Welcome!

PriorFatGirl is a community of writers who share their healthiness journey with you, our friends. Currently, posts on the main page are written by Liz who is fighting through her healthiness journey (and winning!) You can read other priorfatgirl journeys by clicking on the “Other priorfatgirl’s” drop down from the top menu.

Through the ups and downs of life, the scale, and emotions, we share our stories as a form of therapy for us, and as a way to help remove stigmas associated with trying to live up to social expectations of being perfect. We will not ever promise to be perfect, but we will promise to share candidly our journeys of learning how to be healthy in an unhealthy world, sugar coating not included.

 

Mental Health Monday – On Medication

Welcome to Mental Health Monday!  This was born out of Steph and my session on Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living from Fitbloggin’ 15.  Every 1st and 3rd Monday one of us will host a link up for others to share their experiences with Mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others.  Speak out:  “I am crazy…CRAZY AWESOME!”  (You are welcome to use the badge below!)mental-health-monday-linkup-logo

How fitting my first post back from an unintended blog hiatus is a Mental Health Monday.  I didn’t intend to go away for two weeks – I love my little slice of the internet, but life intervenes sometimes.  In this case it intervened in some planned and some unplanned ways and it took a bit of time to figure everything out and work my way through.

The biggest thing of course was Vacation Bible School which wrapped up on Friday.  It was two weeks of 80+ hrs each week, no days off and lots of stress and last minute crises.  None of this is unusual for the month of July and while it is never a balanced time it is a lot of fun (amidst the craziness).

In addition there were family needs, especially with my son – E1.  While everything is fine, we are working on bettering our parenting and managing some expectations, goals, meds, behaviors, etc.  It is messy and ugly and beautiful and easily the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  Combine that with the fact that I was working so much, my time at home became an urgent priority.

But still that was a known challenge.

The mental health stuff, however, snuck up on me.  I am not out of the woods from my binge eating and depression but things were doing OK for a while, except I still felt off.  Increasingly off.  I realized that the anxiety I sometimes feel was becoming constant and I was having near daily panic attacks.  I thought it was stress at first, but after paying attention and writing things down, I realized it correlated to my new medication (to curb binge eating).

I cut out the med and boom by panic attacks stopped.

It is frustrating to have something that helps one thing but harms others, ESPECIALLY with mental illness.  There is false belief I have that if EVEN medicine cannot “fix” me than I am just really really broken.  The truth is of course, that medicines can help but they don’t fix anyway.  And sometimes side effects are not worth the benefits.  And having a trusting relationship with your psychiatrist is a vital thing.

I am feeling quite a bit better as of this weekend.   I made it through my crazy work life of the past few weeks.  We continue to work toward being the best parents we can be to our son, and we’ve had a few good days around here.  Not only that, but I listened to my body and made a choice that is the best for me.

Meds can seem like miracle pills, but they don’t always work as they are supposed to.  Or sometimes they work to well.  Or cause crazy side effects.

I’m back on the slow train to fixing my binge eating – dietitian and therapist – and feel more secure in myself now that I no longer panic over nothing. (most of the time).   I am still on an anti-depressant and while I hope to be off of it at some point, right now that is not in the cards for me.

Meds carry stigma all there own, but I look at it like a splint or a case for a broken limb.  Meds help straighten my thoughts so that I can do the work to get well.  They don’t solve my problems, but they do provide a foundation to face my problems head on.

Medication is not for everyone.  Sometimes they don’t work.  Sometimes you have to experiment to find the right one. But, if you are floundering, please keep an open mind.  It might just give you a foothold to start climbing out of the illnesses’ grasp.

Now that I am free of the weeds I need to clear out and find some focus again.  But I made it through a tough time and I am stronger for it.  Sometimes that is what you cling to.

I hope you join us for Mental Health Monday and link up below.  I am no expert and I guess that you aren’t too, but through our stories we spread hope for others in similar situations.

 Loading InLinkz ...

