Sunday, October 22, 2017

Today

I am going to attempt to write for at least 20 minutes...to clear my head, to be honest about where I am now.  I slept too long last night which stressed me out because it throws off my mental health.  I didn't even get out of bed until around 10:00 AM.  Mario brought me two coffees and the paper to read.  I know; I'm spoiled.  I got up dizzy with too much sleep around 10:00 AM.  The kids and husband were going to go watch a football game at a friend's house which left me the unusual situation of having time to myself.  I watched a one and a half episodes of Sherlock while straightening the house.  Then I forced myself to run.  I have gone on a run every day since Friday which is extremely helpful for my mental health.  As always I am on my usual medication which includes: Effexor, Wellbutrin, and Buspar (twice a day).  It certainly helps take the edge off.  Exercise really helps, too.  I have been listening to The Hilarious World of Depression which is really good.  John Green was talking on the show about thinking that spirals out of control.  I definitely struggle with that.  While I was running today- once I got to a certain threshold- my mind began to clear.  I ran most of the way downtown to The Marriott.  At the Marriott I indulged in 9 small Madeleines- of course I did- a tea and water.  The security guard paid for it for some reason.  I'm not really sure why. Maybe I looked pathetic?  I'm not sure.  The run felt pretty good.  I wasn't exhausted from work which helps.  After stuffing myself with Madeleines, I walked up the 42 flights of stairs to the top.  It was good.  It wasn't that hard since I have been running and walking up some stairs for the past few days.  I am going to try to maintain this during the week, and I think that will help.

I started walking the three miles home, and my mind started spinning.  I'm glad the weekend is almost over and that it is later in the day which helps.  It means that the weekend is almost over.  I immediately started to feel guilty and terrible because I hadn't been with my family even though I hate football.  I chose not to go over to the house.  I exercised and cleaned somewhat which should help.  However, my binge eating has been getting out of control, and my eating is definitely in control of me.  I haven't weighed myself in days, and I have a meeting with my nutritionist on Wednesday.  I want to take control of my life again, and I want to achieve a healthy weight for my height (a maximum of 160 pounds), but can I do it?  I have doubts today.  I felt so panicked yesterday of the thought of how I would fail as a mom, fail to get through the weekend, that I told myself I absolutely must eat whatever I needed to eat to get through that.  I ran to the soccer game.  I ran home and stopped at two different places to eat two different things by myself so that no one else would see me.  Of course the strangers in the shop saw me, but that was ok.  I felt somewhat guilty, but I felt like it was necessary to shove that food down my throat.  I bought a cookie, too, and I had to throw that away after I finished shoving a small chocolate pie down my throat.  I threw it away as I envisioned myself eating it in secret at my house - which I can do and have done for years.  I am disgusted with myself.  I am sad that I continue to feel empty, alone, and powerless against this illness which is always with me.  Yes I am managing it.  Yes I have a wonderful husband and family and some friends.  I am fighting every day against this sinking, this thing that is dragging me under.  It is always with me.  It is always with me.  I know that I can have a happy life, and I know that I can have moments where I feel good.  When I got off work on Friday I felt so much worse than I do right now.  I hadn't exercised, I felt like my lessons at work didn't go over well.  I didn't see how I was going to get to my kids' festival that I had to get to.  I forced myself to run up the hospital's stairs twice which was 22 flights of stairs.  I ran as much as I could, and I walked a lot of it.  It definitely helped clear my mind.  I can feel my mind clearing now, too.  Sometimes as I run at the end of a hard day, I feel like I am filled with the depression and anxiety, that it is oozing out and pouring in at the same time.  It is working its way out and into my body.  I feel like I have to acknowledge its presence.  I don't accept it. I don't like it. I will never like it.  Will I ever accept it?  I hear people on podcasts talking about how they have accepted it.  I feel like a combatant like it is my arch enemy (ala Sherlock). I abhor it; I try to sometimes not think of it.

I have been thinking for the past month really about how I will tackle two things.  First I need to maintain the weight I lost consistently.  Second I need to begin losing the final 30 pounds (20-30 pounds depending on how optimistic I'm feeling.)  I talked to Mario about having my celebration be a week on the Appalachian Trail right after school is over with two of my friends.  When I am hiking I can honestly get rid of the anxiety and depression.  I don't think to myself what a failure I am since my house isn't cute, charming, and welcoming like a Betty Crocker house, how my classroom is not exactly how I want it-every moment planned and conducted like I picture it in my mind.  How can I do this technique, Writing Workshop, do the asinine things required of me such as state testing, be cheerful, be all the things I need to be for all the people that I need to be.  How can I be anxious about these idiotic, trivial things when an acquaintance is dealing with her husband who had a psychotic break and killed their 18 month old child.  I don't have problems compared to that. Certainly not. 

