PCOH051610   51,490
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PCOH051610's Recent Blog Entries

My progress the past few days

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hi,

As I said in an earlier blog, I joined the Biggest Loser Challenge when it started on Wednesday, April 25th and I have been doing okay with it. Actually better than okay as I have walked every day ( emoticon), am tracking my food emoticon, am playing with my doggies emoticon and emoticon and am spending a lot of time with my dear husband and my good friend Judy.

I am sleeping better now as well and plan to start aquafit this week - all part of my mission to knock depression to the curb where I hope it will be totally thrashed by the garbage compactor!!!!

But seriously, I do hope that the small changes I am making do help me mentally as well as physically. Yes, I know I will always have some sort of depression BUT a healthy body will surely help, right?

Today, the weather was pretty typical for Newfoundland in Spring. It was sunny, very chilly and we did have some snowflakes floating by. Mind you, that didn't stop us from walking nor did it stop Louisa from jumping into the river to swim. Brrrr.....

I am planning a pretty quiet night at home with my posse (John, Maddy and Louisa) and am hoping my day in the fresh air lulls me to sleep like a baby!

xo Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VINOTEA 5/2/2012 1:22AM

    Hey, just remember what Neil Armstrong said during his moonwalk ... "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind". Small changes are what result in a big finish. Awesome job on the small steps.

Admittedly I don't know first hand about depression, however I do have my husband who does have first hand experience, and from what he says, getting out there and having some sort of activity and sleeping good are contributors towards good days.

I'm so glad you're a Starlet!

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BRIGHTPENNY 5/1/2012 10:07PM

    Good for you, you are doing it!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/30/2012 5:43PM

    Great job with the challenge! Have a wonderful restful evening with your loved ones!

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A1KAYOS 4/30/2012 1:05PM

    You definitely have a strong start to BLC!!! I am so happy that you joined the Starlets!!

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KAYDE53 4/29/2012 11:47PM

    You're doing emoticon!!! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/29/2012 11:25PM

    Susan, I'm so proud of you! emoticon

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DIDMIS 4/29/2012 11:10PM

    You are doing so well. emoticon

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HEALTHYBARB1 4/29/2012 11:07PM

    Such a fun sounding weekend and some healthy choices!!! Depression is no fun but you are making the right choices to help yourself feel better by taking steps in the right direction. Will be praying for you to sleep well and to feel the results of your efforts!! Hugs Barb

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PAMAPPLE 4/29/2012 11:01PM

    Good for you in making positive steps and gaining a new attitude!!

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EJOY-EVELYN 4/29/2012 10:51PM

    Three cheers for the small changes!

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TEMPEST272002 4/29/2012 9:13PM

    I've found exercising & nutrition (adding anti-depression foods to my daily diet) have been more effective for my depression than any medication I've taken. Since I started my new job & started eating lots of crap, I've noticed that I'm starting to have signs of depression again. I think it really does make a difference. You're doing really well with the challenge! Keep going with that and I bet you'll be noticing a differnce in your physical and mental health.
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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 4/29/2012 8:57PM

    Sounds like you have a strong start!!

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YIWEN39 4/29/2012 8:39PM

    You're off to a great start :-) Good luck with everything! Snow flakes at the end of April? OMG... not the kind of place I'd like... I can't stand the cold ;-)
Have a great week :-)

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HEATHERNL 4/29/2012 7:03PM

    Keep moving one foot in front of the other. You are doing SO GREAT and I am so proud of you for hanging on.
Hugs!

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ILOVEMALI 4/29/2012 4:35PM

    I just had a thought about depression. For years, I have had a bit of seasonal affective disorder during the winter in sunny California. Now that I know that you are in Newfoundland, may I suggest that you ask your doctor to check your vitamin D level? I was having some depression and my doctor tweaked my thyroid medication because it was too high (I don't have a thyroid anymore) and checked my D level -- I was way low in D. She started me on D and the combination of changes really helped me. I increase my D in the winter and it helps.

