I’m Baaaaaack

It’s been a while I know.  I probably don’t even have any followers anymore.  So…

Where have I been?

The past couple months I have been really focused on therapy.  I have been seeing Princess Glitter Sparkle 1 hour a week for individual therapy, and 2 hours a week for group DBT (dialectical behavior therapy).  It has been good for me.  First, she is THE BOMB of therapists.  Best one I have ever had.  She is REAL, she is funny, she gets my humor, we laugh together, she’s gotten me to open up about stuff that’s hard.  She’s quirky and washes her hands a lot, so she’s a real person.  So all in all she’s awesome.  And I am so blessed to have found her.

I have also been reading a lot. I have been both reading and listening to audiobooks like crazy.  My goal for the year was 52 books, I have read 33 so far and am currently reading 4 more. Reading helps me escape.  But not just into my own head, but into a story, that for the most part makes me feel good (I try not to read sad things but there was one recently that had me in tears- but good tears).

Did I talk about Fat Camp (medical weight management)?  In case I didn’t- the dr was awesome.  She was nice, and listened to everything I had to say.  She was empathic and just nice- even if she was 15 pounds soaking wet, abut 9 feet tall, and looked like she was from Sweden. I met with the dietician, and while she was great, I just don’t know if I can do what they are asking of me – 1000-1200 calories a day, no carbs, put my body in ketosis and stay there, until goal “weight” which they wouldn’t tell me the ideal because they don’t want me focusing on a number (so why do they want me to weigh in every time???)- but here’s the problem, the hospital has decided after 8 years to cut the program.  So after August 24 I have no support. So….yeah… Have considered a couple other “do-it yourself” programs.  Anyone have long-term success with any? Comment here and let me know. The BEST thing about the program is they have this neat machine that you hook up to and breathe into for 10 minutes and it gives you your basil metobolic rate (basically how many calories you burn at rest) 1796 BTW.

I haven’t been leaving the house much.  Even prior to my surgery (will get to that in a minute).  I admit, I am not leaving the house much.  Only to things I ABSOLUTELY have to do- therapy, appointments for the kiddos etc.

I had surgery a couple weeks ago, the same surgery I had last summer on my left hip but this time on my right hip.  This time recovery hasn’t gone as smoothly.

  1.  During recovery I stopped breathing several times – this has never happened before, so they think I have apnea and I am waiting on a sleep study.  Fun.  It really solidified in my mind how big I am getting and the fact that I really need to do something about it.
  2. I developed DVT (deep vein thrombosis – a blood clot) in my surgical leg just under a week after surgery.  Thankfully hubby and I were paying attention to the signs, got to the dr and got treatment.  I will be on blood thinners for 6 months and I should be fine (though at increased risk for DVT again).  I was lucky the clot was below my knee (felt like a Charlie horse in my calf) because its much rarer for those to break up and go to the brain/lungs/heart.  So thank God for that.

In Other news:

  1. I am still napping a lot- but is it escapism or because Im not sleeping well because of  apnea (I wake up so tired, but I also can’t fall asleep at night) I think I have messed with my internal clock.

2.  In general, I am feeling a bit better about life.  I am not so down, and depressed. I don’t know when it happened, just one day I was like- “huh, doesn’t suck so bad today”.  That’s not to say I am 100% awesome everyday, most days I don’t think that everything sucks.

3.  Anxiety, OCD, and irritability are all in full swing.  But I can’t expect that they will go away anytime soon, and I guess that’s ok.

Mental Health Summary: Not everything sucks.  Still trying to isolate myself.  But things aren’t quite as bad as they were.

Everything else: Day by day.

So there you have it. Until next time (which I hope won’t be as long).

