Bloggers Talk About Mental Health Support Group on Facebook – Will you join us?

Bloggers Talk About Mental Health Support Group

Hello Fellow Bloggers,

I have been talking about my struggles with anxiety, depression and ,possibly, Bipolar Disorder Type II since I started this blog a year ago. I was never ashamed to put it out there. I mean, I’m lying. I was NO LONGER ashamed to put it out there. There was a lot of shame once.

There was also loneliness.

That is why I decided to start this Facebook group where we can all talk, support each other, vent, complain, share experiences and frustrations, all with people who DO understand.

I know many of you struggle with mental health issues as well, so I thought we could all be together in this. Will you be my shoulder to cry on? I will be very happy to be yours.

Look for the group, share with your friends who needed us as well.

Love you all.

Chey.

A reflection – “Biting more than I can chew syndrome”

Do you have it too?

This need to make a huge, exaggerated list of plans, that you need to get done as soon as possible? This need to be busy at all times, busier than anyone else? This striving for perfection that you cannot control?

Well, I do. I’ve always had it.

Before, I was not good at making things happening at all, so I wouldn’t care anyway.

With the years, experience and changes, I became productive and someone who can finish projects, really DO things, plan and accomplish. With these changes, came the stress and need to be super productive and organized. I can be, at times. I can multitask and actually focus on everything that I am doing, despite what people might say. I’m usually blogging, watching/listening to a YouTube video and texting, for example.

But, I have a tendency to overdo-it. To push myself too hard and to be my worst enemy.

My psychiatrist says this is one of my symptoms of Bipolar 2. Being extremely productive when well, entrepreneurial and independent from a young age. If this doesn’t describe me, I don’t know what does.

The thing is, I’m not going to give this away. I’m sorry. I don’t know who I am if I’m not busy and being productive. This might be part of some mental illness, but it is still me. It happens to be my favorite part about myself too. The type A, overachiever, “do-it-all-right-now” type of person. So I won’t give it up. Ever. But I have learned two things:

  1. I can’t be like this all the time. If I’m unwell, things will not get done and that’s okay. I will forget my to-do list and watch movies until I’m so bored I need to get back to it. I’ll rest, until I’m there again.
  2. It’s okay when things don’t get done. I know I tend to do huge lists and I’ll keep doing them, but I’ll be fine when I don’t scratch every single thing. It’ll get done eventually. I’m not going to stress about it.

This is the best compromise I can make with myself. I continue to be exactly who I am, but I relax and give myself some grace, when needed. It takes a ton of weight of my shoulders, and I don’t feel like I need to change, just adapt.

With that said, I’ll come back soon with my July wrap-up and my August goals 😉

Thank you so much.

My after vacation to-do list – August 16th to August 31st (Part II)

Hey there dear friends,

Is it me or a bunch of people are taking a break from blogging?

Maybe because it’s Summer? Or because everyone is a little tired?

I told you I would come back today with part II of my list of things I need to take care of before September. Yesterday was School and Work (Academics in general too) and today I’ll talk about personal and health related tasks. Some of them I’ve been putting off for a long time, you’ll be surprised to know I haven’t done some things I’ve been talking about for the last six months yet. Welcome to my procrastination side.

My to-do list –  From August 16th to August 31st:

