Motivation with Depression

Yesterday I had absolutely no motivation to do anything at all. I didn’t even want to drink water to reach my goal and I was late for breakfast with my family because I was playing around with my dogs and just couldn’t get motivated to leave. I did make it to breakfast and had a great time so I’m glad I went. We went back to the french bistro Susie’s downtown and it was just as lovely as it was the first time. The food is excellent. It’s pricey to be sure, but well worth it on occasion.

I ended up coming home and sleeping most of the day. I think I did two loads of laundry all day and I didn’t fold them until almost 10 p.m. I didn’t even cook dinner. Mental illness is a strange thing. I know it contributes to about 90% of my motivation and attitude. I know it, yet I feel like I can’t do anything about it. When I’m low like this, I feel like I have 200 lb weights on my shoulders. Just thinking about getting up makes my head pound. My self doubt speaks to me at a volume I’ve never even listened to music to. Ha, good analogy right? I know my mental illness affects everything I do and how I live every day. I know how important it is to take my medications religiously and on time, some days though, I have -5 fucks to give about any of it.

The surprising thing for me about waking up and feeling so low is that I had a great week. The renovation has started. Now granted, the house looks like shit, but my sister-in-law was a huge blessing yesterday. She just kept telling me it’s growing pains and by the end it will look stunning. I really appreciated that and I hope she knows she was a bright spot in my dark day.

The renovation started and I was like “huh, this isn’t so bad”, day 3 and I was over it. I literally sit with the dogs all day and try to keep them calm with a bunch of noises going on that they don’t understand and have never heard. It really is tough, it’s a chore. When I saw the space my new washer and dryer will be in though I cried. I’m so darned happy about this and I’m super excited to see the end product.

The weatherman is shitting on my parade though and has called for rain for Monday through Thursday this coming up week. Great. I guess the crew has some stuff they can do inside so they aren’t worried about it slowing them down much and I hope that’s the case but it wouldn’t be their fault if it ends up going to the rain.

The front of the house ½ stone wall has been torn off, the cement porch has been torn off, the living room floor joist has been repaired, the laundry room floor has been jacked up, leveled, and stabilized (this I have enjoyed more than I thought I would. I walk across it now and am like “oh my gosh the whole room doesn’t shake”, and the laundry room has been expanded by about 5 feet. It’s all so ugly right now, but she’s right, it will be beautiful. I can’t wait to show you all. Steve and I are taking, before-progressing-and after pictures, check out my album on my facebook page. Crystal Porter-Smyers.

The husband and I had to go price out some renovation materials at Lowe’s so he stopped at Cane’s when we finished and brought dinner home to me. I’ve never been a fan of Cane’s until last night. I used to openly talk about how much I didn’t care for their food but last night I tried their hot sauce with the chicken and it made a world of difference for me. Their hot sauce is amazing! I’m in love.

Today is a completely different day. Today I woke up early and hit the ground running. Well, maybe a mall walk would be more apt of a description, but the point is I got up and started cleaning the house. I had to google how to clean bacon grease off of plastic bowls/dishes and it said to fill my sink ½ full with hot water, add dishes, and then add 2 cups of white vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes, add some Dawn dish detergent to my wash cloth (not a sponge) and scrub the bowls/dishes good, rinse with hot water, and dry immediately. Oh my gosh, it worked. Everything is squeaky clean and I couldn’t be happier about it. I make Steve bacon and eggs for his work breakfast every morning and he heats it at work and eats there since he goes in so early. The trade off is I get back the bacon greased bowls he uses and then I have to figure out how to properly clean them. Today I had had it, I learned how to clean them properly. I’m very proud.

I made myself lunch and I’ve been keeping track of my water and caloric intake. I feel good, I feel strong. Today is also my quit date for smoking. I know, I know didn’t I quit several months ago? Yes, and I restarted about a month ago. But today, today I’ve quit again and hopes be damned, I want it to be for the last time. My husband though is an accidental sadist. I get up, I feel great, I feel strong and then I see a pack of cigarettes laying on the kitchen island. What? The? Actual? Fuck? He forgot his pack when leaving for work. He felt awful about it. That’s okay though because remember, I feel good, I feel strong. I put them in a drawer and have not touched them. Have I thought about touching them? Sure have. But I haven’t and I am proud I can practice at least a little bit of willpower.