I would like to experience and show gratitude for what I have, all that I have, who I am, who my husband, children and family are and how lucky I am.  I was healthy enough to run today. I was healthy enough to feel good while running. It wasn't fast, but it felt good.  God give me the strength to be in the moment, to be the best I can be, to be there for my family, for others, to teach the best lessons I can, to balance my work, family, and personal life- which I feel again that I am a failure in.  My instincts tell me to stay alone, without others, but I don't want to do that. I do want to nurture friendships with my mom, my sister in law, my friends.  God help me.  I am thankful. I am thankful. I am thankful.   

Healthy Life Plan

I went back and read some of my previous blogs, and I realized I need to explain some more information about my healthy life!  I mentioned in an earlier post that I was ready to deal with my disordered eating.  This disordered eating plus the stress of a house fire (arson) that my family survived two years ago, well all of this lead to a huge weight gain.  I had to add some medication to my med. regime to cope with the fire.  I started taking Abilify which led to a huge weight gain.  I got accepted in a Propel Study through LSU.  This lead to a 30-40 pound weight loss (depending on the day).  It was extremely hard.  I am part of the study for roughly another year.  My weight has started to slowly creep back up, and I am struggling with my disordered eating again. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

December 30, 2016

My kids are in their last day of art camp, so this is my last day to write without interruption.  I am feeling overwhelmed and unsure of myself.  I feel this heavy weight that sits on my chest.  My husband wanted me to go for a walk with him, but I told him I had to focus on my writing.  Now I am replaying the conversation in my head over and over.  Maybe I should have gone with him? This is my challenge that anxiety and depression throw my way (daily).  It is hard for me to understand what is the best choice for me in a given situation.  I struggle to make simple decisions usually.  I feel a heavy weight of anxiety on my chest because we have friends coming in today.  I am trying to tell myself to feel gratitude for this.  I am so lucky to have friends coming in to visit.  What is the worst that can happen, I tell myself?  They lived here before, so they know their way around.  It's just hard for me to be "on" all the time.  I need to retreat into myself sometimes to get the energy I need to be present.  I have been doing fairly well this holiday season in staying pretty stable.  It is very helpful to be around my husband.  I relax when he is there, and I know that I'm going to be ok.  I have also been running almost every day along with taking all of my medication to a "T".  I almost always do this anyway (the medication part- at least).

I am struggling to maintain the weight I have lost.  I have promised myself that I will not get above 184 pounds.  The lowest I have been is 180 pounds.  My weight is hovering around 183.6 right now.  I have been indulging in the holiday sweets, and I am struggling mightily with my will power today regarding food.  I am a recovering binge eater.  I don't usually admit that.  I think I have told my husband that information once.  I have improved significantly on that front since I became part of an efficacy study with Propel.  I have a health coach that I meet with once a week; I weigh myself first thing in the morning, and the results go to my health coach.  This keeps me somewhat in check.  I meet with her one week from now.  I have been in the study for about 90 days, and my binge eating has improved tremendously.  I have slipped up a couple of times.  Last night, there were cupcakes.  I had two, and I was about to have three.  Fortunately, the kids ate the rest of the cupcakes.  Eating sweets helps fill a void.  It tends to push down the anxiety and the fear a little.  It doesn't get rid of it.  It is a temporary fix.  As I write this, I am struggling with the desire to buy a treat at the coffee shop.  I'm not even really hungry.  I just want the sweet.  I don't know if I will be able to control the urge.

I was hoping to work on a pitch for a column I am going to try to get into.  Literary Mama is looking for new columnists.  To be accepted, I have to write a hook, a 6 month plan, and 3 columns.  That is a lot of work!  I can't seem to get in the groove for it right now.  I don't have to.  I have a job which I love.  I'm happy to focus on that right now, too.  I don't want to pressure myself to do something I can't do yet.  I was able to write my first entry for my Appalachian Trails Blog yesterday, and here I am writing on my personal blog.  I have to start somewhere.

What is my plan to do what I need to do to feel the way I want to feel today?  I need to focus on gratitude.  I feel so thankful for my daughter.  I feel gratitude for my son.  I am so thankful for my loving husband, my mom, my dad, and my brother.

I just talked to my husband.  We are going on a walk.  Then we are going for a healthy lunch.  I am doing this instead of eating an unhealthy sugary treat at the Coffee shop.  It's a small victory.  It will help my body adjust.











Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016

I have been enjoying Etta's Depression Marathon blog.  It is depressionmarathon.blogspot.com.  I love this blog because it is so positive. She chooses each day to have gratitude.  I guess what I want to talk about today is where I am at today.  I am taking quite a few antidepressants every day. One of them I actually have to take twice a day.  This helps me emotionally, and I think physically.

