Great News/Endless Possibilities

I hate to ever get too excited about anything.  I’ve learned from an early age that full-fledged optimism will get you nothing but disappointment.  But, I think some really wonderful things are on the horizon.

I got new furniture yesterday.  For the first time in my life, I’ve got a full living room set:  couch, loveseat, coffee table, end tables and lamps.  It all goes together beautifully, and I love it.  Now I just need to stop obsessing over something happening to it or being forced to take it back.  I know that won’t happen, but my anxiety is getting the best of me right now.  I also got a beautiful dining room set that I love, but again, worry, worry, worry about things I can’t control or things that won’t happen altogether.  Maybe once the novelty wears off I’ll be ok.

I got the best news last week.  My husband is FINALLY going to start working first shift.  He has been working third shift for two years, and has been living a separate life from our daughter and I.  His hours are so long, and his work so strenuous, that I was basically running the house by myself.  Now that he is going to first shift, he will be on a normal schedule, and will be able to help out a lot more around the house.  We’ll also finally be able to plan things to do as a family because he won’t have to sleep during the day.  It’s really going to be wonderful.

I won’t have to try to squeeze dinner into a ridiculously small time frame so he can eat before he leaves for work.  I will be able to workout in a gym because I won’t have to get home right away after work because he has to leave for work.  We’ve also talked about all of us getting on a low-carb meal plan so we can get healthier.  We’ll finally be able to clean out our spare room so I can turn it into a craft room/study.

The act of him going to first shift has my mind spinning with the wonderful possibilities.  There’s so much that I want to do, and will finally be able to because we don’t have to work around his schedule.

The best part about this news?  We’ll finally be a family again.

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Working On It…

I’m so discouraged today.  I know…what’s new, right?

Through some encouragement from some online friends, I drug myself to Curves last night.  I wanted to get signed up and take a tour.  I really, really want to start exercising, but I’ve never joined a gym before, so I have a lot of questions.  Well, they were closed.  It was so frustrating.  It took so much energy and encouragement just to go there.  I’ve never taken that step before when it comes to my health.  It was my own fault for not checking their hours, but that doesn’t make me feel any less disheartened.

I am determined not to give up though.  I’ve changed my eating habits a lot already.  I’m on a very, very low-fat diet to help regulate my digestive tract.  I have Gastric Dumping Syndrome, which means that most of the food I eat hits my small intestine with little to no digestion.  A low-fat diet is supposed to really help alleviate this problem, and honestly, losing weight on top of it is just a bonus.  This syndrome causes me pain all the time, and frankly, I’d like to be able to eat out from time to time.  It’s really embarrassing and disheartening that I can’t ever eat too far from a restroom.

I’m making good healthy lifestyle changes.  I’m even working on cutting down my caffeine intake, and hopefully I can cut it out completely before too long.  I don’t want to be dependent on anything.  I’m tired of substances having control over my life.

This brings me to alcohol.  I have cut down, but I’m still drinking a couple beers in the evening to help me sleep.  My doctor prescribed Trazodone to help me sleep, but I guess I don’t trust it.  I know beer works to calm my nerves and allow me to sleep…eventually.  The trazodone does as well, but I feel hung over the next day after taking them.  With beer, I don’t.  I know I need to stop drinking altogether, even if it’s not much.  It’s not conducive to weight loss, and I’m relying on them as a sedative.  It would be fantastic if I could fall asleep without an aid, but I just can’t.  I tried and failed for too long, and I don’t want to anymore.  When you’re an insomniac, you finally get to a point where you will do just about anything to get a good nights sleep.  Nothing else matters.  I need to keep taking the trazodone, and let it work.  Maybe once I’m used to it, I won’t feel hung over every morning.

So here I am…still depressed as hell.  I’m not real hopeful about much right now, but I’m not going to stop trying to get healthier.  I don’t have a choice anymore.  If I don’t actively try to make my life better, it’s not going to happen.

Listen to Your Body

It’s been a hell of a week, let me tell you.  I’m getting ahead of myself, let me back up a bit.

