Monthly Archives: June 2013

Multi tasking

I am at the gym. Right now, sweating on a recumbent bike. I had a late start today. Waking up early but laying in bed, breathing long and deep, and letting go of guilt and anxiety. Retuning a couple lovely texts, I felt loved. I stayed in bed till 11 when Lib called. I didn’t beat myself up, or berate myself for being lazy. A rare find. I had a bowl of mini wheats, a shower, and put on a simple royal blue dress and some outrageous heels. I drove to Starbucks where I put on some sunscreen and had an hour long gab with Vanessa while sitting in the sun. After that I went to work for just a bit, had a customer complaint that by the end of our conversation she was laughing and my new BF. I had a boy I dated see me at the bank and he texted me that I looked spectacular in my simple blue dress. I think it’s simple… Those were not his words. The guy at the gym greeted me with his usual enthusiasm, and I have a girl date to go out for a drink tonight. I’m definitely feeling better. I had a taste of the love yourself book, I’m hoping I’ll get a chance to read some this weekend.
I have to say, not sure I was getting the most of my workout, blogging… but it went SUPER fast. I just did some cardio and abs, I still have this ridiculous kink in my neck, I will book a massage and see the naturopath next week. An entire week with this knot is enough… So instead of being shoulder day I slacked. Partly because I HATE pull ups and push ups, shoulders have never been a strength, and I didn’t want to add tension to my neck.
Anyways… I was thinking, and talking to Vanessa, who always helps me do good self work… :-).
After a couple hours with Goldy, I felt good. great, maybe the dopamine of hanging out. But he makes me feel good. Happy. I genuinely like him. How do I get that independant of him? He isn’t perfect, and that’s not what I’m saying. He is angry, and hurt, and just as flawed as the rest of us. I don’t think he can even begin to understand how much “sparkle” he has. He made friends with his hospital roommate and was commenting on how lucky he is to happen across these great people. The nurses were all great to him, all these people going above and beyond. He didn’t realize not everyone has those experiences.
I had a friend who played pro hockey, I would drive him home on the regular, completely obtuse to his flirting, he would ask me for a ride home, hoping I would stay with him… I just thought the weirdo always wanted to leave early… no idea… anyways, one night we were chatting about luck, and catching breaks. I seem to fall into these great things, a house sitting gig when I have no home, a new job or big promotion. I was lucky… he said that he had a problem with that, because people make their own luck. His exact words were, “there is no such thing as LUCK, it’s what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” So this great stuff that happens to me, or him, or Goldy, or anyone really, is what happens when you are prepared for your opportunities as they come along. Wise words. So it got me thinking, Goldy is a genuine good guy, and people are drawn to him, but he has no idea how great he is. I am the same? Did I not want to acknowledge that because I don’t want to come off as arrogant? Why is it not OK to have that love of myself, to think all those amazing things of myself? To search out validation by doing things for others. Then giving because I need the validation becomes a selfish act. Insanity. I feel good after just a few minutes with him, because he makes me feel adored, he thinks I’m smart, and pretty, kind, and fun. How do I think those things about myself? I realized that because of unresolved feelings of abandonment and low self worth, when I found him, and I liked him, I intensely dove in, while feeling like I wasn’t good enough for this amazing man. Now don’t get me wrong, I have decent self esteem, I know I’m a catch, and I’m told enough that I’m pretty, smart, etc. But it needs to well spring. And in retrospect, my fear of not being where I wanted to be in life, and being alone, I dove in before I knew how deep the water was. Because I am exceptionally “lucky” I didn’t end up with a head injury…I did and gave and gave up on myself to try to make my ex happy, when all I needed to do was make myself happy. I was afraid of being alone because I didn’t like me, or respect myself enough. I would like to congratulate myself (in the least arrogant way possible) on having the intuition and self knowledge to buy a book on self love. Now to read it.

send help… I’m drowning… in self help…

The mornings are the worst. I go to bed, and I feel good, I have successfully coped with my day. I have eaten, worked, worked out, and had some social interaction. I don’t know what exactly goes wrong the 8-10 hours I am asleep… But I wake up tired, sad, hungry, and I want to pull up the covers and stay in bed. I did have an especially negative dream the other night, where I was not rescued from a hole because I wasn’t pretty enough. How about that for a dream to analyze. Maybe because I have been dissecting my negative thoughts during day they have been lurking in my subconscious and running amuck at night. Would explain my low, waking emotional vigour. I wake up at 5:30 or 6 every morning, and then anxiously try to fall back asleep, and then I can’t seem to suck myself out of bed to make it to work on time. My anxiety and snooze button conspire against me. I regularly have to breathe thru a potential panic attack. I know that physically this stress is all sorts of bad for me, and my skippy heart (my heart misses beats, and lately has been weak). Then I get anxious… and I can’t sleep although I’m tired. when I do eventually get out of bed I’m starving, but I feel a little nauseated and I don’t want to eat, and then I cry… I think when I wake up, I will just get up, lay in the shower, eat breakfast, and start my day. What’s going on now isn’t working for me.
I went to kelowna for a lash fill yesterday, and had a visit with Goldy, he has broke his leg, did a really good job of it, and is forced into spending a couple weeks in the hospital. We sat and chatted for a couple hours, he makes me happy, I enjoyed just chatting. It may be one of the best times I’ve ever had in a hospital… absolutely makes a top 5 list! He is sweet and kind, intuitive, and funny, and so very hard on himself… we match…Hahaha!
Before I made my way up to the hospital I went to chapters, I had a $5 off coupon. Vanessa had recommended a book called “the power of now”. I was hoping it would help me make the most of now, as the title promised, not re thinking the past or worrying about the future. While I was in the self help section I perused some titles. There is a wide array, all sorts, finding “Mr. Right”, the power of attraction, the rules on dating, squashing the compulsion to mother in relationships, As I saw title after title I would think “I need to read this one…and this one… oh and this one…I could have spent hundreds of dollars and potentially days upon days reading. Or at least had an impressive pile of books collecting dust on my coffee table. I did decide on a second title, “Madly in love with me” I think because this is where I need to jump from. This book is a jewel calypso red with curly yellow lettering, a book obviously directed at women, but there are many men I know don’t love themselves like they should. Sexism aside I am looking forward to reading it, and when the library re opens (they are replacing carpets for the month of june) I am going to get a card. I find the self help section at chapters daunting, irony? Like being stressed out reading a book on stress. During our weekly phone date I was lamenting to Cherise that I was having a hard time, loving myself, cutting myself a break, putting myself first. I haven’t learned how. I come from a long line of people who put others first, my mother, and my father, having us kids come first, their parents, work. Putting yourself first isn’t the same as being selfish or arrogant, and I think it is a very fine line. Maybe once I love myself I can try to tackle the book on stress again… 🙂

