0

The First Year, again

So, when I realized that in the scheme of things, in the scope and sequence of things, in the Great Design and Master Plan of things what time it was, well just imagine! I was both dismayed at not having known what I should have known, what I should have understood from the beginning, what I had never been told–yet which every sign had made so abundantly clear whenever I had kept all three eyes open: it was the the beginning again. It was the first year.

I sat for a while not knowing, and trying to feel. Knowing and trying not to feel. Feeling and wanting and not wanting to know what I now knew and must be responsible for. I felt the unction, the vibration: “work while it is day, for when the night cometh no man can work.” I heard The Voice: “What will ye?”

What will I, indeed, I thought! What will I and what won’t I? I remembered that “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” And I looked down at remains of the harvest in front of me, of which I was still partaking. And this being the first year in the cycle, I made some decisions about what I would sow this Time. And I looked inward, both sad that I had found out late and yet relieved that it was not too late to sow something I could look forward to reaping.

0

Lithium

So, there it is. The word I’ve always dreaded.

My psychiatrist went ahead and prescribed it a little more than a week ago. I guess it seems like the Lamictal is not really stabilizing my moods anymore. I am ashamed of how I have become this aggressive beast whom I don’t recognize. I hate the way I lash out. I can’t stand how angry I stay. And then I want to cry…I think. Yet no tears come. I feel numb. And I want to do something (ANYthing) to make myself feel like I have a pulse. I feel like a walking dead person.

And then there are the feelings that are the non-negotiables as far as any psychiatrist worth his salt is concerned. The feelings that “one would be better off dead.” Ugh. Do I have a plan to harm myself or kill myself, well heck no!! It’s just that feeling of wishing I didn’t have to wake up for quite a number of days. Doesn’t anyone understand that??

I function. I go to work daily. I take care of my physical appearance. I still have a decent filter that keeps me from saying all the horrible stuff that comes to my mind. But I admit that I seem to hate people more. Not REAL hate, you know. Just the feeling of being fed up with most human beings. I mostly don’t want to be bothered. I mostly want to go home after work and wrap myself up in a blanket like a fajita or a big, fat burrito and read a book or watch some Netflix. I wouldn’t mind talking on the phone…but my husband does not approve of my best friend, so that’s out. And I no longer need a phone to talk to my sister since, thankfully, our families now live together.

The good news is that I no longer succumb to the insane shopping sprees that I used to years ago when I was first diagnosed. Whew! Or, at least I mostly don’t. Or, even if I splurge, I don’t spend what I can’t somehow recover. Or, like even if I spend 2 or 3 hundred dollars, it’s not like I spend money that is needed for a bill or something.

The other good news is that I don’t have those voices compelling me to do ridiculous stuff. Or at least even if I DO think crazy stuff, I KNOW it’s crazy and I don’t follow through on it. That should count for something. I guess I’m saying that I don’t have any extra diagnoses like paranoid schizophrenia. So, that’s good.

So why am I writing about this? Because even though this lithium stuff is going to help me with the depression and with the panic attacks and all…it’s not helping yet. I know it’s only been a little more than a week and I am still in the building up phase. I haven’t even been prescribed a full dosage, which I’m glad about since even with such a small amount in my system, I’m going around like a walking zombie. It’s crazy how you can still (almost) function normally, just at a very sloooooowwwww pace. I just feel sleepy and agitated that I can’t spend the day sleeping.

So, no it’s not really helping some of the impulsiveness. I know that I just finished saying that I don’t follow through on the crazy stuff. Yet twice on last week I did something unthinkable and I remember the moment in each situation where the “snap” occurred. It was like I knew both times that I had unexpectedly found myself in an enviable (yet integrity-compromising) situation. I was going to do the right thing, I think. Or at least I was telling myself that I w
ould. I want to think that I would have followed through on the right path, if it hadn’t been for that break. That MOMENT, you know. Sometimes you don’t even recognize the split second that it happens. BUT I DID. I specifically remember making a conscious decision to do what I should not.

And I did. I did what should have remained in the land of ugly possibility. And now it cannot be undone. And I don’t feel very confident that I will do better the next time. Not very confident at all.

In what ways will Lithium help me with things like this?

 

 

0

Happy Birthday…I think

My birthdays tend toward melancholy and nostalgia. I know better, and yet that’s how it is. At my age, it is difficult not to look back on the “glory days” that, oddly enough I didn’t know may prove to be the highlights of my life. It’s equally difficult not to regret what projects still have not been finished, what words left unsaid, what relationships abandoned, what dreams yet unrealized.

And so, yet again it is time to reassess. Scrap unworthy goals and set new ones. Determine what is worth pursuing and what paths are better not following. With–statistically speaking–half my life already over, what will I now do? Where will I go, and with whom?