Disruption…

Nothing has changed in 23 years. Back then I was the disruption to my husband’s family. I was the one ruining it. I was told time and time again. At one point fairly early into our relationship, sometime after we were engaged but nowhere near our wedding, I tried to end it. If I was ruining his life I wanted to fix it… In the parking lot of a grocery store, I tried to end things and give him back the ring. I’ve never seen him more sad, and more hurt. He made me promise to never do that again. He assured me I wasn’t ruining their family.

If you looked at highlight reels from 1995 to 2018 you would see all the times I was a disruption, not good enough, not good enough wife, not good enough hostess, not a good enough mother to stop autism, ADHD, anxiety, bipolar in my kids…. the list goes on. But tonight my husband was told “mental illness is a ‘disruption'” specifically my mental illness. And I should be better now.

What? Like it’s that easy? I snap my fingers and I’m cured! But I don’t, so I must like being like this. Like not wanting to ever leave the house, like sleeping all day, like being stuck in OCD loops and feeling out of control. I must like being so sick of germs I’m afraid to hug my kids, or let them sit with me in my chair. Yes I enjoy it all… could you all feel the sarcasm dripping there?

It’s always been about this person, it will always be about this person and I will never measure up. This person has always known just where to sucker punch me.

I don’t know if I can do this again… also PTSD triggers.

I will start with the triggers part of this post because it lends itself nicely to the first half of the title. A couple weeks back in DBT group we were asked to write down our triggers, I had a hard time because my triggers are usually internal- my perception that someone is mad at me, answering a question wrong etc.  I couldn’t think of a trigger that someone else could cause.  What I mean to say is I didn’t think there were any topics that were “sensitive”- until today.

I have been locking horns with the special education department in my son’s school over their non-compliance in regards to two specific areas of his IEP.  They are small “things” but they could mean the difference between success and failure for him.  I emailed the director and his case manager a couple weeks ago and voiced my concerns.  The director told the CM to set up an IEP meeting so that we can discuss this. I sorta avoided thinking about it until today.  The meeting date still hasn’t been set, and it was time I started “gathering my evidence”.  As I started this I could feel my chest tightening, my heart beating faster, my thoughts racing and my head aching.  All I could think was I can’t do this again.

When my son was in 1st, 2nd and 3rd grade we lived a couple towns over, where he attended the local public school.  Now, I am not sure if I have mentioned his exact diagnoses – but at the time it was Asperger’s, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and Sensory Processing Disorder.  He has since also added Bipolar II to that list. But we spent 3 years trying to get the school to comply with their own IEPs.  We built a large case against them and brought it to the department of education.  We started with mediation, which failed miserably.  The school couldn’t even live up to their concessions from that.  At that time we went forward with a formal complaint against the school.  We presented about 30 pages detailing 14 allegations against the school.  In the end because I was naive and didn’t eep impeccable records some of the allegations couldn’t be proven but they were found guilty on 7 counts, some of them system wide (meaning affecting all students with IEPs).  They were required to make changes and become compliant or face sanctions.  I don’t know what happened in that district with those specific allegations, because I pulled him out of school and homeschooled him for 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, and the first month of 9th. I couldn’t deal with the constant fighting, the anxiety, and nightmares I was having.  I do have a couple acquaintances that have special needs kiddos in that district and it seems like things haven’t changed at all.  One day last fall at my son’s dojo a couple of the mom’s were talking about the director, the blatant violations and I found myself in the middle of a panic attack just listening to them talk about it.  I forgot about that conversation until today.  We moved during my son’s 7th grade year to a nearby district that had a much better reputation.

As I was writing out my complaints with the school, printing out the emails (I communicate only in written form with the school now – fool me once-). It all came back. And I realized I just don’t know if I can do it again.  I don’t know if I have enough fight left in me. I don’t have the same support person I had back then.  She was amazing, and was an amazing advocate for my son, as well as a support for me.  She was at every meeting, the 5 hour mediation, as well as some other dark times in the early years.

