Showing posts from September, 2019

Eating Addiction Support... Finally

In the midst of everything else going on right now, I don't think I mentioned something that could be more life-changing than anything else I've written about. First, I want to tie it to the theme of this blog. I have mentioned before that I am extremely overweight.  I won't put a number on it since I honestly haven't weighed in a very long time - and with my mental health issues, hearing a number puts me into an even deeper depression than usual.  It's not worth it to know a number. However, you can imagine it as more overweight than anyone you know but not as overweight as the shows where people are practically immobile (closer to the first than the last). As a stigma, eating too much is both the most accepted addiction because so many events center around food and the least, as it's one of the few addictions/mental health conditions that society and public figures can make fun of without any backlash. There isn't an overt stigma in most of society

Another Pity Party

It's time for another pity party, even though I don't have cookie dough for this one.  If you read my last post, you'll have at least some idea why.  But it basically comes down to: I'm living in a house with... - my mother who deals with mental illness and lots of physical conditions; - my father who deals with mental illness (though mild) and lots of physical conditions; - my daughter who deals with mental illness, addiction, and lots of physical conditions; and - myself, who deals with mental illness, addiction, and lots of physical conditions. I'm trying to be a partial caregiver (thankfully none need full-time care at this point) to all 3, as well as take care of myself. Last night I went to an Overeaters Anonymous support group for the 2nd time.  My other addiction was, frankly, relatively easy to overcome, because it came up later in life.  It wasn't easy, by any means, but compared to overcoming compulsive eating, I'm sure that becoming sobe

Why Even Try?

I really am trying to stay as positive as possible with these posts.  They are supposed to be encouraging... helpful.  But today I just have nothing left. My daughter has chronic pain from some medical conditions as well as clinical depression and anxiety disorder.  On top of all that, she hurt her back about a month ago and has been in lots of pain off and on for that issue.  This all is with the start of a new semester at school. I can't remember off-hand but I'm pretty sure I have blogged that I haven't been able to do rideshare much lately due to the heat. Also, I haven't gotten much photography work.  Finances are always an issue but it's at the "I'm terrified" point now. After a long time without a credit card, I'll admit I got one recently. I was only going to use it for purchases that I could easily pay for within the month; purchases that I had to make (like doctor copays, etc). Well, these little expenses are adding up and the wor

Realization About Progress Not Perfection

This is not the first time I've realized this and I'm sure it won't be the last.  Maybe that's part of having a mental illness - I don't know.  But when I think about it, I vaguely remember being in this place before. The fact that I don't know for sure is another issue that I probably should be concerned about... if I had the energy. For over a year now I've been going to my current therapist, anything from weekly to twice a month.  We have made some real breakthroughs and I've learned a lot from her.  She's an incredible counselor, understanding yet tough. My realization today came from a form that she has each client fill out before the appointment, kind of a "check-in".  (For those of you who have never gone to a support group meeting that has those, it's basically a gauge of how you are currently doing.  For my therapist, it concentrates on the areas of issues and emotions, a 1-10 scale of your depression and anxiety levels, an

Sh*t Happens …

The following is something a friend of mine shared with me.  I love it because it's a perspective changer. Posted with his permission. Your sh*t is of your own making. So why wallow in your sh*t?   It is all over us; we stand nose deep; and the devil comes by and says “break time is over so get back down.”   We are entangled not only with our sh*t but also that of others.  So we wallow - filled with grief, despair, depression, suicide, and hopelessness.  We are  completely at a loss with the prospect of life.   And there is no way out.   I could not even commit suicide when I tried… I was talking with a friend the other day.   I found out that his grandfather and mine were students of sh*t.   His granddad had studied the effects of fertilizer from different zoo animals.   Most would dissolve right away giving a spurt of growth in foliage, but does not last to the maturation of bearing fruit.   But elephant sh*t is firmer and breaks down slowly - giving slow, p


I wish I couldn't say it.  I wish it wasn't true of me.  But I am so guilty of judging people on appearances.  At a very young age, I noticed things like, "If pictures of Jesus had long hair, then why is it a sin for a boy to have long hair?" or "Why does a female have  to wear a dress to church?  What if she doesn't own anything decent enough to be considered 'Sunday clothes' (as a friend of mine didn't)?"  So from early on, I questioned basing people on just appearances... at least sometimes. However, though questioning the status quo was something I have done my entire life, it took a while to realize that I was still judging people.  I remember looking down on fellow church members because they weren't there every Sunday.  I remember feeling superior to a friend who had parents who were divorced and they lived in an apartment.  I remember finding out that a school-mate was Catholic and thinking that was just plain crazy (didn't

Sometimes Doctors Don't Know...

