RSS

Tag Archives: Family

Long time coming.

The past two months have been a bit of a rollercoaster, both physically and emotionally. Since early May, I stopped training with my cousin and also haven’t been eating all too well, I’ve received news that I still have a material hormonal imbalance, I flew (for the first time in five years) to Vegas for a Bachelorette party, started playing softball again, got into a verbal argument at a volleyball match, I had a few rounds of physical anxiety, my boss had a baby, I took over the day-to-day trading operations at my firm, started stress eating, and most recently (between yesterday and today) my family has had issues with our next-door neighbors. It is a lot of stuff, I will try to make it all make sense.

Since January I trained with my cousin, who is a certified personal trainer. We stopped, temporarily, training in May because he was going on a trip and then that eventually became permanent because my work schedule became completely erratic and I couldn’t commit to specific times. As of result of not having my cousin and his sessions to motivate me and my new work schedule, I’ve fallen off the wagon a little bit. I did however join a new gym and have at least been going once per week. I went today and I’m hoping to go more this week, but I haven’t been that great at being consistent. My diet has been pretty crappy as well as I’m basically stress eating at work, which I will explain later. Hopefully this is my week though, I need to get into a groove.

Midway through May I got the results back from a saliva test that I performed over the course of the month of April. The results were packaged and sent out to a lab in Washington State and my naturopathic doctor received the results. She called me up in the middle of the month and we scheduled an appointment. At that visit, she told me that I still have a progesterone shortage, otherwise known as estrogen dominance. I’ve been off of the pill for almost fifteen months now and I have gotten a lot better. My estrogen levels have normalized now, but my body has not been able to raise my progesterone levels naturally, which has thrown off my periods, caused PMS, and I also have been told that at my current level, I’d have a hard time conceiving a child and if I did conceive, I’d have a hard time carrying the pregnancy to term. Needless to say, I was speechless. I thought that my body has had enough time to heal on its own and regulate my hormones once more. However, that’s clearly not the case and not only that, but now I’m facing potential fertility issues. The good part is that I’m on a progesterone supplement program for the entire summer and hopefully that will help to raise my level.

In a short note, I went out to Las Vegas for a friend’s bachelorette party. This was a huge deal for me as I have not been on a plane in five years and more importantly than that, I wasn’t sure as to how I’d react to flying with my anxiety. I will admit that I took a 0.25 mg Xanax during takeoff on the flight there and home, but beyond that it was fine and I actually enjoyed myself on the airplanes. It sounds silly, but this was a big accomplishment for me.

At the beginning of June, softball started and I’m on a new team. All of the ladies are fantastic and I’m having a lot of fun. I still play volleyball as well but it hasn’t been all fun and games recently. I play on a co-ed team and there is one man on my team who is constantly trying to move me around and control my play simply because I’m female. Well eventually I became fed up with him and at a game a few weeks ago I called him out. He claimed that he was trying to help the team out and even tried to guilt me by saying that he respects women and his mother is dead. Really? I’m sorry your mother is dead but I don’t think that she has anything to do with volleyball. Case closed. We recently played together this past Thursday actually and barely spoke to each other, but that’s OK. We played well together on the court and that’s all that matters.

In the middle of June, I had major anxiety. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of the Xanax in my system, stress from work, or both. I’m thinking that it was a combination of both. I didn’t have a full-blown panic attack, thank God, but still, I did feel defeated that I reacted so badly to my thoughts.

Literally a few days after my mini-breakdown my boss gave birth to her son, which then put me in charge of the daily trading operations at my firm. Needless to say I was nervous then and I’m still a little nervous now. I’m two weeks into this experience and it’s been quite eye-opening. I’ve been able to prove to myself that I’m able to handle this job and it has also helped to spark a fire in me and reignite my interest in the stock market and finance in general. However with all of that positivity, I have started to stress eat. I visit the snack closet multiple times a day to help calm myself down when I get nervous at work. This is a terrible way to relieve stress and this week  is the week where I hope to stop this phenomenon.