I knew putting the kids back in school I ran the risk of this happening again.  I knew that I may end up with a school who wasn’t complying, even with the simple stuff.  But I had heard good things about this district, the benefits to my own mental health outweighed the POSSIBLE run-ins with the school.  But now, I am left sitting here reduced to the same feelings I had all those years ago, but this time I am not as strong.  I am not as able to let things lie.

I am starting to feel like an animal trapped in a cage, pacing back and forth, eyes narrowed, growling, in that fight or flight mode, panicked and dangerous (though for me it’s emotional danger for myself not that I am going to go full lion on those around me 😉 )

Fat Camp

I talked with my PCP about gastric bypass vs a. medical weight loss clinic vs doing it on my own again.  He wasn’t a proponent of the bypass- he says in 17 years he’s had 2 MAYBE 3 people who were ultimately successful with bypass.  I added “because they didn’t deal with what was making them eat”. And he agreed.  And there we go.  That’s my problem.  I don’t use food as fuel.  Well, I do, but that’s not it’s only “job”.  It gives me feelings of comfort, it is always there, never disappointing me, it doesn’t judge me, it doesn’t (in the moment) hurt me.  I control what I eat, when I can’t control anything else in my life.  Then there’s the fact that I am an addict.

Addiction to food is real.  And what’s harder is that you can get clean from drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (not saying it’s easy because I know better) and then never touch the stuff again.  I will ALWAYS have to eat.  I can’t live if I I don’t.  I can’t just walk away from my addiction.

Food has always been a problem- too much, too little, way too much….and I am bigger than I have ever been.  And part of me wants to change, but part of me doesn’t want to.  If I change who will I be?  What will I replace food with?  Will I never be able to have a cookie again?  Will I ever be able to have a normal relationship with food?  Hubby says he eats until he’s full, and stops.  I rarely do.  I eat till my plate is empty like I was taught. And if there’s dessert, it would be rude to pass- right?

I do feel hungry a lot though.  My belly growls, howls and makes itself known. So sometimes when I eat it is genuine hunger.

I don’t know I guess after so many failures I don’t see anything working/changing me permanently.

Any readers out there does gastric bypass with success?  What about a physician led weight loss program?

 

 

Saw the Endocrinologist

So I saw my endocrinologist today. She was actually really nice. I was ready for her to read me the riot act. Instead she had some weight loss suggestions for me.

So I wrote out my entire story to try to figure out what’s best… so here it is- sharing it as a way to process it. Any suggestions please share them….

I’ve struggled with my weight all my life. I have had an eating disorder since I was in 4th grade. I compulsively overeat. I hide what I eat sometimes. I’m high school I became anorexic, I lost about 100lbs, and was down to 118lbs (and of course thought I was fat). After getting counseling, I maintained for about a year. I went to college in 1996 and gained a bunch of weight freshman year- like 45lbs. When I got married in 2000 I was 218 lbs. By the time I got pregnant in 2002 I was 225, I gained about 18 pounds with my pregnancy.

When my son was 2 years old I started eating better and working out so that we could do another IVF cycle with our frozen embryos. I got to 199, the cycle failed and a deep depression set in. I also had an IUD put in to stop continuous bleeding. I gained 35 pounds in 6 months, and turned to my “friend” food, as usual. In 2009 I was back up to 235. My sister was getting married so I did slim fast and got down just under 200 again. 2 months after the wedding I got a surprise – I was pregnant. I was around 235 when I delivered and stayed there from 2010 until Jan 2013. I was about to turn 35, my dad was 39 when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I felt like I needed to make a change. I knew I was facing an uphill battle, food was my comfort. I had a great deal of stress in my life including the fact that my son had been diagnosed with Aspergers, anxiety and bipolar.

