All posts by everydayclimb

About everydayclimb

I'm a woman with lots of uphill climbing behind me. I'm a freelance writer and editor and am a mortician by education (retired from it). I enjoy regular volunteer work and building my YouTube channel called Lea James.

Depression & Bipolar Disorder

It’s May, Mental Health Awareness Month. I thought I’d blog today because I suffer from a mental disorder and want to quickly share my trip from “normal” to needing help and back to normalcy. If you have a mental problem, you can improve your life, too.

I was 44 and experienced a break down when my oldest child left home. I had always been “Mama,” and my heart was broken. I cried so hard that I was overwhelmed and a change overcame me.

Mania was what took over. Of course, I had not idea I was in a manic state. It felt like a very good mood. I was high on life. Even when I saw that my 25 year marriage was not going to be salvaged, I was in a good mood. The mania lasted about 7 months. I lost 40 pounds in two months, was promiscuous, dabbled in weed, drank too much, spent too much, and took two pricey vacations. I also couldn’t keep a job for more than six months.

After the six months in the best moods I’d ever experienced, the tides turned.

I immediately went into a deep depression. I didn’t cook, clean, go out of my house, or do anything I used to find enjoyable. I even dropped out of college when the depression began. I just stopped going. I wanted to die every day. I prayed that God would take me in my sleep. Antidepressants were my doctor’s answer. They would lift me a little – only to quickly let me return to soul-sucking depression within a couple of weeks.

My life was in shambles for seven years! I saw therapists and counselors. I changed medical doctors several times. I sought help anywhere I could, only to find no relief.

I researched depression online all the time. I’d check out suicide rates for women my age and know I only had a short time left on earth. There were no answers for me.

Once, I texted my family that I loved them and thanked them for the help they had tried to give. Then I took off in my car to kill myself – somehow. I didn’t want to injure anyone else though. There were no answers in this endeavor. Because of a flicker of hope in me, I drove to my GYN. She was an understanding, kind, and smart woman. I got to see her right away. The receptionist evidently saw the immediate attention I needed. She sent me (and my grown son who had made it to me by then) to a local mental health hospital where they asked about sixty questions.

By the time I finished answering the questions, I was coming down from the immediacy of the suicidal emotion. I realized I wasn’t a threat to myself anymore, and the hospital let me go. The black dog depression still loomed over me, though.

Soon after, I changed physicians once again. I couldn’t give up. This time, I found the right one. She and I figured out that the mania I experienced was part of the depression and that it was Bipolar, type 2. We added a certain type of mood stabilizer (generic Abilify) to my antidepressant.

Within a week, I was elevated to a mostly normal mood each day. I could sleep again and wasn’t staying up for days in a row. We had settled my questions. I knew what was wrong and could treat the symptoms. Unfortunately, the disorder doesn’t just go away. I didn’t care. I found help and was elated!

Now, six years later and still on the same meds (they were raised in mg a bit over time) and doing very well. My kids say I’m “Mama” again. It feels good to wake up and not dread having to merely survive through another day.

So, my dears, mental health can be yours if you don’t give up on yourself. Whether you have bipolar, severe depression, or anything else, hang in there. Keep seeking help. It is out there. I am proof.

Blessings to you!

Lea

How to Lose Weight When You’re Not On A Diet

I can’t seem to bring myself to diet again. It’s been one after another over the years. I’m fatter than ever but can’t commit to another eating plan. I just want to NOT think about my eating. That is a mistake, though. If I don’t watch my daily eating, I’ll get as big as my sofa!

I’ve decided to go on a Not Diet. I’ll lose weight by doing small things like eating frozen, healthful meals. I’ll choose Crystal Light in my water instead of sodas. I also like iced tea with fresh lemon. There are many small things I can do to help me lose some fat.

I work from home and on my laptop. So, I’m sitting all day. I will get up every 30 minutes for a walk around this big house or the acre outside if the weather is nice. I’ll also choose to not buy my favorite sweets or savory snacks but substitute healthier versions for them. I was into Little Debbie powdered donuts for a while. Ugh! NO nutritional value. I do like fruit. This will do for me.

I need to journal my food so that I stay honest, though. This, I will start doing again.

There will be nuts and seeds in my cabinet. I like chia seeds in my Dannon Lite and Fit Yogurt! There will also be celery and cucumber next to my ranch dressing in the fridge. If the chocolate pudding cups aren’t there, I can’t eat them. Therefore, the celery’s crunch will solve my need for chips, as well.