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LUXITTA 4/29/2012 4:34PM

    Exercise is supposed to bring endorphins to your brain so you are absolutely right about being healthy will help kick the depression. I am from Ontario and I have SAD. Do you know what yours is? Perhaps it is the lack in sunlight. If you think its that try getting some vitamin D it comes in pill form and or liquid form and it helps on those days where the sun is hiding. Good luck to you and keep up the walking!
~Amanda~

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Day One of the Rest of My Life

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hi,

As most of you know I used to be a fairly active member of SparkPeople since I joined in August 2010. And, if you've been following my journey you will realize that while I have not been successful with weight loss (I started out at 222 pounds, went down to 206 and now am back at 222) Spark has played a tremendous role in my life.

I life with clinical depression and had an equally depressing lifestyle. I didn't loathed exercise in any form, I ate poorly and water was something to wash my face in! I am proud to say I now am a walker, I am aware of what I eat and I love to drink my water! I also have made some wonderful SparkFriends and they have seen me through my many detours off the journey's path.

I am now recommitting to doing my best. I have joined up with the Biggest Loser Team and I will remain faithful to my previous teams because they are the ones who got me as far as I now.

I have to get some of this weight off because I remember how good it felt last summer to weight almost 20 pounds lighter! I will get there again and then some! Today was the first day of my "summer" holiday and I don't go back to work until early September so no excuses! I got up this morning and walked my dogs and I was truly thankful to share that time with them. Louisa though nothing of jumping into the river and going for a swim despite this being much too early in the season for the water to be much above 0 degrees! Silly thing but she had fun and I had fun laughing at her! Maddy was not impressed but managed to get his toes wet which is basically all he will ever do.

The rest of the day I spent on errands and then I ran into Walmart where I bought myself a skipping rope! Yep, age 46 and I am going to take up skipping! I figured it is something I can do anywhere and every bit of exercise will help.

I also stopped at the grocery store (our Walmart does not have much of a grocery aisle) and stocked up on good foods. I balked at paying $12 for a bag of frozen fruit but then I figured it would last me a week and the Reese's Peanut Butter mini cups I was eating were almost $4 a bag and they would only last me one night. Gross, hey? At least the fruit is yummy and is good for me! That and popcorn will be my nightly snacks if I am hungry.

Okay, time to get off here and start making some changes.

Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARGIEPLLY 4/29/2012 3:59PM

    Susan

A great blog. Keep up the good work.

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YIWEN39 4/29/2012 5:54AM

    Great plan and you sound mighty determined, that's great :-)
Let us know how the rope skipping goes, I'd like to try that myself ;-)
Cheering you on and looking forward to your next uplifiting blogs! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 4/28/2012 1:35AM

    Way to get back on the old horse Susan! Can't keep a good gal down for long!!
A skipping rope is an amazing workout -Sparks has a video on it so you can do the video and add it to your Fitness Tracker!
So glad you have awesome team mates that are welcoming you into the fold -all the best with that Biggest Loser team, if anyone can coax you on, they can!
Okay, your fur baby is nuts to go swimming in cold water -but I am seeing the doggies doing it here too -mostly labs though -the original water dogs..
Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
Spark on!!
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TEMPEST272002 4/27/2012 3:21PM

    Aren't you lucky to have started "summer" vacation! I'm glad you've committed to using this time off to work on your healthy and fitness goals. Skipping is a a great workout & fun too!

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IMAVISION 4/27/2012 1:04PM

    I am impressed by your renewed determination & I look forward to seeing your commitment pay off over the summer months. I, too, have a renewed determination/commitment & plan to make the summer months count toward goal.

May you be blessed with success upon success.

Ima



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BOVEY63 4/27/2012 12:37PM

    It sounds to me like you have an awesome re-commitment plan and I know you can do it!
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Great analogy between the fruit and candy costs - funny how we can balk at a high price when its healthy and yet have blinders when its candy. Good lesson to remember!

Love hearing those puppy stories!
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JOANNANOW 4/27/2012 10:12AM

    Keeping fruit around helps. I do that too. Gee Louisa is a dedicated swimmer! Brrrr!
Have a great weekend Susan. You sound determined. emoticon

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VINOTEA 4/26/2012 11:55PM

    I completely agree and understand. I have very little weight since I first joined, but have gained so much knowledge and a circle of friends unlike any other. I am so glad to be a Scarlet Starlet with you and excited to see what becomes of our Biggest Loser journey and overall weight loss journey!

