Talk About Obsessive!

I have finished writing all 30 workouts for my 30 day HIIT challenge! They mostly fall in the 40 minute range with a 15 second rest between exercises. I am not sure if I am going to stick with a 15 second rest, a 10 second rest is traditional. When working in a small space it is impossible to set everything up in advance, it just gets in the way so I have to take things out and put them back in that time window which is a pain. Some exercises are easy to transition between but others require you to get up and down and switch out equipment. I don’t want the rest to be so long that the heart rate goes down but at the same time I hate when I am late to start or have to pause/rewind the video. The first 10 days are 30 second intervals, the 2nd 10 days are 40 second intervals, the final 10 days are 50 second intervals.

Sam has also finished creating a simple HIIT timer. I still have to test out the workouts to see if they are manageable. It is not easy to gauge the difficulty of a workout on paper. It will take several months to test them all out. I may actually film them as I do them and forego rehearsals altogether. I tried to make the workouts as fun as possible while still including a few of my own personal Achilles’s heels. I believe the difficulty is beginner/intermediate. I wanted to create something accessible but challenging. I am planning on filming previews for all 30 workouts so I can demonstrate the moves more consciously and offer suggestions for modifications. I use equipment in the workouts but I wanted to offer modifications for those who do not have equipment. I really wanted the no equipment modifications to be as challenging as the weighted versions. That is not easy to achieve for every exercise but that’s the goal! I also want to present low impact options baring in mind that some people have joint issues and baring in mind that some people have noise restrictions.

I attempted to film the preview for the first workout. The filming didn’t go great. I am a lot shyer than I expected lol See I know what I want to say and what I want to achieve with this but when the camera is on I just sort of blank out. I was hyperventilating before I even started moving around! It wasn’t the exercises themselves that were giving me trouble it was the socializing with the camera. I am also going to have to film in a larger room which means dragging all my equipment upstairs. I prefer being headless in a video but you can’t see what I am doing above the shoulders when standing, so the yoga room is a no go. I haven’t decided what I will do if I ever successfully manage to film these previews. I haven’t decided if I will film a full length workout video. The draw of a full length video is having the benefit of a carefully constructed routine (the preview would give access to the full routine) and the entertainment value of an engaging trainer. My social anxiety covers up much of my personality. Could be that after filming 30 previews I will loosen up. Could be that I just AM painfully awkward!

Funny when I did the test for my Pilate’s certification I was less awkward than I am alone in a room lol I mean I have taught real life classes with real life people why is this camera thing so uncomfortable?

Bad Hair

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I need a haircut. My hair is quite damaged, a lot of breakage, heavy shedding, coarse as an old broom. In the image it is unbrushed but covered in oil. I am not sure why it looks like I have stripes though. I have been thinking of cutting it shoulder length for a while but Sam and I are both too shy to make hair appointments. Sam likes it shoulder length and while part of me likes long hair, the lower maintenance shorter hair works better for me. I am absolutely hopeless with hair which is probably why it is so damaged. I don’t do anything to it offensive like blow dry it, dye it, or straiten it but I am lax about oiling it and it needs a lot of oil because I don’t seem to make any oil. I have tried everything to get my scalp to make its own oil but it just doesn’t, could be my glitchy thyroid.

Dying Inside

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Brooke Shaden

 

If only I liked to write beautiful things,

Then I could be forgiven inadequacy.

Words that expose paradigm over truth

If I possessed such a vocabulary

Then perhaps even I could be loved

*

I doubt I will ever know a reception

That does not come with an equal

Or greater measure of resistance.

I am green like death.

The possibilities of death,

How they tempt me

In these dark hours

*

I do not think I will change,

At least not in the direction

Of my endeavors.

I might sprout horns

Or a forked tongue.

I might become translucent

But I won’t become significant.

*

I am not even profitable

As a deviation.

The other freaks

Are more interesting than I

With far mightier pens.

I don’t think I can accept myself,

These selves, which are almost

But never quite authentic.