Just another day

I have to pause on reading the stress book, because it stresses me out. I start in on all the complex chemical reactions, and then I start to worry. I worry about those I care about, dealing with stress, and I worry about all the damage I’ve done to myself… and then before you know it, I have no appetite, and an elevated heart rate. Yes, the book about stress, stresses me out. I seem to be floating ok with the depression, forcing myself into tasks, and calling myself on the negative self talk. Any progress no matter how small, is still progress. I know I have to spend time out with people at work, sitting in my office makes me feel awful. The high point of my day is the gym most days. Not sure how I feel about that… it is what it is I guess. The girls at starbucks recognize me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. My body feels more like mine, and I feel like I look better, there’s a boy that works at the gym that tells me I look good, maybe why the gym is a high point.
I’ve been researching quarter life crisis, and the 30’s slump. After having lunch with a couple men now in their 40’s, they noted feeling the same, and the insane amount of pressure on people in their 30’s. I was reading and one statistic suggested that 3 of 4 people will experience some sort of jag. It is normal to not be where you wanted to be, now the trick is coping with that. And not berating yourself for being a failure… that’s my issue.
I am going to volunteer, do something with children, and seek out a casual one day a week social job, waitressing. The volunteering is to feed my soul, sense of purpose, and is the area of life I feel most lacking. One of the reasons I was so attracted to Goldy… kids… I love kids. Well, not the only reason, but after some reflection, it was a big bold check mark in the plus column. The waitressing is to get out, meet people, and maybe make a little cash. It seems to be hard to make new friends. I have so many amazing friends already, but with husbands, and kids, and physical location challenges. There should be a plenty of fish type app for girls seeking girls, but on a friend basis. Fill your profile out, and find similar interests and schedules. I suppose this is where you go out and do something you love, then you meet like minded people. But how do you engage with the girl beside you at the gym without being a 7 out of 10 in the creepy scale? I need some girl on girl action, but not like in the movies. I could make guy friends, bat my long fake lashes at them, lure them in with the desire of dating and then file them in the friend zone, but that seems mean. I don’t want to be mean. Maybe this is all a distraction, fill my time so I don’t have time to brood, or break down. Is that the worst thing?

I don’t know where I left my head…

I just finished 8 hours at work, I even got there before 9 am. Victory! Went home to grab my gym stuff, packed the bag, and then came down to starbucks to blog. I did NOT actually bring my gym bag with me… I have been fighting a less than awesome head cold all week, and a vicious kink in my neck. I spent 4 hours napping on my couch yesterday morning, and then berated myself for “wasting” the day. Having to write down the negative self talk, has been effective, but I’m still really hard on myself. I struggle constantly with putting myself first. I have been researching things I can do to incorporate more joy. Everything takes time, and I struggle staying motivated. I beat myself up for everything, staying in bed, not reading, missing Goldy, not working out, not eating enough, not cleaning my house. An endless list really. And then I feel bad about feeling bad, So many people have it much worse than I. I had coffee with one of my 30 dates yesterday, and he told me about his battle with cancer. Not something we talked about on a date, but now we are friends… I just have a little grief and depression, it’s not cancer! Or a week in the hospital with a severely broken leg… That would be far worse. I have to stop being an asshole to myself, cut myself a break.