Last but not least, the issues with the next door neighbors. They had an early Fourth of July party yesterday and didn’t invite my parents. It really hurt my mom’s feelings and made my dad angry. As a result, it made me livid. But on top of that, I felt physical symptoms of anger and anxiety. When I saw my neighbors, I felt my chest tighten and felt pain in my head. I wanted to go over there and start screaming at them. I felt awful for my parents. I always tried to be the bigger person and continue to say hi to them even though they have basically phased my parents out of the neighborhood social circle over the years. I never wanted to be the person who just straight up ignores people but at this point I feel as though it’d be best for my health and psyche to just ignore these people. I have slowly removed myself from them as I have unfriended them on Facebook (which I’m still trying to get rid of) and have limited my communication to just the next-door neighbors but now I’ve really had enough. I really can’t afford the stress anymore and this weekend was the last straw for me.

So that has been my last two months. Lots of good, productive things and a few bumps along the way. My focus right now is to continue healing and working on my health in addition to participating in activities that I like with people who like and respect me. One thing that I’ve learned in the past two months is that I cannot hide my feelings (like being nervous about work or mad at a teammate or neighbor). I have to feel what I feel, take the appropriate action(s), and move on.

Advertisements
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hurting someone I love.

Apparently I’m growing up. I’m coming to grips with the fact that my parents and family members are the “be all, end all”. All of a sudden. Now. At 26… shouldn’t this have happened years ago? I went away to college and I was fine. I was independent and did what I wanted to regardless of what anyone thought of it. When I moved back home after school, I was still ‘Ms. Independent’ until 2010 when I had my hormonal imbalance. I’ve since recovered, almost fully mentally and 100% physically. Mentally I still have minor issues, almost like anticipatory issues because I’m kind of scarred from months of having random panic attacks and severe depression. I’m currently on defensive trying to prevent any and all awkward or adverse situations.

The problem now is that I’m having a hard time with trying to please everyone in my life, especially my family. I don’t even know what their preferences/standards are but I’ve had this bad habit as of late to over think and assume these standards and then impose them on the one person who I love and spend a lot of time with; my boyfriend. Together he and I have been spending more time with my cousins. All seems to be going well, then we get home and I proceed to nitpick his “performance” if you will. It’s a terrible thing to do, but in my head it seems as though I have to make sure that my family likes him (we’ve been dating for over four years mind you) and he likes them. My ill-fated efforts always result in a huge fight and this has happened after every meeting with my cousins.

This people pleasing problem stems from when we first started dating and my parents critically judged my boyfriend right off the bat. That first year of dating I was so confident in myself and my decisions that I wasn’t phased by their opinions. Now things are different; my parents have verbalized how they think my boyfriend is a real man and how he is a good guy. Yet, that doesn’t seem to get absorbed in my brain and I get neurotic whenever we all get together hoping to prevent whatever imaginary fallout I see coming in my head.

After another similar incident this past weekend, my boyfriend and I spoke about my actions. I apologized because I know that what I’m doing is wrong. A lot of it has to do with deep seeded issues stemming from not only the beginning of our relationship but apparently my childhood as well.

This is my journal for my upcoming therapy session this week… I think I need to start having more sessions.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 10, 2012 in Communication, Family

 

Tags: , ,

Family Fat or Fat Family.

In my other blog, 6 in Six, I’m chronicling my path, journey (enter any clichéd term) to losing weight and reaching my goal of fitting into a size 6 dress. Weight (both management and loss) has always been a focus in my life and in the life of my family; not to mention that it’s also part of the namesake of this blog as well. My own personal story of weight gain/loss/management goes back to high school, where, long story short (Here’s the long version: http://6insix.wordpress.com/2011/12/06/), my weight has fluctuated between 140 and almost 200 lbs. I’m currently around 155, which is fine, but I’d like to look and feel better, hence the new blog.

