Life and Everyday

Emotions, a death, and loneliness

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So many crisis type things happen and I get so overwhelmed and then sleep to start it all over again the next day.  I am hoping they all calm down soon.  I can’t keep going at this pace.
Although, crisis today was my mom calling me at little after 6am to tell me that my uncle had passed this early morning.  My uncle Russ and aunt Alouise are my godparents.  Also my mom and Alouise are sisters and as close as close could be.  As kids our families did a lot together and spent time camping and baking and all sorts of other stuff together.
When mom called and said this to me, I was in the instant numb mode or disbelief.  I knew he was sick and he didn’t want any treatments for anything and no doctors.  He lost his will to live.  This made me incredibly sad.  I have been at that point in my life of feeling like losing my will to live, not by sickness but by depression and anxiety and fear.  But I have chosen to live.
Katey and I live.  We chose to be and do living.  We are about going places and learning new things.
Then bump in the road again.  Katey is struggling so much.  She was diagnosed with ADHD and generalized anxiety disorder 3 years ago.  Her behavior was getting out of control and her mouth too.  I had to make that hard decision about medication or what?  So, I talked to some friends and decided to see what medication could do for her.  The doctor I chose for her to see turned out to be an amazing man.  He tried her on an ADHD medicine and after a few weeks, it was just not right for her.  He talked with me and her teachers.  We tried another and that was BINGO.  Katey had done 360.  She was the loving and kind and calm kid that I knew years ago.  Meltdowns to very few.  Maybe one or two every couple months.  It was awesome.
Then this doctor left to take a position elsewhere.  Sadness.  The transition between 4th and 5th grade has been the worst for her and for me.  I have tried everything I can think of to help her in this.  The EBD teacher, school counselor, her mental health social worker, in home worker ….all of us…trying to come up with something to help her feel more successful.  But it didn’t work.  Her behavior escalated.
Finally, talking with her mental health social worker, I had made the huge decision to look into the YTP-Life Span School and therapy.  That is where she goes to school now.  It’s in Burnsville.  They pick her up and bring her home.  She has therapy part of the day and academics part of the day.  It’s only been a couple weeks but she is learning more about boundaries and what is appropriate.  She is learning about self control and expressing herself with out destructing.  I feel like I have failed her because I haven’t been able to teach her these things myself.
Being a single mom is so very hard at times.  It’s just been her and me since the get go.  I feel so lost.  I feel like I don’t know what to do.
I have met an awesome man a few months ago.  Luckily they get along great.  He backs me up and helps me when I need it.  She is listening more to him as well.  He is so calm and just living moment by moment.  He loves the Lord and makes that known to her and me.  He is a recovering alcoholic.  Maybe that is where he has found that serenity.  He helps me to stay focused on what matters most when I start to get so overwhelmed I don’t know what to do. I feel blessed to have this relationship in my life.
All this said…..I still feel lost.  I still feel alone.  I still feel like my faith has been rocked.  I want to be the best mom for Katey.  I want to be there for Robert too.  I need to figure out how to be here for me too.  But I am alone.
This is where it is right now.
I would still like to meet you and talk more.  Maybe you have some more ideas?
It’s Thanksgiving and Christmas and I don’t know how I am going to figure out how to make money stretch to the end of each month.  I worry that I am going to let both Katey and Robert down.  (Robert is currently in a sober house in St. Paul).  It’s just my income.  And time.  Again…I am lost.
beautifully broken
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Life and Everyday

Day 16 Thankful

Sweet16BeverageNapkin1Today I am thankful for my friends.  They are and have been supportive through all sorts of stuff lately.  I have been though a gamut of emotions the past few days and they stick by me.  Sometimes I wonder how they put up with me.  But they do.  They love me through it.

I guess that is what gets me through it.  I am thankful I have persistent friends.  And the love of God and the love of my daughter.  This kind of love will get me by on any kind of day.                                                                                                     

Life and Everyday

Epiphany #6 – Emotions

Going more on the epiphanies….here’s number 6:

6. Emotions exist to make us biased.

This discovery was a complete 180 from my old understanding of emotions. I used to think my emotions were reliable indicators of the state of my life — of whether I’m on the right track or not. Your passing emotional states can’t be trusted for measuring your self-worth or your position in life, but they are great at teaching you what it is you can’t let go of. The trouble is that emotions make us both more biased and more forceful at the same time. Another survival mechanism with nasty side-effects.