Mental Health Monday – 600 people

Welcome to Mental Health Monday!  This was born out of Steph and my session on Depression, Anxiety and Healthy Living from Fitbloggin’ 15.  Every 1st and 3rd Monday one of us will host a link up for others to share their experiences with Mental illness – either from their own experience or from the experience of helping and walking with others.  Our goal is to reach out to the world and let people know that they are not alone in their struggles.  You are never alone.  Join us – link up, visit new blogs, support others.  Speak out:  “I am crazy…CRAZY AWESOME!”  (You are welcome to use the badge below!) – This week’s Link up is found here.

mental-health-monday-linkup-logo

I wish I had something profound to say about Mental health today.  Instead I find myself more than a little sad about the immensity of mental illness, mental health and stigma.  Last week at my church there was a funeral for a high school boy who committed suicide.  Over 600 people came to the funeral.  I didn’t know him but I was struck by the disconnect of all that.

Though I don’t know the circumstances leading up to his suicide I can intuit a few generalizations that are more often than not felt: “The world would be better off without me.”  “It is too hard.” “I am alone.” But 600 people came after the fact and mourned the loss of a young and amazing person.

600.

That number catches me to the core.  It is the math degree that periodically rears its head – numbers have meaning in my head and I have thought about it all week.  600 people mourning a person who was certain he was alone in the world, or at least certain he was better off alone.

600 who are changed by mental illness and its intrusion into their lives.

Depression, anxiety, mental illness… they are masters of isolation and illusion.  We suffer in silence, overwhelmed by the hardness of life, when it seems so easy for everyone else.  Depression lies.  The truth is that it is easy for no one, at least it is never consistently easy.  The truth is that you are NOT alone.  The truth is that you, and I, are so much more connected than we are able to see.

Think about the people you know in your life who were lost to suicide.  I can name far too many – acquaintances, friends, celebrities.

When Robyn Williams committed suicide the world took notice and for a brief moment talked openly about mental illness.  And then the news faded into the next event and not much has changed.

600 people separated from a son, a brother, a cousin, a friend….

Depression lies.  Speak the truth.  Life is hard, but it is worth living.  We feel alone but we are surrounded by more love than we can see.  Reach out.  Ask for help.  Don’t struggle in silence, because people care about you.  I care about you.

#wycwyc at church camp

Whew.  I am wiped out.  I just spend the last 8 consecutive days at church camp for work.  I drove back and forth 3 times bringing kids and making one dr appointment, but I ate and slept and played at camp for essentially 24/7 while I was there.

It is fun and tiring.

It also is an odd time – the mornings and evenings are completely scheduled with events and activities with the camp kids, and during the free time after lunch there is a balance to strike between doing your real-life work so I am not behind, interacting with our church kids, and finding some time to rest yourself.

It doesn’t lend itself to traditional working out – but there are plenty of things I did that go a long way.  I utilized Roni and Carla‘s #wycwyc idea.  Wycwyc stands for “What you can, when you can” and that is how I was active this week.

To start with we did plenty of walking around the camp.  Camp is quite hilly too so most of the time I got in many floors without too much trouble.  The only days I didn’t make my step goal of 10,000 steps were Thurs and Friday and I spend 3-4 hours in the car going back and forth those days.

     

I’ve also started doing some daily yoga, influenced by Heather’s Instagram #w00tyoga daily challenge.  Half the time I feel like I am just trying to match her picture with no real clue of what I am doing, but it has been a nice addition to my daily routine.

I also did plenty of play.  Field games were a daily occurance, and unlike many of the church staff, I jumped right in and ran around with the kids and their counselors.  Even E2 took part on Saturday when she joined me for the weekend at camp.  We were a tag team to rescue kids that had been tagged in an epic game of “Mighty Mighty Scoop Noodle Challenge.”

  

This was great fun because it was a way to be connected to the kids AND to keep me moving.  As a result I was often a sweaty, tired mess by the time I got into my bunk in the evening (often after doing more “real” work).

Camp is such a departure from my normal reality.  On the one hand, I have many kids to look after and I am at work, on the other I am mostly removed from parenting and other stresses.  I was pleased that I got my steps in and made the most of my week at camp.

And I am really excited to sleep in my own bed tonight!