Living inside a cardboard box 

I’ve struggled. You’ve gotten a taste of it through my writing style. Feeling helpless and hopeless. Knowing that life is better than this but not remembering how to get back to that point. I remember feeling that life was amazing before. Everything was so wonderful. Water tasted better, the air was sweeter, life was brighter! Somehow, having tasted the sweetness of bliss makes my circumstances so much darker. The pain, constant and debilitating. The anxiety, strickening my breath and my actions. Depression, making everything nothing. My life crumbling before my eyes even if it was only from my perspective. 

I have been in a cardboard box. With a hole that light filters through. I saw the light out there, but my circumstances wouldn’t let me feel it. I beat against the sides, I struggled… I slammed myself against it, trying to tip it over. I was dizzy, sweaty, tired and distraught. 

Eventually I just gave up. I stopped fighting and I just accepted my circumstances. I stopped fighting with my husband. He was going to do what he wanted, no matter my opinion, protests, anger or tears. I quit complaining about the pain. Tired of explaining the day to day struggles of what it’s like to have pain exhaust me. Just shut up and be. 

It was somewhat of a relief. I will be here no matter if I cry or not. My anxiety will stricken me, just let it. My depression can take over my body, who cares? I stopped taking my meds, until it hurt so bad that I had to revert back. I let the tears just flow and I let it all go. It was a “F it” time period. 

I was returning to my home from my five week stay at the inlaws at the time. “My F’s are all gone.” I told my psychiatrist. “Shit is what it is and I can’t change it.” We agreed to get back on an antidepressant. I agreed so at least the tears would stop running down my face. 

And it was true. I became suicidal but told no one. In one way hoping it would go away and in another way afraid I would fail if I tried. Either way I was totally convinced lives would be better off without my burden. 

A few things happened. Firstly, the Wellbutrin took away the suicidal thoughts. And It took me just slightly out of the dark. Secondly, my husband saw and responded to my incredible sadness. He went from stone cold to gentle hugs and kind words. He began treating me so sweetly. I was still sad. Afraid he would return to his old ways. But he continued and continued and continued until I began to feel safe and warm in his arms again. And I began saying “yes” to any invitation that I got. Even if I didn’t want to do it. 

One of the things that I had to do during this time period was make a decision to give away my anger and fear. It’s like a rat that eats at my stomach. I say “go away” and it does, then it returns when situations arise that make me feel out of control. Will this go away in the end? I’m still in this phase, although the rat has far less power over me. Like before, I have to just stop being angry, fighting and controlling. It all doesn’t matter. I’ll be here. 

Here I am, hurt me or don’t. You’ll do what you do. I hope it’s good. 

I wished to break free. Be me. I wished for my power back. Here, in “Hit Me” my new therapist and I discussed what I wanted most. To Thrive. 

A shift in my thinking is beginning. I learned how to let go and it may have been incredibly sad and lonely at the time but the Universe provides. I’m learning to be thankful for what I have. I’ve also found a fire inside of myself. I’m also learning how to tell the Universe what I want my life to be like. Envisioning my “The Sound of Music”, dancing in a field moment. Feeling free, healthy and happy. 

I mentioned that I have tasted the sweet water and smelled the sweet air that makes life so perfect. I have begun to remember the steps I took to get there and I hope to again. Indeed, I’ve had times that I began the shift before, but life’s circumstances slammed me back in the box. I am prepared to keep my head up if circumstances begin to go awry.

Once I began to tell the Universe what I wanted, it wasn’t long before my husband came home with a fire inside of him. He was determined to help other people by taking on this new lifestyle and beginning this journey of eating so healthy that we would both feel so much better. I took this as a nod from the Universe saying “ok, here’s a start.” “Here’s a start to feel better and to bind tight with your husband.”

How the heck did I go from complete despair to beginning a shift? Let’s discuss how I got to despair. You see, it was only last week that I realized how much I’ve changed since January 2015. I was generous, kind, thoughtful and forgiving. I cared. I loved everyone and saw a light in all people. I smiled and laughed all the time!  Then I fell and that resulted in the horrific pain and all it entails. Next, as I suffered, I was sexually harassed at work by a man that I consistently forgave for flirting with me. Every day I would go to work with a new heart. In retrospect, I realized my constant forgiveness was his signal to keep going further and further. Even though when he would flirt I would reprimand him, saying no, or hey! But it wasn’t enough. This changed me. I was scared of men for a long time afterward. Remembering the predators that they can be. The scorn I felt after turning him in, from management and others… was too much to bare. 

