Experiments in Health and Wellness

by a Human In Recovery

Day 16 of June 2013 28 Days To A New Me

The shiny, happy, joy, joy has worn off. The honeymoon is over, and the facade is wearing thin.

I’ve lost eleven pounds, and that felt really great to realize and to know, but it doesn’t seem to be enough to keep me motivated.

I stated that this month’s activity and food tracking goals are about raising my self awareness and managing the symptoms of fatigue, pain, depression, and hypomania.

Well, that has been happening, somewhat. I’ve had some break throughs, successes, failures, and growth.

It feels like all of May was rising to the mountaintop after winning what felt like a major battle, only to crest the peak and look out on the horizon and see enemy troops carpeting the valley below.

After two weeks of white knuckling my way through anxiety and not succumbing to panic, I had a significant spiritual breakthrough on Saturday, which led the way to some real intense work regarding my history and three of the most formative and significant father relationships in my life.

Last Monday I had a major episode where I let myself fall into the inertia of the depression, for one day, and didn’t move much at all in addition to major over-consumption of food. This time, Saturday was very full, active, and busy with a lot of breakthroughs, happiness and peacefulness. This led to a two hour conversation with my dad and a half an hour conversation with my uncle, which sparked an all day marathon of writing and processing of emotional and psychological issues that have driven a lot of the problems I have experienced and perpetuated in my life.

All of this factored in with current circumstantial crises and triggered apathy, pain, and fatigue which drained me of all motivation and ambition yesterday and is still asserting itself today. I feel numb and just want to sleep. I am forcing action and trying not to give the negative self-talk room to take root.

I’m not giving up or giving in, but I REALLY want to. My mood and thoughts are saying that nothing has really changed, even though I know different.

Time to get busy.

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June 2013: 28 Days To A New Me – Round 2, Day 10

Since it’s been over two weeks since my last post, the few of you who have been following this journey of mine may be wondering whether I’m sticking with my program. Let me assure you that I am. As a matter of fact, it’s part of the reason I’m not posting here or on my Human In Recovery blog more frequently. The other two factors are lack of regular access to a functional computer and that I’m battling life circumstances and mental health symptoms, which make using my phone to blog even more of a challenge than normal.

I’m posting a bit more regularly on my Human In Recovery FB page and the apps I’m using to track exercise and nutrition are tweeting @HumanInRecovery – I think. Twitter and I remain mere acquaintances instead of social confidants, so I’m not really much of a tweeter. I have also been uploading short videos onto the Human In Recovery YouTube channel. I’ve missed posting days 6, 7, & 9 (nothing recorded for day 8), but I’m working on getting those put together and posted soon.

June has been more challenging for me, all the way around, in most areas of my life.

During May, I still had my adult daughter and her boyfriend staying here, so it was easy for me to just go walking or swimming while everyone else was still sleeping, secure in the knowledge that my 4 year old was safe and cared for while I focused in self-care. They moved out a week and a half ago.

When the 28 Days began in May, my SO was out on the road doing his long-haul truck driving job, so, I had a routine established for meeting my daily 15 minutes of physical activity goal in place when he came home. Since we only get to have him home less than a week every four weeks or so, it’s a pretty high priority that as much time and attention as possible are given to him, our relationship and our family. Therefore, when he wound up home a week early, due to the foibles of his previous co-driver followed by the transition to another new co-driver whose home time was already scheduled, it was during the beginning if June’s 28 Days.

In addition to that, there is the added stress of what amounts to four months of extended home times combined with shortened road times because of co-driver turnover (he’s with his fourth co-driver and third fleet manager since February) and the financial strain of it all is reaching crisis proportions: we’re facing potential eviction, service interruptions, and loss of property in a storage unit because we haven’t been able to stay caught up on bills or save ahead for rent. Anxiety and frustration over these things shortens his fuse and disrupts my sleep, increasing our relational stress and the symptoms of my fibromyalgia and depression/hypomania.

Two thirds of the way through May our laptop got broken and there’s no money for replacement or repair. The hand-me-down, hand-me-over, XP laptop that was given to me has a third party wifi administration app that won’t accept alpha characters in the access key to our internet, which is one of the services that could get interrupted at any moment.

On top of it all, even knowing all of this was looming on June’s horizon, I thought it would be a fabulous idea to increase my commitment to an hour’s worth of exercise daily AND track all of my eating. Meaning that just as every situation and circumstance that triggers my binge eating, I committed to go public with a record of what I eat, at the same time as I lose the regular Childcare to enable me to exercise goes away I make a greater commitment to exercise EVERY DAY.

Now that I think about it, I can see this is part of an overall lifetime pattern of self-sabotage. I’ll have to chew on that one a bit and process it on my main blog.

Not all is doom and gloom though. I have some really good things to report.

1) I have completed daily food and activity logs, using My Fitness Pal, which is available in app form and online, with interfaces to Facebook and Twitter.

2) With the exception of Monday of this week, June 11th, I have been in motion a minimum of 1-2 hrs. everyday and logging/recording my walking and swimming activities with the Map My Walk app (also available online and with other social media interfaces).

3) I’m having my little girl be more physically active by walking with me and I’ve taken her swimming twice in the past week.

4) I’m getting more consistent with housekeeping!

5) I’ve lost three more lbs. in June, so far, for a total of 11 lbs. missing in the past month.

6) My sleep is improving, my pain is decreasing, my stamina is increasing, and my moods are leveling out.

7) I’m doing a better job at connecting with other people, not just to get support and encouragement, but to offer it as well.

8) I don’t spend nearly as much time on the couch or in front of the television as I used to.

9) The way I feel about and treat my body is less negative and more constructive. I’m less averse to my reflection than I used to be.

10) For the first time in an incredibly long time, my emotional reactions and responses aren’t at the mercy and whim of the emotions, words, and actions of those around me and I’m able to be less defensive, more intentional, and grounded in my interpersonal interactions.

Committing to the daily actions of the 28 Days To A New Me process in the midst of everything is one of the most challenging things I’ve done for myself in the last 23 years. It reminds me of the 12 Step meeting closing mantra:

“Keep coming back. It works, if you work it. So, work it because you’re worth it!”

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