Friday, August 13, 2010
Goals. And managing life.
People with mental health problems often procrastinate because they get overwhelmed by their issues and can't face everything in daily life that they'd be able to face without those mental illnesses. Procrastination is something I always have to fight, and sometimes I do better than other times. Two days ago, I finally went back to the gym. Having gained back over fifty pounds (probably sixty) that I lost last year when I was on a prescription diet pill, has been extremely demoralizing. I got so depressed about the whole situation, I gave up on exercising. For months, I didn't step foot inside the gym of which I am a paid member. Two days ago, I finally got myself back in motion and working towards a healthier body and better shape.
I think the Alanon meetings I've gone to lately have helped me become more focused on things that I need to do to care of myself. Going to the gym is one of those things. I am prediabetic, and if I don't lose weight, a doctor told me months ago, I'll be diabetic soon. I do not want another major illness to deal with for the rest of my life, so it is vitally important that I lose weight. It's also really, really hard on my self-esteem to be this overweight because I was stick thin most of my life and anorexic for several years. Being "fat" is not something I can deal with very well. It depresses me, makes me want to avoid even the thought of ever dating someone again, and makes me feel like a failure because I let it happen. Of course, Seroquel and Risperdal are the reasons why it happened. They both caused me to gain this weight, and it's really annoying to know that I need those medications even though taking them led me into this entirely new life of being overweight.
People don't treat you the same when you're overweight as they do when you're thin. People look down on you, think you're not attractive, think you're lazy, think you got there just by eating boxes of donuts and gallons of ice cream every day and being a general hog. People assume that if you just decided to lose the weight, it would come off easily like on The Biggest Loser where the people workout till they're near death and the coaches scream and curse at them in such a loving way. In my experience, it is NOT easy to lose weight, and I think that is true for the experiences of most people. Having Fibromyalgia and some arthritis makes it even more difficult, because any kind of exercise causes me pain and exhausts me completely - so exercise feels like something I should naturally avoid.
Anyway, I've stopped procrastinating about the exercise, so that's a plus.
When dealing with mental illness, along with procrastination comes its cause: feeling overwhelmed. Today I had a car accident. Another car stopped very abruptly and, though I slammed on my brakes, I hit the other car. There was nothing but a tiny scratch on his car, and no damage on mine, but the man was nasty about it and yelled at me and cursed, which I told him he did not need to do. Afterwards, I started thinking about the money this was going to cost and crying and crying about that and the fact that I don't have much money and it seems like bad things keep happening. That's really a fallacy. There are no more bad things happening to me than those that happen to everybody else. But when you get overwhelmed by stressors that pile up, sometimes it feels like your whole world is collapsing. Luckily, I nipped that in the bud today, and didn't let myself continue to worry all day about the accident. Talking to the representative from my insurance company was a relief, because I was told I probably won't have to pay anything and my rates most likely won't even go up. Now, I'm finally glad I pay for that insurance every month.
Recently, one thing overwhelming me has been my issues with college, and not knowing which degree to go for, or which school to attend to finish the degree. I've gotten admitted into a Bachelor's of Public Policy Administration program, and I think I'm going to stick with that, for a lot of reasons that mostly relate to me needing to stay living where I live now, since it's affordable and I have doctors nearby who I am connected to. I get an injection of Risperdal every two weeks. You can't get that through most doctors' offices; you have to go to a community mental health center, and I need to stick with that center for stability because that shot keeps me sane.
So, to sum this up, I think it helps to set goals. It helps me to have some goals. It also helps me immensely if I accomplish the goals I set, which relieves me of all the anxiety about not being able to do it, and increases my faith in my own abilities. I think setting goals is useful for people with any psychiatric illness, because it helps keep the overwhelming mass of worries organized into something that one can work with, one step at a time, one day at a time.