Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Husband's Motivation, Personal Accountability

Free Movies and Date Nights │ You’re Welcome

Hey all!

My mother has been bugging me for the past few weeks about signing up for this app called MoviePass. She read online that it was a super cheap way for us to go to the movies together, and since I budget our finances, she thought it would be a good way for us to relieve some stress after a long day or even get together as a family on the weekends for a flick.

Basically, you pay $9.99 for a month in a subscription. In return you get to watch “unlimited” movies at the Theatre.

Sounds too good to be true, right? Well, kinda yes, mostly no.

Basically you sign up with an email address or with your Facebook account, once registered you can enter a credit/debit card for a $9.99USD fee for a thirty day subscription. While you are a member of MoviePass, you can go see movies on their dime.

However, upon registering- you have to wait up to two weeks for a “credit card” to be mailed to your address. You then register the last 4 digits of your card to your account. This is where the rules come into play.

1) You must have a smart device or tablet that has GPS capabilities. The only way to access your account is through the app on your device. The only way to check in to movies is through the app. The kicker: you MUST be within 100 yards of the Theatre at the time of check in.

(This can be a con for those who don’t have a decent data connection/plan)

 

2) Once checked in to a movie/time that you chose, you then have a 30 minute window to swipe your card, and MoviePass picks up the cost of the ticket. Whether it is a matinee, or late night/full price showing.

 

3) The MoviePass card does not cover concessions- No popcorn/drinks/food of any kind.

 

4) You CANNOT see more than one movie a day, or (they may have changed this recently) see the same movie twice.

 

5) The movies CANNOT be in 3d. They have to be a standard 2D flick.

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   All of that being said, if you can follow the rules, you can see whatever movie you want, at whatever time, on the dime of MoviePass. I don’t know about you but a matinee showing of any movie where I live is $7.50. After 3PM the cost shoots up to $12. So essentially one movie in a month and you paid for your subscription.

Because of this app, my husband and I have been to the movies together more in the past few days than we have during our entire relationship together.
An added bonus? Our Theatre has a rewards card, where you get 1 point for every dollar you spend on concessions or tickets. This means that every day that we go to the movies we get a minimum of 14 points. EVERY time. Those points can be used on free popcorn or drinks, which when you use your rewards card for those, adds even more points.

Our first movie we went to go see? 12 Strong- an army movie based on a true story. I never would have agreed to go watch something like that with my husband, but gave in due to my desire to test the app out. This is where we signed up for a rewards card, got two tickets for the film, and then paid .75 cents for a large popcorn with the points we earned.
Our first movie date cost us $4 because we also split a large soda.

 

The very next day, we went back to the Theatre and saw The Shape of Water. A romance movie that my husband would usually never watch with me, but again – the movie was free, so what’s a few hours? We ended up loving the movie and splitting a large popcorn and drink.

Today? We went back to watch Call Me By Your Name.

We find ourselves actually watching trailers to movies during the previews and going : “Let’s come back and watch that”. We look forward to our daily movie dates. The best part is that the app is easy to use and every movie we see past the first one, costs us nothing unless we want a soda or snack.

Tomorrow we are going to watch Winchester. The day after? Black Panther.

The movies are our oyster, so to speak.

Additionally, on Valentines Day yesterday evening, their app was bugging out and we couldn’t check into the movies. While that may seem like a bad thing- I tweeted the company pointing out the problem and they responded immediately apologizing for the influx of customers bogging down their servers.
They stated that if we are subscribers (which we are) and we ever have to pay out of pocket for one of our tickets, we can DM them a copy of our ticket/receipt and they will reimburse us.

I don’t know how this company is making their money but good golly, I can’t recommend this app more. I urge you to get it, give it a fair shake for one month, and let me know what you think.

Going daily for a few hours with my husband has totally upped both of our moods, and I hope it does the same for you as well!

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Posted in Anxiety, Depression

Music Therapy │ Overcoming Depression

After talking to my therapist more and more, I have come to enjoy the smaller things in life.

I know that seems really simple and ridiculous to say such a basic thing about depression, but I can’t stress enough how the small things in your life can really make a difference in your every day struggle.

One of the things that helps me tremendously is a subscription to Spotify. (You can get a free account, just deal with ads and it’s still amazing.)

I wake up and do my business around the house listening to my favorite songs every day. Whenever I hear a new song on the radio in the car or over at a friends house that intrigues me, I throw it on my Lifetime Playlist. Bands that come to mind from high school that still make me smile or songs that are linked to happy occasions get thrown on there.

It has become this haven of happy groove tunes that almost never fails to put a smile on my face. Music can take me from a depressed start in my morning to a somewhat energetic evening without the help of caffeine.

I find myself doing things before that I thought were too stressful. Things that I previously deemed “difficult” that people without depression are able to do so easily: Dishes, Laundry, etc.

While a simple thing, I thought I would share for those who are also struggling to battle depression. Hopefully it helps you as much as it does me.

Also- if you are a pop music lover, throw it on shuffle and enjoy.

Spotify Link- Lifetime Playlist

Posted in Anxiety, Depression

A Helping Hand │ Household Gadgets and Mental Illness

Personally, I struggle with a lot mentally. I hate being around people I do not know because my brain goes into overdrive about all the different ways a conversation can go south and I start to panic and wonder how I could say the wrong things to make another person frustrated or dislike me, all at a glance before any words are stated by either of us.

