In my endless pursuit of self-improvement, I listen to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of books. One of the key messages of almost ALL self-care/self-improvement media (whether it’s about weight loss, spirituality,… More
I am at a 2-day training. “CBT for Suicide Prevention”
First of all. I should note I am bad at trainings, conferences, workshops, symposiums (I don’t know that I’ve ever actually been to a symposium, but I’m sure I would hate it). I hate them. I am that ADD 6-year-old boy in school wiggling in his seat, bugging people next to him, playing with anything he can get his hands on, getting up to “use the bathroom” over and over, etc. Think I’m kidding?
So yeah, I look miserable and like I am not paying attention, but I actually am taking it all in; which was the original point of this blog before I got immediately sidetracked.
If I ask you if you have ever thought about killing yourself, have I suddenly put the idea of killing yourself in your mind? Have you read this and now are suddenly thinking, “Shit! I never thought of that idea! You know what? Imma kill me today! OMG TYSM!” No. You aren’t. Yet we don’t ever ask the question even though suicide is one of our country’s leading causes of death. Every time we hear of a suicide, we hear things like, “We had no idea.” “He never said a word.” “She seemed fine.” “She seemed happier than ever!”
When the presenter was talking about this, I parallelled it in my mind with people who don’t want sex education in schools because then kids will want to have sex. Then I thought to myself, “What a great analogy to use with people! Just like sex education at schools doesn’t cause kids to fuck, asking someone if they have ever thought about suicide won’t cause them to shoot themselves!”
Then I remembered we are living in the Handmaid’s tale era and there are still a large majority of people who still think sex education causes sex.
Moral of the story: Ask the question even if it feels weird. You could save someone’s life.
Take it from someone who knows… I Jumped Off The Golden Gate Bridge
I was just sitting here on the couch when I suddenly thought “I should probably be working on that paper.” Then I looked around to see if anyone heard my stupid thought because at the same time I had the thought I remembered THIS IS NO PAPER! It’s summer break, DUMMY!
So now what? LOL Blog I guess? I could clean… But that’s crazy talk.
I am so used to being busy both physically and mentally that I have no idea what to do with myself in the absence of busy. I’ll figure it out, but for tonight I choose snacks and ‘Dragonfly’ -an all time fav that Lonnie told me he noticed was on Starz.
Thank god I have to work tomorrow.
Apparently spending the whole month of October on my death bed wasn’t enough. I’m sick again. For about 2 weeks now with 3 days of weirdly being perfectly fine in the middle there somewhere. I’m told this is “normal.” “Part of the grad school and internship experience,” they say. Freaking “they.”
Oooh…. you know what is part of my new common cold experience!? WHISKEY! I read that whiskey tea can be a more effective treatment for cold symptoms than drugs. So when I was sick in October, we gave it a shot (HA…. SHOT — see what I did there!?). Ok #1, DELICIOUS; and I don’t even like whiskey. And #2, it’s TRUE! My stuffiness and coughing are drastically reduced! #3 Even if they weren’t– I’m TIPSY; WHO CARES!? So yesterday at like 11am and hours of coughing, Lonnie suggested a whiskey tea and I said, “Honey… it’s not even noon. I think that’s illegal or something.” He assured me it was fine because it was MEDICINAL. And it was indeed fine. I even felt fair enough to get a little workout in because I ALSO read it’s good to sweat and get everything moving (lymph nodes and blood and shit) when you have a cold.
Summary: Grad school=stress and germs=drinking
Seems about right.
I am currently reading 4 books. It was 5 but I finished one. This goal setting thing is getting a bit out of hand! Toward the end of 2017 I thought a lot about reading and how I used to love it, but never did it anymore because I had such a hard time focusing on anything more than a chapter or a few pages before my mind wandered. So I joined Audible and listened to 10ish books in 2018! But I still felt like I was missing something by not reading with my EYES. It’s an entirely different experience. Studies have shown that for leisure reading, audio and printed word are quite comparable, BUT, when studying for learning, printed text read visually increases retention and comprehension, so there IS a difference! In addition, with all the writing I do, increasing my exposure to the writing of others increases my vocabulary and ability to write more creatively. Some of my favorite compliments are from those that enjoy reading what I write, whether it’s just a simple crisis contact note or a 10 page paper about the mental and physical health benefits experienced by homeless people who have pets!
This year I set a goal to read more books WITH MY EYES! And I am super happy with my progress! I am noticing an increase in my ability to focus and realized (from this experience, and from the 2 books about habit-forming I am reading), I didn’t lose my ability to focus, I just hadn’t been PRACTICING maintaining focus by reading! Wouldn’t it be cool if THAT spilled into the rest of my life and I could actually do ONE thing at a time… and like… FINISH stuff before moving on!?
