Now that I’ve had a bath, am in comfy pj’s, and my hands have stopped shaking, I am able to type and tell you why today sucked so hard.

I mean, I did get a space turtle, but I’m skipping ahead.

We planned a day to play hooky with my daughter and go down to Chicago to the Museum of Science and Industry.  It was supposed to be fun.  I love science. Hands on science is even better!

Oh, but the people.  The crushing waves of people.  Most of them weren’t even adults.  Lines of children in matching colors and adults herding them around to the plethora of bright lights and flashing buttons.

My anxiety skyrocketing.  Hard to breathe, heart pounding, fear rolling through me like a tsunami.  No immediate danger, but it felt like the train I rode down there was barreling towards me while I was tied to the rails like a damsel in a bad western.

But there was no train, just the kids and the science.

I wanted to enjoy it.  I really did.  I wanted to push all the buttons and share my love of science with my daughter.

I couldn’t.

I just couldn’t.

To try to make myself feel better, I bought a 50% off space turtle.  It didn’t work.  I spent the entire train ride home curled up to my husband and wanting to apologize over and over for not loving family time and being able to be the mom and wife that I should have been.

I’m “safe” at home now, but the lingering exhaustion is making me want to go to bed early.   I probably will.

Dodging trains and finding space turtles is exhausting.

Moving

I am moving. Not always forward, but I seem to be moving forward in the overall picture.

It is hard.  It is difficult. I am re-learning how to live life.   I have a new therapist, a new group therapy, a Recovery coach, and I am regularly attending SMART meetings.  I am also putting myself in to the recovery community around me by being a committee member on a Rally for Recovery event.  I’m a public relations officer.  Fancy, right?

By moving, I’m also moving away from things.  Some things are obvious, like alcohol and mental instability.  Some things are not; like people, places, and certain ways that I thought.

I’m not okay with all of that.  Certain thoughts and behaviors are comfortable.  Changing them is uncomfortable.  Why would I want to do that?  I can be a better, more stable person by changing.  I am choosing to move out of my comfort zone.

GAH! I get anxious when I’m away from home for more than a couple hours and I am trying to completely move out of the space in my head that I feel comfortable in.

What is out there?  Show me pics and help me reach out!

Rejection, Cognitive Distortions, and Moving Forward

Well, I didn’t get into Rutger’s.  I am super disappointed and there is a war going on in my head to stay healthy while dealing with the rejection.  On one hand, I feel this is a personal rejection, like they rejected me on a personal level, me as a person.

This is called a cognitive distortion, specifically, personalization.  Personalization is, as psych central defines it, “is where a person believes that everything others say and do is some sort of direct, personal reaction to the person”.  (For the full article, visit here! It is an excellent article on psych central that explains 15 common cognitive distortions.)

I could go into wise mind, but I am going to just keep it simple.   I need to make my emotions, feeling personally rejected, and my logic, that it is not personal and I still have more options, align together.  It is difficult, and it is something that I struggle with quite a bit.

So I am going to move forward.   I plan on applying to more schools within a month or 2, but for right now I am going to focus on the Rally for Recovery (check out the FB page right here!) and finding a more fulfilling job.  I just set up 2 interviews for jobs that will bring me closer to my career goals.

Even if this sucks, I can deal with it without self-destructing.  I am getting better.  It is good news, disguised as bad news.

Here We Go Again…

After finally finding a therapist that holds me accountable and has me stepping out of my comfort zone, I am back on a routine.  I know it has always helped, but the demons don’t like them, so I haven’t stuck to any.  I’ve tried to-do lists, motivational quotes, making schedules left and right, but I haven’t been sticking to them.

So, I re-did the schedule that I made when I was in residential treatment. Yeah, the same one I posted a few weeks ago.  It has taken me this long and some nudging from my therapist, but I finally am on Day #1 of ROUTINE.  I made it in all caps because honestly, it is scary and I’m deathly afraid of failure.

My therapist also helped me re-arrange my daily schedule thingy.  I’m not sure what else to call it. lol.

Daily Plans

It should pop up in whatever type of Office-type software you use!  Feel free to use it and edit it, but make sure you Instagram me!

Well, here I go.  According to my schedule, it is lunch time.

Finding My Place

Turmoil.  That has been most of my adult life.  Alot of it was self-induced, but not intentional.

Now that I have stability, I’m learning to not self-destruct.  It can be hard, especially on bad days when everything seems hopeless.

Thankfully, I’m on an upswing and am experiencing minimal symptoms.