I struggle with memory and I know I get distracted easily. I often walk into another room forgetting why I was there, and I also forget things my husband and I may have discussed a few days ago. I forget tings we desperately needed at home when I go to the store and end up frustrated with myself because it should’ve been something easy to remember.

However, with all that being said- there are a few things that I have been fortunate enough to get, that help me immensely around the house. It may seem like little things, but these little things really change a lot for me to have to worry about, and enable me to focus on the important things, like my health and mental well being.

1) Vacuuming

I know plenty of couples who argue or make comments towards one another involving basic household duties. Things as simple as vacuuming can be rather tedious when you have pets, and when you are like us and have two furry Saint Bernards, it is a constant battle between you and the dormant dog hair. Fortunately, we had a 50% off coupon at Bed Bath and Beyond and threw the Irobot’s Roomba model 980 on a credit card. This little robot, which we have named Gizmo, zooms around the house cleaning up dog fur relatively quietly. We even downloaded an app on our phones called IFTTT, which stands for “IF This Then That”. This app makes it so that when we say “Hey Google, the floor is dirty,” our Google Home responds with, “Starting you robot Gizmo now”. The little robot activates and vacuums the whole house. We don’t spend 30 minutes a day vacuuming the entire house anymore, and to those of you who clean your house often, you know how obnoxious and stressful it can be, especially when you have to move kitchen chairs, pets, and more around. I no longer feel the dread when I wake up knowing that I will have to spend anywhere between a half an hour to a full hour fighting to keep the house in a decent state of appeal.

2) Medication

If you are like me and have memory issues, you constantly forget to take your meds. There are days where you feel completely normal and as a normal person, you don’t remember that you need to take medication to handle your crazy. To counteract this, I merely told my phone, “Ok Google, remind me everyday at noon to take my medication.”
Every day, if I am at the house, my google home flashes at me and tells me to take my meds. If I am out and about I receive a notification on my phone reminding me as well. It has become second nature to see a notification and then go, “oh yeah” and run off to snag a few pills, pop them, and go about the rest of my day.

3) Shopping

For the things I need constantly, like Dog Food for instance, I head to a website that enables automatic shipping (Chewy.com). I attach a debit or credit card to the order, and every month 80-120lbs of dog food appears on my doorstep. Bimonthly, I receive the flea medicine in my mailbox for our pets. I don’t have to go to the store, deal with anxiety for being in public, or deal with anyone having a bad day to trigger my mental issues. I simply go to our front door, and bring the necessities inside.

For things that I have had to get more regularly, such as groceries or toiletries, I have my google assistant on my phone keep a running list for the month of what I want. I can say, “OK Google, add (Anything I have to shop for) to the grocery list.” The assistant says okay, adds it to a list, and once a month I head to the store to do all of my grocery shopping/household item shopping. I don’t have to worry about if I forgot anything. The only thing I have to do is hunt for the best deals around the grocery store, going down the list one by one until everything is checked off. For things I was not able to find, I can ask the assistant to order from various stores online via my voice when I get home.

 

These things may seem like a simple task for many people, but for myself: It simply isn’t. I use the google assistant app on my phone often enough, to where it has become a lifesaver. I save so much time that I wasted before sitting down to write lists, or deal with grumpy people, that I now get to focus on things that make me happier like playing with my pets or doing Yoga. We have so much free time due to all of the shopping and most of the household chores being automated, that we spend more time with our parents at movie nights, or together as game nights. We even started having nieces and nephews stay over for the weekends more often and as a result have a much better relationship with them.
Hell, weekends are easy because we can simply tell our google assistant to turn on a movie in the living room after popping some popcorn and just relax with one another.

I know this seems like a random set of things to share- but these changes in my life have definitely made a positive change in regards to handling my mental illness, so I figured it could possibly help someone else.
I hope you have a fantastic day! 🙂

Google Home, Google Chromecast, Google Assistant App, Roomba 980

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Personal Accountability

Life Update │ January 17th │ Medication

It’s been a while since I have done a personal update. I have been sticking to yoga nearly every single day, and even though the holidays and the food that came with it was setting me back mentally and physically, my doctor reported I still lost three pounds from the last time I weighed in before the holidays.

I wanted to take a second to do an update because I want to publicly let everyone know that my husband and I have finished all the paperwork and licensing to become registered foster parents. Regardless of what you feel about the system, we have a home, with a spare room, that is available for a child in need. We are looking for a child who has had their parents rights terminated due to a bad situation and are wanting to adopt/add to our family. We have the finances and the love in our hearts to take a kiddo into our home. I hope to hear good news from our social worker in the future, and would love to keep you all posted if you let me.

Next, I have been gaming regularly with family and friends, which has totally helped my mental state feel a lot less destructive. Added on to that, my doctor has bumped up my medication to 200mg a day of Zoloft. While medicine/pills may not be the answer for everyone, I can say that it has helped me overcome so much in my life. I haven’t had to experience those suicidal thoughts since getting into therapy and treated with medication. This treatment allows me to improve myself physically, mentally, and feeling comfortable in pursuing a family of our own.

