Depression

My story will never end. ;

Dear Tribe,

I cannot begin to thank you enough for all the support that you have shown me since I came clean about my addictions. Truly, thank you for standing beside me and giving me the confidence I need to be able to finally say I AM WORTH it!

When I was a child growing up I didn’t have self esteem what so ever. I was an obese child and learned at a very young age that food was directly connected to my emotions and that when I felt bad, I would just eat and eat and eat because food was my escape. Especially good tasting food like Moms Lasagna.. I just couldn’t stop because I felt so miserable in life.

I acted out a lot as a child and I did some pretty crappy things to my parents because I didn’t know who I was when I was growing up. I knew something was wrong with me but I didn’t want to take the time to figure it out. Instead I just continued to eat junk and the weight just piled on. My actions that I committed when I was a child landed me in therapy at age 7 and it continued until I was 18 years old. I had a family therapist that I saw for many years.

In 2013 one year after moving to Seattle, I had a mental breakdown and made the decision to return to therapy because my will to live was slowly fading. I’ve since been in weekly therapy since 2013 -> 2019 and quite honestly if it wasn’t for my therapist Chris, I don’t know that I would be here today. We practice CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy) and it really works well for treating my bipolar disorder.

One of the trademark behaviors of bipolar disorder is distorted thinking. Think of it like you’re looking at the world through two toilet paper rolls. You don’t see the color in the world, you see black/white and everything is in the extreme level. This is called All or Nothing thinking. It’s a trap and I’m really working hard on that. It’s a constant struggle but I know that I am worth it!

Addiction has haunted me my entire life and becoming clean and sober has been a daunting task, however I’m worth it and worth the struggle! Food is still my number one go to when stress hits and right now that is hard to deal with and it fuels my depressive episodes.

When I feel depressed, and I binge eat I don’t log the food in the WW app because I just don’t feel like I’m worthy to do it. It’s a terrible feeling to not feel worthy and it’s something that I’m constantly working at in life by running the mantra “Choose Happiness” because I’ve realized that at the start of every day I have a choice to make. Choose Happy or Choose a Chaos. It’s all or nothing it seems and when i get so tied down with myself, I start to resent myself and my will to live, and I really struggle in this area when I am depressed.

Thankfully I love to write and blog, and record videos for my tribe and my therapist commends me on it because he says it’s very therapeutic for me in doing so and I agree.

I have high aspirations of expanding my vlog to YouTube but I just feel lazy lately in goal setting and that’s what this post is about.

I lead with a line often that “if it’s not challenging you, it’s not changing you.” And that’s the absolute truth.

How can I get to my goals if I’m not holding myself accountable? How can I get rid of this fat on my body if I’m not logging my food in the WW app?

Ps.. I have insomnia right now.. nothing like writing a story at 4am..

The point is, I’m worth it, and so are you.

I’m worth logging my food on WW every day

I’m worth getting exercise and earning Fit Points

I’m worth loving my body

I’m worth being sober

I’m worth life.

I need to embrace that whole heartedly.

I know I can do this. I am a strong willed individual.

Thank you all for believing in me. I absolutely love my vlog on WW and I hope that my videos inspire you to seek happiness and lead a healthy life.

I’m not going anywhere either. I’m going to double down on my efforts and finally loose this fat. I will log my food daily and I will commit to fully being WW and building a sustainable life

I know I can do this. I’m worth it!

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, av8r007 @ WW Connect, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Technology, Weight Watchers

Routine is key​

In February, shortly after Valentines Day’s this year, my life changed.  The breakup I knew was coming.  It was still winter in Seattle and I really just wanted to curl up into a ball and sleep into eternity because my depression was so thick I couldn’t see more than 2 inches in front of me.  It was a horrible time in my life, and it wasn’t until the following week I had moved out and into my own apt.  My personal sanctuary where I can find my own peace and meditate without fear or distraction.    I just had to remember that after Valentines Day when it was over (after 5 years) that when I quit drinking two years ago, I remember being told to take it one day at a time.

As a bipolar individual, it is incredibly difficult to take life one day at a time when you have a manic episode.  In fact, the world is rushing by you at 12,000 MPH and find it impossible to stop.  You feel invincible, like nothing, and nobody can stop you from anything.  The question that I begged to answer was, how do I prevent this from happening again??? What can I do RIGHT NOW to avoid another repeat hell winter??

Establish your routine:

My mother always told me it takes 21 days to build a habit.  Perfect.  21 days.

So I committed myself to walk to work for 21 days when during the summer months when the weather was clear.  It was so lovely and refreshing, extra steps!   I would bus to my job and then hit up the gym right after and walk home from the gym.  During the summer months, I was averaging close to 20K steps a day.  How cool right?

