L-I-V-I-N-G with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Maine.

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LOOK HOW FUN!!!! Winter is JUST THE BEES KNEES, RIGHT!!!!??? Uh, no. Actually, I have a long history of winter blues that subjects those around me to endless complaining about feeling cold, and not wanting to do anything except snuggle under a blanket on the couch. This year my ‘winter blues’ seemed worse than usual (…..perhaps there is a connection to my father dying the weekend before Christmas… just a theory 😉 )
So I took a quiz. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But then I noticed the quiz was on a ‘phototherapy light’ website, so I figured they probably diagnose everyone with SAD to sell more lights! So I searched for more appropriate diagnostic tools and found another, more lengthy, test from a more legitimate source. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. To which I thought, “Meh, it probably says everyone has everything.” So I took a test for depression, and then one for anxiety. It said, “No ma’am. No depression or anxiety in that little brain of yours. Ya just got the ole SAD.”
So what are the “textbook” treatments?
Drugs: No thank you. And thankfully, my home remedies have been working so I don’t even need to consider that route!
Exposure to sunlight: CHECK!! Even though they are INSULATING and keep the rooms warmer, we decided natural sunlight was worth the little extra we may pay for heat this year.
Light therapy: Open to it if needed, but I think I’m good!
Psychotherapy: All set thanx.
My treatment regime prescribed by myself, and Google…
After lots of reading and, previously learned knowledge having been in the mental health field for over 20 years now, I know the importance of exercise to mental health. I also know how few people actually follow through with this, so it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. So I exercise almost every day.
Several articles discuss the importance of engaging in activities, particularly winter activities, to find enjoyment during winter months. So, I stopped saying (aka whining) “No… it’s too cold and yucky” when Lonnie says, “Hey, wanna go _______?” We started Friday night board games, a new tradition I am LOVING!!!! I have PLANS to see Black Panther Friday night with friends and I WILL GO EVEN IF IT’S COLD OUT!! (I said it here so now I have to!)
  • I’ve hiked!
  • I’ve snow-shoed!
  • I’ve cross country skied (for about 6 feet)!
  • I’ve walked the dogs!
  • I’ve shoveled!
  • I’ve started a gratefulness/21 Days of Happiness journal
  • I’ve stopped listening to news all day
  • I’ve STARTED listening to Oprah’s Soulful Conversations instead of news! (Amazingly inspiring and thought provoking!)
  • I’m watching what I eat and drink and even doing a Whole30 (or 20) (maybe 8) (I’m on day 8 😉 )

We (speaking of “we,” having a super-supportive partner who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need to get your shit together and your ass off the couch doesn’t hurt!) are in full-on SAD battle mode and it’s WORKING!!! I feel great, and when I don’t, I recognize it, and FREAKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT— SEE ABOVE!!

::::Drug commercial tagline alert::::I may have SAD, but it doesn’t have ME! LOL Had to.

Eat. ____. Love.

It’s blizzahd out there, bub! <<insert Maine accent there>>

Here I sit; In my jammies, drowning in phlegm, with enough Sudafed and Dayquil in me to kill an elephant, but not the aching ringing in my ears.  …..and there goes the internet.  Great.  Now what?

DVDS!  We have lots of those hidden away in a drawer for occasions just like this!

“Eat. Pray. Love.”  Why the hell not?

Watching this movie used to be a full-on EXPERIENCE for me.  I would sit there longing of taking my own journey to find what I was missing.  I would daydream of the places I would go.  The people I would meet.  The new life I would build. I would immerse myself into daydreams and plans for days on end after watching.

Today?  Nothing. I don’t need a journey.  I already took it without even leaving the greater Bangor area.  I just had to realize that I was worth more than I gave myself credit for.  I had to open myself up and accept that I needed to change myself, not just my situation.

P.S. I still can’t meditate or even maintain focus through and entire yoga class.  And I’m ok with that!

Husband appreciation post

I know people hate this shit and :::::GAG:::::: But why?  I mean…  I don’t hate it when other people do it.  ….to a point.  Anyway…. this is my blog and I don’t care.  And YOU KNOW WHAT!!!???  Maybe if we all focused in on love and appreciation and shit, this world wouldn’t be going to hell in a handbasket.  So… if you are reading this… I challenge you to put some love and appreciation out into the world today!!