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True. True. True. True.  Or at least I thought it was too.  Until…..yeah…until just in the past few months.  I have learned the emotions are not facts.  Well, feelings are not facts.  They are NOT reliable.  The are NOT about what is real about what is going on.  As a matter of fact, they just are.  It is what it is.  I have notices this more so lately as I have been going to this pain specialist for my chronic pain syndrome and fibromyalgia stuff.  He is treating me with some hormone therapy.  Let me tell you…this SUCKS.  My emotions are way outta whack.  I find myself crying at the little things.  Angry at the little things.  Up and down….all over the place.  When I went back to see him last week, I realized that these new pills that he had prescribed to me were making my emotions crazy.  Yes hormones effect your emotions more than you will ever realize.  Doesn’t matter if it’s just your thyroid or period or male ego.  Whatever it is…yes…it all has a play in how you feel.  I didn’t really understand it or “get it” until last week.  Holy shit!  took me 40 years to finally see the light so to speak.  Duh!!

Anyway, you can’t trust your emotions to figure out where you are in life.  They are not true indicators of who you are or what you are doing.  You are more than your tears.  More than your fears.  More than your hurt.  More than your pain.  Even more than your happiness.  There is so much more to you than all of that.  God made you more than just what you feel.

What you value, what you believe in.  When you keep your word and when you follow that path that was meant for you to follow.  That is where you are to be.  Do what you love….Be happy because you can.  Be who you are because you can.  Don’t wait for your emotions to catch up…just do it….because you can…because you are worth every minute, every second of this life.

Life and Everyday

Be Happy

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

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Who doesn’t want to be happy? Just take a look at any moment of your life, any choice you make. Isn’t your intention to be happy?

By happiness, I don’t suddenly mean the silly-smile-on-your-face kind. What I mean is a profound sense of contentment, the ability to be serene and at ease no matter what, an inner perception that things are sufficient.

Somehow true happiness escapes us. Even though we crave it more than anything, we make choices that distract or wound us. We choose stressful behaviors, unfair views which we see the world, and emotional chaos. In doing this, we interfere with our potential to be happy.

Happiness is absolutely within our reach. In fact, it closer than close – it is the essence of you. How do we discover happiness? Make a study of our thoughts and emotions. See what makes you unhappy, then plant your feet firmly in the land of happiness.

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  • Take responsibility. Don’t blame others.   Don’t turn yourself into a victim. Don’t  wait for someone to come and save you. If you want to be happy, take the bull by the horns. Be willing to figure out how you stand in the way of your happiness.
  • Exemplify enthusiasm. Be willing, open, courageous, and humble. Admit what isn’t working and be available to the possibility of real inner change. Keep your journey alive.
  • Drop your old baggage. Nothing kills happiness more quickly than old hurts, resentments, and grudges. If you are spending your precious time stuck in a sad story from the past, realize that you are being affected much more than anyone else. Wrap all of that pain in a massive cocoon of love, and then move on with clarity and grace.
  • Become intensely interested in your inner life. The cause of unhappiness is playing out the conditioned habits that don’t serve you. Find out what they are and use a laser focus to see how they work. With your new-found awareness, make strong, life-affirming choices.
  • Question your beliefs. We unintentionally build our lives around inaccurate beliefs and expectations. Put every thought under the microscope for inspection to see if it is really true. You will definitely find that you are living through a blanket of misperception and inadequacy. Be willing to step away from these familiar and valued beliefs and see everything with renewed eyes.
  • Appreciate presence. Happiness is found here, in the eternal now – not in the past or future. Relax. Let all struggles fall away, and receive everything just as it is. Indulge in the wonder of your senses as you go about your daily life.
  • Study your emotions. Life becomes heavy and troublesome when we are governed by challenging emotions. The medicine for this emotional pain is attention and care. Stop telling yourself stories that fuel your emotions. Rather, welcome the direct experience of the feelings and the perceptions in your body. Let them be without needing to purge them. Over time, they will lose their power over you, and you will be at peace. The clouds will lift, enlightening the happiness you have been searching for all along.
  • Live from your heart. Shed every thought, emotion, and habit that no longer serves you. What is left? Love. Let love flood your conversations, activities, and the way you treat yourself. In any moment, ask, “What would love do?” then do it. Enjoy the sweetness of a full and open heart.
  • Choose freedom over fear. Fear is another happiness-killer. Know when fear is motivating your choices, and choose otherwise. Meet fear with love.   Have the courage to act on what you really want.
  • Let happiness permeate your life. Every moment presents the opportunity to be happy. If you doubt me, just take a look at your own experience. When you break it down to its bare soul in the moment, you will realize that a choice is always possible. Nag or be silent, self-criticize or self-love, sustain stress or take a deep breath, prolong a habit or undo it until you just can’t keep it going anymore.

