Sunday, October 14th, Day Forty, the Day I Started to Love It!

Sunday, October 14th, Day Forty, the Day I Started to Love It!

 

Morning

 
If you wish to join this journey from the start, go to Day One.
 
There is snow on the ground, and it is cold.  I managed to get about two hours more sleep after waking this morning.  I do not know what my weight is.  I can wait another day to find out.  I have eaten two Granny Smith apples and almond milk creamer with coconut this morning.  I topped it off with a B-complex pill (B-Right) and Amazing Grass original green superfood for additional vitamins and minerals.  [Later I added a chicken drumstick for protein.]
 

Amazing Day

 
What can I do to make this an amazing day?  I do not feel nausea or hot brain at present.  I could go visit my neighbor.  I want to make it special for her, rather than just dumping problems on her.  Thursday, I told my neighbor across the hallway that I had bipolar.  She said a family member had it, and that it had been hard for him.  I hope it was the right time to tell her.  It seems like there never is a right time to divulge that information.  Some people get scared that I am going to have an episode right there in front of them.  Episodes do not come on that quickly.  Symptoms gradually build.  At least that is how it works for me.
 

Rest

 
I can hardly believe it is Day Forty already.  To join this journey from the beginning, start with Day One.
When I started this journey, I had been married exactly three weeks.  Now I have been married eight and a half weeks.  The goal of this journey is to lose fifteen pounds without sacrificing mood or energy.  Perhaps the biggest challenge so far is getting enough rest.  Sleep is key to good mood and energy.  No amount of good nutrition can compensate for failure to get adequate rest.
 
It appears that sleep and meditation are both important.  Meditation induces alpha brain waves.  I may want to go deeper, with longer theta wave lengths, and try self-hypnosis as well.  Sleep goes even deeper into delta waves.  Each of these three may be very important.
 

Hypomania

 
As a prelude to mania, I get into a state of hyperactivity called hypomania.  I can be very productive during that time, but I drive myself to exhaustion.  I have been there or on the verge of that throughout much of the past five and a half weeks of this journey.  It appears that I am starting to break into sheer exhaustion without escalating into full-blown mania, for which I am very grateful.  I just need to recover now with rest rather than experiencing what I call an episode or what some people call a nervous breakdown.
 
I do not know that my husband understands the mania/depression cycles I go through and what I need to do to keep from totally breaking and ending up in the hospital.  I usually get through each cycle okay if I sleep and hold fast to my medication without tampering with it.  The danger is that I could come down into depression.  Last night, I started to feel depression while thinking about my husband’s condition.
 
Much as I would like to be hyper-productive, that will not work for me.  Frankly, it probably does not work for anyone, but I am like a canary in a coal mine.  I am the first to break from trying to push too hard.  I just called the rehab center to let my husband know I will not be there today.  I am shaking a bit.  I kind of know what I need to do to prevent a nervous breakdown, but I am not expert at communicating that to my husband.  However, he is always telling me to slow down, so he has seen the tendency in me to gun it really hard.  He may not understand though that just getting to and from the rehab center is very hard for me.
 

Hypnosis

 
Now that I have some space in which to recover, what should I start with?  Meditation might be first.  Then again, hypnosis might be the thing.  I have an app called Hypnosis by Joseph Clough.  In his British accent, he has hypnosis recordings for many purposes.  He also has a great deal of free material, much of which I have listened to.  I could listen to a hypnosis for weight loss or driving anxiety.  Here is a possibility I have not done before:  deep relaxation.
 
The snow is coming down in big flakes.  I relaxed down deep to at least alpha and maybe even theta waves for about an hour.  I tried to return to my writing right after the recording, but my body wanted to relax more, so I did.  Now it is time to get some lunch.  I am not all that hungry.  Maybe I will go a while without eating and eat with my hunger drives rather than the clock.  I am yawning.  I hope I am not putting you to sleep.
 

Afternoon

 

Hydration

 
Rather than eating, I think I will pay attention to my hydration needs.  Those of you that follow me know that my medication causes a condition requiring a lot of extra fluids.  I have estimated that I need at least six liters a day.  The rehab center keeps containers of ice water for the visitors topped with some combination of watermelon, cucumbers, pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, lemons, and limes.  That helps while I am there.  I have my Travel Berkey water filter here.  It seems like I am always draining it dry.  Fortunately it filters fairly quickly and refills.
 

Blood Pressure

 
For several days I have not checked my blood pressure.  It is 128/78, which is pretty good considering I am not using medication.  The meditation/hypnosis session may have brought it down.  It can do that.
 

Music

 
I put on an Enya CD.  Her music is smooth and relaxing.
 

Independence

 
It is my hope that when my husband returns home that he will be more independent and not interrupt me as much.  I do not mind serving him, but being on constant high alert does not appear to be good for my mental health.  We will have to see what happens.  He nearly drove me crazy at times with his need for prolonged attention before we got married, which resulted in me breaking it off with him, but then I always went back.
 