I cannot stress enough how suicidal thoughts are not okay. It is not okay for you to have to go through something like that, and you need to know that you are not alone. I urge you to get the help you need, whether it’s reaching out to me over the internet, or to a suicide hotline, or to seek therapy.
Mental illness is a real and damaging situation to go through, and again: You Matter, so please get the help you need.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, My Dogs

How Dogs Saved My Life. Saved Me From Myself.

When I was a little boy, my mother and father had many different animals over the coarse of my 6-7 years before they got their divorce. These animals were always the pets of other people who lived with us, that my little sister and I were forced to take care of. My father, being a rather horrible person at the time that loved alcohol more than his own children, would give animals away that we had gotten attached to and while drunk- he would tell us horror stories.

For instance, my sister and I once took care of a pair of fluffy black and white rabbits. We took care of their cages, called them Sniffles and Fluffy, and raised them  since they were tiny little things. We did chores to earn money to pay for their food, their cages, their toys, and the supplies required to bathe them. However, when they were fully grown, my father got rid of them. To this day, we still have no idea what really happened to them, but the night he got rid of them, he told us over dinner that he killed them, and we were eating them for dinner.

I tell you this horror story because that’s where my fear of getting a pet for myself stemmed from. Where my anxiety and depression festered and brewed as a young child. I had an alcoholic father systematically terrorizing my love of animals, telling me they left or died in cruel or heartless ways. Years after my mother divorced my father, she decided to take me to the pound and look for a puppy. He was a fluffy white border collie, with a light coffee creme colored fur everywhere except for his paws and around his eyes which made him look like he wore goggles. I fell in love and we adopted him within a week. Robbie was taken in to be my best friend in 6th grade. As someone who switched schools nearly every year, he was my confidant. My best friend. Someone who I could talk to, who wouldn’t judge me. Someone who was just happy to have me around.

However, my friendship was short lived with Robbie. During that summer vacation we had a horrible storm that had torn down our backyard fence in the middle of the night. I let him out, not knowing of the damage during the evening, and when I went to the back door to let him back in to go to bed with me, he never came. I never saw him again. I spent weeks looking for him. My heart was broken. I vowed to never get a pet again when my mother sat me down and said that there was nothing we could do, and she had given up hope of finding him. I never wanted to feel that pain again. That heart break.

On June 6th, 2006, after seeing the movie “The Omen” in theaters with my friends from high school, my mother picked me up from school. Already I knew something was off because she worked full time as a bartender in order to support her two children; this meant that she was always working by the time we got off of school, but since my depression had gotten worse and worse at home my mother attempted to surprise me with a puppy. She hadn’t told me where we were going or what we were doing until I started to panic when we took a back road outside of town near the old Hansen’s gas station. When we had parked the car in front of a run down home that looked like I could’ve blown on it to knock it over like the wolf blowing the hay house from the three little pigs story, my mom and revealed that she met a customer at her work who told her that he was selling sheep dogs but wanted to give it to her for free because of my situation.

I remember arguing with her in the car, telling her that I would never get another pet in my life. Crying. Remembering that pain that I had gone through so many times as a child.

 

My mother made me a deal, like all intelligent and manipulating mothers do. A simple deal, that if I walked over, saw all of the puppies and didn’t fall in love with any of them, we would turn around and go home. I stupidly agreed, like all ignorant pigheaded children who believe they can outsmart their mothers, thinking that my mom was a fool and my heart was a solid chunk of ice.

That day around 4PM June 6, 2006, I walked into a chain link fenced backyard to puppies clamoring all over me. 6 medium McNabb/Kelpie dark cocoa puppies clamored over one another, each trying to lick my face. Each trying to jump on my legs. Each attempting to show as much affection to the intruder as possible.

At this time in my childhood, I had already started to have an issue with my weight. I was nearly 200lbs, and I was a Sophomore in high school. I mention this because at that time, my self esteem was in the toilet. I loved to eat food.

As I was standing there, being a grumpy teenager, fighting back my hatred of my mother for putting me in this situation and my anger towards my father for how I was raised, I looked across the yard to see that the mother of these pups was trotting back and forth, clearly agitated. I initially thought it was because a stranger was near her puppies, but when I looked closer, I noticed that the mother was distracted and agitated because there was this extremely overweight white, cocoa, and toffee colored ball shaped puppy constantly trying to feed from her, completely ignoring the yard’s new guest.

The only way I can describe the feeling I felt at that time…is connection. I leveled with that pet mentally and physically. My heart made of ice began to melt. As it melted, the surplus water began trickling from my eyes. I pushed the pups at my feet away, and crept towards the food oriented ball of fur as if I were in some zombie like trance. He hadn’t noticed me sneak right behind him, and did nothing but try to wiggle free to get back to eating as I picked him up and hugged him, crying into his neck. When I sobbed for the first time, he stopped wiggling, turned towards me, and licked my tears.

 

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Fast forward- I moved out of my mom’s house when I was 18. I got a job in a nearby town and lived in the world’s tiniest 1 bedroom house that I shared with a roommate, because it had a fully fenced yard. It was my space. Well, Mine and the not so little puffball which I had named Rolo. Since he looked like he had done nothing but consume the caramel candies that his coloring matched since birth. I met a man that moved into the tiny house in place of my roommate, and (in thanks to Rolo my opinion) managed to fall in love with him. This man, Patrick, was the first man I had ever dated that treated my dog as his own. I remember falling in love with Patrick when he came home from work one night and bent down on his knees and kissed Rolo’s head while talking to him in a goofy voice asking the dog how his day was.

