Receiving my Undergraduate Social Work Degree in 2006. Psychology Degree was in 2007.
Taken in MISS. a year after Hurricaine Katrina. Spring Break Trip to Help with Rebuilding Efforts
Shared Fitness Tracker
I'm 28 and like many people I've survived a lot. I found spark people teams and articles to be helpful in both my physical and emotional support needs and in finding information that is helpful to incorporate fitness into my life and be more active. This is difficult because of my ongoing battle with emotional health issues and new physical diagnoses that are limiting my ability to create momentum and progress in areas in my life that are in need of repair or reconstruction.
I had a lot of difficulties from age 12 when I was institutionalized in abusive places and thrown from one program to residential to hospital to school and back again. I am still struggling in life and have been through many institutions even in the past years and I consider myself a "psychiatric survivor" of sorts. I was labeled early on, abused, suffered, and medicated beyond what most adults could tolerate. At one point I was on numerous medications to control behavior that were powerful antipsychotics and not approved for kids. Besides other serious side effects my weight increased dramatically - I gained over 40+ lbs in less than five months due solely to the medication since once off the medication I began to lose weight even though nothing else changed in my lifestyle. I was labeled with many disorders and misdiagnosed for over 7 years. Therefore it is very hard for me to see myself in a positive way due to all the negativity that was directed towards me for over half my life.
My current diagnosis' are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depression, and ADD. I am not happy with these labels but they do describe accurately what I go through and what types of things I experience.
I did end up graduating from high school through tutoring and while attending an adult day treatment program and then went on to graduate as class speaker at the community college with a honors associate degree in Human Services. I then continued on and received two undergraduate degrees - social work and also psychology. I did complete one year of MSW graduate school and have 24 more credits left until I get that degree.
However, I have been very symptomatic as of late, struggling with flashbacks, dissociation, deep depression, and severe hopelessness. I am on medical leave from school and was supposed to return in the fall but that isn't going to happen. I have no friends and the love of my life died the night after Christmas 2008 at 14.5 years of age. She took her last breath on my lap as we drove to the vets office at 11pm that night. She valiantly fought to make it through till Christmas we believe to see my three brothers one more time and be a whole family. The vet had told us she wouldn't even make it to Thanksgiving, so she was stronger and loyal and loving and magestic in her last weeks with us and throughout her life. The grief is sometimes overwhelming.
As I mentioned I struggled with weight severely as a kid due mainly to the over 40 different medications and high dosages I was on. The medications were used soley to control behavior at the institution and not because it fit the criteria of correct treatment for the diagnosis I was given. It wasn't even close to being the proper medication. I managed to lose a lot of weight when I became an adult, got off the behavior modification used drugs and placed on a medication that really helped with the depression and kicked up my metabolism,
I became a martial artist and also participated in Special Olympics golf and long distance 3K and 5K nordic skiing. I have been fortunate enough to go to World Games in Ireland in 2003 and nationals several times as well as the winter and fall state games. Special Olympics has really become a major part of my life. However, in the last year I have been mentally and emotionally falling apart and I have been diagnosed with degenerative disc disease and two other lower back conditions that create chronic pain and limit my activity. †
I like creative writing and poetry.† I want to enjoy life and be able to keep up with my brothers when they hike the High Peaks.† I am proud of my three older brothers - one is a teacher, another in business, and the third is a nurse and officer in the National Guard who will be going to Afghanistan in several months.
As I said my best friend, my yellow lab, died the night after Christmas and I miss her very much.† I am currently having a hard time dealing with my symptoms and the grief from my loss.† Right now my goal is to strengthen my back so I can do more rigorous activities and also to find my way out of this deep depression that I've fallen into.† I get frustrated with myself so I also have a goal to try and be kinder to myself and stop thinking that I need to "Get over everything right now."† The abuse I suffered was very damaging to my spirit, my ability to understand and feel emotions, and my thoughts and memories of so many years of my life. I am in therapy right now but having a very difficult time and have found this site and some of my teams to be very helpful.
I usually do not disclose so much about myself and am very quiet and reserved. I hope to be able to be happy someday, and I hope to overcome the hopelessness and control my weight and eating issues. When I am depressed I do not eat and therefore I lose weight but in an unhealthy way. It is hard for me to live alone in a world where I came in and out of so often and so often was viewed from behind locked doors and windows. I have social difficulties and I do not fully enjoy imdependence because it is still a learning experience and one with little support, although I do have family.
I am lonely and spend most of my time playing videogames, sleeping, drawing, and waiting for my next therapy appointment. I have put some photos of happy times in my album. I miss my dog and I miss being able to feel empowered and hopeful. I don't know how to just "Get up and move on." I wish I did but I don't and I wish that my dream of being an advocacy social worler would come true someday. I just hope I make it to that day because lately I don't feel I can take much more.
I feel myself sinking into a hole of despair and I feel my ability to process and think decreasing and becoming difficult to the point that I can't even do the things above that I once enjoyed. I have lost 11 pounds in 2 months mostly due to my depression and shock reactions from having been rejected from a trauma program that I felt really cared and supported me and felt safe to be in. Being rejected really blindsided me and gave me no other options that are able to deal with the issues I need help with. I felt shocked and hurt and then I just gave up because I didn't think I could trust anyone since the place I trusted the most had so many negative things to say that went unspoken while I was previously there and therefore I wasn't prepared for such a unanimous rejection. I just feel that if they can't see how I badly things have been and they don't fully understand the situation that I am a worthless person and not worth helping. I think when my mind gave up, my body did too, and that is why I have lost weight even though it hasn't been healthy in a sense. It's not intentional, it's just I feel no desire to eat and never feel the need to. Maybe that's why often despair is described as empty or as a hole or nothing. The only positive thing I think in any day is -
I LOVED MY DOG - BELLE - AND SHE LOVED ME.
I MISS HER GREATLY AND I TRY TO
KEEP HER IN MY HEART AND FEEL HER SPIRIT
SHE WAS A LOYAL FRIEND AND FAMILY MEMBER.
Have more energy. Run a 3k race. Hike the High Peaks in NY with my brothers. Make some friends. Feel less depressed. Be kinder to myself. Weigh around 120 pounds. Feel the will and wish to live in this world despite all the pain I am going through. Dig myself out of despair even though I don't have any help or any feeling that I will have a future worth living for.
I like strength training better than cardio so I'm going to start there.† I do well with my program when I keep a journal of my progress.† I am going to cut soda and gatorade out of my diet.† I am going to try and eat more fruits. I have started to drink propel instead of soda and I continue to do some of the physical therapy exercises that I was taught to strengthen my back.† I also do a lot of stretching to increase my flexibility.† When my back gets stronger I'd like to be able to add cardio to my week. However, I don't feel up to doing much of anything and so I think I need more emotional help then I do with my fitness and strength.
I am 28 have taken a 2nd year medical leave from MSW grad school where I have 5 classes left until graduation.† I speak to others with disabilities and enjoy giving others hope when I am well which hasn't been the case in quite awhile.† I survived residential foster care and am trying to empower myself to overcome my depression, PTSD, and learning disorders.† I did love creative writing, nordic skiing, golf, and traveling but don't seem to be interested much in those things right now due to the inability to think and focus well.
My favorite movies are Shawshank redemption -and also Count of Monte Cristo and Lilo and Stitch.† My favorite book is Marley and Me although I haven't read it since my dog died and it made me laugh and cry. I also couldn't watch the movie since it came out right around the time Belle died. I also love Harry Potter and those movies.
Secrets of Success
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| current weight: 119.0