How have I begun my shift back? Lot’s of positive self talk. Realizing that most of the day I was internally complaining about a lot of stuff. I was also complaining out loud too. Everything had a negative spin. That wasn’t me when life was sweet. I had chosen to spin anything into a good thing. Can I go back to a light heart and an easy smile without being wary of the common A-hole?  Did I mention that I’ve got my husband back? Not that he left, but my openness has began a work in us so that we are communicating so much better. He has uplifted me so much in the past few months. As a result, my pain has lessoned. I spend less days in extraordinary agony!! I’ve got a lot of pulls from the Universe going on. Everything and everyone is telling me to meditate, be mindful, focus on what you want… not on what you don’t want and be thankful!    

           See The Secret. I read the book back in 2007 and the way of thinking took me out of a horrible marriage into a sweet life that I had only imagined.  

Here’s another thing I’m figuring out. – Do good with what you’ve got –
Here’s what I’ve got.. all the first, second and third world amenities. I’ve got access to health coaches, great healthcare and a way to eat a perfectly balanced diet so I can give my temple a fighting chance. I’ve got a good support system. I’ve also got an audience. Not a large one, but enough chronic pain, anxiety, depression and chronically ill sufferers that could benefit from eating right, thinking kindly and inventing a future that makes them happy. 

Could it hurt? Nope not even literally.

Day 3 of eating uber healthy…

  1. I’ve slept over 8 hours each night since I started.
  2. I’m tired, but that’s to be expected as my body goes into fat burn instead of carb burning mode on day 3. 
  3. I’m not comstipated!
  4. I’m pretty sure the brain fog is lifting today. 
  5. I’m not hungry, in fact, I’m finding it hard to fit in six mini meals a day. 

Expectations

My expectations are pretty forthright or obvious. When it comes to people; I would like honesty and integrity and allow for imperfection. But in all honesty, I have come to expect less from people that I don’t know. As for friends and loved ones, I expect honesty and integrity. When it comes to circumstances; I hope for the best and expect the minimum. When it came to health and well-being; I never really thought about it until about 7 years ago when I realized how much I’d been through and my body had kept chugging along. 

Should I expect less or nothing? Am I too strict on my expectations? I suppose the answer would could change by who you talk to. Some would say that expectations are a form of control or grasping. Some would say the expectation can only lead to disappointment. I would think that without expectation, we have no point of comparison. 

I truly never expected that my health and well-being would result in going to the doctor 2-3 times per week. I am not terminally ill, I have a chronic illness. Actually, a few… but who’s counting? Nevertheless, I attend appointments, not to get better, but to alleviate the symptoms. The research is so minimal on fibromyalgia that no one knows the cause or the cure. Any psychiatrist will tell you it’s because of depression and anxiety. Most other doctors will blame it on the nervous system. All I know is that I don’t like it. 

So I spend a lot of time alleviating the pain, anxiety and depression that comes with my chronic illnesses. It has only recently occurred to me that I spend a great deal of time on the alleviation through the quick fix (medications, acupuncture, OMT). Why not try from the inside?

Won’t a better diet put me in a better place? It HAS to, right? I put needles in my body, pills in my body and talk about it to therapists. Why not give my body a fighting chance??

Do I expect miracles? Wayne Dyer would emphatically say yes! Do I expect to feel better, embarrassingly, I say yes (naysayers abound). I hope, I dream, I expect.  I see it happening. I want this so bad that I envision spinning freely through the grassy fields of Austria…. or my front yard… whichever. 

This has to happen.

I expect to pop out of bed in the morning, get all the housework done and lay my head down at night feeling satisfied.

I expect to not forget to take my morning medications (like I just did, crap).

I expect to feel well enough to paint. Daily.

I don’t expect that it will alleviate all of my pain. I hope it does! But I don’t expect that. Lord, please make it so!

Maybe I should expect it. 

Maybe I should also expect that my anxiety and depression will alleviate as well?

What will it hurt if I expect it all? Nothing. Not even literally. 

Where am I?

I’m sitting on my reclining sofa. Heating blanket on my back. My dogs, trying so hard to steal it from me. It’s almost 10 am. I slept like shit. I have an OMT appointment today. I also have to pick up some muscle relaxers that I ran dangerously low of this weekend. That involves two hours at my military pharmacy. But really, my location isn’t the intention of the question “Where am I?”

