2012 to 2013

Five years ago on New Year’s Eve/New Year’s Day (sorry I can’t remember the exact time-it was the famous NYE toilet-breaking party —> don’t ask!), B and I officially got together. ❤ And I will always remember 2012 as the year we got married. We had a wonderful, wonderful wedding, and I am blessed to have a man that absolutely adores me.

In many ways, this has been a rough year for me, especially the second half of it. I’ve dealt with even more health issues and a descent into a major depression. But, I am extremely proud that this fall and winter I have taken back control of my mental and physical health. At the beginning of 2012, I had a loose goal in my mind that I wanted to accomplish that this year. It took me until the end of the year, but I got started on the journey. Although I am far from being really there yet, I am moving forward more and more, taking my life back. I am determined and absolutely motivated to achieve LIFE again in 2013.

While I am glad this year is coming to a close because I love New Year’s for the fresh beginning it brings, and I’m excited for 2013, here are the blessings from 2012: we got married, B got promoted (TWICE!), and I began the journey of taking back my life.

In 2013, I am looking forward to:

  • buying a house!
  • Taking a class starting in March to begin my journey to have my own career
  • moving more and more towards being healthy and ALIVE again
  • becoming social again – making friends and starting a new volunteer job at the animal shelter
  • loving myself and doing ME
  • our trip to Montana in July for my cousin’s wedding
  • continuing to grow my relationship with God

{I’m really scared to buy a house, it’s probably one of the biggest leaps for me of anything I’ve ever done. But it’s one of those things that I just have to leap into. It’s not just the money, it’s also that it’s overwhelming to me to move again, even just across town, when I’ve just gotten used to the bus stops over here and how to get around in my little area. I have moved every single year into a different place since I turned 18. But it will be so worth it if/when we find the right place. House buying right now is a different experience than I imagined having for buying my first home. I say this because we will most likely have to move again in a couple of years. I always envisioned buying a house that I would get to settle down in. I was even willing to wait until we got back to Colorado someday to have that. But I am having to remold my expectations. We put an offer in for a house yesterday. It’s the house I’ve liked most of everything we’ve seen. Besides the scary part of physically moving, I would LOVE to own this house. It’s still near a bus stop and there is a community pool. I COULD WALK TO A POOL! It’s the perfect size and layout. And it has a great little yard. Also, it’s in our price range and actually in a safe neighborhood! I love it. Some things are scary, but you have to think of the greater potential for happiness once you get over the fear—> my motto right now. I would totally not mind to stay in this townhouse either. It has been my lifelong dream to own a house, but I know it will happen someday. B is the one who really wants to buy one now.}

One thing I’m going to have to do in the new year, is find a way to live my own life while being in a relationship. I have to have faith that my husband will always love me and only me. I can’t let marriage hold me back. Being married, I have the potential for even greater happiness. If I would just let myself fulfill my own dreams, I could have love and my own life too. The fact is, I’m already married, and I just have to believe—> KNOW —> I can have both things. I deserve that. I can spend my life being afraid, or I can live my own life and KNOW that everything will be wonderful. I have to simplify things: life is about good experiences, loving people, and giving back. That’s what I want. I want to be a person of integrity.

See a theme here? FAITH.

drop every fear

Here’s to an amazing 2013, in which I find myself again, embrace myself and believe in my right to enjoy and own my own life, get healthy again, and surrender in ways that will lead me back to living. It’s going to be hard, but I’m never going to stop fighting or seeking God for strength. I’m going to, finally, find faith in the possibility.

I repeat: some things are scary, but you have to think of the greater potential for happiness that will be there once you get over the fear.

Enjoying the sun

I wish you all a wonderful New Year!

Oct 11

My husband had these beautiful roses delivered to me on Tuesday! 🙂

I am such an idiot. I thought I had therapy yesterday at 330. I was all ready to go and then at the last minute thought to check the appointment card she had given me. Lo and behold, it said Thursday 10/11! That really threw me off and I was disappointed. At least today I had a good swim this morning and now I’m already to go for my appointment.