Even though my personal weight history doesn’t go back way too far (I’m only 26), my family’s spans 3 generations (that I know of). My paternal grandfather had diabetes and refused to stop eating candy and cake before he passed away. My paternal grandmother’s weight fluctuated constantly during her lifetime. My maternal grandmother, or Nonna, (who is alive; she’s a healthy 78, God bless her!), has always been a little overweight, but what Italian woman isn’t? Just kidding, she has never been obese, but she tends to carry more weight especially after menopause. The good part about her is that she goes to the gym – EVERYDAY. I’m very proud of her. My dad’s sister and her husband, my aunt and late uncle (who also happen to be my only aunt and uncle as my mom is an only child), have been obese, even morbidly obese for as long as I can remember and beyond. My uncle passed away in 2006 at the age of 59 because he was so heavy – think anywhere between 350-500 lbs for a man around 6 ft tall, perhaps even shorter, I can’t remember. After his death, my aunt, who was also VERY heavy, lost around 90 lbs. She’s still obese, but I’m glad that she’s at least lost some weight. My brother gained weight in college (just like I did), but he’s never been obese. My dad’s weight fluctuated a lot between the time when my parents got married and I was a baby. After that, his weight has been pretty consistent as he’s very active; going to the gym, riding his bike, coaching football, and refereeing basketball, all of which he still does today (and he’ll be 60 in July – God bless him too!). Then there’s my mom.

She’s struggled with her weight for as long as I can remember. It seems that her weight issues came about post pregnancy/child rearing. She lost the baby weight after giving birth to my brother and then me, but it seems as though as she and my father were raising us, the stresses of having kids coupled with other things took its toll on her weight and she gained. Since I was cognizant of her struggles with weight, she’s tried many things including low-carb diets, pills, detox, etc. Nothing that helps to promote lifestyle changes and healthy habits.

So, here comes today’s story. My mom’s been sick (like has a cold, etc.), so she stayed home today. She called me this morning to ask me if I could buy a book off of Amazon for her, so I did. I asked her how she was feeling because my dad told me that she was up all night throwing up, etc. She told me that she was better, but the chicken that she cooked last night must’ve not been cooked through all the way, which made her sick. She then goes on to mention that she also threw up the 1st night of their cruise last week. THEN she says that she hasn’t been eating carbs and even though she’s thrown up twice recently, she’s lost 5 lbs. I said to her “well, that’s great, but you’ve been throwing up”. I also explained that she doesn’t need to avoid carbs and she needs to make lifestyle changes because she can’t sustain not eating bread/pasta/etc. forever. She gave me the runaround and “yea yea yea”‘ed me, which made talking to her tough. Then I tried to say that she should really consider going to a nutritionist or trying weight watchers but she cut me off and said she doesn’t want to hear it in only so many words.

It’s tough for me to watch her not take care of herself especially since she’s within the menopause age range (she’s 58) and it’s only going to get harder for her to lose weight, etc. as she gets older. For a woman of her height, weight and age, she’s in good shape as in she can move and move quickly. She’s got strong, muscular legs and arms, but she’s carrying a lot of extra weight in her midsection. I don’t want her to get seriously sick or injured as a result of the extra pounds. I am always conflicted as to whether or not I should say things to her about her weight, but I feel like if I don’t, then I would be partially responsible for her condition and I would be completely enabling her dietary and active behaviors. It’s always a fight or argument if anyone brings up this sensitive topic to her, but we (as in myself, my dad, her mom, etc) just want what’s best for her. She has people who can and want to help her (including my cousin who’s a personal trainer!), but she refuses to use her resources.

I can understand where the defiance comes from since I heard a bunch of people trying to offer me “help” when I was 50 lbs. heavier, including the overweight women in my family, which made me unbelievably angry that they “had the nerve” as I would think at the time. Everyone had their two cents and felt a need to express it to me, which always made me mad. In order to combat it, I’d just eat more junk and act defiant to prove that no one can tell me what to do. I felt like that was the only control that I had at that point. I remember the emotions that I felt very vividly and I try to remember them especially when talking with my mom about her weight. I hope that one day the light will turn on for her as it did me. I eventually got so fed-up with being fat; so fed-up that I was finally ready to lose the weight – the RIGHT way.

I guess that’s what it’ll really come down to. Being ready and willing to do the work it takes to lose weight and take up a healthier lifestyle. Anyone can say “I want to lose weight, I want to be healthy” but you really need to be in the right mindset to do it. No one can force anybody to follow a diet and exercise regiment. It’s all up to the individual.

I want her to be healthy; I want my family to be healthy and active. The goal is for everyone to stay around for as long as possible.

We’re all at a disadvantage if we don’t take care of ourselves.

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

An estate piece and home alone anxiety.

