Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Finding A Better Me

With 2016 upon us, many people have made plans to attempt to be a better person.  Whether it’s by dieting, exercising, or going back to school.  Many of us swear that this year will be THE year.  I didn’t make any of those plans, for good reason.  I wasn’t sure where my life would be headed.  I was feeling very lost and unsure of myself. 

I haven’t always subscribed to the theory that everything happens for a reason.  I must say, it seems to be pretty accurate in this instance.  As you may know, I’ve struggled with my weight for my entire life.  I was believing all of the negative thoughts my brain badgers me with.  I know that my husband supports me in everything that I do.  Unfortunately, I didn’t believe in myself.

I’ve been on a medication called Seroquel for roughly 15 years.  It has the propensity to give you crazy cravings in the middle of the night.  I went through many years of getting up in the middle of the night to eat.  Seroquel also makes you extremely sleepy, so at times, I was sleep eating. 

I’ve gained an obscene amount of weight.  I’m constantly down on myself about my appearance.  Nothing ever seemed to work long-term…if it worked at all.  I’ve never been this overweight in my life, and in the last 10 years, I haven’t done myself any favors.  I’ve tried it all.  Diet pills, Slim Fast, Atkins, Weight Watchers, and Medical Weight Loss just to name a few. 

For me, those programs weren’t realistic.  I couldn’t afford to stay on most of them for very long.  The irony of my situation is that over the last few years, I haven’t been over-eating. 

When I made the step to ask my doctor about weight loss surgery, we realized that I wasn’t the ideal candidate.  I already ate next to nothing.  NOT eating was making me fatter.  My metabolism has been non-existent for so long, the fat just sits there.  Add to that the fact that my back has been injured since 2010, preventing me from being able to do much in the way of exercise.  I was on Oxycodone for nearly a year. 

So, one day I was on Twitter and I saw all of these tweets about how successful a certain exercise program was.  We had already purchased the DVD’s in 2014, but my back pain was so extensive, I couldn’t continue at that time.  Factor in that the program was created by a retired wrestler that I’ve been following since the 90’s, I knew I had to get on the ball. 

I reached out to him and told him my story.  He confided in me that would help guide me through the process as long as I was willing to do the work.  I was beyond grateful.  He started off by sending me a list of tasks to do to get me started.  Included in that list were several documentaries.  One, in particular, struck a chord with me.  It’s called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (on Netflix). Unfortunately, I could relate to that title.  I learned about a man from Australia that came to America to start a juicing program.  He traveled across America with a juicer in his car and only juiced all natural, 100% organic fruits and vegetable.  Along the way, he met many people that were interested in the program.  One man in particular weight around 420 pounds.  They documented both of their stories – success stories! I was inspired and I ordered a juicer the next day. 

I wasn’t only doing this for weight loss at that point.  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.  I wanted to feel good for once.  Never mind that I really wasn’t enjoying eating to begin with.  Everything I ate seemed to have some strange side effect.  I then watched a documentary called Genetic Roulette. (Available on Amazon) It covers all of the ways that we are essentially being poisoned by the pesticides that are being used.  They spray the fruits, vegetables, and even cotton.  Not only were the workers that handled the crops getting seriously ill, but they then take the pesticide ridden products and feed them to the cows, pigs, and chickens.  We are getting bombarded at every turn. 

Right away, I knew going organic was the thing to do.  The hardest part about this process has been teaching myself to eat/drink 3 meals a day.  Even if it was just juice, it had all of the vitamins and nutrients I could possibly need.  After making it through a 10-day juice reboot, I am 100% sold on this plan.  I now juice for breakfast and lunch, then eat an extremely healthy and organic dinner. 

You may be asking what the hell any of this has to do with bipolar or depression.  It has everything to do with it.  As of now, I’ve lost 20 pounds.  I feel amazing.  My migraines have decreased and I have more energy.  My back pain does still exist, but it doesn’t hurt as often.  In an attempt to tackle my social anxiety, we’re getting out more and doing fun things like going to the park or to a movie.  My depression symptoms are much, much more manageable.  I still get depressed and I know that I always will.  I’m not so na├»ve to think that I can cure it.  However, not having a foggy brain and being able to think straight sure do help you manage your symptoms better. 