I’m continually frustrated with how everything I eat makes me feel ill and dizzy. But I created a meal plan for myself that I am going to follow for the next few weeks and see if I feel better. I know I won’t feel totally better but I know from experience the style of eating that fits me best. I’m starting to document what makes me feel worse. Cutting out a lot of sugar during the day has helped!

My parents are coming into town this weekend. I was really missing them a lot but now for some reason I’m stressed about it. Ever since I moved away from Colorado, my mom is so over-exuberant when she sees me and it drives me nuts!

I tried to make a psychiatry appointment earlier this week and of course they didn’t have one open for any doctor until November 20th! I told them several times that it was more urgent than that and that I wanted to have someone on-call talk to me. I got a new psychiatrist because my old one left this list summer so I at least set that that up. Then her nurse called me back and put me on the cancellation so if anyone cancels they will call me and I can hopefully get a sooner appointment. She also spoke to the psychiatrist on call for me and I’m going to increase one of the medications I take by 25 mg per day and just leave it at that until I have my appointment. I have yet to start but I’m determined to start today. I really like this medication and have taken it for many years but I know whenever I go up on it it has a lot of side effects for a few days that are hard for me to handle. I’m determined to be more open to medication though. I’m hoping to continue the things I was talking about with my previous psychiatrist -which I put on hold once I found out she left (and then procrastinated on making an appointment because I hate Kaiser Permanente SO much) – increasing Lamictal and adding either BuSpar or an antidepressant for my anxiety. I have been resistant to taking SSRI’s again for many years but I think I just have to. So I am thankful I got to talk to the nurse and that is the plan for now. I also made a neurology appointment for November 28th.

I really did a lot of work on one of my application essays on Tuesday. I did the whole outline and now I just have to type it up. I want to get those applications in by the end of October. We found out that even with B’s promotion we will be staying in Southern California for another couple years. It’s good to know that plan. It helps me plan for myself. Eventually we want to settle down in Colorado, but for now I really love Southern California, and I get to see my family a lot more than I would if we lived elsewhere because they go to San Diego so much (my grandparents own a property there and since my grandpa is deceased and my grandmother is in poor health, my dad is the executor of his father’s will and goes to check on this house a lot). It’s only about a 2 hour drive from us. We also get to enjoy seeing B’s best friend (and the best man at our wedding) more than we would living elsewhere because his family lives in Pasadena, so whenever he goes to visit them (he lives in Washington DC) we go over there. Plus it’s only a two hour flight to both Denver and Seattle where B and I are from and where our families live.

I know that my path to both self-esteem and self-actualization lies in pursuing graduate school and a fulfilling career. If I would just apply I would feel so much better!!! I still procrastinate on it a bit but I’m feeling more and more confident about it. I still have worries that my health will interfere (again) but I’m pretty determined because I feel like it’s my last chance. Hopefully those fears are something I could work through in therapy. Some things I am looking for are: an intellectually stimulating AND fulfilling career that has potential part-time job opportunities.

Are you fulfilled in your life? What do you need to do to get there?

Just Feeling It

The older I get, the more certain things are becoming important to me: the particular things I’m working on right now are taking care of my skin and getting better nutrition.

One of my main goals right now, especially in lieu of all my health problems, is to start taking a daily multivitamin. My biggest obstacle to this is the constipation the vitamins cause. This is mostly due to the calcium carbonate in them. If you are looking to take a calcium supplement by itself, look for a calcium citrate supplement, not calcium carbonate, as calcium carbonate causes constipation in many people. Calcium cirate is a little more expensive, but really only three or four dollars a bottle and it’s worth it. However, I have yet to find a multivitamin that uses calcium citrate so that frustrates me. But I’m going to research.and in the meantime continue taking them anyways. Last time I bought a new bottle of multivitamins, I accidentally bought the senior kind, which doesn’t contain any iron since older man and post menopausal women don’t require as much iron and from my research could be in danger from taking it in a supplement. However, women my age need at least 18 mg of iron a day, and I’m not sure I get that. I have this constant foggy brained feeling and fatigue. I’ve been tested for anemia many times and it’s always negative, impacts all of my electrolytes and vitamin/mineral levels are always fine, but I think some people need more than the threshold they sat in the could still affect you. I don’t know, just my theory. Anyways, I want to cover all my bases. So this Friday I’m going to buy a normal multivitamin that contains iron and commit to taking it every day. I also want to take an omega-3 supplement everyday.