Until FALL hits like a rainstorm and you just don’t want to walk 2 miles uphill soaked.  So I compensated after the gym and took the bus home, so therefore I didn’t get as many steps.  Rather than feeling lazy about not getting enough steps, I increased my loads at the gym and found new exercises to continue to challenge and push me.  When I did this it told me two things 1.) You can still get just as much benefit as you were if you commit to just a bit longer at the gym.  Do 15 minutes more and then bus home.  Remember, PUSH yourself.  If you want to quit, think about your why.  Think about why you signed up for this.

Now it’s fall, and I’ve gone from 17K steps daily July 2018 to 13K steps Sept 2018.

Is my bipolar mind obsessing over it?  Not today. :). Instead, I’m looking at it this way.  I work my butt off at the gym, and I am driving home results.  I’m proud of my efforts, and I’m making sure that I treat my body right nutritionally to make sure that I’m getting the optimum nutrition I need for a healthy life.  I remember about what I learned after I quit drinking.  One Day at a time.

21 days to start a habit.  Unfortunately, it’s a habit.  Good/Bad depends on you and the choices that you make.

Btw today was my weigh in day on WW, and I lost another five lbs.

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12 months now.. down 85 and counting!  If you are on WW, find my Connect home @av8r007

Live your best life!

Mark

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Finances, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

Depression can piss off!

Hey there Folks!

What a beautiful Saturday it is in Seattle!  I woke up this morning after feeling pretty sour going to bed last night due to a mixed bag of emotional distress.  Mostly about my ex, my past drinking addiction, and my commitment to maintaining my sobriety above all us.

Instead of waking up and turning on the TV as I typically do, I looked at my watch and said ‘I need to prioritize my day.’  If I sit here and do nothing except wallow in my self-misery then I’m going to start binging more than I already have on junk food, and worse I’ll just sneak farther away into depression and when depression gets really bad it can trigger a manic episode and that is the last thing I want to have to happen.  I will do whatever it takes to prevent a manic/mania incident from forming and lashing out.

I grabbed a protein shake and I headed to the gym.  For all the anger that I have in this world, nothing feels better than to bottle it up and let it explode on the barbell.  For every time I complete a rep of 10 bicep curls with every breath I can see the demon leaving me.  With every push up I can feel the demon trying to sit on my back and push me down, but I say Piss off Depression, you’re not welcome here.  You never were.

I am fearless.  Depression does not own me.  Depression does not control me.  The demon will never win.  Jesus Christ is on my side and that’s the way is gonna be!

 

 

ADHD, Automatic Thoughts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Depression, Suicide Prevention, Weight Watchers

I forgot.

I ask myself… when did I last take my meds?  Ok last night.  What about before that?  I don’t remember.  Why do I feel so different right now?  What’s happening around me?

It is critical to take my meds every day.  I work too hard in life to have setbacks if I can have in say in it.   I told my psychiatrist whom I had already had scheduled (coincidentally) and he was fucking floored with my progress.  He said I should be so proud of myself.  He’s right.   I completely lose myself in my flaws and completely forget about the positive.  Oh hey, depression.. you suck.

He told me some great advice today.  “Don’t be so rigid Mark.”

LOL… right.. You know me best.  You’re my doctor.

I am so hard on myself to be perfect at everything I do.  I am a workhorse and I know that I’m good at what I do.  I just tend to max out my efforts early on and find the hardest time trying to sustain myself long term.  This applies in every aspect of my life.   When it comes to taking my meds every day I will just become so rigid in my life that I will forget to take my meds.  I even have an app to remind me!

RELAX MARK!  Remember your why.

-You haven’t had a sip of alcohol in 16 months.

-You’ve lost 35 pounds in six months and you did it the healthy way!

-You just got out of a five-year relationship.

CHILLAX dude.  You’ve got this.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Zero excuses.

When I think about all the changes that I’ve made since October 24th, I’m nothing but absolutely stunned at my success.   What do I mean?

Oh gosh, well!  I’m down 35.7 lbs for starters and tonight’s post is about how I had some weakness earlier this morning coming off of the weekend fun I had, and I felt a panic this morning, and I felt the need to share it with you because it’s impactful to me.

I’m very hard on myself.  It’s often the bi-polar part of me that shines through when you the excessiveness that gets applied to my life and my goals… Like my fitness moments.. speaking off..28,000 steps again..  I did the same thing on Saturday with a friend from out of town.  It was great.  I love hosting out of town guests and showing them the fun of Seattle. It was a total hurricane here on Saturday, I’ve never seen or felt so much water in my life.  Despite the rain, my friend and I clocked in 28,000 steps and made a profound statement of self-worth.  AH! YES! I CAN!

The problem with depression is that despite having the most significant gains, I still find myself falling short and indulging myself more than I can “afford.”   This weekend was a complete trainwreck with my eating patterns because we ate out so much. However, we made the commitment to track every bite.  Being a recovering alcoholic, I don’t drink anymore!  So I don’t have to worry about drinking my points away or do I?