That means I am trying to do as much as I can with this time, including: community volunteer work, housework, spirituality, mental health tools, spending time with friends and family, being active in my plans to stabilize myself, and lots of self-care.

Wait, did I say volunteer work?  YES! Yes, I did.  I am on a committee for the Kenosha/Racine Rally for Recovery that is happening in September.  I am actively working on communicating with a recovery group and reaching out to the community.  It feels amazing.  I am so excited and grateful for the opportunity. Not to mention, I get to hang out with some awesome people and build my support system.

Life is good, and I am moving in a positive direction.  Isn’t that all we can really hope for?

The Battle of the Routine

Let’s face it.  One of the worst parts of depression is the lethargy that I discussed in my last post.  (Check it out HERE!)

The way to battle it? Straight up routine.  The problem?  Well, I DON’T WANNA!  I want to sleep and lay around, not get up early and do things.  Ugh.

That perpetuates the cycle, though.  I gave myself today to rest and plan, and then I start my new routine tomorrow.  I’ve included my basic routine, minus my appointments, at the bottom of this post.

The hardest part for me is getting going in the morning.  I am not a morning person and leaving the comfort of my bed is not fun.  It means I have to deal with all of the emotions and struggles out in the world.   Who honestly wants to do that?

I’m hoping after enough time with the routine it will become, well, routine, and I won’t dread it as much. For now, though, I am dreading this week and hoping I make it through.

Wish me luck and check out the link to my schedule below!  Have any tips?

New Schedule

Girls’ Weekend

I spent the weekend out of town with some girl friends.  I was ridiculously anxious and spent most of the night before trying to convince my husband to let me stay home.  He never caved and I ended up in a car with 2 of my besties on my way out.

I have to admit, once I got in the car I calmed down quite a bit.

I had an amazing time.  I laughed until my stomach hurt, learned more about my friends, scrapbooked, shopped, ate, got a massage, sat in a hot tub, and hit my step goal two of the three days.

Oh, and I had Sonic for the first time!  I wasn’t all that impressed.  Disappointment.

I kinda’ wish I could’ve stayed in that mood for forever.  Unfortunately, I think I used up all of my feel-good chemicals and now my depression is acting up.

Now, I am going off to surgery tomorrow to get baby making parts removed.  Sigh.  The weekend was awesome, but the week isn’t going so well.

But, hey, I got over my fear and went on an adventure!  I’m proud of myself.

Homesick from Kitties

I spent the weekend at Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.  We had a room with a full kitchen, a separate bedroom, and a full dining room.  The resort had an indoor theme park, an indoor waterpark, a movie theater, a bowling alley, 4 restaurants, a bunch of gift shops, and the walk from our room to the lobby and back was half a mile.  It was huge.

I got homesick.  Really homesick.  And we left the kitties at home, so I was worried.  Combine the two and you get panic attacks.

It was interesting.

I journaled, slept, went swimming, kissed my husband, listened to two little girls giggling, cuddles my new lemur stuffed animal, and begged hubby for reassurance that the kitties were fine.

We got home today.  They were fine.  I am fine.

Onto the next adventure next weekend for a girls’ weekend, without hubby.  It will be a test of how well I can deal independently.

Wish me luck!

Application In!

I finished my application for Rutgers University’s online program this morning.  I got my essay finished this morning and submitted my full application this afternoon.  It is for their MSW online program. They will set up clinicals and everything for me once that time comes.

On one hand, I’m really excited.  It is about time I take this next step in my education and actually try to do something with my education.  On the other hand, I am freaking nervous.  I need 3,000 hours of clinicals.  That is 2 years worth of work.  I have issues holding a job, so how am I going to do clinicals?  I am trying to be positive, but it is hard with my track record with employment.  I guess it is something to work on with my future therapist and case management team.  I know that I can help people, because of my own experiences both current and past, so this is my attempt to do that.

I’ll keep you updated!

Anybody go through schooling, especially clinical work,  with mental health issues?  How did you cope?  Tell me your stories!

Spirituality

Spirituality is a big part of 12-step programs.  Well, I grew up Catholic, and have decided to never practice it again.

While I am not doing a 12-step program, I have felt like that aspect of my life was lacking.  Religion was such a big part of my life for most of my life, so there is this void.

So, I decided to research different belief systems. No judging, but I feel like Paganism is the path that I am meant to take.  I’ve joined an online school to learn more and have a plethora of books to study.

I can already feel some part of the void being filled.  It feels warm and fuzzy.

What spiritual path are you on?  How did you end up there?