As far as skin care, I started wearing face makeup for the first time recently, just before my wedding. Before that I was really only into eye makeup, which I really love still. I have been using Almay’s new line of makeup products and I LOVE them! The think this is the first time that advertising has directly affected me. They also have great makeup tutorials on their website. I want to do a review soon of all of their products that I bought. I need to invest in some anti-wrinkle creams/anti-aging products though. Any recommendations would be appreciated.

I haven’t heard back from anyone on babysitting jobs but I’m hoping I get one soon. The big thing I’ve been working on is about our health insurance. Since we got married we are able to make changes to our benefit, and I have been considering this. But yesterday I came to the conclusion that although I HATE HATE HATE Kaiser Permanente, they are still the best option for us right now, as the HRA and HSA plans that B’s work offered are so much more expensive. I feel like I would get better care but wouldn’t be a will to go very often since they won’t pay anything until your deductible is reached, as opposed to the co-pay system Kaiser has. I just have to really commit to keep fighting for myself against the big beurocratic machine that is Kaiser.

I decided a possible option, since Kaiser’s physical health department is okay but their mental health department is terrible, is for me to seek out a therapist outside of Kaiser. This would be expensive, but even if I could go just once a month it would be better than nothing. I’m going to make some calls about that later today. I really need some help. I just feel more comfortable with that option, with getting to choose my own therapist. I still need to make appointments for the ophthalmologist, neurologists, etc. But I have my arm surgery consult on July 26.

I don’t feel well today. I’m just trying to rest.

Read this if you need a review on some mental health coping skills.

Contact with my sister

Had a really bad day today. I have just been SO anxious this week about wedding planning especially and traveling for Christmas (during which I am going to have to A) see my sister for the first time in almost a year of not speaking to each other, and B) do a lot of this wedding planning). Multiple panic attacks and my mind just spinning. B had to re-format my whole computer and my dictation program needs to be re-loaded onto it. So I will have to be brief because typing hurts.

I am also so overwhelmed with my dog. I know that’s a stupid thing, perhaps, to be overwhelmed about but I just feel like I get no time to myself to use my coping skills (deep breathing, etc) because of his constant puppy-ness (he’s 9 months old and full of energy).

I am worrying so much about wedding planning because it’s so hard to plan from out of state. Vendors also just really screw you over with hidden fees with weddings! My venue doesn’t coordinate anything (like they don’t have their own caterer, etc) so I have to do all of this adding everything together myself. More stressful than that is I don’t really get how everything will work logistically on that day. And we have all of these out-of-town guests coming that adds to that. I am feeling like having our venue so far outside of Denver, in the mountains, will be hard for that reason. Stressful! I am trying to just PICK things and GO WITH IT though!

An interesting twist, my sister just e-mailed me. We have not spoken since February, her choice. She has cut off all contact with me since then. I doubt she will be coming to my wedding. We have been pretty close our whole lives (she is only 20 months younger than me) but have also had our differences on the subject of my mental health, though never before to this extent. I am finally allowing myself to be angry at her too though and let that be okay. Very hard for me to do. I constantly hear her voice in my head yelling at me. Anyway, in her e-mail she said that she wants to be civil over Christmas so that our whole family can spend the holiday together but that she still no longer wants to have a relationship with me beyond that. Not unexpected, but still hard to hear. I just wrote her back and said that I understand her need to protect herself but also feel the same way about keeping a distance between us for now. I think it’s what is best for both of us right now, for each of our own mental health. I hope that was the right thing to say.