Today I am smoke free. Today I am completing goals with my food and water intake. Today I am cleaning my house up a bit. Today I threw away a bunch of junk. Today I found my black kitty cat slippers. Today I spent over an hour chatting on Facebook messenger with my little brother whom I adore. Who knows what my mental illness will bring tomorrow but today I’m grateful it brought me sunshine and motivation.

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Feeling Better

Since starting the ketogenic lifestyle changes I feel better. Not just in mind and spirit, but in body. I feel more limber? Is that weird? My back pain has not gone away and neither has my fibromyalgia and migraines but I feel the pain from them less than I did say a month ago. In mind and spirit I just feel more like myself. I don’t know if that makes sense to you but it does to me. I consider myself to be sassy and sweet with a wicked intelligence and sarcasm. I feel more like myself than I have in a really long time. I don’t feel the weight of depression and anxiety drowning me every second of every day.

I see a new Neurologist tomorrow, I hope I like him. I love the one I see already but he doesn’t work at Ohio State and I really just want to transfer all of my care to one provider and I like Ohio State so far and all they’ve done for me. My spine/pain clinic doctor recommended this neurologist and I’m excited about the possible switch, tomorrow is more like an interview to see if I like him and if he continue to give me the same level of care my current neurologist does.

I also have appointments with the Throat Disorders Clinic, the Sleep Clinic, and Gastroenterology at OSU in the coming months. I’m happy they are so pressed to get my issues taken care of and get me on the right track to being the healthiest I can be.

I want to give a real update on Ernie our new doggy Boxweiler. I know I post pics of he and the boys but I wanted to actually document how things are going. Things are going great. I can’t believe how easily he has assimilated into our lifestyles. He and our two boys who are bonded really do fit like 3 peas in a pod. We have had no major issues on any front since bringing him home. I am so happy he has fit like a missing puzzle piece in our lives. He is incredibly sweet and polite it’s hilarious. I’m used to my boys being rude and pushy and he’s learning bad habits from them but it’s cute.

I think Steve and I are going swimming today so I’m super excited about that. Basically all I need to do now to get ready for the renovations beginning on Monday is clean off the front porch. I have two huge concrete planters out there that I think I’m going to have to throw away which is almost heartbreaking for me because Zach and Britani painted them for me when they were little kids. I have cherished them as I would any other thing they had given me. Shoot, I still have all of Zach’s high school pottery projects in my new curio/hutch in the spare bedroom. I still have a burlap sack banner project Britani made for me at summer camp when she was 11. I guess I may have hoarded a few things but they are special. So back to the planters, one is actually broken, Steve backed into it with his truck several years ago. It’s still standing though even with a huge crack down the side. I should probably just throw them away and say fuck it, I have so much from the kids already, these two planters shouldn’t cause me so much mental strain.

My biggest issue right now is where am I going to put my mailbox for the next two weeks? I actually can’t wait to throw it away. It’s this janky old mailbox that came with the house 20 years ago. I cant wait to get rid of it, two more weeks! In the meantime the mailman said to nail it to a post and plant the post in the front yard so he can get to it. WTF, how am I supposed to get a post in the yard and where?! I mean I don’t know yet how much space is going to be used up for the renovations. I may just put it at the corner of the drive way but I’ll have to be careful so my packages and mail doesn’t get wet if it rains. The mailbox is under our covered side of the porch right now and it won’t be come Monday. I hate wet mail. I really do. It should be right up there with wearing wet shoes, or eating bland pasta. Wet mail, blah.

Okay, I’ve gone on and on enough. Oh one last thing, if you are watching Sharp Objects on HBO with Amy Adams, may I suggest you read the book first, or also. The book is great and it’s by the same author as Gone Girl. Pretty great stuff.

Have a lovely week people. I certainly will.

Goals

I’m turning 41 today and last week I got some potentially seriously bad news. My A1C tested high. Now it wasn’t over the top high, just a fractionally small amount high but it was enough to scare the pants off of me.