When we are at peace with our own experience, we can’t help but be happy. Nothing is in the way. We see through the haze of broken beliefs and intense stories, leaving us available to intentionally choose happiness – now, and now, and now. Its right here, can you feel it?

Happiness is no longer unknown. Make healthier choices, and the limitless well of happiness will be revealed to you. I know that I am going to be working hard on this right now.

 

Life and Everyday

so slacking….too emotional lately

Welp, kinda fuzzed out on my thankfuls after Thanksgiving.  It’s not that I am NOT thankful for everything I have and do and love etc.  Life is getting in the way right now.  Too much in the way!!

Welp, kinda fuzzed out on my thankfuls after Thanksgiving.  It’s not that I am NOT thankful for everything I have and do and love etc.  Life is getting in the way right now.  Too much in the way!!

I’ve had a couple of really horrific days for one reason and another, they have totally knocked me off kilter. I feel useless, exhausted and so caught up in this negative self-hating cycle that I can’t really do much at the moment.

The night before last was the worst. Some days I freakin hate my illness, my freakin stupid brain telling me things, lies and god awful thoughts. I’m currently locked in a self-hate loop, down thoughts and feelings making me feel sick and unable to sleep which leads to down thoughts and feelings.

I want to get rid of this cancerous illness, this part of me that hates me so much and makes me need to cause pain to myself. I want it out and I want it gone now!

If I think about it really hard, I don’t think there has ever been a time that I was truly lonely, yes I have been by myself – hating every minute – but I knew ultimately there was someone who I could turn to even in my darkest hour. I am not sure that anyone would truly be there but I knew someone out there could or would be if I chose to ask.   I choose to be by myself most of the time because I’d rather spend the day not talking than talking utter shit with someone I actually don’t want to spend time with.

My friendship base is tiny, I have two, possibly three friends – real friends with whom I can share my deepest darkest thoughts and as a sufferer of mental illness I get very dark thoughts.   I sometimes lack the capability to think about others people’s feelings at the moment, so sometimes my words are harsh, uncaring and patronizing.   Even if that isn’t what I mean.   Over the years I have tried my hardest to learn not to say what I am actually feeling, with a type of argument between me and my inner voice who is crying out to punch this or that person, say something mean or generally may cause mayhem and as you can probably appreciate this has led to trouble and so I try to stay out of it now, sticking with people who see what I say as sarcasm or fun and not taking it to heart.

I also wondered that when you have children is it in order for you not to be lonely again? Like a subconscious, cave-man type of thing that human nature must procreate in order to be a pack? It certainly wasn’t the main reason I had my child but looking back I was a 33-year-old girl, living in a small town with only a few friends whom I had met in a treatment facility (group home).  One happened to be the man who fathered my daughter.  I was desperate for someone to be with.  A companion, someone who needed me so I would have to be alone anymore.

I wonder now if I should have bought a dog.  I’m kidding, I’ve never regretted having my daughter and anyone who knows me knows I would die for her at any given opportunity but I do think there are people out in this strange world we live in that have children purely for selfish purposes, I won’t go into detail as you all probably know what I’m talking about, I certainly know of some and it saddens me that that is the only reason these little tea-cup humans are around. Children should be cherished, adored, loved, cuddled and listened to and sometimes my heart bleeds when I see little ones who obviously don’t have that from their parents.