I fly to Denver this weekend. I am very excited to see the rest of my family and to have my mom’s comfort and help with the wedding planning stuff! I feel a lot of pressure around family but I do love my family very much. My parents are so amazing. I think my greatest fear right now is that the rest of them will abandon me like my sister, especially that my other sister will. I think that is what makes me feel so afraid. Like I said above, I am okay with not speaking to the middle sister because to be honest, she makes me uncomfortable and feel generally bad about myself and having a relationship with her right now isn’t good for me either, like she says it isn’t good for her. B says I have to give everyone else credit that they are different than her and not let my fear about her affect my relationship with anyone else.

Anything you are stressed about over the holidays? How can I help? 🙂


“Maybe” (aka the EPIC post)

Maybe…I can change my life.

Maybe…I can find the answer, maybe it’s somewhere deep inside.

Maybe…I can feel the way I used to feel – powerful, confident, glamourous, special.

Maybe…I can start now.

I read somewhere recently that human beings only have a certain capacity for willpower. I feel like I have a lot of willpower, often a lot of determination, but something is in my way. I think its the distorted thoughts and absolutes that I have about the world. This is what makes me give up. It’s the lack of self-love that has plagued me my whole life. Why can’t I stand up and say, I KNOW what I want, and I deserve it, and this is what I am going to do to get it. You know those people…the ones that FEEL that in their bones, they don’t even have to think about it? I put my boyfriend and my sister both in this category. They have had their struggles, everyone struggles. Despite what many people who talk to me think, I don’t think “Woe is me” all the time and have no perspective on anything else. But I see this as what is lacking in my life: my complete inability to feel love for myself. A grain of love was planted in my heart when I went to the hospital last summer. It grew a bit and then just withered. It is still planted there, which is more than what was there before, but what happened?! These last few months, I have forgotten who I AM, as I do in the worst of times. It makes me feel disgusted and ashamed. These secondary emotions just fuel my self-hatred even more. I am never GOOD enough, doing enough, worthy enough, to exist as a human being.

I gained so much confidence in my DBT class, the seed of love started to grow. Then I lost it, honestly a few weeks after that class ended, I lost it. I NEED to get back into a DBT group. Yes, sometimes it will be annoying to re-learn things, but I can do what I did at the treatment center and just reflect on ways to use that skill as they drone on or, my favorite, teach others how to use it, show them new ways to understand. I found that was so helpful to them and to myself. I am a DBT-pro as I say. It REALLY works if you USE it, you have PRACTICE often. So I want to get into a group again, work on dealing with all of this in the aftermath of my boyfriend being gone.

What would it take for me to take back control of my own life? This means something very specific to me. Maybe I smoke a cigarette here and there, maybe I forget to eat lunch, maybe I eat a piece of birthday cake, maybe I have a beer, maybe I swim hard every single day, maybe I relax in the evening and just watch mindless TV. BUT NO MATTER WHAT I DO, I DO ALLLL OF THESE THINGS WITHOUT THINKING ABOUT THEM SO MUCH, without analyzing if they are right or wrong or what I am going to feel like afterward or if its bad or good for hours and hours.

I would give anything to be able to be like that again. I was trying to explain this to my therapist yesterday but I couldn’t grasp it. Now its here in my mind. Take senior year of college, I would say the last time I felt REALLY good, confident, on top of the world, like I OWNED the world. I still didn’t want to eat much dinner before going out, I still worked out, sometimes I just watched TV all day if I had a hangover (I still got drunk 😉 ), I went to the bagel shop and got breakfast (I ate breakfast!), I studied, I partied, I ran, I hung out with friends, I skipped some organic chemistry labs, I went to lectures, I read, I slept with guys, I walked my dog every day around the park and enjoyed it. I slept when I was tired and ate when I was hungry and if I didn’t feel like eating dinner, I didn’t eat it. I DIDNT THINK so much.