I’m about to document my current physical and mental status so I can refer to it in 30, 60 and 90 days. I’m about to start this “Take Shape For Life”  course today. The idea is to change your whole being…. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, and Healthy Finances.

I’m excited about the food. I’ll be eating prepackaged foods that are designed to be perfect for my body. No. Crap. I’ll also have to make my own super healthy meals. I’ll eat six times a day to keep my blood sugar level. I may lose weight (I hope I do). I’m not on the super weight changing plan because my BMI is already where it should be. In January it was not, but I began counting points in February and managed to lose 15 pounds. Now I’d like to lose 10 more so I can feel my best. 

My excitement extends beyond the weight loss. I’m excited to have more energy. Everyone I know that has been on this plan has explosive energy. This. Has. To. Work. 

Beyond the physical changes, my health coach will help me create mindful habits. He will coach me through exercise. Although I’m pretty sure he won’t be able to help me through the pain. But, the pain may be lessened because of the high quality foods I’m putting in my body. 

Soon, I’ll cycle off of the prepackaged foods and be able to eat cleanly after that. I’m being trained to make good decisions in all points of my life. Not just a crazy crash point system diet that I lost interest in and forgot about once I was in a restaurant. This should make me feel so good that I don’t want to eat poorly. 

Here I am:

My health assessment says that I rate 69 on the health scale. UNHEALTHY. 

  • 127 lbs 
  • 5’1″ (that won’t change but just in case the interwebs thinks I’m 6′ and have anorexia.)
  • BMI 24
  • Dry skin, dry and blurry eyes,  constipation, poor digestion (slow emptying of my stomach) & bloated. 
  • Migraines
  • Brain fog, slow thinking
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Major anxiety disorder
  • Poor sleep
  • Fibromyalgia (extreme fatigue, muscle spasm, pain, flu-like feelings, nerve pain)
  • Hyperprolactinemia
  • Pituitary tumor
  • Thyroid nodules
  • Degenerative Disk Disease
  • Scoliosis
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Major sensitivities to meds
  • Prediabetic
  • I can’t taste or smell anything!
  • Wake up exhausted 

(I am not sticking my stomach out or creating poor posture. I was actually flexing my abs and standing normally. )

Medications:

  • Morning: Wellbutrin 100mg, baclofin 25mg, gabapentin 200mg, multi-vitamin, hair skin, nails vitamin, two cups of coffee
  • Noon: Wellbutrin 100mg, baclofin 25mg, gabapentin 100mg, half of extra strength five hour energy
  • Night: cabergolin .25mg twice weekly, Gabapentin 400mg, Atarax 25mg, acidophilus 
  • Give or take 600mg Motrin and half a tab of Percocet related to pain levels. I try not to take these drugs for obvious reasons. 


Treatments:

  • OMT
  • Acupuncture
  • Battlefield acupuncture
  • Medications
  • Psychotherapy

Exercise:

  • Short yoga about three times a month
  • Biking about twice every two weeks. 7 miles per day average
  • Walking to doctors appointments
  •  Small amounts of gardening. 

Eating habits

  • 1 cup of Lifebolt Green Goodness smoothie for breakfast
  • Lunch… leftovers (see below) or tortilla chips
  • Dinner… cheeseburgers, tacos, spaghetti or chicken and veggies. 
  • Starbucks a few times a week. 

Daily habits

  • Stumble out of bed around 8 a.m.
  • Feed dogs, chug green drink or kefir, coffee and meds. 
  • Play video game until noon or go to a doctor appointment. 
  • Eat or skip lunch. 
  • Wait until husband comes home. Play video game while I wait. 
  • Eat dinner. 
  • Watch tv.
  • Go to bed. 
  • I shower about twice a week now. Better than before. They are just so exhausting that I need to rest and recoup for about 5 hours. This is not an exaggeration. 

So. I am here. 

I’ve eaten my first meal (1/2 cup of oatmeal and 1 cup of milk) out of six. I’ve already heard from my coach this morning. He’s assessed my eating situation since my timing is off from sleeping in. He’d like me to eat every 2.5 hours instead of 3 just so I can get all my meals (fuelings) in for today. I already feel a tiny bit more awake than usual. So there’s that..

Off to the pharmacy and OMT!