Sassy

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The “Crazy in Paris” Volume I Blog Notebook is complete. I will continue to add to it as I blog.

Last night, I went to my Weight Watchers meeting and had another loss. I’ll tell you the specifics once I reach my first goal, which is a 5% weight loss.

I did stay for the $2 Zumba class. Oh, my Lord. I’m used to a skimpy dressed Latino girl that moves so fast you can’t keep up. This was much much better. The class was taught by country boy Gene, who loves his Zumba. Who would have thought that in a small country town of Louisiana, I would find an enthusiastic Zumba instructor shouting out encouragement in a Cajun accent? It was awesome! So, I definitely have to add that to my rotation. I got such a kick out of it and before I knew it, I’d worked out. Yay!

The good thing about the meetings is you get ideas and found out what other people are doing. I’m somewhat new to town. I’ve never lived here before. My step dad is from here and my mom has lived in Louisiana for a good 20 years. I left for Florida for college and never looked back so I only came here for holidays and brief trips. Now, when my parents introduce me, people usually say they had no idea they had a daughter! They usually reply that I’ve been in my bedroom the last 20 years reading romance novels. Not that far from the truth. Anyway, this is my first time building a life here and my Weight Watchers meeting is the first step in meeting the locals in a significant way.

Last night, I learned there is an awesome yoga class in my town. It sounds like a restorative yoga, which I totally need. It’s $10/class inside one of the building of a local church. I’m adding that to the calendar for Tuesday nights and will keep you posted.

Our leader also gave us a recipe for “Sassy Water.” Hmmmm, that sounded familiar to me so I googled it. It comes from the Flat Belly Diet, which the link below briefly describes.

http://www.emaxhealth.com/1020/11/28124/sassy-water-and-flat-belly-diet-jumpstart-your-new-year.html

Sassy Water

2 liters water (approximately 8 1/2 cups)
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1 medium cucumber sliced thinly and peeled
1 medium lemon sliced thinly
12 small spearmint leaves

Beware of the Sassy Water! I haven’t tried it yet but I heard it has a diuretic effect.

I personally drink Yogi Detox tea if I feel bloated and it does the trick.

http://www.yogiproducts.com/products/details/detox/

For the upcoming week envision me running around drinking Sassy Water taking some yoga.

Being Mentally Ill

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The newest shooter at Fort Hood makes me sad but does not shock me with the way we treat our mentally ill in this country.

I kind of just rolled my eyes when I heard President Obama say that our sense of safety was broken again. First, there is no safe place. Thank you very much. Second, why not take care of your soldiers? Finally, maybe if we paid more attention to the mentally ill in this country, we could reduce these incidents of violence.

It is very easy for a mentally ill person to get lost. We basically have no treatment. They either lock you up or throw you on the street. You are left to figure everything out for yourself. Most people turn to drugs and alcohol. So many people keep their illness to themselves; too scared to get treatment. A lot of cases end tragically with the person killing themselves and/or others.

And, don’t get me started about how people are in such denial about what they are working with because we do nothing to lessen the sting of prejudice of being mentally ill. Not too long ago we used to lock people like me up in insane asylums. I have it in my own family where they are fruitier than a fruit cake but think they have no problem whatsoever. In fact, I’ve heard them say they don’t have what I have. Yeah, right!

I can’t imagine having this condition and having to keep it hidden, not having easy access to treatment or not having insight to your own personality. It’s impossible. You would just go crazy (like so many people have).

It would also be very hard to keep this hidden with a once a week doctor’s visit. My doctor assures me it’s just like any condition that requires a lot of attention but I know that’s not how the world sees it. I know a boss would fire me if I told them I needed to be off every Thursday morning for mental health treatment.

I’m not just on a rant. Today happens to be my mental health treatment day. Every Thursday, I see my psychiatrist, pick up medication and/or have a therapy session with my clinician. I am one of the lucky ones. I have a wonderful place to go and they treat me with dignity and without judgment. I do not have to keep my treatment secret from my community or my job. I can proudly walk into this clinic and I can get the help I need. It wasn’t always like that. And, it is not like that for everyone. I had to work to get to this point.

When I had my very first episode at 33, I was thrown in a regular hospital, given a bed and released when my family got to me. The psychiatrist simply said I may have bipolar disorder and that my work as an attorney probably stressed me out. The End. Within two days, I had another breakdown and was in an adult crisis unit. I literally thought the apocalypse was coming and was completely out of my mind. My brother was amazed. Adult crisis center!?! Did you know about them? We sure didn’t! Well, I’ll be damned.

I barely remember anything; mostly, my mom hugging me tight and praying. When I was released from there, I found myself right back in the facility within 24 hours. We went to a psychiatrist to get my medication right and he locked us in his office and called the police. He told my brother I needed to go right back to the adult crisis unit. We were so new to this and no one was explaining anything. The third time I got released, my family didn’t even hesitate. They bundled me into the car heavily drugged and unconscious and we headed straight to my home state of Louisiana and to my stepfather. I woke up in my parent’s guest room. My stepfather knew exactly where I was going. He had already asked around. And, our small town people were more than happy to help. They had figured this poor girl just got too much city life and needed some green grass under her feet. I wasn’t crazy at all and I was going to be just fine once our small town doctors helped me.

And, it was true. It is only here in this small town that I have gotten the treatment to stabilize me. I am truly blessed to be in a small town with a very knowledgeable mental health staff. And, they have been treating me for free while I fight to get Medicaid and wait for Medicare. I get the treatment and the medication I need without any problems. And, they care about me. I can pick up the phone and they will help me. My family is no longer left wondering what to do. It is not like this in the city. When we first went for help in Florida, the clinic was crowded, chaotic and confusing.