I love…

What do I love? I seem to have been so wrapped up in work, and other people that I have lost touch. I’ve spent the last 2 years on my own, taking time for myself, being all about me, but have been doing a poor (at best) job. I found myself around 6 months post TE1 watching basketball on T.V. I would NEVER have done that 10 years ago, but there I was sitting on my half-a-couch watching something my ex did. I have a problem. I would winge about not loving the gym, but years ago, I went faithfully, even twice a day with one of my girlfriends. I realized it was him that didn’t love the gym. I have taken up biking. I don’t mind it, it’s good exercise, and it gets me outside (which I do enjoy) But I went biking with him, and then biked on my own so that I could keep up with him. I have a pile of great trails close to my house, but would rather run than bike. I’ve only biked 4 or 5 times in 2 years, not the 3-5 times a week I used to. And I don’t love to run. This I know is true. LOL.
I love Tea, all kids of tea, and hot beverages, Coffee is growing on me, but I need to add to it, I enjoy tea naked. I love whipping cream, I love eating healthy, and grocery shopping, I love grocery shopping. I’m a fan of shopping generally, browsing at least, looking at what’s out there, but I need to stay aware that retail therapy is short term bliss. I like shopping for other people. I love to gift, and find that perfect gift for someone. I like to get and send mail. Good old, head to the postoffice and pick up your package mail. I have an aunt that used to send me all the greatest stuff, and my great grandmother would send letters and post cards. I enjoy correspondence the old fashioned way. Plus it feels great to get a surprise, and something in the mail that isn’t a flyer or a bill! I want to give people that feeling, usually wrapped in crazy tape or covered in glitter.
I love to cook, big dinners, fancy dinners, healthy dinners, lunches, brunches and breakfasts. I like to assess and make things from scratch, try new recipes, or guide lines really, I’m not really great at being told what to do. I love to bake, cakes, bars and cookies. I do not enjoy any of this for myself. I wont eat the 3 dozen cookies I just baked, but I want to and love baking them! Same with dinner, I’ll eat a bowl of cereal despite having the skill to throw together something gourmet for just me. I enjoy the sharing action, and the people pleasing from these culinary acts.
I like to do new things. New restaurant? Yes. New aerobics class? Sure! Want to try inverted paddleboard yoga fusion (made up for now…) Heck yes. If it’s new and exciting I am in. I always try to have the newest and coolest products at the store, I like being a trail blazer. Maybe I am a secret hipster…
I love art. Art galleries, museums, theatre, live music, libraries. I made my ex take me to do tourist things when we went places, the places we went to for sporting events… I love tourist stuff, tours, displays, farmers markets. I am a fan of architecture, sculpture, painting. Romantic art is my fave, and Jack Vettriano specifically. I love the smell of books, I enjoy history, old buildings, antique furniture. I love lead crystal, and the way it will scatter prisms throughout a room when it is sun kissed. I have a vintage dress that is one of my prized possessions. It was balled up in a drawer of second hand store with a pile of table cloths. I dug it out, shook it off, and tried it on. It was like it was made for me. It may be the best $5 I have ever spent on a dress. I love to find a deal.
I love to learn, about new areas, useless facts, trivia. I love to research, read about things explore options, create an awareness, be informed. Maybe because I hate being bad at things.
I love music, all sorts, and again I’m always searching out the new and different. The stereo I bought myself when I was 13, broke last month… It won’t play CD’s any more… I tell you, when a stereo doesn’t last 20 years… LOL. I love gadgets, ipods, computers, apps, headphones, games, I am a bit of a techno dork. I love making “mixed tapes” burning CD’s for people. I love greeting cards, I have a box full of assorted subject matter cards, ready and waiting.
I love flowers, plants, trees, gardening, although I don’t have one. I am a nature lover, I enjoy being outside, looking at the stars, watching sunrises, and sunsets, storm clouds, snow, rain. All of it is breathtaking. One of the greatest things abut Goldy’s house was the big south facing windows that face into the valley. You could see weather rolling along the ridge, it was so quiet, and I bet the sunsets and stars… breathtaking. I love all the seasons, the tender eagerness of spring, the earthy warmth of fall, the crisp frost and sparkling snow of winter, and summer when everything is warm, the days are long. I love the cool sun rays reaching out at dawn, but my favourite time of day is when the shadows are long, and a rich, warm golden light blankets the earth. The light just before dusk. I love rose gardens, and deep cool forests (providing I have bug spray so I am not devoured)
I love organizing, and deep cleaning, alphabetizing, color coding, restoring or refinishing. I love that feeling of accomplishment. I love a challenge. I love a sense of order.
I love exercise, that muscle shake quiver when they are near failure, that lactic acid burn after a good workout, that tingle of stretching, the sweat, coming off places you didn’t even know you could sweat from. I love the long lean muscles you get from yoga, and the bliss, the physical exhaustion paired with an oxygenated body and a mental calm creates a high.
I love movies, I love movies even by myself. I love awkward situations, even If I’m in them. I love to watch people interact, people watching is the best, sometimes at the end of the night the house lights would come up and I would just watch the people in the club, drunk, happy, sad, trying to hook up, it was fantastic entertainment. Might be part of the appeal of Starbucks, the people watching.
I love motors, the smell of fresh oil, burning gas, new tires, and exhaust. I love the vibration and roar of a well tuned revving engine, the feeling when your back end is about to break loose, or the rush of a turbo kicking in. I love the glean of a freshly waxed paint, and the smell of high carnauba wax. The sparkle of clean glass and polished chrome, the smell of a wet chamois. I love to drive. Fast, slow, long distance, winding road, accelerating thru corners, I love having the window down so the air forces into the car and dances thru my hair. I love good car stereos, they don’t have to be loud, but a clean crisp sound. The car I have now sometimes has so much bass it makes my chest hurt. I love that.
I love Kids, all ages of kids, other peoples kids. I love kid activities, actually activities in general, and most kids are up for that, adults… not so much. I adore wonder and amazement. Stopping to smell the flowers at safeway, or picking out exotic fruits and vegetables. Learning about them, tasting them. I love play dough, coloring, drawing, reading, kids movies and learning. I love picking up rocks, braiding hair, getting dirty and playgrounds. Sandcastles, blocks, trains, cars, water fights, dress up, barbies, video games, trampolines. I love giggles, and snuggles, skipping and playing. I know kids aren’t all fun, but at this point I get to be fun.
I love dresses, new jeans, outrageous heels and new sneakers. I love dancing, like a dork, the sprinkler, lawnmower and the drill press. I have all the moves. I love slow dancing by candlelight. I love fresh sheets, and high thread count of course. I love hour long gab sessions, on the telephone, but only with a select number of people. I love long hot showers. I love coconut tree air fresheners. I love chocolate peanut butter ice cream, but not chocolate in ice cream, chocolate flavoured ice cream with peanut butter. I love a witty banter, and someone who can take being teased, I love big laughter and laughing until I get the hiccups. Snorts while laughing are pretty great too. I love the way your teeth feel after a polish at the dentist. I love turquoise blue, and hot pink. Crisp cotton and light flowing silk. I love phone cases, and animal print. The two combined is divine! I love disco balls, and bubble baths.
I love sporting events, but because it’s an activity, usually something or somewhere new, and the people watching is amazing. I love hotdogs with nacho cheese on them (I know… I know…) I love honey jack on ice, I love watermelon bubblegum, and fake banana flavoured stuff (runts, milk to go etc). I love to blog, the writing is relaxing and helps me work thru emotion and expression. I used to love waitressing… not sure if I still would? I love pin up girl photos and art, and polka dots. I love strippers, errr… exotic dancers I guess is the preferred term.
I have been challenged with finding more joy, doing things I love, daily. This is a start…