But it’s me and K here in the little Minnesota town.  I love it here.  Love the town.  Love the river.  Love the school.  But I am lonely.  There is only so much you can talk to a 9 year old about.

As being recently diagnosed with ADHD, I am wondering how to help her best.  We are going to see Dr. Gary Johnson, at the C.A.L.M. Center (Clinic for Attention, Learning and Memory) http://calm.us/

He is the best of the best as so I have heard.  He is up to date on everything ADHD.  I got the huge packet of papers to fill out for K’s session with him.  Man…talk about in depth and wanting to know everything.  I guess that is how I help K the best.  I need to let them know everything.  I just don’t know what to do.

Add this guilt on top of my crappy past few days.  It’s eating my heart.  I can’t help but feel the guilt.  If only……if only……yeah…that is what my brain is doing to me.  The self-hatred, self-loathing is getting really bad.  Yeah, it’s Christmastime.  This is one of the reasons I don’t like this time of year.  Inadequacies at its best.

Hmmmpphhhh.

 

Life and Everyday

Head hunger vs. real hunger

 

It’s been 14 months since I had the gastric sleeve surgery.  I started out at 346 pounds and weight 241 pounds now.  Total lost is 105 pounds.    Not exactly where I want to be at this time, but I hope to be on a role again soon.

head hunger – I don’t like it!!

Head hunger, you know it, we all do. That feeling of hunger from smelling the homemade cinnamon rolls in the oven or the sight of freshly baked cupcakes at the grocery store, or maybe for you it could even be watching the Food Network Channel. This is the hunger from our senses versus from our physical need for refueling. Indulging occasionally usually will cause no harm, it’s when the hunger consistently comes from above the neck that we become disconnected from the body’s hunger cues and indifference to what types of foods your body really needs.

It has become a popular term to describe a mental craving for food versus a physical hunger.  Head hunger often times to seem so powerful that it actually forces me to eat food that I know will cause me to gain weight or slow down my process.  Foods like chips, sweets, pasta, baked cakes, cookies, etc., that go against every rule of weight loss surgery.  Yet these foods are the ones I run to when I experience head hunger.

From what I have read and what I know that weight loss surgery reduces physical appetite during the initial months following the surgery.  I had a complete loss of appetite which was awesome because the weight just came off those first 6-8 months.  My doctor told me when they did the sleeve surgery, they take out that part of the stomach that causes the hunger hormone.  Whew!  I thought!!  I won’t have to FEEL hungry any more.  But out of nowhere….WHAM….comes the head hunger!!

I know there is an emotional attachment to food.  I talk about that in therapy just about every week.  It’s kinda of like a game sometimes.  If I eat these Oreo’s now…..I will work out for an extra 20 minutes at the gym.  Bargaining.  But often I don’t work out that much longer either.

Before I had weight loss surgery, I had another head game going on.  I wanted to lose weight, to be healthier, to be more attractive, to be able to play and run with my daughter without passing out, to walk a flight of stairs without being winded, and on and on my list goes.  I spent so much time thinking about all these things that I planned and planned on how to convince my insurance company to let me go ahead with surgery.  I came up against a battle with the State of Iowa when medical assistance was going to stop paying for part of the surgery.  You can read about that in a few posts I wrote last year about getting ready for surgery.  This kind of head hunger was different though.  I wanted this so badly, I planned and wrote and tried to figure out how to convince my doctors, the insurance company, my family and friends and mostly myself, that this would be the BEST thing I have ever done.

Hunger is defined as the painful sensation caused by a lack of food that initiates food-seeking behavior. (hmmmm)

Hunger is not an emergency.  It never has been for me.  My parents always provided for me.  I never went hungry, hence the problem with being overweight.  My mom was/ is a cook/baker by trade.  She was and still is cooking for people all the time.  But I can’t blame her for my being overweight.  She didn’t put the food in my mouth.  Though having it around all the time didn’t help much.  The only one to blame for not eating right is ME….yup…it’s ME!!!

