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Secret Life of a functioning manic depressive

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Until you've stared down that level of depression, until you've lost your soul to a sea of emptiness and darkness... you don't get to make those judgments. You might not understand it, and you are certainly entitled to your own feelings, but making those judgments and spreading that kind of negativity won't help the next person. In fact, it will only hurt others."

I've been seeing this quote a lot the last couple days. I've traced it back to a huffington post I believe. Here's my little two sense......

My nickname is Happy. The joke back in the day was "Happy by name, Happy by reputation" I joke about my depression sometimes, saying "I was so dramatic that when my mom was in labor with me I tried to hang myself with the umbilical cord on the way out, so, emergency c section" and people laugh. It's a silly story. I carry myself with confidence and class. I find myself drawn to the most obviously broken and damaged individuals, both as friends and lovers. They have all said the same thing to me in one way or another, but, they feel like if they mess up, they're letting me down. I can't even begin to understand that..... I love those people for the disaster they are.... and selfishly.... I love them for the light they put me in. I don't think anyone really knows me anymore. Even my closest friends don't really know me.... The struggle I've had all these years, honestly for as long as I can remember, I mean preschool ages.... I've fought with this all consuming depression.

My family has seen it, struggled with watching me go through it. Therapy or medicine didn't help when I was 11-12, in fact it made me worse..... suicidal thoughts attempts to end the black hole that was my life. Frances saved my life once, she physically stopped me and I was so angry with her. I cried and I couldn't contain the darkness I felt all around me, but she never gave up on me. Every day I would wake up and paint that "smile" on my face and go be the cheerleader, track athlete, good grades, pretty confident "happy" person I was. Without missing a step, I fought so hard against it, and because of that, many times I won.

I was 13 maybe 14 the first time I tried to commit suicide. Frances saved my life. I HATED her for saving me, I was so angry. I don't remember the entire incident, but she jumped on me and I remember screaming, flailing, trying to get away. Leave me alone! I remember.... that and when I was finally done being angry.... just crying, hard. So hard I made myself sick.

I found a new way to deal with the overwhelming darkness. I found an unhealthy way..... I cut. Only in places you couldn't see. My upper thighs or my upper arms. Those were always covered. I've heard of cutters for attention or cutters to feel "something." Do you know what cutting did for me? It CONTROLLED the darkness, it forced me to regain composure when I didn't think I could. So those times in the shower just thinking about cutting with the flow of traffic and not across...... crying and beginning to black out from the difficulty breathing I would just dig that knife into my thigh, press hard and pull as I let a breath out. Suddenly and almost instantly I was in control again. If it didn't work with one, then two, or three.... four even. But eventually as the blood came I was no longer overwhelmed I was able to set the knife down and life another day. It's the worst way to save my life, but it worked..... for a long time.

I met my first love and things seemed happier..... he still didn't know me or the darkness I felt surrounded by.... in the almost five years we shared he never really knew me. I eventually found a mix of medicines that worked for me.... not quite zombified, more stepford wives, but it allowed me to exist in a world I felt I didn't belong in. My only time being pregnant was with that man, when we lost our baby...... I knew I couldn't handle doing it again, I think I grew to love him, but I was never in love with him and when he wanted to try again, I couldn't bare the thought of trying again and failing, I also couldn't bare the thought of needing a medicine to exist, not to live, just to exist. So that had to come to an end.... I wasn't terribly depressed over that, the loss of my baby lingered with me for a long time, it still does, but the loss of my first love.... barely bruised me.

I threw out the pills that were working so well and opted for a new way of life... a new motto. "Complacency is Toxic" that's exactly how I lived. I refused to be "content" or "complacent" I began drinking, partying with my friends who were all in their 20's too. I met Ann while I was still with my first love. She was dating my cousin and had a baby with him. She was cool I thought. My cousin sold drugs, specifically methamphetamine, but I didn't touch that stuff, I gave him rides, and we were like best friends. He was more of a pothead, I just drank and worked, a lot of both. not even 21 yet. (I had left home at 15).