Time Space
Most men I have known in the past were more distant, not giving me the attention I wanted.  With my husband, it has been just the opposite.  I am appreciative about the attention he gives me, but sometimes I want my space.  Perhaps I just need to express that more effectively.  My special needs may be a result of my mental health condition.
At one point, while we were still in Utah, he said he was willing to go to couples counseling.  That did not happen, which is unfortunate because we could have possibly addressed this.  He describes his second wife as being too distant and independent.  He may end up finding me, his third wife, to be the same way.  I do not really want that to happen.  I want him to be accepting of my need for space and to give it to me graciously as a gift.
 
Perhaps, especially now that I have spelled this out for myself, there is still hope of addressing this.  I can give him the gift of attention at times, and at times he can give me the gift of space.  There must be a balance that will work.  Perhaps the real possibility that we will have to live separately for five years may provide a framework to work this out.
 
Area Space
Years ago, I had hoped to live in a house large enough to designate some rooms as his or hers.  I expressed that idea to my husband, who was then my boyfriend, and he did not want that kind of separateness.  Right now, the kitchen is kind of mine.  The rocking chair area of the living room is kind of his.  The computer area is kind of mine.  He has a computer too but does not use it.  He even lets me use his monitor as a second screen.  Maybe I have crowded him out of his space!  There is hope though, I think.
 
Like a Baby
I have heard that some divorces occur at retirement time because the man and woman cannot adjust to being together all the time.  My husband is undergoing physical therapy.  I am seeing a counselor.  We can address these adjustment issues.  I seem to be having more of a problem than my husband.  He has not complained of having me around all the time.  In fact, he keeps saying, “I just want to go home and be with you.”  I am thinking, “I want you home, baby, but I want you to be more independent, so I can have some space.”  That is just it.  He is like a baby, but he is a baby who does not grow up.  Babies at least try to be independent.
 
Ability to Contact
Only time will tell how much independence my husband will regain.  My hopes are up.  I hope I have not been so distant with my husband that he does not know I love him.  I try to call him at the rehab center, but the phone in his room just rings and rings.  When I visit him, he tells me someone has been trying to call him.  I say that it is I.  He never answers the phone.  I think he has to move further than he is able to get to the phone.
 
When he was home, I could not get him on the phone when I was out either.  Not knowing anyone else in this area, I felt vulnerable not having anyone I could contact if there was a problem.  Thank God for AAA.  AAA saved me a number of times before I came to Colorado.  There has been only one time so far where I had a difficulty while out that required my husband’s attention.  I was gone so long he ended up calling me.  I had gotten lost, and my GPS had stopped working.  He bought me a new phone.
 
I miss my husband today, but I am grateful for the space in which to do this analysis.  My left-brained brain has a strong need to analyze things.
 
I got lunch and a snack.  I prayed yesterday about reconciling my values with my husband’s.   That may involve a process.
 

Prayer

 
Dear Lord,
 
Publish?
Now that I have written all this material, should I erase it?  Hide it somewhere?  Or will it help some other struggling soul?  Should I go ahead and publish it?
 
Yes, I hear.  Why, Lord?  Why are my problems important to other people?  I so much wanted to become perfect before I started publishing.  That has not happened at all.  I wanted to figure out how to stay stable without the help of prescription meds.  Other people have done it.  That did not happen for me.  I even determined that I needed to stay on my prescription meds, but does it have to be that way for the rest of my life?  I want to have all the answers.  My posts are full of a lot of questions.
 
Questions
Is that just it, Lord?  Are my questions more valuable than my answers?  What we ask ourselves is such a big determiner in our lives.  I explore this topic in my book, Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood.
 
What other questions do I need to ask myself, Lord?
 
Sodium
Just now, I almost opened a bag of potato chips I ordered for my husband.  I stopped myself, realizing that what I need is salt.  I ate some salted chicken breast instead.  That satisfied my need.  My medication increases my need for sodium as well as potassium.
 
Lord, I am grateful for my knowledge, but I keep becoming aware of how little I know.  I keep learning as fast as I can, but the Universe is so vast, it cannot all fit in my head.  What would you have me turn my attention to next?
 
Hope
Lord, I want to help my husband to be more independent.  He has trained specialists helping him.  He seems to accept that he needs to be where he is.  How can I be accepting of what is and still have hope?
 
Lord, you have personally taught me about hope.  A neighbor in Utah prayed for me that I would pay attention to hope.  One person said that depression is nothing more than the loss of hope.  Would it be beneficial for me to keep hoping I can get off prescription meds?  Or is it better to hope that I will live a happy life while on them and that they will always work?  Is it better to hope for things that have a higher probability of happening?
 
Side Effects
You know, Lord, that my meds have some serious side effects.  However, most of them have a remedy or at least a partial remedy.
1.
I get really thirsty.
I can drink more water and go to the bathroom more.
2.
I need more potassium and sodium.
I can track that with Cronometer, keep the two in balance, and control my high blood pressure.
3.
I cannot have children.
I am past menopause anyway.
4.
I get eczema.
I can use coconut oil topically and evening primrose oil internally to prevent it.
5.
I gain weight.
I can record all my food and even lose if necessary.
6.
I get extremely tired.
I can go to bed early and get more rest.
7.
I have hand tremor.
P5P, activated vitamin B6, can make it disappear.
8.
I have hypothyroid.
I can take Armour Thyroid by prescription.
9.
My TMJ gets worse.
I can reduce Risperdal with the doctor’s okay.
10.
My gums get bad from too little saliva.
I can use Biotène® toothpaste for saliva and essential oils to heal the gums.
11.
I am sensitive to the sun.
I can stay out of it and get vitamin D in capsules.
12.
I am sensitive to cold and heat.
There is heating and air-conditioning, not to mention warm clothing.
 
