Thursday, February 27, 2014

A pretty damn good week

Ok, so Monday wasn't anything to brag about. I was feeling good, and decided to finally tackle the emails I'd been ignoring for a few days. Unfortunately I decided that I should have some wine while doing this. Bad decision. I hate to admit this, but drinking wine on the weekdays became a normal thing at some point. I didn't always have to have something to drink, but it's not something I reserved for weekends.

I really just need to not drink. Reasons include: I shouldn't be drinking with the medication I'm on, it makes my anxiety worse, it's a ton of empty calories, and as quoted from Parks and Recreation: 'Wine is crying juice.'  So true. And I smoked actual cigarettes. Bad.

So, skipping over Monday night, the rest of the week has gone pretty well. I've been aggressive and assertive about looking for jobs, updating my resume, and contacting people to open up my networking opportunities. I even bought 2 new shirts that I can totally wear to an interview, and a pair of pants that I can fit into soon enough.

I've also been grocery shopping, cooking, and planning meals so I can really dedicate myself to eating paleo. Once I get into it, I'll have no problem sticking to it (the reason I stopped before was because I got hospitalized and I didn't have the resources while I was held hostage for 6 days). I just need to organize the hell out of the first few days.

Work? check.
Eating healthy? check.

Feeling good? Check!

**planning on going to the gym after I get out of work today, but I keep saying that and not going, so I'm just gonna write this down here and keep thinking it. Think good thoughts for me**

Monday, February 24, 2014

CBT and my lovely weekend

Through some sort of miracle, I did stay halfway on track on Thursday. I went home and made a paleo shepherds pie, but I also drank.  At least I did one thing right.

Friday I learned a bit more about separating my anxiety from what was actually happening. Sort of like cognitive behavioral therapy, which has helped me in the past.  So I made a chart. The first column was for the actual facts of things that are happening to me. The second is what I interpret from them (which is what usually stems my anxiety attacks). And the third column is what I can (reasonably) do with the facts. Here's what I came up with:

And you know what? I actually felt better after writing all of it down and not letting my brain make up these horrible stories about me. I had done this exercise in the past, specifically in marriage counseling, but I never gave it much value because I didn't understand how it could be applied to my own mental health. So this was a really big step forward in recognizing how to address my anxiety.

And I had a great weekend. I rented a car and went to visit a few friends who live way out of town. One of them was even having a Mardi Gras party, so I had the opportunity to meet a lot of their friends before their wedding in a few months. And I had a really good time and didn't feel horribly awkward after I left. I'm not sure if Jeff and Jacklyn's friends are just amazing, or if I was just having an exceptionally, good day. Probably both.

Sunday the awesomeness continued. Although I slept around 14 hours; when I got up I did the dishes, took out the trash, changed the cat litter, vacuumed a bit, and even did grocery shopping and my laundry. Of course, these were things that took me about 5 hours to complete and the normal person would have done it in 2; but I'm just happy I was able to do all those things in one day.

It was a pretty good weekend, especially considering the last few weekends I've had.

Plus, I switched to e-cigarettes on Saturday.  I feel alright and I'm going to make it to the gym today. I missed my chance last week, but with all the progress I've made over the past few days, I'm ready for this one. So far, the 'change one thing per day' is going alright.

Friday: I recognized how to engage with my anxiety in a way that is helpful for me.
Saturday: I quit smoking and I went to see friends and attend a party. I also realized that drinking makes me anxious, so I think that would be the best reason in the world for me to quit drinking.
Sunday: I did a lot of chores and errands (even though I slept most of the day)
Monday: Go to the gym and make some meals for the week

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Resist the desire to do something stupid

One of the emails in my inbox that I was terrified to open was from my insurance provider. 'You have new documents now available to view.' Translation: Now I get to see how much I owe the hospital for my unnecessary stay. I haven't even gotten the bill from the Psych Ward yet, and I'm guessing insurance isn't gonna cover nearly as much of that as it did for the hospital.

Without insurance, it would have cost me over $10,000 - for a 2.5 day stay in the ER and 6 stitches. With insurance it came down to a more reasonable $1,500.

I say 'reasonable' because hospitals are expensive. And if you unfortunately have to go to one, whether it's planned or not, you know how expensive it can get, even for a short stay, even if you're only there for a few hours.

This was my first (and hopefully last ever) hospitalization. And I feel so angry and frustrated. My hospitalization was completely unnecessary and humiliated me at every turn, took away my freedom, my privacy, and my time. It didn't help me at all and put me in a worse condition than I was before I was stuck in there. And now I have to pay for it. Literally.

It is going to be really hard to stay on track tonight.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Day 2

Today, I went grocery shopping and made a frittata for breakfast. First time I've cooked since the ward. Also, I didn't drink and I didn't hurt myself.

Maybe tomorrow I'll go to the gym and make a paleo shepherds pie? We'll see :)

Obsessing and letting go

Originally, I meant for this blog to be focused on physical healthiness, since in the past 2 years I blew up like a balloon and currently weigh more than I ever thought possible. I thought if I could get my physical body in shape, that would be good enough for me, all I needed to be balanced and healthy. Controlling my weight has been a sort of addiction throughout my life; I look back at the diaries I had from when I was younger and I obsessed over my weight and how I looked. I had another blog and all I talked about was my obsession with food, and running, and I realized how much I was beating myself up over not being 'disciplined' enough.

Keep in mind, I never was an all star athlete. I didn't do sports in high school and my family was never very 'active.' Occasionally we went on bike rides or my Dad and I would walk along the peanut line near our house. My mom was overweight, and I don't think my dad ever let her forget it. He was supportive of her being healthy but in all the wrong ways. So I must have learned subconsciously that being 'thin' was a good thing, and I never learned that being 'strong' or 'healthy' were the best reasons to be in shape.

But, being healthy is more than physical health. It's mental and spiritual health as well. Kind of like what 'being sober' is to anyone who's gone to an AA meeting. I learned the difference between 'clean' and 'sober' a month ago when I got committed to a mental institution.

Being clean means getting the toxins out of your body, whether it be alcohol, nicotine, drugs, or any other unnatural element that got you addicted in the first place. Being sober means being healthy in mind, body and soul.  I always thought being 'clean & sober' was just something you said. But it's really a bigger process than I thought.  It's amazing how much you can learn when you're placed in a totally different situation than you've ever experienced.

I can't talk about the institution now; maybe I will after more time has passed. Right now, I just want to get healthy, or 'sober.' I've spent the last few weekends hiding in my apartment and praying no one called me or texted me so I could just fall to pieces in private.

I need to be more than just physically healthy, which means doing a lot of things differently. I'm going to finally stop beating myself up for not doing enough. I'm going to think better of myself. I have this illness that I have to take seriously; because it's hard to admit that I don't have a serious problem when I can't even open my email because I'm too anxious about what an email from a stranger or my best friend might say. (seriously, I have 43 messages in my inbox, and I usually have 2) I just wish I had a professional to talk to about my anxiety, since my 'de-panic' meds make me dizzy and sleepy, and my therapist dropped me after I told her about my time in the psych ward.

So, here goes.

Yesterday: I didn't drink or hurt myself. I woke up without any fresh scars, and that's a start.