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I did notice a change pre and post 25- alcoholism/alcohol tolerance

I read a little while back that a woman’s brain is fully developed in her 25th year (for men, it’s 30)

It’s had me thinking and since I’m now half a decade away from 25, (I’m 31) I have been able to see how true that really was for me.

I have an impulse control disorder, it’s commonly joked about but it is real and makes impulses hard to control.

I have been thinking back and trying to remember years (typially by my kids’ ages) and I did realize that I may not have woken up on my 25th birthday different, but that year did make a huge difference.

Pre-25 Me

When I was 21, I drank. A lot. Like, so much that people were trying to get me into rehab for it (I actually did try but the cost and waiting time made it unfeasible). I would blow my whole paycheck at the bar after work. I got tired of going through my check so fast, I started giving myself an allowance (the rest would go in savings) and I’d only spend a set amount a night. It worked but there were some nights random people would offer to buy drinks (one guy hit the jackpot on a game 3 times and bought 3 rounds for the entire bar- that was the night I was trying to only drink 1-2 beers a night)

At 22, I met my husband and he was too young to go with me, so I very slowly quit drinking. He was never a drinker either so it wasn’t fun to drink without the man I was dating.

At 23, I had my first child. It was extremely easy for me to go the pregnancy with no alcohol.

It was also easy to go her NICU stay without it but I did pick some other habits up. I started overeating.

I also picked up loom knitting to kill the stress and it was very therapeutic.

While she was in NICU out of state, I went home for a weekend to study and take my state board exam for school. While I was home, we went to a game convention and the after party.

I met one of the workers and his wife and I ended up getting drunk. Instead of how I usually was, I cried most of the night about being there instead of at the NICU, even though the nurses themselves told me I needed a break and I made sure they would have a volunteer to go in and cuddle her a bit.

I didnt drink again after that for a year, when I drank with some neighbors, then again a year after that with neighbors. Both times the pain wasn’t worth the alcohol. I had to get drunk to avoid the pain so I slacked even further off.

Post-25 Me

By the time I was 25, I had one living 2 year old and 25 was the age we lost miss Cassie. It was also the literal year I found the side effects from drinking weren’t worth the taste. I got to a point I hated how I acted drunk, but I couldn’t even drink one small glass without getting a buzz. By that time, I was drinking maybe 2-3 times a year.

After 25, I started to notice how bad my joints would ache after taking just 1 sip.

I started just saying yes to the occasional offer when I was around someone else drinking so by the age of 26-27 I was down to maybe 1 a year.

This past summer, we took both kids to the beach with my parents. My mom and the kids were asleep and my husband and I went to a small restaurant at the hotel.

I was strictly on the gluten free diet by this time, so I researched and the margarita seemed safe. It had been over a year since I had drank last and I ordered a small margarita.

I had such a bad immediate reaction I couldn’t finish it. My stomach bloated up and I couldn’t breathe, I started to feel like my throat was closing up and it took me 30 minutes of walking around the beach to regulate my breathing. That night scared me to the point I’m now saying I’m allergic, although there is probably something I cant tolerate in most alcoholic drinks. I’ve been unable to drink most drinks for years anyways.

I say sometimes that my family has saved me from alcoholism and I do mean it but age is also playing a factor. When I was 21, I didnt get the severe pain in my joints I do now with one sip. I didn’t feel nothing but guilt for drinking and I didnt bloat up.

Either way, I prefer staying sober to being blacked out and passed out.

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I’m doing a mini Facebook Fast

This is something I do occasionally, especially when going through my feed starts to feel like a chore. I do it, but then it makes me feel like I’m wasting time (which I am)

I decided to go until February 28 (so, log back on March 1- if I want to go through the annoyance)

I see no real need to keep with it, I see no reason to even have a profile, but I keep it. I was told a while back that I needed to make sure I had a business page so that I could tell people who didn’t have Twitter, Instagram or other ways of following my website or Etsy shop

 

As of tomorrow, I’m 1 week in.

My last log in was January 28. My first time doing a facebook cleanse, I barely could last this long. Now, it feels like second nature. I do these a few times a year typically. When I first started, I did it as a trial to see if I could get away with deleting my Facebook permanently. It didn’t work out too well.

I did delete my account twice. The first time, I needed to get ahold of someone and found it was ten times easier to get ahold of them on Facebook and not on the phone.

The second time, I was trying to keep track of all my friends and family who said to keep them updated about when I had my baby, so I started a new account and only added those select family, in laws and close friends. That turned into adding back several people who requested me and before I knew it, I was back up to 100.

I’ve never had an account much older than 1 year but this time I decided to keep it and make it less personal.

I’m not planning on deleting

I am working on redoing things. I have been and I post very little private now. I keep the thought that if I wouldn’t post it publicly on my blog, if I wouldn’t say it in a guest blog for another site under my own name, if I wouldn’t sell the story to another website, I won’t post it on Facebook.