Thanksgiving was a lot of good fun.  It was a full day, and we had dinner with good friends.  I’m really proud of myself that I am getting so close to this couple.  I’m really opening up to them, and it feels really good.  I haven’t had any close friends in years, so this is a huge deal for me.  Befriending this couple has opened the doors to meeting some other great people, and we have a blast when we’re all together.  The women have been bonding a lot, and I just love it.  One of the maladaptive patterns of my abuse was keeping people away from me because I can’t trust.  This group has shown over and over again that they are trustworthy, and it’s an incredible feeling.  I wasn’t ever sure that I would have true friends again, and this is a sure sign that I am healing from my abuse nicely.  It makes me giddy.

Last Saturday we put up our Christmas tree.  I absolutely love the Christmas season, so I was anxious to get started.  We even bought a nice new fake tree, pre-lit (bonus!).  About 5 or so that night, I started getting one hell of a sore throat.  I never imagined that it would get as bad as it did.

Sunday was spent preparing a Mexican feast to enjoy with the same couple that we had Thanksgiving with.  It turned out really wonderful, and we had a great time.  BUT, I kept feeling worse and worse.  By Monday morning, I was full on sick.  Sore throat, sinus issues, stuffed-up head, headaches…the works.  Unfortunately, it was a hellacious week of work, and it was stressing me out on top of it.  I wasn’t getting enough rest, and my cold continued to get worse.  I woke up yesterday morning more miserable than I have ever been in my life.  I even cried, I was so sick.

My husband convinced me to go into work long enough to get what I absolutely HAD to done, and then come home, so I did just that.  I took a nice nap, and that helped a ton.  Last night and today, I feel loads better.  I’m still sick, but the cold is gradually leaving.

So the moral of this story is, you MUST get rest when you are sick and don’t push yourself too much.  Your body will retaliate…with a vengeance.

Challenges

I’m almost a week into my low-fat diet.  It seems to be much easier to maintain this time.  I’ve gotten some wonderful suggestions from people, and I’m finding that low-fat doesn’t have to mean low-flavor.  I’m not getting the urges to cheat like I have in the past.  I think I am just so determined to get fit and healthy again that I won’t let myself falter.

I’m tired of being fat.  I’m tired of having digestive problems.  I’m tired of being exhausted all the time.  I know I can alleviate most of these issues with the right diet and exercise.

Mentally, I am in a really fantastic place right now, and I know that is contributing to my ability to stay focused in this regard.  When I was in the middle of emotional turmoil, it was impossible to look past what I was dealing with at the moment.  Not to mention that being an ace self-destructress was one of the most intrinsic parts of my psyche.  I’ve never thought highly of myself, and I’ve talked before about how well I sabotaged myself.  I’ve always been really good at it.  It’s easy to be when you think that is all you deserve.

I am not quite there with the self-love.  I don’t think I hate myself anymore, at least not all the time.  I don’t think I’m worthy of much yet, but I’m not completely lost.  I know that if I can get my weight down and my health up, that I will be in a much better place to start feeling really good about myself.  I’m already getting snippets of it with small, good decisions that I’ve made and I have to admit to really enjoying it.

I don’t want to give up my progress and slide backward again.  It’s not an option for me at this point.  I’ve even joined two “Maintain, Don’t Gain” challenges to keep me motivated.  I might be able to let myself down, but not my teammates.  They deserve my full involvement.

Here’s to hoping I can keep up the momentum.

It’s Good

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted.  I’m in a good place in my life right now, for the most part.

I’m still struggling with sleep.  I take a sleeping pill every evening, but lately my body has decided that I need to be awake at 4:30 am every morning.  I can’t figure out why.  I’m still going to sleep at the same time, but yet I wake up early.  Hopefully this is short-lived, and I won’t have to deal with it much longer.

I am still working on Beth Moore’s bible study, Breaking Free.  I’m on week 9 now, with only one more after this.  It’s really helping me deal with a lot of the baggage that I still carry from my trauma, and I feel closer to God with every study.  I don’t feel so alone anymore.  There’s still a lot to tackle, and I will always be on this journey, but I don’t feel so overwhelmed anymore.

I can handle anything, I just have to have patience.  I also have to be gentle with myself.  That was one of the hardest obstacles to overcome.  I would get so frustrated when I reacted badly to a situation or I wasn’t as far along in my healing as I wanted to be.  I was way too hard on myself.  I’ve gotten past that, and can now take every victory for what it is.  I can let every set-back go without mentally tearing myself apart.