Here, my visits are like visiting gentle soft spoken friends.

My visits with my doctor are mostly the same. He is always concerned about my welfare:
• How are you sleeping? Any all nighters? Any racing thoughts?
• Are you active? Have you been taking walks? Going to the gym? You know these medications cause weight gain. You have to stay on top of it.

The goal: For me to be productive without obsessive. A friend once told me that if I decided to climb a mountain, I would pick Everest. Precisely. Who wouldn’t?

I told my doctor I was blogging and he asked, “With a website?” Yes, I told him, a real website. Then, he cautioned me not to get OBSESSED with my website. It’s true. That’s exactly who I am. I was already looking and researching the best books to teach me to be a better blogger. I am starting to look at other fancy blogs. He joked a little about me learning to code and would be making video games and websites next month. Well, kind of. But, I have a ton of other stuff to do or believe it or not, I would be. I assured my doctor that I was being very good. My blog was simple and this project was not getting out of hand. A friend told me yesterday it was very cute and I was warmed by that compliment.

I told the doc about my garden; how I practically tilled up my parent’s whole back yard and was growing a ton of vegetables. 1) for exercise 2) for fresh vegetables and 3) for a healthy diet. If you can’t find what you need, make it. I told him how I made an angel garden in the front. He was very happy with this. You can’t get an unhealthy obsession with gardening.

Oh, and we can’t forget the scrapbooking. That is still happening. I am now going through old pictures to do a few cute scrapbook pages of old times.

Then, we have my latest project. I have already left the doctor’s office, by the way. I did not want to bore him with all my projects.

The next project: I want to make a physical book of my blog. So, I got a notebook, some paper, and a printer cartridge. I’m going to print out the pages and make a book/scrapbook like thing. I haven’t fully developed the idea but I did want my thoughts in paper form that I could just open up as a book.

Well, that’s all folks. I know it’s a lot.

New Breakfast

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Since yesterday, I have a new breakfast.

I have added this to the rotation. Breakfast burrito out. Turkey sausage & eggs out. Cereal & Oatmeal in.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup of Honey Nut Cereal
• ½ cup of Almond Milk
• 1 packet of Quaker Oatmeal, Instant, Lower Sugar, Maple & Brown Sugar
• ½ teaspoon of natural peanut butter
• 1 banana

I eat the Honey Nut cereal first with the almond milk. Whatever milk is leftover, I use for the oatmeal and add the additional hot water to make ½ cup of liquid. Then, I add the ½ teaspoon of natural peanut butter and dice up the banana. It’s oatmeal doctored up.

Cereal would not be enough for me. Oatmeal would probably do it but it’s much better to be safe and make sure my breakfast carries me through the morning. This does and the calorie, fat, carb, fiber and protein ratio are reasonable.

Today, I’ll be getting my exercise by running around with my mother doing errands.

Happy Hump Day!

It’s a Beautiful Day

It’s a Beautiful Day

That’s what my Sr dad would say every single day. He would get up and immediately go to the front door. He would look out and without fail say, “Well, it’s a beautiful day today! What are you going to do?” And, then he would look at me like I should have some grand plan and I would look back with an empty look. I always told my brother, “what does he expect me to do?” (shrug)

It wasn’t until after he died that someone told me he stole that line from Mr. Roger’s.

Regardless, he taught me to appreciate the beginning of a new day.

Today is the beginning of another day. The day starts without mistakes. You don’t have to conquer the world but enjoy the gift that is today.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best in Collected Poems and Translations:

Write it on your heart
that every day is the best day in the year.
He is rich who owns the day, and no one owns the day
who allows it to be invaded with fret and anxiety.

Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could.
Some blunders and absurdities, no doubt crept in.
Forget them as soon as you can, tomorrow is a new day;
begin it well and serenely, with too high a spirit
to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

This new day is too dear,
with its hopes and invitations,
to waste a moment on the yesterdays.”

This morning, I was excited by something so very simple. I bought and planted a lemon tree into a huge pot and put it in our angel garden. I was just worried about it. Did I plant it right? Is the pot big enough? Is the location ideal?

Well, worry no more. As I went out today, I noticed it has little blooms on it.

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My rose bush is thriving as well.

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Our humble fig tree is blooming vivaciously.

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Everything is growing! At my house, we have surrounded ourselves with the most simplest of life and beauty. We are delighted by its every move.

This is so very different from my life two years ago. It occurs to me that around this time two years ago, I was obliviously living my life. I had my cute apartment perfectly decorated (but admittedly with no life in it except me). I was eating right, going to Crossfit, and working at an awesomely cushy job. But, I was surrounded by vultures and phonies. In about two weeks, my whole world would be gone when I am unexpectantly hospitalized one Saturday morning with a nervous breakdown. The doctor would tell me that the stress of my job had caused this. I think it was the stress of everything. Job, friends, extreme diet and exercise. . . Just none stop go. Someone told me I just went too far too fast. I got too close to the sun.

I ponder this: Would I trade the life I have now for that life?

It’s a tough call. That life was certainly easier but stress filled. I definitely had more money. But, I’m not lacking for anything today and have no stress. I’m surrounded by the people who love and have my best interest at heart. For a while, I kept trying to build my former life and that was just a disaster.

So yeah, if both lives were put in front of me with the pro’s & con’s of each, I hope I would be smart enough to pick this one. That thinking alone is a huge progress in my mental development and letting go of the past.

So yeah, it is a beautiful day. And, my day today will be filled with simple tasks. I have to do something with myself, water all our plants, and household chores.

Have a beautiful day!

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