I felt compelled to write this blog after glanced over at my husband in the kitchen julienning green apples, fennel, red cabbage, and carrots to make himself a fennel slaw to add to his lunches for the week.  He had a similar slaw a Duckfat a few years ago and made it his mission to replicate it and make it part of his life 🙂

This is after a morning of hard-core housework including dismantling furniture, massive cleaning, and trips to the dump.  Jessi’s move, and Sean’s move to her room, has left us doing some SERIOUS cleaning and purging.

After a little lunch break, we headed into Bangor to run errands.  We took “the long way” …and what “the long way” means, is frequent stops, turns, and detours as we hunt for Pokemon and Pokestops.  Hey!??  You gotta catch em all!!

And these errands… a trip to Ulta, AC Moore, and grocery shopping.  And he doesn’t begrudgingly come along, he is all in!!  He will smell shampoos, consult about make-up colors, and agonize about future craft projects til the cows come home!

After grocery shopping, before putting groceries away, he decides to clean out the fridge.  Like…. on his own.  Without my even mentioning that it was a bit overdue to happen.

I gave him a hug from behind as he was washing out the nasty containers from the fridge and told him I was a very lucky woman to have him.  Which just confused him and made him think I was a weirdo.  But that’s ok.  I am a weirdo.

Note to self:  Read this post next time I feel the urge to FINISH HIM him during an epic xbox session…..  😉

Day 4 —It’s still a chore.

While I don’t plan to count the days like I did last time.  Today is day 4.  It’s been tough to get back into it.  Sugar does NOT fuck around.  It knows how to find you in your weakest moments and just whisper sweet nothings in your ear. I am still shocked that I didn’t give in to my sweet devil on Tuesday.  I had a long, crazy shift, with no time to eat.  When I finished up with what I hoped would be my last client at 9pm, I dreaded going home and having to prepare something for supper.  I{ was STARVING, to the point of being shaky and irrational.  So I used a lifeline.  I called Lonnie and talked to him on the phone because I knew if  I was talking to him when I passed McDonald’s, I wouldn’t pull in.  It WORKED!  Not only did it work, but I felt empowered enough to take the time to stop at the grocery store and pick up some salad stuff.  ( I LOVE salad!!! —no sarcasm!  I LOVE IT!)

When I got home, I was all ready to make a yummy salad with the stuff I bought, and walked into the kitchen to find a very handsome man cooking me a very late supper.  I was shocked because when we talked on the phone, he was in bed watching TV and settled in for the night.  Damn I love that man!
THIS WEEKS TIPS AND SAVES…

  1. USE YOUR SUPPORT SYSTEM!  
  2. When the sweet beast was fighting me hard this week, I got a sugar-free iced coffee.  It totally did the trick!  (Yes I know about artifical sweeteners blah blah blah……)

CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas used to be my jam.  I was SOOOOO into it!!  I started pre-gaming for Black Friday the second the leaves started to turn!

Then I got divorced and everything changed.  The kids have to go here and there and everywhere and we have to schedule in Christmas.  Rick and I always had a giant rager of Christmas party that I always looked very forward to with all of our friends and that’s gone.  We always got up WELL BEFORE DAWN and headed over to his parent’s house for presents, food (CRAB DIP!), and fun… then after a nap…. LOBSTAH DINNAH!  ….and for me, that’s all gone.  And coincidentally, right around divorce time, the kids got older and less into toys that required me to line up and freeze my ass off with a bunch of other crazy people at midnight. These days they are more into clothes and pricey things, and their presents are divided between here and Rick’s house, with the result being the ‘under-the-tree- space looking more sparse with a few ‘big things’ than abundant with tons of ‘little things.’  (yeah yeah yeah Christmas is supposed to be about family and love and blah blah blah go away)

The past few years I have tried to make new traditions and stuff, but honestly it’s been a half-assed effort.  Let’s be real.  I’ve spent the past few Holiday seasons sulking, moping, and being ridiculous. Very ‘If I can’t have the Christmas the way I love then I don’t want it at all!!!!  SO THERE!’

