HELP

Check this out ❤ More to come. I will be starting to be more active again starting today! Love you, and hope everyone has been doing well!!!

This is basically a PowerPoint calling for action.

There are millions of people suffering around the world with Mental Illnesses who are posting on social media sites just waiting for people like you and me to notice them. To love them. To give them hope. Please take the time to go through the slides ❤

Mental Health

(click me lol ^^)

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Let’s Go!

So I am finally almost home.

Gave up on the struggle here because honestly, besides a few friends, I had nothing left here to keep struggling for. I was working three jobs, working out when I could, and trying to maintain relationships with friends (who turned out to not really be my friends anyways). So I officially said f* it I am going home.

This past weekend my daddy and my niece (she was a big help lol) came to help me move most of my things. I have to sell or give away the rest. I am so blessed to have such a supportive and caring family. He would have came that night if I had really need him that badly. How many people can say that their family loves them that much? That they would drop everything immediately to be there for you.

My sister also was a huge factor in my decision to come home. I had no idea how much my troubles were affecting my family as well. She told me she was tired of seeing me struggle and being so unhappy. Until then I hadn’t ever heard her really talk to me like that. It reminded me that I was loved unconditionally, and sometimes family is the best place to find it.

Dealing with the depression of relationships lost, and failing to maintain a sufficient lifestyle here is hard. However, I am going to make the most of it. I am going to go back home, get some skills, find a good job and move on. Who knows what lies ahead of me!

Thank you to all of you for your support and I hope if anything I can inspire and reach at least one of you.

Honestly I have had to take my clonazepam the past couple of nights to sleep well. I am so hesitant to take them now because some unkind man I know (no names) basically tried to tell me I was going down the road of a pill popping alcoholic. <– I most certainly am not but oh well it still hurts/bothers me. But I gave in after being unable to sleep really for over a week. I was so tired I actually got sick and ended up sleeping for 14 hours the day before yesterday, and 8+ hours yesterday. I feel much better, but I have a lingering cold.

I shouldn’t be ashamed to take my medicine. No one should. It is the cruelty of other people who do not bother to really understand the affects of mental illness. I swear, whenever I tell someone I am slightly bipolar and have anxiety and depression issues they view/treat me different. It almost always gets used against me in a relationship. Which isn’t fair at all. I wouldn’t hold it against a diabetic, or a cancer patient that they  needed to do certain things to survive and live day to day Why do people judge me. STUPID STIGMA!!!! ❤ lol Ok enough of my rant.

It is leg day tonight. Will post my workout later.

Stay strong

Don’t be afraid to love yourself for who you are.

p.s. The picture is because I got my first blender bottle today! So I can mix my shakes by hand since I will probably not be going to a gym that offers to blend my shakes for me (I have been spoiled!!!). It is a milestone!

NAMI Recognition Dinner

So I was lucky enough to have off last Friday night so I could make it to the first NAMI Rensselaer County Recognition Dinner and Art Show. It is always great to meet with people who accept you and understand you, and to see them get rewarded/recognized for all the great work they have put into the organization. Specifically touching was Gail Moore who spoke about her life and childhood, and who was recognized for her many years of dedication to helping people with mental illnesses. I also got to meet the Dean of Public Health at the college I attended: SUNY Albany. He was sitting at my table! What a small world! If you want to help support your local NAMI group, get involved, or reach out you can find them at the following website:

http://www.nami.org/

It is such a great organization filled with compassionate and skilled people waiting to reach out and do whatever they can to help you get through the tough times. I hope that I can make the time to get involved, sometime in the next few years.

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They also featured art from some of the members which you can see below:

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Strength of Us

Found this gem on the NAMI website (National Alliance on Mental Illness):

http://www.nami.org/

Here is a small description of the website and where you can find it:

http://strengthofus.org/

StrengthofUs is an online community designed to inspire young adults impacted by mental health issues to think positive, stay strong and achieve their goals through peer support and resource sharing. We believe every young adult deserves to feel hopeful, supported and encouraged to love who they are.

StrengthofUs is a user-generated and user-driven community; so basically it’s whatever you make it. Everything here has been developed and created by and for young adults with you specifically in mind. We hope every time you visit, you find hope, encouragement and support.