…said the girl who started this post by confessing she is reading 4 books right now 😉
The other night I posted about not using food to manage emotions and how I was struggling to not do so. I didn’t succumb that night, but yesterday, I did. The difference these days, is I don’t just mindlessly swing into the McD’s drive through and order whatever I want and scarf it down. And then drive back through for a McFlurry. (Yes, that has happened a few times back in the day.) Now I put thought into it and announce to myself, “I am going to go off my plan right now because I want a snack and I want a snack that is yummy because I am stressed, exhausted & annoyed. I chose a little bag of combos and a little bag of peanut m&ms because I wanted to sit and eat them one-by-one and just escape for a little while. Now I KNOW this is “wrong.” Food is not an escape and I need to work on finding other ways to have ‘little escapes.’ But I also can’t help but notice that EVERYONE seems to do this. I spend many of my days in hospitals and college campuses watching people (ok that sounds creepy, but whatever). Even the skinniest, healthiest people use treats to manage stress. On the crazy days in the emergency department, a giant bag of candy ALWAYS suddenly appears in the nurse’s station. Practically everyone in the surgery and ED waiting rooms is munching on something!
If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?
Does this blog seem like incoherent rambling? Yes. Like making a big excuse for my behavior yesterday? No. I actually don’t even feel bad about yesterday which is part of what I am learning to do. Food regret and guilt leads us to saying things like, “Well fuck it, I messed this whole week up now, I may as well just start back at healthy tomorrow….. or Monday…. or next month.” And I don’t do that anymore. There is no “one last meal,” no, “I’ll start back up tomorrow;” there is just LIFE.
My guru Corinne Crabtree says that all the time. Today I’m living it. I had a SHITSHOW of a day and spent a good part of it daydreaming about unwinding once I got home with some yummy treats. That’s not a thing. Ice cream, candy, Cheez Its…. none of those things cancel out a shitty day. In fact, if anything, they would only add to the stress of the day because I know I didn’t plan for them and I know I am eating them for an emotional reason and not hunger and that is not the person I am learning to be.
So here I am snuggled up under a blanket on the couch watching TV. I just finished my planned dinner. I’m thinking about a nice hot cup of tea. I’m not falling face first into a bag of Sour Patch Kids, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still think about it all the time. I think that is one of the most helpful things I’ve learned over the past few months. It’s natural to think about things. I’m not weird or broken because I have thoughts about wanting a cookie when I see them in their frosted glory on the Valentine’s display at the grocery store. I’m not a freak when I walk past a bakery and smell the bread and want some bread. I’m not damaged because I think about wanting some candy when all the nurses are gathered around the nurse’s station chowing down on a giant bag of assorted chocolates! I can allow the thoughts to come and recognize them and then dismiss them and move on.
Speaking of moving on…. Shit I just remembered I have homework! LOL
Why the heck not, right?
(And if you are wondering where I’ve been (and I’m sure you’re not), 1. I am journaling- like with a pen. In a journal. every morning, so that hits my writing spot. 2. I tried the new WordPress editor thing in November and H.A.T.E.D. it, and it wouldn’t work right on my chromebook, so I got annoyed and haven’t wanted to deal with it again.)
January: We started game nights. It lasted about a month with an occasional smattering here and there the rest of the year. I “Konmari’d” …way ahead of the masses doing it now because of her new show. I think I need to do it again. Jessi came to visit (you’ll see a theme here).
February: The last shrouds of game night. Jessi came to visit. The winter blues started to set in. I fought them by trying to cross country ski and doing other fun stuff. Fun fact: I can’t cross country ski. YET.
March: Beach vacation canceled (Boo!) and turned into an Old Orchard Beach vacation (aka making the best of a horror show of a month) –and visit with Jessi (shocking, I know)–and a super fun St Patrick’s Day that may become a tradition! Winter blues now officially “Seasonal Affective Disorder.”
April: Sean turned 16! Jessi came home to visit for Easter! I smell spring! I see sunshine …and the ground! I got REALLY into audiobooks! Jessi and I went to see Justin Timberlake in Boston on the train! Lonnie got fully into outdoor stuff and started going out in the woods to “do stuff,” -sometimes overnight- in freezing weather!
May: I decided to become a plant person in an effort to have more hobbies and interests. Spoiler alert: MOST ARE STILL ALIVE! Yes, I said, “most.” We hiked. Sean cooked. I ran. Sean went to the Prom (under much duress)! I had my tubes tied! (Those 2 things not related)
June: It’s SUMMER! Ran some more! Went to the lake with the dogs on my own! Hammocked and attempted to read a book. Instead, got a dead fish thrown at me by Piper and chaos ensued. We planted a little container herb garden. We had a doggie guest for a few weeks and Piper was in heaven!
July: It’s hot! I dove with both feet into Phit n’ Phat and set a goal to lose 100 pounds. Lonnie got a new charcoal grill that immediately began to feel like “the other woman,” but since I got Paella out of it, it’s all good. We took the fam to Boston for a couple days and had a blasty-blast! Sean saw his fav Youtuber, Lonnie and I had real Korean food, we sat in Teslas.