I know I have a long way to go.  However, for the first time in over 10 years, I feel like I can do this.  I know there will be setbacks along the way, but I’m so much better equipped to face those setbacks.  There will still be days when I feel like crap, but I’m confident in my choices.  I no longer eat meat, dairy, or gluten.  I take vitamins every day and I’m much more active. 

Before now, I had lost all hope.  Thanks to a good old fashioned kick in the ass by one of my heroes, I feel like I can move mountains.  I call him my mentor now, and we exchange emails several times a week.  He’s always there if I have questions or concerns.  I don’t think I can ever truly express my gratitude. 

I’m not at all trying to insinuate that it’s my way or the highway.  I’ve always said that what works for me may not work for you.  I don’t make any money from this post.  I’m not trying to sell you something.  I just figured that between my book and subsequent posts, you could use a little good news from me.  J If you do want to learn more about anything I’ve discussed here, please feel free to email me at

It’s been a long time since I had confidence.  Years since I truly felt good.  If I can help you achieve that as well, it would be amazing.  In 2013, when I set off on this adventure, I only wanted to help others.  I hope that I have, and I hope I will continue to do so. 

Learning to take care of yourself is never easy.  I’m not saying it will be simple.  I’m just telling you that it’s worth it.  You are worth it.  Thank you for indulging me. 

Until next time…

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Moment in Time

Sometimes when you least expect it, you need to take a step back.  Try to figure out what goal it is that you’re looking to achieve.  Really look inside your head and block out all of the outside forces.  I’ll be honest.  Behind the whole “let’s change the world and make it a more tolerant place” facade, lies one exhausted, overwhelmed, and frustrated individual. 

So, here I am…awake at 3:09 am, listening to my husband’s C-Pap machine and wishing my restless leg syndrome would go away.  I feel hurt and let down by a lot of people, but I’m letting them make me feel that way.  I know I’ve grown a lot, and I’m in a different place than I was in 2013, but I honestly have no idea where I’m headed next.  I’m lost in the shadow of the pain that hovers over me. 

It’s the anniversary of my mother’s death.  Eight years have passed, and somehow just thinking of it automatically transports me back to that moment at 7:00 PM, the doctor came in and turned off those machines.  I’ll never forget that feeling of utter despair and loss.  When I lost her, I lost a piece of myself that I’ll never have back. I’ve never been the same person since that day, and I never will be.  I just can’t get that image out of my head. 

So, I am taking that much needed step back.  Which is ironic, because I was just informed by my publisher that I will be embarking on a virtual blog tour.  In essence, I will be contributing to whatever blog and/or podcasts will have me.  Maybe that’s why, on a personal level, I’m inclined to move away from social media for a time.  I know I spend far too much time online as it is.  There are days when I wish I never would have started using Facebook.  When my husband is sitting next to me, and we’re not talking to each other, using our phones to talk to other people…well, you’ve got to draw a damn line somewhere.  I’ve worked far too long and far too hard to let my marriage go down the tubes because we don’t actually communicate with each other anymore.  That is not going to happen to me. 

So, if I have to take his phone and throw it across the room, I’m going to do it.  I have so little time with him to start with, and to have social media come between us in our time together is unacceptable.  I know he’ll read this, and I hope he understands and agrees. 

I cried a lot today, and at one point when I had stopped, I opened the curtain in our room, and noticed the sun start to shine. Inside my head, I said, “Hi Mom…I love you too”.  We have an old answering machine that I have I believe 4 messages from her stored on it. I’m not sure where that machine is right now, and maybe it’s better that way, because I think hearing her voice would break me more than build me up.  When you start hitting your forties, and you start realizing that the older you get, the more people you’re going to lose, well…it’s like a kick in the gut.  I feel like I’ve lost enough for a lifetime, but I have so much more to endure.  How I will get through that, I have yet to determine.  With my husband by my side, we’ll figure it out. 