After a year or so of dating Patrick, I learned that he had never had a pet growing up, due to a similar upbringing with his parents. This is when I immediately looked up a beagle puppy for sale down in Oakland, California- a dog he’s always wanted but never got. We went down south, paid for this white colored dog, who was nursing from his Beagle mother. It wasn’t until nearly 3 months later that we noticed the little rat dog we called Chance, never grew bigger than a Chihuahua and started turning to a slight brown color. He was the only one of the litter who managed to end up getting his father’s genes that….was a Chihuahua. However, my boyfriend had fallen in love with his new baby, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.

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While we were going through the process of getting Chance, which was SUPPOSE to be a Beagle, I informed Patrick that I had always wanted a Saint Bernard. I had seen YouTube videos of them, researched them, thought about getting one, but never actually followed through with it. Patrick surprised me by getting the cash and driving me down to a breeder in Oakland (surprisingly), the week that we had found out chance was half Chihuahua. We picked up the baby girl and named her Kira.

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One year later, the woman called us and told us that her Saint Bernard had puppies and she wanted one of them to go to a great home. After a short talk with Patrick- he decided to add to our family, and we made the trip yet again to southern California.

 

With every dog I have gotten, I became a better person. I started to overcome the childhood trauma I had gone through. I honestly feel as though every dog had lead me to another stage in my life right when I needed to transition to it.

 

With Rolo, he made it possible for me to not give up on Love.

With Chance, he taught me that some things in life you put up with things that annoy you, because it makes others that you do love happy.

With Kira, she made me realize that there is another human being out there who loved me as much as I loved them.

With our fourth dog, Brodie, I finally felt as though we had a family.

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While they are the reason my trashcan foot pedal for my kitchen trashcan doesn’t work anymore. While they are the reason I am scratched and bruised every time I trim their nails. While they are the reason I trip because they feel the need to lay right behind me as I prepare dinner. While they are the reason we have to sweep daily. While they are the reason there is dried drool on the wall. While they are the reason pieces of kibble are dropped all over the kitchen because for some reason they can’t eat over the food dish and I step on it in the dark while getting a glass of water at night:

They were the reason I made my relationship with Patrick work through the tough times. They were the reason I wanted to do well at my job and make a decent amount of money (so I could afford a bigger place for them). They were the reason why my love of my boyfriend, turned into the love of my husband.

They are the reason why I giggle to throw a ball down the hall. They are the reason I stick to schedules via feeding, watering, and bathing them. They are the reason I feel relatively prepared to adopt a child. They are the reason I fight through the mental block I have today.

These dogs brought me back from the brink of suicide. These dogs gave me hope. These dogs not only changed my life:

These dogs make me happy to be alive.

Posted in Anxiety, Dead By Daylight, Depression, Personal Accountability, Weight Loss Journey

When Mental Struggles Affect Weight

Hey there everyone, I am happy to let you know that things have gotten substantially better.
I have communicated with my husband about my mental illness. I have sought out help from professionals, and between a combination of therapy and medication, I have been able to once again feel like a productive person.

I no longer feel like I am a waste of space, or that the air I breathe is being wasted.

Also, we were approved as foster parents and have officially been licensed and our home is now recognized as a “Foster Care Facility”. Our social worker has done extensive interviews, and we have done intense training to ensure that not only am I prepared to have kids, but that we offer some kiddo a safe place. Our intention is to adopt a child in need, take them in, and give them the parenting we wish we received as children.

 

All of that stated, I am coming to the main update of my personal blog. My weight.

I started this health journey a few months ago and have struggled to find the will to work out, diet right, and firmly believe that the lack of energy I had to even get out of bed due to depression caused a lot of my health problems in regards to weight. I had originally started to realize I had a problem mentally when I hit 399lbs. A scary number that I never in my life thought I would get to.

Just I hopped on the scale yesterday and am happy to report that I have lost 42lbs, putting me at a current weight of 357lbs.

Now, for those interested, here is what I did.

1) I had to get myself in a better mental space. Every time I tried working out or dieting, my brain would look for reasons for me to fail. My depression would take over and drive me down into self doubt and loathing that I’d never thought possible. I got a hold of my doctor, received therapy, and have been prescribed Zoloft. I cannot urge you enough to get a hold of a doctor. Take mental illness seriously. Do not let yourself or others come up with some sort of excuse like “it’s all in my head” or “I can’t afford this”. At the end of the day you need to make yourself mentally capable. Mentally sound. Mentally fit. I can say with first hand experience that medication CAN work. Even if Zoloft doesn’t work for you, there are many medications out there that can influence mood and combat depression. Keep searching, and get the help you need to start taking care of yourself.

 

2) Once I was mentally stable enough to not give up on everything I tried doing within a week- Exercise, Diet, College, etc: I focused on my second biggest problem: Diet.

The world Diet itself, used to make me sad and depressed. I mean, it has the word DIE in it.