I have had a difficult time forcing myself to get back into writing.  On the running front, I have been running for 30 minutes straight at least 3 times a week.  I have registered for a half marathon in New Orleans on February 5th.  That gives me exactly 6 weeks to prepare.  Over Thanksgiving I did a 10 mile walk run.  Let's be honest, I walked half of it.  That's fine, though.  I did it.  Today, I walked 3 miles; then I ran 3 miles back. Hurray 6 miler!  Tomorrow or Friday I am going to run at least 14 miles.  It is 4.39 miles away from Abita plus 3.55 miles.  This equals 15.88 miles.  I want to do at least 13 miles.  We shall see!  I think I will most likely do a big bike ride tomorrow. Then Friday I will do a big run on Friday.  This will be a walk/run.

Here is what I have been up to.  I joined Propel, a study at a local clinic which promotes healthy weight loss.  They actually pay me to do this.  I had to jump through a few hoops to get into the study, but that is all done now.  Now I meet with my amazing health coach once a week.  Each day I get on the scale and weigh in.  I have lost almost 30 pounds in 90 days which is amazing.  How did I do this?  It was painful.  I have to eat fewer calories than I burn....every...day.  I was down to 180 pounds.  This morning I was up to 183.8.  I have decided that I will not get higher than 184 pounds during the holidays.  This morning, I had two whole wheat pancakes and a giant piece of carrot cake for lunch.  Yes, I tend to love sugar and carbs.  I think in order to get down to a healthy weight for my height (5' 7"), I am going to have to cut out sugar.  Yes...cut out sugar.  This will be painful.  I am obviously still not quite on track since this is during the holidays.  I will keep you posted.

I know this is a short post, but I have to get back on the horse somehow.

-Katy

Saturday, August 27, 2016

July 29, 2016

It is Friday, July 29, 2016.  My summer is winding down.  I am a teacher, and I start school again on August 8, 2016.  I am actually looking forward to starting school because it helps balance my mood.  I do well when I am busy and have lots going on.  When I was in college, I tried to be as productive as possible to help combat my symptoms of depression.  I was extremely busy, and I didn't like it when things slowed down because my thoughts would be too overwhelming.

I am hoping that my husband will be able to take the kids to his mom's house to go swimming, so I can go to my favorite coffee shop and focus in on some writing. Let me be honest, lately I have been browsing different writing ideas and avoiding the actual writing part.  I am forcing myself to try to write for a minimum for 30 minutes.

This morning I woke up and went for a run with my friend.  Hurray!  It was a short run/walk of 3 miles.  We walked and ran it.   I haven't run in a few weeks, so it was difficult.  I've had worse, but it was definitely hard.

It is always hard when you have had any time off from running.

I want to share with you- my blog- what my major goal is this year, which is getting prepared for The Appalachian Trail next summer.  This summer, I hiked for 3 days on the trail with my husband.  We didn't do that many miles, but it was a start.  I am currently 200 pounds which is about 40 pounds from the highest my weight should be.  I'm 5 feet 7 inches tall, and the heaviest I should be is around 560.  I have seen a nutritionist once so far, and my second meeting is next week with her.  This will be the most difficult challenge I have ever taken on.  It is, in a way, even more difficult than dealing with the daily challenges of life.


Sunday, August 21, 2016

August 21, 2016

I just started work again, and it has been a blessing.  I am a teacher, and I have the summer off.  For someone with depression and anxiety, that is extremely challenging.  I struggled to manage my depression all summer.  I managed it ok, but there was rarely a moment that I was completely free of its grip.  Last weekend was the weekend before students arrived, and I felt so ill.

I told my husband, "Please help me make it through this weekend."

I have been in my element since school started.  It takes all of my attention and energy to memorize the 75 new students' names and to begin absorbing their personalities. We are off to a good start.  I was extremely exhausted this weekend.  Therefore, I allowed myself to nap on Saturday for one and a half hour.  This is always risky for me because usually I want to sleep all of the time because I am depressed.  I did not feel depressed when I went down for a nap, and I think it was due to the start of the school year.  I am trying to balance spending time with my kids, my husband, and preparing for my students.  For the first couple of weeks of school, there is no real balance.  I do have to put in extra work, but all of the teachers have to do this.  My family is also super busy and tired from starting school again.  My kids love school, and I teach at their school which is extremely helpful. We are all on the same schedule.

This weekend I did not have that aching feeling of trying to survive the weekend.  I knew how I would survive it: laundry, dishes, going to the pool with the kids.  I slept way too long last night, but I didn't let it ruin my day today.  I did manage to do 10 minutes on this intense stair climber in the gym.  I am going to use the stair climber to help me prepare for my AT adventure in June.