Everyone in my life was close to me, but I wasn't close to anyone. The first person I let that close saw that darkness in me, saw how it consumed me, and still saw the other side of me that was fighting to get out of the darkness. Sometimes he was in that darkness with me.... oh the places we went on those dark days...... it's the only time the darkness didn't overwhelm me, when he was there. He was my best friend and my partner for many years, not quite a decade, but almost. I think that's why I always forgave him MANY MANY indiscretions because the darkness didn't take me over when he was there, even if he was in the darkness with me. I've talked him off a ledge a time or two as well.....

After five years of being friends with Ann, I finally let her see the other side of me. I never felt judged..... she didn't ease the darkness but, it was good to have her in my life. I loved all three of her kids, they were the ONLY thing in my life that completely rid darkness 95% of the time. I finally had a best friend who KNEW me, in a way that I only let one other person know me. Over the years I was on and off various anti-depression/anti-anxiety meds. Anxiety is a hard one for me too....

Through the years I ended up trying different drugs and enjoying one of those particular drugs. Still believing complacency is toxic I lived a pretty extreme life. Usually a month or two at a time then return to "normalcy" not complacency, but just a non drug life. I love this drug. I never got addicted to it.... or anything really. I just never had an addictive personality, what a trait wasted on me. My first time doing it was with a girl I hardly knew, the one who nicknamed me Happy, I remember the moment saying "oh yeah I do it sometimes" still to this day I'm not sure why I said that. I never try to "fit in." I just felt like she was trying to open up to a stranger and I needed to give her an in. She already felt like I was perfectly unreal always being "Happy" so I said it. that entire summer was an amazing blast and a blur. I learned a lot about myself and one day I realized I needed to leave, so I left. returning to the person who helped me feel less overwhelmed by the darkness.

For years I went back and forth between doing what I want and returning to him..... There was a lot of understanding between us, I think a lot of love too. Too much passion too often. In the end.... no passion and all complacency.

so my nearly decade long love affair came to a pretty bitter end. I felt abandoned and betrayed. I was the one who said "I've had enough, We're done" but he stepped out when I was finding out about some serious health issues. I was alone. In my darkness. Some nights I would sit on the window sill of my 19th store condo and fight the urge to let go. I kept thinking of how many people would have to clean the bloody mess, what if there were children around, I mean no one would really even notice. No one cares. But I'd be punishing people who didn't need it...... it wasn't fair or right to die this way. There had to be a cleaner way. I've tried pills before, that is NOT the way, I hate swallowing pills as it is, I would never swallow enough and I'd just end up sick. Resume the cutting.

I was so lost...... I needed to be guided.... I didn't need to be loved.... I NEEDED someone to control me.... how awful does that sound? So I began dating the first controlling bossy jerk I met. I knew he wasn't the one, but I knew I needed what he had...... or I wouldn't make it through the darkness. I allowed him to walk all over me, mistreat me, even use me..... after three months I was done....I no longer needed this person to tell me when to come to bed, what kind of job to work, how to exist.... I was done with him. Fate intervened. We got into a pretty serious car wreck, my face smashed and spidered the windshield. I felt different..... was this still depression I felt? the wreck happened and I tried to leave and he fought for me to stay. He still kept messing up, but he fought for me.

I felt more overwhelmed by anxiety and anger, taking it out on myself with cutting, as per usual. I began to lose weight, 50 pounds in 4 months following the accident. I went to physical therapy three times a week until I was better, I found my anxiety since the accident has often crippled me. Worse than depression did. Sometimes I remain frozen when driving, every thing gives me tension and anxiety. I can't handle when other people drive. It affected my work. my life. I was rushed to the hospital one day where we discovered a growth that was small just months ago was now starting to take over my body. The jerk that I started dating starting becoming a good guy.... and I began to feel even more helpless, not just anxious again, but the darkness.... the worthlessness..... a few trips to the doctor and a severe facial trauma (completely broke a side of my face, they thought I would need plastic surgery to fix it), and suddenly that darkness that plagued me once was back.... nothing I did got rid of it..... I had the surgery to remove the tumor growing inside me and every month since then has been one issue after another....

If I didn't have that jerk I started dating because I needed a jerk, I never would've went to all these appointments, or had surgery, I feel the darkness every single day and every single day this person fights to bring me out of it, he never joins me in it, not really, he'll come down and hang out in the darkness just long enough to distract me into leaving it.... or so he thinks.