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A1KAYOS 4/26/2012 11:07PM

    Susan I am so glad that you found the BLC team and especially our Scarlet Starlets!!! I am looking forward in getting to know you better and win this healthy journey together!

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KAYDE53 4/26/2012 10:22PM

    If anyone can do it, it's you Susan! You have the plan & the will; you're on your way! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/26/2012 9:07PM

    Susan, your honesty and realness endear me to you! You are a breath of FRESH AIR! So many people fake it, lie about it, and run from it, and you face it all head on! What a strong woman you are! Keep fighting toward the light, and stay away from that darkness, my friend! Love you! Lori

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EJOY-EVELYN 4/26/2012 7:31PM

    Ahh . . . confession is good for the soul. I had no idea you were in need of hitting the restart button. I'm so glad you're making this commitment for yourself. I'll be sure to look for your success in future trophies, blogs, and status posts. Your friends want to see you succeed for you with whatever words of encouragement and support we might be able to provide you with. Being at a healthy BMI has such great benefits for you and your friends and loved ones . . . right down to better being able to walk the pooches! Looking forward to your great progress.
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JLPARKHURST 4/26/2012 7:27PM

    Wow Susan, that is so great! I signed up for the BLC tos this time! We can do this together! WE will help eachother stay committed! Good for you making those healthy choices! YOU CAN DO IT! WE WILL DO IT!!

HUGS
Jennifer

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CHLOE453 4/26/2012 6:54PM

    Susan....I am so proud of you for recommitting yourself to eating healthy, walking and drinking your water. I too need to totally recommit myself and get busy at getting this weight off. Thank you for your wonderful blog.....as of tomorrow morning I am going to turn over a new leaf and start fresh. Have a wonderful evening and weekend ahead. Hugs~~Kelly emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/26/2012 6:50PM

    Hi, there -- I know that you can do this. Depression does get in the way of our lives, but you sound committed to lifestyle change. Good for you that you blew off the cheaper Reese's in favor of the more expensive fruit -- your reasoning was right on point! emoticon emoticon

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A shout out to two of my SparkFriends - BrightPenny and Chloe453

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hello!

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! emoticon

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

~ Laughter

~ 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

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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!

xo Susan

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/28/2012 1:44AM

    Love your list of natural highs -brought back some memories for me :)
Good luck in your balancing act of using Spark as a tool and as a social outlet! I personally think you can use it as both and I have. Even though I have confidence with my weight maintenance, I am not leaving Sparks because my friends are still on their journey and I don't want to abandon them..
I want to see you reach the happy ending of your journey and I know you will and I need to see more happy endings :)
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YIWEN39 4/25/2012 7:10PM

    That's a great list Susan :-) I'm sure you can find the right balance emoticon

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BRIGHTPENNY 4/25/2012 6:46PM

    Susan, you have made a decision and I particularly like the language you chose, "I am..", so you've decided to take on the physical as well! Believe me, it will feed into the other aspects of your life... and don't ever think it isn't a continuing struggle for me, but it is one that I do take on.. one day at a time and sometimes, i am really challenged..! thanks for the feedback! i don't think I need to wish you good luck.. if you tackle this as you do the social side you are going to be successful! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHLOE453 4/24/2012 9:34PM

    Absolutely love you "list" of highs....they are beautiful!!! I treasure you as a SP friend more than you will ever know. Take care and have a wonderful evening. Hugs~~Kelly

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KAYDE53 4/24/2012 5:42PM

    Great list, Susan!!! Great friends are why emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/24/2012 12:36PM

    Shout out to you! What a great way to start the morning. I will think about my natural highs! You're the greatest! emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 4/24/2012 12:16PM

    It is hard to find the right balance.

Love your list! I share many of the same natural highs!

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BOVEY63 4/24/2012 11:39AM

    Awesome! Always good to focus on the positives!
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TEMPEST272002 4/24/2012 11:14AM

    I loved your natural high list. I'm a total grumpasaurus this morning & it made me feel better just to read the list. The distinction your friend made about the social aspects vs health is spot on... but, I was thinking back to when you first started SP & it seems to me that you have made marked improvements in your health - mentally & physically. Don't discount that! It has prepared you for the next part of your journey. Now you are ready to move forward on the weight loss & I have no doubt that you will find your way with that as well.

