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20 November 2015

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14 November 2015

The past year has been probably the hardest year of my life, with the last five months being especially difficult. Initially I was more freaked out to see how much weight I've dropped since July, but the change wasn't as drastic as I had first thought it to be. I haven't been trying to lose weight at all. I haven't been particularly making an effort to watch what I eat either, though stress has sort of been helping me curb my impulsivity with comfort feeding. In a way I am glad to have lost the weight because it helps me to have one less thing to dislike about myself or be ashamed of.

Living in the present is very hard for me right now. I am torn between retreating to the past (and feeling guilty or just sad) or running ahead to the future and the uncertainties that lie ahead. It is clear to me though that I am very blessed to have a lot of supportive, caring, loving people around me. I am happy that in spite of all the unpleasant circumstances that I am attempting to cope with I have managed to maintain my job and to do it well.

If ever I had to use one word to describe how I felt about myself, most of my life that word would have been either "inadequate" or "incompetent". The one job I held the longest definitely brings that home hard. I worked for a little over a year and a half at a book store. I was working full time back then and I couldn't drive. Time management was my Achille's heel, so even though I did well when I was there because I struggled with punctuality back then (and even up til very recently) I eventually got fired from that job. That really shook me to the core. Not having much work experience and not having a college degree or a driver's license, trying to find new employment was incredibly discouraging. I couldn't convince myself, let alone another employer why they should hire me.

Fast forward nine years and now I am working again. It's only part time currently, but this time around my attendance record is awesome. I've called out twice for medical reasons, I've been late twice (though I was able to call ahead to let my supervisors know in advance both times; one of those incidents was because I had a car accident on my way to work. :( ), otherwise I've been on time every other day I've been scheduled. A couple times I was even able to come in on short notice when someone else had called out.

I'm still often vulnerable to being distracted and discouraged by the thoughts of how I'm not doing enough/ am not good enough and all the ways I've failed or screwed up horribly. However, by the grace of G-d, it seems like the sorrows of my life are being redeemed gradually. For a long time not being able to drive was a major obstacle. Yet G-d provided a few really good friends who helped me practice and took me to the MVA to take the driving test. As of this past July I have a full driver's license, and for the most part I feel competent behind the wheel. I never thought I'd get to this point. It took me about 10 years to get here, but G-d helped me overcome that hurdle.

Now that I'm holding down my current job and I've habituated getting to work on time I am starting to look at my next major hurdle, financial independence. Once again I never really envisioned myself being capable of becoming financially independent because of past experience and the struggles I've had with depression and anxiety. How can one be financially self sufficient and hold down a job when daily basic functioning is a challenge and/or it seems one may be close to being admitted to a psychiatric hospital?

There have been several times, I admit, where over the past few months I've been tempted by the idea of just giving in and admitting myself to the hospital. What's stopped me so far is the recognition that my desire to escape my troubles would not be helped by institutionalization. That in fact all hospitalization might accomplish is a temporary change in scenery and potentially losing my job.

Each time I was in the hospital before I remember how I felt imprisoned and desperate to get out. I remember the boredom, the monotony and isolation. I remember the various lists of skills I'd be asked to generate to deal with problems on the outside, but also how all the talk about the skills never really prepared me for using them on the outside. I didn't really have a strong, effective support system on the outside back when I was going in and out of the hospital. I also remember how I told myself the last time I was there that I wasn't coming back to the hospital again. That was about 12 years ago. I can't afford to go back there now.

So where I am at is holding my current job and looking at potentially going back to school. What kind of sucks is that I know I can probably only manage doing both school and work part time. That would mean at most 2 classes per semester. Before I stopped attending college before I had earned 33 credits and I had a decent GPA. (I don't remember exactly what it was, but I got mainly As and Bs in the classes I completed--except for Art. I failed art. I know the last class I took I got a C in, but I was just ecstatic to pass because I was also working full time when I was in that class and that was a lot for me.) Therefore I estimated it would take me 4-5 years to finish an Associate's degree.

This is kind of discouraging to me since after researching different kinds of occupations I've found that the ones I am drawn to consistently have a bachelor's degree as the entry level education, often really needing a master's degree to be competitive/hireable. If it would take me about 5 years to finish an Associate's I can only imagine that it would take 15 to finish a bachelor's degree. I have no idea how many credits beyond that a master's degree requires.

So I am in a brainstorming period for now. I can't really commit 15+ years and who knows how much money to something I don't know that I can follow through on. I realized I had to set aside one of my initial plans because of set backs that I've faced this last year. Though just being able to come up with the initial plan sparked the idea that financial independence could actually be attainable, which of itself is a blessing.

I wish I could hear more clearly what G-d was wanting me to do now. I am glad that I've actually been able to habituate a practice of reading the Bible regularly, but I've yet to make it a practice to really listen to G-d. I am grateful that He is as gracious as He is because a lot of these life lessons I am so slow to learn. For now I am grateful also to the many friends He has placed in my life to remind me of His promises.

“God is not a man, that He should lie,
Nor a son of man, that He should repent;
Has He said, and will He not do it?
Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?"
(Numbers 23:19)

"For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

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10 November 2015

Weigh-in: 147.3 lb lost so far: 24.7 lb still to go: 7.3 lb Diet followed N/A
   add comment on diet Calorie Count   losing 0.8 lb a week

03 August 2015

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16 July 2015

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