I just wish I didn’t have to.  

Monday, December 7, 2015

The Urge (Trigger Warning - Discussion of self-injury)

Ironically, it’s still quite embarrassing for me to come forward and talk about particular issues that I’m going through.  Even after everything that I’ve said publicly.  I think I will always be afraid of what people will think.  Thankfully, even though it is in the back of my mind, I rarely let is stop me from being the same brutally honest person that I have always been. 

Most of you know by now that I’ve written a book.  You may also be aware that the sales are not nearly what I had hoped for.  That has been a source of stress for me, but I felt like I was handling it pretty well, for a while. You may also not be aware that I have had little to no relationship with the original publisher of the book.  After the giant catastrophe that occurred with errors in the book, he hasn’t been around much.

Last night, I found myself having to reach out to him again about more errors.  Quite frankly, it caused one of the worst panic attacks I’ve experienced in quite some time.  I was irrational, I was sobbing, and I couldn’t breathe.  It was like the dam broke.  It started a flood of pain and heartache that I’ve just been swallowing since November 1st when I had maybe 10 people in attendance at my book signing.  What kind of a fool am I?  How could I ever possibly think that I could be a success.  Everything that I’ve ever touched has turned to shit.  The ONLY thing I haven’t screwed up yet is my marriage and thank GOD for that. 

So, the darkness set in.  The depression, the sadness, the feelings of worthlessness, of hopelessness.  I feel like someone draped a lead blanket across my back and shoulders.  It’s inescapable.  Last night, I tried to go to bed early, hoping I might feel better with sleep, but I felt even heavier when I woke up.  I started this project, attempting to get my book on another format, and it wasn’t working.  I had to call the company and when I hung up, I just lost it. 

 The feelings of failure were suffocating me.  I was hyperventilating.  I didn’t understand a word she said to me, and I had no idea how to fix a thing.  Suddenly, I felt like a small child lost in the woods.  Which way do I go?  Where do I turn?  It felt like there was no answer, so I was frozen in my fears. 

All I could think of was, how stupid are you?  What the hell made you think you were capable of succeeding at anything?  So, you told people you were depressed, big damn deal…nobody cares.

This repeated in my head obsessively…until it happened.  Something I truly thought I had let go of.  It was the images of cutting.  It starts out slowly.  I just sort of picture what I might use, what the cuts may look like.  Then the cravings kick in…the deep burning desire to punish myself for being a failure.  To feel the rush of having cut hard enough to bleed. The rush calms the nerves, and everything slows down for a few minutes.  The need runs through my head like a song on repeat. 

I’ve never in my life told anyone outside my closest family members or therapists that.  The first thing I did was tell Joe.  God how I hate having to be that kind of person that interrupts her husband’s work day to tell him this horrible news.  As bad as that news is, there’s even better news.  I DIDN’T CUT.  That’s the real accomplishment in this story.  Even now, it’s buzzing around in my brain.  I know it probably sounds really stupid to someone that hasn’t experienced it.  Maybe you think it’s a dumb reason to want to do it.  None of that matters.  What matters is, I had horribly painful urges and I made it through them. 

I’m not going to sit here and run down the laundry list of things that are going wrong for us right now, that’s not what this blog is about.  What matters is that these things are painful enough…life altering enough that for one moment in time, I wanted to hurt myself to stop thinking about these things.  To punish myself for not living up to the expectations I had for myself. 

 I’m sure there are many people that don’t understand.  It’s OK.  I don’t need you to understand.  If you still want to be my friend, what I need is maybe a, “hey, are you OK?” once in a while.  You would be amazed at how much feeling cared about can change your outlook on self-injury. 