So just how do we banish the head hunger?   This sensory drive to eat foods we know are not what the body wants or needs.

Here are some tricks for learning to treat hunger the way as a condition that comes and goes.

  • Drink water or flavored water to curb hunger pangs.

  • Ignore the hunger and acknowledge that you will survive.

  • Establish a predictable and consistent eating schedule so your body becomes accustomed to when you will eat.

  • Eat protein first thing in the morning and again at lunch and dinner.

  • Minimize visual cues that trigger hunger pangs (avoid/ignore the tv, food network channel; place snack foods in closed cupboards; avoid the office break room, etc.)

  • Take a brisk walk before giving in to hunger (this will rev your metabolism).

Just as hunger is not an emergency, it is also not a failure. Associating hunger with feelings of failure often leads to destructive eating and inappropriate food choices.

Here are a few things I have learned about “normal” eating when I was dealing with bulimia years ago in my teens and 20’s (gasp…lol):

  • knowing to eat when hunger cues are present and continuing until you are satisfied

  • trusting your body knows how to make adjustments for any missteps in eating

  • under eating sometimes and wishing you could have more

  • Choosing food you like, enjoying it until you are satisfied not just stopping because you “should”

  • 3 square meals a day or grazing all day long

  • takes up some time and attention but is not the only important aspect of your day

  • stopping eating when satisfied knowing you can have more another time

  • letting yourself eat sometimes because you are bored, tired happy or sad because you want to

  • being flexible, knowing eating varies in response to schedule, emotions, hunger, health and availability

Letting go of the rules of this eating disorder I had made concrete in my life is not as easy, yet it is very possible and very liberating. I think the same rules apply to weight loss surgery.  I know the tools.  I go back and get out my binder with all my information in it and read.  I keep track of my food again.  I start up my exercise routine again.  I get back on the wagon and go!!

Life and Everyday

chronic pain and coping and life in general right now

6.7.12

pain and other stuff.  that is the topic today.

I have a couple other conditions which play into the pain thing for me.  I have Lupus, fibromyalgia, the beginning stage of Rheumatoid Arthritis. statrting stages of degenerative disk disease.  they figure it’s pretty much genetic related as I have many relatives with these things.  my sister is also in the early stages of RA.  pretty much have to figure out to cope with pain on a daily basis.  like most things, some days are really pretty good and others really suck.  depending on the weather, stress, etc.

i don’t particularly feel stressed out by all the crap going on in my life….with my plate full of stuff.  but my body i think is.  my emotions are pretty in check, reaction to the pain.  i don’t feel depressed, but i don’t feel really happy.  i am mostly content or at peace at this moment.  if that makes sense.  yes, there is stress with having moving going on, knowing katey will be with me in a couple weeks, school stuff.  but for me i find ways to make it manageable for me.  i exercise, which is very hard for me sometimes, but i make myself do it.  i get up and go swim just about everyday.  the water is warmer, which helps every joint and muscle.  with lap swimming i take my time.  i try to swim laps for 45 mintues before doing the water aerobics class.  this movement is good to make sure i don’t “freeze” up.  sometimes it hurts a bit, but then, i feel pretty ok afterwards.

i can’t do most pain meds due to having the VSG gastric surgery.  ibuprofin is something i have to watch.  hydrocodone works, but have to take it on a real regular basis.  docs aren’t sure if that is good for me.  my gp gave me flexeril yesterday….it helped the spasms and stuff.  i am awake at 4am….which is weird.  but starting to be a “routine” for me as pain wakes me…then i take another hydrocodone and try to sleep again.  sometimes it works to help me get back to sleep.  other narcotic meds leave in me in  a fog….usually most the day after taking them i HATE that.  so I use them very very sparingly….taking them after supper time….making me tired but the pain is maneagable. for a time.

today i head to the spine clinic.  not sure what to expect.  the x-rays taken last friday showed a “bump” or lump on my hip bone near my spine.  could be a calicum build-up…had that before on a couple other bones, they operate and shave it down.  but that it’s close to my spine is very scary.  also then my mind goes to the cancer thing.  my dad had cancer, it ended up going into his bones, etc.  my brain goes to town with it.  i am trying to not jump to conclusions just yet as i just found out about this yesterday with Dr. Bill, my gp.  this weather wreaks havioc on my pain levels too.  weird weather patterns this year has caused many flares.