An update on my preparation for that trip.  I did go to a nutritionist two times.  She honestly stressed me out and made me cry (I never cry).  I cancelled my last two appointments.  I am running 3 times a week with my friend in the morning before school.  My final plan is to exercise for 2 hours a day (5-7AM)?  Wouldn't that be amazing.  I need the time to clear my head, be alone.  I feel that all of the little things make me extremely irritable.  If I have that down time to myself running with the ability to think, I believe it will make the irritations of life more bearable, and I will be able to float above it somewhat.

Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8, 2016

It is July 8, 2016.  I am in one of my favorite spots in new Orleans, Cherry's Espresso Bar listening to Pandora.  I am playing my Foo Fighters station, and the shop is not an arctic temperature like most venues in New Orleans because there are large windows soaking in the summer sum on each side of the shop.  This is another reason that I like this coffee shop.  I have to have sunlight shining on me in one way or another.  At home, it is me who is always pulling the curtains all the way open and opening the windows (even in the summer).  These small things improve my mental health in imperceptible ways.

I have just returned from The North Shore where I held one week of "Camp".  My daughter's best friend was there, my niece, and my son.  My mom and I lead the camp.  We went tubing, hiking, shopping, exploring, swimming, boating, and did pottery.  We watched movies, read books, played in the pond where frogs, tadpoles and fish were collected.  There were even leeches that only eat plants.  I am exhausted, but in that good way.  I just have to keep my mind on an even keel and remind myself that this is normal.  There is always a slight dip in mood when you finish a project.  At the end of camp, I find myself alone at last- in this coffee shop while  my husband takes my daughter's friend to the airport.  We have to go to an art opening at 5:30.  I am of course dreading this, but my rule to myself, is that I must participate in whatever we are invited to.  Oh curse those who invite!  The hosts!

I have made a secret appointment with a nutritionist who specializes in what I like to call disordered eating.  This is my second attempt at seeing a nutritionist.  I feel that I am ready this time to begin to talk about and face the disordered eating that accompanies my depression.  It helps me cope, it temporarily fills the void (especially chocolate), but I have no control over it.  Not if I am honest with myself.  It controls me.  The antidepressants I take also cause weight gain.  This is another issue, but it is also my disordered eating that creates excess weight.  I am now about forty pounds over the weight I should be (according to most standard charts).  I would be excited to get back to around 10-20 pounds overweight at this point.

I have put my phone far away from myself so that I don't have to talk to my husband who compulsively  calls me.  He has undiagnosed ADHD, and possibly oppositional defiant disorder.  Right now, I find him extremely trying since I haven't been running in a few days.  He is so anxious himself, and I simply hate to be around him sometimes.  I feel like we have been doing better as a couple.  I had been appreciating all of his good qualities, but this past week has been difficult.  He came to my camp, and seemed to need to control things.  He said I was "snippy" with the kids.  He helped cook food for the kids, but we honestly just wanted to eliminate messes sometimes and not have the entire day be about what he is making.  I sound extremely bitchy about all of this, and I am. There is no good reason for it.  I'm going to try to move on now because I don't want to put all of this negative energy out there.  I forced myself to ask about how his meetings went today.  That helped somewhat.  I asked him to leave his car unlocked so I could transfer my daughter's friend's luggage into the car.  He said he did, but he didn't.  His key is very finicky.  I asked him to please open the back.  He had to go through the process of unlocking the door again.  He opened the door by hand.  He did not try to help with the bags.  He got irritated when I tried to put the bags in a box he had in the back seat.  "That's for trash"    OK. It was a box that was almost as big as the back of the car, but ok.  I did my best to put the bags into the car.  He of course got in the way.  Do you see the extent of the problem?  I want to have control of my life.  I want to make my own decisions.  I do not want the male dominance to be over me at all.  Yet it is.  Sometimes I force myself to just listen to what he says, but I don't actually say what I'm thinking.  He is very argumentative.  His mother and father talk that way, also.  It is the way he was raised.  At the end of the day, he will usually go along with my ideas.  However, he will argue about it, he will discuss the different options, but actually do none of the options.  How I long to do it myself with no intervention from him or to be able to make a decision with someone, or just do what needs to be done and NOT discuss it.  Why discuss it?  What is the point even?

What a waste of time.  I don't like reading fiction either, or sports or games in general.  I know.  I know.  I find all of those things wastes of time.  All of them.

What is the point really, you ask?  Is there a point?  I just read an article in The New York Times about a woman who was talking about what was the point of men?  I get it.  I truly do.  There is always  a disequilibrium.  I can't just do what I want to do, physically, emotionally, etc, without the posturing, posing, etc. coming in.

I can't make up a fake conversation to pretend that I get the point.  What is the point?  I wanted so much to hike the Appalachian Trail for one week this summer by myself.  I was not able to do it this summer because of my husband.  Granted, we had a nice week together, but I needed that time for myself.  I will not have it again until next summer.

Now I need to move on, move on, and deal with the other stressors in my life.  They include other adults.