I made myself get on the scale this morning to face the sitch, whatever it is. I’m so relieved to say that my starting point is 9lbs lower than I thought. So my starting weight is 271 lbs. It’s a lot, for sure but not worth getting too upset about. That’s where I am.
So far today I’ve been pretty frantic as I prepare for getting 7 chicks tomorrow morning and then head up to Sacramento overnight with some friends. But I also pulled some weeds, helped my mother’s helper, and so far have eaten sensibly. I’m going to have a banana in a minute and then go on a walk with a neighbor friend. Either we’re going to walk around the middle school track or we’re going to head up King to a friend’s house to meet Philip for beer.
Yes, tonight I’m drinking. The last two nights I did not. It wasn’t hard at all as it sometimes is. What I ended up having to urge-surf through was wanting to make a late-night cheese sandwich. I made it through the urge and brushed my teeth. I feel really good about that decision. Wise mind asked if eating the cheese sandwich would be in the interests of our long-term goals and it said “emphatically not!” and so wise mind prevailed. I’m glad it did.
Short entry today. What I need to work on next is developing wise mind statements. I haven’t done that yet and I think it will prove very useful if I have that already prepared.
I love seeds. I didn’t take any pics today so I’m using ones I took yesterday. I get a lot of joy from flowers and seeds. Before I head off, I’m doing some deep breathing.
Today was all about doing my DBT homework which was doing pleasant activities and going through the list of pleasant activities handout and seeing how many of those things I could be adding into my life. If this doesn’t sound like therapy to you – that’s because it seems so weird to purposely put pleasant things on your daily agenda. But if you’ve ever been mired or paralyzed by anxiety and/or depression or other destabilizing emotional issues – you know that sometimes we forget to do all the little unharmful things we enjoy and stick mostly to the more harmful methods of coping. If that wasn’t true, you wouldn’t be in therapy like me and wouldn’t be interested in this shit anyway.
In the handout the teachers gave us there are 275 “pleasant events” listed just to give us an idea of what kind of things we might not remember to do/think about when we’re stressed. I found 84 of those things copacetic and also on the list were a bunch of things that actually cause me enormous stress. I’m absolutely aware that the point of the list is that we’re all different and this is just a jumping off point in making my own list.
It’s entirely possible that some people find going to class reunions pleasant while I would rather have a splinter shoved in my eye.
I’m going to make my own list of 50 pleasant events that are personal to me (in no particular order). If you’re following along and wanna participate – please do! But first, a couple more pictures from today’s adventures.
Angelina’s 50 Pleasant Events List:
1. Driving my Vespa through the countryside or through pretty neighborhoods
2. Fostering kittens
3. Going out to dinner with Philip and Max
4. Going out to happy hour with my sister
5. Staying in hotels and watching cable TV
6. Hanging out with close friends
8. Spotting wildflowers everywhere I go
10. Seeing the local wild turkeys drift through neighborhoods and chatting with them
11. Watching serial killer documentaries
12. Walking barefoot in the garden on a hot day
13. Wading in ice cold ocean water/walking along the beach with ice cold waves washing over my feet
14. Remembering happy trips: Vespa ride to Oregon, family trip to SLC, Glasgow with Zeke and Tara
15. Driving through countryside with Philip
16. The smell of onions being sauteed wafting through neighborhoods in early evening
17. Sitting on our porch when it’s warm out and waving to neighbors, just hanging out
18. Having a nice hot cup of strong British tea with milk and sugar.
19. First cup of coffee in the morning
20. Listening to the sounds of nature whilst not being accosted by arachnids with personal space issues.
21. Taking walks through the neighborhood
22. The sounds of doves cooing in the neighborhood
23. Falling asleep to familiar television shows
24. Sharing my food and potions and projects with friends
25. Being included/invited to things even though I often don’t participate
26. Sitting at a vintage desk typing just about anything
27. Making lists of – just about anything
28. Kittens falling asleep on me
29. Talking with my kid
30. Playing with essential oils and herbs and potions
31. Foraging for food and herbs
32. Processing large quantities of food for preserving
33. Growing flowers I can cut and bring inside
34. Caring for my roses
35. Being in nature (without doing anything extreme like hiking or spelunking or getting killed by serial killers. Just hanging out on a slope on a mountain is peaceful)
36. Hanging out with chickens
37. Wading in a really fucking ice cold creek on a really hot day
38. Making things for other people
39. Cleaning house (but NOT laundry, laundry can go fuck itself)
40. Open windows on a warm but slightly breezy day
41. Being absolutely still and thinking absolutely nothing – listening to the sounds all around me (doubles as a mindfulness exercise)
42. Eating really amazing food
43. Opera music
44. Hanging around tidepools chatting up the urchins, starfish, and barnacles
45. The hot dry herby smell of the California hills in summer
46. Helping animals, caring for animals, rescuing animals
47. The sting of nettles (no really, it’s peculiar and I rather like it)
50. Showing kindness to people whether it costs me a lot or a little or nothing
It’s time for me to go drink some tea. So here’s my check-in with my goals:
I took a short evening walk
I ate really vibrant healthy food that made me feel good inside
I worked on my DBT homework by stopping to take pictures of wildflowers on my way to the store which is something I really love (taking pictures of wildflowers/all flowers) and by spending time thinking about all the activities that bring me a sense of well being (big or tiny, it all counts).
I tried a new recipe while watching serial killer docs.
This is the start line, a moment I want to bookmark for myself so that I can look back later to see how far I’ve come. Because from here on out the only thing I’m going to be working on in my life is getting my health back – until I achieve the goals I’ve set for myself.
All last year I worked on getting my emotional and mental stability back and after a year of therapy I’m in such a better place than when I started. I’m still in therapy and I’m going to need to stick with it a little longer to help me reach my health goals. I couldn’t even begin to address my physical health goals until I got help with my emotional and mental deterioration.
I couldn’t write this blog while it served as a tool for releasing the mental Kraken from the deep dark waters of my mental illness.
For anyone not in the know – I got diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder this time last year. This is in addition to existing PTSD, Generalized Anxiety, and Major Depression. The diagnosis, though not expected, wasn’t actually a total surprise. Getting that specific diagnosis gave me a much better idea of what kind of therapy would best address my mental state.
My therapist has been using IFS therapy which has been profoundly helpful and I’m taking my second DBT short course right now to help support the other therapy. For DBT to work you have to actually practice it daily. It helps you develop better personal discipline but also requires you to actually use what discipline you already have available to build from.
PLEASE DO NOT OFFER ME ANY DIET OR HEALTH ADVICE AT ANY TIME. UNLESS I SPECIFICALLY ASK A PERSON FOR IT, I DON’T WANT IT.
I didn’t have the courage to weigh myself today but I can, from recent weighings, guess that my weight right now is at 280+/- a couple of pounds.
I have high blood pressure.
I have high triglycerides.
I have bad arthritis in one knee and milder arthritis in my other knee and hips. This causes much pain when I try to be physically active. Sometimes just causes pain, period.
I drink too much alcohol (definitely do NOT ask for details on this – or try to advise me in any way)
THE GOALS FOR THE NEXT 12 MONTHS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Lose between 80-100lbs in the next 12 months (need to lose 100 but understand it might take longer than a year)
Rein back my alcohol consumption to moderate levels (I know what this means for me but am not going to share that detail for self protective reasons)
Continue to increase vibrancy and variety of diet. Work on portion control and over-all calories. Cook more of the food that makes me feel truly good (mostly Mediterranean style vegetarian food)
Do exercises every day to strengthen the muscles around the knees and hips to reduce arthritic pain as per PT people have suggested.
Continue to work on emotional regulation to support these goals.
Mindfulness/DBT/selfcare practices today:
I vacuumed even though I wanted to avoid it because I knew it would make me feel better if I did.
I did an assortment of other household chores as well. I took quite a few breaks, but it felt good when I could see the difference and FEEL it too.
I made a pitcher of my own blend of hibiscus iced tea for later.
I also made a pitcher of my own blend of chai for icing and while it simmered I did an exercise of being completely present and deep breathing the wonderful spicy steam. It was both grounding and uplifting.
I put makeup on.
I kept reapplying my roll-on essential oil blend Veranda because it makes me feel calm. That’s one of the tools in my DBT box of tools.
I’m off to make a salad for dinner and watch serial killer documentaries. Maybe drink tea. Definitely not drinking any alcohol tonight.