I am a shark

Depression is a chemical reaction in the brain. It’s brought on by a number of things, chronic pain, crisis, stress. I thought it was emotion based. I felt like a failure for not being “man enough” to cope. Really unfair to myself, and all men. No wonder depression is so under reported, there is a stigma attached. I should take a picture of the GIGANTIC billboard that I drive past every day. Says something about that…
I have a couple issues, I am resistant to taking drugs to float me out of this moderate depression, I have done some research, I don’t want the side effects. Maybe I’m just especially fond of doing things the hard way. I have absolutely NO judgement for people that do go that route, really I am astounded by the volume of people around me that take them. Sometimes the drugs just work, and again, if suicide is an idea that has sprinted across your mind please, please, talk to your Doctor. I am a negative self talker, and I dwell a bit, I over think, analyze, I “pit bull” things.
All this reading and research I have been enlightened, however the sheer volume of information is a little overwhelming, and you can’t believe everything you read on the internet…shocking… I know. I have also learned that the act of admitting “I am depressed” can lead to depression… to make it clearer, you are depressed, and you think about being depressed, which makes you more depressed, like marching slowly down a spooky spiral staircase into an abyss.
There are different kinds of depressive thinking, Some of the websites I’ve read;

http://www.allaboutdepression.com/workshops/CBT_Workshop/CBT_09.html

http://bpdfamily.com/bpdresources/nk_a112.htm

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/science-and-sensibility/201206/defeating-depressive-thinking

http://www.depressionisachoice.com/depressionisachoice/essays/The%20Many%20Don.pdf

The long and short of it, accept you are depressed and then look to move forward. Don’t stay in bed, don’t pace in it, don’t stress about it, only will makes it worse. Basically, “don’t pick at that”
My second appointment went better, my Therapist was prepared with rational type exercises for me. A chart to track activities, and moods, and a sheet to help refute the negative self talk. I like the pragmatic approach to things. I want them to make sense, and I want to do it in an orderly fashion. Just ever so slightly type A. I was complaining, no, venting, to Cherise. “I have acknowledged that I have been depressed for some time (basically the entire time I have lived here) and started taking action, it’s been a whole month. How much longer till I’m fixed???!” Unfortunately It is not just a flick of a switch, I found the switch, but it needs to be wired, before it will illuminate. Sigh… I hate waiting. The venting took place on sunday night, and monday morning I couldn’t find the wires. I was anxiously awake at 5 am, but physically couldn’t drag myself out of bed until 10 when I got a motivational text from my darling cousin (thanks again!). At 10 I relocated to the half-a-couch and spent an hour on the phone with Vanessa. I was mentally kicking the crap out of myself, “such a failure” “a mess” “why can’t I just make it to work!” I was truly being an asshole to myself. After an hour with my darling V (I am so proud of her) I showered and made it to work. I was especially productive, but to make up for going late I left early for my appt. I found it interesting that my therapist, someone I have only spent a couple hours with remarked at my strength, said that she was surprised I wasn’t more involved in the community because she sees my potential to thrive. I was complimented. I often wear my extrovert Type A on my sleeve. After my appointment I went for tea in the sun and spent a glorious 2 hours at the gym. My day was not a “failure”, and I was not a “mess” I just had a slow start. I need to find an outlet, and spend time doing something I love.
I need to figure out, or remember, what I love to do. Me, alone. Something that isn’t as easy as it sounds. Remember over a decade of leaving myself low, or off the priorities list. My boss asked again today if I needed time off, the therapist suggested no, unless it was to do something awesome, not taking time off to stay in bed. He said I physically look better this week…and again made sure I knew he was good with me having a life outside of work, encouraged it even. Work, can’t be on that list, I do enjoy working but I have to dig deeper. Find joy. Fill in the holes that are affecting my psyche. Plus, my job, isn’t super social right now, I’m stashed in the office, I don’t love it.
I went out for lunch today. One of my favourite sales reps has been calling and e-mailing for the last 2 weeks, dropping in a little more regularly, checking up on me. He asked if we could go for lunch, spend a little time outside the store. It was light conversation, he had some funny stories, I helped him with his new iphone, and then he pressed me a bit about what’s going on. I explained, a bit, giving him the coles notes. He laughed at me. Again, I’m fighting back tears, and he is chuckling to himself. I am so young, his life didn’t start until he was 35, he was a mess before that. I am not a failure, and certainly not alone, there is so much pressure on people in their 30’s. His evaluation was that I need to get out. Not to the bar, but out, doing things, that I love. Again, what do I love still needs to be established. He says I am not always the most approachable, and that when I feel more whole I will open up. His final advice? The one thing I should know from his years of experience, heartache, relationships, job changes and life; I am a shark. I was thinking majestic, misunderstood and an entire week is devoted to me on the discovery channel? No… I MUST keep moving forward or I will die. I am a shark.