I'm almost 30 years old and for all the life I've lived, the places I've been, the experiences I've had the lives I've touched..... somedays... some weeks..... even months at times.... hold me in and make me feel so utterly helpless and empty and lost and I haven't been able to work steadily since the surgery. Some of it is because of the surgery and the health issues discovered since then, but the darkness gets heavier all the time..... I can't even force myself to get out of bed sometimes. Just this week I spent three days sleeping and was awake for approximately 4 hours in three days. I just didn't want to exist anymore.

In my real life, my friends don't call, they're all busy with their own lives, their own kids, their own lovers, etc..... I feel like I make this man who fought so hard for me and thinks I'm this grand prize I feel like I make him so unhappy with my anxiety and my anger and my unnecessary tears..... I let him see the mess I am, because I'm just not as good at hiding it as I used to be. The reason I moved back here was to be closer to my parents while I healed from surgery and they left along with my uncle and cousin.... so I have no family here either. No one would notice if I was gone..... and I would no longer feel this PHYSICAL ache that keeps me from going outside most days, the mental anxiety that doesn't allow me to think clearly, I wouldn't have to face this deep seeded realization that I am worth nothing.

This is not a cry for help...... I'm just out of ways to deal with this..... and no one even realizes how painful the secret life of a depressed woman is. I LIVE for the moments of true joy..... I hope they win out this darkness that has been dragging me down..... Losing someone to suicide is often referred to as "selfish" and it is, but it isn't. This long blog barely TAPS what I feel and what I've been through. No one knows the journey another person has. Sometimes we can't explain it it just exists. I honestly feel like the only person who would suffer if I died is the person doing clean up.... and my partner now, for all his many flaws and even aggressive tendencies ..... I think he might hurt if I died...... I don't see it as a selfish act..... I see it as a solution to a very deeply personal and painful problem......

REACH OUT to the people you love..... it isn't hard. Except for the people who claimed to love me in my life.... apparently it is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NICKI984 8/15/2014 1:41AM

    You know you are wrong when you say nobody would miss you. I would. I don't even know you that well but it would be a great weight on my heart to know that you were gone. I don't understand what you are going through but my fiance is schizophrenic so I understand mental illness more than I would like to. I am also going to school to help people who suffer from these issues. I know depression hurts, I suffer from it myself and many times I don't want to get up out of bed or leave the house but I keep dragging myself up and living day by day. That is the best you can do. I know it's hard to forget about the painful memories of the past but if you linger on them they can only bring you sadness. Live life one moment at a time.....try not to think too far into the future, live for the moment and you will find you'll start feeling much better. Find your light, your hope and your motivation for living and strive for it. Please do not give up on yourself. Life is a struggle for us all in different ways. NEVER EVER be afraid to contact me if you need someone to talk to!

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FANNYMANSON 8/14/2014 5:30PM

    I hope you find the happiness that you are looking for. Or at least that the distractions become more frequent and inspiring. Your story is really insightful, thank you for sharing. I have had bouts of depression, but not to the severity that you are describing. I can totally relate to the distractions though. I use my pets, music, and arts and crafts as my main distractions. Animals and creativity... Use them if you can. Hugs and best wishes to you.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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oh my! It was amazing, but today is SCARY.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

My fiance went to work at 3:30am and got home at 1:30 p.m. what a LONG day for him! Not to mention that he didn't get much sleep the night before, it's hard to adjust to that schedule. So even going to bed at 11 means that there's only 3 hours of sleep for him :( But, you know what? He got home relaxed for a few minutes and said, "You know what? Let's go to the lake." I got excited like a kid on his or her birthday! By the time we left it was 2:30 got there around 3p.m. (We had to gas up and get cold drinks).