It was glorious. There would be times after this where I felt like that again. Summer after college was a little TOO manic so maybe that isn’t the greatest example. Then that fall came and went not doing that great (Fall 2008). But then that winter and spring I felt like that again. I had IT. When my boyfriend left Colorado, I lost it, slowly at first as we traveled around and got to see each other a lot all summer, then in the fall 2009, it was gone. I was bingeing, lost, quit my job, scared, feeling like now. I moved to Tennessee with him in October. I felt alive on the way there, but quickly having no job and being so overwhelmed by everything, I turned into this major pattern of restriction in my diet and my head was clouded everyday by hunger and my heart clogged with bitterness. So I came back home last summer. I drove all the way here by myself in my ’92 Honda wagon. When I had come far enough on I-70 to see the Rocky Mountains, I cried. I felt this peace soar into my heart and I said out loud “I’m HOME!” I am still thankful every day for Colorado like I never was before I moved from here. But living with my parents and still feeling no self-confidence or direction took its toll on me. Sometimes, I believe I could have been okay if my nerve problems wouldn’t have hit me then. Suddenly, everything that made me feel better was taken from me – running, walking, driving, the possibility of work, going out with friends. But then again, this nerve disorder pushed me to go into the psych. hospital, which led me to DBT and to seeking help in general. I was a train wreck waiting to happen anyways, if it wasn’t this way, it would have been another. Everyone has to hit rock bottom at some point. Either your mind will break or your body will (in my case – both).

The thing is, I still feel at rock bottom. Writing all this, I can see how much how I think about the world has changed and how many more coping skills I have now. But why am I still at rock bottom then? Why is it just a DIFFERENT rock bottom?

  • His deployment…This is the hardest thing I have ever been through. It has nearly destroyed me in so many ways. Yet, somehow, I see it as a necessary part of the way things need to be for us. Maybe because it was looming for so long. I don’t know. I just want everything for us and for me to come out good on the other side. I want, also, for him to come back and find me almost fixed. Like a puzzle that was once broken and is now mostly put together but for a few pieces (one of which is him).
  • I don’t have a sense of living for myself STILL. I hardly know what that means enough to put it into words. If I could imagine living just for myself, not worrying all the time about what’s right or wrong, doing just what I want to do.. I would go swimming every morning (but what if that’s overdoing it?! What if my arms get hurt too?!)…I wouldn’t think about eating because I would KNOW that whenever I get hungry, there is something healthy to eat that makes me feel good, and whenever I’m not hungry, I never have to force myself to eat for other people, EVER…I would sleep when I am tired and never worry about it…if I wasn’t tired, I wouldn’t obsess over it, I would just try to find balance…I wouldn’t constantly ANALYZE ever single step I take and action I make (LITERALLY). I would still be ME, anxious sometimes, yes a worrier, but not OBSESSED/POSSESSED by this worrying.

So what do I need to do now?

  • I think practice eating, eating ANYTHING. Ihave lost all sense of that even. If that has to be safe foods at first, then who gives a fuck? It’s better than now. Having a smoothie for lunch would be an accomplishment. Eating dinner with my family is an accomplishment. Feeling good is OKAY. It is my body telling me it’s right. I know what it takes to feel good? Why don’t I trust myself? Why do I think that eating healthy has to mean eating so MUCH, the SAME as everyone else, at the SAME TIMES? This is why I want to see a dietician that isn’t an e.d. dietician. I am going to try to set that up tomorrow. Then we can make up a plan for a healthy me, not push me in some guilty direction all the time.
  • No all-or-nothing thinking! Just be guided by what feels good in each moment. THATS IT! THE KEY!
  • Just think about myself, do whatever I need to do to be safe, enact my DBT refreshing plans, and let confidence build each day. Make my own life. I know my dream. Masters in non-profit management, pharmacy school. I can do that. I will do that. Loans are OKAY, they are the only way you get anywhere. Pay the bills I do have on time. I can manage.
  • I really can live here til the fall. I need to, it’s okay. In November or so, I will enact my dream of living on my own, I will make that my goal.


***This post will be edited for clarity and content.***

I had this epiphany a few months ago that changed my attitude for awhile. My boyfriend was so proud of me. I forget it now, but it was something like…..