I will be posting from these blogs in order to help support the website and to help share the amazing stories that others have share to help raise awareness, and reach out to people in similar situations. Today it is about an elderly lady who has dementia. The story is beautiful, and it is touching to see someone with such imagination, kindness, and understanding caring for the elderly.

It is titled: Her Invisible People, by MelissaMT

http://strengthofus.org/blog/view/203551/her-invisible-people

I arrive early to the home of my first client of the week.  I am greeted by her daughter, a senior citizen herself, who is visibly sleep-deprived and distraught.   She explains that her mother has been up all night and the dementia is worse than ever.  She describes this stage as a whole new dimension, one of visions and voices, erratic mood swings and lack of sleep….

(click on the link to read the whole story)

Coming out of the Closet: Mental Illnesses (Bipolar Disorder)

Special thanks to the International Bipolar Foundation for this article, and the Huffington Post!

http://www.ibpf.org

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/danielle-hark/living-with-bipolar_b_5475387.html

Please read this article if you struggle with any kind of mental illness. Some parts can apply to all and I even thought most of what was said really hit home. My condition is by far nowhere near as bad as what is mentioned in the article. It is still mild, thank God for that.

🙂

Even before I was diagnosed I felt “crazy.” I didn’t understand why I just couldn’t finish school. Why I couldn’t be like everyone else. I would have bursts of energy where I could do things all the time, but then I would shut down and just want to be at home with my computer games. Warcraft, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo, Hearthstone, Age of Empires, Zelda, League of Legends, and many more are my escape. The plus side is I can make online friends on the side. Several people on my Facebook friends list I met in game. I even met the boyfriend I am currently dating on Warcraft (long story but I ended up moving from Virginia to NY for him etc…). The fact is that I just plain don’t want to go out and brave the crowds of people. I want to sit at home with my headset and joke around with my online buddies while enjoying a decent game.

I no longer really have that choice because as of next week I will be working 40+ hours a week (thank GOD seriously). Just wanted to point out the role gaming has played in my life. They may be an escape from real life problems, but these people online can’t see you. They don’t judge you for your looks, or what your life is like, they take you for who you are. It is sometimes exactly what I needed, and it is a unique and special kind of therapy.

*warning, not everyone online is nice, ignore and block all the jerks*

My favorite quotes from this article “Coming out of the Bipolar Closet” are:

  • “At the moment of diagnosis, you went from being that person — the eccentric-but-sometimes-sad creative — to that person: the crazy one. You know, the person on the subway who you avert your eyes from because you don’t want them to talk to you or get too close. You’re unpredictable. You’re freakish. You’re scary.”
    • This is why I hate telling some people about my illness.
    • Reactions:
      • You need to pray for healing, God can heal you. I have a question for you…Maybe God made me this way for a purpose? God doesn’t answer all prayers all the time, and believe me I have definitely spent enough time crying asking for things to change.
      • You just need better self-control. Oh really? I’m sorry not matter what I do I am probably still going to leave the stove on at times, walk away and forget what I was doing in a millisecond, forget our important dates. I do what I can and keep everything on my IPad calendar, and to set alarms, but I can’t even remember to take my pills half the time for goodness sakes! I can try to change, but I can’t make any guarantees. I have an illness that isn’t curable right now. Don’t expect me to be able to do everything you are capable of. Mental illness is not an excuse, but it is real. More education and knowledge should be a number one priority to promote understanding and compassion..
  • “If your Facebook world doesn’t know, perhaps it isn’t real.”
    • True. Until recently when I made my www.facebook.com/fightwithfitness Facebook page I tried to keep everything to myself for the most part. However I am a very open person at other times, and I tend to want to talk about my problems with EVERYONE. I feel like if I get enough opinions on something then I can make a better informed decision.
  • “Frustration. Anger. Guilt. Shame. Sadness. Repeat…”
    • This is EXACTLY how I end up feeling. Every time I drop out and fail a semester. Every time I overflow the bathtub or emotionally explode.
  • “You look around you at the shambles that your life has become, and you see that there are still a few people in your life that find you worth fighting for, and that perhaps you should fight through this for them, and maybe one day you will even do it for yourself. You are strong. You are capable. You are talented. You are worthy of a life worth living. A change will come. So you get your butt out of bed and make a sandwich. It’s a start.”
    • In my case, get my butt out of bed and go to the gym! I’m going I’m going!!! ❤

Below is my little cuddle bears Dino. Without him to always be happy to see me, give me kisses, and love me unconditionally, I am not sure if I would still be here today. I get such a sense of happiness and love whenever I see that little tail come running around the corner when I get home from work. Best thing ever.

