Thankful

Had a great thanksgiving dinner with my friend! I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, because once I woke up today I didn’t feel up to cooking but my friend texted me asking if I wanted to go to dinner with him. We had all the typical food, then we had pumpkin pie for dessert. 🙂

I have a lot to be thankful for.  My family (including my 2 cats), my friends, having my own apartment and heat/food, mental stability, a great therapist, psychiatrist, case manager, and a good combo of meds that have helped me immensely, good physical health, being in recovery from my ED. I’m also thankful for my faith, though it’s not what it was a year ago, I still have it and am very happy I went through the RCIA process to become Catholic.  Recently, my inspiration and passion for drawing has come back to a level it hasn’t been in years, that’s definitely something to be grateful for, it’s something I enjoy and it helps me mentally.

And lastly but not least, I’m thankful for everyone here who reads my posts/subscribes and interacts with me, so thank you to all of you guys!

Back

Hey, I apologize about the lack of posts this month, was having internet connectivity issues. But it seems to be working fine now so I thought I’d update everyone.

Things are going very well in terms of mental health with the med changes.  No voices or paranoia, no manic or depressive episodes.  I’m very stable on my current meds.  The only issue I’ve been dealing with lately is panic attacks, really bad ones.  After a week of them I didn’t have one today, yay!  So I’m hoping that’s improving as well.

I’m waiting to hear back on some paperwork I’m getting reviewed for something regarding college.  I should know something within the next 2 weeks.

I’m very excited about the holidays!  Really into the spirit this year.  🙂

Here’s a few drawings I’ve done in the past couple of days with the help of the book “How to Draw Cool Stuff” by Catherine V. Holmes

Creating New Habits/Getting Rid of Bad Ones

I’m reading a book called Atomic Habits by James clear.  It’s about making small changes over time, persistently and by using specifics instead of vague wording.  There’s a lot more to the book than just this of course and I highly recommend it.

Anyway for example instead of  having a goal stating “I want to lose weight” a much more refined specific version would be something like “I will work out for 30 minutes after my morning cup of coffee”  I find this stuff interesting because I’ve been trying to implement good habits into my life and get rid of bad ones.

So here are some habits I’m trying to add into my life.

.Draw more – I will draw/or at least begin a drawing every morning while I have my morning cup of coffee for at least 25 minutes.

Exercise – I will take a walk in the mornings after breakfast and in the afternoon after lunch.

Food – I will sit at my kitchen table when I eat instead of eating mindlessly standing up or in my room.  I will not have more than 2 caffeinated cups of coffee a day (it causes anxiety and insomnia for me) I will eat some sort of vegetables at least once a day.

Cleaning:  I will sweep the floor every evening after dinner.  I will mop/vacuum the floors on Saturdays.

 

Celebrating!

Tomorrow is the day I’ve been working really hard on getting to, it may not seem like much but it’s a huge deal for me.  6 months of recovery from bulimia.  The first day of April this year I ended up going to the hospital due to severe dehydration and an irregular heartbeat and the day after that I started getting serious about my recovery.  It hasn’t been easy, there have been ups and downs but I’ve made it.  Next goal is to make it to a year, and then the rest of my life! 🙂

Yay! 6 Months of Recovery from Bulimia!

I have an appointment at my college Thursday to see about getting back in classes for the spring semester. Nervous but hopeful and excited as well.  All in all things are going very well. I’m stable and happy. I’m doing artwork much more frequently and really able to get lost in it when I do, I struggled with motivation for a long time but all it takes is sitting down with a pencil and starting, that’s the hardest part and the rest follows/flows pretty easily.  I’m able to enjoy it more

Oh yeah, I’m at 6 months of recovery from Bulimia!!  The official day is October 2nd. Very proud of myself. Trying to think of ways to celebrate, any ideas? 🙂

Schizoaffective Art

This is something I’ve been wanting to draw for awhile now.  It’s basically a representation of how schizoaffective disorder feels to me, specifically during and after psychosis.  Complete confusion and chaos, and afterwards it feels like my mind has been ravaged and even simple things are hard to understand.

 

Psychosis.JPG

College

I have an appointment at my college next week to get things straightened out so I can take classes again in the Spring of 2020. I had to take 2 semesters off because of mental health problems  so I’m excited about going back! I really miss it. I’m about halfway done without my associates degree, and determined to finish it then move on to a bachelors.

