Experiments in Health and Wellness

by a Human In Recovery

28 Days to a New Me: Days 14 -19

on May 19, 2013

When last I checked in, I indicated that I had been struggling a bit emotionally and psychologically, the primary trigger being me grieving over some realizations around Mother’s Day. Since that time, additional things have been weighing on me: circumstances and people outside of my control that affect my family’s financial well-being which have a domino effect by triggering attitudes, actions, and emotions in those around me.

For 20 years I’ve been engaged in mental and emotional guerilla warfare of the mind and body with a collection of symptoms that have been diagnosed as depression and fibromyalgia. Recently, I came to understand that there were also symptoms that indicate hypomania is also present, meaning that there is a bi-polar element to the depression.

Right now, the sense of oppression has been increasing and getting heavier over the past week. The past two or three days has seen a marked increase in the numbing and tingling in my arms and hands, the lower back and sciatic pain, soft-tissue pain exacerbated by my concentrated efforts to walk and work out on the elliptical machine. Pain and stiffness has been increasing, the desire to sleep has been overtaking me, frustration levels are getting higher, interest in pushing through to do the things I usually enjoy doing is waning and becoming more of a chore.

The thoughts to give up and give into the circumstances and barriers against doing the things that are critical for moving forward and getting through this phase have been getting stronger.

The good news in all of this is the fact that I’m still pushing through. I don’t think I would be able to keep pushing through if it weren’t for the online communities and support network that is growing up around me thanks to the 28 Days accountability group and the Dream Stoker Nation group, both of which are on Facebook.

I started off strong in the 28 Days group, with approximately 30 people whom I’ve never met in person, and only one person whom I’ve gotten to know through the Dream Stoker group. The praise and validation I got for how I was doing the first two weeks, which didn’t really feel like a struggle for me, just fed into my desire to keep performing well and to show my best efforts.

Historically, when things like what have been happening, start triggering my symptoms, that’s when I withdraw and isolate. I pull away from the very people who can offer me continued support and encouragement.

Friday night was when the scales began tipping into the negative and my internal struggles began increasing. Instead of falling into all of the old patterns and behaviors, I was able to change a few things.

1) I reached out and got real – I posted this in both groups:

My family needs your prayers. Keith has been on home time from his job since Monday and is supposed to pick up a load tomorrow that was supposed to be the beginning of a lucrative, regular run that would have allowed our family to catch back up with our bills. His co-driver waited until just now to tell him he wasn’t going to get back on the truck at this time.

This is another major blow for him and for our family. The way it looks at this moment, we will fall farther behind on all our bills and will be hard pressed to make June’s rent.

2) I was open to receiving the support and encouragement offered. The outpouring of prayers and words offering compassion, understanding, and wisdom was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, or like I’ve never allowed myself to experience before.

3) I stuck to my commitment to myself and stayed in accountability with the group.

Day 14 – Arrived 20 minutes before opening then walked through different exhibits for an hour. Sat for 10-15 minutes then walked through another exhibit before making our way out of the zoo. The last 10-15 minutes walking out I had my 37lb child riding on my shoulders as I climbed a short set of stairs and an incline the rest of the way out.

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Day 15 – End of day totals: 6.75 miles walked, 1,517 calories burned, 19,090 steps taken. 1:54:26 minutes walked. My legs, ankles, knees, & back all HURT!

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Day 16 – I’ve logged over 11,000 steps and 4.1 miles walked, although I’ve walked a bit more than that so far today. Final count forthcoming tonight. [Final step count for Day 16 is 13,330.]

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Day 17 – Woke up w/migraine during 4 o’clock hour. Took OTC meds. Two hours later still in pain & not sleeping well. Went to parks & rec fitness center across the street & worked out: 60 min on elliptical and 40 min lap swim (24 laps in 25 yd pool). Head still hurts. Ugh.

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Day 18 – Started the morning by visiting a local prayer meeting. I only walked a little over a mile for about 19 minutes – shin splints, ankle pain, and sciatic pain are starting to flare and I want to be able to give my all in worship and praise at church in a few hours. So, I’m sticking to my commitment and budgeting my energy for later. Shabbat Shalom for those celebrating the Sabbath. May this day overflow with joy and peace for all, regardless of faith.

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Day 19 – Fighting against fatigue – atmosphere of oppression – I am feeling the symptoms of a Fibro flare & depression trying to assert themselves – pain, numbing & tingling, an increased desire to sleep, and losing interest are all increasing. No walking or elliptical today, but I did get out and go to the pool and swam foe 31 minutes, so I’m counting it as a win.

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With 19 days completed and nine days left on this leg of the journey, regardless of the negatives, I can truly say that I’m already a New Me and I have to give credit where credit is due, I didn’t do this alone. Without the support, encouragement, and accountability from the new friends and new relationships being built in this group, I probably wouldn’t even have bothered to write this today, much less have a record of what I’ve done and what I’m capable of to remind me that how I feel and the ingrained patterns of thought and behavior do not define who I am or who I am going to be.

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One response to “28 Days to a New Me: Days 14 -19

  1. […] 28 Days to a New Me: Days 14 -19 (experimentsinhealthandfitness.wordpress.com) […]

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