The biggest thing I can recommend here is that you need to be honest and hold yourself accountable. I know that I can eat an entire large Domino’s pizza by myself. Is that something I am ashamed of? No. I fucking love pizza. What I can say, is that I no longer eat 3 large pizzas a week. I order pizza no more than twice a month, and I have also started ordering one large pizza, with my limit at a half, while my husband can eat the other half or save some for his lunch at work the next day. In short, DON’T cut things that you love to eat out of your life. Cut it back, dial it down, but do not remove it. It will completely destroy your desire to diet and lose weight. You know what I am talking about. You tell yourself, “Just one Girl Scout Cookie,” and then the next thing you know, the whole box is gone because you didn’t just take one cookie and put the box up, instead you took the box with you to the couch and you’re hating yourself for being a pig.

The next thing I had to admit to myself about dieting is that I hate prepping meals for the week. While that works for other people, I CANNOT sit there, cook for an hour or so, and then spend my week eating cold as hell meals that had to be reheated in the microwave or oven. I get completely annoyed and disgusted. Maybe I don’t want the same thing every night, or maybe I simply changed my mind last minute because something else looked better, or I wanted to get something from the store because I was feeling creative in the kitchen.

To combat this:

I started buying food I knew I loved. I love fried chicken. I love Pork Chops. I love Steak. I love Beef.

So what did I do for chicken? I buy a pack of bone in chicken legs at our local grocery store, separate them into meal portions for my husband and I (2 legs each) and stick them into the freezer portioned. From there, if my husband or I feel like chicken for dinner, I will grab a portioned package from the freezer and toss it into the fridge to thaw for the next dinner.

For pork chops, if they are thicker, we do the same thing but one each and if it is a thinner chop we do 2 a piece. Same for steaks.

For the ground beef, we separate into medium sized rolls in different Ziploc bags for the freezer. The reasoning for that, is that we also pair a portioned package of ground beef with one or two bags of frozen stir fry vegetables from the store. Then we take 1 cup of brown rice (uncooked), and cook it. We mix all three ingredients to make a tasty stir fry.

Generally for vegetables we can get a bag of salad from the store or heat a frozen bag to be a side for other meats.

For out starch, we love potatoes and we love brown rice. The rice is pretty straight forward in how to prepare and can taste different depending on soy sauce or different seasoning (which goes for anything we cook really), but the potatoes are where we have a little fun. We can choose to mash them, cube them and bake them, thin slices and add cheese for au gratin, or make french fries in our deep fryer. We could even grate them for hash browns if we are feeling up to it.

That makes up most of our dinners, which can vary greatly depending on what we use or what seasonings we choose. I mean, tonight we made burgers.

The difference between my diet previously (3 large pizzas a week, taco bell, wendys, etc) and now is completely different. I mean, we still have one or two nights a week where we treat ourselves out, but most nights we get to spend together at our kitchen table, talking about our day.

 

3) Exercise.

I fucking hate exercise.

I don’t know about you, but I severely hate exercising in public. I get self conscious and start worrying about what my body looks like to others rather than doing the very best I can to get the most efficient work out. So while I still pay for a membership, I keep facing that personal fear every single time I considered heading to the gym. I then make the excuse that it is too much work for me to get showered and dressed for only a 30 minute workout and a drive all the way across town.

From there I decided that I would do T25 at home. The problem with that, is that in order to do T25 or other home workout videos, I have to again get myself mentally prepared to do it because exercise fucking sucks. It’s not the most fun thing to do, to turn on your television, pop in the disc, and listen to some super buff or fit person reminding you how overweight you are. Don’t get me wrong, T25 does have Sean T, and he is really nice about it, but it gets rather annoying that a skinny person constantly tells you something isn’t hard when you are carrying 200lbs more than them, and feel every step/jump you do much harder because of it.

So, I decided to be honest with myself and find something I have always wanted to do, but never really went for, because of my depression and insecurities. I started doing yoga. It’s low impact, which is a must because of my snapped knee ligament in my right knee. Also, I can get a great work out from doing 30 second poses that are designed for beginners. I’ve been doing it for a while and have doubled my pose holding time from 30 seconds to a minute, and am doing a total of 36 poses. I am starting to get strength in my legs, and feel less wobbly every day that I do it. The best thing about doing Yoga? My husband has found that he rather enjoys it because he chose to join in on a whim. He went and bought a yoga mat and we do Yoga together every day when he gets off of work. While he is much skinnier than me, he is nowhere near as flexible, so it is rather funny to see him struggle getting into positions and poses that I find relatively easy, which also makes me feel better about exercising.

 

In summary, you need to take care of your mind before you can focus on your body. The biggest thing you can do in regards to that is be honest. Be honest that mental illness is a real thing and that it is kicking your ass. Once you get your mental space fixed or on track, you need to be honest with yourself and address your eating habits and make baby steps to change them for the better. Finally, you have to be honest with yourself in order to find an exercise routine that makes you feel better and refreshed afterwards.

 

Thanks for letting me rant to you about my personal update. I still play video games and have recently started a YouTube channel where I post almost daily, videos of myself and my family playing games that we love together on the PS4 and computer. Feel free to subscribe here or there in order to keep connected.

