Posted in Anxiety, Depression, My Dogs, Puppy

Trixie The Triumphant- TTT

This is a friendly reminder to always attempt the stuff that seems/is impossible.
Live your life like this puppy.

See the odds of winning. Stare directly into the windows of its soul.

Tell it “fuck off,” and still try your best, despite the outcome.

#NeverGiveUp #NeverBackDown

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Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Game Review, World of Warcraft

Level Scaling Impressions- World of Warcraft Review

Personally, I’ve played World of Warcraft since late Vanilla WoW. To most, that doesn’t mean much, but to us old timers- we know the struggle of finding great tanks, great healers, the best sappers, savvy sheepers, and the horrendous DKP. (-50).

I found myself grinding in holy for my first undead priest to max level because I didn’t know how to quest, or that different specs were substantially better to level with.

I remember needing to get groups for the tough quests, getting into my first guild, starting my own guild, and when Wrath of The Lich King came along, raiding Icecrown Citadel every tuesday night at 7pm PST, for 3-4 hours straight.

I fell in love with bear tanking in late Burning Crusade/early Wrath of The Lich King, so when Cataclysm hit the live servers and bear tanking was broken at end game when our guild was finally ready for it- I quit.

I found myself coming back every expansion, hoping to relive that nostalgia. To get that same giddy feeling with online comrades when finally beating a boss that you’ve all struggled to defeat for weeks.

Every expansion would reignite my love for the game for about a month and when the old feelings didn’t stick, I would sadly go and cancel my account.

I played through Pandaria, (Pandas are my favorite animal, sue me) and although I loved the story, most of the end game was severely lacking with the introduction of LFR loot being damn near identical to guild ran raids.

When I heard that the same level scaling tech that was released in legion was coming out across all previous content, I immediately hit subscribe and tried it out.

Before level scaling, even without Bind on Account gear, you would find yourself outleveling zones. You would always be forced out of a cool quest line or zone due to the lack of experience or rewards via green/grey quests. The mobs were easily killed in any specialization, and dungeons could have everything be pulled from the entrance to a boss and AoE’d down.

When I finished all of Tirisfal Glades since the level scaling tech was patched in: mobs were still doing decent damage, all quest rewards were decently helpful, rare spawns took a big chunk of health if not geared or prepared to engage with, and I was never penalized for doing every-single-quest.

I finished an entire zone and found myself loving the ride of the grind whereas before I was hating nearly every second of the leveling process.

With that zone done, I moved down into Silverpine Forest. I felt an immediate hatred for Garrosh, a kinship with Sylvanas, and a general dislike for Worgen kind.

Again- I rushed through the entire zone not because I wanted to level quickly, rather I wanted to see how the story would play out. I was intrigued throughout the leveling process of the entire zone. Every quest felt like it was suppose to be done at my level EVEN WITH BOA GEAR!

I went to Hillsbrad, where I was surprised to see that The Forsaken had dominated the zone which had been so scary for horde to wander around in previous expansions. Lore that I had never experienced before because I could camp in a major city and dungeon my way to max level in a matter of days was being experienced by me, just like the old days.

There was even a quest to kill a giant Yeti, where I had to hit up general chat to look for others that were also struggling to kill him.

Every zone from there on out, I’ve completed fully. By the time I hit level 61, I found myself saddened to leave Azeroth for Northrend/Outland. (Yeah, you can pick which expansion you’d like to go through).

My husband would hear tales of my adventures when he would get off of work and decided to create a character with me, and we’ve been leveling together since.

I can’t stress enough how cool it was to have him come to Northrend with me for the first time. To have him experience the lore and the quests that I fell in love with as a teenager. To have him engage in jousting via Trial of The Champion dungeon.

To experience everything the way it was suppose to be. The way I used to. The nostalgia has stood with me, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily a good or bad thing yet. 😉

However, level scaling has gotten my husband into World of Warcraft. It’s gotten him to fall in love with dungeons, quests, factions, lore, and zones. To actually appreciate them for what they are: works of art.

