Anxiety is not a sign of weakness

Your heart starts racing, your head is spinning, you are so angry, hurt and confused. And then the tears flow, and they flow, and they flow. You can’t stop crying. You run to the bathroom, take a breath, two, three…. still the tears are flowing. And then you cannot breath. This is it. You are dying.

Yesterday I lost it. I reached a point of no return, where the stress was too much for my body to handle. I couldn’t do it anymore. Everything had become one giant ocean and I was drowning. I literally could not breathe.

Not sure how I drove home in the middle of that drowning, but I did. I plopped myself on my couch and cried. One cat cuddled my feet while the other cuddled my head. I continued to cry.

I haven’t had one of these attacks in over a year. I had been so proud of myself for having been so “strong” and “getting over” anxiety attacks. They were a thing of the past. But not yesterday. Did this mean I was weak again? That I was a stupid worthless little girl, that all the work I have put in with medication, hospital visits, psychiatrists and psychologists was all just a waste of time?

No.

See, two years ago I started hurting myself because my depression and anxiety were out of control. I was so lost in such a dark place that I didn’t know how else to cope. I just wanted to die. One year ago, I realized I was going back to a dark place, so I pleaded my now husband to take me to the hospital. I knew things could get ugly, but I wanted to be safe.

Flash forward to yesterday. Yea I was covered in snot, yea I had lost it, yea I had to leave work early. No, that’s not all ideal. But that didn’t mean I was weak….that doesn’t mean I am weak. I am strong. I recognized I was not in a good place and removed myself from that situation. I took care of myself. And so what if I had another anxiety attack? Those do not make me weak.

I did not hurt myself, I did not have to rush to the hospital, I did not want to die. I came home, I cried it out, I prayed and then I made the decision to get up. I went to the gym for over an hour, and then I went to the pool. Much healthier coping mechanisms than what I had two years ago.

I now know that these anxiety attacks may come at any point in my life. The next one could be tomorrow, or it could be 10 years from now. But the new thing I have learned is that they do not make me weak. They demonstrate the love, mercy, grace and strength of the Lord in my darkest of moments.

 

 

 

TTC: ovasitol and the journey

So I went to the fertility specialist this week with the hubby and we now have a better plan of how to go about this whole TTC journey. As suspected, weight and diet has lots to do with healthy hormonal balance, so I will continue in my efforts to lose weight and to start exercising again. We will be doing several different tests in order to make sure there aren’t any anatomical abnormalities that will make this journey even more difficult. And I started on a supplement called Ovasitol to combat insulin resistance (which comes with PCOS) and hopefully rebalance my hormones.

My issue is that I am not ovulating. The doctor doesn’t know exactly why yet, but suspects it’s due to increased testosterone from my PCOS. Apparently insulin affects testosterone, so my prayer is that by taking Ovasitol my hormones will go back to normal and I won’t need further treatment (like IVF, IUI, etc.). Here is a great resource for you ladies with PCOS who are also TTC: http://pcosdiva.com/2015/07/ovasitol-combo-myod-chiro-supplement/

I am learning a lot about my body and my patience in this time. Trying my best to take it one day at a time and not think too anxiously about all the steps involved. Although at times I feel helpless…I am really not. I will continue to TRY to eat healthy (hasn’t been super great this week since I fell off the wagon last weekend…but I will get there) and start exercising again (yay Ran/Walked today!!!). Just gotta do the little things and leave the rest to the Lord.

TTC: The long road

Hey yall. It’s been a little bit since I updated this thing, especially in regards to my journey of TTC. There’s only so much I can update the world during a 35 day cycle…

I got some labs drawn yesterday to check my progesterone levels after having done a second round of Clomid 150mg x 5 days. They are still super low… only went up 0.3 from last round. Sad đŸ˜„ Spoke with the doctor on the phone, and now I have been referred to a fertility specialist. I was really hoping my ovaries would get the picture this time around….but I guess they don’t know how to work. Go home ovaries, you are drunk.

So tomorrow will be a long morning trying to see if I can get seen by someone ASAP. This sucks. I will be honest. I feel pretty low, despite my attempts at staying positive. I feel like I shouldn’t be going through this….I am too young….too filled with dreams…. too anything to be dealing with this. And I know there are a LOT of women out there who have gone, are going, will go through this…women younger than me. But I still feel alone. I still feel scared. I still feel nervous.

On the bright side, I started eating better again and have lost 3lbs! Just gotta keep losing this weight and hopefully figure out what is wrong with my hormones. TBC….

Food Addiction

I would like to consider myself a transparent person. I have no shame in telling people who I am, the good and the bad. I’ve shared about my depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, low self esteem, TTC, health conditions, etc etc. But one thing I don’t really talk about is my food addiction. It’s actually taken some time for me to admit that I have a food addiction problem. But I’ve come to terms that I am addicted to food for comfort, for reassurance, and for safety. It’s the one thing I know I can count on to make me feel better. Having a rough day? There is nothing a good pizza can’t fix. Feeling sad? I think some oreos can brighten anyone’s day.

