Daily Affirmations

Remember Stuart Smalley? “I’m good enough! I’m smart enough! And gosh darn it, people like me!”

Love the color combo!

I have been in a state of depression lately. It’s a cycle for me. For a while I’m up and then I’m down. It’s like a roller-coaster.

Or maybe not. I think there’s this underlying depression that just lies there…and the Effexor is just not enough to keep my head above water. But add anything else, and it messes up my system. I’ve been through this over and over, so I need to focus my energy on something else.

I believe I feel depressed somewhat right now not only because my hormones are out of whack, but also because I haven’t seen the hypnotherapist in a while. I haven’t done any of the visualization exercises, the homework she gave me for our next appointment, or even made another appointment. Part of it is because we have been trying to save money, but the other part of it is when I am depressed, I withdraw. From friends, from family…from life.

I know the only way I can climb out of this slump is to reconnect. To go out. To remember what I have and who I am.

There’s a baseball game on Friday that I’m going to. After my first session with the hypnotist I went to the stadium for the first time in years and I had a blast. I went by myself, got a hot dog and a soda, and ended up sitting right behind home plate. I brought my knitting, talked to the people next to me, and cheered for our team. Then there were fireworks after the game, which were amazing.

Hot wings eating contest after the game

I felt so wonderful that I treated myself, and even though it’s hotter than Hades, I know I need to do this for myself again.

Oooh! Sparkly!

I end up sleeping a lot these days. While I’m alert during the week, I sleep all day on Saturdays. That’s all I want to do. On Sundays Lee and I will go out, but even then I want to take naps.

This Saturday I’m making myself go out. I signed up for a dyeing class that my friend Rose told me about. She’s going to be in the class with me, which gives me more incentive to get out of the house.

Jars of Kool-Aid: Great for dyeing yarn!

As far as those daily affirmations, I haven’t thought about them lately. But I have them in my purse. My hypnotist writes some down on an index card at the end of each session and I’ve been carrying them around.

Here they are. If you want to use any one or more of them, feel free. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me when I’ve used them.

  • More and more I can accept my feelings, soften around them, and breathe through them.
  • More and more I can sense the peaceful stillness at my center.
  • I am a unique and valuable individual.
  • I now open up to life!
  • I say what I want to say when I want to say it in a diplomatic and assertive way.
  • I now take back my power!
  • Because I am kind, funny, and a good friend (insert other positive traits here), I appreciate myself.
  • My safety lies in me.
  • More and more I focus on today and make it the best it can be.

Now that I think about it, it’s time to make another appointment.

Going Cold Turkey

I love soda. LOVE IT. Pepsi, Coke, root beer, Sprite, Dr. Pepper. Elixir of life. The bubbles of the carbon dioxide tickling my nose, the syrup tantalizing the sweet spots of my tongue, the acid sweetly burning my throat as I drink and drink and drink.

Addicted, much? Definitely.

I have a huge sweet tooth, but my main vice is soda. I don’t like alcohol, diet drinks have too much of an aftertaste, and I think the tar taste of cigarettes is disgusting, but wave a glistening bottle of Pepsi in my face and I’m drooling.

I’ve tried to kick the habit several times. The first time I tried to switch to caffeine free drinks because of my anxiety. This was during my college years when I was still as skinny as a toothpick.

Once upon a time when I was thin

That didn’t last long, but I mainly stayed with Sprite. At the time, Sprite was, what I thought, the only drink that could calm my stomach. And since I was nervous most of the time, Sprite was my drink of choice. On road trips to Houston, I would make sure I had a cooler next to me filled with ice and a 6-pack of Sprite in case I felt nauseated on the road.

I don’t know when I switched from Sprite only to the variety of darker syrup drinks, but it definitely wasn’t a good decision to expand those horizons.

As my medications changed and I started taking sleeping pills, I relied on caffeine to keep me awake. I’m not a big coffee drinker (although I get a tall decaf soy mocha from Starbucks every so often), so it was to the vending machine for a Pepsi or something else refreshing. I would get that sugar high and then crash. But I loved the sugar high so much that I wouldn’t quit.

Bottles upon bottles would collect on my desk at work and in the recycling bin at home. If we didn’t have any in the house and I had a craving, I would drive to the nearest convenience store to buy a bottle or two.

I was probably drinking at least 2-3 bottles a day. Add that to how I was eating overall, and I was packing on the pounds.

I was told by my doctor that the ideal weight for my height and age is around 120.

I am 170.

This is the heaviest I’ve ever been. I don’t fit into most of my clothes anymore. I have been asked if I am pregnant twice.

Me, Buddy, and Blue

There’s a part of me that wants to dress for the shape I’m in now.

The other part of me has decided enough is enough.