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The stress spiral

This week has been one of victory and defeat. Today I feel especially tearful. I am done my progesterone for the next 14 days, and I am afraid I will be the crying mess I was before. Maybe It’s just because I was out late last night, and I’m lacking sleep. Maybe I haven’t eaten enough. Food prep and consumption is a chore. I have, at the advice of my therapist been forcing myself to do things. Surprisingly this works. I made it to work on time last week, barely… but I was there. I also worked full days, 8 hours. I did my dishes, and stripped my bed, did a little laundry. I had to as I was attacked in my sleep by some sort of insect again. I must be delicious.
I finished the book “Why men love bitches” and found it really spoke to me. I have to love myself. I have to be emotionally healthy, I have to stop mothering and taking care of others before myself. A part of me wishes I could have another try at some of my previous relationships, but I guess I need to take away from them what I learned, and leave it at that. If a re-do is in the cards it’ll happen. Plus, I’m not really ready yet. It helped me see my pattern, and shone a light on my insecurities. I am unsure of where I go from here, maybe the therapist will have some techniques. I see her tomorrow.
I started reading “Why zebras don’t get ulcers”-Robert M Sapolsky. I read the intro and the went straight to the chapter on depression. It is quite technical, so I am relearning some biology, but I had some ah-ha moments. It was focused on major depression, but the theories transfer. The idea that a chemical imbalance in the brain, in combination with family history and major stressors usually will result in depression, and every individual will cope or not cope differently. He outlined a “early morning wakening” where depression sufferers will wake early (or have difficulty falling asleep), it disturbs the normal pattern of sleep and dreaming. Well what do you know… I suck at sleeping in, even if I’ve been out late. I liked this (page 234) “it is easy to think of the person as energyless, enervated. A more accurate picture is of the depressive as a tightly coiled spool of wire, tense, straining, active-but all inside. A psychodynamic view of depression shows the person fighting an enormous, aggressive mental battle.” Absolutely true, as my hormone panel showed HIGH morning cortisol levels. I was awake with a stressful jolt. This is where once again I am reminded I need to love myself, tone down the negative chatter, depressives will often feel like they “don’t deserve” He explains that elevated glucocorticoids (Glucocorticoids are a class of steroid hormones that bind to the glucocorticoid receptor, which is present in almost every vertebrate animal cell. The name glucocorticoid (pertaining to glucose + cortex ) derives from its role in the regulation of the metabolism of glucose, its synthesis in the adrenal cortex, and its steroidal structure, cortisol (or hydrocortisone) is the most important human glucocorticoid. It is essential for life, and it regulates or supports a variety of important cardiovascular, metabolic, immunologic, and homeostatic functions-Wikipedia) add to not only the chemical make up of depression but of stress, and the entire hormone system will be unbalanced. “People who seemingly have depression of a purely psychiatric nature turn out to have thyroid disease.” My thyroid blood test was normal, but the naturopath has me on homeopathic drops and a biomed supplement.
“Statistically, stress and the onset of depression tend to go together. People who are undergoing a lot of significant life stressors are more likely than average to have undergone a recent and significant stressor” Well what do you know, job change, money, move, divorce (for all intensive purposes altho not technically). Then he delves into Freud, psychodynamics and learned helplessness. Freud felt that melancholy occurred when there was a loss of a love object (“object” is usually defined as a person, but could also be a goal or ideal). Really fascinating. I am going to read the book, from the beginning, I just couldn’t stop my impetuous self from chewing into the depression chapter. The link between stress and depression is mind blowing. And the way that psychological factors can modulate the stress response and physiologic response on top of it. Did stress cause my hormone imbalance, and my depression? I didn’t cognitively acknowledge that I was stressed. Did my poor self image exacerbate my stress? And the stress fed my poor self image? He also touches on the illusion of control, “If you believe you have control over stressors that are, in fact, beyond your control, you may consider it to somehow to be your fault that the inevitable occurred.” I was thinking it was me, I lost myself, I could have done things differently, been better, smarter, braver… maybe… maybe it was all far beyond my control.
It is a clever and intricate domino set up. Each tile tipping ever so slightly, clattering atop one after another in a wave. Falling together and falling apart simultaneously.
I had a full day yesterday, went out to where Karma and her husband were camping, had some laughs, worked on my freckle population, did a couple work errands, read a bit then showered and went to the bar with a girlfriend. I am avoiding alcohol as it is high in sugar, and a depressant. I wore no make up, and nothing fancy, tank, capris, sensible flat shoes. Ready to undertake some dancing and people watching. It was an interesting crowd. There was a soccer team (mid 40’s) up to play golf that surrounded us, lol, danger, as I have been both a golf and soccer widow… I had one especially forward fellow ask if “we were going to make out?” I said, not likely, and certainly not with each other. He continued to encroach on my personal space, and pecked at my cheek like a nervous bird, not the first time this has happened to me… I finally asked him to leave me alone, and he said “wow you are tough”. I’ll take it, then he said “you are probably married” I just smiled, and turned away. I wanted to reply, “so are you…” I was mildly jaded and found the entire experience a little bluing. But it was nice to go out, I find even being passively around people, at the gym, here at starbucks, comforting. As awful as I know it sounds to get male attention… damn me and my external reassurance…fully dressed and sober was nice as well. I texted Vanessa this morning and asked where all the “good” men were. I also texted my worry exchange partner that I was worrying about the man situation again. They both said, nearly the very same thing. Prince Charming would not be found in a bar, and that he would find me. Likely doing something I love. Makes sense as the one boy I found I really liked, hated the bar… And he was found by chance. My dad always said that you couldn’t discount meeting someone anywhere or any time. His point was that arranged marriages can work, so you could very well meet someone by chance at the bar. Maybe not likely, but possible. Not that any of this matters as I am obviously not in the emotional or mental space for a relationship. But then I start to worry, when I am ready will I find someone else that is? Really? It’s like waiting for the “right time” to have kids, it’ll never be perfect… All this is forefront in my mind after the night out, and it being Father’s Day family is also flashing on my radar. Everything in time. I’m getting ahead of myself and inciting un needed stress… which leads to depression… which isn’t good for my self esteem…or body chemistry…and now I’m dizzy going around in circles…