This may all sound kind of funny, but it definitely is something I struggle with daily. At the start, until the middle of, college, I was weighing on average 120 pounds. I ate a mixture of good and bad foods, but the latter on occasion. I exercised at least 3 times a week. I had a very well balanced life.

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But then I went through a bout of depression and anxiety. I had a physical injury that made it really painful to exercise, which in turn made my depression and anxiety worse. I turned away from the Lord and turn towards food. Food was there for me. I could eat my emotions away, and for a little bit it didn’t have much of an effect on me. I had gained a couple of pounds, but it wasn’t too bad. So I kept eating. And somewhere I lost control. I can’t say when exactly, but somewhere I became addicted to food as a mechanism to cope with the pain and sadness. Today, April 3 2016, I am officially at the heaviest I have ever been. I weigh a whopping total of 157.5 lbs.  Now that may not seem like a lot, and it may not actually be a lot, but mind you I am 5 feet 2 inches. I can also feel the heaviness in my body. My clothes that used to fit in August of 2015 don’t fit anymore. I’ve gained the majority of my weight in the past several months (20lbs+!!!!!).

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And it’s scary. I don’t want to keep turning to food for comfort. I don’t want to continue gaining weight. And it’s not just about looks. Of course I hate that I can’t fit into clothes I fit into not even a year ago. That sucks. And of course I don’t really like to feel my stomach with my boobs. Thats also not fun. But if this is what my body looks like on the outside, I don’t want to know what it looks like on the inside. I know that a lot of my health issues are stemming from my poor diet and lifestyle.

I put this out there for several reasons. 1) I want to be held accountable. I know I need to make serious changes, not just for looks but for my physical well being. 2.) Food addiction is real and I totally struggle with this. I have abused my body for too long. But I don’t want to hide it anymore. I am shedding light on this issue and praying I have the strength to cease searching for comfort in food and instead finding it in the Lord.

Rediscovering Health

I am sharing my journey in hopes that someone out there who feels defeated and alone knows they are not.

In fall of 2015, blood work showed that I had borderline high cholesterol, I was pre-diabetic, low vitamins and slightly low iron. Never in my life have I had the first two issues. I was blown away. At first I was really scared and nervous and knew I had to make a change. So I did….for about a couple of weeks.

And then the motivation slowly faded away.

I have been too scared to recheck my levels, as I know my diet has continued to be crappy. I know they are not going to be much different, and I am scared they’ve gotten worse. But now the motivation has come back, full force. Why? Well let me explain(and mind you I am sharing all this with my husband’s permission):

My husband and I have been trying (without too much effort) to have a baby since last year. No luck. Early this year, we have been trying with more effort with medical help. I have been taking medication to help me ovulate, as I have  issues due to PCOS and probably other hormonal imbalances. I had bloodwork done after taking this medication, and found out my progesterone levels were still extremely low. How disheartening. My body, the one the Lord had made, is not functioning the way it should. And it sucks. And I was really pissed at Him. Pissed that he would make me this way, pissed that He would allow this to happen. My one dream that I’ve had ever since I was a little girl was to have a family and be a **biological** mother. I know this may sound shallow and stupid, but I want my belly. I want the morning sickness, and the nausea and the backaches. I want to feel the flutter of a baby in my womb. But now it’s going to be difficult. It isn’t going to be an easy road, and if this second round of medication doesn’t work I will need to see a fertility specialist. WHO wants to hear that at the ripe age of 24? No one.

With my depression and anxiety, I have been close to just giving up. This process has already been disheartening, and I can’t imagine what the long road ahead of us looks like. But I have been encouraged–by my family, my friends, my sisters in Christ and of course my husband. Hope isn’t lost. Hope is never lost.

So as I have done research on low progesterone, TTC (trying to conceive), PCOS and endometriosis, I have found that diet has SO much to do with all of it. A healthy diet and healthy lifestyle of regular exercise are crucial in balancing hormones in those with conditions like mine. I think the Lord is really trying to say something, but hasn’t been able to get through to me. The bloodwork in 2015 didn’t do it. My rapid weight gain hasn’t done it. My last natural period (back in Nov 2015) hasn’t done it. But now…. learning just how difficult it’s going to be TTC with my current state of health is not going to be easy….that has done it. It’s time to get on track. To honor my body as a temple of the Lord.

So I will continue writing about my journey as a 24 year old with PCOS, Depression, Anxiety, and Endometriosis who is TTC. I am doing this because I am sure there are women my age, or even younger, who are having these struggles and feel absolutely devastated. Remember, it’s never too late to rediscover health.