I’ve learned so much about diabetes and Type 1 versus Type 2 in the last week. My doctor put me on Metformin because I need desperately to lose weight. Not a little weight either. I need to lose like a whole person and not a thin person. My doc also asked me to start using my exercise bike for 30 minutes a day and to change the way I eat. I’m looking forward to the exercise bike. Learning how to eat differently will be one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done.

You see, I come from a “clean your plate” generation. You know the one, most of you are from the same generation. Our parents made our plates and always put too much food on them. Our parents also decreed that we would eat every bite or “sit there”. This stressed to us at a young age that we have to eat and we have to eat a lot. It carried over with us as adults and now it’s no wonder our nation has like a 70% diabetes rate and a 90% pre-diabetes rate. My sugar has never been considered high no matter my weight until now. I’m not considered pre-diabetes but if I don’t fix this, if I don’t change, I will be.

My doctor asked me to try the Keto Diet. My husband and I did some research and both agreed to do it together. He has always been an amazing source of support for me and I hope I have been for him. We will do this. We have to. We start today and I’m excited.

My goals for the next 90 days.

  1. Do not stray from the diet.
  2. Do not buy any new clothing.
  3. Take my medications as directed.
  4. Don’t make excuses.
  5. Only weight myself once a week.
  6. Diligently wear my fitness tracker.
  7. Exercise twice a day three times a week and once a day four times a week.
  8. Share my journey and be held accountable.

Is No News Good News?

Are you the kind of person who needs to know, right now? I always thought I was that kind of person, well I did until recently. I haven’t been posting anything super serious online for the last few weeks because I’ve been pretty sick. This isn’t the standard stuff I’ve been dealing with for the last 20 years and if I’m being honest, I’m terrified.

I’ve had bouts of laryngitis four times in the last 4 months. It started a few days after my gall bladder surgery so the first time I attributed it to having a breathing tube down my throat during the surgery and I thought it would go away and that would be that. Just some irritation. It lasted 3 weeks that first time. Finally around Thanksgiving I got worried enough to go to the ER, they told me I had strep throat, gave me some medicine, and sent me home. I took that round of medication and now into the 4th week of having little to no voice, difficulty breathing and swallowing, and ear pain with a slight dry cough thought well this is it, this is going to fix things. It didn’t. I went a full course, 10 days, of antibiotics and was still sick. The first week of December I went to Urgent Care and the doctor there said I had some random bacterial infection. He prescribed a stronger antibiotic and sent me on my way. It worked! I was incredibly happy to be feeling better so I finished my Christmas shopping and thought nothing else of it.

Two days before Christmas it came back. Just as bad this time and I decided to wait it out at least a week. I waited 8 days and went back to Urgent Care. The doctor there told me it had to be GERD or Acid Re-flux as it’s also called. He said it was burning my throat and causing irritation. He upped my dose of Nexium 40 mg a day to 40 mg twice a day (one in the morning and one in the evening). I did this for the next week and it didn’t help. I called my family doctor. He got me in right away and referred me to see an ENT (Ear, Nose, and Throat) doctor. He wanted me to have a scope done. It’s not pleasant. They take a long tubular shaped instrument and slide it up your nose,bending it just right so it then slips down the back of your mouth and into your throat. It takes incredible concentration to fight your gag reflex. It was horrible and felt extremely invasive (and that’s funny to me because I’ve had a speculum in my lady garden).

The ENT does this test and when done he turns to me and says “Your throat is too swollen for me to see the vocal chords. Let’s give you another Acid Re-flux medication to take at bedtime, see if it works, if it doesn’t I’ll see you back in one month.” Now mind you, I’ve now spent 9 weeks in the past 4 months with almost no voice, trouble swallowing, and painful coughing. I agreed to his plan though because then he hit me with “best case scenario it’s GERD, worst case it’s cancer.”

The bottom fell out for me right then and there. My mind started racing, I of course thought first I’m going to quit smoking! And then went right into, well it’s a bit too fucking late for that right?

My paternal grandmother died of throat cancer. I have heard that she even had a tracheotomy with one of those horrible voice box vibrators so she could talk. I do not want to live like that. My grandfather supposedly had lung cancer and I know my own father died of lung cancer when I was only 23. He was 57, just 17 years older than I am now. Like I said, my mind was racing. I couldn’t seem to stop on any specific thing to calm down. My niece (who’s only 2 years younger than me) was with me and she helped distract me.

