Category Archives: Changes

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

Spring is Coming, Oh no!

Why would I say, “oh, no” when spring is coming? Because I’m not ready to put on last year’s swimsuit. It’s serious this time. I now have an inground swimming pool. The kids and grandkids will be coming over to swim, cookout, and have fun in the sun. Will I be the beached whale on the side of things? No!

So, I joined noom.com. It’s a calorie counting app that keeps up with my water intake, physical activity, and food intake. It also offers coaching and education. I like it. I’ve only lost 5 lbs though. I need to get serious about counting the calories!

I’m making homemade chili for dinner. No dessert unless it’s fruit.

Are you spring ready?

New House, New Problems

Not a far move. Only 20 minutes apart

I’ve moved . . . relocated . . . only 20 minutes from my old house. Yet, my life is upside down. Moving is a huge undertaking. I have yet to unpack because we are getting all new floors installed first. The workers have only made it through my kitchen and laundry room so far. We are living out of boxes and suitcases. It’s crazy!

Faking it for now

When people ask how the move “went,” we just smile and say we are in a fixer upper and are still working on it. EVERYthing seems to have something wrong with it – electical, plumbing, floors, door knobs, paint, the swimming pool, etc. Recently, I got stuck in my own bedroom. Yes, you read that correctly. The handle on the door was loose at the wall and got stuck. There was no exiting. My husband had to save the day.

On day 6, I had finally had enough faking it. I was alone in the house for a couple of hours, and I found myself welling up inside when I thought about all of the “unknowns” still to do in this house. Depression had been my friend for days. I bean sobbing and using a nearby wash cloth to blow my nose. I kept crying for several minutes. I have read that sad or stressed tears have actual toxins in them and that purging those tears and bad feelings is good for a person. Hmmm . . . I did feel better afterward.

I sold this antique hutch for $150 on Day 7. I felt better with all of those tens in my hand. Maybe we will make it here after all. I mean, we do have a nest egg saved for just this reason, and the cats seem to like the place. We’ve spent thousands of dollars already on the swimming pool, too. It was a mess that needed re-plastering and re-tiling. We had to replace the diving board and ladder in the deep end. Then, there was filling in all of the expansion joints. We also had to order a cover for the pool. $$$$$$

Before and After

See? Much cleaner! Then, we just added water, brushed it clean for two weeks, added chemicals, and added more. Then, it was time to install a cover. (more pics to come). Whew!

This house feels like a money pit, honestly. However, part of me feels like it’s a place that has a good floorplan and just needs a chance to be a nice family home. I’m going with that one!

The kitchen floors were gross and needed new sub-flooring before prying up the existing wood planks and putting in new. But, the kitchen floor is finally finished!

Finally! Clean and sturdy floors!

We still have much to do but I see progress. I haven’t cried since day 6. That is something positive. Some nights I don’t sleep well but I attribute that to poor diet. 😉

I’m hanging in there!

Love you guys! Talk soon!

THAT’S my Size? No Way!

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I hadn’t bought a blazer in almost six years. So, when it fit into the size 3X, I almost cried right in the store.

I had noticed that fitting into restaurant booths had gotten tricky and tight but a 3X?

Theater seats were crowding around my hips and bottom but a 3X?!

These limitations try to over shadow my recent weight loss of six lbs. I had to work for a month and a half to lose those six lbs.

Then, I saw something on my coffee table. It was a little glass canning jar that said Happy Jar on the side.

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It was decorated with colorful butterflies and flowers. My friend, Ginger, had made each of us one. At the end of each day, we wrote on a small slip of paper what we were happy about on that particular day. Some days, I would have to really get down to basics to find happiness.

I decided that black, 3X blazer would definitely be one of my “Before” memories  . . . and soon!

I never knew how hard it would be to actually lose this weight when I was “ready.” I always had been able to shed pounds fairly easily in my younger years. Now, exercise is tough because of bad knees, and my age (slower metabolism) and meds try to keep me fat. They have been doing a successful job thus far, too.

I feel defeated each time I don’t lose at least one pound in a week or am not a measly inch less around my frame. I stick with it, though. I hang in there. I have to. I may have to eventually cut even more calories and exercise despite the pain, but I will lose this fat..

A 3X? I can’t believe it.

The Sofa, My Best Friend

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Since turning 55, I not only feel mentally challenged but I am definitely physically challenged, as well. The mental part is having to deal with being halfway to 60! I can hardly believe that. I also deal with Bipolar but I’m medicated and it’s not much of a problem until something in life goes wrong. Then, I go from “normal” to deep depression in about sixty seconds.