We got there and I got much needed sun. (I'm severely vitamin D deficient, I have to take prescribed vitamins right now for it) The cool clear lake waters and the gorgeous mountains. Now I've lived all over the United States from Hawaii to Indiana and as far south as Louisiana. I've also spent time in Mexico. Now Hawaii is a gorgeous paradise, don't get me wrong, but there is something about our Arizona Mountains that just, doesn't compare to ANYWHERE else I've been. (that includes our sunsets.) We spent nearly 2 hours at the lake just floating and talking. It was a pretty happy AMAZING time. I've been so stressed lately, who knew that this small choice he made would be such an AMAZING thing. I loved it. We try to go once a week, but usually on his day off, and lately we've had a lot of errands to run and things to do.

Today I have to talk to the doctor about surgery, again. :( I do not want to do it, but I am open to HEARING about what they plan to do if I allow them to do surgery. The main thing is I had a serious 16 pound mass that took over my right ovary. All I have left is the left one, and the mass or growth or cyst hasn't really grown. But I did have to do another ultrasound to make sure that it hasn't grown yet. Their major concern is my CA125 levels keep being more than double what is normal. Only one month since they started it was it normal range. My endometrial biopsy came back negative for cancer, which I knew already. But this growth, I keep asking them to work around it, work with me. I don't want to have surgery again, I HATED IT. I hated feeling so helpless and I mean, I couldn't even WIPE myself when I went potty! I'm a very VERY large girl and my fiance had to wash me.... It was so personal..... I was upset, I've never really been that bare open to anyone before, and he just washed me all over and rinsed and was amazing, but I never want to be in that position again. Furthermore, there is a chance that they could damage the ovary and it's the only one I have left.

I don't have kids. I wanted to wait until I turned 30 to start having them. I turn 30 in 30 days. I'm already struggling to just to save the ONE ovary I have left. The doctors say my uterus is really good, they say my ovary is functioning normally and that's great, but why can't they find another way to work around this thing. For all they know it could just be a regular cyst, but all their lab work makes them concerned. Stupid labwork.

I'm glad I got to go to the Lake :) I definitely needed it yesterday. I wasn't frustrated once we got to the lake and I wasn't again until now. Knowing my appointment is in a few hours. This will be the first appointment I've had, since we've been together, that he wasn't with me. I needed to do this on my own, but it's still weird, not having him there with me. The last time I went he had stepped out to the truck when they called me back, and they all said "Oh, you're alone today? We never see you alone." This time, I actually will be alone.

Just a picture standing in the lake looking at our mountains.


Another awesome shot of our rockish mountains hiding our desert oasis! It was only 114 yesterday ;)


We brought our matching chairs and sat by the tree enjoying the view as we dried off.



The drive there, I love these mountains with all the white rock in them.



This is the skies during Sunset :) so pretty.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOUTHLACAJUNGAL 8/3/2014 10:49AM

    Prayers for you.
You have my sympathy. After many cysts and two surgeries I finally was able to have my angel. Hopefully you will also.

You live in a beautiful place.

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4ANEWME2DAY 7/23/2014 11:16AM

    emoticon pictures!!Glad you enjoyed time together reflecting.
Remember you are never alone, God will be with you. Your sparkfriends are with you. emoticon emoticon
emoticon wishes that your tests will show nothing serious.
Your fiance loves you very much. Togetherness through good times and bad times build a love no other person can break. Stay together. emoticon

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Small Loss after a Wild Week

Monday, July 21, 2014

I have not been the best this last week.... Hate to admit, but it's true. I took an unexpected 3 day trip to Vegas, didn't bring my phone charger so had no way to track my food. I didn't get exercise, I got home and went through something pretty emotional and turned to some comfort food. Additionally I've been on 2 new medicines.

Things are getting better in my life, but they still remain hectic and Wednesday I meet with the doctor to discuss surgery, again. I don't want to have surgery. i keep telling them that.

So I stepped on the scale today, I still dropped 1.6 pounds! I know that a big part of that was making better decisions while I was in Vegas, choosing fresh fruit and veggies, swapping hashbrowns for sliced tomatoes and making it an egg white scramble. No soda and lots of water. I feel good about my eating choices while I was there, when I got home though, I made some mistakes!

This week I kick it up into high gear. Not today, today I'm with my fiance and we have things to do! But tomorrow I'm back on the grind. I'm still tracking my food today, but no work out until tomorrow. Best of luck to my BL Group from the 300+ group! you all rock!!