Sometimes doctors don't have all the answers.  I have dealt with enough doctors concerning my daughter and myself to know this.  So why am I so floored that when my mom goes to the doctor yesterday for one more follow-up about the issues I've described in earlier blogs... only to find out that he basically said there's nothing he can do? Maybe the difference comes down to the fact that when I come to the point of knowing a certain doctor doesn't have an answer, it's because I or my daughter do what he/she says and nothing gets better.  This time the doctor actually said there was nothing else he could do.  This brings a whole new dimension to my mom's struggles. The medical issue she is specifically dealing with this time is that she has times of random low blood sugar and low blood pressure.  We know why she has low blood pressure (which shoots up high in the evening).   She has a type of dysautonomia called Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, o

The Interview

In a recent mental health conference I attended, one presenter described it like this:   Imagine that you just landed an interview for your dream job, one that you spent your entire career working towards.   You are confident of your skills; work doesn’t feel like work; the pay is just what you’ve always hoped for… but you wake up feeling horrible.   The symptoms are so severe that you are going to have to reschedule.   You have two options: (1) You can call the interviewer and tell him/her that you are sick or (2) You can tell the interviewer that you are having panic attacks.   Which option would you take? When this scenario was described in the workshop, I almost jumped up and yelled, "Yes!"  I could so easily relate to this scenario.  I can't imagine telling that interviewer that I was having panic attacks, or anxiety, or that my depression was so bad I just couldn't get out of bed.  After all, that would be saying good-bye to THAT opportunity!  But I would ea

Finally... A Support Group Near Me.

I am hyped.  I have been trying to get to a mental health support group now for a couple of months.  I finally found some and put them on my calendar.  I went to my first one in the downtown area and realized that I read it wrong and I missed it. Since then something has come up for every meeting time.  It doesn't help that the closest one is about 25-30 minutes away and you have to pay for parking (sometimes I just don't have enough to do that).  The times and locations just aren't good for me, but I kept trying. Then today I realized I had erased one of the groups off my calendar by accident and I looked online to find the information again.  It wasn't easy to find.  After trying different searches for at least 15 minutes, I then remembered that I had it bookmarked. When I got on the site, I had to look several times before believing what I was seeing.  A support group on a night I could attend... only a few miles from my house?  What?! But because I'm a p

Perplexing Depression Symptom

I've had a clinical depression diagnosis since I was a teenager (over 30 years now).  One thing that still gets to me is how I can desperately want to do something but can't seem to make myself do it. One prime example has been going on the past couple of weeks, I have really wanted to go to the pool.  I have a membership for the Y pretty much for that purpose.  It's been really hot, even inside, the past month and it would wonderful to go cool off and relax at the end of a work day.  But I... just... can't... make... myself... go.  Seems simple to just put on a swimsuit or pack one in a bag, get in the car, and drive the 10 minutes to the Y.   I don't understand why it's not. Every time I am almost paralyzed.  I will plan to go, then when it's time, I'll actually start to get ready.  Then I find something that makes me hesitate: It's pretty cloudy outside - will I get there just as it starts to rain?  Are my earbuds charged up?  Will it be cro

On the Merry-Go-Round Again

It’s not my first time.  It probably won’t be my last time.  But I’ve decided to jump back into the water and try to again figure out what could help me feel better.  I have a laundry list of conditions – and all are probably related… Dysautonomia, Bipolar Disorder Type 2, an eating disorder, addiction, high blood pressure, clinical depression/anxiety, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), RLS (restless leg syndrome), sleep apnea, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), Mitral Valve Prolapse, hypoglycemia, social anxiety/phobia, horrible insomnia and sleep issues, PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), major sinus and ear issues, as well as a horrible immune system and allergies where I get sick at the drop of a hat.  None are immediately life-threatening… but all have the potential to be debilitating.  I have spent years of my life going to doctors to try and get to the bottom of all this.  Whenever I move and/or insurance changes, I must start over. To date, I have tried to trea

I Didn't Mean to Tell

Well, I told my family I have bipolar disorder, major depression, anxiety disorder and am an addict today.  I didn't mean to.  It's not the kind of bomb you usually drop at a Labor Day cookout meal.  Leave it to me to do something like that. I honestly don't know how I feel about it.  As a family we were talking about some stuff that I can't really share, but then my family started throwing out some statements about mental health that I couldn't let go.  I'll just leave it at - they were talking about things that were common misconceptions and myths; things that are just not true. I sat there and debated with myself.  I hate being the center of attention, especially with my family.  I like to just hide in the woodwork until the event is over.  But after a few minutes of hearing this junk and keeping quiet, I finally couldn't hold it in anymore. When one family member talked about how drugs made a friend of his a paranoid schizophrenic, that was the tip