Sincerely,

That Mental Fight

-Aerick Kerrick / Blaine Frazier

YouTube Channel

 

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Memories

How Anxiety Almost Terminated My Marriage

Past relationships are always a hard thing to talk about. Whether you talk to a partner about them, or a family member, or even a stranger. You always get that feeling that they aren’t going to understand what you went through, and more often than not, you are met with someone that tries to downplay your feelings. I can’t tell you how many times people respond with, “Why didn’t you just leave?”

Some of us don’t. Some of us stay in that abusive relationship because it is something we’ve always known. I’ve always experienced a father who threw dishes at me since I was 6. I always experienced that alcohol made someone pick a child off the ground and throw them into the wall, or on the couch. I’ve always experienced that feeling like you are constantly walking on egg shells, expecting the worst to happen.

So when I met Cory, I expected nothing more. He was the first person I gave in to. The first person I fell in love with. The first person I went out publicly with, and the first person I started sharing my past with. It didn’t start out abusive. It started like most romances do, butterflies and hand holding. Cuddling late into the night, talking. Somewhere over the course of our dating relationship, he stopped paying for meals. He stopped wanting to hold hands publicly. He started getting angry for things that were out of my control. Things like our landlord not fixing the heater faster than four days. Things like that would always end with me being reminded how stupid I was. How useless I was. How ugly I was. When the words didn’t make me cry, out would come the fists, or the slapping. I’d been beaten so much as a child that I was almost numb to it. At the end of every day, Cory would always come back and tell me he loved me and that he was sorry. I was helpless. I was a scared mouse, happy to have found someone who would always forgive me for my mistakes, always stuck in that terrifying mouse trap. Notice that my mistakes were hardly anything I was doing, just merely existing. Abusive people twist your mind and make you thankful for them. That staying with them is the best thing that’s ever happened to you because without them you are nothing but a pile of garbage. You begin to think this is what love is. Then one day I found out that he slept with his ex. Cory cheated, and when I confronted him, he told me he was poly-amorous. Essentially able to love multiple people through sex- was his definition. He apologized and said he loved me, and I believed him until after nearly 3 months of him cheating and coming back to apologize did the light bulb in my head finally turn on. We terminated our relationship immediately when I stopped being that terrified mouse. The little rodent that would always take his apologies like they were the words of god. I wasn’t his little pet or puppet anymore.

Years later I meet my (now) husband, Patrick. We fall in love. We have our ups, and our downs. Once in a blue moon we have  our verbal fights, but we have never laid hands on one another in anger. He has always listened about my past with Cory, and hugged me through the nightmares, the tears as I eventually overcame the abuse. I made an effort to find my father, to get to know him and overcome the fears I had as a child. Patrick made me feel whole again. He made everything from my childhood, my being raped, by broken relationship from my father, and my past relationships better. He made me better. So when gay marriage became legal in California, we went and immediately got married, that week, in the courthouse. It was small, with just 6 people from my side of the family, but it was beautiful. I’ll never forget the way he smiled at me as I tried to repeat my vows from the pastor through tears and stutters.

We had been married for nearly two years before we started to experiment with things inside the bedroom. It’s not as if we were bored of our usual encounter, but we had just become so comfortable with each other, we started telling each other about certain fantasies. Eventually we both agreed that we would like to try having someone else in the bedroom with us. So we picked someone out together, invited them over, things heated up, and eventually the night came and went. The next morning after the third wheel left, we decided that this was something that wasn’t for us. We liked our bedroom stuff better when it was just us. I don’t mean to put down others at all, but this was just something we both felt. We felt as though it was less intimate with someone else, and the residual feelings that I had from my past relationship with Cory had started to creep back. The feeling and fear that I would be cheated on. I was honest with Patrick about my fears after we came to the conclusion that we liked it being just the two of us, and he assured me nothing would happen unless I was there with him and comfortable.

 

So, we were happy. We hadn’t had anything major happen in our marriage since, it was beautiful and peaceful. Until last week when Patrick was sitting in bed with me and asked if I remembered our third wheel. I had told him yes and asked why he was brought up, for I had not thought about that guy in a while. Patrick then went on to tell me that he had been talking to him for a little while, and the third wheel was telling him about being a caregiver. Third wheel apparently went on to tell my husband that a caregiver was someone who would provide financially and sexually, all the things that they needed.

Immediately the fears of cheating came back to me. I never forbid Patrick from talking to anyone, and tried to trust him. I never wanted to be that person in a relationship who asked to see his phone or text messages. However, the way I was feeling made me ask to read the message to see the context in which it was presented because the whole conversation took me right back to how I felt when I was cheated on by Cory.

Reading over the messages, I saw how Third Wheel was constantly hinting towards my husband about being sexual. How he was shifting the conversation slightly by asking sexual questions here or there. Patrick would always respond with, “my husband and I do this,” or things to similar effect, but when Patrick typed those responses back, Third Wheel would come back with, “Oh that’s turning me on.”

I kept reading these messages back and forth until I got past the caregiver section, and when I got to the bottom after Third Wheel explained what a caregiver was, I saw the words from my husband say, “Do you want me to be that for you?”

Immediately my heart was broken. It hurt so bad to see something like that, because I was reading that as Patrick offering. Patrick offering to be something like that for someone else and nobody had talked to me about anything beforehand. I took that as cheating. Especially because of what happened to me in my past relationship.