The past three days have been weird to say the least. It all started on Wednesday when my mom and dad went shopping during the day (they’re teachers, so they’re off from school all week). My mom received tons of gifts from her students, one of which was a necklace from a jewelry store. She returned the necklace and decided to buy me something instead of herself, which was a nice gesture, but not necessary. She called me at work and told me that she had bought me something but didn’t tell me what. She went onto say that she dreamt about this object and had to buy it. When I got home later that night, she gave me a small jewelry box. I opened it up and inside was a brooch; an estate piece. It was dainty, made of white gold and it had a small sapphire in the middle. Honestly, it was beautiful, but I don’t own brooches, nor do I know how to where them properly. My mom waited in angst for my reaction and I guess it was less than expected. I thanked her, but I probably had my go-to puzzled look on my face, which isn’t very nice. Then I went on to tell her that I was concerned that I’d never wear it and it (plus her money) would go to waste. She told me to “do whatever I wanted with it” and walked away. Minutes later, we were in the living room and talking and she started crying. I asked her what was wrong and she insisted that she was worried about the cruise that her and my dad were going on today (I’ll get to that in a minute). Then yesterday morning I wakeup and my mom says “why is the pin on my dresser” in a nasty tone. Again, puzzled, I wondered why she was so mad. Then last night, we barely spoke and when we did, it was awkward, at least on my end. So I basically let loose on her, at first I told her calmly that I’m sorry if I offended her and that I thought I was doing the right thing by expressing my concerns. Then she pretty much dismissed me, so I got angry and raised my tone. My parents left for their 4 day cruise this morning and my mom still seems pretty awkward to me, so I’ll have to see what happens when they come back on Monday.

Now onto their vacation. I’m happy that they take trips, especially since when our family dog, Boomer, was in his later years they couldn’t travel much because he required constant care (he was very sick at the tail end of his life, we put him down on April 5, 2010). Since his passing, they’ve been travelling more and… my anxiety developed, peaked, and lingered between then and now. When my anxiety was at its worst and even as it got progressively better, I had a hard time when they took trips because of the agoraphobia that I developed as a result of my anxiety. I would fear being alone in the house without anyone to have close by “if” something happened (a big issue with anxiety is the “what if” scenario). I also feared being embarrassed if I called someone and asked for help, thinking that they’d think I’m a lunatic. Clearly, these were all irrational fears, especially since I lived and worked away from home while I was in college.

Anyway, today my parents left at 4:30am and I got a little nervous as I watched the taxi drive off with them and their friends in tow. I went back upstairs to my bedroom and tried to relax, go back to sleep. At first it was tough because I thought back to how badly I felt during their trips past with my anxiety, so I turned on Jersey Shore to distract me, which inevitably relaxed me and got me back to sleep (weird, right?). When I woke up later in the morning for work, I decided to think through my mild anxiety from earlier – I pinpointed my thoughts and realized that they’re really terrible thoughts. I never really looked at them and understood why I was so afraid sometimes, but once I became cognizant of them, it all made sense.

Here’s a list of my thoughts when I get anxious (I had all of these when it was really bad, now I only get a few of them):

– What if I can’t breathe?

– What if I choke?

– What if I get hurt and no one finds me for days?

– What if I need to call 911?

– Who in the neighborhood or surrounding area can I rely on for help?

When driving, my mind raced (sometimes mildly races) to these thoughts:

– Drive in a populated area in case you need help

– Where is the nearest hospital?

– Does this road have a shoulder (emergency lane)?

– What if I’m in the left-hand or middle lanes and I lose control of myself and subsequently the car?

When I look at these thoughts on paper, they’re astounding. I’ve never worried so much in my life than I have in the past almost 2 years. More importantly than that, I’ve been worrying over the worst case scenario during that time. At first I thought that writing these down would get me anxious today, but as I analyze them, it’s actually helped me because logically, my mind is saying “no, that’s not going to happen” and “you have plenty of people to call in case something does happen”. I used to never be like this, that’s what gets me, but I am almost 100% sure (there’s always that inkling of doubt) that this is hormonal, especially because I’m currently in the week before my period, also known in my life as PMS time. If you read through the PMS link, it explains:

“PMS may often be triggered by hormonal changes. It tends to begin at puberty, after pregnancy, after starting birth control pills, after hormone related surgery as hysterectomy or tubal ligation or around the onset of the menopause. In fact, it is not unusual for the PMS sufferer to confuse her symptoms with those of an early menopause.”