My hope is that you take some time to give it a shot yourself, and we see you in game, whether you are For The Horde like us, or you are For The Alliance and we engage in the battlefield.

My hope is that level scaling in this game has made you as happy as it has made us.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, My Dogs

Newest Member of the Family

It was a lot to consider. We weighed the pros and cons.
We came to the conclusion that we simply…are a 4 dog kinda household.

With Rolo passing, the house has felt empty. Bigger. Spacious.

We understand that he was just a dog to most people, but to us it was like losing a child. 12 years is nearly half of my entire life, and he’s always been by my side.

We’ve decided together, that although money will be slightly tighter, we want to open our hearts to another furry monster.

Please meet our newest addition to the family:
Trixie, the German Shepherd/Saint Bernard splitbreed.

We’ve been taking the past few days to get her acclimated to our pack of animals here at the house.

She’s terrified of Brodie if he stands up, Kira is indifferent to her, and Chance is surprisingly standoffish/slightly aggressive towards her.

She’s been getting more and more comfortable every day, and we have started the process of kennel training at night.

She is just starting to sleep through a whole night.

We were told she is about 7 weeks old or so, and we guess that’s about right for how clumsy she is. Her first vet appointment is this coming up Wednesday. That’s when we will do her first visit and shots/update you with more information.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression, Memories, My Dogs

My Best Friend Died Today

When I told him I was gay, he just looked at me without saying anything, kissed me, and loved me anyways.

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When my mom’s boyfriend was abusive, he listened as I told him how scared I was.

When I wanted to lounge around and watch cartoons, he lounged right beside me.

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When I went to the bathroom, he would follow me to the door.

When I went to bed, he would sleep at the foot of it.

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When I was scared of the thunder, he made me less scared, by showing me that he was MORE scared which curbed my fear.

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When I had spare burgers, fries, cake, cookies, or donuts- he was always down to be my garbage disposal.

When I forgot to take out the trash, he would knock it over to remind me.

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When the food bowl was empty, he would headbutt it until more food came down, or until someone filled it.

When he would come inside from the backyard, EVERY TIME, he would stop at the food bowl and eat a meal for two.

When I moved out on my own for the first time he made me feel like I wasn’t alone.

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When we got Chance, he became the big brother, and wrestled with the chihuahua.

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When we got Kira, he would let her win at tug o war, ever since she was a puppy and half his size.

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When we got Brodie, he found someone to groom and chew on.

When I would grab his green squeaky ball, he would hide his aches and pains, and somehow always manage to turn into a puppy again.

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Even this morning, as he went about his business in the front yard, he looked youthful.

My Best Friend Died of Cancer. Diagnosed and euthanized at Ferndale Veterinary.

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I held his head as he fell asleep. As he went peacefully, never showing me once that he was in pain.

I’m heartbroken.

I still expect to hear him bark obnoxiously when I come home.

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I expect him to rally the rest of the pack when when he hears a car door open or close in the neighborhood.

I want to hold him again. To go on one more walk. To order him one more plate of nachos from Peppers.

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12 years seems like a long time. And I know I should be grateful to have had our bond last as long as it did.

But this effing sucks. My heart is broken. I feel like I’m in a dream.

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I don’t share this publicly for pity, likes or views.

I want to share this as a notice that I’m going off socials for a few days to get my head clear.

I share this as a reminder to cherish your pets like it’s their last.
Two days ago he was begging for food at Sunday Dinner and begging his grandpa for treats.
Today- Poof.

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The house feels empty without him.

If you are out there buddy. Rolo. I love you. So much. I miss you.

You will always- ALWAYS:

Be loved by your three siblings.

Be loved by your aunt Natasha and uncle Preston.

Be loved by GG, Grandma, and Grandpa.

Be loved by both of your daddies.

Be my best friend.

Thank you for watching over me for 12 amazing years.

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!

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