 

I immediately told Patrick how I felt and when he reached out to me, I pushed his hand away and started crying. I hit a super low point. Immediately my anxiety and depression came in, and I felt those feelings surging back. The feeling of being that terrified mouse. Waiting to be hit, to be slapped, to be called names, to feel the pain, and then hear the apology. Patrick tried to say that he didn’t mean for it to come across that way and he was sorry, but I screamed at him that he sounded just like Cory. That his apology was garbage and that it didn’t matter what the intent was because it’s what happened.

At the end of the day, he sent someone a message about sexual things, and Third Wheel responded with, “that’s turning me on.” Which seemed like key words to me, about where a conversation was going. I cried for hours, and Patrick cried alongside me. We talked back and forth, and he assured me he didn’t mean anything by it. That he was just learning what a caregiver was and was confused because it seemed like Third Wheel was wanting him to be that. Patrick said when he asked if that’s what Third Wheel wanted him to be, it wasn’t because he was offering, but Patrick was just trying to make it clear as to what the intent was.

It’s taken me days to get over it. I clocked Third Wheel on facebook. I told Patrick that I couldn’t handle them talking or messaging each other anymore. Patrick has respected my feelings. Patrick has assured me that he didn’t mean it to seem like he was propositioning someone outside of our marriage. He said he knows how I went through an abusive relationship, and if I have to be that crazy spouse that wants to check his phone, to simply ask and take it. He said he has nothing to hide and wants to be married to me. That he wants to grow old with me. Have kids with me. That he’s simply too damn old and tired as he is now to even try and play those cheating games.

I know what he is saying is the truth, but it’s hard when you’ve grown up like this. When you went through abuse throughout your whole childhood from an alcoholic with a bad temper. It’s hard when you’ve been raped by someone you trusted, to overcome the anxiety that keeps you from feeling safe or trusting someone again. It’s hard to not feel like someone is going to cheat on you again when you went through that already with someone in the past. Luckily, I found someone who is empathetic with the way that I feel. I can only hope more people are out there like Patrick, and that those empathetic individuals find those out there that are broken, like me.

I hope that others mend themselves, and are able to get over those bumps in the road, built by the past. I know today was a rant and it has been a while since I’ve done an update, but this is where my mind has been the past week. This is what I have been trying to overcome mentally.

I feel better, and Patrick texts me multiple times throughout his work period, talking to me about his shift, what he wants for dinner, and even the cutesy things like complimenting me, or saying he misses me. I just feel so stupid for letting my past relationships, and past experiences almost terminate our marriage. Almost ruin something so good, pure and beautiful.

 

If you managed to make it all of the way through my jumbled text rant from my brain, I am:

1) Sorry

2) Thankful for all the kind words that people have sent me. I know I am a little broken, but this blog and the kind words from different readers whether it be in the comments or getting emails, means a lot. I genuinely appreciate you kind souls out there.

Posted in Anxiety, Failed to Exercise, Personal Accountability, Weight Loss Journey

McDonalds Food Poisoning and New Homeowner Questions

So as an update: (possibly gross TMI- you’ve been warned)

 
I decided to get McDonald’s the other night, a double cheeseburger fries and a coke. A “treat,” I told myself, for adulting so well and being on top of bills/exercise.
I then spent the next two days constantly running to the bathroom to explode and be sick out of both ends. Getting very little sleep with my stomach in knots, as my body rejected that meal and punished me for two days.
My husband believes that it’s because I haven’t eaten fast food in forever, and have been eating healthy foods regularly, my mother thinks it was food poisoning.
Regardless- it was an event in my life that has officially killed any burger joints for me. The thought of them makes me sick.

I got so dizzy, I literally passed out on the bathroom floor at 430 in the morning.

Never. I’m never. Eating that crap again.

Needless to say I haven’t done T25, and I’ll be picking up on Monday when my body is not trying to kill me.

Which brings me to my second half of this post

Homeowners- I have a few questions if you’d care to lay down some wisdom.
When does paying your mortgage become less of a burden?

When do mortgage insurance premiums go away?

When did you first refinance your home and why?
We aren’t behind by any means but if just the MIP (over $200 a month) were out of the way, we’d be able to consider building an actual family.
Any insight/advice you have to preemptively help us would be appreciated.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression

“Why Do You Let Past Fears Control You?

Make them fears your bitch.

I love my sister and I know she didn’t mean to come from a hostile place, but this is something people who suffer from anxiety or depression deal with every day.

We constantly deal with people trying to tell us to “just get over it”. It’s like, “I never thought of that,” right? Just don’t let it affect you, pick yourself up by your bootstraps and move on, stronger than you were before. There lies the problem, however, I would give anything to not let anxiety or depression strike me in this way. To not feel like I can’t breathe, or like my heart is going to detach itself from my body and run out of my chest. To not get “over emotional” to jokes or “take things too seriously”. I would love to not have a dream and have it strike me to the core, making me afraid to wander through my own home, fearful that past demons would be just around the corner. I would give anything to not push my husband’s hand away on my bad days, because his touch reminds me of my dream I had the night before, and even though he’s never hurt me the way others have, my brain still connects a loving hand to a rapists.
People who suffer from anxiety or depression don’t choose to feel that panic or that constant “inability to breathe” feeling. We don’t get excited to share our fears with others, and would prefer to keep it to ourselves, let it fester until something “crazy” like suicide crosses our mind. The feelings, or in my case yesterday: rape memories, come back and fill your headspace with a darkness so thick, it makes you unable to stand.  Unable to think clearly. Unable to function.
We feel helpless. We feel alone. And comments like the one above only solidify it. They make us feel like we ARE crazy. Like there IS something wrong with us specifically and that others could never understand how we feel. If I hadn’t married the wonderful supportive man that I did, I know I would have followed through on some of my more darker thoughts.  I would have harmed myself in ways that I probably wouldn’t be alive today.