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What the heck is emotional health anyways?

I realized, physical health, easily deciphered, mental health, a little more abstract, but I understood what it was. Emotional health had me mystified. I spent a fair bit of time ignoring emotions. Not dealing with them, stuffing them down, willing myself to overcome them. So what seems to have happened was like a jack in the box, they have all come shooting out. From the reading I have done, emotional mental and physical health are interconnected, leaning up against one another like a teepee.

“Before taking your first step for improving emotional health, you must completely understand the meaning of the term “emotional health.” Emotional health is the ability to deal with the ups and downs of life. There should be a strong connection between your brain and your heart so that you are able to understand your feelings. You must be flexible about the changes of your life, and you must be able to accept them heartily. Improving emotional health is extremely important as our emotions motivate us to achieve our goals in life.”

http://health.mashangel.com/healthy-living/emotional-health/emotional-health-and-wellbeing/

“It is greatly imperative to let go of grudges and release hard feelings. Accumulating ill feelings will do nothing but cause emotional toxicity. Emotional poisoning awfully affects your physical health.”

Factors Affecting Emotional Wellness
There are various elements that can affect your emotional wellbeing. Some of these are:
Loss of a loved one (thru death, divorce, estrangement)
Natural disasters
Unfulfilled expectations
Setting unrealistic goals
Poor self-image or inferiority complex
Poor physical health
Loneliness

“Pulling yourself from the depths of despair can be slow, painful and difficult, but this is very essential for you to move on with life. Dealing proactively with the aforementioned factors can help foster wellness and influence your emotional wellbeing. Here are some suggestions that can help nurture your emotional wellbeing:

**Grieving from the loss of a loved one is a natural process. It is important to give yourself time to heal. You can turn to family and friends for support or find peace in your faith. You can also seek help from a grief counselor.
**Most of us suffer from various problems in life because of high expectations. Unrealistic expectations from family and friends, or with regard to career or business, invariably result in intense disappointment. Recognizing this truth and trying not to expect too much from life may help you cope with disappointments.
**Another important aspect in emotional wellbeing is setting realistic goals. Put your skills and abilities to the best use but recognize your limitations. It is helpful to be practical and play to your strengths. Try to reach to your ultimate goal one step at a time and celebrate small successes.
**To accept love from others, you need to first love yourself. A poor self-image could be a result of criticisms or negative judgment from elders during childhood. Overcoming this is especially tough, as this has been rooted in you since you were a child. It can be beneficial to tell yourself that no one is perfect. Focus on your good qualities and encourage yourself. It is very important to recognize bad situations that could trigger negative thoughts. Do not fight these, but accept them and deal with them.
**Positive thinking is the “vitamin” for emotional health. Keep yourself surrounded by those people who uplift you and make you feel good about yourself. Moreover, avoid blaming others for your problems and unhappiness. Remember, circumstances can influence your life, but a positive outlook can help you deal with them.

Mental and physical health are interconnected. A healthy diet, exercise, and good sleep can contribute to your emotional wellness. If you feel depressed and emotionally disturbed, then you should not feel embarrassed about talking to someone and asking for help. Consult a wellness coach or seek help from a therapist. Effective treatment can make you a productive individual of society.”