But while I would be lying if I said I don’t want to do more things than I have done, truthfully what I am finding more imperative each day, is HOW I DO THOSE THINGS. That is to say, even if I only do one small thing, did I do it with integrity? Did I persevere until I saw the results I was initially looking for? Or did I allow myself to be dissuaded by nay-sayers (even those that insist in hanging out in my own head)?

At this point in my life, more important than accuracy, or even consistency is authenticity. If there is one thing I will celebrate this year, it is the blessing of still being on the path to being my most authentic self, and showing as much grace and mercy to myself as I show to others. Whatever I do, I will do it with boldness and with tenacity and with joy. Because that is who I am. I will give my strength to what I believe I should (until I see things differently) and then if need be, I will change my course, because that is OKAY.

This year, I want to live unapologetically–even if I do so quietly. I will accept that I don’t have to be popular, neither on social media, nor in my real human interactions. I will cast out the fear of judgment and criticism of people who have never taken the time to get to know me. I will give myself the love that I know I deserve. I will be my friend. I will embrace every part of me, and wish me well.

So, I guess this is a happy birthday, eh? Happy Birthday, ol’ gal! Happy Birthday.

0

Getting Ready to Take the PRAXIS

I am so glad that my colleagues waited until AFTER I took the Praxis to inform me that not only they, but many people who they know had to take the test more than once in order to pass. I would have been so discouraged to know that some people have tried up to 8 times before finally making a passing score on the Spanish Praxis…

0

Beginning a New School Year-Fall 2016 (Spanish Version)

This video was uploaded to my youtube channel back in August 2016 and I should have posted it here as well. (Feel free to follow me on youtube as well!) I was sooo excited, knowing it would be my first year teaching an advanced level. We are now at mid-year and yes, I feel drained beyond belief and yet strangely happy because of how I and my students have grown. If you speak Spanish, enjoy. If not, don’t worry: I have plenty of videos in English, too! lol.

5

AMAZING Grace

I have been quiet on the issue of weight loss for the past couple of weeks. Mainly because I didn’t want to offend any of my fellow weight-loss-journey bloggers who have had (or are still waiting to have) some type of surgery. I can’t reiterate enough how happy I am for all of you; for all of US. I simply decided, as you remember, to take another route. And of course I’m still believing that we will all end up together at the same happy place.

So, meanwhile, the other (more shadowy) reason that I have been quiet is because I wanted to see some positive results on this journey before I started blabbing about what I’m doing. I am so grateful and so relieved to be able to report that for the 3rd week in a row, I have seen more weight loss. Is it DRASTIC weight loss? Heck no. But it’s the kind of 1.5 lb-2 lb loss that keeps you smiling that thanking God.

So what does God have to do with this anyway? Well, for me it just makes since. I have trusted God for everything else in this world. I decided AGAIN (with a little prompting) to give my weight issue to God as well. It’s ironic that what I’m doing is NOTHING NEW and it is COMPLETELY NATURAL and I don’t have to spend any money. Well, except for new clothes, because I am shrinking. Yippee.

You probably have already heard of Gwen Shamblin’s Weigh Down Workshop because it’s been around for at least 2 decades by now. I found out about it through a friend probably about 13 or so years ago, who told me that she had not only used the program to lose 80 pounds, but also to quit smoking. Even I lost about 40 pounds before I just got complacent. I kept the weight off as well as the 4 dress sizes I went down for a few years. It was only later that I began to feel that familiar desperation again about losing weight quickly and I started seeking other alternatives. Indeed if I had never taken that cursed Phentermine, I may have never experienced the devastating ballooning effect that took me higher up the scales than I have ever been before! Oh, well, I won’t keep brooding over horrible mistakes, but will look ahead to a bright future.

Now I will use these principles until I lose the remaining 118 pounds that I want to lose to get to my ideal weight. God will help me. The basics are to simply ONLY eat between the boundaries of hunger and fullness. The End.

Okay, I admit, there is a little more than that. The key is to wait until true, physiological HUNGER manifests itself and then eat a small portion of whatever food you want. When you feel satisfied–not stuffed–you put away the rest of the food or throw it away. You are free to eat again when you feel hunger. BUT WHAT IS THERE TO KEEP A MORBIDLY OBESE PERSON FROM EATING ALL DAY????? Well, that’s where God comes in. Personally, I would say, “That’s where DEVOTION comes in.”

There are millions of people who don’t feel particularly religious or spiritual, so they might initially feel turned off by saying one should turn to God to help with weight loss. I get that. But in all sincerity, human beings have proven for millennia that we are creatures of habit; we know how to commit to something. We ALL adore something, even if it’s our grandkids or our car. We all understand the nature of sacrifice. So, even if we think we are not religious, we actually ARE. The key is to transfer our devotion/love for food over to the Creator. And that’s how we feel empowered and committed to allow nature to do what it does best: heal and restore.