This is something people need to understand more. Not just post on social media about being available when a celebrity dies due to suicide when linked to depression. 

The mindset of “just get over it” needs to change.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Dreams

Rape Victim/Rape Survivor

I could feel his hands rubbing over my shirt. Sliding them down my body as if they were slow moving snails without leaving evidence of their travels. His hands reaching down, rubbing me over my sweatpants.

Myself, not even understanding what’s going on, still drunk on my deep sleep. That cloudy hangover, intent on making sure to keep my eyes closed. Maybe it was my brain trying to make me sleep through it, to not remember.

I laid there, trying to breathe normally, thinking this had to be a dream. I didn’t know what was going on, why I was being touched. Why I was being rubbed this way. I tried to be still, dead weight like a heavy log, as if that would stop him from pulling down my sweatpants.

I laid there, still, exposed, eyes closed, praying to myself not to move. If I didn’t move then he would see that I wasn’t saying yes to this. That I didn’t want this. I was wrong, as he put his mouth on me. Immediately my body went into panic mode.

I’d never felt that feeling before, being only seven years old, but in my gut- deep in my soul, I knew that this was wrong. My body ignored my brain praying to hold still, and began the attempt to wriggle away. But like a worm in a birds mouth, the predator had already started upon his prey.

Immediately the gentle rubbing ceased as his hands became solid blocks of iron. One hand holding my lower body still, while his hand that was rubbing my chest grabbed at my throat. I tried to push his hand away and started my feeble attempt at a call for my mother, but when I made the slightest whisper, I felt pain as a hand was slapped down over my mouth.

Then that demonic face stopped working my lower half, and presented itself before mine. I could feel his breath, hot and humid. The spittle coming off his mouth as he explained to me in a hushed gravely voice that if anyone were to found out about this, he’d kill them, and then me. He reminded me that I wouldn’t want to cause others pain, when we could just play, and move on. Nobody had to get hurt.

I was so scared. I kept trying to wriggle away, to get away from thus man I’ve known for so long. This man that used to babysit my sister and I. This man that used to make us feel so safe when mommy and daddy were gone. The man that gave us our first green apple. Who laughed when we said it was sour, but squealed in delight with every bite. I let out another attempt to call for help, but was met with a slap to the face, and then his heavy hand covering my mouth.  His hand was so large compared to my small face, I found it hard to breathe, for his hand all but sealed most of my nostrils from any air coming in or out.

His mouth went back to my lower body, as I laid there, pinned and helpless. I cried silently. The tears rolling down my cheeks. Afraid to move, afraid to be hit. Afraid to call for help and have anyone else experience this. I wanted our dog. I wanted my mom. I wanted to sleep. I wanted anything than to be here with my uncle.

Then a feeling washed over me, an explosion of something that in my brain. It caused me to convulse and cry out against the hand on my mouth. I didn’t know what it was but I knew without a doubt that it was the most confused I’d ever been in my life. How could fear and pain lead me to a sensation that felt….good, but still left my gut knotted and  constantly telling me something was horribly wrong with the whole situation.

My uncle removed his hand from my mouth, let go of my body, and withdrew his mouth from my lower half. I immediately grabbed my sweats and pulled them up over my waist, rolled over and tried to go to sleep. It felt like the process of covering myself and rolling over took years, and I’ll never forget him sounding hurt when he said, “oh come on, don’t be like that.”

I rolled onto my stomach, pushed my face into my pillow and cried. I tried to ignore the pain in my face, to ignore the warmth from where he hit me, to ignore that feeling of wanting to die or to be anywhere but here.

I’m sorry for not posting my workouts for yesterday and today. This is where my mind went Monday morning. This is what I’ve been battling. I’ve been trying to get myself out of bed. To face the day. But when I start to move, my brain betrays me and shows me images of that night.

For example: Today I slept through all three of my alarms and still had to force myself out of bed at noon.

It’s debilitating. I thought I was past this. I hadn’t thought about my Uncle Oggy since elementary school. But here I was, afraid to go outside.

Here I was, pushing away from my husband, telling him not to touch me. Making him sleep as far as he can on the other side of our bed, while I sat there and cried myself to sleep.

I wonder if Oggy knows how painful that one incident is for me. Still. Nearly 20 years later, I can still remember it, still fear him, as if it happened yesterday.

I remember the way his breath smelled, the way the sheets made my skin itch, the sound of his voice, and the cold feeling of death I felt on the inside, when someone I trusted violated me in such a way.

I wonder if other rape victims are this broken. Are still this affected.

I wonder if I’m crazy, hurting my husband, making him feel like hes doing something wrong, when some days the memories flood back and I become this cold shell of who I usually am.
I wonder if other rape victims call this surviving.

Some days…I just can’t do this. I can’t breathe. I can’t just…be.