My Mental Health Alphabet

I highly recommend this read! Dysthymia Bree’s series combines insight and humour with brilliant writing. Do check out her blog as well! 🙂

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The more I train to become a yoga teacher, the less I like yoga!

I had another yoga teacher training weekend. This one was less intense than normal and I laughed all throughout. But I left so angry!!! It’s almost like I don’t even want to do yoga anymore.

I think there are a few reasons.

1) I am tired. It’s a huge time commitment and physical commitment. It also has tons of homework to do whenever we aren’t practicing. I have a full time job and I also need to find a new job for when this contract ends. So yoga feels like a burden now instead of something that refreshes me.

2) I sprained my ankle the other week, so a lot of poses just don’t work for me right now. I had a lot that did work for me this weekend, but I miscalculated once and hurt my ankle again and I felt frustrated.

3) We did intense quad stretches at the end that are apparently real triggers for me. To begin with, they were poses I hate because they are awkward for my knees and I can’t settle into the posture. Also, it was yin practice so we had to be there a long time. But we were given another variation that was supposed to be more accessible. It worked for a bit but then we were supposed to settle and I didn’t have the right props to do so. All of a sudden I went from my good humoured attitude throughout the weekend to being really angry and about to burst into tears. I just stopped and did a pose that I found more relaxing. But it troubles me when I react so strongly. Why am I veering to anger and tearfulness? Why does this keep happening? Aren’t these poses supposed to release these feelings so that they go away?

4) I got back my teacher’s feedback on the yoga class I taught and I hadn’t done as well as I thought. Lots of goods but few excellents, and several satisfactory and needs improvement areas. I’m not used to low grades and I don’t deal well with them.

5) I have a sneaking suspicion that I forgot my meds this morning but I really don’t know. I need to fill up my weekly pill box so I’m not relying on my faulty memory. Or maybe I’m just hoping that is the case because I don’t like how quickly my moods are covering the spectrum.

6) No matter that I try not to think about it, I’m stressed about finances and long term work and it’s never far from the surface.

7) In the normal scheme of things I choose what form of yoga I do and when and can suit the style of practice to how I feel at a certain time. That’s not the case with the teacher training and so much of it seems to clash with my preferences.

At this point I almost wish I hadn’t signed up for teacher training. I have a headache, I’m mad, I’m sad and I’m frustrated. This seems to entirely defeats the purpose of why I sought yoga out to begin with – to find peace.

I’m just feeling really grumpy right now. 😦

An effort to eat better

One of the terrible side effects of depression is that I gained a LOT of weight. Around 55 pounds since my breakdown. It is literally weighing me down.

This week I’ve started to try to tackle the weight issue. I haven’t been exercising as I sprained my ankle and I had so many other things to do, but what I have tried to do is eat better.

I really eat badly. I never learned to cook and am often eating some kind of packaged food. For those of you following me since I first started blogging, you also know that I had a very unfortunate addiction to Haagen Dazs ice cream in the fall.

I’m not going to change my eating habits over night, but this is what I have done:
– Proactively eat a banana and two apples during the work day.

I haven’t done anything else really in terms of meals, but I think it is a really good start. I lost 2.2 pounds in the week since I bought my scale, and that was after a night out eating poutine, which is oh so tasty and oh so full of calories.

Anyway, what I like about the banana at breakfast and apples in the afternoon is that it seems to prevent most sugar cravings. I only had chocolate one afternoon when I was having a super stressful day.

This week my goal will be to add some fresh veggies to the day as well.

I don’t want to go on a diet. Rather I want to eat healthier foods, whole foods.

If you have recipes for tasty healthy foods with very little prep and time required, I’d love some tips. 🙂 (Just no fish or seafood.)

The quirks of depression: a memory

I remembered something the other day and it has really stayed with me. It was about one of the last things to push me over the edge to a complete breakdown. And it was so silly!