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HEATHERNL 4/24/2012 10:41AM

    That's beautiful.

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LESLIES537 4/24/2012 9:34AM

    emoticon Sounds like some amazing friends you have there!! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/24/2012 8:59AM

    Susan, I am facing that issue right now--the one you were talking about with BrightPenny. The social aspect of Spark had totally consumed me, and I was not focused on the right priorities. I just don't know how I'm going to do this Sparkland stuff and still be active in real life. It takes far too much time to read everyone's blogs all the time, respond to them, and just the overall busyness of all that. But again, I don't want to let my friends go. I tried changing my name, but people you hardly know find you anyway and wonder what they did wrong! They didn't do ANYthing wrong, but too many acquaintances is just that! Too many! I'll be interested to hear what you decide to do... I learn from you all the time! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Turning over a new leaf and some cute dog stories

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. emoticon

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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 4/23/2012 3:44PM

    I love the story about the German Shepherd the baby chicks! Fritz is a big softie too...but he scares the heck out of the postman and everyone else who comes to the gate!

Good luck with the new leaf...spring is the right time for new leaves, after all!

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JOANNANOW 4/23/2012 10:09AM

    You cheered me up on this rainy morning. The big dog and the little chicks warmed my heart. There's an up side to the rain as it makes the snow run off but it looks dreary and the dogs don't want to go out which is totally unusal.

Great news that your friend is encouraging you and inspiring you. I hope you can enjoy some creative salads together.

Happy Monday!
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HEALTHYBARB1 4/22/2012 11:53PM

    Glad to hear about your new motivation and loved the dog stories and smiles they brought to my face!! My lhasa apso is very old and blind and deaf...her nose still works though and she refuses to eat anymore unless she can smell dinner...making her quite a spoiled old lady....but we love her so we try to be as supportive as possible.
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TEMPEST272002 4/22/2012 8:50PM

    Cute dog stories! We once had a real giant of a rottweiler (140lbs) who adored our chickens. Every morning he would go to the chicken coop and count his chickens. If any got too far away from the coop, he'd gently nose them back. He would even let them sit on his back which was hilarious.

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KAYDE53 4/22/2012 7:55PM

    Loved your dogs stories, that Roomba one was too funny, I can just picture that!!! That's so great about your friend's turn around in her health mindset. I think it's so much easier when you have someone right there to help cheer each other on!! emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/22/2012 4:57PM

    I agree... writing from the heart is what endears your friends to you! Not to mention that you are a true, loving friend! emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 4/22/2012 3:04PM

    It is because you write from your heart that we all enjoy it so much!

Great dog stories! So glad the first one didn't happen to me. YUCK!
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GAYLE-G-63 4/22/2012 2:51PM

    Thanks for the smiles, Suan.

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ILOVEMALI 4/22/2012 2:32PM

    love your dog stories. I have a lhasa apso, who is true to breed -- she alerts when she thinks that the gate to the monastery will be breached. She also alerts when she notices something different. For example, a leaf fell off of a plant in our livingroom and had landed on the couch. She saw it and it was "Danger, Will Robinson!" for 5 minutes! LOL emoticon

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My birthday wish this year and will the real Susan please stand up

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hi!

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 emoticon

Susan

P.S. I think I just hear Dad clapping and cheering me on!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLILA 4/21/2012 1:59AM

    Happy birthday to you and also to my granddaughter who turned 1 y.o. today.

Loved your blog and your attitude. You are indeed a strong woman!! You have been so blessed to have such wonderful memories of your dad... Have you ever heard the country song, "There Are Holes in the Floor of Heaven"? I am sure your dad is up there looking down on you and so proud of your strength and endurance and that you have kept his humor alive... emoticon

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KAYDE53 4/20/2012 10:59PM

    I hope you enjoyed your birthday & wish you many, many more!!! I think your choice of a present to yourself is awesome, and probably one of the many reasons your doc thinks you're a completely different person!!! I'll just bet your dad was right there with you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTHAWILL 4/20/2012 8:33PM

    Enjoyed reading your blog Susan. You are a prolific writer. Your forthrightness will help others experiencing the same journey. You do sound very confident and "together" . Congratulations on your accomplishments. Wish you a very Happy Birthday.