I combed thru a pile of websites researching “emotional health” and how to improve it. I did just score particularly low on a test… not like me… lol, I had to know why, so I can nail the re-test! Sadly I am only kind of kidding… The body of information to improve was, positive people around you, Thank you Cherise and Vanessa for being the shores of my river. The reason I get out of bed every morning. L&T for the date, Libs, Candace, Miss E, D, Karma, Goldy, Brooke, C, S, My bro and sister in law, my parents, and so many others! I’ve been awful needy… The web suggests yoga and or meditation, something I have been missing. Maybe because I need it most I have been so resistant to committing to it. It’s painful, not physically, but emotionally, hey big red flag that I should have been dealing with! The “intermission” I took from my ex, I did yoga 5 or 6 days a week. Again depressed, skinny, sad, but maybe the compulsive yoga helped me cope. I still didn’t feel better about myself. Something in the middle is probably where I need to fall to be healthy.
I think that the demise of my emotional health was holding onto old hurt. Not feeling good about myself and digging a hole to crawl into. Then covering up the hole with an insane amount of activity, work, 30 dates, etc. Now I have time to myself, I’m in this deep and damp hole, and it smells funny… Reasonably I should be able to cope, but I can’t.
I want to be clear, I do not blame anyone or anything for my current state. It wouldn’t do a lick of good helping me out of this rut, and would actually be damaging to my recovery. I am an adult, and I have made decisions about my interpersonal relationships, friends, work, relationships. I think I have put an extreme amount of pressure on myself for perfection, and letting yourself down is a root cause of emotional decay. This is not anyones fault, including my own. I am processing the sore spots and determining where I need to work first.
It starts with me. I have to find my inner bitch. And then let her loose. I need to cement the notion that the only thing I have ever done wrong in a relationship is stop putting myself first. That includes my relationship with myself. I am enough, and I will not quit until I am convinced this is a true statement. In fact I am more than enough…

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Moderately mild, mildly moderate, or somewhere in between

I am depressed. I have 6 of the 9 signs of depression. When I stop and think, I have been depressed for quite some time. Initially, post break up (the big one, which I think I will start calling TE1) I was so busy I didn’t have time to process, grief, depression, anxiety. I worked every day, moved, had weddings to attend, close, dear friends weddings on top of it. The people pleasing me wanted to be there for them, celebrate their joy, love, special day, give a kick ass, and funny speech. But I think I was more like Adam Sandler in “The Wedding singer” Singing love hurts and pushing back tears. I was sad and fat. Feeling shitty about myself… really just getting thru. Not fair to my near and dear friends, and not fair to myself. I am sorry… not sorry in a way that I could have changed what I was thinking or feeling without a lobotomy, but sorry I couldn’t be honest with myself.
I knew after my Dr Visit that fateful january a year and a half ago I was depressed, but still wasn’t ready to address the underlying issue. I am not sure why I am so against anti depressants for myself, I see no harm or shame in other people taking them. I want to do things the hard way maybe, always have. I want to push uphill, claw and get there myself. It’s an inherit flaw. My Therapist asked if there was a family history of depression. I laughed. Yes. My mother has withdrawn for periods over the years, and I come from a long line of recluse type women. Strong, determined shut in’s. My mother talks about my great grandmother, she was depressed. Who could honestly say that they don’t have depression in the family? The stats are staggering and those are REPORTED, there are far more cases that go un reported!

http://www.cmha.ca/media/fast-facts-about-mental-illness/#.UbfA82S9Kc0

If you are having thoughts of suicide, giving up, hopeless, not enjoying things you used to, anxiety, incessant crying, please seek help, there are crisis lines, support groups and MSP covered therapists.

http://www.heretohelp.bc.ca/factsheet/depression
https://www.interiorhealth.ca/YourCare/MentalHealthSubstanceUse/MentalHealth/Pages/default.aspx

I’m not 100% sure about the therapist I picked, but I am willing to try another session before I make up my mind. Her assessment was that I am moderately depressed. My naturopath said during my sacrocranium exam, mild depression. Either way, depression. Not crippling, but a struggle. I had some wins today, I got out of bed before 9 am. I almost made it to work on time! I showered, and wore real pants, jeans and a t-shirt instead of sweats. I stayed at work all day. I had to reward myself mid afternoon with a chai tea and some biscotti that has been in my office since christmas… but does biscotti ever really go “stale”? I only used 2 tissues, ALL DAY! I researched natural ways to raise serotonin while sitting in the sun at starbucks, then spent 60 minutes at the gym followed by grocery shopping. I purchased some power grain cereal, and omega rich fish. I ate dinner, chicken whole grain nachos. I even considered doing my dishes… I don’t want to get tooooooo carried away.

http://www.naturalnews.com/026332_serotonin_natural_fat.html

Read more: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/serotonin-boosters/#ixzz2VyAfyZKH

While researching I came across this… “Oxytocin is another feel good hormone often called the “cuddle hormone”. Oxytocin is released when we feel love, trust and comfort. It can be even more powerful than serotonin. If you need a lift, remember the power of simply spending time with your significant other or family members and friends.” So that explains why Goldy made me feel better!
I will embrace this opportunity to work on my foundation, find strength in myself. Now is my time. Celebrate the small things until they become big things.
One other aside, I stepped on a scale today and took measurements, 178.6
neck 13
bust 42 (back to Jan #)
waist 33 (back to Jan #)
hip 41 (down an inch since Jan)
left bicep 13 (up an inch since Jan)
thigh 21.5 (down 2.5 inches since Jan)
calf 15 (back to Jan #)

Physical health is still important, but my focus needs to shift to emotional and mental health as a primary concern!

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Strong?

My naturopath is a lovely woman. Kind, intuitive. She has a good energy, like my favourite yoga teacher. I am calmed by her. I feel like she see’s me in a different light. Although I am learning it may just be me that see’s myself in this light. I would think Goldylocks was so unbelievably hard on himself, and had no idea how great he was. Well, we match.