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Mania, Love, and a Little More About Me.

http://www.ibpf.org/mood-love-overlap-romantic-love-and-mania

Very very interesting. Please take the time to watch this if you can! I have felt the overlap and consequences of both and loved to hear someone talk about/present it in such a way.

Excellent information.

This may explain why it is very difficult for me to maintain/stay in relationships. Before my current relationship of 5 years I always fell in and out of love quickly. I honestly feel bad for some of my boyfriends because I am sure they never really understood why. It would make sense that at the time I first met them I was in some sort of a manic phase and then as everything died down it just “wasn’t the same,” and I didn’t feel in love anymore. I always remember thinking that same thing many times, and feeling blank and empty in the end. It is not that I wouldn’t care about them anymore, I just felt that I was incapable of loving them in the same way as when I first met them. Which to me felt like I just plain wasn’t in love anymore. I has to be easy to believe you are in love in a manic state, and maybe you are, but it is a different kind of love. Possibly warped in some ways because you are not your normal healthy self. So when the mania disappears you feel a loss, and question the relationship you have developed.

I always jump into relationships and am an all or nothing kind of girl. Before I was aware of my disorder I just thought this was how things were meant to be. However, now I question whether it is simply part of my mania and if there are particular triggers that make me more susceptible to these sort of things. I met a boyfriend on the highway for goodness sake! Not that it wasn’t fun and I don’t regret it (because he ended up being a very good person). Just, why would I put myself in such a potentially dangerous situation. It is because at times when I am manic and loving life I am more likely to act wild, and be risk taking/excitement seeking. Not that we all don’t love these times when you feel amazing, on top of the world, confident, unstoppable etc… But…BUT…it usually almost always comes with consequences in the end.

Nothing is usually ever that good without being somewhat bad.

I am not saying at all whatsoever that because you meet someone in a manic episode you don’t love them. I personally feel I can love more fiercely than many when I am in a relationship. It cycles though, or has cycled, because I was not properly managing my symptoms. I believe that is why some of my relationships did not last. I can’t blame the ending on all of them, that would be just silly, but I can see the pattern.

What is so very difficult though, is the fact that I am a different person during these phases in my life. When I am normal, manic, or depressed I display different traits and that can be very frustrating for whomever I am in a relationship with. I have been told before after being with someone for a while that I am not the person they fell in love with. The wild, carefree, crazy, fun person.

It takes a very special person to fully understand that who I was then was a part of me, but not the normal healthy me.

It takes an even more special person to be able to deal with and help me manage my disease.

I pray for all of you who suffer with mental disorders that you find this person who can love you for your many faces. Who can help you through the tough times, and be the compassionate, understanding, loving, and gentle person that you need.

Workout: Tuesday 6/11/14

So already I am behind on my schedule! *grrr* I was SUPPOSED to do leg day on Monday…but hey I guess everything doesn’t always go as planned and we just have to improvise ;). This workout was particularly hard for me, possibly because it was my first time at the gym since I got sick. I didn’t get to get everything in, but what I missed I will add in later on today after work!

  • 15 minute warm up on the elliptical
  • Leg extension machine x12 (3 sets)
  • I WAS going to do the leg curl machine afterwards, but you know…some ladies need their social time and thus decide that they need to do it while they are “working out”…. Makes me so angry. DO NOT DO THIS!!! There are people who go to the gym to actually accomplish something rather than exercising their jaw muscles… Have a little respect and consideration for others <3.

Sorry about the rant, might feel a little strongly about this :-p.