I started counting calories, and started the couch to 5k. Added spin classes, and kickboxing. I went from 235 to 143 – 8 pounds from the goal I set for myself. As usual I felt fat. I ran my last 5k in November 2013. My best time just over 30 minutes. It was about this time that my husband became sick with some mystery illness. He slept all the time, he hurt all the time. And in came my best friend – carbs, sweets, food. I quickly gained weight again and was around 190something. Depressed and hating myself. In July 2015 I started beachbodys 21 day fix. I did 5 or 6 cycles and was down to the 150s. By this time, my husband had been sick for almost 2 years, he was trying to make a go of it with his own business, so that he could control his work hours etc. But we were in the process of losing our home and our car.

And so that’s where my weight loss stopped. I am currently sitting at 254/256 pounds depending on whose scale you look at. The biggest I’ve ever been. I have been diagnosed with GERD, Autonomic Nervous System Dysfunction (long story on what that means but it was affecting my heart my resting pulse was ranging between 140 up to 160), major depressive disorder treatment resistant, recurrent, anxiety, PTSD, OCD, and unspecified personality disorder. I have PCOS and am prediabetic. My fasting sugars are always over 100. In the past year my A1C has gone from 5.2, 5.4 to 5.6.

Today I met with my endocrinologist and she expressed concern about the fasting numbers, the fact that metformin made me violently sick, and that A1C numbers are creeping up. She suggested I either enter a medical weight loss program at the local hospital with diet, exercise and potentially appetite suppressants. Or to see a bariatric surgeon. She is going to refer me to both places and wants me to make a decision.

I’m torn. Do I try it on my own again? Do I do the medical program (my husband says his concern when I leave the program I will go back to old habits- and he’s not wrong), or do I go for the surgery?

I’m scared about all the options. I have failed every time I did it on my own. But the surgery is a huge deal. And is this really the time to do this- when I’m going through so much psychologically? Or is this the best time- will it aid in my recovery? I plan on talking to my counselor about it all, but of course I will overthink this to death until then.

What to do….

Thinking….

I have been listening to a book that Mary Poppins suggested, Lost Connections By Johann Hari.  I am only a little ways through, but so far it’s really good. There are some things that really have hit home so far,

This one- I say all the time that my life isn’t what I pictured, what I imagined. And could that be some of my problem?

 

This, this, this, and this again.  I want the meds to take away the pain.  I want them to block it.  I want the pain to stop. Mary Poppins said that if she were a different doctor I would be on 900mg of Seroquel and wouldn’t have the intrusive thoughts, or many thoughts at all.  And I have been thinking about that a lot in the past couple of weeks since I saw her, and she’s right, that’s what I want. I want to be drugged up.  I want to not feel the pain. I can completely understand why people get hooked on pain pills.

He identifies 9 causes of depression, the are of course not all encompassing, end not everyone has all of them, but reading through them it really hit home with me.

  1. Disconnection from Meaningful work
  2. Disconnection from other people
  3. Disconnection from meaningful values
  4. Disconnection from Childhood Trauma
  5. Disconnection from Status and Respect
  6. Disconnection from the Natural World
  7. Disconnection from a Hopeful or Secure Future
  8. The real role of genes and brain changes.

I can identify with many of those. I am only on cause number 2, but so far it’s really good.  I am really glad she has me reading it.

I guess that’s all, I am not having a day where the words will come…. until next time….

Interesting…

I met with my counselor today (she really needs a name)… and it was interestsing how my post from yesterday fit in.   We finally finished up the intake questions today.  Now we can really “start”.

But she always gives me time at the start of our visit to just “let it all out”.  The things I just have to say.  And today one of the most pressing things was asking her why I ask people impossible questions.  And I think the question might have caught her off guard, but she said there’s a lot more to get into but one of her hypotheses is something called the Pain Body.  It’s something that a person named Eckhart Tolle came up with.

Here’s an excerpt from a website explaining it:

The usual pattern of thought creating emotion is reversed in the case of the pain-body, at least initially. Emotion from the pain-body quickly gains control of your thinking, and once your mind has been taken over by the pain-body, your thinking becomes negative. The voice in your head will be telling sad, anxious, or angry stories about yourself or your life, about other people, about past, future, or imaginary events. The voice will be blaming, accusing, complaining, imagining. And you are totally identified with whatever the voice says, believe all its distorted thoughts. At that point, the addiction to unhappiness has set in.