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WINGSONME 4/20/2012 4:00PM

    Susan
Pat yourself on your back.Just look at all your birthday wishes you are sure doing something right..and your Dad knows that and helped make you the great caring kind person you are.. I know the pain of not having a Mom & Dad who we love, and are ever so close with, not to be with us any longer.....Happy Birthday my friend. emoticon

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MILLIE5522 4/20/2012 10:03AM

    Happy Birthday! I'm a little late but I have been away for a few days. I think your present to yourself is just perfect! As for the real Susan. I think you are an intelligent, caring sensitive person with a great sense of humour. That is how you come across to me and I should imagine your Dad was very proud of you. emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 4/20/2012 9:11AM

    Ahh, Susan... you are such a dear, dear friend! I am so sorry I missed your birthday yesterday, and I never even saw it in "the other place" we frequent!

How I will miss my dear Dad when he leaves this earth! He is technically my step-dad, but he shines far brighter than any bio dad could ever begin to attempt. I know you must feel a huge void if he was anything like my dad!

I don't have a lot of time right now, but I hope that you know I love you, friend. I'm glad we're connected. emoticon

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CHLOE453 4/20/2012 5:56AM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN!!!!

I am sure your Dad is with you on your special day, clapping & singing & still making you feel extremely special. I lost my Dad on my 25th birthday, so I sort of understand in a way of what you are going through.

Wishing you nothing but a great day and wonderful weekend!! Take care my SP friend as you are very important to many of us.





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POPSY190 4/20/2012 4:11AM

    Great blog. This is the anniversary of my father's death so I can sympathise with that feeling of something missing on your special day. But you are right, although we can't see or speak directly to them they live on in our thoughts and hearts and in our very existence as we are their creation! My father too had his problems with bi-polar episodes but he was also one of the most kind people I have known and had a fundamental common sense and decency. I think you are like that as well; when I look around at the attitudes and behaviours of some so-called "normal" people I think "sanity" or the lack of it is a fine line that most of us walk at some stage or another. The difference between you and many others is that you have the courage to acknowledge your difficulties and to do the best you can regardless. So you enjoy your birthday and the many happy returns of it that I hope will follow for you.

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_LINDA 4/20/2012 1:19AM

    Happy birthday my special friend! So very sorry your Dad couldn't be there in person to celebrate with you, but like your online friends, we are there with you in spirit! Wishing you many more up days then down, and know that your smile lights up a place brighter than any sun!
You are a strong woman Susan! You go girl!!!
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EJOY-EVELYN 4/19/2012 11:59PM

    There's something incredibly healthy about being a bit insanely crazy! Thesuspect the one thing you will ever hear said about you is, "My, she led such a b-o-r-i-n-g life!"

emoticon Happy Birthday, Susan!

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SUNNYSHINE- 4/19/2012 11:06PM

    Happy birthday, Susan! What a wonderful gift to give yourself the peace that comes with accepting who you are today. We are all worthy this moment. Do not let another moment pass where you do anything less than love and accept yourself. I too have struggled with that over the years; but as I work on it, I can feel the pressure to be anything other than me slowly melting away. Best wishes on your special day :-)

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CELLISTA1 4/19/2012 10:21PM

    Happy Birthday to the Real Susan! As you see, many of us understand how you miss your dad. My dad still appears in my dreams quite a lot and it's been 16 years since he died. This was a great blog.



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CHUBRUB3 4/19/2012 7:10PM

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY SUSAN.
Wishing you health and happiness every day.
Hugs,
Angela


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HEALTHYBARB1 4/19/2012 4:20PM

    Yes!!! Your Dad would be proud!! I think it is great that you decided to be the real Susan and love her unconditionally because I am from a family where my Dad loved me that way and it sounds like that is the kind of Dad you have as well. He would want you to love the Susan he loves and to be the best Susan you can be!!
Happy Birthday to you!! Smiles Barb

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GEORGIAK25 4/19/2012 3:28PM

    Happy Birthday Susan emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
It is great to receive presents but to have love and genuine at that is more improtant. You are surrounded by that love here. Hope you can make the day special. I am sure your dad is there around you. Just close your eyes and drift off into the memories and you will feel him.

