13 month plan: Week 3

Well, this week has sucked all around.  I’ve been suffering from a depression relapse, not to mention being terribly exhausted for no reason.  I couldn’t seem to get out of my own way this week, I got nothing accomplished and just ugh.

 

  • Lifting days: 1/3 (If we make it to the gym tomorrow)
  • Running days: 0/3 (no hot water means no running and we had no hot water until Wednesday.  I have no excuse other than laziness for the rest of the week.)
  • 10K daily step goal: 7/7 (The last day I was under 10K steps was 17 Aug)
  • Miles walked:  34
  • Pounds lost: Not a clue.  I haven’t thought about stepping on the scale.
  • Days using MFP: 5
  • Number of times I complained about not feeling well: 65
  • Number of shows binge watched on Netflix 1 (I finished The Killing)
  • Number of shopping trips: 1
  • Number of items purchased on eBay: 8
  • Number of words written on my thesis: 6
  • Number of words written not on my thesis: 6,017
  • Number of ways in which I am STILL completely screwed for my chapter deadline: 6 ways from Sunday
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13 month get myself together plan: Week 2

So week 2 is in the books.  How did it go?

This week has sucked, let me just say.  We had no hot water all frigging week so it’s made it really difficult to get anything done like cleaning or SHOWERING.  We’d also had next to no money either, so meals were rice and beans and whey shakes and ugh I was so glad when Steph finally got money on Friday and I had the best cajun chicken sandwich.

Basically, this summary shows I need to re-evaluate my life.  This goes without saying.

  • Lifting days: 3/3
  • Running days: 0/3 (no hot water means no running; I don’t like to run on the same days I lift)
  • 10K daily step goal: 7/7 (The last day I was under 10K steps was 17 Aug)
  • Miles walked:  34.5
  • Pounds lost: Absolutely buggering fuck all, in fact this week I gained 5 pounds!  FML.
  • Days using MFP: 5
  • Number of times I complained about being hungry or annoyed about having no hot water: 1.5 million
  • New iPhones pre-ordered: 1
  • Number of shows binge watched on Netflix 1.5.  (I watched Last Tango in Halifax since the sexiest of silver foxes will be in series 3, and just started the Killing.)
  • Number of times I checked my email/bank account to see if my loans were in yet: 3.98 billion
  • Number of words written on my thesis: 0
  • Number of words written not on my thesis: 4,750
  • Number of ways in which I am completely screwed for my chapter deadline: 6 days from Sunday
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13 month get myself together plan: Week 1

So, week one of my 13 month get myself together plan is in the books.  Oh, have I not mentioned this?  Basically, I have given myself 13 months to get my shit together.  Because in 13 months, I will be 40 and well, I am not getting any younger.

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Anyways, as I was saying, week 1 is done.  A brief roundup, if you will:

  • Lifting days: 3/3
  • Running days: 2/3 (if I run home from the gym today)
  • 10K daily step goal: 7/7 (The last day I was under 10K steps was 17 Aug)
  • Pounds lost: Absolutely buggering fuck all (0)  This is why it’s a 13 month plan and not a 6 month plan
  • Days using MFP: 7
  • Days constantly starving: 7
  • Medical conditions I’ve apparently been cured of: 1  (According to my GP I don’t have PCOS and may have never had it, so I’m really confused about my body right now, but the tests don’t give a reason for further investigation, so IDEK.)
  • Blood test results: perfect as usual

So, go me?

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Intellectually I know that I should be focusing on numbers that are not the scale, like lifting numbers and miles run and all that, but TBH, right now those numbers don’t mean jack shit to me.  I had really hoped for a loss because now, I need to lower my calories (again) and if I was already hungry before?

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A day in the life (or how not to be a PhD student)

1:20 am- Turn off the Red Sox game on the MLB app and go to sleep.

4:30 am-Wake up to pee.

7:30am-Woken up by a meowing Bailey demanding food.  Feed Bailey and go back to sleep.

10:40am- Wake up on my own and contemplate rolling back over and sleeping more.  Everything hurts right now, so all I want is sleep.  Finally look at the time and realise I could sleep, but decide I want coffee more especially once I’ve looked at my phone and see I have 9 emails from my supervisor.  *eyeroll*

10:50am- Roll out of bed, pee, make a glass of iced coffee from the coffee I made the night before.  Take meds and turn on computer.