Not that I haven’t tried to lose weight before. I went to Weight Watchers meetings for a few months and lost a total of four pounds. Those pounds have found their way back, by the way. I initially liked the way the plan worked, but found there were still too many temptations for me. Have you had their Dulce de Leche ice-cream bars? I couldn’t eat just one. In fact, all of their snacks and protein bars and desserts were extremely tasty. And Prince Ambien loved them around midnight.

And I knew how many points one carbonated drink was, so I tried to work that in. It was too much temptation, and I felt bad about myself when week after week I would weigh the same or gain an ounce.

So I gave up. I fell off the wagon.

But I got to feeling so run down, so tired, that during the weekends all I would do was sleep.

So as of Sunday, July 17, I started to cut out as much sugar from my diet as possible. The main rule is NO SODAS. This is not just for losing weight, but for my overall health as well. I hope this will help my depression and anxiety, as well as my general mood.

As tempted as I am, I can gladly say that I am on Day 3 and have not given in. Even though I’m tired and my body is still adjusting, I’m proud of myself.

I just have to take it one day at a time.

Your Worst Nightmare

In the early ’90s, there was an awesome board/VCR game called Nightmare. You wrote down your worst nightmare on a card and put all the cards in the middle of the board. The game was about an hour long, and you had to go around, collect keys, and did other tasks according to the cards you drew. All of this was fast-paced, because you had to turn all the lights off and the TV volume up as high as it could go, so that when the creepy guy came on the screen to stop the game at certain moments it would scare the crap out of you. If you collected all the keys and picked the top card (and it wasn’t the card you wrote on) before the creepy guy came on the TV for the last time, you won the game.

It was fun, especially with a big group. We laughed, we screamed, we yelled, “Go faster!” I don’t remember who won, but we made sure the creepy guy didn’t.

I also don’t remember what I wrote on the card as my nightmare. But ever since I figured out that I had anxiety/panic disorder, I can definitely pinpoint it now.

Being violently ill when I’m not in my safe place.

“Violently ill” means many things. Call it what you want–puking, vomiting, regurgitating–it is always violent to me. And “safe place” means my home. It’s my comfort zone. It has all my stuff.

Feeling sick when I’m away from home is one of the main things that makes me nervous. Feeling nauseated while I’m traveling, or when I’m somewhere other than my house, is even worse. It’s bound to happen, of course, but to me it’s one of the worst feelings in the world. I don’t know exactly why it bothers me so much. Why I obsess about it when I think about traveling.

It started with an airplane trip. I used to be a frequent flier. I loved the window seat. I enjoyed meeting new people and the thrill of taking off and landing. But one time, while I was talking to of guys sitting next to me, I started feeling sick to my stomach. Even one of the men commented that I looked “green.” Ever since, I’ve sat in the aisle seat so it’s easier to get to the bathroom…just in case. I rely on pills to knock me out so I won’t have to feel the anxiety. In fact, I haven’t been on a plane in more than five years.

It’s not that I don’t want to travel. Hawaii, Australia, Las Vegas, and Ireland are places I would love to see. My husband’s parents visit Maine every summer, which sounds wonderful.

The last trip I made was across the pond. I went to The Netherlands, where my dad and stepmother have lived for several years. There’s a canal behind their house with ducks that come up to you to be fed. I’ve been to see my dad twice and both times I had a blast. The country is wonderful and people are so friendly.

A beautiful day in Haarlem

I also got to visit England, which I loved. London is amazing. I was a bit nervous, but the ride on the London Eye was fabulous. I could see England for miles. I went to the London Aquarium, saw a couple theatre shows, and toured a beautiful castle.

The London Eye (taken from inside the London Eye)

There were some times when I was nervous while I was overseas, but all in all I had a great time. I would love to go again. And someday, I hope I will.

So maybe I should change my nightmare, because I don’t want to continue to live in fear of going outside my comfort zone.

I’m afraid of my fear of traveling, and that I will never get over this feeling.

I have a tile that my dad and stepmother gave me. It says: “To make your dreams come true, wake up.”

I hope I wake up soon.

Lee’s Sound Advice

Sometimes when you least want to do something…that’s the time to do it.

That’s something along the lines of what Lee said to me on the way home a few minutes ago. I had been feeling awful all day and didn’t want to go anywhere.

But Lee’s sister and brother-in-law invited us over and I wanted to see them, so I took my husband’s advice and cleaned myself up. I was nervous on the way over because I still felt gross and I was afraid I was going to have to tell Lee that we needed to go right after we got there. Once I got there, however, I had a great time.

Lee kept checking up on me, which I was grateful for, but I found that even with a little discomfort I could still have fun.

We ended up staying for four hours. And I found that getting out of the house, while initially the last thing I wanted to do, was what I needed to do the most.

I’m going to try to remember that in the future.