I never had PMS before I started on Yaz in March of 2008, which is used to treat PMS/PMDD and as a result of taking it for almost 3 years (ended it Sept 2010), I’ve had several doctors mention that it possibly gave me PMS, which I’m still dealing with today. I have to admit though, it’s gotten better and I’m getting more and more comfortable by myself as time goes on. I’ve been taking Women’s Menocaps (per my Naturopathic doctor) to restart my endocrine system, which was shut down by hormonal birth control. My naturopath also has me on larger doses of vitamins B & D, which were depleted by the pill.

All in all, I’m doing well so far up in New Jersey and I hope that it stays that way. My parents are in sunny Miami on a cruise ship that will be heading for the Bahamas.

Needless to say, I’m jealous of them.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 30, 2011 in Family, Women's Health

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Maybe I’m growing up.

The Christmas holiday far surpassed my expectations this year, granted I set my expectations pretty low due to some family problems. However, even in that respect, my great-uncle with dementia seemed to be lucid at points and thoroughly enjoyed himself, which was nice to see. I was so worried about what he would be like and if he were bad, how would I handle it personally. Also, everyone got along pretty well (which, during the holidays, doesn’t always happen) and stress was kept at what I would consider to be an all-time low in my house, so cheers to that!

This was also the first Christmas that I spent away from my parents house. Although I did celebrate Christmas Eve and Christmas with my parents, I slept over at my boyfriend’s house both nights. At first it felt weird, I got mild anxiety thinking that I was betraying my parents, but eventually I realized that they accepted my absence and weren’t bothered by it. All the negativity was of my own creation. Once I figured that out, I calmed down and truly enjoyed the time we spent alone, making cookies, wearing our pjs, opening presents and making breakfast the subsequent mornings. Afterwards, I went back home to my parents’ house and I had a great time with them too.

I guess you could say that I get some anxiety about growing up, transitioning from daughter to wife, if you will (even though I’m not engaged). The thought gets me down some days and on a high other days. I suppose such is life. I’m not the first person to feel this way, nor will I be the last.

This worry is just something that I need to work through.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 27, 2011 in Changing My Situation, Family, Life's Goals

 

Tags: , , ,

Christmas: Fun, but not perfect.

Christmas provides such a strange dichotomy for many people, myself included. The thought of decorations, time with family and friends, giving presents makes me giddy, yet at the same time, the ideas surrounding Christmas (i.e. perfection and happiness all of the time) make me feel less than adequate. Don’t be fooled, I do love Christmas, but I guess as I get older and see that things aren’t perfect (i.e. my family, etc.), it gets me thinking. I think when I was a child I believed that everyone was happy largely due to the fact that I wasn’t exposed to more adult themes such as depression, drug use, etc. that existed in my family. I only found out about these things later in my life and now this knowledge makes reality, especially around the holidays, a bit harder to swallow.

After I developed anxiety and depression (again, it’s for the most part, controlled or even gone), my ability to focus on my own life and not compare it to others’ has been a bit of a struggle. Last Christmas was my first Christmas with those issues and it wasn’t pleasant as they were running rampant at that point. This Christmas is so much better, but I suppose that my anxiety gets the better of me nowadays and makes me question whether or not I’m “doing things right” or what others would think of my lifestyle. Sounds weird, right? YES because IT IS WEIRD. Granted, there are some things going on, including having a small family and a great-uncle who has Dementia, that can contribute to off feelings at this time. But there is a lot that I have to look forward to and enough people who I have to be grateful for. It’s just hard controlling these feelings sometimes, especially at a time where people are supposed to be living this idyllic holiday season with nothing but positivity abounding as per society and consumerism.

Amir A. Afkhami, a blogger for Psychology Today, explains this as the “Christmas Blues” (the namesake for his entry): http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/global-mental-health/201112/christmas-blues

His advice:

“It is important for individuals to acknowledge the difficulties during this period: seek professional help with severe Christmas depression when needed. However, staying active and not isolated, reducing alcohol consumption and being aware and mindful of difficult family dynamics can lessen holiday blues. Most importantly, remember that the advertising hype and picture perfect imagery is fictional; don’t let it define your experience!”

