Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

Anxiety and Depression

The past week and a half have been a roller-coaster of emotions. My anxiety is at a high. My stomach has been having a flare up. I have not been doing the best at self care. I have not done any yoga, I have not meditated, and I have been eating like crap. I have a few older family members that have tested positive for Covid and it is worrying me. My brother’s seizure put me on the edge. So far, he has been staying sober (as far as we know). I have been listening to back episodes of the podcast, Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast. It has been helping quite a bit.

This podcast has opened my eyes to times in my childhood that I felt off and was actually having anxiety. The last episode I listened to had a hypnotherapist on there. My therapist is a hypnotherapist and I have done regression therapy. It was a tremendous help. There is a new treatment called havening. When he was explaining what it was, I realized that my therapist has actually used some of these techniques on me. I can also relate to the woman that does the podcast in that when I feel good, I forget to do upkeep. When you feel good, you forget to meditate or do yoga. Those are things that need to be done. I need that daily check in to see how I am feeling, even on those good days.

I have been getting requests for interviews for more content writing positions. Some are remote and some are in office. I am scared to do a full time, in office position. We are making good progress with my daughter. We made a chart for her to do self care and be more independent and responsible. If she does all of the items she is supposed to do, she gets allowance every Sunday. We are in our fourth week and she has not missed one allowance. I did have a cute experience with her. She texted me that she is a meagling. Then she came into the room to put that into context. She was telling her friends about her allowance. I guess some of them were saying they wish they got that and some of the other perks she gets. She told them to get them a Meagen. They decided they wanted to be adopted to become meaglings. She is so cute and funny.

Things are better with our son. We worked through what was bothering him. He was not happy doing what he was doing and once he talked to us about it, he seemed much happier. We overheard him on the phone calling us his parents. My husband and I just looked at each other and smiled. He is the sweetest boy, well young man.

It was also quite stressful last week with it being my first week of dissertation. I had to take a bunch of short courses and take tests to get certifications that I will be conducting my study according to the law and in a moral way. They changed my dissertation chair halfway through the week and made a typo in the email putting me in the project course rather than dissertation route. I panicked. My new dissertation chair actually called me because he was just as confused. He seems nice and gave me some good tips on my dissertation. I am a bit worried because he is a bit slow in responding. I changed my problem statement and research questions a little bit, so I am waiting on him to approve and then send that on to the dissertation team to approve. Then I can work on the rest. This first part of the dissertation is basically explaining my problem statement, how I will conduct my study, and conducting a literature review.

We had my parents over for dinner last weekend. I know, breaking the social distancing rule. It was good though. My mom is so much better with the kids than she was with me. I think that happens. I think parents sometimes mess up with their kids and then treat the grandkids like gold. The kids have been really taken with my parents. My mom is always getting them goodies. I can’t wait until all this is over so that we can see more of my husband’s side of his family. We did get a video of our niece opening her birthday gifts that we gave her. It was so cute. My mother-in-law and me check in at least once a week to see how things are going. I am lucky to have them in my life.

I was so scared to meet them. When I was 22, I dated a guy who was very emotionally abusive and his parents were very religious and conservative. He went to Iowa State, so when I first moved to be closer to him, I lived with them for several months. Lets just say they were also very emotionally abusive. My husband had told me his parents weren’t very nice to his first wife. Well, it turns out it was gaslighting on her end. She was not nice to them and as other abusers do, used the tactic of trash talking them to separate him from them. Now he has a much better relationship with them and so do the kids. There was so much hurt there and now everyone is healing. One day, I will tell the story of my abuser (the worse one). Once you get into an abusive situation, you tend to get into others until you see your worth. It took me a long time to see my worth. In fact, I still have dreams that I am not really married. I have had so many people walk in and out of my life. When I wake up from these dreams, I am nearly in tears because my husband is still there. My therapist said these will continue until I can trust he isn’t going to leave like everyone else.

As for the anxiety, I keep reminding myself that it will pass. It always does. I’m trying to keep busy in my free time. We have had some family game nights. Uno Flip is a new favorite in the house. I bought a crochet kit to make start wars characters for my husband for father’s day. I’ve always wanted to learn how to crochet. His aunt made us this gorgeous blanket for our wedding gift. I love getting homemade gifts. I also love giving them. They are so much more personable.

Anyways, I keep rambling on and on. I need to get some actual work done. I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Remember, this won’t last forever. Anxiety and depression comes in waves, but it does not last forever.

anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

A Talk about Anxiety and Food

I went for my first appointment with the nurse practitioner for bariatric surgery yesterday. This is the woman that I will be meeting with once a month for the next six months. She was amazing and has me very excited that things can change. Basically where I am right now is that my gut is unwell. I need to fix my gut to fix my mind. It is a chicken and egg thing. Does my stomach hurt because of my anxiety? Or, is my stomach hurting driving my anxiety? She liked the fact that I am data driven. I like to have numbers of what works and what does not. She sent me home with several homework assignments.