Personal and health

  • I need to get on a sleep schedule. Right now my sleep is all over the place. I might sleep for 12 hours, if no one is there to wake me up. What are alarms for? Well, they’re useless if I can’t hear them at all and sleep through them. I need my sleep, I’m not one of those people who is happy and satisfied with 6-7 hours. I’ve done that and I can’t function properly. I need to be in bed with enough time to sleep 8-9 hours. I know that is too much for an adult, but it’s what I need. I might not sleep the 8 or 9 hours, but I need to be in bed for that long. I need to talk to my doctor and find a way to fall asleep faster, when I get to bed. I takes me 3 hours, sometimes. Other times, I need to get up and take an extra pill (prescribed by her, of course) or I can’t sleep at all. Problem is, the emergency pill is powerful. I take it at about 4 a.m if I’m not asleep by then, and then I sleep till 2 p.m, which is very bad. My doctor and I need to find a good balance and cocktail of pills so I can get in a good, healthy sleep routine. 
  • Schedule a dental appointment. I haven’t been to the dentist for about 3 years? Shame on me, I know.
  • You know that gynaecology appointment I’ve been talking about since I’ve started the blog? It hasn’t happen yet. I REALLY need to take care of that as soon as possible.
  • I need to go and do my blood tests and then schedule and appointment to show the results to my doctor. 
  • Schedule an appointment to check on my back.
  • Find a meal plan that works for me. I need to eat every meal at the same time.
  • Make sure my clothes and shoes are ready and in good condition for work. Also, make sure they’re in the right place and organized. Look at my fall wardrobe (Although it only starts on September 21st) and see what’s good and what I need to buy. Go to a thrift store for whatever I need. They’re great for sweaters and cardigans. 
  • Let my nails look half-decent. Which means stop biting them. Very hard.
  • Create a beauty routine schedule, example: Monday – hair mask; Saturday – shave legs;
  • Finish the two books I’m reading now and create and TBR list for the next few months.
  • Go and spend one afternoon with my grandmother.
  • Take my sister to the beach.
  • Maybe get my eyes checked.
  • Choose a back pain yoga video to alternate with my yoga for relaxation video.

Well, I think that is mostly it. Meaning, I need to organize my things before I go back to work, so I won’t struggle with stress and over doing.

What’s something personal or health related you should have been taken care by now but are procrastinating? 

See you tomorrow for part III.

xx

Chey

Day by Day – Health Journey (25.07.17)

Hey there my friends,

How is everyone? Is everything okay? Are you happy? I would love to know.

You may have noticed that the tittle seems odd. Different than “Health for Days Journey”. Well, that’s because I decided to do a little change. Instead of counting the days, I will tell you how I feel, each and every day, knowing that tomorrow is another day and that there’s always hope. It gives me peace to think of things slowly and day by day now, because that’s just my life. A mixture of good and bad days, a wave of white, black and grey, an intense adventure within my mind.

So, this is how we do it now.

I’ll obviously keep with my lists and tasks, but I’ll never feel bad for not doing them. I’ll listen to my body and understand when I I’m perfectly capable of putting in 8 hours of solid work or when I need to just stop and have a mental health day. Literally. When my mental health doesn’t allow me to do much, I’ll accept it. I’ll do something I want, something fun, instead of pushing myself. I’ll be good to me.

Let me tell you what I have for an update…

I’m still waiting for an answer from that job proposal. The lady said she would contact me at the beginning of the week. I’ll wait until tomorrow and then I’m calling. Do you do that after an interview? Call back if you don’t hear from them after a certain amount of time? I do.

I’ve been looking for and have a couple of proposals going on for online writing/virtual assistant work, which I’m excited about. I miss working and I love working from home and doing this kind of “computer/desk” work. I’m waiting on a final, detailed proposal from both of these projects. I won’t get rich from this kind of work but I can make some bucks.

My sister is spending two days with us, which is really fun, both for us and Rosa, who absolutely loves her.

The weather is nice and sunny and the wind is not as bad today as it been for the last few weeks. It’s good for laundry though.

I’ve been watching documentaries, Poldark, The Handmaids Tale and Game of Thrones. I keep watching movies as well, although I’m sure I won’t finish my list this month. That’s okay, I’ll finish in August. A few nights ago Rui and I watched The Truman Show (I hadn’t watched it before) and I did like it, although it didn’t become a favorite. I have this unjustified hate for Jim Carry, I have no idea why. I’ve also watched North and South a few days ago and will start Upstairs Downstairs tonight.

I keep supposedly reading “Death With Interruptions”  and I’m actually reading “The Handmaids Tale” with my blogger best friends. We have some kind of book club going on and I love it and them. I’m so glad I’ve met them and I just love them and their personalities so much. We have a lot of fun talking and saying nothing important or intelligent at all. Love you, girls.