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Ok :-p I think I got that off my chest ❤

back to my workout…

  • Smith machine squats (narrow, wide, sumo)
    • 20lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 40lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 60lbw x12, 12, 12
    • 80lbs x7, 7, 7
    • 100lbs x3, 2, 3
  • Romanian deadlifts (60lbs) and lunges
    • x20 (deadlifts), 20 (lunges on each leg, so total of 40)
    • x15, 20
    • x16, 29
    • x9, 15
  • Seated calf raise (in, middle, out)
    • 70lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 75lbs x12, 12, 12
    • 80lbs x12, 12, 12
  • Dumbbell squat 25lbs for the duration of the song : Wiggle by Jason Derulo (yes I know…I just can’t help myself…)
  • Side lunges for the duration of the songs: Stay with My by Sam Smith, and Wild Love by Pitbull

 

I then had to haul a** out of the gym to make to do dinner with Nate and Paige!

Hiking Algonquin in the Adirondacks

Decided to hike the second highest peak in New York last week! It was so beautiful, and Dino really enjoyed the hike. The little trooper must have walked at least 3-4 miles himself, and them was carried half of the way when it got steep. You know you are getting in shape when you hike 8 miles and are totally fine the next morning! I was completely surprised. Last time we did Marcy and I DIED the next day. The only bad thing was I definitely got a sunburn, but hey next time maybe I will remember the sunscreen! I would recommend the Adirondacks to anyone who is looking for a beautiful place to do some outdoorsy things. It is just gorgeous, I am in awe every time we drive up there.

http://visitadirondacks.com/

http://www.lakeplacid.com/do/outdoors/summerfall/hiking/46-high-peaks

http://www.lakeplacid.com/do/hiking/algonquin-mountain

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Definitely not an “easy” trail, but well worth the time and effort!

 

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Doctor’s Visit: Reality Check

Have I ever mentioned how telling the truth of how things are in your life and fessing up are the hardest things for me? I am so much better at blocking out the bad and pushing forward. Sometimes though, you cannot keep running, it eventually catches up. Which totally sucks by the way :-p

So I saw my doctor and confessed to him everything that has been going on. How I didn’t finish school, and have not been really great about taking my medication like I should. He gave me homework:

#1- get an app to remind me to take my pills, and actually do it
#2- get in touch with my advisor and talk to her about everything

He also mentioned that possibly my venture into this whole fitness thing might be some sort of coping mechanism to help me feel better about not doing well in school. Sort of a, I am working hard in one area to make up for my lacking in the other. While I do not regret the choice to live a healthier lifestyle, this does makes sense, and I am going to try to be more aware of it, and I am never going to give up on school. I will finish no matter how long it takes me!

#3- I have to get another hand brace that fits properly. The official diagnosis is De Quervains Tenosynovitis! So I just need to take some Aleve, ice my hand, and give it tons of rest. Nothing major, just more annoying than anything.

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And just remember!

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Keep up the hard work in whatever you are doing. Something is better than nothing!

Workout Tuesday 5/21/2014

Goood Morning!!! ❤

So yesterday I officially went on my first bike ride in who knows how many years. It all came back too, I didn’t fall off and face plant onto the cement (yay haha).

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Look at my little biker self :-p

Anywaysss… My roommate has been biking to and from work for sometime now and I can see why she does it (besides having a completely crappy car that breaks down on her all the time…). It was a decent workout, and I could really feel it in my quads for the small amount of time we spent riding around the neighborhood. Great way to get out and about, and even participate in some cool fundraisers/charity events (such as the Tour De Cure!).

So back to my workout:

  • Romanian Deadlifts
  • Smith Machine Squats- Narrow (hip width), Wide (outside of hips), and Sumo.
    • 20lbs x12 (1 set of each)
      • superset with 20 lunges (alternating 10 on each leg)
    • 40lbs x12 (1 set of each)
      • superset with 20 lunges

Small break because my workout buddy FORGOT she had a meeting at work so we had to break it up and go back when she was done :-p (workout fail)

Concluding with a nice stretching sesh, and a good nights sleep! ❤

Keep fighting! Keep pushing towards your goals :). It may take longer than you would like but you will get there one day!