My thoughts on Syrian Refugees

These are my thoughts on multiple levels regarding Syrian Refugees coming to America. I do not intend to hurt anyone, offend anyone, or judge anyone. If you think differently from me, that’s cool. I am not trying to argue, or to make you change your opinion, or shame you or judge you…. and I am sorry if I have come across this way by any of my earlier posts. But this is what I believe:

Spiritual: I am Christian, if you did not already know that. I believe in God, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I believe that Jesus came into this world to teach us how to live and died for us in order to reconcile us (humanity) to God. I believe the way that Jesus lived was an example for us Christians to live by–his 2 greatest commandments was to 1) love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind and 2) love your neighbor as you would love yourself. Jesus did much for the poor, the afflicted, the broken, the needy. He lived a sacrificial life–literally. At the end of his life, all the people he loved deeply and passionately spat at him, hit him, humiliated him…killed him. He knew his fate… he knew what needed to be done. And I am sure it wasn’t easy, I am sure it was hard to accept that fate. But he didn’t reject it; he carried his cross covered in blood and was hung on it til his heart stopped beating. He died so we could live. What greater story of love, sacrifice and grace is there? I know none. And all of this was not in vain….we can’t let it be for vain. Now of course I am afraid of the potential risk inflicted on our country by letting  refugees come into our country. I am not fearless. I am human. I know that in those thousands of people, there is a chance of a extreme ISIS member to be among them. Did Jesus not sense his traitor Judas among his disciples? Did Jesus not say there was a traiter among them several times? Yet was Judas “kicked” out of the 12 disciples? Did Jesus have him killed? No….he didn’t. So why, as Christians, fear this potential risk? Are our lives worth more than the potential of thousands of humans knowing Christ….to hear about God in a way they never had an opportunity before? To hear about JESUS in a way they never have before? Are our lives worth more than that of our neighbors? And quite frankly, are we so caught up in this life that we have forgotton about what lies ahead? The things we hope for, our faith, that reconciliation between heaven and earth that one day will be upon us? Have we forgotten that this life is fleeting…. that there are greater things ahead than any we leave behind? So why not take this opportunity, with much prayer for courage and love, and use it the way Jesus would.

Emotional/Realist: We are going to die one day. This fact does not escape us. Whether that is a natural death at the age of 90, a death due to cancer, a car crash, a gun shot wound, a bomb, an attack, drowning, choking, an illness….we will die someday. I personally do fear death…of how I am going to go. Of how my loved ones will go. I fear that by bringing in these refugees, my husband is going to die in an attack or my brother is going to die from terrorism. I am human and I have those fears. Those thoughts do cross my mind. But will I be consumed by these fears? No. Because honestly whether you like it or not, our end is not in our hands. How I will die is out of my control. Yes I could try and exercise to make sure I don’t die from heart disease…and that gives me some sort of faint feeling of control in my life. Yet tomorrow is not given….I am not assured I just won’t wake up tomorrow. So why let my fear of terror keep me from letting others actually LIVING IN TERROR stop them from finding refuge?

Economical: So I know there are very real economic issues of the thousands of people coming to our country. Where are they going to live? Are our taxes paying for them? How about welfare? We see them as a financial burden… and honestly yea it’s going to cost us money. Money that people say could be used for our OWN citizens our OWN PEOPLE. Duh. I get that. If you didn’t know this, I have a tremendous heart for the homeless population and would LOVE to see millions of dollars poured out for them to get housing, jobs, health care etc. But the difference I see is that “our citizens” are not in eminent danger. They do not cross oceans on rafts to possibly survive. You know things must be REALLY bad if you are willing to die to live. I do not know war and do not know what these people have been through, but I am sure it is incomparable to anything else. So yea they might cost us some money…. but I am sure that as they become productive members of our society, they will help our economy, our diversity, our skills, etc.

It’s kinda hard to differentiate the levels of my thinking, as ultimately they all connect. Obviously my strongest foundation is my belief in God and the sacrificial life of Jesus. But my intent in this is not to convert people, it’s not to abuse a vulnerable population and impose my beliefs on them. It’s living the way Jesus did on this earth, and not fearing my end in this life. Like I said, life is so short and anything can happen at any given moment. Think about Sandy Hook, VTech, robberies, etc. There is violence and terror in our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY. You may like to pretend you can control it…but you can’t. If these refugees need help, we should lead and help them. There are security measures in place…. they don’t just come in willy nilly. And fact of the matter is you cannot separate who is part of ISIS and who isn’t. It’s just not possible. Appearances are deceiving and there is no blood test to confirm “yes, they are positive for Isis.” I won’t let my very human and very real fear of death stop me from helping people in need. They need us. They need us. We can’t just turn them away. I won’t.

Black Lives Matter

What occurred June 17, 2015 in Charleston South Carolina really troubled my heart.