Lots of good stuff ahead of me!

 

 

Feeling Great!

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Well, it’s finally cooling off!  Love this time of year

I’m very stable mentally, more than I’ve been in over a year and am going to start looking into part time work soon 🙂

I feel excited about life and my future!  I’m hoping to be able to start classes again and finish up my degree, it won’t be until the spring semester because I’m focusing on getting a job right now and moving hopefully within the next 4 or 5 months to a better apartment.

Just wanted to check in, hope everyone is well 🙂

Favorite Mental Health Related Books

I’m not great at reviewing books but I thought I’d at least but together a list of books that I’ve enjoyed and have helped me in with dealing with my mental illness.

These are non fiction, with the exception of one

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Here are some of my favorite mental health related books

Hearing Voices, Living Fully by Claire Bien 

Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life by Melody Moezzi 

Bulimia a Guide to Recovery by Lindsey Hall

The Eating Disorder Sourcebook by Carolyn Costin 

What a Life Can Be: One Therapist’s Take on Schizoaffective Disorder by Carolyn Dobbins, Ph. D

The Collected Schizophrenias: Essays by Esmé Weijun Wang

Surviving Schizophrenia by E. Fuller Torrey 

Maintaining Recovery from Eating Disorders by Naomi Feigenbaum

Coping Skills: Tools and Techniques for Every Stressful Situation by Faith G. Harper 

The Soloist by Steve Lopez

Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michaelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney (graphic novel)

The Buddha and the Borderline by Kiera Van Gelder 

also, anything by Geneen Roth relating to eating disorders is good 

 

Here are some workbooks that are very helpful:

The Dialectical Behavior Skills Workbook for Bulimia by Ellen Astrachan-Fletcher and Michael Maslar

The Bipolar Survival Guide by David J. Miklowitz

The Binge Eating and Compulsive Overeating Workbook by Carolyn Coker Ross

Thoughts and Feelings, Fourth Edition: Taking Control of Your Mood and Your Life by Matthew McKay Ph. D, Martha Davis Ph. D and Patrick Fanning 

 

Fiction Mental Health Books:

The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with Agitation

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I’ve been having a lot of agitation lately, so I’ve been trying out different things to help with it.

The problem with agitation is the last thing you want to do is sit still and focus on something, you want to keep pacing or doing something negative to relieve it.  I can’t do that though, as much as I’ve wanted to lately.  I force myself to sit still, breath, and do something non destructive.  It’s very uncomfortable in the beginning, going against how you’re feeling but it gets better after awhile.

Walking

  And really any exercise that gets energy out is helpful.  It gives me an outlet for the negative energy.  I’ve been taking lots of long walks, doing sit ups, and reps with weights. I generally use this method when I feel like the agitation is too much and I might do something negative if the energy isn’t released.  Running would probably be helpful too but I’m not really in good shape so that’s not something I’ve been doing right now.  Eventually I likely will though.  

Reading

This is kind of tricky because sometimes when starting to read and being agitated I get pissed off and have a hard time sitting still and just want to throw the book down.  As silly as it seems, taking deep breaths really helps.  I try to just let the anxiety out and focus on what I’m reading.  It generally takes about 10 solid minutes of reading but once I hit that mark I really get into it and can keep going.  So it may start out as something that seems to make things worse but in the end it’s worth sticking it out if possible.  That is, if you actually enjoy reading.  Forcing yourself to read when you’re not into it to begin with probably wouldn’t just be extremely aggravating.

Gaming

I can always count on Animal Crossing: New Leaf to help me relax.  No matter what’s going on, it helps me chill.  It’s such a laid back game but it’s very task oriented which is good to take my mind off things and I find getting things “accomplished” in the game helpful for my anxiety.

Cleaning

Putting on music and cleaning and organizing is great for when I’m feeling agitated because it’s both physical and task oriented.  So I don’t have to sit still, I can move around as much as I want but it’s not that aimless pacing which generally just works me up even more. Plus, it always feels great when your place is nice and tidy.  Having a messy house/apartment really messes with you subconsciously.  It may not seem like a big deal but having a clean place creates peace of mind.

 

This was somewhat of a rambling and non planned post, actually, writing this is something I decided to do to help relieve some of the agitation I was feeling tonight.  So, if anyone has any ideas feel free to add in the comments!  I love learning different ways to cope, there are tons, this barely scratches the surface.