Where I’m At: Catching Up in March


Healthy-eating-2-small
http://www.adigaskill.org
Every so often, I try to update you with the details of my life, beneath the writing, and the subtext behind poems. I don’t think I’ve done this since the end of February, so I’d like to share a bit about my life lately.

One of the biggest areas in life I’m working on is my health. Those of you who have been with me a while know I suffer from a mood disorder (depression) and from that depression,  excessive amounts of fatigue.

 

Psychiatric drugs are evil little pills. I started with Invega which stopped an initial psychosis (which has never occurred again) but also made me ‘flat;’ caused a great deal of pain in muscles of my back, shoulders, and neck;  as well as resulted in a weight gain over ten pounds. After switching to risperidone, I gained another ten pounds and using a medication to help me sleep called Gabapentin, added twelve pounds or more. The antipsychotic I’m on now works a great deal better for me then any of the ones I was on before, but as usual, I gained another ten pounds.

Experiencing fatigue most of the time makes it difficult to exercise and do cardio. I have been feeling well enough to walk for twenty to thirty minutes three or four times a week. And on off days, I have been trying to do yoga for twenty minutes.

My big change lately has been a diet and supplement overhaul. I use supplements from a

Heart Vegetables
http://www.adigaskill.org
system called the  ‘redbox.’ It is a system of health focused not only on losing weight but living a healthy lifestyle. Different supplements in the system have helped many people lose weight; stop feeling chronic pain such as fibromyalgia or arthritis; given people a ton more energy; and aided people in maintaining a fitness level at the gym or otherwise.

Using the supplements you start with an Eight Day Ignite, a detox in which your body gets rid of bad toxins and resets your metabolism so you can lose weight and function better. In my first Eight Days, I lost 5 lbs and 8.5 inches. I was pleased with my initial result, especially losing inches in my hips, waist, and thighs. Many women lose much more then I lost initially. I’m continuing on the ignite plan for the rest of the month (the detox part is finished) and I’m hoping to be able to lose 9 lbs by the end of this month, to reach my first weight and health goal. After, I will continue on some of the supplements on the weight loss plan.

A meal plan is provided, and the plan includes eating well in small meals throughout the day focusing on eating protein and green vegetables. One day I get to eat carbohydrates such as fruit, rice, whole grain bread  (etc.) and on Sunday I can eat what I like, it’s a cheat day. The plan also includes exercise of about thirty minutes a day and using some of the supplements. Many people have had great results on these products. So I’m excited to see where they can take me, especially since losing weight without significant cardio has been a challenge.

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pen writing
http://www.fanpop.com
Besides my health, I have been up to many other things. I have been working a lot on developing short stories and other pieces for submission. I was excited to submit one of my first short stories developed off a Flash Fiction piece I wrote in the past. And I’m looking also at submitting some pieces of poetry in the future.  I keep discovering new ideas and new topics that I would like to write short stories to submit. It’s a bit of a challenge as many of you probably know because each place you submit to has different submission guidelines and wants stories of specific length. Short story for instance, vary widely from 800 words to as many as 40, 000 in some of the places I’ve been looking at.

Work on my novel continues, albeit, at a slower pace then I have been doing. Working on

Writing Once Upon A Time
http://www.tribecomics.com
the novel and working on pieces in-between, often results in the novel being left for a week or two. I do plan to write up a couple of chapters this week if possible. The book is at an exciting  part  so I have to move onward. I thought initially, I was writing long chapters and would have plenty of length for a full book. But PJ asked me if I was doing a novella or novel, and I thought about it a bit and I think I might have to add some parts into the novel, or weave in a second storyline. I will see where I am at the end of the first draft which is rapidly coming to a close. I’m thankful to have a blogger friend Martin, offering to go through and help edit my book once I have all the chapters together on word, and I will do the same for his book. Then, I suppose I will be doing a whole bunch of rewriting.

Blog Words
http://www.linkedin.com
My blogging schedule has been hectic. Since I’m not in a course so I can write, I don’t mind it at all. Although, sometimes commenting and writing takes a great amount of time. So you know, my blogging schedule is as follows: Sunday Sunday Photo Fiction with Alistair Forbes,  MondayMoral Monday’s with Nortina S from Lovely Curses and La Duchesse D’erats Lists, Tuesday Flash Fiction for the Aspiring Writer with Priceless Joy, WednesdayLiterary Lion with Laura from I Smith Words ( every second week) and 3LineTales with Sonya from Only 100 Words, Thursday Echoes of My Neighbourhood with Jacqueline from A Cooking Pot and Twisted Tales, FridayFlash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner with Roger Shipp at It’s All In Finding The Right Words, Saturday – Free Day.

In-between this all I’m still working through different forms of poetry, doing the one word prompts provided by The Daily Post , as well as my novel. I will not be doing The Daily Post prompts in April due to National Poetry Writing Month. But, you will still find I do the odd beauty post and other topics that come to my mind.

I’m not sure how completing the POPSUGAR booklist will end up. I read here and there but have only been able to get through two or three books lately. I know when spring finally arrives (in appearance), and I can see the flowers and not see it snowing outside, I will be in much more of a reading mood.

In addition to writing and health, I’m going to movies, catching up on my favourite shows such as Scandal (my favourite right now), watching movies on Netflix, seeing friends whenever I can, doing a bit of dating, and fitting everything else in when I can. Hope all is going well for you.

napofeature2
http://www.napowrimo.org
I know there is an A to Z challenge going on with some bloggers in April but I also wanted to bring up another fantastic challenge I’m doing in April. April is National Poetry Writing Month or NaPoWriMo. It is similar to Blogging 201 Poetry except for you’re writing a poem with a prompt provided on the website, everyday for the month of April. You can check it out and add your blog to the list of bloggers participating here if you want to join me for the challenge.