Maybe it’s been the accumulation of events–all the single events of racism against black people that have been occurring these past months. Maybe that has all built up inside of me. Maybe it’s because these nine people were inside of a church, the house of the Lord, a place of sanctuary and refuge. Maybe because it was quite literally the most peaceful place an inexplicable atrocity could have occurred.

I just don’t understand. What is wrong with this world? And what is so wrong with our society that stuff like this still occurs? What will it take for the nation, the government, the people to recognize that black lives matter? It’s more than just a catch phrase… more than a hashtag. These lives matter. They are worth so much. Will this turn into the next genocide? Will we revert to dark ages of total mass annihilation of a race or ethnicity because we are too ignorant? And are we (as in you the person who is reading this, and me) going to stand by and let this happen? I remember learning about the holocaust in middle school, and saying to myself “if that ever happens again, I will stand up.” But am I standing up now? Am I standing up for my brothers and sisters who are being persecuted and killed for the color of their skin? WHY DOES THAT EVEN MATTER? WHY THE HELL DOES THE COLOR OF SOMEONE’S SKIN DEFINE WHO THE HELL THEY ARE? I am so enraged right now. So angry and so sick to my stomach. It makes no sense to me.

When will this society learn that these people are beautiful. That they hold so much value. My best friend is black. And I don’t think my life would be the same if I hadn’t met her. Are our hearts so cold, so hard, that we forget there is a soul inside of that skin? That the only reason you have that fair colored sack that holds your organs together is because of genes…something you can’t even control???? When is this going to end?

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And things like this enrage me even more. WHY THE HELL DO WE TACKLE A BLACK YOUNG GIRL IN A FREAKIN BIKINI and simply WALK A WHITE GUY WITH A FREAKIN BULLET PROOF VEST WHO HAS KILLED 9 INNOCENT LIVES????? Why is this ok?? And blame it on mental illness? Honestly, this is bullcrap. This seriously needs to STOP. I am sick and tired of this crap. I am sick and tired of racism. I am sick and tired of losing beautiful lives, beautiful souls because of ignorance and hate.

I don’t know what needs to be done….what can be done. But this racism needs to stop. At the very least, it needs to be talked about…no more brushing it under the carpet. Not for me. I will continue to talk about this, continue to RANT. I won’t shut up. Because it’s real–and real lives are taken from this earth because of something as stupid and ignorant as racism. This was domestic terrorism. And remember how we stood together with the families of the people who were taken from us on 9/11? Well, now it’s time to stand together with our black brothers and sisters in this act of terrorism. Because their lives matter too.

Why choosing joy is important

This life is filled with troubles, my friends. I think we all know this.

Some have faced them from a young age, others just recently. But each of us knows what troubles look like and what troubles feel like. We cannot always be happy. We cannot always be smiling, laughing, fun. Sometimes we will be sad, sorrowful, depressed, anxious. And that is alright. It’s not bad to feel depressed. It’s not bad to feel sorrow or grief. These are human emotions that cannot be denied. But how do you choose joy in these moments? Isn’t that faking happiness?

I am learning that choosing joy doesn’t necessarily mean to fake happiness. Choosing joy means knowing that the trouble is temporary, that this life is fleeting and something more lies ahead. For me, it means knowing I am undeniably loved by the God of this universe, that he holds my life in his hand, and that one day I will get to meet him. Choosing joy doesn’t mean I will always smile or laugh; it simply means I have a peace of mind even when I am crying and sad.

My joy is Jesus. And he is my anchor. And it is my anchor that keeps me steady in rocky waters. He keeps me steady. I choose him over anything else. And that is important, because I won’t be shaken anymore. I used to give in to my emotions–indulge and dwell deep within them, making them my reality. I thought everything I felt was truth, which spiraled me down into that abyss of depression and anxiety. But now I have an anchor. And I choose that anchor to remind me, yes right now it is difficult…but there is much more. It’s a decision I make daily, an important one that keeps me going these days.

I know depression and other things that may happen to us are not decisions we make. We don’t decide to be anxious, we don’t decide to have loved ones die, or decide to have cancer. But despite this, we can choose Jesus in our trials. We can choose joy. ❀

This one is about peace

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33

There is much tribulation going on in the world. Even in our daily lives, sometimes all we see are struggles and obstacles. People we don’t get along with. Bumps in the road. Things that hurt us deeply.

We have reasons to lift our fists and fight–to fight against these people, these things that cause us much sorrow. We have reason to spit, to stomp on, to destroy the things that hurt us.

But what if we smiled. What if we turned the other cheek, and forgive the people that hurt us, move past the things that are difficult? What if we continue to love passionately and violently?

I am learning that sometimes, peace is worth more than “being right.” He is bigger and I will fall back on that Greatness when troubles come.