AM I A CHRISTIAN? Well, I’m glad you asked. If you asked me about myself, I’d gladly say yes. But if you asked someone else that about me, they might think I am not. They might see my beliefs, as delivered to me by my beloved Guru, as too liberal, too unorthodox, or absolutely inconsistent with fundamental Christianity. Of course I would beg to differ, because after years of discipleship, I have not seen any incongruence with the teaching of my guru and those of essential Christianity. If anything, my life and my faith have DEEPENED and been greatly enhanced. Most of all, my DEVOTION has gone through the roof, which is the point I am making about my ability to now be successful in implementing the principles of Weigh Down Workshop, a program which is unapologetically “Christian/Bible based.”

May you reach all your weight loss dreams! I’m certainly headed there with you, thanks to this amazing grace I have found.

17

My Epiphany

Before you ask, I will tell you how it came about that I decided AGAINST the bariatric sleeve after all I have done to pursue it.

WELL, a week ago, I had a follow-up visit with the Nutritionist. I came armed with my food journal that they’d made us keep for several weeks. And to be honest with you, I felt a bit smug. Smug because I felt that I have done so much RIGHT. Each day, I had completed all the categories: the day of the week, the time of day, the exact name and portion size of what I’d eaten, the caloric and protein values, how much water I’d drunk, how much exercise I’d done, what non-eating activities I’d done, AND the daily personal reflection they asked that you write. I congratulated myself that I’d stayed away from carbonated drinks and caffeine and that I’d almost always chosen single-digit fats and sugars, as they suggested.

Did I stay inside the 1000-calorie limit that they had recently imposed? HELL NO–excuse the expletive. But when you think about it, the changes that I’d made had been so comprehensive that I began to feel like a new person; I DESERVED to be congratulated. And yes, I did lose weight despite the fact that my daily calories at first were around 1400, and later closer to 1200. I was certain that the Nutritionist was going to give me a pat on the back and release me to have the surgery that the surgeon had told me he’d be glad to give me the first week in August so that I’d have time to recover before the new school year begins.

Just imagine my shock and dismay when the Nutritionist said the complete opposite. She said that I’d done okay, but that in her opinion I had not PERFECTED the goals to the extent that she could feel confident that I would not sabotage my own surgery after I’d had it. PERFECTION????? So, all this time she was looking for PERFECTION? Something that she did NOT say in the original group meeting we’d had. Long story short, she sent me home for another month to PERFECT this new eating life-style.

I already know what you want to ask and believe me when I tell you that I addressed your question to her, so that you will not have to. I said–very calmly, I might add–“Forgive me, but is it possible that it’s just ME? Am I the only 300-pound person who wants to know how you expect us to PERFECT all this BEFORE we have the surgery? I mean, if we could do that, then why on earth would we be asking to have the surgery in the first place???”

I would like to bet you seven thousand dollars that you CANNOT guess what her wide-eyed response was. Go ahead. Guess.

HAH! You are wrong. Her actual response was—brace yourself for this please—“EXACTLY!”

WTF? How could she say “exactly” as though we were saying the same thing? As though we were on the same side of the fence. As though she were not the only obstacle standing in the way of my much-dreamed-of and sought-after surgery?!

When she saw that I was nonplussed by her response, she continued, “I mean, that’s what I ask myself every day! I want all of our clients to see and understand that if you don’t get this right, you are going to end up weighing exactly what you weighed before the surgery and then all of this will have been for nothing! Why would you sign up for a surgery without knowing how to maintain your weight loss?”

Okay, so I’m not ignorant. I realize the total validity of what she said. BUT IT STILL DOES NOT ANSWER MY QUESTION!!! How do you expect me to do PRESURGERY what I have to do POST SURGERY?! Because if I could, then I would not NEED surgery. It would only be a matter of time, and I would lose weight, slow as a snail though it may be. But I WOULD lose weight.

And suddenly it hit me like a ton of bricks. Surgery or no surgery, I will HAVE to demonstrate the willpower, the grit, the persistence to consistently do the right thing, eat the right thing, stop eating the wrong thing, stop eating when I’m satisfied, nourish myself with wholesome foods and not junk, stop all emotionally based eating, etc., etc., etc. So there was my answer. That was my epiphany.

If they were going to make me do all this perfectly before the surgery, then the surgery is just a quicker, more costly route with potential complications and recovery time that I can’t afford to miss from my job. At the very least, I can thank them for helping to reestablish my feet firmly on this path. When I signed up for the surgery, I honestly thought I no longer had the ability to control myself. Well, they helped me prove myself wrong.