Monday, April 8, 2013

The Plan

     Ok, so now what? What's the plan?

     Put simply, B+ !

     I have committed to taking on the very daunting challenge of altering my mindset so that I am 
     better equipped to kick D&A's ass! As I mentioned in my last post, I am already feeling a huge 
     difference - in my perspective, in my attitude, even in my energy levels. 

     This is the basic outline of THE PLAN:

1.   Replace negative thoughts with positive ones. I have a tendency of seeing the worst in every situation. And I definitely suffer from PMS - Poor Me Syndrome. So what I've been doing is that any time I have a negative thought, I try to list positive attributes about the situation instead, in order to reverse my mindset.

2.   Be mindful. Enjoy every moment to its fullest possible extent. I even relatively enjoyed the dental procedure I had done today because I focused on the goofy conversations the hygienist and I were having rather than on the ouch factor.

3.   Breathe deeply, often. This goes hand-in-hand with #1. When I see the negativity storm clouds rolling in, I take a deep breath and put a positive spin on the situation. Deep breathing gives me a few seconds to relax and stretch, clear my mind, and reverse my mindset. It also releases endorphins and minimizes stress, which helps with #1 and #2.

Just by doing these 3 things for the past 5 days, I already feel like a different person. Which is 
why what happened yesterday nearly derailed my positivity train. Yesterday morning when I 
woke up, I was energetic and ready to enjoy the day. I reveled in some me time with my coffee 
and a book, then had a delicious and healthy breakfast with my husband.

Late in the morning/early afternoon, I started feeling uneasy and slightly nauseous. And all I 
wanted to do was sleep. This is a common symptom of my anxiety, so I was discouraged, thinking 
that I was slipping into an anxiety-ridden day of being a non-functional couch blob, too 
overwhelmed by life to do anything. It's sometimes difficult to differentiate between anxiety and 
being physically ill, since my anxiety often manifests itself in physical symptoms. Was I coming 
down with something? Or maybe I didn't sleep well the night before and was physically tired? Or 
was I justifying allowing myself to be overcome by my anxiety? Tough call.

I consciously chose to take a nap. This decision could have had one of two outcomes - either I 
would sleep for an hour and wake up refreshed, ready to take on the world ... or transform into 
the aforementioned sniveling couch blob. And guess what? I woke up after about an hour, did 
four loads of laundry and pre-cooked tonight's dinner. No blob here! 

I guess THE PLAN is working. And I couldn't be more invigorated and excited to continue!

Friday, April 5, 2013


Self-Discovery à Self-Loathing à Self-Ownership

I’ve been doing a lot of self-discovery recently. As is the case with self-discovery, when you allow yourself to go there, you don’t always like what you find. And, rather than facing the things I discovered about myself that I don’t like, I allowed them to consume me.

This process of self-discovery, which quickly led to self-loathing, played a big part in my decision to take ownership of my depression and anxiety and actually put in the effort to defeat it, rather than expecting my “magic” little pill to do all the work for me.

The challenge now lies in figuring out which of these things I am willing to accept about myself, and which will undergo a makeover. 

Some examples:

1.      I am virtually incapable of “going with the flow.” In my world, the “flow” must be going in a particular direction at a constant speed, and there must be buoys placed precisely equidistant from each other for the entire length of the river.


Solution: Rather than getting upset with myself because I have anxiety every time I try to do things off the cuff, I choose to accept the fact that I am a planner. No way around it. When the mood strikes to be spontaneous (as it very rarely, but occasionally does), don’t second guess it, just do it! And enjoy it!

2.      I’m a quitter. I don’t “love a challenge.” I want life, and every task within it, to be easy. And when it gets too hard, I throw a tantrum. Then I give up.


Solution: I’m starting here, fighting for my own happiness. If I can do this, I can do anything. On the flip side, I am also a very stubborn person – I just need to apply my stubbornness in the right way. When it gets tough, I will not give up. If I feel the urge to give up, I will lean on my wonderfully supportive husband who has been prodding me toward this for some time now.

3.      I never relax. I am always stressed. Even if my body is relaxed, my mind is always on the go.


Solution: I am on the hunt for relaxation techniques that work for me. So far, I have found that going tanning a few times a week not only gives me the Vitamin D boost my body has been craving since the onset of this horrendous season called winter, but also forces me to be still for those 10 minutes. While in the tanning bed, I make a conscious effort to meditate rather than allow my brain to remind me of everything little thing I need to do between now and the end of the year in the precise moment I am without a pen.

4.      I am insecure.


Solution: This is a tough one. I’m hoping, with all the positive changes I am making in my life, that self-confidence and self-assuredness will come with the package that will be the new positive me. If not, I’ll have to re-evaluate.

I’m already starting to have a more positive can-do attitude, just after writing all of this down and focusing on what’s ahead rather than the rut I’ve been in. I'm excited to meet the new me! I know there is much work ahead of me, but it’s not as overwhelming as it once was. Probably because I have a PLAN! (See #1 above).

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The First Step

Just yesterday, at almost 30 years of age, I came to a very unsettling realization. I am a Negative Nancy. I’ve actually said these words: “B+ - it’s not only my blood type, it’s my motto!” How cheesy can I be? And dead wrong.

I suffer from Depression and Anxiety – just gonna get it out there. And I’ve come to realize that’s exactly the problem. Not that I have D&A, but that I “suffer” from it. It’s a disease, it’s out of my control, blah blah blah. For years now, I’ve been blaming my negative attitude and my lackluster lifestyle on D&A.

This all hit me like a slap in the tear-streaked face last night, when my husband defeatedly uttered these words to me: “I am a happy person. When you’re unhappy, I’m unhappy. You’ve been unhappy more and more often recently, and it’s making me unhappy. Your D&A is affecting me, too, and I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know how to help you.” Ouch.

I’m going to say this only once because I absolutely hate admitting this – He’s right.

Starting this blog is my way of telling him, and the world, and myself really, that I’m finally willing to make a change. For years, I thought that since I take a pill every day, I’d whipped my D&A into submission, when in reality, I just didn’t want to face how it was affecting my quality of life. No, how I was letting it affect my quality of life.

I can’t... It’s too hard... I’ll just lie here and eat ice cream and wait for the pain to go away. This doesn’t work. It’s time to try something new. A challenge. The big ‘ole scary unknown awaits.

This is the first step on my journey to Positivity Town, where I’d like to plant new roots and grow me a mature, independent, happy version of myself to replace this withering shell of a person.

Will anyone read this? I don’t know. It doesn’t matter, really. Mostly, this is meant to be therapeutic for me, as well as to document this tremendous life change I am committing to embarking upon with the final click of this post. And here we go!

Deep breath. Not just to brace myself, but for the clarity and the endorphin release I’m gonna need for this.

Yes, I can do this!