If I can not manage one or the other

(preferably both)

Then life

(the one which keeps me alive)

Will not welcome me home

*

I think from this poem my mental state is somewhat obvious. I think it is a combination of factors that has sent me spiraling.

 

Watching the movie The Hours I have never read anything about Virginia Woolf to be honest how I managed it I am not certain but it is not a good fit for someone so severely depressed as myself. Or it is a good fit I guess but a terrible influence.

 

Reading more about Sylvia Plath’s life, hearing her recordings. So many poets committing suicide and it has forced me to recognize my own instability.

 

The death of a local cat whom I snuggle with though she was not my personal cat she greeted me with enthusiasm when I saw her on streets and I haven’t any pets of my own so she was like a surrogate. It feels like my only friend died, how to explain that but I am not talking to anyone in real life except my immediate family.  It is quite easy to love animals as you know.

 

The decline in my popularity? people pulling away, breaking promises, all the lost friendships

 

I am working on a project which is difficult for me. Frieda Hughes (Plath) had written a book where she wrote a poem for each year of her life and I thought it was quite an interesting idea. So I decided to give it a go. My early life is depressing to say the least. I was trying to remember times of happiness and celebration in my early life. I thought well no matter how shitty it might have been I am certain to have some good memories. I could think of good memories with grandmother and cousins. With my mom but never with my dad no matter who was in accompaniment. Early on I didn’t have many good memories with my mom either as time went on there were more but in the beginning it was difficult and painful. She didn’t just not want me, she actually wanted me dead. I am trying to process so much right now and very little of it is easy to digest.

 

There is still the worries about the house. I want to buy a house. This is quite difficult to explain. I realize the level of failure if a house does not work may well destroy my life but an apartment I feel is settling, is dream-less, and incarcerating. I can only say this has to do with a sense of belonging not possessing but belonging. In an apartment Sam may well give up wood-working he’s given up so much to accommodate my neuroses already I just can’t let him give up more. For myself too I want to be able to go outside and wonder about, nature brings me a joy and a peace I don’t have the internal means to replicate. Sam is worried I will get lonely in the country and may be I will but I have no friends in the city and I hate entertaining guests in cramped apartments. I actually prefer to be with people outside. Sam insists I am very social but deny myself human interaction and that it is making miserable. I can’t say for certain how social I am, I know I am more social than I allow but not the precise degree. Unfortunately I have an intense fear of abandonment and look to others for validation and this is why I don’t allow myself friends (aside from being too weird to make them). I do not think I am genuine enough in social situations. I sometimes play the clown. I do not like the drama. I do not like me.

 

I am worried about my inability to understand others when they are speaking to me. I cannot seem to open up properly. Even though not talking is killing me and poisoning my relationships I get so frustrated when I try to talk and it is just side-stepping gibberish. I cannot say what I mean and it is driving me absolutely insane.

On and on it goes.

 

 

Stage 1

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Dorthea Tanning

For me the first step to accepting my new diagnosis is to own it. I’ve written a note to Facebook to inform my real life friends and my cousins of the new diagnosis. I have published a lengthy post here at Curious Flowers describing the ordeal, albeit ineptly, and linked it to my primary blog Mindlovemisery. I’ve even adjusted my about pages. I can’t imagine going through every post I’ve ever published and omitting the word Epilepsy nor can I feasibly contact all of my followers. I wrote my mom a long email as well describing the situation. I have no idea how she will take the news. I am not sure if she is familiar with PNES or the dissociative disorders. Actually I feel fairly certain she isn’t familiar with PNES but I have no idea about the latter.

*

I have even written an apology letter to Dr. G. Dr. S allowed us to read Dr. R’s notes and what he reported to Dr. G versus what he said to us (on numerous occasions) does not add up. Though I am not satisfied with many aspects of my care I felt it necessary to clarify the source of our misunderstandings now that I have discovered them and to apologize to her for my suspicion. I never fully trusted her because of my loyalty to Dr. R. I can admit that. I also wanted to give her the opportunity to clarify. I am still uncertain as to when she made the diagnosis of PNES if recently then it is perfectly understandable that I am only just hearing word of it myself. Even though she is no longer my doctor and thus I have no reason to see her again I still wanted to take responsibility. She has already emailed me thanking me for my letter and has informed me that she will contact me by telephone. Yikes I am so awkward on the telephone.

