'll never guess what I found.

Today I needed to send out a powerful message that I’ve been harnessing in my soul when I made a discovery earlier this week that if I was weak or didn’t have skills in place I would have been an easy target.  I decided to clean the pantry and I found about .5 of a tall bottle vodka that was from Costco.  It was Kirkland signature and half gone.

 

NOOOOO!!

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I actually wanted to prove to myself that I could pour everything down the train, so I pulled out my phone and started recording the profound moment.  I now have a video that I can go back to my weakest moments and recount the reasons that I announced why I was doing this.  I posted this on Weight Watchers because I made it for the Connect tribe and it was a force of positive force that came with it.

Well – It was the easiest decision I made.

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Every day that I do not drink is every day that I am stronger.  I’m stronger now than I was 12 hours ago when I made the video. NSV = Non Scale Victory.. For WW followers, we’re big on NSV’s! They’re HUGE for us.


 

I don’t want to die young.  I don’t want to be depressed.  I don’t want to be manic. I don’t want this life but I have no choice.

Suicide is not an answer.

I am thrilled to announce that I will be featuring two guest bloggers on my site between now and the end of February.  I’ve chosen these individuals because of the path of freedom they have pursued and how their faith keeps them tied to the ground.

Oh yeah. Here is my progress I’m making with my weight management.

 

 

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.

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

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

Facing addictions head on

Today was a weird day. Did you have a weird Monday too? Well on the way to the train this morning at 5am I was tired of feeling like shit when I wake up and I started to think about what I did the previous day and the previous days that I’ve felt similar:

Diet Coke. You are killing me.

For my entire life, all 32 years of it I have been drinking Diet Coke everyday multiple times a day. In fact I would drink more Diet Coke than water everyday because I hate the flavor of water and I’m tired of peeing all the time when I drink tons of water.. but even Diet Coke is a diuretic so it would do the same thing!

Naturally I said, I’m done. Today I’m giving up Diet Coke entirely. If that wasn’t enough I then decided to include energy drinks (diet) and also include ALL fake sugar products to he banned effective immediately. Did I go too far? Maybe.

I wasn’t even having a manic moment this morning to trigger an All or Nothing reference.. I felt like I wanted to vomit this AM so naturally I associated it with my Diet Coke consumption. Because that makes so much since Mark. Or does it?

There have been in mind-numbing out there berating Diet Coke and it’s affects on the body. Most importantly Aspartame effect on the body. Diet Pepsi recently removed aspartame from their product and maintained the taste. Well that’s just great! But it’s not Diet Coke. I have a preference! Had a preference.

So it is now 5:03pm and I’m on the bus ride home and I managed to not drink anything Diet today and I stayed within my points today for WW but I am getting hangry fast! It’s a a process. Maybe I should have done Diet Coke for two weeks and then take out energy drinks (diet) but knowing me and my patterns that wouldn’t have been a good idea either because it would still be TOO MUCH for me to handle and my stresses would barrel out of control and would cause me to fall into a manic episode. Im not fortune telling either (which is another thought pattern in David Burns book) as by me indicating my future would be an assumption that I know may not be true.

As far as the Diet Coke consumption AND the diet products are gone. Now that I am blogging I am expecting my followers to hold me accountable. Ha no kidding. I’m sure you’ll hear about this a lot because like Alcohol, Diet Coke is an addiction.

I think about the science research they say about artificial sugars and aspartame in the body and as much as I don’t want to agree I have to. This shit is disgusting as to what it does to our bodies.

https://aspartame.mercola.com

All it takes is a google search for “aspartame” and if you’re feeling lucky just let Google fill in the rest of the prediction.. Aspartame..kills, depression, causes manic, causes schizophrenic episodes..etc all of it.

There are a bunch of other habits I’d like to get rid of now including:

Leaving the seat up

Going to bed by 9 every night

Waking up at 5am with no snoozes

Doing dishes

Hanging up my towel. (You’re welcome babe)

And many many other things that I can’t even think of.

Where does it all start?

Easy: Be removing Diet Coke from my life I am confident that it will give me a sense of power over my thoughts and what I put in my body. In addition I will look sexier, slimmer, and maybe my teeth will get whiter.

I don’t see any negative consequences yet?

Except for being an irritable bitch.

I know that I will be successful at removing this from my life once again. A few things are different this time that gives me better chances of being successful including:

Blogger

Being stable on medications

Not doing everything overnight

Follow Weight Watchers

All four of these are on my side and should not get in the way of me attaining what I want out of life. As I mentioned in earlier posts. I want to get my physique back. I’m tired of being overweight. Being overweight contributes heavily to my self esteem and mental health.

Everyday that I continue this journey of sobriety, and as I remove these substance battles from my life I will only improve greatly. There is no negative side effects with improving your life. I’m ready to change. I’m ready to feel good again. When I don’t feel sexy, I eat terribly and feel like a sloth in the mirror.

No more! Just Diet Coke no more, AND fake sugar products. If I just gave up Diet Coke and continued to drink fake sugar products I wouldn’t be improving my chances. If anything i would worsen my chances of remaining free from soda consumption. God I make it sound worse than giving up the sauce but I drank diet products 10x the amount of alcohol I drank.

If someone cut me, I’d bleed Diet Coke.

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.