The sofa became my best friend a few months ago when I began feeling marked fatigue and apathy because of it. I take meds for the Bipolar and for blood pressure and for insomnia. I take vitamins and iron (I’ve been anemic, too). It’s getting old.

It’s like turning 55 turned my health upside down in a way. I have “female issues” to deal with that will likely have me in the doctor’s office often over the next few months. Again, It’s getting old.

My sofa is soft and leather. It’s a comforting dark brown and sinks when I lay in it. It’s a place I can hang out in without being in bed. I know my poor husband is tired of seeing me like this but it’s “supposed” to be over soon. We’ll see. I doubt anything that promises happiness these days. I can’t quite achieve that level of mood.

I write this not to bring my readers down but to show you that you are very blessed if you are healthy. My husband has things worse than I do. He fights MS every day. Pain, aches, burning nerve endings, fatigue, and he takes lots of meds.

I really do need to stop griping and get my behind off of this sofa and into a project – like de-cluttering the office. But, as I type, I’m on my tummy on my sofa – my best friend. The one who cradles me and tells me I can take refuge in him for this short while in my life.

I think when I finish blogging, I’ll mosey into the office and see about donating some of my many books to a thrift store.

I wish you all blessings of health and happiness! I’d appreciate your prayers, too.

Emotional Detachment Can be Good for You

Time away to process her thoughts

 

(By Esther Neptune on keen.com)

 

Valentine’s season is right around the corner!  Every year, I listen to friends describe the hopes, dreams and expectations they have for this wonderful month of love. But what happens if those expectations are unmet?  How do you deal with the negative emotions that result?

Learning how to detach from your emotions, and look at them under the microscope, can help maintain your love for self in the wake of disappointment.  This can apply to situations outside of our love lives as well.

What is Detachment?

The Oxford Dictionary defines detachment as “a state of being objective or aloof.” Objectivity calls us to think outside the box of emotions and consider life as it is, rather than how we would want it to be. Aloofness is a state of tuning out emotionally and is more avoidant than objectivity.

When is Attachment Unhealthy?

We are all attached to people, places, goals, ambitions and statuses in our lives. To some degree, this is normal and healthy. It becomes unhealthy when potential loss creates negative emotions that interfere with our daily lives.

For example, let’s say you went out on a date and got to know a very interesting person. You exchange thoughtful conversation and have a great deal in common. You haven’t felt this connected to anyone in years!

After the date, you don’t hear from the person for three days. You are frantic, anxious, and obsessed with when you may hear from him next. Relief hits when you hear back. However, the cycle has potential to start over again if those fears aren’t addressed.

 

How Do I Know if I’m Too Attached?

Let’s start first by examining what happens in normal attachments. When you care about someone, it’s healthy to wonder from time to time how they are doing. It is also healthy to send out intentions to the Universe on their behalf for their well-being.

Excessive attachment is when a person, status, or goal becomes your entire reason for being. These issues may be rooted in childhood. For example, a young lady struggling to win approval in her career as an adult have been chided by her parents for not bringing home a report card with straight A’s. Feeling the failure of this disappointment, she continues to beat up on herself, which further depletes her energy.

How Do I Practice Detachment?

  1. Take Inventory

The first step is to do an inventory of people, places, and things in one’s life that may have become all-consuming. Try to be as candid and honest with yourself as possible while making this list. Remember that you can’t change what you don’t bring to light with yourself.

  1. Analyze Your Attachment Patterns

After taking inventory, analyze the patterns of who and what you attach most to. Are the people in your life that you gravitate towards those you can “rescue” or “save?” Or are you repeatedly drawn to emotionally unavailable people? Are the jobs, goals and careers you pursue either too easy or too difficult?

  1. Ground Yourself

Develop a relationship with a Higher Power of your own understanding. This can go outside the boundaries of religious tradition. When a person makes this decision, it lessens the degree of unhealthy attachment.

  1. Be Inspired by Everyday Life

Take a walk. Go shopping. Go out to eat and mingle with the wait staff. The bottom line is to make sure you’re doing something daily that breaks the mold of your routine. Choose to incorporate activities that don’t hinge on expectations of anyone else. Embrace the uncertainty rather than hold onto the “certain,” because life is never certain!

  1. Practice Daily Self-Love Rituals

Remember that if you choose to love yourself first, healthy attachments with others will naturally follow. Choose to do one loving, positive thing for yourself daily.  Get a massage, take an Epsom salt bath, exercise, eat well!

Motion Creates More Motion. My Weight Loss Strategy.

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Here I am on New Year’s Eve. I visited with friends and learned a line dance called Rockin Cha. It would have been much more fun had my hips not been hurting from the activity. I’m in bad shape . . . like, having had zero exercise in a long time. So, any form of exertion really gets me winded and hurting. I hate this about myself. I’m glad I’m changing it!

