Slow Progress is Still Progress, Part 2

Gosh I miss my blog. I used to post all the time, and now I rarely post. Maybe I can try to change that. We will see; life is pretty busy all of the time.

One of the reasons why posting has been hard is that I’m on my work computer alll day every day, so I’m not really in the mood to being on my computer after work hours. Secondly, I honestly have felt like I didn’t have much to share.

Update on Treatment

I have had 11 ketamine infusions. I had 10 consistently and now I’m starting to spread them out. I have noticed a huge difference in my depression, but I have still struggled with anxiety to an extent. I’m working with the PA on it, but I feel like I will take two steps forward with it, then one step backwards. At the moment, I’m doing well. I just take it one day at a time because some days aren’t as great. But also, I think that’s just life. I’m trying to figure out what that looks like. I haven’t known what normal emotions and mental health looks like.

My PA upped one of my anxiety meds, and I’m now off of one that I think was causing some of my physical anxiety symptoms. It was at least making it worse. It is improving.

I’m also going to be starting EMDR again. I’m going back to my old counselor. I’m a little nervous, but I think I still have more trauma work to do. My ketamine doc told me he really likes EMDR (if Ketamine isn’t enough). He said that trauma sits in an unconscious part of our brain. It affects us in our bodies (he reminded me about the book The Body Keeps the Score). I will continue ketamine, but only maybe once a month now (or less). It has been so expensive. I can’t afford to do more than that (I was paying $420 a week for it for a while!). Honestly $420 for a month is a lot too. But it has made such a huge difference, so I think it’s worth it. Even though I have lower days and some on and off anxiety, overall I’m doing SO much better. I will continue spreading it out and it will just be on an as needed basis.

I will say that at this point, I feel happy. Not all the time, but more than not these days. It has been pretty amazing. I feel lighter, less foggy brained, have more energy, and more motivation to do the things that I think are important.

Physical Health

By May, I had lost 30 pounds. As of today, I’m back up 12 pounds. And I’m okay with that. I’m healthy, and I have maintained this weight consistently for months. I’m still a size 12 which is fine.

I think I have finally gained some balance with my nutrition. It’s definitely not perfect, but my goal lately has been to not obsess about food. Still eat somewhat healthy, but not make it something I think about 24/7. I have obsessed about food for years. Before I was trying to lose weight, I was obsessing about it being natural/organic/grass fed/homemade, etc. Then diets like Paleo, Whole 30, gluten free, etc. Then for years I was obsessing with the calories (I haven’t stopped thinking about calories, but I’m trying not to let that control me). I’ve done so many diets over the years. So many. I recently just attempted to do the Street Parking template small group coaching (again) and remembered (again) that I cannot do something strict like that. It messes with my mind and mental health. I’m never able to be consistent at something like that so then I beat myself up.

My biggest goal is consistency in intentional movement. The main reason for this is that it makes an enormous difference on my anxiety/mental health in general. When I get up and workout in the morning, I feel great all day mentally! Movement in general is super important, but I have noticed the biggest difference when I workout before work in the morning. I workout about 5 days per week now. In addition to working out in the mornings before work, and I’ve also been running 3 or so evenings a week (and hike once or so a week). Today I am running the Gourdy’s Pumpkin Run virtual 5k. I’m not quite ready for a 5k, but I think I’ll run five minutes, walk one, run five, walk one, and so on until I get to 3.1 miles.

I try to get 3 good servings of protein a day, some fruits and veggies, etc. I try to eat mostly “whole foods,” but I struggle with snacking during the day. I’m working on it slowly, but it’s not a huge deal at this point. I am just trying to not buy many snacks, but I get them for the kids so sometimes it’s hard to avoid. Haha. It’s okay. I’m taking this one step at a time. It will help a ton that I’m going to be doing a bunch of food prep today!

My Job

I have found the perfect job for me. I finally feel like I’m not always behind. I have gotten the hang of things and have a great routine. I have downtime most days (I just work on my to do list). I am doing well with teaching classes. I’m starting to have better observations. And I don’t always work on the weekends! Typically I only work on the weekend when I miss work. This week I will miss work on Thursday afternoon, but I will be able to work a bit at a coffee shop before my counseling appointment, so it’ll be okay.

I feel peace about my job. That has NEVER happened before. Some days I feel like I’m still not amazing at teaching online (it’s VERY different from in person teaching), but those days are less and less lately. I enjoy going to work. Sundays don’t bother me as much (“Sunday Scaries” is more rare these days), etc.

I’m not gonna lie, I’m a little nervous about tomorrow because admin had us send out emails that basically told the parents that they need to help their kids more and help them pass because this is a school of choice and if they are struggling so much, maybe this isn’t the place for them. Also, the parents are the “learning coaches” which basically means they are their direct teacher. In second grade, a LOT of parents don’t work with their kids so they are floundering. As nervous as I am, I’m also SO glad that they did this because these parents haven’t been listening to me. It’s SO amazing that the admin has our backs like this! The goal is an 85% pass rate, and I’m currently at 83%. So close! I’m thinking after this, though, that the pass rate will increase a lot. We will see.

Finally Happy

Not always, but more often than not. I haven’t experienced this in so long that I was starting to think I would just be feeling miserable from now on. I honestly had forgotten that I was ever happy. And honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever been fully happy. Anxiety has always been there. Even my good memories involve anxiety. Always. Who knows. This may always be there in the background, but it seems like I’ve had more non-anxious times lately (never full days, but it happens through the days now some!). I’m hoping that EMDR and more ketamine treatments will continue to wipe this anxiety out! I deserve it.

Friday night, Robert and I went on a date night to San Antonio. It was SO good. A night without much anxiety and just having a good time. We also stopped by Trader Joe’s which is fun! I haven’t been there in so long. Yesterday was a super chill day with lots of sleep, Christmas music, and games. Today will be a day of food prep and running. Probably some rest thrown in.

Life is good!

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