I’m in love with those little corn and rice kind of crackers. They’re something too chew and have few calories, so like a healthier and not salty version of potato ships. I’m also in love with cottage cheese, my carrots and plain Greek yogurt.

We’ll do some major cheating and have some of my old very creamy pasta for dinner, because sister is here. Not that I don’t have been cheating lol. You know I do have my cereal sometimes and my coke and I went to McDonald’s with mother last week. As long as there’s a balance I’m fine.

Today I’m not doing much. I’m spending time with sis, working on a bunch of online tasks, doing laundry, and paying attention to my garden and plants in this heat and wind. I’ve watered them, moved one and I need to water the rest tonight. I have one load of laundry drying and another in the washer.

I guess there’s nothing much to tell. I must get a healthy snack now.

Oh, I tried celery for the first time a few days ago and almost threw up. It’s spicy and it tastes like curry or ginger. I just hate it. Damn it, I was looking for more veggies to eat raw. Do you have any suggestions? I usually go with carrots, tomatoes, peppers and cucumber. I want a few new options to add to my lunch.

Okay, I’m off now. I might talk to you later. No promises.

So much love.

Chey.

I miss her…

I’m so frustrated.

I want to blog but I can’t seem to get it done. What is wrong with me?

I used to blog every day. I’m not on a break anymore. I want to do it. I miss it. But then I don’t. It’s not even writers block, I always have something to say.

My day was not that excited. I had my psychiatrist’s appointment and both Rui and my mom went with me. Then I spend the afternoon with mom, going to McDonald’s, talking, laughing. Not that much, though. Not as much as we used to. I don’t seem to find so many things to laugh about these days. I also don’t really feel like talking so I’m definitely poor company.  Apparently I don’t like to be held or touched or hugged either, as of late. This one is new. It makes me sad. Will I ever be the person I used to be? The funny one, always telling a joke, talking way too much and hugging everyone. Maybe she’s gone. I hadn’t noticed until today.

I don’t know myself anymore, most times. I take 10 pills a day, I’m always exhausted, I don’t have a job, I’m often dizzy, my hands shake, I’m way bigger than I used to be. Until a few weeks ago everything was fine, I was a blogger. I was a good, successful one. Now I’m one who doesn’t feel like writing.

Please, tell me there’s someone else out there feeling the same way. Far from their own person. Unknown to themselves. A tiny bit of what they used to be.

Will I ever come back to myself? I wish I do. I miss her..

Cheila

Health for days journey – June 20th (Addicted to homemade frappuccinos edition)

Good morning everyone,

As you can probably tell by the title, I’ve been drinking way too many frappucinos. They’re so fresh and easy to make and yummy and I love them. Plus, since they’re homemade, their actual really cheap. I just need my Vienna Cappuccino powder, some milk and ice. They’re delicious and I’m in love but I need to control myself because the obviously have added sugar which is not good for me at all.

I’ve been drinking tonnes of water, which is good. I always aim for 1.5 l/2 l and I’ve been getting at least 1.5 l. Plus the frappuccinos, which are basically milk, I think I’ve been doing well in the liquids departments.

We’re also drinking lemonade with different flavors (we have a lemon tree) by making the lemonade and adding some Tang powder. It’s really refreshing.

Rui has made some tea with honey the other day and it’s also really good with ice.

Now you know everything about my Summer drinks. What is yours?

I would really like to study for a few hours today and make it my priority, but it’s quite hard to focus right now, to be honest. The medication doesn’t help at all. My memory and focus have given up on me. But I must try 🙂

I though I would study for the first part of the day and then leave my chores to be done closer to dinner time, at about 5 p.m. If I get to my chores first, then they drag and I don’t study, so I’ll try doing it the other way around.

This is my to-do list:

  • Finish folding all of the laundry and putting it away;
  • Do some gardening, focus on watering and maybe planting some new seeds. I have a few empty pots and beds;
  • Make dinner;
  • Read at least 30 pages from the book I’m trying to finish;
  • Take out the recycling;

And I won’t make any more plans, because I really want to try to focus on studying.