It’s great advice that I think resonates with many different people.

On a funnier note, the holidays also bring about bragging via Christmas letters. Now I’ve never been the victim of a Christmas letter, nor has my family (I guess we can be grateful for having friends who don’t send out such things). But I know of people who’ve sent them out and how pretentious these letters can be. Dr. Mark Sherman examines them in his hysterically funny blog entry: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/real-men-dont-write-blogs/201112/our-life-is-perfect-and-yours

This is probably the predecessor to the Facebook epidemic that we see year round now. Life would be so much easier for everybody if people would just stop bragging. Perhaps we can celebrate one another’s achievements and support those who’ve gone through rough times. Even just sharing real news, not just the good stuff, would help make things better for everyone in the sense that people would finally see that they’re not alone in their struggles whether they’re financial, family related, etc. Although, I’m not sure that I’d need to know everything that went wrong…

“On a sad note, we had to put Puddles to sleep. They say you don’t get attached to hamsters, but take my word for it, you do.”

I just had to laugh at that.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful holiday season – whatever holidays you do celebrate! I chose to share my feelings on how I view the holidays not to be sad or morbid (as for the most part, I’m really enjoying myself this year) but just to throw it out there just in case someone else feels the way that I do and needs to know that they’re not alone.

Perhaps my sharing can help.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 23, 2011 in Family

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

The pros and cons of Facebook.

It’s been a while since I’ve ranted on the namesake of this blog, Facebook.

Before the internet, life was a lot more simple. Even though I’m 26 years old, I didn’t grow up with the internet – I’m a part of the last generation that was raised without a computer and had to use the phone and actually call people with it. I never knew what everyone was doing all of the time, I just heard what I heard and focused on my life. However, with the inception and subsequent global domination of Facebook in recent years, life has changed dramatically for me and I’d venture to guess most people as well.

Now I know what everyone is doing ALL OF THE TIME. It’s ridiculous; living these virtual lives instead of the physical ones that we have. I’m tired of it, it’s not fulfilling and it really brings out the bad in some people. I get really disheartened when I see my friends (not acquaintances, but people I actually speak to and see) engage in some of these behaviors, particularly posting items in order to brag or make other people jealous. I have to admit that sometimes I see things on Facebook and I get angry. When I was going through depression and anxiety, it really exacerbated my feelings and I had to stop looking for a while until I was able to control my emotions again.

With that said, I’ve really been contemplating deleting my Facebook account this week. Even though I don’t get as upset when I read the news feed (I started reading it a little bit again to satisfy my curiosity) anymore, I really can’t stand some of the things that I see. However, Facebook has its advantages. For example, just today one of my boyfriend’s friends, who is being deployed to Afghanistan soon, sent me his mailing address to pass long to my boyfriend (he rarely looks at Facebook and has better will power than me). It’s messages like that which make me keep my account active. I also am able to keep up with my cousins in Canada, my friends that moved to the West Coast (California, Colorado, Texas etc.) and other people who I don’t get to see very often. In addition, it helps me connect to special interest groups that I’m interested in and interact with people from those groups.

As of now, as I weigh the pros and cons, I’m still on the fence, so I’ll remain active.

nonetheless, in an effort to make myself feel better about my account, I deleted close to 100 people off of my friends list (I’m down to about 450 friends) – basically people who I never talk to plus anyone who I grew up with but can’t stand their posts. I still have way too many people on my friends list who probably shouldn’t be there, but I suppose I will clean it up in steps. Eventually I would like to make a real account and only be connected to people who I want to keep in touch with. But my curiosity about some of my virtual friends seems to be holding me back from unfriending them at the moment. I’m hoping that in time I can get over that.

I still waste way too much time on social media, even though I’ve cut back significantly.

Did you ever have to cut down or ween yourself off of a social media site? Any suggestions that you may have to make this process easier? Or better yet, did anyone ever stop cold turkey and feel much better about it?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 20, 2011 in Facebook Rants

 

Tags: , , , , ,