So, beginning today I have started keeping a food journal. It is not just a food journal though. This particular journal that I found online records my food and drinks, but it also asks how I feel before and after each. This will help me figure out how different foods effect my mind and body. I am doing a high protein, low carb diet. Because I still need to burn energy, I need to make sure I have good fats when letting go of the carbs. I have to go in at the end of May to have a full blood panel done. This panel will allow them to see how my body handles insulin and which vitamins I may be deficient in or that I may have too much of. Having PCOS, insulin resistance is a major thing. Basically my body’s cells do not react to insulin in the correct way. My body does not use glucose for energy like normal people. So, in reaction, my body creates more insulin, causing my blood sugars to go up. Insulin promotes fat storage. So, while losing weight is possible, it is much harder for a woman with PCOS to do so. There are women who have PCOS that are not heavy, so this is not an every person thing. This panel will allow them to see if I need to be put back on Metformin. Besides birth control pills (which I cannot take hormones), Metformin is the only other way to treat PCOS medically. It is not approved to treat PCOS, but it is the most common medication for PCOS. It is not a fun drug to be on. It can cause stomach issues. For someone who already has stomach issues, it is important that I figure things out before possibly going back on it.

One thing that I have learned is that your gut has more serotonin receptors than your brain. Isn’t that insane? This means that eating crappy will make you feel crappy. Now I have this new woman on my team to add to my regular doctor, my therapist, and my psychiatrist. Through all of them, I am learning that self-care is so important to keep anxiety at bay.

Lately I have been extremely irritable. There has been a lot going on. I am writing my final paper for my coursework. It is due on Friday. Once that is turned in, I switch from doctoral student to doctoral candidate as all of my coursework will be done. All that will be left is the dissertation. I also have all of this research and reading to do for self-care. I have all these books on anxiety, PCOS, diets, and so on that I have been meaning to read. I am hoping that things will settle down and I will have a bit more time to do that. I have to keep reminding myself that two years ago my life was completely different. I was working and traveling a lot for work. I was in school, and my biggest worry was who was going to watch my dogs while I was out of town. I was kid free and only looking out for myself. Fast forward to today and I am now married, have two kids, bought a house, and still have dogs. It is no longer just about me, but I also need to care for me in order to care for all of them.

It is rough when I feel like I am constantly cleaning up after everyone else. And it is little things, like someone not hitting the trash can. I feel overwhelmed with the fact that nobody else seems to be able to deep clean the house. That means moving things and scrubbing things. Everyone else just wipes around things, including my husband. Drives me crazy.

Anyways, enough about that. What I need to be focusing on is some self-care. I have a writing test to do for a women’s health site that is quite popular. Lots of things to do, but I will find time for some yoga and meditation.

anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

Isolation is Hard, but Necessary

I know many people right now are struggling with some mental health issues due to social distancing. Having PCOS with the changing in hormones, my days are so different every day. Some days I am happy to be home and being able to get projects done. Other days, I just want to be able to put makeup on and go out and have fun. Then I get sad because life is not normal anymore. It probably never will be again. I get anxiety because I do not want to get this sickness.

I had to get tested last week. The test itself was not that bad. However, waiting for the results was the worst. Luckily it was negative. Our home isolation is now lifted, but we are still doing online orders for groceries. We have ordered so many new items for the house. The decorating is coming along nicely. The past couple days we have been working in the yard. We have so many ideas and we both have to keep reminding ourselves that we have years in this house to do what we want. We do not have to have everything done right now.

When it comes to isolation, I honestly think it is for the best. I do not want to get sick, nor do I want to be responsible for someone else getting sick. That is especially true if the person were to die from this virus. I cannot believe that grown men are protesting with guns about the stay-at-home orders. These are the same men who want to deny a woman her own bodily rights. Oh, women too, are protesting this. The things is, a woman’s choice to get an abortion hurts nobody. These men and women protesting, however, can infect others and hurt them. In Alabama, they have had an increase in infections since a protest happened. I try not to get political on here, but we have a shit for a leader. There are people being brainwashed by him and not listening to science. I’m currently reading a book on the 1918 flu. This is not the first time our country has failed to follow science rather than “freedom” or religious beliefs. We have a bunch of ignorant, uneducated people wanting to go out and get infected and infect others.

I have also been struggling with motherhood the past week. We had to show our son how to really clean a bathroom rather than just wipe it down. I feel bad that I am so picky, but I like things clean and organized. I’m a bit OCD. It is disappointing that the kids were never taught how to do things by their birth mother. It frustrates me sometimes when asking my husband why they were not taught how to do certain things. I know my son is sad because the anniversary is coming up, but he is dealing with it well. I feel bad because it does not seem that the kids did not have much of a normal, happy childhood. I feel this immense draw to create that for them, yet I know that I need to teach them things to become responsible adults. I see how my little girl (okay, she is not little, she will be 17 soon, but she is still little) suffers from certain things. I also know how I grew up and I know why she does some of the things that she does or why she feels some of the things that she does.