I use Facebook as one site to share articles and blogs I have written.

I use Facebook for networking and marketing purposes

I have found the best move for me personally

Instead of deleting the account, I do Facebook cleanses, as they’re called.

I take a few weeks to a few months off then go back on but before long, the incessant negativity has gotten to me again and I end up planning out another break. Most people go back with a renewed appreciation of the site, I just feel like it’s still a time-suck and waste to go but find myself browsing through my feed.

I know sites like that are supposed to be good for staying in touch with friends and family, but it doesn’t feel personal now like it used to feel. Already, keeping it turned off and staying away from accessing it at all has been giving me a somewhat hard time. I tried to respond to a comment on my latest post that was published and couldn’t without Facebook. I also have had a few pieces published and Facebook is the first place I typically share posts- but I’m doing a 100% fast right now, so those are being bookmarked until next month.

I’m still on the fence about how useful the site is (outside of a few random groups for writers/bloggers) but since I was told I needed a page since some people only have Facebook, I need to maintain my two pages at least a little.

 

Have you given up Facebook or gone on a “Facebook fast?”

If you have, what have been your obstacles? I may try to turn this into the 99 days challenge and see if I can go the full 99 days, not sure. I didn’t plan this. I just decided to see how long I could stay off this time.

 

 

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Day Four of the Self Care Challenge

I didn’t post about the one yesterday because it was to “unplug”

Of course, as a writer, I can’t fully unplug for a full day but I did for a little bit. My three year old led me on an adventure- across some rocks (pillows) and up and down a mountain (the stairs). It was a fun adventure.

 

Today’s challenge is to write out what you feel. In a way, I did that with my last post about the quarter life “crisis” I have been going through for several years now. Anything else I write out will be on paper and totally private.

This challenge is going smoother than the other challenges I have attempted to complete in the past. They’re quick, easy and I can easily fit them into my day to day life.

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Day 3 of the self care challenge- listen to your favorite podcast

I don’t really have a favorite, so I looked around and ended up connecting to iHeartradio to listen to one. I picked one on Pinterest marketing for blogs and small businesses.

Not necessarily my favorite, but I’m getting decent with using Twitter and Twitter and Pinterest were my two goals for this year.

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Day 2 of the Self Care Challenge

The second day involves walking (take a walk)

I’ll be having to walk around in my house due to not having a place at the moment to walk.

Day 1 (yesterday) was take time to read a bit and I selected an old favorite- The Looking Glass Wars.

Ever since reading about Alyss Heart in this series, I’ve become a HUGE Alice in Wonderland fan (the live action movies helped quite a bit)

I’ve read this one book like 2-3 times at least, but it never gets old and I’m wanting to start finding time to read more anyways.

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I’m doing a challenge this month

From a woman I met on Twitter, Thoughts with N from over on Blogspot.

She came up with the “Self Care Challenge” which includes different little things to do for yourself throughout the month.

Today’s is to read, which goes perfect with one personal goal I have to read a little bit more than I have been.

 

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I have decided that on January 1st

I’m finally going to commit to the 30-60 day Whole30 diet.

As of right now, even sticking with strict gluten free, I’m right back to feeling sick all the time. I’m not sure if it’s dairy or if there is something else I’m now sensitive to but the Whole30 is the best way to find out from what I can see.

I have failed multiple times, but I’m sure I should be able to commit to 1 simple month of whole foods. I have checked out so many recipes, it will just involve making my own birthday cake since my birthday is in January.

 

I just signed up for a holiday HIIT 3 days a week program. HIIT workouts have always been my favorites and with some really busy weeks, the 15-17 minute workouts should be feasible. My two year old has enjoyed joining me doing the Stronger workouts (livestrong website) and she’ll love joining these as well. I’m not trying to set any kind of New Years Resolutions, those are never kept, I just prefer starting things on the first of the month- it’s easier to track progress.

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How I get my kids to eat- a step by step guide

  1. I start early and fix a nice, balanced meal
  2. I sit the girls down at the table
  3. I clean up and scold the two year old for throwing the food when she decides it’s “icky”
  4. I fix a slightly less healthy meal
  5. I sit them back at the table
  6. I clean the next mess up as the two year old (who has ate a few bites from each meal) makes yet another mess
  7. I cave in and feed them what they want- despite it being what I deem as healthy
  8. I clean the last mess up and finally release them from the table
  9. I bang my head against the wall repeatedly while doing the fourth or fifth load of dishes of the day and silently scream because I don’t understand how I ended up with such picky and light eaters.
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How to enjoy a Gluten Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is celebrated by sitting around the family table with your extended family eating a huge, calorie laden dinner. It’s easy to eat until you’re bloated and too full/ tired to function but it’s a huge pain when you’re on a gluten free or any other restricted diet and need to avoid getting sick. You see the sweet potato pie, pumpkin pie and stuffing and already know you can’t eat those but what are your alternatives? Are there any other foods to watch out for?