I texted my husband that I’d be home later and that I didn’t want to talk about it until I could see him. See I know I’ll die before Steve. He’s a much better person than I am. I talk about what I want to happen all the time with him and I know it upsets him but I’ve always hated how people leave things until it’s all too late. I at least want him to know what I want to happen so he doesn’t have to question his decisions when the time comes. I tell everyone I do not want resuscitated, I do not want to live on any type of machinery, I do not want to be paralyzed or incapacitated. I do not want a funeral, I want cremated with an old fashioned wake. I want people to meet up, enjoy some drinks, love the great food they remember me for, and grieve in a joyous way. I want there to be music, and no not funeral home music either. I want good music. I even have a play list I update on occasion. I even have a blue book called “I’m Dead, Now What?” with all of this information. I don’t want to be stage 4 laying in a hospital room while my friends and family struggle to find time and emotion to come see me, say goodbye to me. I want to go out in a blaze of glory like my father did.

He was diagnosed stage 4 and told he had maybe 6 good months. He said fuck it, he got his house in order, he checked in to a nursing home, and he partied for 2 months. My brothers snuck him in beer. My mother brought him pizza and subs he loved. And me, I brought him cigarettes when he asked me to. Even at 2 a.m., I wanted to be pissy about having to take him smokes while he was dying of lung cancer, but I just couldn’t. It’s what he wanted and he knew he was done. He lived the way he wanted for 2 months and I have nothing but respect for that. I just hope when my time comes someone will say the same of me.

So, I didn’t post about this for the last two weeks but just needed to send my thoughts out into the universe finally. I’m terrified. I’m trying really hard not to overreact and I type that as I still have no voice, trouble swallowing, and painful dry cough that no medication has helped for four months. I have 2.5 weeks to go until we do more testing. I don’t pray but I am quitting smoking. It doesn’t matter if I have cancer or not, I want to be done with it.

I’ll update as more testing is done. I don’t want to dwell on it though so let’s all move on.

The Chronic

Do you ever think about the correlation between the Devil’s Lettuce and Pain having the same forename? Chronic. Yes I partake, in both sadly.

About seven years ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Lower Back Pain. I have several Hemangiomas along my spinal column that cannot be removed. I also have degeneration in my right hip and the right side of my coxys. Every year, it seemingly gets worse. This is on top of several other pretty serious diagnoses. One of whitch is Sleep Apnea. Today I met with a Urogynecologist to discuss problems I’ve been having with waking up to go pee.

This was her thoughts and recommendations: my sleep apnea is causing the problem, If we fix the sleep apnea, it will probably go away. We will start a medication that will help me with the urge to pee. I will continue hardcore on my healthy living plan to try and lose a significant amount of weight. Now here is the rub….I have had DD breasts since I hit puberty, around 12 years old. No matter how thin I was or how heavy I became, I’ve always had very large breasts. Her thoughts run along the lines of getting a breast reduction surgery right away. She even called a very reputable plastic surgeon and set me up. The thoughts are that if I get the weight off of my chest area, I’ll sleep better, therefore fixing any urinary incontinence problems.

My thoughts, I’m freaked out. I’ve heard some bad things about breast reduction surgery. I’ve heard it takes an inordinate amount of time to heal and recover. I heard it’s extremely painful and leaving awful scaring because they literally have to cut off your nipples and reposition them. I’ve also heard you end up losing all sensation in the nipple area. I mean, how will I ever know if I’m cold again, haha. But seriously, this is a huge thing for me to think about.

I discussed it a lot with my husband tonight. We both kind of agreed we’d go to the plastic surgeon, listen to what he has to say, get the facts. But in the end I will be making the decision to use this year to get as healthy as I can. I will use the year to get back down to a healthy, manageable weight. If, in January 2019, I still have size DD breasts, I’ll go for the surgery.