Here goes. I’m trying something different. It will be a slower loss but hopefully my weight will keep going down instead of up!

Any ideas for small changes you can share with me?

My Bipolar Life

I’ve had Bipolar Disorder since 2007. It came on like a tornado and continued twisting my life into oblivion for seven years!

It began with months of severe mania. I spent thousands of dollars on needless items, was sexually promiscuous, smoked marijuana regularly, flunked out of college, ended my 25 year marriage, and much more.

It was a time like I had never experienced. I learned what euphoria meant.

After the mania phased out, severe depression set in. I visited my doctor and was prescribed antidepressants. They worked about 20% for me but I got worse as the months and years passed.

Suicide thoughts became a daily, almost hourly, companion. It was an awful way to live. I switched antidepressants when I felt the current one wasn’t working but I hadn’t found the right doctor to help me figure out what exactly I had. I had been diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and that wasn’t what I suffered from.

In a short bout of mania once, I didn’t sleep at all for three days! Yes, mania can creep into the depressive times and wreak more havoc.

After seven years of miserable living and being barely able to survive because I couldn’t hold down a job, I found the doctor who would give me my life back. She put together my symptoms and said, “Bipolar.” I added a certain mood stabilizer to my antidepressant and got immediate results.

I was back!

I not only functioned but I thrived. I remarried a wonderfully kind man, got back in school and finished my degree, and was a good mother and daughter again.

I tell you this story in hopes that if someone out there is suffering from mental illness, he or she will never stop seeking medical help. Even if you have a doctor you like, this physician may not be “the one” to solve your issues. Also, if you have a loved one who just “isn’t right,” you might be able to help.

Today, I work online as a counselor/advisor and make good money. I function well and have no more depression or mania. It’s been this way for 6 years now.

Blessings to all of you, and take care!

Lea

Will You Get the Covid Vaccine?

I get the first Covid-19 Vaccine in about an hour and a half. I have mixed feelings. Of course I want to prevent myself from getting this virus (a second time) but I also am afraid of this shot. It hasn’t been on the market long, and no one actually knows, on a large scale, what it can do to a person long term.

However, I have eighty year old parents who don’t need this virus, and I don’t want to give it to them either.

So, I am going to one of the local hospitals to get my shot. I’d love to know how you feel about the vaccine. Please leave a comment!

Lea

Aren’t All Psychics Liars?

I’ve always been able to tell what others are thinking and feeling. It wasn’t a special gift or anything when I was young. I just knew I was different. Other kids my age didn’t have the same senses and feelings I did.

As a young adult, I had two children. I was a great Mama. I noticed my empathy for others around me grew stronger during this time. I also could tell what was going on with the neighbor couple we were acquaintances with – like when they were having marital troubles. I knew what Gloria was thinking even though she smiled and said kind words. She never liked us and felt like she was better than we were. Her husband, Bob, was different. I picked up on his sincerity from the first time I met him. He followed like a puppy wherever Gloria said to go, though.

As I grew into my 40s I noticed another shift in my Intuitive nature and the empathy I had for others. I didn’t always like these “gifts.” The strong feelings left me exhausted and hurting for other people. Actually hurting in my chest. It felt heavy. I had a sadness about me when I knew someone was in pain or if their lives were in turmoil.

I’d never believed in “psychics” before but was starting to delve into the subject. I still wasn’t serious about it all. I was just super sensitive my husband told me.

However, in my 50s, I met a woman who worked full time as an online psychic. She made very good money and always seemed to know what I was thinking. I confided in her how I had always felt about my “sensitivities.” She said I needed to get online and help others with my gifts. I shrugged it off for months. I wasn’t anyone special. Who was I to help other people with their problems in life?

One day, I got serious about the subject – after being exhausted one day from holding in a friend’s marriage problems. I got online and signed up to take chats from strangers. I was scared to death but kept myself honest and open. I didn’t use cards or dice or any other devices. I merely was there for these hurting souls. I felt their pain through their words as they typed to me and I typed back.

That beginning turned out to be a huge blessing of a job for me. I now work part time as an advisor on keen.com (I’m Cajun Queen). I have heard many stories about many types of people. It’s a very interesting career. I feel so blessed and satisfied to be able to do this job. Yes, I get tired mentally and stiff after sitting for so long some days. But, it’s worth it to help those out there who are in need.

I just thought I’d let you know how some of us who are online advisors (some are called psychics) think. I’m not out to make the callers stay online as long as possible for the money. That is a misconception some of my acquaintances. I type quickly and I don’t waste their time.

