Self Discovery question: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Yes, there was a time when I felt like giving up on life. It was before I was diagnosed as bipolar along with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). During one of my deep depressions on the down side of the bipolar, was when it happened. I'm guessing this was 2006. I had just started seeing a therapist that my hubby's VA doctor arranged for me. I had the sense to call her and tell her how i was feeling. There are lots of times when I wish i hadn't, as she had me admitted to a counseling center. There i went through treatments that didn't help me at all. As a matter of fact i lost about three months of any memories. It was right when we got Bruzer and I do not remember getting him. I'll ask Bob to tell me the story again and again.
This all came about because I was unhappy with my life starting with my weight. i had injured my knee at the gym and had surgery. it wasn't what the doctor thought it would be, so I had to stay in bed 24/7 for four straight months. When I was finally able to get rehab physical therapy, I was doing very well when a different therapist gave me the wrong exercises and doing them blew out the work the surgery had done and put me back. I wasn't able to do what i used to for years .I could no longer work at my trade (cosmetologist), I couldn't drive, i couldn't clean or cook. I was having a real pitty party. I knew if I could lose weight, I would feel better because it would be easier for me to get around. I believed i would be in my power chair for the rest of my days. I really didn't see much to life anymore. I wouldn't leave the house, I wouldn't talk on the phone - even with my brother, I quit all my activities, I wouldn't get dressed, brush my hair or do much of anything but sit in a recliner and cry a lot. I felt pretty worthless and useless. This was not the kind of life I wanted at all.
Then one day an amazing thing happened. I belong to a web site called my points. It is a site where you earn points for for various activities and then trade those points for rewards such as gift cards. On one particular day, I received an email from them from a place called Sparkpeople. If I visited the site after reading a little about it and signed up I would receive so many points. I think it may have been 25. Anyway, the email said the program was not a diet, but a lifestyle change and challenged the reader to give it a try. I figured, "what the heck. If nothing else I'd get those points". So I clicked through to the site and when I got there, I clicked "join". It was the very best thing I could have ever done for myself. I started slowly with chair exercises, perhaps five minutes at a time. I knew the information on the best way to eat was information I had been receiving all my life. I needed reminded and once I was, I started to give my grocery list a makeover. But it was very slow going. Finally I decided to get serious about it all. i could no longer go on the way I had been.
It was late summer when i returned everyday and got down to doing what i needed to to get healthy and stay that way. I signed up for more teams and started to make friends. The encouragement from others on this site was phenomenal! Most of you know my story of being diagnosed with breast cancer several months after returning and taking control back in my life. Now that control was being taken away again. This time, I wouldn't let it take total control. i didn't go into a depression. Sure, I was scared of the unknown, but decided what was to be would be. I trusted God's plan for me and knew His will would be done, no matter. Accepting that made things a lot easier for me. Between that and all of the support I got from my Spark Buds, I was able to continue following the program. I even managed to get some cardio in most days I was in treatment. i won't go into the second diagnosis right after finishing that treatment and all that happened after that. i want to talk about giving up on life.
Things changed inside me. I had a lot of time to think a lot. Bob would read me the comments on my blog when he would update my journeys with the cancer. I could feel the warmth and concern in those words left for me. I was able to continue taking my meds for the bipolar/PTSD. But i had three close calls with death. It really changes you. As soon as i got the OK, i was back on the Spark program and even joined my first challenge! I loved it. it was great, because i could increase exercise as I went along and was permitted to modify them if i had to do so. I also realized i needed to be positive no matter how I was feeling. I started to get the negativity out of my life. If I tried something and didn't like it after several times, I wouldn't do it anymore. There are too many things to try to tie yourself to one you don't care for. i started smiling all the time and found it brings positive people towards you. This time I chose life rather than giving up on it. I am a a religious person and feel this is why God spared me, to bring the positive and encouragement to others. I met my goal finally, going from my start of 270 to today's weight of 120 pounds. i exercise some nearly every day. i continue to eat properly and in the right portions with moderation. I never did "give up" anything. I did watch how much and how often.
In choosing life rather than giving up on it, has made me a better person. I could never have done it on my own, though. My faith, my wonderful hubby, and all of my Spark Buds made the difference. it feels so very good to live a life that seems more fulfilling than ever.
Thank all of you. Enjoy your Sunday!
Peace Love Life