It’s been a long day. Who am I kidding? It’s been a long two days. Yesterday I had 14 Botox injections in my face, head, neck, and shoulders. I do this every 10 weeks to try and stay Migraine free. I’ve had excruciating migraines since I was a kid and this has been the only treatment I’ve found so far that works, and I’ve tried pretty much everything, including sensory deprivation therapy and giving myself shots of Imitrex. The Botox injections take every bit of any energy I have out of me. I always come home and sleep for hours afterwards. This usually lasts 2 to 3 days.

Today I had this appointment with the Urogynecologist and not only was the drive an hour to get there but the appointment lasted 2 hours. I felt bad for Jewels who went up with me so I wouldn’t be alone (the husband had to work). The testing was super weird and invasive, like get naked, put your feet in the stirrups, invasive. I even had a catheter inserted for testing, they had to use a pediatric one because I’m a huge baby.

There was a silver lining to the darkness today. Jewels and I stopped at this quaint little Mexican Restaurant called Fiesta Jalisco. It’s apparently family owned and operated. Isn’t that the best? The food was plentiful and it was so delicious it almost made the day worth it. We both had to get to-go boxes there was so much food left.

Tomorrow I get to hang out with my brother and his wife, my kid and his partner, and any grocery store employees I encounter. I’m still exhausted and just want the week to be over so I can get snowed in on Saturday and not do anything but decide which pajama pants are the cutest for when my husband gets off work.

Beautiful

It took so long to find you. I feel as if I searched my entire life. I traveled, I met hundreds of other people, different people, and delved deep into their minds to to try and see where I fit in. I read books, all kinds of books about life and how to live a great life. I researched and studied.

You taught me how to laugh at even small innocuous things and that even the most serious things in life can be funny. You showed me that stress can fade away with a song. You’ve woven the most wondrous stories proving that an imagination is truly something not to be wasted. You helped me face my fears and allowed me to be vulnerable enough to lean on someone else in my times of great sadness. You pushed me to survive.

You have been the one person I could always count on in a crisis and the only person I trust with my deepest darkest secrets. I am secure in the knowledge of who you are and I’m proud to know you.

After all I’ve been through to find you I know one simple truth. All I had to do was look into a mirror. I stare into those blue/grey depths I see you are not like anyone else and that’s not okay. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Comfort In Pain

Comfort in Pain

Let it Hurt.

Let it Bleed.

Let it Heal.

Let it Go. – Nikita Gill

I’ve always found comfort in my pain. When it hurts you know it’s been real and very rarely in life are things real. Think about that for a few minutes. Think about how many times you’ve felt betrayed by someone who turned out to be a fake friend, how many lovers have you sunk faith into that turned into cheaters? How many coworkers did you back up who turned into lazy users? It happens to everyone, none of us leave this life unscathed.

I love the quote above because it reminds you that pain is a process to healing. A lot of people get stuck in the comfort of their pain. I do. It’s easier to wallow in it. It feels almost good to mope around with it because of the attention you get with it.

I think it’s healthiest though to let it hurt, whatever it is, just let it in and let it consume you. Let it make you scream. Let it make you weep. Let it break your heart because if you just try to seal up the tiny cracks for a little while, just bottle it up for the now, you’ll seek release elsewhere in destructive behaviors.

Let it bleed and by this I mean let the rage out where it needs to be directed. If someone cheats on you, tell them all the ways they’ve hurt you, all the ways they’ve betrayed you. Tell them their word is no longer any good to you, that you’ll never be able to trust anything they say to you again. If someone hurts you, bleed it out on them, let them know, don’t let them walk away as if they had no part of it. I often write about accountability and I truly believe it’s the downfall of our society that we no longer hold anyone accountable for their actions. Every single person should know when they do something hurtful. Bleed it out.

Let yourself heal. They say time heals all wounds. I don’t believe that. I do believe that invigorating your mind, your heart, your body heals all wounds especially those of the soul. Don’t wallow in your self pity. Read a book, learn something new, take a class, date someone, fuck, just talk to someone new, get something crafty, be silly, dance, sing, heal. A side note to this, you don’t have to do it alone, but don’t do it with the person/people who fucked you over to begin with. When you walk away, walk away strong.