The fact that I have survived this long and continue to get healthier and healthier is amazing and something to be celebrated.

There are some things that I will be working on in the very near future, and it will be a struggle for me.

I have to work on my intimacy issues, and will be contacting a therapist soon for help in this area.  After struggling with it for some time, I have conceded that I can’t fix this one by myself.  No amount of research and studying about it seems to change anything.  Some Cognitive Behavior Therapy may be in order.

I am on a mission to completely change my diet.  I had my gall bladder removed more than 8 years ago, and constantly suffer from abdominal pain, bloating and other symptoms that I don’t care to disgust you with.  I’ve been doing some research, and have found that a minimal fat diet might help me.  I’m going to make this change to hopefully curtail some of these symptoms.  I’m tired of my bowels being my enemy.

I’ll keep my progress in all areas updated here.  This is my space to record becoming a happier, healthier person, and I find it’s very important.

 

Little Things

I’ve realized that the little things in life can have a profound effect on your mental health.

I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, and all went well.  My doctor prescribed me a milder sleeping pill that I shouldn’t become dependent upon, after I expressed my concerns about Ambien.  Hopefully this one will do the trick for my sleep issues.  She gave me some other tips that might help me out too.  She was very helpful and alleviated some of my worries.

I went shopping the other day.  I had been getting quite low on clothes for work.  I only had two shirts and one pair of jeans that looked decent, and my self-esteem was taking a hit because I didn’t think I looked nice at all.  I tend to let something like that fester in my head for awhile.  I also have a really hard time spending money on myself.  I never think I deserve it.  I decided that I couldn’t put it off anymore, and went to Goodwill.  I didn’t really expect to find anything, but I scored.  I got a whole new wardrobe for about $40.  All this week so far, I have looked very nice for work, and have even gotten some compliments.

I found an amazing new moisturizer/cleanser for my face.  I have struggled for years to find something that works on my face because I have very sensitive, dry skin.  I got a coupon to try a new one, and just fell in love with it.  It is perfect and my skin feels incredible.

I have also been wearing my hair down lately.  I usually always keep it up in a ponytail or bun because I am so self-conscious about it.  I have very fine, thin long hair.  I’ve made a firm decision to wear it down lately, and it feels really nice.  I feel more confident with it down now than I ever have.

All these little things put together have put me in a great mood this week.  I feel more alive and happier.  I know they are mostly superficial, but for a depressive like myself, every little thing helps.

Sleep…You Bastard

I haven’t updated in quite awhile here, but that is because I have taken a break from my recovery process.  I finished my devotional journal a few weeks ago, and it put me in a really good place.  I’m still riding the high from that.  My depression is almost non-existant lately, and that is a beautiful thing.

It helps that it is also summertime, and there have been lots of wonderful things to do, and vacation days from work.  My anxiety has been doing very well, so I am able to read books again.  I’m able to lose myself in them again instead of re-reading the same sentence over and over again because my worries are overtaking my mind.  I’ve got a long reading list to catch up on.

My problem today is sleep.  Sleep has become my enemy, my bane.  Sleep and I have never had a good relationship.  It’s a love-hate kind of deal.  I’ve written many times on my anxiety affecting my ability to sleep, but now I’m starting to wonder if I have a deeper sleep disorder.

I dread sleep.  I always have bad dreams, and never wake up feeling rested.  Lately, I have tried cutting out caffeine in the evening and taking a sleeping pill (very mild), but I still unconsciously make myself stay up later than I should.  It’s almost a fear of going to sleep.

I’m not sure what the problem is, but I don’t like it.  I know it’s not my anxiety because I my mind isn’t racing when I lay down to sleep.  It’s not constantly running in circles like it used to.  I will lie in bed at night and there will be nothing going on in my head.  It’s like a black canvas just waiting for sleep to be painted on it.  Once it finally does come, I have upsetting dreams.  Not nightmares, but unpleasant enough that I wake up feeling nauseous or disturbed.

I should welcome sleep and enjoy it, but I don’t.  I hope this is something I can figure out soon because I am getting increasingly exhausted and lethargic.

I don’t know if there is a cure for unpleasant dreams, but I will do some research to see if I can find something to help me.  I can’t have these continue if I’m going to keep my sanity.

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