11-12:15- Read personal emails, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and my tumblr feed while I drink my coffee.  Chat to Steph.  Pet Bailey.

12:15- Rinally get dressed, gather up laundry and put washing in.

12:25- Make protein shake.

12:30- Get sucked into an online thread (time waster).

12:45-Put on this weeks tv binge watching choice (Being Human UK).  I like the background noise while I avoid work.

12:50- Still reading online LOL thread.

1:50-Read uni emails and re-submit form to the ethics committee for the hundredth time.  Don’t even talk to me about this, I seriously have been dealing with this bullshit since February and I have little patience with it right now.

2:15- Finish piece of writing.

2:30-Realise am starving, make salad w/turkey that Bailey tries to eat.

2:45-Stare at word document for theoretical framework.

3:15-Still staring at document.

4pm- Have written 2 paragraphs that don’t really say much.

4-4:30-Sort of wander around in the flat, not really concentrating much at all.

4:30-Stares at word document.

5:20- Goes to grocery store.

5:55- Eats cherries.

6- Stares at word document.

6:30- Organises desk, tidies flat a bit.

7:30- Dinner.

8-9- Take a walk to Waitrose.

9:30- Gin o’clock.  :)

10- Give up all pretence of work.

11p-3:30am- Read Mystrade fanfiction and weep my heart out.

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On depression

There has been a lot of discussion over the past 24 hours about depression and mental health issues.  Like many who have been discussing it, I have not been immune to depression.

I’ve suffered from depression from an early age and have been on medication since I was 18 and have seen therapists on and off since.  Over the past 3 years I’ve been battling a deeper, darker depression and have had my share of very dark days.

Finally, I recently agreed to look for help; to see a therapist again.  I self-referred through the NHS and there was a fairly lengthy wait period.  I also self-referred myself to see the counsellors at University.   After a few months I finally saw both the NHS and university personnel for intake appointments.  I hadn’t heard anything back after about a month (I know it takes time for these things to work out).  I made a phone call to the NHS office yesterday and found that I had been discharged.  This was a bit alarming, as I hadn’t even had an actual appointment other than the intake!  Today I received a letter stating that they didn’t have any services for me and that I should self-refer to a voluntary service.

While I understand that resources are slim on the NHS, I also was really shocked that I had been fobbed off to a volunteer organisation.  I also had requested to meet with a psychiatrist to deal with some medication issues, and those were not addressed at all.  I am a bit frustrated to say the least.  I don’t blame the NHS; I do partially blame myself for waiting so long to get help for my issues.  I certainly hope I can get a call back so I can have the medication issues addressed and that the university has someone I can speak to soon (they have a waiting list).

So for now, I need to keep on keeping on.  I spend a lot of time cuddling this dear boy.

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I do everything I can to stay present and healthy while I wait to get assistance.

I only hope that with what has happened this week, that more resources are allocated for mental health all over the globe and that people who are suffering have a friend to reach out to and someone they can talk to.

 

Helpful (to me) things I’ve read:

James Rhodes article in the Telegraph

Stephen Fry on depression

It will be sunny one day

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Why I don’t call myself a “runner”

You might wonder why my site is called Running is my Mind Palace then, eh?  Well, you see, I really don’t consider myself a “runner” runner for a variety of different reasons.

 

  • For example, today I happened to be wearing my Great Scottish Run 10K tshirt.  It says FINISHER in big bold letters.  I was in Starbucks waiting for my latte, when a woman came up to me and asked if I had finished.  Ummmm it says finisher, duh.  I said I had, and she gave me an incredulous look.  Now granted, I get it.  I do not look like a runner.  And half of me understands when people who don’t know me don’t believe that I run or lift or whatever.  And the other half is like really, so I don’t have a runner’s body, but does that mean I don’t run?  I don’t know.  It’s a conundrum.

 

  • If it is raining, I won’t run.  Nope.  Nope.  Nope.  I do not like to be wet and I certainly don’t like to have my expensive running trainers get all wet and squishy.  Call me a wuss.  It is NOT my cup of tea at all.  Granted, if it is raining, getting out of the flat is an endeavour of its own.  I just don’t like being rained upon and getting to my destination wet, even if I have a brolly and wellies, I still end up damp and gross.

 

  • I do not get up early to run.  I don’t get up early to do anything, really.  I generally roll out of bed between 10am-12pm.  I have the luxury of being able to do this.  I enjoy it.  I love being able to stay up and listen to the Red Sox or read or watch telly.   Part of me wishes I could be more motivated to get up to get the working out of the way, but it generally just doesn’t happen and my runs get done when I feel like doing them, be it 4 pm or 7 pm.