Let it go. I struggle with this. I’m sure you’ve read from my previous posts, I don’t believe people truly forgive others. It’s because we retain memory. Memory is a bitch. It forces us to acknowledge every bad thing that’s happened or been said and you just can’t take it back and you can say a million times you forgive, but you don’t, not truly, and it’s because you can’t truly forget. Think about any time you’ve said forgive and forget and then gotten into another spat with that person, you went back to what you said you forgave and forgot right? We all do. We all do.

I tell my son and daughter often, You Teach People How To Treat You. This is one of the best lessons in life to give everyone yet it takes so much time for people to actually heed the words, to learn what it means. If you allow someone to constantly use and manipulate you into doing or being what they want, you’ll never be happy. You are teaching them to treat you like a doormat, you’re telling them it’s okay to cheat on you, to call you names, to be shady, to withhold their love, etc. You are making it okay and why would they change when you complain? You’ve taught them that you’ll stay, you’ll keep coming back even if they don’t change. You give no real consequences to their bad behavior. You’ve taught them to treat you badly. The only thing you can do, is let them go. Be honest about your feelings, be honest about it never really going to be able to work because the history is too rife with discord and that’s the way to honestly let it go.

Off the Reservation

Anyone with Depression or Anxiety or Depression and Anxiety knows that when you take medication and it really works for you there are going to be times throughout treatment when something happens to fuck it all up. Be it, a doctor who thinks it’s time to change things up, you forget a few doses, or something as silly as you suddenly believe you’re cured and get rid of those pesky medications that keep you from having a break down of epic proportions.

I’m not sure how many people are actually cognizant of their mental illnesses or how much thought they put into their own mental healthcare. Myself, I do a lot of proactive work to stay stable. I know when things aren’t quite savvy with myself. I can feel this stranger inside me. I don’t have Schizophrenia. I don’t hear voices. I have Major Depression with Social Anxiety – severe type. I take a couple of medications on a daily basis to help normalize my behavior and stay a functioning adult in society. My anxiety is such that I break out into hives in public situations where I feel attention is being forced onto me. It can be as simple as someone asking me “How in the hell can you even tolerate the taste of Guacamole?” I try extremely hard to never forget a dose of medication, I try extremely hard to never put myself in situations that are too uncomfortable for me to deal with in a mature, sane manner. Mostly, I do this because I don’t like making others feel badly about my condition.

Recently, a specialist I see decided he would like to change things up for me to “see” how I do on a new medication. It’s not working out. Let me preface this by saying I was on a medication for about 8 years that worked for me, it really worked for me. I felt normal. I felt like I could handle my emotions. I felt like I could face anything calmly. I felt peaceful. Within two weeks of changing my medication I became irritable to the point of rage over simple things that I knew should not be setting me off. I’m cognizant of what’s happening and it’s as if I can’t stop it. I feel myself becoming irritated, depressed, edgy, anxious, and annoyed. I have a fast trigger and that’s just not who I am as a person. I have utterly felt Off The Reservation.

What do you do when this happens to you? Do you cut yourself off socially? Do you still go out and just apologize, expecting your friends and family know and tolerate it? Do you have a dark trespasser?

I myself stay home and read or write. I watch a lot of television. I play with my dogs. I try not to interact with my husband or friends a lot because I know me lashing out at them or getting hyper focused on issues is not their fault. I don’t make excuses for who I am without medication but I do make it clear that I do KNOW who I am without medication and I don’t feel like that person is really me, not the best me I can be. That person isn’t the one who likes to sing while she creates in the kitchen. That person doesn’t stick to any sort of schedule. She doesn’t try to make anyone happy, not even herself. This person cries at nothing and gets enraged at everything. She stays up late and then only sleeps a few hours at a time. She doesn’t engage proactively. She is a stranger to me and I don’t want to get to know her because like I said, she isn’t the best version of me.

I did go see the physician who made the switch and he didn’t seem bothered at all by my complaints. He told me to give it more time. At this point it had been a month of just feeling off. I scheduled an appointment to see my family physician. I had a good visit with him and he did this test, it’s a DNA test that tests your DNA against every medication available. It basically tells your doctor which medications are going to be genetically more compatible for you personally. It tells them which ones you will tolerate better metabolically and otherwise. I am awaiting those results and expect I’ll be as good as new soon. Fingers crossed. Until then I continue to write and basically stay away from anyone I love and care about because I’m a ticking bomb.