In less than a year I suffered a crippling knee injury and the threat of surgery loomed. I wrote my long avoided thesis in three months because there were no more possible extensions. I worked full time and my work environment became more and more toxic. I couldn’t breathe and had non-stop sinus infections and needed to give my cat to my parents who lived far away. I suffered more and more insomnia and even a vacation couldn’t help. I had heavy fundraising commitments to make, and really tight finances. I had no sick days left and a deficit building. I ended up needing a surgery, but not for my knee – it was because I couldn’t breathe…. And that of course required more time off.

The pressures mounted and mounted. But you know what started to set me off? I had a new manager and she was making me redo some report because I had two spaces after each period instead of one. She was adamant it had to be changed and I was adamant that it was proper grammar to have two spaces between sentences. She wouldn’t back down and it seemed like the end of the world! I didn’t know how I would be able to go on and work with this new manager! I was so fragile and writing was the task I did best. How dare she criticize! Within a couple of weeks I went for surgery and after that I just crumbled into a long depression. I couldn’t stop crying over the simplest thing, couldn’t fill out the simplest forms, couldn’t function at all really.

Despite all that hardship, one of the final triggers for my breakdown was about how many spaces I placed after a period!!!

Do you have memories like that? Things you look back on now and laugh at, but at the time they seemed so devastating? The strangest thing that was the straw that broke the camel’s back? I’d love to hear about it.

P.S. You may have noticed that I now only place one space between sentences. But we won’t tell my old manager that! 😉

Busy and tired

There you go, that’s all I have to write about. 😉

This week has been pretty good except for my allergies which have made it hard to get enough sleep. I’ve been tackling my homework on my lunch breaks so I’m slowly making progress there. I have another presentation next weekend. *sigh*

As we head toward the end of the week, though, I’m starting to get stressed as I expected to hear this week about whether I will get the permanent job. Still no news. But at least my current contract was extended, so I am still working for now.

My biggest wish right now is to get a permanent job, mostly because I am so tired of applying for jobs! Also, it’s hard getting all my prescriptions filled without a medical plan. 😛

So that’s that. Nothing else to say except I’m trying to socialize more, so I’m off to meet my friend now.

Cheers!

A sleepy weekend

This weekend I just chilled and did nothing much. It was nice to be able to relax and catch up on sleep.
I had a lot of things that I needed to do, but I did very little. On the one hand, I know the break was good, but on the other I know that it will mean a lot more that needs to be done after work this week.
At the moment I feel well rested and ready for the week. I just hope this continues as I face the tasks that need to be done. So much homework, so many projects!
I wish you all a wonderful week. xx

Calming down

Thank you so much for your helpful messages and advice as I’ve struggled with stress this week. Your kind words helped me push through the workday yesterday and then I treated myself to some retail therapy. Today I felt much more balanced and was able to work quite effectively.

Retail therapy. I have to be careful here since one of my stressors is money. But I bought myself a new elasticized travel skirt/dress. For a few reasons – my clothes are often so tight they are giving me belly aches. But I don’t want to invest in fat clothes! So I bought the skirt since it can go anywhere, work or travel, it will fit for a variety of weights and sizes, and also all seasons. Very versatile and I really needed a boost!

I also bought a scale. Maybe not an obvious de-stressor, but I really want to start tackling my weight and I feel lost since my last one died (lifetime batteries but they wore out….). So this is part of my taking control of some of the things I can control in my life. The good news: the weight says 10 pounds less than the last one. The bad news: It measures body fat and water percentages, and according to their diagram, I’m above and beyond a “very fat person”. Nice.

I capped off the night with a bubble bath and bed at a decent hour. So today was SO much better. Though I did get a bit grumpy in the afternoon! But that’s okay. It’s a valid feeling and didn’t last long.

In the next few days, I want to refocus on self care and my personal health. I’ve realized I’m really dehydrated. It’s even affecting my vision! So I want to work on that and on making healthier eating choices. Also, I want to reintegrate meditation into my routine. My eye doctor says I should wear a hot compress on my eyes each night for fifteen minutes, so I guess that time without sight will be a great time to meditate! 😉 Perhaps a new challenge is called for. We’ll see.

Thanks again for your support! 🙂