What are your plans for today?

Thank you for reading!

Hugs and kisses.

Cheila

Health for days journey – June 19th (update)

Good evening everyone,

First of all I would like to thank you for your kind words regarding my recent diagnosis. It’s really not as bad as you think. I’m fine. I’m not happy that I have to take a pill for the rest of my life but, if that’s what it takes to be healthy and happy, I would take 10 (which I currently do, but it won’t always be like this). I will do a full post to explain more about Bipolar Disorder Type 2 but, until then, and because I noticed that some of you are worried about me (which makes me feel loved and I thank you for that), you could read an article or two, so you can understand that it is not as bad as type 1 and that I could be much worse. I

‘m feeling positive and trying not to let it get to me. I know I’m sick right now and that’s just what I have to deal with, so I will. But I’m fine and happy and being well taken care of. Don’t you worry about me, please.

It broke my heart that my best friend called me from Vienna crying because she was worried about me and wished she was closer.

(Catarina, you’re a true friend and I love you with all my heart and miss you every single day. I know you’re reading this because you always do)

Please feel free to ask me ANY questions, I have no issues in answering them and I’m happy I’m strong enough to talk about this. Maybe I’ll help someone realize that they might need to get checked or that they need help. Maybe I’ll make someone feel less lonely. If I reach one person, I’ll be happy.

I’m sorry if you don’t like to read about mental illness, some people are so scared of it that they even refuse to acknowledge it and others are bothered by the subject, because it tends to be quite negative. But this is my blog and I will mention my struggles and be honest and open.

I would also like to update on the situation in my country and thank you so much for your prayers. We are doing better, thankfully. The number of deceased is now 64. The injured count has come up quite a bit, from 62 yesterday to over 100. The fires are being controlled and I don’t think any villages or homes are in danger at this point.

We are an amazing country and we’ve pulled up our sleeves and began to donate money, food and water (some people have even donated clothes, furniture, construction materials, appliances) and doing everything we can so this people can get back on their feet as soon as possible. We have donated so much that it got to a point where we were told to stop sending supplies, as the fire departments didn’t have enough space to store so much food.

Everyone has come together to help and it makes me so happy. We’ll be fine, although we are mourning those who lost their lives. The suffering their families are going through, we can’t take away, unfortunately.

I’ll update you on my to-do list now:

  • Take out the recycling; – Oops, I didn’t, it was too hot to go up the street;
  • Do some gardening. I have two new plants and I need to plant a few more seeds, along with moving and transplanting some plants; – Again, too hot. I did wet my plants a little during the afternoon so they can endure the heat and I’ll water them in a few minutes;
  • Do some laundry. – Did two loads;
  • Get Betty to work on some dishes; – She did;
  • Cook dinner; – I did;
  • Fold and put away all the laundry; – Not all of it, but yes;
  • Bathe Rosa and give her the flea medicine. Clean her ears; – Mr.R did this;
  • Study for Classic Ancient History for at least 3 hours, with as many breaks as I need; – I haven’t touched it. My new medication is making it really hard for me to focus on studying and reading but I’ll try to study later tonight, maybe I’ll be able to get into it.
  • Drink enough water, 2 l as it is extremely hot; – I did;
  • Do my yoga; – Haven’t yet;
  • Read blogs and respond to comments; – Will do so now;
  • Get my materials ready for tutoring on Tuesday; – I’m actually not doing it, as the lady who was supposed to contact me (my friend’s boss), didn’t;
  • Read 30 pages of the book I’m trying to finish; – I’ve read a few but I don’t think I’ve read 30 pages;

It didn’t go that bad, considering my doctor has just increased my medication and introduced a new medicine. This change in medication, along with the depressive period in itself, take away my energy and make me really tired, sleepy and week. What I do is alternate my tasks with little naps or laying down for a while.

I’ll finish with a few random photos because I know you like them.

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Thank you so much for reading!!

Hugs and kisses.