So, there are some of us out here who are honestly doing a service for others on these psychic sites. Just thought you’d like to know.

Weight Loss “Meds” – Which Work? Do Any?

  1. Alli is the brand name for the drug orlistat. It is a very popular weight loss pills.

Orlistat is available as a prescription drug and also sold over the counter. It works by preventing the body from breaking down of some of the fat you eat eat. The intestines absorb less fat, so weight loss may be the outcome.

Studies indicate that orlistat might increase weight loss a little bit. The review found that those who took orlistat lost an average of 2.9 percent more weight than those who did not take the drug.

Orlistat may cause a change in bowel habits. People taking it may experience side effects, such as diarrhea, stomach pain, and difficulty controlling bowel movements.

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2. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, and chocolate. It is also often added to diet pills and supplements.

According to a study of 76 obese adults, people who had high caffeine intake saw a greater reduction in fat mass, weight circumference, and overall weight compared to those who had a low caffeine intake.

Side effects of caffeine include jitteriness, increased heart rate, and trouble sleeping.

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3. Garcinia Cambogia is a fruit that contains hydroxycitric acid, which is thought to help weight loss.

Garcinia cambogia extract contains the juices from this small fruit and is available as a weight loss pill. Garcinia cambogia may inhibit or prevent a fat-producing enzyme called citric acid lyase.

There is little scientific evidence to support the use of this extract to help with weight loss. A report shows the effectiveness of the extract in long-term clinical trials and large-scale studies has not been proven.

Although garcinia cambogia extract may not aid in weight loss, it does not appear to cause many side effects when taken in reasonable doses. The report above also indicated that adverse effects did not occur with a dietary dosage of up to 2,800 milligrams (mg) per day.

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4.Green Tea – Many diet pills contain green tea because it may increase the body’s ability to burn fat, and especially fat in the stomach area.

Although more evidence is needed, some research indicates that drinks containing green tea extract may promote the loss of fat around the stomach area. The increase in fat loss may also result in modest weight loss.

Although green tea extract is usually well tolerated, it can cause stomach pain, constipation, and nausea.

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5. Hydroxycut is a popular dietary supplement. There are different Hydroxycut products which contain various ingredients. These products typically contain plant extracts and caffeine, although caffeine-free versions of the supplement are also available.

There are no studies that review Hydroxycut specifically. Caffeine, which has been studied, may contribute to small amounts of weight loss.

Since the ingredients of Hydroxycut vary, it is difficult to state the possible side effects. Hydroxycut supplements that contain caffeine may cause nervousness and increased heart rate.

Hydroxycut is considered a supplement and does not go through the same rigorous testing as drugs to determine its safety.

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6. Prescription Weight Loss Pills – (ex: Phentermine) Certain weight loss pills are only available through a doctor’s prescription. Although there are various pills on the market, most weight loss medications work by making it harder to absorb dietary fat or by suppressing the appetite.

Prescription pills may lead to some weight loss, but they can have strong side effects. Depending on the prescription, side effects of weight loss pills can include stomach pain, dry mouth, racing heart, increased energy, and diarrhea.

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A Takeaway from this is this:

When it comes to the best weight loss pills, it appears there is no magic bullet. Although some of the diet pills and supplements mentioned above may contribute to weight loss, the amounts are usually small and not really worth trying – especially long term.

Caffeine, green tea extract, and orlistat appear to have the most research to back up their claims.

Before taking any supplement for weight loss, it is best to talk with a doctor or other healthcare professional.

The best bet for people trying to lose weight is to reduce portion size, eat lean protein, fruits and veggies, and get regular exercise.

(Thanks for medical news today for information!)

What is Noom?

Noom is the weight loss plan I am following. It works when I work it – much like most plans out there. However, I enjoy Noom because of its daily lessons and periodic, short quizzes and online food journal that tells me how healthful the foods are that I am consuming. It also offers a personal coach and group support.

Click on the Noom link at the beginning of this blog to see an in-depth article about it. Best one I’ve seen yet.

Today, I begin my day with a fruit yogurt and coffee. I’m satiated and ready to start this Monday ahead of me.

I work online as a counselor of sorts and in between my calls, I research certain items of interest. I strongly suggest, if you have weight to lose, no matter how little or how great the amount, check out Noom to see if it suits your needs.

I’ll check back in with you in a few days. I’m eating well and feeling good!

