Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Today's blog inspiration has been brought to you by two of my wonderful SparkFriends - Chloe453 and BrightPenny so I want to thank them both upfront!
Chloe wrote a blog just the other day about "natural highs" and I want to share some my own with you. Here is my list:
~ Waking up each morning and being on "this side of the sod" (my father's mantra before he died
~ My dogs and their antics
~ My husband and the way we connect over the silliest of things
~ Finding money in a coat pocket you haven't worn in a while
~ The contentment I feel during and after a relaxing walk
~ Hanging clothes on the clothesline and watching it blow gently in the breeze
~ The thrill of getting a package in the mail. Bonus thrill if it arrives from my brother
~ Hearing my mother's voice on the phone (when she isn't complaining about her health!)
~ Puddles are being dressed in rubber boots so I can jump in them!
~ Pansies and violas
~ The woods roads and trails surrounding my town - lots of places to explore
~ The warmth of the sun on my face and the smell of sunscreen
~ An outdoor fire (with the obligatory marshmallow on a stick)
~ Rain at night and waking up to hearing in and knowing you are comfortable where you are
~ My SparkFriends
~ My little house with the white sheer curtains blowing in the breeze
~ Berry picking (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!!!)
~ Cold, yet sunny winters
~ All of the seasons except Spring but appreciating the first robin of spring, the first dandelion etc
~ Knowing that at the end of each day life is good
Okay, and the reason BrightPenny has touched me is, well, despite a great loss in her life, she has managed to be on of the most pleasant people I have met and most successful. She has lost over 60 pounds in 8 months and has done it all with a smile.
I wrote in a SparkMail message to her about my personal journey. This is what I said to her "I have to be careful to use SparkPeople as a tool along my journey and not to let it become my journey".
Her response was basically to make sure I used SparkPeople as a tool but a tool for what. If I wanted to use it for social engagement primarily or did I want to get serious about my physical health. I know the social aspect of SparkPeople has indeed helped my mental growth but there is a fine line between going with the flow and deciding to focus my efforts on my nutrition and exercise.
It is time for me to realize that until I put as much effort into my nutrition and exercise as I do with the social aspects of SparkPeople, my weight is probably going to remain the same. Only I can do this!!!! And I just might do it! Scratch that last sentence ....I AM GOING to do this!
Sunday, April 22, 2012
Hello fellow Sparkers!
Well, it appears that some of you seem to think that I can write which I find quite funny because I tend to just write whatever pops into my head and I don't spend hours figuring out what I am going to say. It somehow just comes out of me which my brother claims is a great characteristic because reading my e-mails is like having me there in person. (His words and not mine). Whenever I tell him a funny story I always lead up to it by warning him to put down any hot beverages because I don't want to be responsible for his spitting it out on his clothes and/or burning his privates. He gets a real kick out of that and (according to him) has saved him from scalding himself many times.
So, speaking of which, did I tell you these stories I wonder? Just recently, my groomer (well, she is actually our DOGS groomer and not mine) was dogsitting for her sister's dog. The dog has always been quite good do my friend didn't think anything of leaving her at home unattended. She also didn't give a second thought to setting up her Roomba to vac her floors when she was gone. Well, when she returned home that evening she found out the dog had several accidents throughout the house which the Roomba (a robotic type of vacuum) took and dragged everywhere!!! Honest to goodness!
Then there is the dog my cousin knows who was in the basement where several young chicks were hatched in an incubator. As each one hatched the dog reaches in and takes the chick in his mouth and gently cleans it off. Then when the chicks make a sound he goes to the incubator and takes them out and nestles them into his fur. This is a huge German Sheppard that has half the town terrorized just by its looks!!
My final story is about a good friend of my brothers who lives outside of Sydney, Australia. Fran was dogsitting her mom's elderly, half-blind, half-deaf, ancient poodle when she decided walk her off leash. Without warning the poodle took off down the block and turned into a church garden which apparently was having a BBQ for the area's homeless. Before she knew what was happening the dog stole a bunch of sausages and was quite proud of herself while Fran arrived trying to make excuses and apologies!
Oh, and before I forget I promised a friend of mine that I would start to eat better. That is why I am turning over a new leaf. This is the same friend who last year was eating herself sick and who ended up in ICU over Christmas with what turned out to be Type 1 (!) diabetes at age 55! She has gone from living on chocolate for breakfast to salads, cut out diet coke completely, and is losing a lot of excess weight. Last summer I wrote about how I felt she was sabotaging my efforts and now she is the one encouraging me to log my food! Wow! So, I am going to do it.....look out!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
Yes, today is my birthday and I am really, really fighting to stave off a pity party. And it has nothing to do with turning 46 as I know I am in a better place in my life than I have ever been before. No, my depression suddenly didn't disappear off the face of the earth, nor did the sun decide to take up full time occupancy over our island and, yes, we are still undergoing a financial hardship. As of next week, we will be living on my unemployment insurance which isn't much as my job is only seasonal and part-time at that.
No doubt my special day is going to be different this year. I don't think there will be any presents and I am fine with that, really, I am. I know I have far too many physical possessions to enjoy as it is so anything else would be a waste. I am being taken out to a nice restaurant both tonight and tomorrow - today by my mom and tomorrow by close friends.