Chey

Health for days journey – June 19th (Update and back with my lists edition)

 

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Good morning everyone,

I thought it was time to back into my health for days journey, both the posts and the journey itself. It happens that I’m currently on a relapse moment. You know I suffer from anxiety and depression and am currently home, trying to take care of myself in order to get better. I’m being followed by a psychiatrist and a psychologist and medicated for my mental illnesses.

What you don’t know, because I wasn’t sure yet, is that I’ve been also diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder Type 2.

My doctor had been suspecting for a while but now we’ve been able to reach a final diagnoses. I will write a full post explaining what it means for me to live with this illness and what it consists of but, for now, just let me tell you that we are not crazy, don’t take our clothes off and scream in public or change our opinion in a matter of 5 seconds. Those are all myths. What it means is that we go through emotions in a different way and could alternate between periods of being well and periods of being severely depressed. These can be triggered by a specific event or not and can last between days and months.

I’m currently going through a low period, that started about a month and a half ago, when something happened to a family member. Do you remember my mentioning this? Well, it meant a point of breakdown for me and I have yet to recover from it. But I’m fine.

Thankfully, I’m one of those people who are aware of their mental issues and has no problem in seeking help and treatment. I know my body and mind very well and I knew something was off from that moment on. I can be intellectually aware that I’m going through a crisis but I can’t obviously avoid it emotionally.

I’m just telling you that because I did start this blog to talk about my mental illness and I’ve always promised to speak up about it and be open about my struggles. I’m sorry if you don’t like to read about such topics, but it is what it is.

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This being said, I’m fine. Yes, I’m going to one of my low moments but I’m getting treatment and counselling and everything will be fine soon. I’ll update you on everything else now.

I know my dates for my final exams already, that being 6th of June, 12th of June and 14th of June. It will be so much fun to have two exams on the 5th, one on the 6th and two on the 7th. Poor me. But I’ll be fine. My doctor says go for them.

I didn’t do most of the thinks I wanted to do this weekend, simply because of my increase in medication, which makes me sleepy and groggy for a few days. I’ve been through it a few times, all is well.

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I’ve realized that things run smoothly if I accept that, sometimes, I’m just too ill or too tired to do something. I’ll get to it eventually and if I don’t, well, I do enough for someone who is currently battling health issues. Just trying to give myself grace and keep positive.

This is going to be a different week, actually.

I’ve agreed to work for 6 hours (3 on Tuesday and 3 on Wednesday) as a substitute tutor in a place where my friend works as one. They need someone for those days and she isn’t available so she asked me if I could replace her and I said I would. I’ll be tutoring 9th grade Portuguese and English.

I also have 3 therapy appointments, because I haven’t gone in a long time and I need to get back to it and fill her in on my most recent diagnosis and the related events.

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Today I plan to:

  • Take out the recycling;
  • Do some gardening. I have two new plants and I need to plant a few more seeds, along with moving and transplanting some plants;
  • Do some laundry.
  • Get Betty to work on some dishes;
  • Cook dinner;
  • Fold and put away all the laundry;
  • Bathe Rosa and give her the flea medicine. Clean her ears;
  • Study for Classic Ancient History for at least 3 hours, with as many breaks as I need;
  • Drink enough water, 2 l as it is extremely hot;
  • Do my yoga;
  • Read blogs and respond to comments;
  • Get my materials ready for tutoring on Tuesday;
  • Read 30 pages of the book I’m trying to finish;

And that is it. Would you like to share your tasks for today?

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Thank you so much for coming by and you deserve an award if you’ve read the whole post, because it’s long.

Hugs and kisses.

Chey

P.S. This post is dedicated to my poor hydrangeas, that are hating and really suffering with this heat wave. Most hydrangeas that I see around the neighborhood have died because of the super hot temperatures and most of mine are holding up, so they deserve a shout out.

P.S.S. It’s so hot the pine cones are getting unglued and falling from our pine tree. It’s like a pine cone shower and I’m always afraid I’ll get one in the head and die. Rui says that he has never heard or read about anyone dying because of a pine cone incident so I guess I’m fine.

P.S.S.S All of the above are stock photos. These are my actual plants.

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