Yesterday the kids (lol… @ “kids” since one of them is 20) and I were at Target and they ran into the Christmas section and were ALL about it, while I said things like, “Do I REALLY have to decorate?  It’s just a nuisance.”  Holy crap I am a jerk.  I thought about it all last night and sent this to Jessi this morning…

So it is ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!!!!!!!!!!  LET’S DO THIS!!!!

Life got in the way

Boston aquarium and an excuse to show of my man’s sexy arm 😉

It happens.  September arrived, and with it a flurry of activity and emotions.  We started our new fall work schedules (a new schedule that  I LOVE, but was a big change nonetheless), Jessi headed back to UMaine, Sean started 8th grade, Mom came for a surprise visit, we went on our long-awaited long weekend to Boston…….. etc etc etc…..

All were WONDERFUL excuses to not count points and stick to Weight Watchers.  I CAN proudly say that I have continued to exercise!  Yay me!

But now I am at a crossroads of sorts.  I am not feeling WW at all.  I have considered going back to low-carb for awhile.  But honestly…. as of this moment.  I am just feeling sticking to exercise and trying to be more mindful about what I stuff in my face and why I am doing said stuffing.

Speaking of WHY….  Nicole (bff) and I were talking about all my yearly autumn drama
Nicole: Why ARE you such a mess every year at this time?
Me:  I don’t fucking know…  because everything changes and it’s really busy and irritating.
Nicole: Hmmmm…. I think there is more to it then that.  When did your father leave?
Me: Holy shit.
Nicole:  :::::mic drop:::::

Now I have no idea if she is really onto something, but who knows?  Talking with my mom about it, she thinks that if there is a connection there, it would also include moving to Maine a few months beforehand and leaving behind my entire life in Connecticut.  And even if they ARE related, I need to learn to manage my behavior no matter WHAT the reason is for engaging in said behavior. …
Or maybe just work on being less crazy in general.  LOL NAH!!!!  What fun would THAT be!!??

And now some pics from the past couple weeks adventures…..
Sangria and a visit from Mom, which also included an unexpected lovely weekend at a cottage in Northport, Maine.

ONE DIRECTION!!!!  (Yes I am a 13 year old in a forty-something body.)
Jessi’s “new” car and back to school

Sassy new hair… that husband hated.  (“It’s so STRAIGHT?  Where’s my wild-haired girl??”) 

Nothin’ to it but to KEEP DOIN’ IT!!!
Lonnie grillin’ up some Paella during Mom’s visit.
Another gratuitous sexy husband pic.  LOOK AT THOSE CALVES!

Cheese alert. You’ve been warned.

Random web pic from https://energytalkradio.wordpress.com/ but it was this bright! 

Last night on my way home from work, I saw the coolest falling star I have ever seen.  It was HUGE and super bright sailed across the sky for a LONG time.  It was way cool.  After I ooohed and ahhhhed to myself, I suddenly thought,  “Ooooohhhhh I am supposed to make a wish and this was such a neat star that it has to be a good one!!” …..and for the life of me, I couldn’t think of anything I would wish for!!

Thoughts that crossed my mind….

Money:  Well yeah more could be fun, but we have to have to work to earn our fun stuff, which makes us appreciate it more!!  And frankly, rich people don’t seem all that happy. And also… wishing for more just seems greedy since there are so many that have so little.

Skinny!:  Meh.  Sure I want to lose weight, but I am working on it and I don’t want a quick fix since I know that the problem is not my body, it’s my mind!

World Peace:  Yeah I totally went there.  And then thought about the Matrix and how they tried to make a utopia and the program failed because humans thrive on misery or some shit like that.  Oh. my. god. I am such a nerd ROFL

So in the end of this harried thought process (because, you know… there is a short window of wish time…. #science), my final wish was that I stay as happy as I am right now.

For the rest of the ride home, I just thought about all of the things I had to be grateful for (my job that allowed me to see the star in the first place (and that just plain rules), my husband, my two kids who drive me crazy– yet still make sure I know they love me every day, my family, my awesome friends, my giant-yet-cheap apartment……etc etc etc, and then couldn’t sleep when I got home because I was all wound up 😉

#endcheese