One year ago

Yesterday, I broke personal records riding my bike. (Scroll past the stats, if you’re not interested, to get to the good stuff at the end of the post.)

Farthest Distance

15.17 mi

Longest Duration

1:08:34

Most Calories Burned

483 cal

Largest Elevation Climb

702 ft

Farthest Distance in a Week

27.96 mi

Longest Duration in a Week

2:07:16

Most Calories Burned in a Week

889 cal

Largest Elevation Climb in a Week

1220 ft

Farthest Distance in a Month

44.94 mi

Most Calories Burned in a Month

1444 cal

Largest Elevation Climb in a Month

1936 ft

……………..

One year ago, I could barely finish five minutes of yoga without feeling like I had the flu. I wanted to die.

Ask me about my super duper healthy eating plan and I’ll tell you it’s a a large part of why I’ve come so far. 

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The horrible person is my roommate… not me!

Last week my therapist called me a “horrible person”.

multiple times

I couldn’t deny it. I will analyze the shit out of a person. I’m a bloodhound and nothing will stop me from figuring out your intentions.

She said I was a horrible person because I always look for the worst possible outcome in every scenario. Our conversation was all in a friendly banter and she was showing me that I have a choice of being a “horrible person” or giving up that need to always feel like I need to have a contingency plan or have total control. The idea is to give up the tendency to look for the worst in people and situations. Her white board flow chart of my thinking always left me in the worst case scenario.

Over the next week, I began to break down this thinking and I feel that it is a protective mechanism to always be prepared. That’s part of PTSD. Or maybe it’s just a Boy Scout code of be prepared for shit. (Or something)

The “horrible person” ideal also brought up an inner dialogue. The need to tell my therapist of who I am. “She should have an idea of who I am by now. Haven’t we be talking about who I am for the past four sessions?” No. We’ve been talking about my domestic issues. My goal was to work on me, but really, I’ve been ruminating over the same shit about someone else this whole time. The conversation always turns to my deep hurt and trust being demolished and the depression, anxiety and pain that follows. Over. And over.

Get over it, and work on me! Right?

I came across this audiobook called “The Sacred Self” by Michael Singer during my week of rumination. Very honestly, this book is a Universe Nod (people, places or things that come into my life in a very timely fashion.) It’s an audiobook about exploring who we are and the ability to observe ourselves and the world around us by tapping into meditation and mindfulness and letting go of pain, thereby achieving happiness. It focuses on getting rid of the inner dialogue, opening the heart and achieving enlightenment. I’d love to quote most of the book, but to keep your interest and to avoid risking copyright violation, I’ll send you to the Google Book so you can read these few pages regarding opening the heart… start on page 44 where it talks about ” There are centers within that channel your energy flow. When you close them, there is no energy. When you open them, there is. Although various energy centers exist within you, the one you intuitively know the most about opening and closing is your heart. Let’s say that you love somebody, and you feel very open in their presence. Because you trust them, your walls come down allowing you to feel lots of high-energy. But if they do something you don’t like, the next time you see them you don’t feel so high. You don’t feel as much love. Instead, you feel a tightness in your chest. This happens because you closed your heart. The heart is an energy center, and it can open or close…. When you close your heart center, energy can’t flow in. When energy can’t flow in, there is darkness. Depending on how closed you are you either feel tremendous disturbance or overwhelming lethargy. Often people fluctuate between these two states. If you find out that your loved one didn’t do anything wrong, or if they apologize to your satisfaction, your heart opens again. With this opening you get filled with energy, and the love starts flowing again….” and read through 46.

But here’s the words that struck me the most regarding heart his description of heart energy…

“Humans have an innate tendency to close as a means of protection. But closing your heart is not really protecting you from anything; it just cuts you off from your source of energy. In the end, it only serves to lock you inside… do not let anything that happens in life be important enough that you’re willing to close your heart over it….”

Is there a connection to my chronic pain, depression and anxiety and my heart closing?