*

I guess that’s stage one complete now I need to study PNES!

Trigger

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Karol Bak Malarstwo

The last few nights I’ve slept very deeply. I rise but the sense that I am on the verge of falling asleep remains with me throughout the day, like a ponderous fog concealing a nuclear body. On the nights where I struggle to fall asleep I wake up feeling agitated and wired. Now I just feel inhuman. Words are not forthcoming, my muse has an intense aversion to lethargy. I am dissatisfied with my poems on an anatomical level, I erase them before they’ve formed a single covalent bond.

*

On the 24th I am scheduled to meet my new Neurologist and I’ve gone from excitement to utter despair/disillusionment. As open-minded as I try to be in regards to individuals I find that I mistrust the government and all of its various organizations to a degree which suggests that I harbor within me a certain madness. Generally I find nurses easier to talk to, they are more human/humane in my experience. I studied Nutrition at University and we had a number of classes dedicated to navigating doctor’s treacherous egos. Unfortunately I am always at odds with authority. I am not engaged in any criminal organizations or activities but my attitude remains acutely suspicious/defensive. I have to prepare a list of topics for discussion otherwise my nerves will upend my purpose.

Here is my preliminary list

  1. The Ketogenic Diet
  2. Mystery rash (I am not sure how long I have had it but at least since high school when it was severe it looks like a birth mark but it disappears sometimes, I have tried creams and they work for a time but it comes back). You might be wondering why on earth I’d mention this to my Neurologist but based on some research Sam did it could be related to my seizures the Ketogenic Diet might work to treat it as well.
  3. Disability, advocacy, vocational rehabilitation, local Epilepsy groups
  4. Headaches/excessive auras/vertigo
  5. Topographic amnesia/severe memory problems/memory specialist
  6. Poor quality sleep/falling asleep inappropriately/mental fog

Love is everywhere

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Love is not hard to find so much as it is difficult to receive.

There exists within humans an impetus toward chrysalis. We want to escape pain even at the risk of anesthetizing our experience of life. Many of us do have opportunities to connect be it romantically and/or platonically but we simply choose to stay indoors with the blankets pulled over our heads. Many of us do in fact have worthwhile relationships of some sort already but our insecurities prevent us from recognizing the depth of the other person’s regard. When I am feeling particularly isolated/undesirable it is not because I am truly alone in this world, it is because I’ve refuse to let anyone inside for a visit.

*

As a shy person the number of people I approach is miniscule and yet for years I wondered how it was that I never met new people. Even when someone did approach me I often dismissed their conversations/invitations as social obligation and/or pity. This doubt has nothing whatsoever to do with my feelings for the individuals in question (in many instances I found them charming company), it has to do with my feelings for myself which are largely negative and entirely too invasive. Some people did persist despite my avoidant tactics but imagine how they felt? I spent so much time feeling sorry for myself that I never never even considered it.

*

Love is everywhere. People who have it, have it because they’ve put themselves on the line countless times. People who have it have been rejected countless times. The same goes for talent, people who have it have worked their assess off to obtain the skills in question. They’ve had the courage to fail and to succeed. They’ve pursued their dreams with every fiber of their being so never diminish that with dismissive comments about luck. While I do believe in luck, success will never come without risk or effort.

Trust

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Genius and torment. All humans suffer of course but how many believe that the artist must suffer above and beyond to achieve a requisite depth? Why should pain be the superior muse? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I lack emotional depth because I haven’t allowed much space for joy. Don’t get me wrong I have allowed space for gratitude. I am severely depressed but I still have my sense of wonder (possibly because I experience so much as new/mysterious). I cry when something is beautiful, I even laugh unabashedly. I have emotions.