Not drinking, but binging entirely.  I find that when I am with others that do not necessarily follow the same lifestyle as I do, I can liken to their style very quickly and if I’m not careful I can totally wreck out and end up in depression and self-misery.  It was beneficial that my friend follows the lifestyle too, so we were accountability buddies, but still, we indeed didn’t behave ourselves in our food aspirations.

 

Oh well!  It tasted good.  I worked my butt off at the gym today and came very close to throwing up after my cardio session.  It was amazing!

For now, the depression is gone.  Tomorrow is another day, and more of those thoughts will flood my mind.  Just because they’re there doesn’t mean that there correct. My brain is on constant awareness for depression and I’ve instructed my recruits it’s survival mode from here on out.  Do not be intimidated.

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, Debt, Depression, Finances

Half awake and almost dead

Borders and horizon lines

We’re alone but side by side

We’re yet to dream, we’re yet to dream

Nothing here is what it seems

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

There’s an animal inside

There’s a fear that won’t subside

Of all the things I’ll never do

Will I ever follow through?

There’s an animal inside

There’s an animal inside

Half awake and almost dead

Keeping empty beds elsewhere

We’re yet to bleed, we’re yet to bleed

All the time and energy

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

Could we try to reinvent

Feed the head with common sense

Through the streets and avenues

I’m climbing up the walls with you

Climbing up the walls with you

I’m climbing up the walls with you

Half awake and almost dead

Keeping empty beds elsewhere

We’re yet to bleed, we’re yet to bleed

All the time and energy

Oh, oh

Oh, oh

And if we could be still, still, be still

If we could be still, still, be still

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

CBT for the win! Omg!

Well I’ve been absent from my blog for a few days and I have a really good reason. I’ve been working on my self image, and working to improve my self love and workflow. Sounds amazing right?

Well it is, because for the first time in my life I am taking control of my life and the actions that take place in my life. I’ve spent my entire life making stupid decisions without thinking about long term consequences. I’ve often struggled with immediate gratification and I’ve come to understand the differences between a “Need” and a “Want.”

I need to get my shit together so I create a better life for my life. My life depends on it. Suicide is not an option for me. I believe that God created me to be an amazing human that is born to lead and to shine. I don’t believe God made me bipolar instead I firmly believe it was due to my childhood, and already knowing my brain was different from day 1 1985. Remember the XYY? One of the known genetic traits of XYY is behavior problems.. gee ya think?

Instead of being shameful of the choices that I’ve made in my past I am going to embrace the shame and reverse it into feeling love, and looking for divine power to rid my body of the evil within. Depression is a monster and I’m definitely hiring some exterminators to come remove the nasty beast because I refuse to let it claim habitat at my house!

Yesterday I went back to the gym. I took a really long time off from the gym and I regret it. I’ve become a house since I quit running and I’m not proud of it. However again, rather than shaming myself over my weight I will turn it into positivity and tell myself the following:

“Mark, you’re doing an amazing job with Weight Watchers and you’re seeing results! Hold steady and stay committed to this!”

I am doing an amazing job and I’m really proud of myself for how hard I’m working at getting my shit together. Thank you God for giving me the power to change my life!

❤️

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), Depression, Nourishing the soul, Suicide Prevention

Lost among the clouds

Rapid Cycling.. Don’t I fucking love it.   Just when I feel like it’s improving.

 

With all the death that is occurring around me I feel like if someone wants to google “What does depression feel like?” I think you should land on my blog.

 


 

 

Lately ever since my last argument with my partner, I’ve been at odds with myself over the whole mess. I’ve been really depressed the past two days while I’ve been alone while I’ve also been sick with the flu. Really I ask you what else you can throw at me next big G?

I’ve always grown up with my mum always repeating in my head “god doesn’t give you anything you cannot handle.”

Ok mother, says who? Who says that is true? Because honestly I’m not so sure that’s correct. I’ve dealt with a lot of demonic shit in my life AKA bipolar disorder and I’ve often thought how much I just can’t handle that anymore.

I was suppose to see my therapist tonight but traffic was misery and I was on the bus for close to two hours. It was shit. Fortunately Chris called me and I was able to chat with him by phone for a bit. Thank god for him really. I’d be dead without my therapist. I’m not joking.

What is the goal of depression? Is it suicide? Or is it to treat it as best we can and “hope for the best?”

Am I blogging to better equip myself to handle my depression? Absolutely.

Is it working? You betcha

So what’s the problem?

My deranged thinking patterns

I’d say I’m still battling this episode absolutely.

I really want to move out of Washington state someday. I absolutely hate winter here. Fucking. Hate. Winters.

I swear I’ve been taking my meds. Everyday. But just because you take your meds doesn’t mean shit. You still struggle. It’s just a bandaid.

I just got word today that another childhood friend of mine committed suicide back home.  I’m just at a loss for words right now that how corrupt my depression rages inside me and how it’s mission is to destroy anything it touches.