Lea

Are You Eating Honey From a Bee’s Stomach?

Yes, you are.

Forager bees return to the hive after finding nectar, where they regurgitate and transfer nectar to the hive bees. Forager bees give the nectar to Hive Bees. The hive bees then use their honey stomachs to ingest and regurgitate the nectar, forming bubbles between their mandibles repeatedly until it is partially digested. The bubbles create a large surface area per volume and a portion of the water is removed through evaporation. The bee’s digestive enzymes convert sucrose to a mixture of glucose and fructose and break down other starches and proteins, increasing the acidity.

The bees work together as a group with the regurgitation and digestion for as long as 20 minutes, passing the nectar from one bee to the next, until the product reaches the honeycombs in storage quality. It is then placed in honeycomb cells and left unsealed while still high in water content (about 50 to 70%) and natural yeasts which, unchecked, would cause the sugars in the newly formed honey to ferment. Bees are among the few insects that can generate large amounts of body heat, and the hive bees constantly regulate the hive temperature, either heating with their bodies or cooling with water evaporation, to maintain a fairly constant temperature of about 35 °C (95 °F) in the honey-storage areas. 

The process continues as hive bees flutter their wings constantly to circulate air and evaporate water from the honey to a content around 18%, raising the sugar concentration beyond the saturation point and preventing fermentation. The bees then cap the cells with wax to seal them. As removed from the hive a beekeeper, honey has a long shelf life and will not ferment if properly sealed.

Thanks to Wikipedia for information

New Diet – One Week In

Well, it’s been one week since I began this new way of eating (Noom.com). Actually, it’s been longer but it’s been a week since I dedicated myself to journaling and keeping it real.

I’m up two pounds! I’ve only exercised once. However, I see what my downfalls were. I didn’t count everything I ate in my journal – is one major thing. I was snowed in for five days. That was tough on the eating. There were chocolate candies here that my daughter had brought over. Needless to say, I did partake of them more than I should have.

As far as exercising, I only made it to the treadmill once. The other days, I let outside activities (my online job) keep me from walking. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

So, I have new goals for this second week. I will journal every single thing I eat, and I will exercise at least every other day.

Why is this so difficult for me? I know I feel better when I’m healthier and smaller in size. Yet, I continue to graze and snack and sit on the sofa – using my work as an excuse. I can take a half hour away to do the elliptical machine!

Stick with me, friends. Seeing your Likes and getting more and more followers does encourage me. I want to help and not be another person who “wants to lose” but doesn’t get her crap together to do so.

Today, is a grandson’s birthday party. No cake or punch for me. No chips. I will take some celery and a crunchy apple with me. I will like those just as much as a sugary piece of cake. I WILL be a success this week and lose at least 3 lbs. Join me in my Noom.com weight loss? Facebook has some great Noom support groups, as well.

Love,

Lea

Andrea Yates, Murdered her Children

Andrea Yates, born July 2, 1964, lived in Clear Lake, Texas (a Houston suburb) with her husband and five children. However, happy she was not. She was diagnosed with severe postpartum depression and schizophrenia and had tried to commit suicide at least once before she drowned her children on June 20, 2001, one by one, in the bathtub. There was Noah, 7, John, 5, Paul, 3, Luke, 2, and Mary, 6 months.

Andrea started with John, Paul, and Luke, and then laid them in her bed. Then she drowned Mary and left her floating in the tub. Noah came in, and asked what was wrong with Mary. He then ran, but she soon caught him and drowned him. She left him floating in the tub, and laid Mary in John’s arms in the bed. They had all just been eating breakfast.

She then called the police repeatedly saying she needed an officer, but would not say why. So she called Rusty, and told him to come home right away. After the drownings, she laid each on her bed.

Her husband, Rusty, a former NASA engineer, had left for work, leaving Andrea alone to watch the children – against her physician’s instructions to supervise her around the clock. His mother, Dora Yates, had been scheduled by Rusty to arrive an hour later to take over for Andrea. In the space of that hour, Andrea drowned all five children.

She was convicted of capital murder but has lived in a Texas mental hospital since 2007, when she was declared in court to be not guilty by reason of insanity. This decision outraged much of the public. They could not understand how a mother could kill her own children.

In August 2004, Rusty filed for divorce, stating that he and Yates had not lived together as a married couple since the day of the murders. The divorce was granted on March 17, 2005.

Andrea now is likely living out the rest of her life at the Kerrville State Hospital, a low-security mental health facility in Texas.