  
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DTHOR6 7/21/2014 7:13PM

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NICKI984 7/21/2014 5:38PM

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JTREMBATH 7/21/2014 3:20PM

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Extremely emotional night

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Last night my fiance wanted a late night snack so we agreed to go out and get one. As we're pulling out of our parking lot we see something in the middle of the road. It's a man laying in the middle of the road, it didn't look like he was breathing, my fiance shook him, nudged him, tried to wake him, but he was unmoving. So I called 911 I explained the situation and they sent a fire truck first. We were sitting in our truck with the headlights on and my fiance was by the guy in the road, so they stop just 5 feet short of his body and try to wake him too. Shaking him hard and saying SIR! WAKE UP! SIR! and all of a sudden he jumps up like he's going to fight them and starts screaming. They tell him to calm down and he lays back down.

He is screaming "what the hell do you want!? I'm trying to do this right! Give me a damn gun so I can do this!" the firemen ask "do you know that you're in the middle of the street?" He still screaming says "of course I know I'm not stupid, I want to die! Now go away so I can do this right!" and they reply "well sir you know you're in the middle of the street and we can't leave you here." He starts screaming again about how he was in Vietnam and he killed people and he can't live like this anymore and he is ready to die. That they don't have any right to be bothering him and he doesn't know why they are there. I don't know why but I got really emotional. His voice was so angry and sad at the same time. Then he stood up and said he was done with this, he said "If I don't do it here tonight I'm going to do it tomorrow so I'm just going home." Then the ambulance showed up and they kept blocking him from running away. The paramedic said "Because of what you said here tonight we can't let you go home, you understand? If anything happened to you we would be responsible." He said "then why the hell are you here? I want to die, you don't know what I went through in vietnam!" the fireman responded "So you want to lay here on the ground and possibly a car with a family and kids runs you over-" the stranger cuts him off "Yes that's what I want!" the fireman continues "You want that on their heads? on their conscience for ever?" the stranger takes a moment to reply and says again "You don't know what happened over there! You have no idea!" There's now four all together between paramedics and firemen. They all tell him that they don't, that they are grateful for his sacrifice to allow them to have their jobs and stuff.

He keeps saying that he is just going to go home, he says he has an appointment with the VA and the mental health place in town, that they need to just take him home. they tell him, he has two options. Go to the hospital and go to jail. He refuses both. Then a police officer shows up and he says "I'm not going to jail, take me to the hospital." I don't know why but I'm fighting tears this entire time. He finally gets in the ambulance still cursing and yelling about needed to turn his A/C down in his house.

A fireman walks over to our truck and says that if we had not been standing by him they would have ran him over, they didn't see him. They all left and we left too. All I kept thinking is that this is someones dad, or grandpa, doesn't he have friends or family? Why does he feel so alone? So angry? I just wanted to tell him that it doesn't need to be this way. My fiance wanted to tell him that if he needs a friend, that he has one. I just feel so upset. I know Im too soft, but it is horrible.

I posted to facebook about this and my family replied that the helpless and sad feeling that I got is exactly how they feel when I say I want to disappear and give up on everything. It made me realize the impact one person can have. Although people don't know my entire story I have felt the way that man felt. I don't know his story, but I sure wish I could do something to let him know how important he is to the world. How much this moment changed me.

  
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COMMIT2MYSELF 7/21/2014 3:07PM

    Thank you all so much for your comments and support, I'm still emotional thinking about it. Thank you all.

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NICKI984 7/20/2014 3:47PM

    I would have been emotional too. That poor man! My great grandpa was over there in Vietnam and when he started getting really sick (cancer) he kept holding on and suffering and nobody knew why. One day he asked for the whole family to get together with him at the hospital. When we were all there he told us that he could not go unless he had some kind of peace about the things he has done. He had tears in his eyes as he had told us some stories about the things that had happened over there but the reason why he was holding on is because the guilt he felt for killing one specific man. He said he and his men were starving they hadn't eaten in days and they came across a man who was cooking a pot of rice, (he did not say if this man was a soldier or civilian) and they made the decision that they could not just take some of the rice or all of the rice and walk away leaving this man alive because he would give away their position. They took the rice and killed him. My grandpa never told anyone that story but he knew that if he didn't come clean he would not be able to let go. My grandpa died 2 hours after he told us his story. I guess what I'm trying to say is you are right, it is very sad. I pray that man finds someone to talk to so he can get a little peace. Things were terrible over there and people had to do things to stay alive that they are ashamed of. I really hope this man has family or friends and decides to get some of his pain out. I'm glad you were there to save this man's life.