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KANSASROSE67 4/19/2012 2:43PM

    I totally understand how you feel about your dad. I miss my mom at times so much it hurts...sometimes we long to be taken care of in the way that only parents can.

Have a wonderful birthday and enjoy the new, stronger Susan!

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WAYSOFGRACE 4/19/2012 1:06PM

    Happy birthday!!!

I know what you mean about being close to your dad. I am that close to mine, and I try not to think of what it will be like when he is no longer physically with me. That being said, if I am honest with myself, he's always with me whether he's on a cruise or across the table. He has instilled in me traits that I liked, taught me lessons on life, and I am who I am partly because of my relationship with him.

I too have mental illness, and you bet your sweet patootie we are stronger than we realize! You've come to a great place in your life, and I just know that you are going to love the you that the rest of us see every single day!

Now get out there and have a wonderful day!!! emoticon

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ASL191 4/19/2012 12:19PM

    Happy birthday to you.

I am sure your Dad is with you, as he said in your heart.

It sounds as though you have made massive steps in accepting you as who you are, enjoy your meals out and spoil yourself for free, a soak in the bath, a walk in the woods, a wander around a museum, doing stuff like that makes me feel good inside.

Enjoy the rest of your day :-)


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BOVEY63 4/19/2012 12:10PM

    Have a wonderful birthday and know that your dad is there with you, never leaving your heart.
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Here's to finding, and loving, the real us ~ a gift I am giving myself too!
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JOANNANOW 4/19/2012 11:45AM

    Happy Birthday Dear Susan.... Happy Birthday to you!

My dad has been gone for more than 30 years and there are still days when I feel his presence in my heart. The cherished memory of a wonderful father is a great gift. Better than any physical present.

I hope the cake is delicious and the company of friends is delightful.

I would have to agree with your therapist ... sane is a good description of the Susan I find among the spark people. I love the way you think and write. Thanks for all the times you made me think and all the times you made me laugh. May 46 be the best year ever. Joanna emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDEEB7 4/19/2012 11:39AM

    Well done, Susan. Thinking of you and hoping your birthday is a great one, with many blessings popping up. Even just the memories of your dad are a blessing, aren't they? Wishing a happy year ahead for you. emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 4/19/2012 11:30AM

    Happy birthday -- I know that you and your dad will celebrate in your heart.

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KARBIE18 4/19/2012 10:48AM

    Happy birthday, Susan! I am sorry you are missing your dad. I know how tough that can be, but it's perfectly understandable. I agree that being told that you are a different person is a good thing, and that you SHOULD be proud of your progress.

Have a fabulous day!
Karen (Karen Hoytt Schertz - from FB)

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LESLIES537 4/19/2012 10:35AM

    Yep, you're right. That was the sound of him cheering you on, all right!! He would be so proud of the woman you've become! You have come a long ways and your therapist is right on the money with what she said! You are one of the strongest women I know! I $hit you not. emoticon

Love you doll face and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! Enjoy that cake!! emoticon

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HEATHERNL 4/19/2012 10:16AM

    Happy Birthday Susan!!!!!
You are an amazing lady with so much to offer this world. It has much to offer you too.
I never knew the old Susan but I sure like the new one! Keep moving forward and know that you Dad is really with you. That sort of love never dies.

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PEDODGEBALL 4/19/2012 9:37AM

    Great blog, so honest and heartfelt. Happy Birthday to you.......... I would sing to you but i don't think you would want to hear my voice. Isn't it great to hear from your pychiatrist that they have seen a change and a good one at that. I hope to be there some day.
Well I'll let you enjoy your day. Have a good one.
jeanne

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IMIN2GENES 4/19/2012 8:50AM

    You should listen to your psychiatrist, she's a wise woman indeed! You should be proud of who you are. You are a strong woman who is also very open and honest. Rare and wonderful qualities if you ask me! I'm here in MD clapping and cheering you on along with your Dad. I'm sure he's proud of you too and I'm sure he's wishing you all the best on your special day. Happy Birthday Susan!
Chris
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