August: We went to visit Jessi. Twice LOL In my defense…. the second time was for Sean to go school shopping. I ate my weight in watermelon. I continued to kick ass with PnP -even in Boston!
September: I started at UMaine grad school- Bye Bye Walden! I also started my internship. Bye Bye free time. Lonnie started a new job too at the crisis unit, so we had to find every moment we could to spend time together! AND– We became KITTY GRANPARENTS! Oh yeah, and Jessi came to visit to pick up her new baby.
October: I mastered getting up around 5-530 every day. Lonnie got back into hunting, so one night when I was bored and he was working, I went out and filled a bag with pine and fir needles to store his clothes in. He was wildly impressed and only mildly concerned about my clumsy-ass running around the woods with a saw. Oh yeah, and Jessi came to visit… I mean it WAS her birthday month after all!
November: When I started PnP I decided to start on the half sleeve I’ve always wanted. One flower at the time, every 20 pounds. Got my first one in November! Super fun turkey day at Jimmy and Lisa’s house and super fun AND FREEZING Black Friday with the kids- because… you know… Jessi was up for a visit 😉
December: Merry Christmas! In true full-circle, game night came back! Sean went to Boston ON HIS OWN (with a friend) on the train to see a Travis Scott concert while I stayed in Portland at a hotel (and visited Jessi LOL). Christmas (and Jessi) arrived and macaron making was attempted with pretty good success! Lonnie and I both worked Christmas Day, and he worked Christmas Eve too- that kinda sucked; but we made the best of it!
We brought in the New Year asleep. And I’m good with that 🙂 Bring on 2019!!!
One of the things I practice these days is what Phit n’ Phat calls, “staying within the 2’s.” See that chart over there? It’s a magical chart that tells you in .002 seconds if you are actually hungry or if you’re eating for another reason. It’s not as easy as it sounds and takes practice, practice, practice. And that’s fine… I’ve got LOTS of time since I’m pretty sure I’ll be eating for at least a few more years 😉
The “easy” part is waiting to eat when you are actually hungry. The challenge is stopping at +2 and tossing out or putting away the rest of the food. I’ve been at this for 6ish months and this is still what goes on in my brain when I am practicing…
“I am definitely hungry… I think. No, I def am. :::Makes a salad::: OMG my mouth is literally watering this looks so good- WAIT that’s one of the signs I’m supposed to look for! Ok 2 bites in; I should start watching for +2. There’s usually a ‘sigh.’ Was that a sigh or just a deep breath? Was that a sigh? Did I sigh because I am thinking about sighing or because I’m satisfied? Are sighs like yawns? Great now I’m yawning. Whelp- salad is gone. I don’t feel stuffed or full, but I’m not hungry anymore. WAIT– this is it! This is the +2! But would I have found it if I had made a bigger salad…… “
There is a hunger scale podcast you can listen to if you’re into that kind of thing… Click Here for Ep. 52 Hunger Scale
Where: Burlington Coat Factory
Me: Hmmm….I don’t know… You don’t think it’s a little too much?
Lonnie: No more than you. It’s perfect! You’re getting it.
Me: Ok RUDE. But you’re not wrong. OK let’s get it!
I am READY!
I’ve got my boujee coat that’s comfy and warm AF!
I’ve got my super cute boots. ALSO warm AF… and I can’t BELIEVE how comfy they are! We went for a late night walk in the snow the other night and my feet were so, so happy! As was my wallet because I got them at the outlet AND for 40% off!
I’ve got my little light therapy lamp. 5am. 30 minutes while I journal and sip my coffee. No winter blues for this bitch!
Despite (or because of) spending a good part of my life surrounded by hunters, I have always been a teensy bit of an anti-hunter. You know… Bambi and all that jazz. Hunting also was a sticky spot in my first marriage because it took precedence over all things.
But I recently had an aha moment.
About a month ago Sean watched Food Inc. at school and came home asking if we could start buying more ethically sourced meat. We had had already looking into it, but haven’t jumped in because of the increased cost and hassle involved.
I got lots of great farm leads from Facebook friends, including a great pig farm in Winterport that just lets the pigs roam around and do their pig things until it’s time for them to become dinner. While looking at their Facebook page (Souder Station Farm), I thought ‘What a great life they have! If only all the meat I eat could be living it’s best life until it’s time for it to become my dinner! WAIT. HOLY SHIT. That’s exactly what hunting is. OH MY GOD I’M SUCH AN ASSHOLE for hating on it all these years!’ Meat from a hunt is the actual, literal definition of “free-range meat.”
I can’t believe I never thought about it that way before. I think about all the anti-hunters out there that eat meat from the grocery store and restaurants giving no thought to those animals being brutally tortured from birth through death. A lifetime of stress and pain (aka hormones) saturated into their muscles. And then into our own when we ingest it and continue the cycle.
Hypocrisy at it’s finest!