I think what I am sad about is that I miss my dad. Huh? Yep, I miss the way he always made me feel special everyday but even more so on my birthday. He would always make the special effort to call me as soon as he knew I would be up and would devote the whole day to doing whatever I wanted to do. Okay, now I sound like a child but I hope you all know what I mean.
I need to feel Dad in my life right now and that would be a perfect present for me. A few hours before he died he promised me he would live on in my heart and I know that deep within he is here with me. I am hoping some of you know what is like to have that closeness with their parents and that you don't think I'm gone off the deep end.
Anyway, I have to cheer myself up and stop this is in its tracks before Dad himself pops out of nowhere and smacks me up the side of the head. Ha! I got my sense of humour from him so he did give me a special gift!
So, where am I in my journey? Well, I'm not really sure. This has been the longest I have ever gone without blogging and I kind of missed it. Do you ever go back and read your past blogs? It is an eye-opener for me when I do. Somethings I have written make me squirm while other stuff makes me quite proud that I am honest. Yes, I have a mental illness but that doesn't make me who I am.
Speaking of mental illnesses, I had an interesting appointment with my psychiatrist earlier in the week. She "thinks" I am a completely different person than when I began seeing her about 8 years ago. You know me and my humour so don't be surprised that I piped up and said "okay, whom I am and what have I done with the real Susan." Thankfully she has a great sense of humour as well so I wasn't locked away!
According to her, I am at the stage where I am accepting of my illness and moving on. I am not letting depression (oh, and a slight tendency to be Bi-Polar - who knew?) dictate where my life takes me. I am not using it as a shield but rather to explain who I am and the role it plays in my life. She says I am much stronger than I think I am and am much more saner than anybody she has ever met?! Who me? Sane? Wow? You see, I have always thought I was slightly crazy and was only one forgotten pill away from being put into a straight jacket. But no, apparently a professional thinks I have an inner strength that I don't know about.
So, who is the real Susan? The real Susan is finally emerging and I am finding out that she might actually be likeable and a nice friend to have in my back pocket. So the birthday present I am giving myself this year is permission to accept and love who I am right now and not worry about who I was or who I might turn out to be.
Oh, and a piece of birthday cake wouldn't go astray
P.S. I think I just hear Dad clapping and cheering me on!
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Well, after writing yesterday's blog I forced myself to go out for a walk to clear my head. I had walked about 1km when the rain started so I had several choices:
1. I could turn around and walk back home
2. I could dart in somewhere and call John to come get me
3. I could continue my walk
I opted for number 3 and ended up walking 4 kms all of which was in the pouring rain until I was so wet through that I really had no option but to call home for a ride. Even then I was wet right through to my underwear! But, I did it! and it felt so good after a long hot shower to be able to record 4 km in my fitness tracker.
You see, I'm down BUT I'm not out! Although many of you know that I am depressed what you don't realize is that I am also very stubborn . I am NOT letting depression win the overall prize! It might knock me down a day, a week, a month or even a year at a time but when I die I want to look back and say, Take that Depression.....You Never Did Win
So, I am back to picking up the pieces
I am going to take this one day at a time and each day I feel good is a bonus! To that end I know I must keep up with my end of the bargain. I must feed my body and soul healthy foods and ideas, I must be open, and I must be willing to take my medications and use my sun lamp. Sure all days are not going to be rosy but I will get through them!
Some days I might not feel like walking and I will give myself permission not to. Some days I will struggle to stay the course but at least I'm on my way and as they say finished last beats did not finish which in turn beats didn't start!
Some well meaning friend asked if I felt cheated because I live with depression. Are you kidding me? Things could be so much worse that depression, as ugly as it can be! Yes, there are times I have the "why me" moments but then I think "why not me". There are many, many different faces to depression:
Here is mine!
And here is the look of satisfaction after resisting crawling into bed and instead getting out to walk in the rain!
Monday, April 09, 2012
May I please have a "do-over"? Nothing seems to be working for me right now and although that does sound a bit whiny, it is the plain and simple truth. I've stopped logging in, I have allowed some fantastic Spark friendships to lapse, I'm not active on any of my teams. Maybe it is time to take a Spark break? I don't know.
For some reason, deep within, I can't even fathom my life without Spark (which is a good thing, isn't it?) so maybe I will just step back and take a breather. Has anybody else gone through this? Would you share what worked for you to get you back as an active Sparker?
I am fighting hard against this depression and SAD. It ebbs and flows so some days are a lot better than others. Most people with SAD find the winter tough but my worse time is March - May and sometimes even June depending on the weather. I've been sitting in front of my SAD light, I take my vitamin D, and I try to get out and walk regardless of the weather because time with my dogs cheers me up.
I finish work in two weeks which right now seems great. I want to focus on getting more physically active and will do so by resuming water aerobics in the mornings. I need something to get me up and out the door.
Maybe this will pass and I will be back to blogging tomorrow but right now I feel I need some me time..which is probably the last thing I really need!
Hold tight my friends. I am down but not out!
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