*

I have a long way to go with self-acceptance though. I feel so completely unforgivably worthless. Now this is the part I can’t explain so bare with me. Sam had a job evaluation recently, all positive. His co-workers say he works like 6 people and he really does the man is an entire army. He still sees himself as worthless. He never feels good enough. How much more could one person do? Would he achieve more without the baggage? Would he enjoy himself more? I have trouble understanding what self-acceptance means. What precisely should I be accepting? What if I am doing something harmful? Should I not to try to change? Sam can’t explain it to me because he has the same issue. I can see the positive version of some of my flaws but then some traits I just want to be rid of entirely. I am sure those undesirable aspects contain lessons even if I can’t riddle them out.

*

Is it okay to get on Disability? Is that a cop out? Or is it the responsible thing to do while I work on my rehabilitation? For me the biggest thing missing is trust in myself but is it irresponsible to trust myself when my brain is the problem? This is where all my confusion comes from, this is where I get completely stupid. This is where intellect isn’t convincing enough to circumvent emotion. I have trouble seeing what has to change, what has to be accommodated, and what is actually keeping me as an individual together.

Hollow

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When I was a kid I became an expert at subterfuge. I knew how to lie, evade, and assuage. My survival was at stake. The lives of loved ones dependent upon secrecy and denial. I was completely alone in my abuse. I was careful. I never trusted anyone. If they were kind the would betray my confidence out of love and concern. If they were unkind the consequences of exposure could be more severe. I knew better than to take the risk. I didn’t allow myself much in the way of comfort lest I soften or drop my guard. I spent most of my time with very self-absorbed people knowing that my secrets were not worth knowing.

*

As an adult I found myself unable to open up. I tried therapy but I only presented preselected versions of self. I aimed for safe diagnoses. I didn’t want to be irreparable. Damaged. I have years worth of philosophy and psychology tucked away. I know what to say in order not to seem too sick (though I am not much of an actress I am sufficiently confusing). When I am too sick I hide away from public sight. I wanted to hear someone say you are making progress, you are healing. I selected problems that seemed more manageable. I thought if I could make some changes, manage some small successes it might get me going. I placated their egos despite poorly articulated advice.

*

When I was pregnant with Isadora. I spent a lot of time with my OB/GYN we didn’t talk about my life outside of motherhood but he figured it out. He knew that I’d been sexually abused because he saw that some times and he altered my care, catered it especially for me. I trusted him and I’ve never been so proud of myself as when I gave birth. He followed my plan to the letter, respected me, listened t me. It occurred to me then that I could go to a doctor open up and they’d know exactly how to precede and if they didn’t know they’d ask for my input. I wasn’t a little girl anymore I didn’t have to protect. It didn’t work that way doctor’s do not immediately trust patients. Opening up is way harder than I’d ever imagined and contrary to expectations doctor’s rarely have the insight unless your symptoms happen to coincide with one of their tried and true lists. I found myself protecting Sam. What if I was institutionalized? Given a diagnosis that is too big for a a relationship survive? If it was just me and I had no one to disappoint. No one to say you lied to me about who you are. Then maybe but the risk was too big with a relationship. What if they take my daughter away? What if she has to have a crazy mother? A Depressed mother is bad enough but a mother who is truly sick? Then I think if I am truly sick I owe it to her to get help. On and on it goes. My fears wrestling with my morals (morals which are sometimes too rigid for me to even functionally bare).

*

I have an appointment on Monday the name doesn’t correspond with the female doctor I originally saw. I have no idea if this man will be my doctor or if I am going to rotate between a group of doctors. Retelling my story over and over with layers of bias smeared on top. I have to let go of my safe list of symptoms I am anxious, I am depressed, I have low self-esteem and dissect the monster. I am going to have to say that I think about dying a lot even when I don’t know myself to be sad. That I sit by the knife drawer for some sort of perverse sense of comfort. That I plan my death even though I don’t plan to die because I don’t want to traumatize anyone. I have to talk about my superstitiousness, my obsessional thinking, my intense need to isolate and cocoon myself. How I never feel quite real. How I haven’t grown up and not in the good way. How I get so emotional and distressed at times that I become unable to really make sense of the event that induced the reaction in the first place. How when I scream (when in emotional pain not the angry sort, this scream isn’t undirected at anyone) it doesn’t sound human it is just this horrible empty monotone sound that distresses other people immensely. I think I have been depressed so long it has made me a little psychotic. I feel unhinged and possessed.