If you’re feeling The Universe Nod yourself, check out Mr. Singer’s description of inner dialogue… it truly hit me where I needed to be hit. There’s an analogy of your inner dialogue being your insane roommate that had me rolling.

I’ve been listening to an insane roommate (page 15-22) for the majority of my life! Maybe I’m not a horrible person, maybe my roommate is!
When I saw my therapist on Monday, I told her about the book and the roommate theory. I told her I’d been listening to this inner dialogue (the insane roommate) and believing everything I heard. Trust me, I worded this in such a way that she didn’t come to the conclusion that I was hearing voices… at least I hope that’s how it came across.  We did not do the slow march to the psych ward, so I think I’m in the clear. I explained to her that since I understood that all these catastrophic thoughts in my head were not all true, I could begin to apply the cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets that she kept giving me… and I kept ignoring.

In the meantime, I’ll tell the roommate to shut up when it begins to yell at me about lies, deceit and what happened in the past. It’s all about right now and opening my heart to discover that no matter what, it won’t be hurt. Soon, I’ll have to tell you about the incredible voice (that was not my roommate) which spoke to me while meditating at a yoga retreat in the Bahamas. It had to do with my golden heart…

Where am I? Week 2

The past two weeks did not go as smoothly as I had hoped.  The rough part was figuring out that there are specific medications that produce surprising withdrawal symptoms, even though I thought I’d weaned off of them. The great part is that I’ve experienced some really good progress since I’ve began eating very healthily thanks to the genius methods of Dr  Wayne Scott Anderson .

The rain last week and withdrawal symptoms created a slow start to the new, healthy me. I’ll try to quantify the results once I’ve been doing this eating right thing for a full month. I should be able to show actual Fitbit reports of sleep and activity levels improving.  Until then, here is a synopsis of the changes I’ve noticed and the end of week two

  • I’ve lost 5 pounds and my BMI is now one point less. Now that I have a handle on how to adjust my calorie intake, my energy level has increased.
  • My skin is softer and my eyes are no longer dry because I drink enough water!
  • I’m not constipated anymore! Seriously, why didn’t the docs tell me to eat better instead of giving me that crappy Mirilax?
  • I sleep 8-9 hours a night (most nights) rather than 5-6 hours. I still experience times when my brain won’t shut down.. I blame that on the fibromyalgia.
  • My brain fog has mostly gone… I hope my short term memory will come back in time.
  • I can speak cognitively again! No stumbling over words and blank thoughts!
  • My anxiety and depression levels have dropped significantly! Just one flare up yesterday and today but that’s hormonal. Hopefully this will reverse as well as my hormones even out because of my glycemic index becoming more stable.
  • My smell and taste have actually improved, despite a recent diagnosis of a deviated septum. (I smelled pepper as I was grinding it!)
  • I really didn’t think this was possible but, I wake up less exhausted. I drink 1 cup of coffee and I’m ready to face the day. It used to be three.
  • Did I say face the day? Yes! My pain levels are low or nonexistent and my energy level is up! I haven’t seen the dramatic super energy that I was hoping for, but it’s very much improved.

Being able to say ‘yes’ more often to physical activities is such a cool experience. I still pace myself and I’m working up to full activity. I still need to rest. An 8 hour work day is far off, but being able to complete 2 hour long activities is within reason.

One of the things about this new eating plan, that I didn’t anticipate is that my cravings are changing. I was able to easily choose a salad at Red Robin instead of a burger and fries like I normally would. I was once powerless to resist them (literally). I think that the detox that the super duper healthy eating program introduced really works. I choose healthy choices at the supermarket. I still crave those Doritos but I chose a healthy antioxidant nut and berry mix instead. And OMG the FLAVORS!!  I look at these words and they look foreign. I’m a hard core eat-whatever-I-want kind of person… but feeling good and removing the addictive additives from my diet helps. I don’t NEED that crap anymore.

In other news.. check out my instagram (scroll way down) for updates on the Alpha-Stim for anxiety that I just tried. This thing is freaky-magical.

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 constipated!
  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.