Is my book a success?  No.  Is it the only dream that I truly ever had?  Yes.  Do I feel like a gigantic failure?  You bet your sweet ass I do.  I long for someone to come along that has some fantastic ideas or really wants to help me get my name out there…because I am exhausted.  I beat myself up for being too tired to spend more time online trying to reach out to anyone and everyone in hopes of hitting it big.  Maybe to the average person, none of this is reason enough for me to want to hurt myself.  Well…good for you, truly.  I’m glad for you not having to experience this. 

Do I feel better about my life? No…not at all, honestly.  However, I have an ever-so-small glimmer of hope in the back of my mind know that I am still able to maintain my 2 years and 6 months clean of self-injury. 

I guess I’ll think about the rest of it tomorrow. 

Thanks for listening.  

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Sunday, December 6, 2015

Read a FREE Sample of my Book!

Hello Everyone!! 

I'm just stopping by quickly to let you know that
I've added one of the chapters of my book
to my author website for you to enjoy!
I hope you'll swing by and take a look at it.  
Perhaps, it will give you the push to run out and pick up my book!
For a 
I'm offering a coupon if you order the book on Createspace.
Use the code: ZQZS3GAF at checkout
for $5.00 off!
Head over to to read the free chapter!
I look forward to hearing from you!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I Guess This Is Growing Up

This time of year, I often feel particularly introspective.  2015 is coming to a close, and I can’t help but look back on the past 10 months.  When October hits, I see myself becoming more somber, knowing what the holidays have historically had in store for me.  This year, I’m finding myself in a different place. 

I’ve really been thinking about how I’ve grown as a person.  I know in the past, I’ve changed in ways I wasn’t particularly proud of.  For a very long time, it seemed like as each year passed, I became more and more bitter.  I hated that about myself, but I didn’t think I could do much to change it.  I was stumbling through life, pretending I didn’t care that I was a miserable person. 

I cannot tell a lie.  Previously, if I found something particularly offensive, I wasn’t afraid to tell anyone and everyone just how pissed off I was.  I believe that I’ve blindsided people who were just going about their life, not ever knowing I was coming to unleash my misguided fury. I am grateful to be able to say that today, that is not who I am.  I saw this meme online the other day, and I loved it. 

I completely connected with it.  Sure, there are some reprehensible things on the internet.  I understand that.  If it’s a fight for a good cause, I’ll be the first one to throw my hat in the ring.  If it’s some stranger that I couldn’t care less about or even someone that I do know, talking about politics or giving an opinion on a movie that I don’t agree with, I move on.  I keep Bill tucked away in my brain. 

Don’t we all have enough on our plates?  Do we really have the energy to devote to all of this nonsense?  I know I don’t.  Why have I always gotten so riled up about people that say stupid, insensitive things?  If it’s directly about me or said to my face, well…it’s entirely possible that they’ll have a fight on their hands.  But if I can avoid the conflict, I think it’s essential to walk away...and quickly before I change my mind. 

It’s like most things, really.  It’s all about balance.  I don’t mean to say that I’ll just sit here quietly and let people walk all over me or anyone that I love for that matter.  Quite the contrary.  I do think that I’ve had to learn a difficult lesson about picking my battles.  I’ll be the first to admit that I have flown off the handle at people, too quickly and for absurd reasons.  I hate the fact that there are people that are no longer in my life because of that.  Yet, at the same time I know that perhaps my slightly hysterical nature helped me to thin out the herd, in a sense. 

I know I’ll never have all of the answers.  I understand that I’ll make mistakes along the way.  I’ve most assuredly put myself out in the public eye where I will often be judged or criticized.  I will want to fight back and sometimes I will fight back.  I just know that at my age, I don’t have time to sit around getting in ridiculous confrontations with even more ridiculous people. 

It’s a relief, really.  It’s been a long time coming.  I deserve to find peace and happiness.  We all do.  So, on this Thanksgiving, while I will still miss my loved ones dearly, I will feel grateful.  For the insight, for the love I do have in my life, and for how I hard I worked to just be me. 

Happy Holidays.