Tomorrow is the big day!

Today threw a wrench in my plans to be happy. I overslept and was super late to work on a really important day. When I rushed in, late and already stressed, another manager (not mine, and a friend to boot) said he was angry with me because he needed me during an inspection that was going on. I snapped. I yelled back at him and that set my day off.

I received an injection of a new medicine, so I’m hoping that is what is causing my moodiness and anxiety today. Mr. Jack took me to Ikea and I drowned my sorrow in cheap European furniture and housewares (I came home with a new comforter for the winter, along with a new duvet and a new bookcase, among other things). I feel much better, though slightly guilty at spending so much dough on stuff, but one focus at a time. Money will come later on in the year.

Tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow is the start of our journey into happiness. My protein shake ready, we’re taking the dogs walking in the morning. This is it.

An introduction: the jack of all trades

Hey kids. I don’t think I will be as eloquent as The Triathlete, but I’m going to give it a shot. My happiness project is the result of years of suffering with a disease that no one could diagnose. I’ve spent more than half my life with unimaginable fatigue, progressively worsening pain, and cognitive dysfunction. It comes and goes. Doctors have done thousands and thousands of dollars worth of tests. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. It’s frustrating beyond belief. It’s led to bouts of depression and anxiety. I’ve had to quit roller derby, a sport I lived for. I took a month’s worth of medical leave from work. Tonight, I cooked dinner, and then had to take a nap because the effort exhausted me so. It’s affected my life in so many ways. Like the Triathlete, I realized I need to get busy living or get busy dying. Since sometimes I already feel like I’m dying (I know, dramatic), it’s time to give living a chance.

Our happiness project will start September 15th. I’ve read that you should never start important things on the first of the month, because by doing that you are building anticipation and setting yourself up for failure. So September 15th seemed as good a date as any.

My first month’s focus is “Health”. Obviously it’s something I need to work on. Medicine has not been able to do much for me, so I am going to take matters into my own hands. Here are my resolutions:

1. Develop and stick to a meal plan.
2. Take supplements.
3. Drink 3 liters of water a day.
4. Sleep better: develop a schedule and stick to it.
5. Work out for a half hour four days a week.

-The Jack of All Trades

“pain is weakness leaving the body”
-the marines

Divide and Conquer – Anxiety sucks but you can beat it

It was the end of January 2011 when I started on my new journey.  In the philosophical sense I guess some would say I was reborn.  I consider that to be too dramatic, but then again, I suck at accepting compliments and recognizing my achievements for what they are.   I remember the phone call that changed it all.  I was on the precipice of falling into another suicidal depression.  A friend called and after a long discussion he said simply said that I better get busy living or just give it up.  I woke up that morning, sat down at my computer, googled Pensacola trainers, found my trainers website, wrote him an email,  and before I knew it, I had my first appointment.  It has been about 18 months since that first appointment.  I have a pretty substantial list of achievements.  I am 16 month smoke free,  I have lost 50 pounds, (gained 10, lost 5, gained 10, lost 5 – the plateau is real folks!), no longer need some of my medications, and frankly I kick butt (despite the fact that I am still overweight).  I joke a lot that there is a well-oiled machine under all the jiggle that is left!  Basically, my trainer {and I} ROCK!

Todd (the trainer) asked me to set some small goals and one very big one to strive for on my first day.   I don’t remember even thinking about it, I just blurted out the Santa Rosa county triathlon in October 2012 and then later on that night began wondering what I had been smoking to say that!  I couldn’t even bike 2 miles, how on earth was I going to do a triathlon that consisted of a 600 yd swim, an 18 mile bike ride and a 5K run.  I let it go and said that it was a year away and I should worry about it later.   Well folks, we are down to 27 days!!!!!!!!

I know my body can do it.  My body has done it.  I just wish my anxiety would take a chill pill.   I joined a local triathlon club last week to get some practice swimming and biking with a crowd.   I woke up this morning at 5am (I don’t even get up that early for work) and immediately began trying to talk myself out of it.  Ten deep breaths later, I was getting dressed, began grumbling my whole way there by making 100 excuses on why I should turn around.  Thankfully, I kept the car moving.  I checked in, looked around and realized I was the HEAVIEST person there.  Everyone looked like they were in such good shape.  A simple review of my  checklist of accomplishments, a friendly smile and I moved passed that one. Thanks to the miracles of drugs, I began to feel pretty relaxed – UNTIL i got in the water.

Open water swimming can be unnerving enough, but take a girl who freaks out in a crowd and dump her in the Gulf of Mexico with 50+ other swimmers, and well I felt like I had turned into a bull minnow trapped in a tiny pool left on the marsh after high tide.  The first 100 ft or so i thought my chest was going to implode.  After a couple near miss collides with the other swimmers and a mouthful of seawater, I had the intelligence to just slow down to a breast stroke, move to the back of the pack and catch my breath.  Wouldn’t you know, before I knew it  – I WAS DOING IT. I even voluntarily swam the course TWICE!  It was definitely not my best swim, but I finished it.  The others set off on their bike and I headed to my car with a disappointed look to my face (my knee is on mandatory rest until Monday so i couldn’t bike).  The evil devil on my shoulder, who likes to pray on my perfectionism, began criticizing everything I did wrong.   I bummed into the club organizer and he asked how it went and I told him.  I was so happy to hear him say that if I just did THAT twice – i would have no problem on race day.  My pout sooned turned to a smile filled with hope. After all nobody else doubts me, so why should I let my brain do it.

I do not like living with this anxiety disorder, but sooner or later I have to realize it is just not going to go away!  I just have to use the tools I have to work around it.   Thankfully I used those tools today and got some practice in.   Without it, I am not sure how I would do on October 6th!

~happinessgirl#4 (aka Debbie)

“The only one who can tell you ‘you can’t’ is you. And you dont have to listen” – Nike