Main Dish

The turkey (or ham) is the default with Thanksgiving. Make sure the seasoning is safe. If they use anything other than normal herbs and spices, it could have hidden gluten and not be safe. The gravy is another big no- unless you make it specifically yourself, you cannot be sure what it’s thickened with and it’s best to avoid.

The best ways to be safe are to make sure your turkey has no skin and no topping but spices. Keep away from gravy, or take some broth before it’s made into gravy and add your own ingredients to thicken it.

Sides

Stay away from stuffing, unless you get a gluten free bread or stuffing mix and make it your own. Stuffing is bread, so it’s obvious that it will not be safe traditionally.

Stick with normal veggies. You can ask about the ingredients in the sweet potato pie and there is a decent chance it’s safe, but is it worth the risk? To know you’re safe, stick with green beans, spinach or any other side that contains no additives. If that sweet potato pie only contains sweet potatoes, brown sugar, marshmallows and a few other items they can easily list (or show you) it’s safe. (Yes, sweet potato pie is my favorite dish)

Stuffing- gluten free version

Stuffing isn’t hard- take your favorite gluten free bread and tear it up, add it to broth (or gluten free gravy) and let it soak, then toss it with the celery, onions and anything else you use and wrap it in aluminum foil and bake it the way you normally bake your stuffing.

They also have gluten free stuffing mixes for people who don’t cook it totally from scratch- located in the gluten free section of the local grocer.

Hot Rolls

Rolls are another obvious issue- they are nothing but flour but there are gluten free options out there, more than other subs. You can find frozen gluten free rolls, normal rolls in the bread aisle and there are countless recipes out there for gluten free rolls, so you have many options. My personal favorite is to take a normal hot roll recipe and convert it- they taste almost the same and are a tried and true recipe.

Deserts

Pumpkin Pie

I think it’s safe to assume, the pumpkin pie is one of most peoples’ favorites. The pumpkin itself is fine- pumpkin, milk (or milk sub), cinnamon/ginger/nutmeg/whatever other spices you use, sugar, eggs- all of that is gluten free. You can bake it all in a pan to make a pumpkin pie pudding type of dish or you can head to the local Kroger (it’s the only store around here that sells them) and pick up an extra gluten free frozen pie shell. (Wholly Wholesome makes a really good crust- but pay attention to the label because some of their crusts are whole grain- meaning wheat and they are usually together in the frozen coolers).

Pecan Pie

There are plenty of recipes out there to make gluten free pecan pie and I’m not sure, besides the crust how much needs to be avoided.

Use your other Wholly Wholesome pie shell and find one of the many pecan pie recipes and test it out

 

It may be a bit more time consuming on your end and you may end up offending family members by your “diet choices” but it is very possible to be included in the big family Thanksgiving meal while staying safe and not getting sick.

If this is your first year, it will be more challenging but just remember- your body won’t care if your aunt was offended by you not wolfing down her rolls. Your body won’t care that you had a moment of weakness and took a few bites of that pie or stuffing- your body will mind that you just put an ingredient in it that it cannot tolerate and your comfort is more important than someone’s feelings. If it’s store bought, always look for the gluten free label and if you’re in doubt, keep away.

 

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Frozen Perfectionist

I am what is known as a “frozen perfectionist.” I was diagnosed with OCD as an adult, after discussing my childhood with a therapist after losing a child (the symptoms got too bad to ignore). I finally found out why I obsess over nearly everything but some of the symptoms didn’t add up. I started researching self help and found the term frozen perfectionist- when a perfectionist gets so afraid of failure, they can’t move forward. When I found that, it summed where I was in life. I wanted to go back to school, was too afraid of what could happen. I had a rough draft of a novel- I was too afraid to go any further. I had tons of dreams but I was so afraid of failing, I was stuck working in a dead end job afraid of going after anything better.

The book that changed me was “Stop Self Sabotage.” It made me stop and really start looking at my own issues. When I was 18 and a college freshman, I had confidence. I knew I had my life in front of me and since I was out of my parents’ rule, I had freedom. I messed up and starting skipping classes. That led to me being put out on academic suspension and I was talked into dropping out instead of going back the next semester. That summer, I started dating an old friend from high school who literally beat the confidence out of me. It took me two years to get away from him but in that time, I was shattered. I wasn’t “allowed” to open the business I wanted to open (even though my plan impressed the woman at the SBA so much I would have gotten the loan immediately). I wasn’t “allowed” to go back to school- if he was unable to graduate, I wouldn’t be able to either- he was “insanely intelligent” and I wasn’t- so if he couldn’t do it, I couldn’t. I dealt with tear downs along with those subtle insults for 2 years until I finally got him to kick me out of the house (after he cheated) and took advantage to finally break up with him fully. By that time, I was 21 and a wreck. It compounded on my own perfectionist traits.

