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.

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

Mother’s Day

My first mother’s day, let me just say I do not want to do it again. The day started out sweet. I woke up and there was a balloon with flowers and cards. My mom gave me a beautiful wind chime. I painted decorative crosses for both my mom and my husband’s mom. I had such sweet messages from his mom and sister. Then, I called my mom. I could tell something was wrong when she answered. She kept telling me I did not want to know. You can’t say that to someone.

Last night, my brother had another seizure from detoxing from alcohol. I guess it was a bad one and they had to call an ambulance. My mom said it lasted longer than the one he had about 8 years ago. She said he didn’t come right out of it this time either. I went over to see him, he seemed okay. My parents were supposed to come over to our house for the first time tonight for a lasagna dinner. Both parents have been to the house, but not since the walk through before we moved in. He was shaking from what they call the DTs. My parents have to monitor him to make sure he does not get worse. He is being stubborn right now saying he is still going to work tomorrow and will make a doctor’s appointment. He says he isn’t going to drink anymore. Honestly, I don’t know. I go to bed and every day I wake up looking for a missed call or a text that he is gone. My heart is just hurting right now. His brain is so far gone from this disease that he cannot see the damage he is doing to himself and the ones that love him. It kills me.

So, instead of lasagna, we ended up just ordering pizza. I was not in the best of moods to celebrate. I feel like a fraud.

Yesterday, I took my adopted son to the store and bought him flowers to put on his mother’s grave. Then, all four of us went so he could put flowers on her grave. He was the only one to get out of the car. My heart hurt for him watching him walk up to her grave. I wanted to cry for him. Today he slept most of the day and left a bit ago to go back to visit his mom’s grave. I cannot tell you how my heart hurt. I know he misses his mom. And I know it is different with boys and their moms. My brother was treated completely different than I was. It is just like my dad was different with me than him.

Maybe I am extra emotional today and feeling sorry for myself. I stepped into a position that I did not ask for, and in honesty, I was not ready for. But I did and things have gotten better. My daughter takes care of herself now. She smiles and laughs more. But, I will never be their mom. I think I just fool myself into thinking that. I know my stepdaughter has told me I’ve done more for her than her birth mother. And maybe I’m just extra sensitive because of the things going on with my brother. I am scared I am going to lose him.

I am definitely having an off day. I have not eaten well, I have not treated myself well mentally, and honestly, I just want to go cry. Dissertation begins tomorrow. The thing that irritates me the most is that I write this to get my feelings out, but there are some asshole people that stalk me and use it against me. Why, because they are unhappy jerks with nothing better to do with their lives.

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.

anxiety, depression, Health, lifestyle, pcos, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, stress

Times of Panic

This house is like a ticking time bomb. Our son has tested positive for Covid-19. He did not have the normal symptoms. He did not have the fever, cough, or shortness of breath that they tell you about. He had a very bad headache and some GI issues. They only tested him because he works in health care. I’m not going to lie, both my husband and I were a bit upset as he was not doing social distancing very well. But, we also were not the best role models because we were still going to my parents to see our dogs. Tuesday will be a whole week since I have seen him, even though he is just downstairs. Luckily, he has had a mild case and seems to be on the mend.

On the other hand, panic has set it. My husband and I never know if what we are feeling is us getting sick with Covid or if we are stressed or if it is just allergies. I was supposed to have sinus surgery before this all started, so sinus issues have not been very good. We are constantly taking our temperatures. Last night, I had such a bad panic attack that I nearly had my husband call an ambulance or take me to the ER. I am hoping that none of us get it.

It has been hard to focus on school. My research questions were accepted right away with no changes. Now I need to figure out a new qualitative research method and research that that method to write up my methodology by next week.

I am trying so hard to be okay. When we moved in, this house was my sanctuary. Now, I can barely sit in the living room or go into the kitchen. I know this all will pass, but right now it is hard. Since Covid has come into this house, it no longer feels like my safe place. I was so excited that we had made this house look so nice and have this nice living area to be in. Now, I have been stuck in the bedroom waiting to get sick. I am not feeling positive at all lately. I am trying. I will continue to try.

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

Managing Anxiety in Uncertain Times and PCOS Flare Ups

To begin this blog, we ended up losing Relish on Saturday. She went downhill after seeming to get better. My husband has been heart broken. She was his baby. It was a sad day. She never did get to come home to our new home.

We had a long talk and will be bringing my two boys here in a few weeks. My husband was angry again with his past. He didn’t realize how far he had let things go and did not realize that the dogs were not being cared for in a proper way, which included being fixed and having regular vet visits. From now on, this will not be the case in this house.

My PCOS has been flaring up. I started bleeding earlier this month, which I hardly ever do because I have an IUD in. It stopped and then started again last week. I went to see my obgyn and she seems to think it is from stress. I have been cramping and it hurts. It has been on and off and for now I just have to watch it. It is frustrating.

My anxiety has been kind of under control. I’m on a new medication and it seems to be working. My doctor is upping the dose and getting ready to bring down the Zoloft. I’m not going to say that this whole Covid 19 thing is not scary. It is messing up my routine. I have been trying to stay busy. I have plenty of art to catch up on and plenty of books to catch up on. I’m waiting for my problem statement for school to be approved so I can move forward with my research concept for my dissertation. I have several freelance writing gigs that are on hold because of this virus.