I am finally meeting with the bariatric surgeon next week. I also got my sinus surgery back on the books. It is scary not knowing if my cough is allergies or if it is Covid-19. Its like a game each day. I have been so stressed that I have been bleeding. My body is going crazy with its hormones out of whack. I hope that the surgery will help a bit with that. I am trying to work on eating healthier and I have been more active working around the house and yard.

We are hoping to bring the other two dogs over in the next couple of weeks. We got muzzles for Olive and Jaxx so that they cannot bite each other. They will have to get along and then the muzzles can come off.

This time has also afforded me opportunities to get back into art. That is in between school. I am working on my research methodology right now. I am literally researching research methods. I am hoping that any day now I will find out if I have gotten into the dissertation course. That will definitely take some of the stress away.

I am wondering how others are spending their time. Is anyone doing anything creative? Is anyone learning anything new? In some ways, maybe this is bettering the human race (besides the protesters).

Also, please sign the petition at http://www.tinyurl.com/sign-pcos. This is a petition to have PCOS recognized as a significant health concern. This would demand national attention and much needed government support.

Adoption, anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress, Women's Health

The Mental Struggle

I have been absent lately. Last week was a busy week with packing and cleaning. My stepson helped me throw a little get together for my husband’s birthday. I was pretty stressed out before it. I have hosted many parties sober, not to mention family friendly parties. It turned out to be really fun and my husband enjoyed it. My stepson and I work pretty well together as a team. We have gotten his court date for the adoption. It is right after we move. It is pretty exciting.

I have to be honest, the past few days I feel as if I am on the verge of a mental breakdown. There is so much going on and I am completely over stressed. The day after the get together, I was so beat. I know that PCOS plays a role in it. It also plays a role in my ups and downs of anxiety and depression. I had thought that Saturday would be a one day thing. I had no motivation, no energy, and could not think straight. I was in a complete brain and body fog.

Sunday I woke up feeling a bit better, but has to spend the day on school work. School…it has become a major form of stress. I have this huge final paper due Friday. I have some health issues that have popped up and it may be because of stress, or it may be because I have something wrong. I have never let school stress me out so much before, but everything is changing. I cannot register for summer courses as usual. I have to go through this next eight weeks on edge waiting for acceptance into the dissertation courses. I have no idea what these next eight weeks consist of. I do have next week off, but it is not a relaxing thought to me.

I am frightened of buying a house. What if we cannot do it? I am turning 40 in July. I had never thought I would turn 40. I thought I would die early. Here I am, turning old. My mom keeps saying how 40 was easy for her. It is not for me. I keep thinking of how my youth is gone, yet I do not mentally feel 40. Turning 40 just makes me think of death. It scares the hell out of me. Change scares the hell out of me.

I was driving to the doctor yesterday and I had all of these thoughts running through my head. Thoughts about the cornavirus, turning 40, moving, school, adopting the kids, being married, buying a house, my brother’s drinking, not feeling well. It seems that every time I get stressed about life, I begin to worry about my health. By the time I got into the doctor’s office, my heart rate was through the roof. I had to have an EKG done. The student doctor thought she heard my heart rate go from somewhere in the 80’s to 120. The EKG was good, but I have to wear a heart a monitor for 24 hours. I will be setting that up. I already have to do a stress test next week. I just feel like I have so many appointments coming up. It is stressing me out!

I had a bit of a breakdown at the doctor’s office and cried. I think it freaked my doctor out because I am usually cool and collected. But they kept bringing up school and how far I was and asked about it. Then they said something might be bad with my heart. That along with all of the other thoughts, I just started crying and didn’t really stop until after I was home.

The thing is, PCOS raises your levels of cortisol in your body, and then anxiety does the same. So here I am with all this cortisol running through my body. I could not get my heart rate to slow down. I saw my psychiatrist today and she thinks the Zoloft has stopped working. That is the medication we are trying to wean me off of anyway. I am being put on another new medication to try since I am allergic to Prozac. I am hoping this one works to eventually get me off of the Zoloft. She told me that I need to focus more on the right here and now. I keep catastrophizing. It is common with anxiety. I have been doing plenty of that lately.

I began listening to a podcast by Caroline Foran on Spotify. It is called Owning It: The Anxiety Podcast. I have yet to read her book, but between her last words on the first episode and my psychiatrist, I was crying again in the car. My psychiatrist said stress does not last forever. Both said there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The one thing the podcast said was that it does get better. I will find my way through. The fog of anxiety will lift. It is nice to hear that this is not how it is going to always be. It is hard to remember that when you are so far into the anxiety fog. It is hard to remember that you are not the only one. There are others.