 

  • My current mile time is slower than it would take me to walk said mile.  And most runners can run 2-3 miles in the time it takes me to run one.  I know you shouldn’t compare yourself to others, but damn does it get discouraging to see people’s Runkeeper stats on twitter sometimes.  I can generally do 3K in the time it takes people to run 3 miles if not more.  My 10k time is a lot of people’s half marathon times.  My 5K time is a lot of people’s 10k times.  Totally discouraging and depressing.

 

  • However, RE: the above- totally MY fault.  No one has told me to take a month + off running a month ago.  No one force fed me Penny Pigs.  I did those things to myself, and I SHOULD feel disgusted my my habits.  I am certainly not going to improve myself by doing things that damage my progress, just like how not working on my PhD for most of the year is keeping me from getting done on time.  No one did that to me.  I did that to me, depression or not, it was still my choice.
  • I lack self-discipline, willpower, dedication, and perseverance.  When the going gets tough, I give up and eat ice cream.  I don’t try harder.  I don’t ask for help because I’m ashamed (and then I eat ice cream) and the cycle continues.

 

  • I fear injury so I only run 3 days a week (maybe, if I’m lucky).  I mentally know I can do more.  I know I can.  But fear holds me back, just like it does in all areas of my life.

 

  • I don’t think I can join any of my local running groups.  I am WAY too slow and would hate to have to be the last person and have people waiting around for me, or to have to have someone be my partner/babysitter when they just want to run.  That’s not fair to anyone.  I’m also way too self-conscious to run with a group.
  • It gets tiring to have rude things yelled at me when I’m on a run.  I know that this isn’t a phenomenon that’s solely directed at me.  However, it gets old fast to have people laugh at you and say rude things.

So, maybe someday I will be a proper runner.  For now, I’m just a girl who occasionally goes for a run, and that has to be enough for me.

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Where is my life going?

Two weeks ago I had a chance to attend a book signing/talk that should have inspired me to be a better me.  Instead I left needing time to reflect.  And now, after a few days I feel lower than usual.   I feel at nearly 40, I’m an absolute failure.

 

When I was 16 and working at Filene’s Basement, I worked with a few women who were in their early 20’s and I thought they were so glamorous and lived such exciting lives.  I couldn’t wait to be 21.

When I was 21 I was still an undergrad.  I was still trying to figure out my life.  I certainly wasn’t going out to clubs and bars and having a good time.  I was completely screwed up emotionally.

I wanted more; I wanted stability and love and marriage.  I figured by the time I was 25 I’d have it all wrapped up.

When I was 25 I was dating (someone I now refer to as) “the one who got away.”  I thought he was the one.  I thought we were going to be together.  We had been living together (until he asked me to move out) and I hoped we could reconcile and make it work out.  I wanted to be engaged and married and start a family; we already had 2 cats together.  I figured by the time I was 30, I would have it all figured out.  I’d have a a husband and a career and kids.  I’d have amazing mom friends and a perfect house.

By the time I was 30, I was an absolute mess.  I had ended the relationship with the one who got away and dated and got engaged to someone else.  I spent 4 years trying to fix him, to make him the man I thought he could be.  I was an idiot.  You can’t fix hate that’s been learned (at least I couldn’t do it).

I had gained back all the weight I worked hard to lose.  I was fat (again) and hated myself (still).

I was single, living in my childhood bedroom in my parents house with my cat.  I was single, miserable, and on the verge of bankruptcy.  I didn’t have many friends.  And despite having earned my first Masters degree the year before, I had a crummy job and could hardly support myself.  I figured by the time I was 35, I would have to have it figured out.

By the time I was 35, my life had taken a major turn.  I moved to Scotland to pursue my second Masters degree since I still had been unable to find a full time teaching job.  It was an amazing decision and I don’t regret it, but I was lonely.  I didn’t make any friends, and the stresses of the year were overwhelming.

I was still fat and frustrated and wishing I had made better food choices; I felt like I had let my body down after (cosmetic) surgery.

Right now at 38 and change?  Well, I’m going to be 40 in a little more than a year and I am not happy with my life.  I say I am happy with who I am (and in some ways I am) but I’m sad overall.  I haven’t really made friends here (my own fault), I’ve been single for over a decade.  I haven’t had sex in over a decade and I think it’s starting to get to me (you think?)!