What exactly is “Frozen Perfectionism?”

A frozen perfectionist is someone born with the perfectionist traits who goes untreated for too long and finds themselves frozen in fear- fear of failing and fear of moving forward for whatever reason. It could be considered a side effect of OCD/OCD perfectionism. This has become a nonresearched opinion due to not finding my original sources. The term that is now coming up is perfection paralysis- but it’s the same concept.

What is OCD Perfectionism?

OCD and perfectionism do not always go hand in hand BUT they do in a lot of cases. Obsessive Compulsive Disorder is not the quirk of needing everything organized or being really neat. That is a quirk, OCD is an Anxiety Disorder that causes random and truly meaningless (and often totally out there) thoughts- they become obsessions then that leads to a most of the time unrelated compulsion to do something and that will “prevent” the obsession from happening. (As in- fear of your child dying, it becomes a near- phobic obsession that you cannot shake. In order to prevent your child from dying, your anxiety tells you you have to count every step you take. Counting quickly eases the anxiety but now you’re stuck in the trap of having to count every single step you take at all times- otherwise your child will die.

That is the reality of OCD- it’s not a funny little joke, it’s a really severe Anxiety disorder that needs treatment (NOT medication)

Perfectionism also involves a lot of anxiety. It’s an obsession with everything being perfect. It’s the obsessive need to be the best- at everything and anything that does not come naturally is to be given up.

The kid sitting in the front of the class who studies all the time, finishes his test earlier than the rest of the class and still gets straight As is likely not a perfectionist. The kid in the back who writes a few words, erases, writes a tiny bit more and frantically tries to make his writing absolutely perfect while failing tests due to incomplete responses is more likely to be a perfectionist.

Perfectionism can go far enough to be an actual mental disorder- when the desire becomes obsession and anxiety takes over with every failure. That’s where perfectionist paralysis comes in. It’s when the fear of failing is so strong, you freeze in order to protect yourself. You’re unable to complete projects (like my novel) because you’re so afraid of failing, you get stuck.

 

How I am Trying to Battle OCD Perfectionism Without Professional Help

I was diagnosed at 26, after losing a baby. My OCD had got so bad, I was afraid of carrying my living child up or down the stairs. I started grief therapy to handle losing Cassie and started talking to her about my childhood. After mentioning some quirks I have held my whole life, she told me Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I started studying deeper into it and found it to describe my whole life.

She also told me to run from anyone who tried to medicate me because it needs treatment but not medication. She also gave me the advice that helped me more than anything else-

When your brain is stressing- ask yourself, is this a worry a “normal” person would feel or is it the OCD/Anxiety?

I started reading self help books about OCD and ran across Stop Self Sabotage. I ignored the advice that you need to be under a professional’s care to do exposure therapy, and so far, I’ve kicked a phobia of driving and am working on the fear I have of failing. I started cold pitching to different sites and magazines and in a few cases, I have even pitched and applied to places I knew would reject me so I could start to get used to being rejected before my book is ready to be published.

I also have started asking trusted sources if a thought is normal or I try to put myself in a normal person’s shoes.

Those have been helping me personally and I’m going longer and longer periods of time without the OCD acting up. I have read OCD is one mental illness that can totally clear up on it’s own, so I’m hoping with time I can fully kick it for good.

My Tips For Dealing With OCD On Your Own

  1. Step back and think- when you have an obsessive thought, try to determine if it’s a legitimate thought or if it’s anxiety
  2. Remember, above all, OCD is an ANXIETY disorder
  3. The compulsions are NOT going to help- when you learn your obsessions, identify them and avoid the compulsions. They ease anxiety, BUT it hurts your recovery.
  4. The best way to recover from OCD is to avoid compulsions and ride out the anxiety. Once you see that the bad won’t happen, it slowly eats away at the obsession until there is nothing left.
  5. It’s hard, and you may need a therapist but riding out the anxiety (through exposure therapy) is the best way to recover

Look at Perfectionism as a form of OCD- it’s an obsessive need to be perfect. Slowly expose yourself to failing and being seen as imperfect. Me blogging is part of my self therapy. Not being seen as perfect helps as exposure therapy and over time, perfectionism can be overcome.

*Side note- I started this post months ago and have been working on adding to it and finalizing it but since then, I lost all sources I found that mentioned “frozen perfectionist” so I can’t link to a proper definition. I believe the term that keeps popping up now is “Perfection Paralysis“*

Also- with any anxiety or mental health problem, you do need to have a diagnosis to deal with things like Obsessive Compulsive. Perfectionism is not a mental disorder in and of itself, but it can turn into one.