364, Muffin tops and camel toes.

It’s the new year and for many off us, that means RESOLUTIONS. Most of these will centre around health and fitness goals.

That can only mean one thing. Crowds of women flocking to gyms, squeezed into lycra. Don’t get me wrong, I admire their gusto. Today I sweat amongst them. But OH dear Lord!! I wish this lycra fad would end. I’m blind as a bat, but even my eyes gasped at the muffin tops and camel toes!!! I dread to think what someone with 20/20 vision would be subjected to.. Having said that, keep it up ladies, may 2020 bring you fitness and good health.

I’m starting the year at 59.15 kg. It’s a figure that does not sit well with me. I’m sporting muffin tops off my own. I feel grotesque. I can sense a working out frenzy coming. I don’t do things by half, it’s not in my black and white nature.

Let’s hope I can stay in control. Gym sessions, will at least, reduce my need to purge.

Loopy x

130. The Fabulous Four.

I had psychology today. I still get a sense of calm walking back into the hospital. Part of me wanted to stroll onto my old stomping ground, head to the dining room and make a cup of tea, just so that somebody would ask me; “Are you o.k?” It’s clearly had a lasting effect on me. I’ve been out now for 2 weeks and I really really miss the amazing staff.

I do love my psychologist though (not in a creepy way).  I’m limited to five more sessions with her, which is scary. Hopefully I’ll be in a better place by the time our therapeutic relationship ends.

Today I was tasked with yet more homework which I believe is worth sharing with you all. Depression tends to make us less active, less inclined to care for ourselves and less likely to do things that lift our spirits and so the vicious cycle goes. I’m certainly struggling in this regard, and if I didn’t have a little toddler shouting at 8 am every morning, I honestly don’t think I’d get up.

I’ve been introduced to “Activity Scheduling”. Basically its important that in any given week we schedule activities that incorporate the “Fabulous Four”

  1. Pleasurable Activities.
  2. Activites that we get a sense of achievement from.
  3. Physical activities.
  4. Sociable activities.

I’m not so good at this, and both my CPN and psychologist are trying to get me to do more of 1, 2 and 4, with the emphasis on 4. I’m nailing 3 though if that’s any concilation. Indeed I’ve just come back from the gym.  50 minutes of cardio followed by the leg lift challenge, which is continuing to stave off self harm (my stomach muscles burn instead).

I’m really struggling to find activities that I find pleasurable.  At 32 years old (33 soon), you’d think over the years I’d have developed interests but actually I think as the years have crept up on me, I’ve become increasingly reclusive, scared to try new things and lacking in motivation. For these reasons I’m also struggling to become a more sociaiable being. I make plans and cancel them by text.  I look up classes but never enrol. I have good intentons but never follow through.

Changing this particular behaviour on the path to better mental health, is perhaps the most challenging off all.  I’m afraid of exposing myself to new people, in all my pale, squinty, odd looking, albino glory.  I’m afraid of trying new activites or challenges for fear of failure due to my poor vision or just incompetence. When you hate yourself and all your flaws, it’s very difficult to present yourself to new endeavours.  I don’t think we’ll fix this in 5 more sessions!.

This week I will at least try to make plans with existing friends, and give serious thought to what I can do.

The Fabulous Four is something that we all should strive for.  If you’re interested in reading more about it; check out; https://www.childline.org.uk/globalassets/info-and-advice/your-feelings/feelings-and-emotions/depression-and-feeling-sad/activity-plan-the-fabulous-four.pdf

You’ll need to copy and paste.  It’s a safe link, I promise. 

Loopy x.


127. 2 in a row!

It was a pleasure to blog yesterday as I was documenting good spirits. It’s even more of a pleasure today as I’ve now had 2 good days in a row!!  It’s been quite a while since that has happened. Again I don’t know why. Maybe its the meds, or maybe I’m just slowing readjusting to life outside the walls of the psych ward, but whatever it is; it feels good.

Today has also been a productive day in terms of taking steps to recovery and returning to lifes daily rituals.  I took little man to nursery this afternoon.  It went much better than I had anticipated.  He was a little clingy, but there were no tears or tantrums and I was even able to leave him for a little while.

We then braved the commute home during rush hour, squashed like sardeens into the sweat box that rumbles along tracks and stops at every hole in the hedge. I put headphones on little man today and allowed him to watch cartoons on my phone.  I never wanted to be one of those parents that shoves a scrren in front of their toddler at every oppertunity, but today it worked.  He was content for the entire journey and more importantly my heart rate stayed within normal limits. I guess if it makes my commute less stressful then it’s worth it.

I also had coffee today with my closest work confidante.  It was lovely to see her again, and I don’t have to hide who I am with her which is such a relief.  We chatted about all sorts but she also mentioned that another colleague is off sick at the moment.  Off course I don’t wish illness on anyone, but I was just a little happy to hear its not just me landing people in the crapper, picking up my responsabilities.

I also know that I have someone I can talk to when i return who understands the difficulties of mental ill health, the challenges of returning to work, and she’s someone who will take the piss out off me at every oppertunity and will help me to see the funny side off all lifes dramas!.

I’ve just come back from the gym and my endorphins are pumping. OH has put little man to bed, the house is peaceful and I’m going to have a cuppa.

Loopy x.

126. Good days sneak up on me.

Good days kind off sneak up on me. Like the last taxi home after night clubbing; I’m pleased to see them.  Today was just that; a good day.  I don’t know why I have them or what triggers them. Little man was in good spirits today, but not without his tantrums. I took those in my stride.

I did laundry, took Little man for groceries, listened to music and caught myself humming frequently. I had a shower (2 infact) which is always a good sign. The second shower was just now after a 12 km cycle.