Lately I have been feeling sluggish and in pain. I push through it to get things done that need to get done around the house. Parenting has been hard the past couple weeks. I have had to put my foot down with my stepdaughter, soon to be adoptive daughter. It is because I love her and I see her going in a way that I do not want her to go. She has so much potential that she does not see. Tensions have been high between her and my husband. I have watched him cry over all of it. I cannot be like her birth mom and just not make her do things. I care too much to watch her not do anything with her life. She has so much talent and is so smart and for some reason she does not see it.

As of Monday, our adoption went through of our son. I really wish things were not the way they were so that we could have had a celebration. There will be an adoption party when we can all get together again. My mother-in-law texts every couple days to see how things are going. She says she hates this distancing thing because she just wants to give us all hugs. On the other hand, my brother is continuing to drink and go out. He lives with my parents and it is pissing me off that he is putting them at risk. I go see my dogs maybe once a week and that is about to stop if he continues to be so careless.

I am wondering how others are managing their anxiety during this time. How are you all keeping yourselves busy with staying at home, if you are able to stay at home. I am hoping that people continue to listen to the orders to stay at home, and those that aren’t begin to. This cannot last forever and hopefully soon life can get back to normal. I am hoping to write more now that I have more time.

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

Trying Times

This week should have been an exciting week. We have our walk through of our new house on Wednesday and we close on Friday. Tuesday we sign the petition for the adoption of my stepdaughter, soon to be adoptive daughter. The date is set for our stepson’s adoption. All of this good stuff going on, yet so much negative.

Our oldest dachshund has been in the pet urgent care since Friday with pancreatitis. She has not been getting any better. The vet at urgent care told me to prepare myself and my family for having to make a hard decision. When we took her in, the doctor scolded us that she was not spayed. So, my anger towards my husband’s ex-wife has begun to swell again. We already lost one dog due to the poor dog not being fixed in a timely manner and not being properly taken care of or trained. Now, we may lose another before we even move to the new house.

As we have been packing, there are many things that we have had to throw out because of the smell of cigarette smoke. I told Nick that had I been his mom after asking that woman to not smoke in the house I was renting to her for a low price, I would have walked in and told her to stop smoking in my damn house or I’d kick her out. But, that is not how his mom is. She has been nothing but sweet to me. We were going through my stepdaughters plushies and I was so mad because some of them just smell so bad like smoke. A child’s stuffed animal smells like smoke. We are going to wash the ones she wants to keep, and I am hoping that it gets that smell out of there. It is just ingrained into everything that was in their old house. Granted, we have gotten rid of much of the crap that smelled, there are certain items that we cannot get rid of, like important papers. My husband had to throw out some important items to him because they cannot be cleaned and when they are taken out it makes the whole room smell bad.

So, yes, my anger has swelled again that his ex did not do anything but make messes for everyone else to clean up. Finding out that she had smacked my stepdaughter and verbally abused her was the icing on the nasty cigarette cake. I think moving from this house will help. I am still so angry that our poor pup is in the urgent care.

On top of all of that, this whole country is shutting down due to this virus. Our family has pretty much been self quarantining ourselves. My husband’s work hours are changing to half a day to keep the interaction between employees at a minimum. This could eventually go to working from home. I’m supposed to have interviews. We were going to enroll our girl in school. Now everything is up in the air. In the meantime, we have plenty of packing to do this week. We have to get all of our utilities to get them move-in ready. There is much to be done. Working on all of that should help the anger. I’m just tired of the smoke smell that permeates everything.

I guess I also forgot to mention that when I went to grab some of my clothes out of my old closet, I found my brother’s vodka bottles. Most empty, some full. So, he is still drinking and now I have the proof. I’ve also caught my dad lying about something important. Odd that my mom would be the one who is the sane one. It is true, parents are completely different with grandchildren than they are with their own children. My mom treats both of my kids like they are gold. Hell, I think they even actually like her. My stepdaughter texted my mom a couple weeks ago to ask her to pick her up so she could see the dogs. I am glad my mom can have that relationship with them. It does make me sad that her and I will never have that.

I know this post isn’t exactly PCOS related, but I needed to get some things off of my chest. I do know now that last week’s emotions were due to PCOS and the crazy hormones. I had my first actual period that I have had in years. I never get one because I have an IUD in. This one, oh it was bad and it hurt. I do finally have my first two appointments set up for the bariatric surgery. On March 31st, I will begin my six months journey to surgery. I’m excited and scared at the same time. Lets hope that all of this virus is under control. People need to stop going out when they have any symptoms of being sick. It is just irresponsible and selfish.

As I write this, I am waiting for my husband and girl to get back from dropping off insulin at the urgent care. Relish is medicated and sleeping. I am hoping that she will make it through this. It is heart wrenching. It came on so suddenly. So, if you believe in praying, send some prayers. If not, some positive vibes would be great. In the meantime, I am going to work on continuing to let go of this anger that keeps coming up in waves. It is the past and that is where it belongs is in the past. I need to quit letting someone I never knew creep into my life and my thoughts. I have tried to feel some sort of pity or love or anything other than anger. The only thing I can feel is thankful for the kids that I now have in my life and the incredible man that is now mine. I love them with all that I have.