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

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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, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul, Technology

Failure to start. Allergic to my soul

As a mental health blogger and activist, I have struggled since I was five years old with  WHY ME for the depression I faced as a young child and how I was able to convince my own head that I was a failure to launch?   The forces that were against me growing up really manifested later in life. Years later I ask myself… Allergic to cats definitely.  Allergic to myself? 100%.  Until I started blogging and learning how to love and appreciate myself for who I am and what I’m here on Earth for.

When I was a young child I couldn’t stand who I was and I had zero self esteem because I was so depressed beyond measure.  I was teased and tormented since the 2nd grade until the 12th grade. I came out of the closet when I was 16 and it was definitely a rough part of growing up. I’m thankful however for how my parents respected my sexuality and didn’t treat me any differently.   I realize that a lot of kids don’t have an easy time telling they’re parents that they’re gay however please know that WE are here for you always.

I hated high school.  I hate everyone that tormented me.  I refused to go to my high school reunion because I couldn’t face those jerks that tore me apart inside.  I will not succumb to their level.  I am worthy.

Since I began blogging in 2017 it has helped me in so many ways.  My confidence was born when I let the shields down and told my story.

I may be allergic to cats but I’m not allergic to my life anymore.  I’m never looking back again.  I will not return to what I once was.  I will not be the victim of my self-perpetuating hate no more.

Z is for Zoloft AKA my allergy meds.

Allergic

 

 

 

 

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

Volume 2: Episode 3 – Something just clicked.

Wow!  That’s all I can really say about today.  Today was my Friday at work and I’m so thankful to have the next four days off work so I can focus on my self-image and focus on my health.  I have several doctor appts on Monday with my doctors and psychiatrist whom I really need to see.  I need to make sure that I’m following the correct plan.  I’ve been on so many different medications during my depression that I can’t even see straight. Or even be straight for that matter. 😉

Regardless, shortly before 2017 ended I remember waking up on a Sunday morning and knowing that something had gone off in my head… Almost like I had a moment of purity and I felt this jolt of energy hit me and it was the Universe telling me that I’m worthy of anything I want in life and that if I want something to chase it because I deserve it.  THANK YOU DIVINE INSPIRATION ANGEL!  I’ve spent the last four months being an absolute depressed wreck and fast forward today and my depression score today on the Feeling Good David Burns book rated me at 44 which is GREAT because last week in his office I was 55…. 50 and above is extreme depression…  Yikes.

Today though was different.  I got to therapy on time which is always an added bonus and I quickly completed the checklist because I give my therapist these forms to track “in my file. gasp.”  Like I told Chris a few weeks ago, I’m done being the victim of my own self-hate.  The demon has died and I’m dragging him out of my soul daily.  No longer will I dwell on my own self-misery because I am worthy of love and compassion.  Let’s just say I’ve never had a more productive therapy session in the six years that I’ve been seeing Chris. I walked out tonight so proud of myself… The feeling of accomplishment was ravenous through my blood.  I felt so good and my depression had no voice.

My therapist is so proud of me for my blog. I showed him today on my iPad and she was stunned at my accomplishment.  I couldn’t believe how much I was being praised over this.  Someone, please pinch me!  I’m certainly dreaming!

I scored a 44 today.  That’s a HUGE WIN!  11 points better than last week which means I’m a happier campier living with a “mild depression” and you know what.. I’ll take it.  This feels good. Like I said something just clicked and my perception shifted ever so slightly.

4 Days off!  Netflix and Chill………And Blog! #BlogADay

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Debt, Depression, Finances, Nature, Nourishing the soul

Lost connection: Universe hear me roar

By choosing to confront my worst fears in life was a an option for me to continue my life before I made any stupid drastic decisions. As a mental health blogger and activist, I know that there have been many times in my life where I have felt so alone and worthless because of the events that are triggered in my life.

Blogging is my way of connecting with the universe and sharing my view of depression and it impacts on society. We are broken. Our world is broken into so many different pieces and there are too many barriers that prevent us from achieving true happiness. We either may feel like we’re not good enough, talented enough for that job, or you may just not have the strength to get out of bed because of the depression you are faced with.

Remember my friends, you are SO not alone in this! We are UNITED. Divided we fall. Let’s fix the system while we still can. It starts with a conversation.

Blogging and connecting with my followers is the best gift that the higher power has given me.  I am beyond thankful for the ability to write and to share with you on this journey.

Much love to you and yours.

Mark

Viable

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

Volume 2: Episode 2 – Removing the triggers

Triggers for impulsive thoughts:

# 1 Reading other blog websites like BGR.com, Engadget.com or any tech related blog showcasing new items and offering reviews of products.

Type of automatic thought associated: All or Nothing (if I don’t have the latest device ->>>tied to #1 tells me that reading these blogs and websites can cause rage and trigger impulsive thoughts that lead to impulsive actions.

#2: Feeling fat from an eating disorder. While I haven’t been clinically diagnosed with an eating disorder it doesn’t mean that I don’t already have one. Let’s look at the facts: I binge eat on often everyday foods until the point that I fee like puking..yet I don’t make myself puke. Instead I would pour some tasty alcohol to wash it down with and feel depressed the next day (because of alcohol being a depressant and the regret of binging on food)

Type of automatic thought associated: Everything!

The truth is that with CBT and binge eating (being a disorder itself) there is no set characteristic as to where my thought pattern lays other than being corrupt and not true. Perhaps Overgeneralization or Emotional Reasoning. Regardless, if I follow my WW plan and adhere to their guidelines I will lose this weight and it will have an astounding effect on my self esteem. I’m looking forward to it!

#4: iPhone apps

This one I didn’t see coming but when you think about it..makes total sense!

Situation: I’m feeling depressed and my self worth is in the toilet. I didn’t do well on a work project and took the critical feedback negatively and it blossoms into a full depression episode and I’m feeling lousy and want to feel better…I pull out my iPhone and see Amazon….

Solution: It is so easy to use these apps for self pleasure and to make purchasing and spending money easier than ever. What do you do in these situations to prevent history from repeating itself?

DELETE ALL IMPULSIVE APPS!

What a genius idea! I don’t NEED this apps for my survival. I don’t NEED the distraction of online shopping to take me away from the task at hand. On today’s train ride home I deleted the following: Amazon, Wayfair, Target, Any retail app is GONE! I have no intention of downloading that again. If they’re out of site they’re out of my mind. Done.

Remember this: Only this Mark and to everyone on earth.

You are loved. You are a warrior. You are capable of achieving anything you put your mind too.

My depression robs me of anything positive.

May 2018 be the year that changes my soul. I’m not giving up and neither should you.

Tomorrow I will have seen my therapist and will share with you my knowledge and empower you to change your life! We got this. #together

xX