I’ve had a rough few years here in Scotland; I’ve lost both my parents and a beloved pet.  I’ve lost weight, gained weight, had the never ending headache issue.  I’ve struggled with my thesis, with motivation, with getting out of bed.

The PhD has been one issue after another.  I’ve contemplated a break; taking a holiday or leaving flat out.  I am sticking with it right now, but there are days when I want to run away.

And with all of that, I have no idea how I am supposed to go about getting the life I want.  I know what I want for the future and where I want to be when I am done with my PhD.  I am just not sure I will be able to do and go where I want to (live in London and live a glamorous life).  I’ve accepted the fact that I will most likely be alone and will not have a family of my own.  Accepting that has been hard, but it is probably for the best.  I think that the amount of baggage I carry would be a major issue and in regards to having children, time has pretty much run out.  It’s time to accept this.

 

 

Posted in anxiety, deep thoughts, Glasgow, goals, grad school, headache, health, life, life in general, money woes, pain, Scotland, self-esteem, stress, travel, UK, update, weight | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Headache update

It’s been 8 years having a headache pretty much constantly.  If this is news to you, I will give you a brief synopsis.

I’ve had a headache for 8 years.  I’ve seen 7 (I think now) neurologists, I’ve had a CT scan, MRI, 2 spinal taps (one failed), tests for pseudo tumor cerebri, and taken countless medications, some of which have caused serious issues like Topomax (ended up losing a job) and Lyrica (made me incredibly stupid and I still have issues with aphasia to date). (I’ve tried every OTC med, herbal supplements, yoga, massage, PT, oxygen, steroid infusions, food restrictions, etc.)

The last neurologist I saw told me I was fat (while true, not relevant to having a headache) and told me to lose weight (working on it, it’s not an overnight process, sorry) and when I explained I *was,* told me to work harder.  I filed a complaint.

My GP referred me to a pain clinic.  This was my 3rd appointment.  The doctor was very nice, but sadly I have pretty much exhausted all my options when it comes to medications and treatments.  (I’m assuming he means on the NHS?) He suggested a course of acupuncture and seemed to think it would happen rather quickly.  Yeah.  About that.  The first available appointment is December.  Yes, December.

So I’m pretty much resigned to a life of either pain or pain meds, at least at this point.  I’m pretty frustrated that there is nothing else that can be done, and that no doctors seem willing to investigate the actual cause of the never ending headache.  I understand the limited resources the NHS has, and I am totally ok with that, but I did see many doctors in the US as well, and I still got no answers.

It’s still frustrating after all these years, and it is even more frustrating to be told you are out of options.

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Summer of ’89

The summer of ’89 was when it all went wrong for her.  The adults in her life were making decisions that she wouldn’t understand at 13, at 17, never mind at 38.

The summer was ok though, because she didn’t know what was coming.  The summer was spent tanning in the backyard and instructing her innocent, younger sister in the brilliance of the Beatles, Tom Petty, and the Traveling Wilburys.  One would think the music coming from her room would have been from a 40’s something yuppie, not a 13 year old girl.

And then it happened, the walls came crashing down.  She heard the rumours, of course.  It wasn’t hard to not hear them.  In the end people were bold enough to come up to her and ask if it was her, if she was the one.   She heard other rumours too of course, that it was retaliation, jealousy, that it was all lies.

She tried to find out the truth of course, but who talks to a now 14 year old girl?  She wasn’t exactly Sherlock Holmes, you see.  She wasn’t even Trixie Belden.  She tried to find the newspaper articles, but they seemed to have disappeared from the library.  Strange, that.

She didn’t understand until she was much older, and sitting in a similar position herself.  Jealousy is such a vicious motivator.  History repeating itself yet again.

She tried to solve the mystery many years later, but was unable to make any headway.  Too bad the internet was not around back then, she thought.  There might have been answers to questions she shouldn’t ask.  Especially now.

Maybe she should let sleeping dogs lie.

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Meet Bailey!

After 5 months, I decided it was time.

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He’s a Russian Blue and he is gorgeous.  He is still a little anxious about his new home, but I have been able to pet him and he seems content to nap and explore.

I was really glad we were able to bring Bailey into our home.  The woman who owned Bailey had fallen on some hard times recently; a lot of things I could totally relate to.  I am glad to be able to help someone out and give a cat a good and loving home.

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