Maybe not all of these accommodations are the best.  I keep looking for better.  I end up being an indoors person.  Is that good?  Most of the men I have encountered call themselves adventurers.  They would be happy to have me along, but the weather is too extreme for me; the adventurous conditions are too hard to live with.  I cannot carry enough water in a canteen, track my food on the road, or go long hours without rest.  What if there is no bathroom nearby?  My husband too was an adventurer.  He is kind of an indoors person now, kind of like me.
 
Sunday Night Activity
Lord, I have just returned from a Sunday Night Christian Fellowship activity.   My neighbor invited me to go with her.  We took the shuttle; it was the first time for me.  She introduced me to many residents of this retirement complex.  We watched a movie about Saint Augustine that was very interesting.  Upon returning, my neighbor prayed with me for me and my husband.  She gave me some microwave popcorn to enjoy and a scarf and jacket to wear.
 
Now I am back.  I feel alone.  Come be with me, Lord, so I am not alone.  Do I belong here?  I felt a little self-conscious being the youngest in the crowd.  Tonight, I met a man who is more than 100 years old!
 
How Can They Force Me Out?
It would all be wonderful if I was welcome here, but the management wants me out.  My step-son said he and his spouse are negotiating with the management and will let me know of any news.  Until then, my future is uncertain.  My neighbor said she knows of no exceptions to the age rule, and she has been here nine years.  It might take a miracle for me to be allowed here more than 41 more days.  If my husband was able, he could easily leave here with his wife, but he wants and needs this place.  He wants and needs me to be with him.  He got in here legally.  We married legally.  How can they force me out?
 
I said it might be okay to live separately.  That is definitely plan B.  Plan A is to stay together.  I am afraid the relationship would suffer if we lived apart.  I might get too independent, and it might not give my husband enough support.
 
Come Be With Me, Lord
I went ahead and popped the corn my neighbor gave me.  I ate it all.  That blows my diet for today.  I still have that clean-your-plate mentality.  It is Day Forty already, and I have not broken that.  I love the way I have been able to express myself in this book/blog, but I must admit my circumstances are no better than when I first started.  What can I do, Lord?  Will you just come and be with me tonight?
 
Love It!
I hear a yes.  Thank you, Lord.  How shall I handle all of this?  Are you saying, “Love it!”?  I hear a yes.  Yes, in many ways I do love it.  I have met so many people lately–people who are helping us.  Little miracles have already happened.  I:
 
found an awesome friend in my neighbor,
got warm clothes from her,
got to play her piano,
got introduced by her to all those people,
found a battery for my jeep key,
got a ride to and from the rehab center when the jeep was in the shop,
got my computer fixed,
found a good counselor,
got my medication in the mail just before I ran out,
found a primary care provider that actually arranges rides,
got my new Medicare card just before my new provider asked for it,
wheeled my husband to the medical center without needing help from security,
got through security umpteen times, even though my husband’s badge is not working, …
 
The greatest miracle of all is that my husband has survived every fall.  Not only that, he is talking to his son again.  They were estranged for a time.  Now we have the opportunity to recover at least some of his abilities through therapy.  Yes, I can love all that. The only really bad things in my brain are those that have not become reality yet. Hey, that may be a truth, perhaps something really profound.  I will underline that.
 
Lord, what shall I do tonight?  I did not pay a visit to the lady I met yesterday.  I think it is too late to visit her tonight.  My best friend from Utah called me today and wished me happy birthday, a few days early.  She opposed my marriage, but she has kept me as a friend.  That is another miracle.
 
I have to believe that things are going to work out.  You have protected me so far.  I have to believe you will continue to do so.
 
I just tried on the cute jacket my neighbor gave me, and it fit.  What a generous woman she is!  I will have to let her know, but not tonight.  It is starting to get late.  
 
Lord, thank you for two words:  love it!  Yes, let me love everything I am going through.  Tomorrow, hopefully my winter coat will arrive.  I can see my husband again.  Maybe he will have made some advances in his therapy.
 
Calling My Husband
I tried calling my husband just now.  He never answers, but he knows it is I.  I can call to communicate an “I love you.”  Of course, he would rather have me there.  Probably I can go tomorrow.  Maybe tomorrow I can mention some of these little miracles.  I can tell him I have learned to love it all.
 

Monday Morning

 
As I suspected, I gained weight from the popcorn and almond milk creamer.  I updated Cronometer this morning for last night.  I went over-budget by 665 calories!  I weighed 120.7 pounds this morning, which represents a weight gain for two days.  I could get depressed over it, but I choose not to.  I will continue this journey.  I am having way too much fun to give up now.  Yesterday, I started to love it!
 
 
 
 
 

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