It is not so much that you cannot stop your train of negative thoughts, but that you don’t want to. This is because the pain-body at that time is living through you, pretending to be you. And to the pain-body, pain is pleasure. It eagerly devours every negative thought. In fact, the usual voice in your head has now become the voice of the pain-body. It has taken over the internal dialogue. A vicious circle becomes established between the pain-body and your thinking. Every thought feeds the pain-body and in turn the pain-body generates more thoughts. At some point, after a few hours or even a few days, it has replenished itself and returns to its dormant stage, leaving behind a depleted organism and a body that is much more susceptible to illness. If that sounds to you like a psychic parasite, you are right. That’s exactly what it is.

http://communicate.eckharttolle.com/news/2014/08/13/when-the-pain-body-awakens/

Now, I don’t know enough about this man to know if what he says is right.  I haven’t done nearly enough research to see where this aligns with my Christian beliefs.  BUT it makes sense to me.

I was telling hubby today, it’s like I don’t want to get better, like I don’t want to be happy.  I find ways to punish myself, ways to prove to myself I am unloveable (the impossible questions would fall in here).  I explained it like this- I asked my mother a question that had 3 obvious answers:

  1.  No I am not – to which I would think she is lying and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings.
  2. Yes I am – which would prove I am “bad” an “embarrassment”
  3. The answer she gave- which proves to me (even if she doesn’t mean it that way) that I am “bad”.

You see, there is no right answer.  In all those answers I am the bad one. I don’t want to be like my dad, and yet- and I struggle to make my fingers type this- I have been unpredictable mood wise, angry over little things, resentful.

My fingers shook as I typed that.  It’s an extremely hard truth to face. 

I am living in a constant state of self-inflicted pain, in response to the pain I have already suffered?  the pain I am afraid I will suffer? I don’t know. I don’t know why I do this to myself.  I don’t know why someone as intelligent and as insightful as me can let this go on.  Why in over a year I haven’t gotten any better, and when I do start to crawl out of the pit I am in do I fling myself to the bottom again as if I saw something shiny down there that I had to get.

And that right there, that’s what makes me angry all over again- angry at myself. But guess what- I won’t do anything to change any of it. Like I said it’s like I don’t want to get better.  My husband tells me this isn’t an option.  And I want to scream, “don’t you think if I knew how to do it differently I would?”.  But I am tired.  I am tired of fighting, of feeling sad, of being angry, of being so irritable to those who I love most.  It kills me that I am hurting those that are closest to me.

There are days, a lot of days, I think about just leaving.  The thought kills me.  I love my husband and children more than anything in the world, but I can’t stand to make them live in this upheaval.  Hubby would say that should be incentive enough to change.  But I honestly have been trying and I just can’t get off this merry-go-round…..

I don’t know just more thoughts floating through my head.

*** I found this article http://www1.cbn.com/biblestudy/could-oprah-be-wrong%3F that talks about why Eckhart Tolle is not Christian, and in fact teaching anti-Christian things.  And I definitely agree with what they say- I haven’t read Tolle’s book and never planned to.  So what I would say is take the passage above at face value.  Look at it through the lens of Jesus.  Those who allow the “pain-body” to hurt continually hurt us, are letting the Enemy attack us, and we are believing his lies.  And it isn’t until we stand up to him with the Truth that we are able to kick him out of our heads- permanently or not just until next time he finds us weak….. ****

Anyway that’s my take away.  And I can get on board with that, the pain-body is Satan’s influence in my brain.  He makes me forget “it is finished”.  That I am redeemed, loved, chosen and all the other wonderful names Jesus has for me…… now how to get his voice out of my life forever.