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POSITIVEHOPE 7/20/2014 3:13PM

    He felt he just wanted his misery to end. You guys just stood by him. The paramedics, firefighters and police stood with him and reminded him that what he was trying to do would put that same burden on another family.
We are all connected even when we feel the most alone. That experience made you remember the moments that you felt most alone. Now let that experience help you to realize how connected you are. Your blog help connect me today.

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STILLMENEWBODY 7/20/2014 1:59PM

    That was a pretty traumatic thing to have happened. Of course you are emotions. Of course you start assessing your own feelings and why at times you have felt the way this poor man did. I pray he ends up getting the help he needs. As for you, I am glad we are here for you to share with. These may be cries for help but we can never underestimate what the mind can do to us. I wish you health, healing and happiness. Take care of you! emoticon

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TWESTEN1 7/20/2014 1:21PM

    Wow - that was quite an experience. Thankfully you guys were there & helped save his life. It is heartbreaking when people just want to give up on their lives... sounds like he was also still dealing with pdsd. Hopefully he gets help.

I'm glad the moment made a difference in your life too. And I'm glad your family & friends let you know how important you are to them too! Never forget that.

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Crazy Unexpected Week No Notice Trip to Vegas

Saturday, July 19, 2014

So this week was pretty hectic/crazy. A friend of mine is visiting Vegas from Washington, her family had some serious health issues so she flew down to see them. I wanted to see her so much! I live about 90 minutes from Vegas, but kind of low on funds. I decided one day I'm just going to go see her! I must! So I pick up my fiance and we head up there for the day.

I didn't grab any clothes or a charger or anything. I thought I was just going for the day. We ended up staying the night, two nights, and almost an entire other day, he missed work, we wasted money (and he got it back). I couldn't track my calories I got no exercise, although we did do a fair amount of walking at a couple points. I tried on wedding dresses (which was a lot of fun!) had a couple drinks (and I don't really drink any more), and we didn't get home until late in the afternoon yesterday. His friend had a party for his birthday that we were both supposed to go to, but we had been arguing, and I was said cuz my friend lives so far away. So I told him that I needed some alone time and he should go without me.

I was super emotional all day. I cried over every little thing. I dropped him off and I cried as I left, he asked me to come back, but I had made friends with my friend Amy. I needed to vent a little and get it out of my system. We hung out for about two hours and went our seperate ways, I went to pick up Bradley from his friends house and decided to come in and stay for a few minutes..... that turned into a few hours and a few drinks (which is bad!). I had a great time, dancing, laughing, playing beer pong (well not me, but they did). He got pretty drunk and we both laughed at how much this party reminded us of high school! The young girls there especially.... they were like 19-22 and they were very sweet. I told them "sorry girls I'm an old lady" they were saying well how old, and you're so pretty, Bradley your wife is so pretty you look like you're in your mid 20s. Another guy told me thatI looked 25 :) I was like whoa, I guess I don't look old yet :D I know it's silly.

When we left we stopped at Denny's and he ate.... ALOT of food, LoL. I ate too I know it was bad! but ya know what this is a lifestyle change and I will not deny myself something all the time, every now and then I have to give in and I did this week and I'm hoping that some of my other choices helped.

For example, I got a lunch portion of food when I went out to lunch with my friends which was small, I ate about half of it. for Breakfast we did the buffet I got an egg white scramble and fresh fruit with unsweetened Iced tea. For dinner I got a small steak with baked potato and salad. Another breakfast I got Egg White Omelet with sliced tomatoes and ate one piece of wheat toast. I couldn't track my calories but I was aware of my eating choices and made several that were better. I drank a ton of water too. Hoping my choices worked out for me and that next week isn't so crazy.

  


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