i had therapy yesterday and we talked about the chronic pain and my lack of managing it.  Adam was a tad upset as it has a toll emotionally on me too.  I need to not let my high pain tolerance and take over and i find myself “grin and bear it” attitude pop in.  I need to listen to my body more which means accepting myself where i am and being more pro-active about this.  so a new territory for me to venture down.  i don’t like to let people know exactly how much pain i am in cuz i don’t want anyone to think i am a baby and cant handle pain.  does that make sense?  i know going to the spine clinic today is a first step in taking control of this pain stuff.  i don’t know what is going to happen today but i am praying that i find some answers and not a whole of doc wanting to medicate me.  i have tried massage therapy, hot stone therapy, hot tubs, saunas, swimming, chiropractic, healing touch, sacral crainal therapy….they work, but also the cost is usually out of pocket, insurance doesn’t cover this kind of alternative healing stuff.  they are effective for me, but i can’t always afford them.  i try to find deals etc when i can.  like next week after all this moving stuff, either next thursday or friday, i have a 90 minute massage, hot stone and aromatherapy appointment.  i got a great deal from Groupon for this.  cost me only 40 dollars for what is usually 120.  so i am trying but it isn’t a regular routine.  wish it could be, but i do what i can.

walking is hard somedays…same with sitting, standing and laying down.  i try to keeep moving around to make it comfortable. so that is where i am with this.  i hope to get more answers today.  oh, i started physical therapy for my knees this week.  maybe this doc will have them work on all my joints, esp my low back and hip.  i just don’t know.

trying to stay positive.  trying to stay busy.  trying to be ok with it all.  having wonderful friends like you guys is very helpful even if i don’t delve into the emotion and etc about all this stuff.  don’t want to bother anyone with my complaining.  lol

on another note, mom called me 2 or 3 times yesterday with some news regarding k.  she is dealing with swimmer’s ear.  so will be finding some ear plug things for her when she swims now.  she is getting her tonsils out finally on June 25.  that is the monday after vacation bible school for her up here.  the surgery will be in mason city iowa.  so will be going down after vbs on friday or saturday.  stay down there until monday late or possibly tuesday.  bring her back here with me.  the doc said i need to keep an eye on her very closely for 4-5 days.  lots of popcicles, jello, water, etc.  i am trying to make arrangements for the couple hours on tuesday evening and wednesday afternoon when i have class.  other than those 2 hours each day, i will be home with her.  lots of time to be close and be mom.  i wouldn’t worry so much about classes but that is my last week of class, gotta show up. yuck. my mom also set up an appointment with the lawyer that will be working with all the paperwork needed to be done to finalize my adoption back of k.  sounds weird but that is what i have to do, the reverse of what mom did.  iowa has a weird human services system.  here in MN it’s much more simple and easy to understand, i find.  but iowa plainly sucks.  to say the least.  but i will do the hoop jumping once again.

so yes, lots on my plate but i am not depressed about it.  i am maintaining using new and more effective coping.  therapy is good.Adam has helped me understand the why’s and how’s.  he offers suggestions to try to help make coping easier.  i don’t feel the need to return to the old crap that caused me more emotional pain.  i did slip back into some emotional eating stuff in the recent weeks…perhaps why the plateau is lasting so long. but i am aware now of what i am doing and am trying to make some better food choices…some days are better than others, but working on it more.  self image plays a huge part of it.  still have trouble liking myself.  go figure.

anyways, this is where i am at…what’s going on.  sorry for the “book” about it all.

i love you guys…my sisters and brothers in Chrst.  my support.  my friends.  i admire your courage and strength that each of you have.  it helps me to keep going too.  even when you have bad days…even when i have bad days, your encouagement of each other and me, inspires me to keep going and keep trying to get better.you have been a constant life line for me for many years now.  thank you.

ok…gonna try to get some more sleep before actually having to get up and start my day.

love and hugs to all