20130609-190511.jpg
I need to be gentle with myself I am not a robot, and I can’t be everything for everyone else. I had a great talk with my boss, I told him, I was trying… but not spending a tonne of time at the store. I was ready for a breakdown, a very personal, long time coming, full force, gail wind, melt down. His reply was that I was incredibly strong. That my store looked good, my staff was impressive and neither of those things happen by accident. That if I needed time off he would make it happen. That I was human and sometimes things take time to surface. That the will to feel better, and make changes even though they are scary, is more than most people are capable of. I have an amazing boss…
It was the third time is just a few hours someone had told me I was strong. I am amazed by this because I was nose deep in a tissue with emotion leaking out of me every single time. I don’t see the crying, the profession of emotion, and as I see it, failure as stoic or strong. I feel like a big pansy…
Back to the naturopath visit. I had wonderful texts telling me to share myself with the world, that my sparkle needs to get out of bed, in order to sparkle. True story. I made it down for my appointment, and lasted 3 whole minutes before I started to cry. That may be a new record… We chatted for a bit, I told her a few days into my progesterone I did feel a little better. I expressed my fear of being depressed, or bipolar, or plain old crazy. She just smiled at me taking it all in. She did a sacro cranium exam, a healing touch type exam. She said she would like to do a REBA test. A light board panel that is hooked up to your wrist, and then vial after vial is inserted into the machine and energy levels are read.
My personal energy levels were:
Vital (physical health) 80/100,
Emotional 50/100 (really? who knew… lol)
Mental 80/100 and
Causal (a persons “energy” intuitiveness, aura, sparkle whatever you want to call it) 70/40 So if Joe average gets 40, I have nearly twice as much “sparkle”
I have a blocked Chakra 5, really quite common. I am taking Chavita 5, emvita 17 and neurovita.

http://www.biomedicine.com/documents/PSE%20booklet%20for%20professionals.pdf

She has also ordered in a couple things for my Thyroid, I will start those next week. Just for curiosity sake she tested the length of time this blockage has been affecting me, purely an estimate, 32% of my life, give or take. 10 years or so… interesting… now I am tying to remember if there was something that happened to me, or changed in my life 8-12 years ago. Something that could be resurfacing now… hahahahahahaha…
She said that I am really strong, physically, and mentally, and this maybe part of my emotional demise. I rationalize everything instead of just feeling. I will talk myself out of emotions, they don’t make sense, but it’s obvious now they are leaking out. This chakra is responsible for speaking your mind, and expressing ones “self” I am still discovering what that is… It also explains medically, I am prone to strep, bronchial infections, sinus problems and laryngitis. My tonsils are constantly large and inflamed. It also rationally (I like rational) explains why blogging, and speaking my truth via these little keys makes me feel measurably better.

I texted Goldy the other day, told him that it was not his fault I fell apart. I don’t think he believed me, that’s not my problem… What I didn’t tell him, a breakup wasn’t helpful, but as long as he was covering my wounds I wasn’t going to deal with them. He made me feel adored and happy, but with him, not on my own. This thing, these feelings are so much deeper… As strange at this sounds, I am not glad, but determined that finding him by chance, and then losing him was part of my journey to self discovery, (I sound like a crystal rubbing dirty hippie). Maybe the only way I could have gotten back to dealing with me. My feelings of loss, of myself, of my idealized wife role, the way I pictured my life would be, and how focusing on others was effecting my every move. So worried that no one would ever love me,when I wasn’t doing any work to love myself. He said I didn’t give him a “feeling” Something that makes perfect sense because letting negative chatter fill my thoughts, looking for external reassurance, not dealing with me. Not standing up for myself, I was a doormat. Easy come, easy go? He was a delightful distraction, and I still think he is amazing, maybe one day our paths will cross again, but when I am ready. I have to worry about me. And stand up for MYSELF.
I started reading “Why men love Bitches- By Sherry Argov” (Thanks T!!) When I gained weight, and was having my body revolt due to a hormone imbalance, I became a doormat. I hated my body, and me inside it. I didn’t put myself first I went straight to the old people pleasing ways to get my needs met, something according to this book is unattractive. I didn’t stand up for myself when Goldy wasn’t ready for me to meet the kids, I didn’t complain that he didn’t make time for me, I didn’t think I deserved better, (this is where you can say “I told you so” Miss E) I felt like I wasn’t enough, but this is not a new feeling. I did SO many things wrong with my ex. I should look when this book was written, I could have benefitted from it years ago! When I think back, it has a number of hard truths. My ex tried hard, at the start when I didn’t particularly like him, when I was going to break up with him, When I moved out, then moved away. No mater how much I did, gave up, put him first when I was with him, I was bound for failure. I lost myself. I would lament about being a fool for going back, because nothing had changed, although the last 4 years were the best years. Of course they didn’t change, I hadn’t changed. A fleeting glimpse of standing up for myself, and the idea of losing me would spurn him a little, and then I would revert straight back to making him dinner and watching baseball with him. I HATE watching baseball… although sometimes I will put it on the monitor at the gym, because I read a book that stated watching baseball lowers blood pressure. I gave up friends, interests, working nights and weekends when I had the most fun and made the best money, so that I could sit at home with him, or more often by myself while he was out with friends. I lost myself, have resurfaced only a couple times here and there, in elusive glimpses over the past decade. Like Bigfoot, or Ogopogo. But I know I’m real, really real. A confident, self assured and attractive girl. A girl with extra sparkle, and an altruistic nature. Talking to my mom last night she said “welcome back!”
Therapy session booked for monday!

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