*

I can be completely tricked by something on the one hand and on the other hand have it completely parsed. When taking medication I can distinguish the emotional side-effects from my natural emotions. The physical side-effects from an oncoming illness and even from a somatic stress response. I know the apathy created by a drug and the apathy of my own mind. That doesn’t mean I can shake it. I am almost too introspective for therapy. That sounds strange but Sam was told the same thing. Weirdly you be too deep for a therapist to manage which is something I keep hearing now that I am trying to open myself up. My therapist would need a strong personality to drag me out. They don’t have to be smarter than me. I am, honestly not that smart and I don’t say that to knock myself. I am just not particularly logical.

Zero to Hero Day 21

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Had I been able to fulfill Day 19’s assignment today’s challenge would’ve been pretty dull. As usual I am being very liberal in my interpretation of the prompt. On Day 19 I posted a TED talk that Sam had shared with me several days before. On Day 20th you learned that I am going through a very difficult time right now. Being rejected for a loan was the death of a dream. Our future now is uncertain. Rental apartments are expensive and the price of rentals is projected to escalate substantially. Size-wise we are looking at something very similar to our current apartment only we won’t have that bit of extra storage we have living with relatives. I am depressed, both of us are. At the moment everything feels so hopeless and I just kept bursting into tears knowing that I am the one dragging my family down.

*

On a positive note I did manage to get a change of Neurologists. I have not met with the new doctor yet so I cannot say anything other than I am grateful to have a fresh start. In 2 weeks I am supposed to receive an appointment hopefully it will be soon and I will have the chance to ask about Disability or advocacy/rehabilitative groups that can help me obtain work. I have an appointment in February with a psychologist and I will bring up this topic up for their consideration as well. I suppose my book could be a slamming success, don’t I wish! My book is giving meaning to my life just the same. I am pursuing a dream despite a series of crushing defeats. Aside from my immense love for my family it may be all that is keeping alive. When I am working on my book it is the only time I am not crying. It is the only time I feel a sense of pride and excitement.

*

Watching this video apart from making me cry really inspired me. Her optimism and willingness to accept personal responsibility was a real revelation for me. I see now where I may have went wrong with my former Neurologist. I hope to do things differently with the new doctor and I hope that in doing things differently something will give.

Zero to Hero Day 16

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Do you have a reputation and what is it?

Being rather anti-social I can’t say that I have much of a reputation in the real world. I doubt that my name even features in conversation with any frequency. If people are talking about me I can’t even begin to imagine what they are saying! I can say that when Sam loses track of me in a store he asks people if they’ve seen a small woman with big hair and a dazed look on her face and that always produces accurate results.

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According to my mother-in-law Sam and I are eccentrics. I imagine this to be a generally agreed upon observation. I think even my own mother would agree to it.

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To my doctors I believe I am perceived as inarticulate, with a proclivity to hypochondria and anxiety. Whenever I meet with a doctor I get so nervous I either brush off my symptoms entirely (which negates my reason for even going) or I ramble on and on about who knows what.

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To those I role-play (cowrite) with I make for one hell of a villain haha

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To my bloggers I suppose the most frequent comments I receive are about my bravery and honesty. I’ve also gotten a lot of positive feedback on the prompt I host. I encourage but don’t limit creativity with excessive restrictions so they say. I believe at WordPress I have a good reputation but I would not be the least surprised if people found me a bit odd or gloomy. I am a bid odd and yes even a bit on the pessimistic side.

I think people consider me to be open-minded and trustworthy because people are very real with me. While I do run across overly polite and elusive types, more often than not, people reveal themselves to me in a very beautiful and unguarded way. Though I don’t get out much I do have some fabulous conversations with strangers and online friends =)