I’ve realized something else; as long as I am inactive, I don’t have any motivation to “do” anything, much less move for an extended length of time. I’ve started using one spurt of energy to just stand up and stretch. Then, once I’m up, I focus on the reason I am making this life change. I want to be less limited in my every day life. I want to fit into restaurant booths again. I’d like to go to the movies and not have to hold my arms on my chest so I don’t take up mine AND my neighbor’s spaces on the arm rests. I don’t want my pre-diabetes to become diabetes. I have many, many reasons I want to get healthy). ANYway, while I stretch, I take deep breaths and keep my mind on what my plan is. The plan that will get me where I need and want to be, health wise. I don’t whine about it, I just walk to the elliptical machine – sometimes I’m even barefoot – and slip my earbuds into my phone an let the iTunes begin. I step on the machine and push Start. I go for at least ten minutes but aim for even one more minute than I did the day before (IF I exercised then). Once I’m in motion, I feel full of oxygen and enjoy the music. I feel productive and proud of myself.

So, my dear friends, it’s about making that first move UP and off the couch!

When I get on my elliptical machine, which is my favorite form of exercise, I have no stamina. I only last ten minutes! There was a time I spent an hour on that machine. I get frustrated easily but I know it”s normal and to be expected for the level of fitness at which I’m starting out. I try to give myself a break as I would for anyone else. I have a cute exercise shirt I’m dying to wear but it’s just too small  (it’s a small-fitting 2x) 😦  Fitting into that shirt is one of my beginning goals. See it below:

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I wonder if you have noticed that I haven’t told you my actual weight. I’m being honest with you guys but I can’t bring myself to quote how large I’ve gotten. One day soon, I will have the strength to share that number with you. I’m 5’2, so even a little weight feels like a lot but as I’ve said, I have 120 lbs to lose! I chose the Weight Watchers Online eating plan to help me control the quantity and quality of foods I eat.

I hope to be a contact of sorts with other women or men in cyber land – to show you it CAN be done. You have heard it many times before but I mean to show you – If I can do this, so can you!

Join me if you need to lose some significant weight. Let’s do this together. Feel free to comment and let me know what’s on your mind or what subject you might like me to cover here.

I’m off to grab some lunch. Tuna with crunchy veggies sounds good. Y’all have a great day! Lea

New Year Changes and Your Frame of Mind While Doing Them

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Hello, friends! That’s me at Halloween. I post this picture because it’s whimsical and fun. It made me think of my weight loss journey. I’m making changes to my whole life by just changing the way I eat and think of the fuel going into my body.

I may as well enjoy this path because there is no real END to it. I will always have to watch my weight. I’m a 5’2 Cajun woman with curves everywhere; I doubt I will magically transform with a string bean body.

I like to listen to Tony Robbins. In one of his YouTube videos, he says, “We live who we believe we are.” In other words, my body shows my inner standards about who I believe I am. In addition, my actions make my results.

Another interesting thought is this:  Skill comes from repetition.

Whatever I think of myself and whatever I DO each day, becomes “me.”

You may have heard this before. If so, let’s make changes together. I’m losing fat and getting my body in healthy condition. What do you need to change? Surely you have a negative trait or lazy habit you’d like to get rid of.

If I am excited and inspired enough, I will keep my eyes on my goal and behave in a way that will help me get there. Yes, there will be numerous set-backs and oops moments. I had one late last night – my FIRST stupid night on this new plan. But I’m back today, staying on the road to my goal.

Here is what yesterday’s dinner looked like. It was grilled rainbow trout with lemon pepper, turnip greens, and a kale salad. We went to Cracker Barrel. I stayed on plan and had a delish dinner!

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I’m trying to stay in the zone of “this is a long haul but I WILL make changes!”

Here I am on New Year’s Eve. Partying my fat butt off with friends. I learned a line dance called Rockin’ Cha and was sore all day yesterday. LOL!

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Let’s figure out who we want to be and then aim that direction!

My mantra today is ” I choose myself.”

Love y’all, — Lea

My Big Fat Cajun Life. My Journey With Obesity and How I’m Losing Weight

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That’s me. I look like I have “attitude,” don’t I? Well, sometimes I do. I need to lose 120 lbs, and that affects my whole life. I’ve started a major life-change diet today. I am using the Weight Watchers plan to “get er done.” I intend to exercise daily and lose approximately 2-5 lbs a week.

I thought I’d take my readers/subscribers on my journey. Hopefully, if you need to make a big change in your life, you might find motivation, encouragement, and acceptance here.

I had scrambled eggs and half a banana for breakfast. Here I go . . . Come with!

Lea