I’ve not been doing my psychology homweork (being compassionate towards myself) as much as I should have, but I have the will to do some now.

Tomorrow is another big step for me. It’s one that I’m anxious about.  I’m taking Little man to nursery.  I’ll have to brave the train commute and the uphill walk and the weather.  Fingers crossed, it’s another good day.

Loopy x.


124. Grazed and grazed and grazed some more.

I couldn’t stop eating today. I couldn’t cope very well with Little man and to compensate I just grazed and grazed and grazed some more. It would be forgivable had it been healthy options, but oh no today was all about the carbs and fat.

I really struggled today.  People unaffected often wonder what depression is and how it manifests.  I guess it varies by individual but for me today; it was wanting to cower in the corner and cry.  It was wanting to lock my Little man in his room, so that I couldn’t hear his crying.  It was wanting to binge.  It was wanting to self harm. It was wanting to ring my CPN but not having the courage to..  It was wishing I had succeeded weeks ago in my attempt to end it all, and thinking about how I could succeed in future. It was feeling relieved when my friend text to cancel our coffee date. It was drinking black tea because I couldn’t drag myself from the house to purchase milk. It was thinking about how I’ve ruined my career and how I can never face my boss and colleagues again. It was feeling thankful when OH arrived home from work just in time to carry Little man to bed.

What is recovery?  I guess it’s dragging myself to the gym despite my awful day, it’s resisting the urge to self harm and it’s being hopeful that tomorrow will be better.

Loopy x.

121. Feeling rather buoyant.

Today was a good day.  Little man was in good humour most of the day. I also accomplished many everyday tasks, that are often roadblocked by my depression. Little man was bathed and played with, laundry was done, dinner was made, floors were vacumed, and to finish off the day, I’ve just come back from the gym.

20 minutes cross trainer, 2000 m on the rower, 15 minutes bike, and I finished off at home with my leg raise challenge.

I’m tired now.  But it’s a worthwhile tiredness.

Remember today Loopy x.

Loopy x.

119. Breathing in light, and releasing negativity

I pumped those pedals hard tonight.  It didn’t matter in which direction I travelled the wind was hitting me square in the face. I didn’t want to stop; I’m not sure why.  I had to return home though, given recent history and the fact that I usually only do around 30 minutes, I thought OH might start to worry. 45 minutes against the wind was good though.  I tried something a little different tonight; something my psychologist had mentioned to me; “Breathing in light and releasing negativity”.  It’s dark out so I breathed in the orange glow of street lamps and breathed out a heavenly white beam (it was easy to visualise with my bike light glistening against the tarmac.).  Thinking about it; I should probably have breathed in the heavenly beam but it kind off worked anyway.  I’m not very good at these abstract methods of finding inner tranquility, but I need to practice. The benefit tonight, was that whilst focusing on light; I wasn’t really thinking.  I wasn’t self destructing or harbouring thoughts of worthlessness, I was merely focusing on breathing light. Off course once I stopped my head cogs picked up pace again.  I do however, need to become more comfortable with these abstract concepts.

The next few weeks wiil be all about finding a compassionate self, and the excercises are all a bit abstract and uncomfortable for me.  My psychologist will be using good old fashioned “chair work”.  I will be encouarged to engage in dialogue with an imagined person (possibly my younger self, or something symbolic such as my inner critic) or indeed I may have to assume the roles of both parties in a conversation.  The emphasis will be on self reflection and change, in the hope of removing (or at least reducing) my tendancy to self criticise and ruminate.

Before I go; Night 2 of the “Keep Sally Up” challenge has killed me.  I wanted to self harm earlier, but I’ve no need to now by abs/flabs are burning.

Loopy x.

117. Clarity of vision and leg rasies.

Despite struggling to get out of bed this morning, today has actually been a slightly more upbeat day. Another tick on my road to better mental health, was having my eyes tested today. I’ve been having headaches for months and I think it is down to eye strain.  My vision is 6/38.  Basically what the average person can see from 38 metres away, I can only see within 6 metres away.  Pretty poor really but for the first time in my life; there was a noticable difference with lenses. I can’t see any more lines on the chart but with lenses the letters became a little sharper.  So I’ve purchased glasses, with reactions lenses to help filter light and glare treatment to ease the strain when viewing computer screens. Hopefully this will be a positive move.  I’m also going to ask my GP for an opthalmologist referral so that I can be fully evaluated and properly registered in this country.

My little man also filled me with joy today.  He’s grown up so much whilst I’ve been away.  Now he loves to wrestle, be tossed around, be michievious and just generally play. I’ve enjoyed his company today which is a massive leap forward.  I’m also a little less concerned now about ASD, having spent much more time with him.  He certainly has his quirks and I want to get him reviewed but I’m more optimistic that he’s actually going to be fine.

On a different note, my slightly eleavated mood has given me the push to try the “Bring Sally Up” challenge.  This was mentioned to me; by my stalker (an excellant support worker) whilst I was still an inpatient.  Look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about.  I’d never heard of it either.

It’s one of those workouts that looks so simple but……………

I tried it first with push ups; EPIC FAIL!! (I’ve always been terrible at push ups)

I then did it with leg raises, and I could certainly feel it. I will continue with the leg raises for a while until my core is stronger. It’s a great little challenge though as you can do it with most excercises (sit ups, squats, planks, free weights etc etc).  It will only take around 3 minutes out of your day, and you get a decent work out.

I’m glad I’m ending today more upbeat and optimistic. Tomorrow will be my first day at home alone all day with Little man.  I’ve been dreading it since discharge but tonight it doesn’t seem so scary.

Keep it up Loopy.

Loopy x.