Thanks for reading!

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©Mandibelle16. (2016) All Rights Reserved.

Writing 101: Day 8 – Dear ” I.”


Prompt: Write a letter. 

Dear I:

It is difficult for me to write this letter. I’m sure to you it doesn’t make sense why I’m writing it. But the reason is you are a piece of my history. You are apart of that point in my life when I was changing from an ignorant and carefree twenty-three-year-old, to a woman who experiences illness everyday. I wanted to apologize for how I acted back then and let myself move on. 

To start with, I did have a thing for you when I first came to work. I just thought you were the hottest guy I’d ever seen and that you were genuinely nice. I think you were aware I harboured a thing for you but I wish you would have just told me you didn’t like me that way, or that it wasn’t appropriate because we worked together. You should have said something. You were older and had more experience. You shouldn’t have led me on. And yes, I should have accepted your uninterested attitude sooner.

In 2008, when you went away on vacation, I finally got over you. And I felt fine in September, October, and most of November. But my situation went awry with my health in November. I didn’t understand it but I was beginning to have a psychotic episode. So, when a person said something, I would hear an echo after their voice, and the echoe was usually mean words about me. I didn’t know what was occurring. I knew something was off in those echoes but I didn’t even know what a psychotic episode was.

So, if at the end of November and December, I was acting abnormally, being inappropriate, and emotional it wasn’t my fault. Because I had liked you earlier, and because your office was right below reception, where I was working some of the time, I thought I was hearing you say mean words about me. I didn’t understand why you were treating me that way. I wasn’t myself.

As December went on, I would have good days where everything was normal and then a bad day. But I couldn’t stop crying or concentrate on work. On December twenty-third I left work for good. I went into hospital shortly after. I was in hospital three weeks and they gave me a medication that stopped my delusions completely. I remember how still and silent everything finally was, the first time I took a certain medication. 

My parents told me later, that our boss was trying to figure out what triggered my episode. You had showed L something I wrote you that was probably hard to understand. My parents said you told L you wanted nothing to do with me. I thought I must have been really sick for you to react so unkindly. I’m better from psychosis, and I have never had a psychotic episode since that time in 2008. If I did, I’d know what to look out for now to get help sooner. 

I do have depression that has caused chronic fatigue. And constant fatigue is the worse part of it. I’m out of shape and can barely work out due to fatigue. I can only concentrate so long and physically I’m always limited for other activities. But I have almost completed a Certificate in Residential Design. I am too sick to work so blogging and taking one class at a time are what I do. I’m applying for an MFA in Creative Writing for 2017. 

 I’m sorry for how I acted back when I was sick. I just wanted to apologize and explain what happened. I hope you don’t think badly of people who have mental illnesses. Often, we just need understanding and a bit of help to get going back in the right direction in life. When I was having psychosis, that was my first experience with mental illness. I wish I could have controlled my actions better, but I didn’t have that control. 

I hope your life is going well and I wish you only the best. Thanks for giving me a piece of your time.

Regards,

Amanda

Depression Resulting in Chronic Fatigue


I have had some questions come up lately about the disease I suffer from. It’s an extremely difficult disease for people to understand and I have been trying not to write about it but I think I will do a post as a reminder and introduction to people who do not know me.

1. When did you first become ill and why? I was 23.5 years old when I had a full on psychotic episode. I was hearing things, had little control over my emotions, couldn’t concentrate at work, lost weight, felt weird sensations up my arms and legs, and my thoughts were just completely circling in my head in an unhealthy way. The psychotic episode lasted about a month until I came out of the hospital on an anti psychotic drug called Invega. I stopped hearing voices immediately and have never heard anything like that since. I recovered from my episode which we believe was caused by an inherit susceptibility to depression. What I did not recover from was a chronic fatigue caused by the depression.

2. What is chronic fatigue why do you have it? The most basic definition of chronic fatigue is going to sleep and never waking up with a restored amount of energy. This is both physical and mental. Mentally I can only concentrate about 2-2.5 hours in a day and physically I can go out and do an activity for about 3 hours at a time. Chronic fatigue also effects your ability to exercise as I have little energy to do that especially cardiovascular activity, I can maybe do 5 minutes on a low speed on the elliptical that’s it. Unlike the average person whose energy becomes restored the next day mine often isn’t. This is called malaise and it takes a day sometimes two for me not to feel worn out. Also, I must scatter my activities so that I have a day to rest in-between days I go out. Sometimes I can do two days in a row, mostly one day at a time.

3. What have you tried to deal with your illness? I have tried almost every psychiatric drug you can think of and am allergic or unable to take most because they make me ill. I also have insomnia so I see a sleep psychiatrist as well as a psychiatrist. I have seen a naturopath, a rheumatologist, my family doctor, an occupational therapist, and done mental testing. Nothing seems to work except a small number of psychiatric drugs and sleeping pills that only work to a point.

4. What are your limitations? Working because I cannot concentrate or physically work beyond 2-3 hrs, physical exercise to a large degree, sleeping without medication, living on my own, driving, some financial, and social limitations because I do not work with people or cannot do a lot of social activity, many domestic chores, some cooking, and often being around loud noises.

Thanks for reading!